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Best kids' water bottles: leakproof designs for back to school

Reusable water bottles designed with little ones in mind are a fantastic way to encourage your child to stay hydrated and healthy, as well as protect the environment. Ahead of the new school year this September, here are the best kids’ water bottles according to parents.

By Gemma Lumley | Last updated Aug 25, 2023

Selection of the best kids' water bottles

We all know that staying hydrated is important, especially for growing little ones, but finding the perfect water bottle can be a real struggle. Whether it's for school or family days out, the best kids' water bottle should be simple to open and close, easy to clean, and most importantly, leakproof - no one wants to deal with soggy homework at the bottom of a school bag, after all.

With summer on the way, now is a good time to get ready for the hot weather with a reusable water bottle - as we sweat we need to replenish our bodies with more fluids so, along with gadgets like the best handheld fan for trips out and a tower fan for home, a high-quality water bottle can keep your little one cool and healthy in the heat.

Not only that, but they're great for the environment too; many families are determined to avoid single-use plastic, so a bottle you can use time and time again will save hundreds, if not thousands, of bottles ending up in the bin. Even if you go for a reusable bottle crafted from plastic (make sure it's BPA-free), you'll be helping to save tonnes of waste. There's also the option to go for robust stainless steel options. Of course, they can be expensive, but their cool colours and designs and ability to keep water cooler will hopefully encourage your little one to drink more.

To help you choose the best water bottle for kids, we've spent hours researching the top options. Scouring the Mumsnet forums - home to the largest online network of parents in the UK - we've narrowed down a shortlist of high-quality bottles, as tried, tested and loved by real parents. We also analysed recommendations from experts and evaluated authentic consumer reviews to ensure we're only recommending you the very best. Plus, if you're looking to kit out the whole family with a new bottle this year, we've also rounded-up the best reusable water bottles for adults too.

Best water bottles for kids 2023: at a glance

  • Best overall: Ion8 Leak Proof Kids’ Water Bottle, £10

  • Best budget: Sistema Twist ‘n’ Sip Squeeze Sports Bottle, £4

  • Best for younger children: Contigo Swish Autoseal Water Bottle, £14

  • Best leakproof: Zounich Leak Proof Sports Water Bottle, £12

  • Best for keeping drinks cool: Sho Insulated Leak Proof Stainless Steel Bottle, from £13

  • Best for toddlers: Tinc Kronk Flip Water Bottle, £10

  • Best for bigger kids: Chilly’s Series 2 Insulated Water Bottle, from £30

  • Best with a straw: Camelbak Eddy Kids’ Water Bottles, £17

  • Best metal bottle: One Green Bottle Tough Stainless Steel Bottle, from £14

  • Best for sports: Hydro Flask Kids' Water Bottle, £29

1. Best overall kids' water bottle: Ion8 Leak Proof Kids’ Water Bottle

Price on writing: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: BPA-free plastic | Capacity: 350ml | Colour choices: 17 choices | Spout type: Flip top, tip to pour | Dishwasher safe: Yes (but not on the hot cycle) | Insulated: No

What we like

  • Lots of colours to choose from

  • Great value

  • One-touch flip top

What we don't like

  • Replacement seals are expensive (though three are included)

What Mumsnet users say

“My six-year-old has had this one for school for about two years and not once has it leaked!! It’s fab!” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Rldx2)

Our verdict

The practical and attractive Ion8 Kids’ Water Bottle is reliably leakproof, thanks to the child-friendly lockable flip lid, so you can send them with your child to school without worrying they will soak the contents of their bag.

Robust and durable, they can withstand lots of rough and tumble use. They are also super easy to keep clean; simply use hot soapy water and a bottle brush around the lid and spout. The Ion8 can be placed in the dishwasher; just make sure it's not on the hot cycle as this can damage the lock.

The Ion8 bottle is made from BPA-free plastic and comes in a variety of colours so each child in your family can have their own bottle. We love the handy water level indicator, so you can track how much your child has drunk throughout the day.

2. Best budget kids' water bottle: Sistema Twist ‘n’ Sip Squeeze Sports Bottle

Price on writing: From £4 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: BPA-free plastic | Capacity: 330 to 700 ml | Colour choices: 3 | Spout type: Twist and suck | Dishwasher safe: Yes | Insulated: No

What we like

  • Hygienic touch-free sipping mechanism

  • Excellent value

  • Easy grip shape

What we don't like

  • You can’t choose the colour

  • Basic design

What Mumsnet users say

“I bought this for a four-year-old. It hasn’t leaked and is easy for him to open/close.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Flynn999)

Our verdict

Sistema Twist and Sip water bottles are fantastic value so they are perfect for sending to school without worrying too much about them getting lost, and you can buy one for the entire family. They're great for taking with you on days out too - just make sure you pack the best sunscreen for kids in your bag alongside your water bottle.

They are made from brightly coloured BPA-free plastic that is easy to wash in hot soapy water; you just need to open and close the spout as you do so to ensure a thorough clean. The bottles are also fully dishwasher safe.

The spout is easy to use and, because it can be opened and closed with the mouth instead of sticky fingers, it is super hygienic.

3. Best water bottle for younger children: Contigo Swish Autoseal Water Bottle

Price on writing: £14 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: BPA-free plastic | Capacity: 500 ml | Colour choices: 6 | Spout type: One-touch open, narrow tilt and sip | Dishwasher safe: Yes | Insulated: No

What we like

  • Autoseal - great if your child forgets to close lids

  • Lots of bright colours to choose from

  • Ergonomic design

What we don't like

  • Expensive

What Mumsnet users say

“The Contigo is best for small children as it auto seals.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user MurielsWedding)

Our verdict

The Contigo Swish Autoseal Water Bottle is a brilliant option for smaller children as they don’t have to remember to close the lid properly to avoid leaks and spills. It also has a one-touch opening mechanism, so it’s super easy and quick to access water.

All bottle parts can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but they must be allowed to dry separately. A 500ml capacity and a tall design will keep your child hydrated throughout the day but still fit easily into most rucksacks and cup holders.

These quirky bottles are made from tough BPA-free plastic, and we love the funky styling and bold, bright colour choices; they will stand out in a classroom full of blue and pink water bottles.

Related: The best portable air conditioner for cooling down your home this summer

4. Best leakproof kids’ water bottle: Zounich Leak Proof Sports Water Bottle

Price on writing: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: BPA-free tritan | Capacity: 400 to 1000 ml | Colour choices: 14 | Spout type: One-touch flip top, narrow tip to pour | Dishwasher safe: Yes but hand washing recommended | Insulated: Yes

What we like

  • Spare seal included

  • Large range of colours and sizes

  • Lockable lid

What we don't like

  • The lid isn’t dishwasher safe

What Mumsnet users say

“I got these. They're brilliant so far.” (Rated by Mumsnet user AnnoyedByAlfieBear)

Our verdict

The Zounich Sports Water Bottle is tough and resistant to bumps, cracks, and scratches - perfect for active kids. We also love the one-touch flip lid that won’t get in the way when your child drinks.

Leakproof and lockable, these great bottles feature a food-grade silicone seal so you can be reassured they won’t let water seep into the bottom of a school bag. You’ll even get a spare seal for free.

Unlike some other budget options, you can use the Zounich Sports Bottle for both hot and cold liquids (between -10℃ and 96℃). They are even suitable for fizzy drinks too, although you'll probably be encouraging your child to drink water over pop!

We're impressed there's a clever filter in which you can place ice cubes (see our guide to the best ice cube trays if you want your child's drinks to be extra chilled) or fruit; it’s a good way to add flavour if your child is fussy about drinking water. There’s a sturdy carry strap on the side of each bottle too.

5. Best water bottle for keeping drinks cool: Sho Insulated Leak Proof Stainless Steel Bottle

Price on writing: From £13 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 260 to 1000 ml | Colour choices: 67 | Spout type: Screw top, wide tip to pour | Dishwasher safe: No | Insulated: Yes

What we like

  • Insulated for hot and cold drinks

  • Extensive range of fun designs

  • Excellent for people avoiding plastic


  • Not dishwasher safe

  • Pricey depending on size and pattern

What Mumsnet users say

“We got Sho bottles with their names on in the Black Friday sale. They are amazing and never leak. I fill them with cold water and crushed ice in the morning and there is still ice left in them by the evening.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user periniallymessy)

Our verdict

Sho stainless steel bottles are insulated to keep water from the fridge cold for the entire day without annoying condensation, excellent for children stuck in hot classrooms during the summer term.

They are lightweight yet durable, so they don’t dent easily like some metal bottles. We adore the bright colours and patterns – if your child loves their water bottle, they are more likely to look after it. It's not all style over substance though, and this brand has great eco credentials; 10% of the purchase price goes to charity, and they have a lifetime guarantee.

We're impressed by the leakproof nature of these bottles, and the screw tight cap and open pour are easy to use. However, you may wish to go for something with a spout opening if you have younger children so it's easier for them to sip from without spillage. Additionally, the simple base and cap structure is easy to keep clean with a hot hand wash, although it's disappointing you can't pop them in the dishwasher for fuss-free maintenance.

Related: Keep your little one cool during homework time with the best desk fan

6. Best toddler drinks bottle: Tinc Kronk Flip Water Bottle

Price on writing: From £10 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: BPA-free shatterproof plastic | Capacity: 500 ml | Colour choices: 10 | Spout type: Flip top, tilt and pour | Dishwasher safe: Yes | Insulated: No

What we like

  • Lockable

  • Carry handle

  • Shatterproof plastic

What we don't like

  • Monster design may not be for everyone

What Mumsnet users say

“My kids have had Tinc water bottles for two years and they are still in fantastic condition. Used almost daily, they have never leaked and are dishwasher safe!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user theneverendinglaundry)

Our verdict

Tinc water bottles are adorned with fun characters and come in a range of playful designs. They are made from sturdy BPA-free plastic and have a chunky lid with a one-touch opening, closing and locking mechanism that is reliably leakproof.

The thin design holds 500ml of water, more than enough for the school day, but the bottle will still easily slide down the side of a rucksack pocket.

We really like the handy carry loop; it’s great for active kids. The Tinc bottle is also dishwasher safe and quick to clean in hot soapy water.

7. Best water bottle for older children: Chilly’s Series 2 Insulated Water Bottle

Price: From £30 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: BPA-free stainless steel | Capacity: 350 - 1000 ml | Colour choices: 22 | Spout type: Twist off, tip to pour | Dishwasher safe: Yes | Insulated: Yes

What we like

  • Insulated

  • Handy carry loop

  • Soft rubber base protects and dulls noise

What we don't like

  • Expensive

What Mumsnet users say

“My son used a Chilly’s insulated bottle. It hasn't ever leaked and it keeps his water lovely and cool all day. It's easy for him to refill himself as well.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user WhatInFreshHell)

Our verdict

Chilly's Insulated Water Bottles are airtight so they are 100% leakproof. The streamlined, lightweight design makes them easy to keep clean, and the muted colours available would suit older kids rather than toddlers. We love the soft-touch surface too.

They're not too dissimilar to the Sho bottles featured previously on this list, but the main advantage with these Chilly's bottles is that they're dishwasher safe. However, there's more pattern choice with Sho, so this may be a drawback with the Chilly's when deciding between the two.

Chilly’s bottles have double-walled vacuum insulation, which keeps water cold for a fantastic 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. It also means there is no annoying condensation. This is ideal for the school day, outdoor activities or overnight drinking. In addition, they are made from food-safe, rust-resistant stainless steel that will withstand hard use.

8. Best children’s water bottle with straw: Camelbak Eddy Kids’ Water Bottles

Price on writing: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: BPA-free plastic | Capacity: 400 ml | Colour choices: 2 | Spout type: Flip up spout and straw | Dishwasher safe: Yes | Insulated: Yes

What we like

  • Spillproof when open

  • Handy carry handle

  • The lid works with other Camelbak cups

What we don't like

  • Tricky to clean

  • Pricey

What Mumsnet users say

“Camelbak Eddy Kids is fantastic. They are about £15 but you can replace the spout as and when needed for a few pounds and are the only ones we've found that don't leak. Easy to open too for little fingers.” (Rated by Mumsnet user MissRainbowBrite)

Our verdict

The Camelbak Eddy Kids’ Water Bottle has a pop-up straw so there’s no need to tip the bottle to drink – this is great for children developing motor skills. The straw is made from medical-grade silicone that is resistant to chewing too.

These bottles are neatly designed to fit into rucksack pockets and most cup holders. They also have a sturdy carrying handle that can clip to a bag with a karabiner.

The flip straw lid and screw tops can be fiddly to clean thoroughly. However, all the pieces can be placed in the top drawer of a dishwasher. We also liked that the spout can be replaced, and the base can be used with other lids from the Camelbak kids' range.

9. Best children’s metal water bottle: One Green Bottle Tough Stainless Steel Bottle

Price on writing: From £14 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: Stainless steel | Capacity: 500 ml | Colour choices: 5 | Spout type: Flip top straw | Dishwasher safe: Yes, unless it’s patterned | Insulated: No

What we like

  • Sustainable, eco-friendly and recyclable

  • One-year guarantee

  • Makes a great gift

What we don't like

  • The carry handle has to be bought separately

  • Not insulated like other stainless steel bottles

What Mumsnet users say

“One Green Bottle metal ones, maybe with a spare lid. I have one from my daughter still happily working (with a new lid). It’s not trendy enough to get nicked, and it’s survived being sat on, tied on to the end of a skipping rope and spun etc.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user AnUnlikelyCombination)

Our verdict

These One Green Bottle vessels are crafted from high-quality stainless steel with a BPA and BPS-free plastic cap. They are durable, resistant to dents and come with a 12-month warranty.

Every purchase of a One Green Bottle funds the reclamation of plastic from our oceans, and the materials used to make them are recyclable. The beautiful packaging is eco-friendly too and makes this bottle a great gift.

The sports cap allows on-the-go drinking, making it an excellent bottle for sports and outdoor activities. In addition, the straw is easy to remove and clean, and non-patterned bottles can be placed in the dishwasher. The downside? Unlike other stainless steel bottles, it's not insulated to keep drinks chilled or warm for long periods, but this does mean it is lightweight so it won't weigh down a school bag.

10. Best kids' sports water bottle: Hydro Flask Kids' Water Bottle

Price on writing: £29 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Material: BPA-free stainless steel | Capacity: 354 ml | Colour choices: 11 | Spout type: Wide mouth straw lid | Dishwasher safe: Yes | Insulated: Yes

What we like

  • Stylish

  • Wide straw makes it easy to drink from

  • Robust, hard-wearing bottle

What we don't like

  • Expensive

  • Not leakproof

What Mumsnet users say

"Hydro Flasks are excellent, but heavy compared with other insulated bottles." (Brand reviewed by Mumsnet user serenoa)

Our verdict

If you have a teenager, chances are you've probably heard of Hydro Flask, the cool go-to brand for those conscious about having the latest must-have. However, parents deliberating parting with their hard-earned cash on a trend will be pleased to know it's a robust choice too. The Hydro Flask Kids' Water Bottle is crafted from high-quality stainless steel, ideal for families avoiding the use of plastic.

The straw is wide and easy to use, and there's a dinky handle, making it ideal for toddlers to drink from. However, older kids may want something with more capacity, in which case the brand offer similarly sleek versions for adults.

The downside? It's pretty expensive and it isn't entirely leakproof like other options, but overall it's a great choice for little ones.

Why does my child need a reusable water bottle?

Drinking enough is vital for the health of your child, and it also helps them concentrate at nursery and school. NHS Scotland has this fantastic, informative guide to hydration in children, but in summary, you should offer around 1.1 litres of water to the under-fives and 2.1 litres to kids over six years.

A brightly coloured, reusable water bottle will encourage your child to drink enough at home and on the go. Easy access to water when they are thirsty from active play also means they will stay happy and engaged rather than constantly running into the kitchen. An unspillable source of water is also helpful as a bedside drink.

Reusable bottles are also so much kinder to the environment and are a great first lesson in reducing everyday plastic use and the importance of recycling.

Be aware that most nurseries, schools and sports clubs will insist on your child bringing in a clearly labelled reusable water bottle, so investing in more than one bottle is a good idea.

What are the different types of kids' water bottles?

  • Straws: A reusable water bottle is usually the next step from a baby bottle or toddler cup. The built-in straw will come through a screw-on lid and be covered by a flip-up cover to stop leaks.

  • Twist-and-sip: This water bottle will have a screw-on cap with a twist-up spout moulded into it. Twist the spout up or down with the lips or teeth and then tilt and sip. They don’t usually come with lids and are best suited to older children who can develop the technique.

  • Spouts: A spout water bottle will have a narrow funnel to pour water into the mouth. They are usually covered with a leakproof flip-up lid, some of which can be locked to prevent accidental spills.

  • Open pour: Good for older kids and adults, the spout is usually between a cm and an inch wide, and you simply pour the water into your mouth. The spout is generally covered by a flip-up sealable lid, auto-lock cap or a leakproof screw cap.

  • Sports bottles: A two-piece bottle with a screw-off lid and a spout that can be opened and closed with the teeth. They have lots of durability, offer easy cleaning and are good for immediate access to water during a football game or before a running race.

How big should a kids’ water bottle be?

The capacity of your child’s water bottle depends on how old they are. For the under-fives, around 350ml is enough. Plus, they are likely to be at home more, so it can be refilled if needed.

Older children need a 500 to 750ml bottle to keep them hydrated. Just make sure it fits into their backpack securely.

What is the safest material for water bottles?

A stainless steel water bottle is very safe, and if your family is avoiding the tiny amount of chemicals that can still be found in food-safe plastics, this is the healthiest option.

If you’re going to go for plastic, choose BPA-free. BPA stands for Bisphenol A, a chemical used to manufacture polycarbonate that can find its way into food and cause health issues, especially in young children.

What types of water bottles keep water cold?

Stainless steel bottles will keep liquids cold for longer than plastic, and some metal bottles have insulating properties so that drinks will remain cold or hot for many hours.

Things to consider when buying a water bottle for kids

  • Material: Water bottles made from food-safe BPA-free plastic are robust, practical, and cheaper. Stainless steel bottles are great for those avoiding plastic and are often insulating so that water will remain cold for longer. However, they can be expensive and may dent when dropped.

  • Easy to clean: For minimum faff, look for entirely dishwasher-safe bottles and don’t have many small parts that need removing before cleaning.

  • Leakproof: Choose a reusable water bottle that won’t leak, even when it falls on its side in your child’s book bag. For small children, a water bottle that is spill-proof when open is a good idea too.

  • Child-friendly: Make sure your child can open their new bottle by themselves; ideally, they should be able to flip the lid with one hand. Spouts and lids that are simple to close with little hands are also less likely to leak accidentally.

  • Ergonomic design: Younger children will get on better with a small, lightweight water bottle that curves in the middle for an easy grip. Choose stainless steel bottles decorated with powder-coated paint as they have an anti-slip rough surface.

  • Size and capacity: Water bottles for school-age kids need to be big enough to keep them refreshed throughout the day while still fitting neatly into their rucksack or book bag. For younger kids, who spend more time at home, the priority is finding a bottle they can hold easily as it can be refilled as needed.

Can you put other drinks in a kids' water bottle?

Ideally, stick with plain water. However, if the bottle doesn’t have too many pieces and you’re confident you can get it scrupulously clean, it should be ok to fill it with different drinks. Avoid milk, as it is quick to create bacteria, and most reusable bottle brands will suggest you don’t fill their products with fizzy drinks.

How to clean your kids' water bottle

Keep your child’s water bottles clean and hygienic by washing them daily. Use hot soapy water and a bottle brush, give them a thorough rinse and leave to dry with the top off.

If the bottle has small components such as a straw or seal, separate them before washing as grime and bacteria can hide in tiny spaces. If they are fiddly to clean, run them under hot water and then pop them in a cold water steriliser overnight.

Some water bottles are dishwasher safe but check that applies to all the bottle parts as sometimes complex lids must be handwashed.

What type of water bottle is best for school?

The Ion8 leak-proof water bottle is our choice for the overall best reusable water bottle for kids. Leakproof, robust and easy to use, even for toddlers, it’s a fantastic all-rounder. It also receives lots of recommendations from impressed parents on the Mumsnet forum.

How we chose our recommendations

We’ve thoroughly investigated the best reusable kids’ water bottles you can buy this year, including analysing real experiences and suggestions from a wide range of reliable and trusted sources. Here's how we carefully selected our top picks.

Recommendations from real parents

Many of our Mumsnet community members have experienced the challenges of finding a reliable water bottle that is easy to use yet won’t leak in their child’s school bag, and we wanted to help. So firstly, we weighed up our Mumsnetters' tried and tested reviews and recommendations on the water bottles they rate from their own experiences, including their advice on what brands to avoid, the perfect size, how best to keep the bottles clean and how much their children enjoyed using them.

Expert opinions

Leaky water bottles can cause damage to school work, equipment, and, if filled with juice, furniture and carpets, so we wanted to be confident that the bottles we recommended were reliably leakproof. It was also important that the bottles were easy to use for little ones as optimum hydration is vital to their health and happiness.

Therefore, we analysed childcare experts’ opinions on various parenting sites, extensively researched the recommendations of nursery and early years teachers, and consulted healthy eating organisation websites.

Authentic customer reviews

Finally, we evaluated the bestseller lists and scrutinised authentic reviews from various retailer sites to see which water bottles were best rated. We weighed up the pros and cons of each choice to determine which products were best suited to each stage of a child’s development.

Here are the best water bottles for kids in 2023.

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in that time, we've seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products.

As the mother of two children, our writer Gemma understands the many challenges of parenting. So she was determined to provide honest and independent advice on the reusable water bottles that will keep your kids hydrated and happy at home and school.

Our writers spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find unique products real parents will love.

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