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Water coolers are a great way to stay hydrated and cool during the hot summer months. They are also a great way to socialize and meet new people at work.

But with so many different brands and models on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. To help you out, we’ve put together a guide and a list of the 10 best water coolers and dispensers on the market today.

SPECS
Make: Stainless steel • Size: 13 x 12 x 41″ • Weight: 41.6 lbs • Bottle: 3-5 gallon

The BioGuard feature on this cooler helps to keep your water cooler clean and free of contaminants. It also features a child-resistant safety feature to keep your little ones safe, as well as three settings to dispense water at the perfect temperature for your needs. The 3 to 5-gallon capacity ensures that you have plenty of water on hand, and the easy-to-use design makes it a breeze to operate.

An Energy Star rating means that this cooler is eco-friendly, while a nightlight function helps you find your way to a glass of water, even in the dark. With a great price, lots of features, a near perfect rating and over 12,000 reviews, this is our pick for best water cooler.

Love
Child safety hot water lock
Nightlight and Bioguard
UL and Energy Star rated
Be Mindful
Small crevice to open door
What Reviewers Said

Reviewers comment on how durable this water cooler is, as the product is holding up strong after years of use for some customers. Also, people enjoy the added features such as the nightlight. Opinions vary on the volume of this product, with most claiming they can’t hear a thing but a few saying they could.

SPECS
Make: Stainless steel • Size: ~14 x 12 x 41″ • Weight: 41.9 lbs • Bottle: 5 gallon

This limited edition water dispenser comes with three settings (hot, cold, and room) so you can always have the right temp for your beverage. Plus, the ozone self-cleaning feature ensures that your water is clean and safe to drink. The cooler is Energy Star certified and has a nightlight feature that is perfect for grabbing a drink at night. The machine also has a safety lock that prevents children from getting access to the hot water tap.

Love
Self cleaning
Nightlight and safety lock
UL and Energy Star rated
Be Mindful
Some running noise
Only fits 5 gallon
What Reviewers Said

The water cooler dipenses quickly, so you are not waiting around for long. The water taste is described by one user as delicious. Users loved the sleek design and modern look of the dispenser. The temp control was also rated very highly.

SPECS
Make: Stainless steel • Size: ~12 x 14 x 41″ • Weight: 40.8 lbs • Bottle: 5 gallon

This water cooler from Primo almost took the top spot. The 3 temperature (hot-cool-cold) dispenser is built for 5 gallon bottles and features a child safety lock on the hot water spout. A simple button lets you dispense water with ease, and a built-in drip tray keeps your surfaces clean. The cooler features a concealed bottle design that keeps your water supply out of sight and the stainless steel door comes in black or silver. The dispenser also comes with coupons for 5 gallon bottles and features a one-year warranty so you can be sure it will last.

Related: The 10 Best Ice Makers

Love
Comes with coupons
One year warranty
2 color choices
Be Mindful
No self cleaning feature
What Reviewers Said

A few reviewers note that this water cooler began leaking after months of use but most had no problems. A lot of users state that it is a very quiet machine. Nearly all loved the design. The cold water feature was perfect for some customers, but not cold enough for others.

4
SPECS
Make: Stainless steel • Size: ~16 x 45″ • Weight: 41.3 lbs • Bottle: 3 or 5 gallon

With three different temperature settings (hot, cool, and cold), it can accommodate any water needs. Additionally, the hot water lock ensures that your family is always safe. The bottom loading feature saves you from lifting heavy bottles and smart tech tells you when to replace the bottle, so you never have to worry about it. The water cooler works with either 3 or 5 gallon bottles.

Love
Fits 3 or 5 gallon jugs
Child safety lock
Good temp control
Be Mindful
No self cleaning or nightlight
Some running noise
What Reviewers Said

Users and testers say this water cooler provides hot and cold water perfectly. The noise level was about average for most. Overall, customers say that the machine is easy to use, enjoy the different water temperature settings, and it is simple to install.

SPECS
Make: Stainless steel • Size: ~15 x 14 x 47″ • Weight: 37.6 lbs • Bottle: 3 or 5 g

Just need something simple? This classic cooler has been designed with ease-of-use in mind. The two temp settings ensure that your water dispenses at the right temperature and the hot water lock keeps little ones from getting hurt. The cooler holds 3 or 5 gallon jugs, making it perfect for just about any size family. Plus, it is Energy Star rated, so it’s great for the environment and your wallet.

Love
Fits 3 or 5 gallon jugs
Puncture rod to reduce spills
UL and Energy Star rated
Be Mindful
Just hot and cold settings
What Reviewers Said

A handful of the most recent reviews focus on how this water dispenser lasted about a year and a half for them. But most users were very pleased, saying it was easy to set up and use. Many note that it is great quality for the price.

SPECS
Make: Stainless steel • Size: ~13 x 12 x 41″ • Weight: 43.3 lbs • Bottle: 3-5 gallon

This popular water dispenser features the standard hot, cold, and room water settings so you can enjoy your favorite beverages at the perfect temperature. Plus, the self-cleaning feature ensures that your water stays clean and bacteria-free. The stainless steel frame and bottom loading design make it easy to use and maintain, while the Energy Star rating ensures that it is a cost-effective choice for your cooling needs. The nightlight is a great bonus, as well.

Related: The 10 Best Dining Table Sets

Love
Self cleaning
Nightlight
UL and Energy Star rated
Be Mindful
Some running noise
What Reviewers Said

This water cooler allows bottles of water to very easily be installed into the unit. People like the self-cleaning function, and say that the product is clearly of good quality material. Most people claim that the cooler is very quiet. Customers said the water tastes fresh. Just let it run for a while after setting it up.

SPECS
Make: Steel, plastic • Size: ~11 x 12 x 37″ • Weight: 27.1 lbs • Bottle: 5 gallon

This cooler is the lowest priced on our list, but has one of the highest ratings and smoothest designs. That’s probably why users gave it such high scores on value for the money. As with most water coolers, this one features cold, hot and room temp water, so you can always set the right level for your drink. It is made with a leak guard and a child lock to prevent spills and burns and easy assembly so you can have it up and running in no time. Whether you are using it for 3 or 5 gallon water jugs, this cooler is a bargain.

Love
Child safety lock
Comes with coupons
Easy setup
Be Mindful
Shorter than other models
What Reviewers Said

The product is well worth the money due to its simple use and beautiful loook. The cooler was easy to use, high quality and easy to set up. Most users said the water dispenser did not have any noise issues and the flavor was just right. This was one of the highest rated in several categories on our list.

8
SPECS
Make: Stainless steel • Size: ~13 x 12 x 41″ • Weight: 44 lbs • Bottle: N/A

The Avalon A5 Bottleless Water Cooler is one of the quietest dispensers on the market. In fact, reviewers gave it a perfect score for noise level. It features a dual filtration system that removes impurities from the water, and a self-cleaner that helps keep the water fresh for six months. The cooler is also safe and efficient, with an Energy Star, UL and NSF rating. The machine features three modes, so you can enjoy hot, cold, or room temperature water and comes with a kit to get it set up quickly.

Love
No need to buy bottles
UL, NSF, Energy Star rated
Filter lasts 1,500 gallons
Be Mindful
Hooks up to your water line
What Reviewers Said

This water cooler is described as a good investment, as it is easy to use and produces great tasting cold water. It is also easy to maintain. The product looks elegant, so it is an attractive product for the price. Many said it is a quiet machine.

SPECS
Make: Stainless steel • Size: ~16 x 12 x 21″ • Weight: 29.8 lbs • Bottle: 5 gallon

If you’re low on space or just don’t need that much filtered water, this might be the right cooler for you. It dispenses cool, hot or cold water at the push of a button for tea, soup, coffee, hot cocoa or anything else. This one also features a child safety switch to lock the hot water spout. And with its UL / Energy Star approval, the cooler is safe and eco-friendly. With its short, simple design, we think this dispenser would look great on any countertop.

Related: The 10 Best Freezers

Love
Child safety hot water lock
UL and Energy Star rated
One year warranty
Be Mindful
Counter top model
What Reviewers Said

Reviewers say the water cooler looks sleek and work smoothly. People said the unit is quiet, with a few exceptions. Users rated it most highly on ease of use and the flavor. The sturdiness was also talked about positively, especially for a small machine.

10
SPECS
Make: Plastic • Size: 13 x 12 x 19″ • Weight: 30 lbs • Bottle: 3-5 gallon

At only 19” high, this is the smallest unit on our list. It’s a countertop model that’s ideal for small kitchens or offices. With a safety lock included, the dispenser is a safe, child-friendly way to get clean water without getting burned. Like many top loading dispensers, it features a push lever design that uses gravity rather than power to dispense water. The design is also slim and simple, so it fits on any counter. It’s Energy Star approved and works with three or five gallon bottles.

Love
Only 30 pounds
UL and Energy Star rated
Easy setup
Be Mindful
Counter top model
What Reviewers Said

There are many good points about this water dispenser, such as its beautiful and simple look. Complaints focus around it leaking and stopping working after a while. It is simple to set up and produces off great-tasting cold water. One customer states it is the perfect size for their office.

Water Cooler Buying GuideHow to Choose the Perfect One

Everyone knows the importance of staying hydrated, but it can sometimes be hard to remember to drink water. Imagine how much easier it would be if you had a water cooler standing at the ready, reminding you throughout the day.

There are many types of water coolers to choose from and picking the right one can seem like a tough task. Read on for tips on how to choose the perfect water cooler.

Water Coolers vs. Water Dispensers

One of the first questions you may be asked is whether you are looking for a water dispenser or a water cooler. Though these terms are often used interchangeably, there are a few key differences between the two.

Water dispensers are simple devices that allow water to pour out of a large bottle that is attached to the top. These are the classic models that most people think of when they hear water cooler.

Water coolers are different from water dispensers in that they are electric machines that work to cool or heat the water that it dispenses.

These water coolers plug into the wall and come with coils that cool the water as it is released. Many water coolers also come with a second set of coils that can heat the water as well.

Water coolers and water dispensers usually look the same though most water cooler models hide the large water bottle out of view below. Water coolers will also be a bit more expensive than dispensers.

Types of Water Coolers

There are freestanding floor models, smaller countertop models or filters that hook up to your main water source. Which one you choose will depend on your needs and your space.

They all have their own set of benefits that make them ideal for different situations. Top load water coolers are typically more affordable and easier to maintain, while bottom load water coolers offer a more energy-efficient option.

Consider how you plan on using it. Where will you be putting the water cooler? How many people will be using it? How often will you need to refill it?

The answers to these questions will affect the water cooler model you choose. If there will only be a couple of people using it, a countertop cooler should work just fine. If it is for an office setting, you might want to go for a large option.

Read on to learn about all the models of water coolers that you might come across during your search.

Countertop Water Coolers

Countertop water coolers are great for small spaces such as dorms or apartments, and they will be the cheapest models on the market.

These units sit on the counter and dispense cold water by pressing on a lever or a button.

Top Load Water Coolers

Top load bottled water coolers will generally be less expensive than bottom loaders. Most of these have options for 2-5 gallon bottles. Simply flip the bottle over, insert it onto the probe and you’re ready to start drinking.

These are often popular because of their ease of use and simple setup. Keep in mind that refilling these can sometimes be hard for those with back pain.

Bottom Load Water Coolers

Bottom load bottled water coolers are very similar in their simplicity, though there is one main difference. Instead of inserting the bottle into the upper portion of the water cooler, you insert it into a cabinet below the cooler.

These are popular because, just like top load coolers, they are easy to use and set up. The main benefit is that they are less of an eyesore because the water bottle is stored out of sight.

You will also not need to lift a huge five gallon water bottle to refill your cooler each time.

One downside to bottom load water coolers is that they require a pump to send the water to the dispenser. These pumps make them louder than top loaders. You will also need to plug them in to cool the water.

Point of Use (POU) / Bottleless

Point of use water filters use a system that hooks up to a water line in your house, such as the one in your kitchen. These systems include a filter that you will need to store and change often.

The good thing is they are hidden from view and you will not need to buy large water bottles each week.

Point of Entry (POE) Water System

If you are looking for cleaner water for your entire house, there is also the option of a whole house water cooling and filtration system. These are sometimes called point-of-entry (POE) systems.

They are great if you are looking to filter all of the water that moves through your house, including the shower.

However, these systems will need to be installed by a water service company and are pricier.

Water Cooler Features

If you would like to customize your water cooler, there are many features that you can add to it. Many of the models on our list include these items.

Reservoir

If you do not want the slight plastic taste that comes along with your average water cooler, you might want to consider paying a little extra for either a stainless steel or porcelain reservoir. These are popular for more formal spaces but are great for home use as well.

Remember that the porcelain will be more brittle and easier to break, so be careful if you have pets or kids. With these models, you will simply pour your water into the reservoir instead of attaching a large water bottle.

This means you will need to filter the water before pouring and add ice to the reservoir to make it cold. You can buy the standard five gallon bottles for this.

Drip Trays & Cup Holders

Drip trays and cup holders are both options that will make using your new water cooler a little bit easier. Drip trays will catch any spilled water to prevent it from hitting the floor.

Cup holders give you a nice place to set a stack of plastic cups, making it easy for people to come by and grab a quick drink. Neither of these options is necessary, but they might make life a little easier.

Nightlight

Many water coolers are coming with nightlights now. This is a great feature for those late night trips to the kitchen.

Child Safety Locks

Water coolers are a convenient way to have hot water on hand, but they can also pose a safety hazard for kids. A child safety lock can help prevent little ones from turning on the hot water tap.

Self-Cleaning

These systems use ozone to purify the water inside the cooler, so you never have to worry about bacteria or mold growing in your water.

How to Install a Water Cooler

There are some models that need little to no help when it comes time to install, but there are also models that may take a little more work.

As always, be sure to read the instructions that come with whatever model you decide on, and you should have little to no problem doing the job. Keep reading to discover some tips to install each type of cooler.

If you decided on a bottled water cooler, the install will be a fairly quick and easy process.

For both bottom and top loaders, you want to make sure that the space you have chosen to place the cooler is a level surface with a few inches of clearance on all sides.

Top Loader

Open your new water bottle and remove the seal from the cap, but remember not to remove the cap itself.

Lift the water bottle and insert it onto the probe, pushing slightly down until you can see the plug from the cap inside the water bottle.

Here’s a hack to avoid spilling:

Bottom Loader

Bottom load water coolers come with an adapter that screws on to the top of the water bottle. The adapter has a tube attached to it that you want to avoid touching to keep the water clean.

First, you’ll remove the cap from your water bottle so the top is exposed. Then, slowly let the tube drop into the water while still attached to the adapter.

Screw it on when the tube reaches the bottom of the bottle and then connect the pump to the adapter.

Turn on the cooler and you’re ready to go. Here’s a video to make it easier:

Point of Use System

If you decided to get a point of use water cooling and filtration system, the process might be a little more hands-on, but it is still something that many people will be able to do on their own.

Point of use water filters can be installed in a few different ways, depending on the type of filter. Some filters can be attached directly to the faucet, while others need to be installed under the sink.

All filters come with instructions, so it is best to check the included guide. For a clearer explanation, look online for a video of the process. Many times the company or reviewers will post clips of the installation. Here is a good example:

And just in case you decide to take the plunge, here is one for a point of entry (whole house) water filtration system:

Water Cooler Care & Refill

A water cooler is a convenient way to have cold water available at all times, but it does require some upkeep to keep it clean and functional. Here are a few tips for keeping your water cooler in top shape.

Empty and clean the cooler on a regular basis, at least once every three months. This is good advice no matter which style cooler you buy.

This is easy enough if you have a bottled water cooler. Just remove the probe and the other parts of the cooler for a thorough soaking in hot soapy water. Once it’s clean, just put the water cooler back together.

Remember also to inspect the cooler for leaks and damage on a regular basis.

Research the process that is needed to refill your water cooler. This is not an issue if you decide on getting a point of use water cooling system, but it will be important for other types.

Perhaps it is as simple as going to the grocery store and picking up a couple of bottles. However, there are some models that require you to only use their water bottles.

Other companies offer a delivery service, which allows you to exchange your empty water bottles for full ones.

Other Factors to Consider

Make sure to test your water cooler out when it arrives, or, at the very least, read some reviews and pay attention to what other customers say about the water temperature.

Also, check reviews for mentions of leaks in that specific water cooler. Leaks are a common problem with some models.

Make sure to consider your budget when looking for the right water cooler. Water coolers range in price, but you should be able to find some countertop models for around $150. Standard size coolers will run about $200.

If saving money is top of mind, go for a cooler that is Energy Star rated. These ratings mean that your water cooler has been designed to be more energy efficient.

Another thing to be mindful of is the noise level. Some water coolers can run quite loudly.

Bottom load water coolers are typically louder than other units, due to the pump that is needed to get the water from the bottle to the dispenser. It is best to read reviews here too so that you are aware of the sound.

Upkeep and space are always important to think about. Nobody wants to buy a water cooler only to find out that it is too big or hard to maintain.

Benefits of Water Coolers

The main benefit of a water cooler is that it allows people to hydrate with cool or warm water whenever they want.

Also, since filtered water is standard on most water coolers, you and your family or coworkers will never have to worry about whether the water is clean enough to drink.

But there are other benefits of water coolers that might not be as obvious. Not only are water coolers convenient and provide cleaner water, but they are also a great way to save money.

If your family is one who runs through cases of bottled water, a water cooler might be a smart solution.

Imagine not needing to buy heavy cases of water every time you go to the store. Instead, you can simply buy one or two large bottles.

Along the same lines, a water cooler or dispenser can also help your family or workplace be more eco-friendly.

The large bottles of water that are used for bottled water coolers are reusable, which is much better than having to buy countless 20 oz water bottles.

If being eco-friendly is your goal, make sure to remember to turn your water cooler off when it is not in use. This will help save energy and make a bigger impact on the environment.

Whether you want your family to drink more water and live healthier, or you need to hydrate an office full of employees, there is a water cooler for you.

When you are ready to buy, consider the size that you need, the features that you want, and the price that you are willing to pay. By taking all of these factors into account, you can find a quality water cooler that will meet your needs and your budget.

Kristal J

Kristal J

Kristal is the go-to source for all things home and garden. From reviews of the latest interior decorating essentials to tips on how to get the most out of your garden, Kristal has the inside scoop. She has a bachelor's degree in English, and she loves to read, garden, and travel. She’s been married for more than 10 years and has one son.

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