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Published Sep. 7, 2021

For something a bit more bubbly than regular water, turn to seltzer water. Quench your thirst with the best seltzer waters, from unflavored to fruit flavored to even caffeinated seltzers. Seltzer water—water made fizzy with the help of carbon dioxide giving it a true water taste—is not club soda, which has been infused with added minerals to get that bubbly taste. Nor is it sparkling mineral water, which is naturally carbonated.

Seltzer waters have gained popularity over recent years because they are a healthy alternative to high-sugar juices and sodas. With little to no calories, seltzer waters also have similar health benefits to water. To create those delicious flavors that so many of the brands offer, they either use real fruit juice or natural essence oils to create a hint of the flavor listed on the can or bottle. Either way, you can’t really go wrong with seltzer water when it comes to adding some bubbles into your day.

How We Chose These Products

Methodology

The seltzer water market is certainly not lacking variety—there are numerous brands, flavors, and types to choose from. So it can understandably feel overwhelming to choose a product to try. We looked into about a dozen seltzer water brands to make the most knowledgeable selections. Flavor offerings and taste were important for us to take into consideration for each product, with the exception of the best plain seltzer water. For each brand, we looked at the range of flavors and what made each of them distinct. We also looked at the ingredient list and the process in which the water was flavored to ensure the seltzer waters we selected were healthy, natural options. On the whole, seltzer waters have zero calories, zero added sugars or sweeteners, and zero sodium, and we didn’t want to stray away from the healthier options.

The Best Seltzer Waters: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall Seltzer Water: La Croix Sparkling Water

Satisfies Array of Tastes

Each has zero calories and is gluten-free. La Croix

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Why It Made The Cut: La Croix Sparkling Water has gained popularity for good reason: it’s perfectly bubbly, completely natural, and offers 21 delicious flavors made with natural essence oils extracted from the named fruit on the can. 

Specs: 

  • Flavor: Natural essence oils
  • Natural: Zero calories, zero sweeteners, zero sodium  
  • Material: Offered in a BPA-free can
Pros:Cons:
  • Gluten-free, vegan, and kosher
  • Pricier than other seltzer water competitors
  • No sugar, calories, sodium, or artificial ingredients
  • Domestic brand means a smaller carbon footprint
  • La Croix sparkling water is a much healthier alternative to high-sugar fruit juices and sodas. Plus, it hydrates you much like regular water does, providing a positive impact on your overall health. La Croix has been around since 1981, but the growing trend of cutting back on sugar and seeking natural ingredients has led to La Croix’s rising popularity. 

    La Croix’s naturally essenced sparkling water is offered in 21 flavors ranging from coconut to pear to vanilla. Compared to its competitors, you can actually taste the flavors without any added sugar, calories, and artificial sweeteners. As a domestic brand, La Croix has a lower carbon footprint and is locally sourced from various locations throughout the U.S. To ensure quality and consistency, the water is treated using reverse osmosis and deionization to remove additives and impurities from locally-sourced water. Then, it’s filtered through a triple-filtration system.

    Best Value Seltzer Water: Bubly Sparkling Water

    No Added Sweeteners

    This is available in multiple flavor bundles. Bubly

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    Why it Made The Cut: A strong competitor to its more expensive counterparts, Bubly sparkling water offers 16 completely natural flavors at a more affordable price. 

    Specs:

    • Flavor: Refreshing, crisp, and natural flavors
    • Natural: No calories or sugar
    • Materials: Offered in a can or bottle
    Pros:Cons:
  • 16 unique flavors
  • More fragrant than flavorful
  • No sugar, no calories
  • Fun design on each can
  • Bubly Sparkling Water is an affordable option in the world of seltzer waters. With 16 flavors ranging from strawberry to blackberry to passionfruit, you can get the varied natural fruity flavors you crave. Plus, you can rest assured knowing every can you crack open has zero calories and zero sweeteners.  

    Similar to La Croix, Bubly uses natural essence oils to create the flavor labeled on each can. The only ingredients are carbonated water and natural flavor. With seven different variety packs available—ranging from a three-can Tropical Thrill pack to an eight-can fizzy sampler—you can cater to a number of tastes.

    Best Flavored Seltzer Water: Spindrift Sparkling Water

    Sourced From Family Farms

    Natural juices give these a fuller taste. Spindrift

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    Why It Made The Cut: Family farms supply real fruits to create the fresh fruit juices and purees that Spindrift adds to their sparkling water. 

    Specs:

    • Flavor: Made with real fruit
    • Natural: Unsweetened and free of added flavors, essences, or other additives
    • Materials: Offered in a can or bottle
    Pros:Cons:
  • Uses real fruit, water, and bubbles
  • 17 calories per can due to fruit juices
  • No added flavors, essences or other additives
  • Each batch is tasted for quality assurance
  • Spindrift Sparkling Water differentiates from its seltzer water competitors in that it uses real fruit juice from real farms. While most seltzers are clear in color, Spindrift is, well, colorful, taking on the fruits’ hues. The only (slight) downside is that because it uses real fruit to create juices and purees, it has more calories than other carbonated waters. Each serving contains 17 calories for all flavors except for lemon, which has three calories.

    With 10 delicious flavors to choose from (like cucumber, orange mango, grapefruit, and cranberry-raspberry, you can select your flavor of choice according to your preference or even your mood. A great substitute for high-sugar juices and sodas alike, Spindrift’s only ingredients are real fruit and sparkling water. What you won’t find in this sparkly beverage are any added flavors, essences, or other additives. They are also gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO.

    Best Plain Seltzer Water: Canada Dry Original Sparkling Seltzer Water

    No Frills

    Offers similar health benefits as its still alternative. Canada Dry

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    Why It Made The Cut: Canada Dry’s sparkling seltzer water has the perfect amount of carbonated water. The carbonation is similar to that of soda, but it has similar health benefits as water. 

    Specs:

    • Flavor: Original Unflavored Sparkling Seltzer Water 
    • Natural: No added sugars, calories, or sodium
    • Materials: Offered in a can or bottle
    Pros:Cons:
  • Easy to transport
  • Unflavored
  • No calories, no sodium, no added sugars
  • Only ingredient listed is carbonated water
  • Canada Dry is synonymous with carbonated beverages, from seltzer water to club soda to ginger ale—so they know bubbles. One of the brand’s most popular offerings is its seltzer water thanks to its natural, crisp, bubbly essence. While it is unflavored, it makes for the perfect water alternative. Just add a lemon or lime wedge and enjoy. 

    Not to be confused with club soda, which is infused with mineral salts to enhance flavor and bubbles, Canada Dry sparkling seltzer water has one ingredient: carbonated water. It’s exactly what it sounds like—water carbonated with carbon dioxide. Due to the process, it has more of a true water taste. If you have a hard time getting your eight glasses worth of water a day, this sparkling seltzer water is a great alternative. Plus, you gave the option of purchasing this beverage in either cans or bottles, depending on your preference.

    Best Caffeinated Seltzer Water: Sparkling Ice +Caffeine Sparkling Water

    Six Flavors Available

    With 70mg of added kick, this is a great coffee alternative. Sparkling ICE

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    Why It Made The Cut: Sparkling Ice +Caffeine Sparkling Water has 70g of caffeine to help you get through the day. 

    Specs:

    • Flavor: Natural Fruit Flavors
    • Natural: Zero added sugars
    • Materials: Served in a can
    Pros:Cons:
  • Uses natural flavors
  • Pricey
  • Zero added sugar or carbs
  • Six sophisticated flavors and blends
  • Sparkling Ice +Caffeine Sparkling Water is a two-in-one deal—it appeals to coffee and soda drinkers alike. This sparkling water is a much healthier alternative to sugary sodas, and it gets its caffeine from natural sources like coffee beans and green tea extract. Additionally, this beverage has no added sugar or carbs, and it contains five calories per can. Sparkling Ice uses all-natural flavors to get the delicious flavors offered like black raspberry, blue raspberry, cherry vanilla, and strawberry citrus. Fruit and vegetable juices are used to bring out the drinks’ colors. 

    You can also find vitamins like Vitamin A, B3, B5, D3, B12, and B6 with every sip. Something to note is that this beverage does use the artificial sugar sucralose, so consider whether you like the taste of artificial sweeteners before making a purchase.

    Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Seltzer Water

    Natural Oil Essence vs. Fruit Juice

    Some brands like La Croix and Bubly use natural essence oils to give carbonated water the flavor of the fruit listed on the label. Natural essence oils are a clear, concentrated chemical that is made by heating fruit skins at high temperatures to create vapors that are then condensed. This is why those seltzers have zero calories and are clear in color. I love LaCroix because of the brand’s flavor offerings—coconut and pamplemousse being two of my favorites. I find that they are refreshing with just the perfect amount of flavor.

    On the other hand, some brands—like Spindrift—use real fruit sourced from family farms. They take small portions of the fruit to create juice and purees that are then added to carbonated water. This process gives Spindrift seltzer a color and a few more calories (three to 17 to be exact) than other seltzers. If I want seltzer that’s a bit fruitier, I grab a can of Spindrift. I love that real fruit juice is used and it’s healthier than mixing juice with seltzer, which is something I used to do often. Your choice will come down to flavor and health preferences.

    Flavor

    Most brands offer the basics—lemon, lime, grapefruit—and some brands have even gotten quite creative, offering flavors like coconut, orange-mango, and vanilla. Something to keep in mind is that the flavor profile is dependent on the brand. If you’re just dipping your toes into seltzer water, trying a variety pack may help narrow down your favorite flavors.

    Cost

    Seltzer waters aren’ necessarily expensive but naturally, they are pricier than still water. If you don’t want to spend a lot on your seltzer (which can add up if you’re buying by the case), there are many options for you. Our favorite budget seltzer water is Bubly’s sparkling water—you can get a variety of flavors at a reasonable price.

    FAQs

    How bad is seltzer water for you?

    There is no evidence that suggests seltzer water is bad for you. In fact, its health benefits are similar to those of plain water. It has been a concern that seltzer water causes tooth decay, but unless it has citric acid or sugar, this is not the case. Additionally, as long as carbonated water doesn’t have ingredients like added sodium and sweeteners, there shouldn’t be any health concerns. Before purchasing, it’s a good idea to check the nutritional facts listed first. 

    Is there a difference between seltzer water and sparkling water?

    Yes, there is a difference between the two. Seltzer water is simply water, carbonated with carbon dioxide. Sparkling water is made from natural spring or well water, so it has naturally occurring minerals like salts and sulphur compounds. Sometimes these minerals give water natural carbonation, and other times, carbon dioxide is added.

    What is seltzer water made of?

    Seltzer water is just water with added carbon dioxide to create the bubbles and fizziness you love.

    Final Thoughts

    Whether you want plain seltzer, flavored seltzer water, or caffeinated seltzer, there are many options to choose from. Selecting the best seltzer is a matter of taste and nutritional preference. The five that we selected came out on top because of their taste, brand flavor offerings, and nutritional benefits. So cans or bottles up to your next favorite beverage.    

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