It might be just fizzy H2O, but people have a lot of opinions when it comes to their go-to brand of sparkling water (or seltzer if you’re fancy—they’re the same thing). And with a seemingly endless selection to choose from, navigating the best brands can be overwhelming, to say the least. Luckily, our coworkers were happy to lend their opinions to help you narrow down your search. Among the many options, these six brands stood out to us as the best sparkling water you can buy, from the best bubbles to the most expansive line of flavors (and everything in between).
1. The Customizable One: SodaStream
We know, it’s an unconventional pick. You might say SodaStream isn’t really a sparkling water brand, but it is an at-home carbonation appliance that makes sparkling water out of your plain old tap water. It gets major points for customization: You can adjust the level of bubbles as well as add flavor from the brand’s line of add-ons. But PureWow senior editor Brianna Lapolla says she likes it plain. “It makes regular tap water taste so much better and actually feel fancy,” she says. “Usually I add my own lemon, mint or cucumber for a ‘spa-like’ experience, but the customization of bubbles alone is big for me.” SodaStream also eliminates the need to lug a giant case of water from the grocery store, which is especially great if you drink more than a glass or two a day. And because there’s less waste, it wins in the eco-friendly department too.
2. The Fancy One: San Pellegrino
It’s just water, but somehow we feel the need to stick our pinkies out when sipping on San Pellegrino’s sparkling mineral water. “It might be a nostalgia thing, but I grew up drinking it and always ordered it when we went to dinner in fancy restaurants as a kid,” fashion editor Dena Silver tells us. “I love how it is pure AF and is moderately bubbly, but not too much so. Plus, the glass bottle and metal screw top keep it from going flat over the course of a day. It feels so OG Italian to me.” Without any added flavors, the taste is definitely mineral-forward, but not overpowering. Since it’s not the cheapest on the market, we like to reserve this one for special occasions…and cocktails.
3. The One Our Food Editor Dreams Of: Topo Chico
“Topo Chico, please sponsor me,” says food editor Katherine Gillen. “If you haven’t tried it, please find some ASAP.” Sourced and bottled at the Cerro del Topo Chico spring in Monterrey, Mexico, it’s almost entirely naturally carbonated with just a little added CO2. That makes for gentle bubbles that don’t burn the back of your throat or leave your eyes watering at first sip. Until recently, there was only one flavor (plain) and it’s still our favorite, but Twist of Lime is a new addition to the line. Full disclosure: It can be hard to find in grocery stores outside of Texas, but it’s often sold in gourmet shops and communities with larger Latin American populations (and on Amazon).
4. The Most Inexplicably Irresistible: Bubly
If it’s all just water to you, maybe you need a can of Bubly. It’s the best middle-of-the-road option we’ve tried: classic flavors, lots of bubbles. Mark Abrams, PureWow’s senior director of people operations, tells us he thinks all sparkling waters are the same, but all things being equal, he finds himself going back to Bubly the most. “I like the flavor range, for sure—cherry, blackberry. It’s very bubbly.” Well, it’s a good thing bubbles are exactly what we’re looking for. (The whole Michael Bublé marketing thing doesn’t hurt either.)
5. The Best Flavor Range: La Croix
She’s a standby for good reason: so many flavors, so much crisp carbonation and wide availability. “I really do like La Croix,” people operations manager Corley Miller tells us. Why? “It might be because they only come in cans. Plus, the carbonation is always consistent, while other seltzer brands with plastic packaging aren’t always as good.” (Not to mention less recyclable.) While she thinks some of the flavors are hit or miss, Miller does have one hands-down favorite: “I don't care that other people think it tastes like sunscreen, coconut La Croix is amazing.” Among the myriad flavors on the market, we also love lime, passionfruit, tangerine and the always crowd-pleasing pamplemousse.
6. The One That Has Actual Fruit in It: Spindrift
Wow, this tastes like real lemon, we’re thinking as we sip a lemon-flavored Spindrift. Oh wait, that’s because it’s flavored with actual lemon juice instead of “natural flavors.” There’s also no sugar added, and for that reason, the brand wins in the good-for-you department. Since there’s real fruit in many of the cans (we’re talking seeds in the raspberry-lime), the flavors do have minimal calorie counts—a trade-off we’ll take in the name of not putting random chemicals into our system. Other winning flavors include lime and grapefruit. (What can we say? Citrus and water are a match made in hydration heaven.)
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