Ecological water bottles: which one to choose?

Ecological water bottles on the market are many and made of different materials: glass, plastic, steel and aluminum. What are their characteristics and which are the most suitable for our needs?

In this short guide to eco-bottles, we have chosen to focus on the most performing materials – glass, steel and aluminum – and to discard plastic bottles as they are of lower quality and less eco-sustainable.

Glass water bottles

Glass bottles are made of borosilicate glass (also called Pyrex), a mixture of glass from which lead is removed. Its main features: long life and greater resistance – both to shocks and to high temperatures- when compared to traditional glass.

Advantages of glass:

  • Does not absorb odours.
  • There is no risk of contamination – it may also contain both acidic and fat-based substances.
  • Resistance to high temperatures and chemicals.
  • Easy to clean – even in the dishwasher.

Disadvantages of glass:

  • Fragility: although borosilicate is much more resistant than ordinary glass, a glass bottle is in any case at risk of cracks, chipping or breakage – so beware of impacts. To overcome this problem, many models are equipped with a silicone cover.
  • Glass – unlike aluminum and steel – has a very low thermal resistance. Also in this case a silicone cover improves the performance.
  • It is much heavier than metal bottles.

Aluminum water bottles

Aluminum water bottles are probably among the most used, thanks to their practicality, their many advantages and the ductility of the material: aluminum can be worked very easily and not surprisingly most of customized eco-bottles are made of aluminum.

Advantages of aluminum:

  • It is by far the lightest material among the water bottles on the market – excluding plastic.
  • It is relatively cheap – the price can vary a lot but usually a steel bottle is more expensive.
  • Can be recycled 100%.
  • It is difficult to break.

Disadvantages of aluminum:

  • It is not stainless and therefore a cover – usually ceramic – must always be present inside an aluminum bottle to prevent the metal from coming into contact with the drinks. However, ceramic wears are at risk in case of impact, a reason why it is good to check it regularly and replace the bottle after prolonged use.
  • It should be washed carefully – avoiding acidic substances, better a drop of washing up liquid and water- and regularly because it retains more smells and odours than aluminum and glass. Machine washing is not possible.
  • It bruises quite easily.

Steel water bottles

Steel water bottles are usually made of stainless steel and are considered top of the range for their many advantages (and very few disadvantages).

Advantages of steel:

  • It is virtually indestructible. In fact, it can pass unscathed in the event of an impact or fall – dents are possible but infrequent.
  • Stainless steel makes it impervious to any bacteria or mold and at the same time does not retain any organoleptic qualities from the liquids it comes into contact with.
  • Excellent thermal resistance – hot drinks keep the temperature up to about 12 hours, cold drinks up to 24 hours.
  • Easy cleaning: to wash a steel bottle, simply use natural substances such as vinegar, bicarbonate or lemon (and then rinse well).

Disadvantages of steel:

  • Steel bottles are the most expensive on the market.
  • It is heavier than aluminum.

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