Best Water Cooler Reviews 2018: Top 5+ Recommended
I can't remember when was the last time anyone in our household drank tap water.
At first, we switched to bottled water, but we quickly realized that's not going to be a real long-term solution.
Finally, we decided it's time to invest in a water cooler. What else could we do?
If you’re currently in the process of searching for the best water cooler, take a look at some of the criteria we used when we were buying ours. And to make things a bit easier, I even included my top five best water cooler reviews.
Why Do You Need A Water Cooler?
I always loved the level of curiosity my boys showed when they were younger – even their series of never-ending whys. But I have to admit I was somewhat scared that I'm not giving them enough information.
Or that they might not understand well enough why it's important for them to do certain things, like, for example, drink plenty of water.
But I guess I did something right – they take their hydration very seriously now. Which brings me to my next point: Do you really need a water cooler?
The only answer to this question is:
Yes, you most certainly do, and there are plenty of reasons why. Let's go through some of them together:
- Hydration – Our bodies need water to function, it's as simple as that. You know the rule: two liters of water a day. But while you're at it, it's always better to go with cold and filtered, than lukewarm tap water, which is also full of chlorine, by the way.
- Convenience – I think we can agree this one is pretty obvious: when you're leading a somewhat hectic lifestyle, and you need an icy cold – or piping hot – cup of water, there's no time to wait around. That's why it's super convenient to have one of these appliances in your household.
- Environment – Buying bottled water just doesn't work for a family of four. We gave it a try, and it just didn't work. And since I am trying to raise two boys that care about the environment, I made a decision: no more "single-serve" plastic bottles.
- Extra Fridge Space – And can we please talk about the insane amount of space bottled water takes up in the fridge? During the summer it gets to a point where I almost don’t have enough room for all the groceries. This way I won’t have to worry about that ever again.
Know Your Options: What To Look For In A Water Cooler
These are the things we - well, mostly me - considered when we were buying our water cooler, and I recommend you do the same.
Different Types Of Water Coolers
- Top Load – While this type of water cooler is usually more affordable, you'll be in for some heavy lifting, because, as the name suggests, a two, four, or five-gallon water bottle needs to be placed on top of the unit. The setup process is much more straightforward than with point of use coolers; I'll give them that.
- Bottom Load – This type of unit is the perfect cross between a top load and a point of use water cooler. Design-wise, they very much resemble POU coolers, but as far as functionality goes, they still require you to use large, five-gallon water bottles. However, you won't have to lift it on top of the unit, which is always a huge plus.
- Point Of Use (Bottleless) – If you have a water line available, and enough room in your kitchen to place the unit near it, you should consider buying a POU water cooler. And in case you're still not entirely bought into the idea, acknowledge this: Once you set it up for the first time, that's all the work you'll ever have to do. There's no need for those massive five-gallon jugs because these units are "bottleless."
- Countertop (Portable) – If you’re looking to save some money, and you’re not working with plenty of kitchen space in the first place, you should focus on countertop water coolers. The best thing about these is that they are usually portable.
Additional Features You Should Keep In Mind
- Hot And Cold Water – You should be aware that a water cooler doesn't necessarily have to provide you with cold water only; there are some models – plenty of them, actually – that produce hot water, as well.
- Child Safety – I don’t even like seeing kids and piping hot water mentioned in the same sentence, let alone having them in the same room. Which is why you should always pick a unit that has a child-safety feature on the hot water spout.
- Purification System – If you’re using store-bought bottled water for your cooler, then you don’t need to worry about filtration. However, if you’re planning to get the POU type, you should invest in one with a good purification system, able to remove chlorine, lead, sediment, and small particles from your drinking water.
- Cup Holders – While you can usually see these in offices, hospitals, and the like, it's possible to find a water cooler that has either an external, or an internal space for storing your cups.
- Drip Trays – Getting a unit with a removable drip tray is a life-saver when it comes to cleaning up, and preventing any potential messes altogether. I think that’s a reason enough for you to consider buying a water cooler that has one.
Related: Shaved Ice Machine Reviews
My Favorite Water Coolers On The Market - Honest Reviews 2018
Have you ever dreamed of having a water cooler that doesn't require you to clean it, as in it cleans itself?
I know I did, and with a little help from Whirlpool, my wish came true: this right here is a self-cleaning model. To cut it short, it uses oxygen to kill any potential germs that might build up inside the unit and contaminate your water supply. How amazing is that? 🙂
But it doesn't stop here; another massive advantage of this bottom load water cooler – if we set aside the fact that you don't have to lift heavy bottles on top of it – is that it will notify you when it's empty. The LED light indicators will make sure you know what's going on in there at all times.
Remember what I said about water coolers that produce both cold and hot water? Well, this is one of them; and to top it all off, it has a safety feature on the hot water button, meaning you don't have to worry about children getting burned.
It comes with a price, though, so before you fall in love with it, make sure you consult your budget, first.
The design is pretty elegant (well, as far as elegance goes in this type of units, anyway); and since it does have a reasonably small footprint, I'm sure you'll be able to find the perfect place for it in your kitchen.
The fact that it's reasonably priced, too, makes it an excellent choice for those of you with a limited budget.
The unit has two temperature settings (cold and hot), but don't worry – the hot water spout is equipped with a safety lock for children.
You'll find a button located directly on the spout; you need to press it while you're dispensing water. Otherwise, nothing comes out. And here's what I think:
If your kids are old enough to figure this out, they're probably smart enough to understand the dangers of playing with hot water, as well.
But is it just me or does this water cooler seem a bit unstable? I'm under the impression that the combination of narrowness and the top loading design may results in the unit tipping over if you're not paying attention. Anyway, I would be careful if I were you.
If you're looking for something slightly more affordable, don't worry, I've got you covered.
This Primo water dispenser is mid-priced, making the convenience of owning a water cooler available even for those with a tight budget.
You'll get access to both cool, and hot water (and by hot I mean you'll probably be able to make tea with it), which is very convenient. I've noticed having hot water at hand made me drink more tea than usual. As a result, I cut back on coffee, which is excellent. 😉
If you have kids running around the house, and using the water cooler, don't worry – there's a child-safety lock on the hot water side.
And if you're known for your nighttime visits to the kitchen, the subtle nightlight will help you get around without turning the light on and waking everyone. Or bumping into the water cooler, for that matter.
Despite being a pretty decent unit, it has its drawbacks, one of them being that cold water never seems to be cold enough. But if you're willing to go the extra mile and add some ice cubes, you'll be good to go.
I'm going, to be honest with you:
The fact that this Whirlpool produces only room temperature and cold water was a deal breaker for me because I was looking for a unit that provides hot water, as well. You're probably wondering what's it doing on my list of top five water coolers then, and the answer is pretty simple.
I wanted to give you as wide of a range of options as possible – just because I'm looking for hot water doesn't mean you will, too. And this one seemed like an excellent choice for those of you that want a simple water cooler capable of doing what it's supposed to – provide you with clean, cold water whenever you want it.
Seriously, you won't ever have to add ice cubes to your water with this one. It's simple to use, affordable, and gets the job done – what else could you ask for?
You'll have to get used to the noise, though. It's pretty much like your fridge is trying to talk to your water cooler. It's not constant, and it's not extremely loud, but it's there.
The design of this Avalon water cooler is a combination of the stainless steel body and a subtle, black finish, which, I think, makes it an excellent addition to any kitchen.
The fact that it's bottom loading, meaning the bottle is hidden inside the unit, makes it not only convenient but elegant, as well.
Oh, and on the back of the cooler you'll find a switch for a very convenient nightlight, so remember to turn it on before you go to bed. It'll make it a lot easier to navigate around the kitchen in the middle of the night and pour a cup of water.
And while I'm on the subject of pouring water, the hot water spout has a lock on the dispensing button, so there's no way your kids will be able to turn it on by themselves.
Although this water cooler has three temperature settings – cold, hot, and room temperature, you'll have some issues with getting it to produce the third one. It always seems to be a bit too cool – not as cold as the one from the actual cold water spout, but cool enough to not be room temperature.
The Best Water Cooler: Final Verdict
At this point, I think you’re more than ready to hear which one I recommend as the best water cooler on the market. So, let’s announce the winner then.
With everything taken into consideration, I feel like the Whirlpool 8LIECH-SC-SSF-P5W Self Cleaning Stainless Bottom Load Water Cooler is the best out of the five. It may be a bit pricey, but it offers some outstanding features to make up for it.
Convincing my husband that we should stretch our initial budget took some time, but we eventually agreed that this one is the best option for us.
He certainly appreciates not having to lift heavy five-gallon bottles, and I get my instant access to hot water, so it's a win-win.
Do you agree with my choice? 🙂
I'm always open for discussion, so leave a comment below.