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The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Water Bottles & How to Choose One

updated: July 6, 2023

How to Choose the Best Water Bottle to Promote Your Business

Whether you're hiking a trail or rushing to catch the commuter train, a water bottle at the ready keeps you hydrated, healthy and ready for whatever's next. Everybody needs water throughout the day, making personalized water bottles the ideal promotional giveaway or gift for clients, prospective customers and valued employees. A water bottle customized with your logo is something they'll take everywhere – and proves invaluable for your brand's visibility and word of mouth.

On the surface, a lot of water bottles may seem similar; but if you look closer, there are many different types of water bottles out there. If you’re overwhelmed by the options, this guide covers materials, brands and features so you can learn how to choose a water bottle for every corporate event, trade show or special event.

Why Buy Reusable Water Bottles?

  • Good for the environment. Eco-friendly water bottles are a sustainable alternative to disposable plastic, reducing pollution in landfills and in the ocean.
  • Good for your bottom line. Each time you buy bottled water, your money goes down the drain. Tap into a refillable option and do your wallet, and the environment, good.
  • Good for your health. The notion that drinking from the faucet is bad for you doesn't hold water anymore. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water and mandates that water utilities provide quality reports.

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Different Types of Water Bottles

There are four types of material typically used in water bottle design – stainless steel, glass, aluminum and plastic. Maybe you want the best insulated water bottle or best filtered water bottle. Perhaps you're looking for something extra durable or attention-getting. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so test the waters and determine what attributes are most important for your specific needs.

Silver stainless steel travel mug with logo

Stainless steel

Stainless steel water bottles are growing increasingly more popular, as concerns over the effects of plastic on the environment rise. Stainless steel is excellent for hikers and lovers of the outdoors due to its rugged durability and eco-friendly qualities. Another enticing feature is stainless steel's ability to maintain temperatures for a longer period of time. If you're looking for the coldest water bottle (or the hottest), this is a solid choice.

Check out customer favorites like the 64-oz. Rage Tumbler and 16-oz. Vigo Stainless Insulated Bottle. Want something new and innovative? Try the 22-oz. Hydration Charging Station Stainless Steel Bottle or the 17-oz. Deluxe Halcyon® Soft-Touch Bottle.

Custom glass water bottle with bamboo lid


While not practical for exercise or outdoor use, glass water bottles are a highly sustainable giveaway or gift-giving choice when you want to make a smooth presentation. Its hard, sleek surface creates an elegant backdrop for your brand logo. Just don't drop it – even the best glass water bottle won't withstand impact on a hard surface!

If you're looking to make an eye-catching impression without breaking the bank, try our elegant 25-oz. Glass Bottle with Bamboo Lid or the trendy 20-oz. Color Pop Glass Bottle.

Green sports bottle with flip spout and logo


Aluminum is the way to go for those on the go. If your recipients are athletes or travelers, they'll love the lightweight practicality and convenience. Most aluminum water bottles are designed to easily attach to a belt, backpack, suitcase or bike. And though aluminum doesn't offer the strength and insulating qualities of its stainless steel counterpart, it is incredibly affordable and easily toted.

Get your customers and employees pumped up with the trendy 26-oz. Vivid Aluminum Sports Bottle or H2GO® Water Bottle and get your brand out there.

Custom blue sports bottle


Plastic is still considered the most popular water bottle material due to its versatility, affordability and convenience. A wide variety of plastic water bottles are eco-friendly and ideal for everyday use – lightweight for sports, practical for home or office, and safe for children. Of course, like all other materials, plastic has its advantages and disadvantages:

Whether you opt for customer favorites like the 20-oz. Bike and Sports Bottle and 16-oz. Flex Bottle or big water bottles like the 32-oz. Brilliant Sports Bottle, you're assured the best selection of water bottle sizes and colors to showcase your brand.

Here’s how the water bottle materials stack up:

Material The Pros The Cons
Stainless Steel
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Eco-friendly and recyclable
  • Maintains hot or cold temperatures longer
  • Won't discolor or retain flavors
  • Easy to clean; dishwasher-safe
  • Warm to the touch in the heat
  • May dent with strong impact
  • Most are not microwave-safe
  • Paint (and your logo) can peel over time
  • Pricier and heavier than aluminum or plastic
  • High quality and long-lasting
  • Won't alter the taste of liquids
  • Poses zero health risks
  • Non-permeable
  • May break if dropped or tipped over
  • Not always dishwasher-safe
  • Pricier and heavier than aluminum or plastic
  • Lightweight for on-the-go convenience
  • Eco-friendly and recyclable
  • Rustproof for long wear
  • An affordable option for bulk purchases
  • Provides little to no insulation
  • Can leave a metallic taste
  • Dents more easily
  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Lightweight for active, everyday use
  • A range of eco-friendly options
  • Easy to clean
  • An affordable option for bulk purchases
  • Not intended for hot liquids
  • May leave an odd taste over time
  • May dulls and scratch over time
  • Can burst in extreme cold

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Reusable Water Bottle Infographic

A Sea of Special Features

Since water bottles have become a mainstay in our daily lives, there is fierce competition to build the best water bottle with all the latest bells and whistles and innovative designs. Let's start at the top…literally.

Put a lid on it

Selecting the right lid is a major consideration for ease of use, convenience and overall satisfaction.

Put your message on a bottle

There are so many creative ways to get your brand message out there. You could go with a traditional style – or you could really "wow" them with an aesthetic water bottle design like:

  • Infusers. These innovative designs let your recipients enjoy the fruits of their labor. Fruit can be steeped to give beverages a smooth, delicious taste. The 28-oz. Infusing Fruit Sports Bottle makes strenuous workouts more refreshing.
  • Collapsible/foldable bottles. Your personalized water bottles will really get around when you give a portable style that clients or employees can take along on trips or corporate events, even when space is limited. The 28-oz. Collapsible Water Bottle makes the perfect travel companion.
  • Insulated tumblers. Some like it hot…others like it cold. With the best insulated water bottles, you can have both. These are among our most popular giveaways, like the 22-oz. Juna Copper Insulated Bottle, which keeps drinks hot for up to 12 hours or cold up to 48 hours.
  • Blender bottles. Mix business with pleasure – give them the best water bottle for on-the-go smoothies and protein drinks. Our personal favorite is the BPA-free Fuel Up Fitness Frost Tumbler with Mixing Ball.
  • Color-changing designs. Customers are guaranteed to remember your brand on these custom color-changing water bottles. Who wouldn't get a kick out of the 16-oz. Evolve Tumbler Mood Straw with a chameleon-like straw?
  • Dome covers. These are ideal for the beach and other outdoor activities due to their ability to prevent spills and keep the top of the bottle clean. The compact and sleek 12-oz. Race Day Water Bottle is ready to show off your logo anywhere.
  • Bluetooth/wireless speaker bottles. Customers will sing your praises when you hook them up with a high-tech water bottle with built-in speakers. How does the Sporty Bluetooth® Speaker Bottle sound?
  • Copper-plated. Vacuum-insulated bottles with copper-plated inner walls are beautiful, and keep drinks hot or cold longer. Our personal favorite? The 12-oz. Cosmo Mini Copper Insulated Bottle with built-in strap.
  • Light-up. Want to see your name in lights? Add your logo and brand messaging to a brilliant water bottle featuring LED lights, like the attention-getting 22-oz. Cool Gear® POP Light-up Bottle with rotating colors.
  • Jugs and growlers. Represent your brand in grand fashion with big water bottles that'll keep them hydrated and keep your logo front and center. Make a larger-than-life impression with the substantial, copper-lined 64-oz. Tundra Growler.
  • Flasks. A clever and unique twist on the standard water bottle. Make a truly memorable statement with the 25-oz. Insulated Wine Flask that keeps beverages cold for up to 12 hours.

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Trusted Brands You'll Be Proud to Associate With

What's in a name? Trust. Recognition. Quality. Reliability. These are the standards you hold for your business – and how it is presented to the world. That's why you need the best water bottle brands to boost your marketing efforts. There are many brands to wade through, but these are some of our favorites:

CamelBak® Contigo® Basecamp®
  • The CamelBak bottle is widely known for its durability and long-lasting quality. It also boasts innovative design features and is famous for its flip-open bite valve that provides convenient, hands-free mobility for active, on-the-go users. CamelBak is one of our favorite BPA-free water bottle brands and offers:

  • Recognized as one of the best water bottle brands in the business, Contigo distinguishes itself with its stunning array of vibrant color options. But there's a lot more to this brand than its aesthetic appeal. It's incredibly durable for travel, sports and everyday wear-and-tear. Contigo bottles are brimming with innovative features like:

  • At the trail, the gym or the office, Basecamp water bottles are the perfect way to get your brand message out and about. Stainless steel with a powder-coated finish creates a handsome backdrop for your logo or company name. Just look at the outstanding features:

  • Hands-free flip-open bite valve for spill-free convenience
  • High-quality Tritan™ plastic for rugged durability
  • Magnetic, screw-on cap that keeps liquids from leaking
  • Easy-grip carry handle for easy toting
  • One-touch push-button opening for easy access
  • Childproof, auto-seal lids
  • Compact storage compartment on some models
  • Double-wall, vacuum-insulated stainless steel keeps drinks hot or cold
  • Lustrous powder-coated finish
  • Copper-lined interior for purer tasting liquids
  • Carry handle or TPR strap for on-the-go convenience
Red CamelBak Sports Bottle

25-oz. CamelBak Eddy®+
Bottle Tritan™ Renew

Clear Contigo Sports Bottle

16 oz Contigo®
Luxe Tumbler

Blue Basecamp Water Bottle

24-oz. Basecamp®
Stainless Steel Water Bottle

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Pick a Size, Any Size

When it comes to convenience and functionality, size really matters when choosing a water bottle. Some drinkers sip, others gulp. Our range of sizes accommodates all. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Don't get weighed down. Avoid heavier or bulkier styles for sports or outdoor activities. A more streamlined, lightweight model works best.
  • Keep it compact. If you want your recipient to be able to tote the bottle wherever they go, a smaller, easy-to-manage size may be best suited.
  • Make sure it fits. Think about how your customer or employee will use it. If you want your personalized water bottles traveling by car or by bike, choose sizes that accommodate cup holders.

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Don't Forget to Accessorize

With today's on-the-go lifestyles, people are taking their water bottles everywhere. We offer a range of practical and stylish accessories to keep your personalized water bottles out there for the world to see. Check out these active essentials:

  • Clips and carabiners. Whether they're running, cycling or heading off on a work trip, your clients and employees will want the security of knowing their bottle stays with them. Our recommendation is the 26-oz. Vivid Aluminum Sports Bottle. Just clip and go!
  • Hydration packs. A must for serious outdoor enthusiasts. These lightweight packs allow hands-free hydration. Some packs are even insulated to keep liquid from freezing or becoming warm. Our No Thirst Hydration Pack is a customer favorite.
  • Backpacks and duffels. When their water bottle needs a home for traveling, we offer a wide variety of styles to accommodate any size or shape bottle. The ActiV  Drawstring Backpack and Conquest 19" Sport Duffel are affordable options they'll love.

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Keep It Clean

When choosing the best water bottle for gift-giving, keep in mind that some styles are easier to clean than others. Remember these useful water bottle cleaning tips:

  • Materials. Some materials, like stainless steel, are dishwasher-safe. Others, such as aluminum, are not.
  • Size and shape. Bottles with narrower openings may require a bottle brush, while wider openings are easier to clean.

For easy-to-clean options, we suggest the 26-oz. Dynamic Bottle or the 20-oz. Polished Stainless Steel Water Bottle.

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Go Local

We offer a wide range of water bottles made in the USA. Here are a few of our favorites:

Black and white sport bottle with push pull spout
28-oz. Clear View Bottle

Rugged, lightweight BPA-free plastic is perfect for fundraisers and trade shows.

Custom Royal Water Bottle with Carabiner
18-oz. Hiker's Delight Water Bottle

Recyclable plastic is better for the environment, and the compact size makes it a great giveaway item.

Clear water bottle with teal lid and logo
18-oz. Super Sip Water Bottle

Fun translucent colors add a splash to your next event or promotion.

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Make It Personal

Personalized water bottles are a smart and cost-effective way to get your name and brand into the hands of clients (and potential ones!). They're also a practical gift your employees will proudly use and display. Before placing an order for your promotional event or corporate function, ask yourself these questions:

  • How many colors? This question is twofold. First, do you want your logo design imprinted in one color or several? Second, the bottle color you choose will also be a determining factor in giving your brand the most pop.
  • What size and design? There are many creative options here, so find what works best for your brand. You may want a wraparound or one-sided design. Does your logo work better vertically or horizontally?
  • Printed or engraved? Printed designs can create a bold, colorful statement. Engraving, on the other hand, makes an elegant, upscale presentation.

Need your order in a hurry? We offer 24-hour rush service on a variety of items such as the Chameleon Sports Bottle and the 28-oz. Bike & Sports Bottle.

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Make It Cost-Effective

The size of your event and the number of giveaway recipients are a significant factor in determining which products make sense for your promotion. If you're planning a large event, a more affordable choice may work best. For smaller events, there are moderately priced options. Want to really impress your top clients or reward top-performing employees? Splurge! Whatever your budget, we have water bottles to fit them all.

Personalized water bottles are among the best promotional giveaway items due to their popularity, practicality and longevity. The next time you want to get a customer's attention or reward your employees, give them something they'll raise a glass (or water bottle) to.

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