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Reviews of the Best Water Coolers & Dispensers

The Best Water Coolers & Dispensers of 2018

Best Water Dispenser
Best water dipenser
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After testing 6 different water dispensers, we came to the conclusion that the best water dispenser is the NewAir WAT40B Pure Spring Bottom Loading Water Dispenser. It’s not the cheapest nor the most expensive, but it has absolutely everything you’d want in a water dispenser. Its build quality, aesthetic, features, and ease of use are just a few reasons why people love it.

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After reading this best water dispenser review article, you won’t find it hard picking the best water dispenser for your home, office, library or conference room.

In this article, we will do the following:

  1. Show you the difference between a water dispenser and a water cooler.
  2. Share with you important factors you should consider before buying a water dispenser.
  3. Review the best water dispensers on the market.
  4. Share some how-to guides pertaining to your water dispenser.

Let’s get started.

Here are our top picks for the best water dispenser.

Water Cooler Dispensers: Our Top Picks

Best Overall
NewAir WAT40B Pure Spring Bottom Loading Water Dispenser
Editor Rating:
5 Star Rating
Type:
Bottom Loading
Dispenses:
Hot and Cold Water
Best Value
Primo White Water Cooler Dispenser
Editor Rating:
4.9 Star Rating
Type:
Bottom Loading
Dispenses:
Hot and Cold Water
Budget Pick
Nutrichef Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser
Editor Rating:
4.9 Star Rating
Type:
Top Loading
Dispenses:
Hot and Cold Water
Best Tankless
Avalon Countertop Bottleless Water Dispenser
Editor Rating:
4.9 Star Rating
Type:
Bottle-less
Dispenses:
Hot and Cold Water
Best For Commercial Use
Brio CL520 Commercial Grade Water Dispenser
Editor Rating:
4.9 Star Rating
Type:
Top Loading
Dispenses:
Hot and Cold Water
Best Top Loading
Honeywell Hot and Cold Water Dispenser
Editor Rating:
4.9 Star Rating
Type:
Top Loading
Dispenses:
Hot and Cold Water

Expert Water Dispenser Reviews

Overall Best Water Dispenser – NewAir WAT40B Pure Spring Bottom Loading Water Dispenser

Best water dipenser
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Standing tall and firm on our review list is the NewAir Bottom Loading water dispenser. It’s a reliable water dispenser albeit a tad expensive than the other models on our list. So what made us choose it as the best water dispenser?

First, it’s available in two colors, black and white. So it can easily blend with the room it’s placed in. Secondly, the unit is moderately sized, and would barely take up any floor space.

It’s a freestanding model with a bottom loading space for bottles. This saves you the stress of having to lift heavy 5-gallon water bottles onto your dispenser. In addition, it makes the water dispenser a bit more appealing.

Perhaps, what drew us closer to this model was the energy rating. This is an important deciding factor considering the fact that a handful of household appliances can significantly increase your energy bills.

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Features We Love

  • Dispenses hot and cold water.
  • Freestanding
  • Works with the basic 5-gallon bottle.
  • Child safety lock.
  • Energy efficient.
  • Available in two color options.
  • Low water level indicating light.

Pros

  • Dispenses both hot and cold water.
  • It’s energy efficient and comes with a child safety lock to protect children from harm.
  • A low water level light reminds you to change the water bottle.
  • It’s available in two color options which easily blends with your rooms or offices.

Cons

  • No night light available.

The NewAir bottom loading freestanding water dispenser is designed to give out hot or cold water. Hence it is more acceptable than models that dispense only cold water. Did we even mention that it saves you the stress of having to light your cooktop all the time just to boil water for tea? This simply crowns it the best hot water dispenser as well.

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, we found out the dispenser is equipped with a child lock. This will protect little kids from being injured especially if they mistakenly press the hot water faucet.

To prevent bacteria and its ilk from inhabiting your water dispenser, NewAir advises that you clean the unit once every three months. They provided a step by step cleaning manual alongside the dispenser.

The unit comes with a warning red light that indicates a low water level. You should change the water bottle inside it. You can as well flip open the door of the bottle loading area and view the water level yourself.

A basic 5-gallon water bottle will fit into this unit which is almost noiseless while drawing water save for the slight water pump sound. One issue we had with this unit was the fact that it lacks a night light. If the room is dark and you want to drink water, first, you’d have to turn on the lights.

Best Tankless Water Dispenser – Avalon Countertop Bottleless Water Dispenser

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The Avalon Countertop bottle-less water dispenser is a leader in two categories. It’s the best tankless water dispenser and arguably the best countertop/tabletop water dispenser.

Here’s why the Avalon water dispenser is a top pick on our list.

For a countertop water dispenser, size is a major deciding factor. The Avalon water dispenser is adequately sized and should take up a noticeably small portion of your countertop space that is if you intend to put it in the kitchen. It can sit on any stand in your living room.

As with the NewAir water dispenser we reviewed above, this Avalon water dispenser is available in two colors. Again, you’d expect nothing less than a unit that blends with the environment effortlessly.

One major concern of this bottle-less water dispenser is connecting it to the main water source in the house. This brings up the issue of installation and installation costs. Installation wise, the unit is not difficult to install.

However, it would seem like a daunting task to a newbie than a professional. Therefore, we advise that you seek a professional to run the installation since it may possibly require laying new pipes.

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Features We Love

  • Comes with replaceable internal water filters.
  • Bottle-less.
  • Space saving design.
  • Self-cleaning feature.
  • Child lock feature.
  • Dispenses both hot and cold water.
  • Two color options to select from.
  • Nightlight available on this unit.

Pros

  • The unit comes with replaceable water filters.
  • Its bottle-less design saves you the stress of replacing water bottles always. Instead, you simply connect it to the piping in your home and you’re good to go.
  • It features a self-cleaning technology. This novel innovation is a first of its kind in the water dispensing industry.
  • Your children are protected from hazards, thanks to the child lock feature.

Cons

  • None

The Avalon countertop water dispenser features a night light. This makes it easy for you to use the unit at night without having to turn on the light in the room.

Moreover, it has a self-cleaning feature. This self-cleaning feature ensures that bacteria and harmful germs don’t have an environment to thrive in. The unit is sanitized and purified by this self-cleaning feature.

As a bottle-less unit, you save some money on buying water bottles. In addition to that, the task of replacing and removing water bottles won’t bother you anymore.

The Avalon countertop water dispenser is safe for homes with small kids, thanks to its child lock feature.

And lastly, the unit comes with a filter that filters up to 3000 gallons of water. There’s also a free-standing bottle-less variant but we prefer this particular countertop model.

Best Top Loading Water Dispenser Brio CL520 Commercial Grade Hot and Cold Top Loading Water Dispenser

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The Brio CL520 water dispenser is the only top loading water dispenser on our list. It’s the best in its class and again, its commercial use quality makes it ideal for schools, hospitals, banks, libraries and just about any place you can think of.

Brio designed the CL520 water dispenser to dispense both hot and cold water. This leaves you with water for ice cold water for your cold drinks and hot water for your beverages.

There is a child safety lock on the water sprout which ensures that your child doesn’t accidentally turn on the unit and splash hot water on themselves.

The Brio water dispenser is a top loading unit and uses the basic 5-gallon water bottle. Placing and removing the water bottles isn’t an arduous task although it would take a few trials to get used to it.

No installation is required for this, thus you save on installation costs.

View Features and Pros/Cons

Features We Love

  • Child safety lock.
  • Top loading.
  • Stainless steel water reservoirs.
  • Energy saving.
  • Commercial grade quality.
  • Dispenses hot and cold water.

Pros

  • This unit dispenses both hot and cold water.
  • The child safety lock protects your children from accidental hot water spills.
  • You can place this water dispenser anywhere since it’s a commercial grade unit.
  • The drip tray is designed to help keep the water clean.

Cons

  • The water isn’t as hot as we expected.

The unit is generally quiet during operation except for the sound of the electric pump. Inside the unit are stainless steel water reservoirs that demarcate the water chambers. Each reservoir holds an equal amount of hot and cold water respectively.

Being a top loading water dispenser, the unit doesn’t come with a low water indicator. Well, you surely don’t need a low water indicator since the water bottle is on top of the unit and the water level is glaring at any given time.

To help keep the unit clean, there’s a removable drip tray included. In addition to that, the top of the unit where the bottle sits is designed to minimize the risk of spills.

Energy-wise, the unit is energy efficient and would barely add only little to your energy bills.

Budget Pick – Nutrichef Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser

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Budget devices are a must-have. They are basically designed to meet the needs of an individual without making the person part with a good amount of cash. The Nutrichef countertop water cooler dispenser is the perfect budget water dispenser for people on a budget.

Here’s why we love it.

Three things distinguish it from its counterparts. Its affordability, ease of use, countertop placement, and size. Yes. These 4 key features will definitely draw your attention toward it.

The Nutrichef countertop water dispenser serves you hot or cold water. It is a top loading model and can accommodate a 3 or 5-gallon water bottle.

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Features We Love

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use.
  • Child lock.
  • Can support 3 or 5-gallon water bottles.
  • Top loading.

Pros

  • The Nutrichef water dispenser is easy to use.
  • It takes up relatively less space than you can imagine.
  • The unit is affordable.
  • With the safety child lock feature, you ensure your children are safe while you are away.

Cons

  • The unit is a tad bigger than some of you would expect. However, we are comfortable with the size.

We love the size of this Nutrichef water dispenser and we’re certain you’d love it too. The silver color is not really a great color – black would have been much better – perhaps, white would have made it look awesome. Oh, we later found the white model, and you guessed right, it looks great.

Safety is provided by the onboard child lock switch. It ensures your kids won’t turn the hot water on accidentally. Replacing the water bottle on this unit is a relatively easy thing to do except for the strength you exert by lifting the bottle up.

The unit is relatively quiet during operation.

Best Water Dispenser For School – Honeywell Hot and Cold Water Dispenser

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The Honeywell water dispenser is in no wise different from the units we’ve reviewed so far. However, there are a few things that we love about it which made us include it in this review.

It’s the antibacterial technology feature, a timely innovation that sets the Honeywell water dispenser apart.

You’re probably wondering what the antibacterial technology has got to do with a water dispenser…

Well, bacteria and germs do have a way of finding their way into drinking water. The goal of the antibacterial technology on this machine is to keep the bacteria and its cohorts out of your clean water.

There is a special disc which Honeywell inserted into the unit to prevent the buildup of bacteria. We can’t say for certain how effective the unit is in doing that because we didn’t run any special tests.

However, the Water Quality Association of America gave the machine a very high rating.

View Features and Pros/Cons

Features We Love

  • Compatible with the universal 3 or 5-gallon water bottles.
  • Comes with a drip tray.
  • Child lock safety feature included.
  • Antibacterial technology inhibits the growth of bacteria in your water.

Pros

  • Protects your little kids when you use the child lock feature.
  • The drip tray in the unit helps to keep it clean and makes cleaning easy too.
  • To ensure that bacteria doesn’t grow inside it, there is an antibacterial technology inhibits the growth of bacteria in your water.
  • The unit is compatible with the universal 3 and 5-gallon bottle sizes.

Cons

  • None

The Honeywell water dispenser is designed to dispense both hot and cold water. It sports an adjustable stainless steel tank with an adjustable thermostat. It is designed to support the universal 3 5-gallon water bottles.

To ensure the unit remains clean, a drip tray is included. Additionally, you’ll find the mechanical push in faucets on the unit easy to use.

As expected, the unit comes with the standard child lock feature which protects your small kids.

Best Value – Primo White 2 Spout Bottom Load Hot and Cold Water Cooler Dispenser

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The Primo White water dispenser is arguably a valuable water dispenser worth owning. Clothed in white, its aesthetic can make it pass for a premium machine.

Primo designed this water dispenser to serve users both hot and cold water from a bottom loading water bottle. We all know the advantages of a bottom loading water dispenser over a top loading model.

It is compatible with the universal 3 or 5-gallon water bottles and replacing the water bottle is as easy as ABC. There’s a low water light indicator that notifies you of the water level in the unit.

Since it uses water bottles, you save on installation costs although you’ll spend on water bottles.

Energy-wise, the unit is energy efficient. It has an Energy Star and UL Certified energy ratings. Thus, your energy bills would not be increased unduly.

View Features and Pros/Cons

Features We Love

  • White color.
  • Energy efficient.
  • Bottom loading.
  • Uses universal water bottles.
  • Easy to clean and use.
  • Child lock feature is available.

Pros

  • It’s a bottom loading unit and makes it relatively easy to change the water bottles.
  • The unit is energy efficient.
  • Your kids are protected in your absence, thanks to the child lock safety button that locks the water sprouts.
  • This water dispenser is compatible with universal water bottles.
  • A drip tray helps to keep the unit clean.

Cons

  • None we encountered during the review.

Internally, the Primo bottom loading water dispenser boasts of a stainless steel water reservoir. This water tank is split into two, each holding hot and cold water respectively.

The removable drip tray which is a standard feature on all water dispensers helps to keep the unit sparkling white. Another important feature is the child lock safety button which protects your little children from accidentally dispensing hot water in your absence.

Unlike some models we’ve reviewed, this unit truly gives hot water. We didn’t bother to check the temperature of the water because it was visibly hot.

The dispenser is relatively quiet during operation except for the slight sound of the electric pump inside it.

Water Coolers & Dispensers Comparison Table

Water CoolerOur RatingTypeDispensesPrice
NewAir WAT40B5Bottom LoadingHot and Cold Water$$$$
Primo White Dispenser4.9Bottom LoadingHot and Cold Water$$$
NutriChef Dispenser4.9Top Loading/ CountertopHot and Cold Water$$
Avalon Countertop4.9Bottleless/ CountertopHot and Cold Water$$$$
Brio CL250 Dispenser4.9Top LoadingHot and Cold Water$$$
Honeywell Dispenser4.9Bottom LoadingHot and Cold Water$$$

Difference Between A Water Dispenser And A Water Cooler

The two terms water cooler and water dispenser are always used interchangeably and sometimes as one – water cooler dispenser. One cannot help but ask “is there any difference between the water dispenser and a water cooler?”

Truth is, there isn’t much difference between the two. A water dispenser is basically designed to dispense water at room temperature. This means the water is neither cold nor hot.

On the other hand, a water cooler which works in the same way as a water dispenser gives out cold water. The water cooler is equipped with an electrical cooler that cools the water as though it were in a refrigerator.

This obviously explains why some a lot of people use the term water cooler dispenser. A water cooler can sometimes be referred to as a bottled water cooler.

Having known that, let’s move on to the types of water dispensers.

Water Dispenser Types

There are arguably 4 types of water dispensers.

  1. Top and bottom loading water dispenser.
  2. Wall mounted water dispenser.
  3. Countertop water dispenser.
  4. Bottle-less water dispenser.

The top loading, bottom loading, and countertop water dispenser types all use water bottles. A large water bottle with 5 to 10 liters capacity is put into the water dispenser.

Top/Bottom Loading Water Dispenser

The top and bottom loading water dispenser are simply the same water dispenser with two different designs. As the name implies, the water bottle is placed on top of the water dispenser in the top loading water dispenser.

On the other hand, the water bottle is placed on the lower half of the bottom loading water dispenser.

One demerit of having a top loading water dispenser is the fact that you’ll need a good deal of strength to replace an empty water bottle on the dispenser.

Wall Mounted Water Dispenser

A wall-mounted water dispenser is also known as a point of use (POU) water dispenser. It doesn’t use bottles. Instead, it is connected to the water in the house and it draws water directly.

A filter is placed inside the wall mounted dispenser and it filters the water coming into the dispenser. It is important to have the water in your house filtered for impurities using a whole house water filter.

Filtering household water using a whole house water filter is a much better idea than relying on the filter in your wall-mounted water dispenser.

Countertop Water Dispenser

This category of water dispensers is designed to be kept on the table. Some models are designed to be connected to the mains as you would in a wall-mounted water dispenser. Countertop water dispensers are sometimes referred to as bottle-less water dispensers.

Bottle-less Water Dispenser

As we earlier mentioned, they don’t make use of water bottles. Instead, they are connected directly to the main water plumbing in the home.

What You Should Know Before Buying a Water Dispenser

For the next couple of minutes, we’ll see the very important factors to consider before buying a water dispenser. The first thing you should find out before making a purchase is the space available for the unit.

Space

Even though water dispensers may appear small, they can take up a considerable amount of space in your home. Take note of the space where you intend to place it – measure the dimensions.

Then, crosscheck the dimensions you have with that of the machine. Will the machine fit in properly? This is important especially if you are going to use it in an RV.

Direct From Piping or Water Bottles

If the water in your house has been purified via a whole house water filter, it would be a great money saver to install a wall mounted or bottle-less water dispenser. This will, in turn, save you the cost of buying 5-gallon water bottles all the time.

On the other hand, if your home water source is not clean, you should opt for a water bottle. Ensure you contact the company to deliver the water bottles directly to your home except you intend to buy directly from the store.

Confirm the bottle size from the water company and check if your water dispenser supports the bottle size.

Features

This is usually a deal breaker. It is important to know which features you want. Some of the available features include a filtration kit, hot and cold water delivery, drip tray, cup storage, etc.

A handful of these features can significantly increase the price of the water dispenser.

Energy Efficient

Choose water dispenser models that have an energy efficiency rating. This will ensure that you save money on energy bills.

Night Light

The unit should have a night light. This will save you the stress of having to go and turn on the light in the room before using the dispenser. However, it is not a must-have.

Countertop or Freestanding

This boils down to personal preference and available space. Don’t opt for a countertop model that will use up available table space when there is room for a freestanding model.

How To Change Water Bottles In Your Water Dispenser

When the water level of your dispenser is low, you’d have to change it. In this section of the article, we will take a look at the simple effortless ways to change a water bottle in a water dispenser.

If your water jog isn’t sealed properly when you’re replacing the water bottle on a top loading water dispenser, you should prepare for an overflow.

In the first video below, the guy sealed the mouth of the water bottle before turning it over.

For the second video, the water bottle came sealed.

Video 1

 

Video 2

It’s not that hard, is it? You’ll only exert strength lifting the bottle up.

What You Should Do When You Buy A New Water Dispenser

When you buy a new water dispenser, there are a few things you’re required to do. In this next video below, Jenna shows us what we should do when we buy a water dispenser.

NOTE: These water dispensers are built differently. However, we can pick a few things out of the video.

How To Keep Your Water Dispenser Clean

This is as important as replacing your water bottle. A dirty water cleaner can breed bacteria and mold. We don’t need to tell you what the two can cause, do we?

There are some water dispensers that have the self-cleaning feature. That too, cannot be relied upon. We suggest you clean your water dispenser once every three months or as soon as you start noticing dirt building up on it.

Follow the steps shown in the video below.

Final Words

Clean water is important for good health. And the water dispenser is an innovative machine that gives us clean water with ease at the touch of a button. It’s one machine that saves CEOs from carrying water bottles and keeps the carbon print in many cities low.

  • Our Rating
5

Summary

The NewAir WAT40B Pure Spring Bottom Loading Water Dispenser is a masterpiece. Premium finishing, two color options, a bottom loading bottle compartment are just a few reasons why people love it.

We believe you’ll not find it difficult picking the best water dispenser from the water dispensers we’ve reviewed.

Walt Anderson

Walt Anderson

I'm Walt Anderson, a general contractor from Montana. I specialize in water treatment and I have installed water filtration systems, water softeners and water heaters in residential homes for over 20 years. When I'm not working on this site, I'm at my cabin in the backwoods of Montana with my two dogs, Kurt and Russell.

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