Test product for mineral water: Top water is available from € 0.17 per liter

32 times the classic hiss in the test
The best mineral waters are available for 0.17 euros

Mineral water? Take it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat wave or not. Gladly also strongly sparkling. It remains to hope that the quality is right with so much thirst. Warentest takes a sip from the bottle and discovers, among other things, that not all water is originally pure.

The per capita consumption of mineral and medicinal water in Germany has increased almost tenfold over the past 50 years. Only coffee is more popular as a drink. Unless it’s football. Then, just like in the past, let’s have a beer. Otherwise, the Germans massively quench their thirst with mineral water. In this country, about 130 liters of it are drunk per person per year.

Especially when it is very hot, an attempt is made to return the minerals that have been lost to the body. They come from rock layers through which rainwater is filtered to the source. Along the way, the water can then absorb the minerals. And unfortunately also less desirable substances such as arsenic or uranium. Or pesticides that filter from the fields, decompose on the way to breakdown products and are therefore also found in one or another of the 800 recognized mineral springs in Germany. Aside from that, by law, mineral water must come from underground water sources that are protected from contamination.

32 classic waters in the product test

Regardless, consumers in Germany can choose from over 500 mineral, still or sparkling waters, depending on their preferences. Let’s stay with the latter, the highly sparkling mineral water. Stiftung Warentest looked at 32 classic waters and checked if they contained harmful substances, if expensive brands were better than cheap private labels, and if consuming bottled water actually added minerals.

Result: Top water is available from € 0.17 per liter. Two branded waters, on the other hand, promise too much. One thing stands out negatively in terms of taste. Furthermore, not all water is originally pure, traces of contaminants accumulated in the test, whether they are sweeteners or breakdown products of pesticides and detergents. Warentest has found more and more traces of it in the current mineral water test. 9 out of 32 products were affected. The amounts of trace substances in the test are harmless to health, but the designation “natural mineral water” is questionable for the products.

For once organic quality that is not

Overall, many waters have achieved a “good” or “very good” rating. The worst rated product was the “Carolinen Classic”. Advertise organic quality, but not delivery. It contained trace elements from the environment. There was a “poor” in the statement for this, overall the water cuts just below “sufficient”. “Rheinfels Quelle” finished second last in the test. It clearly tastes like plastic.

The best and cheapest classic waters for € 0.17 per liter in the test are “Lidl Saskia” (Quelle Löningen), Penny (“Wald Quelle”) and Rewe Ja (“Quintus-Quelle”). With water marked “Aquintus” at 0.37 euros, they are among the eight waters classified as “very good”. “Gerolsteiner” and “Residenz Quelle” provide many minerals, both of which are on the whole “good”. At 0.50 euros per liter, they are quite expensive.

(This article was first published on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.)

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