Reviews of the Best Water Cooler Dispensers
It’s not just an office necessity anymore. Although the water cooler has become synonymous with workplace chatter, water cooler dispensers have also become popular at home. When there’s fresh, quality water in easy reach, your family is more likely to grab the healthy option when they feel thirsty. Keeping a water cooler dispenser at home stocked with crisp, cool, and clean H2O will help your family cut down on unhealthy, sugary beverage choices.
Not only that, a home water cooler dispenser can cut down on waste. If you’ve ever stood in front of the sink letting the water flow waiting for it to cool down, you know exactly how much water goes to waste on a daily basis. Every little bit counts, and a home water cooler dispenser can cut down on wasted water.
When you get your drinking water from a water cooler dispenser, you’re also drinking free from contaminants. Something taste off about the water straight from the tap? From countertop units to freestanding, electric, stainless steel models, the best water cooler dispensers are a healthier, convenient, and eco-friendly way to keep everyone hydrated at home or at the office.
If your family or workplace tends to reach for a water bottle out of the fridge first, a water cooler dispenser is a more environmentally friendly way to stay hydrated. You don’t have to drink from the tap, but you don’t have to produce all that plastic waste.
We’ve got your complete guide to water cooler dispenser reviews to help you decide which dispenser will best suit your home or office. We’ve looked at features like temperature controls, cleaning and maintenance, child safety, displays and controls, and how well the dispenser will fit in your space. Plus, keep reading for cleaning and maintenance tips to keep water quality high. It’s time to find the perfect water cooler for your home or office.
Top 10 Best Water Dispensers
|Ranking||Product Image||Product Name||Type||5-Star Rating||Latest Price|
|1||Avalon A1||Top Loading||4.5||View on Amazon|
|2||Primo Bottom Loading Water Cooler||Bottom Loading||4.5||View on Amazon|
|3||Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler Dispenser||Bottom Loading||4.5||View on Amazon|
|4||hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Water Dispenser||Bottom Loading||4.5||View on Amazon|
|5||Clover B14A||Top Loading||4.5||View on Amazon|
|6||Brio Bottom Load Self Cleaning Water Cooler Dispenser||Bottom Loading||4.5||View on Amazon|
|7||Primo® Water Cooler Dispenser + Pet Station||Top Loading||5||View on Amazon|
|8||Costway 2-in-1 Water Cooler Dispenser||Top Loading||4||View on Amazon|
|9||Primo Top Loading Water Cooler – 3 Temperature Settings||Top Loading||4.5||View on Amazon|
|10||Farberware FW29919 Freestanding Water Cooler Dispenser||Top Loading||4||View on Amazon|
- Top 10 Best Water Dispensers
- 10 Best Water Cooler Dispenser Reviews of 2023
- 1. Avalon A1 Top Loading Water Cooler Dispenser
- 2. Primo Bottom Loading Water Cooler
- 3. Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler Dispenser
- 4. hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Water Dispenser
- 5. Clover B14A Hot and Cold Bottled Water Dispenser
- 6. Brio Bottom Load Self Cleaning Water Cooler Dispenser
- 7. Primo Water Cooler Dispenser + Pet Station
- 8. Costway Water Cooler Dispenser
- 9. Primo Top Loading Water Cooler – 3 Temperature Settings
- 10. Farberware FW29919 Freestanding Water Cooler Dispenser
- The Benefits of Investing in a Water Cooler Dispenser
- On-Demand Access to High-Quality Water
- Hot and Cold Water
- Easy to Refill
- Healthier Habits
- Types of Water Cooler Dispensers
- Factors To Consider Before Choosing Your Water Dispenser
- Temperature Features: What Water Temperatures Will I Get?
- Household Size: How Much Space Can I Accommodate?
- Location: Where is This Water Cooler Going to Go?
- Budget: Matching price and performance
- Maintenance: How Hard Is It to Maintain and Clean?
- Convenience: Who is Loading the Jug?
- BPA: Is it BPA-Free?
- Safety: Essential Features
- Capacity: How Much Water Can It Hold
- Energy Star: Is it Certified?
- Taste: What is it Made Of?
- Additional Cleaning Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Conclusion: Water Cooler Dispensers
10 Best Water Cooler Dispenser Reviews of 2023
- Top-loading water cooler accommodates 3-5 gallon jug
- Piping hot and crisp cold water spouts
- Cold water temperature: 47° F
- Hot water temperature: 180° F
- Child safety lock on the hot water tap (UL-certified)
- Slim design that fits small corners
- 1 year limited warranty
Overview: While this top loading dispenser is a great time-saver thanks to the instant water boiler, the child safety lock on the hot water spout also is also family-friendly for home use, and the slender design should fit nicely even in smaller kitchens.
Built for Small Spaces: The design is what makes this water cooler ideal at home. Economical in size and 45 inches high, it fits neatly in the corner and doesn’t get in the way.
On top of the slim design, you’ll find plenty of reviews that talk about how quiet it is. If you worry about adding background noise in your home, this water cooler is definitely on the quieter side of our list.
Hot & Cold Water: The water flow is quick, cool water comes out at an ice-cold 47° F, and the hot water is perfect for brewing a cup of tea or making some instant noodles. The hot and cold water features make it a dream for the office or for saving time in your busy work-from-home schedule.
Child Safe: If you’re thinking twice about bringing a water dispenser with a hot water spout into your home because of kids, rest assured that the Avalon A1 Top Loading Water Cooler Dispenser comes with a UL-certified child safety lock.
Energy Efficiency: It’s also worth mentioning that this is an environmental and energy-efficient choice – this model is Energy Star-rated, and you should be able to find refills at most supermarkets.
- Hot/cold water dispenser
- Push-button controls
- Black stainless steel cabinet door conceals bottles
- Child-lock safety feature for hot water
- The easy-to-load design doesn’t require lifting
- Energy-Star rated
- 1 year warranty
Overview: If you’ve wanted a water cooler dispenser in your home or office, but you’re worried about how it’s going to look, the Primo Bottom Loading Water Cooler is a slender and sleek solution.
User-Friendly: What users love about this one is that the bottom loading design gets rid of the need for heavy lifting and flipping cumbersome tanks. The tank hides behind a sleek black cabinet door that will blend seamlessly into any modern kitchen, so it’s not just easy to use, but it also looks great.
High-Quality Water: Clean, crisp, and high-quality water is what everyone is looking for when they invest in a water dispenser. This Primo model uses ultraviolet light and reverse osmosis to disinfect the unit and keep the water clean at all times.
Convenience: Between the bottom loading, push-button displays, and cooling and heating light indicators, it’s intuitive and easy to use. It also comes with a removable stainless steel drip tray for easy cleaning.
- 3 temperatures: hot, cold, and room temperature
- Anti-microbial coating for cleaner water
- Nightlight and empty bottle indicator
- UL/Energy Star approved
- Child safety lock
- Stainless steel
Overview: With three temperature settings, easy bottom loading, sleek stainless steel construction, and a design that fits well in most home and office kitchens, the Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler Dispenser is a popular choice for both home and office use.
Temperature Settings: The three-temperature setting makes the Avalon Bottom Loader a crowd-pleaser. Reviews from users who need their water to be ice cold said this water cooler dispenser hits the mark, while the room setting temperature will satisfy those who don’t want their teeth to ache when they take a sip of water. The child-locked hot water tap is also good for tea, coffee, instant noodles, and other office lunch essentials.
Microbial Coating: The Avalon Bottom Loading Cooler comes with a feature called BioGuard, a microbial coating that prevents bacteria from developing on treated surfaces and prevents viruses that can make their way onto a treated surface from staying put. It’s the kind of feature that makes the Avalon a good choice once people are back in offices.
Easy Use: The bottom loading cabinet opens and locks to secure 3-5 gallon water bottles unobtrusively. Like all of the bottom loaders on our list, it’s that much easier to use when you don’t have to worry about lifting and flipping. Separate, easy-to-use push-button spouts for each temperature also make it so much more convenient to use.
Hot Water Features: The hot water faucet dispenses steaming hot water at approximately 180°F, hot enough to cook one’s tea or coffee or any other hot beverage. To protect children and pets from scalding, there’s also a convenient child safety lock on the hot water faucet.
Nightlight: Everyone’s been there. It’s late at night and you wake up with a throat drier than the Sahara Desert. You stumble out into the kitchen trying not to wake anyone up, bumping into every corner and chair in the process. The nightlight is a small but very useful feature for those middle-of-the-night trips for a glass of water.
- Intuitive control panel with nightlight
- Bottom loading design
- 3-temperature settings
- Modern black-and-silver design
- 2-year warranty with a money back guarantee
Overview: The hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Water Dispenser is a solid bet for a family-friendly home or office water cooler dispenser. It’s easy to load, and it’s a great alternative to single-use water bottles for clean, filtered water.
Sleek Unit: This bottom loading dispenser comes in at just over 3 feet in height. It’s made to fit even small spaces, including the office, kitchen, living room, gym, lobby, etc. The black-and-silver look should also fit a modern décor nicely.
Flexibility and Convenience: What people really appreciate about the hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Water Dispenser is the flexibility that comes with the three temperature settings. You can turn off both hot and cold water at the same time if needed to save on power or because you prefer room temperature.
Separate on/off switches for both hot and cold can also reduce wear and tear on the compressor. If you’re the type of person who’s conscious about power usage or wear and tear on equipment when you don’t need it, the hOmeLabs model puts you in control. There’s also an indicator light that lets you know when it’s ready for a refill.
Ease of Use: One of the top features people love about this model is that it’s lightweight and easy to unpack. Setting it up is super fast and easy to do, plus it gets hot and cold water running pretty quickly after installation or loading a new bottle. The fast heat-up/cool-down cycle is awesome for a busy office.
Cleaning & Maintenance: The slide-out drip tray makes cleaning a cinch. It collects any spills, so all you have to do is periodically empty it out and add it to the dishwasher when it needs a cleaning. Meanwhile, you can wipe down the exterior and keep it looking pristine.
Worthwhile Investment: If there’s one downside to the hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Water Dispenser, it’s that it does come in at a bit of a higher price point than some of the other models on our list of the best water cooler dispenser reviews. But it’s remarkably easy to install and load water bottles, and the heat up/chill cycle is super fast by comparison.
- 2-way temperature control (hot/cold)
- Stainless steel water reservoirs
- Temperature adjustment thermostat
- Heater comes with on/off switch
- Minimal maintenance
- Spill-proof features when you have to change the water bottle
- Energy-Star rated
- 1 year warranty
Overview: For a lightweight, no-frills water cooler dispenser that gives you ice cold water and real heat out of the hot water tap, the Clover is a solid option. The one thing that the most popular reviews all agree on: cold really does mean cold, and the hot is just what you need for a cup of tea that stays warm longer. It’s extra-convenient for a top loader thanks to spill-proof features that help a lot.
Temperature Settings: The standout feedback on this water cooler dispenser is the temperature of the water. If you’ve ever been disappointed by the temperature coming out of a water dispenser, it’s time to try the Clover B14A. Adjustable temperature control keeps cold water between 35° to 53°F. That’s a big plus if you have sensitive teeth that make those ice-cold drinks uncomfortable or if you prefer your water at subarctic temperatures. Hot water, however, remains at a constant 185° and can be turned either on or off with a switch. Being able to turn off the hot water can help save on electricity.
- 3-way Hot/Cold/Room temperature control
- Push-button faucet and controls
- Indicator lights for maintenance and refilling
- Stainless steel reservoir keeps water clean and tasting pure for longer
- Child safety lock
- Self-cleaning ozone technology
- 1-year limited warranty
Overview: You can expect strong water flow, an ozone-based self-cleaning cycle, a quieter pump, and hot water that comes out at the perfect temperature for a good cup of tea. The taste of the water from a Brio really benefits from the stainless steel reservoir, keeping it clean and pure-tasting for longer.
Self Cleaning: The self-cleaning cycle sounded like one of the more exciting features in the Brio, and it proves to be pretty effective. After running the ozone-technology-based self-cleaning cycle, you’ll find the taste of the water exquisite. It clears out the contaminants and prevents bacteria from building up in the reservoir.
Convenience: The self-cleaning cycle definitely gives the Brio top points for convenience, but don’t forget about how much easier it is to work with a bottom loading water cooler dispenser. Plus, the Brio was designed for easy assembly, and with the three-temperature system, everyone is happy.
- Removable, dishwasher-safe pet bowl
- Durable stainless steel
- LED nightlight
- Fast-flowing water
- Spill-proof bottle holder with leak guard
- Dishwasher-safe drip tray
Overview: This list wouldn’t be complete without something for the animal lovers out there. There are plenty of people out there who prefer to use filtered water for their dogs and cats as well, whether it’s because of personal preference or local water quality. The Primo Water Cooler Dispenser + Pet Station works great for those with furry members of their families.
Family-Friendly: This is a great model for any family as it also boasts kid-friendly features like an LED nightlight for midnight water runs and a child-resistant hot water safety lock to ensure there are no accidents.
The Pet Station: Filtered water isn’t just for the people in your home, especially if you live in an area with poor water quality. You want to make sure your pets get the best, so let’s take a look at how the pet station works.
The dispenser has a flexible design that lets you install the pet bowl on the front, the right, or the left side, depending on where you put it in your home. There’s a button indicated with a paw that you can press to fill the bowl. If you’re sick of constantly spilling water all over the floor every time you go to refill your pets’ water dishes, the pet station is a convenient fix.
BPA Free: BPA-free certified dispensers are naturally in high demand for at-home dispensers. Parents concerned about contaminants in the water can rest easy. The stainless steel water tank also helps prevent bacteria growth.
All in all, this is one of the best water dispenser coolers for home use and families with kids and pets.
- Built-in ice maker
- Sleek stainless steel look
- Removable drip tray
- LED Temperature Indicators and temperature control technology
- Simple to clean detachable water barrel
- Low noise compressor
- Three-temperature control
Overview: There’s “ice cold” water, and then there’s a water dispenser with a built-in ice maker. The standout feature of the Costway 2-in-1 Water Cooler Dispenser by far is that it actually produces ice. It also comes with three-temperature controls, an easy-to-clean removable drip tray, and a child safety lock for hot water, but the reason to buy the Costway Water Cooler Dispenser is without a doubt the fresh ice.
Built-in Ice Maker: The Costway Water Cooler Dispenser produces ice at a rate of 9 cubes every 6 to 14 minutes, which is pretty quick compared to waiting for a tray in your freezer. The ice basket has a capacity for 4 lbs., so all-in-all, this water dispenser is perfect when you need to refresh on a hot summer day or if you need ice for a social gathering like an office party.
Functionality: Certain functions in this model are designed to make cleaning and maintenance a lot easier. It comes with purge valves that allow you to drain the water completely when you’re cleaning the unit, and most of the parts are removable when you want to sanitize them. It’s not as appealing as some of the self-cleaning models on this list, but if you’re the type who wants to make sure everything is in pristine condition yourself, it certainly makes life easier. The purge valves allow you to do a deep clean every few months and make sure you flush out all the cleaning agents and bacteria.
- 3 temperatures
- Safety lock
- Switch to energy-saving mode
- Push-button controls
- Elegant look and size
- Primo pre-filled water exchange
Overview: The black-and-silver stainless steel look and size makes the Primo one of the best water dispensers for home use. If you want to avoid the “office cooler” look, this one fits the bill. It also comes with a leak guard and a bracket to prevent tipping. Now, enough about the look. The real question is, does it do the job? All told, reviews agree that the Primo is a solid option for clean, chemical-free, great-tasting water.
Water Exchange: Water from the Primo pre-filled exchange uses a 9-step purification process with added minerals for taste, or you can use Primo self-service refill water which both reduces waste and uses reverse osmosis to purify water. When you use the exchange system, your empty bottle is sanitized and reused. Many reviewers who said they lived in areas with contaminated waters loved that the Primo provided an affordable and more eco-friendly alternative to cases of bottled water, and the exchange system is pretty widely available.
- High heat efficiency engineering and thermo-electric cooling
- Instant hot and cold water
- 3-5 gallon tank
- Dry storage area in bottom
Overview: Last on our list is the Farberware Water Cooler Dispenser. Relatively short and compact, it makes a great water cooler dispenser either at home or in commercial settings. It runs very quietly and uses limited power. It’s also one of the most economical options on this list, coming in at a very affordable price.
Cost-Effective: This is an energy-efficient model that runs on energy-saving mode to reduce your costs. That said, it does use more energy to dispense hot water.
Extra Storage: The extra storage space is a neat perk from this model. It’s a top loading dispenser, so the space underneath provides a little extra storage. It is a bit shallow, and reviewers agree that it would make a huge difference if the storage was refrigerated, but it can prove useful in the right circumstances.
Water Dispenser Cooler Buying Guide
The Benefits of Investing in a Water Cooler Dispenser
A water cooler dispenser can make a big difference at home or in the office. It can help you cut down on plastic waste, encourage healthier habits, save money on bottled water and other beverages, and give you a great alternative to tap water if you don’t like the flavor or the quality is untrustworthy.
Think about how many water bottles you go through in a day at home or at the office. A family of four can burn through those cases, and at the office, those garbage bins fill up even faster. It’s a lot of water, but more importantly, it turns into a lot of plastic waste. When you invest in a water cooler, your water jugs can be reused and refilled. It’s a much more environmentally-friendly option, cutting down on plastic waste and the environmental cost of producing all those single-use plastic bottles in the first place.
On-Demand Access to High-Quality Water
Access to clean drinking water can be difficult or unreliable, depending on where you live. Some areas deal with hard water, while others deal with real contamination problems. Even in places that don’t struggle with poor water quality, people have many reasons for preferring clean, filtered water . Some people just don’t like the taste, and others are opposed to water fluoridization, which is a common practice for municipal water supplies.
A bottom or top load water dispenser is also a good way to get water where you need it without requiring plumbing or a faucet. Commercially, they’re great for gyms, banks, and reception areas, while at home, you might want one for the garage or the shed, so you don’t have to trudge inside for a refreshing drink.
Whatever your reasons for preferring bottled and filtered water, a water dispenser for home or at the office is the best way to stay hydrated economically without producing tons of plastic waste.
Water Dispensers Are Compact
Most of the water dispensers you’re going to find today are compact enough to fit either an office or a home setting. If the first thing that comes to mind when you think of one is those white plastic setups, don’t worry. The best water cooler dispensers today can be found with stainless steel exteriors with a modern-looking design. They’ll blend right in, and they don’t have to take up too much space. If you don’t want to have to see the big blue bottle upside down above the dispenser, a bottom loading water dispenser is the best bet for you.
Hot and Cold Water
It’s not just clean, quality water people want in a water dispenser. They want it ice cold and refreshing. Small but powerful energy-efficient compressors in modern water dispensers chill water to satisfy those who crave those arctic-temperature beverages. On a hot summer’s day, there’s nothing like it.
Water dispensers also aren’t just for cold water either. Most models also have hot water, but this is where it helps to do your research. Lukewarm water is a common complaint, but the best water dispensers produce piping hot water perfect for tea, instant coffee, or a bowl of oatmeal. Whether you’re looking for more convenience at home or a solution that makes the office lunch easy, a water dispenser with real hot water is a big asset.
Easy to Refill
The best water dispensers – particularly bottom loading dispensers – are incredibly easy to refill. Bottom loading water dispensers have a compartment below the taps where you can slide the bottle in without having to worry about flipping it over or lifting it. There will be a hose that fits on the top and extends to the bottom that pumps water up.
However, even top loading water dispensers are easier to refill these days, as many come with splash guards to help when you flip them over and put the water bottle in place.
Staying hydrated is one of the simplest things you can do for your health with a big payoff. Drinking water helps keep your energy levels up and your brain working at its best. It helps with digestion, may prevent kidney stones, and has even been linked to weight loss.
Beyond the health benefits of drinking water, you can also see your health improve when you grab that glass of ice-cold water instead of something else, such as a sugary soda or that 4 p.m. coffee you know you should skip if you want to get to sleep on time.
With a water dispenser, you’ve got great-tasting water always within reach. You’ll notice your habits change in no time when it’s so convenient.
Every year Americans spend billions of dollars on water bottles . Needless to say, these dispensers are more cost-effective. Larger, 3 to 5 gallon water bottles are refillable or exchangeable and should be able to bring down your expenditure.
Types of Water Cooler Dispensers
Finding the right type of water cooler makes the difference between the perfect addition to your office or kitchen and that albatross of an appliance you never use. Although water coolers vary in model, size, style, and features, there are three main types of water dispensers you will come across:
1) Top Loading Water Cooler Dispensers
Top load water dispensers are what people usually think of first. It’s where you have to flip the water bottle over and upside down. The water flows downward through the reservoir to heat or cool and then out the tap. It doesn’t require the same kind of hose or pump setup that a bottom loading dispenser needs, but you need to be able to lift and flip the jug.
A top loader may not be right for anyone who’s worried about lifting and flipping that jug for any reason whatsoever. Some also don’t like the way it looks. If you don’t want to have to see the jug out in the open, a bottom loader will be the better option for you.
2) Bottom Loading Water Cooler Dispensers
Bottom loading water cooler dispensers have made the whole process of using a water cooler so much easier. If you’ve avoided getting one because you don’t want to have to lift the heavy jug and flip it over to install, a bottom loader solves all of those problems.
A bottom loader uses a hose that fits over the top of the bottle and pumps water up to fill the tank in your dispenser. This does mean that bottom loaders come with an extra mechanism that might lead to problems down the road, but that shouldn’t be an issue among the best water dispensers that bottom load.
They also tend to have concealed compartments for bottle storage, so if you find the top loaders unsightly, a bottom loader is likely the option you want.
3) Countertop Water Cooler Dispensers
Just because you have a smaller space doesn’t mean you can’t get a water cooler dispenser. Apartment and condo living can definitely put space at a premium, but countertop water dispensers fit those small spaces by going right on the countertop – you don’t need extra floor space to fit them into your life. They can also work in small studios, offices, and other small spaces.
The space savings come from the fact that they use smaller jugs or bottles. Often, they’ll only hold about a pitcher of water, but they also tend to use a filtration system so that you can refill the jug with tap water and get filtered, quality water out of the spout.
Factors To Consider Before Choosing Your Water Dispenser
What makes the right water cooler dispenser for your home or office depends on your habits, the people you’re getting it for, the space you have, and your budget. To make sure you get the right fit, these are some of the factors to keep in mind.
Temperature Features: What Water Temperatures Will I Get?
Not all water dispensers are made equally. Most models today will offer hot and cold, or they come with three-temperature controls, adding room temperature water. That’s a great feature for people who have sensitive teeth or just don’t like that ice-cold option.
But you want to do your research to find the best water dispenser for what you need. Different models operate at different temperatures and energy use. It’s worth looking at the temperatures specified by the manufacturers and checking out the best water dispenser reviews to find out what temperature you’re really getting, especially when it comes to the quality of the hot water.
Household Size: How Much Space Can I Accommodate?
Most water cooler dispenses use 3 or 5 gallon water jugs, although countertop water dispensers will inevitably be much smaller. But the size of the water bottle isn’t the only thing to consider when you’re trying to find the right model. There’s also the size of the reservoir to consider. The size of the water tanks where water is heated or chilled will determine how many cups you can get before you have to wait for another cycle to complete. The best water dispensers for home use can probably have smaller tanks or more frequent cycles, whereas you may want a larger capacity if you’re buying a water dispenser for the office.
Location: Where is This Water Cooler Going to Go?
Think about where you’re going to put your new water dispenser. It never hurts to measure twice. The ideal location is out of the way of traffic but also somewhere sensible. At home, it’s usually the kitchen, but many people also get water coolers for spaces where they spend a lot of time without immediate access to a faucet, such as the garage or the tool shed.
If you’re worried about kids or pets, many top load water dispensers come with a bracket that prevents tipping, and child safety locks on hot water taps are standard. There’s enough variety on the market these days that you should be able to find a water cooler that fits your space.
Budget: Matching price and performance
The selections on your list come in at a wide range of price points. More expensive water coolers may have a bigger capacity that’s suitable for offices or commercial locations, while durability and longevity are also important factors to consider. It may be worthwhile spending a bit extra for a water cooler you’re confident will last longer.
Maintenance: How Hard Is It to Maintain and Clean?
Cleaning and maintenance are a big part of keeping your water fresh and clean-tasting. In order to prevent bacteria from forming, you’ll have to clean out the system one way or another. Self-cleaning water cooler dispensers can save you a lot of work. Another feature that can make maintenance easier is a flushing system, which can allow you to clean the insides out by running a cleaning solution through the works that you can flush out completely.
Convenience: Who is Loading the Jug?
Changing the water jug on a top load water dispensers can be a bit of a challenge. One thing to look for: splash guards that help you avoid spilling water all over the floor when you flip the jug. However, if you don’t want to have to worry about lifting that jug, a bottom loading water dispenser is going to be a lot easier to refill.
BPA: Is it BPA-Free?
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a common industrial chemical found in plastics. BPA can leach out of the plastic into the water, which is why people look for BPA-free water bottles. The same should apply to your water dispenser. It’s important to buy a BPA-free water dispenser (a.k.a. water coolers that are free of this chemical) . That said, the FDA has deemed BPA safe in low doses — but you may be better off safe than sorry .
Safety: Essential Features
Child safety locks should come standard if your water dispenser has a hot water function. This is a feature that’s non-negotiable, but the good news is that it can pretty much be found across the board, though it never hurts to double check.
Capacity: How Much Water Can It Hold
The majority of dispensers on this list fit water bottles that are 3 to 5 gallons in size, but the best countertop water dispensers may be smaller. Any larger and you can run into problems with a top loader water dispenser, but you also don’t want to have to constantly replace the jug.
Energy Star: Is it Certified?
One concern you may have is the impact a water dispenser will have on your electrical bill, especially at home. The best water coolers in 2023 are Energy Star certified. This means that they meet industry standards for energy conservation and can help protect the climate . The impact of Energy Star appliances on your power bill should be mitigated.
Energy Star is a symbol of energy efficiency – in fact, these Energy Star certified products use roughly 30% less energy than others .
Taste: What is it Made Of?
What your water dispenser is made of can have an impact on the taste. If you’re getting a water dispenser because you dislike the taste of tap water, funky-tasting water can be a big disappointment.
The main culprit tends to be plastic. Often a plastic taste will go away after several gallons of water flow through, but it can be unpleasant or wasteful at first. You’re likely to have better luck with stainless steel reservoirs. Stainless steel will also reduce the growth of bacteria in your dispenser .
Water Dispenser Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
Cleaning and maintenance keep your water dispenser running smoothly and protect the quality of the water you’re drinking. Even the best water dispensers can develop issues over time, such as slow-pouring water or tastes, but often the issue is related to maintenance.
If not cleaned, water dispensers build up bacteria, which can in turn impact your water quality if not dealt with accordingly .
If you notice off-tasting water, an unusual odor, build-up, or any material surfacing around the dispensers, don’t worry. A bit of cleaning and your water dispenser will be good as new.
Here is how you can clean your water cooler system:
- Unplug your cooler before doing anything to avoid electrical risks.
- Check and see if your water cooler has a water guard. This allows you to puncture the water bottle cap when you install it.
- Remove the water guard if you have it. To do this, grasp both sides and pull it out of the cooler. You can use gentle dish soap and warm water to clean off any build-up there. Make sure to rinse all of the soap off and dry with a towel.
- Use a solution of baking soda (2 tablespoons) and water (1 cup) and rinse out the reservoir. Drain it and rinse it out several times.
- Replace the water guard kit.
Additional Cleaning Tips
Keeping your water dispenser clean is the key to keeping your water quality high and tasting great. Don’t worry, it’s not going to turn into a weekly chore. You should be able to get by sanitizing it thoroughly once every six weeks, or if you notice build-up or a funny taste.
Sanitizing your water dispenser: First, make a solution with ½ teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of water, and then pour the water over the reservoir — but do not leave for longer than 5 minutes. Be sure to drain the water out thoroughly afterward, making sure you flush out all of the bleach.
If you have two different taps: Regularly drain them both and rinse them with water immediately. You will also need to remove dirt and other grime from the water dispenser periodically.
Cleaning around the water cooler: When you are cleaning around the water cooler, make sure to disconnect the power supply cord. Once unplugged, you can clean around the cooler with a small brush attachment from your vacuum cleaner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are instant hot water dispensers for home safe?
Families with kids might hesitate before bringing a water dispenser with a hot water tap into their homes. However, a child safety lock on the hot water tap is a standard safety feature, and you should be protected from any accidents. Many water dispensers also allow you to turn off the hot water feature if it’s not something you use very often. The best water dispensers for home are child safe.
Which water dispenser is the best for my office?
For office use, a bottom load water dispenser is a safe option because you don’t want even a small risk of someone injuring themselves. A 5-gallon jug weighs about 40-plus pounds, and the weight distribution can make changing a top load water dispenser cumbersome. You don’t want to put an employee at risk of injury refilling the water.
Hot water is a great feature for an office dispenser to have, too. It saves time when employees want to make a quick cup of tea or instant coffee, and they can use it for quick meals like oatmeal or noodles.
Other than that, the other feature to consider is reservoir capacity. The best water dispenser for the office is one that keeps up with demands without making people wait around for the heating or chilling cycle to finish.
How do you store bottled water?
When storing your full water jugs, it’s a good idea to store them at room temperature. If it’s stored somewhere too warm, you run the risk of algae and mold build-up .
What is the best water dispenser for home purposes?
The best water dispenser for home use will fit both the space and the décor. Black and silver stainless steel should blend in seamlessly with a modern kitchen. You’ll want one that you feel comfortable loading, and that will indicate when it’s time to refill if you can’t see the tank. Most importantly, it should meet your standards for taste and temperature.
Who makes the best water coolers?
There is a wide range of brands that make different types of dispensers with varying features. Our list of the best water dispensers includes brands like Avalon, Whirlpool, Primo, and Brio.
How do you clean a water cooler?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you should be cleaning your cooler every six weeks or every time you change the bottle .
To clean the cooler, pour boiled water into the cooler and drain through. Scrub inside the crevices and around the taps with a brush with soft bristles. You can also clean a water cooler with vinegar or bleach, depending on the materials your dispenser is made of.
For brand-specific instructions, always check the manual.
Should you remove a full water bottle from a water cooler?
It’s best to wait until your bottle is empty to replace it. Replacing a full water bottle will result in a lot of splashing and a considerable amount of mess if it’s not bottom loading.
If your water cooler dispenser is bottom loading, however, you can unhook the spout and just pull the jug right out without making a mess.
Conclusion: Water Cooler Dispensers
Hopefully, our guide to the best water dispensers of 2023 has shed some light on your next purchase. Whether you’re looking for a water cooler dispenser for home, the office, or a commercial setting, it’s important that you get all the features you’re hoping for.
A great water dispenser can lead to healthier habits and make it easier to stay hydrated. Enjoy cleaner water and better health while cutting down on waste created by single-use plastic bottles.
Don’t let water quality or lack of access to water impact your business or quality of life. The right water cooler dispenser can be life-changing!
 Certification for Water Treatment Industry Professionals (Water Quality Association of America)
 Commercially Bottled Water (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
 What is BPA, and what are the concerns about BPA? (The Mayo Clinic)
 Bisphenol A (BPA) (FDA)
 ENERGY STAR Overview (Energy Star)
 Water Coolers (Natural Resources Canada)
 Assessment of Drinking Water Quality from Bottled Water Coolers (US National Library of Medicine)
 Biofilms in the Food Industry: Health Aspects and Control Methods (US National Library of Medicine)
 Bottled Water Storage (International Bottled Water Association)
 Best Management Practice Alternative Water Sources (U.S. Department of Energy)