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Which water carafe is best?

Elegant and clear, a water carafe is an excellent solution for keeping water cold in the fridge or serving at the table. If infused waters are your go-to beverage, carafes allow you to infuse simple tap water with citrus and herbs for a refreshing, zero-calorie drink.

Kook Glass Carafe Pitchers are beautiful, with tight-fitting lids that prevent spills or leaks. They are an excellent choice for everything from a quick drink in the middle of the day to more formal dinner service.

What to know before you buy a water carafe

Carafe capacity

The water carafe you select should suit the number of people it will serve or the way you consume beverages. For example, if your household is filled with many thirsty people, you’ll need a larger carafe to accommodate them. But if most of those thirsty people are children, the carafe cannot be so large that they struggle to lift it out of the fridge.

Smaller carafes encourage you to bring some variety into your fruit- or herb-infused waters, too. If you fill and empty the smaller carafe every day you can explore more flavors. This may encourage you to drink more water.

Carafe material

Carafes come in two basic materials.

  • Glass: This is a classic choice, and it comes in a variety of thicknesses and styles. Sturdier glass is likely to be heavier and more casual, while thinner glass is lightweight and better suited for occasional use. Borosilicate glass is a type of glass that is both lightweight and durable. It’s a good compromise if you are looking for a lovely vessel that also holds up to frequent use.
  • Plastic: Plastic carafes are great for households with children or for use outdoors. They can be more affordable but should be discarded if they are scratched or cracked.

Carafe quantity

The quantity only matters if you are interested in offering options of infused water or are using your carafes to serve a large party. In this case, look for carafes that come in sets of three or more.

Smaller households that are just looking to keep water cold and readily available in the fridge won’t need more than one carafe. In this case, you’ll only need to ensure it is appropriately sized for your household. 

What to look for in a quality water carafe

Tight-fitting lid

A lid is not much use if it’s constantly leaking. Make sure your lid snaps tightly and won’t accidentally pop off. 

Good design

Design is not just about form. The function is also crucial. Good design means that water comes out in an easy flow, and the lip of the carafe does not drip. 

Additionally, although a graceful neck is pretty and easy to hold, for cleaning purposes it can be a challenge. You want the body of the carafe to be large enough for your needs but not at the expense of easy cleanup.


Most carafes are dishwasher-safe. This makes good sense if you use them frequently and are concerned about contamination. The heat cycle of the dishwasher kills any bacteria that hand-washing might leave behind. 

Free from chemicals

If you choose plastic, look for carafes that are free from harmful chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA). This includes any plastic that touches the inside of the carafe (e.g., the lid or stopper).

Suggestions for infused water in a carafe

  • Lemon and mint 
  • Lime and basil
  • Berries and rosemary
  • Strawberry, orange and cucumber
  • Lemon, pineapple, grapefruit and coconut
  • Watermelon, mango and kiwi

How much you can expect to spend on a water carafe

The price varies depending on the carafe material, capacity and if you choose to buy a set. Expect to spend $10-$30 on a single carafe. 

Water carafe FAQ

How do you care for a carafe?

A. If your carafe is not dishwasher-safe, the easiest way to clean it is using a bottle brush.

  • Add hot water and a few drops of detergent to the carafe.
  • Insert the bottle brush into the neck end scrub, focusing on not only the bottom corners of the grass but also the neck.
  • Rinse completely with hot water and dry before storing. 

How did carafes get their name?

A. Carafe comes from the Arabic word “gharrafa,” which means “drinking vessel.” Traditional carafes for use at the bedside usually come with a drinking glass doubling as the lid. 

What’s the best water carafe to buy?

Top water carafe

Kook Glass Carafe Pitchers

Kook Glass Carafe Pitchers

What you need to know: These user-friendly carafes are well-designed and elegant. 

What you’ll love: The glass is easy to clean and the plastic lids fit tightly to prevent spills. The hourglass shape comes with a long neck for a stable grip, even when it’s wet. It comes in a set of three. 

What you should consider: These are fairly delicate, so they may not be appropriate for more casual gatherings. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top water carafe for the money

Party Bargains Clear Plastic Carafe

Party Bargains Clear Plastic Carafe

What you need to know: These are designed so that most of the carafe holds liquid. My glass

What you’ll love: The body is large and the neck is narrow, and each carafe holds 50 oz of liquid. The plastic is BPA-free, as is the lid. This is a set of three carafes, but can also get packs of one, two, six or 12 carafes.

What you should consider: These are not dishwasher-safe, and the narrow neck makes cleanup challenging. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Artcome Heat-Resistant Water Carafe

Artcome Heat-Resistant Water Carafe

What you need to know: This carafe is durable and versatile. 

What you’ll love: This borosilicate carafe holds 55 ounces of hot or cold liquid. They are made to withstand changes in temperature and can be placed on a stovetop without breaking. These are dishwasher-safe.

What you should consider: The lid is attractive, but not leakproof. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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