If you’re concerned about the safety of your local drinking water, using bottled water is a simple way to get fresh, clean water for drinking and cooking. Several different bottled water brands exist, and they fall into different categories. What are these categories, and how can they benefit your family?
The main types of bottled water brands are spring water, mineral water, distilled water, alkaline water, and sparkling water. Spring water is most beneficial for drinking and hygiene when local water is unsafe, while distilled water is useful for watering plants and bathing. Each water type should be used in its appropriate setting.
Keep reading to learn more about the different varieties and brands of bottled water, what they offer, and which ones will be best for your family in an emergency.
Table of Contents
Different Types of Bottled Water
Bottled water comes in several types, each with its own unique characteristics. Spring and mineral waters come from natural sources and contain minerals, while purified and distilled waters undergo treatment to remove impurities. Alkaline and electrolyte waters are marketed for their potential health benefits, but the evidence is limited. Flavored waters and sparkling waters offer a variety of tastes and textures.
- Spring water: This is water that comes from a natural spring, and is bottled at the source.
- Mineral water: This is water that contains a high level of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It also comes from a natural source.
- Purified water: This is water that has been treated and purified to remove any impurities or contaminants. This can be done through processes like reverse osmosis, distillation, or carbon filtration.
- Alkaline water: This is water that has a higher pH level than regular tap water. Some proponents claim that it has health benefits, but there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims.
- Electrolyte water: This is water that has added electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium. It is often marketed as a sports drink, and is meant to help with hydration and electrolyte balance.
- Flavored water: This is water that has been flavored with fruit extracts, natural or artificial flavors, or sweeteners. Some types of flavored water may also have added vitamins or minerals.
- Sparkling water: This is water that has been carbonated, giving it bubbles and a fizzy texture. It may be naturally carbonated, or carbon dioxide may be added during the bottling process.
- Vitamin water: This is water that has added vitamins and minerals, often marketed as a healthy alternative to soda.
- Distilled water: This is water that has been boiled and then condensed back into a liquid form. This process removes impurities and minerals from the water.
People concerned about their health and the quality of their drinking water should research the different types of bottled water to determine which option is best for them.
1 – Spring water
Spring water can be a great option for those looking to reap natural health benefits, as it is naturally sourced from underground springs. It tends to contain minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium which boast some potential advantages – but the mineral content may vary according to source so choose wisely.
Whether you’re seeking out that fresh taste or a daily dose of vitality – make sure your spring water brand discloses its information clearly before taking the plunge.
Check out my comprehensive article on the best brands of bottled spring water.
2 – Mineral water
Mineral water can be a refreshing drink full of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium or potassium. These help aid digestion and make for stronger bones as well as hydration that’s easier on the body – plus it has its own unique taste.
Some well-known brands of mineral water include Crystal Geyser Natural Sparkling Mineral Water, FIJI water, and S. Pellegrino.
While more expensive than other bottled waters, mineral water varies in price based on source and quality so shop smartly to get the most out of your money.
We have an article on the top 10 brands of mineral water you find interesting.
3 – Purified water
Purified water is an exceptionally clean form of bottled water that has been filtered or distilled to eliminate any trace of impurities, minerals, and contaminants. This process ensures a refreshingly pure drinking experience for all who consume it. Sources of purified water include municipal water supplies or natural springs.
Popular brands of purified water include Dasani, Aquafina, and Smartwater.
For those worried about the health of their drinking water, purified water is a safe and dependable alternative to tap. Its convenience has made it one of the most popular choices today. However, it is important to note that purified water may lack some of the beneficial minerals found in natural sources of water.
Read my article about whether bottled water is just tap water for an interesting take on this topic.
4 – Alkaline water
Alkaline water stands apart from regular tap water because of its elevated pH level, typically between 8 and 9. Advocates of alkaline water assert that consuming it can help balance the body’s acidity and bolster their well-being.
Brands of alkaline water include Essentia, Alkalife, and Evamor.
While a few studies have suggested that alkaline water may help with acid reflux or even high blood pressure, additional scientific research is necessary to fully confirm these potential benefits. Regardless, alkaline water tastes great and is quickly becoming the preferred choice for hydration on-the-go.
Read my comprehensive review of the best alkaline water brands.
5 – Electrolyte water
Quench your thirst with Electrolyte water, a unique kind of bottled beverage that boasts an array of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. As you sweat during physical activity, these minerals are lost and need to be replenished in order for your body to remain well-hydrated and maintain proper fluid balance.
Some popular brands of electrolyte water include Gatorade, Powerade, and Vitaminwater.
You should be aware that some brands of electrolyte water contain added sugars or artificial flavors. If you’re looking to limit your calorie intake or avoid artificial ingredients, read the label carefully.
6 – Flavored water
Adding an extra element of flavor, bottled water now comes in a variety of natural fruit and herb extracts for a more enjoyable drinking experience. For those who want to avoid sugary drinks and don’t enjoy the taste of regular water, flavored waters may be a great solution.
Some popular brands of flavored water include LaCroix, Sparkling Ice, and Bai.
This type of water often contains added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or other additives. These ingredients can negate the health benefits of drinking water.
7 – Sparkling water
Sparkling water is naturally carbonated or infused with carbon dioxide to create bubbles. It is a good alternative to sugary or artificially sweetened carbonated drinks and can help you stay hydrated.
Some popular brands of sparkling water include Perrier, San Pellegrino, and LaCroix.
Bear in mind that some sparkling waters contain artificial flavors, sweeteners, or other additives. Some people may experience discomfort or bloating from drinking too much carbonated water.
Read my article about PFAS in sparkling water.
8 – Vitamin water
Vitamin water is fortified with vitamins and minerals. These added nutrients can help supplement your diet and promote overall health.
Some popular brands of vitamin water include Vitaminwater, Propel Vitamin Boost, and Hint Kick.
However, vitamin water may also contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners, which can be a concern if you’re looking to limit your total calorie intake or avoid artificial ingredients. Many experts argue that it’s better to get vitamins and minerals from whole foods rather than supplements.
9 – Distilled water
Distilled water is a type of bottled water that has gone through a process of distillation, where it is boiled and then the steam is collected and condensed back into water. This process removes impurities and minerals from the water, resulting in a purer product.
Distilled water is often used in medical and common household applications such as humidifiers and irons. Many people also drink it because it is considered to be the purest form of water.
Some proponents of distilled water claim that it has health benefits such as improved detoxification and increased hydration, but there is little scientific evidence to support these claims. Critics argue that distilled water lacks essential minerals that are important for health, and that it can be slightly acidic due to its lack of alkaline minerals.
What are the Different Brands of Bottled Water?
Bottled water comes in a variety of forms, and sometimes a company will produce multiple types of water under different names, for different purposes. The most common types of branded water are spring water, mineral water, distilled water, alkaline water, and sparkling water.
The most common water brand names include:
- Poland Spring
- Ice Mountain
- La Croix Sparkling Water
Read my article about the 50 most popular brands of bottled water in the US.
Many of these water brands produce spring as well as distilled water, while Perrier is known for its high-quality mineral-rich sparkling water.
Spring water is best for drinking and cooking in an emergency, while distilled water is gentle on the skin, and works well for bathing and sterilizing objects through boiling. Alkaline water may help reduce acidity in the digestive system.
Mineral water contains higher than typical levels of calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium, making it helpful for those with a deficiency of those elements. Finally, sparkling water has a bubbly, fresh taste and may contain added flavors.
So, what are the circumstances in which you would need bottled water? Are there certain situations or events in which bottled water will be safer than tap water?
When Would I Use Bottled Water?
If your town’s water has been declared unsafe to drink, if you have concerns about the safety of well or rural water, or if your water has been rendered unsafe in a natural disaster, your tap water may be unfit to drink.
Keep a close watch on news reports in the wake of flooding or earthquakes to determine if your tap water is safe. You may also have had your well or rural water recently tested and discovered that it is full of harmful metals or unsafe quantities of microbes.
Other unsafe water situations may arise due to industrial runoff from farms and factories, and an oil spill into a nearby river or lake can also contaminate local drinking water.
In all of these situations, having bottled water on hand is going to be crucial for your safety, and you’ll be able to wash up without coming into contact with contaminants, too.
You’ll want to stock up on bottled water before a disaster strikes. Immediately before and after a disaster is when people tend to rush the stores, and making sure to avoid the crush and avoid empty shelves is important. Even if your local water is safe to drink, it’s a good idea to keep at least 3 days’ worth of water on hand, before disaster strikes.
So which type of bottled water is best in an emergency? Is one type better or more useful than the other, and how much water should you have on hand?
Which Type of Bottled Water is Best in an Emergency?
For drinking and cooking spring water is going to be best. Spring water brands are ideal for a variety of situations, and as they have a pleasant flavor can be used for cooking and every member of the family.
They can also be bought in bulk and are relatively inexpensive. You’ll want to have 1 gallon of spring water on hand for each person in your family each day. This translates to 8 16-oz bottles of spring water per person, daily. Ice Mountain is a great choice here, as are Dasani and Aquafina.
Distilled water is a great choice for watering plants, bathing, washing clothing, and sanitizing objects in boiling water. If your local water becomes unusable or contains high levels of rust, distilled water is a wonderful alternative.
Distilled water is also ideal if you’re camping, or traveling in a camper or RV. If you plan on stocking up on distilled water, 1 gallon for simple hygiene purposes should last each person at least 1 day.
These two bottled water types are the most important to have on hand if your local water is unsafe to consume. The remaining bottled water types are best as supplements to spring water, in light of your family’s unique dietary needs and preferences.
Have 1 bottle each of alkaline, mineral, or sparkling water for each person in your household per day, in case stores should be closed, or navigating to a store becomes impossible due to natural disaster. As with spring water, at least a 3-day supply of these brands is best.
Spring water, distilled water, alkaline water, mineral water, and sparkling water are the main water varieties that can be useful if your local water is unsafe to drink. Poland Spring, Dasani, Aquafina, Perrier, and La Croix are all examples, and trusted brands.
Spring water such as Aquafina is ideal for drinking and cooking, and having 1 gallon on hand per person per day is best. Distilled water is perfect for basic bathing and for watering plants, and 1 gallon should last a person at least 1 day.
Alkaline water can help neutralize stomach acidity. Mineral water such as Perrier can help make up for mineral deficiencies, and sparkling water like La Croix can be a fun, flavorful treat. If you stock up on these bottled water types, 1 bottle per person per day should suffice.
It’s best to have at least 3 days’ worth of water on hand in case your local water becomes suddenly undrinkable in a weather or industrial emergency. This will help you and your family avoid empty shelves, closed stores, or traveling on unsafe roads.