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Igloo Countertop vs Costway 5 Gallon Water Cooler Dispenser Side-by-Side Comparison

Igloo countertop water cooler dispenser vs Costway 5-gallon. Two top-loading dispensers. Both budget-priced, but which is better?

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Igloo Countertop vs Costway 5 Gallon Water Cooler Dispenser

Overall Verdict

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The Igloo and the Costway 5-gallon are both top-loading water cooler dispensers. The Igloo is a countertop machine while the Costway is a smaller-than-average freestanding water cooler dispenser. Both machines fit into the budget range.

The Igloo uses buttons and has additional ambient temperature water. The Costway uses two faucet-type levers for hot and cold water.

The Igloo buttons are somewhat stiff, noisy, and the hot water safety is not so comfortable to use. For the Costway, the hot water safety mechanism is sometimes difficult to operate smoothly.

Neither machine has a favorable flow rate. The Igloo is somewhat slow at 12 ml/sec, but the Costway is a little better at 15 ml/sec—compared to the benchmark standard of 34 ml/sec. This is the main drawback for both machines.

The Costway is slightly better in terms of cold water performance. It can produce an 8.5 fl. oz (300 ml) cup of perfectly chilled water every 7 minutes, but the Igloo is every 8 minutes. That’s 2.7 L per hour compared to 2.3 L.

Hot water performance is quite different between the two. The Igloo only heats water to only 185 ℉ (85 ℃), whereas the Costway heats it to 199 ℉. Understandably, at a lower temperature, the Igloo has a higher hot water capacity at 5 L per hour.

The Costway is a slightly better-performing machine. It’s relatively lightweight (9kg) and made mostly of plastic. It skimps on quality with the drip tray which falls out quite easily. The Igloo is heavy for its size (10kg) and difficult to pick up having no side handles.

Pros & Cons

  • Heating time
  • Simple panel design
  • Adjustable feet
  • Hot water temperature
  • Detachable faucets
  • Light weight
  • Slow flow rate
  • Hot water safety
  • Water baffle
  • Drip tray
  • No pocket handles
  • Slow flow rate
  • Loose drip tray
  • Shoddy drainage plug
  • Poor build quality

Key Specs

Dimensions WDH
31 x 38 x 52 inches
W11.3 x D11.3. x H33.5 inches
Weight
22.0 lbs (10.0 kg)
9.0 lbs (4.1 kg)
Loading Type
Top Loading Countertop
Top Loading
Dispensing Mechanisms
Buttons
Faucet levers
Cold Water Temperature
50‒54 ℉
50‒54 ℉
Cold Water Capacity
78 fl. oz. / Hr
91.3 fl.oz. / Hr

Where to Buy

Price at publication
$124.73
$112.68

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Analysis and Test Results

Performance

Overall Performance Scoring
5.0
5.9

Hot Water Test

5.8
7.2
Water temperature being measured as hot water flows out the nozzle of a water cooler dispenser.
Water temperature being measured as hot water flows out the nozzle of a water cooler dispenser.
Single Draw Capacity
21.5 fl. oz.
19 fl. oz.
Heating Time
8.5 fl.oz. / 1 min 57 sec
8.5 fl.oz. / 2 min 48 sec
Temperature
185 ℉
199 ℉
Flow Rate
0.4 fl.oz. / or 12 ml /sec
0.5 fl.oz. or 15 ml /sec

Cold Water Test

4.5
5.0
Cold water testing on the Igloo countertop water cooler dispenser. A thermometer is measuring cold water flowing into a cup.
A gloved hand dispensing old water from the Costway 5-gallon water cooler dispenser
Serving Capacity
78 fl. oz. / Hr
91.3 fl.oz. / Hr
Temperature
50-54 ℉
50-54 ℉

Design

Overall Design Scoring
6.2
5.1

In the Box

The unboxed Igloo countertop water cooler dispenser with the included drip tray and user manual shown on the far right.
The Costway 5-gallon water cooler dispenser standing next to its box with the drip tray and included literature to one side

Build Quality

5.3
4.9
A close up side view of a countertop water cooler dispenser focuses on a poor joining seam.
A close up side view of a countertop water cooler dispenser focuses on a poor joining seam.
A front to angle view of the Igloo bottled water cooler dispenser showing side ventilation slats.
A gloved finger pointing to the sharp edges on the bottom of a heat exchange grid on a water cooler dispenser.
The underneath of a water cooler dispenser showing a metal plate, a stub leg, and a water drainage plug.
A gloved hand showing how to adjust a rubber stump leg on a water cooler dispenser.
A close up of the bottom of a small water cooler dispenser showing a plastic base and plastic stub feet.
A close up of the bottom of a small water cooler dispenser showing a plastic base and plastic stub feet.
A close up of a plastic stub foot on the bottom of a small freestanding water cooler dispenser.
The rear of a water cooler dispenser showing the quality of joining and workmanship.
Close up of the rear of a water cooler dispenser showing the quality of joining and workmanship.
Side Body
White metal sheeting
White plastic
Front Panel
White plastic
White plastic
Cabinet Door
No
Yes
Base
Metal plate with rubber feet
Plastic
Extra Features
Adjustable feet
Storage cabinet

Dimensions

Annotated diagram showing the dimensions of the Igloo countertop water cooler dispenser in inches.
Costway Water Cooler Dispenser Dimensions
Depth
38.0" (96.5 cm)
11.3" (28.7 cm)
Width
31.0" (78.7 cm)
11.3" (28.7 cm)
Height
52.0" (132.1 cm)
33.5" (85.1 cm)
Weight
22.0 lbs (10.0 kg)
19.8 lbs (9.0 kg)

Panel & Indicators

7.2
6.0
A close up of the working panel of the Igloo countertop water cooler dispenser.
A close up of the working panel of the Igloo countertop water cooler dispenser.
A close up of the icons of a small water cooler dispenser.
A close up of the control panel of costway 5-gallon water cooler dispenser.
A close up of the control panel of costway 5-gallon water cooler dispenser.
The faucets and control panel of the Costway freestanding water cooler dispenser pictured together.
Power Status
None
Middle
Hot Water Test
Top left
Top left
Cold Water Test
Top right
Top right
Bottle Or Filter
No
No
Others
None
None

Water Inlet Controls

6.5
6.0
Close of a detachable water needle found on a small countertop top-loading water cooler dispenser.
Close of a detachable water needle found on a small countertop top-loading water cooler dispenser.
A gloved hand showing a partly removed water guard from a top loading water cooler dispenser.
A top down view of a typical water baffle found in the tank of a top loading water cooler dispenser.
A gloved hand holding a water baffle removed from a cold water tank of a water cooler dispenser.
Close up of a water needle of a top-loading water cooler dispenser.
Close up of a water needle of a top-loading water cooler dispenser.
The baffle removed from a cold water tank of a water cooler dispenser.
Mechanism
Water guard, water baffle
Water guard, water baffle
Materials
Plastic
Plastic
Extra Features
None
None

Water Dispensers

A close up top down view of three white buttons of a water cooler dispenser.
A close up top down view of three white buttons of a water cooler dispenser.
A bottom up view of three water nozzles found on a water cooler dispenser.
A close up to two lever type dispensing faucets on a water cooler dispenser.
Mechanism
3 buttons
2 faucets
Outflow Points
3 recessed panel nozzles
2 tap nozzles
Material
Plastic
Plastic
Extra Features
Original icon designs
Nozzles detachable

Drip Tray

7.0
2.0
A top down view of a white colored drip tray of a small countertop water cooler dispenser.
A top down view of a white colored drip tray of a small countertop water cooler dispenser.
A gloved hand showing holding up the cover of a drip tray found on a water cooler dispenser.
A gloved hand holding a drip tray of a water cooler dispenser with the cover askew and removed from its holding.
A top down view of a drip tray on a small water cooler dispenser.
A top down view of a drip tray on a small water cooler dispenser.
A gloved hand showing how the cover on a water cooler dispenser drip tray can be removed.
Costway 5 Gallon Water Bottle Dispenser Drip Tray 2
A gloved hand removing a drip tray from a water cooler dispenser.
Material
Plastic
Plastic
Color
White
White
Length
21.1" (53.6 cm)
8.2" (20.8 cm)
Width
2.9" (7.4 cm)
2.6" (6.6 cm)
Depth
1.6" (4.1 cm)
1.3" (3.3 cm)
Level Float
No
No

Rear Switches

Two tank switches found on the rear of a water cooler dispenser. The right is red and the left green, both with on/off labels.
Two color coded tank switches seen on the rear of a water cooler dispenser. The left one is green and the right is red.
Hot Water Test
Yes
Yes
Cold Water Test
Yes
Yes
Others
None
None

Door and Cabinet

A gloved hand opening a small storage cabinet door of a top-loading water cooler dispenser.
A gloved hand opening a small storage cabinet door of a top-loading water cooler dispenser.
A small storage cabinet on a water cooler dispenser with two paper cups and plastic jar demonstrating the size.
The storage cabinet of a small top loading water cooler dispenser with the door open.
Has Door
No
Yes
Internal WxDxH
N/A
5.6 x 5.4 x 6 in
Material
N/A
Plastic
Extra Features
N/A
Magnetic lock

Cord and Plug

A man holding the electric cable of a small water cooler dispenser double folded across its horizontal length.
A man holding the electric cable of a small water cooler dispenser double folded across its horizontal length.
A gloved hand showing the plug of the Igloo water cooler dispenser against the front panel background.
A close up of the position of the electric cord in close proximity to the water drainage port of a water cooler dispenser.
A man holding the electric cord of the Costway 5-gallon water cooler dispenser doubled over the horizontal length of the machine.
A man holding the electric cord of the Costway 5-gallon water cooler dispenser doubled over the horizontal length of the machine.
A gloved hand showing the plug of the Costway freestanding water cooler dispenser with the panel faded into the background.
Length
6.2 ft (1.9 m)
6.2 ft (1.9 m)
Position
Rear rt., 4.3 in
Rear rt., 2.7 in from ground
Plug Type
Type B - two flat pins, one grounding pin
Type B - two flat pins, one grounding pin

Usability

Overall Usability Scoring
6.1
6.0

Dispensing Water

5.5
5.0
A person dispensing hot water from the Igloo hot and cold water cooler dispenser.
A person dispensing hot water from the Igloo hot and cold water cooler dispenser.
A person dispensing cold water from the Igloo bottled water cooler dispenser.
A gloved hand dispensing cold water from the faucet of a water cooler dispenser.
A gloved hand dispensing cold water from the faucet of a water cooler dispenser.
A paper cup resting on a small drip tray of a water cooler dispenser.
A water bottle loaded onto the Costway 5-gallon water cooler dispenser.
Mechanism
Push button
Tap lever
Water Type
Hot, cold, normal temperature
Hot and cold water
Spout Type
Recessed panel type
Tap type
Dispensing Height
9 in
5.7 in

Hot Water Safety

6.0
5.5
Close up of the hot water button on a countertop water cooler dispenser.
Close up of the hot water button on a countertop water cooler dispenser.
A gloved finger showing how to operate a hot water safety mechanism on the button of a hot water cooler dispenser.
A close up of a hot water faucet with a safety clip on a water cooler dispenser.
A close up of a hot water faucet with a safety clip on a water cooler dispenser.
A gloved hand lifting up the lever of a hot water faucet to demonstrate that water doesn’t flow.
Mechanism
Mounted lever
Clip faucet

Bottle / Filter Changing

7.5
7.5
A water bottle loaded onto the Igloo hot and cold water cooler dispenser.
A water bottle loaded onto the Igloo hot and cold water cooler dispenser.
Top down view of a countertop water cooler dispenser showing the water guard and water needle.
A close up of the water guard and water needle of a top-loading water cooler dispenser.
A bottle being loaded onto a top-loading water cooler dispenser.
A bottle being loaded onto a top-loading water cooler dispenser.
The water needle and water guard of a top-loading water cooler dispenser seen from above.
Close-up of a water needle of a top-loading water cooler dispenser.
Design
Top loading
Top-loading
Feature
Water guard and needle
Water needle, water baffle

Cleaning

6.2
6.8
A gloved hand holding a waterguard removed from a top loading water cooler dispenser.
A gloved hand holding a waterguard removed from a top loading water cooler dispenser.
The inside of a cold water tank of a top loading water cooler dispenser showing the water baffle.
The rear water drainage plug on a small countertop water cooler dispenser.
A demonstration of how to move the Igloo countertop water cooler dispenser with no side handles.
Drainage plug cover on the rear of a budget water cooler dispenser.
Drainage plug cover on the rear of a budget water cooler dispenser.
A plastic screw cap removed from a rear drainage port on a water cooler dispenser
A cold water faucet which has been unscrewed from its connection to a water cooler dispenser.
The disassembled hot water faucet of a water cooler dispenser resting on the drip tray below.
The empty cold water tank of a water cooler dispenser needing to be cleaned.
Self Cleaning
No
No
Drainage Plug
Rear rt., 2 in from ground
Rear rt., 13.3 in from ground