The battle of the best bubbly water brands

Ryo Weng

Whether it’s wanting to feel fancy or looking for a healthier alternative to soda, sparkling water has undeniably risen in popularity. However, praise for sparkling water has lingered on the La Croix brand for far too long. In reality, there is an abundance of brands on the shelves of stores that deserve a chance in the spotlight. In this review, I seek to unearth which brand is truly the best. And maybe the best brand is La Croix…there’s only one way to find out!

I tried Bubly, Crystal Geyser, Kirkland Signature, Perrier and La Croix. To keep all factors constant besides the independent variable, I chose lime-flavored sparkling waters and refrigerated each drink for 24 hours before consuming. 


Bubly 5/10

Despite its name, Bubly was the least carbonated of the brands. As someone who appreciates moderate bubble intensity, I didn’t mind the mild fizzing sensation in my mouth. The problem I ran into was this brand’s taste. Upon taking my first sip, I thought it would be my favorite. However, as my taste buds interacted with the sparkling water, my expectation of a citrusy lime flavor was actually met with an artificial flavor profile. It made me question what I was drinking, and I checked the expiration date just in case. After realizing that this flavor experience was standard of the brand, I was convinced to twist the cap back on for good.


Crystal Geyser 8/10

My initial reaction to Crystal Geyser’s take on sparkling water was smooth. There is sometimes a connection made between sparkling water and TV static, but Crystal Geyser proved this comparison wrong. I was caught off guard by the minimal carbonation, but at the same time, I enjoyed how sublime the drinking experience was. The lime flavor was spot on and even reminded me of a key lime pie I had eaten a week prior. Overall, Crystal Geyser surprised me with its balance of great flavor complemented with the perfect hint of sparkle. However, it was also surprised me that it contains 10 mg of sodium…it’s water.

Kirkland Signature 3/10

Yes, it’s the Costco brand. I thought I would give it a try, and I regret doing so. Drinking this was almost comparable to eating an entire bag of Pop Rocks, and I didn’t enjoy the experience one bit. It was as if the lime flavor and carbonation were in a competitive race to see which could make a bigger statement. The result: an aggressive citrus-lime essence and a substance with more bubbles than a hot tub. It is also important to note that Kirkland Signature left a slight sting in my throat for several minutes after. Maybe Costco should stick to humongous combo pizzas, selling items in bulk and dishing out free samples. 


La Croix 9/10

Before cracking open the popular drink with Wisconsin origins (yes, not from France), I tried to rid 

my head of any previous beliefs that would influence how I reviewed La Croix. With a clear head, and a thirst to quench, I took a big first sip. The lime flavor was the most accurate and best tasting of all



the brands. What held La Croix back, however, was the acidity. While the bubbles were not as dominant as Kirkland Signature, the amount of them stopped La Croix from getting a perfect 10. My advice for the best sparkling water would be to open a La Croix and let it sit out for roughly five minutes to enjoy an impeccable overall drink.


Perrier 7/10

The most outstanding factor of the lime version of Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water was the sleek packaging and slim design. As I sipped out of the can, I couldn’t help but feel elegant and important. This added to my overall experience with Perrier, but in terms of what was within the aluminum, I was let down by the taste. While Perrier was quite refreshing, the lime flavor only contributed in the form of a slight aftertaste. I would not make the effort to buy a Perrier off the shelf, but if offered to me, I would consider indulging.