10 Best Water Coolers – (Buyer’s Guide and Reviews of 2020)

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Written by Eric

Last Updated: 12/04/2020

Doctors recommend that you drink 8 glasses of water per day. Whether it’s because you get too busy, you don’t like the taste of tap water, bottled water is bad for the environment, or life just gets in the way, it can be difficult to hit those goals. Getting a best water cooler for your home eliminates two of those problems, providing you with great tasting water without using single-use plastic bottles.

But shopping for a water cooler can be problematic once you start looking. Who knew there were so many options available? That’s why we’re here to help. With our help, you’ll be enjoying fresh water and hydrating your way to healthier skin and a healthier you.

Water Coolers Reviews

1. Top Pick - Top Loading Water Cooler

Avalon A1Watercooler Top Loading

Avalon A1 Watercooler Top Loading Water Cooler

  • Hot and Cold Water
  • Chills Water Down To 47°F
  • Built-in Puncturing Rod
  • UL/Energy Star Approved

Why we like it: It is top loaded, easy-to-use, simple, effective, takes up small space, not to mention spill-proofed and UL listed. 

This stylish water cooler also doubles as a water heater, providing you with hot water on demand as well as cold water. This unit is capable of producing up to 4 liters per hour of hot water that is heated to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot water tank has a capacity of 1.02 liters. When it comes to producing cold water, the cold water tank volume is 3 liters and it chills water down to approximately 47 degrees Fahrenheit.

This water dispenser uses a top mounting system. However, gone are the days of opening the spill proof cap and trying to get it into the water holder without spilling gallons all over the place. Instead, the bottle supporter has a built-in puncturing rod which allows you to place the five gallon water bottle without opening the bottle seal. This handy feature ensures that you don't waste a drop.

When operating this water dispenser, you can choose to use hot water, Coldwater, both, or neither. The independent switches will turn the heater or compressor on. From there, it takes roughly 1 hour for cold water to be produced or 15 to 20 minutes for hot water to be produced. The indicator lights near the power light will turn on when the machine needs to reheat or cool water for use again. To replace the bottle just lift the empty bottle vertically with two hands being careful not to damage the puncture rod. Avalon offers a 1 year limited warranty on this water cooler from the date of the original purchase.


  • Bottle Location: Top
  • Bottle Size: 3 or 5 gallon
  • Color: White
  • Power Requirements: 520 Watts
  • Dimensions: 11.25 (L) x 10.75 (W) x 42 (H) inches
  • Weight: 34.8 pounds

2. Runner Up - Top Loading Water Cooler

Primo Top Loading Water Cooler

Primo Water 900127 Top Loading Water Cooler

  • Hot, Cold and Room Temperature
  • Spill Proof Bottle Holder
  • Indicator Lights
  • UL/Energy Star Approved

Why we like it: It is easy-to-use, effective, with three temperature settings, easy bottle replacement, and both UL and Energy Star Approved. 

This top loading Primo water dispenser provides complete access to icy cold, lukewarm, or piping hot water whenever you desire. And because it is compatible with 3 or 5 gallon jugs, you can ensure that your water will always be fresh and never taste stale.

The top loading feature may make you wonder if you need to hit the gym to be able to put the water in without spilling it, but don’t worry. The spill proof bottle holding collar has a bottle piercer that allows you to place the replacement bottle without taking off the spill proof cap.

This water dispenser has two indicator lights to let you know if water is heating or cooling and when they are available to dispense. Additionally, the hot water dispenser has a child safety feature so you don’t have to worry about your loved ones getting accidentally burned. This dispenser is UL-certified and Energy Star rated. After turning this dispenser on, hot water should be fully heated within 15 to 20 minutes. On the other hand, cold water gets fully chilled in about an hour.

Setting up the water dispenser requires a Phillips head screwdriver (which is not included). Part of the setup includes installing the anti-tip bracket so that you don’t accidentally tip the cooler over and break it. On the other hand, maintenance and cleaning your new dispenser is very simple. Remove the water bottle holding collar to allow access to the cold tank reservoir.

You should clean out the reservoir every three months with a cleaning solution. Just make sure you rinse the machine thoroughly before resuming normal use.


  • Bottle Location: Top
  • Bottle Size: 3 or 5 Gallon
  • Color: Black / Stainless Steel
  • Power Requirements: 110v GFCI recommended
  • Dimensions: 10.8 (W) x 11.7 (D) x 36.4 (H) Inches
  • Weight: 34.1 pounds

3. Another Great Top Loading Water Cooler

Primo Easy Top Loading Water Dispenser

Primo Water 601243 Top Loading Water Cooler w / Pet Station

  • Hot and Cold Water
  • Spill-Proof Bottle Holder With Leak Guard 
  • LED Night Light
  • Pet Station Included

Why we like it: It is made out of quality material, is easy-to-use, comes with a pet station and safety lock, it is spill proofed and easy to keep clean. 

This top loading water dispenser adds a new feature that allows every member of your family enjoy fresh and delicious clean water. This water dispenser has a pet station with a flexible base that lets you install the included pet bowl on the water cooler. You can install it in front or either side if you wish. The water cooler dispenses water directly into the pet bowl without you having to take it out. Additionally, a smart sensor prevents accidental spills when the bowl is not in place.

This dispenser is fully compatible with both 3 and 5-gallon water bottles. It has a spill proof bottle holder with a leak guard and self-puncturing rod which eliminates spills when replacing a water bottle. You can install a replacement without having to take off the cap, just install the bottle, and the rod punches through to allow water to flow.

This water cooler comes fully assembled with stainless steel water reservoirs. It also features an LED night light that you can turn on and off as you need. After you set the system up, cold water will be fully chilled and ready in about one hour. The cooling light indicator will turn off once the water is ready. Hot water is finished much faster. It only takes about 12 minutes for the hot water to heat up and be ready. Like the cold water indicator, the hot water heating light will turn off when it is ready.

Full maintenance and cleaning should be completed every three months. Every time you replace the bottle, the drip tray and pet bowl should be cleaned. Both are dishwasher safe and can be hand washed too. Don’t neglect the cabinet, controls, and the bottle probe when you clean the water cooler either.


  • Bottle Location: Top
  • Bottle Size: 3 or 5 Gallon
  • Color: White
  • Power Requirements: 110 Volt GFCI Recommended
  • Dimensions: 11.8 (W) x 11.8 (D) x 41.1 (H) Inches
  • Weight: 32 pounds

4. Top Loading Water Cooler With Ice Maker

Costway Water Cooler Dispenser with Ice maker

Costway Top Loading Water Cooler w / Ice Maker

  • Hot and Cold Water + Ice
  • Easy-to-clean Parts
  • Child Safety Lock
  • Indicator Lights

Why we like it: Because it can make ice cubes as well as both hot and cold water. Parts are easy to clean and its made to last. 

This water cooler is so much more than a simple water dispenser that produces piping hot and icy refreshing water. It also makes ice. It starts as a top loading water dispenser. Underneath the water faucets is an ice basket that can hold up to 4 pounds of ice. It produces 9 bullet shaped ice cubes every 6 to 14 minutes and is capable of producing up to 27 pounds of ice per day. As the ice basket fills, a sensor keeps track. When the sensor detects that the basket is full, it will stop making ice.

The ice basket and housing are not refrigerated, but they are lightly insulated. Eventually the ice will melt and the melt is absorbed back into the water dispenser for reuse. The sensor that stops the ice maker from making ice will tell it to start making ice again as well, as long as the ice function is enabled. The function is enabled by pressing the ice button on the operating panel. The system will continue to make ice until the basket is full.

On top of being a great ice maker that produces wonderful tasting ice without any aftertaste or residue, this water dispenser is also able to decant three different temperatures of water. There are three options, color coded left to right as red, white, and blue. Red dispenses hot water, the white center button dispenses room temperature water, and the right blue button gives out cold water. Additionally, the hot water button has a child safety lock to prevent accidental burns.

The bright indicator lights on the front of the panel let you know exactly what is happening with your water dispenser. The lights show the operations, whether it’s the hot water heating, or even everything being ready for you to use.

This top-loading bottle system has a smart water barrel seat which ensures that it is simple to perform a bottle replacement when you need to. A seated piercing mechanism ensures that you don’t have to remove the safety cap when replacing them. This all but eliminates accidental spills and keeps the water where you want it.

Additionally, the barrel seat and drip tray are both removable and easily cleaned. When you remove the barrel seat, you can access the cold water reservoir for easy cleaning. A deep cleaning is recommended every three months, while a gentle cleaning should be done as needed or whenever you do a water bottle replacement.


  • Bottle Location: Top
  • Bottle Size: 3 or 5 gallon
  • Color: Silver
  • Power Requirements: 115 Volt GFCI Recommended
  • Dimensions: 14 (W) x 12 (D) x 39 (H) Inches
  • Weight: 40 pounds

5. Top Pick - Bottom Loading Water Cooler

Primo Easy Bottom Loading Water Dispenser

Primo Water 601256 Deluxe Bottom Loading Water Cooler

  • Hot and Cold Water
  • Very Stable
  • LED Night Light
  • UL/Energy Star Approved

Why we like it: It is easy-to-use, simple, effective, takes up small space and UL Certified.

This bottom loading water dispenser is designed to provide you with piping hot water and refreshing cool or cold water at the touch of a button whenever you desire. With the concealed bottle design, this dispenser makes a safe and attractive addition to any home or office. With the primary weight in the base, there’s no need to install anti-tip features, as the cooler is naturally stable.

This water heater can be used with any 3 or 5 gallon water bottles. You can purchase water bottles that are Primo branded or use generic or alternately branded water bottles if you desire. This water dispenser also has an LED night light that helps keep you from bumping into it at night. If you want to turn it off, the switch is on the back near the hot and cold water activation switches.

The unit can begin making hot water as soon as you get it set up. Fully hot water is available within 15 minutes of turning it on. Cold water takes about an hour to chill and fill the reservoir. The hot water reaches about 185 degrees Fahrenheit and the cold water is chilled down to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

This unit does need fully cleaned every three months with spot cleaning in between. The drip tray is made of stainless steel and is dishwasher safe. The exterior should be wiped down and kept clean with a damp cloth. For more intensive cleaning, Primo has suggestions in the user manual.


  • Bottle Location: Bottom
  • Bottle Size: 5 gallon
  • Color: Black
  • Power Requirements: 500 Watts
  • Dimensions: 12.2 (W) x 14.2 (D) x 40.9 (H) inches
  • Weight: 38 pounds

6. Runner Up - Bottom Loading Water Cooler

hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Water Dispenser

hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Water Cooler

  • Hot, Cold and Room Temperature
  • Refill Bottle Alert
  • Child Safety Lock
  • Energy Star Rated

Why we like it: You get three heat settings, it is easy-to-use, effective, night light and safety lock. 

This bottom loading water dispenser is designed for use in both the home and the office. The bottom stainless-steel cabinet is able to house a standard 5 or 3 gallon water bottle easily. It uses a probe and a cap to pump water from the bottle to the reservoir tanks. This unit also includes an easily removable drop tray which is also easy to clean. This helps to avoid any inadvertent messes and spills. The hot water dispenser has a child safety lock as well to protect you and your loved ones.

The sizes and volumes of the water reservoirs are not reported by the manufacturer, but based on the time for heating, and the temperature, it’s easy to extrapolate the data out. Based on a heating system that heats water to 185 degrees Fahrenheit in about fifteen minutes, the hot water reservoir should be approximately one liter in size. Likewise, because the cold water is chilled down to 49 degrees Fahrenheit in about an hour, we can estimate that the cold water reservoir is about 3 liters in size.

You aren’t just stuck with hot and cold water either. You have the option of choosing to dispense room temperature water directly from the water bottle as well.

This water dispenser is Energy Star rated, so you know that it’s dependable and has passed multiple standards. The heating and cooling are controlled by independent off and on switches. These allow you to decide when you want to heat water or keep it cold together or separately. Another handy feature of this water dispenser is the LED nightlight which softly illuminates the area around the dispenser. Another feature of this model is the refill indicator that lets you know when your bottle needs replaced.

Cleaning this unit is easy. Every 3 months, simply flush the system with a food grade sanitizer or mild bleach solution to kill any bacteria or film. After you do, make sure that you rinse the internal reservoirs thoroughly before you resume normal use.


  • Bottle Location: Bottom
  • Bottle Size: 3 or 5 gallon
  • Color: Black with Stainless Accents
  • Power Requirements: 110 volt GFCI Recommended
  • Dimensions: 12.2 (W) x 14.2 (D) x 40.9 (H) Inches
  • Weight: Unlisted

7. Another Great Option - Bottom Loading Water Cooler

Whitlpool Bottom Loading Water Cooler

Whirlpool 8LIECHK Bottom Loading Water Cooler

  • Hot and Cold Water
  • Stainless Steel Front
  • Built to Last
  • Child Safety Lock

Why we like it: It is built to last, it is easy to use, effective, and gives you the perfect temperature for a lovely cup of tea.

This commercial grade bottom loading water cooler comes from Whirlpool, one of the premiere names in appliances in the United States. It features a curved front in stainless steel so that you see the front no matter what angle you approach from.

The water bottle is meant to load into the bottom cabinet. An extendable and telescoping probe reaches into any bottle size to pump water to the unit. No matter what capacity water bottle you are using, simply adjust the tube to fit. This dispenser uses a fifth-generation bottom loading water pump with a patented water siphon that is guaranteed to leave less water in the bottle than any competitor.

This water dispenser is unique in that it uses water to create a block of ice that is then used to chill the cold water. The water drops down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, a full 9 to 10 degrees colder than any other water dispenser on the market. The hot water is kept at a piping hot 194 degrees Fahrenheit using proprietary technology. This temperature is almost perfect for making a hot cup of tea or for using for pour-over coffee.

The cold water chiller produces 4 liters per hour and the hot water heater produces 6 liters per hour. The hot water dispenser also has a child safety lock and for energy savings, a resource saver switch on the back allows you to turn off the hot water when it isn’t needed.

This water dispenser’s premium build has unbreakable outlets coupled with a solid steel frame that can bear over 300 pounds. The sides of the dispenser are made of cold rolled steel for strength, beauty, and durability. With this machine in your home or office, you’ll be proud to drink and hydrate.


  • Bottle Location: Bottom
  • Bottle Size: 3 or 5 gallon
  • Color: Stainless Steel / Black
  • Power Requirements: 115 Volt, GFCI Recommended
  • Dimensions: 15 (W) x 12.6 (D) x 40.5 (H)
  • Weight: 45 pounds

8. Best Countertop Water Cooler

Avalon Countertop Water Cooler A1

Avalon A1CTWTRCLRWHT Top Loading Water Cooler

  • Hot and Cold Water
  • Child Safety Lock
  • Built-in Puncturing Rod
  • UL/Energy Star Approved

Why we like it: Easy-to-use, effective, compact, spill-proofed, and UL and Energy Star Approved.

This cute countertop top loading water cooler from Avalon is designed to dispense both cold and hot water. It features a child safety lock on a hot water spout so you can place it out in the open without worrying about your kid getting accidentally burned. It is a top-loading model, which means that the water bottles fit into the top of the dispenser. However, that doesn’t mean you have to worry about spilling water all over the place. Avalon water coolers feature a built-in puncturing rod so you can replace water bottles without worrying about removing the spill proof caps. Just make sure to remove any stickers or labels from the cap before installing to prevent any sticker residue.

This unit has a hot water tank with a 1.02 liter capacity and a cold water tank with a 3 liter capacity. It has the capability of producing four liters of hot water per hour at roughly 185 degrees Fahrenheit. The compressor can chill two liters of cold water per hour at roughly 47 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot water is heated by an electric element that is submerged inside the hot water reservoir. There are to switches on the left hand side of the unit.

These correspond to the heater and compressor and turn them on and off. Once the compressor is turned on, it takes roughly an hour to have fully chilled water. When the heater is turned on it only takes 15 to 20 minutes to have water heated to capacity.

Cleaning this water dispenser is easy. The bottle supporter and puncturing mechanism remove to allow you to access the cold water tank directly. Once you have access to the cold water tank, you can drain and flush the system using the drain plug. The drain plug is located in the lower right hand side of the rear of the machine. Wipe the exterior, the controls, and clean out the drip tray at every bottle change. Rinse and flush the tank every three months. Just be sure to adequately rinse any bleach or cleaner that you used before dispensing potable water once more.


  • Bottle Location: Top
  • Bottle Size: 3 or 5 gallon
  • Color: Black with White Faceplate
  • Power Requirements: 555 Watts
  • Dimensions: 12 (W) x 12 (D) x 19 (H) inches
  • Weight: 26.45 pounds

9. Best Bottleless Water Cooler

Avalon Bottleless Water Cooler

Avalon A5BOTTLELESS Water Cooler

  • Hot and Cold Water
  • Full Installation Kit Included
  • Dual Filtration System
  • UL/Energy Star Approved

Why we like it: It gives you cold, cool and hot water, gives you filtered water, and you don´t need to purchase water bottles. 

This Avalon water dispenser does not require a water bottle to give you piping hot or refreshingly cold water. Instead, it pulls water directly from your home, filters it, and then delivers delicious water whenever you want it.

The installation kit comes with an under sink 3/8 inch adapter with a shut off valve included. This allows you to tap into your sink’s existing cold water supply. It also comes with a three-way plastic 1/4 inch push in connection adaptor with 20 feet of 1/4 inch tubing. This is used to connect to your refrigerator’s water line. Keep in mind that because this water dispenser does not use bottled and pre-filtered water, it uses a two-stage filter to clean your water instead.

The primary filter is a coarse filter that removes larger particles and sediment. The second filter is a carbon block filter that removes lead, excess chlorine, and other contaminants which affect the flavor. The first time you use this water dispenser or immediately after you replace the filters, they should be flushed for two minutes.

The filters need to be replaced every six months as an estimate. Your use may require more frequent changes or allow the filters to function longer. When the filters do need a replacement, all three indicator lights will blink and a beeping will sound. Keep in mind when replacing the filters, the sediment filter is on the left and the carbon block filter is on the right.

This water dispenser has a cold tank reservoir with a volume of 3.6 liters and a hot water reservoir of 1.16 liters. The heater produces 4 liters per hour at a temperature of 185 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold water chiller produces 2.5 liters per hour at a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. In total, this unit can produce 1.2 liters per minute of hot or cold water until the reservoirs are empty, or 1.0 liters per minute of room temperature water.

This water dispenser has a self-cleaning switch that creates and pumps ozone into the system. The ozone will kill any bacteria or biological contaminants found in the water dispenser. After the end of the cleaning cycle, the ozone will disperse and break down into oxygen.


  • Water Inlet: Under Sink 3/8 inch adaptor or 1/4 inch refrigerator line
  • Filtration: 2-Stage Filtration; Solid Sediment and Carbon Filtering
  • Color: Black / Stainless Steel
  • Power Requirements: 520 Watts, GFCI recommended
  • Dimensions: 12 (W) x 13 (D) x 41 (H) Inches
  • Weight: 36.15 pounds

10. Best Bottleless Water Cooler for Countertop

Avalon Countertop Bottleless Water Cooler

Avalon A8CTBOTTLELESSWHT Bottleless Water Cooler

  • Bottleless
  • Hot and Cold Water
  • Comes with Full Installation Kit
  • Self-Cleaning Feature

Why we like it: It is bottleless with water line and replaceable dual stage filtration, it is easy to install, gives you cold and got water, is easy to clean and UL and Energy Star Approved.

This water dispenser is bottle-less, which means that you don’t have to wrestle with changing any bottles or running out of water. That’s no 3 or 5 gallon bottles to worry about when you want fresh and clean hot or cold water. Instead, this unit taps into either your refrigerator’s water line or attaches to the cold water inlet from your kitchen or bathroom sink.

Attaching this water dispenser to your cold water source under the sink is very easy to do. First you turn off the water and disconnect the water from your faucet. Then connect the included adaptor and reconnect your faucet line. The second outlet is used to connect the included tubing from the adaptor to your water dispenser.

If you want to attach it to your refrigerator’s water line, the process is nearly as simple. First turn off the water to your refrigerator and get a bucket. Cut the quarter inch tube that leads to your refrigerator, making sure to drain the water into the bucket instead of dumping it on the floor. Install the three way valve and then reattach the water line to the other side of the valve. The third outlet uses a quarter inch tube to connect to your water dispenser.

This unit comes with a two-stage filter to ensure that the dispensed water is clean, pure, and great tasting. The first filter is a large grade sediment filter that removes dirt and larger debris. The second filter is a carbon block that filters out residual chlorine, organic matter, lead, and other unpleasant tastes. Prior to using this dispenser, both filters should be flushed for two minutes.

The filters should be changed every six months base on average use. When the filters need to be replaces, the heating and cooling indicator lights will begin to blink and the dispenser will beep. Simply turn off the machine, and follow the included instructions on how to replace the two filters.

The water dispenser has a hot water reservoir with a 1.16 liter volume and a cold water reservoir with a 3.6 liter volume. The hot water is heated to 185 degrees Fahrenheit and the cold water is chilled to 47 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the case of a leak, this dispenser is equipped with a leak detector. When the machine detects a leak, it will automatically shut off the water intake to prevent any flooding. Additionally, the power light, the heating light, and the cooling light will all begin to blink and the dispenser will begin to beep.

This cooler features a self-cleaning function as well. For optimal operation, it is recommended that you use this feature at least once per week. The function creates ozone and injects it into the system. The ozone will kill any bacteria or biofilm that it comes in contact with. As time goes by, the ozone naturally breaks down into oxygen. If you try to dispense any water while the cleaning function is activated, you may notice a strange flavor and odor.


  • Water Inlet: Adaptors for both Cold Water Sink and Refrigerator Lines
  • Filtration: 2-stage; Sediment and Carbon
  • Color: Black / White
  • Power Requirements: 520 Watts
  • Dimensions: 13 (L) x 12 (W) x 28.34 (H) inches
  • Weight: 35.27 pounds

Water Cooler Buying Guide

Filling Glass in Water Cooler

Now that you've read the reviews of the best water coolers and water dispensers on Amazon, it's some talk about some important aspects of water coolers that you should know. First we will talk about the five basic types of water coolers, then cover six things to think about when purchasing your next water cooler, and finally, how to clean and maintain your water cooler.

Four Basic Types of Water Dispensers

In general there are four basic types of water coolers or water dispensers that you’ll run into when you are shopping:

1. Top Mounted

The most common and iconic type of water dispenser, the water bottle rests on top. It usually costs less and the system relies on gravity to get water out of the bottle and into the rest of the water dispenser.

2. Bottom Mounted

Bottles go underneath and the water is pumped out. A waterline goes down into the water bottle and a resealable cap will hold the waterline in place and provide an air inlet as well.

3. Countertop

This is a smaller water dispenser that is designed to have a smaller footprint. You can fit this type of water cooler easily into an RV or a dorm room. It will generally use smaller bottles, like 3 gallon sizes.

4. Bottleless

These types of water coolers tap into an existing waterline to provide water. They usually tap into either your refrigerator water line or to your cold water line from your sink.

6 Things to Consider in Your Next Water Cooler

We discussed how there are a lot of different options when it comes to your next water cooler. But when it boils down to it, a lot of them are essentially the same, just in different Packaging. Looking at the similarities you'll notice that many water coolers have features in common. In essence, there are six things that you should be thinking about.

People Chatting by a water cooler

1. Residential or Office

One of the primary things you should think about is where you are going to be putting your new water cooler. If you're purchasing one for your home, your needs are going to be much different than if you are purchasing one for your office. Primarily, it boils down to the number of people that will be using your water cooler.

Another place you could put your water cooler is in your RV. Having a handy 5-gallon supply of cold or hot drinkable water in between rest stops can be extremely convenient; likewise, if you own a larger boat. You might also think about placing a water cooler in your shop or garage. Wherever you place it, the primary thing to think about is how many people will be using it.

For each person that might be using it figure 1/2 liter of cold water per hour for optimal hydration. That means if you place it in your home and you have four people, you want hey Reservoir that is at least two liters in size or a condenser that can produce at least two liters of cold water per hour.

One five gallon bottle will provide 80 8-ounce glasses. That will last one person 10 days, two people will cut that to five days, etc. For the family of four, you’d optimally go through a single bottle in about 3 days.

2. Bottle Placement

If you’re at all familiar with water coolers, you know that the traditional look is for a water bottle to be on top. But, this doesn't have to be the case. There are now water dispensers that have water bottles in the bottom, or even water dispensers that don't have water bottles at all.

a. Top – This is the traditional look for a water dispenser. Everybody has seen the comedy routine with somebody trying to put a water bottle in after opening it and spilling half of the bottle all over themselves in the floor. Modern water dispensers have done away with this. Now they have a water tap, which is essentially a sharp tube where the top of the water bottle meets the water dispenser. You don't have to take the take the cap off at all. You let the water bottle slide into the replacement hole. Then, the sharp tube punctures the water bottle. No Mess, no fuss.

b. Bottom – The new look for water dispensers is to have the water bottle at the bottom in a cabinet. This has a couple of advantages. First if you are worried about stability, the weight of the 5-gallon jug is now at the bottom which greatly increases the overall stability of the watering system. Secondly, because you don't have to lift a water bottle, you no longer have to struggle and go to the gym just to refill your water.

c. No Bottle at All – Another option is to do away with the bottles completely. This method installs a permanent line to your water dispenser. Of course, the primary drawback then is that once you put your water dispenser in place, you can't move it very far. On the other hand, you are no longer paying for replacement bottles of water. If you do consider a Bottleless system, make sure that there is a filtration system in place.

3. Bottle Capacity

Depending on your needs, you can get systems that take a 3 gallon or a 5 gallon bottle of water. A 3 gallon bottle of water doesn't last as long of course, but if you are putting it on your boat or you're the only one that's using it, it may be all you need.

4. Hot Water

Having hot water as well as cold water is a very handy convenience. Every water dispenser that we reviewed has both hot and cold options. When looking at a hot water dispenser, you want to make sure that it has safety features that are relevant to your life. This includes child safety locks, or the ability to adjust the temperature of the water, or even the ability to turn off the water heater entirely. In most cases the reservoir of hot water will be much smaller than the cold water reservoir. But also, most water dispensers will generate a new batch of hot water within 15 minutes of being completely emptied.

5. Safety

If there’s one thing that you should always be concerned about, it’s safety. With water dispensers, there are two things that you want to ensure. Stability is the first concern, and build quality is the second. When it comes to stability, a 5 gallon of water weighs about 42 pounds. If your top bottle mounted water dispenser doesn’t have a wide enough base or a counter weight in the bottom, it’s just waiting for an opportunity to tip over. Ensure that when you purchase one that you test it to ensure it is not easy to tip over.

The second item, build quality, concerns how well the seals are constructed and what the warranty is. You don’t want your water dispenser to spring a leak at an inopportune moment. Not only is this going to send five gallons of water all over the floor (or more if you have a Bottleless dispenser), but you’re going to damage your floor and possibly your walls as well. Look for a water dispenser with tight fittings and seals.

6. Replenishment Services

If you have a system that requires bottles, think about how you’re going to get them replaced. There are two primary options available to you. You can either pick them up from a local store or you can have them delivered.

Picking them up from a store is a feasible option if you’re only going to use one or two bottles per week. Much more than that and you’re going to get a good workout. Look to club stores like Costco or Sam’s Club to save a lot of money on the bottles. You might also find a good introductory price from a local water store as well.

For delivery, you contract with a local agent who will come and replace your bottles and take away your empties. In most cases, you can leave the empty bottles on the porch and the driver will leave the full ones in their place. It’s extremely convenient and if you need four or more bottles of water per week, it’s also going to save you wear and tear on your arms and back.

Care and Maintenance of Your Water Dispenser

water cooler and bottle

One of the primary concerns of your water dispenser or water cooler should be the buildup of mold or fungus in the dispenser system or water lines. The best way to prevent this is to properly flush and clean your water dispenser every three months.

First thing, before cleaning your water dispenser, ensure that the power has been disconnected and the internal capacitors are discharged. Do this by unplugging the dispenser from the wall and turning all of the power switches on.

Different dispensers will have different cleaning procedures, so be sure to follow their specific directions. In general, they involve flushing the system with a drain port somewhere. You’ll want the following tools:

  1. A bucket large enough to handle four or five gallons.
  2. Several soft cloths
  3. Unscented bleach
  4. Calcium, Lime, or Rust remover if necessary

Use a bleach to water ratio of 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Mix it thoroughly and flush the system according to your manufacturer’s directions. Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth and avoid any harsh chemicals as they can damage the finish.

Water Coolers Comparison Chart

Water CoolersColorBottle SizeWeightRating
Avalon A1WATERCOOLERWhite3 or 5 gallon34.8 pounds8
Primo Water 601256Black5 gallon38 pounds9
Avalon A1CTWTRCLRWHTBlack with White Faceplate3 or 5 gallon26.45 pounds9
hOmeLabs BottomBlack with Stainless Accents3 or 5 gallonN/A9
Avalon A8CTBOTTLELESSWHTBlack / WhiteN/A35.27 pounds8
Primo Water 900127Black / Stainless Steel3 or 5 Gallon34.1 pounds9
Primo Water 601243 Black / Stainless Steel3 or 5 Gallon32 pounds9
CostwaySilver3 or 5 gallonN/A8


We hope that this has helped make your shopping experience for a water cooler easier and less stressful. A water dispenser is a great way to get fresh and great tasting water into your life in a way that’s better for the environment. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please reach out to us. Our team of experts is waiting to help you on the path to a better you.


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