9 Best Water Cooler Dispensers (November 2023)

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Hey, water lover! Welcome to our best water cooler dispensers guide.

If you’re trying to reduce your bottled water intake but you hate the taste of tap water, you’ve come to the right place.

Feel free to buy a water cooler dispenser that has only the most basic functions and packs in after just a few months – but we strongly recommend investing smartly in a dispenser that’s loved by customers and industry experts alike for its powerful, reliable performance.

By the end of this guide, you’ll know:

  • Which water cooler dispensers are the best value in 2023
  • The essential factors you should consider before you buy a water cooler dispenser
  • How to get the most out of your dispenser in the long run

🥇 Best Water Cooler Dispenser

📊 Comparison Chart of Water Cooler Dispensers

ProductAvalon A5
Avalon A5
Crystal Quest
Crystal Quest
<br data-lazy-src=Primo
<br data-lazy-src=Avalon A1
Avalon A1
<br data-lazy-src=
TypeBottlelessBottlelessBottlelessBottleless CountertopBottom LoadingBottom LoadingTop LoadingTop LoadingTop Loading
FiltrationSediment filter + carbon blockSediment filter + carbon blockReverse osmosis + GAC + UFCarbon block + sediment filterReverse osmosis
Temperature Setting332223223
NSF Certified?YesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Warranty1 year1 year (limited)1 year1 year1 year2 years1 year90-day guaranteen/a

⭐ Best Water Cooler Dispenser Reviews 2023

Key Features:

  • Duel sediment & carbon filtration – The Avalon A5 features a built-in sediment filter, which removes rust and dirt, and a carbon block filter, which is NSF certified to reduce chlorine, lead, and bacteria.
  • 6-month filter lifespan – The two filters last up to 1,500 gallons (or 6 months’ worth) of water. Annual filter changes will set you back about $200 per year.
  • 1.5 GPM flow rate – The Avalon A5 delivers a water flow of 1.5 gallons per minute (GPM). A standard faucet has a flow rate of between 1.0 and 2.2 GPM – so 1.5 GPM is plenty for a water dispenser.
  • Three temperature settings – It’s quick and easy to customize the Avalon to suit your preferences. Choose from either cool or crisp cold water, or set the temperature to piping hot for tea or coffee. The hot water spout has a CHILD safety lock, and there’s a built-in night light, too.
Avalon A5 OptionsPrice
Stainless Steel$27418

Best For: Anyone keen to invest wisely in the best-value water cooler dispenser with more features and perks than most other dispensers in the $250-$300 price range.


  • We love that the A valon A5 is third-party approved for performance. The carbon filter can remove up to 99.6% lead, 99.7% particulates, 99.9% cysts, 97.4% chlorine, 100% bad odor or taste, and 99.9% visible objects – that’s pretty impressive.
  • Another of our favorite features of the Avalon cooler is that it doesn’t use a top- or bottom-loading water bottle, so it’ll reduce the costs and plastic waste associated with bottled water, while offering bottled water quality and taste.
  • The machine will sanitize and purify itself, saving you the job of cleaning everything manually.


  • Customer service seems to be hit-and-miss. Some customers really struggled to get a response from Avalon when they encountered problems with their dispenser.

Key Features:

  • 2-stage filtration – The Brio Self Cleaning Bottleless Water Cooler Dispenser has a carbon block filter and a sediment filter, which filter dust, rust, chlorine, VOCs, and contaminants that give water a bad taste or odor. 
  • 3 temperature settings – Choose betweencrisp cold, room-temperature, and piping hot water output.
  • 1,500-gallon filter lifespan – Both filters in this dispenser last for a decent 1,500 gallons, or 6 months, so maintenance is a twice-yearly occasion.
Brio Self Cleaning OptionsBlackSilver
2 Stage Filtration$349.99$329.99
4 Stage Filtration$369.99$295
Reverse Osmosisn/a$399.99

Best For: People who, for some reason, don’t like the Avalon dispenser or would rather spend slightly less on a unit that offers virtually the same thing, but without the NSF certification.


  • The folks at Brio know how to win over their customers, offering this dispenser with two additional filters on your initial purchase. Free filtration for a year sounds pretty good to us.
  • Cleaning and maintenance are super easy in this dispenser (slightly easier than our top pick, in fact). Removing and replacing the filters is quick and simple, and the drip tray slots out of place for cleaning in your sink. Plus, the unit is self-cleaning with UV, so no need to worry about bacteria buildup.
  • This cooler dispenser has the same must-have features as the Avalon dispenser, including a child lock, a digital clock, and a nightlight. In our opinion, safety comes before the fancy techy features, and child lock on a unit that dispenses hot water is paramount.


  • The Brio dispenser doesn’t use NSF-certified filters. Personally, we prefer the Avalon dispenser because it does have that third-party proof of performance.
  • Water is definitely filtered but doesn’t taste exceptional. We wouldn’t recommend to people who expect bottled water quality.

Key Features:

  • 4 filter stages – There’s a lot going on in this RO water dispenser. There are four filters: a GAC cartridge, a 0.2-micron UF cartridge, and a smart cartridge, plus an RO membrane. Collectively, these remove chlorine, chemicals, metals, microorganisms, VOCs, pesticides, herbicides, and more.
  • Long filter life – There are several filters to change in this unit, but they all have longer-than-average lifespans: the sediment filter lasts 12-18 months, the GAC and UF filters last 18-24 months, and the RO membrane lasts 24-36 months.
  • Temperature settings – With a 1-gallon cold water storage capacity and a 0.5-gallon hot water capacity, the SHARP provides instant access to filtered water in a range of temperatures (176-194°F for hot water, 35-50°F for cold water).
Nitrate Filter Cartridge$59Nitrate reduction/removal
Arsenic Filter Cartridge $69Arsenic reduction/removal
Fluoride Filter Cartridge$67Fluoride reduction/removal
Ionizer, Mineralizer and Oxidation Cartridge$69Add minerals back to drinking water
Ozonator Sterilizer System$89Iron, manganese, and sulfur reduction/removal
UV Water Sterilizer System$149Boil water advisory protection
Leak Detector Smart Valve$29.50Water leak detection

Best For: People who want the very best, most thorough dispenser filtration unit that money can buy – even if it means spending almost $1,000 upfront.


  • You’ll struggle to find any other dispenser that offers the same level of filtration as this Crystal Quest model. Combining UF and reverse osmosis guarantees healthy, safe, great-tasting water. Here’s more info on what the RO membrane can remove.
  • We like that you can buy add-on filters if you’re really gung-ho about achieving the best-quality water possible. Don’t waste your money on the fluoride and nitrate filters, since the SHARP already removes these contaminants. The ionizer, mineralizer and oxidation cartridge is a good shout, though.
  • Great safety features: there’s a child safety lock, and the heating unit automatically shuts off when the temperature has been achieved. Plus, with the easy access front panel, it’s simple enough to clean and maintain – but no self-cleaning feature, sadly.


  • There’s a bit more work involved in installing this unit because it needs to be hooked up to a kitchen drain. And yep, like any reverse osmosis system, the SHARP dispenser does waste some water.
  • At just under $900, this unit is almost triple the cost of our top pick.

Read the full review: Crystal Quest SHARP UF+RO Bottleless Water Cooler Review 2023

Key Features:

  • 2-stage filtration – This water cooler has an NSF-certified carbon block filter that removes chlorine and heavy metals like lead, as well as a sediment filter that removes suspended particles like dust and rust. 
  • 2 water temperature settings – There are two water spouts: one for crisp cold water (around 47° F) and one for piping hot water (around 185° F).
  • The filters in the system are designed to last for 6 months – fairly average for a countertop cooler dispenser – and you can access them easily at the back of the unit when they need replacing. 

Best For: People who want to save space without compromising on quality.


  • Avalon is our number one for NSF-certified water coolers. The brand’s customer service is excellent, and their products – including this countertop dispenser – come with a 30-day risk-free trial.
  • Safety-conscious? There’s a child safety lock on the hot water spout to help prevent dangerous mistakes. There’s also a built-in night light to give you better vision in the dark hours.  
  • Like our top-pick Avalon dispenser, this countertop unit is self-cleaning, meaning that it automatically sanitizes and purifies itself. So you can wave away your concerns about sanitation.


  • You have to pay for the privilege of a warranty (1 year costs $50 and 2 years costs $90).
  • $400 for a small countertop unit seems a bit steep, especially since the full-size Avalon A9 costs $100 less.

Key Features:

  • Bottom-loading design – The Primo Bottom Loading Water Dispenser has a bottom cabinet for storing the water bottle. Bottles need replacing every 3-7 days, depending on your water use and your family size.
  • Uses bottled RO water – The water supplied by Primo for this cold and hot water dispenser has been treated with reverse osmosis, which greatly reduces chemicals, metals, microbes, pesticides, herbicides, and more.
  • Hot and cold water dispensing – You can get ice-cold, cool, and piping-hot water from this unit. The hot water spout has a child-resistant safety feature.
Primo Bottom Loading OptionsPrice
Bright Stainless Door$258.55
Black Stainless Door$289.90

Best For: Anyone who’d rather replace water bottles than replace filters, who wants the most attractive, best-value bottom-loading dispenser available today.


  • We think the Primo Bottom Loading Water Dispenser ticks all the boxes when it comes to design. With its sleek outer exterior, this water cooler looks modern and kitchen-friendly. 
  • It took us less than 10 minutes to get this unit hooked up and ready to go. Because it’s a bottom-load dispenser, you don’t connect the unit up to your plumbing – just slot the drip tray in place, slide your water bottle into the bottom water storage section, and attach the nozzle and spout. The empty bottle indicator ensures you never unknowingly run out of water.
  • Easy to use? You bet – just open the stainless steel panel at the front to replace the bottle. Simple: no lifting or flipping required.


  • There’s no room temperature water option – just hot or cold water.
  • We read reports from some customers who said the dispenser was noisier than expected.

Key Features:

  • Bottom-loading unit – The water bottle sits upright underneath the dispenser nozzles in the hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Water Dispenser.
  • 3-5-gallon water bottle storage – This water cooler dispenser fits any brand of water bottle between 3 and 5 gallons in size. This should last a family of two between 3 and 5 days, or a family of four between 1.5 and 3 days, depending on your water usage.
  • 3 temperature settings – Enjoy hot, cold, and room-temperature water from this dispenser.

Best For: Anyone who wants a safe, reliable bottom-loading water dispenser that’s backed by a decent warranty.


  • Changing the water bottle is easy: just open the drink dispenser door, take the bottle out, replace it, then insert the water probe. No flipping the bottle upside down or lifting it up high to load. 
  • It’s good to see a 2-year warranty and money-back guarantee on this system, especially since hOmeLabs no longer manufactures water dispensers. You want to know your investment is protected, and in this case, it is.
  • What other handy features can you expect? There’s an easy-clean drip tray that you simply rinse and replace, an LED night light for safe nighttime use, and a child safety lock to prevent hot water scalding.


  • Multiple customers complained about the noisiness of this dispenser.
  • This unit isn’t self-cleaning – you need to run a solution through it to clean it.

Key Features:

  • Top-loading design – The Avalon A1 Top Loading Cooler Dispenser holds an upside-down water bottle on the top of the unit. When you press a lever to dispense water, it trickles down through the unit and out of the spout.
  • Fits 3- and 5-gallon bottles – You can use any top-loading 3- or 5-gallon water bottle in this unit. Top tip: use filtered bottled water, since it’s healthier and helps keep the unit clean.
  • Hot and cold water dispensing – With separate hot and cold water spouts, you can use the Avalon A1 for both hot beverages and cold refreshments.
Avalon A1 Top Loading OptionsPrice
Black & white$139.99

Best For: Folks looking for an affordable water dispensing solution from a reputable brand, without the extra bells and whistles of an expensive unit.


  • We think this water dispenser cooler is a fantastic option for smaller budgets, costing just $190 upfront. If you’re happy to spend less on a dispenser for the task of lifting and flipping water bottles, the Avalon A1 is a great option to consider.
  • Compared to similar top-loading water coolers, the Avalon A1 has a slim, fairly stylish design. It’s simple to set up, and because the water bottle is on show, you can spot when water is running low.
  • We love that this dispenser cooler is Energy Star-approved, so it’s third-party guaranteed to be better for the environment and your wallet. It also has the all-essential child safety lock on the hot water spout. 


  • It takes some extra lifting work to get the bottle up on top of the unit.
  • The white coloring of this unit gives it a bit of a clinical appearance.

Key Features:

  • Top-loading model – The Giantex Top Loading Water Cooler Dispenser uses an upside-down water bottle on top of the machine’s water barrel seat. This seat is detachable, so it’s super easy to clean. 
  • Hot and cold water delivery – This Giantex model offers both hot (between 190°F and 203°F) and normal-temperature (between 42°F and 50°F) water.

Best For: Anyone who wants a no-frills water cooler that doesn’t cost a fortune. The Giantex dispenser has a functional, simple design that’s perfect for small budgets.


  • Sometimes, simple is best, and we love that you don’t have to be an expert to use this water cooler. There are three lights on the Giantex that let you know the working status of the system: one for “hot”, one for “power”, and one for “cold”. Just push the lever to dispense your water.
  • When you pay peanuts for a water cooler, you can sometimes end up compromising on quality. But this Giantex model is sturdy and durable, and offers everything that most people need from a dispenser cooler.
  • Want to save money and drink room-temperature water? There are a couple of switches at the back of the machine that let you turn off the heating or the refrigerating feature, or both at once. There’s also a child safety lock on the hot water dispenser.


  • We read reports from customers who had to return their unit due to leaking.
  • The flow of water from this water dispenser is slow. If you want to fill a large jug, you’ll be there a while.

Key Features:

  • Top-loading machine – There’s nothing revolutionary about the COSTWAY’s design. It’s a top-loading unit, so lift and flip the water bottle to secure it to the unit.
  • Hot water, cold water, and ice dispensing – You get hot, cold, and room-temperature water with this dispenser. And here’s the added bonus: the slot beneath the dispensers holds up to 4 lbs of ice.

Best For: People who want a convenient three-in-one solution for hot water, cold water, and ice water from a bottled water brand of their choice.


  • We love that you can use this COSTWAY machine for water and ice dispensing. No more using up valuable freezer space with ice cube trays containing tap water.
  • Most top-loading water cooler dispensers look a bit cheap and clinical, but the COSTWAY unit has an elegant, sleek design that blends in nicely with a modern kitchen.
  • User friendly? Yep! Just press the corresponding button for the water temperature you require. The LED screen makes it easy to see whether it’s cooling, heating, or making ice. And, of course, there’s a security lock to keep little fingers safe.


  • The unit’s ice-making feature does come at a higher cost – the dispenser is about three times the average price of a basic top-loading water dispenser cooler.
  • Some customers had a few quality issues, which is a shame given the unit’s expensive price.

🧾 Buyer’s Guide: How We Selected the Best Water Cooler Dispensers For This Guide

There are several important factors to consider when you’re deciding on a water dispenser cooler for your home. We considered these factors ourselves when selecting the best water cooler dispensers for this list.


Decide on a suitable water delivery capacity based on your family size and daily drinking water usage.

Most top-loading and bottom-loading home water dispensers are designed to hold water bottles of up to 5 gallons in size.

Bottleless drinking water dispensers are connected up to your home’s water line and have no maximum capacity. 

water cooler dispenser

Ease of Use

Using a water cooler is simple – you just press the hot or cold water button depending on what you want – but some cooler dispensers require extra maintenance. 

If mobility is an issue for you, you might struggle with a top-loading cooler, which requires lifting a heavy water bottle up high. 

Energy Efficiency

Most water coolers are constantly switched on, which allows you access to hot and cold water all the time.

If you’re eco-conscious, look for a cooler with an Energy Star rating, which means it’s been designed to be energy conscious and won’t waste energy while switched on. 

Temperature Features

All water dispensers offer both hot and cold temperature options. 

The hot should be near-boiling, hot enough to use in hot beverages and instant foods. The cold is usually around 50°F, or 10 degrees cooler than room temperature. Some water coolers also have a room temperature water option. 

Safety Features

If you’re planning to have your whole family use your water cooler, look for one that has a safety lock on the hot water spout. Luckily, this is a common feature in water dispenser coolers today.

Design Materials

Some water cooler dispensers have a plastic exterior, which looks a little clinical and practical. The more expensive water dispensers have a chrome or stainless steel exterior, which looks more attractive in a modern kitchen. There generally isn’t much difference in durability between the two.

📌 To make sure a dispenser’s inner components won’t leach nasties into your water, look for “food-grade”, “BPA-free” or “BPS-free” materials.

Household Size

If you have a big family, consider paying more upfront for a countertop water dispenser that connects straight to your plumbing. 

Top-loading or bottom-loading water cooler dispenser both need their bottles refilled or replaced when the water is used up, so they’re a better choice for small households.

water dispenser

Available Space

The average water dispenser measures about 10-12 inches wide and 10-12 inches deep. Store your dispenser in your kitchen your study, or your dining room, depending on where you have available space.

If your floor space is limited, use a countertop water dispenser.


No matter what type of water dispenser cooler you buy, maintenance is a must. You’ll need to drain and wash out the inside of the system, clean the drip trays, and replace or refill the water bottle (if applicable).

For water dispensers with filters, you’ll need to replace the filters approximately once every six months.

Associated Costs

In most cases, you should expect to pay one of several associated costs when buying a water dispenser:

  • Replacing the water bottles – $5-$15 per bottle
  • Changing the filters – $60-$150 per year

You may also need to pay for cleaning products and repairs as your unit gets older.

🚰 What Is a Water Cooler Dispenser?

A water cooler dispenser is a unit that delivers chilled drinking water at the touch of a button or the press of a lever. Most water dispensers also offer hot water.

Water dispensers are ideal for people who want access to clean, filtered water without the need to install an expensive whole house filtration system. They’re a good alternative to other filtered water solutions, like a refrigerator water filter or countertop filtration system.

📝 Types of Water Dispensers

There are three types of water dispensers that are popular today:


Top-loading water dispensers have an upside-down water bottle that connects up to the cooler from the top. The bottle has a cap and hose, which connects to the water cooler when it’s slid in place. 


Bottom-loading water dispensers have an opening at the bottom of the unit for water bottles. Bottles sit upright on the base of the unit, and connect up to the system via a water probe inserted into the bottletop. 

Top loading versus bottom loading

Bottleless Water Cooler

Bottleless water coolers are connected up to a kitchen sink cold water line. These coolers typically contain filters and deliver filtered cold and hot water.

☑️ Benefits of Water Coolers & Dispensers

Some of the advantages of a water cooler dispenser are:


No need to make a trip to the supermarket to pick up a crate of water bottles. Water coolers give you access to clean, filtered water in your own home or workplace.  

Environmentally Friendly

Bottleless water coolers eliminate the need for buying personal packs of bottled water, so you can do your bit for the environment and reduce plastic waste.

Temperature Options

Most water coolers have both hot and cold water spouts, and some allow you to adjust temperatures to suit your exact preferences.

Ease of Refill

You don’t need to constantly refill a water cooler, especially water dispensers that are connected up to your main water line.

Cost Savings

Water coolers cost a chunk of money upfront, but if you usually spend $30 to $50 on water bottles each week, you’ll quickly earn back that initial spend.

water cooler

🛠️ Water Dispenser Cleaning And Maintenance

Routinely cleaning your water dispenser prevents harmful microbes from accumulating inside the water tank. Make sure to clean the unit as often as the manufacturer recommends. 

How to Clean a Water Cooler system (step by step)

To clean your drinking water dispenser, here’s what to do:

Water Hoses

  1. Remove the hoses from your dispenser.
  2. Fill a bowl with white distilled vinegar.
  3. Submerge the hoses for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the hoses and re-attach them to your cooler.


  1. Combine 15 ml of 5% unscented bleach with 5 liters of warm, clean water.
  2. Unplug the cooler and remove the empty water bottle. Open the spigot to drain the remaining water.
  3. Remove and set aside the baffle and the drip tray.
  4. Pour the cleaning solution into the water reservoir. Use a long-handled brush with soft bristles to scrub the inside walls and base.
  5. Drain some of the cleaning solution out of the spigot, then leave for 2 minutes. Drain the rest of the solution into a bucket and tip it into your toilet. 
  6. Fill the reservoir three times with clean tap or bottled water, draining the water through the spigot each time.
  7. Wash and replace the components you removed, then add a new water bottle to the unit.

External Cleaning

  1. Mix 5 parts water and 1 part dish soap.
  2. Turn your cooler off or unplug it from the wall.
  3. Dip a cloth in the cleaner and wipe the outside of the dispenser, including around the machine’s water spouts and buttons. 
  4. Dry the cooler with a clean, dry rag or a paper towel.
  5. Plug your cooler in and switch it on.

💡 Frequently Asked Questions

How long do water dispensers last?

Most water dispensers last 5-10 years, and some of the best dispensers last up to 15 years. You may need to make small repairs to the machine during this period. For your peace of mind, look for a manufacturer that offers at least a 1-year warranty on their dispensers.

Is a water cooler dispenser worth it?

A water cooler dispenser is worth it if you currently drink a lot of bottled water and you enjoy the convenience of having tasty hot and cold water on tap. Work out what you currently spend on bottled water and what you could save with a cooler dispenser.

Which is better top or bottom load water dispenser?

It depends on your needs. Top-loading water dispensers are better for smaller budgets because they’re about $300 cheaper than bottom-loading dispensers. Bottom-loading dispensers are better for people who want the convenience of easy water bottle changes.

Is a self cleaning water cooler worth it?

Again, it depends on your preferences. Paying an extra $100 or so for a self-cleaning water cooler is worth it for you if you hate maintenance and you know you won’t clean the machine as frequently as required. In the case of a self-cleaning machine, you won’t need to worry about cleaning it at all.

Related: Why is my water dispenser beeping?

Does a water cooler use a lot of electricity?

The average water cooler uses about 0.3 to 1.2 kWh of energy per day to produce cold water. To put this into perspective, a typical refrigerator uses 1.4kWh of electricity per day. If you want to minimize energy use as much as possible, look for an Energy Star-approved cooler.

  • Brian Campbell
    Founder, Water Treatment Specialist

    Brian Campbell is a water treatment specialist and water expert based in Denver, Colorado. He's always been obsessed with water quality, and has spent years testing all kinds of treatment devices from simple pitchers and portable devices to complex whole home systems.

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