Welcome to Our 2018’s Best Water Cooler Dispenser Reviews
A water cooler dispenser gives you instant access to cold and hot water at all times. No more pitchers crowding your refrigerator because you like a refreshing beverage on a hot summer day. No more standing around waiting for the kettle to boil if you want to enjoy a warming cup of tea.
And although dispensers are most often found in offices, they are becoming increasingly popular in private homes, too.
They are a great solution if you prefer bottled over tap water, but at the same time don’t want to bother with carrying water bottles all day long. Plus they encourage us to drink more water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated.
The only problem is to find the best water cooler dispenser for your home that perfectly suits your needs. After all, you don’t want to end up with a leaking unit spilling water all over the floor. But don’t worry, our water cooler reviews will help you out!
On This Page You Will…
|Model||Our Rating||Price||Type||Water Temp.||Self Cleaning|
Best Water Cooler Dispenser: Whirlpool Bottom Load
|$$$||Bottom Load||Cold: 40 °F|
Hot: 190 °F
Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler Dispenser
|$$||Bottom Load||Cold: 47 °F|
Hot: 180 °F
Best Water Dispenser for Countertops: Nutrichef
|$||Top Load||Cold: 45 °F|
Hot: 175 °F
Best Budget Water Dispenser: Giantex Electric Primo
|$||Top Load||Cold: 47 °F|
Hot: 195 °F
Avalon Bottleless Water Cooler Dispenser
|$$$||Bottleless||Cold: 47 °F|
Hot: 185 °F
A water cooler and a water dispenser are actually two different things. A simple dispenser doesn’t cool water. But since most people use both terms as synonyms, we will not make a distinction between the two.
To get the best value for money when buying a water cooler dispenser, consider this:
Are you looking for the best water cooler and dispenser that money can buy? Look no further, because this self cleaning unit manufactured by Whirlpool is the real deal!
The dispenser uses oxygen to kill any bacteria or viruses lurking in your water, which means that it’s always safe to drink and you have to do less cleaning yourself.
What’s more, the product features a bottom loading design – a real advantage for everyone that would otherwise have to wait for a strong helper to lift the 3 to 5-gallon replacement water bottle.
LED indicators let you know when the system is in self-cleaning mode and when the cold and hot water have the perfect temperature.
Talking about cold and hot water, the cold water is indeed as cold as you would expect. The same applies to the hot water, which can be used for making tea, coffee or chocolate. Yummy!
Also, the hot water spout comes with a built-in safety lock. In order to dispense water from it, you’ll have to hold down a second button. It’s the simplest measure to avoid accidents for families with small kids.
What else is there to say?
Yes, this water cooler dispenser has some minor issues. First of all, the hot/cold water insulation could do with some improvement to be more energy efficient. Secondly, the cooler doesn’t have spouts but holes, which works fine if you want to fill a glass or a mug. Filling a bottle is going to be more difficult. Lastly, a handful of customers have reported incidents where they noticed a slight plastic taste.
Although the Whirlpool Bottom Load Water Cooler is a tad more expensive than most of its competitors, we really like what we see and appreciate the superb customer service. The unit has earned hundreds of excellent user ratings on Amazon over the years. In our opinion, it’s the best water cooler and dispenser for both home and office use currently on the market, so make sure to check it out!
The Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler Dispenser is one of our favorites! Because it’s bottom loading, you don’t have to do any heavy lifting when replacing the water bottle and spilling is reduced to a bare minimum.
The Avalon provides three different water temperatures for you to choose from: Cold without the need for adding ice cubes, room temperature and hot suited for brewing coffee or tea – choose which one you like at any given moment.
Thanks to its slim design and the stainless steel cabinet, the water cooler will not only fit into your home or office with ease, it’ll also look classy.
A clever add-on is the built-in nightlight that helps you to find the dispenser’s water spouts in the dark without having to switch on the lights. What’s more, an indicator LED will tell you when it’s time to replace the empty water bottle, which is one less thing to worry about.
We also wanted to mentioned that this product is Energy Star approved, which means that it’s highly energy efficiency and therefore helps you to save money and also protect the climate. Sounds interesting? View more details here.
Hot water safety lock? Yep. No need to worry about kids dispensing any hot water from the unit!
By the way, a switch in the back allows you to turn off the heater, if you don’t need it. More money saved.
This water cooler dispenser by Avalon is not self-cleaning. So you will have to do all the cleaning yourself. If you don’t, the water will start to taste funny after a while.
And although it’s a matter of opinion, the compressor might turn out to be too loud for your liking.
We definitely like the Avalon water cooler for its beautiful design and the fact that it’s bottom loading and energy efficient. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
What makes the Nutrichef PKTWC10SL water dispenser so special is that you can place it on your kitchen countertop or a large desk. It fits in almost any corner and is a real space saver ideal for smaller offices and apartments. Dimensions are 13 x 13.2 x 22.1 inches.
As always, you can choose between dispensing cold and hot water. The system is compatible with 3 or 5-gallon jugs, which will save you from buying dozens of water bottles per week.
Other advantages are:
Although the product description says 40 – 45 °F for cold water, numerous customers have claimed that the water is cool rather than cold.
If we had to crown the best countertop water cooler, this would be it. Nutrichef provides us with is a solid product at a fair price.
Giantex offers one of the most affordable water cooler dispenser out there. The unit proves that a super low price tag does not automatically mean super low quality. Let’s find out more!
If we had to describe the looks of the Giantex Electric Primo in one word, it would be neutral, as it fits in more or less all office and home environments.
The storage cabinet for disposable plastic cups and the low noise compressor are two more reasons why this dispenser might be the perfect choice for your office.
If you have kids, the user-friendly security lock on the hot water tap helps to prevent accidental burns, while the barrel seat on top is detachable for easy cleaning.
LED lights indicate when the hot and cold water have the perfect temperature. But be careful, the hot water is REALLY hot. Seriously, you can use it to make soup!
There have been various complains about the Giantex Electric Primo: Leaking tubes, cold water not being cold enough, or complete system breakdown.
Another downside is the missing space to place a cup or glass comfortably below the spouts. You want to watch out here or you’ll have glass shards all over the place.
With the Electric Primo, Giantex puts a water cooler dispenser at our disposal that could be of interest for people on a tight budget. On the one hand, we have the sober design and a handful of cool features for ease of use. On the other hand, we have various issues that several users had to deal with in the past. All in all, we believe the price-performance ratio to be acceptable. Just don’t expect nothing fancy!
Next we are going to check out another dispenser provided by Avalon. This unit, however, features a top loading design with a sturdy construction perfectly suited for large offices and high-volume use.
Rather than having to hold down a handle or pushing a button, this water dispenser works with push-to-drink paddle spouts. All you need to do is press your drinking vessel against the cold or hot water paddle and let it fill.
The space below the spouts can easily accommodate larger cups as well as bottles. Water flow seems acceptable and there’s definitely enough cold and hot water in the tanks to fill a couple of glasses.
On a side note: The tanks are made from stainless steel, which prevents the water from gaining an artificial plastic taste or smell.
Last but not least, we have the familiar safety switch to prevent little hands getting burned by hot water. Another switch can be found on the water cooler’s backside allowing you to turn off the hot or the cold water completely – a convenient solution if you are trying to save on energy.
Unlike most users and although the Avalon A1WATERCOOLER is available in 2 different colors (black and white), we don’t really like its looks. But this is a matter of taste, of course.
A real disadvantage is that the water cooler dispenser might actually start to leak from the top after a couple of weeks or months use. In this case, it can be difficult to get hold of someone from Avalon’s customer support team. Contact information is not only hard to find, receiving an actual responsive is a real challenge!
And keep in mind that the top loading design means lifting heavy water jugs every once in a while.
Hundreds of customers have voted for the Avalon A1WATERCOOLER. But to be honest, we are not 100% convinced at this point. If we take into account the relatively low purchase price, we rate this water dispenser with 3.5 out of 5 stars.
3 different temperature modes (ice cold, room, steaming hot), rapid water flow and quiet operation – these features are pretty standard for most high-end water cooler dispensers. But the elegant Brio Essential Series CLBL420, that will perfectly blend with your other kitchen appliances, offers even more.
Most importantly, it’s a bottom loading unit ideal for the elderly and everyone that can’t or doesn’t want to do any heavy lifting. Due to the safety lock, it’s also perfectly suited for parents with small kids that are worried about scalding.
In addition to that, the CLBL420 comes with food-grade stainless-steel storage tanks for the hot and cold water. This guarantees that no unwanted contaminants such as BPA will end up in your water.
The dispenser also has indicator lights that tell you at a glance when the cold and hot water is ready for use and when it’s time to replace the bottle.
We also like the fact that the initial setup doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes (don’t forget to turn the switch on the back, if you want hot and cold water).
There has been some confusion about the LED lights and temperature icons. For some users it seems like hot water actually comes out of the spout tagged with the cold water icon and vice versa.
Also, malfunctioning water level sensors have caused trouble by shutting off the system although there was still plenty of water inside the bottle.
You usually get what you pay for. However, this is not always the case. The Brio Essential Series CLBL420 has the looks and the convenience of use, but we miss the extra features that would make this unit stand out from the rest and justify its high price tag. In our opinion, there are better options.
We’ve got another Avalon dispenser for you, but this one is something special – it’s bottleless…
Yes, you heard us right! This self cleaning water cooler dispenser by Avalon doesn’t rely on bottles. So basically you get the convenience of using a water cooler, but without the hassle of having to change jugs anymore.
How is that even possible? It’s simple. All you need to do is connect the unit directly to your existing cold water line. Don’t worry, the setup is easy and an installation kit with everything you need is part of the package.
Now you might be thinking: But what about water quality? Good questions. A sediment filter and a carbon block filter, which are both NSF-certified, will help to remove common contaminants including chlorine and bacteria. All that is left for you to do is replace the filters whenever the indicator light says so (about every 6 months).
Another advantage of this bottleless water cooler is the self-cleaning function that prevents the accumulation of harmful pathogens in the tanks.
What’s more, we have a built-in nightlight making the water spouts clearly visible in the dark and a mandatory child safety lock on the hot water spout. Did we mention the classy looking stainless steel body? It’s a real eye-catcher.
What we don’t like is that in isolated cases, there have been incidents where the machine stopped working or where the unit arrived without filters. Other users had to struggle with leaking tanks. Luckily there is a built-in leak detector that monitors water flow and helps to prevent flooding.
This unit is one of the best selling hot and cold water dispensers right now. We love the fact that it’s bottleless, which makes it so convenient to use. Our only complaint is that within this price range, we expect every single unit to work flawlessly. Overall, it’s a thumbs up!
Primo offers a whole range of popular water cooler dispensers. This appealing and compact unit is another bottom loading option – easy on your back – that provides cold, room temperature and hot water. The latter is secured by a family-friendly safety lock and perfectly suited for making instant meals or tea.
At the touch of a button, the Primo 601090-SO cleanses itself using ozone to kill bacteria present in the water tanks and lines. This does two things for you:
Furthermore, an indicator light will let you know when the cold and hot water is ready for use. It doesn’t get any more convenient than this!
One recurring issue we are quite concerned about are leakages. And considering the fact that the warranty offered by the seller only covers the first 30 days after purchase, that’s a big red flag. There seems to exist a simple solution, though: Use plenty of duct tape to seal the plastic lid on the metal cylinder used for heating the water.
There are two good reasons for buying the Primo 601090-SO water cooler dispenser. First, it features a bottom loading design. Second, it’s self-sanitizing. However, we must also take into account one major problem: Leaks. As long as this doesn’t get fixed, it’s 3 stars from our side.
Unlike the first Whirlpool water cooler dispenser we reviewed at the very top of this page, this 5th generation unit does not come with a self-cleaning function. Consequently, it’s a tad more affordable.
Nevertheless, it features the same sturdy built and high water flow. The hot water is hot enough for tea and the cold water is freezing cold (40 °F). Of course, the hot button is toddler resistant.
When not in use, you have the option to turn off the water heater using the switch on the back, which will help to reduce your electricity bill.
According to the manufacturer, the water cooler dispenser comes with a heavy duty water pump. This might sound promising at first, but each time you dispense water, the pump will start to rumble and the whole unit will shake. Thankfully, the noise doesn’t last for long. But in case you are looking for a water cooler for office use, you might want to opt for a different model.
This is one of the best water dispensers for home use. It serves cold water that is REALLY COLD – perfect for a hot summer day!
Another bottleless water cooler dispenser, this time provided by Drinkpod. It was specifically designed to provide filtered water purified in a 4-stage filtration process. The benefit? There’s no need for you to spend money on bottled water ever again!
The unit will pay for itself over time and save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. On top of that, it’s the most environmentally friendly solution.
Water is fed directly from your sink’s cold water line. It proceeds through the different filtration stages and is then heated or cooled and stored in the water tanks afterwards.
Interested to learn more about the filtration process?
If you are unsure about the maintenance part, you can be rest assured that the filter replacement doesn’t require much time or effort. The filters last anywhere between 6 to 12 months, are easily accessible and can be removed/attached with a single twist – no tools needed!
Replacement cartridges are affordable and the first set is included in the package.
On top of that, everything is backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
We got nothing so far.
This unit is quite new and at this point it’s hard to predict how it will perform after years of usage. Do we think the Drinkpod Limited Edition Bottleless Water Cooler Dispenser is worth giving a shot? Absolutely! It’s sturdy, it looks great and it features a promising filtration mechanism.
More on Water Cooler Dispensers
In section 1, we reviewed some the best water cooler dispensers on the market. Next, we are going to tackle some of the most common questions our readers have about them.
How does a water cooler actually work?
A bottom loading water cooler gets its water from a 2 to 5-gallon water bottle placed in the cabinet at the bottom of the unit. A pump is needed to draw water from the bottle into the tanks.
For top loading units, the water bottle sits upside down (inverted) on top of the unit. The so called “spike” punctures the seal of the bottle which initiates the water flow.
Inside the cooler itself is a tank or reservoir that’s used to cool down the water. The cooling process works in exactly the same fashion as your refrigerator at home:
When you dispense water from your water cooler, the cooling reservoir will automatically refill and the cooling cycle starts again.
Obviously, if you dispense too much cold water in a short period of time, warm water will start to come out of the unit. This is a sign for an empty cooling tank. Wait for a couple of minutes until enough water has cooled down.
First of all, fixing a broken water cooler is not always possible. Simply put, it depends on what’s causing the issue. But if you can actually manage to repair your unit, it can save you a lot of money, which is why it’s worth giving a shot!
If your water has an unpleasant taste or smell to it or it’s down to a trickle, carefully clean the whole unit from the inside. Chances are that mold or mildew has grown and accumulated, which can cause clogging.
While cleaning, focus on the coils. Most manufacturers also recommend to use a mild cleaning solution. If you do, remember to rinse all parts thoroughly and flush the entire unit afterwards.
In case your cooler produces freezing water or water that is cool rather than cold, performing a full system reset might help:
There is no way around replacing broken parts. It’s also the safest way to ensure that the water does not pose a risk to your health. Before you spend any money on replacement parts, however, think about if it makes sense to replace the entire system, which might be more cost-effective.
Properly maintaining a water cooler helps to avoid unnecessary problems in the first place. This includes cleaning and sanitizing the unit a couple of times per year. In addition to that, make sure to place your water cooler in a room with moderate temperatures – not too cold and not too warm.
Replacing a water jug on a top loading cooler can turn out to be a real pain in the back (literally). In order to avoid accidents, follow these step-by-step instructions:
Regular cleaning will help to keep your water cooler in good shape. It prevents clogging and the accumulation of mold, mildew and other waterborne pathogens. It’s also the best way to make sure that your water is safe for consumption.
In general, make sure to NOT position your water cooler in direct sunlight.
In order to sanitize your water cooler dispenser, add 1 level teaspoon of bleach to one gallon of water and pour the solution into the cooler. Let it sit for 5 minutes max and drain all water afterwards using the cold water tap. Rinse the unit with clear water immediately afterwards.
If you are still not 100% sure how to clean your water cooler, you might want to watch the following video:
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends to clean bottled water dispensers with every bottle change or every six weeks.
If you have any questions about water cooler dispensers, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!
And don’t forget to come back to this page from time to time, as we are going to add new water dispenser reviews occasionally.