Let me save you from the thirsty work of finding the best kids water bottles. My kids and I have tried and tested different water bottles over the years, and here are our leakproof favourites. These include the best plastic-free bottles.
The benefits of using reusable water bottles over single-use water bottles are well known. However, finding a kid’s reusable water bottle fit for purpose is a whole quest on its own.
The other day I was browsing Instagram and stumbled upon this illustration from the artist Grace Farris. It made me laugh in recognition. In the quest to find the best kids water bottle, I think all parents have ended up with a Mr Mildew, or a Lil’ Leaky. Certainly, in my ten years of being a parent, this has been the case for us.
There are definitely a load of dud water bottles out there. From ones that leak, to the tricky to clean ones that harbour mildew. From ones where the paint scratches off them if you even so much as look at them. To ones that go cloudy after two washes. However, there are some really great kids water bottles out there that are fit for purpose, and that do last a really long time.
The Best Kids Water Bottles
Over the last ten years, we have put many a kids water bottle through their paces. From school days to days out, to sports activities, camping, and more. You name, our water bottles have been through it. So here are our favourite kids water bottles that really go the distance. From plastic-free water bottles to easy cleaning bottles, to the most durable bottles. And sustainability doesn’t have to come at a high price. These start from a budget-friendly £5.
Some schools require kids to take a clear plastic water bottle with them, to make sure there is only water in the bottle. Therefore, I have included an option for this. However, if your kid’s school doesn’t have this rule, then I’ve included plastic-free water bottles made from metal.
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Capacity: 400 ml
Best for: kids aged 3 – 9, or if your school requires a clear water bottle
We have been using Camelbak plastic kids water bottles for about six years now, and I have to say their Eddy+® bottles* are my all-time favourite kids water bottles. I bought my kids one of these water bottles each, and it’s been our best water bottle investment.
Camelbak says that these water bottles are spill-proof when open and leak-proof when closed. I can attest to this. These do not leak. My kids have been using these water bottles for school and for leisure purposes, and they are the only ones I trust inside their schoolbag. Any other water bottle goes in the outside pocket!
What I also love is that there are no fiddly sports caps or screw tops for little fingers to struggle with. Kids can simply flip up the chunky silicone straw and they are good to go. There are no shouts of “mum, can you open this for me”.
Durability and Sustainability
The plastic bottles are lightweight and incredibly durable and can withstand being dropped. The bottles are also dishwasher safe and stand up to repeated dishwasher cycles. The paint does not fade or flake off. We are still using the original bottle I bought my eldest six years ago, and it’s still in great condition. This is despite having gone through the dishwasher what must be hundreds of times now.
What I also like is that each individual component comes apart for easy cleaning. There are no areas for mould or mildew to grow.
In sustainability terms, the plastic bottles are BPS-free, BPF-free, BPA-free, and they contain recycled materials. However, if you would prefer a plastic-free water bottle, then Camelbak now offers a stainless steel version. The metal bottles are insulated, so will keep your kids drinks hot or cold.
And what I especially love about Camelbak is that all of the individual components can be purchased separately. So if the spout needs replacing, you can buy that without having to replace the whole bottle. Sustainability at its best. For extra peace of mind, the bottle is also covered with Camelbak’s lifetime guarantee.
Buy Camelbak kids bottles from Alpinetrek* for £14.95.
Capacity: 355 ml to 532 ml
Best for: kids needing an insulated bottle
If you are specifically looking for plastic-free kids water bottles, then Klean Kanteen makes for a great choice. These stainless steel bottles are durable and long-lasting. We’ve had ours for four years, and they are still looking as good as new. And as they are insulated, they keep drinks hot or cold for hours.
For little kids, you can get small-sized bottles*, that fit nicely into small hands. These have a leak-proof sippy cap, which is easy to drink from and isn’t bulky or heavy for little ones to tote around. For older kids, you can buy bigger bottles, with a variety of different caps – from screw top to sports cap – to fit their preference.
My gripes are that the painted versions are not dishwasher safe – they do have to be hand-washed. If you are a busy parent, this isn’t always practical. And if dropped, the paintwork can get scratched. Ours have faired well, and aren’t particularly scratched. However, do opt for the unpainted version if either of these points will be an issue for you.
My other gripe is that the sippy cap seal can be a little fiddly to fit. It comes apart for easy cleaning, however, if you don’t get the seal in the slot just right then it can leak. We’ve had no such issues with the screw top bottle though.
Despite a couple of issues, I’ve found Klean Kanteen to be a great flexible choice. They’re great at keeping kids water cold on a hot day (just add some ice cubes). And in cold weather when we’re out on long walks, they keep hot chocolate toasty warm.
Blafre Water Bottles
Capacity: 300 – 750 ml
Best for: if you are looking for a water bottle made out of sustainable materials
The Blafre water bottle* is a relatively new favourite of mine and my kids.
It’s made from recycled stainless steel for easy cleaning. There’s no paintwork on the bottle, so it can’t scratch or flake off. The lid is made from BPA-free and Phthalate-free materials. And, it can go in the dishwasher. The holy grail of water bottles!
We’ve not had any leaks. However, for little kids, my top tip is to switch the screw cap out for the non-spill drinking spout. This can be purchased separately for £7.50 and comes in a variety of colours. This spout makes it easier for little kids to drink from and makes it easier for them to open the bottle. It also greatly decreases the risk of leaks.
It’s not insulated, so won’t keep your drinks particularly hot or cold, however, if you are looking for a super sustainable plastic-free water bottle made from recycled materials then this is the one.
IKEA Kids Water Bottles
Capacity: 500 ml
Best for: kids aged 8+, or for a plastic-free water bottle on a budget
IKEA’s budget-friendly Enkelsparig metal water bottles come in at just £5. There are four different colourways, meaning no one gets confused over whose bottle is whose.
These bottles have a couple of drawbacks. Firstly, young kids might struggle with the screwtop. We’ve had a couple of leaks when my littlest didn’t quite manage to screw the lid back on properly. This means this one lives in the side pocket of her backpack. As such, I recommend this bottle for older kids, who are more able to deal with a screwtop.
The only other drawback is that this is a popular bottle. Other kids in my youngest daughter’s class also have these bottles. As such, we often end up with other kids bottles in my daughter’s backpack at the end of the school day!
However, for the price, this is a great budget water bottle that’s practical and long-lasting. There’s no paint that can get scratched off. It’s also completely dishwasher safe, meaning it doesn’t sit beside the sink for ages waiting to be hand washed. There are also only two component parts – the bottle and the lid – so there is no place for mildew to grow.
I’ll keep updating this post, as I find more great kids water bottles. If you have any recommendations, do let me know! And if you are looking for more eco-friendly kids school supplies, then do check out my guide to eco-friendly school supplies for more ideas – from lunchboxes to schoolbags and more.