Product Review: Bobble vs Brita
They say it's best to learn from other peoples mistakes, although I haven't made any major mistakes as such when purchasing water bottles, I just want you to have enough information so you can buy the best water bottle for you.
So I will compare the two bottles below and then you can make your own decision.
Before moving to the U.K. I'd never used a water bottle with a filter in it, but let's just say the tap water isn't the greatest in London and so I decided to purchase one.
I've always tried to use a water bottle rather than purchasing regular bottles of water from the shop because I thought it wasn't very environmental to constantly buy single use water bottles and then throw them out.
My first instinct was to go with the Bobble purely based on aesthetics as I thought it was kind of quirky in its shape and that was enough for me at the time.
The bottle is available in 8 colours and holds 550ml of liquid although there is a larger version that holds 1L of water.
On first use the bobble filter needs to be flushed through to remove carbon deposits and then you're on your way to clean and filtered water.
The whole reason for carbon filters is that when water is drawn through one the contaminants and impurities are removed using chemical absorption allowing you to drink relatively safe water.
Each filter lasts around 300 uses of the bottle and a new one will set you back anywhere from £3.99, which I found on Amazon, £5 at Tesco or £6.49 from the Bobble website itself.
So my analysis of the bottle over the period I used it was that it was very functional and quite compact for the amount of liquid it held, but in the end it was the filter that frustrated me.
Towards the end of 300 cycles of the filter I would take a sip and as air is sucked back into the bottle it makes an annoying whistling sound which can be very frustrating if you're in a quiet area.
The regular screw mechanism which locks the filter to the top of the bottle also allowed water to escape and often I would find a splash of water on my top or on the desk in front of me after having a drink.
It got to the point where I emailed Bobble customer support with my frustrations and they were great, they immediately sent me a new filter and then after a few months of using my new Brita bottle, out of the blue, Bobble sent me a twin pack of new water bottles for no other reason than I sent through customer feedback.
So I commend the company for their customer support but unfortunately it wasn't enough.
I was shopping in Tesco one day and came across the Brita fill&go Vital Water Bottle which was priced at around £15 from memory with a single carbon filter disc. It offered the same benefits of the Bobble in a more conventionally shaped bottle with a flip top and carbon filter.
The bottle was only available in pink and blue in Tesco but after having a look at their website you have the option of four lid colours for the 600ml bottle.
The filter is supposed to be replaced monthly and they suggest to place the filter in boiling water once a week to kill any build up of bacteria, I try and do this but it normally becomes two weeks before I remember.
The replacement filters come in a pack of 4 and will cost you upwards of £6.90.
On first use I thought what have I purchased? I went to drink some water and it felt like I was mainly filling my mouth with air and a trickle of water. I soon discovered after about a week that you have to use your teeth to draw the nozzle out past where you think it needs to come, once I did this the flow of water was a lot better.
Another thing I liked about the Brita bottle compared to the Bobble was that when you closed the lid it also depressed the nozzle which means you never need to make contact with it.
I often thought with the Bobble that depressing the nozzle with your hand wasn't very hygienic especially if I had been at the gym touching various equipment.
The ability to open the lid and have a drink with one hand is another benefit, compared to the Bobble where you need one hand to remove the lid while your other holds the bottle.
The larger opening in the bottle also allows you to add water more easily and also add fruits, etc. if you like a bit of flavouring. I once tried this with the Bobble and it was a pain to remove the fruit after use.
At the end of the day both bottles have their pros and cons. The Bobble has a fun design with a bit more of a no fuss filter system, although it was noisy and occasionally leaked but after moving to the Brita version I don't think I would go back. The design of the Brita seems to be more thought out and I think that may come from the fact that Brita are an established brand offering other filtration devices since they were founded in 1966 in Germany.
I hope this product review helps you to make an informed purchase if you are looking for a new water filter bottle and please leave feedback if you have tried other bottles or any questions on the Bobble or Brita.