A Comprehensive Guide to Bottled Water: What You Need to Know

Bottled water has become an integral part of our daily lives, from our home refrigerators to our workspaces, gyms, and everywhere in between. But with the proliferation of brands, how can one determine which is the best? What separates one brand from another? This guide delves deep into the realm of bottled water, shedding light on what sets certain brands apart, the importance of purification, and how you can make informed decisions when it comes to hydration.

Purified Bottled Water: An In-depth Overview

1. Defining "Purified"

A water distiller unit is essentially a mechanized system that replicates the distillation process described above. The unit boils water, captures and cools the steam, and then collects the resulting distilled water. This distilled water, if processed correctly, should be free from contaminants and is deemed fit for varied uses, from laboratory settings to personal consumption.

2. Purification vs. Filtration

While both processes aim to clean the water, purified water undergoes more intensive treatments. Such treatments could include reverse osmosis, distillation, carbon filtration, and deionization. On the other hand, filtered water might not go through these multifaceted stages, making it less pure than its counterpart.

3. Source Matters, but Not Entirely:

Interestingly, purified water could originate from any source. It’s the stringent purification techniques applied afterward that ensure its purity. Whether the water springs from a pristine mountain or gets drawn from a municipal supply, the end purification processes are what define its quality and safety.

4. The Mineral Question

The purification process might strip water of its natural minerals. Recognizing the health benefits of these minerals, some brands reintroduce them afterward, striking a balance between purity and nutritional value.

Why Bottled Water Has Taken Center Stage

1. Ubiquity

Bottled water’s sheer availability has fueled its popularity. Whether you’re in a city or rural setting, chances are you’ll find bottled water retailers. Even if your preferred brand isn’t on a store shelf, online platforms bridge the gap, ensuring you’re never too far from your hydration source.

2. Taste

Many testify to the superior taste of bottled water over tap water. With tap water, mineral content and additives like fluoride can alter taste, sometimes leading to a less pleasant drinking experience. In contrast, bottled water, especially those enriched with minerals post-purification, offers a fresher, sometimes even sweeter taste.

3. Safety Concerns

While tap water in many regions is declared safe, trusting its quality in unfamiliar territories can be dicey. Bottled water comes with a perceived assurance of quality, making it a safer bet, especially when traveling.

4. Optimal Mineral Balance:

While certain minerals can alter taste, having them in the right proportions can be beneficial. Bottled water companies often ensure their products maintain this delicate balance, contributing to both taste and health.

5. Baby Safety

Parents often prefer bottled water for their babies due to its guaranteed purity. With their still-developing immune systems, infants are more susceptible to infections. Given the rigorous purification bottled water undergoes, it’s seen as a safer option for the young ones.

Is Bottled Water Truly as Safe as It's Made Out to Be?

1. The Fluoride Factor

While fluoride is touted for its dental benefits, its presence in drinking water divides opinion. Some bottled water brands might retain or reintroduce it, while others might omit it entirely. Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference.

2. Regulatory Compliance

Bottled water manufacturers aren’t just about selling; they’re bound by laws. Regulatory bodies, like the FDA, in conjunction with standards set by the EPA, ensure bottled water is safe for consumption.

3. Avoiding Contamination:

Despite stringent measures, there have been isolated incidents of bottled water contamination. Recognizing the reputational and health risks involved, brands invest heavily in ensuring the entire bottling process, from source to shelf, remains contamination-free.

The Health Angle: Why Hydration Matters

1. Boosting Immunity

For those with weakened immune systems, purified bottled water can be a lifeline. Processes like distillation and reverse osmosis help remove potential health threats like the Cryptosporidium parasite.

2. Mineral Balance

Apart from hydration, drinking water provides essential minerals that bolster overall health.

3. Kidney Functionality

Regular water intake is crucial for proper kidney function, ensuring toxins are filtered out effectively

4. Skin Health

Hydration plays a pivotal role in maintaining skin elasticity and preventing premature aging.

5. Digestion

Adequate water consumption aids digestion and prevents issues like constipation.
  • Minimal maintenance required, further accentuated by the absence of the need for replacement filters. /li>
  • Easy to assemble right out of the box.
  • Functions efficiently without the need for electricity.

Top Water Bottle Brands


Aquafina sources its water from public water systems. Afterward, the water undergoes a series of purification steps, including reverse osmosis and other filtering methods. These processes eliminate contaminants, chlorine, and trace compounds like manganese, magnesium, and sodium.

Aquafina Review

While the base source for Aquafina is similar to tap water, the end product tastes distinctly pure. Thanks to its purification methods, the water tastes refreshing, promoting better hydration.


  • Uses multiple purification steps, including reverse osmosis.
  • Water is free from contaminants, chlorine, and certain trace compounds.
  • Tastes distinctly pure, encouraging better hydration.


  • Sourced from public water systems, similar to tap water.


Produced by Coca Cola, Dasani water starts as tap water but is enhanced using filtration techniques. It also contains mineral traces.

Dasani Review

Dasani leverages reverse osmosis to purify its water, resulting in a crisp taste. The brand also enriches its water with minerals for added health benefits. A significant feature is the 100% recyclable bottle, which is partially made from plants and free of BPA.
Produced by Coca Cola, Dasani water starts as tap water but is enhanced using filtration techniques. It also contains mineral traces.


  • Uses reverse osmosis for purification.
  • Enriched with minerals for health benefits.
  • Bottle is 100% recyclable and partially made from plants.


  • Essentially starts as tap water.


Essentia’s mission is to transform water from any source into pure, drinkable water. Their proprietary ionization method produces alkaline water rich in ions. After purification, the brand infuses the water with trace electrolytes for enhanced taste and health benefits.

Essentia Review

Essentia’s ionized alkaline water stands out for its hydration effectiveness and lack of bitterness. The water has a pH level of 9.5. Additionally, its bottles are recyclable and free from harmful substances like BPA.


  • Uses a unique ionization method to produce alkaline water.
  • Infused with trace electrolytes for taste and health.
  • Bottles are recyclable and BPA-free.


  • Alkaline water might not be preferable for everyone.

Kirkland Signature

Originating from Costco, Kirkland Signature water offers a taste derived from advanced purification techniques.

Kirkland Review

The brand uses a combination of reverse osmosis, ionization, and filtration to ensure premium quality. The water not only tastes fresh but also contains beneficial minerals.


  • Uses multiple purification methods, including ionization.
  • Contains beneficial minerals.


  • Being a store brand, some might question its quality in comparison to dedicated water brands.


Owned by PepsiCo, LIFEWTR is a premium bottled water brand. It’s balanced with electrolytes for taste and displays a “best taste date” on its label. The brand also collaborates with artists to design their bottles.


LIFEWTR’s filtration process results in a neutral pH and enhances its flavor with electrolytes. The brand emphasizes its eco-friendly approach with 100% recyclable bottles.


  • Balanced with electrolytes for taste.
  • Emphasizes eco-friendly approach with 100% recyclable bottles.
  • Collaborates with artists for unique bottle designs.


  • Tied to PepsiCo, which might sway opinions based on one’s stance on large corporations.


Established in 1963, Niagara focuses on delivering high-quality water at affordable prices. The brand ensures thorough purification with reverse osmosis, micron filtration, and ionizer technologies.

Niagara Review

Niagara water is recognized for its rigorous purification process and recyclable bottles. Its crisp taste has made it a favorite among many families.


  • Established reputation since 1963.
  • Uses thorough purification processes.
  • Offers recyclable bottles.


  • The brand doesn’t have as many unique selling points as some competitors.

Nursery Water

Targeted at infants, Nursery Water, from DS Services of America, was established in 1948 to address concerns about the water quality used in baby food.

Nursery Water Review

The water undergoes a triple purification process, ensuring its suitability for babies. Those who prefer a fluoride-free option can opt for Nursery Water without fluoride.


  • Specifically designed for infants.
  • Undergoes a rigorous triple purification process.
  • Provides an option without fluoride.


  • Targeted primarily at a niche audience (infants).


Founded in 1999 by United Beverage, Penta Water is touted to be produced through a unique filtration process. The brand’s founder claims that the water’s additional oxygen content offers therapeutic benefits.

Penta Review

Penta’s patented 13-step purification process distinguishes it from other brands. It provides water that’s nearly 100 times purer than typical bottled water.


  • Unique 13-step purification process.
  • Claims to be nearly 100 times purer than typical bottled water.
  • Claims additional oxygen content offers therapeutic benefits.


  • The therapeutic benefits of the additional oxygen content might be seen as questionable or marketing gimmickry.

Pure Life

Owned by Nestlé Waters North America, Nestle Pure Life underwent a rebranding in 2002. The brand has always prioritized offering pure, safe drinking water.


  • Owned by a recognized and established company, Nestlé.
  • Focuses on providing pure, safe drinking water.


  • The parent company, Nestlé, has faced criticism and controversy over its water sourcing and practices, which may influence consumer opinions of Pure Life.
It’s worth noting that these pros and cons are based on the provided details and might vary depending on personal opinions and experiences with each brand. Always consult a variety of sources and reviews when evaluating products.

2017 Bottled Water Sales Report (Values in million U.S. dollars)

Despite swirling rumors of its dwindling popularity, the bottled water sector remains buoyant. Environmental concerns over plastic use aside, people are still reaching out for that bottle.
Today, bottled water isn’t just about quenching thirst; it’s a statement. Some buy it for health, others for its trendiness. An intriguing development is the rise of “aquanomia” — a term for water aficionados who appreciate the finer nuances of different waters.

Bottled Water Sales Insights

Did You Know? The Tap Water Origins of Top Brands

  1. Dasani
  2. Aquafina

It’s essential to understand that the source of the water is secondary to its treatment. The key is in its purification. Notably, several other bottled water brands might also have origins in PWS (Public Water Sources), which is essentially tap water. However, concrete evidence was elusive during my research for this report.

With a multitude of bottled water brands vying for attention, each touting its unmatched purity, how does one pick? The bottles might look similar, but the stories they tell are different. I’ve delved deep into the narratives of the leading bottled water brands, examining their claims. This comprehensive review aims to guide your next choice in bottled water.

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