Best Water Bottles For Kids In 2019: Keep ‘Em Hydrated!

Last Updated On: 

April 28, 2019

Whether you’re taking your kid on a trip to the park, or you’re sorting out their gear for school, packing a water bottle is a must. You want your kid to stay hydrated, and you want to make sure they can manage their bottle on their own, without needing your help because they’re struggling to open or close it themselves.

There’s a lot of different water bottles out there you can choose from, with all sorts of mechanisms – from pop-up straws to sippy spouts that pull up and down.

Choosing the right one is mostly a matter of personal preference, figuring out what your kid finds easiest to use, and finding something that doesn’t leak.

After all, you don’t want your kid’s school books or sports kit to get soaked!

Best Water Bottles for Kids – a Quick Look at Our Top 7 Recommendations

Note: When clicking on any of the above links, you’ll go to the product listing pages on Amazon, where you can read further information, see current prices and read customer reviews.

Why Do I Need to Buy a Special Water Bottle For My Kid?

By the time your child needs a water bottle, you’ve probably already been through a lot of baby and child-specific products. Diapers, wipes, towels, burping cloths … you name it! At that point, you might be feeling more than a bit shopped out.

It’s tempting to get a disposable water bottle and use that over and over again, but it’s not a great idea to refill a disposable bottle and have your kid drink from that.

Disposable water bottles are not designed for reuse, and while fears about chemical leakage from the bottle into the water are probably overplayed, the bottle itself will soon get battered and may very well start to leak.

They can be difficult to clean, too, as they have such narrow openings – which potentially leads to bacteria growing in the bottle.

If you have a water bottle or two of your own in the house, you might be tempted to give your kid one of those to drink from.

That’s not a good idea either, though, as adult water bottles can be fiddly for little hands to use, and they may be too heavy for a child to carry around on their own.

They may not be made of a suitable material for kids, either. I’m sure it goes without saying that if you have a glass water bottle, it’s not going to be the most appropriate for your kindergartener!

The best option, then, is to buy an age-appropriate water bottle for your child that’s specifically designed for them and their needs, so they can easily stay hydrated throughout the day – and do so safely.

What Are the Benefits of Water Bottles for Kids?

The following list discusses the benefits involved in having a reusable water bottle on hand for your kid, particularly on trips out of the house.

Easily Stay Hydrated

The most important reason to carry a water bottle is so your kid can stay hydrated.

Water is the best option for hydration, as it doesn’t contain any sugar or calories (unlike all the sodas and other drinks that your kid might ask for at the store).

If your child doesn’t always remember to drink, encourage them to take a gulp from their water bottle on a regular basis. This is particularly important on hot days, or when your child is particularly active and running around a lot.

Access To Water Without Help

If your child is at daycare or in school, then it might be very possible for them to ask for a drink of water in a cup – but then they need to track down an adult to get it for them.

With their own water bottle in a designated place, they can easily get a drink whenever they feel like it.

Kids’ water bottles are designed to be easy to open and drink from, too. They’re also easy to close again after drinking, so they don’t drip or spill everywhere.

You’re Doing the Environment a Favor (and Saving Money)

By opting for a reusable bottle, rather than a succession of disposable ones, you’ll be avoiding single-use plastics and doing your bit for the environment.

Plus, you’ll be saving money! Although a reusable bottle costs a bit more up-front, you’ll quickly start saving on the cost of constantly buying new disposable bottles.

You Can Choose a Bottle Your Kid Loves

Most kids’ water bottles have attractive, child-friendly designs all over them.

Even if you simply opt for a plain bottle in your kid’s favorite color, you’ll hopefully be on to a winner – but you can go one step further if you want and choose a bottle that’s covered in pictures of their favorite character, or one that features their favorite animal.

You’ll Have a Handy Source of Water

Chances are, you’ll find yourself using your kid’s water bottle for lots of non-drinking purposes a lot of times, for stuff such as washing grazed knees, cleaning sand off your kid’s feet, or moistening tissues (when you’ve run out of wipes).

Having water to hand, rather than sticky sodas or no liquid at all, can be incredibly useful at these times when you have no other option.

What Should I Look For When Choosing a Water Bottle for My Child?

Whether you’re choosing a kid’s water bottle for the first time ever or looking for a replacement after their old bottle has become worn or damaged, here’s a list of important things you should look for in these products.

BPA Free

Modern water bottles are almost always BPA-free, but it never hurts to double-check just to be sure.

In case you didn’t know, BPA stands for Bisphenol A, and it’s a chemical that used to be used a lot in water bottles (and other food and drink containers).

Research has shown that BPA can leak into food or drink from the container – and although the FDA currently believes that the minimal levels of BPA occurring in some foods are safe, most parents prefer to avoid BPA altogether just in case.

Easy for Your Kid to Use

The right bottle for a two-year-old might be small, with a large twist lid that little hands can easily work with. For a five-year-old, a larger and taller bottle with a more fiddly mechanism might be a more suitable option.

To start out with, you might want to buy a couple of different bottles to try out with your kid at first, or you might want to ask other parents for their recommendations and what’s worked best for them so far.

Something that looks great on the shelf might not be all that easy for your child to use in practice, so be prepared for it to take a little time (and possibly some trial and error) to find the perfect bottle.

Large Enough for Your Child’s Needs

If your kid is only going to be using their bottle at home, where you can easily refill it whenever there’s a need to do so, then it’s not a problem if it only holds a few ounces.

If they’ll be using it all day on a school trip, though, you’ll want a bottle that holds plenty of liquid – probably 12 to 18 ounces at a time.

Don’t go over the top here, though. Your child probably won’t enjoy it if they have to carry a 36-ounce bottle around with them in their backpack all day long!

Suitable Material

While you can get kids bottles that are made of toughened glass, giving one of these to your child is probably not the best of ideas.

Besides the risk of breaking, glass is heavy! Add that to the weight of the water, and your child might struggle to drink from the bottle, let alone carry it around for a good portion of the day.

Other bottles are made of aluminum, which you might prefer if you’re trying to avoid too many plastics, but again – these can also be quite heavy.

What Types of Water Bottles Can I Choose From For My Kid?

When you’re choosing a water bottle for your kid, you might feel a bit bewildered by all the different options you have at your disposal.

There’s so many different sizes and shapes to choose from, some with lids that flip open, some with straws, some that open by twisting, and the list goes on and on.

Although glass and aluminum bottles are available, most parents opt for plastic as a lightweight and relatively cheap option.

The following list discusses the various types of plastic kid’s water bottles you’ll come across.

Bottles With a Cap that Flips Open

This type of bottle has a cap that flips open to reveal a hole in the lid that your child can drink from, which is very similar to how many adult water bottles work.

The neck of the bottle is wide, which makes for easy cleaning, and the lid screws tightly onto this.

The flip caps are normally quite easy for school-age children to operate, and this mean that your child can glug down their water as fast as they want to.

Sometimes, though, these caps can be stiff and a little tricky to open, and some kids may not be especially careful about how they close them. If the cap is left dangling off the bottle, then the water can simply pour out.

So, while these bottles are a popular option, they’re best for older children who can be careful about stuff they’re warned about. For little ones or for older kids who tend to rush, though, you may want to look for a different option.

Bottles With a Pop-Up Straw

Some bottles have an integral straw that “pops up” once the cap of the bottle is twisted or flipped open. There are a few different mechanisms for this, though.

One big advantage to these bottles is that your child doesn’t need to tip the bottle up to drink from it, even if it’s nearly empty. This reduces the risk of the water going everywhere.

You may well find that your kid just loves drinking from a straw, too, so their bottle could be a great way to encourage them to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

There’s also a big drawback to these bottles you should know about, though: the straws can easily get chewed out of shape if your child likes to clamp their teeth onto them. And, if they get too mangled, they may not fit neatly under the closed lid, potentially leading to leaks.

Some manufacturers provide a spare (or can sell you a spare), but quite often, you’ll have to simply buy a whole new bottle.

The straws can also be a bit difficult to clean if you want to wash them up by hand rather than putting them in a dishwasher, and you may find that they’re prone to becoming detached from the rest of the bottle.

Bottles With a Spout

Some bottles come with a little spout – if you’ve ever used a sports bottle, it probably works just like this.

They might work by your kid twisting the lid to make the spout “pop up”, or the spout might always be present, but have a bit that pulls up and pushes down to open and close it.

These bottles are normally very easy for kids to use, though the water may not flow out as quickly as your child might like it to.

Depending on the design, it may be possible for the spout to be quite easily left open in full (or slightly open) – though unlike bottles with a flip cap, the liquid won’t spill out super-fast.

Best Water Bottles For Kids – A More Detailed Look At Our Top 7 Recommendations

Ready to keep your kids hydrated with something they actually look forward to drinking water from? Here’s our top recommendations for some of the best water bottles for kids available today.

CamelBak eddy Kids Water Bottle

CamelBak eddy Kids 12oz Water Bottle

What We Like About It:

If you’re involving your little one in the shopping process so they pick a design they like, you have more than 30+ different designs, patterns and colors to choose from with these.

From sharks, daisies, glitter rainbows, unicorns, roller-skates and everything in between – there’s something for every kid!

You can buy this bottle on its own, or along with replacement bite valves and straws for when you need them most. This is very useful in case you have a little troublemaker that enjoys getting their fingers inside the valve, opening it and damaging it.

This bottle is also one of the easiest water bottles for kids on the market to clean. Pro Tip: Make sure you’re using a small straw brush to make things even easier.

It can hold up to 400 ml of water at a time (which makes for around 13.5 oz), and is best used by children older than 3 years of age.

What We Don’t Like About It:

This is not exactly the best water bottle for kids when it comes to leak prevention – and this is especially the case when the bite valves start to wear out.

This seems to be somewhat of a design flaw on the manufacturer’s end, as many parents have noticed that the straw sometimes moves out of position, causing the bite valve to push in and pressure the water inside to flow out.

 

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Klean Kanteen Kid Stainless Steel Sport Water Bottle

Klean Kanteen 12oz Kid Kanteen Stainless Steel Sport Bottle, Single Wall and Leak Resistant Sport Cap 3.0 2018

What We Like About It:

For those of you specifically looking for a lightweight option, this might just be it.

This bottle is perfect for you to store in your purse and take with you on the go, especially if you’ve been having a hard time packing an 18 oz, 20 oz or 24 oz bottle in your purse to take along.

You can even put in your toddler’s backpack and have them take it along to daycare or kindergarten without feeling too bad about contributing to an extra load they have to carry.

If your little one happens to drink lots of water when at daycare or school, though, they might need something that can carry more than 12 oz of water at once.

Overall, the manufacturer did a very good job on size, as it’s on point for little ones and is very suitable for small hands to hold and drink from on their own.

What We Don’t Like About It:

The cap could be made a bit easier to open, as it’s sometimes more trouble than we’d like.

Some parents notice their little ones sometimes have trouble opening the cap, and – although this only really happens on rare occasions – some parents notice they have a tough time opening it themselves at times.

There’s a workaround for this, though, so don’t cross this option off of your list just yet.

There’s a fully compatible bamboo lid you can buy to replace the sport cap if it’s bothering you or your kid – and so far, it looks to have made all the difference.

Also, after a certain amount of washes in the dishwasher, you may start to notice the paint coming off if you choose a colored bottle.

With that being said, this is not likely to happen anytime soon after you buy a brand new one, so you should have enough time to enjoy it while it lasts.

There’s also the risk of having the paint chip if the bottle frequently falls and hits the ground, too–and there’s not much you can do about that, really, besides doing your best to avoid dealing the bottle any damage.

 

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Thermos Funtainer Water Bottle

Thermos F4013BL6 Funtainer 12 Ounce Bottle, Blue

What We Like About It:

This bottle has THERMOS vacuum insulation technology that does a great job at retaining temperature.

The manufacturer claims it can keep liquid inside cold for 12 hours. So, if you’re particularly looking for something that keeps your kid’s water cool all day long, this might be a very good choice to consider.

It’s also one of the most durable water bottles for kids on the market today – made from high quality stainless steel on both the inside and the outside.

The double wall stainless steel also helps prolong its lifespan and protect it from damage when clumsy little ones keep dropping it all over the place.

You know your kid’s water bottle is going to get loads of abuse–such as being thrown off their high chair all of a sudden just because they feel like it–so be prepared with something that can take a beating like this one!

There’s a brilliant wide range of colors and designs to choose from, depending on what you and your kid enjoy the most. If there’s ever a gold medal winner for “best fun design kid water bottles”, these deserve to be all over it.

Got a little girl that’s in love with unicorns, ponies or Hello Kitty? Or perhaps you’ve got a little boy that wants nothing more than to flaunt around Batman or something from The Avengers? Maybe you’d like to keep it simple and stick to beautiful solid colors such as blue, lime or violet instead?

There’s literally something in there for everybody.

If you choose to go with bottles that have characters on them instead of ones that come in solid colors, keep in mind that putting them through the washing machine can eventually cause them to scratch off.

Last but not least, this bottle doesn’t sweat while trying to keep liquid inside cold, which makes for a dry experience and keeps everyone happy.

What We Don’t Like About It:

Even though it can be machine washed, the manufacturer specifically recommends hand washing this bottle instead whenever possible.

For those of you really short on time or just don’t want to hand wash your kids’ water bottles for whatever reason, you might want to opt for something that’s more geared towards machine washing instead.

Also, if you’re not careful with operating the push button lid and pop-up straw as intended, you’ll be in for some unpleasant surprises when you notice that water has leaked from the bottle.

To avoid that, be sure to familiarize yourself with how these work and what you have to do to ensure you’ve properly sealed it. If you get that part right, you should be just fine and you likely won’t experience leaks.

Lastly, these bottles are quite limited in solid color choices, with the majority (but not all) of the manufacturer’s focus being on fun designs such as Minnie Mouse, Pokemon and Spider-man.

 

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Hydro Flask Kids Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Hydro Flask 12 oz Kids Water Bottle | Stainless Steel & Vacuum Insulated | Wide Mouth with Straw Lid and Silicone Boot | Multiple Colors

What We Like About It:

The way the spout was designed on this water bottle–being hard, not soft–makes it difficult for kids to deal it significant damage when biting.

It’s not impossible to do so if you have a biter that just won’t give up no matter what, but it’s definitely more difficult to do so than many of the other kids’ water bottles on the market.

It’s also great for long days spent at school or daycare, as it does a very good job at keeping water cold if your little one prefers it that way. Sometimes, it even does a good job at keeping water cold till the next day!

If you’re anything like me and always try to match your items and your kid’s items whenever possible (or keep it brand-loyal whenever you can), there’s 32 oz and 40 oz bottles made for adults that you can pick up as well.

You never know, doing so might even help your kid drink more water because – you know how the saying goes – monkey see, monkey do!

Even though this isn’t the cheapest kid’s water bottle you can find, we think it’s worth the price-tag because of how durable it is.

Unless something out of the ordinary happens, there’s a good chance this bottle will last for years and you’ll only find yourself changing the straws through that time-frame.

While other bottles will get seriously damaged at the first instance of your child deciding to play with it for a while and throw it around, or if they just drop it on the floor by accident, this bottle is one of the more durable ones out there.

What We Don’t Like About It:

This bottle is not leak-proof, and the manufacturers make this clear in their description of the product. So, for those of you specifically looking for a leak-proof water bottle for kids, you’re better off considering something else.

Factor this with the fact that it’s not the most budget-friendly kid’s water bottle out there–some of you may prefer to pass.

Another thing is that the rectangular shape of the spout might not exactly be every kid’s cup of tea. Many kids don’t mind it, but some can’t seem to adjust to drinking from a spout shaped like this, so this can be hit or miss.

As far as how heavy it is goes: weighing around 10 ounces, this isn’t the most lightweight water bottle you can give your kid.

If you’re looking for something very lightweight, consider our recommendation above from Klean Kanteen, which weighs around 2.4 ounces only.

 

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Contigo AUTOSEAL Trekker Kids Water Bottles

Contigo 2001147 Autoseal Trekker Kids Water Bottle, 2-Pack, Granny Smith & Nautical

What We Like About It:

First things first, the one touch AUTOSEAL lid technology this bottle has makes sure that its lid seals automatically all on its own when the bottle is put away.

This way, and whether your child’s done drinking water from the bottle for the time-being or is just taking a break between sips, the lid automatically seals to prevent leaks.

All you (or your child) need to do is gently press a single button, and an opening forms for them to drink from.

The lid and body are also top-rack dishwasher safe, so you won’t have to worry about manually hand-washing them.

For those of you planning on getting their kids a water bottle they can drink from extensively and use on a daily basis–as opposed to a bottle used only from time to time–this can be an excellent option to consider.

Available in packs of 2 and 3, this is a great choice if you have multiple kids you want to get water bottles for, or want to pack more than one of these bottles with your kid to ensure they have enough water to last them through the day. This is especially true if your kid is particularly physically active.

What We Don’t Like About It:

These bottles don’t exactly have the highest capacity, which means that your kid might need more than one at a time to ensure they have enough water to last them through the entire day.

Also, it’s not the best option for children younger than 3 years of age. Assuming you’re not always there to help them drink from this bottle, your kid needs to be old enough to hold it on their own and press a button.

Speaking of the button, pushing it to drink from the bottle might take your kid a little bit of getting used to at first. After this initial phase, though, there really shouldn’t be any problems.

 

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Skip Hop Kids Water Bottle With Straw

Skip Hop Kids Water Bottle With Straw, Stainless Steel Sippy Cup, Butterfly

What We Like About It:

This one’s another excellent option if you’re looking for super cute and adorable designs your kid will fall in love with.

Whether it’s a butterfly, dog, giraffe, monkey, bee or owl your kid feels like rocking, you can choose from all of these adorable designs (and a few more).

There’s also an excellent no-slip silicone sleeve that comes with this bottle to help keep your kid from feeling uncomfortable if the stainless steel feels a bit too cold or a bit too hot to the touch.

If you’ve had disappointing experiences with designs fading away after putting your kid’s water bottles in the dishwasher a few times, you’ll be happy to know that the printed designs on the outside rubber part of this water bottle still hold up after many times in and out of the dishwasher.

What We Don’t Like About It:

This bottle is not the most durable option on this list, and you may find yourself buying replacements more often than you’d like.

Many parents have noted that just a drop or two on the floor (sometimes even wooden floor) were enough to deal the clasp significant damage.

So, if you’re in it for superior build quality and durability, we’d say it’s best you consider another option.

There also seems to be a few problems with the latch and the way it closes.

 

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Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle with Silicone Sleeve

Lifefactory 12-Ounce BPA-Free Glass Water Bottle with Classic Cap and Protective Silicone Sleeve, Apple Red

What We Like About It:

Since this bottle has nothing to do with plastic, you won’t have to worry about your kid coming in contact with any chemicals and other harmful substances.

This makes for some very important peace of mind you don’t always get with all plastic products out there.

If you’re worried about your kid dropping a glass bottle and having it break into pieces, don’t be – that’s what the silicone sleeve is there to prevent!

There’s also markings on the silicone sleeve you can follow to help you easily keep track of just how much water you’re putting inside.

Because it’s made from glass, it doesn’t leave a nasty smell–at least nowhere near as much of a nasty smell as other water bottles do.

Last but not least, you’ll be doing your fair share of helping save the environment because you’re not using plastic, and will be teaching your kid all about this from a very young age–both of which you should be very proud of!

What We Don’t Like About It:

Obviously enough, because this is water bottle is made from glass, it’s heavier than most of the other options on this list.

A 12 oz water bottle that weighs 13.4 ounces (as per the manufacturer’s description) might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

When compared to glass bottles in general, though, it’s really not that heavy!

 

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When Should I Buy a Water Bottle for My Child?

Once your child turns one year of age, they should stop drinking from a bottle with a nipple. Instead, they should start drinking from a free-flowing cup or water bottle.

You might simply use a cup for that purpose when they’re still very young, but as they get older, you’ll probably want to find a bottle that they can easily take out and about.

Daycares, pre-kindergarten, and sports coaches may well ask you to supply a water bottle of your own for your child, so if you’ve not already bought one for your own use, you’ll definitely need to buy one at this point.

There’s no age at which your child should stop using a water bottle – after all, plenty of adults carry water bottles around! With that being said, you’ll probably find that the bottle needs replacing fairly regularly as they get older.

How Many Water Bottles Should I Buy For My Kid?

Most of the time, you can probably manage with a single water bottle – just make sure it gets washed as regularly as possible (ideally, every day).

You’ll probably find that you need to replace it at least once a year, though, as it’ll inevitably incur a fair bit of wear and tear.

There’s no reason not to have a couple of kids’ water bottles at your disposal, though – or even half-a-dozen if you want! It’s completely up to you and how many you need.

You might find it’s very handy to have one bottle for school and one for home, for instance, or a few bottles in different sizes for different purposes.

How to Get Your Kid to Drink from Their Water Bottle

Let’s be honest here: not all kids are exactly thrilled at the prospect of drinking water.

You might want to get one of those fancy bottles that lets you infuse fruit into water, or you might make up a game to encourage them to drink more.

Letting your child choose their own water bottle, or even giving them a choice of different bottles to pack with them for different days, might help encourage them to drink more water.

If your child prefers to have their water icy-cold, you can add ice cubes into wide-necked bottles, or you can buy a bottle with a central “core” that you pop in the freezer before adding it into the water. (Just be careful that it’s not too cold, though, as that’s not going to be any good for them).

Ideally, your child should be drinking five glasses of water per day. A glass is about seven ounces, so that’s 35 ounces in total. They’ll need more than that if it’s a hot day, if they’ve been extra active that day, or if they’re over eight years old.

Make sure you show your kid how to use their water bottle properly and help them practice opening it, taking a drink, and closing it again. It might take a few attempts for them to get the hang of this, but keep at it – it’s in their best interest!

You can “test” that the bottle is properly closed by turning it upside down and seeing if anything leaks out. If they don’t always manage to fully close it or aren’t quite getting the hang of it yet, try practicing this outside in the yard.

With older children who are reluctant to drink water, it might help to explain why their body needs it and what might happen if they don’t get enough.

It’s also worth letting them know some of the symptoms of dehydration. For instance, you might tell them that if they get a headache, that could be their body signalling to them that they need to go and have a big drink of water.

Wrapping it Up

It’s really important for your child’s health that they drink enough water throughout the day, as it’s the best source of fluid.

It’s probably the most natural thing you can put in your kid’s body, it’s sugar-free and it’s calorie-free – what’s not to love about it? How bland it tastes, probably, but let’s keep that between you and I for now and hope your kid doesn’t mention that to you anytime soon!

Make sure your child always has easy access to drinking water for whenever they need to get a sip, whether that’s from a cup and an easy-to-access faucet at home, or from a water bottle when you’re out of the house or they’re at daycare.

If your child is reluctant to drink water, find ways to make it fun and turn it into a game – and do check that they can easily manage to open and close their water bottle too for quick access.

If they’re struggling with it or are reluctant, it might well be worth buying a whole new water bottle (or a set of water bottles) with their input, as involving them in the process is a surefire way to make them look forward to staying hydrated.

 

Product photos: © Amazon.com

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