Choosing a reusable water bottle for your team or target audience requires some thought.

The type of custom water bottle you select should meet the needs of its users while promoting your brand. Sound difficult? It’s easy when you have the proper information to guide your decision. Let me walk you through it.

Water Bottle Buying Guide

custom water bottles

When you need to order personalized water bottles for a club, business, organization or event there are several factors to consider:

The cost factor for printed water bottles

Price is often the main consideration when buying water bottles for a large group or fundraising event. Bulk pricing can save you big bucks and keep you within your budget.

Customized plastic water bottles typically are cheaper than those made with stainless steel and other materials. Plastic bottles also are lighter and easier to carry when you’re on the go. They rarely break when dropped, which can be a huge plus for athletes during high-energy activities. You can also rest assured that there are many eco-friendly water bottles and BPA-free water bottles on the market today.

You’ll pay more for personalized stainless steel, copper and glass water bottles but they are built tougher to last longer. You may not appreciate the extra weight, but you’ll love that most styles are dishwasher safe and recyclable.

Bulk aluminum water bottles are a middle-of-the-road choice when comparing cost. They are lightweight and recyclable but can be easily dented if dropped. Customized aluminum water bottles closely resemble stainless steel varieties in appearance but won’t eat up your budget as quickly.

Pros and cons of the top water bottle materials

Plastic water bottles


  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Eco-friendly options


  • Hand washing recommended
  • Not recommended for freezing
  • Not safe for hot beverages

Stainless steel water bottles


  • Long-lasting
  • Handles hot and cold liquids
  • Most are dishwasher safe
  • Recyclable


  • Higher cost
  • Hot to the touch in warm temperatures
  • Heavier than plastic or aluminum



  • High quality
  • Eco-friendly
  • Most are dishwasher safe
  • Long-lasting


  • Breakable
  • Heavy to carry
  • Higher cost

Aluminum water bottles


  • Lightweight
  • Looks high-end
  • Recyclable


  • Can be dented if handled roughly
  • Hot to touch in warm temperatures
  • Minimal insulating quality

What size water bottle is best?

water bottle sizes

The size of the water bottle you choose for your group should depend on the age and activity level of the users. A smaller water bottle with a contour that is easy to grip is best for young children. Totally Promotional’s adorable 12 oz. Waddle Pals Flat Bottle is the perfect size for small hands!

The best water bottle sizes for most adults are 16 to 24 ounces. Why? According to the smart folks at Harvard Medical School, healthy people should drink two to three cups of water per hour. You can fill one of these water bottles and empty it in 60 minutes to reach that goal. A larger bottle could save a few trips to the faucet but isn’t as easy to handle.

Which water bottle is right for your needs?

Our staff each year helps hundreds of customers choose the perfect custom water bottles for their school, sports teams, fitness centers, fundraisers, corporate events and more. Check out our top recommendations for specific uses:

1. Kids’ water bottles for school

kids water bottles

Who orders these? Teachers, PTO members, academic groups, field trip organizers, club leaders, parent groups

Plastic is the best water bottle material for younger students because it’s lighter and unlikely to break if dropped. It’s currently the most popular choice for gym water bottles. Look for water bottles that offer lots of bottle and lid colors to match your school theme. Our 16 oz. and 20 oz. plastic water bottles are the best sizes for placing on a child’s desk, taking outside for recess, grabbing during a game or storing in a locker.

Product pick: 20 oz. Colored Plastic Sports and Bike Bottle (TSB100)

2. Team water bottles

team water bottles

Who orders these? Coaches, sports clubs, athletic directors, parent groups

Durability is the No. 1 priority if it’s likely these water bottles will be dropped, thrown or roughly handled. High-density polyethylene is highly recommended for high school and college athletes. Look for a style that’s comfortable to grip and has an easy-open-lid for hydrating quickly.

Product pick: 28 oz. Travel Colors Bike Bottle (TSB103)

3. Water bottles for employee gifts

corporate water bottle

Who orders these? Company CEOs, human resource directors, personnel managers

Employee gifts are meant to show appreciation for hard work and accomplishments. Unless you’re working with a super-slim budget, don’t choose solely by cost. Prestigious stainless steel, copper insulated and glass water bottles say “thank you” with gusto! Plus, the longevity of these well-made personalized bottles will gift you back with lots of branding.

Product pick: 16 oz. Stainless Steel Swig Bottle

4. Water bottle giveaways at trade shows

trade show water bottle

Who orders these? Business leaders, public relations directors, marketing employees

Win over visitors to your trade show booth by handing out custom aluminum water bottles. The metallic look is impressive and the price won’t smash your marketing budget. Most aluminum water bottles are recyclable, which gives you a respectable “green” reputation.

Product pick: 20 oz. Aluminum Water Bottle (TSB106)

5. Fitness center water bottles

gym water bottles

Who orders these? Gym owners and their marketing agents

Stylish reusable plastic water bottles make the perfect gift for new gym members. They also can be used to reward members for reaching goals or as a sponsor gift at 5Ks and other races. Plastic water bottles are a low-cost promotional product that doubles as a mobile billboard to advertise your business.

Product pick: 27 oz. Translucent Bike Bottle (TSB110)

Shop our great selection of customized water bottles today. Also, take a peek at our sustainable water bottles. You’re sure to find a size and style that fits your needs!

custom water bottles


Shelley Grieshop is a former newspaper journalist who earned more than a dozen Associated Press awards for her in-depth research and writing skills. In May 2016, she joined Totally Promotional as a creative writer. She currently writes company blogs about branding, marketing, logos, wedding planning and much more. One of her life goals is to teach people when to use hyphens and apostrophes.


  1. My cousin is thinking about getting a new water bottle because she is exercising a lot more and wants to make sure that she is hydrated. It could be really nice for her to get a 350 ML water bottle so that she can carry it with her on long runs. I liked what you said about how people should drink two to three cups of water an hour normally so most water bottles are 16 to 24 ounces.

    • Thanks for the info, Jenna! I’m glad the blog was helpful for you. It is difficult for most people to keep as hydrated as wellness instructors advise, but keeping a sport bottle handy sure helps!

      Thanks again and best wishes,

      Shelley Grieshop
      Totally Promotional

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