8 Best Water Coolers: Buyer’s Guide + [Reviews 2020]

Did you know that water coolers are much more versatile nowadays? You don’t need to park your unit right by the fridge anymore. Cleaning has also turned into a breeze because you won’t need to sanitize the cooler daily but weekly rather.

If you want to drink clean water and be sure that your body will be hydrated enough, you need to find the best water cooler. This is the easiest way to get filtered water, which can be cold or hot, and remain hydrated and healthy.

We want to help you find the product that would be the most suitable for you, so we have prepared reviews on water coolers. Read them to get informed and make the right choice!

PRODUCTDETAILS
hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Dispenser

hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Water Dispenser

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 40.9 x 14.2 x 12.2″
  • Weight: N/A
  • Size: 3 or 5 Gallon Bottle
  • Features: Hot Cold and Room Temperature Settings
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elkay water cooler

Elkay Wall Mount Non-Filtered Cooler

  • Price: $$$$$
  • Dimensions: 18.4 x 19 x 19.8″
  • Weight: 59 pounds
  • Size: N/A
  • Features: Easy-touch push bar or sensor-activated controls
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Primo Top Loading Water Dispenser

Primo Top Loading Water Dispenser

  • Price: $
  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 10.8 x 36.6″
  • Weight: 25 pounds
  • Size: 3 or 5-gallon bottle
  • Features: Ice-cold or piping hot water in an instant with push-button controls
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Brio Self Cleaning Water Dispenser

Brio Self Cleaning Water Dispenser

  • Price: $$$$
  • Dimensions: 44 x 15.5 x 14.5″
  • Weight: 38 pounds
  • Size: 5-gallon bottle
  • Features: 3 Temperature Settings – Child Safety Lock
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Brio Bottom Loading Water Dispenser

Brio Bottom Loading Water Dispenser

  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 44 x 15.2 x 14.6″
  • Weight: 37.5 pounds
  • Size: 3 or 5-gallon bottle
  • Features: Tri-Temp Water Cooler – Child Safety Lock
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Avalon Premium Water Cooler Dispenser

Avalon Premium Water Cooler Dispenser

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 13 x 12 x 19″
  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • Size: 3 or 5-gallon bottle
  • Features: Child lock safety – UL/Energy approved
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Primo Stainless Water Cooler Dispenser

Primo Stainless Water Cooler Dispenser

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 36 x 11 x 11″
  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Size: 3 or 5-gallon bottle
  • Features: Spill-proof bottle holder with Leak Guard
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Avalon Self Cleaning Bottleless Water Cooler Dispenser

Avalon Self Cleaning Bottleless Water Cooler Dispenser

  • Price: $$$
  • Dimensions: 13 x 12 x 41″
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Size: N/A
  • Features: Three temperature settings – Self-cleaning ozone feature
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Best Water Coolers – Editors’ Picks

In this section, we are going to present to you eight reviews of the top products on the market. Please note that they do not follow any specific order:

1. hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Water Dispenser

hOmeLabs Bottom Loading DispenserhOmeLabs Water Dispenser is one of the top products of its kind because of three main reasons. The first one is its price – it is very cheap in comparison to other dispensers with similar features.

The second reason is that it has a design that provides easy bottom loading. This means that you don’t have to lift the bottle onto the dispenser. The only thing you need to do is to place the container inside the machine and then insert the probe into it.

The third reason is that this device comes with a very convenient led night light. So you can drink water during the night without turning on the room light. Another advantage of this dispenser is that you don’t have to check when you need to replace the bottle; it will remind you thanks to its refill bottle alert. The only drawback of this unit is that it doesn’t feature a self-cleaning mechanism. If you want to clean it, you need to put a solution through the dispenser, which is described in the manual.

Pros:

  • The dispenser runs very quietly, and it won’t bother you.
  • It features a child safety lock option so you won’t worry that your child can press the hot water button by accident.
  • The price of the machine is lower than the average one.
  • It has a stylish design that will fit every interior.

Cons:

  • There could be a metallic aftertaste.
  • The unit is not self-cleaning.

2. Elkay Wall Mount Non-Filtered Cooler

elkay water coolerThough the Elkay Wall Mount Cooler may seem a bit expensive, it is worth the price. The first thing that will grab your attention is its unique futuristic design, which will be a valuable asset to every home interior. This dispenser is made of vinyl-clad which, apart from being fancy-looking, is also very durable.

The machine features bubbler push bars that are activated electronically. There is also an integrated drain, which is very easy to clean. One of the top features of this product is the Flexi-Guard bubbler, which is equipped with an antimicrobial mouthguard. So you can let your children drink water from this dispenser without worrying that they will get injured or swallow any microbes.

The machine is intended for inside use. It comes with a warranty that can cover from 1 to 4 years, depending on the place where you use the dispenser. The only disadvantage to this product is that it doesn’t filter the water. If you want, you can adjust a filter in the fountain.

Pros:

  • This dispenser has a futuristic design that will surely fit your home interior.
  • Very easy to install.
  • It is equipped with an antimicrobial mouthguard.
  • It comes with a 1-to-4-year warranty.

Cons:

  • The machine is a bit loud while running.
  • This dispenser doesn’t filter the water.

3. Primo Top Loading Water Dispenser

Primo Top Loading Water DispenserPrimo Water Dispenser is one of the most budget-friendly products available on the market. Its price is much lower than the average cost of similar devices. If you purchase the dispenser, you also get free coupons for Primo water with which you can also save some money.

The machine features options for ice-cold water, as well as for hot water. There is also a child safety feature – so you will be sure that your children won’t accidentally press on the hot water button and get burnt. As its name suggests, the bottle of water is loaded on the top of the dispenser. Don’t worry! There is a unique holder, which is spill – bottle proof, so water won’t get spilled while you are loading the bottle.

A convenience is that you can load the container without taking its cap off. The product is equipped with push-button controls, thanks to which there won’t be unnecessary leakage. A drawback to this dispenser is that it doesn’t come with a bottle of water! You have to buy one separately.

Pros:

  • This dispenser is very cheap in comparison to other products of the same type.
  • The unit features a child-resistant safety option.
  • The product is easy to install and to use afterward.
  • You get coupons for Primo water.

Cons:

  • Some clients complain that there is no limit to the high temperature.
  • The water that comes out of the unit may taste like plastic.

4. Brio Self Cleaning Water Dispenser

Brio Self Cleaning Water DispenserBrio Water Dispenser is one of the top products on the market because of four features. The first one is that its reservoirs are made of stainless steel, which protects the purity and taste of the water.

The second feature is that it has some dispense points through which water is refilled easily. The hot water spout has a child safety lock so you can let your children use the dispenser without being concerned that they can get injured. Another essential feature is the empty bottle indicator, which will remind you when it is time to refill the machine with water.

As its name suggests, this unit is equipped with a self-cleaning option. You just need to press a button, and the ozone will eliminate all unwanted bacteria, thus sanitizing the dispenser. Ozone is created through electricity so that you won’t run out of it. The unit is pretty quiet, so you can keep it in your bedroom without worrying about your night’s sleep. A disadvantage to this machine is that its manual is not well written.

Pros:

  • The dispenser is easy to use.
  • It features a self-cleaning option, which is a great plus for you and your family.
  • The unit has a stylish slim design that can fit any home interior.
  • There is a child safety lock, so your children can use the machine safely.

Cons:

  • Some customers warn that after some time of usage, the water from the dispenser may taste like a garden hose.
  • The plastic top part of the unit starts vibrating once the machine starts working.

5. Brio Bottom Loading Water Dispenser

Brio Bottom Loading Water DispenserThe first thing with which the Brio Bottom Loading Dispenser catches our attention is its unique design. It is not only nice-looking but also convenient. Thanks to it, you don’t have to lift any heavy bottles as it would be the case with top-loading units.

The machine features a unique faucet that has three levels of temperature – cold, hot, or room temperature. Like most of the other similar units, this one also has a child safety lock on the hot faucet, which ensures that children can use the dispenser safely. Another very convenient feature is the light indicator, which not only shows when you have to refill the water but also when the cold or hot water is ready to use.

The device operates very quietly.  It is not necessary to do internal cleaning; the only thing which is advisable to do is to wipe out the condenser of the radiator. The only disadvantage of this product is that it doesn’t come with a bottle of water; you have to provide one for it.

Pros:

  • This machine is very convenient to use since it is a bottom loading dispenser.
  • It has three levels of temperature; most of the other dispensers have only two.
  • The product is very easy to install.
  • The unit runs quietly. So you can place it wherever you like.

Cons:

  • The plastic tube is not BPA free; it is made of regular plastic.
  • The water flows slowly.

6. Avalon Premium Water Cooler Dispenser

Avalon Premium Water Cooler DispenserThe Avalon Water Cooler has everything you can expect from a dispenser. It is equipped with two faucets; one- for cold water; and the other one – for hot water. Of course, it has a child lock safety, but it is also certified with a UL/Energy Star, which makes it safe for your children and energy-efficient at the same time. Its slim design allows you to situate the dispenser wherever you want, even on a table.

The option for hot water saves you the time that you would otherwise spend on waiting for water to boil. You may think that the top-loading feature of the machine makes it inconvenient. However, the producers believe that when the bottle is loaded on the top, you will quickly notice when you need to refill the dispenser with water.

The machine doesn’t filter water, so you’d better use filtered one. You should also keep in mind that the bottle is not included in the unit. You need to buy one which shouldn’t be very pricy though. The device does produce some humming sound while operating, but it is not too loud.

Pros:

  • The dispenser is UL/Energy approved, so it is energy efficient.
  • It features a slim design that will look good in every hook of your house.
  • The unit is equipped with two faucets.
  • The product has a slim design so that you can place it everywhere.

Cons:

  • The dispenser doesn’t filter water.
  • The instructions in the manual are not very detailed.

7. Primo Stainless Water Cooler Dispenser

Primo Stainless Water Cooler DispenserThe Primo Cooler Dispenser is among the budget-friendly products. First of all, its price is lower than the average. Then it is UL and Energy Star certified, which means that it is energy-efficient.

The unit features three levels of temperature – cold, cool, and hot. The temperature of the hot water is around 165 degrees. The dispenser is equipped with a child-resistant lock. The machine is indeed top-loaded, but you shouldn’t worry that you will spill water while loading it because it has a unique bottle holder that is spill-proof.

The reservoirs of the device are made of stainless steel. Another useful feature is that you can still use the dispenser even when the electricity goes out.  The machine comes with a one-year warranty from the date of purchase, which you have to activate on the website of Primo. A disadvantage to this product is that it doesn’t have a filter. So it would be advisable to fill it with already filtered water.

Pros:

  • The dispenser is UL and Energy Star certified.
  • The unit features three levels of temperature.
  • The device has a spill-proof bottle holder.
  • The machine is easy to install.

Cons:

  • The unit is not high enough, so you have to lean down to get water.
  • Some reviews on this water cooler claim that the cold water is not cold enough as it should be.

8. Avalon Self Cleaning Bottleless Water Cooler Dispenser

Avalon Self Cleaning Bottleless Water Cooler DispenserThe bottleless feature of the Avalon Dispenser is only one of the many other characteristics that make the product worth it. The fact that the machine is bottleless makes it budget-friendly as you won’t need to buy water continually. Instead, you can use tab water as this dispenser features a dual-filtration option – it has both a carbon block filter and a sediment filter. The filters last for around six months, or in other words, for about 1500 gallons of water.

The device offers three levels of temperature – hot, cool, and cold. If you want, you can turn off any of the spouts with the buttons that are placed at the back of the unit. The installation of the unit may seem a bit challenging, but you will be assisted by the very detailed and vividly visualized instructions.

The unit comes with a fully equipped installation kit. The dispenser is self-cleaning; it uses ozone to purify and sanitize the unit. So you shouldn’t be worried about germs or bacteria. The machine also features night light, which makes the faucets visible at night; and an indicator which lights up when you have to replace the filter. The product is UL/Energy Star approved. There is also a child-resistant lock.

Pros:

  • The unit comes with a very well-equipped installation kit.
  • It features dual filtration – thanks to its sedimentary and carbon block filters.
  • There are three levels of temperature, but you can also turn off any of the three faucets.
  • The dispenser is a self-cleaning one.

Cons:

  • Some consumer reports mention that the water from the dispenser tastes thick.
  • The flow of water is a bit slow.

How Does a Water Cooler Work?

To make the right choice when choosing a water cooler, it is a good idea to have an answer to the question, ‘How does a water cooler work?’. In this section, we have gone a bit deeper into science to find the answer. To make it more understandable, we have presented the process in steps.

The principle at which a water cooler works is not hard to understand. The idea is that if we want to lower the temperature of an object, we have to introduce it to a colder object. The same thing happens with the water in the water cooler – it is presented to a fluid that is colder than it. The water then gives its heat to the colder fluid and thus becomes colder.

So when we fill the reservoir of the cooler with water, we introduce the water to the cooler. The reservoir resembles a little fridge. There are four main parts of the cooler – the evaporator, the expansion valve, the condenser, and the compressor. Now we are going to describe in four steps what actually happens in the water cooler:

  1. In the beginning, a refrigerant gas, which is with a low temperature, enters the compressor. There the gas is compressed, but its pressure is raised. The compressor makes the volume of the refrigerant less. The temperature of the gas rises.
  2. Then, the compressor passes the gas (which is already with high pressure and high temperature) to the condenser. There the gas is condensed, so its temperature is lowered. The heat, which the condenser gets out of the gas, goes to the surrounding area. The gas is turned into a liquid that has medium temperature and pressure.
  3. After that, this liquid goes into the expansion valve. There the refrigerant gets colder and also low-pressured.
  4. The last step is for the cold refrigerant to enter the evaporator through individual pipes. The pipes are exposed to hot air in the evaporator. This heat is transferred to the refrigerant in the tubes. Finally, the air is recirculated through a vent, and it is turned into cold air again. Then the cycle starts again.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Water Cooler Dispensers

Benefits of Water CoolersWater coolers have indeed become of great necessity for every home and office. They provide you with clean cold water all the time, and they are indisputably useful to our health. However, apart from the many advantages that these products have, there are also some disadvantages. Below we will enlist both the advantages and disadvantages of water cooler dispensers, so you can decide for yourself whether it is worth having one:

Advantages

  • Most of the water coolers have a slim design and are easy to carry, so you can move them around your place and put them wherever you want.
  • There is a wide variety of water cooler brands on the market. They vary in size, price, and quality. So you can make your choice, considering the factors that interest you.
  • The installation of the water cooler is very easy, and it doesn’t require any plumbing. So you won’t need to pay an expert to come and mount the unit of the cooler.
  • These machines are easy to maintain and clean.
  • If you need to replace any of its parts, the manufacturer will supply them to you.
  • Most of the units have a child-resistant lock, which makes them safe to be used by children.
  • Some of the water coolers feature very powerful filtration systems.

Drinking filtered water is of great importance to our health. It can protect us from diseases and keep us energetic all day long. To learn more information about different water filtration solutions, visit our website where you can find information on supreme water ionizers among many others. There you will find out about a variety of systems that can filter your water. Just read our reviews and buying guides to get informed and make the right decision for you and your family.

Disadvantages

  • Some of the bottles that are used with the water coolers are not safe to drink from.
  • The unit of the dispenser may gather a lot of dust, which can be the cause of a number of diseases.
  • Indeed, most of the dispensers are not expensive. However, they are not budget-friendly, because you have to buy bottles of water all the time, especially during the summer.
  • Most of the water coolers are made of plastic. This material can be the reason the water from the unit sometimes has a strange after taste. Plastic is also harmful to people and their health.

To sum it up, we can say that water coolers have become necessary devices for people who care about their health. Though they do have some disadvantages, it is undoubtedly safer and healthier to drink water from a water cooler than tap water.

How Do I Clean and Maintain My Water Cooler?

If you want to use your water cooler for a long time, you’d better start asking yourself the question, ‘How do I clean and maintain my water cooler?’. Everyone would be lucky to have a water cooler but is everyone capable of following some basic rules when it comes to maintaining and cleaning their unit. Here is a list with the steps that you need to follow to prolong the life of your cooling water machine:

What are the things that I need before I start cleaning the unit?

  • The first thing you need is safety glasses (preferably ones that have side shields). They will be of much use to you when you start making the cleaning solution.
  • You also need to find some disposable gloves. You’d better wear them in case any of the cleaning solution gets on your skin.
  • You should wear waterproof overalls or at least a waterproof apron. Otherwise, all your clothes may become wet in no time.
  • Then you need to make the cleaning solution. One of the possible solutions to use is the following: 15 ml of 5 % bleach (make sure it is not scented) + 5 liters of pure warm water.
  • Some people do prefer to use ready-to-use chemicals to clean their dispensers. If this is your case, then make sure that:

– this chemical is approved to be used on surfaces that have contact to food;

– follow the instructions in the manual strictly;

– use the right concentration of the chemical;

– allow enough retention time;

– the chemical has been stored accurately;

– flush out the chemical using drinkable water;

How to clean a cooler for cold water?

  • The very first thing to do is to unplug the cooler.
  • Then remove the bottle that is already empty.
  • Try to drain any remaining water with the help of the spigot.
  • Find the not-spill guard and remove it safely without damaging it.
  • Put the cleaning solution in the reservoir. Then use a soft brush to scrub the inside of the reservoir.
  • Let the solution stay in the reservoir for around 2 minutes.
  • Use a bucket in which to drain the cleaning solution. Then flush the solution down the toilet.
  • Put some clean tap water in the reservoir to rinse it. Repeat this several times. Then drain the rinse water again using the spigots.
  • Put back the non-spill guard, and any other parts that you have removed.
  • Load the cooler with a new bottle of water.
  • Push the spigots until you see that the water is flowing.
  • Now it is time to plug in the water cooler.

Some useful tips to consider

  • Remember to unplug your dispenser any time it runs out of water.
  • Whenever you clean the cooler, also clean the plastic parts using soapy water, and clean water to rinse them afterward.
  • Check regularly for dust the grid that is at the back of the unit. Use a brush or a vacuum cleaner to clean the grid.
  • Keep in mind that you mustn’t lubricate the compressor in any case.
  • Clean your water cooler regularly if you want to use it for a longer time.

If you want to make sure that you did your job of cleaning the water cooler well, and that the quality of the water in it is good, we would advise you to get a water test kit. If you want to find more information about it, visit our guide and read our reviews on water test kits.

Types of Water Coolers

Best Water CoolersWater coolers have recently become very widespread, not only for home and office use but also for public places and outside areas. The reason for this is simple – they can quickly provide fresh drinkable water to the people. There are several different types of water coolers. In this part of the article, we are going to present them to you so that you can choose which one is the most suitable for you.

Outdoor Water Coolers

The outdoor water coolers resemble fountains from which you can drink water. Some of these fountains provide cooled water, others –don’t.  So you should do some research before you get one to make sure that it suits your needs. Water fountain coolers are most typically situated in public places such as schools, parks, and universities.

These water fountains have special faucets that spur water at a certain angle so that you can bend down a bit and drink water. Most of the fountains work with municipal water, and some of them have filters inside so that they can filter water.

Different faucet water filters can make the water you drink purer and healthier. You can find more information about faucet water filters in our guide and reviews. Remember that drinking filtered water can help you have a healthier life. Read our reviews and choose the faucet water filter that you like the most.

Indoor Water Coolers

Water Cooler ReviewsThere is a variety of water coolers depending on their size, way of loading, and levels of temperature that they feature.

  • Attached or Freestanding Water Coolers – Depending on the place that you have at home, you can either get a freestanding water cooler or a dispenser that you can attach to the water supply at home. Freestanding ones have the advantage of portability – you can move them all around the place. Moreover, they are easier to install, and they do not require any plumbing.
  • Bottom or Top Loading Water Coolers – with top loading dispensers, you have to lift a bottle and place it on top of the machine. This can be accompanied by spilling some of the water. Most of the users prefer bottom loading water coolers as they are more convenient – you don’t have to lift any heavy bottles.
  • Levels of Temperature – Some water dispensers have the option of delivering only cold water. Others are equipped with two faucets so that you can get both cold and hot water. The third kind of water cooling device has three levels of temperature – they can produce cold, cool, or hot water.

In case you are looking for instant hot water instead of cool, we suggest that you also have a look at our guide on the best instant hot water dispensers.

Best Water Coolers Comparison Chart

PRODUCTPRICEDIMENSIONSWEIGHTSIZEFEATURES
hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Water Dispenser

$$40.9 x 14.2 x 12.2″N/A3 or 5 Gallon BottleHot Cold and Room Temperature Settings
Elkay Wall Mount Non-Filtered Cooler

$$$$$18.4 x 19 x 19.8″59 poundsN/AEasy-touch pushbar or sensor-activated controls
Primo Top Loading Water Dispenser

$12.5 x 10.8 x 36.6″25 pounds3 or 5 gallon bottleIce-cold or piping hot water in an instant with push button controls
Brio Self Cleaning Water Dispenser

$$$$44 x 15.5 x 14.5″38 pounds5 gallon bottle3 Temperature Settings – Child Safety Lock
Brio Bottom Loading Water Dispenser

$$$44 x 15.2 x 14.6″37.5 pounds3 or 5 gallon bottleTri-Temp Water Cooler – Child Safety Lock
Avalon Premium Water Cooler Dispenser

$$13 x 12 x 19″30 pounds3 or 5 gallon bottleChild lock safety – UL/Energy approved
Primo Stainless Water Cooler Dispenser

$$36 x 11 x 11″35 pounds3 or 5 gallon bottleSpill-proof bottle holder with Leak Guard
Avalon Self Cleaning Bottleless Water Cooler Dispenser

$$$13 x 12 x 41″44 poundsN/AThree temperature settings – Self cleaning ozone feature

Wrap Up

Water coolers have come to our daily life to make it easier and healthier. To get fresh drinking water at any time, you need to find the best water cooler for your home. As you can see above, there are several different types to choose from. One thing is for sure, despite the disadvantages that some of these devices have, it is of great convenience to have a water cooler. If you also want to have fresh drinking water available anywhere, you may want to check our water purification tablet reviews.

We hope that our guide gave answers to all your questions. As you can see, there are a lot of features to consider if you want to make the right choice. That’s why we prepared these reviews on water coolers to help you out and guide you in the decision-making process. Make sure that the product you buy meets your needs and the ones of your family. After all, it is you that matters the most!

 

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