S’well vs Hydro Flask – Which Bottle is Better?

S'well vs Hydro Flask

Both S'well and Hydro Flask have taken the world by storm with their vacuum insulated reusable water bottles. Growing from small companies into multimillion (or even billion) dollar brands in just a few short years.

If you're looking to buy either a S'well or a Hydro Flask water bottle it can be difficult to choose between the two. Is there one that is better and which one should you buy?

Quick Summary

S'well bottles hold ice longer than Hydro Flasks. However, Hydro Flask bottles are more affordable, more durable and come with a lifetime warranty vs a 1-year warranty with S'well bottles.

For many people Hydro Flask bottles are going to be the better choice. However, S'well bottles are created to be sleek designer water bottles specifically tailored to women. So there is definitely a market that will prefer S'well bottles over the more outdoorsy and playful Hydro Flasks.

To be honest both water bottles are great options and your decision of which one to buy should come down to personal preference. I would be more than happy to recommend both these brands.

I suggest you go with whichever water bottle you prefer and you'll be fine. But to help you make your decision we are going to outline all the major differences between the 2 bottle brands.

S'well is Better For

  • Ice Retention
  • Sleek, Stylish Feminine Designs

See the latest price of S'well Water Bottles at Swell.com
(or compare to latest price of S'well water bottles at Amazon)

Hydro Flask is Better For

  • Affordability
  • Durability
  • Wider Mouth
  • Lids and Accessories
  • Lifetime Warranty

See the latest price of Hydro Flask bottles at HydroFlask.com
(or compare to the latest price of Hydro Flask bottles at Amazon)

S'well vs Hydro Flask Comparison

S'well

Slightly more expensive
See latest prices at Amazon

Sizes: 6, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 20, 25, 40, 64 oz

Positives:

  • Better ice retention
  • Feminine design/form
  • Lots of colors and prints available
  • Lots of sizes available

Negatives:

  • No handle making it prone to dropping
  • Not as durable as Hydro Flask
  • Slightly more expensive

Hydro Flask

Slightly cheaper
See latest prices at HydroFlask.com

Sizes: 12, 16, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 32, 40, 64, 128 oz

Positives:

  • Lots of sizes available
  • Lots of colors available
  • Unisex design
  • More popular brand
  • More affordable than S'well

Negatives:

  • Ice retention isn't as good as S'well

Cold Performance

Winner: S'well

If you're wondering which water bottle holds ice the longest then S'well is going to be your best option here.

In a head-to-head comparison between S'well and Hydro Flask S'well will win almost every time. Below you can see a video where an ice test is done and the S'well outperforms the Hydro Flask by a good amount.

Having done multiple ice tests myself comparing Hydro Flask to other brands I can confirm that Hydro Flask isn't the best at keeping ice. A lot of other brands slightly outperform Hydro Flask when it comes to ice retention.

However, the difference is so small most people aren't going to notice.

In the above video the ice test went for 2 DAYS! with both bottles holding ice for at least 2 days.

Most of us aren't going to need to keep ice in our water bottle for 2+ days so either brand will perform just fine.

Why Does S'well Keep Ice Longer?

Both S'well bottles and Hydro Flask bottles use the exact same type of insulation – vacuum insulation.

They are made from double walled stainless steel and inbetween the inner and outer wall they suck out all the air making a vacuum.

This is extremely hard for heat to pass through and is why these bottles insulate so well.

This also means the main way heat gets into your bottle is through the lid.

Given S'well has a smaller lid opening and a thick and heavily insulated lid this is likely the main reason S'well bottles perform better than Hydro Flasks.

S'well also says they have “triple-layered insulation” but doesn't state anywhere what this means. This DOES NOT mean a third wall (confirmed by founder in this video) but probable refers to either a copper lining to reflect heat radiation (which only gives a small improvement in performance) or the insulated lid.

See the latest price of S'well Water Bottles at Swell.com
(or compare to latest price of S'well water bottles at Amazon)

From my research the only triple walled bottle is actually the Burnout Mug which uses three walls and phase change material to keep drinks hot.

Price

Winner: Hydro Flask (Only Just)

So we know that both bottles perform great at keeping drinks cold or hot but what about price? How do they compare and which is the more affordable brand.

When looking at a head to head price comparison between Hydro Flask and S'well you can see that S'well bottles are slightly more expensive:

S'well Prices

12 oz – $30.00 RRP

20 oz – $40.00 RRP

25 oz – $45.00 RRP

40 oz – $50.00 RRP

64 oz – $75.00 RRP

See price of all S'well bottles

Hydro Flask Prices

12 oz – $29.95 RRP

20 oz – $37.95 RRP

24 oz – $34.95 RRP

40 oz – $49.95 RRP

64 oz – $64.95 RRP

See prices of all Hydro Flask bottles

When I say slightly I really do mean slightly. There is NOT a lot in this.

Some of the sizes are basically exactly the same price and the biggest difference in price maxes out at around $10 extra for a S'well bottle.

Given both are high quality brands selling expensive water bottles the $2-$10 difference is unlikely to be enough to really make you choose one of the other.

However, if you do like both and are looking to save a little bit of money then the Hydro Flask bottles are going to be the best option.

See the latest price of Hydro Flask bottles at HydroFlask.com
(or compare to the latest price of Hydro Flask bottles at Amazon)

Colors and Design

Winner: Both

When it comes to the different colors and designs of these bottles there is no clear and obvious winner.

Both brands offer bottles with a beautiful design and lots of different colors.

S'well bottles are more geared towards the female market with more feminine designs and a variety of cool prints (eg. marble and wood finishes or gold).

They also look more professional and sleek. Like a gorgeous woman in a beautiful corporate dress with amazing jewlery.

Hydro Flask bottles look more outdoorsy and fun with less curves, bolder colors and no pattern prints.

Whereas S'well is more sleek and high end Hydro Flask is more playful and fun and more understated.

Neither is better than the other they are just different.

I personally identify with the Hydro Flask brand more but that's because I'm alternative and love the outdoors. I'm not into high end fashion so S'well just isn't my vibe.

But my best friend who used to work in fashion and loves buying clothes and jewelry would much prefer the look of the S'well over the Hydro Flask.

Different designs for different people.

Width of Mouth

Winner: Hydro Flask

One of the downsides of the S'well water bottles is the width of the mouth.

While this is good for helping them keep ice longer that's no good if you can't actually get ice in them.

My ice that I make at home wouldn't fit in a S'well bottle without first cutting the ice because the mouth is too thin.

Hydro Flask have 2 designs with a Standard Mouth that is smaller and a Wide Mouth which is (you guessed it) wider. This makes putting ice in a Hydro Flask much easier. See the difference between wide mouth and standard mouth Hydro Flasks.

Both are pleasant to drink out of though.

Size Options

Winner: Both

Both brands of water bottle have a HUGE range of sizes so no matter what size you want there is a water bottle for you.

S'well sizes: 6, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 20, 25, 40, 64 oz

Hydro Flask sizes: 12, 16, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 32, 40, 64, 128 oz

The only major difference is that S'well has a smaller water bottle at 9 oz which is great for really small children and Hydro Flask ha an extra large 128 oz (1 gallon) water bottle if you're after something huge or for group gatherings.

Durability

Winner: Hydro Flask

A few people online have said that when it comes to durability Hydro Flask is more durable than S'well.

However, given they are both made from the same 18/8 stainless steel I find this hard to believe.

However, some people have said that because S'well doesn't have a handle but Hydro Flask lids have a handle this means you're more likely to drop your S'well and thus dent/damage it.

I own multiple different Hydro Flasks and they have all got dents after usage over the last year or so. It's not big deal and they keep working but they don't look as good.

You can get dents out of a Hydro Flask but it seems that both S'well and Hydro Flask bottles dent easily so you need to be careful.

Some people have also stated that the paint on S'well bottles scratches off really easily, leading it to not look as good over time. But I can't confirm this.

I give the slight edge here to Hydro Flask just because of it's handle making it less likely to be dropped and dented but I think this is a pretty close call.

See the latest price of Hydro Flask bottles at HydroFlask.com
(or compare to the latest price of Hydro Flask bottles at Amazon)

Warranty

Winner: Hydro Flask

There is absolutely no question here which water bottle has the better warranty.

Hydro Flask bottles comes with a LIFETIME WARRANTY which protects you for life against manufacturing defects. However, S'well bottles only come with a 1 year warranty.

For this very reason I much prefer Hydro Flask over S'well because it gives me that long term piece of mind.

Lid Options

Winner: Hydro Flask

If you're looking for different lid options then Hydro Flask is going to be the winner here.

S'well has a really cool filtered lid as well as an awesome sports lid and straw flip cap but that's where the options finish.

Hydro Flask has a much wider variety of lids and there are also aftermarket lid options for the Hydro Flasks offering everything from different filters to completely stainless steel lids to chug caps and straw lids and so many different options.

Click here to see the full list of the best Hydro Flask lids

Accessories

Winner: Hydro Flask

Being a more popular brand there are a wider variety of accessories available for Hydro Flask bottles.

For the protective silicone boots that stop your Hydro Flasks from denting to paracord handles, different lids, bottle covers, stickers and cup holder extenders.

If you want to accessorize your water bottle you're going to be better off with Hydro Flask

S'well vs Hydro Flask: Which One Would I Recommend?

So when it comes to S'well vs Hydro Flask bottles which would I recommend?

I WOULD RECOMMEND: Hydro Flask For Most People

For most people I would personally recommend that they grab a Hydro Flask bottle over a S'well bottle.

The brand is more well known, it's backed by a lifetime warranty and there are loads of colors and sizes to choose from for both males and females making it the obvious choice.

See the latest price of Hydro Flask bottles at HydroFlask.com
(or compare to the latest price of Hydro Flask bottles at Amazon)

I WOULD RECOMMEND: S'well For Designers and Yoga/Pilates Ladies

The exception to this would be if I was talking to someone who likely the feminine aesthetic of the S'well and wasn't a very outdoorsy person. A yoga/pilates mum or fashion designer would be much better off with the S'well than the Hydro Flask.

Also people who really want to have the best water bottle for ice retention should certainly consider the S'well as it'll perform better than the Hydro Flask and keep ice longer.

All in all both bottles are great and you can't really go wrong. Choose the one that best suits you.

See the latest price of S'well Water Bottles at Swell.com
(or compare to latest price of S'well water bottles at Amazon)

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