Copper water bottles are all the rage right now. Aside from the fact that they’re chic and undoubtedly Instagram-worthy, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. As it turns out, copper water bottles aren’t all hype—they’re actually beneficial for your body and your skin. In fact, they might be the latest and greatest skin-saving accessory. Seriously.
Copper is a metal element found in nature that’s been used since ancient times for a variety of purposes, from sculptures and jewelry to knives and cookware. Too much copper intake can be toxic, but the body has regulatory mechanisms to prevent too much absorption. Current evidence points to a deficiency as being the more common state of affairs with this metal [source].
Copper has a slew of health benefits, including the ability to kill off harmful bacteria like E. coli [source], and was even shown in one hospital study to have prevented C. difficile infections when patient gowns were impregnated with copper [source]. Copper surfaces have long been known to deter the growth of bacteria, as seen again in a very recent study on bacterial growth from doctors’ stethoscopes (—eww) [source].
With its brain-boosting abilities, copper can act as a signaling mechanism to relay messages between cells [source]. It works with other trace elements to regulate vital organs in the body such as the thyroid gland [source], and it is an antioxidant that slows the aging process and reduces the risk of cancer [source].
In the skin, copper has been known to reduce acne-causing bacteria (thanks to its bacteria-killing benefits) and even help create new skin cells.
Because of these incredible health benefits, copper water bottles make a lot of sense. Not only is it a pretty container in which to hold one of the more vital nutrients our body requires, but it also kills viruses and bacteria on contact!
“A liquid with a neutral pH, like water, is great for this molecular reaction—and it’s really the only thing you should use in a copper water bottle,” says Sara Dahmen, a coppersmith with House Copper & Cookware. “If your water is impure (or your hands aren’t clean), the copper will use oxygen to facilitate an interaction that inhibits the reproductive capabilities of viruses or bacteria.”
Pretty cool, right? Plus, if there’s ever a time to feel confident that the water you’re drinking isn’t lurking with harmful microbes, it’s now, when we’re smack-dab in the middle of a pandemic.
What should you look for when shopping for a copper water bottle?
The most important feature of a copper water bottle is that it is, indeed, made from real copper. How do you make sure of this? You vet the brand that you’re buying it from. Read reviews carefully to make sure that other buyers haven’t noticed any odd color changes in their purchase.
“An artisan maker will always detail the provenance of the copper sheet used to make their wares and be willing to give you more science than you might want in a product description!” says Dahmen.
Also, copper can look a lot like brass, but the key way to tell the difference is to examine the coloring under good lighting. If you notice more of a yellow tint, it might be brass. Real copper will have more of a reddish hue.
Once you feel confident that you’re buying real copper, “check to make sure that the inside isn’t lined with tin, which can become toxic over time,” warns Bhaswati Bhattacharya, M.P.H., M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. If you notice that the inside is rusted, don’t be alarmed—that’s actually a good sign since copper rusts naturally.
5 of Our Favorite Copper Water Bottles
Here are some of the fan-favorite copper water bottles on the market right now.
This is a nicely constructed copper water bottle made from high-quality materials that has a pristine, leak-free design. Unlike some other brands that have a chemical lacquer coating to prevent rusting, this one is free of anything of that nature. That means it will develop a natural patina (as a result of oxidation) over time, just like the Statue of Liberty.
This brand of copper water bottles offer the real deal—even the caps are made entirely of pure copper. Because they’re made from a single piece copper sheet, there are no joints or rough edges to it. This also comes in handy to prevent leaking. The inside is not coated with any other material, plus the company offers a 100 percent money-back satisfaction guarantee.
Each of these water bottles is handcrafted and engraved with the brand’s monogram on the very bottom. There is no lacquer coating on the inside of the bottle, which is why some reviewers say there’s a slight metal taste when they drink water from it. This is totally harmless and, if anything, proof that it’s made from real copper!
If you’re nervous about the copper or want to use your water bottle for any liquid without worry, Dahmen recommends checking out this Maine-based company. “They have copper exterior options on their stainless bottles,” she says. You can customize your color (with over 15 options!) and even choose your size. The product meets all FDA and CPSIA requirements, so it’s even safe for use by children over the age of three.
If you’re looking for authentic copper with a chic, rustic style, this all-American brand is a great choice. They’re real about how, well, real they are—acknowledging that genuine copper dents easily (for which they don’t accept returns). You can even opt to have the leather sleeve engraved in one of nine colors of your choosing.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified pediatrician who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.2