We all know that getting plenty of water is good for us, but it's easy to forget to drink regularly throughout the day. You might think of a water cooler as an item you’d see at your workplace or doctor’s office. The truth is, home-based water coolers are growing in popularity. It’s not uncommon for consumers to sip on water from a cooler they’ve stationed in their kitchen or garage.
The main obstacle between you and your new water cooler is how to find the right one. But at BestReviews, we're here to help.
If you're ready to buy a water cooler, please check out our favorite products in the product list. If you’d like to learn more about water coolers and how to select the perfect model for your needs, please continue reading.
Owning your own water cooler makes drinking H2O more convenient than ever.
Water cooler types
You’ll find three major water cooler types on the market: point-of-use coolers, top-load coolers, and bottom-load coolers.
Below, we examine the pros and cons of each type.
Point-of-use water coolers
Point-of-use water coolers plumb directly into your home’s water supply. These coolers are sold as either wall-mounted or upright units.
They're cheaper in the long run, as you don't have to pay for bottled water.
Many point-of-use coolers include a built-in filtration system.
Because the unit connects to your home’s water supply, you needn’t worry about running out of water.(Video) The Best Coolers of 2023
They generally need to be plumbed in by a professional, which adds to the cost.
While the unit may filter the water, it's still tap water rather than mineral or spring water.
- Because it’s attached to your water supply, the unit must stay put once installed.
Top-load water coolers
Top-load water coolers exude the “classic” look you probably think of when you picture a water cooler. A bottle sits upside down on top of the unit.
These tend to be the most affordable type of water cooler.
You can use spring or mineral water in this type of cooler, which is ideal if you have poor-quality water in your area.
Some freestanding models have “extra” features (like a small refrigerator) at the bottom.
Some people don't like the look of an appliance with a water bottle on top.
- Mounting the water bottle can be difficult, and it requires a fair amount of upper body strength.
Bottom-load water coolers
Like top-load coolers, a bottom-load cooler needs a bottle from which to draw its water. But in this case, it’s stored beneath the tap rather than atop the unit. The bottle is often tucked away behind a door in the bottom of the unit.
You can use spring or mineral water, which some people prefer over tap water.
Loading refill bottles is fairly easy, as the containers needn’t be lifted very high.(Video) 5 Best Portable Air Conditioners You Can Buy In 2023
This type of cooler can easily be moved around the house if you decide to rearrange things.
- These models often cost more than their top-load counterparts.
Did you know?
Some people find it too difficult to hoist a refill bottle onto a top-load cooler. The task requires coordination and a fair amount of upper body strength.
Freestanding vs. wall-mounted
The majority of water coolers are freestanding, upright units. However, some point-of-use varieties can be wall-mounted in the style of a water fountain.
Although it’s a bit unusual to see a fountain-style cooler in a residence, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get one if the idea appeals to you.
In fact, having this type of apparatus in your home could cut back on your dirty dishes, since you and your family wouldn't be using glasses for drinking water.
"If space is an issue, consider a smaller “tabletop” water cooler. These are the perfect size for the average kitchen counter."
Water coolers obviously produce cool — even cold — water. But some also offer “room temperature” and “hot” water options.
Models that produce hot water should heat the liquid enough to make a cup of tea or instant coffee.
Stagnant water breeds bacteria, so you certainly wouldn’t want your drinking water sitting around in a bottle for too long. This issue is especially pertinent for one- and two-person households where it takes a while to consume an entire water bottle.
Fortunately, some manufacturers (like Glacial Maximum) make coolers with self-cleaning technology. This kills the majority of the bacteria in the water and also helps keep the water lines clean.
If your cooler takes bottles of spring or mineral water, you probably won’t worry about filtering your H2O. But if you have a point-of-use system that connects to your home’s water supply, you’ll be using water straight from the tap.
And while tap water in most parts of the U.S. is safe to drink, it still contains trace amounts of substances that some people might wish to avoid.
As such, you'd be best off with a water cooler that includes a built-in filter. You can find models with built-in filters from reputable manufacturers like Aquverse®.
Ease of installation
If you don't want to hire a professional to install your water cooler, your best bet would probably be a freestanding model rather than a point-of-use variety.
That said, some point-of-use water cooler manufacturers state that their products are simple to install, requiring only basic tools.
Even so, if you don't know your monkey wrench from your Phillips head, you're probably best off enlisting a pro to do the job.
Most top- and bottom-load varieties are compatible with standard-sized plastic or glass cooler bottles of two, three, four, and five gallons.
However, if you're unsure, check the manufacturer's specifications before making a purchase.
Of course, you needn’t worry about capacity if you have a point-of-use system. Point-of-use coolers have a practically unlimited capacity, as they're plumbed into your home.
Point-of-use coolers can save money, as they use water from your home supply. Other types of coolers require bottle replacements/refills at an additional expense.
Quality water coolers aren't exactly bargain basement items. That said, they shouldn't break your bank account, either.
If you don't mind having a basic top-load model without too many extra features, you should be able to pick one up for around $150.
However, for a point-of-use cooler of high quality, you're looking at $350 to $400.
If you want a bottom-load water cooler from a name brand you know and trust, like Whirlpool, you're likely to pay around $250 to $300.
The “watercooler effect” refers to situations in which employees in a workplace gather and socialize, often for the sake of gossiping or creating rumors, around the community water cooler.
Q. How do I keep my water cooler clean and sanitary?
A. It's important to keep your water cooler clean to help prevent the buildup of bacteria. Make sure you regularly clean any nozzles and buttons with a food-safe antibacterial cleaner. You should also clean the cold reservoir and water lines (as per the manufacturer's instructions) at least once a month.
Q. Should I get a full-sized water cooler or a tabletop model?
A. This really depends on how many people live in your home, how often you'll be using the water cooler, and how much space you have.
If you don't have the space for a larger model, a tabletop water cooler is an excellent compromise. Likewise, if there are only one or two of you in your home, or everybody spends most of the day at work or school, a larger variety might be overkill.
Q. Should I get a water cooler that also dispenses hot water?
A. Many quality water coolers also produce hot water as standard, but there's no reason to go out of your way to buy a water cooler with a “hot” option if you don't think you'll use it often.
That said, a readily available supply of hot water is great for whipping up hot drinks, instant oatmeal, soup cups, and more. So, once you get it, you might find that you use it more than you imagined you would.
|Air Cooler||Capacity||Approx Amazon Price|
|Bajaj DMH 90 Neo 90L Desert Air Cooler||90 Litre||Rs 10,480|
|Kenstar LITTLE HC 35 Personal Desert Air Water Cooler||35 Litre||Rs 8,113|
|Hindware Desert Air Cooler||72 Litre||Rs. 9,299|
While the average lifespan of a water dispenser is five to ten years, this longevity can vary drastically depending on how often it is used and how well it is maintained.Are water dispensers worth it? ›
1. Is It Worth Having A Water Dispenser On The Fridge? Yes, it is worth having a water dispenser in the fridge because you will have more convenience with the best side-by-side refrigerator and a dispenser. The family who drinks more water can directly fill up the glass with the need to fill the extra water bottles.Which cooler brand is better? ›
|Crompton Ozone Desert Air Cooler||75 litres||Rs 10199|
|Bajaj PX 97 Torque New Personal Air Cooler||36 litres||Rs 5598|
|Symphony Diet 12T Personal Tower Air Cooler||12 litres||Rs 5699|
|Bajaj DMH 65 Neo Desert Air Cooler||65 litres||Rs 9498|
The Bottom Line
If you're buying a water dispenser for your home or for a small office, your best choice is probably a bottom loading water dispenser. They provide all the benefits of a top loading water dispenser without any of the drawbacks. They're reasonably priced, easy to load, won't spill or cause back stain.
Less Efficient in Humidity
This is because humidity raises the wet-bulb temperature, which indicates how efficiently water absorbs heat. Water-cooled chillers in humid environments may also make building occupants feel cold and clammy.
If it's ever completely empty, you'll want to unplug the unit – especially if it's a hot and cold water dispenser. Leaving it plugged in while empty could actually damage the unit, something you want to avoid.How do I choose a good water dispenser? ›
- Different Type of Water Dispenser.
- The capacity of the Dispenser.
- Water Temperature.
- Cleaning and Drainage Mechanism.
Many plastics, and some metal, vessels contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began warning about in 2010 due to its correlation with cancer. Glass is the safest water bottle type because it's chemical-free, made from natural materials, and dishwasher safe.What is the difference between a water cooler and a water dispenser? ›
The Difference Between the Two. A water cooler cools the water it dispenses using an electric water cooler, whereas a water dispenser simply dispenses the water at room temperature. Both provide you with a clean fresh taste but at different temperatures.
Over time, you'll end up paying much more for bottled water compared to a bottle-less water cooler. Bottled water costs around $8.50 per gallon, whereas bottle-less coolers provide an unlimited drinking water supply at no cost.What is the most pure water brand? ›
In all seriousness, SmartWater is deemed as one of the best water bottle brands out there, enabling you to achieve ultimate hydration through a special vapor-distillation process that eradicates impurities. Essentially, this sort of system emulates the hydrologic cycle that makes water as pure as a drop of rain.What is the most popular water company? ›
The demand for functional water is driven by health and wellness trends. What is the number one selling bottled water? Aquafina and Dasani are the best selling bottled water brands in the world — both exceeding USD 1 billion in sales annually.Is any cooler better than Yeti? ›
Arctic Zone's Titan Deep Freeze Ice Chest Cooler is a Yeti-worthy competitor in every way. The seamless, rotomolded design maximizes ice retention with a freezer-grade, 360-degree rubber gasket and corrosion-resistant T-latches for an ultra-tight seal.Are there any coolers that work as good as Yeti? ›
Regardless, ORCA coolers are an excellent YETI cooler alternative, not only because we've seen more impressive prices from them, but also because they've committed themselves to manufacturing only in the U.S. YETI, on the other hand, does not make that guarantee.
Medium cooler: 30-45 quarts/28-42 liters
This size range includes some of the most popular sizes of cooler (35-55 quarts) and though a bit bigger, these will also typically come with carrying handles so be aware that if you have a 45-quart cooler and it's packed to the brim, it's going to be heavy.
Hard coolers are the better choice in terms of insulation performance. Because they are made from rotomolded plastic, they provide more consistent and effective insulation than soft-side coolers.Which cooler is better plastic or metal? ›
Invariably steel body coolers are more efficient than plastic body coolers as they are fitted with comparatively bigger cooling pads. – PLASTIC BODY OR METAL BODY DESERT COOLER? People sometimes prefer plastic body desert coolers for their better looks and zero possibility of rusting.Where is the best place to put a water cooler? ›
Against The Wall
It is strongly advised that your water cooler is always placed against a wall. This is both space efficient and eliminates the risk of employees tripping over the cable. It will also lessen the chance of the water cooler being bumped or damaged.
Don't Drain The Water
Once your cooler is in use, DO NOT empty the cold water. The water helps to insulate the remaining ice. However, exposed food and meat should be kept out of the water.
We use billions of individual plastic water bottles each year and millions end up in our rubbish each day. By drinking water from a reusable water bottle and refilling our water bottles with a water cooler, we can significantly reduce this number.
Average Power Consumption
To produce 5.9 litres of cold water, the unit will consume approximately 80Wh (Watt hours) of electricity. That translates to 13.6Wh of electricity to produce 1 litre of cold water. To produce 7.9 litres of hot water, the unit will consume approximately 450Wh of electricity.
Water coolers are very popular across the U.S. due to a variety of factors, including water shortages and contamination.How sanitary are water coolers? ›
Although water cooler dispensers can be magnets for bacteria, they are generally safe to use. However, that's only the case as long as you do the work and keep them well maintained. If you don't know how often water dispensers should be cleaned, that probably means you're not cleaning yours often enough.Do water coolers get mold? ›
Pseudonomas Aeurignosa is one such bacteria, but there are also microorganisms like yeast and mold that flourish in the presence of the organic carbon found in water coolers.Should you turn off water cooler at night? ›
Water dispensers can generally be left on overnight without any issues. However, it is recommended that all types of water dispensers be turned off at night – both hot and cold – as this will help conserve power while simultaneously prolonging the life cycle of the machine.How long do 5 gallon water dispensers last? ›
A three-day supply is great. But in certain situations, two weeks is optimal.What is the best water dispenser material? ›
Stainless steel is more hygienic and easier to clean than the plastic alternative. It also keeps the plastic taste out of the water, leaving you with a pure, refreshing taste. However, you can also get a porcelain dispenser. Porcelain models are few, but they are popular with consumers.What is the difference between water fountain and water dispenser? ›
Drinking fountains are always plumbed into the mains water, as opposed to water dispensers and coolers that can source water from a large bottle attached to the unit. They deliver fresh, cold water from a small spout, typically designed to be drunk directly from the fountain rather than to fill up a cup or bottle.What is the best container for drinking water? ›
The safest plastic containers to hold water are polyethylene-based plastics, or plastics #1, #2, and #4. All food-grade plastics are made of High-density polyethylene (HDPE) #2.
Glass Water Bottles: Pros and Cons
If “purity of taste” is your main concern, glass bottles offer a clear flavor advantage. It's also free from chemicals, safe to wash in a dishwasher, and (in most cases) recyclable. However, glass is breakable, so it's not always a great choice for younger kids or slippery conditions.
When comparing plastic bottles with boxed water, the study finds that boxed water has a 36% lower carbon footprint, uses 43% less fossil fuel, and has a 95% lower impact on the ozone. Keep in mind that not all cartons are created equal.How much better are water coolers? ›
Water transfers heat from your components faster than air, meaning your CPU can run cooler and quieter. Water coolers are extremely ideal if you find yourself overclocking your CPU often. However, water coolers are typically more expensive than air coolers and can be more difficult to install.What are the advantages and disadvantages of water dispenser? ›
|Pros and Cons of a Refrigerator Water Dispenser|
|Convenience||Higher initial appliance cost|
|May improve taste and smell of ice and water||Higher annual operating cost|
|May be appealing to home buyers||More routine maintenance required|
|Filtering effectiveness is very basic|
Water Cooler Cost
There are several water cooler models with a range of prices and capabilities. Some have the ability to cool and/or heat your water while others keep it room temperature. Water cooler rental fees are usually less than $10 per month.
Desert Coolers: Desert coolers are specially designed for places where the temperature is high and humidity is low. These coolers push the cool air by evaporating heat from the water. It is successful in cooling the bigger places quite easily.How do I choose a water cooler dispenser? ›
- Different Type of Water Dispenser.
- The capacity of the Dispenser.
- Water Temperature.
- Cleaning and Drainage Mechanism.
|Symphony Storm 70 XL Desert Air Cooler||Lightweight, easy-to-install|
|Crompton Optimus 100-Litre Air Cooler||Button control|
|Symphony Diet 3D 55i+ Portable Tower Air Cooler||145 Watt wattage|
|Bajaj DC 2050 DLX 70L Desert Air Cooler||Provide 3-speed control|
Add ice to water
Another effective way of increasing the cooling efficiency is by adding ice to the water in the tank. Many people have already tried it with their coolers. In fact, some coolers also come with dedicated ice compartments.
There are different types of coolers. There are passive, thermoelectric, absorption, and compressor coolers. These types may sound complicated, but they're not.
The bottom line is that, if you are budget-oriented, you don't HAVE to spend extra money on a high-end cooler if you won't be using your system in a way that requires extra cooling. But, if you will be looking to get as much performance out of your processor as possible, then an upgraded cooler is a must.Is a bigger water cooler better? ›
Larger air coolers usually dissipate heat better, but there isn't always room for a bulky cooling solution, especially in a small form factor PC.Are water coolers high maintenance? ›
Maintenance – Custom liquid cooling systems require more maintenance than air cooling, as you need to sustain proper fluid levels, and make sure the components are clean and functional. Also, if any of the parts of a custom cooling system fail it could be catastrophic for your computer.What size water cooler should I get? ›
If you're building a mid-tower PC on a budget, a 240mm AIO cooler would be a logical choice, but if you can afford the best of the best, don't settle for anything less than a 360mm liquid cooler, provided your case can fit it—save the 120mm AIOs for ITX builds.Is it cheaper to buy 5-gallon water or water bottles? ›
Lower upfront costs… but more money over time
If you choose a 5-gallon cooler, you'll likely pay a small upfront or monthly cost for the cooler. This small price can look appealing, but be careful! Over time, you'll end up paying much more for bottled water compared to a bottle-less water cooler.