Mothering’s Picks For The Best Water Bottles For Kids

We've listed the best water bottles for kids!Hydration is key for most living creatures, and particularly for the development and well-being of the human brain! Keeping our littles hydrated may be one of our biggest challenges, but with the best water bottles for kids in their hands, we can make it a bit easier.

We know on paper that it’s important to drink water. We know that having access to clean water is a luxury much of the world doesn’t necessarily have. We know that water is a precious resource, and that there’s too many disposable water bottles exist. They take up space in landfills and believe it or not, the disposable water bottle you buy at your local wholesale club or grocery store may actually be WORSE for you than tap water. Research has found microplastics in many of the popular disposable water bottle products. Now more than ever, for the environment and our own health, we need to ditch disposable bottles and ensure we have the best water bottles for kids and adults.

Why Is Water So Vital?

We sometimes fail to remember in the winter months (when we’re not sweating as much and typically not quite so busy that we let ourselves get thirsty) how important drinking water really is. As adults, our bodies are about 60% water, and as children? Up to 75% or so of their bodies is water, which means that it’s super important for our kids to drink plenty of water. Our skin contains about 64% of water, while our muscles and our kidneys (key for eliminating toxins) are about 79% water. Our lungs are about 83% water and our brain and heart are made up of about 73% water. Even our *dry* bones are about 31% water.

Water is necessary for everything from keeping our temperatures regulated to digesting our food properly to keeping our joints nice and lubricated to developing our brains appropriately. Water is essential to every single cell in our body, from conception to death. The foods we eat bring in carbohydrates and proteins our bodies metabolize and then transport in our blood using water. Water is vital for protecting our brains, our spinal cords, our growing babes while we’re pregnant…we could go on and on.

The key point is that while water is clearly necessary, in our children, it’s even more necessary. Dehydration can lead to so many issues in our kids because they have higher metabolism and have more potential increased water losses. Especially when they hit school-age and we don’t get to monitor their water intake as easily, we want to make sure they have the best water bottles for kids to keep them hydrated.

What Happens To Our Kids When They Don’t Drink Enough Water?

Most urologists who have children referred to them for nighttime wetting will tell you that typically, the number one reason kids wet their beds at night despite being day trained is that they’re constipated. Yes, they’re constipated and that is most often because they are simply dehydrated.

Research suggests that when kids have too much stool in their rectum, their bladders simply reduce capacity. The constipation is often from dehydration. Even if your child poops daily, if it’s not mushy like soft-serve ice cream, your child can be keeping poop in their rectums and nighttime wetting can be a result. Ironically, parents try to treat the nighttime wetting by restricting liquids, but in reality, UPPING water intake can make all the difference.

Additionally, being dehydrated can lead to urinary tract infections for your kids, as well as muscle cramps (often misdiagnosed as ‘growing pains,’), dizziness, fatigue, fainting and more. Good hydration is pivotal to ensuring good blood flow in your children, and for those who have congenital heart diseases or structural heart defects, it’s super important they have enough blood flow or they can end up with serious irregular heart rhythms.

It’s also very scary how dehydration can affect our children’s brain development. ALL brains depend on having enough water so they can function at their best, and as little brains are constantly growing dendrites and creating neural connections, without enough water, those processes are compromised. Think of your child’s brain like a little sponge. When it has lost too much water, it dries up and shrivels in, disrupting the very delicate balance of water and other neuro-elements needed to make your body function. Your child’s brain cells lose their ability to function as effectively and efficiently. They can have a difficult time focusing their attention, and dehydration can also impair their short-term memory (and even recall of long-term memory).

And let’s not even talk about how toxins are more concentrated in your child’s body when they’re dehydrated. Unless you want to, and then you can check this very informative report out. 

Clearly, making sure our kids are not dehydrated is one of the best and most important ways we can keep them healthy and thriving, and it’s so much easier to do so when you have one of the best water bottles for kids to help.

How Much Water Should Your Child Drink A Day?

If you google “How much water should my child drink?” you’re likely to come up with a varying amount of ounces per day (we did), but the general gist is that it’s probably WAY more than you think. For optimal body performance, the amount of water your child needs to drink each day will largely depend on his or her age. For babies who are still wholly on breast milk or formula, their bulk water needs are met with the breastmilk or formula.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t necessarily break down how many ounces a day your child should drink, but instead recommends a daily intake that includes hydration from food and water. Many health organizations do the same; however, with children who tend to be picky, making sure that they get enough water from their food portion of diets may be dicey. The Children’s Hosptial of California recommends the following:

water intake for the best water bottles for kids

Essentially, using an 8 oz. cup as the measuring base, your child should drink as many of those per day as she is in years. So, my eight-year-old really ought to be drinking 64 oz. of water/fluids a day. Yes, that’s a half a gallon of water/fluids a day he should be getting each day for optimal health. I send him to school with a water bottle every day, as many moms do. The thing is, most of the water bottles we send are barely 8 oz. and odds are? Our kids are not refilling them as much at school as they should be. That means your child may most likely be getting maybe a third of what he or she ought to drink a day if they are of school-age.

That’s why it’s super important to make sure they have the best water bottles for kids available, and that they know the importance of proper hydration.

And, it goes without saying that if your kids are super active and exercise or play out when it’s very hot, they’ll need to up their water intake. During hot summers especially, your child may need to drink anywhere from 4-16 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes they’re out, playing and sweating.

How To Get Your Kids To Drink Enough Water

Ever look at your pee before you flush? Do you tell your kids to look before they flush? You should (both look at yours and tell them to look at theirs!). The color of your urine is one of the easiest, most accurate ways to tell if you’re getting enough water. Urine should be clear, and NOT yellow. The darker the yellow, the more dehydrated you are, and urologists and nephrologists will tell you that you need to drink more water until it’s clear urine you’re getting rid of.

So one way of getting them to drink enough water is simply including them in their health. Tell them to look and see what color it is. Make a game out of trying to have clear urine during bathroom breaks. I LOVE when my son comes out of the bathroom saying, “YES! It’s clear!” He’s taking responsibility for his hydration and his health!

If your child comes to you telling you how thirsty they are, odds are they’re already dehydrated. The key to keeping dehydration at bay is drinking fluids consistently throughout the day and making sure the fluids are mostly water, not sodas or even juice. Water and/or milk should be the primary fluids your children rely on.

Drink enough water for yourself and make sure they see you modeling that. When out to eat? Drink water. It saves money and sets an example. If you or your kids just can’t stand water, there are organic flavor drops you can add to be a bit more enticing too.

Related: Water: The Essential Nutrient We’re All Forgetting

And make drinking water easy. That’s why we went looking for the best water bottles for kids. We wanted to find easy ways to make water accessible and enticing for kids. If you want, incentivize your kids drinking with whatever motivates them. Every time they drink and refill their water bottles, let them mark it on a tracker or something of the like. If they get their daily intake, a sticker or atta-girl can go a long way for creating healthy habits after the chart is outgrown.

Are All The Best Water Bottles For Kids The Same?

No, the best water bottles for kids are not the same. Many vary in the unique traits they have, but the gist of all of them is that they are designed to encourage hydration. Typically, when you find all the cutesy character water bottles, the novelty of drinking out of Elsa’s cup only lasts for so long. (We’re not judging; ride that train as long as you can if it gets them to drink water!)

The best water bottles for kids are several things: non-toxic, easy to carry and drink out of, large enough to house the quantities children of varying ages need and easy to clean. Many of the best water bottles for kids we found in our mama forums and from some of our favorite companies also now focus on making sure your child doesn’t just have the best water bottle, but that the water they’re drinking is the best it can be. They have personalized filters for the bottles, and they work to keep the water your child is consuming as clean and bacteria-free as it can be. Some of our favorites follow!

The Best Water Bottles For Kids

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Kids BottleHydroFlask is always a popular pick for water bottles

There’s a reason folks love HydroFlasks! The Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Kids Bottle was designed for kiddos who are 3-years-old and older. They fit perfectly in kids’ hands, lunchboxes and backpacks and they keep water nice and cold for up to 24 hours! That’s because each water bottle features TempShield™ Double Walled Vacuum Insulation. They can even be used for hot drinks up to six hours. The 18/8 Pro-grade stainless steel bottles are super easy to clean with their wide mouths, and they each come with a leak-resistant straw lid that makes them easy to drink from. We particularly love the silicone Flex Boot that gives kids extra grip!

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Epic Kiddo BottleEpic is a one of the best water bottles for kids because it is a filter system

This super kid-friendly water bottle is made from 100% BPA-, BPS-free Tritan and it removes 99.9% of tap water contaminants for about 3-4 months. The water filters are interchangeable for urban or outdoor contaminants (so school water fountain vs. river) and Epic looks to get rid of single-use plastic bottles for everyone, but especially for our kids. It’s 100% recyclable and you can even check out the contaminant removal results of the filter here.  The filters last between three to four months, and we love the company transparency!
The Kiddo comes with comes with a Locking Dust Cover Flip and one-handed push-button operation, and integrated carry loop perfect for a carabiner for backpacks or strollers.

Welly Stainless/Bamboo Water Bottlewelly is a great water bottle for kids that gives backWe love this bottle for upper elementary/tweens/teens (and yes, even us moms!) because it’s got such a cool look and uses eco-friendly materials to do so. Founded by a man who lost his mama way too young to liver cancer, Welly doesn’t just look good. It does good too. At least 3% of all profits go to helping make sure people EVERYWHERE have access to clean water. We love that the size is 18 oz., but is lightweight for kids because they’ll drink more, more often. You’re taking care of your body and being a good human with Welly, and we’re all about it.

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Planet Box 18.8 oz. Stainless With Tethered LidPlanetbox's water bottle has a tethered lid for kids

No more losing parts with Planet Box’s new 18.8 oz. Stainless water bottle with tethered lid. Perfect for upper elementary and beyond who need more water, the ever-popular Planet Box water bottle has given their newest bottle a modern look. It is built with durable pro-grade stainless steel and only stainless steel or food-grade silicone ever come in contact with your drink. It’ll keep your kiddo’s water cold for 12 hours and the best part is that the tethered lid will not get lost! A perfect accompaniment for the PlanetBox Rover we love so much and featured as one of our best lunch boxes or on its own for your child in school.

Sometimes, getting our kiddos to drink more water relies on the novelty, we know. But, don’t get caught up in character musts at the sacrifice of water bottles made of toxic materials. Instead, consider the unique Nomader. Founded by travel enthusiast and entrepreneur Bryan Sarlitt, the Nomader was designed because Bryan got frustrated when looking for high-quality hydration products. He created a collapsible water bottle that was portable and durable, and made of SAFE materials. It’s free of BPA, BPS, PVC, phthalates, lead, latex, and other harmful leaching chemicals.
Even though you can roll it up and stash it away, it drinks like a hard-sided bottle and has an ergonomic carry strap to take with. The wide mouth is easy for cleaning, which is important because the number one topic of discussion in our mama forums when it comes to collapsible bottles is about cleaning and mold. We asked Bryan and he told us that because the Nomader features such a wide mouth, it’s easy to clean and keep mold-free using a bottle brush, and it’s also safe to use on the top-rack of the dishwasher too! It gets a ‘cool’ factor of extreme when it comes to kids loving it too.
My son would not refill his water bottle at school before he got this water bottle from Aquasana. We have an Aquasana filter for our drinking water in our house, and he knows what it does. He didn’t like refilling his water bottle from the fountain at school, “Because kindergarteners put their mouth all over it,” (he’s not wrong) and he simply wasn’t drinking enough water. Aquasana is known for improving water quality and environmental health. The Clean Water Bottle is NSF-certified remove 99% of lead, bacteria, chlorine, cryptosporidium, and giardia. Not that I expected giardia at his school water fountain or anything, but giving him that data made him feel like he could safely refill the bottle and now he drinks so much more.
The Clean Water Bottle cartridge can filter 80 gallons of water (about the same as 600 single-use plastic water bottles) and is made with compostable carbon and recyclable parts. It keeps water cold for 24 hours, and that means cold water for a full day when your child needs it.
We always talk about how much we love LifeStraw and it’s because we do. Not just because it was founded by two bada$$ mamas who want to make sure EVERY child has access to clean water (though we TOTALLY love them for that) but also because they don’t want to make that happen, they DO make it happen. Every purchase of a LifeStraw product goes toward people getting clean water. By the end of 2019, LifeStraw’s GiveBack Program had reached 1,870 schools and provided 3,367,145 students with a year of safe and clean water. They delivered 12,220 filters and had nearly 16,000 follow-up visits in the name of ensuring clean water for all.
The LifeStraw Play is super popular with kids because it was designed specifically for them. It comes in lots of fun colors and has a kid-friendly drinking spout but the pest part is that you can fill it anywhere and the filter will protect your child from bacteria, parasites, microplastics, heavy chemicals, organic chemical matter like pesticides and herbicides and more. Your kids will think the best part is the fun stickers that come with it to make it totally customizable!

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