I’ll be honest, before buying a water carafe, I asked myself: is this truly necessary? I only saw carafes in fancy hotel rooms or perched on the nightstands of well-to-do characters in shows like Downton Abbey or The Crown. It seemed like an extravagance until I remembered just how much liquid I drink and how imperative it actually is to get your daily H2O. Hydration is important y’all. So with all of this in mind, I decided that a water carafe was crucial for my health and wellbeing. (Okay fine, it’s still a little luxury — but don’t I deserve to treat myself?)
Like coffee mugs and wine glasses, no two carafes are the same, which is great because that means there’s one suited for each and every water (or tea or juice or coffee) drinking need. You’ll find some fantastic options in this guide, with a wide range of capacity, design, and insulation. Read on to see our top picks.
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The Best Value
If “Made in Italy” doesn’t sell you on this carafe, Bormioli Rocco's sturdy water vessel is also under 20 bucks. On a good day, what I like to do is fill mine up with water — either still or sparkling — and go sit on my balcony to pretend like I’m taking it easy in the Italian countryside.
A Carafe With Vintage Vibes
This elegant pink number is decidedly ultra-retro and will look like a sculpture on your nightstand (or wherever you prefer to keep your water). You also won’t have to grab a glass, because the carafe’s lid serves as a nice-to-grip cup.
The One With A Built-In Filter
In most of America, tap water provided by local municipalities is safe to drink — but using a filter provides that extra clean-tasting reassurance. The Hydros carafe is powered by a filtration technology that apparently clarifies water in 40 seconds. It’s quick, efficient, and won’t ever leave you thirsty.
The One That Might Look Familiar
If you’re someone who totes around the iconic S’well water bottle everywhere you go, I’m delighted to inform you that S’well also makes a carafe for the home. It’s state-of-the-art and sleek, perfect for your first dose of water in the morning or an after-dinner digestivo.
A Carafe That's Perfect For Coffee
My best friend is an absolute caffeine fiend and simply cannot function without a vat of coffee at the ready. Call her a modern-day Lorelai Gilmore. She swears by this Thermal Coffee Airpot Carafe that stays hot for up to 20 hours (which is perfect for her because she basically drinks coffee around the clock). It’ll also keep your water (or iced coffee) cold.
Another Hot/Cold Option
Should your coffee consumption only occur only in the early hours of the day, look to a smaller pot with a two-mug capacity and 12 hours of insulation. I’m obsessed with the curvy shape of this one that resembles a classic diner pot of coffee.
The Reliable One
Zojirushi (of course) delivers an incredibly durable, insulated vessel that keeps drinks either comfortingly warm or refreshingly cold for hours on end. This 0.6-liter container not only offers amazing thermal retention but also has an easy-to-open twist top and a perfect-sized spout. Plus, its “the beauty of a single flower” design is just as soothing as the jasmine oolong tea I readily drink out of it.
Handy Plastic Vessels
Here we have two carafes for the price of one. The size and square-bottomed shape of these BPA-free plastic bottles make them optimal for any corner of your house. I keep one with cold brew in my fridge door and one with cold water in my room.
A Leak-Proof Model
Should you be as clumsy as I can be, this option (also made of plastic) with an ultra leak-proof lid is the one for you. Even if you accidentally knock it off your bedside table, free-flowing liquid or shattered glass won’t go all over the place.
A Vessel With Personality
Is your goal in life to live inside a Wes Anderson-like dollhouse world? Yeah, me too. Lucky for us, this whimsical ceramic carafe is available for purchase. Let Fantastic Mr. Fox serve you up some water, iced tea, or Bean’s Alcoholic Cider.
A Carafe That's Just The Right Size
The history of bedside carafes does, in fact, trace back to the 19th century when they were used in affluent Victorian households. Such glassware was appropriately fancy and delicate, but these modern times call for something a little different. This clean-cut midnight blue two-piece number is casually elegant and fit for the 21st-century carafe connoisseur.
A High-Capacity Option
This 55-ounce carafe screams, “I take drinking water very seriously.” Just to clarify, 55 ounces equates to almost half a gallon of liquid, which is ideal for anyone committed to achieving peak hydration. Need to take it up a notch? Consider this 60-ounce model.
For The Minimalist
Looking for a carafe that’s a bit more scaled-back, clean, and minimalist? No matter what type of liquid you fill this with, it will always pass as a subdued art deco piece.