What is the best material for water bottles? This is a common question asked by individuals all around the world. The three main materials used for the body of a water bottle include plastic, stainless steel, and glass. All three materials have pros and cons when they are used for water bottles. In this article, we will be focusing on the question: is stainless steel best for water bottles?
Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Stainless steel water bottles are becoming increasingly popular. Furthermore, they are great alternatives to plastic or glass water bottles because of the material characteristics of stainless steel.
Additionally, stainless steel water bottles can insulate beverages from surrounding temperatures with the use of a double-walled, vacuum-insulated design.
Below we’ll review some more of the characteristics that set stainless steel water bottles apart from designs on the market today.
Amongst the best material for water bottles is stainless steel.
In recent years, 18/8 food-grade stainless steel has become an increasingly popular material for water bottles.
18/8 refers to the amount of chromium (18%) and nickel (8%) present in the steel. Chromium helps reduce corrosion, more commonly referred to as rust. Nickel helps to increase the strength and toughness of the steel.
Insulation (Hot and Cold!)
However, it isn’t just the corrosion prevention and increased strength characteristics that make stainless steel a great material for water bottles.
Manufacturers have been able to use this material to design double-walled, vacuum insulated water bottles. What does that mean?
A vacuum chamber is just an enclosure that has had gas molecules, such as air, removed. Without air molecules, heat transfer cannot occur through convection.
As many of you know, convection is the transfer of heat by the movement of fluids (liquids or gases).
Essentially manufacturers are using two walls (double-walled) of stainless steel to create a vacuum enclosure (vacuum insulated) around your water bottle.
This technology helps insulate the liquid in your water bottle from surrounding temperatures. When people think of an object being insulated, they generally just think of it staying hot.
However, vacuum insulated water bottles work both ways, they insulate from surrounding temperatures. This allows hot drinks to stay hot and cold drinks to stay cold, both for extended periods of time.
For example, Hydro Flask claims their 32 oz wide mouth water bottle will keep liquids hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours!
Cleaning Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Typically, your stainless steel water bottle won’t be looking shiny and new after several washes in the dishwasher.
You might get away with putting the lid in the top rack of your dishwasher, however, a general rule is to clean the body of the water bottle by hand. Consult the cleaning instructions for your specific stainless steel water bottle.
Durability Of Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Stainless steel water bottles are quite strong and have the ability to provide great insulation characteristics. They are great for day-to-day hydration and use in low impact activities.
However, they are not always the most durable. Water bottles made from stainless steel can dent and scratch quite easily.
If you are a frequent adventurer or quite tough on your belongings, a material such as Tritan plastic may be a better alternative.
In this article, we review some pros and cons of stainless steel water bottles, and help answer the question: is stainless steel best for water bottles?
Due to the insulation properties of stainless steel, we believe it is a great option for your everyday water bottle.
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We referenced some facts in this article from credible sources. You can read more about the referenced information from the article below:
- Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA) – Stainless Steel Overview