The Best Bottled Water
Which is the best bottled water? Most people don’t give a second thought to what bottled water tastes like. I mean it’s just water right? However, if you take a closer look (or taste, as would be appropriate in this case), you will notice that not all bottled waters are made equally. Some differences in bottle water taste (by brands) are subtle and others are quite distinct. This article is loosely based on the rigorous taste tests conducted by Dan Gentile over at the Thrillist. The testers ate Pretzels and Coke before blindly tasting the biggest brands of the best bottled water.
The Best Bottled Water Testing Kit
This is based on my experience of trying all the brands. Not necessarily premium brands like lifewtr, blk water or hint water but the major bottle water brands you find in every supermarket.
I also found some information about the potential issues with specific brands. For instance, some brands have more pH levels than others. As a result, I have modified my version of the original list accordingly, while also peppering the article with related YouTube videos so that you can make a better informed decision.
|pH Testing Tape||- Has a distinct color match at each full pH unit.|
- Accurate, reproducible readings with an immediate response.
- Hydrion Wide Range pH Paper is a general use pH paper.
- Each roll is about 15 feet of test paper and matching color chart.
- A direct reading pH paper with the widest range available in a single paper.
One thing I learned from this whole process is that tasting the differences between bottled waters is difficult. It is just as discerning as noticing the subtleties of different wine qualities. You might also be surprised to know that the variation from one brand to another could be pronounced. Pronounced as the difference between red and white wine.
So sit back, relax and read on to help you determine which bottle of water is the best on the market.
Best Water Brands
5. Evian Water
Smartwater is made by the people behind Glacéau. The sales pitch for Smartwater is that it’s vapor distilled from water that is pulled from the sky. Only then are electrolytes added for extra taste. A notable aspect of their brand is the trash talking against ‘non-customers’. Specifically, people who like the taste of water that comes from the ground i.e. spring water.
What does it taste like? Tastes tart and tangy. Like water that has gone through your BRITA filter jug many times.
Aquafina is purified water that has gone through a “7-step HydRO-7” filtration process. The story is that the “7-step HydRO-7” filtration process takes out many more solids than other methods of filtration. The claim is that this makes it the purest water possible.
What does it taste like? The taste starts off good. But then it doesn’t have a great after taste but it is very full-bodied.
A bit like the Cabernet of water.
This brand is brought to you by the soft drink giant Coca-Cola. The big brand decided it was time they burst into the bottled water market. Dasani comes from purified publicly supplied water. Like tap water (yes, that’s right tap water). But tap water that has been added with potassium chloride, salt and magnesium sulphate.
What does it taste like? It tastes very vibrant in your mouth, clean and slightly fruity.
5. Evian Water.
Isn’t it interesting that “Evian” is “naive” spelled backwards? That aside, Evian is the name of a small town in the French Alps. The company behind this brand claims their water is a geological “miracle”.
This is because it has passed through what should be an impossible amount of permeable layers. For more than 15 years the underground spring harvests water from snow and rain. While also adding minerals and electrolytes to the mix.
What does it taste like? You can actually taste the minerals. So much so that some of the participants of the original Thrillist study talked about “over-hydration” because it is so rich. Having tasted it myself, I can safely confirm that this is the case. It tastes very rich and full of minerals.
However, one of the most popular bottled water brands in their portfolio is called “Pure Life”. It is categorised as “purified water”, which essentially means that it comes from a municipal source. A source like the humble tap or a public well. But the water has been softened, carbon filtered, demineralized (i.e. minerals removed), re-mineralized (i.e. minerals put back into the water). Then finally disinfected with ultraviolet light.
What does it taste like? After all that it must be of no surprise that the result is a clean clear taste. It has a neutral flavour with no traces of minerals but it still quenches thirst in a direct and pleasant way.
This water apparently comes from tropical rain that falls on an island in Fiji (Viti Levu). It’s filtered naturally through volcanic rock where it is also able to mix with minerals and electrolytes. This is before welling up in an underground aquifer.
What does it taste like? The first thing to note is that there is no after taste. It also tastes like it has been carefully curated by a small group of meticulous scientist working on an exotic island.
The water used by Voss comes from a small “artesian” well in Norway. It is one of the most expensive bottled waters on the market today. It is what you might consider to be a designer brand of bottle water. Consequently you can expect to find this in luxury hotel rooms. Or perhaps in the first class cabin of an airplane.
What does it taste like? It tastes very impressive to be honest, lots of character, slightly rough round the edges. But you can feel the quality as it seems like it contains lots of minerals.
The story behind Mountain Valley Spring Water is that it originally comes from a fresh spring in Arkansas US. It has been quenching thirsts since 1871. Apart from this unique pedigree, it is reported to have been the favourite of celebrity’s. For instance, presidents like Eisenhower and legends like Elvis Presley.
It apparently takes 3,500 years for rain water to make it’s way to the aquifer, as a result, this water naturally has high a pH, which is supposed to help neutralize high acidity in the body. It was by far the most favourite among the testers who took part in the original Thrillist experiment and having tasted it myself, I agree with them.
What does it taste like? It does have a rich, luxurious feel with slight hints of sweetness and bursts full of minerals as you would expect from water that has been filtered through a geological treasure.
Why Are All Plastic Water Bottles Bad For You?
Bottled waters are not always as pure as you might expect them to be and you should take some of the following points into consideration when you are deciding on which brand of bottled water you want:
- It is possible that dangerous toxins from some plastic water bottles can leak into your water. The most notable of this is BPA (bisphenol-a), which is used when creating plastic in the industrial process and can be very hazardous to health.
- There are lots of credible reports that say many bottled waters are just purified tap water and because they have gone through a further filtration process, they also lack essential minerals. For instance, it is reported that brands like Aquafina and Dasani are simply re-filtered tap water.
- The process of purifying, bottling and shipping water takes up a huge amount of resources and it is often impossible to recycle the bottles meaning that they simply fill up our landfill sites.
If you choose to buy bottled water despite all of this try not to consume ultra purified municipal waters (i.e. re-filtered tap water) in favour of naturally clean sources like those that come from a spring or valley.
The Best Bottled Water – My Top Picks
My favourite? Mountain Valley Spring Water. It has the best taste, right ph level and completely natural.
Is taste taste most important to you? Then choose Fiji water. It is filtered naturally through volcanic rock by scientists.
Are you looking for an all round good product that has the wow factor. Then I recommend VOSS water. The bottle design has a designer feel and the water has been curated with as much attention.
Even though you might consider that most bottled water just tastes like they are “clean”, if you ever focus on the taste you will begin to notice that there are clearly distinguishable differences between different brands of bottled water. It is also interesting to note which specific brands are essentially recycled tap water. Most of the brands on this list do not suffer from this problem but this is usually the case for cheaper brands like a supermarket own label.
It might also be of no surprise to you that some of the most expensive brands like VOSS and Mountain Valley came out on top of the taste tests although options like Pure Life are much cheaper but taste just as good.
It is important to note that bottled water is not always the best way to get your drinking water as it comes at an enormous cost to the environment and your wallet (as costs of buying water that is bottled over the long term will add up).
Also note that some plastic bottles contain harmful BPA’s that are linked to all sorts of bad health effects including cancer.
Personally, I prefer using a home water dispenser that provides naturally filtered water without risking your health in anyway. My favourite so far is Crystal Quest CQPWC05900. Alternatively, you should also consider water filter bottle or water filter jug.