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The 5 Best Water Cooler Dispensers in 2024 Tested and Reviewed

Ice cold or steaming hot, water at any time. The best bottom loading, top loading, countertop and POU water cooler dispensers.

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Best Water Cooler Dispensers

Everyone understands the importance of clean water. An easy way to ensure access to healthy drinking water, and to encourage people to drink more, is a simple water cooler dispenser. See what our data-driven tests reveal about the best water cooler dispensers and which are better for an office or the home.

How We Test Performance

We do data-driven tests on all the water cooler dispensers for both hot and cold water.

A cold water test being run on an Avalon water cooler dispenser. A temperature probe is being held in a cup connected to a temperature monitor on top of the machine and to the left is a timer showing an interval of 3 minutes.
Cold water temperature being measured during a test on a water cooler dispenser

When testing cold water, we stress-test each machine for how much water it can provide within one hour at the optimal temperature of 50 to 54℉ (10‒12℃)

To do this, we dispense 10 fl. oz. (300 ml) of water every 3 minutes and then lengthen the interval if the temperature becomes unstable. The best machines will generally dispense 6 L an hour which is enough for 20 people.

For hot water, we test for the highest stable temperature, continuous draw capacity, and flow rate. From this, we calculate how much hot water you can get for making back-to-back drinks on a full tank and the capacity per hour.

We also record all tests on video for analysis.

Features We Evaluate

We rate the dispensing mechanisms like buttons or levers for design and user-friendliness. We pay particular attention to the hot water safety mechanism.

How We Rate Water Cooler Dispenser Ease of Use and Design
How We Rate Ease of Use and Design of Water Cooler Dispenser

Daily maintenance and hygiene is essential to a water cooler, and we go through the steps with each machine. We drain the water tanks, open up the machines, and see how easy it is to clean all contact parts.

See our articles on How We Test and Score Water Cooler Dispensers for more information.

How We Choose The Best Machines

Our review selection is based not only on consumer popularity but also a selection of different types of water cooler dispensers. While some machines are often popular for good reasons, we search out machines with unique or specialized value. This way you can know if popular is really the best and what other choices there are.

Ranking by
OverallScore Performance50% Design25% Ease of Use25% ScoreOverall 50%Performance 25%Design 25%Ease of Use Avalon A8 Counterto...Best for Home, CountertopAvalon A5 BottlelessBest OverallAvalon A4 Bottom Lo...Best Bottom LoadingEuhomy Bottom Loadi...Avalon A1 Top LoadingBest Value, Top LoadingFrigidaire Stainles...Best for OfficeIgloo Countertop Wa...Costway 5 Gallon Wa...
Showing: 8/9 Items

Our Top Picks

1. Best Overall: Avalon A5 Self-Cleaning Water Cooler Dispenser

Full front view of the Avalon A5 water cooler dispenser standing between a plant to the left and a cupboard to the right
(Price at time of publish)
Dimensions WxDxH
13 x 12 x 41 inches (33 x 30.5 x 104 cm)
35 lbs (15.9 kg)
Loading Type
Freestanding Bottleless
Dispensing Mechanisms

Things We Like

  • Overall performance
  • Easy filter set-up
  • Stainless steel panel
  • Ozone sanitation

Things We Don’t Like

  • Drip tray attachment
  • Inside tank cleaning

The Avalon A5 bottleless water cooler dispenser with a filter impressed us with its overall good design and performance. It’s an excellent choice for a home and stylish fit for an office—provided of course you can easily connect to a water line. 

In our tests, the Avalon A5 flawlessly provided 202 fl.oz. (6 L) per hour of chilled water. That’s enough for up to 20 people or a large 8.5 fl.oz. (300 ml) glass per person every hour. This easily meets hydration standards for both men and women.

Likewise, the hot water temperature was optimal or 198 ℉ (92.2 ℃). You can get up to three 7.4 fl.oz. (220 ml cups) or two large mug cups of hot water at a time. The wait between tank reheats was around 7 min 40 secs. The hourly capacity is 179 fl. oz. (5.3 L) of hot water, which is pretty good.

The flow rate was a steady and comfortable 33 ml/sec (1.1 fl.oz.), or one point below our benchmark of 34 ml/sec. Just as important, the buttons have a comfortable traction and are well-spaced for cleaning in between. 

Its most convenient features are ozone injection, a night light, and hassle-free water for up to 6 months per filter set.

Its stainless steel front control panel has a sophisticated look and, like other Avalon machines, the dispensing booth is coated with a bacteria-resistant film.

We were surprised how easy the filter set-up was. The filter brackets come installed, so your biggest task is connecting to the water source below your sink. There is also a separate filter head to flush the first set of filters.

On the downside, the drip tray is attached to the cabinet door and it will dislodge if you pull on it to open the door. Make sure to grip the cabinet door at the base.

Read our full Avalon A5 Self-Cleaning Water Cooler Dispenser in-depth review

2. Best for Office: Frigidaire EFWC519 Water Cooler Dispenser

Full front view of the Frigidaire EFWC519 water cooler dispenser with a water bottle mounted on top and a plant to the left.
(Price at time of publish)
Dimensions WDH
12.5 x 12.6 x 41.5 inches
28.7 lbs
Loading Type
Top Loading
Dispensing Mechanisms
Faucet levers

Things We Like

  • Cold water efficiency
  • Stainless steel body
  • Cool to run
  • Easy to clean
  • Light weight

Things We Don’t Like

  • Cramped dispensing
  • Hot water safety clip
  • Old design

The Frigidaire EFWC519 is our best office water cooler. The key reasons are the cold water performance, the simple sanitary design, and how cool it runs under high-demand pressure.

This Frigidiare flawlessly provided 202 fl. oz. (6 L) of perfectly chilled water every hour. In practical terms, that’s enough for a large 8.5 fl.oz. glass of water for 20 people. 

The temperature reached the upper standard of 198℉ (92.2℃), but the capacity is only good enough for two back-to-back drinks of around 7.5‒8 fl.oz. (220‒240 ml). It took 5 min 37 min to reheat a full tank and you can get around 169 fl. oz. (5 L) per hour.

For an office, the stainless steel body has a quality look. However, the hot water safety mechanism is sometimes tricky to work, but the faucets disassemble for easy cleaning. It’s a bit of an old-school design, but at the very least practical. 

Push back levers are often more convenient for an office, but we liked that the cold faucet can lift either up or down. The flow rate is not as fast as machines with buttons, but good for the faucet design

In general, a top-loading machine is a lot easier to clean and maintain than a bottom-loader. With this Frigidaire EFWC519, you have an adjustable cold water temperature within a 3℃ range using a knob at the back of the machine.

Read our full Frigidaire EFWC519 Water Cooler Dispenser in-depth review

3. Best Bottom Loading: Avalon A4 Water Cooler Dispenser

Full front view of the Avalon A4 water cooler dispenser standing between a plant to the left and a cupboard to the right.
(Price at time of publish)
Dimensions WDH
W12 x D14.7 x H41.3 inches
36.2 lbs (16 kg)
Loading Type
Bottom Loading
Dispensing Mechanisms

Things We Like

  • Hot water temperature
  • Perfect flow rate 
  • Sanitary nozzle design
  • Night light

Things We Don’t Like

  • Drip tray attached to door
  • Cold water tank cleaning

Bottom-loading water cooler dispensers are popular for two reasons. Heavy lifting is not required, and they often have sanitary features like ozone or UV light. 

For a large office, the Avalon A4 doesn’t quite meet our standard of 6 L of cold water per hour. You get 183 fl. oz (5.4 L), so it’s not too far off the mark. That’s enough water for up to 18 people. It’s a great choice though for a busy household.

This Avalon A4 puts out plenty of hot water. For back-to-back drinks you can get enough for three decent-sized cups or 27.3 fl. oz. (807 ml).

It took 9 min 27 sec to heat a full tank, but you get more water at a higher temperature which topped 199℉ (92.7℃). The flow rate was a perfect 34 ml/sec. 

We had no problems with the build quality, and the button design is the same as the Avalon A5. The drip tray is spacious but attached to the door, so make sure to open the cabinet from the base. This model doesn’t have ozone or UV, so it's more affordable.

Read our full Avalon A4 Water Cooler Dispenser in-depth review

4. Best Value, Top Loading: Avalon A1 Water Cooler Dispenser

Full front view of the Avalon A1 top loading water cooler dispenser with a water bottle mounted on top and a plant to the left.
(Price at time of publish)
W 10.8 x D 12.2 x H 43 inches
30.9 lbs
Loading Type
Top loading
Dispensing Mechanisms
Padel levers

Things We Like

  • Cold water performance
  • One-hand dispensing
  • Color design

Things We Don’t Like

  • Stiff lever traction
  • Fixed nozzle design

The Avalon A1 is attractive with large red and blue paddle levers set against a white body. Considering the good build quality and near-top performance scores, it’s also very reasonably priced. 

This Avalon produced 193 fl.oz (5.7 L) per hour as opposed to 6 L as the top standard. It can serve 19 people per hour or an 8.5 fl. oz. glass of water every 3 min 10 sec.

The hot water temperature of the Avalon A1 is a key consideration since it’s only 192 ℉ (88.8 ℃). This is ideal for instant coffee or green tea, but not the best for English tea or coffee bags. This temperature may be preferable in an office or other public spaces.

Touchless cold water dispensing makes the Avalon A1 a good fit for a small office. The stiff lever traction, however, makes it a little difficult to dispense hot water using a paper cup. You need to hold the cup in such a way as to push the lever with your knuckles.

Compared to the Frigidaire EFWC519, the hot water capacity is similar, the heating time faster, and the flow rate better. The Avalon A1, however, tends to get a little hot at the back. 

Since the levers don’t detach for thorough cleaning, you need to flush citric acid solution through the system for periodic descaling and good hygiene.

Read our full Avalon A1 Water Cooler Dispenser in-depth review

5. Best for Home, Countertop: Avalon A8 Bottleless Water Cooler Dispenser

Avalon A8 Countertop Bottleless Water Cooler standing on an office counter with a potted plant to the left.
(Price at time of publish)
W12.5 x D14.2 x H19.3 inches
39.7 lbs
Loading Type
Bottleless countertop
Dispensing Mechanisms
Paddle levers

Things We Like

  • Fast heating time
  • Easy to set up
  • Side pocket handles
  • Ozone self cleaning

Things We Don’t Like

  • Fixed nozzle design
  • Narrow drip tray

The Avalon A8 is a small countertop water cooler dispenser with a two-stage filter. It’s a good choice for a couple or a family with grown-up kids. Because it sits on the countertop, it is not easy for young children to reach.

This machine is excellent for hot water dispensing. It has an optimal temperature of 198℉ (92.2℃) and heating times are fast. You can draw two large mug cups back-to-back before the tank must refill and reheat—which takes around 7 min 22 sec

Our cold water tests revealed that you can draw off 8.5 fl. oz. (300 ml) of cold water every 7 minutes. That’s about 2.7 liters per hour

If you dispense cold water continually at this rate, the rear heat exchanger gets very hot. After an hour of heavy use, it requires an hour or more to stabilize and cool off.

Nice features on this dispenser are the handy pocket handles, ozone cleaning, and a night light. Plus, the filter is easy to install. The paddle levers and color design are really nice, but there’s not enough space to dispense water into a large tumbler or jug.

Read our full Avalon A8 Bottleless Water Cooler Dispenser in-depth review

Water Cooler Which Didn’t Make Our List

Not all water coolers can make our best to buy list. However, we do like to give you the heads up just in case you’re thinking of buying any of them:

Costway: Not Bad For a Tight Budget

Costway is two-thirds the size of a regular free-standing water cooler and very lightweight. For a mid-sized water cooler, the hot and cold water performance was quite acceptable. The build quality of the body is good, but the design cuts corners elsewhere. The flow rate is really slow, the narrow drip tray easily falls out, and draining out water gets messy. 

Igloo Countertop: May Suit Studio or Dorm

We purchased the Igloo as a low-cost alternative to the Avalon A8 countertop water cooler. For its size, it’s heavy and difficult to move since it has no side handles. The hot water performance was well below standard and the cold water capacity one of the lowest. However, with no power indicator, it may suit a studio apartment or a dormitory.

Factors to Consider

If you want to buy a water cooler dispenser, here are 7 things to keep in mind no matter what type you prefer:

  • Overall good design: Good performance doesn’t really compensate for poor buttons or levers and visa versa. 
  • Office or home: For an office, cold water capacity is top most while for the home you can focus on other features.
  • Hot water temperature: Some machines are calibrated for a lower hot water temperature, so always check this point.
  • Dispensing mechanism: Bottoms, levers, faucets, and sensors can be real deal breakers depending on your circumstance. 
  • Going touchless: Touchless features can improve hygiene while sensors give an ultra modern experience.
  • Easy maintenance: Sanitary features like ozone injection or UV make upkeep all the more easier.
  • Drip trays matter: Drip tray size and secure fitting is important for usability and safety.

 For more insights, check out our comprehensive buying guide

Our Expertise

It took us hours of test trials to pinpoint a suitable testing methodology. This familiarized us with dispensing mechanisms, water pumping, bottle changing, and how the indicators performed. We then ran repeated tests clocking up over 8 hours per machine and dispensed over 2,250 cups of water in total! 

Your product guide, Roger Shitaki, actively participated in both the test design and implementation. He has written numerous in-depth articles and buying guides on mini fridges, refrigerator water filters, ice makers, and large kitchen appliances.


About your guide

Headshot of Roger Shitaki
Roger ShitakiReviewer

Roger Shitaki is a writer, author, and editor. His niches are household appliances, health & wellness, and travel. He’s a freelance contributor to a Tokyo lifestyle website and a leading ophthalmology magazine in Asia.

Headshot of Luna Regina
Luna ReginaEditor in Chief

Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.

Headshot of Lap Vo
Lap VoTest Lead

Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.

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Nguyen NtkVisual Specialist

Nguyen Ntk is a graphic designer, photographer, and videographer whose philosophy centers around respecting and celebrating the beauty of reality. Through his lenses, Nguyen strives to capture the true essence of objects and events, showcasing and highlighting authentic features without distortion or exaggeration.