Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: June 14, 2021
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Water dispensers are essential appliances that provide instant access to clean purified water in an office, hotel or home. We have included the different types that are available in the market for different purposes.
We have collated a list of the 10 best water dispensers after researching 25 products and comparing their features and user experience feedback from verified buyers. The Avalon A3 makes the best water dispenser by combining a tank which holds three water temperature options with other convenient features such as a bottom-loading design and self-cleaning ozone sanitization to prevent the growth of microbes. Our Editor’s Choice, which holds 3- or 5-gallon bottles, is an energy-efficient model that is UL-listed and approved by Energy Star. It also comes with child safety lock to protect children from scalding by the piping hot water and an integrated nightlight for clear visibility at night.
When compiling our recommendations, we reviewed different types of models; top-loading, bottom-loading, bottleless, and countertop designs. Next, we evaluated the options available for water temperature output so you can customize your drink. After that, we assessed the dimensions that would take up minimal spaces and the type of bottles that are compatible with these brands. We take an in-depth look at these key factors in the included buying guide. This article also comprises a comparison table and detailed reviews of the features of each of the models below. Finally, we have added the best water dispenser maintenance tips and a brief but insightful FAQ section.
Our Editor’s Choice is a UL-listed, Energy Star-rated, and bestselling bottom loading water dispenser on Amazon. It comes in a sleek and durable 304 stainless steel tank and 3 adjustable temperature settings for crisp cold, cool, or piping hot water. Avalon A3 dispenses cold water at 47° F and hot water at 185° F.
It fits 3 or 5-gallon water bottles, and an indicator light notifies you when the bottle needs to be refilled.
The instant water dispenser uses push-button spouts, and the hot water faucet has a child safety lock that prevents scalding accidents. The area below the spout is 9 inches to accommodate large bottles and cups, and a drip tray prevents spillage from overflow.
At the back of the unit are power switches that can be turned on or off separately to heat and cool water and a nightlight switch for visibility at night.
Another useful function of this bottom loading water dispenser is its self-cleaning capability, which should be carried out weekly to sanitize the water lines and the tank. To do this, press and hold the self-cleaning switch for 5 seconds and then release it. A green light indicator will blink throughout the process, and then stop when the task is completed. The cleaning time is half an hour, and you should avoid dispensing water during that period.
Avalon A3 is pretty quiet. The main reported issues include leakage and missing instructions on the initial flushing and the self-cleaning cycle.
This dual temperature water dispenser features a 4-stage integrated reverse osmosis filtration system to ensure you always have constant supply of clean water. These include 3 EZ twist filters of sediment, pre-carbon, and post-carbon and a reverse osmosis membrane made of 50gpd thin film composite.
Since the Global Water G3-RO uses analog electronics, there is no learning curve, and the unit will continue to purify your water during a power outage.
Push the buttons to dispense cold and hot water. There are also two independent switches in the rear for hot and cold water, and you can toggle them to save energy.
Bottleless water dispensers such as the Global Water G3-RO require connection to a supply line and a 1/4 tube connection to a waste line. The Company also offers the option of single supply line for this model and replacement filters.
We like the protective scald guard on the hot spout and the inclusion of fittings for the drain for buyers who opt for reverse osmosis, which eliminates all fluoride from the water. The drawbacks of this water cooler dispenser are the flimsy construction and the high cost, which could add up if a professional plumber installs it.
The Kenmore Water Cooler Dispenser is a versatile water dispenser for homes because it is equipped with an ULTRA+3 Filtration System functions that enables it to function as a water purifier, sterilizer, and temperature optimizer.
Another noteworthy feature is the Ice/Café Connect port that allows you to supply water to ice makers and coffee machines.
The Kenmore Water Cooler Dispenser provides purified water at hot, room, and cold temperature. It makes a valuable investment because each set of the four replaceable filter pods purifies approximately 7,200 ½-liter bottles of water and saves you money on bottled water. You will also reduce your utility bills since it is certified by Energy Star for efficient use of energy. You can also turn off the hot water feature at the back.
The freestanding bottleless model comes with an installation kit consisting of 25 feet of ¼-inch white tubing, two ¼-inch quick connect shutoff valves, a 3-way sink adapter valve, and a filter flushing attachment.
Customers like the spacious fill opening of approximately 9.2 inches, the stainless steel tank that eliminates a plastic taste, and the child safety lock for the hot water faucet. The fact that this water filter dispenser connects to your existing water line and does not require a drain line is a bonus.
The disadvantage is that it only uses Kenmore’s proprietary filters. Each of the filters has a different replacement period.
The Brio CLBL520SC features a bottom load cabinet that eliminates the strain of flipping over heavy bottles and keeps the bottle out of sight. It comes with a built-in nightlight that enables you to see the spouts and the removable drip tray in a dim environment.
The tri-temp water cooler allows you to choose from crisp cold, room-temperature, and piping hot water to quench your thirst and make your favorite beverages. The water temperature output is 170° F for hot and 44.8° F for cold. The room temperature water is dispensed a little slower than hot and cold water.
As a protective measure against mishaps, this model is equipped with a child safety lock positioned above the dispensing button.
Other useful features include ozone self-cleaning mechanism that is activated by pressing and holding a button at the back of the water dispenser for 5 seconds, and a bacteria-repellent splash guard that protects your water from impurities when refilling your cup or bottle.
Brio CLBL520SC has a bottle capacity of 3 to 5 gallons. You should use the two tabs to slide the adapter upwards or downwards to fit smaller bottles.
We like the self-sanitizing function and the smudge-proof stainless-steel finish. Some buyers received their water dispensers with dents, and others had issues with the noise and the water tasting funny. However, they praise the outstanding customer support for providing solutions quickly. They are also pleased with the precise temperature output, especially the steaming hot water.
The Magic Chef MCWD30TS comes with a food-grade 304 stainless steel tank and certified BPA-free components for water safety. It is compatible with bottles with a capacity of 5 gallons.
When you first receive your water dispenser, you should fill it with water, turn on the hot water feature and let the water cycle in the tank for a while, and then use it to flush the unit to avoid and aftertaste.
Although there are light indicators when the water dispenser is cooling or heating, there is no nightlight to help you dispense water in dark environments.
Magic Chef MCWD30TS is one of the best 5-gallon water dispensers that can operate quietly since it generates only 42 decibels of sound.
We like the minimalistic look that blends seamlessly with other appliances, the ability to access cold and hot water whenever we wish, and the safety lock switch on the lever for hot water. The unit can also run with the hot water function turned off to lower your utility bills.
The main complaint from owners is the effort and time it takes to peel off the clear plastic film that covers the unit, particular where it is trapped in the crevices, while avoiding scratching the exterior silver finish. Fortunately, this does not affect the performance.
As a top-loading water cooler that only works with 5-gallon bottles, refilling it could be inconvenient. Some customers also report an initial chemical taste that disappears after a few uses.
The Brio CLPOURO420SCV2 is a bottleless hot water dispenser which comes with an integrated reverse osmosis system with four filters to purify water and eliminate fluoride, bacteria, and other contaminants. Units that utilize reverse osmosis require ¼-inch T-fitting to a permanent drain, although you will have to manually drain the overflow part of the filter that collects in the rustproof BPA-free drip tray. All you have to do is drill the holes to connect to the permanent drain because everything else you need is provided with the unit, including a water line that you can connect to any kitchen sink water supply.
To install the tubing, push in the water inlet hole collar at the back of the unit to remove the safety plug.
The water tank and lines are sanitized through self-cleaning ozone. The downside to this is the large amount of water that is wasted in the process.
There is a red safety child lock handle that you press in while pressing down the lever simultaneously to dispense hot water.
Customers like the ease of installation, the exceptional customer service, and the advanced filtration system that purifies water to taste as good as bottled water and make this a top-rated water filter dispenser. You can dispense water at cold, room, and hot temperature. Some of the users wish the water tank was bigger.
To keep your water clean, the manufacturer recommends replacing the filter after every 6 months.
The Primo hTRiO incentivizes customers with coupons for Primo water that you can redeem at several retail locations. A built-in storage tray that fits 20 K-Cup pods and the capacity to brew single serve beverages in 6, 8, and 10 ounces makes this model the best instant water dispenser for coffee aficionados. It even includes a reusable coffee filter so you can use your own ground coffee and a nightlight that would be convenient for late-night replenishment.
The unit features two temperature settings for hot and cold water and a bottom loading cabinet that makes refilling water effortless. A red button which you have to push to dispense hot water adds an extra layer of safety against accidental operation.
The Energy Star rated and UL-listed dispenser is compatible with 3 or 5-gallon bottles, and the removable drip tray is dishwasher safe for quick cleaning.
Some of the customers have complained of red light flashing nonstop even when the bottles are full and the coffee maker malfunctioning after a while.
This hot water dispenser also brews only two 10-ounce cups of coffee at a time. You have to wait for 12 minutes for the water to reheat before making another batch. Other than that, it is one of the best water dispensers for brewing coffee in small homes and offices.
The AQUAWELL WD-002 has few reviews because it is a relatively new model that was released in 2018, but majority of the ones we could find have rated it highly as the best water dispenser for homes. It is a freestanding top-loading water dispenser that is compatible with a stand 3 or 5-gallon bottle. This makes it easy to keep an eye on the water level from a distance.
It offers two temperature settings of 41℉ and 203℉ for cold and hot water respectively, and the power switches at the rear for heating and cooling work independently.
There are three indicator lights located above the two spouts, and the hot water outlet includes a child safety lock feature.
The tanks are made of durable food-grade stainless-steel that also eliminates the plastic taste that is common with other brands during initial use.
Owners like the silver color, which looks modern and sleek, and the bottom storage cabinet that provides more room for your cups, coffee, and bottles. A sizeable number of potential buyers seem to think this storage compartment is refrigerated, which is not the case.
Some of the users find the water lukewarm instead of cold but admit that it makes a good hot water dispenser. We also found the instructions slightly confusing because of the poor English.
The hOmelabs HME030236N is a bottom-loading water dispenser that comes with 3 settings for hot, cold, and room temperature. It dispenses hot water at 185°F and cold water at 49°F.
The reservoir is compatible with bottles with a capacity of 3 to 5 gallons, and a red light alerts you when to refill the bottle. The pump runs continuously when you fill the tanks for initial use. This water dispenser also includes a drip tray that can be easily removed and cleaned with gentle soap and warm water.
The three push-buttons at the top panel are labeled clearly, and the two On/Off switches at the back work independently so you can disable either of the settings for hot and cold water to conserve energy without having to unplug the water dispenser. This makes it one of the best hot water dispensers with Energy Star rating.
Buyers like the easy installation and cleaning, child safety lock feature, and the black stainless steel exterior that does not leave fingerprints. They also appreciate that it does not leak.
Unfortunately, the hOmelabs HME030236N does not have self-cleaning ability. Some users have also noted a metallic taste and a rumbling noise when the compressor turns off. A number of them eliminated the strange taste by flushing the unit with more than the one quart of water suggested in the manual. It is also recommended to clean the unit after every 6 months and sanitize it quarterly.
In addition to the affordable pricing, what makes Avalon A1 CT a contender for the best countertop water dispenser is the generous height of 7 inches that allows you to fit large cups and bottles under the spout and the large drip tray that prevents spillage.
The compact model has dimensions of 12 x 12 x 19 inches, so it would be an ideal addition for small hotel rooms and offices.
You can get crisp cold and piping hot water at temperature of 47° F and 180° F respectively, and the child safety lock on the hot water faucet deters curious toddlers from accidental burns.
Avalon A1 CT features press-paddle spouts and a top-loading design that makes it convenient to monitor the water level. It is compatible with bottles that hold 3 and 5 gallons of water.
According to reviews from verified buyers, a few people find the water not cold or hot enough for their liking. Users who may find the water not sufficiently cold are advised to adjust the thermostat at the back of the unit. To do this, you have to remove the coils and the cover to turn the dial. There are also reported leakages with some of the units.
Otherwise, majority of the customers are pleased with the small size, sleek appearance and the quiet operation.
Why are we impressed?
Fits large cups and bottles
2 temperature settings
3 and 5-gallon bottle capacity
Large drip tray
What negatives must you be aware of?
Water not cold or hot enough
Things to Consider
We cannot stress enough how important it is to consume clean and safe water. A good way to achieve this is by investing in the best water dispenser for homes which will provide instant access to purified cold and hot water on demand. These appliances come with filters, varied temperature settings, and different designs. We will expound on these key features in this buying guide.
Versatile drinks: The best water dispenser for home and office use dispenses hot, cold and room temperature water so you can customize the output for your soup, coffee, water and other refreshments.
Eco-friendly and cost-saving: These appliances save money and the environment because you reuse and refill the water bottles.
Compact designs: A countertop water dispenser fits easily in small spaces, and a bottom loading water dispenser with a cabinet where you quickly slide in the refilled water bottle and keep it out of sight would be ideal for a busy office.
Features to consider when choosing a water dispenser
We look at the key features to consider when choosing the best water filter dispenser that will remove fluoride, bacteria, and other impurities from your tap water.
Top- or bottom-loading? Maybe countertop? Or bottleless?
Instant water dispensers are available in a variety of styles which differ in design and features; top-loading, bottom-loading, countertop, and bottleless models.
In top-loading water cooler dispensers such as the Magic Chef MCWD30TS and the AQUAWELL WD-002, the bottle is positioned on top of the unit, and water is dispensed through gravity. The advantage of this type is that it is cheap, easy to set up, and you can easily monitor the water level. However, you have to lift and flip the filled bottle, and the tank is also exposed.
Bottom-loading water dispensers feature a bottom cabinet that holds 3- or 5-gallon bottles. They use a pump to dispense water, and they are more convenient to refill and load water bottles which are also stored discreetly out of sight. This gives them a clean and elegant appearance as we can see in the hOmelabs HME030236N, the Avalon A3, and the Brio CLBL520SC.
A countertop water dispenser like the Avalon A1 CT is a compact appliance with a small footprint that would be ideal for small offices and studio houses. It either uses water bottles or connects to an existing water line.
Instead of using bottles, a bottleless water cooler dispenser connects to your existing water supply line and a drain line. It removes impurities through advanced filtration systems such as the reverse osmosis featured in the Global Water G3-RO and the Brio CLPOURO420SCV2, and the ULTRA+3 Filtration System utilized by the Kenmore Water Cooler Dispenser.
Water temperature output
At minimum, the best instant water dispensers should have cooling and heating capabilities to give you more options for water, cold refreshments, and other beverages. Confirm the water temperature for hot and cold settings that is specified by the manufacturer before making your purchase. For instance, the Avalon A3 dispenses cold water at 47° F and hot water at 185° F and the Brio CLBL520SC has water temperature output of 170° F for hot and 44.8° F for cold.
Knowing the bottle capacity of a water dispenser will help you to find the product that can accommodate a wide range of sizes. For example, the Magic Chef MCWD30TS is only compatible with 5-gallon water bottles, while other 5-gallon water dispensers such as the Primo hTRiO also fit 3 and 4 gallon bottles.
The ideal dimensions will depend on where the instant water dispenser will be positioned, and the level of water demand since dispensers with a high capacity are typically bigger. A countertop water dispenser would suit a small hotel room or a kitchen with several other appliances.
The Avalon A1 CT has dimensions of 12 x 12 x 19 inches compared to the top-loading AQUAWELL WD-002, which measures 14.4 x 14 x 40.2 inches. Since the water bottle is hidden away in bottom-loading dispensers, this type tends to be relatively smaller than traditional designs.
Warranty provides insurance against defective and malfunctioning units. Some brands offer different lengths of warranty for the compressor and the unit itself.
One year is the general warranty period for most water dispensers for home use. This applies to every product we have featured with the exception of the hOmelabs HME030236N, which comes with a warranty of 2 years.
Self-cleaning: Models like the Avalon A3 and the Brio CLBL520SC have this capability that reduces maintenance. When you press the switch, ozone is released into the water to kill bacteria and bio-films, and then it is converted to oxygen and emitted out when the cleaning cycle is completed.
Noise: A key feature to look for in the best bottom loading water dispenser is the level of noise produced by the pump and compressor. Top-loading products have fewer components because they use gravity to dispense water and are, therefore, quieter. For instance, the Magic Chef MCWD30TS produces 42 decibels of sound.
Handles: A water cooler dispenser with handles is easy to move around.
Materials used: Plastic free of Bisphenol A (BPA) is commonly used in water dispensers for small homes and offices because it is light in weight. But stainless steel is the preferred material because it is durable, and your water will not have the initial plastic or chemical taste that is associated with plastic appliances.
Child safety lock: This function is installed in a hot water dispenser to prevent your little ones from operating it.
Night light: A convenient feature that will improve visibility in dim environments to avoid spillage and scalding accidents.
Storage cabinet: This provides additional space for your cups, coffee pods, and other kitchen ingredients. The AQUAWELL WD-002 has a bottom compartment, and Primo hTRiO comes with a built-in storage tray that fits 20 K-Cup pods. This makes it the best hot water dispenser for brewing single serve beverages in 6, 8, and 10 ounces.
Filter lifespan: Bottleless models like the Global Water G3-RO come with multiple filters for advanced water purification. Consider a filter that would last for a minimum of half months to avoid accumulating large expenses on frequent replacement. The ULTRA+3 Filtration set that is included with Kenmore Water Cooler Dispenser purifies approximately 7,200 ½-liter bottles of water before it requires replacement, making this the best water filter dispenser.
Empty-bottle indicator: The light blinks to alert you when you need to refill.
Energy efficiency: Energy Star and UL certifies products that adhere to the guidelines set for safety and efficient energy. A hot water dispenser that includes pumps and compressors can hike your utility bills, but models such as Primo hTRiO that have been approved by authorized bodies would be more efficient. Instant water dispensers with Energy Star rating consume approximately 30 percent less energy than non-certified products.
Flush the unit with hot water to prime it for initial use and to remove any residual smell. Consult the product’s manual for instructions on how to do this as well as maintenance cleaning.
Even self-cleaning water dispensers for home and office need to be cleaned regularly to prevent accumulation of bacteria and biofilm. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends cleaning your instant water dispenser with every bottle replacement or after every 6 weeks.
Always unplug the unit before you start cleaning it.
Prepare a bleach solution, preferably unscented, consisting of one tablespoon of bleach for each gallon of water. Apply it on stains for up to 5 minutes to prevent abrasion.
Make a solution of vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:3. You could add lemon juice to this mixture if you wish.
Use a wet sponge or soft cloth to clean the internal parts and then wipe it dry before reassembling it.
After reassembling the water cooler dispenser, drain the water through the faucet for a while to remove any remnants of soap, vinegar or bleach.
Bottleless models use filters that should generally be replaced after every six months. However, even the filters in the same unit may have different replacement periods, which you need to confirm with the manufacturer. The Kenmore Water Cooler Dispenser comes with four replaceable filter pods that purify approximately 7,200 half-liter bottles of water before you will need to replace them.
Self-cleaning involves releasing ozone into the water to growth of bacteria and accumulation of biofilm, and then converting it to harmless oxygen for safe emission into the air. The Avalon A3 and the Brio CLPOURO420SCV2 are some of the 5 gallon water dispensers with a self-cleaning function activated with a switch. You should not dispense water during the self-cleaning cycle.
The noise produced varies from one model to another, although bottom-loading water dispensers such as the Primo hTRiO and the hOmelabs HME030236N are louder than other types because of the pump and compressor required to channel water upwards to dispense it. The Magic Chef MCWD30TS is a quiet top-loading water cooler dispenser with noise output of 42 decibels.
The Avalon A3 is a bestseller that provides cold water at a minimum temperature of 47° F and hot water at a maximum temperature of 185° F. It is compatible with 3 and 5 gallon water bottles and the filling area of 9 inches fit large cups. It is also fairly quiet, an impressive feat for a bottom loading water dispenser that is equipped with a pump and compressor.
The Global Water G3-RO is a Premium bottleless water cooler dispenser with multiple-stage reverse osmosis filtration system, user-friendly analog electronics, and a protective scald guard on the hot spout. It comes with the installation kit you need to connect it to supply and drain lines.
The Kenmore Water Cooler Dispenser is a 3-in-1 appliance that also includes an Ice/Café Connect port and a filter set that purifies 7,200 half-liter bottles of water before it needs replacement.