Staying hydrated is key to a healthy life, and a large reusable water bottle will help you do just that. Having a reusable water bottle will not only improve your health, but also reduce your environmental impact by eliminating the use of single-use plastic bottles.

The downside is that you have to be careful to keep it clean or it can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Throwing it in the dishwasher every now and then can help, but the best way to make sure the water inside is always fresh and safe is with a self-cleaning water bottle. Self-cleaning water bottles ensure that your water is free of contaminants and you never have to clean your water bottle by hand again.

Self-cleaning water bottles use UV technology to completely destroy water-borne germs and prevent them from entering your drink, regardless of the water source. It doesn’t look like it bottles of filtered waterwhich use different mechanisms to trap pathogens and sediment.

From left to right: CrazyCap, Mahaton and Larq bottles disinfect themselves with UV light.

Amanda Caprito/CNET

The biggest difference between water bottles that provide filtration and self-cleaning water bottles is that the UV technology used in self-cleaning bottles does not remove dirt and sediment. So while the bottles may kill viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that can make you sick, they won’t filter out heavy metals or other particles like a real cleaning system can. However, it is better for providing clean water than traditional water dispensers or disposable plastic bottles.

Because of this, I decided not to test these self-cleaning water bottles outdoors. Instead, I used tap water to see which self-cleaning bottles met their requirements. I also drank most of the water at home or in the office. So, what is the best self-cleaning water bottle? Here are my thoughts: Ditch the plastic water bottle and start drinking from almost any water source with reckless abandon using your own personal water purification system!


The CrazyCap bottle has two water purification modes: normal mode and “crazy mode”. According to CrazyCap, regular mode kills up to 99.99% of contaminants and is suitable for “low to medium contamination” such as from public fountains and faucets. Crazy mode, on the other hand, kills up to 99.9996% of pollutants and is suitable for “medium to heavy pollution” such as from lakes and rivers. A normal cleaning cycle takes 60 seconds and a crazy cleaning cycle takes two and a half minutes.

CrazyCap also has an auto-clean feature that turns on six times a day for 20 seconds. CrazyCap says that this intermittent UV-C exposure prevents microbial growth and odor, and it seems to work: after three days of use, I didn’t notice any odors or films inside the bottle. Also, the purified CrazyCap bottled water tasted much better than tap water.

The CrazyCap bottle is slimmer than the others on this list, which I liked. It fits in the cup holders of my car as well as the mesh cup holders on my duffel bag and backpack. It’s a bit taller than the Larq and Mahaton, so you might have trouble fitting it in the top rack of the dishwasher.

Personally, I think the best thing about the CrazyCap is that you can only purchase a cap that, according to the website, fits many different water bottles, possibly ones you already own.

The CrazyCap will last up to two months on a single charge of a filtered water bottle, but only if you leave it to self-clean. Manually running the water bottle’s self-cleaning cycle affects this charge time, although CrazyCap doesn’t specify how much.


The Larq bottle also has two cleaning modes: normal and adventure. Normal mode cleans up to 99.99% of pathogens in 60 seconds and Adventure mode cleans up to 99.9999% of water in three minutes. It doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but this 0.0099% water filtration can make or break water that comes from a stream or other natural source.

You can turn on the UV-C cleaning light whenever you want by pressing a button on the top of the bottle, but the Larq also comes to life every two hours for a 10-second cleaning cycle. I didn’t notice any weird smells or films on the inside of the Larq bottle after three days of constant use of the self-cleaning bottle.

However, the Larq was the only one of the three bottles that didn’t taste significantly better than my water. It tasted a little cleaner, but I probably wouldn’t have noticed the difference if someone was blind taste testing me.

The Larq bottle is made of vacuum-insulated stainless steel and keeps safe drinking water cold for up to 24 hours. It’s smooth and aesthetically pleasing – my only complaint was that it doesn’t have a groove or curve to conform to your hand. You can always purchase a convenient travel cover to solve this problem.

A single charge of the Larq can give you up to two full months of use, assuming you send it through three to four cleaning cycles (typically) per day. When using the adventure mode, the charge will last up to 12 days.

Amanda Caprito/CNET

The Mahaton Self-Cleaning Water Bottle (available for pre-order for $44) has a single cleaning cycle that eliminates up to 99.99% of waterborne pathogens. After three days of almost constant use, the self-cleaning water bottle showed no signs of build-up — no weird smells, no crusts.

Unlike the CrazyCap and Larq, the Mahaton bottle does not have an additional cleaning setting for bodies of water that may contain more contaminants, such as streams and other groundwater sources. For this reason, I would recommend using the Mahaton bottle only with indoor drinking water sources, unless the company releases a new bottle with an optional clean water self-cleaning setup.

The Mahaton bottle has a sleek shape with a nice double taper that makes it easy to hold. It’s made of double-walled stainless steel, so it’s durable and will keep your water cold for hours. It’s also small, so you shouldn’t have any trouble fitting the Mahaton bottle into holders or bags.

One downfall? The Mahaton bottle holds just 12 ounces of water, which I can drink in seconds. Most people would need to fill this water filter bottle up to eight to ten times each day to get the gallons they need – that’s a lot of breaks in your day.

The Mahaton bottle can last up to three weeks on a full charge, provided you run the cleaning cycle up to four times a day. It’s a little less than the CrazyCap and Larq, but not so short of battery life that you feel burdened by charging the bottle.

What is the best self-cleaning water bottle?

To be fair, all three of these water bottles did a great job of keeping things clean. After three days of drinking and constant refills and no hand washing, none of these bottles smelled musty or had any kind of film inside, two things that my regular steel bottle often creates.

Larq, CrazyCap and Mahaton are all used UV-C light eliminate all major waterborne pathogens; they’re all stainless steel water bottle options (no cheap plastic water bottles here), and all of these top self-cleaning bottles have automatic cleaning cycles. To top it all off, all three are easy to use and all have battery notifications so they’ll never die without warning.

I’ve had little to no complaints with any of these self-cleaning bottles, and if you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing bottle that cleans your water, any of the three will do the trick.

The only major difference between the three? Larq and CrazyCap have two modes, while Mahaton only has one. If you plan to use your self-cleaning water bottle with outdoor water sources, you can choose the Larq or CrazyCap as they have overload modes that kill even more microorganisms.

How do self-cleaning water bottles work?

Use self-cleaning water bottles UV-C light
to kill bacteria
, viruses, protozoa and other microorganisms, destroying their DNA. The UV light sterilizes both the water in the bottle and the inside surface of the bottle.

UV-C light serves as a convenient, mostly foolproof way to keep reusable water bottles clean without the need for chemicals or soap. Most self-cleaning water bottles, including the three described in this article, also have all the features you’d look for in a regular reusable water bottle: They keep hot water steaming and cold water steaming cold (or room temperature water at room temperature). , and they are durable.

How did I test these self-cleaning water bottles?

I tested three self-disinfecting UV water bottles A bottle of Larq, CrazyCap bottle and the Mahaton bottle (which is on Kickstarter but is fully funded and already shipping products) — with help tap water from my apartment’s kitchen sink (my favorite water source).

I don’t usually buy bottled water, and I don’t have a tap water filter, so I often drink this water straight. I thoroughly cleaned each bottle and charged them overnight to make sure they were ready for testing. I then used each bottle for three days instead of my usual reusable bottle.

What to look for in a self-cleaning water bottle

There are six important factors you should consider when choosing a UV water bottle: cleaning, taste, design, ease of use, capacity, and battery life. If you decide to buy a self-cleaning water bottle, you’ll want one that kills as many germs as possible, tastes good, is easy to hold and transport, and lasts a decent amount of time on a single charge.

1. Cleaning: What does the bottle promise to get rid of and in what percentage? Also, how long does it take for the bottle to purify the water? Is there an auto-clean function? I also reviewed how the inside of the bottle smelled and looked after three days of use.

2. Taste: How does the water taste after the purification cycle compared to my drinking water?

3. Design: What is the bottle made of and how convenient and easy is it to carry? Does it keep the water cold?

4. Ease of use: How easy is it to set up the bottle for first use, clean it and store it?

5. Capacity: How much water does the bottle contain? Will you be constantly refilling it, or will you have enough clean water for a while?

6. Battery life: How long does the bottle last (and how many cleaning cycles can it do) on a full charge?

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The information contained in this article is for informational and informative purposes only and is not intended to provide health or medical care. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional with any questions you may have about your health or health care goals.

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