How many 16.9 oz bottles are in a gallon?

A common question that arises when buying bottled water or other bottled beverages is how many bottles make up a gallon. Specifically, many bottled beverages like water and juice come in 16.9 oz bottles. So how many of those 16.9 oz bottles equal a gallon? Let’s break it down.

What is a Gallon?

First, it helps to understand exactly what a gallon is. A gallon is a unit of volume used in both the US customary system and the British imperial system. One US gallon is equal to 128 fluid ounces. The gallon was originally defined as the volume occupied by 10 pounds of water at a temperature of 62°F.

In the US, a gallon is commonly used to measure the capacities of liquid containers like milk jugs, water heaters, and gasoline tanks. It’s also used in recipes, to measure how much liquid ingredients like milk or oil to add.

What is a 16.9 oz Bottle?

Now that we know what a gallon is, let’s look at the 16.9 oz bottle. This is a common size for single-serve bottled beverages like water, juice, soda, and iced tea. These bottles are usually made of plastic like polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

The 16.9 oz measurement refers to the total volume or capacity of the bottle. However, it’s important to note that this volume includes both the liquid contents and the empty space at the top of the bottle.

The actual amount of liquid in a 16.9 oz bottle is usually a bit less, around 16 fluid ounces. This leaves room at the top for the cap and allows the liquid to expand when frozen without breaking the bottle.

The Math

Okay, now we have the basics down. Let’s look at the math:

* 1 US gallon = 128 fluid ounces
* 1 16.9 oz bottle = 16 fluid ounces (approximate)

To find out how many 16 oz bottles are in a gallon, we divide the total ounces in a gallon by the ounces in each bottle:

* 128 oz (gallon) / 16 oz (bottle) = 8

Therefore, there are 8 bottles with 16 fluid ounces each in 1 gallon.

Another way to think about it is:

* 16 oz x 8 bottles = 128 oz = 1 gallon

So in summary, if you have a gallon jug of water or juice, you could pour it into 8 empty 16.9 oz bottles, filling each one.


Let’s look at some examples to drive the point home:

Example 1

If you buy a gallon jug of spring water at the grocery store, you could pour that gallon into 8 regular-sized 16.9 oz water bottles. This helps when you want to pack individual bottles for lunches or to give everyone their own bottle.

Example 2

If you buy lemonade mix that makes 2 gallons, and you want to divide it up into single-serve bottles, you would need 8 bottles per gallon x 2 gallons = 16 bottles.

So 2 gallons of lemonade would fill 16 bottles with 16 oz each.

Example 3

Let’s say you’re following a recipe that calls for 1⁄2 gallon of coconut milk. Since there are 8 bottles per gallon, for a 1⁄2 gallon you would need 8 / 2 = 4 bottles of 16 oz coconut milk.

Visual Representation

Here is a visual representation to help show how many 16.9 oz bottles make up 1 gallon:

Bottle 1 Bottle 2 Bottle 3 Bottle 4
Bottle 5 Bottle 6 Bottle 7 Bottle 8

As you can see, it takes 8 full 16.9 oz bottles to equal 1 gallon.

Check Your Understanding

Let’s do a quick check to make sure you’ve got it:

Question: If you have a 3 gallon jug of orange juice, how many 16.9 oz bottles could you fill with it?

Answer: Since there are 8 bottles per gallon, and we have 3 gallons, we can calculate:

  • 8 bottles per 1 gallon
  • 3 gallons total
  • So 8 bottles x 3 gallons = 24 bottles

A 3 gallon jug of orange juice would fill 24 regular 16.9 oz bottles.

Common Sizes of Bottled Beverages

While 16.9 oz is a very common size, there are some other common sizes of bottled beverages to be aware of:

12 oz

A 12 oz bottle is usually used for soda and beer. There are 16 of these bottles in 1 gallon.

20 oz

The larger 20 oz size is common for soda and sports drinks. There are approximately 6 of these bottles in 1 gallon.

1 liter

A liter is a metric unit equal to about 33.8 oz. A 1 liter bottle holds slightly less than a quart. There are approximately 3.8 (call it 4) liters in a gallon.

0.5 liter

The 0.5 liter size is common for water. There are roughly 8 of these bottles in 1 gallon, just like the 16.9 oz size.

Factors That Change Bottle Volume

While we based our calculations on 16 fluid ounce bottles, there are some factors that can change the actual volume:

Bottle Shape

The shape of the bottle can increase or decrease the capacity slightly. Tall, thin bottles may hold less than short, wide ones.

Bottles With Ice

If you fill a 16.9 oz bottle with ice before adding the liquid, it will leave less room for the actual drink. The ice displaces some of the volume.


Bottling hot liquids can cause overflow as the heat makes the liquid expand. This wastes some volume as the liquid runs down the sides.


Any spills or drips when pouring will decrease the amount that makes it into each bottle.


Some bottles are intended to have more empty space at the top as headspace, reducing the actual liquid volume.

Tips for Filling Bottles

To get the most accurate results when bottling liquids into 16.9 oz containers:

– Leave room at the top for expansion and to make capping easier. Don’t fill right to the very top.

– Watch overflow when bottling hot liquids. Allow them to cool slightly first.

– Use a funnel to prevent spilling and drips when pouring.

– Test each brand of bottle to see the actual amount of liquid it holds. Volume can vary slightly.

– Weigh the filled bottles on a kitchen scale to compare. Adjust pouring if volumes are uneven.

– Chill soda and carbonated beverages before bottling to prevent foaming over.

Bottle vs Gallon Cost Comparison

Another reason to understand bottle volumes is to compare costs. Let’s look at an example:

At the store, a gallon jug of drinking water costs $1. The 16.9 oz individual bottles cost $1.29 each.

To compare:

– 1 gallon jug = $1
– 8 x 16.9 oz bottles = $1.29 x 8 = $10.32

As you can see, buying water by the gallon is significantly cheaper than buying individual bottles. You get 8 times the volume for 1/10th the price.

This applies to other drinks like juice and iced tea as well. Buying in bulk and bottling your own saves money.


So in summary, the answer to “How many 16.9 oz bottles are in a gallon?” is 8 bottles. This is useful to know when buying bottled beverages, following recipes, or portioning out large volumes into single-serves.

Being aware of different bottle sizes and doing direct comparisons also helps when calculating the best value. In most cases, buying drinks in larger gallon or multi-quart jugs is cheaper than bottled individuals.

We covered the math behind a gallon and 16.9 oz bottles, examples, other common sizes, factors impacting true volume, bottling tips, and cost comparisons. Knowing the number of bottles in a gallon helps with practical everyday bottling, mixing, and purchasing.

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