The Best Water Bottles for Kids (Plastic, Stainless Steel & Glass)

When I was in school kids water bottles weren’t a big deal.

Parents would put a disposable water bottle or juice box in their kid’s lunchbox and send them off. At the end of the day, they’d throw away the containers and pack a new one for the next school day.

I think it’s safe to say the way parents look at kids water bottles has evolved a great deal over the years.

Today, parents take the time to do research and find the best water bottles for kids. They’re looking for quality material, affordability, convenience, eco-friendly and reusable water bottles.

With all the choices available, it can seem like a daunting task to narrow down all the options. You can find everything from glass to stainless steel to plastic options.

Which are the best?

What features should you look for?

How much should you pay?

We’re here to answer those questions so your kid’s water bottle will be the perfect choice and stand the test of time.

image of water bottles for school kids

How to Choose the Best Water Bottles for Kids

Use these features as a starting place for determining the most important features you want in a kids water bottle.

  • LEAK PROOF – Because it will be used for a child, having a leak-proof water bottle is very important. Remember that children will carry their lunchboxes around in their backpacks or hands without a thought of anything inside spilling. Their water bottles should be able to handle being tossed around inside without leaking and getting everything else soaked.
  • SAFETY – Harmful chemicals can leach from certain materials and enter the food or drink that they hold. It’s important to know what material a kids water bottle is made from. The FDA has set guidelines in place to keep consumers safe. Most manufacturers will let the consumer know the safety of the material they’ve used, but you can always check the FDA website for current symbols and standards to be sure.

Always check to be sure any product of your child’s that will come into contact with food is made from food-safe material.

  • INSULATION – Wherever you’re going, you’ll probably want your child’s water bottle to be insulated. If you fill their water bottle with cold water and take it with you for a stroll at the park, you want it to stay cold after hours of play. If it’s used to hold warm cocoa on a cold winter day, you’ll want it to keep the cocoa the perfect temperature. An insulated water bottle helps to regulate the temperature of the liquid inside and keep it just right until kids are ready to drink it.
  • SIZE – Deciding the right size water bottle for a child is a personal choice but one you’ll want to consider before purchasing. Consider the lunchbox size and if the water bottle will be transported in it. Also consider your child’s hand size. Younger kids may do better with water bottles made smaller for their hands while older children can carry larger bottles. Also consider how heavy the bottle will become once filled with liquid.
  • EASE OF USE – This goes along with size. Will it be easy for your little one to grip a larger bottle when at school? Do they have the muscle strength to hold it properly when it’s full? Does it require a lot of coordination to press buttons and do things “just right” in order to get the water out?
  • COLOR AND DESIGN – The last thing to consider is the design of the water bottle. While not important to some kids it can make a world of difference to others. Try to choose a favorite character or color. It may make them even more excited to drink water, which is a plus!
  • PRICE – Once you’ve made sure all the features you need are present, compare the prices of different water bottles that are similar. Kids water bottles for school can cost you anywhere from $5 for a basic bottle to $100 for something that is fancy and has a lot of extra features. You may be tempted to buy the cheapest bottle you see, but don’t skimp on important features for the sake of price. Things like safe material and being leak proof are essential, while design may be something you might not want to spend extra for. The best way to save on the cost of kids water bottles is to not be distracted by all the fancy trappings that you don’t need. Stick to the essentials and you’ll be fine.

Benefits of Reusable Water Bottles

Why do you need to use a reusable water bottle for kids anyway? Why not just get those cute little mini water bottles you see at the store and pack one of those in their lunch boxes every day?

There are several reasons.

First, consider the cost. Even the priciest water bottle on the market will turn out to be a better investment than buying disposable water bottles again and again.

In the long run it will actually be cheaper. A good quality bottle can last for years before you will have to replace it. Spending a bit more upfront can be better down the line.

Also, consider the environmental impact. Using a reusable water bottle will help keep more plastic bottles out of the landfills.

How to Properly Care for Kids Water Bottles

Follow these steps to maintain the life of your child’s water bottle:

  1. Always check the manufacturers recommendations for proper washing guidelines.
  2. Wash water bottles daily with warm soapy water.
  3. Use a straw cleaning brush to clean straws and other hard to clean areas.
  4. After washing, let water bottles completely dry before replacing the cap to prevent mold from growing inside due to trapped moisture.
  5. Inspect straws periodically for small tears and replace accordingly.
  6. Remember each bottle is made differently and should only be used as directed. Some water bottles can only hold cold liquids while others are made for hot or cold beverages. Check the manufacturers recommendations for proper use.

Following these steps will help keep a good quality kids water bottle working properly for years to come.

What are the Best Water Bottles for Kids?

Now that you know the important features of a good water bottle for kids, why it is a good idea to have kids use a reusable water bottle and how to properly take care of it, you can feel confident knowing you can search and compare different options and choose the best one for your child’s needs.

Here is our list of the best water bottles for kids.

Plastic Water Bottles


The leak-proof Contigo Autoseal Trekker is a unique water bottle because it uses a one-touch button that kids can push while simultaneously tilting the bottle to drink. And you don’t have to worry about spills because the valve automatically seals when the button is released. It’s a great feature for little ones who forget to close the lids on their water bottles sometimes.

The one-handed push button makes it a smart choice and one of the best water bottles for kids.


At 16 ounces, this water bottle is on the larger side. The silicone sleeve protects it against drops and the one-push locking flip makes it easy to open and close.

It includes an open-mouth design with no straw which is great for adding ice to keep drinks cold longer. What makes this one of the best water bottles for kids is that it also has a locking mechanism on the lid that keeps it from opening unintentionally. No worrying about something accidentally hitting the button and drink spilling everywhere.


The Bubba Flo is the ideal example of a water bottle designed with a kid in mind. Not only is it made of BPA free plastic, but it also has an easy-to-hold, stylish silicone sleeve to keep drinks cold longer and reduces sweating. Its flawless design includes a smaller size, wide mouth, leak proof lid and finger loop, which make it easy for your child to be able to use this without help from Mom. Best of all, it comes in an assortment of colors. It’s so simple to clean, dishwasher safe and guaranteed for LIFE!


Available in a variety of fun colors and patterns, the Polar Water Bottle offers a unique design concept, straying from the conventional water bottle style. The double-layered construction, with flexible internal foil liner, keeps the cold in and the heat out. It also reflects thermal rays for extra protection. Made in the USA, these Polar Bottles help reduce environmental impact and moreover, support our local economies.


With an uncomplicated, yet chic design, this smaller, kid-sized, water drop shaped bottle by Emoi is super sturdy and easy to drink from and refill. Not only is it BPA-free and constructed of high-quality food grade materials, but it is effortless to wash with only two parts, the cap and the bottle. Its simplistic design helps to resist mold and the convenient carry loop makes it easy to take along with you too! What more can you ask for in a kid’s water bottle?

Stainless Steel Water Bottles


Recommended for ages 3 and up, the Eco Vessel Scout features a flip spout with straw so there’s no need to tilt or tip the bottle. It is 13 ounces and boasts a lightweight design, perfect for younger kids who can’t carry anything too heavy. It is made with a single layer of stainless steel which means it is not insulated. The Eco Vessel water bottle is intended to be used only with cold liquids, and should only be hand washed.

It’s also worth noting that the manufacturers do not claim that the Eco Vessel is leak-proof, however, many customers have said that that their kids water bottles do not leak (which is great!)

The Eco Vessel Scout is a front-runner as one of the best water bottles for kids because of all the fun designs it comes in! See all the fun Eco Vessel designs here.


The Thermos Funtainer is a great water bottle for school kids. It uses a push button top which is great for keeping the pop-up straw protected until ready for use. It is made from stainless steel and uses a vacuum insulation technology that keeps liquids cold for up to 12 hours.


For kids that like variety, the Klean Kanteen Classic will be the perfect fit. The Klean Kanteen line makes interchangeable lids that can be swapped from almost any other Klean Kanteen bottle to another so it’s perfect for a family with multiple ages. This water bottle features double wall vacuum insulated stainless steel, a leak-proof design and BPA, phthalate and lead free construction. The Klean Kanteed keeps hot drinks hot up to 12 hours and cold drinks cold for up to 40 hours which makes it one of the best water bottles for kids!


If you don’t mind taking the extra couple minutes to hand wash, the Camilbak Chute Mag is an exceptional water bottle to consider for your little. The 20 oz. size is optimal for kids and it keeps water super cold (even without ice cubes) or hot for hours! In addition, it’s leakproof, sharp looking and equally important, has a very functional magnetic cap! Undoubtedly, this bottle is top notch and should definitely be at the head of your list.


Skip Hop not only has the cutest designs, but also superb quality products. This stainless steel kids water bottle embellished with adorable zoo animals is no exception. These bottles feature a non-slip silicone sleeve to protect hands from cold surfaces, a handy grab-me strap which attaches to anything and a pop-up lid with a flexible straw. If your kid thinks it’s cute, check out the matching items and get a set!

See the full collection of Skip Hop water bottle designs here.

Aluminum Water Bottles


Liberty Bottleworks Safari Collection features the cutest critters for your little animal lover, designed to be a perfect mix of stylish yet functional. Liberty’s 12 oz bottles are made in the USA using recyclable aluminum, BPA free materials, and have a special liner which provides an easy-to-clean alternative to bare metal that can often hold bacteria and odors. Also, the wide mouth makes it simple to wash and add ice cubes if needed and the tapered neck controls the flow and prevents splashes. Altogether, your kids will love it and so will you.

Sports Water Bottles for Kids


The Cexxy Sports Water Bottle offers fun, colorful options in a larger 23 oz. bottle size. It features a trouble-free wide mouth, sturdy, leak-proof lid and is also made of non-toxic BPA-free materials. All in all, this bottle will be terrific for your kid in for little league or other sports and even for everyday use.


The best water bottles for kids will keep your kid’s drink ice-cold, and the Go Active stainless steel insulated water bottle does just that by keeping ice for over 24 hours! Made with maximum insulation, stainless steel, as well as food grade and BPA-free materials, this bottle has a unique thermal vacuum seal system developed to withstand the harshest heat. On the whole, this bottle is perfect for a school lunchbox or an avid athlete.

Glass Water Bottles


There’s no metal or plastic taste to this glass water bottle by Purifyou. It’s great for the environment and for health, with no plastic leaching into your child’s water. The thought of glass and a kid may scare you, but Purifyou’s high impact-resistant silicone sleeve protects your glass water bottle really well. Also, the silicone sleeve’s non-slip grip and the top’s large carry ring makes it straightforward to carry without fail. Enjoy hot or cold beverages and have and easy cleanup. In addition, this bottle is both dishwasher and microwave safe (not the top).

Fruit Infusing Water Bottles


Add a bit of excitement to your child’s water and make it a unique experience with the Infusion Pro Premium Water Bottle. This bottle makes it fun to increase your child’s water intake by making it a breeze to incorporate his or her favorite fruits, veggies and herbs to water with its handy water basket on the bottom of the bottle. It’s also leak-proof and a cinch to fill and clean.


The Fruzer Fruit Infuser pod makes it easy-peasy to enthrall the taste buds and add flavor to any of your child’s water bottles. Upgrade a plain water bottle by adding this convenient infuser pod to flavor your kid’s water. Just cut up any favorite fruits or veggies, place them in the pod and close securely. Afterwards, add the pod to your drink and change up flavors daily. Let the infusion pod get to work and become a flavored water connoisseur your kid will love taking to school!

By taking some time to do a bit of research up front our handy guide, you can find the best water bottle for kids that, with proper care, can last for years to come.

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