Yes, the best canned water does taste better than other canned waters.
You might think that it’s pointless to do a canned water taste test. “Doesn’t all water taste the same?” I can hear you asking. After tasting ten of them, I can say with confidence that, no, it does not. Some canned water brands are definitely better than others. Now that you know that, don’t you want to know who makes the best canned still water? Read on.
Let’s start by answering the question of why you might want to drink canned water rather than bottled water. Bottled water comes in plastic bottles. Plastic bottles take a very, very long time to decompose. And plastic is very rarely efficiently recycled to make new plastic water bottles. Canned water comes in aluminum cans. Aluminum is much more easily recycled and reused. And many canned waters come in reusable cans with screw caps.
Of course, creating new aluminum and even recycling it comes with a different set of environmental issues. But I’ll let you make your own decisions when it comes to Mother Earth.
Environmental ethics aside, one thing canned water definitely has over bottled water is how dang cold it can get. “It’s so cold. It’s hard to hold. It’s so cold.” That’s how my notes from the taste test began. Every brand got a high score on chilliness. I think all canned water brands should start selling koozies along with their cans.
But what about flavor?
I was looking for clean, crisp, refreshing water with a silky texture. I wanted notes of sweetness and minerality—nothing metallic or bitter. I wanted something that would reset my palate. I wanted water that would leave me feeling like I just took a gulp from a clear pool underneath a picturesque waterfall. Here are the best canned water brands that took me there.
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- Alkaline 88
Why is it called Alkaline 88? Because the pH is 8.8. The can advertises that it’s also “enhanced” with Himalayan minerals and electrolytes. There’s a lot going on in the making of this water and you can taste it. This was the most complex canned water I tried. If you want flavor in your water—or if you love really mineral-forward mineral water—then this is the best canned water for you.
- Liquid Death Mountain Water
Ten points for Liquid Death’s tagline: “Murder your thirst.” Rock on, dude. The brand set out to make drinking water feel cool, and it did it. It’s sold in tall boy-style can—like a Coors Light—and has a heavy metal design aesthetic. It’s also the water of choice for Mythical’s Stevie Wynne Levine, who said she appreciates its “not too bitter” flavor when she along with Rhett & Link did their own canned water ranking on an episode of Good Mythical Morning. Very cool. But I had to dock it points for not being reusable and because it has the slightest hint of a metallic taste. Otherwise, it’s very bright and crisp and clean. And, again, you look very cool drinking it.
- Proud Source Spring Water
We’ve now entered alkaline water territory. You’ve probably seen it on a water label before and probably not cared enough to look it up. Here’s the deal: Alkaline water contains alkaline minerals and has a pH over 7. If you recall seventh grade science, you know that means it’s tipped over the neutral line and leans more basic rather than acidic. And you can definitely taste that in this canned water. It’s softer and sweeter than some of the others. It tastes more like water from a lake (a clean, clear lake) rather than a rocky river. Drinking it made me feel good. What more can you ask for from a canned water?
- Mountain Valley Spring Water
Slap this bright green aluminum bottle to your bike and ride down a mountain. Or just carry it around and fool people into thinking you know your knots. This canned water brand screams Vermont thru-hiker to me—even though the water itself is sourced from the Ouachita Mountains, which run through Arkansas and Oklahoma. In terms of flavor, the water has a sweet, grassy flavor on the finish, but aside from that it’s very negligible in a way that I very much appreciate in water.
- PATH Still
This canned drinking water looks like space water. It comes in a tall, sleek, white aluminum bottle and advertises “electrolytes added for taste.” Using electrolytes to add flavor feels very space-age to me. So, what does the future taste like? It’s extremely clean and crisp with just a hint of sweetness on the end. There’s no minerally aftertaste. In my notes I wrote that there was the “slightest tinge of rain,” so apparently drinking the best canned water makes you poetic. Want to drink rain? Not a lot of it, but just a tinge? Try this canned water.
Best Sweet Flavor
Best Outdoorsy Packaging
Best of the Best
Other canned waters we tried: Mananalu Lilikoi Passion, PATH Alkaline, Mananalu Pure, Mananalu Tahitian Lime, Mananalu Pink Grapefruit