You shouldn’t buy bottled water at all. Not only do the plastic bottles take hundreds if not thousands of years to biodegrade in landfills, but bottled water is actually LESS clean and healthy than the water you get out of the tap! The safety requirements for bottled water are much, much lower than those for tap water -for example, did you know bottled water doesn’t even have to be tested for E. coli?
Instead of bottled water, you should get a metal water bottle and refill it from the tap. The environment, your body, and your wallet will all thank you.
Really the best solution is to stop purchasing plastic bottles of water at all—they area hugely expensive extravagance that is entirely unnecessary, considering that much of the tap water in the developed world is perfectly drinkable. However, if you must purchase water bottles, you should probably go with a larger one over a smaller one if you are looking to have as small an impact on the environment as possible, because overall less material will be required for the bottle—only one cap and label will be produced to contain the same amount of water as in perhaps half a dozen small bottles.
If you need to purchase water bottles, than try to purchase glass ones – such as Voss and get the larger one and reuse it. It can be washed in the dishwasher and is there is no label to worry about either.
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