The Pros and Cons of Stainless Steel Water Bottles


If you are trying to “go green” and do your bit for the planet, a good place to start is by saying ‘no’ to single use plastic water bottles.

Of course, having constant and easy access to water throughout the day is essential, but that does not mean that you have to contribute to the mammoth plastic pollution problem that the planet is already suffering.

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For many, stainless steel water bottles are the solution to this moral dilemma.

But just how much do you know about stainless steel water bottles? Maybe it is time to learn the good and the bad about stainless steel bottles.

The pros and cons of stainless steel water bottles:

  • Pros: BPA and Phthalate free, 100% recyclable, easy to clean and dishwasher safe, can be used for hot and cold liquids, durable (corrosion resistant), can be branded and used for marketing, lightweight, trendy and presentable.
  • Cons: can add a metallic taste to water, the exterior can dent or peel, some designs leach BPA, energy intensive design process, water can overheat if exposed to the sun, not microwaveable, expensive to buy.

Thanks to the growing awareness of global warming and the plastic pollution disaster being faced by the world, everyone seems to be reaching for reusable water bottles recently.

Often there is hot debate over whether to get aluminum, glass, or stainless steel water bottles as an alternative to plastic.

Stainless steel bottles present both pros and cons to the user and it is best to be fully informed before you decide which reusable water bottle type is right for you.

You probably have a lot of questions regarding how stainless steel and plastic measure up, and hopefully this pros and cons list can help.

Take a closer look at the pros and cons of stainless steel water bottles listed in more detail below.

The Best Stainless Steel Water Bottles I Found

I have been researching the topic for a long time now, and I can say that not all water bottles are created the same.

There are many decent water bottles, some really good, and a few that are outstanding. And here what I found:

Or check my buying guide for this stainless steel water bottle here

Bottled Water Sources

The Pros of Using Stainless Steel Water Bottles

As far as reusable water bottles go, stainless steel options seem to be a firm favorite for many people. Below are some of the reasons why:

  • Stainless steel water bottles are BPA and Phthalate free.

It is surprising to note that a lot of people do not even know what BPA and Phthalate are. If you have been drinking water from plastic bottles, chances are that you have been exposed to these harmful chemicals. Both BPA and Phthalate are known to seep into food and water and contaminate them. Knowing the dangers of these chemicals comes down to understanding what they are, so let’s take a closer look at each:

  • BPA: This is Bisphenol-A which is a chemical used in the production of resin and plastic. BPA can have a negative impact especially on young children and fetuses. It is said to negatively affect brain development as well as the prostate gland in fetuses. There have also been links found between BPA and high blood pressure.
  • Phthalate: This is an ester that is added to plastic to make it more durable and flexible. This industrial chemical is also added to cosmetics and other personal hygiene products. Unfortunately, Phthalate is harmful to the lungs, kidneys, and the reproductive system.

Prevention is most certainly better than cure – so avoiding both of these chemicals is certainly advisable. Stainless steel water bottles without inner linings (this is important when choosing a bottle) are free of BPA and Phthalate which makes it a far safer alternative for you to use.

  • Stainless steel water bottles are 100% recyclable.

A question many people ask is whether or not stainless steel bottles can be effectively recycled. The answer is yes, these bottles are 100% recyclable.  Stainless steel water bottles can be recycled quite successfully, but in most suburbs they cannot be recycled with the regular trash (on the curbside). This is because stainless steel bottles are not easily crushed at the Materials Recovery Centre, where all your other recyclables travel to when you put them in the regular trash on the curb for collection. The stainless steel bottle will not be recycled if you send it out with your regular recyclables, so take the time to go down to your local scrap metal yard, where they will be able to process it correctly and ensure that it is recycled. Alternatively, you can donate it to a charity store where it can be sold for a good cause.

  • Stainless steel water bottles are easy to clean and dishwasher safe.

A stainless steel bottle will not absorb a smell or taste permanently and it is quite easy to clean. To clean the bottle, you can half fill it with warm water, add a teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap and shake the bottle vigorously. Rinse it clean of soap and it is good to go again. You can also use a weak vinegar and water solution to give it a deeper clean. To do this, add just one teaspoon of vinegar into half a bottle of warm water. Shake it around vigorously to clean the bottle. Then, let it stand for a few to give the vinegar time to clean the interior of the bottle. You can rinse the vinegar out after and let it air dry before using it again. Better yet, because of the nature of stainless steel, it can handle high heat. That is good news for you if you own a dishwasher. It means that you can pop it into your dishwasher along with your other dishes and cutlery and won’t have to worry about cleaning all the grooves, nooks, and crannies yourself. Once it is washed, let it air dry before using it again. It could not be easier to clean a bottle!

  • Stainless steel water bottles can be used for hot and cold liquids.

Just because you have invested in a stainless steel water bottle, it does not mean you can only carry cold water around with you. Stainless steel water bottles are also great for carrying hot coffee or tea while heading out to work or to do morning chores. You can also pour some chilled juice in when you need refreshment at some point during the day. You will also notice that there are various insulated options on the market that help to keep cool water cool and warm liquids, such as tea and coffee, warm.

  • Stainless steel water bottles are durable and corrosion resistant.

When you invest in a stainless steel water bottle, you will not have to worry about replacing one for a long time to come. It is believed that a stainless steel bottle can provide as many as 12 years of “service”. Some can even last a lifetime if they are of a good quality and looked after correctly. Stainless steel is a durable material that is also corrosion resistant. Most stainless steel water bottles are made from 316 and 304 stainless steels, both of which are resistant to corrosion as well as air corrosion and high temperature exposure. Your stainless steel bottle will be able to take quite a beating – whether you are just taking it to work with you or to an outdoors boot camp seminar – there is no environment too tough for it.

  • Stainless steel water bottles can be branded and used for marketing purposes.

With more pressure being put on businesses to take their environmental and social responsibilities more seriously, “going green” has become a strategic element in most companies’ marketing efforts. This places stainless steel water bottles on the forefront of many promotional catalogues and for good reason.  While handing out branded pens and stationery items in the past were the “in thing”, now branded stainless steel water bottles are. The branding options are also varied and affordable. You will find that the bottles can be quite easily etched (engraved) or laser printed for a long lasting and professional looking branding. Branded stainless steel water bottles can be used as giveaways, promotional pieces at events, and even as “thank you” gifts to suppliers, customers, and employees.

  • Stainless steel water bottles are lightweight and easy to carry around.

One of the most appreciated pros of having a stainless steel bottle is the lightweight design. No one wants to lug a heavy flask around all day and some water bottles can be bulky and difficult to grip. Most stainless steel bottles on the market are designed in an easy-to-grip form and are extremely lightweight, even when filled with water. You should be able to easily slip it into a handbag, carry it by hand, or pop it into your laptop bag while in transit.

  • Stainless steel water bottles are trendy and presentable.

If you are just spending time at home, sure, using a plastic bottle or drinking water from one of your glasses is just fine, but what about when you head into business meetings, go to the gym, or meet up with a friend? Is your tatty-looking plastic water bottle going to make the grade? Do you ever feel embarrassed carrying around a cheap plastic water bottle? And do you really want to order a “glass of water” in a restaurant? Stainless steel water bottles are the opposite of embarrassing. They are also available in various colors, patterns and designs. They almost always look trendy and they are presentable enough to take along with you to any occasion. With this type of water bottle, you will always look professional.

The Cons of Stainless Steel Water Bottles

Now that you know about the pros of using stainless steel water bottles, you might be interested to know the cons. Below are some of the cons to be expected when using a stainless steel water bottle:

  • Stainless steel water bottles can add a metallic taste to your water.

While stainless steel is an inert metal that does not leach harmful chemicals, stains, or taste from other substances, some people have noticed that their water tastes slightly metallic when using these bottles. This is something that is unavoidable when using stainless steel, but it can be managed. By regularly cleaning the bottle, you can eliminate the risk of a metallic taste in your water. It is advised to wash your bottle every day (either in the evening when you go to bed or in the morning before you refill it for the day). The metallic taste is not harmful. If your water tastes a bit like metal, it is time to wash your water bottle.

  • The exterior of stainless steel water bottles can dent or peel.

Unfortunately, stainless steel bottles can gather a few dents if they are dropped or banged against hard objects. Wear and tear is to be expected over a long lifespan. They can also scratch and any exterior decorative features may rub off or peel. Regardless of the exterior damage, the bottles still remain a decent bottle to us, whether they are looking a bit battered or not.

  • Some stainless steel water bottles do leach BPAs and chemicals.

It is really important to find out more about the type of stainless bottle you are buying, before you actually buy it. Don’t assume that because it is metal that it is healthy and safe to use. Not all metal bottles are made equal. If the stainless steel bottle is lined inside, it can in deed leach the same BPAs that you are trying to avoid in the first place. Also, poor quality stainless steel bottles that are actually made from alloys can leach harmful chemicals – these should be avoided. Check the label of the stainless bottle. It should state that it is 18/18, 304, or 316 stainless steel and it should also state that it is BPA free. If it doesn’t, don’t buy it.

  • Stainless steel bottles require an energy intensive design process.

Yes, unfortunately, stainless steel bottles require a lot of energy to manufacture. While the production of steel is energy intensive, one has to weigh up the benefits of opting for steel products over plastic. Steel products can be safely reused and reduce the need for plastic products to be produced. Stainless steel water bottles, regardless of the energy used to create them, go a long way towards solving the plastic pollution problem that the world is facing. If everyone invested in a stainless steel water bottle and committed to using it instead of throw-away plastic water bottles, the need for plastic production would reduce exponentially. One has to decide if the high energy design process is a fair trade off for the reduction of plastic pollution on a mammoth global scale.

  • Stainless steel water bottles can overheat water if exposed to the sun.

If you leave your stainless steel water bottle in the sun or in the car for a few hours, you are going to return to unpleasantly warm or hot water. Unfortunately, these bottles are not great for keeping liquids cool, unless you pop in the fridge that is, or invest in an insulated version. Some people remedy this problem by freezing the bottle of water before heading out for the day with it. The water will certainly stay cooler for longer.

  • Stainless steel water bottles are not microwaveable.

Want to heat up that coffee you made on the go this morning? Sorry, you can’t! Unfortunately, metals, including stainless steel, actually reflect microwaves and while the waves are bouncing around inside the microwave, the energy increases exponentially and leads to a spark and a fire. Unless you have a specialized microwave, you will not be able to simply pop your stainless steel water bottle in it and heat it up.

  • Stainless steel water bottles are expensive to buy.

Unfortunately, the plastic problem that the world is faced with is due to plastic being so cheap to manufacture and buy. In a world where everyone is looking to save money, it seems that the environment is taking a back seat. While some consider stainless steel water bottles “expensive”, others realize that the increased cost of the product is a worthy price to pay to contribute towards saving the planet (and ourselves at the same time).

Join the Stainless Steel Water Bottle Revolution

According to some interesting statics found on Credit Donkey, the American community is not shy to buy plastic bottles. Approximately 42.6 billion plastic 1-litre water bottles are bought and discarded each year in the US. Globally, more than 200 billion plastic water bottles are bought and disposed of annually. Imagine how drastically that number would decrease if everyone invested in a stainless steel water bottle that is better for the environment as well as their health?

What about the convenience and the health benefits of buying treated, bottled water? Here is the good news; many American households are realizing the value of investing in water filtering units that can be fitted to the kitchen tap. Now you can save on the cost of buying water and purify your own drinking water in a matter of seconds. Where will you keep your water for the day? In your stainless steel water bottle, of course.

Last Word 

Been wondering if a stainless steel water bottle is the right option for you? Hopefully this pros and cons list has helped with the decision.

Resources used for research:

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