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The Best Water Cooler Dispenser for Convenient Cold Water

The main benefit of a freestanding or countertop water cooler is the convenience of having cold drinking water when you want it, without the fuss of remembering to keep water bottles or pitchers in the fridge. It’s especially useful if you live in a hot climate where ground water can be quite warm out of the tap. It can also save you money if you pay for metered water, since there's no need to run the tap for several minutes waiting for cold water.

A water cooler dispenser is not a purifier or filtration system though there are some models (none on this list however) that include filtration features. Their primary function is to dispense chilled and hot water. Dispensed water temperature can also vary, depending largely on the size of the compressor or type of refrigeration used.

We've chosen the best water cooler dispensers in 2021 that reliably and consistently dispense both hot and cold water, while being simple to set up and maintain. These models are also quiet when operating, except for a faint hum from the condenser or the occasional bubble of water in the bottle. These quality water cooler dispenser promise consistently good water flow to quickly fill up a cup or bottle, in addition to also having drip-free systems so there's less waste and cleanup required.

Comparing the Best Water Cooler Dispenser for 2021

Avalon Premium Hot/Cold Top Loading Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser - Best Water Cooler Dispenser Overall

The Clover B7A water dispenser is capable of dispensing both hot and cold water, with a dedicate spigot for each. Unlike many water dispensers, the B7A allows you to control the cold water temperature using the adjustable thermostat located at the back. Although the hot water temperature is non-adjustable, it is consistently hot enough for tea, soups, and anything else that requires very hot water.

This water dispenser uses stainless steel tanks for hygiene and durability, and is Energy Star rated so it will go easy on your electricity bill. Convection cooling of the condenser makes for efficient and quiet performance, and water is dispensed quickly with no drips. Quick to setup and simple to maintain, the Clover B7A is worth the slightly higher premium price tag.

Primo Bottom Loading Water Cooler Dispenser - Runner Up

This water cooler dispenser from Primo offers thoughtful design and excellent performance. Since this model is bottom-loading, much of the effort required and potential for spills that come with top-loading models are eliminated. While there is no option for controlling specific temperatures, this Primo water cooler dispenser offers the ability to dispense both hot and cold water, with a separate spigot for each temperature.

Indicator lights let you know if the dispensers are on, if the unit is currently heating water, and if the water bottle needs to be replaced. An LED nightlight is also included, helping to provide better visibility in low-light situations. A stainless steel drip tray catches any spills, and overall this energy efficient water cooler dispenser is easy to use. Primo also offers a one-year warranty with this model.

Euhomy Self Cleaning Bottom Loading Water Cooler Dispenser - Honorable Mention

This water cooler dispenser from NewAir offers a unique design, meant to make water bottle replacement a simpler and more hygienic task. The NewAir WCD-210BK is designed with a bottle puncture at the top of the unit, making it easier to install a new water bottle without spills; this model is compatible with two, three, and five gallon bottles. This water cooler dispenser also uses a stainless steel tank, which is both more sanitary and reduces the risk of any unpleasant plastic taste in the water.

The WCD-210BK dispenses both hot and cold water, and while there’s no dedicated safety feature for hot water, both temperatures require that a button on both the top and the bottom are pressed to dispense any water. Small nozzles on the spigots allow them to fit in even small bottles, and the WCD-210BK is designed to accommodate even tall glasses or bottles. With its attractive design, ease of use, and small footprint, the NewAir WCD-210BK would make an excellent addition to any home, office, or retail space.

Vitapur Top Load Floor Standing Room Cold Standard Taps, Water Cooler Dispenser - Consider

This freestanding water cooler dispenser from Honeywell features a pleasant silver finish helping it to look somewhat less utilitarian than most. The Honeywell HWB1052S dispenses both hot and cold water, with sturdy mechanical push-in levers for each, although there’s no option for manual temperature control. The hot water lever has a safety lock to prevent children from accidentally burning themselves and the drip tray makes cleaning up spills a simple task. The HWB1052S has a stainless steel tank and a design that helps to prevent spills when changing out the bottle.

Farberware FW-WD211 Freestanding Hot and Cold Water Cooler Dispenser - Best Water Cooler Dispenser

This countertop water cooler dispenser is best suited for personal use, as it may have trouble keeping up with the demands of a large household or office. However, for those who want a water cooler dispenser for themselves without having to pay a fortune, the Avanti WD31EC is a good choice. This model can hold two, three, and five gallon bottles, and dispenses both hot and cold water, with separate on/off power switches for each temperature.

The hot water valve has a safety latch to prevent children from accidentally getting scalded, and a removable drip tray is easy to clean. The Avanti WD31EC also includes built-in cup storage, while its LED display shows all functions. This water cooler dispenser has an energy saving mode, and its use of thermoelectric technology makes it quieter than those that use compressors.

Buyer's Guide

Selecting the right model that meets your needs and demands is crucial to avoid any future inconvenience or trouble caused by a potentially wrong decision. Here are certain elements to look out for when considering a water cooler, to ensure you make the most out of your purchase.

What are the Different Types of Watercoolers?

Top-loading Water Coolers

The top-loading water cooler design is not only the most popular, but it is also the cheapest one in retail. These water dispensers rely solely on the pull of gravity to operate, therefore, eliminate any requirement for additional pumps to pull the water up. The design may not look appealing to some due to the bottle being visibly apparent at the top of the dispenser. However, along with being fairly straightforward to operate, they’re a pretty decent bargain considering the low price point.

POU - point of Use

These coolers are generally on the pricier side as compared to the top-loading versions, however, the various supplementary qualities such as the UV light and ozone injection make it a valuable purchase. Along with a reliable power connection, these coolers also need to be linked to a water source close by for proper performance.

Bottom-loading Water Dispensers

Unlike the top-loading models, these coolers do not require the heavy labor of lifting the water bottle from the top of the cooler on a regular basis. The unique design also allows the bottle to be concealed and out of sight, making it more office-friendly. Bottom-loading water coolers require a pump to operate and carry out waist-level dispensing. Likewise, these dispensers can also provide great value in old residencies, where heavy lifting is unfeasible as the water jug can easily be replaced without any hard labor.

Table-top Models

These coolers are the scaled-down versions of either the point of use (POU) water coolers or the top-loading dispensers. They are designed small enough to fit comfortably on top of tables, as well as your kitchen countertop. Not only are these coolers extremely beneficial for saving space, but they are also perfect for areas like waiting rooms and two-person apartments, due to their portable nature.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Water Cooler

Noise Intensity

Although all dispensers emit some degree of noise, it is important to select one with minimal sound discharge, especially if your cooler is located in a professional environment, where maintaining peaceful surroundings is a high priority. You can opt for a model with lower noise levels generated from the cooler’s electrical elements to achieve a more pleasant atmosphere.

Capacity

The amount of water your cooler can house plays a big role in deciding the rate at which you’ll have to change the water bottle. Of course, it’s something to take into account if you have plenty of family members, to avoid the hassle of constant refilling. This becomes an especially crucial factor when buying a dispenser for a professional space like an office, where you’ll want to make sure the bottle is filled at all times. To achieve this, consider investing in a cooler with the capacity to at least accommodate 2 to 5 gallons of water, 5 and 3-gallon bottles are by far the most widely used.

Temperature Controls

The most popular coolers contain the feature of providing cold water, while others also supply a wide range of hot, cold, and room temperature water. It’s recommended to opt for a cooler that can dispense both cold and hot water. You’ll find a fixed range of temperatures for these waters, with little variation. The hot water can go up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit while the cold water goes as low as around 47 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot water feature is also incredibly handy if you’re an avid tea or coffee drinker and don’t want to wait for your morning cup of joe or earl grey.

Cost-Effectiveness

How efficient is your water dispenser at conserving energy? Most water coolers can substantially increase your electricity consumption if you’re not mindful of your purchase. To avoid running into this problem, make sure to verify the power consumption ratings before buying, to ensure it fits your budget. Also, look out for dispensers with UL certifications or energy star ratings to save the most power.

Is Your Cooler User-Friendly?

A major element to consider while shopping for a water cooler is the ease of use. The dispenser should ideally be simple and uncomplicated to operate and get a hang of. Certain features can make the experience more manageable and hassle-free, such as having ample space beneath the spout to be able to fill large containers, like reusable bottles and pitchers. Depending upon your preference, you can either chose a cooler with a touchless pouring system, or one that utilizes buttons or pegs to operate. A high-grade water cooler should not only be easy to install but also trouble-free to clean and maintain.

Additional Accessories

A few advancements in design go a long way when it comes to water dispensers. Of the numerous details to look out for are safety locks. Most quality water coolers come with this feature already built-in due to the major role they play in preventing injuries. Along with warding off burns, this feature is also extremely crucial for families with little children to prevent any accidents and serious injuries. Some other handy features include leak-detection alerts, night lights, and self-cleaning technology, to save time and labor.

Water Cooler FAQ

Q: How to fix a leaking water cooler?

If your top-loading water cooler is leaking, then it’s usually due to holes in the bottle top or holder. An easy fix to this problem is to simply replace the bottle with a new one. However, the leak can still be fixed if the holes are only in the holder and not in the bottle itself.

Q: Do water coolers also filter water?

Unfortunately, the dispensers are limited in their function of cooling and warming the water and do not provide the facility of filtration. Consider investing in a separate water filter, or simply make use of pre-filtered water bottles to avoid the hassle.

Q: Can filters be installed in water coolers?

Several models don’t come with pre-installed filters, in which case you’ll have to purchase and deploy additional water filters that meet your coolers installation criterion.

Q: How long do water coolers last?

With the proper maintenance and care, coolers can last for years. However, stainless steel dispensers are slightly more durable than plastic ones, due to their different erosion rates.

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