Smart water bottles: What do they do and are they worth it?

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Anyone with a fitness tracker knows water intake is one of many stats worthy of attention. Every last cell of the body needs water to operate, and yet, most of us are often short on H2O. Smart water bottles aim to help users make proper hydration a healthy habit. But is a smart water bottle really worth it? Let’s find out! beer bottle lids

Smart water bottles: What do they do and are they worth it?

Like most of the smart home devices we use on a daily basis, smart water bottles attempt to bring convenience and efficiency to a basic task. In this case, that task is drinking adequate amounts of water. Smart water bottles utilize tech to offer features like hydration tracking, drink reminders, and even water purification. Some bottles utilize Bluetooth connectivity to share your consumption data with your smartphone. Others equip devices for measuring liquid added and removed (presumably that you drank) throughout the day. Some can also sync with smartwatches and other wearables to keep hydration top of mind.

Generally, smart water bottles cost between $50 and $100. You may find some basic options for cheaper and you can certainly find more expensive ones if you want all the bells and whistles. From built-in speakers to flashy alert mechanisms, these bottles can be quite involved. Just remember, it’s only useful if it gets you to drink more water.

The most important thing a smart water bottle can do is help users build healthy habits in regard to hydration. Depending on your personal relationship with water, that may just be a matter of making sips more convenient. If you are someone who often forgets to drink, smart water bottles are useful tools to help offload the mental effort to remember. Below are some of the basic features you can find:

The smart water bottle market is relatively extensive and a quick Amazon search will pull up heaps of choices. We tested one of the most popular options available, the HidrateSpark Pro Lite, and found it highly useful for tracking our hydration and encouraging us to drink. Below are a few alternatives:

For those of us who find the taste of nothingness uninspiring, the HidrateSpark Pro Lite attempts to liven up your hydration experience. We rank this bottle as the best choice for hydration tracking. The HidrateSpark Pro Lite features an LED puck that lights up whenever it’s time to take a drink. These “glows” help keep you on track, issuing regular reminders that the bottle isn’t going to empty itself.

In terms of effectiveness, the HidrateSpark Pro Lite is a solid A plus. It’s lightweight, ergonomic, BPA-free, and simple to meld into your day-to-day. It comes with a straw lid and chug lid, both are pleasant to use. I’m partial to straws because I am a child, but I also appreciate the inclusion of two options. In the spirit of further inclusion, the bottle is also compatible with both iPhones and Android phones. HidrateSpark also links with Apple Health, Garmin Connect, the Fitbit app, and Health Mate, so you can sync reminders to your favorite wearable.

During setup, HidrateSpark determines a hydration recommendation based on your personal details (age, gender, weight, height, etc.), fitness activity, and local weather. You can override the suggestion and choose a manual goal if you want to aim even higher. You’ll also set a wake-up and bedtime so the app can calculate a drinking schedule based on when you are actually conscious. Finally, you can customize how you prefer to receive reminders including how many and how often. The app even lets you choose what type of smartphone notifications you want, ranging from funny to motivational.

On the Home tab, the HidrateSpark app displays your daily goal with a dynamic graphic that closes as you drink. You’ll also see at-a-glance stats of your current progress including how many bottles you have left to go to hit your mark. If you drink water from another container, HidrateSpark accepts manually added data as well (jealousy-free). You can even record tea, coffee, and supplements. I appreciated the ability to manually add drinks from my Apple Watch Series 8 because what’s the point of hydrating if you don’t get credit?

The app’s History tab offers a few more details including an hourly breakdown and a daily drink log. The Social tab offers drinking challenges and lets you loop in friends who are also on a hydration journey. Finally, from the Bottles tab, you can add more bottles to your account, snooze reminders, or personalize your glow. Light color choices include Rainbow, red, gold, Lemon Lime, aqua, blue, purple, or Moonlight. There are also Special Glows for specific occasions like team colors for the Superbowl. You can even create completely custom glows in the GlowStudio, though these cost $4.99 to enable.

Overall, the LED aspect of this smart water bottle is a good time. It’s just entertaining enough to warrant its existence, and it truly does get your attention. I found myself grinding away multiple times only to be alerted by the soft pulsing light that I was falling behind on my water intake. The LED puck itself is unobtrusive and lasts up to two weeks between charges. When it does run out, it uses a proprietary charging cable included in the box. The companion app is reliable and intuitive and nags you just enough to be effective without getting too annoying. I also tested the bottle sensors with various amounts of fluid and the measurements were highly accurate.

It’s hard to complain about a water bottle that holds water well and also inspires you to drink it, but we’ll give it our best shot. For starters, the HidrateSpark Pro Lite is far from cheap. For $70, you can easily buy multiple reusable bottles and set your own reminders to chug. Plenty of “dumb” bottles feature measurements if you are committed to tracking your consumption throughout the day. Sure the flashing lights are fun, but once the novelty of your own personal rave wears off, the HidrateSpark might leave you with buyer’s remorse.

Other shortcomings are completely subjective. For example, maybe you don’t mind room-temperature water. One strength of the HidrateSpark Pro lite is that, as the name implies, it’s light. However, the plastic build that cuts down the bottle’s weight does not offer any temperature control. Unlike an insulated bottle, the HidrateSpark Pro Lite won’t keep your drinks cold. On the days I added ice to my water, it melted quickly. The bottle is also not equipped to hold hot liquids so double duty as your go-to travel coffee mug isn’t an option.

Additionally, though the smart bottle offers a sleek aesthetic, it’s largely because it only holds 24 oz, or 710 ml, of water at a time. If you work from home or are parked close to the water cooler, this isn’t a big deal. However, many bottles come in much larger, more convenient options. In fact, the stainless steel bottle from the same brand offers a 32 oz size. That being said, I am a big fan of bottles that actually fit in my car’s cup holder, which the HidrateSpark does easily.

If a one-time investment that’s sub-$100 can truly help you drink more water, then yes, a smart bottle is worth it. Hydration is so closely intertwined with health and wellness, it’s worth investing in tools that help you get a handle on your habits. Though pricey, smart water bottles can last a long time and can save you money on purchased bottled water in the long run.

On the other hand, smart water bottles are not worth the price if they aren’t going to serve any higher purpose than a regular one. If you’re already on top of your water intake, stick to the old-fashioned methods. Or, if incessant reminders won’t inspire you to throw back extra ounces, don’t waste your money. (You’ll just end up with a pricey full water bottle at the end of the day instead of a cheap full one.) However, if like me, you struggle to remember that soda only makes you more thirsty, give a smart water bottle a shot and see if you can’t change your tune on H2O.

The largest hydration-tracking smart water bottle we’d recommend is the 32oz non-Lite HidrateSpark Pro.

Smart water bottles: What do they do and are they worth it?

Tinplate Beer Cap If your bottle requires smartphone pairing, you will like do so via Bluetooth in the product’s companion app. Download the app, make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your phone, and follow the manufacturer’s directions.