Air up review

Drinking your recommended amount of water has got more exciting, thanks to air up®

An air up water bottle and three of the flavour Pods against a water background

by Rosie Floyd |
Updated on

We all know we should be drinking more water, but let's face it - it's not the most exciting of things to drink. In comes air up to save the day with its scent-based drinking system, but does it really work? We put the air up to the test to see if it lives up to its claims.

In this review of the air up, you can find the pros and cons, key features, and what we did to test it out.

Related: The best sparkling water makers for creating fizzy drinks

air up overview

The air up drinking system claims to turn tap water into flavoured water through scent alone. It works by attaching an aroma pod to the bottle, so that when you're drinking water, you're taking scented air into your mouth. The idea is the scented air will rise from the water through the throat. It will then reach the olfactory centre in your brain to trick it into thinking you're drinking flavoured water. How cool is that?!


• Water becomes flavoured without sugar, calories or additives

• Wide variety of aroma pods to try

• Sleek and stylish bottle


• Some flavours are stronger than others

• Some of the pods have a synthetic scent/taste

• Can only fit 650ml in the bottle at a time

air up key features

The air up pearl white starter kit comes with the bottle and two premium aroma pods: kola and tangerine. The bottle holds 650ml of water and the pods flavour at least five litres of water per pod. This ensures you'll get 15 refills out of what's included.

The bottle is made of a BPA-free Tritan, which uses less plastic than the average bottle drink. The pods are made from recyclable materials to help cut down the amount of single-use plastics ending up in landfills.

Each of the separate pod packs comes with three pods. These will flavour 15 litres of water, the equivalent of 23 bottle refills.

There is also a wide range of accessories available to buy separately. These include different coloured straps, mouthpieces and lids, as well as a cleaning brush and insulation sleeve.

Testing the air up

To ensure I gave the air up a thorough try, I made sure to sip it when I would usually reach for squash. I had it by my side day-to-day in my home office, quenching my thirst while I tapped at my keyboard. It was there to wash down my evening meals. It was also by my bedside so I could reach for it when I got thirsty during the night.

I made sure I took it with me on my weekly trip to the office. This is so I could test how it travelled. The bottle only leaked on my way home once. However, this was more down to me putting the lid on tight enough, rather than a problem with the bottle.

Final thoughts on the air up...

Overall, I think the air up starter kit is good value for money. However, as each pod is designed to last for five litres, the pods included would run out after just a week's worth of use if you are drinking the UK recommended daily amount of 1.2 litres. You can buy refill pods, which come in a three-pack so it will last a little longer, but if you're buying these each week, the cost would start to add up. I can't get over the sheer amount of flavours available. There are loads of refill options, from common flavoured water flavours, like orange and blackcurrant, to more unusual flavours like iced coffee, kola and lychee-rose.

My usual tipple of choice is blackcurrant squash, so I was most excited to try the cassis aroma pod. It didn't quite live up to my favourite squash, but I did get the fruity, berry flavour as I sipped from the bottle. I wasn't a huge fan of the watermelon, kola and orange-vanilla swirl pods. The flavour of these wasn't as strong - the scent left more of a synthetic than realistic taste. That said, as no one's sense of smell is the same, everyone will experience the taste of the pods in different ways. You may like the flavours that I didn't

My favourite out of all the pods I tried was tangerine. It surprised me as I usually hate the taste of orange squash, but the air up gave me the right taste of orange for my liking. To me, this was the pod that had the most authentic flavour out of the five I tried.

My favourite thing from the starter pack was the water bottle itself. It's lightweight to carry, modern in design, and really easy to clean. It has a rubber lid with a straw built in so you can constantly swig from the bottle as you go. I appreciate that the straw actually reaches all the water at the bottom of the bottle so you can completely empty it.
Has the air up converted me from drinking squash? I don't think so. I prefer the stronger taste of squash. I think if you were someone who already drinks a lot of flavoured water, you would get on really well with the air up as you're already used to a more water-based taste.

air up FAQs

Does the air up have chemicals?

As the air up drinking system works by scent, you're only drinking what you put into the bottle, which is water. The aroma pods contain natural aromas, extracted from fruits, plants and spices so they don't contain any chemicals. They contain 0 per cent sugar, 0 per cent additives, and 0 calories.

Is the air up bottle BPA-free?

Yes, all the air up bottles are BPA-free. They're made using BPA-free Tritan, which is a material that is commonly used for manufacturing water bottles.

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