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What You Need to Know About a Magnetic Water Softener

A baby girl drinking soften water

 A baby girl drinking soften water

Water softeners greatly improve the quality of tap water. Soft water mixes much easier with soap than hard water does. When using soft water, detergent use can drop by 50 to 75 percent with both laundry and dishes. The machines can also run on cold water, saving energy in the long run. For those who worry about their salt intake or are looking for an alternative for those bags of pellets required by your current water softener, there are other options. There are lesser known options, like the salt-free, reverse osmosis, or magnetic water softener. In this article we’ll focus on the magnetic water softener and how it works.

What Is a Magnetic Water Softener?

To better understand your options, we’ll take a look at how a water softener works and how to know if you need one.

The more common water softeners add another mineral (like salt) to soften the water. They work well, but it won’t make the best tasting drinking water and if you are concerned about your sodium intake, it can affect your blood pressure. Fortunately, there are a few alternatives which use water pressure or a magnetic field to mechanically separate minerals in the water.

How Do Water Softeners Make Hard Water Soft?

Hard water is water with a high mineral content. Usually sourced from the ground, it is very common in the United States. As the water percolates through deposits of sedimentary rock (like limestone and chalk), some minerals wash away with it. These minerals include calcium and magnesium carbonates, which are responsible for soap scum, scaling, and skin irritation. It can be easily recognized by its bad taste and lack of suds and bubbles when mixing in soap.

While hard water doesn’t generally pose a health risk, it can negatively impact water-using appliances; especially in appliances that hold water for long periods of time. Mineral build-up can also cause problems of low pressure in water pipes.

Mechanical or Chemical Reaction

Water softeners work to change the density, hardness, and energy level of the water being treated. There are two ways of doing this. A chemical water softener uses a chemical reaction to change the composition of the water to lessen the accumulation of minerals deposits. Water softeners which change the water without chemicals only react mechanically with the water to break down existing minerals, but they don’t affect the chemical composition of the water.

How to Know If You Need a Water Softener

When water has a high percentage of calcium and magnesium ions, it fails to react and doesn’t mix well with other compounds. Even liquid soap doesn’t lather up with hard water. It also doesn’t rinse off well either. It is known for leaving behind a thin filmy feeling on the skin. This is from hard water not being able to completely rinse away soap from lines and pores.

Hard water also poses a problem for water-using appliances, like coffee machines, washing machines, dishwashers, and even faucets and toilets. The build-up of minerals affects water pressure and energy efficiency.

Lack of Energy Efficiency

A water heater is known to be up to 18 percent of the energy bill for American households. According the the Department of Energy, not only does mineral build up shorten the lifespan, but it also cuts efficiency by up to 48 percent. Even tankless water heaters are known to to fail after only a couple years when using hard water.

If you have (or hope to get) a High Efficiency (HE) appliances, some manuals recommend using only soft water. Also, some models void their warranties if you use hard water. Using a water softener reduces these negative effects of hard water and can even break down existing “lime sludge” that has accumulated over time.

Types of Water Softeners

There are four types of water softeners (only one of which uses chemicals): ion exchange, reverse osmosis, salt free, and magnetic. The difference is that, when chemically broken down, soft water will stay soft for a long period of time. Mechanically broken down “soft” water is only temporarily soft. It is likely to build back up to hard while sitting in the water heater.

The most common water softener is an ion exchange softener. It uses sodium or potassium tablets to remove ions in the water that cause hardness. However, water softened by these tablets is not recommended for drinking, especially for individuals concerned about their sodium intake.

Salt-free water softeners use a filter to mechanically change the water in a similar way as magnetic water softeners, but using a different method. They work well, but not particularly with very hard water.  Reverse osmosis water softeners use water pressure to move water through a semipermeable membrane and can remove up to 98 percent of impurities.

How Does a Magnetic Water Softener Work?

During the process, magnets create a magnetic field for the water and minerals to pass through. When coming out the other end, the water has more solubility due to the different crystalline form created by the magnetic field. Being able to mix easier with whatever substances it comes into contact with means you’ll see suds when you mix soap and it will actually rinse off in the shower. The strong magnets to create an electromagnetic field within the water pipe to mechanically break down mineral deposits in the hard water.

Does It Really Work?

It has been advertisedover and over again as a water softener, when in reality, it is just a descaler. There is a little bit of scientific evidence supporting this device as a water softener, and it can handle some hard minerals. It mechanically breaks down the hard minerals in the water, giving users some time to enjoy softened water before the mineral density and hardness of water builds back up; but it isn’t nearly as good as a bicarbonate (salt or potassium) water softener. Chemically softened water results in low calcium and magnesium ions.

Pro and Cons of a Magnetic Water Softener

Understanding the real advantages and disadvantages of a magnetic water softener will help you better decide if it is right for you and your household.


Using sodium tablets to soften water can affect your body’s sodium levels by drinking and by absorbing it through your skin from showers. This can be an issue for individuals living with hypertension and magnetic water softeners provide a safe alternative.

Magnetic water softeners don’t use any tanks for a regeneration cycle, like ion exchange water softeners, so there is no waiting for soft water.

These units are also easy to install, with almost no tools needed. Multiple magnets can be installed through the home as “mini” water softeners. Installation ideas include the water input lines for toilets, the dishwasher, and the fridge, along with just above the shower head.


Because this type of water softener doesn’t chemically change the water, it only stay softened for 48 hours. If the water is left sitting still, it can re-harden and scale water-using appliances, like a water heater. The effectiveness also depends on the size of the pipe and particles per million in the water; it doesn’t work well with very hard water.

In fact, there is little scientific to prove these magnetic units are anything more than just a descaling tool. Some studies have shown them improving certain factors, like the solubility and density of water, but researchers fail to mention how long it lasts and the distanced travel by the water after it was softened before being tested.

Safety Issues

Because the effects of a magnetic water softener can often be changed by other devices, and magnets are well known to “fry” electronic devices, you’ll need to careful where you install it. Also, individuals with a pacemaker cannot install the unit and shouldn’t get within three feet of the unit once it is installed. Magnets have been known the affect pacemakers, and these are very strong magnets.

With a 140 pound pulling force, these magnets should never touch or be within two feet of metal objects. Galvanized metal pipes will cause the magnetic force to spread. If you have galvanized pipes, you will need to find or install the magnets on a section of copper or PVC pipe.

As mentioned before, magnetic water softeners don’t work well on very hard water. This is due to the heavy mineral content, as the magnets can only affect so much as the water flows by. And since it doesn’t react chemically, the minerals don’t change. They are only broken down temporarily.


There are many factors to take into consideration when buying a new water softener. Whether you are looking as a first-time buyer or to replace an old water softener, consider testing your household water and see what it really needs. Using soft water can increase the lifespan of your appliances and plumbing. Magnetic water softeners have been known to improve water quality and don’t involve those heavy bags of salt tablets.

Featured Photo by Johnny McClung on Unsplash

Hydro Flask Vs Yeti: An Honest Review And Comparison

four different stainless water tumblers

It’s no secret that we belong to an increasingly mobile society. As a result, the demand for products that help us maintain our fast-paced lifestyles has skyrocketed. With more people constantly on the go, it’s no surprise that insulated water bottles have become wildly popular. These handy items let you bring your favorite drinks wherever you go without losing their ideal temperature. Many people rely on these specialty bottles and have particular brand preferences. In fact, a heated debate is brewing over which beverage container outperforms the rest: Hydro Flask vs Yeti. Although they bear many similarities, loyal followers of these brands insist their bottle of choice is undoubtedly the greatest.

In the following review, we evaluated the performance of the Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle, the Yeti Rambler Stainless Steel Water Bottle and two similar products: CamelBak Chute Stainless Steel Water Bottle and the RTIC Stainless Steel Water Bottle.

It’s time to end the water bottle battle once and for all, so let’s find out which contender reigns supreme.

The Hydro Flask vs Yeti debate has been challenging to resolve because of the multitude of similarities between the two products. While they certainly have much in common, there are some notable differences. A couple of aspects that set the two apart are cost and warranty. The Hydro Flask has a reputation for its exceptional value, plus offers a lifetime warranty with which other brands cannot compete.

​Table of Comparison

purple stainless tumbler

Image Via Pexels

​How They Compare

​We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  • ​Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle
  • ​Y​eti Rambler Stainless Steel Water Bottle
  • ​CamelBak Chute Stainless Steel Water Bottle
  • RTIC Stainless Steel Water Bottle

​Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle

To begin our Hydro Flask vs Yeti debate, we’ll start with the former. The Hydro Flask is a stainless steel water bottle for hot and cold beverages. Its vacuum-insulated, double-walled design allows the Hydro Flask to retain temperature for hours. Each sip will taste as fresh as the first, so you can enjoy your favorite beverages from morning until night. Hot drinks will remain hot for at least five hours and iced drinks will stay frosty for an impressive 24 hours or more.

You can say goodbye to the days of packing tons of extra drinks that take up space, get too warm and often go to waste. Made for travel, the Hydro Flask water bottle is perfect for the beach, hiking, commuting to work, traveling, running errands, or wherever else life takes you.

​The Hydro Flask is double-walled, vacuum-insulated, and made from stainless steel. The sleek design features a strap-style handle for easy transport and a wide mouth for adding ice. One of the greatest features of the Hydro Flask brand is their versatile product line. The Stainless Steel Water Bottle comes in many sizes, colors, and neck sizes. Plus, they offer various accessories like lids and straws, so users can customize their bottles.

​Another excellent feature is Hydro Flask’s no-sweat exterior. Many bottles can develop annoying condensation that drips all over you, your clothes and anything around you. External moisture won’t develop with the Hydro Flask, regardless of the bottle’s internal temperature. Finally, you can kiss those water stains on your desk goodbye for good.

​Temperature Retention

​Perhaps the most important parameter we evaluated, we awarded the Hydro Flask a perfect score for temperature retention. As promised, the bottle kept hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold for hours on end.

​Ease of Cleaning

​We gave this product four out of five stars for ease of cleaning. This water bottle is not dishwasher safe, so we couldn’t assign a perfect score for this category. However, hand washing is quick and simple with a little hot, soapy water.


​The durability of the Hydro Flask impressed us, so we gave four out of five stars in this category. While it’s not an industrial strength water bottle, it’s remarkably sturdy. An occasional drop won’t dent or damage the bottle, but a hard fall may cause minor scratches.


​The Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Water Bottle comes with an impressive lifetime limited manufacturer’s warranty.

​YETI Rambler Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Next up in the Hydro Flask vs Yeti battle is our fierce opponent, the Yeti Rambler Stainless Steel Water Bottle. Like its competition, the Yeti Rambler is double-walled, vacuum-insulated and built from stainless steel. It features a solid, easy to grip handle for easy transportation and a wide mouth for adding ice. The Yeti has exceptional durability, proving to be less prone to dents and scratches than competing products.

​One great feature unique to the Yeti is its insulated TripleHaul Cap. This leak-proof cap with three finger grip makes for easy carrying while also preventing leaks and spills. Plus, the Yeti Rambler has a no-sweat design like the Hydro Flask. With this bottle, annoying leaks and condensation will become a distant memory.

​Yeti also added a new design feature to its Rambler bottle called DuraCoat Color. This special coating is available in four different colors: Seafoam, Tahoe Blue, Black, and Olive Green. Not only does it add a vibrant splash of color, its unique texture makes the bottle easier to grip and enhances its durability.

​Temperature Retention

​The Yeti Rambler goes above and beyond with temperature retention, earning it a perfect score of five out of five stars. This bottle can retain temperature for days, not mere hours like much of the competition. Solid ice will remain perfectly frozen for 48 hours, ice with liquid will last 36 hours, and hot drinks will stay piping hot for 24 hours.

​Ease of Cleaning

​Like the Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Bottle, the Yeti isn’t dishwasher safe. Otherwise, washing by hand is a breeze with a little soap and warm water.


​We gave the Yeti Rambler a perfect score for its outstanding durability. This product is extremely resilient, handling drops and falls with ease. Even the hardest tumbles couldn’t dent this sturdy bottle.


​The Yeti Rambler Stainless Steel Water Bottle comes with a five-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

​​​CamelBak Chute Stainless Steel Water Bottle

​To help settle the Hydro Flask vs Yeti debate, we reviewed a couple of popular competing products. Up first is the CamelBak Chute Stainless Steel Water Bottle. Like the other products we’ve outlined, this is a vacuum-insulated water bottle designed to retain beverage temperature. It’s designed to keep drinks cold for up to 48 hours and hot for up to six hours.

​This bottle comes in a variety of fun colors. It features a sturdy, stainless steel vessel with a wide mouth for simple cleaning and refilling. It also contains a leak-proof cap made from 100% BPA-free Polypropylene that twists on and off for cleaning and/or filling the vessel. The vessel must be hand washed, but the cap is dishwasher safe.

​One particularly smart feature is the CamelBak’s angled spout. Many similar products force users to drink directly from a wide mouth which can be tricky, especially while moving. However, the CamelBak’s ergonomic design ensures the proper amount of water flow, so each sip will be spill-free. The spout cap snaps into the handle to keep it secure and out of the way while drinking.

​Temperature Retention

​We gave the CamelBak Chute Stainless Steel Water Bottle four out of five stars for temperature retention. It impressed us with its ability to keep beverages cold for a lengthy two days, but it can only retain heat in warm beverages for six hours. This falls short of some competing products that keep heat for a full day.

​Ease of Cleaning

​This bottle received a perfect five out of five stars for ease of cleaning. Although the stainless steel vessel must be washed by hand, the cap is dishwasher safe. This provides a simplified and more thorough cleaning process.


​Overall, the durability of this bottle pleased us, earning four out of five stars. The CamelBak Chute holds up well with daily use, even through bumpy commutes and getting knocked around in gym bags. However, it’s not as resilient as the Yeti or Hydro Flask. Hard falls could lead to dents and scratches more easily than those brands.


​The CamelBak Chute Stainless Steel Water Bottle comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty covering manufacturing defects in materials or workmanship.

​​​RTIC Stainless Steel Water Bottle

​The second product we explored to help settle the Hydro Flask vs Yeti debate was the RTIC Stainless Steel Water Bottle. Like the others, this beverage container is double-walled, vacuum insulated and made top grade stainless steel. However, this is the most affordable of all the water bottles we reviewed.

​The RTIC bottle comes in six different colors and five sizes, so anyone can find the perfect bottle to meet their unique style and needs. It features a leak-proof cap to protect against spills, plus a three-finger grip for easy handling. The extra-wide mouth also makes cleaning and filling a breeze.

​This product provides temperature retention for hot and cold, but excels with cold beverages. RTIC claims the bottle will keep its contents cold and crisp for 24 hours. It also features a no-sweat exterior, so you’ll never have to deal with pesky condensation dripping down your bottle.

​Temperature Retention

​We gave the RTIC Stainless Steel Water Bottle three out of five stars for temperature retention. Compared to the other products we reviewed, this bottle couldn’t compete in this category. While most users had great success with keeping drinks cold throughout the day, this bottle could only retain heat for a few hours. However, this is a non-issue if you primarily want a water bottle to keep drinks cold.

​Ease of Cleaning

​For ease of cleaning, this water bottle earned four out of five stars. Like many similar products, the RTIC bottle must be hand washed. However, the extra-wide opening allows for quick, simple and thorough cleaning.


​We gave this product four out of five stars for durability. Like the other water bottles we reviewed, it impressed us with its strength and resilience. It holds up well throughout frequent use and won’t dent easily. However, a hard fall could cause minor damage.


​The RTIC Stainless Steel Water Bottle comes with a 90-day limited manufacturer’s warranty.

​​​​​Hydro Flask vs Yeti: The Verdict

person in yellow coat holding a hydro flask vs yeti tumbler

Image Via Pexels

Although both products exceeded our expectations, we determined that one outperformed the other. In the battle of Hydro Flask vs Yeti, the Yeti Rambler has earned the title of the best stainless steel water bottle. After analyzing our findings, we gave the Hydro Flask an overall rating of four out of five stars, but gave the Yeti an overall rating of five out of five stars.

This decision was a close call. There were pros and cons to each product, plus an overwhelming number of similar features. The Yeti was slightly more durable and offered longer temperature retention than any of the bottles we reviewed. However, it’s important to note that all of these products are excellent water bottles. The Yeti may have earned the top spot on our list, but we recommend giving any of these outstanding products a try.

Rei Water Bottles: Most Trusted Outdoors Supply Companies in the World

Rei Water Bottles

REI is one of the most trusted Outdoors supply companies in the world. It is known for high product quality standards as well as for stocking many of the latest in outdoor, travel and survival merchandise. As you might expect, this company offers many different types of water bottles, both on its e-commerce site and at brick-and-mortar locations. You can find almost any water container you might need at REI, from a super-durable plastic bottle to an insulated steel canteen for arctic excursions. In this article, we will review REI water bottles, single out a few popular options and look at some of the other places where you can buy your liquid storage equipment.

An Overview of the Bottle Selection at REI

As mentioned before, REI is an outdoors store. Therefore, most of the bottles you will find there have a specific survivalist application. Others are simply rugged, high-quality containers. Some are adaptable for the daily commuter, and some are best for extended adventures, large expeditions or group camping trips.

[amazon box=”B01J2EOBEK”]

 Refining the Selection

We had to narrow down the catalog of water containers available at REI before reviewing. That’s because there are a lot of specialty items, such as high-capacity bottles for longer trips and lightweight hydration systems for trail runners. This review is focused on general-use bottles that you’re likely to see used as somebody’s primary personal water container.

 A Range of Capacities

Generally, when you’re shopping for a water bottle, you’ll want to look for a capacity of somewhere around 32 ounces — one liter in metric. Go any smaller, and you might not have enough capacity to last between refills. Buy something larger, and the weight of a full bottle — not to mention the tare weight of the empty bottle — could become too much of an encumbrance for even relatively short treks.

 Lower-Weight Options

Speaking of weight, lightweight is the name of the game unless you are doing most of your transport by boat or motor vehicle. Even if you’re on a touring bike, a reduced load could be a good thing. With the bottles REI offers, it’s usually pretty simple to lose a few ounces here and there.

 Damage Resistance

You shouldn’t have to worry too much about durability if you’re shopping at REI. The company makes a point to only stock high-quality products. Of course, the trade-off for the quality selection and wide variety is that you pay a significant percentage over most other retailers. For some people, the confidence in quality is enough. After all, you certainly wouldn’t want to cut corners if you were planning to stake your life on the quality of your camping gear.

 REI Customer Service and Returns

Customer service at REI is good — in fact, it leads the industry in terms of major outdoors supply brands. When you’re at the store, associates often know what they’re talking about. Even the clerks at the cashier stations often have adventurous inclinations. Online, you can usually reach the company easily through the official website or on most major social media channels. Email and phone calls are also an option. The people at REI know the products they sell and are often willing to guide you towards a purchase that will satisfy your specific applications.

Another thing to keep in mind is that REI has a decent store return program if you do happen to buy a product that doesn’t stand up to your expectations. It’s easier to return an unused item, but you can usually exchange an obviously faulty product as well.

The bottom line is that REI or the manufacturer will probably stand behind any products you buy at the store. Therefore, it’s safe to say that one thing that every REI water bottle is dependability. The retailer or the equipment maker will work with you to make sure you’re happy with your purchase.  

The Type of Bottles Available at REI

The material composition of your bottle often turns out to be its most important characteristic. Materials define the bottle along with the size. Everything else is icing on the cake. If you need a general-purpose bottle, then you will probably end up going with plastic. It is the best combination of utility, durability and low weight. Stainless steel is another mainstream option. You could get a bottle that keeps water insulated or one that you can heat over an open fire to thaw. If weight is your first concern, then you might decide to get a bottle made of flexible film.

Plastic Bottles

One feature that REI will probably always demand of its plastic water bottles is that they must be BPA-free. BPAs are potentially harmful substances. It’s a major deal breaker in the high-end adventure athletics market that REI serves. Obviously, people would begin to distrust a store that sold them a product that could contribute to ill health. While the BPA-free process has become an industry standard, it might be good to check on your label of the bottle just to make sure.

 Nalgene and Similar Bottles

REI carries many different Nalgene bottles. This brand is famous all over the world in hiking, backpacking and camping circles. Nalgene is known for its hard plastic copolyester that can withstand extreme impact without cracking or breaking, although the bottles can be susceptible to wear over time. If you’re not sure you believe the hype, you can probably find videos online of people subjecting Nalgene products to horrible ordeals, such as bashing them with sledgehammers and running them over with trucks. Watch a few of those clips, and it should settle most of your concerns about the ability of the bottle to stand up during your daily use.

[amazon box=”B078HNGJ7N”]

 Not All Plastic is the Same

Generally speaking, the copolyester and HDPE plastics Nalgene and its competitors use are tough enough to stand up to adventures — as well as laboratory, mechanical and heavy-duty packaging applications. REI offers these bottles in many styles. There are also many limited-edition designs, although it’s worth mentioning that the prints and decals tend to start wearing off after a few months of heavy use or else get covered up by stickers you accumulate along your journey.

As Strong as Steel

Another popular material in REI water bottles is stainless steel. Some of the biggest sellers for the premium retailer are from the YETI Rambler line of vacuum-walled bottles. This manufacturer makes a wide variety of different types of travel bottles and jugs. They’re known in the camping and adventure community for extreme durability and good insulation.

 Upping Weight, Adding Features

A stainless steel option, such as a Yeti bottle, is probably going to be a little heavier than most plastic bottles. Stainless steel makes up for the extra weight with its versatility, which allows it to provide some special features that aren’t always practical with an all-plastic bottle. Most notably, you can cook in some steel containers.

Design Options

There are many aspects to bottle design other than capacity and materials. REI has plenty of options to choose from. Each is good for specific applications. Here’s an overview of what to consider while shopping.

 Thermal Insulation

Do you need a bottle that will keep liquids cool or hot? Double-walled stainless steel defines the category. The better the quality of the insulation, the longer you’re going to have before your water freezes or warms up. The best bottles also reduce condensation as a function of their superior insulating capabilities.

 How Will You Access Your Contents?

When you’re shopping for water bottles, pay attention to the size of the opening. REI has wide-mouth bottles — easy to clean and hard to drink out of — and narrow-neck canteens for on-the-go chugging. If you depend on your bottle to serve double duty as a food dish, go wide-mouth. If you’re going to be biking, get something with a hands-free sports cap.

 Neck Style

If you plan on making your own attachment, or if you want the option in a pinch, then you should make sure that you get a bottle with a flange around the neck. That way, your rig will stay securely in place, allowing you to close your container securely. It will also keep your paracord wrap away from your lips when you try to take a drink.

 Cap Design

Apart from access, the cap of your bottle makes a big difference in determining the overall durability. If you know that you’re likely to lose caps, make sure there’s some way you can secure yours easily — whether it’s a lanyard attached to your pack or a loop going around the neck of your bottle. Similarly, try to choose a topper with sturdy-looking threads, good seals and durable components. Last but not least, the cap is one of the biggest heat-leak points for insulated bottles. A good cap can make or break your cold-weather water supply.

The Competitive Landscape

Campmor is one of REI’s biggest direct competitors. There’s a lot of overlap in selection and price: you can buy Kleen Kanteen, Nalgene, Camelbak and Platypus for comparable prices at both retailers, for example. However, Campmor doesn’t have the same selection of high-adventure gear. If you want a $, all-weather YETI bottle, shop REI.

Name: Campmor

Amazon is notoriously difficult to browse without picking up a bunch of stuff you don’t need. The selection is amazing, but it can be a bit of a mess: you can find everything from super-premium YETI bottles to cut-rate Nalgene imitators. Also, returns are a bit of a gamble and often involve getting bounced around before you get satisfaction.

Name: Amazon.com

American Science and Surplus is one of the nerdiest places you might ever shop — but remember that Nalgene bottles were originally only used as lab equipment before some enterprising scientist-cum-hiker decided to take one on the trail. A hearty warning to the buyer is necessary here. Products are quirky, and warranties are mostly absent, but there aren’t many other shops that offer you closeout water bottles, brand-new lab equipment and surplus military canteens all in the same place — and sometimes at shockingly low prices.

Name: American Science and Surplus

How REI Compares: Pros and Cons


  • Overall catalog quality
  • Full gear load-out
  • Custom-tailored to your adventure


  • It’s hard to find a lot of bad points
  • Dedicated to its principles
  • high-end bottle for most light hiking or for daily use

Since REI restricts itself to carrying the best brands, it tends to blow its competition out of the water when it comes to overall catalog quality. The average item is much more expensive, but it’s on more or less an even level with other retailers that offer the same product. The customer service is great — you can walk into one of REI’s stores and get a full gear load-out, custom-tailored to your adventure. It surpasses almost any other shop in this regard, with the exception of some smaller retailers, such as Uncle Dan’s and Erehwon.

It’s hard to find a lot of bad points about this retailer. You can find almost anything you need at REI, and the company is dedicated to its principles. The one thing you’re not going to find at this retailer is a bargain. That’s not so much of a big deal, except for one thing: you probably don’t need a high-end bottle for most light hiking or for daily use. However, if you want to buy one bottle for the rest of your life — wherever your path might lead you — REI probably has something for you.

The Bottom Line

You’re not going to go wrong with any REI bottles. Your only risk is buying one that doesn’t fit your needs, but you can consult with a salesperson if you have any questions. You’ll spend a little more money at REI, but the brand quality and the customer support are probably worth it for a small purchase like a water bottle.

A Review of The Mavea Water Filter: The Next Generation of Water Filtration

Glass filled with drinking water

It is a biological fact that our bodies need water every day. Water is essential to keep the body working correctly. It helps keep us healthy and functioning. However, the water we drink can also harm us if it contains contaminants. Even municipal water sources can be unsafe, as guidelines allow for some pollutants. Also, tap water sometimes contains intentionally-added chemicals or other additives.

This has led to a revolution in the way people get their water. Bottled water became incredibly popular, with many people opting to drink water from a bottle rather than the tap. Soon, it seemed everyone was drinking bottled water. While this was great for the water companies, it was horrible for the environment. Those water bottles started piling up in landfills and leaving a huge mess that would linger for many years to come.

In an effort to combat both the bad water and the bad bottles, a new idea emerged in water filtration: home filtration systems that allow you to filter your own tap water. The most common option is the water filter pitcher. You can purify the water from your tap and get it clean and safe to drink.

The Mavea water filter is one of those filtration pitchers. Learn more about what it is and how it works. Find out about its special features, pros and cons, and see how it stacks up when compared to other similar water pitchers.

Mavea filter pitcher on the table

What Is the Mavea Water Filter Pitcher?

A water filter pitcher is like a normal pitcher except at the top of the lid, it has a filter. You add water to the top part of the pitcher. The water then runs through the filter, which removes contaminants. It then flows into the bottom of the pitcher as clean, drinkable water. You can store the water in the pitcher and just pour it out as needed. When it is empty, you just fill the top again and let the filtration process start over.

The filter in the pitcher is designed to be changed out at regular intervals. In most pitchers, they simply drop in and out for easy maintenance.

When buying a water filter pitcher, it is important to consider a few factors. The first is how easy it is to set up the filter. Some water pitchers require the filter to be soaked in water. Others do not. Some filters slip in easily while others may require some more work to get them in. This really depends on the design of the pitcher. When thinking about the design, you also need to consider how easy it is to fill and pour. You want to be able to fill the pitcher without a lot of hassle, especially if you will be using it a lot. You also want it to pour easily without spilling all over.

Finally, you need to think about the size of the pitcher and how that matches your needs. Pitchers come in a range of sizes. You should think about how fast it filters water, too, since that will play into how big of a pitcher you really need. In addition, look into whether you can pour water from the pitcher when it is filtering or if you have to wait for the water to filter completely before pouring. Some pitchers are designed in a way that makes it impossible to pour while filtering without the unfiltered water coming out, too.

two elemaris XL in the kitchen counter

More About the Elemaris XL

The most popular Mavea water pitcher is the Elemaris XL. The Elemaris XL comes in two sizes. You can choose the five or nine-cup pitchers. There is also a range of color choices. Simple white or black are often the best sellers, but if you are feeling more adventurous, Mavea also offers some bright color choices for the nine-cup pitcher, including the following:

  • Eggplant
  • Ruby Red
  • Tangerine

The overall design is very sleek and stylish. It has curved lines and a streamlined look that isn’t clunky, as many similar pitchers may be. It is BPA-free, so as not to introduce any further contaminants to your clean water. The five-cup version is designed to fit inside the door on most refrigerators. Its dimensions are 10.5 x 4.3 x 10.9 inches. The nine-cup pitcher’s dimensions are 10.5 x 6 x 11.7 inches. The pitcher also features molded feet that help keep it stable and prevent it from slipping or scratching your countertops.

The pitcher is very easy to use. The lid has a pour-through design, which means you do not have to remove the lid to add new water for filtering. You can put it right under the faucet and water goes through the pour-through hole in the top of the lid.

The filter is what does all the work, so Mavea ensured it was top of the line. The filter has a micro-screen design that helps to prevent carbon from being released into the filtered water. This is a common issue with these pitchers that can make it difficult to enjoy the water. With the special filtration screen, you should not see any black bits in your clean water.

You also do not have to pre-soak the filter to prepare it for use, which is a common requirement for similar filters. It has a special shape that helps it to provide a consistent flow when filtering the water. It also contains silver to help extend the life of the filter and provide antimicrobial protection.

There is also a digital meter on the top of the pitcher that monitors the filter’s life, so you always know when to change it out. The filter is completely recyclable, and Mavea even has a recycling program for its filters.

The filter has also been tested to see how well it works and what types of contaminants it can remove from the water. Here is a look at what tests have shown this filter can reduce or eliminate:

  • Pesticides
  • Heavy metals
  • Limescale
  • Chlorine
  • Organic impurities
Elemaris XL pitcher close up

This pitcher actually is certified to remove more contaminants, such as copper, benzene and atrazine, than any other pitcher. Each filter will last through 40 gallons of water. It should take about five minutes to fill the five-cup pitcher.

One thing you may notice about this pitcher is that Mavea is not a brand name that is well-known in the U.S. We have some very big names in water filtration, but this is not one of them.

It might make it seem like a knock-off or generic brand. However, that is far from the truth. Mavea is a brand out of Germany, but its roots are in the U.S. It actually used to be a part of the company that owns Brita, a very well-known name in this industry.

Mavea actually created the first filters used in Brita pitchers. When the company sold, it had to agree not to sell water filter pitchers in the U.S. until 2005. So, it wasn’t around for a while, but now it is back, and we can enjoy the great German engineering that went into creating this amazing water pitcher. How Much Does It Cost?

You might be wondering about the cost now. There are two costs to think of when it comes to a water filter pitcher. You have to buy the pitcher itself, which usually comes with at least one filter. Then, you will need to purchase the filters. Your actual costs over time will greatly depend on how often you use the pitcher and how much water you filter since it can only work for a certain amount of filtering.

You can find the pitchers at a range of popular retailers, including:

You can often find sales, though, to get filters.

Comparing the Mavea Elemaris XL to Other Similar Pitchers

Now, let’s see how the Elemaris XL compares to other popular water filter pitchers. We will just do a quick rundown on each pitcher, giving you some ratings for certain aspects. We will also offer a little commentary to explain the ratings.

The Elemaris XL gets rave reviews from consumers, earning it a perfect score in our ratings. Its ingenious design removes some of the common issues people have with these pitchers, including the problem of wrangling the lid to try to add water, which Mavea solves with its pour-through design. This pitcher is well-thought-out and makes filtering water simple.

While this pitcher from Soma looks elegant, users find it clunky. The lid has to be removed to fill it, which makes it less inviting than the Mavea pitcher. There are also a lot of complaints that the filter does not do a good job and the overall design is poor. It does hold 10 cups, which is a leg up on the Mavea.

This seven-cup filter pitcher from Pur takes longer to get ready to use because the filter has to be soaked prior to use. Users also complain that it is hard to pour, with water going everywhere if it isn’t held at the exact right angle. The lid does not seem to fit well and easily comes off or apart when using.

Pros and Cons

No good review would be complete without a list of pros and cons. We put together this comprehensive list using user reviews and our own observations about the water pitcher. We also considered the filter and thought about how it compares to the other pitchers on the market. This is a very competitive field, so we wanted to be sure you get all the details to help you make the most informed decision when you go to buy a water filter pitcher.



  • Filter makes water taste pure and removes nasty odors and tastes with ease
  • Can pour water while it is still filtering
  • Very easy to assemble, clean and change filter
  • Refilling pitcher is super easy and can be done one-handed
  • No charcoal in the filtered water
  • Pitcher is very durable and holds up well to being dropped
  • Non-slip bottom works great on slippery counters



  • Storing the pitcher in the fridge can weaken plastic and lead to breakage
  • Digital monitor needs careful handling, or it can break
  • First few runs through the filter produces undrinkable water
  • Size is too small for those needing large quantities of water daily
  • Flap on pour spout is flimsy and falls off easily

Our Final Thoughts

Mavea pitcher with lemon on the background

Overall, the Mavea water filter pitcher is highly recommended. It is user-friendly and the design was well thought out. It blows away similar pitchers when it comes to how easy it is to use and how well it functions.

The Best Straw Sippy Cup To Choose For Your Little One

Sissy Cup

Choosing a sippy cup for your child may seem like an easy task, but there are many things to consider! There are different types of sippy cups, with some being easier to clean, some being less likely to spill, some meant to transition children from using a bottle, and some that can be used by older kids. Which one is the best straw sippy cup? In this article, we’ve picked out ten to review, to make your choice a little easier.

Comparison Table

[amazon box=”B01M9IZB0N, B003LPUPVU, B00X8BREJS, B01L3UJ0P6, B003N49ML8, B00CD9ZH9K, B00318CO6G, B01HIOSM1Y, B0031E1GEG, B009LL61LG ” template=”table”]

Best Straw Sippy Cup FAQ

1. What Is A Straw Sippy Cup?

A sippy cup is a cup meant for toddlers and young children, designed to be easy to drink from and unlikely to spill. A straw sippy cup is a specific design of sippy cup that has a straw for children to drink from, instead of a spigot or other type of opening.

2. When Should My Child Start Using The Best Straw Sippy Cup?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, many infants are ready to use sippy cups by the time they are six to nine months old. If they can sit up in a high chair or feeding chair, they can drink from a sippy cup. Introducing straw cups can start at a slightly older age, from nine to fifteen months.

3. What Are The Benefits Of The Best Straw Sippy Cups?

There are several benefits of transitioning to straw sippy cups:

  • Help children build lip, cheek, and tongue strength
  • Promote the development of a proper swallow pattern
  • Encourage tongue resting position that is best for speech development

How We Reviewed

We wanted to provide a diverse list of straw sippy cups so that there is something for everyone, regardless of budget and preferences. We compiled our list by comparing the many straw sippy cups on the market and considering what each offered, looking at things like ease of use and cleaning, design, and customer satisfaction. Once we had our list, we reviewed each cup based on its features, price, and availability.

Overall Price Range

at the top of the children books is a baby cup with red straw

Image by Annie Spratt from Pixabay

The price range of straw sippy cups can start around $5 and go up to over $20. Straw sippy cups at the lower end of the price range may be more basic in design, will be made of inexpensive materials, and could be harder to clean than straw sippy cups at the higher end of the range. However, the appeal of the inexpensive cups is that children will often lose them and leave them behind, so you may not want to invest $20 or more on this item.

The price of each straw sippy cup was given a rating of $, $$, or $$$, where $ represents a price at the lower end of the range and $$$ represents a price at the higher end of the range. Prices with a rating of $$ are mid-range.

What We Reviewed

  • Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup
  • Thinkbaby Thinkster
  • Munchkin Click Lock Weighted Straw Cup
  • OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup
  • Nuby No-Spill Cup with Flex Straw
  • b.box Sippy Cup with Innovative Weighted Straw
  • Foogoo Vacuum Insulated Straw Bottle
  • nuspin kids 8 oz Zoomi Straw Sippy Cup
  • ZoLi BOT 6 Ounce
  • Lollaland Lollacup

Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup

[amazon box=”B01M9IZB0N”]


This is one of the best straw sippy cups out there for many reasons. Parents like them because they are 100% leak-proof, with a 30-day money-back guarantee by the company. These cups have a short straw that encourages children to use their natural tongue and swallowing movements. They are BPA-free and dishwasher safe. The straw can be flipped down to close the cup. Kids love these cups because they come in multiple mix-and-match colors, have detachable handles for easy gripping, and feature bendable straws.

These cups are not clear and do not feature measurement indicators, making the tracking of fluid intake difficult. This could be problematic for parents transitioning their children from bottles. However, this cup is recommended by over 80% of pediatric dentists because it allows for healthy oral development, which may be enough for parents to overlook difficulties in measuring fluid intake.

Thinkbaby Thinkster

[amazon box=”B003LPUPVU”]


This cup features a soft, silicone straw that has a life span of two to three months. The straws are designed so they will not spill if a child turns the cup upside down. It has removable handles with grooves for easy gripping. Some users complained that the cup was harder to clean than other cups and that the silicone straw was difficult to put back through the lid when reassembling the cup.

Munchkin Click Lock Weighted Straw Cup

[amazon box=”B00X8BREJS”]


The best feature on this sippy cup is that when you twist it close, it audibly locks into place, helping to prevent leaks. Parents liked it because the one-piece spout was easy to clean. They also liked that it is virtually spill-free, even when tested by adults. It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if it leaks, the company will replace it.This cup lacks handles, but its hourglass shape with textured sides make it easy for toddlers to handle. It has a weighted straw that will stay in place if children hold the cup at different angles, though some parents felt the straw required too much sucking power.

OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup

[amazon box=”B01L3UJ0P6″]


This cup has removable handles and an hourglass shape that make holding easy when not using the handles. This is one of the best straw sippy cups for younger children just learning to use them because it has a straw valve that opens up as soon as the child’s mouth is on the straw. They do not have to suck very hard to get a drink.The valve stays closed when the child isn’t drinking, helping to prevent spills. The cup has a hinged cap that can be closed when not in use, keeping the straw clean. The whole thing can be taken apart easily for washing by hand or in the dishwasher. According to the company, this cup can be used by infants as young as four months old.

Nuby No-Spill Cup with Flex Straw

[amazon box=”B003N49ML8″]


For toddlers over the age of twelve months, this is one of the best straw sippy cups. The straw is designed with a valve that opens when the child sucks on it but stays closed when it is not being used. This way, the liquid is only released when a child is drinking, and not when the cup is being carried around. The straw is silicone, meaning it is gentle on a child’s lips and gums. The straw reaches down to the base of the cup, encouraging children to hold it upright to drink from it. The cup itself has a fun, curvy design with grooves to help children hold on to it.Some parents said that it could be a little harder for children to drink from this cup because they must suck to open the valve, but since this cup is designed for children over a year old, this is not a common complaint.

b.box Sippy Cup with Innovative Weighted Straw

[amazon box=”B00CD9ZH9K”]


This simple cup has a weighted straw that allows children to drink from it without spilling, even if they tilt the cup at an angle. It has a flip-top that can be flipped closed when not in use. This cup is made of six parts, which can allow for a thorough cleaning, but also makes cleaning and reassembly more of a hassle.

Foogoo Vacuum Insulated Straw Bottle

[amazon box=”B00318CO6G”]


This may be the best straw sippy cup for families on the go. Designed by THERMOS for children eighteen months of age or older, it keeps drinks cold for ten hours. It has a lid that easily pops open when the child pushes the button and an easy-to-use straw. It is made from stainless steel, making it much sturdier than most of the best straw sippy cups on this list.The rubbery bottom means it is more likely to stay where children set it, instead of tipping over. While the straw leaks mildly if the cup is tipped upside down, closing the lid of the cup makes it leakproof for travel. Drawbacks include the fact it is heavier than most sippy cups, and that it requires a straw brush for proper cleaning. However, for those looking for a sturdy container that will keep liquids cold all day, this is a great option.

nuspin kids 8 oz Zoomi Straw Sippy Cup

[amazon box=”B01HIOSM1Y”]


This cup has a removable straw that locks into place when inserted through the opening in the lid. The lack of valve makes it easier to sip from than some valved-straw options and also makes it better for thicker liquids such as smoothies. Parents loved that it is smooth and easy to clean. One complaint was that it isn’t leak proof. Also, some children can push the straw all the way into the cup, requiring an adult to fix it before they could continue drinking.

ZoLi BOT 6 Ounce

[amazon fields=”B0031E1GEG”value=”thumb” image_size=”large”]


Like many of the best straw sippy cups, this one comes with a valve-free straw and a lid that flips down to hide it. It has two handles that are attached to the lid. The straw is weighted, allowing children to drink while holding the cup at different angles. Parents report that the straw is easy to drink from. Also, because it reaches to the bottom of the cup, children can drink every last drop. The straw is thinner than some and does not detach from the weight, so it can be a little difficult to clean. However, the company sells replacement straws, which come with a straw cleaner.

Lollaland Lollacup

[amazon box=”B009LL61LG”]


One thing that both parents and toddlers love about this cup is the design. The lid looks like a bird! It comes in various colors, which can be mixed and matched. It has a weighted, valve-free straw, and removable handles. It is dishwasher safe and it comes with a straw brush for extra cleanliness. The lack of a valve means it is not leak proof when the lid is open, but closing the lid will stop any leaks when traveling. The lid is easy for children to open and close on their own. Parents also report that, unlike some strawed cups, the liquid does not squirt out the top of the straw when the temperature changes.

The Verdict

Pink Tomme Tippee Sippy Cup

Image by Mabelle Imago from Pixabay

With so many choices available, it can be hard to decide which straw sippy cup to buy. However, we have a few recommendations to help you out with your decision.

Best For Beginners

For infants under a year old who are just beginning to transition from bottle to sippy, we recommend the OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup. It comes highly recommended by parents because it can be used by infants as young as four months old. It is easy to suck from, does not leak easily, and is simple to clean.

Kid’s Choice

For those who want an adorable cup that their child can carry around with them, and for those who prefer valve-free straws, we’ll point you towards the Lollaland Lollacup. The easy-to-open-and-close lid means that children can carry it with them anywhere and help themselves to drinks as they please. This sippy cup is also less likely than others to squirt liquid out of the top.

Most Affordable

The most affordable cup on our list is the Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup. They come in packs of two and can be mixed and matched. Kids love the bendy straws!

Best For Long Trips

Finally, for parents who want the best straw sippy cup they can take with them on a day of errands or a family day trip, we recommend the Foogoo Vacuum Insulated Straw Bottle. The stainless steel design gives you durability and will keep drinks cold for up to ten hours.

When choosing a straw sippy cup for your child, first decide on what features and factors are most important for you. Also, consider your budget and if you believe you will often be replacing lost sippy cups. Once you have a clear picture of your needs, finding the best straw sippy cup for your child will be a breeze.