There are 9 water dispensers available for your convenience.

You've probably heard this before, but eight cups of water per day are recommended by health professionals. A water cooler might be the best option to get what your body needs. A water cooler or dispenser delivers copious quantities of cold or hot water upon request. This handy device has now entered homes as people actively try to reduce plastic use. It was once seen in the office as the meeting place for hot gossip.  

We contacted founder and self-described "water geek" Brian Campbell for advice on choosing a home water cooler so that we could learn as much as possible.

"Water coolers take up a lot of room and are large and bulky." Before purchasing a system, make sure you have enough space for it, he advises. Campbell also emphasizes how crucial it is to be aware of the additional maintenance requirements for water coolers. To stop the growth of bacteria, you must regularly replace the jug or filters and clean the internal parts, such as the water lines, reservoir, and spigots. ”

We looked into the top water coolers available, using Campbell's knowledge to assess their capacity, temperature options, load type, and general appearance. Our top picks, the 5-gallon capacity Glacier Bay Bottom Load Water Dispenser and Primo Top Load Water Dispenser, are both Energy Star certified.

The best water coolers are listed below to help you stay hydrated while saving money and minimizing waste.

Glacier Bay Matte Black and Stainless Steel Bottom Load Water Dispenser
Favorite Things
  • Most rooms benefit from sleek design.

  • No heavy jug to turn

  • 5-gallon water dispenser with a latch for child protection

  • UV sterilization technology keeps the unit tidy.

Things We Dislike
  • When a machine is first used, water may have a metallic taste.

The bottom-loading Glacier Bay Bottom Load Water Dispenser eliminates the need to lift, flip, and, yes, possibly spill, a bulky water jug. Glacier Bay's dispenser stands out at the top of our list due to its fashionable matte black and stainless steel accents.  

This model has a large fill area that can accommodate most glasses and pitchers and instantly dispenses water that is piping hot, room temperature, and ice cold. Imagine how easy and clean it would be to make Swiss Miss or instant soup with the push of a button. The water may initially taste a little metallic, but after a few runs, that should go away.

The dispenser is Energy Star-certified and includes a UV sterilization system to keep your machine—and ultimately, your water—clean. Additionally, this water cooler has a built-in night light, which is useful for those late-night thirst pangs.

Price as of publication: $209

41 Dimensions 3 x 12 2 x 13 8 inches; 5 gallons; 3 temperature settings; bottom loading; Energy Star certification; and self-cleaning

Primo Top Load Water Dispenser
What We Enjoy
  • Rapid delivery of cold water from a compressor cooling system

  • Easy-to-assemble

  • Steel is stainless

  • Water is prevented from leaking by the leak guard collar.

Things We Dislike
  • Low setting on cooler for dispenser

Our top choice for a top-loading water cooler is the Primo Top Load Water Dispenser. This unit's top-loading water dispenser makes it possible to provide cold water quickly. Additionally, you'll discover that it dispenses hot and cold water at the touch of a button.

The stainless steel dispenser also provides hot and room temperature water. Leak guard technology is used by the water bottle support collar to keep water flowing through the device without spilling on the sides.  

The dispenser tray is lower to the ground than those on other coolers, which is something to keep in mind, but it can be easily fixed. To make the cooler easier to access, place it on a small crate or a stand.

Price as of publication: $156

36 Dimensions 6 x 10 8 x 11 8 inches, 5 gallons, 3 temperatures, a top loading design, Energy Star certification, and no self-cleaning.

Igloo IWCTL352CHWH Hot & Cold Top Load Water Dispenser
What We Enjoy
  • Holds water jugs that are 3 or 5 gallons.

  • Removal of the drip tray

  • Kid-safe lock

  • Slim style is suitable for small spaces.

Things We Dislike
  • Louder when the hot water function is being used

A less expensive, no-frills replacement for more expensive models is the Igloo Hot & Cold Top Load Water Dispenser. The top-loading water cooler has two push buttons that dispense water from two different spigots: one for cold water and one for hot water. It can hold 3- or 5-gallon water jugs. Rest assured that the hot water dispenser has a child safety lock for the curious kids to prevent any unintentional pouring  

When the hot water function is being used, the water cooler can become a little loud, but otherwise, it is a quiet machine. The cooler's slim, free-standing design works in any space, but it especially fits well in smaller kitchens.

Price as of publication: $173

38 Dimensions 75 x 12 Dimensions: 5 x 13 inches, 5 gallons, 2 temperatures, top loading, not Energy Star certified, and not self-cleaning.

Brio CLPOU720UVRO4 Moderna Reverse Osmosis Bottleless Water Cooler
What We Enjoy
  • Temperature-controllable water supply

  • Advanced filtration system provides water that is free of contaminants

  • Self-cleaning

Things We Dislike
  • Expensive

  • Installed close to the water line

There are a number of features in the Brio Moderna stainless steel water dispenser that justify its more expensive than average price. To begin with, the dispenser enables you to modify the water's temperature to precisely match your preferences—cold water between 39 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit and hot water between 174 and 194 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler has a clear digital display, a powerful night light, and self-cleaning capabilities.  

However, the cooler's main selling point is that it gets its water from the water line in your house or place of business rather than from bulky plastic jugs. Even though once installed, this feature makes moving the cooler difficult, it ultimately cuts waste. Additionally to being environmentally friendly, the Brio Moderna water cooler is healthy. This Energy Star-certified device uses reverse osmosis filtration to remove significant contaminants, ensuring that your water looks and tastes good.

Price as of publication: $500

44 by 14 by 17 inches. 5 inches, 40 temperatures (ranging from 39 to 59 degrees Celsius, or 174 to 194 degrees Fahrenheit), no capacity, bottleless loading, Energy Star certification, and self-cleaning.

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Avalon A1CTWTRCLRWHT Top Loading Countertop Bottled Water Cooler
What We Enjoy
  • Changes in water temperature happen quickly.

  • Kid-safe lock

  • Ideal for a kitchen counter or office table, compact base

Things We Dislike
  • With the water jug added, tall

With 420 watts of heating power and 100 watts of cooling power, the dependable top-loading cooler from Avalon can dispense hot or cold water as needed. This implies that you won't have to wait long for your water to arrive at the appropriate temperature. Additionally, there is a child safety lock to prevent any unintentional dispensing because the water heats up so quickly.  

This water cooler has a small base, making it ideal for a kitchen counter or an office table. Just keep in mind that a water jug will raise the cooler by an additional 19 inches, so you should have at least 38 inches of height clearance.

Price as of publication: $180

Size: 19 by 12 by 14. 75 inches | 5 gallons | 2 temperature settings | Top loading | Energy Star certified | Self-cleaning | No

ISPRING DS4S Free-standing Dispenser with Built-in 4-Stage Filtration
What We Enjoy
  • Endless water

  • Simple to install and keep up

  • Temperature-controllable water supply

Things We Dislike

The bottleless water dispenser from ISPRING connects to a water line rather than a bottle, giving you unlimited water whenever you need it. The device uses a four-stage filtration system to get cleaner, better-tasting water by removing impurities. Thanks to its temperature adjuster, ISPRING's dispenser offers the cleanest water as well as the coldest or hottest water. You can set hot water to be between 194 and 201 degrees Fahrenheit and cold water to be between 39 and 46 degrees. Another choice is room temperature.  

This device is simple to install and even simpler to keep clean thanks to a built-in self-cleaning system. If you have a large family, it's worth the extra cost for these features.  

Price as of publication: $439

41 Dimensions 7 x 11 8 x 14 1 inches; capacity; 16 temperatures (39-46 degrees; 194-201 degrees Fahrenheit); bottleless loading; no Energy Star certification; yes to self-cleaning.

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YETI Silo 6 Gallon Water Cooler
What We Enjoy
  • Water is kept at the desired temperature for hours.

  • Lipgrip handles and Bearfoot non-slip feet make for simple transportation.

  • Warranty for five years

Things We Dislike

The Silo water cooler is no exception to the durability of well-known Yeti products. The Silo 6 Gallon Water Cooler is made of polyethylene and is resistant to intense sunlight, frost, and drops. All six gallons of water stay ice cold for several hours thanks to its permafrost insulation and a ColdLock gasket. Additionally, it can maintain warm liquids at the ideal temperature.  

It's clean to move the cooler to your campsite. While driving over rocky terrain, Yeti's patented Bearfoot non-slip feet keep the cooler from slipping and sliding, and tie-down slots provide additional security. The Lipgrip handles are integrated into the cooler's frame so you won't have to worry about learning an awkward grip when carrying the cooler. Nevertheless, the cooler is substantial, weighing 17 pounds without water. Make sure you can transport it before you buy. If not, consider it a part of your exercise.

Price as of publication: $300

Dimensions: 17 9 x 15 8 x 15 6 inches; 6 gallons; no temperature ranges; no temperature ranges; no loading type; no Energy Star certification; no self-cleaning; no temperature ranges.

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Primo Top Load Water Dispenser with Pet Station
What We Enjoy
  • Pet water dispenser won't work without a bowl in place.

  • Kid-safe lock

  • Cleanup-friendly drip tray

Things We Dislike
  • If you use other machines, the cold water might not be as cold.

Primo's Deluxe Top Loading Dispenser with Pet Station makes it simpler than ever to keep your pet hydrated. To instantly deliver fresh water, just put the detachable, dishwasher-safe pet bowl in front of or to either side of Primo's dispenser. Additionally, there is no need to be concerned about unintentional water release because the water does not release unless the bowl is in place.  

This dispenser's easy-to-clean drip tray, LED night light and indicators, quiet heating and cooling system, and everyday practicality and convenience were all taken into consideration during design. The water dispenser produces both hot and cold water, but the cold water might be more room temperature than cold.  

Price as of publication: $179

41 Dimensions 1 x 11 8 x 11 8 inches | 5 gallons | 2 temperature settings | Top loading | Energy Star not certified | No self-cleaning

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Primo Htrio Coffee K-Cup Water Dispenser Bottom Loading
What We Enjoy
  • Coffee pod storage built-in

  • Cabinet hides jug of water

  • Looks classy

Things We Dislike
  • Coffee's temperature can change.

The multipurpose beverage dispenser from Primo Htrio might be the space-saving device you've always wanted. The swift delivery of piping-hot and ice-cold water is made possible by the strong but quiet heating and cooling systems. Additionally, using the heating feature when brewing 6-, 8-, or 10-ounce cups of coffee from pods or grounds is helpful.

A bottom cabinet that conceals the unsightly water jug is another appealing feature. As a result, the dispenser has a sleek appearance that is typically reserved for expensive models.  

Price as of publication: $250

Dimensions are 43 5 x 12 2 14 2 inches | 5 gallons | 2 temperatures | Bottom loading | Energy Star not certified | Self-Cleaning not applicable

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The verdict

The Glacier Bay Bottom Load Water Dispenser and the Primo Top Load Water Dispenser are two of our top choices because they are both robust, beautifully designed water coolers that can be placed anywhere. These two dispensers can deliver ice-cold or piping-hot water at the touch of a button and have a 5-gallon capacity, making them ideal for households with multiple occupants. Despite being Energy Star certified, only the dispenser from Glacier Bay has a self-cleaning feature. Consider the Igloo Hot & Cold Top-Loading Water Cooler, which also has a 5-gallon capacity and comes with a child safety lock, for a less expensive, simpler option.  

Determine your hydration requirements before researching water coolers, according to Rachel Kourey, Home Depot's Merchant of Pumps and Water, in an interview with The Spruce. Consider how many and how frequently users there will be of the machine. From there, Kourey predicts that you'll likely select one of three models.

  1. Traditional freestanding bottled water dispensers: These appliances frequently accommodate up to five 5-gallon water jugs, which makes them perfect for large families.  
  2. Countertop bottled water dispensers: This choice is ideal for one- or two-person homes because it typically holds 1- to 2-gallon water jugs.  
  3. Bottleless water dispensers: These models, which are connected to a water line, deliver limitless, filtered water whenever needed. This model, which is most frequently found in offices, uses filters that need to be changed. It can also be installed in homes.  

Additionally, Kourey advises measuring the designated area because it must be close to an electrical outlet. Remember that a cooler with a bigger capacity will probably need more space. Determine whether you need to adjust your capacity expectations or rearrange the area to make room for a larger dispenser by comparing the measurements of the space to those of the cooler.  

Top-loading bottled water coolers use gravity to direct water toward the dispensers from a water jug placed on top of the appliance. A water pump in bottom-loading coolers pulls water up from a jug at the base of the device. The choice between the two loading types will depend on personal preference because there is only a small functional difference in this placement.  

In a top-loading cooler, you can see when the water level is getting low and make sure you have a new bottle on hand, advises Campbell. Bottom-loading coolers don't have this benefit, but because the water bottle isn't on display, they usually have a more attractive design. ” 

The bottom-loading coolers, according to Campbell, not only have a more appealing appearance but are also simpler to load because they do not require lifting and flipping a heavy jug. Those with physical limitations might favor this edginess. Because they are frequently shorter than top-loading machines, bottom-loading machines might fit into your space better. We chose the Glacier Bay Matte Black and Stainless Steel Bottom Load Water Dispenser because it has a large fill area and dispenses water instantly at piping hot, room temperature, and ice cold.

According to Kourey, because bottom-loading dispensers require more parts to pump water, they are frequently more expensive than top-loading ones. In general, bottom-loading coolers are more aesthetically pleasing, but top-loading coolers are more cost-effective.

Most water dispensers have pre-programmed hot and cold water spouts. Campbell claims that hot water is typically between 170 and 197 degrees Fahrenheit and cold water is roughly between 39 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, although the temperatures may vary slightly among coolers. There may be a third spout on your water cooler for water that is room temperature, or about 78 degrees Fahrenheit.  

More expensive water dispensers allow you to change the temperature to your preference, which may be ideal for households with multiple people with various preferences.

Consider using a water cooler with a safety lock if you have young children in your home or if you want an additional measure of security for yourself. That might seem unnecessary, but when you take into account how simple water coolers are to use and how much younger kids enjoy touching things, this feature might end up being necessary. The hot water spout on the majority of water coolers is secured with a latch that, when twisted, pushed, or pulled, prevents water from dispensing. There may be a button on digital water coolers that, when pressed, activates a lock feature.  

The use and maintenance of your water cooler are aided by indicator lights, though they differ between units. Typical warning lights include:

  • You can tell when the water is heated by the heating indicator light.  
  • You can tell when the water is cooling after the heat function when the cooling indicator light is on.  
  • This empty bottle indicator light lets you know when to buy a new water bottle. Since the jug cannot be seen, this light is typically found on bottom-loading machines.  
  • Filter Change Indicator Light: Notifies you when filters need to be changed. On bottleless water dispensers, this indicator is most frequently found.  
  • The water cooler is more visible at night thanks to the night light.

A pet station fills your pet's bowl with water directly, saving you the bending, carrying, and potential spilling that come with doing it yourself. Pet stations reduce some of the clutter in your home by frequently installing the water bowl in the front, left, or right side of the water cooler's base. Look for a pet station that won't dispense water unless the bowl is in place for added security. For our selection, we went with Primo's Deluxe Top Loading Dispenser with Pet Station, which enables you to set a detachable, dishwasher-safe pet bowl in front of or on either side of the dispenser for immediate, fresh water delivery.

Despite being a fairly simple task, cleaning a water cooler can be time-consuming. Self-cleaning coolers allow you to reclaim that time and care for the dispenser, lengthening its lifespan. Most frequently, the self-clean feature sanitizes and cleans the cooler using a potent UV light.

  • How is a water cooler cleaned?

    Cleaning a water cooler involves the same general procedures, but different cleaning solutions may be used. Campbell advises using a solution consisting of one gallon of water and one tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach. Home improvement expert Stefan Bucur suggests mixing five cups of vinegar with one gallon of water for a more environmentally friendly alternative that also dissolves the minerals in hard water. When your desired mixture is ready, remove the drip tray and filters, unplug the dispenser, and remove the water bottle to drain any remaining water from the spigots. Next, soak in a warm, soapy water solution. After that, you can add your cleaning agent to the water reservoir and let it stand there for a while.  

    Try cleaning the interior of the water reservoir with a long-handled cleaning brush before draining the solution from the hot and cold spigots into a bucket. Drain the water from the spigots into a bucket and fill the reservoir with clean, cold tap water. Repeat, but this time use warm tap water. Specify this once more. After that, put a fresh bottle on the cooler and replace any drip trays and filters that were removed. You should squeeze the spigots to release water.  

    When to clean your appliance depends on a number of factors. Campbell advises cleaning it every six weeks to be on the safe side. Bucur, however, advises against doing it more frequently than every three months. However, both suggest to The Spruce that since changing your water jug involves cleaning the cooler, it might be easiest to do so each time.  

  • How are water coolers operated?

    Water from another source, typically a jug or waterline, is dispensed by water coolers. They frequently release both hot and cold water and regulate the temperature using heating and cooling systems that are built into the machine's base. Some water coolers come equipped with filtration systems that get rid of impurities and unpleasant tastes, odors, and colors. These models frequently cost more than typical water dispensers.  

  • How long should water in a water cooler be left to stand?

    Campbell and Bucur advise changing your water jug every 30 days even though most water coolers keep the water airtight to keep it fresh. It can start to grow algae if left unused or exposed to the elements for too long, which would seep into the dispenser. Campbell continues, "If you won't be using your water cooler for a while, it's best to remove the jug and load a fresh one once you're back."  

  • Do water coolers merit the expense?

    A water cooler's value ultimately depends on each individual's needs and preferences. According to Campbell, water coolers are worthwhile for people who frequently drink bottled water and want to reduce waste and costs as well as those who want to easily access both hot and cold water. People who won't use the cooler more than twice per day or who don't want to deal with the upkeep necessary to keep a water dispenser clean and full may not find them to be worth it.  

Leah Rocketto, a lifestyle writer and editor for The Spruce, penned this article. She sorted through dozens of customer and third-party website reviews to choose the top water coolers.  

She also spoke with Stefan Bucur, Brian Campbell, and Rachel Kourey to learn more about the characteristics of a must-have water cooler. The Home Depot's Pumps and Water Merchant, Kourey, is in charge of keeping all equipment in these categories up to date. Campbell is a water treatment specialist who founded and has given businesses all over the world tools, instrumentation, and services for analyzing water quality. The focus of Bucur's expertise in home improvement is kitchen appliances.

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