Are Narrow or Wide Bottle Openings Better?
When you’re buying a reusable bottle, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether to get a narrow mouth or wide mouth bottle. Virtually all bottle brands have narrow mouth and wide mouth options, so this is something you’ll need to think about whether you’re looking to buy a Hydro Flask, Nalgene, or any of the countless other bottle brands on the market today. We’re going to review the main factors you should be thinking about when making your decision. And spoiler alert, we have a pretty strong opinion on this one.
Please note that some bottle brands have different terminologies. For example, Hydro Flask has a “standard mouth,” and that’s what we would classify as a narrow mouth design.
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Narrow Mouth vs Wide Mouth - A Video Review
If you'd rather watch a video than read our post, then check out our Youtube video below! We review the same information and give our recommendation on whether narrow mouth or wide mouth bottles are better.
Factor #1 – How Easy is it to Drink from a Narrow vs Wide Mouth Bottle?
One of the most common reasons that someone might prefer a narrow mouth is that it’s easier to take sips of your drink, and this is certainly true with the base bottle. With wide mouth bottles it’s not uncommon to take a sip of water and accidentally splash yourself in the face. Then don’t be surprised when your friends and family make an Airplane reference about having a drinking problem. Narrow mouth bottles help prevent this issue.
But if you have a wide mouth bottle, you can easily avoid this problem by purchasing a different style lid, like a straw, sip, or chug style. For Hydro Flasks, see our videos reviewing their Flex Straw and Flex Sip lids to take a closer look. Or get a splash guard, like a SplashPro for Hydro Flasks, or Guyot or Watergate for Nalgenes.
So all-in-all, there’s not much of a difference here between narrow and wide mouth bottles, other than the small cost you might run into if you’re buying a different lid or splash guard.
Lids to Prevent Spills
Alternative: Splash Guards
Factor #2 – How Easy is it to Clean a Narrow vs Wide Mouth Bottle?
First off, regardless of which bottle you use, we highly recommend getting a bottle brush to help make cleaning your big bottle more easy. But in general, you’ll find narrow mouth bottles more difficult to clean than wide mouth bottles.
Narrow mouth bottles limit the size of a bottle brush you can fit, and with smaller brushes, the bristles usually aren’t long enough to easily reach the spot where the bottle widens just under the neck. Wide mouth bottles can fit bigger brushes with longer bristles, so it’s easier to clean this area.
So when it comes to ease of cleaning, wide mouth bottles are the clear winners.
Factor #3 – Adding Ice and Flavorings
Many people like to add ice or flavorings to their water to change things up, but if you get a narrow mouth bottle, you’re really limiting what you can do. Adding ice is more tedious, and that’s if your ice cubes even fit. Some bottles, like narrow mouth Nalgenes, have really small openings that don’t even fit most standard ice cubes. And odds are you won’t have an easy time adding fruit or tea leaves since most infusers won’t fit. You can add liquid flavorings and flexible tea bags to narrow mouth bottles, but that’s about it.
Wide mouth bottles are much more versatile than narrow mouth bottles. Its easier to add ice, fruit and tea infusers, and other natural flavorings. Our FlavorFuze Pod fruit infuser fits great in most wide mouth bottles, and you can fit many common tea infusers as well. So when it comes to adding ice or other flavorings, wide mouth bottles are better than narrow mouth bottles.
Accessories to Add Flavoring (Narrow Mouth)
Accessories to Add Flavoring (Wide or Narrow Mouth)
Be sure to check your bottle's mouth diameter before buying an infuser. But in general, most popular wide mouth bottles tend to have mouth openings that are at least 2.0 inches diameter. So get infusers that are less than 2" around and you should be good.
What about the Cost?
You might be asking if narrow mouth or wide mouth bottles are more expensive, but the opening style really is not much of a factor. The variables that make the most impact on the bottle cost are the brand and bottle size, not the opening style.
So when it comes to deciding whether narrow or wide mouth bottles are better, our opinion is that wide mouths are the clear winners. They’re easier to clean, they’re more versatile when it comes to adding ice and flavorings, and you can make it just as easy to take sips as a narrow mouth bottle by getting the right lid or splash guard.
Do you agree with our recommendation? Let us know!
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