Best BPA-Free Water Bottles in the UK

Reusable water bottles

Plastics are a relatively new material, yet in the 70 or so years that we’ve been using them, they’ve taken over virtually every type of product we use.

Toys, utensils, containers, bottles; where we previously used natural materials like wood, metal and glass, we now use plastic without thinking twice.

But the development of plastic is still in its infancy and we haven’t yet had enough time to measure the long-term effects that the substance may have on our health.

Plastics are full of chemical additives that simply aren’t labeled, making it difficult for the consumer to make an informed choice. One such chemical is BPA, otherwise known as Bisphenol A.

BPA has been proven to have several harmful effects on our health, so it’s best to avoid it where you can. Read on for an overview of the best BPA-free water bottles you can buy in the UK.

Best BPA-Free Water Bottles in the UK

While products that contain BPA are never labeled as such, products that are BPA-free are increasingly labeled and advertised to conscious consumers. Here is our guide to the best water bottles in the UK that don’t contain BPA.

1. Simple Modern Wave Water Bottle

Made from: Stainless steel, copper
Capacity: 250 ml, 500 ml, 750 ml, 1 litre
Hot & cold? Yes
Recommended for: School, work, gym, hiking

What’s it like?

Simple Modern’s Wave Water Bottle is one of the few reusable water bottles that is available in a 1 litre size.

These bottles can keep cold drinks cold for 18-36 hours (larger bottles keep drinks colder for longer). They can keep hot drinks hot for 5-15 hours (the bigger the bottle, the longer it will keep things hot for).

What’s it made from?

This water bottle is made from 18/8 stainless steel and uses a double wall with a vacuum seal to keep liquids close to their original temperature for as long as possible.

The vacuum sealed area has a copper lining for extra insulation.

Who’s it for?

This bottle is a good choice for just about any use. You could take it to work, the gym or on a hike. You could also pack it in a backpack for school.

Who’s it made by?

Simple Modern is an Oklahoma-based company who give 10% of their profits each year to charitable causes. As well as water bottles, the company also makes food jars and travel mugs.

Should you buy it?

These bottles do a great job of keeping thing cold or hot for hours. They’re also available in a 1-litre variety if you need something big.

These bottles are very unlikely to leak, and the top is a good width for drinking from. Despite being made from stainless steel, they don’t have a metallic taste.

2. Ion8 Leak Proof Slim Water Bottle

Made from: Tritan plastic, silicone
Capacity: 500 ml
Hot & cold? Yes (-10°C to 96°C)
Recommended for: Gym, work, school
What’s it like?

This popular reusable water bottle is tough, light and is very unlikely to leak as long as you secure the lid tightly.

It has a simple yet elegant look to it, with a plain cylinder shape and flip-top lid which covers the mouth piece. The lid locks to prevent it from coming undone in a bag or while you’re carrying it around.

An attached fabric strap is handy for carrying, but will likely get wet during washing and may require additional drying time.

The Tritan plastic material used for the bottle body is very tough and very light.

The Ion8 Leak Proof Slim Water Bottle is dishwasher safe and can be used with both cold and hot liquids, up to 96°C.

Replaceable seals and lids are available in case they break or get mouldy.

You can wash this bottle in the dishwasher (but not on a hot cycle­), or just rinse it with warm water and washing up liquid.

What’s it made from?

Like many BPA-free water bottles, this product is primarily made from Tritan plastic, which is free from both BPA and phthalates.

Who’s it for?

This bottle could be a good choice for taking to the gym, work or school. It’s very unlikely to leak, so it’s good for keeping in a backpack.

Who’s it made by?

Ion8 are a reusable bottle manufacturer based in Dundee who specialise in BPA-free products. As well as this plastic bottle, they also make stainless-steel bottles and thermal flasks.

Should you buy it?

Some of the best things about this bottle are that it is:

  • Very unlikely to leak
  • Easy to clean
  • Both light and strong

One downside is that it comes with a sticky label on it which is hard to remove and leaves the outside of the bottle sticky for a long time.

3. Mango Sports Motivational Water Bottle With Straw

Made from: Tritan plastic
Capacity: 900 ml
Hot & cold? Yes
Recommended for: Home, work, gym

What’s it like?

This is the only reusable water bottle on this list to feature a straw. The straw lets you drink more slowly, and can be flipped down to make the lid completely leakproof.

The bottle itself is transparent and looks like glass, but it made of a light yet sturdy plastic material. You can choose the colour of the cap from the following selection: Black, Ice Green, Baby Pink, Grey, Lilac, Pink.

This bottle is freezer safe and can be used with both cold and hot liquids.

It’s called a ‘Motivational’ water bottle because the bottle has text on it encouraging you to drink more water.

What’s it made from?

Like many transparent BPA-free water bottles, this product is made from Tritan plastic, which is considered to be free from endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Who’s it for?

This is a good bottle for using at home, at work or in the gym. The inclusion of a straw means you don’t need to use environmentally damaging disposable straws or invest in eco-friendly reusable straws.

Who’s it made by?

This bottle is made by Mango Bottles, who are a different company to the fashion brand Mango.

Should you buy it?

If you want a reusable water bottle with a built-in straw, this is a great buy. It’s sturdy, light and fairly easy to clean.

4. Chilly’s Bottles

Made from: Stainless steel
Capacity: 260 ml, 500 ml or 750 ml
Hot & cold? Yes
Recommended for: Work, hiking, gym

What’s it like?

This could be a good choice if you want something that can keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. According to the manufacturer, they can keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours.

The lid is leakproof so it should be fine for keeping in a bag.

These bottles are made from stainless steel and come in a choice of sizes: 260, 500 or 750 ml. You can choose from a large selection of finishes including solid colours and patterns.

Another nice thing about these bottles is that they come in recycled and recyclable packaging

What’s it made from?

These bottles are made from food-grade 304 stainless steel and use double-wall vacuum technology to keep them insulated. They’re free from BPA, phthalates and toxins.

Who’s it for?

Chilly’s Bottles could be a good choice for taking to work, hiking or going to the gym.

Since they’re made from stainless steel, they’re heavier than plastic bottles, so they might not be ideal if you want your bag to be as light as possible.

Who’s it made by?

Chilly’s are a British reusable bottle brand founded in 2010 with the goal of offering people a way to carry around cold water without having to buy refrigerated plastic bottles.

Should you buy it?

These bottles are relatively expensive, but they look great, are sturdy and keep drinks cold for a long time.

5. Sundried BPA Free Leakproof Water Bottle

Made from: Tritan plastic, silicone
Capacity: 750 ml
Hot & cold? Cold only
Recommended for: Gym, work, school

What’s it like?

This 750 ml bottle looks stylish and uses a transparent plastic material that looks a lot like glass.

Some of the best things about this reusable water bottle are that it is:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Tough, doesn’t break easily
  • Looks like glass, but is very light
  • Doesn’t leak

However, there are a few flaws:

  • The lid squeaks when you remove it
  • The mouthpiece can taste rubbery and unpleasant when the product is new. To get rid of this taste, leave the mouthpiece in a cup of recently boiled water for about 10 minutes.
  • Mouthpiece can develop mould

What’s it made from?

This bottle is made from Tritan polymer, which is a BPA-free type of plastic manufactured by Eastman Chemical Company. It is classed as a copolyester.

Tests have demonstrated that Tritan doesn’t exhibit estrogenic activity, though there isn’t much information available about this type of plastic’s safety and environmental toxicity.

The drinking area is made from silicone, which is considered by most experts to be nontoxic and safer than plastic.

Who’s it for?

This water bottle isn’t designed with a particular use in mind. It could be a good choice for taking to the gym, keeping in your backpack or taking to work or school.

Who’s it made by?

This bottle is made by Sundried Activewear, a UK sports apparel brand.

Should you buy it?

This bottle is reasonably priced, looks great and is very tough and durable. However, the mouthpiece can taste unpleasant at first.


What Is BPA?

BPA is used as an additive in polycarbonates and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate is a type of durable plastic that is resistant to scratching, cracking or shattering (making it perfect in the manufacture of reusable water bottles), while epoxy resins are commonly used as adhesives and coatings in a range of different products.

How Does BPA Affect Your Body?

The major concern about Bisphenol A, is its disruptive effect on hormones.

Known as an endocrine disruptor (the endocrine system is in charge of hormones), it has an estrogen-mimicking effect in the body. It has a similar structure to that of the hormone estrogen and can thus interfere with the body’s hormonal balance.

Suspected symptoms resulting from BPA-related hormone interference include infertility in men and women.

Women with high levels of BPA in their bodies were found to have more difficulty becoming pregnant during IVF treatments, as well as a greater likelihood of miscarriage. Men with high BPA exposure were found to have lower sperm count and concentration, as well as suffering from sexual dysfunction.

Other hormonal issues include possible risk of thyroid dysfunction, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), breast cancer, prostate cancer and premature delivery during pregnancy. There is some evidence that babies can also be affected by their mother’s BPA levels.

BPA is also thought to have a range of other negative effects on human health, such as a greater likelihood of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, asthma, abnormal liver function, immune and brain function.

While there is some evidence of these symptoms being caused by BPA exposure, many researchers have pointed out that their experiments have been inconclusive and more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn about the health effects of BPA.

Is BPA Safe?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), BPA is safe in the very low levels that are found in food and drinks.

Other organizations such as the American Medical Association (AMA) have expressed concern over the presence of the chemical, especially in baby bottles and pacifiers, as has the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has approved the chemical, as has the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), despite admitting that BPA is a hormone disruptor that leaches into our food.

Non-government organizations such as Breast Cancer UK  and the Health and Environment Alliance are campaigning against BPA.

What products contain BPA?

BPA is commonly found in plastics marked with the number codes 3 and 7, or the letters PC.

It should be noted, however, that category 7 plastics are actually miscellaneous items that don’t fit into any of the other categories, so that BPA-free items may also be marked with number 7.

BPA can often be found in the following products:

  • Plastic products: This is particularly worrisome in food and drinks containers and utensils as the BPA can leach into the product, which you will later consume. Toys or items that children are likely to suck or put in their mouths are also a risk.
  • Tin cans: The insides of food and drinks cans are often coated with an epoxy resin to prevent the metal from corroding; however this can also be a risk for BPA leaching into consumables. The metal lids on glass bottles and jars can contain a small amount of BPA.
  • Household products: Other common items such as CDs, DVDs, sports equipment and eyeglass contain BPA, but these present minimal risk as you do not consume the chemical internally.
  • Toiletries: Feminine hygiene products with certain plastic packages and other toiletries can contain BPA.
  • Dental sealant and composite fillings: BPA containing resins are often used by dentists to fill in cavities caused by tooth decay.
  • Water Pipes: Perhaps the most invasive and disturbing use of BPA is the lining of some pipes used to transport drinking water.

Which Water Bottle Material Is Best?

Reusable water bottles can be made from a large variety of different materials.

Some of the most common options are the following.

Plastic

  • Light
  • Can be transparent
  • Usually tough
  • Not very eco friendly
  • May contain harmful chemicals even if it’s BPA free

Stainless steel

  • Eco-friendly
  • Strong
  • Usually suitable for both hot & cold drinks
  • Can have a metallic taste
  • Heavy
  • Often not dishwasher friendly

Glass

  • Eco-friendly
  • Fragile
  • Can be dangerous for children
  • Not suitable for hot liquids

Hard plastic and stainless steel can both be good materials for reusable water bottles.

Plastic is never completely sustainable, even if it is recyclable. Furthermore, BPA-free plastics may leach other chemicals, and more research needs to be done to determine that they’re safe.

Stainless steel is recyclable and isn’t thought to leach any chemicals. However, steel bottles are heavier than their plastic counterparts.

How to Tell if a Bottle Is BPA Free

If the base of the water bottle has the number 3, 6 or 7 in a triangle on the base, it’s more likely to contain BPA. If the number is 1, 2, 4 or 5, it’s unlikely to contain BPA.

If the water bottle was bought several years ago it’s more likely to contain BPA; newer water bottles sold in the UK are almost always BPA free.

If the bottle is labelled as microwave-safe, it’s more likely to contain BPA.

If the bottle is see-through and rigid, it’s more likely to contain BPA than if it’s opaque and flexible.

As you can see, there’s no straightforward way to determine that a bottle BPA free except for the presence of a “BPA-Free” label.

Plastic Bottle Facts

You’ll be doing the planet a favour by switching to a reusable bottle.

Here are some shocking facts about the number of disposable water bottles used each year.

Worldwide Plastic Bottle Usage Facts

  • Over 480 billion plastic bottles were sold worldwide in 2016 (16 per person)
  • A million plastic bottles are bought per minute (20,000 per second)

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change

UK Plastic Bottle Usage Facts

  • The UK uses 13 billion plastic bottles per year. This equates to roughly:
    • 36 million plastic bottles a day
    • 200 plastic bottles per person per year
  • 43% of plastic bottles used in the UK are not recycled
  • Disposing of plastic bottles emits about 233,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. You’d need to plant 3,883 trees a year to offset this.
  • 700,000 plastic bottles are littered every day in the UK

Source: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/339/339.pdf

Conclusion

If we had to recommend just one of these BPA-free water bottles, it would be the Simple Modern Wave Water Bottle. It’s made from eco-friendly stainless steel, is available in a choice of sizes (include a 1-litre option), and can keep liquids hot or cold for hours.

With BPA increasingly on the public’s consumer blacklist, more and more products are being labelled as BPA-free. This may be a great step forward, but the truth is that all plastics contain a secret cocktail of chemicals  which manufacturers have no obligation to reveal.

BPA substitutes such as Bisphenol S (BPS) and Bisphenol F (BPF) can be just as hormone disrupting as BPA, though some companies like Eastman are doing a great job at addressing this issue.

There are a few positive steps you can take to minimise your BPA exposure, such as eating fresh food as much as possible, avoiding anything in a tin can or plastic container.

If you do need to use plastic, try to keep it away from the microwave or dishwasher, as heat increases the leaching of chemicals.

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