Plastic Bottle Alternatives: Best Eco-Friendly Water Bottles

Every hour, Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles. In a year, this adds up to enough plastic bottles to circle the Earth four times! Unfortunately, production of plastic bottles contributes to climate change. To make matters worse, most of these single-use plastic bottles aren’t recycled, and instead, sit in landfills for hundreds of years.

Choosing an eco-friendly water bottle not only reduces your environmental footprint, but it can also save you money and keep your beverage at preferred temperatures for hours on end. Stocking up on one (or several) of the best eco-friendly water bottles available today can be a great way to reduce single use plastic consumption and stay hydrated in style. In this blog post, we will look at six of our top picks for the best eco-friendly water bottles that are both high-quality and Earth conscious.

Keep reading to learn how we picked the most eco-friendly water bottles, or jump straight to our product recommendations.

How Did We Find the Best Plastic Bottle Alternatives?

We kept several criteria in mind when reviewing plastic bottle alternatives. All the reusable water bottles we’ve chosen are made from eco-friendly materials, are non-toxic, and are produced using ethical labor. Of course, these water bottles are also of the utmost quality and function.

Eco-Friendly Materials

It is important to be aware of the materials used to produce reusable water bottles because some are more environmentally friendly than others. Glass and stainless steel are two of the most eco-friendly materials used in reusable water bottles, while plastic and aluminum are among the least. We chose bottles made of:

  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel is durable and long lasting so it won’t need to be replaced often, and it can also be recycled after its life has ended.
  • Glass: Glass is a completely natural material that can be recycled, reused, and repurposed infinitely without any loss in quality.
  • Plant-based materials: These are compostable and made using materials like rice husks, wheat, or bamboo. 

Sustainable materials aren’t the only thing that makes a water bottle eco-friendly. We’ve also prioritized water bottles made by companies that incorporate sustainability into other areas of their business, such as ensuring their products are carbon neutral.  

Non-Toxic

Some plastic-based bottles contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and human health. All of the products we chose are free of toxic chemicals including:

Socially Responsible

We chose eco-friendly bottles made by companies with a strong adherence to ethical labor standards. Most of the companies we feature are B-Corporation certified. A B-Corporation certification is a designation given to businesses that have met the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The designation is awarded by the nonprofit organization B Lab, which evaluates companies based on their commitment to workers, customers, community, and environment. 

High-Quality

When switching to a plastic bottle alternative, it’s important to make sure it’s something you’ll actually use. That’s why we’ve picked water bottles that people love using. Every bottle on our product recommendation list is convenient to use, easy to clean, and fits in a car cup holder.

6 Best Eco-Friendly Water Bottles

Here are the 6 best eco-friendly water bottles, organized by material.

Stainless Steel Eco-Friendly Bottles

Glass Eco-Friendly Bottles

Plant-Based Eco-Friendly Bottles

Top Picks

Stainless Steel Eco-Friendly Bottles

Stainless steel is ultra-durable and recyclable. Here are our top two stainless steel picks.

1. United by Blue – Stainless Steel Bottle

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Volume: 22 Oz
  • Fits in a cup holder? Yes
  • Insulated? Yes
  • Non-toxic? Yes
  • Current price: $34

United by Blue’s insulated water bottles are made of 100% stainless steel, making them 100% recyclable. Additionally, producing these water bottles releases zero toxic runoff.

These eco-friendly bottles come in a variety of beautiful patterns, from citrus fruits to an abstract shape painting. Each bottle also comes equipped with a strap that can clip around your wrist or backpack for secure carrying.

We noticed that this bottle’s lid is truly a standout. It’s vacuum sealed and the lid mechanism makes it difficult to spill.

Pros:

  • Bottle features double-wall insulation, keeping your drinks cold for 24 hours, or hot for 12.
  • United by Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans for every product purchased.
  • The company is climate neutral, meaning they have net zero carbon emissions.
  • United by Blue is a certified B Corporation, which demonstrates their commitment to ensuring ethical labor practices throughout their supply chain.

Cons:

  • Hand-wash only.

You can also find United by Blue water bottles on Amazon and EarthHero. Looking for another size? United by Blue also sells a larger 32 oz version, in addition to a smaller 18oz version.

2. Klean Kanteen – Classic Insulated Water Bottle

klean kanteen - best eco friendly water bottles
Source: Amazon/Anthony S. (Sticker not included).
  • Material: Stainless steel, plastic lid
  • Volume: 20 Oz
  • Fits in a cup holder? Yes
  • Insulated? Yes
  • Non-toxic? Yes
  • Current price: $31.37

Klean Kanteen has been leading the charge for plastic bottle alternatives since 2004, when they became the first manufacturer to create a BPA-free stainless steel bottle. Since then, they’ve become a leader in the eco-friendly water bottle world.

The Klean Kanteen Classic is Klean Kanteen’s original best-selling water bottle, but now it comes fully insulated. The leak-proof cap is easy to clean as there are no hidden nooks and crannies. It also features a convenient carrying handle. We love how strong the stainless steel is- the Klean Kanteen Classic can handle the wear and tear of everyday life without denting or leaking.

Pros:

  • All of Klean Kanteen’s products are backed by a Lifetime ‘Strong as Steel’ warranty.
  • Keeps your drinks hot for 20 hours and keeps your drinks cold for up to 50 hours.
  • Available in plain stainless steel and in a variety of bright colors that are chip-resistant.
  • This bottle is dishwasher safe.
  • Compatible with multiple lids.
  • Klean Kanteen is a certified B Corporation.
  • Klean Kanteen is climate neutral, and donates 1% of their earnings to environmental organizations.

Cons:

  • We noticed that this bottle is a bit harder to open than some others. Avoid opening the bottle by pulling on the handle loop, as this makes it difficult to open and may hurt your hands.

Klean Kanteen’s insulated water bottles are also available in a 12oz version. While the brand also makes a non-insulated version of the Classic for a lower price, we think the long-lasting temperature control is worth paying a bit more.

You can also find them on Klean Kanteen’s website.

Glass Eco-Friendly Bottles

Glass is one of the most sustainable materials, as it’s infinitely recyclable. In fact, every ton of recycled glass saves 670 kgs of carbon dioxide (the equivalent of flying from New York to LA and back). Glass is also non-toxic and chemically-inert, so it doesn’t retain flavors or odors.

3. SOMA – Glass Water Bottle

soma - plastic bottle alternatives
Source: Amazon/JLF
  • Material: Glass, silicone sleeve, bamboo lid
  • Volume: 25 Oz
  • Fits in a cup holder? Yes
  • Insulated? No
  • Non-toxic? Yes
  • Current price: $34.99

These glass bottles from sustainable company SOMA feature a silicone sleeve that helps protect the glass from damage and makes it easier for you to carry the bottle. While silicone isn’t the most sustainable material, we think it’s worth it to avoid dropping these bottles.

While we love the simplicity of the bamboo cap, you can also purchase other compatible lids, such as a bamboo lid with a silicone handle for easy carrying or the Sport Cap, which has an ergonomic mouth design, aluminum handle, and flip top lid.

Pros:

  • The bottle comes in multiple colors including white, charcoal, pink, and mint.
  • For every SOMA purchase, they donate to projects working to end the global water crisis.
  • SOMA offsets their carbon emissions through supporting forestry initiatives.
  • This bottle comes packaged in recyclable materials.
  • SOMA is B-Corporation certified and has a strong code of conduct that sets standards for sustainability, labor practices and transparency.

Cons:

  • This bottle is fragile. A few reviews note that their bottle broke after falling over.
  • This bottle doesn’t keep drinks cold for as long as an insulated bottle does.

This bottle is also available in a 17 oz version. You can also buy the bottles on the SOMA website.

4. Urban Green – Glass Water Bottle with Silicone Sleeve

  • Material: Glass, silicone sleeve, bamboo lid, and stainless steel lid
  • Volume: 18 Oz
  • Fits in a cup holder? Yes
  • Insulated? No
  • Non-toxic? Yes
  • Current price: $15.99

This glass bottle from Urban Green also features a silicone sleeve available in multiple colors. We noticed that the bottle does a better job of keeping your drinks cold than some glass bottles because the sleeve covers the entire bottle, rather than just part. This bottle also comes with two lids, a bamboo lid and a stainless steel lid with a convenient carrying strap.

Additionally, the Urban Green glass bottle is highly affordable compared to other reusable bottles of its caliber while still providing the same level of quality and convenience. 

Pros:

  • While the silicone lid is hard to get on and off, you can simply put the whole bottle, sleeve included, in the dishwasher to clean.
  • Semi-transparent, so you can see how much water you have left.
  • This bottle is fairly durable, considering it’s made of glass. Several reviews note dropping the bottle without causing breakage.
  • Silicone sleeves are available in multiple color options including white, pink, purple, light blue, green, and black.

Cons:

  • This bottle is a bit smaller than our other picks at 18oz.
  • While Urban Green sells products meant to help us reduce our plastic footprint, they don’t offer a lot of information about other sustainable practices.

You can also find this bottle on the Urban Green website, although they’re often sold out.


Plant-Based Eco-Friendly Bottles

Plant-based water bottles are made from a variety of materials made from plants, including wheat, rice husks, and more. Here are the best plant-based eco-friendly bottles.

5. S’wheat – S’wheat bottle

s'wheat bottle - plastic bottle alternatives
Source: Mashable
  • Material: Bamboo fiber and wheat straw
  • Volume: 19.03 Oz
  • Fits in a cup holder? Yes
  • Insulated? Yes
  • Non-toxic? Yes
  • Current price: $31

These plant-based water bottles are made from bamboo fiber and wheat straw – thus the name, “S’wheat.” Despite being plant-based, this water bottle is ultra-durable, as the material is temperature resistant. Better yet, the S’wheat material is insulated, so this eco-friendly bottle will keep your drinks hot or cold for longer.

We love this bottle’s sleek design and slide-to-close lid. We also love that it comes with a handy steel traveling clip so you can simply clip the bottle to your backpack. The S’wheat bottle comes in four color options: bright blue, light green, oat, and black. 

Pros:

  • S’wheat plants a tree for every bottle sold. You even get to track the growth of your traceable tree! They also remove 20 pounds of plastic from the ocean for each bottle sold.
  • This bottle ships in plastic-free, recyclable packaging.
  • You can put hot or cold beverages in this bottle.
  • This bottle is very lightweight, especially compared to glass or stainless steel.

Cons:

  • Hand-wash only. It’s recommended that you wash this bottle every three days.
  • This bottle isn’t suitable for fridge or freezer use.
  • Don’t put carbonated beverages in this bottle.

The S’wheat bottle is available only on their website.

6. Yuhme – The Power Water Bottle

  • Material: Sugar cane
  • Volume: 25.3 Oz
  • Fits in a cup holder? Yes
  • Insulated? Yes
  • Non-toxic? Yes
  • Current price: $30

These eco-friendly water bottles are made entirely from sugarcane! Sugarcane is a renewable resource that’s not only carbon dioxide negative (sugarcane absorbs carbon dioxide), but is also fully recyclable. While these bottles are made of sugarcane, they look like a hard plastic – and have the durability of plastic as well.

Yuhme’s water bottles come in a variety of colors and patterns, so you’re sure to find the perfect bottle for you. Its wide mouth makes filling up fast and easy, while its flip top lid provides a great seal.

Pros:

  • These bottles are 100% recyclable at the end of their lifecycle.
  • For every ton of bio-plastic (sugar cane plastic) produced, 2.4 tons of carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere.
  • Yuhme bottles are quite durable and available in a variety of colorful patterns.
  • Yuhme partners with the non-profit Water for Good. Every bottle sold provides three months of clean drinking water to people in the Central African Republic.
  • These bottles are dishwasher safe.

Cons:

Top Picks

Having trouble making a decision? Here’s our top picks for a few different categories.

Most Durable: Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen’s stainless steel insulated water bottles are famous for their durability. Even the outside powder coat finish is chip-resistant. Plus, Klean Kanteen offers a lifetime warranty on their products.

Best Patterns: United by Blue

United by Blue’s eco-friendly bottles stand out for their variety of artfully designed patterns. They have one for everyone!

Most Affordable: Urban Green

At $15.99, Urban Green’s glass bottle is the most affordable option. That said, it is a little smaller than other options at 18 oz of capacity.

Best Overall: S’wheat

The S’wheat plant-based bottle is super sustainable, extremely durable, and includes nice features like a slide-to-close lid and a carrying clip. At almost 20 oz, it’s a great medium size that makes travel easy while still holding enough water. Plus, S’wheat donates to several great causes.

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