A Buying Guide for the Best Kids Water Bottle

2 kids drinking Owala kids water bottles.

A study found that over 50% of US children don't receive adequate hydration on a regular basis. While there are a number of reasons why this could be happening, in many cases, it's simply because they don't have any water handy.

How can you make sure your kid doesn’t get dehydrated? Simple.  By getting them a high-quality water bottle and making sure it's filled up whenever possible. 

But with so many options out there, it can be tough to know which one is the best kids water bottle. Need help finding the perfect fit? This guide has you covered! 

Assess the Bottle's Body Type

Kids' bottles come in a range of different body types. Some are tall and narrow. Some are short and wide. Some are the same circumference from top to bottom. Others have contours that allow for a tighter grip. Like we said… a lot of options to choose from.

There's really no "right" option in terms of body type. However, some kids and situations might do better with specific bottle body types. For instance, small children might have more success in holding onto one that’s narrow and contoured as opposed to one that’s wide and can-shaped. 

You should also consider what you're going to be storing the bottle in. If you need to put it in a cup holder, you should make sure that it's not too wide. 

Think About Materials

Not only do you need to think about the bottle's body type, but the materials it's made out of as well. Some materials are tougher than others, while other materials are more flexible and easy to grip. 

The toughest bottle material is stainless steel. You can knock it around as much as you want with very little damage done. Essentially, it’s super kid proof (a major win). Thin plastic, on the other hand, will be highly susceptible to cracking. Silicone-lined bottles can generally take on quite a bit of wear and tear and are also solid options for kids. They’re also quite a bit lighter than stainless steel, making them easier to tote around.

As far as gripability goes, silicone-lined bottles are probably your best option. That said, stainless steel and plastic bottles will still suffice for most kids in this department. 

Note that these materials generally have different levels of durability as well. Stainless steel is bound to last the longest. (Unless they’re repeatedly thrown on the ground… then maybe they’re not the best option for your kiddo). 

However, a thick plastic bottle likely won't fall far behind in terms of years of use. Thin plastic generally cracks within a year or two, so unless you want to replace them over and over, steer clear of thin plastic models 

Consider Its Drinking Mechanism

When buying a water bottle for kids, one super important thing to consider is the drinking mechanism. The type of drinking mechanism the bottle has can affect both its functionality and ease of maintenance. 

The Spout

Generally speaking, kids' water bottle spouts come in three types. One of these is a hard spout that sits close to the surface of the lid. Another is a flexible straw that pokes up out of the lid. The third is a non-existent spout that instead requires the user to sip from the edge of the cup. 

Hard spouts are extremely easy to clean and use—something every parent can celebrate. However, because they're hard, they can cause injury to children in the event of falls. Therefore, they're best reserved for children who can easily walk on their own. 

Straw-like spouts are much more flexible, meaning they’re safe in the event of falls. That said, they're more susceptible to chewing and therefore can become damaged early on. Not to mention, straw-like spouts can be a pain to clean and reinsert into the lid. 

Spoutless cups are extremely safe for kids to use. No need to worry about choking or knocking out teeth. In addition, they're extremely easy to clean. Note, however, that they can be difficult for some kids to use, especially kids under the age of three. 

So there are pros and cons to each one. Just decide which one works best for your child based on behavior and age. 

The Valves

If you purchase a spill-free bottle (and you should for small children), it's going to come equipped with valves. The quality and functionality of these valves will vary from brand to brand.

Some will be easier to clean than others. Some will do a better job of reducing spills than others. Some will even snap back to the lid easier than others. 

Unfortunately, until you have the bottle in your hands, it's difficult to determine how good its valves are. So if you can, read some online reviews about the bottle before you purchase it. 

Insulated vs Non-insulated

You're also going to want to think about whether you should go with an insulated or non-insulated bottle. Both options can get the job done, but there are benefits and drawbacks to each. 

Insulated bottles will keep liquids cool throughout the day. As such, they're great for taking beverages to the park, zoo, and other outdoor locations.

Non-insulated bottles, on the other hand, won't do much to keep liquids cool at all. They're good for short excursions, but not full-day trips—unless your kids like warm water. 

The downside to insulated bottles, however, is that they're more expensive. In fact, in some cases, they're double or three times the price of their non-insulated counterparts. In addition, insulated bottles can be a little too heavy for small kids to handle. But if you’re planning on using the bottles for a long time, they may be a great investment for older kids. 

Looking for the Best Kids Water Bottle Around?

If you’re on the hunt for the best kids water bottle on the market today, you don't need to look any further. Owala has you covered. 

We offer a variety of kid's water bottles, from FreeSip bottles to Flip bottles and more. With a number of styles to choose from, we're sure to have one that your child enjoys. Our bottles are not only highly durable but insulated, safe, and easy to drink from as well. Plus, the bright colors and fun designs will making staying hydrated the most exciting thing they do each day.

Check out our selection of kids' water bottles now!