Article Last Updated: March 2023
The Best Bottled Water This Year
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
The best way to get accurate and detailed water test results is to get a laboratory test.
I have carefully studied the reports and outcomes. After trying the different brands that came at the top of this I have produced my own “best of the best” list.
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 videos so that you can make a better informed decision.
|Comprehensive Bottled Water Test||Best Features|
|- Full laboratory analysis. |
- Tests for pH, alkalinity, coliform bacteria, chemicals associated with plastics, and common metals (arsenic, lead etc.)
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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 Aquafina 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 Dasani 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 Evian Water 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.
4. Nestlé Pure Life
Nestlé is a large and enduring brand that owns 64 different small brands. This includes products as well as a number of different water brands. Think everything from Poland Spring to Perrier.
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 Nestlé Pure Life 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.
3. Fiji Natural Artesian Water
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. The fact that it is NATURALLY purified makes it one of the safest bottled water available today.
What does Fiji Natural Artesian Water 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 Voss 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.
1. Mountain Valley Spring Water
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 celebrities. 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 Mountain Valley Spring Water 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 are mentioned below.
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 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 itself has been curated with a lot of attention.
If you want to save money, the environment and avoid BPA contamination. Then you might want to consider AquaTru.
It removes several contaminants (including, heavy metals, lead and viruses) within seconds. It comes with filters, which are easy to replace.
Using something like this will save thousands of bottles of water in a year.
The video below is a little hyped up but does a good job of describing how powerful this product is.
AquaTru Water Filter
Berkey Water Filter
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- Fluoride by 91.8% (WITHOUT extra filters).
- Lead 97.5%
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- Chlorine 96.6%
- Cysts 99.99%
|- Arsenic by 99.9% (special filters required). |
- Fluoride by 99.9% (special filters required).
- Lead 97.5%
- Benzene 99.8%
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NSF/ANSI test results
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