Hot and cold water dispensers, otherwise known as water cooler dispensers are incredibly versatile and useful appliances to have.
A while back they were a preserve of offices and schools alone. These days though they are finding their way in many homes as more and more people realize the convenience and pleasure that comes with owning a personal water cooler dispenser.
This write-up is all about hot and cold water dispensers – how they actually work and the different types available in the market.
We will also layout our list of the best hot and cold water dispensers so that you have a clear idea of what to expect if you are looking to purchase your very own unit. Have a look at them below.
What is a Hot and Cold Water Dispenser (Water Cooler Dispenser)?
A hot and cold water dispenser as the name suggests is an appliance that’s capable of heating and cooling water, and dispense it whenever you need it. There are also models with an additional option to dispense water at room temperature while some include ice makers.
What are the functions?
Overall, a water cooler dispenser can perform three main functions which are dispensing hot water, normal water at room temperature, and chilled water.
Once the dispenser is hooked to the water source, a certain amount of water is fed into the reservoir/tank inside it where it’s stored awaiting to be cooled or heated prior to dispensing.
Hot Water Function
To deliver hot water, a heating element is placed inside an alternate hot water reservoir where it heats the water inside it to near boiling point (201oF). The hot water is then held in the hot tank, ready for dispensation via the hot tap. You just release the hot water tap or press the hot water button on the dispenser and the heated water flows out right away.
Cooled Water Function
In this function, the cooling method involves the use of a refrigerant or thermoelectricity. Most coolers use a refrigerant which is basically a cooling medium (fluid-like Freon) that’s capable of absorbing heat.
These coolers utilize a compressor that works with the refrigerant which is circulated in coils. The refrigerant is compressed as it passes through the compressor causing it to evaporate into a gas thereby raising its pressure and temperature.
The gaseous refrigerant is forced through a condenser that consists of narrow circuitous tubes, converting the gas into a high-pressure liquid. The liquid is then drained through a throttle valve to reduce its pressure.
From there, the low-pressure liquid enters the expansion chamber (evaporator) where it evaporates turning back into a gas. During this process, heat-exchanging occurs which is what leads to the cooling effect where the water within the reservoir is cooled and becomes readily available for dispensing.
For units that employ the thermoelectric cooling method, the chilling effect is achieved through the use of a thermoelectric device which acts as a heat pump.
The device works according to the Peltier effect where heat is transferred from one junction of the device to the other. As the heat is sucked to one end, cooling occurs on the other side which is connected to the water reservoir hence making the water inside it cooler.
Room Temp Water Function
This function works much like that of any ordinary water dispenser. Gravity and vacuum pressure are employed here to fill a glass when you press the normal water button.
When this happens, the cooler allows air into the bottle which in turn causes the water to escape into your glass. The water that comes out of the dispenser is at room temperature.
What are the benefits?
Saves More Time
The main benefit of owning a hot and cold water dispenser is that you will have hot or cold water ready every time you need it which can save you a lot of time.
You don’t have to wait long for you to get hot water like when heating water on the stove or the microwave. A water cooler dispenser can have it prepared for you almost in an instant.
You don’t have also to fill all the pitchers and bottles in your home. You can get both ambient water at room temperature as well as cold water right from the dispenser itself.
Great Alternative to Water Bottles
Many people often turn to bottled water when they want to consume more water but as we mentioned above, having to constantly buy more water bottles is time-consuming plus it can also get very expensive in the long run, especially in an office, hospital, or school setting.
That’s not even considering how bad single-use plastic bottles are for the environment. A water cooler offers a bit safer and more convenient alternative to purchasing and carrying smaller water bottles every time. It’s a great solution if you usually opt for bottled water over tap water.
Can Provide Cleaner Water
More and more manufacturers are incorporating filters in their hot and cold water dispensers.
These units (we’ve included some below) can provide you with much cleaner water because the filters will help remove chemicals and other common contaminants that may be present in your tap water.
Encourages More Water Intake
A water cooler dispenser at home or in the office can encourage everyone to drink more water. It provides cool, refreshing water throughout the day which can’t be beaten when it comes to quenching your thirst on a hot day.
Another good reason is that it’s simple to use. No need of having to constantly fill up bottles of water and put them in the refrigerator to chill. You just press a button or push a lever and you get the cool water you need.
Saves More Space
A water cooler dispenser can help declutter your refrigerator as you don’t have to stock up pitchers or bottles of water which only consume the space inside and crowd your refrigerator. The water cooler dispenser will give you cold water whenever you want.
Types of Water Cooler Dispensers & Reviews
Before we dive into the reviews, water cooler dispensers are divided into two main types, bottled and bottleless dispensers. Both types require electricity and have similar functionalities, but receive water from different sources which are what sets them apart.
Bottled water cooler dispensers use a standard two-to-five gallons water bottle to deliver water. They are either top or bottom-loaded.
As for the bottleless water coolers, these connect to your main water supply, much like a commercial coffee maker or an ice maker. Some include an in-built filtration system while some don’t.
We are going to look at all these options and give you a few insights about them to help you decide which unit fits your needs the most.
Bottled Bottom Load (freestanding only)
What is a bottled bottom load water dispenser?
It’s a bottled water dispensing machine that loads from the bottom. The water supply bottle or jar is mounted at the bottom in a compartment and the unit uses suction operation to fill the reservoir and to deliver the heated or cooled water when you draw.
How does it work?
The bottled bottom load water dispenser utilizes the suction operation instead of gravity. It usually has a probe, a hose, and a pump for pumping the water out and up into both hot and cold water reservoirs.
Mounting the water bottle to the unit is quite easy. All you need to do is to open the dispenser’s cabinet, remove the cap on the water bottle and put the probe or the water pump nozzle into the bottle until the tube hits the bottom of the bottle, then slide the bottle into the cabinet and close the door.
When you turn the dispenser on, the inbuilt water pump will draw the water up through the tube all the way into the cold and hot water tanks inside the unit.
When you press either the hot or cold dispense button, it will probe the dispenser to begin heating or cooling the water inside the tank. From there, you can release the tap or press the necessary button and the water will flow out through the tap with the help of gravity.
What are the main benefits?
Easy to Setup and Load the Water Bottle
Bottled bottom load dispensers are easy to set up and provide a convenient way to load the water jar/bottle. The water jar is placed at the bottom part of the unit, not to the top, thereby you don’t need to lift a heavy 3 or 5 gallons water bottle very high and flip it upside down.
This design is quite beneficial for those who are unable to lift heavy weights, especially elderly people. Plus it can help prevent back injuries because there’s no lifting involved in order to load the water jar as is the case with bottled top load water dispensers.
Since the water jar is mounted at the bottom and inside a cabinet, bottom load dispensers tend to be shorter and compact in design than top-loading dispensers, hence they take up much less space.
Easy Replacement of Water Bottle
Replacing the water jar on a bottom loading dispenser is very simple. You just remove the emptied bottle from the cabinet, detach the probe, fit it into the full bottle and slide the bottle into the cabinet then you are good to go.
Moreover, the likelihood of water spillage is eliminated which often happens with top load dispensers where you have to invert the bottle to load it onto the unit.
An Aesthetically Pleasing Design
With the bottle stored right inside a bottom cabinet and concealed behind closed doors, a bottom load dispenser doesn’t lose its aesthetic appeal.
There’s no clunky and cumbersome plastic bottle hanging out for all to see which makes these dispensers ideal for offices and other professional environments. They are discrete and can blend in well with furnishing and different home décor.
The only major drawback is that the capacity of the water bottle is limited by the compartment size of the unit, unlike top-loading models in which you can mount different sized bottles.
Nonetheless, most units can accommodate 3 to 5-gallon water jars, thereby you will still have plenty of water available.
Avalon is popular for its line of stylish water coolers and this A4BLWTRCLR model clearly demonstrates that. However, it doesn’t just look good. It has several nice features and works very well. It’s a unit that offers value for the price.
The first thing to like about this Avalon dispenser is that you get three functions. You can draw hot, cold, or room temperature water which is convenient as it takes care of all your water needs.
The hot water is quite hot at approximately 180oF suitable for making a cup of tea or coffee. The same applies to cold water. It’s pretty cold at around 47oF. You can drink it without adding ice cubes.
The unit automatically pumps the water into the cold and water reservoirs, and directly into the room-temp water tap. Since the water is pumped directly from the bottle, the room-temp spout tends to dispense water slowly compared to cold and hot water spouts.
The unit is relatively quiet at first, but after some time, it starts to make some noise every time you dispense water. Several users also noted that it sorts of rattle when dispensing water and this is because it has a compressor, so you can expect some vibration during its life.
The Avalon A4BLWTRCLR uses push buttons to draw water from the given spout. They are much more convenient to use. There’s a built-in night light too that makes the water spouts visible at night or in the dark which is a useful bonus feature.
You have to slide, press, and hold the hot water button to dispense the hot water. This is because it has a child safety lock which is an essential feature especially if you have kids around the house. It can help prevent accidental burns from extremely hot water.
You can turn off the hot or cold water if you don’t need them or never plan on using them. There are two switches on the back of the unit that lets you do this. There’s also a third one that shuts off the night light if you want to conserve energy.
The dispensing area is 9-inches high from the bottom of the spouts to the drip tray. That’s large enough to accommodate small to moderately tall containers or cups. The drip tray is also wide and can accommodate a big cup without requiring you to hold it while filling.
Loading the Water Bottle
Loading a water bottle onto this unit is straightforward. You simply remove the bottle cap and securely fit the pump adapter then slide it inside the cabinet and close the door. From there you just plug it into the power supply and you are done.
The cabinet can accommodate a 3 or 5-gallon bottle. You can use almost any 5 or 3-gallon bottle. The pump works well and sucks up more than 99% of the water in a 5-gallon bottle.
There’s a low water indicator on the unit that lights up to alert you when the bottle should be replaced which is another convenient feature to have on any bottom load dispenser since the water bottle is hidden inside the cabinet.
The hot tank can hold up to 1 liter of water while the cold one can hold 3.6 liters. Therefore, even if you are unable to replace an empty water bottle immediately, you will still have some amount of water left in the tanks for use.
You can drain out the cold water tank too as there is a drain hole in the back of the unit for this purpose which is convenient when it comes to cleaning the tank.
Overall, this Avalon A4BLWTRCLR is a very well-built and reliable water cooler dispenser.
There have been some complaints about defects later on but Avalon offers excellent customer service and they have been able to address most of the complaints including providing an entirely brand new cooler that works fine in the event they couldn’t fix a problem. So, it’s an option that’s worth the money.
- Can dispense cold, room-temp and hot water
- Heats water up to 180oF and cools it down to 47oF
- Easy-to-use push buttons for dispensing water
- LED night light to make spouts visible at night
- Has child safety lock on the hot water button
- You can turn off the hot or cold water
- Can accommodate any 3 or 5-gallon water bottle
- Comes with a 1-year limited warranty
- The room-temp spout dispenses water slowly
- The unit starts to make noise and to rattle after some time
- No self-cleaning feature
The Avalon A6 is a more basic bottom load water cooler compared to the Avalon A4 dispenser but we were pleased with its overall good performance plus it has much of the features found in the A4 model above.
The Avalon A6 has only two functions – hot and cold water dispensing. The hot water is sufficiently hot to prepare a cup of coffee but it’s not steaming hot for those who prefer their tea or coffee hotter. As for the cold water, it’s properly chilled like from a fridge.
For the most part, the unit is perfectly silent but immediately the compressor kicks in to suck up the water from the bottle for cooling or heating, you will hear a low hum. Even then, it’s not that loud and only lasts about a minute or two.
The A6 comes with a paddle where you have to press your cup against it for the water to flow out of either spout. It’s simple to use. For the cold water paddle, you just have to press the cup against it and hold it for the cold water to come out.
For hot water to flow out, the hot water paddle has a red button on top of it that you have to press and hold while at the same pressing your cup against the paddle itself.
It’s a two-hand operation but you only need to press and hold the child safety button for a few seconds not the whole time. The cup must press against the red paddle through for the hot water to continue flowing.
While the inclusion of a child safety button is a great idea, it’s at an easy reaching distance for a child to access and you simply have to press it while pushing on the paddle to trigger the hot water which defeats its purpose.
That’s something a child can do easily by just watching you. It’s not childproof as described and you may have to disable the hot water from the back of the unit if you will be using it and have toddlers around the house.
The unit has a built-in night light too like the A4 that helps make the spouts visible at night. The distance between the spouts and the drip tray is a bit short though and you have to tilt a larger glass or cup when filling. The tray itself is small, it can’t hold a bigger cup.
Loading the Water Bottle
It is easy to set up this Avalon A6 model and the cabinet can fit almost any 3 or 5-gallon water bottle. There’s a light on the front that flashes to let you know when the bottle is empty so you can replace it immediately.
To simplify maintenance, Avalon has included a self-cleaning feature on this A6 dispenser which lacks in the A4 model. There’s a button on the back that lets you manually initiate this process.
Once you press it, the system releases ozone into the cooler which helps to sanitize and disinfect the reservoirs and the entire system as well. The cycle runs for about 45 minutes and you have to do it at least once a week.
It’s an essential feature that will help eliminate any bacterial contamination and mineral build-up within the tanks and the cooler itself.
Avalon offers two color options for this unit. You can go with a white one or pick a purely black-colored unit. This is the white version but the dispensing section is black which gives it a nice contrast and an overall pleasant look.
If you want a simple, two-function water cooler dispenser that does its work as expected, then this Avalon A6 unit may be a suitable option.
You get a 1-year limited warranty which can be extended for an additional 6 months if you register the dispenser online within the first 30 days. Avalon does honor their warranties, so that’s a good thing.
- Hot water is really hot at 180oF
- Cold water is chilled down to 47oF
- Easy to operate with pedals for dispensing water
- Effective self-cleaning feature to sanitize the system
- You can either the cold or hot water off if you wish so
- 1-year limited warranty with excellent customer service
- The safety feature is not childproof as such
- Not enough height in the fill area and the drip tray is small
hOmeLabs is well known for producing a wide range of household appliances. It isn’t a top manufacturer of water coolers but it’s a trusted brand with regards to the quality and value of its products.
Their bottom loading water dispenser compares admirably with most of the top brands in the industry such as Avalon, Brio, and Primo. It has the right features you’d want in any quality water cooler and does its job effectively.
With this hOmeLabs water cooler unit, you get three water dispensing options – hot, cold, and room temp water. However, unlike the other two units above, all three water options are dispensed through the same spout which makes it a little more convenient in terms of usage.
The cold water is decently cold (49oF) while the hot water comes out hot enough for making a nice cup of tea or coffee. The room temp water is just tepid water – slightly warmer than tap water which is expected.
The unit manages to maintain a fairly steady flow rate on both cold and room temperature modes. It’s not as fast as the running water from the tap, but it’s fast enough to fill an 8 oz cup in less than 10 seconds.
The flow rate of the hot water is somewhat slow though. It may take a bit longer to fill a cup with hot water compared to cold or room temp water. There’s a low humming noise when it’s cooling water which is to be expected but it’s not that annoying at all.
However, some users have noted some taste issues. They’ve reported that the water tends to have a metallic or plastic taste just after installation. A vast majority of users didn’t experience that though and according to hOmeLabs, running a few gallons through can help clear out the taste.
This hOmeLabs dispenser is simple to use. The push-buttons for the three functions are clearly marked and placed on the top of the unit where children can’t reach easily. They are sturdy, however, and can become somehow difficult to push down over time.
The hot water button has a child safety lock that you have to slide and push down the button in order to dispense hot water. The unit is kinda tall and the fact that the hot water button is on top means that it’s not easy for kids to reach and play with.
There’s a handy LED night light to help you draw water during the night and like the other units above, you can turn off hot or cold water functions when you need to.
The area below the spout is relatively large to accommodate a large mug or water bottle provided it’s not so tall.
Loading the Water Bottle
Setting up this unit is easy too. You just need to insert the probe into your bottle and place it in the cabinet. The probe can fit any standard 3 or 5-gallon bottle and the cooler has a bottle refill indicator to inform you when it’s time to replace the water bottle.
One downside though as noted by several users is that the pump doesn’t drain the bottle completely empty. It leaves enough water to fill two large cups.
The overall quality, performance, and dispensing ability of this hOmeLabs bottom loading water dispenser is great. It’s an efficient and easy to use unit despite the few gripes raised by some users.
The good thing is that hOmeLabs offer a 2-year warranty on this unit with a money-back guarantee. The company’s customer service is reliable and in most cases, they can send a replacement for free if you are still under warranty and the unit becomes defective.
- Three dispensing functions – hot, cold and room temp water
- Hot water is decently hot while cold water is properly chilled
- A steady flow rate on both cold and room temp function
- Simple-to-use push buttons placed on top of the unit
- Tall unit with lock safety on hot water to deter kids from using it
- Has a 2-year warranty with a money-back guarantee
- Hot water flow rate is somewhat low
- Some users reported plastic after taste
- No self-cleaning feature compared to the other units
- The pump might not drain the bottle completely
Brio is amongst the top brands in the industry and many of their units are durable and do perform exceptionally well. The Brio CLB520SC water cooler dispenser does not disappoint either. It has virtually everything you would expect from a quality water cooler dispenser and works as specified with minimal glitches.
You can get hot, cold, and ambient water from this Brio water cooler dispenser. The hot water is boiling hot and the cold water is cooled to near ice-cold, ideal for those who prefer perfectly chilled water.
Those who like actual room temperature water though may find it a little cool unless you turn off the cold water function. The unit’s flow of water on the three spouts is slow but this is the norm with most bottom loading dispensers. It’s not too slow to keep you waiting for long.
No issues with the noise level. The compressor and heating element are mostly quiet while running. In the first few days, you may note an unusual taste with the water like several customers mentioned but it gets better and disappears after some time.
The dispensing mechanism involves easy-to-use buttons for the three water temperatures which are placed on the top part of the unit. They are large and easy to press.
Placing them on top of the unit also makes them less accessible to young children, particularly the hot water button. Besides that, the hot water button has a child safety lock that kids may find hard to use.
You can turn off the hot water heater like the rest using a switch on the rear. Same with the cooling function. Brio has as well made dispensing water in the night easier by including LED nightlights to offer visibility in dim or low light settings.
You get to see the spouts clearly and where the water is pouring hence preventing accidents and possible water spillage. There’s a switch at the back that allows you to turn off the light if you don’t want it running all the time.
The fill area is 9-inches tall from the spout bottom to the drip tray. It’s sufficient to fit small to big cups and bottles. You can even fit a 10-inch tall container in there when you tilt it past the spout before setting it on the drip tray.
Loading the Water Bottle
The Brio CLB520SC water cooler dispenser takes a 5 gallon or 3-gallon water bottle and the loading compartment is largely making it easy to move the bottle in and out.
There’s a useful bottle refill indicator light to notify you when the dispenser needs a water bottle replacement so that you are not caught off guard.
This unit also comes with a self-cleaning feature that is activated via a switch placed on the back. It’s a huge plus that will disinfect all the internal components including the water reservoirs.
You have to press and then hold the switch for about 5 seconds to activate the feature and you can use it anytime you want. However, once it’s running, you can’t dispense water for 30 minutes.
The Brio CLB520SC is tall but not bulky. The construction consists of quality materials and the unit is sturdy. It should work effectively for several years.
This is a very nice and appealing water cooler dispenser whose quality and performance much the price. It’s a unit you will be happy with since it does its job as intended. On top of that, Brio’s customer service is wonderful in responding and providing solutions to customers’ queries.
- Heats and cools water as specified
- Mostly quiet while in operation
- Simple to use and to load bottle
- Hot water button has a child safety lock
- Self-cleaning feature to ease maintenance
- Strong construction that can last several years
- Has a 1-year limited warranty
- Room temperature water is a little cool
- Water may have an unpleasant taste in the first few days
This Whirlpool bottom load water cooler like the Brio CLB520SC model is a robust, quality unit that’s much suited for those who are keen on durability. Its performance and features are also within the standards of the best bottom load dispensers on the market.
The cooler has just hot and cold water options. No room-temp water function. Nonetheless, the compressor is powerful and chills the water well. It’s able to dispense cold water consistently and the water is a lot colder (41oF) than tap water.
Likewise, it heats the water to boiling temperature, so you get hot water that can make a properly brewed cup of tea or coffee.
The best part is that the water flows quickly from both spouts compared to other similar units. It’s amongst the fastest on the market which makes it even more convenient to use.
The compressor does make a humming noise when cooling water but the pump produces a bit more noise when filling up the reservoirs. It’s a soft noise though that’s not distracting.
However, similar to the Brio CLB520SC, some users said that the cold water has a plastic taste that disappears after dispensing a few gallons. This is because its reservoir is made of plastic (BPA-free plastic). There’s no bad taste for the hot water – the tank is stainless steel.
Operating this unit pose no difficulties since it uses buttons for dispensing the hot and cold water, and they are placed on the top part.
The unit is safe if you have kids around the house. It would be hard for a child to get accidentally burned as the safety lock on the hot water button prevents them from attempting to dispense the hot water. It’s also high enough for a toddler’s reach.
Three switches have been included on the back for turning on/off both the hot and cold functions as well as the LED night lights.
Speaking of the night lights, they are a nice addition. The only issue is that they don’t illuminate the buttons which are black and likely to blend in with the top at night which is equally black.
The height of the fill area is about 8.5 inches while the drip tray is around 3.5 – inches in depth. Therefore, there’s plenty of room to fit different-sized containers except tall sports bottles.
Loading the Water Bottle
A small detail we liked about this Whirlpool water cooler is that the tube that goes into the bottle reaches all the way down to the bottom hence it’s able to drain 99% of the water in the bottle. Others often have short tubes that leave a considerable amount of water in the bottle.
The loading compartment itself is large and can accommodate either a 3 or 5-gallon bottle and the unit alerts you by LED indicator lights and sound when it’s time to replace the bottle.
The spouts are flush with the roof of the dispensing area which is something that a few users didn’t like because it makes it hard to re-fill water bottles. You have to learn where to exactly position the bottle so that water doesn’t spew over the edges of the bottle’s opening.
That said, the unit has a robust steel frame. It’s built to withstand heavy use for years which is the most impressive thing about it and it’s equipped with the ozone self-cleaning functionality too.
To sum it up, if durability is a top priority for you, this Whirlpool water cooler is a much better option to consider. It’s a high-quality unit and you will get your money’s worth.
- Cold water is properly chilled
- Hot water is near boiling temperature
- Fast water flow from both spouts
- Easy-to-press buttons for water dispensing
- Effective child safety lock on hot water button
- Pump drains 99% of the water in the bottle
- Plenty of room in the fill area
- Highly durable unit covered by a 1-year limited warranty
- Cold water may have plastic taste in the beginning
- Spouts are flush with the roof of the filling area
- Night light does not illuminate the buttons
Bottled Top Load (freestanding & countertop)
What is a bottled top load water dispenser?
The bottled top load dispenser is the opposite of a bottled bottom load dispenser. The water supply bottle is loaded on the top of the unit in an inverted position and feeds the water directly into the reservoirs below. It works using gravity and vacuum pressure.
How does it work?
A bottled top load dispenser has an opening on its top referred to as the baffle or the water barrel seat where you mount the water bottle in an inverted position. You don’t have to remove the cap/seal of the bottle when loading it.
The baffle contains an inbuilt probe that punctures the seal hence making a hole that allows the water in the bottle to flow directly into the small reservoirs within the cooler.
Inside the unit is a valve that helps prevent the water from flooding the cooler. It only allows a certain amount of water to flow and fill the tanks according to their capacity.
The heating and cooling functionalities are the same found in the bottom load coolers. When you turn the unit on, the water stored in the tanks is either cooled or heated according to the option you choose. Like bottom load coolers, the cooling medium used is mostly a refrigerant.
However, unlike bottom load coolers, the water is dispensed with the help of gravity for all three functions – cold, hot, and room temperature water.
When it comes to operating the unit though, it’s similar to bottom load dispensers. You release a lever or press a button and the water flows out of the designated spigot into your cup.
Top load coolers are also designed to work with 3 or 5-gallon water bottles just like bottom load dispensers.
What are the benefits?
The major advantage of a top-load water cooler is that it uses gravity to dispense the water. There’s no pump required for pumping out water into the reservoirs. Gravity does the work for it and as such, it uses less energy compared to bottom load dispensers.
Easy to know when Water Bottle is Empty
The second benefit that comes with a top-load cooler is that the water bottle is visible hence you get to easily see how much water is left. They don’t need a low water indicator light to alert you when the bottle requires replacement as is the case with bottom load dispensers.
Top load water coolers are the most purchased and most popular water dispenser types to date and this is attributed to the fact that they tend to fall on the affordable side compared to their counterparts. They are the least expensive water cooler dispensers on the market.
The only downside is that they require lifting and inverting a 3 or 5-gallon bottle filled with water onto the top of the unit itself. This can be quite inconvenient, particularly for elderly people because the bottles can be really heavy.
The bottle isn’t concealed too which might not be aesthetically pleasing. Loading the bottle on top can also add about 1 or 2 ft. to the overall height of the unit which means it will require sufficient space above the unit for loading and removing the water bottle.
Reviews of the Best Bottled Top Load Water Dispensers
Group 1 – Freestanding
The Giantex EP22276 is a simple and practical water cooler dispenser. It’s amongst the few bottled top load dispensers that strike a good balance between price and performance.
Giantex EP22276 is designed to provide both cold and hot water. It cools water quite well. Most users found the cold water refreshingly cold. The hot water as well is adequately hot for making tea, coffee, or oatmeal.
It cools the water faster than the other top-loading dispensers on our list. You can make over 8 liters of refreshingly cold water within an hour. For the hot water, you will have to wait a little while. You can’t make more than 4 liters of hot water in an hour.
With regards to dispensing, the water flows out of the spouts not as fast as the tap but it’s better than many similar dispensers. The cooling process is a tad noisy when the compressor is running which is like all other coolers though, so that isn’t much of a problem.
The unit features push-down levers for dispensing hot and cold water through the spouts. They are a bit thin and don’t seem they can last long with constant use over time.
The hot water lever has a safety lock for preventing accidental burns to children but the downside is that it’s easy for children to operate. You just hold the brackets together for the hot water to come out.
Moreover, the unit is short which places the hot water lever within a child’s reach. However, you can turn the hot off for extra safety as well as the cooling function at the back of the unit.
The fill area has enough space to fit small to tall cups and containers but you will have to hold them while filling since the drip tray is not that wide for a large cup to sit on its own.
Loading the Water Bottle
The Giantex water dispenser can fit 2 to 5-gallon bottles. Loading the bottle will require some lifting but the unit has a non-slip cap that helps prevent water from spilling everywhere. Without the caps, water will splash all over when inverting the bottle onto the dispenser.
There’s a compartment under the drip tray for storage and unfortunately, it can only accommodate small items or 8 cans of soda. It’s too small for medium to large items.
As we mentioned earlier, the dispenser itself is smaller in size which is a good thing since it doesn’t take up much space. The problem is that the spouts are placed a little short from the ground (just over 18-inches). If you are tall or even average height, you will have to bend a bit more to use it, but in general, it’s not such a big deal.
You can detach the water barrel seat and it’s easy to disassemble in case you want to clean it. The body of the unit and the entire construction apart from the taps is sturdy and durable. The unit is also lightweight and there’s a drain located on the back to let you drain the tanks.
Although it’s marked by several unfortunate drawbacks, the Giantex EP22276 dispenser works well, it’s efficient and offers value for the money. The manufacturer provides a 3 months warranty which is shorter in comparison to the other units on our list but their customer service responds fast as attested by most users.
- Cold water is refreshingly cold and hot water is adequately hot
- Cools water at a faster rate
- Features push-down taps that are easy to operate
- You can turn off hot and cold water functions
- Has a non-slip cap to help prevent water spilling everywhere
- Compact design that doesn’t take up much space
- Good customer service on warranty
- The taps are a bit thin and don’t seem they can last long
- Hot water safety is within children reach and easy for them to operate
- Has a short profile which requires bending to dispense water
- Very short warranty period – 3 months only
The Farberware FW29919 water cooler dispenser is another nice machine that provides decent performance for the price. It’s an option that suits best those who are looking for an energy-efficient water cooler.
This Farberware FW29919 model is a two-function dispenser that delivers both hot and cold water. The unit uses a thermal-electric cooling method which is an advanced cooling system that’s very effective at minimizing energy consumption. Therefore, you can expect low power consumption with this unit compared to the other options that use a refrigerant.
In terms of performance though, the cold water produced is not exceptionally cold according to most users. It’s colder than regular tap water but if you dispense more than one cup at a time, it’s not as cool. You will have to let it chill for a few seconds after every cup.
On the other hand, the hot water comes out extremely hot and you can dispense up to 5 liters of hot water per hour which is faster than the Giantex EP22276 dispenser.
The water outflow is fairly fast and the unit runs quietly while heating or cooling and this is because it uses thermoelectric technology. There’s no compressor, so it’s a suitable option for the office set-up.
The Farberware FW29919 is simple to operate. You have two plastic levers for hot and cold water that need just pushing down to dispense water.
Unlike the Giantex EP22276 dispenser above, the levers are reasonably sturdy, and provided you don’t yank them around, they can survive for a long time without breaking.
The hot water lever has a childproof lock on top that you have to push back and then push down the lever for hot water to come out. It’s something that toddlers can find difficult to operate even though it’s within their reach since the unit is very short.
You can turn the hot water off from the back of the unit to make it more childproof when not in use. There is a switch too in the back for turning off the cold water when you want your water at room temperature.
The cup shelf is large to rest a container but the issue is that there’s not enough room under the spouts. Only small cups and glasses can stand in there. You will have to tilt and hold tall cups there to get water.
Loading the Water Dispenser
This water cooler stands at about waist height which is a good thing because it makes it easy to load and reload heavy water bottles. It accepts all standard water dispenser bottles (3 or 5-gallon bottles) and it has a place to drain the tanks completely for storage or cleaning.
The bottom has a handy small storage cabinet that can take about 8-soda cans. There’s a little plastic shelf inside which you can slide out to store taller items.
However, as the unit is very short, you will need to bend over a bit while filling the cup. Despite so, its compact and lightweight design makes it portable enough to be moved easily and ideal for homes and offices with limited space.
If you want an energy-efficient unit, you can consider the Farberware FW29919 water cooler dispenser. It’s a worthy product for gentle use but certainly not for areas with heavy traffic.
It’s sold through a third party and there’s no warranty information which is one of its downsides as noted by some users. Both the supplier and the parent company as mentioned are unresponsive but the machine is good if it doesn’t become defective or shipped with defects.
- The hot water is extremely hot
- Energy-efficient thermal-electric cooling
- Slims and short profile – doesn’t take up much space
- Runs quietly and it’s easy to operate
- Reliable child safety lock on the hot water lever
- Comes with a bottom compartment for storage
- Cold water doesn’t get cold enough
- You can’t dispense more than two cups of cold water at a time
- There’s no enough room under the spouts
- You will need to bend over a bit while filling the cup
Primo is one of the leading and most popular water dispenser makers. They have good quality products at decent prices. This Primo water cooler is efficient in its operation. It’s a solid unit without much frills but does its job very well.
The Primo 601130 works superbly. It heats and cools the water faster than the other top loading units on our list. It literally takes less than 30 seconds to get hot water while the cold water process takes just a few minutes.
The water is chilled to almost ice cold – significantly colder than room temperature just like a refrigerator.
The hot side also gives you really hot water plus water flows out of both spouts quickly. You don’t hold the cup and wait long for the water to dispense.
The compressor runs quietly – essentially no noise is produced at all. You will only hear a gurgling noise when reloading a full water bottle and right after dispensing some water.
One of the best things about this Primo cooler is how easy it is to use. It utilizes push-down buttons located at the top part of the unit just above their respective spouts.
They are large and pretty easy to press. The hot water button has a child safety feature that you have to slide while pushing down the button at the same time for hot water to flow out.
It’s an effective safety feature that not many toddlers will be able to operate. Moreover, they are placed at the top of the unit which is about the same height as many standard kitchen countertops, so a toddler might find it difficult to reach.
There are two separate switches on the back of the unit, one for cold water and one for hot water. You can turn off both of them to enable room temperature water.
There’s a large space under the spouts that can accommodate many different sized bottles and cups. It’s large enough to support tall travel mugs and sports bottles. The drip tray below the spouts is equally large. It can prevent water from spilling over to the floor.
Loading the Water Bottle
Loading the water bottle on this Primo dispenser is easy. It’s the same height as the top of a standard kitchen counter, so you don’t have to lift the bottle too high.
It can work with bottles that have spill-proof caps as well as with those that don’t have. It has a leak guard that helps prevent leaking in case you are loading a bottle with the cap off.
The dispenser is designed to work much better with Primo water jugs but you can use other brands’ bottles although it can get messy.
Unfortunately, the Primo 601130 doesn’t have storage space like the other top loading dispensers above. That is its only major downside. Otherwise, the entire unit is solidly built – the body is made of durable heavy plastic.
The Primo 601130 dispenser is a good quality product and an ideal choice for anyone who wants to invest in a durable water cooler that will not fail in performance either.
The Primo customer service team is very responsive, so in the event of unforeseen defects, you can get help from them.
- Hot water is hot and cold water is almost ice cold
- Water flow on both spouts is fast
- The compressor operates quietly
- Easy push-down buttons – child-safety lock on hot water button
- Large room under the spouts to support even tall cups and bottles
- Comes with a 1-year limited warranty and customer service is great
- Doesn’t feature a storage space
The Primo stainless steel water cooler is a wonderful option for those who are searching for a 3-function top loading water cooler dispenser. It’s built to last just like many other units from Primo and its performance is remarkable to some extent.
This Primo water cooler dispenser features three spouts that deliver three different water temperatures. It dispenses, hot, cooled, and normal room-temp water.
The hot water is extremely hot but some users have complained that the cold water isn’t that cold – it’s only slightly colder than the normal tap water. You might want to keep that in mind but according to a large majority, it was cold enough to meet their needs.
The room temp water comes out at a moderate temperature although several users also noted that it’s a bit warmer than tap water.
The heating and cooling processes are not sluggish. It takes less than 5 minutes to heat or cool water before it’s ready for dispensing and the flow on all three spouts is good. You won’t have to wait for a while to get the water you want.
You will also appreciate the fact that this machine is quieter than many other models out there despite the level of functionality it has. Occasional hum like a refrigerator is the only sound it makes during the cooling process. It’s a unit that you can use in an office environment.
A few customers reported that the dispensed water tends to have a plastic taste during the first few days of using the machine. The taste does disappear eventually with continued use but the majority of buyers seemed not to have any issues with the taste of the water.
It’s easy to operate this Primo unit as it features push-down buttons that you just press to dispense water. They are not hard to press and are placed on top of the unit for quick reach which also makes them somewhat difficult for toddlers to access and play with.
For the hot water button, it’s protected by a child safety lock that requires sliding and holding it in place while pushing down the button to dispense hot water. A toddler might not be able to reach it or manage to operate it which is essential in preventing accidental burns.
This unit too allows you to switch off hot and cold water functions from the back of the unit to save on energy or for further protection against burns.
The fill area is okay although not bigger than the Primo 601130 model. It will accept small to medium cups and glasses. For tall sports bottles, you may have to tilt them to fill them up.
Loading the Water Bottle
You will find this unit not much challenging with regards to setup and loading or reloading of the water bottle. It’s around 36-inches tall hence you have a short height to lift the water bottle over.
Primo has included a spill-proof bottle holder that does help to prevent leaks or spills when loading and unloading the water bottles. Any standard 3 to 5-gallon water bottle will fit onto the unit.
This one too doesn’t come with a bottom storage cabinet and the spouts sit somewhat low to the ground meaning you will need to bend a little to get the water. The whole unit is sturdy and it uses stainless steel water tanks which makes them durable.
All in all, a large percentage of users were satisfied with the overall quality and functionality of this Primo stainless steel water cooler. On our part, we would say it’s a great purchase if you want a three-function top load water cooler dispenser.
A one year warranty is provided from the date of purchase which you need to activate on the Primo website. In case you get a defective unit, you won’t have to worry much because as we stated earlier, Primo has excellent customer service who always responds to concerns quickly.
- Three different water temperature modes
- Heats water to near boiling temperature
- Quick cooling and heating process
- Water flow on all three modes is fast
- Fairly quiet operation when cooling and heating
- Hot water button has an effective child safety lock
- Short profile for easy loading and feature a spill-proof bottle holder
- Has a 1-year limited warranty and you can rely on the customer service
- Some users noted that cold water isn’t cold enough
- Doesn’t include a storage cabinet
- You will need to bend a little to get the water
AQUAWELL WD-002-03 is an option we would recommend for anyone in search of a top loading water dispenser that offers a slightly larger storage compartment. It’s taller than the rest and this is because a significant part of the unit has been dedicated to the storage compartment.
The AQUAWELL WD-002-03 is a two-function water cooler dispenser that provides hot and cold water options.
Some users found the cold water produced by the machine moderately cold than tap water but most admit that it’s refreshingly cold for making cold beverages without adding ice. There was no issue with the heating function as the water consistently comes out steaming hot.
No long wait time to get hot. The heating process is fast. It can deliver 5 liters of hot water every hour. The cooling function is a tad slower since you can only get 2 liters of chilled water per hour. However, water is dispensed at a pretty fast rate from either spout.
You will hardly get interrupted while the dispenser is running. It does make a soft humming sound when the compressor is running but it’s only noticeable when you are near the unit.
Another nice thing is that water from both reservoirs of this dispenser has no unpleasant taste. The reservoirs are made of stainless steel which is durable and more importantly eliminates the plastic taste that some dispensers give off during initial use.
AQUAWELL has employed paddles for the dispensing mechanism on this unit. For the cold water, it’s a one-hand operation. You press the cup against the paddle, then hold it and the water flows out the spout.
The hot spot paddle has a child safety lock button that you have to push and hold while pressing the cup against the paddle for hot water to dispense. Once the hot water starts to flow you don’t have to hold onto the safety button but the cup must press against the cup.
It’s a simple operation for adults but challenging for young children to execute hence if you have kids around, this is safe for them to use plus the tall profile of the unit places the paddles high enough where a toddler can’t reach them.
You can alternatively deactivate the hot water button using a switch at the rear including the cooling function.
On the downside, the dispensing area is short, thereby you are limited to using small or medium-sized cups and glasses. However, the spouts are placed higher than the other dispensers, so you won’t have to bend so much to use them.
Loading the Water Bottle
Loading or replacing the water bottle is a bit tricky like all top loading dispensers but the unit has a spill-proof leak guard that can help minimize water spillage if the bottle has no cap. It’s compatible with either standard 3 or 5-gallon bottles.
Now the impressive part of this AQUAWELL model is the large storage cabinet underneath. It’s bigger compared to the rest offering plenty of room to store several items. It’s more useful than the 8-soda cans capacity you get from other models.
A sizeable number of customers reported that the feet of their units weren’t leveled hence they had to balance them, otherwise they could easily tip over. We also found that the instructions were slightly confusing due to the poor English.
AQUAWELL WD-002-03 is a simple but very practical water cooler dispenser. It’s a unit you can go for if you need good storage space and access to hot and cold water any time you want. The company has friendly customer support that responds quickly to customer inquiries.
- Large capacity cabinet for storage
- Produces steaming hot water and chilly cold water
- Easy to set up and use
- Runs quietly without any loud noises
- Has child-safety lock on hot water
- No weird taste and comes with a 1-year warranty
- Dispensing area is short
- Unclear instructions
- Several concerns that the feet aren’t leveled
Group 2 – Countertop:
A countertop water cooler dispenser is a perfect option for homes or offices with limited space. This KUPPET model is one of the affordable countertop water coolers on the market. It’s not the best, but for the price, it’s worth a look.
In terms of functionality, this unit gives you two output options, hot or cold water. KUPPET dispensers are known for delivering very hot water, and this countertop model is no different.
It sufficiently heats the water to very high temperatures (up to 203oF). The hot water comes out way hotter than what you would get from many freestanding water coolers. Moreover, the reservoir for the hot water is large, capable of providing up to 5 liters of heated water at a time.
However, the same can’t be said for the cold water function. Based on a majority of users, getting cold water isn’t a guarantee with this unit. It sometimes comes out cold but for the most part, it’s cool, much the same temperature as tap water.
The tank meant for cold water is also small. It can provide just 0.65L of cold water at a time which is really low, especially since the unit can take up to 40 minutes to cool water.
The heating process is reasonably fast. It takes less than 10 minutes to get the hot water ready for dispensing. The flow rate on the hot water spout is equally fast but a bit slow on the cold water spout.
The unit does work silently enough not to cause much disturbance. Only minimal noise is produced when cooling or heating which is a good thing when using it in workplaces.
Push-down levers have been employed for dispensing water hence it’s easy to operate this dispenser and the levers are sturdy for everyday use.
What’s disappointing is that there’s no safety lock on the hot water lever, so there’s a risk of small kids getting burned when using this cooler. Nonetheless, you can turn off the hot water using a switch at the back and the cooling mechanism too.
Another gripe we noted is that the LED status light for the cold water is wired wrongly. It shows green once it’s turned on then turns to red when the water cooling process is over. The hot water status light is correct though.
The dispensing area is sufficient for small-sized glasses and cups. Medium or tall glasses won’t fit there unless you tilt them.
Loading the Water Bottle
Loading the water bottle is simple but you may have to deal with the possibility of spilling some water as pointed out by several users.
The workaround for this is getting a second person to tilt the base so that you can mount the bottle with no spillage. The unit can work with either a 3 or 5-gallon bottle.
There were concerns about the built quality and material used in making the unit, as its body seem to be a thin plastic. However, it’s sturdy enough to accommodate the heavy 5-gallon bottle just fine and the base is pretty stable.
The unit is also compact and measures 17-inches tall which is a perfect countertop unit size for limited spaces. It’s lightweight and easy to move.
To be honest, this is not the best countertop water cooler out there. Even so, it’s functional and good value when you factor in the price. It’s a more suitable option for making hot water. Customer service and support respond well to claims about defects and other issues which is a positive thing to consider too.
- Heats water to high temperatures
- Works silently producing only minimal noise
- Fast flow rate on the hot water spout
- Easy to operate push-down levers
- Works with either a 3 or 5-gallon bottle
- Short and compact profile takes up limited space
- Backed by 1-year limited warranty
- Cold water isn’t cooled down to right temperature
- No child safety lock on the hot water lever
- LED status light for the cold water is wired wrongly
- Possibility of spilling some water while loading the bottle
The Avalon Premium countertop water cooler dispenser falls on the high end side with regards to price. However, it’s a more durable and effective unit that gets the job done without any lapse.
You will be very satisfied with the performance of this Avalon water cooler. The unit is designed to supply hot and cold water on different spouts.
The compressor is highly efficient and takes about 10 to 15 minutes to cool water and the cold water tank is large with a capacity to provide up to 3.1 liters of cold water at a time. The cold water is properly chilled to refrigerator temperature (around 47oF).
The hot water is steaming hot too, suitable for making any on the go hot beverage. The reservoir though is small as it is able to provide one liter or about 3 cups of hot water at a time before waiting for the water to reheat.
Nonetheless, it heats up quickly compared to the cooling process, taking approximately not more than 5 minutes which compensates for the low capacity.
In both modes, the dispenser is relatively quiet. It does hum when the compressor is on but it’s a tolerable hum that’s not too loud. The heater sounds more like a muffled boil, so no disturbing noise at all from the unit when it’s working.
Water is dispensed using paddle spouts that are so much easy to use. You simply press the cup against the paddle for the type of water you want and hold it for the water to come out.
Unlike the KUPPET countertop dispenser above, the hot water paddle on this Avalon model has a child safety lock that you have to push while pressing the paddle for hot water to flow out.
It’s a two-hand operation similar to that of the Avalon A6 bottom load cooler. You press the safety lock for just a few seconds and let go but you must keep on pressing the paddle for water to continue flowing out.
One problem we had with this design as we mentioned in the Avalon A6 review is that the safety lock is easily accessible to a child and easy to use with a little observation. But provided you set the cooler on your countertop, then you won’t much to worry about.
Same as all the other units on our list, this Avalon countertop water cooler has switches for turning off both cold and hot functions. They are placed on the side as opposed to the back of the unit like the rest which is more convenient.
The dispensing area is 7-inches high below the spouts. It’s not that large but it’s sufficient to fit most medium to tall cups and glasses. It will not accommodate tall sports bottles unless tipped
Loading the Dispenser
This water cooler can accommodate either a 3 or 5-gallon bottle and the barrel seat or neck opening is wide and designed to reduce water spillage. You can expect some spilling though in the event you are loading a bottle with a damage cap or without one.
The unit is 19-inches high and 12-inches wide hence it’s compact and short enough for most standard kitchen countertops.
Many users noted that it’s somewhat heavy to move around. But the heaviness is due to the strong, thick plastic used for the body and tanks which does make the whole unit very sturdy and durable, so it’s not entirely a bad thing.
Generally, the Avalon Premium countertop water cooler dispenser is a unit you can count on in terms of quality and performance. It’s highly capable and deserving of the money you will spend on it. Plus Avalon’s customer support is very helpful and will attempt to resolve any issues you may encounter with the unit.
- Heats and cools water fast and effectively
- Moderate flow rate on both spouts
- Relatively quiet on either mode
- Paddle spouts that are simple to use
- Dispensing area has sufficient space
- Very sturdy and durable overall construction
- Has a 1-year limited warranty
- Capacity of hot water tank is small
- Kids can easily use the safety lock on the hot water paddle
Bottleless (Freestanding & Countertop)
What is a bottleless water dispenser?
A bottleless water dispenser also referred to as a point of use water dispenser, is a plumped-in machine that dispenses water without the use of water bottles. The unit takes water directly from the in-house waterline for a continuous supply of cold and hot water.
How does it work?
Much like the bottled water cooler dispensers, a bottleless unit features cooling and heating functionalities. Once turned on, water from the supply line flows into the machine and is stored in the reservoirs inside it, one for cold water and another for hot water.
The water inside the tanks is then cooled or heated and with a press of a button or lever, the water flows out from the respective spout with the help of gravity. Some bottleless dispensers also offer the option of dispensing water right at room temperature.
Besides the water supply source, the other major difference between bottleless and bottled dispensers is additional functionality. Bottleless coolers come with a variety of filtration options that remove different contaminants from the water before it’s heated or cooled.
Most units use carbon filtration which involves one or two carbon filters that help eliminate impurities and chemicals like chlorine, lead, and VOCs. Other units include a sediment filter as a second filtration phase to remove sediments and particles such as sand, silt, rust, and scales.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) is another type of filtration option used in some bottleless coolers and it can eliminate almost 98% of all contaminants found in the municipal water supply. More advanced units also include ultra-violet filters to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.
Basically, the type of filtration you choose will depend on the level of contaminants and the composition of the water in your area. However, some units have no filtration method. These are ideal if you have an existing filtration system installed at your main water supply line.
What are the benefits?
Endless Supply of Water
With a bottleles water cooler dispenser, you will never have to worry about running out of water. It’s connected directly to your cold water line or sink tap ensuring a continuous supply of water. It can handle high demands for hot or cold water compared to bottled water dispensers which are limited to the capacity of the water bottle that requires constant replacement.
Clean and Better Testing Filtered Water
If the water in your area is hard or contains high levels of contaminants, then a bottleless unit with a filtration system can be very beneficial.
Most of these units are equipped with a dual filtration system to eliminate a wide range of impurities and contaminants present in the municipal or well water supply. Therefore, you are able to get clean and purified cold or hot water.
Furthermore, you can choose a unit with a filtration method that suits the composition of water in the area you live or according to your particular needs.
Easy to Use
There’s no loading and constant replacement of water bottles with a bottleless water dispenser which can really be inconvenient and challenging, especially in the case of top load dispensers where you have to lift and invert a bottle to load it on the unit.
Once installed, you will never worry about reloading it since it gets water directly from your existing water supply plus most bottleless coolers don’t require much expertise to install. With basic DIY skills, one can connect them on their own.
On top of that, they are more environmental-friendly as they eliminate the need for using non-degradable plastic bottles, that eventually end up in landfills.
Reviews of Bottleless Water Cooler Dispensers
Group 1 – Freestanding:
The Avalon A5 water cooler dispenser stands out as far as value is concerned. It performs well in cooling and heating water and offers an effective dual-filtration system. It’s a balanced unit both functionally and operation-wise yet it’s reasonably priced.
You get 3 water temperature options with this Avalon dispenser – hot, cold, and room temperature. The cold water comes out cold as you would expect while the room temp water is cool, just a little than tap water. The hot water is steaming hot at around 185oF which is perfect for coffee, tea, or soup.
The heating and cooling processes, however, are not as fast as the other models. You can only heat up to 4 liters of water per hour and cool 2.5 liters of water at the same time.
The flow rate is a bit slow initially but afterward, it’s moderate. You can dispense 2 liters of cold water and 1.8 liters of hot water within a minute which is about 50 to 75% of the rate you would get from a bottled cooler.
You won’t be bothered by this cooler while it’s running in either mode. The compressor makes only humming sounds like a fridge.
The Avalon A5 utilizes a dual filtration system comprising of a sediment filter and an activated carbon filter placed in a cabinet below the drip tray.
Water from your main supply flows into the unit where it’s first taken through the sediment filter which does well in removing fine particles as well as large sediments bigger than 5 microns. It’s able to filter out silt, sand, dirt, scale, and rust particles present in the water.
From there, water is taken through an activated carbon filter that eliminates residual chlorine, lead, organic matter, and any unpleasant tastes and odors resulting from common chemicals found in municipal water.
A few users claim that the dispensed water initially has a plastic taste which probably emanates from the reservoirs since the carbon block filter is meant to improve the taste.
Even so, with the two filters in place, the water you get from the two reservoirs of this unit is cleaner than tap water. You will have to change the filters every 6 months though. It’s a short lifespan since there are similar filters that can go up to 1-year.
Avalon has included a light indicator to notify you when it’s time to replace the filters, thereby you don’t have to keep track or rely on guesswork.
Push-buttons have been employed as the dispensing mechanism. You simply press the button for the temp of your choice and fetch the water from the spout below it. It’s an easy operation.
The hot water safety feature is easier for an adult to operate and all the buttons for dispensing water are on top that a baby or toddler can’t reach. They can’t dispense hot water even if they climb onto a chair. You can switch both hot and cold water functions from the back of the unit.
The dispensing area is large measuring 9-inches from the opening of the spouts to the drip tray. It’s sufficient to fit small to big containers and the drip tray is wide too hence you can place your cup and fill it without holding.
The unit is 41-inches high, so it’s a little taller such that you don’t have to bend much while dispensing water. Filling your cup at night is easier as well thanks to the built-in night light which illuminates the spouts making them clearly visible at night.
Setting up this Avalon dispenser may require getting a plumber if you don’t know what you are doing. However, many users agreed that it’s an easy process with basic DIY skills. It takes just a couple of minutes.
The installation instructions are detailed and clear. Moreover, all the necessary parts you need for installation are provided.
An input flow switch engages as water starts flowing out of the reservoirs. It acts as a leak detector which is a thoughtful addition because it can alert you in case there’s a leakage in the unit. It switches off the water until you manually dry the unit, fix the leakage, and reset the unit.
The dispenser is incorporated with a self-cleaning ozone function that will help sanitize the tanks and the whole system inhibiting the accumulation of germs and bacteria. The tradeoff is that you will have to wait for 90 minutes for the cycle to complete before you can dispense water.
Every part of the unit from the cabinet to the exterior frame and tanks is constructed to great quality. The unit is solid and can provide service for several years.
What you get from the Avalon A5 is reliable performance on dispensing functions and filtration process. It works as specified and there are no major glitches to worry about. It’s a solid investment considering its highly competitive price.
- Water is at the right temperature on all modes
- The dual filtration system cleans water effectively
- Moderate flow rate on all spouts
- Uses push-buttons for easy dispensing of water
- Safe for use in homes with children around
- Fairly large dispensing area and drip tray
- Includes a leak detector and self-cleaning function
- 1-year warranty plus a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Filters require replacement every 6 months
- Might require help from a plumber to install
The Avalon A13 is quite identical to the A5 above. It has similar features with the main differences being the design and the dispensing mechanism. So, it’s not far off in terms of performance. The thing that sets it apart is the self-cleaning functionality. It’s one of the best in the market.
Same to the Avalon A5, this unit gives you three water temperatures to choose from. All the functions work as they should. The cold water is crisp cold, room temp water is cool like the tap water while the hot water is adequately hot to prepare hot beverages.
The cooling and heating capacities are also not different from the A5. In one hour, it can heat 4 liters of water or cool up to 2.5 liters of water.
However, it will take a little longer to dispense water as the flow rate is quite low. You can’t dispense more than 1.2 liters of water in a minute no matter the mode you choose but the unit is not noisy when cooling or heating.
The same 2-stage filtration system has also been incorporated in this Avalon A13 model which includes a sediment filter followed by a carbon block filter as the second stage.
Therefore, any residual chlorine, odor, lead, rust, organic matter, or sediments and other small particles lingering in your water will be effectively filtered out before heating or cooling takes place.
There were reports from some users that the water might have a funny taste which is the same case with the Avalon A5 model. As we mentioned though, the taste results from the reservoirs not from the filters – they clear out all unpleasant tastes. Nonetheless, it’s a temporary issue that disappears after dispensing a few liters.
The filters have the same short lifespan of 6-months and there’s an indicator light to alert you when it’s time to replace them.
Operating the A13 is a breeze. The unit uses electronic buttons that are more stylish and conveniently placed than those of the A5 model.
You simply press the button for the type of water you want and it flows out from the spout. It’s a single spout, unlike the A5 which has three spouts for each function.
Another key difference is the child safety lock for the hot water. It’s a separate button from the hot water button. You have to press it to unlock the hot water and then press the hot button for the hot water to flow out.
From our end, this mechanism is much safer in preventing kids from dispensing the hot water and the buttons are on top of the unit for added protection.
For the dispensing area, it’s slightly shorter than that of the A5. It’s just 7.5 inches high from below the spout to the drip tray hence you are limited to only small and medium-sized cups. A built-in nightlight has been included, so you can clearly see the spout while filling your cup at night.
Installation is relatively simple. Any handyman can do it but if you are not good at doing DIY installations, then you will need a plumber.
The unit comes with all the parts required to set it up and the installation manual clearly illustrates the entire process. Avalon has included a leak detector in this model too and it will keep you abreast of any unexpected leaks or overflows.
There’s a self-cleaning function as well and this is the most notable feature of the A13. It’s different from the standard ozone cleaning mechanism found on many water coolers because utilizes both UV light and ozone.
UV light is highly effective at destroying harmful microorganisms. It will kill any bacteria and germs residing in the system while the ozone which is also a powerful disinfectant cleans and sanitizes it to prevent more bacteria and germs from accumulating in the unit. The cycle takes 90 minutes and you won’t access water once it’s activated.
The build quality of the A13 is equally not bad. It’s sturdy and a large part of the body is made using stainless steel material for longevity. But some small plastic pieces such as the internal sleeve are fragile and susceptible to breaking as a few users noted.
All in all, the Avalon A13 doesn’t disappoint when considering performance and usability. Like the A5 model, it’s an affordable and dependable unit you can consider if the slow flow rate is not much of a concern to you.
- Cooling and heating functions work as expected
- Clears out most common contaminants in the water
- Easy to operate and produces minimal noise while running
- It is safe to use around kids
- High-effective self-cleaning mechanism
- 1-year warranty plus a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Water flow rate is slow
- Dispensing area has limited space
- Filters must be changed every 6 months
- Some small plastic pieces are prone to breaking
In the third spot is another Avalon bottleless water cooler dispenser, the Avalon A7. This is a much standard model compared to the other two above, but it’s equipped with the same great features that make it a worthy option for those who want a budget-friendly bottleless water cooler dispenser.
The A7 is a two-function unit with only cold and hot water options. In terms of performance, it does cool and heat water to adequate temperatures.
A majority of users found the cold water to be refreshingly cold and the hot water comes out consistently hot at almost boiling temperature.
Cooling and heating capacities are no different to the A5 and A13 models either. It takes an hour to cool up to 2.5 liters of water and it can heat at most 4 liters of water at the same time.
The flow rate is better than the Avalon A13. You can dispense 2 liters of cold water and 1.8 liters of hot water in a minute. That’s about the same rate as the A5 but you will have to wait a few minutes before more hot water is available again after each dispensing.
Based on users’ reports, the noise level is low – nearly silent. It doesn’t cause any disturbance whether it’s cooling or heating the water.
The filtration process has also not been changed. It’s the dual-filtration system we saw in the A5 and A13 featuring a sediment filter and an activated carbon block filter in that order.
Their quality and effectiveness at eliminating sediments, chlorine, bacteria, lead, and other contaminants are similar to the rest. There was no lapse pointed out. The water comes out cleaner and has a better taste than regular tap water. No plastic taste like in the A5 or A13.
You will still have to replace them every 6 months though and this unit has also an indicator light, so you will be able to replace them on time to ensure a continuous flow of clean water.
The dispensing mechanism of the A7 involves basic paddles instead of buttons that its counterparts use. They are not the most convenient and durable type but they are easy to use.
You have to press your cup against the paddle to let out the water. The hot paddle has a safety button that you must push to unlock the hot water spout.
It can provide some level of protection against accidental burns if you have children but the paddles are just next to the spout, not on top. This puts them within reach for a standing child hence might not be as safe as having them on top.
The unit has separate switches on the back to turn on/off the heating and cooling of the water. Therefore, you can switch hot water off for additional protection if your child can access the hot water paddle.
Taller cups and bottles do not fit in the fill area because it offers only 7.5 inches of space below the spouts. It’s good for just small and medium-sized containers. The spouts are also a little low requiring one to bend down to use them.
There’s LED nightlight between the spouts and according to several users the light is not too bright but it does illuminate the spouts and the fill area meaning you won’t have a hard time dispensing water at night.
Basic DIY skill is necessary to install this dispenser. If you are handy and can follow the very clear instructions, you can do it on your own in under an hour, otherwise, you will have to get a professional to do it, especially if some plumbing will be required.
In case of a leakage, the A7 has a built-in leak detector that will alert you and until it’s fixed you will not be able to dispense water from both spouts.
This dispenser too features the self-cleaning Ozone functionality, thereby maintenance will largely involve filter replacements and occasional cleaning of the exterior parts. The build quality is decent enough for the unit to hold up well for more than a year or two.
Overall, Avalon A7 is worth considering for those who want a two-function water bottleless water cooler dispenser that can as well filter out contaminants. It’s durable and will give you clean cold and hot water at the right temperatures.
- Heating and cooling functions work effectively
- Can remove sediments, chlorine, and other contaminants
- Easy to operate and runs almost silently
- Has a child safety lock on the hot water spout
- Features a leak detector and a filter indicator light
- Self-cleaning ozone function to sanitize and clean the system
- 1-year warranty with a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Filters have only a 6-month lifespan
- Fill area can’t accommodate tall containers
- Spouts are a little low requiring one to bend down more
While it’s dubbed as a professional commercial/residential water dispenser, the Brio CL-520U is actually a more basic bottleless water cooler dispenser. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles we saw in the Avalon dispensers above. It’s just a two-function dispenser with no built-in filtration system.
The Brio CL-520U dispenses cold and hot water. The performance of both functions is not bad at all. The hot water is steaming hot with temperature ranging from 185oF to 195oF.
On the other hand, the compressor cools water to ice cold levels. It can chill the water down to 32.9oF – that’s about the freezing point (32oF) of water.
Moreover, the unit is equipped with a cold water thermostat which is a nice touch and a feature that lacks in most other water cooler dispensers.
Located on the back of the unit, this thermostat allows you to adjust the cooling temperature to the level you want. You can adjust it from 32.9oF to 53oF. It’s a short range but the fact that you can set the temperature of the cold water to your preference is a big bonus.
The speed of the water as it flows out of the spouts is fairly quick. You can fill cups and glasses in a matter of seconds – around 20 seconds to be precise. It’s a unit that’s suitable for use in environments with high traffic like an office setting.
Aside from the usual soft humming common with water cooler dispensers, there’s barely any noise produced by this machine while working. The water from both spouts has no unpleasant taste which is attributed to the use of stainless steel water tanks rather than plastic ones.
Brio has tried a lot to keep the design of this unit simple and the same applies when it comes to operating it. There are no buttons or anything of the sort on the front part. Just the spouts.
All the controls are located on the back which includes the on/off switches for the cold and hot water functions.
The unit uses levers for dispensing water which provides easy operation. You just push down the lever for the water of your choice to release the water out. The levers are made of plastic but a sturdy plastic that can handle constant use.
The hot water lever has a child-proof feature that works fine and can offer some level of protection against accidental burns although both levers are placed right on top of the spouts.
You can fit small to tall bottles underneath the spouts. The fill area is large but the drip tray is small. It doesn’t provide much space to sit a container – you will have to hold it when filling. Dispensing water at night will also be a problem as the unit doesn’t feature any nightlight.
Setting up the Brio CL-520U is straightforward, however, the installation kit is not provided hence the installation can be somewhat challenging for beginners.
There’s no self-cleaning feature either. The good thing though is that the unit has a drain valve on the back, so you can flush the system with a food-grade sanitizer to clean and prevent any bacteria or germ accumulation. Brio has also included dual backup shut-off floats which help prevent water from overflowing.
Finally, this unit sports a robust construction from the frame to the internal components and water tanks. It’s a highly durable unit that can certainly provide service for several years.
Although it has a simple, laid-back design with no advanced features, this Brio CL-520U model is one reliable water cooler dispenser for heating and cooling water. It’s an option we would recommend if you already have an existing filtration system installed or don’t need one.
- Hot water is steaming hot while cold water is ice cold
- Allows you to adjust the cold water temperature to your liking
- Dispenses water fast and doesn’t make a lot of noise
- Simple design with sturdy levers for easy operation
- Hot water lever has a child-proof feature
- Large fill area that accommodates small to tall containers
- Highly durable unit that’s fairly easy to install
- Comes with a 2-year limited warranty
- No built-in filtration system
- The drip tray is small in size
- Doesn’t have a nightlight
- No self-cleaning functionality
The G3 is amongst the few water coolers on the market that come with an advanced water filtration system. Unlike the other units, this Global Water dispenser comes with a 4-stage Reverse Osmosis filtration system which is the most effective water purification method. It’s a perfect option for those living in areas where the water has very high levels of contamination.
There are only two dispensing functions on the G3 cooler, hot and cold. The compressor and heating element of the unit do their jobs well according to the reports of a majority of users.
The cold water is properly chilled and the hot water is hot enough to make hot drinks. The flow rate for both the cold and hot water is fairly fast too as you can fill an 8 oz. container in 10 seconds.
The unit also takes less time to heat and cool water. The hot water reservoir has a 1.8 liters capacity and it takes less than 5 minutes to heat the water to boiling temperature. The cold reservoir can hold 3.7 liters and takes 15 to 30 minutes to get chill water once emptied.
You won’t have any issues with regards to noise because the heating and cooling operations run relatively quiet.
Filtration performance is the area where this Global Water cooler beats the other units on our list. The G3 gives you a complete 4-stage reverse osmosis (RO) filtration system that comprises of a sediment filter, a pre-carbon filter, an RO membrane, and a post-carbon filter.
In the 1st stage, the sediment filter eliminates all particles and sediments from the water down to 5 microns. The 2nd stage is the 10-micron pre-carbon filter which removes chlorine, lead, and other chemical contaminants. It also clears out foul odors, tastes, and water discoloration.
From there, water goes through a 50gpd RO membrane (thin film composite) in the 3rd stage. This effectively removes over 90% of the remaining contaminants in the water including microorganisms (bacteria, viruses), harmful chemicals (chloramine, VOCs, pharmaceuticals), heavy metals, and dissolved solids (calcium, sodium).
From the RO membrane, the water passes through a 10-micron post-carbon filter in the 4th stage where any residual chlorine and other chemicals that slipped through the RO membrane are cleared out.
This effective 4-stage RO filtration process cleans your water thoroughly leaving it free of contaminants and tasting much better. You will notice a significant difference in the taste and quality of the water you get.
Furthermore, the three EZ twist filters have a long lifespan requiring replacement every 6 to 9 months. The RO membrane filter is equally durable. You need to replace it only after every 3 years.
Operating the G3 is really easy because it uses push buttons for dispensing water. The best part is that they are mechanical push buttons rather than electronic which means even in case of a power outage, you can still dispense water. This is very useful especially if you reside in an area that often experience rolling blackouts.
The hot water button has an extra safety button on it that helps prevent kids from dispensing the hot water and getting burned. The unit also has two rear switches for turning on/off the hot or cold function.
The dispensing area has ample space and will fit large cups and containers. However, the spouts are not quite visible since they are level with the ceiling. Filling a bottle particularly at night might be tricky because you can’t see where water is coming out from.
Installing the G3 is a bit challenging than the other units since it features a reverse osmosis system which needs to be connected to two lines – a supply line and a drain line for wastewater.
It’s not super difficult but will definitely require some level of plumbing expertise in order to avoid damaging fragile parts. If you have no plumbing knowledge, you will have to hire a professional to install it.
The one critical downside is that the unit is entirely constructed using plastic. There are no metal components. It does feel somewhat solid but durability is not really guaranteed.
Equipped with a reverse osmosis filtration system, the Global Water G3 water cooler dispenser is a superb unit to consider if water contamination is of major concern to you. This will ensure you have cleaner, purified water throughout.
- Heats and cools water to right temperatures
- Runs quietly and dispenses water fast
- Effective 4-stage Reverse Osmosis filtration
- Simple push button operation with a safety guard on hot button
- Mechanical design to allow water purification even during a power outage
- Relatively large dispensing area that fits tall containers
- 1-year warranty on all parts
- Requires a professional to install
- No nightlight and self-cleaning function
- Might not last that long
Group 2 – Countertop:
Countertop bottleless water cooler dispensers are very practical for home or small office use and the Avalon A8 is undoubtedly one of the best models on the market. It’s a countertop unit yet has the same amazing features found in the freestanding models from Avalon.
The A8 offers cold and hot water output. Many users pointed out that the two functions work just fine. The unit always outputs cold water at around 47oF as specified while the hot water comes out hot although the temperature tends to fluctuate between 170 and 185oF.
Despite the compact design, the capacity of the reservoirs in the A8 dispenser is similar to the freestanding models. The cold side is able to cool 2.5 liters of water every hour while the hot side can heat up to 4 liters of water in an hour.
Water flows out of both sides at a moderate speed. I would not call it fast but it’s the same rate as a refrigerator dispenser. You can fill 3 to 4 16 oz. bottles with cold water before it starts to become less cold.
It’s the same thing with the hot side – it dispenses around 4 cups then the temperature starts to drop. You can hear light noise when the unit is either heating or cooling but it’s not distracting.
The water is first filtered through a dual-filtration system in this A8 unit like the other Avalon freestanding models.
It’s taken through the sediment filter to remove suspended particles then through an activated carbon block filter that eliminates chlorine, lead, bacteria, and foul taste or odor. Most users agreed that the water tasted better as long as the filters are flushed after installation.
The heating and cooling indicators blink together to alert you when it’s time to change the filters. The filters themselves have a short lifespan tough. They can last 6 months or less depending on your usage and the condition of your water.
There are two paddles for dispensing water. They are sturdy and comfortable to use. The hot water paddle has a safety button on top of it which is essential to deter kids from accessing the hot water. You can stop the heating or cooling function by turning them off via a switch at the back.
Under the spouts, you have 7.5 inches of space. You will have no problem fitting small and average cups in there. The drip tray is not bulky. You can hold any tall bottle at an angle under either spout and be able to fill it.
The spouts and the whole dispensing area is clearly visible at night. There’s a nightlight between the spouts. It’s bright and illuminates the whole fill area well.
Being a countertop unit, setting up this Avalon A8 dispenser is not hard. It’s connected directly to a sink water line and the necessary parts you need to install it are included in the package.
A leak detector has been incorporated into the machine to monitor the water flow and in case of a leak, it automatically shuts off the water going into the unit to prevent flooding.
Self-cleaning function is also part of the features that the A8 comes with, so you won’t need to manually flush and clean the tanks. There’s a switch on the back that activates the self-clean ozone function which automatically cleans and sanitizes the tanks.
The overall built-quality of the unit is great. It can hold up for several years even with constant use.
If you are keen on quality and good performance, the Avalon A8 is a countertop water cooler dispenser you can rely on. It is 19-inches high which is a little tall but it will fit under most kitchen cabinets provided there’s more than 20-inches of space below the cabinet.
- Hot and cold water functions work fine
- Moderate water flow speed on both sides
- Dual-filtration system to purify the water
- A simple dispensing mechanism
- Has a safety lock button on hot water paddle
- Installation is easy and a leak detector is included
- Features a self-cleaning ozone function
- Built-in nightlight for visibility during the night
- Comes with a 1-year extended warranty
- Filters have a short lifespan
- Filling a tall bottle is challenging
The Kenmore KM1000 is a more advanced countertop bottleless water cooler in comparison to the Avalon A8. It’s a versatile unit that serves as a water purifier, sterilizer, cooler, and dispenser. What sets it apart though is its filtration system as well as the unique modern design that includes a digital control panel.
The KM1000 provides three water temperature modes – cold, ambient, and hot water. For the cooling function, water can get as cold as 39oF.
It uses an ice bank technology which keeps the water cold always. When you dispense the cold water, new water flows in and maintains the temperature.
You can fill up 4 10 oz. cups one after the other and still the water will be cold while the system replenishes. However, the ambient water is cool, almost at the same temperature as tap water.
The hot function goes to about 200oF and it doesn’t take long to heat the water. Once you dispense hot water, the system brings in more water and quickly heats it to that high temperature again within minutes. The production is at a constant rate of around 2 gallons (7.5 liters) per hour which is pretty fast.
Water flow is good and steady whether you are dispensing hot, cold, or ambient water. Furthermore, Kenmore has included a dispense button where you can choose different dispense modes like Press-to-Fill, ConstantFill, and QuickFill dispense mode.
Therefore, you can dispense water at the speed you want which is something very few dispensers can do. The unit is nearly silent when it’s running. You can barely hear it even from a few meters away.
The ULTRA+3 filtration system of this Kenmore KM1000 is certainly worth considering if the water in your area has high levels of contamination. It’s what actually sets this unit apart from many of its competitors.
It’s a 5-stage filtration process that begins with a particle filter which is a nanofiber filter that clears suspended particles like rust, silt, and sand to protect the proceeding filters.
From there, the water passes through a chemical filter that reduces chemical compounds like THMs and pesticides as well as industrial pollutants and organic contaminants.
In the 3rd stage is the ULTRA filter which consists of submicron membranes that reduce bacteria, suspended solids, pyrogens, colloidal silica, and large organic molecules.
Next up is the polishing filter which is an activated carbon block filter that effectively reduces residual chemicals, unpleasant taste, odor, and color. It helps further improve the taste and safety of the drinking water.
The water is finally taken through the UltraVi sterilizer which employs a cold-cathode ultraviolet lamp that releases UV rays to destroy and inhibit the growth of bacteria, germs, and microbes.
As a result of this 5-stage filtration process, the water you get from the Kenmore KM1000 is cleaner and safer. However, the UV sterilizer works only on the ambient/room temp mode.
The filters are easy to swap out and replace. There’s an indicator on the control panel to let you know when it’s time to change them. They have a short lifespan though. They can last at most 6 months if used daily and with multiple people.
Now aside from the impressive filtration system, the other thing that makes this unit stand out is the touch-button digital controls. You get to dispense the water temp you want with just a touch of a button.
The controls are intuitively organized that it makes it easy to use them. The hot water dispenser has a child safety lock. It’s totally safe for use in homes with kids.
The unit features only a single spout equipped with a nightlight to provide visibility at night. The fill area under the spout is about 10-inches tall and you can remove the bottom tray to create more space. This would allow you to fit and fill up large containers without much challenge.
You will not need a plumber to set up this unit. It’s very simple to install and most of the parts needed for standard installation are provided including an easy-to-read setup guide.
There’s no self-cleaning feature but Kenmore has programmed the unit with an aware eco-mode that uses a sensor to detect when you switch off the lights in the room and correspondingly lowers down the temperature on the dispenser to save energy.
In addition to that, a water output has been included on the back which allows you to supply purified water to two more appliances like an ice maker or coffee maker. However, it requires enough water pressure from the source for this to work properly.
Overall, the unit is constructed to great quality. It has a wide base area that gives it excellent stability even when you remove the drip tray and place it at the edge of the counter. It’s also not tall like the Avalon A8 above. It’s only 17-inches high.
The Kenmore KM1000 is no doubt one of the best countertop bottleless water cooler dispensers on the market with regards to filtration capability and efficiency. Its performance alone puts it ahead of most other countertop models out there. If you are struggling with high levels of contamination in your water, then this would be the right choice for you.
- Can dispense hot, cold and ambient water
- Water flow is fast and steady on all modes
- A dependable 5-stage filtration system
- Simple to operate touch buttons
- Hot water button features a safety lock
- Dispensing area is large to accommodate tall containers
- Automatically turns off heating function to save energy
- Comes with a 2-year limited warranty
- No self-cleaning feature
With Icer maker (freestanding & countertop)
What is a water dispenser with ice maker?
A water dispenser with ice maker is a machine that consists of a water dispenser and an ice maker contained in one unit. It’s a multi-function appliance that’s able to dispense ice and water (hot, cold, and room temp) when you need it.
How does it work?
All water dispensers with ice maker work almost the same way when it comes to generating ice – water and refrigeration process is used to make the ice.
The refrigeration system consists of four main components; the compressor, the condenser, the throttle valve, and the evaporator (ice mold).
When you turn on the machine and press the ice button, a valve is opened and water from the cold water reservoir flows into an ice mold (evaporator) that’s connected to coiled heat exchanging pipes.
The ice-making process begins with a discharge of refrigerant gas into the compressor where it’s compressed hence raising its temperature and converting it into a high-pressure gas.
From there, the compressed refrigerant gas is forced through the condenser consisting of a set of narrow tubes where it’s converted into a high-pressure liquid and then drained out through a throttle valve to reduce its pressure.
The low-pressure liquid is then moved through the evaporator (expansion valve) where it evaporates and turns back into a gas. It’s here that the heat-exchange occurs with water.
As the water from the reservoir flows constantly over the evaporator it begins to freeze until it turns into solid ice. This entire process is one complete refrigeration cycle.
After the water is thoroughly frozen to form ice cubes, the ice is automatically released and drops into the ice bin from where it’s readily available for dispensing and the process begins all over again.
The heating and cooling process works the same way as we described earlier at the start of the article and the machine generally uses either a lever or push-button mechanism to dispense water.
What are the benefits?
All-in-one Hydrating Appliance
A water dispenser with ice maker is an all-in-one hydrating machine. It’s ideal for businesses and establishments that often need easy access to ice and water. It’s able to dispense ice along with hot water, cold water and room temp water in the same unit.
Customers or employees can get water instantly whenever they’re thirsty or need to make a quick cup of coffee or tea and they can also keep it cool with ice whenever they want just from one station.
Having fresh water and ice available in an instant is not just useful but it’s quite convenient as well. Some customers usually prefer serving themselves than bothering to ask a staff person to bring ice for them.
The benefit of a water dispenser with ice maker is that it’s designed for self-service. If you own a café, deli, or bar that’s short on serving staff, you can benefit from having this machine since customers can get their own ice or water without requiring your staff’s assistance.
They can dispense all the ice they want whenever they wish without moving from station to station. These machines usually generate ice every 10 minutes and come with built-in storage bins which ensure there is sufficient ice to satisfy a sudden rush of customers.
Reviews of Water Dispensers with Ice Makers
The VBENLEM water cooler dispenser with ice maker is certainly a good purchase if you are after a quality unit that works with very little problems or hassle.
This machine delivers ice and three different water temperatures which include hot, cold, and room temp water. Each setting works exactly as intended.
The hot water is adequately hot while the cold water is very cold at around 44oF. Both are available almost instantly and the capacity of the reservoirs is large such that you can dispense up to 5 liters of hot water and 4 liters of cold water every hour.
You are also able to dispense water at room temperature which is at no more than the tap water temperature. Both cold and hot water can be prepared at the same time, and the flow on the three spouts is moderate.
The area that the unit does pretty well is in generating ice. It uses a highly effective ice maker which is capable of generating ice very fast. It generates 9 bullet ice cubes within every 7 to 15 minutes depending on the room temperature. You can make up to 27 pounds of ice a day.
You don’t have to transfer the ice to the freezer. The ice bin is capable of keeping the ice sufficiently cold. It’s made up of C5H10 high-density foaming that’s found in fridges and ice makers.
The foaming provides great cold insulation that allows the ice to remain solid for a prolonged time. It can remain cold and frozen inside the unit throughout the day and even overnight provided you don’t shut off the machine.
Furthermore, the ice comes out in bullet shape which tends to melt slowly. The bin can hold a considerable amount of ice (up to 4.4 pounds) hence coupled with the fast generation process, you won’t run out of ice, even when you have guests over for drinks or a rush of customers.
Despite having a powerful compressor, most users noted that the unit is only a tad noisy when running which is always relieving especially in environments where a slight noise can be a nuisance like offices, hospitals, or schools.
The VBENLEM water cooler dispenser provides simple operation. The control panel features three soft-touch buttons for initiating hot water function, cold water function, and ice generation.
They are straightforward to use and have corresponding LED indicator lights that also include POWER and WARN hence you can easily tell the operation status at a glance.
The dispensing mechanism is also easy as each spout features a button just on top that you press and hold for water to come out.
The hot water dispenser has a 2-step safety lock that shuts off hot water when it’s not in use. It’s reliable and can help protect children from accidental burns.
Moreover, the unit is a bit tall hence the spouts and their corresponding dispensing buttons are set a little high for a toddler to reach.
However, there’s no dispensing mechanism for the ice. Instead, you have to scoop it and dispense it onto your glass. The unit comes with an ice scoop to facilitate usage.
The dispensing area is not big enough for tall bottles or containers but it will fit small to medium glasses and cups. The drip tray is equally small in size.
Loading the Water Bottle
Standing at countertop height with a wide barrel seat, loading a water bottle onto this water cooler combo dispenser won’t be challenging. You can load a 3 or 5-gallon bottle with a cap to prevent spilling.
In general, the entire construction of the machine is solid and it’s likely to last long. All the parts that directly contact ice and water are made from food-grade material.
The unit is significantly heavy but there’s a handle attached at the back that makes it somewhat easy to pick it up and move it wherever you need it.
The VBENLEM water cooler dispenser with ice maker works effectively whether it’s generating ice, heating or cooling water. There’s no lapse in its operation as a majority of users agreed.
It’s able to generate ice quickly and keep it frozen for a long time plus you can dispense water at three different temperatures. It’s an ideal option for quick-serve restaurants, offices, hospitals, health clubs, and anyone that needs a lot of ice for preparing cold beverages.
- All three water functions work effectively
- Generates ice quickly and keeps it frozen for a long time
- Uses soft-touch buttons that provide simple operation
- A 2-step safety lock turns off hot water when not in use
- Solid, durable construction with food grade internal parts
- The dispensing area is small for tall bottles
- There’s no information on the warranty
The next unit we have in this category is the KUPPET 2-in-1 water dispenser with ice maker. This is also an option that can produce a large amount of ice at a time and the water functions work fine. It’s an okay alternative to the VBENLEM model if you are looking for a water dispenser and ice maker combo.
Like the VBENLEM water cooler above, this KUPPET model offers three water dispensing functions – hot, cold, and room temp water.
The three modes work just fine. Cold water is cooled to refrigerator temperature and the hot water is near boiling temperature while the room temp water is as cool as the tap water. The flow rate on all the spouts is similar to most other dispensers, neither fast nor slow.
When it comes to ice making, the unit does perform fairly well. The ice maker can generate 9 bullet-shaped ice per cycle which takes an average of 6 to 13 minutes. Overall, it can give you 33 pounds of ice per day which is a slightly larger productivity than the VBENLEM model.
The ice cubes are harder and denser but unfortunately, the unit isn’t equipped with any cold insulation to keep the ice frozen for a long time.
According to several customers, the ice melts after a few hours even when the machine is on and can eventually overflow all over the floor. Another issue is that the ice maker never stops making ice.
Once the ice is emptied onto the bin and the unit starts to create more ice, the water flowing onto the evaporator tray tends to overflow out pouring over the ice in the bin which causes the already-made ice to melt and overflow out of the machine. It’s not a widely spread problem but it’s something worth noting.
Some users as well reported that the dispensed water has plastic taste during the early days of using the machine after installation. You will need to run through a couple of jugs first for the taste to go away.
The unit doesn’t cause any disturbance though in the way of noise when the compressor or heating element is at work.
The control panel and the dispensing mechanism are much similar to the VBENLEM (soft-touch buttons with indicator lights), hence operating the unit is simple. An ice scoop is included in the package for collecting the ice from the bin once it’s readily available.
Hot water button has a child safety lock that’s reliable and the unit is tall placing the buttons and spouts a little high that toddlers can’t access them.
KUPPET has included an indicator light to let you know when the ice is full as well as when you have to top up the water. It’s meant to be a thoughtful addition but as we mentioned, the ice maker keeps on producing ice even when full which beats the purpose of having the indicator.
Loading the Water Bottle
Setting up and loading the water bottle onto the dispenser is a breeze. You can use a 3 or 5-gallon bottle. However, the dispensing area is short. It may fit only small to medium-sized containers and cups. The same applies to the drip tray as it’s also small in size.
The unit is nonetheless robust. It can give you years of service and the internal parts that are in direct contact with the ice and water consist of food-grade materials.
While it has a couple of drawbacks, the KUPPET 2-in-1 water dispenser with ice maker might be a worthwhile investment. We would recommend it for situations or environments that entertain a lot of people and ice is constantly used immediately – not required to be stored for a long time.
- Water is cooled and heated to right temperatures
- Produces ice quickly and can meet large ice demands
- Straightforward operation with a safety lock on hot water
- Easy to set up and load the water bottle
- Robust construction and can last a long time
- No cold insulation to keep the ice frozen for a prolonged period
- Water may have a plastic taste during the early days
- Short dispensing area and the drip dray is equally small
Whether you need it for office, school, or home use, a water cooler dispenser is a convenient and versatile appliance that can address all your hydration needs.
The units we have discussed above provide a good combination of reliability, durability, and ease of operation. Some models may have several downsides but overall, they are okay and worth a look.
Evaluating all the features and details that matter to you is the best way to making a great choice, especially because these units only have subtle differences. We’ve tried to breakdown everything in this article and hopefully, you are now more informed enough.
However, no matter the type of unit you end up choosing, the most important thing you should focus on is getting the right water cooler dispenser based on your exact needs.