Are the Benefits of Name-Brand Water Bottles Fake News? (Part Two of Three)

June 27, 2018

Are the Benefits of Name-Brand Water Bottles Fake News? (Part Two of Three)

Name brand water bottles such as S’well®, YETI®, and Hydroflask®, have flooded the market in recent years. These are the water bottles many of our customers mention when they want to purchase stainless steel water bottles with their logo. Water bottle companies market their insulated water bottles as the best and they come with the highest price tag. Because of this, consumers assume that the quality of the 'act alike' water bottles falls below that of the name brands. I set out to determine whether this is fact or fiction, and the results may surprise you.

* From left to right: YETI®, Hydroflask®, Hydroflask® Type Bottle, S'well®, Twist Top Insulated Bottle, S'well® Type Bottle

In beginning this experiment, I chose six water bottles, three household names and three knock-offs, and I conducted two separate tests. I first tested the temperature regulation of cold substances in a controlled environment (inside, around 76 degrees). Then, I tested the temperature regulation of hot substances in the same environment. This blog will discuss the latter of the two experiments. You can read about the results of the former experiment here.

In the table below I have listed the brand name, the starting and ending temperature, and the change in temperature over the 24-hour period, for each water bottle. Each temperature measurement was taken via Thermapen® Mk4 Thermometer, which boasts "the world's best in speed and accuracy." The results are ordered from least effective to most effective.




Starting Temperature (°F)

Final Temperature (°F)

Change in Temperature (°F)














S’well® Type Bottle






Twist Top Insulated Bottle






Hydroflask® Type Bottle











* It is important to note that the bottles were kept indoors, out of direct sunlight. It is also important to recognize that the starting temperatures of the bottles are not equal. This is a cursory experiment, only seeking to compare this small sample size.


Which Water Bottle Was Best?

With S’well® bottles’ domination of the insulated drinkware market, its first-place finish comes as no surprise. Exhibiting only a 35-degree change over 24 hours, the S’well® water bottle lives up to the claims made by the company. That being said, the Hydroflask® Type Bottle finished in second-place, trailing the S’well® bottle by a measly one degree. The third-place finisher is the Twist Top Insulated Bottle. Of the top three most effective bottles, two are 'act alike' water bottles. The least effective bottles are both name brands.

While S’well® bottles prove most effective in maintaining the internal temperature of a heated substance, these bottles also ask the highest price. The Hydroflask® Type Bottle and the Twist Top Insulated Bottle are less expensive alternatives, and they work almost as efficiently as S’well®. 

How To Save Marketing Dollars and Maximize Branding

In addition to saving marketing dollars, you can maximize your company's available branding space. Household name bottles allow you to print your logo, but your company is required to share this marketing space with the water bottle companies’ logo.

If you choose a knock-off brand, your logo won’t have to compete with another. Your brand will be, singularly, front and center.

Don’t sacrifice your marketing budget, quality or marketing space for a brand name bottle; instead, provide your customers, prospects or staff with the best in the business when it comes to custom insulated water bottles.

CREDIT: Rachel Schmitz, sophomore at Wake Forest University, experimented with and analyzed these products.