The 7 Best Sparkling Waters of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Sip on these bubbly beverages to boost hydration

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Sparkling water is a refreshing, zero-calorie beverage choice that hits the spot when you’re craving something bubbly to drink. There are so many different kinds of sparkling water on the market today—seltzer, flavored, unflavored, mineral, and more. No matter what you choose, sparkling water is an effective and enjoyable way to meet your hydration goals.

Whatever your sparkling water preferences are, it’s important to consider a few things when choosing which one to purchase. We evaluated the latest research on sparkling water to choose the best options for when the bubbly water mood strikes. To take the guesswork out of choosing the best options, we’ve rounded up our favorites for you.

Here, the best sparkling waters:

Best Overall: Spindrift Sparkling Water

Spindrift sparkling water has a flavor for everyone. From cucumber to pineapple to raspberry lime, you’re sure to find a Spindrift you love. What makes Spindrift so unique and special is that it’s flavored with real squeezed fruit instead of natural flavors. As a result, their sparkling waters taste like real fruit, without a hint of anything artificial. 

When you open up a can of Spindrift, you’ll see the beverage is colorful, not clear—that’s from the real fruit added! If you’re looking for a super fresh tasting and minimally processed sparkling water, stock up on Spindrift today.

Best Budget: Good & Gather Sparkling Water

Good and Gather Grapefruit Sparkling Water

Leave it to Target to supply high-quality goods at an affordable price point. You can purchase an 8-pack of Target brand’s Good & Gather sparkling water for much less than comparable products. 

You’ll find appealing sparkling water flavors such as grapefruit, strawberry mango, mixed berry, and cranberry citrus on the shelves at Target. Like most flavored sparkling waters, Target's is best served chilled.

Best Tasting: Hal's New York Seltzer Water

When you’re craving something seriously carbonated, reach for Hal’s seltzer water. Hal’s is one of the most bubbly and fizzy sparkling waters we’ve tried, and it won’t go flat as you’re sipping on your beverage.

You can purchase Hal’s seltzer water plain, but they also offer nine flavors, ranging from black cherry to lemon to vanilla cream. The water comes in two convenient sizes: big 20-ounce bottles or smaller 16-ounce cans.

Best Flavored: Waterloo Sparkling Fruit Flavored Water

For those who crave a highly flavored sparkling drink, we recommend reaching for Waterloo sparkling water. Made with premium natural flavors, Waterloo’s flavors are bright, pronounced, and delicious. 

Waterloo uses natural flavors derived from fruit to flavor their sparkling water. The naturally-extracted fruit essences and oils create an authentic fruit flavor that is truly crave-worthy.

Best Mineral: San Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water

San Pellegrino is our top choice for mineral sparkling water with its gentle bubbles and subtle mineral taste. It’s light, refreshing, and their classic green glass bottle looks sophisticated on your table. But what makes mineral water different from regular sparkling water?

According to the FDA, which regulates bottled water, mineral water must contain at least “250 parts per million (ppm) 'total dissolved solids,' originating from a geologically and physically protected underground water source.” So, mineral water must have naturally occurring minerals, like sodium, magnesium, and calcium, when it comes out of the earth.

Best Sustainable: SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker

SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker

Love sparkling water, but don’t love the single-use cans and plastic bottles you use up by consuming it regularly? You might want to invest in a SodaStream for your kitchen, a compact machine that allows you to make your own sparkling water! 

With your SodaStream, you can make plain sparkling water, choose your carbonation level, and even add different flavor drops to customize your drink. And when your CO2 canister runs out, exchange it for a new one with SodaStream. Low waste and bubbles you crave are a win-win!

Best Unique Flavors: Aura Bora Sparkling Water

Aura Bora Sparkling Water

Are you feeling a little uninspired with the usual lemon, lime, and raspberry sparkling water flavors? Try Aura Bora, a sparkling water with unique flavors.

Some of the flavor options you get from Aura Bora include Cactus Rose, Basil Berry, and Lemongrass Coconut. Aura Bora uses extracts from real herbs, flowers, and fruits to add delicious and extraordinary flavors to their sparkling waters.

Final Verdict

Hal’s New York Seltzer Water is our top sparkling water pick for its carbonation level and flavor variety. With authentic flavors that don’t taste artificial, and the option to purchase a plain version, Hal’s nails it when it comes to taste. Paired with the most impressive and robust bubbles we’ve experienced, Hal’s comes out on top.

What to Look for in a Sparkling Water


Some sparkling waters are flavorless, while others have additives for flavor. A vast majority of sparkling water companies use “natural flavors” to flavor their beverages. Natural flavors are any substance with plant or animal origins, and their main function in food or drinks is to add flavor, not provide any nutritional value.

Natural flavors are considered safe for consumption but are derived through some level of processing. If you’re keen to limit the amount of processed ingredients in your diet, choose plain sparkling water, mineral water, or one flavored with real fruit (like Spindrift).


There are different types of sparkling water, including seltzer water, sparkling water, and mineral water. Depending on your ideal bubby beverage situation, you may have preferences towards one or the other. Mineral water is naturally carbonated from a spring and therefore has more gentle, lighter bubbles and a slight mineral or salty flavor. Sparkling water and seltzer water are artificially carbonated, so they generally have more robust bubbles and a neutral water flavor.

Consumption Recommendations:

Most sparkling waters, especially flavored ones, taste best when served chilled, so be sure to stick your cans or bottles in the fridge before consuming.


Is it safe to drink sparkling water every day? What are PFAS?

In general, it is safe to drink sparkling water every day. However, a recent study showed that some sparkling water brands had detectable levels of certain chemicals classified as PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances). These chemicals are produced by humans during manufacturing in various industries. They are sometimes referred to as “forever chemicals” because they take a very long time to break down in the environment and in the human body. PFAS are important because some research links them to health issues, like high cholesterol, infant birth weight, and certain cancers.

No current official safe-consumption standards exist for PFAS chemicals. However, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has voluntary guidelines set for two types of PFAS, considered to be the most harmful to human health, at 70 parts per trillion (ppt).

None of the sparkling water brands recommended in this list were tested at over 1 ppt. And rest assured, the sparkling water with the highest levels of PFAS still had less than 10 ppt. Overall, we need more research to determine the effects of PFAS on human health and to form more formal consumption guidelines and regulations.

What is healthier—soda water, sparkling water, seltzer, or mineral water?

All four types of carbonated water have a similar nutrient profile, as they all contain zero calories. Mineral water, which comes from underground water reservoirs, does provide important minerals like sodium, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. So, it might have a leg up on the other options. However, it shouldn't be the sole sources of these nutrients as there are only small amounts of them.

Minerals are an essential part of our diet because we cannot produce them ourselves in the body. We need minerals for numerous functions—for example, calcium is essential for bone health. Mineral water can be a good way to ensure adequate dietary mineral consumption. That said, it’s best to eat a varied diet that includes all food groups rather than rely on mineral water to meet certain nutrient requirements.

Does sparkling water improve or contribute to acid reflux?

Acid reflux is an uncomfortable condition that happens when the valve that connects the esophagus and stomach is weakened, allowing stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus. Acid reflux often feels like a painful burning sensation in the back of the throat or chest.

Certain dietary restrictions may alleviate the pain associated with acid reflux. Carbonated beverages are shown to cause acid reflux symptoms, because the bubbles expand in your stomach, pushing stomach acid and contents back up the esophagus. When experiencing acid reflux, it’s best to consider whether sparkling and carbonated beverages affect your symptoms.

Many health care professionals recommend skipping these drinks if you have GERD; however, research suggests that there is no evidence to support that carbonated beverages exacerbate or promote GERD.

What Experts Say

"Sparkling water is an excellent way to boost your hydration; however, I find that many people drink upwards of three to four cans per day. I recommend sticking to one can per day or making your own sparkling water at home to reduce potential exposure to PFAS and be a little more environmentally-friendly."—Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Alex Aldeborgh, MS, RD, keeps up with all the latest scientific research about her favorite food and beverage categories. She would confidently drink any of the products recommended here herself, and recommend them to friends, family, and clients as safe and satisfying choices.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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