Learn the difference between glass, stainless steel, aluminum, and BPA-free plastic before you shop for your next reusable water bottle.
So you decided to stop buying bottled water and you’re in the market for one of the reusable, non-toxic water bottles you can refill daily. After you’ve patted yourself on the back (you deserve it) you’ll want to find a water bottle that is safe for everyday use. Whether you decide on a glass, stainless steel, aluminum or BPA-free plastic reusable water bottle, the common denominator is that neither will have as many toxic chemicals or pollute the environment as much as the disposable water bottles you used to buy. There are many differences between the options available on the market, so it’s useful to explore the pros and cons of each before investing in the water bottle you’ll drink from daily.
REUSABLE GLASS WATER BOTTLE
- The fragile material usually comes with a silicone or polycarbonate sleeve to prevent it from breaking
- Easy to clean since it is dishwasher safe
- It is a non-reactive material, meaning it won’t leach chemicals, it isn’t lined with sealants, and it will not absorb beverage flavours
- Naturally BPA and phthalate-free, unlike many plastic bottles which are lined with toxins
- Does not carry the slightly metallic flavour you’ll taste after drinking from some stainless steel bottles
- Heavier than other reusable alternatives
- Easily breakable
- Banned in certain places such as pools, schools, gyms, etc.
- Not permitted in hot yoga classes
REUSABLE STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLE
- Generally dishwasher-safe
- High quality stainless steel doesn’t leach nickel or taste like metallic
- Approved for use in many areas where glass is deemed unsafe, such as schools, pools, gyms, and hot yoga studios.
- Does not break or corrode easily, allowing for a longer lasting life cycle
- Idea for people who are tough on their bottles
- It is a non-reactive material, meaning it won’t leach, it isn’t lined with sealants, and it will not absorb beverage flavours
- 100% recyclable since it can be re-melted to make new stainless steel products
- Heavier than aluminum and plastic bottles
- Energy intensive to manufacture
REUSABLE ALUMINUM WATER BOTTLE
- Lighter than stainless steel
- More affordable than stainless steel and glass bottles
- Can dent more easily than stainless steel
- Not dishwasher safe
- Some metal bottles leach even more BPA than plastic bottles, not from the metal but from an enamel or epoxy-resin lining used to prevent aluminum from reacting with acidic liquids. Typically bottles coated with a BPA-based resin have a golden-orange inner lining, whereas those that don’t have a white lining.
REUSABLE BPA-FREE PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES
- Can be dropped or knocked around and will not break our shatter
- Lightweight and easy to carry around
- Typically less expensive than glass, stainless steel, and aluminum bottles
- Can leach chemicals into drinks and release toxins in dishwasher
- Water may taste like plastic
- Will harbour bacteria if it isn’t cleaned regularly and thoroughly
- Bottles are derived from petroleum, an incredibly resource-intensive, non-renewable source. Petroleum generates copious amounts of environmental toxins throughout the manufacturing process and during its entire lifespan and disposal.
- Not all plastics are recyclable or recycled; even if they are collected to be recycled, much of it still ends up in landfills or oceans, killing marine life.
Our findings lead us to believe that glass (with a sleeve) is your best bet, unless you’re a devoted yogi or athlete, in which case you should opt for one of the high quality stainless steel non-toxic water bottles available.
Worried about accumulating bacteria from a reusable bottle? Wash your glass or stainless steel bottle in a dishwasher, with high temperature water, or rinse it under hot tap water with soap and a bristle brush.