While none are as cost-effective and eco-friendly as a reusable bottle, this is the brand you should buy in a pinch.   

By Corey Williams
October 16, 2019

Before we get started here, let’s address the big green elephant in the room: Everyone should have a reusable water bottle

Living on bottled water alone is both wasteful and expensive. Don’t do it, you guys. (And if you do, for the love, please recycle).

However, things happen. People get stuck in the airport, forget their reusable drinking vessel at home, or—we’ve all been there—are forced to purchase something after using a gas station bathroom. 

For those situations, you might have to shell out a few bucks on a plastic bottle. If you gotta do it, you might as well buy the one that tastes the best, right? That’s why, for science, I bought 10 of the most popular brands of bottled water on the market and forced my coworkers to taste them along with me.

RELATED: Is Bottled Water Safe to Drink After Sitting in a Hot Car?

If your favorite wasn’t tested or didn’t rank well, rest assured: We mean no offense. 

All of these bottles tasted like water. None were Earth-shatteringly delicious and none were gross. But our testers with more refined palates (i.e. not me) were able to detect nuanced differences in taste and quality. Here are our results, ranked from worst to best:  

10. Aquafina

Aquafina

Price: $1.99 for a 20-ounce bottle

This was our least favorite of the bunch. Testers thought it tasted “too purified” and almost like “school fountain water.” Sorry, Aquafina.

9. Evian

Evian

Price: $2.49 for a 1-liter bottle

Somewhat shockingly, we didn’t love Evian. I totally didn’t see this coming, as I’ve always thought Evian was the bougiest bottle out there. (Remember when Serena Williams made waves for taking a $5,000 Evian bath?

Unfortunately, our testers thought it tasted like tap water, and they didn’t care for the aftertaste. 

8. LIFEWTR

LIFEWTR

Price: $2.29 for a 33.8-ounce bottle

Like Aquafina, people thought LIFEWTR tasted “too purified” and a bit chemically. While nobody hated it, one person said it tasted like coins—and that’s not exactly something you want in your water. 

LIFEWTR does, however, get a few points for its artsy lable design. 

7. Core

Core Hydration

Price: $2.29 for 30-ounce bottle

Core proved to be about as divisive as water can be. One tester said its minerally aftertaste was unappealing, while someone else thought it was quite crisp and refreshing. Another called it “just OK.” So do with that information what you will. 

6. Dasani

Dasani

Price: $1.99 for a 20-ounce bottle

Dasani tasted exactly like what you’d expect a bottled water to taste like: Water, but in plastic. 

5. Voss

Voss

Price: $2.99 for a 27-ounce bottle

Most people were pretty indifferent to Voss—one tester simply said, “It tastes like water.” That’s kinda what we’re after, though, right? 

4. Perrier

Perrier

Price: $1.69 for a 16.9-ounce bottle

The only sparkling drink on the list, I wasn’t sure whether to include Perrier in this taste test. 

Maybe it was because it stood out in a sea of still water, but everyone enjoyed its inoffensive fizziness and crisp flavor. 

“You had me at bubbles, Perrier,” said one tester. 

3. Deer Park

Deer Park

Price: $1.99 for a 1-liter bottle

Deer Park, you impressed us. This was the clear dark horse in the lineup, and many of us remember being forced to drink this brand in elementary school. However, any unpleasant memories are likely unrelated to the water itself. Deer Park was pleasant, clean-tasting, and one of the cheapest (by volume) bottles we tried. 

2. Fiji

Fiji Water

Price: $1.99 for a 17-ounce bottle

Were we influenced by this brand’s beautiful bottle? Maybe. But all of our testers thought Fiji had a distinct flavor—it was minerally and almost earthy, but in a good way. One person said, “I feel richer drinking this.”

Honestly, same. 

1. Smartwater

Smartwater

Price: $2.49 for a 1-liter bottle

Whether we’re chopping off our hair or chugging bottled water, Jennifer Aniston has never steered anyone wrong. That’s just a fact. 

Smartwater, the overwhelming favorite, tasted clear and pure. The lack of any aftertaste at all was a welcome surprise—it is water, after all. 

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