S’well vs Hydro Flask: What Are the Differences? 

green hydro flask bottle

In a rush? After hours of research and analysis, we’ve determined that Hydro Flask is a better water bottle for most people.

Whether you want:

  • A tough container that can withstand your outdoor activities,
  • A bottle that can fit enough water for your long sweat sessions at the gym,
  • Or a versatile object for everyday life,

The reusable water bottles are “it”.

And amongst countless options, there are two that clearly stand apart from the rest – S’well and Hydro Flask.

But which one should you choose?

What are the differences? What are the similarities?

Read on to find out.

S’well vs Hydro Flask—Similarities

swell bottle

Though each company tries to be unique when designing its water bottle, a few similarities are inevitable. This is due to industry standards, design elements, efficiency, and the typical features of the object itself.

The Material

One of the major similarities that both these reusable water bottles lies in the material used for their construction.

Both S’well and the Hydro Flask Store use the highest-grade materials to construct their bottles—this involves food-grade stainless steel and plastic that is free of phthalates and BPAs.

These materials are what lend these bottles their durability and sustainability. Each bottle is built to last for ages.

More importantly, though, food-grade stainless steel and BPA-and-phthalates-free materials keep you safe. Research shows that BPA from containers can seep into the liquids and food that they hold, with exposure to them potentially resulting in serious health issues.

So you can sleep soundly knowing you’re avoiding all of those nasty problems by using one of these two bottles.

Design

The next similarity that our two contenders share is their design. Both bottles feature standard water-bottle designs, with tall, thin bodies and wide mouths and screw-on caps.

A tall, thin body makes carrying the water bottle around easier. This is especially true when it comes to backpacks that are designed to accommodate more height than width. The thin body also means that these bottles will easily fit into the exterior netted water-bottle pouches.

On the other hand, a wide mouth allows you to sip easily from the bottle, while also allowing you to fill the bottle easily. A wide mouth also means that you can add ice cubes easily to keep the water cool throughout the day. Additionally, fitting your hand in to clean the bottle is also easy.

Insulation

Vacuum insulation is important to keep your drinks at the temperature you want them to be at—a godsend on extremely hot days and extremely cold days.

Granted—S’well stainless steel bottles feature three layers of insulation (there’s an extra layer of copper), whereas Hydro Flask bottles are only double-wall insulated.

However, both companies craft bottles from vacuum-insulated stainless steel and are able to keep drinks cold for prolonged periods (24 and 41 hours, respectively). They can also keep them hot, as the case may be (up to 12 and 18 hours, respectively).

S’well vs Hydro Flask—Differences 

hydro flask blue bottle

We now come to the section that decides the winner of this battle—the differences.

Price

The most obvious difference that you’ll notice between the S’well stainless steel water bottle and the Hydro Flask is the price—the latter is more expensive than the former for almost the same capacity (17 and 18 ounces).

Price is an important factor that many people consider—there’s no point buying a high-quality water bottle if you’re going to regret having paid what you did for it.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a reasonably-priced water bottle with great features, the S’well stainless steel water bottle is it. However, if you don’t mind paying a bit more, you’ll not only get an ounce of capacity higher but also a better-designed bottle that can be cleaned easily, has a wider mouth, and is versatile.

Sizes

S’well bottles are severely limited when it comes to the choice of sizes, unlike Hydro Flask’s bottles. The S’well stainless steel bottle in question, for example, is only available in a 17-ounce capacity, whereas the Hydro Flask bottle is available in 18, 32, and 40-ounce capacities.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a greater variety of size options, Hydro Flask is the better option.

S’well is great if you’re looking for smaller bottles, but Hydro Flask is great for both big and small bottles. Depending on why you’re buying your bottle, you can pick the size that suits you the most from Hydro Flask, whereas you have to settle for one or limited sizes with S’well.

This also makes Hydro Flask the more versatile option.

Ease of Use 

The advantage with Hydro Flask bottles is that unlike S’well bottles, which have screw-on caps that require both hands to unscrew, they come with sports caps for many of their models, allowing the bottle to be easily opened and used single-handedly.

However, if you’re concerned about portability and carrying a water bottle around, S’well is the better option, with its thinner, lighter and sleeker design that takes up minimal space.

When it comes to ease of cleaning, though, the Hydro Flask bottle is the better option, with a wider mouth than the S’well bottle (which may be more comfortable to sip from but is difficult to clean). You can even fit your hand inside the Hydro Flask bottle for cleaning, making the bottle more accessible and thoroughly cleanable.

Therefore, with 2 wins out of 3, the Hydro Flask water bottle emerges the winner.

The YETI Rambler—An Alternative to Consider

yeti rambler

If you didn’t find both the above bottles impressive, fair enough—each person has their own needs, tastes, and preferences.

If you are looking for an alternative to both these bottles, you may want to consider the YETI Rambler 18-ounce bottle.

Similar to the Hydro Flask and S’well bottles, the YETI Rambler features a leak proof cap, double-wall vacuum insulation, an 18/8 stainless steel construction, and size and design that fit into standard cup holders.

However, unlike the Hydro Flask and S’well bottles, the YETI Rambler features a DuraCoat color that keeps the exterior peel, crack, and fade-free is dishwasher safe and even available in a convenient size for the juniors.

The bottle also falls into the same price range as the S’well stainless steel bottle, which is a very reasonable price in our humble opinion.

However, if colors and aesthetic appeal is what you’re looking for, you won’t find much of it with the YETI Rambler.

In this case, you’re better off sticking with S’well, with their classy finishes and sleek bottle designs. Additionally, Hydro Flask offers a lifetime warranty on its bottle, whereas S’well and YETI only offer 1 and 5 years, respectively.

You can learn more about Yeti’s pros and cons in our Yeti Vs Hydro Flask article.

Our Verdict

While both the S’well and Hydro Flask stainless steel water bottles are excellent bottles, there can be only one winner to every battle and in this case, it’s Hydro Flask.

Despite being the more expensive option, Hydro Flask gives you more:

  • Value for money,
  • Versatility,
  • Ease of use and
  • Size options.

Additionally, each bottle is compatible with 3 different types of caps, making it even more versatile and convenient to use. The insulation is excellent, too, so honestly, there’s not much to not like.

For all of this, the Hydro Flask stainless water bottle emerges as the winner in this battle of the water bottle titans.