Our editorial staff evaluates products and services independently, but Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links. Learn More

 
Best Picks

The Best Water Coolers of 2017

Cold, Filtered Water For the Office

The Best Water Coolers of 2017
Water Coolers
Aquverse
Avanti
Clover
Genuine Joe
Honeywell
NewAir
Oasis
Primo
Ragalta
ZeroWater

Water Coolers Review

Why Buy a Water Cooler?

Water coolers are typically large tanks that deliver purified water through the use of a simple faucet system. These tanks usually use multi-gallon water bottles that you place either above or below the faucet, depending on the design. Most water coolers have the ability to heat or cool water according to your preferences.

Water dispensers, such as the Honeywell HWB1052B, Avanti Tabletop Thermo Electric and Oasis Artesian Series, deliver an ongoing supply of safe drinking water. They're good for home and office environments, because they eliminate a lot of the sanitary issues associated with drinking fountains or sinks.

Water Coolers: What to Look For

Water dispensers are all similar in design, because they use relatively simple technology to deliver temperature-controlled drinking water. The differences typically emerge in the durability, heating capacity or aesthetic appeal.

Type
There are two primary forms of water coolers: floor units and tabletop units. Floor units are typically about 3 feet in height without the mounted water bottle and require a flat space on your floor to rest upon. Tabletop units are smaller, and you can place them on a table or desk. Both types perform the same function, but, because the floor units are typically larger, they can often accommodate larger water bottles than a table unit can. However, tabletop units require less space.

Capacity
The average water dispenser is built to support a 3- to 5-gallon water bottle. These are the most common types of bottles available, and the speed with which you go through the bottles depends on your family or workplace. If you settle for a smaller unit or bottle system, you'll have to change your tanks more often.

On the other hand, some people don't like the idea of having a water bottle sitting partially full for long periods of time. If you're slow to go through your water bottle or are spatially limited, a smaller unit-bottle combination might be better for you.

Mounting
The majority of water coolers use top-mounting structures. This entails lifting your water bottle over the lip of the unit and placing it upside down on the nozzle mechanism. This can be difficult and awkward, but once you learn the technique, it's straightforward. This method is most popular because gravity performs the job for you, and all water drains into the tank for use.

Some units use a bottom-mount system, which allows you to stand the bottle upright in the base of the water cooler. This eliminates the hassle of lifting the heavy jug on top of the cooler, but it requires different technology to extract the water from the bottle, because gravity is no longer on your side.

Composition
Although most water coolers have a similar structure and use comparable technologies, manufacturers use different materials to build the dispensers. Stainless steel pieces are stronger and capable of withstanding more of a beating, and they can also keep your water tasting pure from your first drink. These units typically last longer but cost more.

Plastic materials are more common, and their lightweight characteristics make it easier for you to move the unit from place to place. These coolers aren't usually as durable as the stainless steel ones, but they are more affordable. You might encounter a slight plastic taste in the water the first time you use it, though.

Water coolers are a relatively affordable addition to your home or office, and they eliminate the need for complicated water systems. For all the jokes about water cooler talk, the dispensers actually do give you and your co-workers a place to congregate and catch up. If you live in an area with poor water quality or find your employees making a mass trek to the nearest water source, a water dispenser can solve a lot of problems and contribute to your staff's well-being.