Walking down the bottled water aisle at your local supermarket, you may feel overwhelmed by the array of options. Between spring waters, mineral waters, sparkling waters, and alkaline waters, how do you choose?
Two popular alkaline water brands you may come across are Kirkland Signature Alkaline Water and Essentia Alkaline Water. But what sets them apart?
As everyday consumers like you and me try to make healthier choices, alkaline water has emerged as an intriguing option. Proponents say that alkaline water offers hydration like regular water, plus additional perks from its higher pH level and electrolytes.
However, with claims on both sides of the fence, you may wonder if the hype is real.
In this article, we’ll compare Kirkland and Essentia waters across several categories to help you determine which alkaline water reigns supreme. You’ll also discover answers to some frequently asked questions about these two products.
Let’s dive in!
A Brief Comparison Table
|Kirkland Alkaline Water
|Essentia Alkaline Water
|Price Per Bottle
|Only at Costco
|More mineral taste
|General alkaline water benefits
|Enhanced hydration from ionization & electrolytes
|IBWA & NSF certified
|Unknown Canadian bottler
Overview of Kirkland Alkaline Water
Kirkland Signature Alkaline Water comes from Costco, the popular bulk retailer.
Costco launched their store brand water in 2019 as a budget-friendly alternative enhanced with minerals for taste.
Each 1-liter bottle contains highly purified water with added magnesium, potassium, and calcium salts.
These compounds increase the pH to 8.8, qualifying it as alkaline water.
The brand markets appropriate alkalinity for healthy hydration.
Overview of Essentia Water
Meanwhile, Essentia has offered alkaline water since 1998. Their ionizedbottles contain purified water adjusted to a pH of 9.5 or higher, making it more alkaline than Kirkland.
In addition, Essentia adds electrolytes for taste and boasts a proprietary ionization process. The company says this better microclusters H20 molecules for superior hydration. They market their water as the “ultimate hydrating experience.”
Differences Between Kirkland Alkaline Water And Essentia Water
Now that you know a bit about each product, let’s compare them across a few key areas.
- Taste Comparison
When it comes to taste, most people prefer water with a more neutral pH around 7. Alkaline water can sometimes taste a bit flat or bitter due to its mineral content and higher pH.
However, both Kirkland and Essentia aim to create a pleasant drinking experience with their added salts and electrolytes.
In side-by-side taste tests, Kirkland tends to edge out Essentia. Feedback suggests Kirkland offers a more refreshing mouthfeel. While Essentia doesn’t taste bad, some find its mineral flavor a little strong or metallic.
Of course, taste remains subjective. Those who prefer a very smooth, pure water may like Essentia better. But most consumer reviews give Kirkland the nod for better drinkability.
- Cost Comparison
In addition to taste, cost plays a significant factor for most shoppers.
And Kirkland wins hands down when it comes to price.
At Costco, a 35-pack case of Kirkland Alkaline Water costs right around $5.
That shakes out to about $.14 per liter. Even when purchased individually, one liter runs just $.99.
Meanwhile, Essentia generally costs $1.19 for a single liter bottle at grocery and convenience stores.
Cases purchased online or via subscription lower that per-bottle cost between $.90 to $1.10 typically.
However it’s still priced notably higher than Kirkland.
So if you’re looking for an affordable alkaline water option, Kirkland provides the better value by far. Essentia does command about a 40-50% higher price tag for basically the same product.
- Health Benefits Comparison
Of course, we purchase bottled water not just for taste or price, but also potential health advantages. Here’s a brief look at the purported health perks of alkaline water in general.
Claims for enhanced hydration, antioxidant properties, bone health, and acid reflux relief drive much of the recent consumer enthusiasm.
However, research remains very mixed at this point regarding actual health benefits unique to alkaline water.
While early studies show some promise in a few areas, larger scale human trials still need to occur. At the moment, any alkaline water scientific findings require further verification.
But what about comparing Kirkland and Essentia specifically? Essentia fortifies their water with electrolytes for both taste and health purposes. The added calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium do offer nutritional value.
Kirkland only contains enough minerals to impact the water’s pH and taste profile.
Additionally, Essentia utilizes a proprietary ionization process designed to better microcluster water molecules for enhanced hydration at the cellular level.
Whether their specific production method makes a significant difference also requires more proof. But these are two small areas where Essentia may hold an edge scientifically.
At the end of the day, more research needs to determine if either Kirkland or Essentia provides measurable health advantages beyond standard water. But Essentia markets more claims if those hold significance for you as a consumer.
- Convenience Comparison
In terms of availability, most shoppers will find Kirkland Alkaline Water easier to purchase locally.
As Costco’s store brand, you’ll only find it at Costco warehouses or on their website.
But with nearly 800 stores across North America, accessibility proves pretty outstanding.
Being able to grab cases during routine Costco runs certainly amps up the convenience factor.
Meanwhile, Essentia sells across a range of supermarkets, pharmacies, natural food stores, and online outlets. But fewer locations in a given area stock their brand versus Kirkland Signature at each Costco warehouse. So convenience goes to Kirkland in most situations.
- Quality Comparison
Both Kirkland and Essentia source their water responsibly from protected municipal sources. Costco utilizes water from the Grand River Watershed in Ontario, Canada. And Essentia draws from natural springs in Oregon, Pennsylvania, and New York.
The companies then put the water through rigorous multi-step purification processes for safety and clean taste.
When it comes to quality control though, Essentia does hold accredited certifications through the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and National Science Foundation (NSF).
These confirm Essentia’s handling and safety procedures meet industry standards. Costco’s operations likely follow similar protocols. But Kirkland products show no indication of IBWA, NSF, or other third-party quality assessments.
So while Kirkland Alkaline Water likely proves perfectly safe and reliable, Essentia offers a bit more transparency regarding their quality controls for those who want that peace of mind.
FAQ About Kirkland And Essentia Alkaline Waters
Here are some quick answers to a few frequently asked questions that may help summarize a few additional differences between Kirkland Signature and Essentia alkaline waters:
Yes. While it has some unique manufacturing elements like electrolytes and ionization, Essentia still qualifies as alkaline water with its pH around 9.5 or higher.
With such limited clinical research to date, no definitive healthiest alkaline water brand exists currently. Preliminary studies suggest potential benefits in hydration, bone strength, acid reflux, and more. But further verification remains necessary, along with comparisons between specific products.
Kirkland Alkaline Water has a pH of 8.8. That makes it alkaline versus the neutral 7.0 pH of pure water. But Essentia Alkaline Water tests slightly higher at a pH of at least 9.5.
Costco produces their Kirkland Signature store brand products themselves, but sources manufacturing to various providers. Their alkaline water likely comes from factories in Canada according to the Grand River Watershed municipality listed. But no specifics appear publicly naming the actual Kirkland bottler.
The Verdict: Kirkland Tops Essentia Overall
When weighing all considerations between taste, cost, accessibility, and other factors – Kirkland Alkaline Water appears the overall winner between these two brands. Here’s a quick recap comparing pros and cons:
- Great taste
- Very affordable pricing
- Easy to find locally at Costco warehouses
- No accredited quality certifications
- Fewer purported electrolyte-aided health benefits
- May offer enhanced hydration from ionization microclustering
- Fortified with electrolytes for a nutritional boost
- IBWA and NSF quality assurances
- Not as tasty due to heavier minerality
- Costs about 40-50% more per bottle
- Less buying convenience compared to Kirkland at Costco
For most everyday consumers just looking for an inexpensive enhancement over regular bottled water, Kirkland Alkaline Water hits the key marks rather nicely. Its popularity appears well-earned among those buying cases during their usual Costco runs.
Meanwhile, hardcore alkaline water devotees willing to pay up for higher pH, added electrolytes, and stronger hydration claims may prefer Essentia overall. But is it really 40% “better” as pricing might indicate? That remains doubtful to most.
In the end, if you have a chance to compare Kirkland and Essentia side-by-side, I’d certainly give both a taste. You can then decide if your budget and personal preferences justify paying extra for the Essentia name.
Otherwise, Kirkland offers an extremely affordable, broadly-available option without many significant drawbacks for casual alkaline water drinkers.
Whichever alkaline water you choose, both Kirkland and Essentia aim to provide consumers with hydration options enhanced through science. Just be sure to enjoy alkaline water as part of an overall balanced diet and lifestyle rather than counting on elevated pH alone to improve wellness or treat medical issues.
Now that you know how Kirkland and Essentia alkaline waters compare, hopefully deciding between them seems a bit easier. Here’s to staying refreshed and healthy with whichever brand you prefer!