A reusable water bottle offers two great benefits: You stay hydrated better and you lessen your impact on the environment. They are hard to clean and that’s where self-cleaning water bottles come in. They make sure that your water is free of contaminants, and ensure that you’ll never have to clean your water bottle by hand again.
Self-cleaning water bottles use UV technology to completely zap waterborne microbes and keep them out of your drink, regardless of the water source. This is unlike filtered water bottles, which use a variety of mechanisms to trap pathogens and sediment.
The biggest difference between water bottles that provide filtration and self-cleaning water bottles is that the UV technology used in self-cleaning bottles doesn’t get rid of dirt and sediment. So while the bottles can kill viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms that can make you sick, they won’t filter out heavy metals or other particulates like an actual purification system might. Still better at ensuring you have clean water than traditional water dispensers or single-use plastic bottles, though.
Because of that, I decided not to test these self-cleaning water bottles outdoors. Instead, I used tap water to find out which self-cleaning bottles stood up to their claims. I also did most of my water drinking at home or in the office. So, which is the best self-cleaning water bottle? Here are my thoughts: Ditch your 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, normal mode kills up to 99.99% of contaminants and is suitable for “low to medium contamination,” such as from public water fountains and tap faucets. Crazy mode, on the other hand, kills up to 99.9996% of contaminants and is suitable for “medium to high contamination,” such as from lakes and rivers. The normal purification cycle takes 60 seconds and the crazy purification cycle takes two and a half minutes.
The CrazyCap also has an autoclean function, which turns on six times per day for 20 seconds. CrazyCap says this periodical exposure to UV-C light prevents microbial growth and odor, and it seems to work: After three days of use, I didn’t notice any smells or films inside the bottle. Additionally, purified water from the CrazyCap bottle tasted significantly better than water from the tap faucet.
The CrazyCap bottle is more slender than the others on this list, which I liked. It fits into my car cup holders, as well as the mesh cup holders on my gym bag and backpack. It’s a bit taller than the Larq and the Mahaton, so you might have trouble fitting it in the top rack of your dishwasher.
Personally, I think the best thing about CrazyCap is that you can buy just the cap, which according to the website fits on many different water bottles, maybe something you already have.
On a single filtered water bottle charge, the CrazyCap will last up to two months, but only if you leave it to autoclean. Manually starting the self-cleaning water bottle purification cycle affects that charge time, though CrazyCap doesn’t specify by how much.
The Larq bottle also has two purification modes: normal and adventure. Normal mode purifies up to 99.99% of pathogens in 60 seconds, and adventure mode purifies up to 99.9999% of water in three minutes. It doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but that 0.0099% water filtration can make or break water that comes from a stream or other natural source.
You can activate the UV-C purification light whenever you want by pressing the button on the top of the bottle, but Larq also comes to life every two hours for a 10-second cleaning cycle. I didn’t notice any funky smells or films on the inside of the Larq bottle after three days of constant use of the self-cleaning bottle.
Larq was the only one of the three bottles that didn’t taste significantly better than my water, however. It tasted slightly cleaner, but I probably couldn’t tell the difference if someone blind taste-tested me.
The Larq bottle is made of vacuum-insulated stainless steel and keeps your safe drinking water at a cold temperature for up to 24 hours. It’s sleek and aesthetically appealing — my only complaint was that there’s no groove or curve to fit your hand. You could always purchase the limited-edition bottle sleeve to solve that problem.
A single charge on the Larq can give you up to two full months of use, assuming you send it through three to four cleaning cycles (in normal mode) per day. If you use adventure mode, the charge will last up to 12 days.
The Mahaton self-cleaning water bottle (available for preorder for $44) features one purification cycle that eliminates up to 99.99% of waterborne pathogens. After three days of near-constant use, the self-cleaning water bottle didn’t show any signs of build-up — no weird smells, no crusty films.
Unlike the CrazyCap and the Larq, the Mahaton bottle doesn’t have an additional purification setting for bodies of water that might contain more contaminants, such as streams and other sources of groundwater. For that reason, I’d recommend only using the Mahaton bottle with indoor sources of drinking water unless the company releases a new bottle with an additional pure water self-cleaning bottle setting.
The Mahaton bottle features a sleek shape with a nice double taper that makes it easy to hold. It’s made of double-wall stainless steel, so it’s durable and it’ll keep your water cold for hours. It’s also small, so you should have no issues 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 refill this water filtration bottle up to eight to 10 times each day to get the gallons they need– that’s a lot of interruptions to your day.
The Mahaton bottle can last up to three weeks on a full charge, assuming you run the purification cycle up to four times per day. That’s slightly less than the CrazyCap and the Larq, but not such a short battery life that you’ll feel burdened with charging the bottle.
Which self-cleaning water bottle is best?
Truthfully, all three of these water bottles did a great job at keeping themselves clean. After three days of drinking and constant refills and no hand-washing, none of these bottles smelled musty or had any sort of film on the inside, two things my normal steel bottle often produces.
The Larq, CrazyCap and Mahaton all use UV-C light to zap all of the major waterborne pathogens; they’re all stainless steel water bottle options (no cheap plastic water bottles here), and all these best self-cleaning bottle choices have automatic cleaning cycles. On top of that, all three are easy to use and they all have battery notifications so they’ll never die without warning.
I had virtually no complaints about any of these self-cleaning bottles, and if you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing bottle that purifies your water, any of the three will get the job done.
The only major difference between the three? The Larq and the CrazyCap both have two modes, while the Mahaton only has one. If you plan on using your self-cleaning water bottle with outdoor sources of water, you may want to opt for the Larq or the CrazyCap since they have overdrive modes that kill even more microorganisms.
How do self-cleaning water bottles work?
Self-cleaning water bottles use UV-C light
to kill bacteria
, viruses, protozoa and other microorganisms by destroying their DNA. The UV light sterilizes both the water in the bottle and the interior surface of the bottle.
UV-C light serves as a convenient, mostly hands-off way to keep reusable water bottles clean without the need for chemicals or soap. Most self-cleaning water bottles, including the three covered in this article, also have all the features you’d look for in a normal reusable water bottle: They keep steaming hot water hot and cold water cold (or room temperature water at room temperature), and they’re durable.
How did I test these self-cleaning water bottles?
I tested three UV-powered self-sanitizing water bottles — the Larq bottle, the CrazyCap bottle and the Mahaton bottle (which is on Kickstarter, but is fully funded and already shipping products) — using the tap water from my apartment’s kitchen sink (my preferred water source).
I usually don’t buy bottled water, and I don’t have a faucet water filter, so I often drink this water unaltered. I thoroughly cleaned each bottle and charged them overnight to ensure they were ready for testing. Then, I used each bottle for three days in place of my normal reusable bottle.
What to look for in a self-cleaning water bottle
You should consider six important factors when choosing a UV-powered water bottle like these: Purification, taste, design, ease of use, capacity and battery life. If you decide to purchase a self-cleaning water bottle, you’ll want one that kills as many microbes as possible, produces a good taste, is easy to hold and transport, and lasts for a decent period of time on one charge.
1. Purification: What does the bottle promise to get rid of, and at what percentage? Also, how long does it take for the bottle to purify the water? Is there an autoclean function? I also considered how the bottle smelled and looked on the inside after three days of use.
2. Taste: How does the water taste after going through 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 around? Does it keep 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 hold? Will you be refilling it constantly, or will the pure water last you a while?
6. Battery life: How long does the bottle last (and how many cleaning cycles can it complete) on a full charge?
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
True to form, Nothing has just announced the full reveal date for its upcoming audio product, Ear (stick).
So, an announcement about an announcement. You’ve got to hand it to Carl Pei’s marketing department, they never miss a trick.
What we’re saying is that although we still have ‘nothing’ conclusive about the features, pricing or release date for the Ear (stick) except an image of another model holding them (and we’ve seen plenty of those traipsing down the catwalk recently), we do have a date – the day when we’ll be granted official access to this information.
That day is October 26. Nothing assures us that on this day we’ll be able to find out everything, including pricing and product specifications, during the online Ear (stick) Reveal, at 3PM BST (which is 10AM ET, or 1AM on Wednesday if you’re in Sydney, Australia) on nothing.tech (opens in new tab).
Any further information? A little. Nothing calls the Ear (stick), which is now the product’s official name, “the next generation of Nothing sound technology”, and its “most advanced audio product yet”.
But that’s not all! Apparently, Ear (stick) are “half in-ear true wireless earbuds that balance supreme comfort with exceptional sound, made not to be felt when in use. They’re feather-light with an ergonomic design that’s moulded to your ears. Delivered in a unique charging case, inspired by classic cosmetic silhouettes, and compactly formed to simply glide into pockets.”
Opinion: I need more than a lipstick-style case
Nothing Ear (stick) – official leaked renders pic.twitter.com/FrhKmRttmiOctober 1, 2022
Aside from this official ‘news’ from Nothing, leaked images and videos of the Ear (stick) have been springing up all over the internet (thank you, developer Kuba Wojciechowski) and they depict earbuds that look largely unchanged, which is a shame.
For me, the focus needs to shift from gimmicks such as a cylindrical case with a red section at the end which twists up like a lipstick. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of theater, but only if the sound coming from the earbuds themselves is top dog.
See, that lipstick case shape likely will not support wireless charging. That and the rumored lack of ANC means the Ear (stick) is probably arriving as the more affordable option in Nothing’s ouevre.
For now, we sit tight until October 26.
Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.
You might soon have to buy YouTube Premium to watch 4K YouTube videos, a new user test suggests.
According to a Reddit thread (opens in new tab) highlighted on Twitter by leaker Alvin (opens in new tab), several non-Premium YouTube users have reported seeing 4K resolution (and higher) video options limited to YouTube Premium subscribers on their iOS devices. For these individuals, videos are currently only available to stream in up to 1440p (QHD) resolution.
The apparent experiment only seems to be affecting a handful of YouTube users for now, but it suggests owner Google is toying with the idea of implementing a site-wide paywall for access to high-quality video in the future.
So, after testing up to 12 ads on YouTube for non-Premium users, now some users reported that they also have to get a Premium account just to watch videos in 4K. pic.twitter.com/jJodoAxeDpOctober 1, 2022
It’s no secret that Google has been searching for new ways to monetize its YouTube platform in recent months. In September, the company introduced five unskippable ads for some YouTube users as part of a separate test – an unexpected development that, naturally, didn’t go down well with much of the YouTube community.
A resolution paywall seems a more palatable approach from Google. While annoying, the change isn’t likely to provoke the same level of ire from non-paying YouTube users as excessive ads, given that many smartphones still max out at QHD resolution anyway.
Of course, if it encourages those who do care about high-resolution viewing to invest in the platform’s Premium subscription package, it may also be more lucrative for Google. After all, YouTube Premium, which offers ad-free viewing, background playback and the ability to download videos for offline use, currently costs $11.99 / £11.99 / AU$14.99 per month.
Suffice to say, the subscription service hasn’t taken off in quite the way Google would’ve hoped since its launch in 2014. Only around 50 million users are currently signed up to YouTube Premium, while something close to 2 billion people actively use YouTube on a monthly basis.
Might the addition of 4K video into Premium’s perk package bump up that number? Only time will tell. We’ll be keeping an eye on our own YouTube account to see whether this resolution paywall becomes permanent in the coming months.
Axel is a London-based staff writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the newest movies to latest Apple developments as part of the site’s daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned a gold standard NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.
USB-C has come a long way since its debut in 2014, now becoming the standard for charging and basic data transfer (on everything except the iPhone, of course!) as well as audio and video for more and more devices. The European Parliament, long enamored with the idea of a consumer- and environmentally-friendly standard for charging devices, is pushing it forward even further. A newly-passed law says that almost all portable electronics will need to charge via USB-C by 2026.
At this point, most new laptops already use USB-C charging, taking advantage of the standard’s flexibility to deliver a range of wattages up to 100 watts. There are two exceptions: the top of the market and the bottom. Cheap budget laptops are still sometimes equipped with less expensive, semi-proprietary barrel charging cables or something like Lenovo’s rectangular charger.
On the other hand, power-hungry laptops that need more than 100 watts still use proprietary connections for their massive adapters. The USB Implementers Forum is working on expanding that limit and some of these laptops can still charge slowly over USB-C. These are the only laptops that Europe will allow to be sold with proprietary chargers after the spring of 2026. While nothing forces manufacturers to follow this new law worldwide, streamlined manufacturing and economy of scale will effectively force the rest of the world to follow in practice if not in legislation.
Parliament posted its reasoning online (spotted by Windows Central), saying that this move will encourage technological innovation and give consumers access to more interoperability with a bonus that more easily-reusable cables and chargers means less electronic waste. The post estimates that it will help consumers save up to 250 million euro a year on new charger purchases.
The bigger news is that this move is likely to finally force Apple to abandon the Lightning connector for the iPhone, cheaper iPads, and a few lingering accessories. (Apple already uses USB-C charging on most iPads and all Macbooks.) The switch for smaller mobile devices will happen by the end of 2024. This includes “all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, earbuds and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable.” (Note: This technically creates a loophole for any device that recharges via wireless only.) That should give laptop manufacturers plenty of time to flush out the remaining old-fashioned chargers from their assembly lines.
Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.