Why Reusable Water Bottles Are an Investment in Your Health *and* the Planet’s

There's no denying it: In the past few years, hydration has snagged the "trendy" reputation known to things like shoulder pads in the '80s and avocado toast in, like, the here and now and forevermore. With this particular health-minded sensation, though, the only accessory required for getting in is getting one of the many aesthetically pleasing reusable water bottles taking over the now $8 billion (and growing) market. And with so many options available regarding which reusable water bottle option is best for you, you're pretty much guaranteed to find one you love. Whether that's a polka-dotted number, one that's self-cleaning, or a bottle that doubles as a foam roller is up to you to decide.

Trends aside, committing your loyalty to reusable water bottles is also important for your own health and that of the planet's. Below, learn why, and then peruse some of our favorite options available for purchase on the market.

Why reusable water bottles? Below, learn 4 top reasons for buying in today:

1. They're so much better for the environment

Reusable water bottles are great because, well, they're reusable alternatives to their single-use plastic counterparts that are littering the Earth. Every 60 seconds, an estimated million plastic water bottles are sold worldwide. In America, only about 23 percent of them make it to the recycling bin while the rest wind up in landfills (where they can't decompose), oceans (where they will be eaten by fish, dolphins, or birds), or roadsides (where they are likely to eventually migrate to the nearest body of water to turn into that aforementioned toxic "food").

Obviously, that's not an ideal endpoint for water bottles and nor an ideal series of events for the future of the global environment. As for a solution? You guessed it—that's where reusable water bottles come in handy. The average human could save an estimated 1,460 plastic water bottles per year by owning and using just one reusable bottle. So switching from single-use plastic to reusable definitely constitutes taking one giant step toward lessening your negative impact on the environment.

2. You'll eliminate the health risks associated with drinking from plastic

In 2018, researchers found evidence that microplastics, or particles five millimeters long or less, can make it into the human body when we drink from plastic bottles. While scientists don't yet know the nitty-gritty details on how ingesting plastic affects the body just yet, Heather Leslie, PhD, an ecotoxicologist specializing in microplastics at the Vrije University in Amsterdam, previously told Well+Good that we can safely assume they do not belong in our bodies.

“Plastic is not classified as food for humans or animals, and there might even be a general consensus that it doesn’t belong in the food chain at all,” said Dr. Leslie. “The responsible thing to do is not to panic, but to investigate the early warnings in a thorough, critical, and transparent manner, communicate them, and take precautionary measures to protect human health and environment.” Drinking from reusable water bottles ensures that foreign objects don't make it into your hydration schedule. So why risk it?

3. Reusable water bottles encourage you to make hydration a habit

If you're drinking a glass of water here and there, it's hard to tell how much you're really drinking in a day. There's no medical proof that you absolutely need to drink a half-gallon—or else—but having the bottle with you can serve as a reminder of how much you have or haven't hydrated. By being reminded to consider how much you're hydrating, you're more likely to recognize symptoms that come along with dehydration. In that sense, water bottles are a tool to not just supply you with water when you're thirsty but also to regularly cue you to check in with how you feel in relation to hydration.

For example, maybe you're experiencing brain fog around 4 p.m. and notice that you've had about one sip of the water you poured into your bottle that morning. That visual reminder may give you the nudge you need to drink more, which may help to clear the fog away.

4. Sipping from your own bottle is cleaner than relying on public water fountains

Public water fountains feel like a gift from the heavens when you're on a long walk or run with no source of hydration in sight. However, they're often teeming with bacteria that—quite frankly—you probably don't want in your body. In one study, The National Sanitation Foundation found 2.7 million bacterial cells per square inch in a school bathroom, making it dirtier than a toilet seat. Bleh.

That means that—so long as you're washing your water bottle properly—your S'Well or Nalgene will be way cleaner than relying on just any old watering hole.

Our top 5 reusable water bottle picks

Now that you're sold on the reasons why you should get yourself a reusable water bottle, check out some of the best models available for sipping right now.

1. Mobot Firecracker 18-Ounce Foam Roller Water Bottle, $40

reusable water bottles
Photo: Mobot

Mobot's foam roller water bottle is a one-of-a-kind contraption that bundles hydration and muscle recovery into one tool. Made of FDA-approved recycled stainless steel, the bottle will keep your water cool even through your hottest outdoor workouts.

Shop now: Mobot Firecracker 18-Ounce Foam Roller Water Bottle, $40

2. Ello Tidal 20oz Glass Tumbler with Lid, $10

Photo: Target

If you like to sip through a straw, this affordable tumbler is for you. Just make sure to buy a teeny-tiny scrub brush so your straw doesn't start growing mold.

Shop now: Ello Tidal 20oz Glass Tumbler with Lid, $10

3. Black People Water Bottle, $25

Photo: Etsy

This handmade metal bottle features illustrations of Black people walking dogs, riding skateboards, and chatting with one another. You can have the bottle customized to your liking.

Shop now: Black People Water Bottle, $25

4. Welly Traveler 18-Ounce, $33

reusable water bottles
Photo: Welly

For those who enjoy lemon-, raspberry-, or watermelon-infused water, this bottle makes creating your refreshing afternoon beverage easy with its removable infuser. Because it's crafted from bamboo, your Welly is also Earth-conscious in more than one way.

Shop now: Welly Traveler 18-Ounce, $33

5. Larq Self-Cleaning Water Bottle, $95

reusable water bottles
Photo: Larq

Can't be bothered to wash your water bottle every week? Every two hours, this bottle emits UV-C LED light to eliminate up to 99.99 percent of bio-contaminants from your water and bottle. It's also double-insulated for keeping cold things cold and hot things hot.

Shop now: Larq Self-Cleaning Water Bottle, $95

In short, switching to a reusable water bottle is a win-win (win-win-win). Not only will you diminish the amount of plastic waste you use each year, but you'll also look out for your health by monitoring your hydration levels and skipping out on microplastics and public fountains. Really, it's one of the easiest steps you can take to becoming a more conscious consumer.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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