Bottled Water Review

Does it all taste the same?


Photo from Elise Haulund

Many bottled water companies utilize all kinds of gimmicks to entice consumers into purchasing their water; words and phrases like “bottled at the source,” “Earth’s finest water” and “artesian” are paired with fancy bottle designs and appealing commercials to lure in buyers. This begs the question: is there really a difference between all of these water brands? Are the overpriced, high-end brands really worth it?

To answer this question, I bought five different brands of water ranging from just under one cent per fluid ounce all the way up to eleven cents per ounce. I did a taste-test on each of them, then evaluated whether or not you truly do get what you pay for with water, or if it’s all just, well, plain old water.

To start with the cheapest water, I tried off-brand Ralph’s water, the cheapest one I could find. For eight-tenths of a cent per ounce, you get a flimsy plastic bottle of poor-quality water. In my opinion, this water tasted like cardboard and plastic, which is definitely not the most appetizing taste combo if you ask me. In this case, I guess I did get what I paid for.

If you upgrade to Crystal Geyser, the second cheapest brand I tried at approximately one cent per fluid ounce, you get a significant increase in quality. Despite costing almost the least out of all of the brands I tried, I believe this is the second-best option. As someone who is quite picky with her water, most water has a taste to me, but Crystal Geyser truly has no taste. Because of this, I find that Crystal Geyser is more refreshing than other brands, and a great option, especially considering the budget-friendly price tag.

For mid-range brands, I sampled Dasani water, selling for around four cents per fluid ounce, and Fiji water, which costs about six cents per ounce. Dasani water tastes the worst, in my opinion. It’s strangely salty, almost thick in consistency, and does not leave me feeling hydrated. On the other hand, Fiji water is my absolute favorite mainstream water brand. It doesn’t have an overbearing taste like Dasani does, but it is ever-so-slightly sweet. It’s revitalizing, and in my opinion, entirely worth the slightly elevated cost.

Last, and almost least, I tried Voss sparkling water (because I was unable to find still Voss water), the most expensive bottle of water I could find. At a whopping eleven cents per fluid ounce, this water is definitely way up on the high end, but in my opinion, absolutely not worth it. I genuinely do enjoy drinking sparkling water, so I expected to really enjoy it, but I think Voss is, to put it lightly, a total ripoff. It tasted almost metallic and was nowhere near the caliber of Fiji water. It is worth mentioning that it does come in a glass bottle, making it more of a luxurious experience to drink and more environmentally friendly, but I’d rather save the money.

All in all, the price of water really doesn’t dictate the quality. My favorites and least favorites sat at the low end and the slightly higher end of the price spectrum. Bottom line? Don’t waste your hard-earned dollars on Voss water when you could be buying Fiji or Crystal Geyser for a fraction of the cost.