Bottled Water Ranked: Why Some Brands Are Above The Rest

There are those who think all water tastes the same and others who know for a fact that the flavor of water changes depending on the brand, pH balance, and more. There are numerous water bottle brands available, but as you’re about to find out, certain ones rank better than others for specific reasons. Whether you’re a fan of Aquafina, Fiji, or Evian, these are some of the best and worst water bottle brands of all time.

Worst: Dasani Is Actually High In Sodium

A tub filled with ice and plastic bottles of Dasani purified bottled water
Robert Alexander/Getty Images
Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Most water bottle drinkers would think that the only ingredient would be water, but that isn’t true for Dasani. Launched by the Coca-Cola Company in 1999, this brand has some unique ingredients.

Dasani is made from tap water, salt, magnesium sulfate, and potassium chloride. The extra salt causes people to be thirstier than when they started drinking.

Worst: Arrowhead Fell Flat During Its Taste Test

A bottle of Arrowhead water is poured into a glass
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

People who live in the western part of the United States have likely tried Arrowhead Water. Priests stationed at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel were some of the first to find the source of the Arrowhead springs.

Blind taste tester Vincent Sanchez tried Arrowhead and said, “The spring water of Arrowhead tastes less like it came straight from the freshest mountain streams and more like the water you drink when all hope is lost…”

Worst: Aquafina Tastes Metallic And Muddy

Bottle of Pepsi's Aquafina water sits on a shelf
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Aquafina is manufactured by PepsiCo and is made primarily with tap water, so it usually doesn’t receive the best reviews.

Slate hired a group of tasters to drink various bottled water and they described Aquafina as “soft, metallic, and muddy.” Those probably aren’t the words PepsiCo wanted to be attributed to their brand.

Worst: Evian May Not Be As High-End As You Think

A view of Evian water bottles
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

One of the oldest water bottle brands is Evian. Their water was discovered in 1789 near the south shore of Lake Geneva and they are usually considered a high-end brand.

When Slate hired a group of water bottle tasters to try Evian they described it as “salty, chalky, and soft.”

Mixed Reviews: Poland Spring Is A Favorite Among New Yorkers

Bottles of Poland Spring water on a conveyer belt
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The town of Poland, Maine is known for manufacturing the iconic Poland Spring water bottles. One of the places where you’ll see Poland Spring everywhere is New York City.

While New Yorkers love it, it doesn’t have the greatest taste. The expert taste testers at Slate called Poland Spring “dirty, salty, sour, and milky.”

Mixed Reviews: Propel Fitness Water Was A Pioneer In Flavored Water

Two women handing out free Propel bottled fitness water
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Propel Fitness Water was introduced in 2000 and stood apart for being one of the few flavored water options at the time. Ingredients found in Propel include water, citric acid, sodium, and vitamins C, B3, B5, and B6.

Water sommelier Belinda Chang described Propel to have a salty and metallic smell with a similar taste to Gatorade. That could be because Propel is owned by Gatorade.

Mixed Reviews: Ice Mountain Is Popular In The Midwest

ice mountain water bottles
Ice Mountain
Ice Mountain

Most commonly found in the Midwest, Ice Mountain natural spring water is a rather unique water bottle contender.

Belinda Chang, a water sommelier, described Ice Mountain as one of the most neutral-tasting water brands she had ever tried. Although, she noted it had a slight “mineral and pipe-like” aftertaste.

Mixed Reviews: Icelandic Glacial Is Filtered Through Lava Rocks

icelandic glacial water bottles
Rachel Murray/Getty Images
Rachel Murray/Getty Images

One thing that sets Icelandic Glacial water apart is its state-of-the-art water bottles. They are made to resemble actual ice crystals.

Their water comes from an underground spring that was caused by a five-thousand-year-old volcanic eruption. Since the water is filtered through lava rock, it can come out tasting bitter. The best way to combat this is to drink it while it’s still really cold.

Mixed Reviews: SmartWater Comes With Added Electrolytes

Glacier Smartwater bottles
Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

It’s hard not to notice the giant bottles of Glacéau Smartwater compared to all the other water bottles at the grocery store.

Smartwater is a vapor-distilled water brand with added electrolytes and was one of the first brands to add enhancements to its water. Expert tasters recommend opening the water and letting it breathe for a bit before drinking to get the best flavor.

Mixed Reviews: Core Hydration Has A Bottle Unlike No Other

core hydration water bottles
Craig Barritt/Getty Images
Craig Barritt/Getty Images

The unusually shaped bottles of Core Hydration might get any shopper to pick it up and give it a try. The purified water is enhanced with electrolytes and minerals and comes with a naturally high pH balance.

Those who’ve tried Core Hydration love the bottle’s shape, but describe the taste as almost like air. Core Hydration drinkers recommend having it cold, rather than at room temperature.

Mixed Reviews: Check Out The Artwork On LIFEWTR Bottles

A view of LIFEWTR bottles
Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

One thing shoppers are bound to notice is the colorful artwork featured on LIFEWTR bottles. The company rotates the artists to “advance the sources of creation and creativity.”

As for the flavor, LIFEWTR was given to blind taste tester Vincent Sanchez who seemed pretty neutral. “It’s not a bad choice of water, but rather than inspiring thirst with creativity, you’ll probably be inspired to choose something more if you can,” said Sanchez.

Mixed Reviews: Crystal Geyser Got Mixed Reviews

Les Claypool drinking a bottle of crystal geyser water
Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images
Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images

Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water is bottled directly at the source. According to their official website, they were the first American beverage company to start a PET recycling (rPET) plant where they recycle about a billion plastic bottles every year.

Grub Street performed a blind taste test with mixed reviews. One taster thought it had too much sodium, while another thought it had good body.

Best: Penta Was Created On Accident

penta water bottles on display
Penta Water/Facebook
Penta Water/Facebook

Penta Water was created by Bill Holloway in Carlsbad, California after his son Mike came up with a formula for highly purified water to treat his fibromyalgia.

Tasters at Mashed claim that the purified water has one of the cleanest flavors for a non-spring brand with just a hint of minerals.

Best: Boxed Water Is Better

boxed water carton with the writing boxed water is better
Lindsey Nicholson/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Lindsey Nicholson/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Boxed Water is looking out for the environment with its earth-friendly paper cartons. These paper boxes are 74 percent made with trees, so they are better for the planet.

Some taste testers stated that Boxed Water had no overpowering flavors, was just a little thin, and wasn’t filled with chemicals and minerals like other water brands.

Best: Why You’ll Feel Better After Buying Ethos Water

cases of ethos water bottles
Jerry Cleveland/Getty Images
Jerry Cleveland/Getty Images

Starbucks customers will most likely recognize Ethos Water because it’s their official water bottle brand. Its mission is to help children get clean water, so Starbucks donates five cents of its water proceeds to “support humanitarian programs in coffee-growing communities…”

Those who have tried Ethos water think it’s pretty refreshing and tastes just as good in the bottle or in a glass.

Best: Acqua Panna Is Smooth All The Way Down

A display of Acqua Panna bottles
Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images
Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

Acqua Panna gets its name from the Villa Panna hills in Tuscany, Italy, and was first bottled in 1880. This high-end brand reportedly has water travel 14 years through limestone before it’s bottled up.

Mashed says that Acqua Panna is one of the smoothest with just a little taste of minerals. It’s best served chilled because it can feel a little thick at room temperature.

Best: Zephyrhills Hits The Spot

a student drinking Zephyrhills water
Tim Boyles/Getty Images
Tim Boyles/Getty Images

Only certain areas in the U.S. get the chance to drink Zephyrhills. It’s a spring water bottle brand made in Crystal Springs and Zephyrhills, Florida.

Limestone aquifers purify the water, which gives it a “smooth, cool, and refreshing” taste. While Zephyrhills is one of the best-tasting spring waters, its bottle design is subpar.

Best: Why Essentia Is A Top Alkaline Water

essentia water bottles on display
Noam Galai/Getty Images
Noam Galai/Getty Images

According to their official website, “Essentia is supercharged ionized alkaline water.” This is done in a few simple steps where they purify the water, add electrolytes, and remove bitter acidic ions to get a higher pH balance.

Tasters at Business Insider tried Essentia and thought it had a “clean, smooth taste” and could rehydrate them between regular work days and intense workouts.

Best: Voss Is More Than Its Good Looks

voss water bottles in ice
Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Those who drink Voss probably can’t help themselves from feeling a bit fancy. The Norwegian artesian water bottle brand recently claimed that their entire manufacturing process is carbon neutral.

A taste tester at Mashed wrote, “Voss also has the smooth, crisp, food-complementary tastelessness you want with dinner but just enough minerality to know you’re not drinking wet air.”

Best: How Fiji Water Got Its Name

GettyImages-539137436
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for FIJI Water
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for FIJI Water

Fiji Water gets its name because the water bottle brand originated, is bottled, and shipped from the country of Fiji. More specifically, Fiji Water comes from an artesian aquifer in Viti Levu.

Not only does the square-shaped bottle set it apart from other brands, but taste testers agree it’s refreshing and smooth.