Standard Water Bottle Sizes and Guidelines

The moment you check out the beverage aisle or freezers in a convenience store, you’ll find water bottles of all shapes and sizes.

The standard size of a water bottle is 16.9 fluid ounces (500 milliliters) and measures 2.5 inches (64 millimeters) in diameter and 8 inches (203 millimeters) tall. However, they can come in smaller sizes like 8 fluid ounces (237 milliliters) all the way up to 33.8 fluid ounces (1 liter).

Standard Water Bottle Sizes

If you want to learn more about water bottle sizes and about water bottles in general, please keep reading. In this article, I’ll explain in-depth the variations in water bottle sizes and what size water bottle you should choose.

Water Bottle Sizes

Water Bottle Sizes

Water bottles are measured by how volume. The liquid capacity is usually expressed in fluid ounces or milliliters.

The most common water bottle sizes in volume and dimensions are as follows:

Water Bottle Volume Water Bottle Dimensions
8 fl. oz. (237 ml) 2.25 × 5 in. (57 × 127 mm)
12 fl. oz. (355 ml) 2.25 × 7 in. (57 × 179 mm)
16.9 fl. oz. (500 ml) 2.25 × 8 in. (57 × 203 mm)
20 fl. oz. (591 ml) 2.25 × 8.9 in. (57 × 226 mm)
24 fl. oz. (710 ml) 2.25 × 10.8 in. (57 × 274 mm)
33.8 fl. oz. (1,000 ml) 2.25 × 11.2 in. (57 × 285 mm)

Water Bottle Cap Sizes

Water Bottle Cap Sizes

If you have ever purchased water bottles from different brands, you may have noticed how some brands’ bottle caps are not interchangeable.

A water bottle’s cap size is expressed in two numbers: the closure size and the GPI thread finish. The closure size refers to the outer diameter of the bottle cap. This figure is expressed in millimeters.

The GPI (Glass Packaging Institute) thread finish denotes the height of the cap and the thread’s style.

So, for instance, a 28-430 bottle cap would measure 28 inches in diameter and would fit any container that has a 430 GPI thread finish. Such a bottle cap would not fit be a perfect fit on a water bottle cap that has a 425 GPI thread finish.

Generally speaking, water bottle caps measure 28 millimeters in diameter and have a 400, 410, 415, 425, or 430 GPI thread finish.

The same measurement principles apply to the caps of sports drink bottles, simply known as a “sports cap.”

Price Difference Between Large Water Bottle vs. Small Water Bottle

As indicated earlier, bottled water companies sell their products in different sizes. The sizes can be categorized into impulse-buy sizes (drink now) measuring 750 milliliters and under and take-home sizes (drink later) measuring over 750 milliliters.

Commonly, you will find take-home water bottles with lower prices per fluid ounce or milliliter of water as opposed to impulse-buy sizes. There are many possible reasons for this:

  • Large water bottles are not chilled, so retailers don’t pay additional overhead costs for their display
  • There is a higher demand for smaller water bottles at convenience stores
  • Retailers over-purchased take-home bottles and want to sell them quickly to increase shelf space
  • The cost of manufacturing larger bottles and gallons is less time-consuming and, thus, cheaper
  • Consumers will pay more for convenience rather than paying less for a larger bottle that’s more difficult to transport.

FAQs About Water Bottles

1. Which is the best water bottle size?

There is no objective way to determine what the “best” water bottle size is. If you want to pay less for more, opt for a take-home size instead of impulse-buy sizes. However, if you want to carry a water bottle with you on a jog, an impulse-buy size is a lot more convenient to have on hand.

2. How long does it take for bottled water to expire?

According to Nestle, the FDA has deemed that the shelf life of an unopened, properly stored bottle of water is indefinite. However, some retailers may get rid of bottled water that has remained in storage or on shelves for over one year. So, while a water bottle may have an expiration date, it may technically be safe to consume long after the written date.

3. Can you reuse plastic water bottles?

Yes, you can, but according to WebMD, you should only do so sparingly. The bacteria that reside in the bottle’s mouth can grow over time, which can spread to other parts of your refrigerator. So, you can probably refill a water bottle with tap water once or twice before you need to throw it out.

4. Are sports bottles safer than plastic water bottles?

Technically, washable sports bottles and water bottles are made of plastic, which may contain BPA. However, from an environmental perspective, reusable sports bottles are much better for our planet. So, you should purchase plastic water bottles sparingly and instead refill sports bottles with tap water or water from a drinking fountain.

5. How much does bottled water cost per gallon?

In 2019, the Beverage Marketing Corporation stated that the wholesale price per gallon of bottled water was $1.18. However, by the time the bottled water reaches the consumer, they could spend upwards of $9 per gallon. In comparison, tap water, which is safe to drink in the United States, can cost as little as $1.50 per 1,000 gallons.

6. How much water should I drink per day?

The National Academies claim that men and women should drink 15.5 cups and 11.5 cups of water per day, respectively. However, one common rule is that you should drink water when you are thirsty. So, someone who exercises and loses water through sweating may want to consume more water daily than someone who doesn’t exercise.

7. Is sparkling water good for you?

Sparkling water is simply carbonated water. It contains CO2 gas that gives it a fizzy feel in the mouth. According to Healthline, there is currently no evidence that sugar-free sparkling water has negative impacts on your health. This also includes not causing tooth decay in sparkling water drinkers. However, you should speak to your physician to see whether or not you can drink sparkling water.


Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of

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