- If you’re on the hunt for the best seltzer, you’ve come to the right place
- We sampled dozens of different sparkling waters from various brands to determine the best of the best
- Check out more stories here
Water is delightful, but sometimes you want some flavor, but you don’t want the calories, carbs, or sugar as found in other beverages such as soda, sports drinks, or juice. That’s why sparkling water is a great alternative to boring old water. But what are the best seltzer water brands and flavors?
The seltzer water market is exploding as people are in search of healthier food and drink. Americans drank an estimated 821 million gallons of seltzer water in 2018 with sales of approximately $4.5 billion. The ever-expanding fizzy water market has brought in major soda players like Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
With the demand for seltzer water growing exponentially every single year, there are more and more competitors and varieties flooding the carbonated water market. We went on the hunt to find the best brands and most delicious flavors of sparkling water are.
The list only includes seltzer water with no sugar, no additives, no minerals, and no juice—sorry Spindrift, you have a fantastic product with real fruit juice, but we’re looking for zero-calorie drinks in this taste test. It should go without saying we’re focusing on “soft seltzer” as opposed to hard seltzer, but if you’re looking for something with alcohol, we have no shortage of reviews concerning that particular category.
For the taste test, I sampled 33 different seltzer waters in several flavors from brands such as LaCroix, Polar, Perrier, Waterloo, Coca-Cola’s Dasani, Pepsi’s Bubly, Alta Palla, and Target’s Simply Balanced. Here are the best and worst seltzer water brands and flavors.
LaCroix’s regular lime flavor is lacking that citrusy zing. Rating: 7
Polar Lime has a fine flavor, not overpowering, but nothing to write home about either. Rating: 7
Waterloo has a very pleasing lime seltzer with a crisp and refreshing flavor. Rating: 8
Simply Balanced’s Cucumber Mint Sparkling Water is a refreshing blend. This is very minty with a hint of cucumber, so if you don’t enjoy mint this is not for you. This is perfect for making a mojito without all the sugars and calories from a mojito mix. Rating: 8
Perrier Lime is made from water captured at the source in France and has a refreshing zesty flavor. Rating: 9
The key lime flavor from LaCroix is one of my favorites, but I must disclose that I love key lime pie, so there might be some bias here. It really has a great balance of the citrusy lime flavor and a vanilla cream taste that isn’t a fake flavor. If you’re a fan of Florida’s signature dessert, then you’ll love this. Rating: 9
Perrier overly lemony flavor, almost candy-like and sometimes tastes like a lemon cough drop. Rating: 7
Waterloo has a real lemon flavor, but then there is a slight hint of vanilla. Rating: 7
Polar Strawberry Watermelon Seltzer is just off the mark somewhat and doesn’t nail either flavor. Rating: 7
Simply Balanced Sparkling Watermelon is refreshing, but nothing mindblowing. Rating: 7
All of these watermelon flavors are like a Jolly Rancher, more sweet than refreshing. But Waterloo’s watermelon seltzer is the best of the bunch and less saccharine flavor. Rating: 8
Cherry Bubly is an okay cherry flavor, but it really has zero pizazz—especially for a fun flavor like cherry. Rating: 7
Tropical Cherry from Simply Balanced isn’t as cherry as one would like and the lime takes away from the cherry flavor. It’s not bad at all, but cherry is such a great flavor that they should have done more with it. Rating: 8
Waterloo Black Cherry is the clear winner in the battle for cherry superiority. It’s not too candy-like, but it isn’t too boring either. Rating: 10
Mango Bubly is a little boring for a fruit bursting with flavor. The flavor doesn’t taste like a mango and doesn’t even taste like what mango candy tastes like. It’s very uninspiring and dull. Not to mention that it leaves a bit of an aftertaste. Rating: 3
Waterloo’s mango seltzer tastes like real mangoes without having to cut around an annoying pit. However, it is a bit fragrancy in a negative way, almost like a soap from Bath & Body Works. Rating: 7
Oddly, the flavor that nearly every brand offered was grapefruit. Who knew that grapefruit was such a hot flavor? Unfortunately, none of the seltzers we tried completely nailed the complex balance of bitterness and sweetness with the refreshing feeling of citrus.
Bubly grapefruit came up short again by not having enough flavor. Rating: 6
LaCroix’s grapefruit seltzer is called “Pamplemousse,” which is the French word for “grapefruit.” For me, LaCroix came up short and became their own interpretation of grapefruit. Rating: 6
Polar offers Ruby Red Grapefruit seltzer, like the other Polar flavors they are not overly flavored but not offensively flavored either. Rating: 7
Waterloo has bold flavors, but they seemed to shy away from really capturing the essence of grapefruit in this beverage. Rating: 7
Simply Balanced was the one brand that dared to give you a hint of grapefruit’s bitterness. It’s not overwhelming, but just enough to remind you that this is a real grapefruit flavor. For some people, the bitterness will be a turnoff, but for grapefruit enthusiasts, they will gladly welcome the sour taste. Rating: 7
Perrier’s grapefruit seltzer is splendid. Perfect to use as a zero-calorie, zero-sugar substitute for grapefruit juice in a Paloma cocktail. Rating: 9
LaCroix Coconut is a very loose interpretation of what coconut tastes like. This really was like a remix of a coconut-flavored drink. Rating: 7
Waterloo knocks it out of the park with their coconut-flavored seltzer. A real coconut flavor, almost a toasted coconut vibe, which makes it sweeter and better. This seltzer is begging to be paired with a quality rum. Rating: 9
Passionfruit is a highly underrated flavor (not as underrated as guava, which should totally be a more popular flavor) and LaCroix offers a passionfruit-flavored seltzer water. It is fine, but nothing exceptional. Rating: 6
Polar offers a cranberry lime seltzer, again Polar goes the safe route with a mildly flavored seltzer that is not overpowering or tastes like a Yankee Candle. Rating: 6
LaCroix Apricot is okay, but has a strange aftertaste. It’s not the bright, sweet flavor that apricots have. Rating: 7
Dasani Blood Orange Sparkling Water beverage has a nice happy flavor. Rating: 7
Dasani Tropical Pineapple doesn’t put you on a Hawaiian beach, but it does have a sweet, yet tart flavor. Rating: 7
Simply Balanced has a cranberry citrus flavor that will really delight cranberry enthusiasts. This drink features the tartness of cranberries but is balanced out by the sweetness of oranges. This is a great seltzer for around Thanksgiving, but not everyone will appreciate this flavor combination. Rating: 8
Alta Palla Peach This is a very tasty, but very candy-like interpretation of the peach essence. However, this is the most expensive seltzer water in our tasting and probably not worth the price. Rating: 8
Dasani Pear Kiwi is mostly a sweet pear flavor and not too much of a taste of kiwi. The flavor of pear is very polarizing, some people love it, some people hate it. So if you’re Team Pear you’ll enjoy this seltzer water. Rating: 8
Despite the hype, LaCroix was very inconsistent in its flavors. The best seltzer water brand that I tried in this taste test was Waterloo. They were consistent, tasted like the actual flavor, and weren’t shy to try bold interpretations of sparkling water.
If you want even more unique and daring flavors, try Dasani, and if you enjoy sparkling water with only a hint of flavor then Polar seltzer water is for you.
What is the best tasting flavored sparkling water? ›
- 1 Sanzo Flavored Sparkling Water.
- 2 Bubly Flavored Sparkling Water.
- 3 S.Pellegrino Essenza Flavored Sparkling Water.
- 4 Sparkling ICE Flavored Sparkling Water.
- 5 Spindrift Flavored Sparkling Water.
The Water Itself
La Croix has big, throat-burning bubbles and a harsh, almost metallic finish compared to Waterloo, which tastes more effervescent and has a smooth, clean ending.
- La Croix Sparkling Water is probably the most recognizable and popular sparkling water brand.
- Spindrift Sparkling Water is another famous sparkling water brand made with real fruit juice and natural flavors. ...
- Perrier is one of the most iconic brands of sparkling water.
Yes, lime bubly smells pretty much like everyone's favorite lemon-lime soda. It tastes like Sprite (or 7UP) too, though obviously not as sweet, since none of the bubly varieties contain any sweeteners.What is the number 1 sparkling water? ›
Spindrift sparkling water tops our list with its simple ingredients, containing just carbonated water and real squeezed fruit, and its delicious flavor offerings. Our favorite flavor is Raspberry Lime, but they offer a range of delicious flavors from a refreshing Cucumber to a slightly sweet Pineapple.Does Bubly or La Croix taste better? ›
Both of these flavors are more flavorful than many of their sister flavors. LaCroix again comes out on top with a more lasting flavor and aftertaste, while bubly seems to rely on the initial burst of taste that comes with the first whiff of the drink.Are there any downsides to LaCroix? ›
A recent lawsuit, though, claimed LaCroix uses synthetic ingredients, like limonene, which can cause kidney toxicity and tumors, and linalool, which is also used in cockroach insecticide.Why is Waterloo water so good? ›
Before carbonation and canning, our water undergoes a multi-step filtration process to ensure a pure product for you. Our water is free of fluoride, sodium, and other additives/impurities before we add our flavors and carbonate. The water used in Waterloo is sourced regionally.Can you drink LaCroix everyday? ›
Well, that depends on how much you're drinking. Sip a sparkling glass or two and you're completely fine - the drink is all-natural, zero-calorie, and ultimately hydrating. But if you're guzzling can after can at your desk, it could be time to slow down. For one, carbonation can cause some serious bloating and gas.What is the highest quality hard seltzer? ›
- Lagunitas Disorderly TeaHouse. ...
- The Finnish Long Drink Traditional. ...
- MAHA Organic Hard Seltzer. ...
- Vizzy Hard Seltzer. ...
- Rogue Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz. ...
- Sparkling Stillwater. ...
- Topo Chico Hard Seltzer. ...
- Willie's Superbrew.
Is drinking seltzer as healthy as drinking water? ›
Early studies indicate that seltzer water is just as hydrating as still water. Seltzer water is an excellent choice for staying hydrated. The most prevalent health benefit of seltzer water is its lack of sugar and calories.What are the negatives of seltzer water? ›
- Stomach pain.
La Croix was light and marginally floral. Bubly had a hint of sweet candy and was noticeably less carbonated. This variation also smelled of bubble gum. Some features our editors unanimously agreed on were that La Croix had better flavor and Bubly was more fragrant.Why is bubly so popular? ›
Though a relative newcomer, Bubly has quickly established itself as a leading brand when it comes to sparkling water, up there with Lacroix seltzers and Spindrift. Part of the reason behind Bubly's success lies in the witty marketing but also diverse range of flavors.Does LaCroix taste like seltzer? ›
Usually, LaCroix tastes like sparkling water with a hint of flavor, but this tasted like carbonated coffee. It is bitter and strong, and I definitely did not want to take a second sip. Upon opening, I got a whiff of sour watermelons like the Sour Patch Watermelon Candy, and a hint of pickles.Is LaCroix better than soda? ›
La Croix vs.
Let's get one thing clear: La Croix is absolutely healthier than soda or sugar-sweetened beverages such as iced tea and lemonade.
Still water is the king of hydration, but sparkling water hydrates and refreshes you just as much. If you're already drinking still, the odd glass of sparkling will mix things up and do you no harm. So you're good to go if there's no added sugar.
No evidence suggests that carbonated or sparkling water is bad for you. It's not that harmful to dental health, and it seems to have no effect on bone health. Interestingly, a carbonated drink may even enhance digestion by improving swallowing ability and reducing constipation.Why is Bubly better than LaCroix? ›
La Croix was light and marginally floral. Bubly had a hint of sweet candy and was noticeably less carbonated. This variation also smelled of bubble gum. Some features our editors unanimously agreed on were that La Croix had better flavor and Bubly was more fragrant.Why is Bubly so sweet? ›
But many other issues arise when flavor, like lemon or grapefruit, is added to sparkling water. “To add the fruity taste, these bubbly waters typically use artificial sweeteners like stevia, aspartame, and sucralose to make it sweet,” says Dr. Hashmi.
Is Spindrift healthier than LaCroix? ›
It's not that there is no nutritional difference between Spindrift and erstwhile seltzer starlet LaCroix, or Bubly, or Adirondack, or Polar, or Canada Dry, or whatever zero-calorie, no-sugar, “natural flavored”-flavored brand you prefer; it's just that there's no nutritional difference that matters.What is the controversy with LaCroix water? ›
A Chicago-based law firm has filed a class-action lawsuitagainst the makers of LaCroix for falsely labeling their ingredients as natural when, “in fact contains ingredients that have been identified by the Food and Drug Administration as synthetic.” The lawsuit specifically notes that LaCroix includes an ingredient ...Does LaCroix erode your teeth? ›
Although it's considered to be a weak acid, it can stimulate the same nerve receptors in your mouth as condiments like mustard. The pH level of carbonated water is 3-4 which means it can cause the erosion of tooth enamel which will lead to decay.Can LaCroix cause kidney stones? ›
Soft drinks, especially colas, seem to increase the risk of repeat kidney stones (Annals of Internal Medicine, Nov. 4, 2014). Mineral water, whether still or sparkling, did not increase the likelihood of a problem.What is the flavor in LaCroix? ›
LaCroix derives its grapefruit flavor directly from pure grapefruit oil, and the company suggests speaking with your doctor if you're worried about it negatively affecting your medication.Who has the best water quality? ›
Germany: Germany enjoys some of the cleanest water in the world due to strict regulations that govern its water treatment plants.Does Waterloo taste good? ›
Taste is amazing, just like a Nehi grape soda, minus the cloying sweetness. My fave flavor of any other seltzer ever tasted! I drink Seltzer water by the 12 or 8 pack in a day. Best thing about this brand, the very yummy Summer Berry flavor is unique to Waterloo.Why is LaCroix so addictive? ›
A study shows that cold and carbonated beverages actually quench thirst better. As the researchers put it: "Thirsty humans often prefer beverages that are both cold and carbonated including: mineral waters, seltzer, sodas, and beers." That may seem obvious, but no one knew why until now.Do you need to brush your teeth after drinking LaCroix? ›
Do not brush your teeth immediately after: The acidity in the sparkling water softens up teeth, making them sensitive to abrasion. Waiting 30 minutes to brush will decrease further damage.Can LaCroix cause GERD? ›
There is no evidence that carbonated beverages directly cause oesophageal damage. Carbonated beverages have not been consistently shown to cause GERD-related symptoms.
Which is better White Claw or truly? ›
When it comes to nutritional values, the brands are fairly neck and neck. Each contains just 100 calories in a 12-ounce serving. Truly has a slight edge in terms of sugar content, with just 1 gram versus White Claw's 2 grams, although White Claw's iced tea line only has 1 gram.What happens if you drink hard seltzer everyday? ›
Drinking too much hard seltzer can also lead to alcohol poisoning and other negative health effects from excess alcohol consumption. “Lighter in calories, and refreshing like a non-alcoholic seltzer, it may be easier to wind up drinking more,” Mills warned.Which hard seltzer has the least hangover? ›
Island Bay Hard Seltzer, the best drink for no hangover!Is seltzer better for you than soda? ›
Sugary drinks like soda have been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart problems, and other chronic health conditions, so that is definitely a win for your health. Switching to seltzer is a much better choice, provided you choose a brand that is sugar- and calorie-free.Can seltzer water cause kidney stones? ›
Soft drinks, especially colas, seem to increase the risk of repeat kidney stones (Annals of Internal Medicine, Nov. 4, 2014). Mineral water, whether still or sparkling, did not increase the likelihood of a problem.Does seltzer water count as daily water intake? ›
“It doesn't dehydrate you. From a mouth-feel standpoint, it may not seem as hydrating. But from a nutrition standpoint, they are equal.” So if you're obsessed with seltzer, there's good news: it counts towards your daily water intake totals.Is seltzer water healthier than beer? ›
Lower Calorie Count
It tends to have fewer calories and less sugar than mixed drinks, beer, or hard cider. Most hard seltzers have about 100 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrates in a 12-ounce can. In contrast, a beer of about the same size has about 150 calories and 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates.
The analyses suggest that in humans under ambient heat-stressed resting conditions, ingestion of cold carbonated water increases the cerebral blood flow index, blood pressure, motivation, and exhilaration, whereas it decreases sleepiness relative to ingestion of noncarbonated cold water.Is seltzer water good for your kidneys? ›
So what's the bottom line? Plain tap water is the best option for our kidneys. A glass of occasional sparkling water isn't going to be detrimental to your health or kidneys, it's all about how much you have. Try and cut down on cola beverages for kidney and bone health.Is LaCroix owned by Coca Cola? ›
LaCroix or La Croix (/ləˈkrɔɪ/ lə-KROY) is an American brand of sparkling water that originated in La Crosse, Wisconsin, by G. Heileman Brewing Company and is now distributed by National Beverage Corporation.
Is LaCroix just seltzer water? ›
The rise of La Croix has heralded a new popular love for seltzer water—but if you look closely at the writing on a can of La Croix, you'll see that it's technically sparkling water, not seltzer.What is the difference between club soda and LaCroix? ›
It's the base for brands like La Croix, or what comes out of a SodaStream. Sparkling mineral water is made with water from a mineral spring, like Perrier or Topo Chico. Club soda is carbonated water infused with added minerals, which give it a salty or lightly sweet flavor.Is there aspartame in Bubly? ›
Bubly, which comes in eight flavors — lime, grapefruit, strawberry, lemon, orange, apple, mango and cherry — contains zero artificial sweeteners, flavors or calories, the company said. Its colorful cans have pull tabs reading cutesy phrases like “oh hi.”Who is the parent company of Bubly? ›
If you didn't already know it, Bubly is owned by soda giant PepsiCo.Which sparkling water tastes like Sprite? ›
Drinking a Genki tastes a bit more like drinking a carbonated juice or even a Sprite (they're lightly sweetened though still sugar-free).Does Bubly or LaCroix taste better? ›
Both of these flavors are more flavorful than many of their sister flavors. LaCroix again comes out on top with a more lasting flavor and aftertaste, while bubly seems to rely on the initial burst of taste that comes with the first whiff of the drink.Which LaCroix tastes like Sprite? ›
The scent of the cran-raspberry Lacroix also resembled the smell of Sprite Remix, a berry-flavored soda from the early 2000s that's been discontinued. While nothing can replace the late soda, this LaCroix flavor is a tasty, healthier substitute.Does LaCroix taste like sparkling ice? ›
Unlike Sparkling ICE Flavored Waters, LaCroix flavors tend to only have one flavor per can. The taste is crisp and refreshing, and something about drinking out of a can rather than a plastic bottle makes the bubbles more intense.Is flavored sparkling water good for you? ›
Is artificially flavored sparkling water bad for you? Make sure it's zero calories and zero sugar. Avoid drinks with high fructose corn syrup and regular sugar. With flavored carbonated waters, artificial flavoring is OK, but it is recommended to limit excessive artificial sweeteners, like aspartame or Splenda.What sparkling water tastes sweet? ›
Tasters agreed that if you're looking for a naturally sweet beverage that's still zero-cal, pick up a can of Perrier. But if you're looking for a light fruit flavor and solid bubbles, grab a Dasani Sparkling.
Is there a sparkling water that tastes like Coke? ›
La Croix Cola Sparkling Water, 12 Fl Oz (Pack of 8)Is it OK to drink a lot of flavored sparkling water? ›
That said, there's definitely such a thing as too much seltzer. “A large intake of seltzer in a short period of time may cause gastric distress or bloating and can weaken a valve that typically keeps stomach contents down,” Manning says.Is there a downside to drinking sparkling water? ›
The carbonation in sparkling water causes some people to experience gas and bloating. If you notice excessive gas while drinking sparkling water, your best bet is to switch to plain water.What happens if you drink sparkling water everyday? ›
No evidence suggests that carbonated or sparkling water is bad for you. It's not that harmful to dental health, and it seems to have no effect on bone health. Interestingly, a carbonated drink may even enhance digestion by improving swallowing ability and reducing constipation.Does La Croix taste sweet? ›
Which makes sense, because LaCroix doesn't taste sweet. It doesn't really taste like anything, actually---its appeal is in its bubbly, trustworthy blandness.Why is La Croix sweet? ›
But what, exactly, are those natural flavors? LaCroix's site states this: The flavors are derived from the natural essence oils extracted from the named fruit used in each of our LaCroix flavors. There are no sugars or artificial ingredients contained in, nor added to, these extracted flavors.Can flavored sparkling water cause kidney stones? ›
Soft drinks, especially colas, seem to increase the risk of repeat kidney stones (Annals of Internal Medicine, Nov. 4, 2014). Mineral water, whether still or sparkling, did not increase the likelihood of a problem. Carbonation might even be somewhat beneficial (Urolithiasis, February 2016).Does Bubly taste like LaCroix? ›
Bubly had a hint of sweet candy and was noticeably less carbonated. This variation also smelled of bubble gum. Some features our editors unanimously agreed on were that La Croix had better flavor and Bubly was more fragrant.What is Coke's version of Bubly? ›
announced Thursday that in March 2020 it will launch a new flavored seltzer brand it is calling “Aha.” Taking aim at weakening brand LaCroix and Pepsi's successful Bubly line, Aha will come in eight flavors, two of which — Citrus Green Tea and Black Cherry + Coffee — will contain 30 mg of caffeine, riding another trend ...Does balsamic and LaCroix taste like Coke? ›
Some agree that it tastes like Coke, while others are unimpressed, like @betches, who described it as "carbonated vinegar on ice."