Which States Have the Most Expensive Bottled Water?

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Have you ever stopped to think about how much you’re paying for a simple bottle of water? Beverage prices vary across the U.S., and WaterFilterGuru wanted to compare these costs nationwide. We’ve gathered bottled water, sparkling water, and soda prices from each state’s largest city using Instacart data, complemented by beer prices from Numbeo. Join us as we reveal which states have the most expensive bottled water and the interesting variations in beverage brand pricing.

📌 Key Takeaways

  • A standard 16.9-fluid-ounce bottled water costs an average of $1.60 in the U.S.
  • A 16.9-fluid-ounce bottled water costs the most in Montana ($4.50) and the least in Delaware ($1.15).
  • Nestle is the cheapest bottled water brand in the U.S., costing an average of $0.30 per 16.9-fluid-ounce bottle.
  • VOSS is the most expensive bottled water brand in the U.S. at $2.40 per 16.9-fluid-ounce bottle on average, costing 8 times more than Nestle.

Beverage Comparison by Type

This first part of our study details the pricing of different beverages, comparing the costs of bottled water, sparkling water, soda, and beer across the U.S. Compare drink prices by state with our interactive map and table below.

average beverage cost us

At the time of this study, the average price of a standard 16.9-fluid-ounce bottled water in the U.S. was $1.60. In Montana, the same bottle of water fetched the highest price at $4.50, while Delaware offered the most budget-friendly option at just $1.15 per bottle.

We also gathered pricing data to compare the costs of sparkling water, soda, and beer in the U.S. The global sparkling water market has grown, partially due to consumer preferences shifting toward healthier beverages. These healthy alternatives to sugary drinks can help increase hydration and reduce calorie intake. As such, it has become an increasingly competitive market, which may be part of the reason sparkling water costs less than still water on average in the U.S.: $1.40 per 16.9-fluid-ounce bottle compared to $1.60.

Soda costs more than either type of water, averaging $2.30 per bottle. But alcohol far exceeded the cost of water, sparkling water, and soda combined, averaging $8.50 per 16.9 fluid ounces.

Comparing Beverage Brand Prices

Depending on the brand, bottling water involves sourcing it from either municipal taps, natural springs, or wells and then treating and packaging it. These production and distribution expenses all contribute to the final price tag. In this next section, we’ll focus on how various bottled water brands stack up in terms of pricing across the U.S. Our interactive map and table show the cost differences between popular brands and beverages by state.

average beverage cost by brand

Among bottled water brands studied, Nestle offered the most economical choice, with an average price of $0.30 for a 16.9-fluid-ounce bottle. Meanwhile, expensive luxury brand VOSS set the bar high with the priciest bottled water in the U.S., averaging $2.40 per 16.9 fluid ounces. This eightfold price difference between Nestle and VOSS illustrates the wide range of options available to consumers, catering to varied tastes and budgets.

Besides choosing a cheaper brand, consumers can cut bottled water costs by opting for a home water filter and reusable water bottles.

The Final Pour: Summarizing America’s Beverage Costs

Our study across the U.S. revealed a surprising disparity in beverage costs, with the price of bottled water varying significantly from state to state. This variation extended to sparkling water, soda, and beer, reflecting diverse consumer choices and market trends. As we conclude, it’s clear that the choice of beverage, whether for health or taste preferences, comes with a distinct cost implication — the price of your favorite drink might say more about your location than your taste.


For this study, we used Instacart data to determine which states had the most and least expensive beverages. We manually collected bottled still water, sparkling water, and soda prices in each state’s largest city. Our aim was to gather the price of one standard 16.9-fluid-ounce bottle based on Instacart’s “in-store” prices. For bottles of different sizes, we linearly scaled the pricing to adjust to a 16.9-fluid-ounce bottle. Additionally, we used Numbeo to gather the average price of domestic draught beer and imported bottled beer in each city/state and linearly scaled the pricing to a 16.9-fluid-ounce bottle.

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Fair Use Statement

If you find our study about bottled water and other beverage prices insightful, feel free to share this information for noncommercial purposes. Just remember to include a link back to this page to provide full access to our detailed analysis and methodology.

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