Bottled water can be a waste of money, but is often convenient and a necessity when on-the-go. With so many brands to choose from, consumers are often curious about which bottled water brand is the healthiest.
But are there any test results indicating some bottled water brands are healthier than others? What should consumers look out for when choosing a bottled water brand? Are some bottled water brands dangerous? And how do the healthiest brands compare on price?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we share our top three criteria to look out for when choosing a healthy bottled water brand.
We’ll provide our healthiest bottled water picks across three categories (Overall, Flavored, Low-Cost, Sparkling). Our goal is for this article to be the most comprehensive and informative guide to choosing a healthy bottled water brand on the internet.
What Makes Healthy Bottled Water?
There are three main criteria we recommend consumers look out for when purchasing a bottled water brand: packaging, testing and price.
Packaging is the most important consideration in our opinion, because plastic-free bottled water brands are better for the environment and better for human health.
Chemical compounds that make plastics soft like bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS) were shown in a 2020 clinical trial to cause reproductive issues.
We recommend bottled water in cardboard, aluminum cans or glass over plastic.
Testing means test results published on the purity of the water.
These can be published by the brand itself, but third-party testing is more reliable. We look for test results indicating low or negligible levels of contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides.
Price obviously is an important factor for all consumer goods. Other factors being equal, most consumers will prefer a product at a lower price.
In the next four sections of this article, we’ll recommend our top bottled water products across four categories: Best Overall, Best Flavored, Best Low-Cost and Best Sparkling water.
Best Overall – Liquid Death
Liquid Death Mountain Water is our top overall bottled water pick.
This water brand uses aluminum cans and is entirely plastic-free, so it passes the packaging test. The bottles also look great aesthetically.
The brand fails to publish updated product testing on their website, and we can’t find any from third-party sources like ConsumerLab.
The price-per-can of Liquid Death Mountain Water is $1.42 at the time of publishing this article.
Interested consumers can check out Liquid Death Mountain Water at this link to the product’s official Amazon listing.
Best Flavored – Spindrift
Spindrift Variety Pack is our top flavored water pick.
This brand combines water with a small amount of fruit juice (the blackberry flavor is the highest-sugar offering with only 2 grams of sugar per can).
Using small amounts of real fruit juice is a much healthier alternative to brands using natural and artificial flavors with undefined chemical compounds for the flavoring in our opinion.
Spindrift is also packaged in aluminum cans, so it passes the packaging test.
We can’t find any product testing confirming the purity levels of Spindrift drinks.
The price-per-can of Spindrift is $2.42 at the time of publishing this article.
Interested consumers can check out Spindrift at this link to the product’s official Amazon listing.
Before sharing our next two category picks, we'll feature a video in the next section that documents issues with America's water supply.
Is America's Water Toxic?
An excellent Vox video documents some of the issues with water quality in the US:
Best Low-Cost – JUST Water
JUST Water is our top low-cost bottled water pick, as it performs better on price than all other brands we recommend.
This brand uses a plant-based packaging material that still contains a small amount of plastic components, but is much superior to the typical plastic water bottle in terms of health and environmentalism in our opinion.
JUST published a water quality report in 2021 on their website proving low or undetectable doses of many contaminants, although we can’t find any newer reports.
The price-per-can of JUST is only $1.25 at the time of publishing this article, making it 12% cheaper than the second-cheapest option that we recommend.
Interested consumers can check out JUST Water at this link to the product’s Walmart listing.
Best Sparkling – Liquid Death
Liquid Death Sparkling Water is our top bottled sparkling water pick.
As we detailed in our Liquid Death review, the reasons are the same as why we recommend the brand’s mountain water: plastic-free packaging and an affordable price for the product category.
As stated above, Liquid Death doesn’t currently publish product testing.
The price-per-can of Liquid Death Sparkling Water is $1.42 at the time of publishing this article.
Interested consumers can check out Liquid Death Sparkling Water at this link to the product’s official Amazon listing.
Our Clean Water Picks
We recommend drinking filtered water, because this is the only method that we've seen proven to reduce contaminant levels in drinking water.
An extensive medical review published in the Science of the Total Environment journal documented how many different toxic compounds exist in tap water, from bisphenol A (BPA) to perfluorooctanoic acids (PFOAs) to even residual drug ingredients like ibuprofen.
The Brita Soho (Amazon link here for those interested), is proven in studies conducted by ConsumerLab (an independent research firm) to significantly reduce heavy metal levels and entirely eliminate microplastics from drinking water.
For consumers with higher discretionary income, we recommend Aquasana's Rhino Whole-House Water Filter as a comprehensive solution that can filter all sources of water in the house. When you install a whole-house filter, it filters water in all taps and all showers throughout the house, so it's the most thorough way to ensure a reduction in contaminants and to ensure purity of drinking and bathing water.
The Aquasana Rhino Whole-House Water Filter costs around $2,400, which equates to pennies per glass after 10 years of use.