We need to talk about millennials... and their obsession with water bottles.

Listen to this story being read by Chelsea McLaughlin, here.

A while ago, my friends and I went on a road trip.

I was the first to pile into the designated car, throwing my overnight bag in the boot while clutching in my hand the front seat essentials: my phone, my snack of choice (Harvest Snaps pea crisps - don't knock it, they're amazing) and my water bottle.

As we darted between the rest of the groups' houses, the boot filled up with bags. And the backseat filled up with humans, and their bottles.

Watch: If you want to get SUPER fancy, you can ~infuse fruit~. Post continues below video.

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Each of us, as we headed north and sung loudly to 2000s bangers, took regular swigs. The playlist was the same, but unlike the road trips of yesteryear, it was actually good ol' H2o in those bottles: all cute, fashionable reusables. No repurposed plastic bottles or cheap vodka in sight.

It cemented something I'd been pondering for ages: millennial consumption of water has changed.

Hydration never seemed that important growing up.


Juice boxes were sent with primary school lunches. I remember surviving at high school without so much as a sip from the metal water fountains. At home, we drank water... but only because it was disguised by sugary, sweet cordial syrups or sachets. 

Water, as in just water straight from the tap into a glass, wasn't a thing.

If you really needed it, for gym class or just because your parents diligently filled up a bottle each day and you felt obliged, it came in a plastic bottle you'd previously purchased from the supermarket, or an opaque plastic one with corporate branding you'd been given for free. 

Then, somewhere along the way, drinking water changed for us. 

There were glass bottles and metal bottles, bottles with crystals, bottles that folded up and bottles that had measurements on the side so you could gameify your intake.

So. many. bottles, and everyone found their favourite.

My Rolla bottle and I met in January, and we have been inseparable ever since. Image: Supplied. 


Drinking enough water is the ultimate in self-care. It's literally imperative for our survival that we do so. It's also, as we all learned when skincare became a pillar of the millennial identity, one of the best things we can do for our skin.

So, as we dabbed our faces with moisturiser and invested in athleisure, we also found ourselves drawn to cute, Instagramable water bottles. They helped us do something that was good for us, but also allowed us to look cool online - win!

Some may consider a fancy water bottle to be a frivolous purchase. Taps and glasses still exist, and they're not $49.99 + shipping. But to that I say... a glass simply does not spark joy like a cute patterned bottle that keeps my water cool for 12 hours, or a Rolla bottle that aims to clean up our oceans. 

A few other water bottle pros:

  • They are very good at performing their function of... holding water
  • They serve as a reminder to drink water, without needing to get up 1000 times a day to fill a glass
  • They make it easy to track how much you've drunk
  • They mean you use less single-use plastic 

All of these are noble reasons to love and use them, but I don't think any are the main reason we've come to see our water bottles as extensions of ourselves.

I'm no psychologist, but I am a millennial with existential dread and a longing to live in a boring, non-historically significant timeline.

Everything outside of my window (and honestly, a lot inside my window) is a goddamn mess right now, and there's not much I can do to fix it. 

A fancy water bottle is a tiny, joyful remedy to this. It's a small thing I can use every day to keep myself feeling good. Our water bottles allow us to take control of a tiny part of our lives; a part that's good for us. Maybe that's why they project the image that we have our lives together. 

Water bottles promise order and reliability. Those aren't things we get enough of these days, so we're clutching at straws - sometimes literally - to find them wherever we can. It's the same reason everyone began 'Marie Kondoing' in 2019, and why #pantryporn is an actual thing.

Things are falling apart around us, and we have no idea what kind of chaos and disorder the future may hold, but if we have to worry, at least we'll be well-hydrated while doing so.

Chelsea McLaughlin is Mamamia's Senior Entertainment Writer. For more pop culture takes, sarcasm and... cat content, you can follow her on Instagram.

Feature image: Getty.