The 4 Best Kids Water Bottles of 2023


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Jun 07, 2024

The 4 Best Kids Water Bottles of 2023

We're no longer recommending the CamelBak Chute Mag Kids as it's being discontinued The best kids water bottle doesn’t leak, is easy to clean, and is designed so that even a toddler can use it

We're no longer recommending the CamelBak Chute Mag Kids as it's being discontinued

The best kids water bottle doesn’t leak, is easy to clean, and is designed so that even a toddler can use it independently.

We spent more than 70 hours testing 21 popular water bottles with kids from toddlers to tweens and found that the best stainless steel option is the 12-ounce Thermos Funtainer Stainless Steel Water Bottle With Straw, and the best plastic one is the 14-ounce CamelBak Eddy+ Kids. The 14-ounce Takeya Actives Kids Insulated Water Bottle With Straw Lid, which also works with a spout lid, is a great steel option for older kids.

It’s impossible to avoid leaks 100% of the time, but we looked for kids water bottles that are the least likely to have this issue.

Water bottles should be easy to take apart to clean; dishwasher-safe is ideal.

Even the smallest hands should be able to open and close the bottle without help.

We sought out bottles that are durable and have replacement parts available for purchase.

As long-term owners of these bottles ourselves, we know how often parts get damaged or go missing, so this guide includes a section dedicated to replacement parts for all our picks. We also address care and maintenance in detail, highlighting one accessory that has proven to be an essential companion for any bottle owned over the long run: the OXO Good Grips Water Bottle Cleaning Set.

The insulated Thermos Funtainer bottle is the simplest for younger kids to open and close by themselves, the least likely to leak, and one of the easiest to clean of all the bottles we tested.

The 12-ounce Thermos Funtainer Stainless Steel Water Bottle With Straw is our favorite kids water bottle because it’s the easiest one to use. Our youngest testers were able to open and close the top on their own, and its button-release cap design keeps grubby fingers off the straw, prevents leaks, and makes the straw less likely to get dirty when the bottle is dropped compared with other bottles we tested. With only four parts, the Thermos Funtainer bottle is easy for adults to take apart to clean, and the whole thing is safe in the top rack of a dishwasher. The vacuum insulation keeps drinks chilled for up to 12 hours, and the Funtainer bottle usually costs much less than other insulated bottles. Plus, if your straw wears out or becomes too dirty, you can simply purchase a replacement—no need for an entire new bottle.


The insulated Takeya Actives Kids holds a little more liquid, has a faster-flowing spout, and looks a bit more grown-up than our other picks, making it a good choice for older kids.

The 14-ounce Takeya Actives Kids Insulated Water Bottle With Straw Lid has a hard folding spout (attached to an internal straw) that kids can open and close securely. Like the Thermos Funtainer bottle, the double-walled Takeya Actives Kids keeps drinks cold for hours. It’s the easiest of our picks to take apart and reassemble for cleaning, and you can place both the bottle and the top in the dishwasher. Although this bottle is typically more expensive than our other picks, the larger capacity (it also comes in even bigger sizes) and bright but not childish color options are likely to appeal to older kids, as well as to grown-ups looking for a smaller bottle. Note: If you’d prefer to go strawless, you can simply remove the internal straw and tilt back the bottle to drink, or you can purchase this Takeya spout lid, which fits onto the same base.

The CamelBak Eddy+ Kids straw bottle is a breeze to take apart for cleaning and simple for young kids to use, but it can leak if the spout is in the wrong position.

price may vary by style and color

price may vary by style and color

The durable, 14-ounce CamelBak bottle is the lightest of our picks thanks to its plastic construction, and the dishwasher-safe bottle comes apart easily for cleaning. The CamelBak Eddy+ Kids comes with a straw spout that is easy to open and close, and because of its bite valve, it won’t leak even when its spout is open and it’s held upside down. Yanking the valve out of place, however, can cause major leaking, and the valve may not survive heavy chewing (though it is replaceable). The bottle is also not insulated—be ready for warm drinks or lots of condensation.

When we launched this guide in 2018, I began my research by drawing on the background and conclusions from Wirecutter’s guide to the best adult water bottles. I combed through the latest online reviews of water bottles for kids and adults from BabyGearLab, GearLab, and more. I also read studies about the health concerns regarding BPA, Tritan, and other plastics, cringe-inducing media reports about the germs that can build up on water bottles if they’re not cleaned regularly, and recommendations for keeping kids hydrated. (Although the CDC doesn’t offer official guidelines for daily total water consumption—since a lot of factors, including age and overall food and fluid intake, play a role—it does clearly state that getting enough H2O is essential to overall health.)

I surveyed more than 30 parents and caregivers of young children through social media, via local parenting groups, and in person to learn about their gripes, needs, and recommendations. I also chatted with school-age children about the water bottles they and their friends use.

I’ve written for the San Francisco Chronicle and other major newspapers, and I’ve reported on family and parenting for publications such as Parents and Real Simple. I also wrote the Wirecutter guides to diaper bags, school backpacks, and apps to manage your child’s smartphone. For the past five years, in addition to testing kids water bottles professionally for Wirecutter, I’ve been using water bottles with my own three children. Our family has purchased, lost, and replaced our share of water bottles. We rely on them daily for school, sports, and trips to the park.

This guide covers water bottles for children, from toddlers who have graduated from baby bottles and sippy cups to kids in elementary school. More than simply being smaller versions of adult water bottles, the bottles in this guide are designed to be easy for young kids to use and refill unassisted, compact for packing in lunch boxes, and durable enough to withstand frequent drops—as well as efficient for adults to clean and affordable to repair or replace. Adults looking for a smaller, easier-to-transport bottle for their own use may also find this guide useful.

By about age 9, children will likely need to consume more water—the same amount as adults—and may prefer a larger water bottle, especially if they play sports. For that, check out our picks for the best water bottles—in particular our larger Takeya Actives and CamelBak Eddy picks, both of which include straws, a feature that our young testers happened to prefer.

Water bottles are a standard item for many kids, whether for school, camp, sports, outings, car rides, or the side of the bed. Younger children may also bring a water bottle to daycare or preschool, which means they need to be able to open and close it on their own. We’ve included bottles with both straws and spout lids in this guide to suit different preferences. During the pandemic, some schools began recommending that students use water bottles with straws so that they could sip easily without completely removing their masks.

We review water bottles based on the following criteria:

Ease of cleaning: Since kids water bottles are likely to get dirty and accumulate grime, the bottle should have few pieces and be easy to take apart to wash. We avoid bottles with tight crevices since that’s where mold tends to form. We consider the ability to send a bottle through a dishwasher to be a significant plus but not a necessity, in part because we want to include insulated bottles in our testing, and many companies that make insulated bottles recommend hand-washing only.

Ease of use: We focus on water bottles with a capacity from 9 to 18 ounces, which are generally compact enough to fit in both a lunch box and small hands. Most 2- or 3-year-olds should be able to open and drink from the water bottle on their own, as well as to close it securely to prevent leaks. We’ve found that straw spouts are usually the easiest and least frustrating for young kids to use, but we also explore strawless options in this guide because they are easier to clean, have fewer parts to lose, and offer a faster flow for older kids.

Tendency to leak: No water bottle is completely leakproof or spillproof, so we look for the models that are the least likely to leak.

Material: We consider water bottles made from plastic and stainless steel. Plastic bottles are lighter than stainless steel, so kids are less likely to fumble with them or complain that they’re too heavy; it’s also easy to see how full plastic bottles are, and they’re usually cheaper. Some people have concerns about the safety of plastic, and although there’s no conclusive evidence that drinking from plastic harms people, stainless steel is a good alternative. Steel bottles are generally more durable than plastic, too: Although they get dented and scuffed more easily, they hold up for years. Many steel bottles, including some that we’ve tested, are insulated and can keep drinks cold for several hours. We do not consider glass bottles for this guide, since they tend to be heavy and may break more easily. Most of the bottle tops we consider are made from a combination of plastic, steel, and silicone, so typically they can go in the dishwasher. Because many kids like to chew on straws and are generally hard on their water bottles, we give bonus points to bottles with replaceable parts.

Aesthetics: We prefer water bottles that come in a range of color and design options that kids can choose from and be excited about.

Price: Given the odds that a child will lose a water bottle (or two or three), we favor water bottles that cost $25 or less. We’ve found in our research that bottles that cost more don’t perform better or offer more convenience than those below our price cap.

In 2018, when we published the first edition of this guide, we narrowed our choices by polling the parents on Wirecutter’s staff and zeroing in on the most popular recommendations for our first round of testing:

For the 2019 update of this guide, we tested seven more popular plastic and stainless steel bottles:

In 2020, CamelBak introduced the Eddy+ Kids, a redesigned version of our previous plastic pick, which we tested (in both the plastic and insulated stainless steel versions) along with two additional stainless steel bottles:

In 2021, we tested multiple bottles without straws:

In 2022, we tested three more bottles and retested one:

Wirecutter staffers and I have been testing several of these bottles for more than four years, replacing parts (for the same bottle) as needed. And unfortunately—as is common with kids and their belongings—some bottles have been lost and not found.

We’ve spent more than 25 hours taking our water bottles out and about, including leaving them in a hot car, toting them around in a bag on public transit, and bringing them to the park. Throughout the years, our kids have also taken our picks to school and summer camp, rotating them according to their whims. We’ve stuck to filling them with water, though some caregivers fill these bottles with milk or other beverages.

For our tests in 2019 and 2020, we repeatedly dropped the bottles into the sand from a play structure about 2 feet above the ground. We wanted to see how easily the spouts popped open, and how grimy and dirty they would get (verdict: pretty gross). In 2020 and 2021, we also dropped the bottles onto a hardwood floor to see how well they would hold up to clumsy hands and accidents. In 2022, we dropped our bottles onto the pavement from about 3 feet high.

For all of our bottles, we tested how easy they were to clean, taking them apart and hand-washing them. For bottles that claimed to be dishwasher safe, we also sent them through a dishwasher to check whether the pressure and heat would cause damage.

In addition, we put all of the bottles in this guide to a leak test. We filled each one with 1 cup of water and then added food coloring. In 2019, 2020, and 2021, we placed the bottles in a neoprene lunch bag and knocked it off our kitchen countertop from a height of about 3 feet. Then we laid the bottles on their side overnight on paper towels and looked for evidence of leakage the next morning. In 2022, we followed the same protocol, except we placed the new bottles in an insulated lunch bag and tossed each of them down a small flight of stairs three times before laying them on their side overnight.

Over the years, we’ve handed bottles to more than 15 kids ages 2 to 14 to gauge how easy the bottles are to open and close, and we’ve asked Wirecutter editors to have their children take several of the water bottles for extended test spins and then report back on their experiences.

To test the insulated bottles, we filled them with 1 cup of water and three ice cubes and let them sit in the midday sun, with the temperature reaching about 80 degrees Fahrenheit in 2019 and 2020; in 2021 and 2022, we left them in a hot car. We monitored the water temperature at regular intervals for the period over which each bottle claimed to keep liquids cool. (Although some bottles also claim to keep liquids hot, we did not test this.)

The insulated Thermos Funtainer bottle is the simplest for younger kids to open and close by themselves, the least likely to leak, and one of the easiest to clean of all the bottles we tested.

The 12-ounce, insulated Thermos Funtainer Stainless Steel Water Bottle With Straw is our favorite stainless steel water bottle for younger kids because it costs less than comparable bottles yet offers the most benefits: It’s easy to clean, it’s the most manageable bottle for little hands, and it’s the least likely to leak. Plus, its attached cap protects the drinking parts from grime (and grimy hands) better than the tops of other bottles, and it keeps liquids as cool as more expensive insulated bottles do. It comes in a series of fun colors and designs, from Minecraft to Paw Patrol, as well as more subdued options.

The Funtainer bottle is relatively easy to take apart and clean. Though we needed a skinny straw brush, the clear, removable spout let us easily see whether we’d successfully removed all the grime. Also, the Funtainer bottle does not have any tiny, hard-to-reach crevices, making the bottle less likely to develop mold—as long as you clean it regularly. Thermos recommends hand-washing but also says the Funtainer bottle is top-rack dishwasher safe, and many parents (some Wirecutter staff included) report having no issues cleaning this bottle exclusively in the dishwasher.

Unlike the spouts on the CamelBak and Takeya kids straw bottles we recommend, the Funtainer bottle’s silicone straw is protected by a lid; you press a button to pop open the lid and push the lid down to snap it closed. Our 2- and 3-year-old testers found that the Funtainer bottle was the easiest bottle to open and close on their own, and they were less likely to leave it open accidentally. Whereas our youngest testers struggled with the lids of some other water bottles, it didn’t require much strength or dexterity for small fingers to open the Funtainer bottle’s lid or latch the lid shut.

Due to the top and the flip-up cap, the Thermos Funtainer bottle is the least prone to leaking of the bottles we’ve tested. It didn’t leak after we left it on its side with its lid on overnight, nor when we tucked it into our bag and took it out with us. When we repeated these tests in 2020, using a two-year-old, well-used Funtainer bottle, we found that the top still fully sealed against leaks. Note that the flip-up cap must be closed to prevent leaks; as we discovered, because the cap clicks shut, kids can easily tell whether they’ve successfully closed it.

The cap also helps keep the Funtainer bottle’s straw clean, more so than the spouts of other straw bottles we tested. During our trip to the park, the cap stayed closed through eight drops of the bottle onto the sand. And no sand collected in or around the Funtainer bottle’s straw, unlike with the CamelBak and Takeya straw bottles, which do not have caps. Even when the Funtainer bottle fell to the ground with the cap open, its straw was less likely than those of other bottles we tested to touch the ground. That’s because the Funtainer bottle’s straw sits closer to the center of the bottle, whereas the spouts of the CamelBak and Takeya straw bottles are at the edge.

The Thermos Funtainer bottle’s vacuum insulation allows it to keep water cold as effectively as much more expensive insulated bottles (and sometimes more effectively). After filling the Funtainer bottle with a cup of water and three ice cubes, we left it outside in the midday sun with the temperature reaching about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The Funtainer bottle’s temperature-control performance matched that of more expensive insulated bottles such as the Takeya and the Hydro Flask. After the Funtainer bottle spent five hours in the sun, water in the bottle measured a still-cool 60 °F, in line with results from the other bottles. By the 12-hour mark (Thermos’s guarantee), the temperature was 65 °F, better than what we got from some of the other insulated bottles we tested.

Over more than four years of testing, we’ve found the Funtainer bottle’s body and drinking parts to be durable. Many online reviewers note that the Funtainer bottle’s straw can endure many months of abuse from little chewers; we also like that the straw is easy to replace when it does finally succumb (though you should check the bottle’s model number to make sure the replacement parts are compatible). Thermos offers a five-year warranty against manufacturing defects on the Funtainer bottle’s stainless steel body.

Note: If you prefer a larger, strawless bottle, the Funtainer bottle also comes in a 16-ounce version with a spout lid, which you can read about in Other good kids water bottles.

Within the first week of our liberally tossing the bottle around, the bottom of the Thermos Funtainer bottle had gotten scuffed; though that damage was superficial, none of the other bottles in our test group showed any obvious wear and tear during the same time period. Online reviewers and a couple of Wirecutter staffers have complained that the designs, printed on metal, become scratched easily. After three years of use, my kids’ Star Wars–themed bottle had almost completely faded; a Wirecutter photo and video editor reports that it typically takes only about six months before his family’s Funtainers bottles start looking pretty roughed up.

Some caregivers complain that the Funtainer bottle leaks. As with most water bottles we’ve tested, if you don’t close the Funtainer bottle’s cap all the way and the bottle tips over or flips upside down, the water flows freely out of the straw, as many online reviewers note. The bottle can also leak if you don’t properly reassemble it after cleaning—be sure to pull the straw completely through the hole.

In addition, we’ve seen complaints online about mold developing in the Funtainer bottle’s straw or other parts. This seems to become a problem if you keep liquids in the Funtainer bottle for more than the recommended 24-hour maximum, if you don’t clean the straw in a timely fashion, or if you don’t disassemble the two-piece straw during cleaning. If, for example, you leave the bottle at preschool for days (or weeks) at a time without regular cleaning, mold can build up, and you’ll have to replace the straw. And supervising editor Ingela Amundson recommends only putting water in the Funtainer. “If you allow any dairy to touch that straw ductwork, you might as well set the whole thing on fire, because it’s never gonna be the same again.”

All the other kids water bottles we recommend have a sturdy loop or handle to make it easy for kids to carry the bottle or attach it to a backpack. The Funtainer bottle does have a hinged handle on the lid, but it’s thin and flimsy; some owners, including a Wirecutter editor who tested the Funtainer bottle with his three kids, have found that the handle breaks easily. Another Wirecutter editor reported that his 2-year-old liked to carry the Funtainer bottle around by its open lid, which led to the lid snapping off. The lid pops back on, but over time the connectors may weaken, so you may want to discourage your kids from doing this.

Lastly, after enough washing and wear, the base of the Funtainer bottle can lose its adhesive and detach. This problem is common to many bottles, but it’s a particular nuisance with the Funtainer bottle, as the detached base exposes an unfinished, sometimes jagged metal edge, as well as some unsightly residual glue. You can put it back on with a dab of polyurethane adhesive.

The insulated Takeya Actives Kids holds a little more liquid, has a faster-flowing spout, and looks a bit more grown-up than our other picks, making it a good choice for older kids.

For older kids (or adults) who want a sturdy, insulated stainless steel bottle with a slightly larger capacity, a faster flow of water, and a more grown-up look, the 14-ounce Takeya Actives Kids Insulated Water Bottle With Straw Lid is a great choice. You can drink from the straw lid without the internal straw attached, if you choose, or you can swap in a spout lid, sold separately, for when you prefer to go strawless. But the Takeya Actives Kids bottle is nearly twice as expensive as our other stainless steel pick, the Thermos Funtainer bottle, so it’s best for kids who aren’t prone to losing bottles.

The Takeya bottle’s larger size (with even bigger options available, including the 16-ounce Takeya Actives Kids Water Bottle) and poppy colors (lilac, watermelon, and sky blue, among others; you won’t find Disney characters or other prints) may be more appealing to older kids or grown-ups. We recommend a Takeya bottle in our main guide to the best water bottles.

The straw spout on the Takeya Actives Kids flips up from its lid but is made of firm plastic rather than soft silicone as on the similarly designed CamelBak Eddy+ Kids, our favorite plastic bottle for kids. Some kids (and adults) may prefer drinking from the Takeya bottle’s firm straw spout over the softer straw of the Thermos Funtainer bottle or CamelBak Eddy+ Kids because the water flows more freely when you sip from it. This means the Actives Kids is better suited for kids who have good control when they handle and drink from the bottle; if they tip it too much, it could spill.

The straw spout of the Actives Kids requires a little more dexterity to flip up and down than the push-button-operated lid of the Thermos Funtainer bottle. And unlike on the CamelBak Eddy+ Kids, you need to flip down the straw spout on the Takeya Actives Kids to keep it from leaking, so this bottle is best for kids who can close it fully on their own (and can remember to do so). With the straw spout securely closed, the Actives Kids passed our overnight leak test. Thanks to its double-walled vacuum insulation, it kept ice water about as cold as the Funtainer bottle did—and its wider mouth allowed us to more easily fill it with ice cubes, with fewer cubes spilled when the fridge ice dispenser delivered an avalanche.

The Takeya Actives Kids is even easier than the Thermos Funtainer bottle and the CamelBak Eddy+ Kids to keep clean. Though we recommend cleaning your kids’ water bottles frequently, a Wirecutter editor who has been using the Takeya Actives Kids for two years has found that it’s less vulnerable to developing mold and other issues than the Thermos Funtainer bottle and the CamelBak Eddy+ Kids. This is likely because the Takeya’s hard spout straw doesn’t bend; with the silicone spout straws on the Thermos Funtainer bottle and CamelBak Eddy+ Kids, moisture is more likely to get trapped unseen in the hinge, and you may not notice mold developing unless you disassemble the bottle for each cleaning.

The Takeya Actives Kids bottle with the straw lid has four main pieces: the plastic lid, the gasket, the straw, and the bottle base, which comes with a rubbery bumper at the bottom that you can peel off for cleaning if necessary. The bumper makes the bottle less prone to tipping—it just holds its footing better—but you may want to remove that piece before sliding this bottle into cup holders or backpack side pockets, since it creates some resistance. (Removing the bumper does not expose an unfinished edge; the bottle still looks normal and sits level without it.)

The flip-top spout straw on the Takeya Actives Kids runs into some of the same cleanliness issues as that of the CamelBak Eddy+ Kids: Dirt, sand, and grime can get caught or build up in the area around the spout. You can put the plastic lid into the top rack of the dishwasher, with less disassembly and reassembly than the Thermos Funtainer bottle requires since the straw spout is attached to the lid. (If you’re washing the Takeya Actives Kids by hand, the inside of the spout can be tricky to clean; as with the Thermos Funtainer bottle, or really any water bottle with a straw, you need a skinny bottle brush to reach inside.) Takeya previously recommended washing the insulated base of the bottle by hand, but the company now confirms that the entire bottle can go in the dishwasher, with the caveat that “harsh detergents and hot water may affect the appearance of your bottle over prolonged use.”

Note: If you want a Takeya bottle with a plastic rather than stainless steel base, the larger (18-ounce) Takeya Tritan Water Bottle With Spout Lid is a good option; Takeya’s straw lid from our pick works interchangeably on that bottle, too.

Takeya offers a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects in the bottle, lid, and handle. When senior web producer Carlos Maldonado, whose two daughters have been using stainless steel Takeyas daily for four years, noticed that the protective bumper on one of the bottles had started to become loose a couple of years after he bought it, Takeya immediately sent a replacement bumper (and the problem hasn’t happened again).

USA Today’s, in its review of kids water bottles, notes that the internal straw in its 16-ounce Takeya Actives Kids straw-lid bottle split within the first 10 days of use; the reviewer also references similar complaints online. Similarly, a Wirecutter editor discovered that the internal straw on her 14-ounce Actives Kids straw-lid model had cracked after five to 10 runs through the dishwasher. (Other Wirecutter testers, in contrast, have had their Takeya-bottle straws hold up for close to three years.) “There was one batch [of straws] that was made too thin and cracked prematurely,” according to a spokesperson for Takeya. “Over time [they were] found to split when connected to the lid repeatedly. Takeya’s product development has resolved the issue with the factory and the production has been corrected.”

As of the 2022 update to this guide, Takeya appears to have addressed the problem, and we are unaware of any ongoing straw defects. However, any customers who may still have a faulty straw are eligible for a free replacement straw through the company’s warranty program (after providing a photo of the damaged straw and a purchase receipt). The Wirecutter editor who had a cracked straw went through the replacement process a year ago and has encountered no issues since.

Straws aside, we’ve had only a few minor concerns with regard to the Takeya Actives Kids. The metal bottle (like most metal bottles) can get scuffed, scratched, and dented; it holds up over time but loses some of its initially bright, pristine look. Also, the O-shaped handle ring affixed to the side of the lid can break off if grabbed with enough exuberance and force—as was the case when one Wirecutter editor’s 5-year-old tried to muscle off the lid for a refill by gripping the ring. Sometimes you can fit the ring back into place, but the plastic tends to deform and eventually doesn’t stay put any longer. Price is another drawback: This is not a bottle you want to end up in the lost and found. But as Ingela says, “I’ve noticed that we’ve definitely lost fewer water bottles since switching over to Takeya—because we love them and care about them, we do a better job of keeping track of them.”

The CamelBak Eddy+ Kids straw bottle is a breeze to take apart for cleaning and simple for young kids to use, but it can leak if the spout is in the wrong position.

price may vary by style and color

price may vary by style and color

If you prefer a lightweight, plastic water bottle, the 14-ounce CamelBak Eddy+ Kids is our favorite option. Like the Thermos Funtainer bottle, our stainless steel pick for younger kids, the Eddy+ Kids has a soft silicone spout straw. But the Eddy+ Kids is easier to take apart for cleaning than the Thermos Funtainer bottle. It has only four parts (the bite valve, the straw, the top, and the bottle) to deal with; you can remove the bite valve and pop it back in place in a matter of seconds, which is helpful because the inside of the bite valve requires attentive cleaning. The entire Eddy+ Kids can go in the top rack of the dishwasher with no issue. We previously tested and recommended the older generation of this bottle, the 12-ounce CamelBak Eddy Kids. The newer Eddy+ Kids holds 14 ounces, has a redesigned lid, and is made partly from a plant-based plastic.

Because of its soft bite valve, the Eddy+ Kids was the only one of the bottles we tested that didn’t leak when we tipped it over or when kids held it upside down with the spout open. To make the water flow when drinking, you need to bite down slightly on the valve; it remains closed otherwise. (A motivated kid can press it open with their fingers to shake water out, but that doesn’t happen without effort.) After we placed the Eddy+ Kids on its side overnight, we found our paper towel to be perfectly dry the next day. Parents report that the bite valve, made with medical-grade silicone, holds up to chewers.

The Eddy+ Kids is simple for young children to use. Thanks to its perfectly sized plastic hinge, our testers could easily flip the wide, soft spout open to take a sip. Unlike with the Thermos Funtainer bottle, however, not all of our 2- and 3-year-old testers could close the Eddy+ Kids to put the sipping spout away on their first try, but all managed it on their second or third attempt (and we were less concerned about closing the Eddy+ Kids because we knew it wouldn’t leak when the spout was open). Online reviewers report that their toddlers, some younger than 2, have no issues figuring out how to use the bite valve. (You do need to ensure that the bite valve is fully and properly inserted. If it isn’t firmly seated within the lid, or if a child pushes it out of place, water will leak out of the sides.)

Caregivers praised the durability of the original CamelBak Eddy Kids, saying that the bottle held up to falls and other general abuse from kids. The Eddy+ Kids, which is made from a new, partly plant-based plastic, receives mixed reviews online, with some reports of breaking and cracking; ours, however, has held up after deliberate drops. And like the Thermos Funtainer bottle, CamelBak’s bottles come in a range of fun colors and designs.

If you want a CamelBak bottle with a stainless steel base, there’s the 12-ounce CamelBak Eddy+ Kids Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, which keeps water cold for extended periods of time like the Thermos Funtainer bottle and Takeya Active Kids; the lid for the plastic CamelBak Eddy+ Kids bottle also fits on the stainless steel base. (However, if you just want a stainless steel bottle, we prefer the straws on both the Thermos Funtainer bottle and the Takeya Actives Kids to that on the CamelBak Eddy+ Kids, and we recommend going with one of those bottles instead.)

CamelBak offers a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects in the materials and workmanship of the bottle, lid, and handle.

Caregivers have expressed mixed feelings about the bite valve on these CamelBak bottles. Some people complain that mold appears inside the valve if they don’t wash their bottle daily. We spoke to several parents who filled their Eddy+ Kids bottles with smoothies, though, and they reported no problems cleaning them.

A few Wirecutter staffers and multiple online reviewers have reported that their child has figured out a way to “defeat” the CamelBak’s lid design via the bite valve, causing leaks. (Examples: twisting, yanking, poking, pushing, or intentionally moving the bite valve out of place so that water can flow out freely.) As one editor who has had the bottles for years—and still really likes them—put it, “Kids can make them leak more easily than other water bottles.” This happens to adults, too, albeit by accident. When reassembling the bottle after cleaning, you have to pull the spout firmly through the hole to seal it back up and make it watertight.

Another minor issue: To close the Eddy+ Kids bottle, you must flip down the bite valve; although there’s a plastic lever for this purpose, most kids tend to use their (likely not pristinely clean) fingers to push it into position instead. Kids also love to chew on the bite valve’s soft silicone spout, which can ultimately damage the bite valve and cause it to leak and collect grime more quickly. After about a year of using this bottle, we found that we needed to purchase a replacement valve.

Kids can be tough on their water bottles. Luckily, replacement parts for our picks—including lids, straws, and valves—are available for you to swap in as needed, helping to extend the lifespan and performance of the bottles.

Thermos sells replacement straw sets—which include two silicone spouts and two hard straw stems—that can fit the F401 and newer F410 12-ounce Thermos Funtainer bottles. You can find the model number on your water bottle by removing the silicone spout from the cap and turning the cap upside down; the model number (along with where the bottle was manufactured) is etched in tiny type next to the hole for the spout. Note that this replacement set does not fit the older, now-retired F400 bottles; Thermos does not sell replacement parts for that model.

Replacements for Takeya’s Actives Straw Lid are available in an assortment of colors. (For straws only, there’s this five-pack.) You can also get a replacement for the rubber bumper, and new O-rings—the silicone ring that nestles in the lid of straw models—are available in a two-pack. You can swap out the straw spout for a strawless spout lid, which fits the base for various Takeya models from 14 to 64 ounces.

CamelBak’s replacement options for the Eddy+ Kids include a set of four multicolored bite valves, a combo pack with two clear bite valves and two straws, and a replacement cap (with one bite valve and one straw). CamelBak also sells bite valves and a combo bite valve and straw pack for the previous Eddy model.

The spout and straw of your child’s water bottle will inevitably accumulate grime. We recommend thoroughly cleaning them with a skinny bottle brush and some baking soda or vinegar. In the research we did for our guide to the best adult water bottles, we found that the best cleaning set for bottles is the dishwasher-safe OXO Good Grips Water Bottle Cleaning Set, which includes a large bottle brush, a skinny straw brush, and a looped detail-cleaning brush.

To deep-clean the bite valve on the CamelBak Eddy+ Kids, the company recommends filling a jar with water and a drop of mild soap or a tablespoon of bleach. Drop the parts into the jar and shake it for 30 seconds, and then let it sit for about 15 minutes; rinse and air-dry.

If you want a larger, strawless version of our stainless steel Thermos Funtainer pick: The same bottle comes in a 16-ounce (versus 12 ounces) Funtainer bottle version with a spout lid. Like the straw version, this model kept water cool for hours during our temperature test. Although it didn’t leak overnight, we noticed that small droplets of water escaped after we tossed it down the stairs. The straw lid and the spout lid are interchangeable on the Funtainer bases, though naturally the straw for the 12-ounce bottle doesn’t reach all the way to the bottom of the 16-ounce container.

If you want a larger, plastic version of our stainless steel Takeya pick: The Takeya Tritan Water Bottle With Spout Lid is a bigger (18 ounces versus 14 ounces) and lighter alternative. This plastic Takeya bottle is about a half inch taller than the insulated stainless steel Takeya Actives Kids, and it comes with a spout lid, though you can swap out that lid for a straw one. In our testing, it did not leak overnight, and both the cap and the base are dishwasher-safe. Unlike the stainless steel model, the Takeya Tritan bottle is available in only two colors, ocean blue and fuschia, but either shade should satisfy kids who are trying to avoid overly “baby-ish” water bottles.

If you want a stainless steel version of our plastic CamelBak Eddy+ Kids pick: The 12-ounce CamelBak Eddy+ Kids Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle—which, like the plastic version, now has a redesigned cap—is a solid option. Conveniently, the lids for the plastic and steel CamelBak models are interchangeable. In our temperature test, the stainless steel Eddy+ Kids kept water just as cool as our top stainless steel picks did; it also passed our leak test. Both the lid and the base are dishwasher safe. For an insulated stainless steel bottle, we prefer the Thermos Funtainer bottle and Takeya Active Kids overall because their straw spouts draw fewer complaints, but if you like CamelBak and want an assortment of plastic and steel bottles with shareable tops, the stainless steel CamelBak Eddy+ Kids is worth considering.

If you’re looking for a more affordable insulated stainless steel bottle: The 14-ounce ThermoFlask Kids Bottle with Straw Lid costs about $25 for a set of two bottles (or even less if you can purchase the set at Costco) and is the least expensive insulated stainless steel water bottle we’ve come across. Like the Takeya Actives Kids, it has a hard straw spout that you flip open plus an internal straw, as well as a thick plastic carrying loop. The ThermoFlask kept water as cool as the more expensive insulated bottles did, and as long as we kept the spout pressed down firmly, it didn’t leak. The lid is dishwasher safe, but ThermoFlask recommends hand-washing the base; replacement parts are available. Because bottle availability and color options are frequently limited, we have not made the ThermoFlask Kids Bottle a pick. But if your kids aren’t choosy, and you’re able to find this bottle, it’s a good deal.

If you’d prefer a more lightweight (uninsulated) stainless steel bottle: The 12-ounce, stainless steel Klean Kanteen Kid Classic Sport was previously one of our top picks for older kids, and we still think it’s a good bottle. It was fairly durable in our tests, surviving trips to the park and being knocked around, although we did see some denting. At 4.9 ounces, it’s also far lighter than the Thermos Funtainer bottle (8.4 ounces) and the Takeya Actives Kids (12.8 ounces), although that’s due to its lack of insulation—so it doesn’t have the ability to keep liquids cold, either. It’s dishwasher safe, and replacement parts are available. What concerned us was the potential for leaks. We tested the Klean Kanteen with the sport top—a small drinking spout that you pull open and press closed to use, as you’d find on a bottle of Poland Spring—which Klean Kanteen says is not guaranteed to be leakproof. And it wasn’t, in our tests: We found that if we left the bottle on its side for too long, water would dribble out. (You can also purchase a sippy cap or a traditional loop cap with handle; we have not tested those.) Our 2- and 3-year-old testers were not able to close the sport cap properly on their own—plus, they had to use their fingers to push down the spout. And over time, pressing the Klean Kanteen’s sport cap down to close it completely became more difficult. Klean Kanteen recently introduced an insulated 12-ounce bottle with a different design, which we are assessing and will consider testing for a future update.

If you need an insulated stainless steel bottle that can work for babies on up: Pura offers a line of 9-ounce, 11-ounce, 16-ounce, and 22-ounce bottles that can work with a variety of interchangeable tops (sold separately) for different ages and stages, including baby-bottle-style silicone nipples and sippy-cup-style spouts. We found that the insulated Pura bottles did a good job of keeping water cold. Pura recommends hand-washing the top and base of its bottles. We tested a 9-ounce Pura (also known as the Kiki model) with both the silicone sport straw and silicone flip-cap spout tops, and of the bottle lids we’ve tested they’re two of the simplest to deal with, since they have few crevices and the silicone pops off the cap easily. But the soft, bendable flip-cap spout made it challenging for our testers to secure the cap over the mouth of the bottle: Our 3-year-old tester could not close it properly most of the time, and even one of our 9-year-old testers complained that sealing the cap was tough. Though the bottle doesn’t leak when the cap is secure, we had many instances when our kids did not close it firmly, causing leaks.

If you’re a fan of Hydro Flask insulated stainless steel bottles: The 12-ounce Hydro Flask Kids Wide Mouth is popular and reliable. We recommend a 21-ounce Hydro Flask model in our main guide to the best water bottles because it’s dependable, leakproof, and dent resistant, and it draws few owner complaints. When we first tested the Hydro Flask Kids Wide Mouth, it was one of the priciest kids bottles we were considering; the cost has since dropped, and it is now much closer in price to our stainless steel pick for older kids, the Takeya Actives Kids. Like the Takeya, it has a hard external straw sipper connected to an internal straw; replacement parts are available. The Hydro Flask Kids Wide Mouth’s insulation allowed it to perform about the same as the other insulated stainless steel bottles we tested. It passed our leak test, too, even though Hydro Flask stipulates on its website that the wide-mouth straw lid is not intended to be leakproof. The bottle is dishwasher safe.

If you’d like a customizable, heavy-duty bottle with a range of interchangeable tops: The Yeti Rambler Jr. is an insulated stainless steel water bottle that’s dishwasher safe. It comes with a straw lid that has a hard external straw sipper and an internal straw, but you can swap it out for a cup cap or a silicone-spout chug cap, among other options, sold separately. Replacement parts are available. For $6 and up per side, you can customize the bottle with your child’s name or initials, or a range of designs. (Many kids get a kick out of this, and it does make Yeti bottles particularly giftworthy.) Yeti has an enthusiastic following overall—people who like it really seem to like it, perhaps because of its rugged, outdoorsy aesthetic. But the Yeti Rambler Jr. weighs a full pound unfilled, which makes it the heaviest kids bottle we tested, and it didn’t keep our water any colder than the others. It is also so wide that it failed to fit in the cup holder of our car seat, and it’s near the top of the pack pricewise. In our initial 2020 test, the Rambler Jr. leaked, both in our overnight leak test and during a car ride while packed in my preschooler’s backpack—so much so that the water spilled and warped the board books inside. At the urging of multiple Yeti devotees, we purchased a new Rambler Jr. in 2022 and gave it another shot; this unit passed the leak test. Yeti offers a five-year warranty on all of its bottles.

Owala launched a new line of kids bottles in June 2022, consisting of the 18-ounce plastic Flip bottle and the 14-ounce insulated stainless steel Flip bottle. We tested the stainless steel model only; the lids on the two models are the same, and both bottles come in a range of fun colors. (The plastic Flip is also available in several designs.) These kids bottles do not feature the same drinking spout found on Owala’s line of adult FreeSip Water Bottles, a patented opening that allows you to both sip and chug—although if you already have that cap, it’ll work on either Flip. (The FreeSip cap is not available for purchase separately.) The kids Flip bottles have a flip-up straw cap: Press down on the lever—it doubles as a carrying loop—and the top opens to reveal a straw inside. (This design differs from that of our Takeya and CamelBak straw-top picks, which tuck away the straw when closed.) A tiny sliding lock prevents the top from flipping open on its own; we found the lock to be a little tricky to operate. Although the cap is dishwasher safe, its underside has several hard-to-clean crevices that we fear could develop gunk and mold. The base of the plastic Flip is dishwasher safe; according to Owala, the base of the stainless steel Flip can “technically” go in the dishwasher, but hand-washing is recommended. In our temperature test, the stainless steel Flip bottle performed about as well as our stainless steel picks at keeping water chilled to the 12-hour mark. But the Flip claims to be able to keep water cold for up to 24 hours, and when we tested the water inside at that point, it was lukewarm. (Why overpromise if you’re going to underdeliver?) The Flip passed our leak test. Replacement parts are available.

A popular pick on Amazon, the 12-ounce and 17-ounce insulated stainless steel Snug Kids Water Bottle looks like a knock-off of the Thermos Funtainer bottle, with a large assortment of colorful and kid-friendly designs. We dismissed it without testing it, however, because the Snug Kids does not offer any replacement parts, a common complaint noted in the reviews—once a piece breaks or gets lost, the bottle becomes junk.

The S’well S’ip stainless steel water bottle—available in 10- and 15-ounce versions—is a stylish insulated bottle that can hold both hot and cold drinks. (Our top stainless steel picks, the Thermos Funtainer bottle and Takeya Actives Kids, are recommended for cold liquids only.) The S’well S’ip is good for kids who prefer the faster flow of an open spout. It has a sleek, tapered profile, plus a screw-top cap that’s attached with a silicone leash so it never gets lost. The cap successfully prevented leaks in our leak test. We like the many whimsical designs, from pandas to dinos (and we can confirm that the glow-in-the-dark patterns do indeed glow in the dark), but there appear to be stock issues with some designs. Admittedly, we found it frustrating to shove ice cubes through the narrow opening—though once we did, the water inside stayed cold. The bottle also proved annoying to wash by hand, as it’s hard to see inside, and a bottle brush is necessary to reach the interior. Running it through the dishwasher can cause the paint to chip and the vacuum seal to become ineffective, according to S’well.

The 16-ounce plastic Zulu Torque and the 14-ounce insulated stainless steel Zulu Chase are brightly colored straw-lid bottles that caught the attention of our preschool and tween testers alike. The insulated Zulu Chase bottle kept our water reliably cold. However, although both bottles held up after being knocked around in our initial testing, during further testing the cap of the Zulu Chase completely cracked and broke off, rendering the bottle leaky and more or less useless. Zulu does not sell replacement parts. In addition, online reviewers complain that the long, thin, rectangular spout of the Torque is challenging to clean, and we agree. The Torque is dishwasher safe; the lid of the Chase is dishwasher safe, but Zulu recommends that the insulated base be washed by hand.

We dismissed both the plastic and insulated stainless steel versions of the Contigo Autospout Straw Gizmo Flip in 2018 because the pop-up drinking spout was difficult for our testers to push down and close—even for our 6-year-old testers—and frequently popped right back up, making the bottle more likely to leak. (It did pass the leak test when we closed it properly.) Though the entire bottle is dishwasher safe, online reviewers have complained of mold developing in difficult-to-reach crevices, like the drinking spout. Contigo has since redesigned the spout, and we plan to retest this bottle for a future update to see if any of the issues have been resolved.

We tested and dismissed the Contigo Autoseal Trekker, a lightweight, 14-ounce strawless plastic bottle. The mechanics of the bottle are fairly simple: Hold down a button, and a small hole opens for drinking. Release the button, and the hole seals automatically to prevent accidental spills, which it did in our tests. Both the lid and the base can go in the dishwasher. However, as with the Contigo Autospout Straw Gizmo Flip, the cap of this bottle has several hard-to-reach crevices where mold can grow. These crevices are difficult to clean, even with the aid of a dishwasher.

Nalgene water bottles are a longtime favorite of outdoor enthusiasts and campers, and with just two pieces, the 12-ounce Nalgene Kids OTF was one of the easiest bottles for us to clean; you can also place it in the top rack of the dishwasher. However, we found that the Kids OTF was difficult to open and close. To secure the lid, you must press down hard enough to click it shut, and you need enough dexterity to snap a thin, metal bar into place. Compared with the closures of other bottles we tested, this design requires too much effort, especially for small hands. When we closed it properly, however, it did pass our leak test.

The 12-ounce Nalgene Tritan Grip-N-Gulp is a lightweight, strawless plastic bottle that is dishwasher safe. But with its sippy-cup-style mouthpiece, this bottle is meant for toddlers and preschoolers. Many kids, including our 5-year-old tester, have complained that the water flow from this bottle is too slow, and that it’s difficult to get water out. In online reviews, parents say they’ve hacked this bottle by removing, cutting, or stretching the silicone valve—but after they’ve done so, the bottle stops being leakproof. In addition, the spout of the bottle remains uncovered and exposed, so if you take the bottle out and about, it can get dirty easily.

The 14-ounce stainless steel Simple Modern Summit Kids Water Bottle is an inexpensive insulated bottle that kept water cold during our temperature test. It’s available in a range of fun colors, but it failed our leak test twice.

As we explain in How we picked section, generally we didn’t consider glass water bottles for this guide. However, we did look at the 12-ounce Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle since it had a silicone outer sleeve, thinking that the sleeve might provide a layer of protection. But we ultimately dismissed it without testing it after seeing multiple complaints indicating that it can still crack or shatter when dropped. Online reviewers also point out that the straw stops working over time.

This article was edited by Ingela Ratledge Amundson and Kalee Thompson.

Alice Callahan, The Types of Plastics Families Should Avoid, New York Times, April 17, 2020

Chun Z. Yang, et al, Most Plastic Products Release Estrogenic Chemicals: A Potential Health Problem That Can Be Solved, Environmental Health Perspectives, July 1, 2011

Eve O’Neill and Sam Schild, The Best Water Bottles, Wirecutter, March 28, 2023

Jane Jackson, The Best Water Bottles of 2023, GearLab, May 1, 2023

Janelle Randazza, The Best Water Bottles for Kids of 2023, Reviewed, February 20, 2023

Molly Bradac & Juliet Spurrier, MD, Best Water Bottle for Kids, BabyGearLab, April 21, 2023

No consumer health risk from bisphenol A exposure, European Food Safety Authority, January 21, 2015

How Much Water Should My Child Drink?, CHOC Children’s with UC Irvine School of Medicine

Get the Facts: Data and Research on Water Consumption, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A Look Under the Cap: Water Bottle Germs Revealed, Treadmill Reviews

NTP Speaks about BPA, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Ellen Lee

Ellen Lee is a Wirecutter contributor, reviewing baby and kid gear. Her writing has also appeared in Real Simple, Working Mother, and Family Circle magazines, and she was previously a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her three kids earn their keep by helping her test products.

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Ease of cleaning: Ease of use:Tendency to leak:Material:Aesthetics:Price: BottleCleaningDishwasher safeThermos Funtainer With Straw (12 ounces, steel)Takeya Actives Kids With Straw Lid or Spout Lid (14 ounces, steel)CamelBak Eddy+ KidsIf you want a larger, strawless version of our stainless steel Thermos Funtainer pick:If you want a larger, plastic version of our stainless steel Takeya pick: If you want a stainless steel version of our plastic CamelBak Eddy+ Kids pick:If you’re looking for a more affordable insulated stainless steel bottle:If you’d prefer a more lightweight (uninsulated) stainless steel bottle:If you need an insulated stainless steel bottle that can work for babies on up:If you’re a fan of Hydro Flask insulated stainless steel bottles:If you’d like a customizable, heavy-duty bottle with a range of interchangeable tops: