Sips Tea
I Tried TikTok’s Most Viral Water Bottles & I Have A Surprise Fave

This leak-proof design is *everything*.

Emma Chao/Elite Daily; Getty Images; Photos Courtesy of Retailer
Spring Break Forever
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You hear it time and time again: Hydration is everything. This is even more true when you’re out in the sun all day, every day (likeee during spring break, perhaps?). Drinking water is key for glowing skin, mental clarity, and other health benefits. Meanwhile, pouring that water in a chic bottle or tumbler is key for staying on trend, as well as emotional support. (Seriously, there’s a reason emotional support water bottles have over 43 million views on TikTok.)

The viral infatuation with the perfect water bottle or tumbler started on Instagram and TikTok in 2019, and five years later, it’s still a constant quest on the apps — and the frontrunner is constantly changing. As someone who has always been picky about my water bottles, I’ve been paying close attention to the most popular of them, testing out selects from brands like Stanley, Owala, and BrüMate.

While assessing these tumblers and bottles, my main criteria included ease of use, temperature control, and leak-ability. I wanted to find a tumbler I’d be willing to stick to — after all, the point of purchasing these reusable bottles is to be more environmentally friendly.

Below, you’ll find my honest reviews of popular water bottles and tumblers from five different brands. Each model was slightly different, but made similar promises of durability, temp control, and leak-proof designs. (I also rated them on aesthetics because... duh.)

For The People Who Appreciate A Classic

The it girl of viral water tumblers, Stanley has plenty of vacuum-insulated designs. The most viral design — the Quencher — comes in over 24 colors and five sizes (14 oz, 20 oz, 30 oz, 40 oz, 64 oz). For my review, I tried out the 40 oz size.

Key features:

  • Keeps liquids hot up to seven hours; cold up to 11 hours; and iced up to 48 hours.
  • Dishwasher-safe.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Comfort-grip handle.
  • Fits most car cup holders.


The Stanley cup has gone mega-viral — so much so that people were reselling the limited-edition $50 Target Valentine’s Day Stanleys for $350. Although the hype surrounding the tumbler has somewhat faded since then, it’s still a great go-to if you prefer a classic.

The cup effectively keeps liquids cold, hot, or iced. (Plus, the fact that it’s dishwasher-safe means that you can switch it up, using it for coffee one day and water the next.) With plenty of color choices and size options, this is a customizable cup that is pretty enough to be an accessory, and useful enough to be an essential.


Compared to other tumblers and water bottles, it’s a lot less spill-resistant. It seems like the lid isn’t quite as well-sealed as other options, and the straw gets dislodged easily. You have approximately zero seconds to right the tumbler after knocking it over if you want to avoid a major spill.

Recently, there have also been reports surrounding lead in Stanley products, which is used for their vacuum insulation. The company released a statement, clarifying that "no lead is present on the surface of any Stanley product that comes into contact with the consumer nor the contents of the product." Instead, it’s in a disk on the bottom of the tumbler, covered with stainless steel.

With a price range of $20 to $60, the Quencher definitely has the potential to be on the more expensive side, so that’s also another ding in the cons column.

Overall Score: 4/5

If you love the look of a tumbler and want something pretty enough to carry with you everywhere (and hopefully stay more hydrated as a result), this is a great option. It hits all the marks as a lightweight tumbler with so many options to ensure it suits your tastes. Plus, a lifetime warranty is hard to beat and makes the higher price tag worth it.

The main downside is its spill potential. This is not a tumbler you should put in your work bag — even if you manage to keep it right side up, it’s prone to letting some liquid out. (And yes, this is based on a personal experience.)

For The Trendsetters

Lately, Owala water bottles have been taking over the FYP. There are currently over 11,000 posts with the hashtag #owala, and more than a whopping 350 million views. The brand’s stainless steel FreeSip design has become especially popular. The design is available in four sizes (19 oz, 24 oz, 32 oz, and 40 oz) and 15 colorways. I chose the color Water in the Desert in a 32-oz bottle.

Key features:

  • Stainless steel bottle with triple-layer insulation.
  • Leak-proof lid.
  • Two spouts, whether you want to sip through a straw or drink without.
  • BPA-, lead-, and phthalate-free.
  • Dishwasher-safe lid and hand-washable cup.
  • Limited lifetime warranty.


One of my pet peeves about tumblers is that it can be hard to keep the straw clean throughout the day. The top of it is constantly brushing against things — like doors, people, and jackets — that I’d rather not touch with my lips. I really like how the FreeSip’s lid prevents that, making it easier to keep it hygienic.

The spout duo is another plus of this design. There’s a smaller spout at the front connected to a straw, perfect for sipping. Behind it, there’s a larger spout, more similar to a traditional water bottle.

Potentially the biggest Owala perk is how leak-proof it is. After quite a few test runs, I felt comfortable enough to throw it in my work bag, yoga duffle, and backpack without worrying about spillage or water damage.


Owala’s a great choice if you always carry a bag, but if you prefer to hold onto your water bottle, the Owala doesn’t have a comfortable handle. There is a loop on the lid, which doubles as a lock, that you can use as a sort of handle — I just didn’t find it to be comfortable.

Another potential transport issue: the 32 oz and 40 oz sizes do not fit in most car cup holders.

Despite the hygienic lid design, you have to constantly open and close the bottle. It’s not difficult to do — you just click a button and the lid pops open — but I find that the extra step makes it a more conscious effort to stay hydrated. (I prefer to mindlessly sip.) It was also frustrating in workout classes when there’s very little time for a true water break.

The Owala didn’t seem to keep water as cold as the other bottles I tried, either. I looked this up a bit online, and it seems like an issue customers (at least on Reddit) are divided on. If you’re having that problem with your Owala, though, customer service may be able to help and the warranty should apply.

Overall Score: 4/5

For anyone who is constantly on the go, the Owala is easy to transport and stays leak-proof. Plus, the lid keeps things clean. If you’re constantly heading into the office or traveling a lot, this water bottle seems like the clear winner.

Those aren’t really my priorities, though — I prefer a straw design sans lid for ease of use, with a solid handle to hold onto. (Owala does have a model that fits these qualifications, BTW, it’s just not as viral.)

For The Customization Queens

Hydro Flask has been a fan-favorite brand for years. (As one TikToker put it, “how I feel watching people literally fight each other for Stanley cups while I’m still clinging to my 2019 vsco girl hydro flasks” — and she decorated her water bottles with trendy stickers, like that era dictated.) But the brand’s increasingly popular tumbler-style design hasn’t gotten as much traction, despite the fact that it’s cheaper than other comparable tumblers of the same size.

The All Around Travel Tumbler has 14 standard color options and two sizes, 32 oz and 40 oz. I tried out the 40-oz Hydro Flask in Trillium, a light pink shade.

Key features:

  • Dishwasher-safe.
  • Fits most cup holders.
  • Stainless steel.
  • BPA-free.
  • Comfortable handle.
  • Maintains temperature (hot and cold) for hours.
  • Lifetime warranty.


This is the only tumbler I tried that offered complete customization: For a little extra, you can personalize the colors of your tumbler (plus its base and lid) and even add an engraving. There are also different straw packs available for an even more personal touch. Since these reusable tumblers are really meant to be an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic, the ability to make the Hydro Flask exactly what you want is a definite pro — it means you’re less likely to replace it in a few months with a color you like just a little better.

This tumbler hit a lot of high marks for me: It kept my water very cold, had a comfortable handle, and fit in cup holders. I also like that the straw was flexible — you don’t have to worry about clanging your teeth against stainless steel or hard plastic.

The way the lid is designed prevents most accidental spills, too. I tested it out to see how much it would leak, but it only started dripping water when I held it completely upside down.


Out of the tumblers I tested, this was the only model to arrive dented. I didn’t notice any more wear and tear as I used it, but it wasn’t a great sign of how the tumbler would hold up. (JSYK, if this happen to you, you can let Hydro Flask know and they should replace it, as long as you tell them before using the product.)

Overall Score: 4.25/5

This Hydro Flask tumbler wasn’t my personal favorite — the straw was a little long for me, and I was disappointed that it came damaged — but I can see why the brand has such a large number of loyal customers. From the customization options to the ease of use, you really can’t go wrong.

For The Spill-Prone

With more than 50 million views on TikTok, BrüMate is easily one of the most popular brands for water carriers. This particular design comes in two sizes (30 oz and 40 oz) and 14 colors — a mix of muted and bright shades.

Key features:

  • 100% leak-proof.
  • Stainless steel straw.
  • Fits most cup holders.
  • Comfort grip handle.
  • Dishwasher-safe.
  • Keeps ice for over 24 hours.


BrüMate’s Era tumbler might have the most impressive leak-proof design of them all. I didn’t originally believe in the leak-proof claims (despite all the videos I saw on TikTok), but this tumbler proved me wrong. The “seal” setting really does prevent any spillage — even when it’s completely upside down.

The cup has a stainless steel straw inside, but the mouthpiece is softer, so you don’t have to worry about hurting your teeth.

BrüMate hits all the necessities with this tumbler: It kept my liquids cold, is dishwasher-safe, and fits in most cup holders. It also fit my personal preferences, featuring a comfortable handle and a shorter straw.


There are a lot of cute and trendy water bottles out there, and BrüMate’s design isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing. It looks big and bulky, and it comes in fewer colors than some of the other options.

Overall Score: 5/5

I give the BrüMate top marks. Yes, I wish it was slightly cuter (and I’m sure some color options look better IRL — I have Nightfall Blue, BTW), but I’m not docking any points for that. The upsides of this tumbler — the leak-proof design, temperature control, and straw — far outweigh the cons of its color scheme.

For The Ice Lovers

The Straw Mug from Yeti is less viral, but it’s a great option for a high-quality tumbler that keeps your drinks cold for hours on end. Whether you opt for the 25 oz, 35 oz, or 42 oz size, each mug has a convenient handle for transport and a small enough circumference for most car cup holders.

Currently, there are four core colors and four limited-edition colors available, ranging from vibrant to subtle.

Key features:

  • Fits standard cup holders.
  • Reusable straw.
  • Dishwasher-safe.
  • Double-wall vacuum insulated.
  • Five-year warranty.


For freezing water, the Yeti is hard to beat. It keeps liquids ice-cold for hours, and water tastes just as fresh on day two. The Straw Mug design features a shorter straw than other tumblers, which I liked. (Again, I hate when the straw touches anything besides my mouth; it makes it feel contaminated to me.)

The way the lid sticks to the cup — it practically gets suctioned closed — was another point in Yeti’s favor. It’s not as prone to spillage as other tumbler options, and the lid feels secure at all times. (There’s minimal risk of you not putting it on tightly enough, which sometimes happens with twist-ons.) The way the straw fits into the lid also means it won’t move easily, eliminating another spill risk.

It fits into car cup holders, can go right in the dishwasher, and has a comfortable handle. Point, point, point.


The most obvious con is how heavy it is. Before filling it with water, I noticed that it weighs a lot — comparable to how much my Stanley weighs when it’s completely filled. Something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a tumbler to take on long walks, where you’ll be carrying it yourself.

For someone who likes one product to do it all, the Straw Mug might not be the best choice. The brand doesn’t recommend using this model for hot liquids. (You can use the same base, but should switch out the lid for Yeti’s MagSlider Lid.)

You’re also not getting quite as great of a warranty on this product as you are with the others. And with a price range of $38 to $45, these mugs aren’t cheap — but at least they’re sturdy enough to last a while.

Overall Score: 4.75/5

My love for the Yeti kind of snuck up on me. It was a standout for keeping my water cold and reducing spill risk.

I also love the color options. Even though there isn’t as big of a range as other brands, each shade is special, whether you prefer a clean-looking neutral or an eye-catching pastel. I only took .25 off for the heaviness.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’ve invested in a whole Stanley cup collection or are more interested in the Owala FreeSip, there’s a viral water tumbler or bottle for your hydration needs. Whatever you prefer — tumblers or bottles, straws or caps, custom or generic — there’s an option out there for everyone.

While testing these out, I felt a bit like a water bottle Goldilocks, looking for one that was *just* right. When I finally found it, it took me by surprise. Though I prefer the Stanley colors over other brands’ and love Owala’s spout duo, the BrüMate’s leak-proof design made it my shock fave.