The Best Water Cooler for Home & Office

Best Overall

Primo Stainless Steel Water Cooler Dispenser
  • Accepts both 3-gallon and 5-gallon bottles
  • Spill-proof loading
  • Hot or cold water

 

Premium Choice

Oasis PSWSA1SHS Hot N’ Cold Bottleless Water Cooler
  • No bottles necessary
  • Refills via water line
  • Backup power source

 

Great Value

Primo Top Loading Water Cooler
  • Hot or cold water
  • 3 or 5-gallon water bottles
  • Primo coupons included

 

Wouldn’t it be great to have a dedicated source of fresh, cool drinking water in your home? With water coolers for home use, you’re just the push of a button away from refreshing, ice-cold, and sparkling-clear water.

That’s not all that they do, though. Hot and cold water dispensers can also provide you with water that’s the perfect temperature for whipping up a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate. Most of them even allow you to set the temperature to what you want. Your standard sink doesn’t have that type of precise temperature control.

If you’re searching the online marketplace for one of these luxury appliances, we’ve already done all of the hard work for you by creating this guide. The following water cooler reviews cover the best water dispenser units we could find, and they should help you find the best water cooler for you without making you explore every corner of the internet.

The Best Water Coolers

Best Overall

1. Primo Stainless Steel Water Cooler Dispenser

This Primo water cooler is made from stainless steel, and it has the appearance of those old water coolers you'd see in an office building. It holds 3-gallon and 5-gallon water bottles, and it has three separate spouts to allow multiple people to use it at once. In addition to having multiple spouts, the watercooler has two different temperature options. It's common for these products to allow you to use hot or cold water, but this one includes a safety feature that prevents children from pouring scolding water on themselves. In our minds, that makes this a great option for people with children or workplaces where children are present.

Key Features
  • Accepts both 3-gallon and 5-gallon bottles
  • Spill-proof loading
  • Hot or cold water
  • Energy Star rated
  • Child-resistant to prevent burns
Dimensions10.8 x 11.7 x 36.4Weight35 lbsLoading TypeTopTank Capacity3 - 5 Gallon BottlesFunctions Hot / Cold
Premium Choice

2. Oasis PSWSA1SHS Hot N’ Cold Bottleless Water Cooler

This Oasis unit is one of the home water coolers on this list that doesn't accept water bottles. Instead, it fills itself via a water line that comes off of your sink. That lowers the overall price of running the machine, and it saves you trips to the store. Like other models on this list, it has hot and cold water options, and it has two separate thermostats that allow you to choose the right temperature for you. However, the hot water thermostat has a limiter installed to prevent you from hurting yourself. Both spouts feature a basic child-resistant toggle, too. With this being powered by electricity and your sink, it would be reasonable to worry about the unit if your power goes out. You don't have to, though. Oasis has installed a floating mechanism that can work as a backup power supply if anything happens.

Key Features
  • No bottles necessary
  • Refills via water line
  • Backup power source
  • Hot and cold temperatures are adjustable
  • Child-resistant
Dimensions13 x 12.5 x 44.4Weight37.9 lbsLoading TypeWater MainsTank Capacity1 & 1/2 quartsFunctions Hot / Cold
Great Value

3. Primo Top Loading Water Cooler

This Primo top-loader is extremely similar to the first Primo product we covered in these water dispenser reviews. However, it's a white dispenser, and it has a few extra goodies included with it. It can hold the same 3-gallon or 5-gallon tanks, and it has the option to pour hot or cold water. However, it's a little slimmer, and it includes a drip tray that is machine-washable, a spill-proof loading mechanism, and coupons that will give you some good deals on Primo water bottles. If you're not familiar with Primo water, they sell their large water bottles in most popular stores, and they have refill stations around the nation.

Key Features
  • Hot or cold water
  • 3 or 5-gallon water bottles
  • Primo coupons included
  • Child-resistant hot water toggle
  • Spill-proof loading
Dimensions12.5 x 10.8 x 36.3Weight29.1 lbsLoading TypeTopTank Capacity3 or 5 Gallon BottlesFunctionsHot / Cold

4. Avalon A5 Bottleless Water Cooler

This Avalon water dispenser truly is one of the best water coolers if you're looking for a bottle-free option. It's a little more expensive than other water dispensers, but it has all of the more advanced features of other models in one unit. The Avalon A5 is another dispenser that gets its water supply from your sink's water line. That entirely removes any need to lug heavy water bottles around, and it prevents the A5 from running out of water. It has three spouts, and it can dispense hot or cold water, and the hot water spout is protected by a child-safety lock. What really sets this dispenser apart from the others is the fact that it has a self-cleaning system, and it has built-in lights to help you get through your house at night.

Key Features
  • No heavy bottles to install
  • Child-safe hot water function
  • Self-cleaning
  • Nighttime lights
  • Comes with filter
Dimensions13 x 12 x 41Weight44 lbsLoading TypeWater MainsTank CapacityUnlimitedFunctions Hot / Cold

5. Primo Bottom Loading Water Cooler

This Primo dispenser is the first bottom-loader on our list of water dispenser reviews. The good thing about bottom-loaders is that they don't have an ugly tank sticking out of the top. The tank is hidden within a cabinet beneath the dispenser's spouts. So, if you like Primo but hate the visible tank models, this is the one for you. It has all of Primo's standard features. It can dispense hot and cold water, the hot spout is child-proof, and it comes with their stainless steel drip tray. The main draw for this model is that you don't have to flip the tank over and lift it to load your dispenser with water. You can just slide it in. In terms of its appearance, it looks a lot like a water line dispenser. However, you won't have to mess with your plumbing to make this one work.

Key Features
  • Bottom-loaded
  • Hot and cold water options
  • Child-proof
  • Stainless steel drip tray
  • Free Primo coupons
Dimensions44.1 x 13.7 x 15.6Weight44.9 lbsLoading TypeBottomTank Capacity3 - 5 Gallon BottlesFunctions Hot / Cold

6. Avalon A6 Bottom Loading Cooler

The Avalon A6 is Avalon's response to bottle-based dispensers. Their older models require you to reroute your sink's water line. This option is a lot more user-friendly because it only requires you to load up a 5-gallon water bottle to operate it. That presents its own drawbacks, but it is easier than rerouting your plumbing. This model doesn't have the lights that the Avalon A5 has, but it does have a nightlight, and it can dispense hot or cold water. Avalon also included a warning light that tells you when you're getting low on water.

Key Features
  • Avalon quality
  • 5-gallon capacity
  • Warning lights
  • Bottom-loaded design
  • No need to reroute water lines
Dimensions47.2 x 16.3 x 15.1Weight42.2 lbsLoading TypeBottomTank Capacity5 Gallon BottlesFunctions Hot / Cold

7. Primo Water Dispenser and Pet Station

This Primo machine is the only dispenser we've reviewed that can supply your pets with fresh water. It can house 5-gallon bottles of Primo water, and it even comes with coupons to help you buy your first few bottles. If you save your bottles when you're done with them, you can have them refilled for a lower price, too. Besides that, it has a nightlight, and it offers hot and cold water options. This model is more expensive than other Primo models, but it's also the only one that comes with accommodations for your pet. So, it's a great choice for pet owners. It's also worth mentioning that you'll never have to worry about your dog or cat getting water everywhere. This Primo dispenser only supplies water to the pet station when a bowl is properly placed within one of three different spots.

Key Features
  • Only model with pet accommodations
  • Hot and cold options
  • Top-loaded
  • Coupons for Primo Exchange and Primo Refill
  • Built-in nightlight
Dimensions11.8 x 11.8 x 41.1Weight42 lbsLoading TypeTopTank Capacity5 Gallon BottlesFunctions Hot / Cold

Water Cooler Buyer’s Guide

This is the part of our article where you get to learn about what all those fancy terms in the reviews mean. It’s designed to be user-friendly, and it should help you figure out which one is the best water dispenser for home use for you.

Bottomless Or Bottle-Powered?

Water coolers come in two main varieties. First, you have the standard version that relies on large bottles of pre-treated water. The water in these tends to be very high-quality, but it can be expensive to keep replenishing them in the long run, and you’ll need a decent amount of core strength to lift them onto top-loading units. The average vessel contains between 3 and 5 gallons of water. There are some models that don’t require any real heavy lifting, but we’ll get into that later.

The alternative is a bottomless model. Bottomless models get their name because they don’t require the use of a vessel with limited amounts of water. They tap directly into your house’s water supply, and they usually come with a filter that attaches to your water pipes to create the freshest tasting water possible. The downside to using one of these is that you’ll need to reroute your plumbing to supply water to the unit’s reservoir. They can also be more of an upfront investment when compared to models that use large bottles to get their water supply.

Deciding to buy one type over the other is something that requires you to consider how much time and money you have. The bottles used to supply your standard water cooler are fairly expensive if you drink a lot of water. They typically max out at five gallons each, and they can cost upwards of ten dollars each. If you drink a lot of water, that relatively small investment will add up fast in the long run.

If you go with a bottomless unit, you won’t spend nearly as much money supplying it with water over the course of a year, but you’ll face a higher investment cost upfront, and you’ll have to mess with a few pipes under your sink. It’s not difficult to do, but some people are really afraid to go messing around with their piping.

You also need to worry about your own physical capabilities. A bottomless unit only requires you to move something heavy once. After it’s installed, it will supply water for years without needing to be moved at all.

On the other hand, a model that requires 5-gallon bottles will require you to lug roughly 40 pounds of water per bottle home from the store. Then, you’ll have to pick the bottle up, flip it upside down, and screw it into its loading slot on the dispenser. If you’re not capable of doing that, you can buy a bottom-loading unit, but those aren’t as common, and they still require you to travel around with a 5-gallon bottle.

When it comes to choosing between one or the other, you really just need to consider those factors. Otherwise, it’s all about personal preference.

Do You Have Children?

Children should affect your decision quite a bit. Most of the best water cooler dispenser units have a setting that pours hot water. That hot water setting creates water that can easily hurt people when used improperly. If your unit doesn’t have a safety setting, your children can easily scold their skin when they get too curious about the large water machine in your kitchen.

Luckily, most manufacturer’s ship their units with child-resistant toggles. All of the units we’ve reviewed have them. However, it’s a major feature, and it should be factored in when you decide on a water cooler for home use.

Do You Have Pets?

Pets can be pretty demanding. They rely on us for food, water, shelter, comfort, and anything else you can imagine. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a machine that automatically removed one of those tasks from your list?

If you buy the right water cooler, you won’t have to worry about supplying your pets with water. Some models come equipped with special spouts that automatically fill your pet’s water dish. In addition, these units usually have measures in place to keep your pet from splashing water everywhere. If you have a pet, it’s probably a good idea to spend the extra money on a unit that has at least one of these pet-oriented spouts equipped.

Not everyone owns a pet, though. So, it’s important to realize that features such as dedicated spouts for pets often raise the price of water coolers. Those features require extra materials and labor to create, and those types of production costs never come cheap. If you don’t have pets and don’t want any, you can skip this feature entirely.

How Much Water Do You Drink?

Do you really need a bottomless water cooler if you only drink one glass of water everyday? If you don’t drink a lot, you might be better off buying a unit that houses 3 or 5 gallons of bottled water at a time, and you can pick the bottle size that suits you best.

However, if you drink a lot of water everyday, it’s best to get a machine that attaches to your water line. The average cost of a gallon of tap water is about 15 cents. That’s a lot cheaper than what the stores charge for bottles of Primo or Avalon. You also only have to change a bottomless model’s filter about once a year, and most hardware stores sell aftermarket filters.

What’s Your Budget?

Budget has a lot to do with deciding what the best water cooler for home use is. Features like nightlights, self-cleaning systems, and leak-proof water exchanges are nice, but that doesn’t matter if you don’t have the money to buy them. Sometimes it’s best to go with a cheaper model. Even the cheap models let you pick between hot and cold water on a whim, and most of them have multiple spouts and safety features.

However, we highly recommend shelling out for those advanced features if you have the money in your budget for them. They don’t cost too much more than what a basic model will cost you, and you’ll love all of the little bonuses that come with a more expensive unit.

Most importantly, you need to do what you’re comfortable doing. If you don’t feel it’s necessary to spend $300 on a water dispenser, then don’t do it. If you really want the fanciest water cooler you can buy, it’s worth the extra money, and you shouldn’t feel bad about splurging on something you really like.

What Special Features Matter?

We have briefly mentioned some of these features, but they’re all worth having their own section. They add value to water dispensers, and they make your life easier as you grow more attached to your water dispenser.

Self-Cleaning Systems

Self-cleaning systems are important if you don’t want to spend more than an hour scrubbing your water dispenser like a crazy person. They typically rely on natural ingredients such as vinegar to perform their duties, and they do a much better job of cleaning your ice dispenser than you would with a sponge and harsh chemicals.

However, those systems typically cost a lot to manufacture, and those manufacturing costs are passed down to consumers. If you don’t see the benefits of owning a water dispenser with self-cleaning systems, you can easily save a few dozen dollars by buying one without them.

Nightlight Features

Imagine you have a friend passed out on your couch, and you just woke up after a very intense party. It’s still dark out, and you’re more dehydrated than you’ve ever been. You probably don’t want to turn every light in the house on just to pour yourself a cold glass of water, but you also don’t want to stumble across your kitchen in the dark.

That’s where nightlights come in. You can always install a traditional nightlight in your kitchen, but those look tacky, and you’re not twelve anymore. A built-in nightlight adds a high-tech look to your water dispenser, and it makes it easier for you to find your way around in the dark.

These aren’t entirely necessary, but they do help a lot, and most models that have them don’t cost much more than ones that don’t. We definitely recommend buying a water dispenser that has one built-in.

Child-Safety

This feature isn’t anything to scoff at. The vast majority of modern water dispensers have hot water options, and they aren’t kidding when they say that the water is hot. It’s designed to let you make single-serving cups of hot beverages with ease, and that means it’s usually near boiling temperatures. If your child gets curious and pushes an unprotected toggle, they can cause permanent damage to their skin, and that’s only if something much worse doesn’t happen.

If you have any children, we highly recommend only looking at dispensers that have safety features attached to their hot water toggles. It isn’t as important to worry about the cold water spout. All that will do is cause a mess. The consequences of letting your child play with boiling water can be pretty bad, though.

On the other hand, you can completely ignore this type of feature if you don’t have kids. It doesn’t usually raise the price of a unit much, but it won’t hurt childless adults to go without one, either.

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