Buying Guide for Water Coolers
Why should you buy a water cooler?
It’s jokingly renowned for being the rendezvous for overworked employees, and isn’t that brilliant? You want to create a hospitable environment in your office setting, the kind where someone can get up and grab a glass of water to refresh themselves, rather than another sugary drink or artificially flavored danish. The water cooler is designed to accommodate every parched tongue across the work floor at almost any point during the day. And they can do the same thing at home in your kitchen or gym, too! Ultimately, water coolers are a nice drink station alternative to a fridge with a filter or buying disposable water bottles. You can even keep one in the basement of your home so that you won’t have to make your way to the kitchen each time you get thirsty.
What should you look for in a water cooler?
- Water Capacity: The standard gallon capacity that most coolers can support, whether they are top or bottom loading, is 3 to 5 gallons. It’s important not to exceed the 5-gallon limit for a top-loading unit, as you’re likely to create a top-heavy and unsafe predicament.
- Loading Capability: The bottom loading unit saves you from the back pain and eyesores associated with placing a multi-gallon jug in the middle of your work or kitchen space. However, some top-loading units are quite slimmer than their counterparts, allowing for greater accessibility and placement.
- Safety Measures: A large number of units include a hot water setting, but the best will also include a lock on the faucet so that one doesn’t unknowingly mistake the hot for cold and burn their hand in a hurry. Additional safety measures, like a sturdy base or tight seal around the jug, are key to overall convenience.
How regularly does a water cooler need to be cleaned?
Unless you purchase an option that promotes self-cleaning, you’re likely going to need to care for your water cooler on a regular basis. A water dispenser requires a thorough cleaning every so often to function properly and so that you aren’t taking swigs of bacteria-laced liquid. Some publications recommend that you should provide your cooler’s inner mechanisms with a deep clean every six months. However, there are also minor cleaning tactics you can use to maintain the appearance and safety of your unit, like daily wipedowns across the exterior to prevent germ buildup.
Our Picks for the Best Water Coolers
Avalon Water Cooler
A stylish and easy-to-load console, this water cooler knows how to heat, cool, and dispense your water with ease.
Pros: Sleek and appropriately priced, this bottom-loading water cooler brings forth a welcomingly modern design to the simple task of tossing back some water. It features three temperature outputs (cold, room temperature, and hot), so you’ll just be one step away from a cup of tea or a crisp, post-workout rejuvenation. This water cooler’s bottom-loading cabinet prevents you from overexerting yourself while switching jugs, asking you to just slide the 3- or 5-gallon jug into place rather than lifting and placing it on top of the console.
Cons: Even without a hefty jug of water weighing it down, moving this console around can be tricky for some. It can take up a good chunk of wall space if you don’t position it well. Its stainless steel bottom cabinet can accumulate dust and gunk, so you’ll have to clean it often.
Bottom Line: A consistently cold or hot water dispenser, this Avalon Water Cooler features a variety of nifty design perks that will make your water pouring experience and your back feel completely pain-free.
Frigidaire Water Cooler
A classic water cooler with a stainless steel weld tank.
Pros: This Frigidaire water cooler dispenses both cold and hot water. With 100 watts of cooling power and 420 watts of heating power, your water will always be at the right temperature. This water cooler is powered by a robust compressor cooler, and it can hold 3- or 5-gallon bottles. There is also an indicator displaying cooling, heating, and power activity. There will be no mess with the removable drip tray, allowing easy cleaning.
Cons: Of course, you must be careful when putting a new jug on to prevent any dripping. Some reviewers mentioned the water isn’t cold enough for their liking.
Bottom Line: With a clean look, this water cooler would fit in any kitchen, office, or dorm.
AvalonSelf Cleaning Bottleless Water Cooler Dispenser
A bottle-less water cooler that reduces the cost of water purchases.
Pros: This self-cleaning bottle-less water cooler is a sleek option for those who want to maximize efficiency and cut water purchases. It features a dual filtration system that consists of a sediment filter and a carbon block filter that will last either six months or 1,500 gallons of water. The cooler has three temperature settings, allowing you to customize your drinking experience to cold, cool, or piping hot output.
Cons: While ultimately this is a pricier investment, it will save money on purchasing water. The device does require installation, which some reviewers mentioned can be tricky.
Bottom Line: This water cooler is a great choice for those who want the ease of filtered water without the hassle of water jug deliveries.
SOUKOO 2 in 1 Water Ice Maker
With this countertop device, you can have both ice and water at your fingertips.
Pros: This countertop water dispenser and ice maker can make 48 pounds of ice cubes daily in as fast as six to ten minutes. There are three different size options for ice cubes, too. The ice is stored in a 4.5-pound storage basket. The water spout dispenses cold water from water jugs for a continuous cold supply. You can even use the melted ice for the next cycle of ice-making. The panel to control this device has soft buttons with lighted indicators to tell you when to press.
Cons: This device is an expensive investment. The ice dispensing is noisy, but the making of the cubes is quiet.
Bottom Line: The two-in-one water dispenser and ice maker is the perfect option for offices, basements, bedrooms, and even dorms.
Brio Water Cooler
Here's a water cooler that's defined by its secure water dispensing power and efficient loading method.
Pros: Just like the most versatile water coolers on the market, this unit features a tri-temperature push-button faucet that instantly delivers either cold, hot, or room-temperature water. It also features a bottom-loading cabinet that makes switching water jugs much easier. To ensure the utmost protection when using its hot water setting, this water cooler includes a childproof, two-step lock that only users of a certain age will know how to work their way around.
Cons: Overall, this water cooler is bigger, and that can be a problem if you’re short on space in your kitchen or office setting. Its 40-pound frame is slightly more manageable than most, but its 15.2- by 14.2- by 44-inch stature can still be a bit tricky to position in cramped quarters. The inclusion of a drip tray, while accommodating for mess prevention, equates to another portion of the console you need to check and clean often or risk bacteria buildup. Its larger price tag is also concerning for the budget buyer.
Bottom Line: Promoting a multifaceted and safe dispensing experience, this Brio Water Cooler is one of several bottom-loading units that embody the luxury of easy accessibility and the enjoyment of a fast pour.
The fact of the matter is that this unit will need to support you and yours over the course of several years, so why not buy with quality in mind? Our top picks for water coolers should work great for your needs.