The Best Water Cooler

Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler with 3 Temperature Spouts

Our Top Pick for 2016: Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler with 3 Temperature Spouts
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $249.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

Water coolers are ideal for conveniently keeping both hot and cold water in your workplace or home. Practically every water dispenser that has a hot water option comes with a child safety lock. Hot and cold water dispensers can quickly dispense water at the temperature of your choice with just the press of a button or paddle. Most units are lightweight and slim enough to fit in even tight spaces. There’s a wide range of designs and features to choose from when shopping for a new water dispensing unit. Whether you have a lot or a little to spend, there’s a model out there to fit your needs.

Table of contents

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Press-Paddle Spouts
Stylish Design
Food-grade Stainless Steel Water Tanks
Hot Water Child Safety Lock
3 Water Spouts
Easy Access To Hot, Cold And Room Temperature Water
Piping Hot Output
Built-in Nightlight
Push-button Controls
Crisp Cold Output
Suitable for 3 or 5 Gallon Bottles
Uses 3 And 5-gallon Water Bottles
UL Listed and Energy Star Approved
UL Listed and Energy Star Approved
State Of The Art Bottom Loading Technology

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler with 3 Temperature Spouts

Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler with 3 Temperature Spouts Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $249.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerThe Avalon Bottom Loading Water Cooler with 3 Temperature Spouts is a sleek way to add convenience to your home or office. UL approved and Energy Star certified, the elegant stainless steel design will bring a level of class to your kitchen. With a slim unit that easily fits into practically any size room, the Avalon water cooler is simple to setup and use. The unit is lightweight and has a handle on the back that makes it easy to lift and move to the perfect spot in your home or office. The water cooler is 45.5 x 16.3 x 15.8 inches and weighs 45 pounds. It’s light enough to move around until you find the perfect spot for it.

The Avalon water cooler has three temperatures that come from three water spouts: ice cold, room temperature and piping hot. The button spouts are a cinch to use – you simply press the temperature button and water will come out of the associated spout. The efficient compressor makes water cold enough that you won’t need to add ice; you may find that it’s even colder than the water you get from the dispenser on your refrigerator. The hot faucet is hot enough to make a cup of tea or hot chocolate; you’ll notice the steam as soon as the water starts to pour out of the spout. Since the hot water is so hot, there’s a child safety lock on its dispensing button. While the child safety lock is adept at keeping kids safe, it’s easy for adults to use – you simply have to slide the button before pressing it.

The bottom loading unit can suit three- to five-gallon bottles. The adjustable straw fits most bottles, so long as the lid size is correct. Bottom loading means that the “ugly” water jug is hidden inside the cabinet instead of displayed for all to see. The stylish design will look sophisticated in your home and a hidden water jug is certainly an upgrade for most offices. The top of the cooler has flat space where you can keep your tea cups or refillable water. If your family or your employees like to start their day off by filling up their water bottles or making a cup of coffee, you can keep everything in one easy-to-reach place.

Bottom loading devices are easy to reload because you don’t have to lift a heavy, clumsy water jug. You push the water bottle into it instead of having to lift it up and put it on the unit upside down. Once you attach the straw to the bottle, the water will be dispersed to the different tanks to be heated and cooled. The empty bottle indicator on the front of the unit will flash red to let you know that the bottle needs to be replaced. Bring the jugs to a bottler or grocery store to have them refilled, or signup for a delivery service. If you have an elderly family member, delivery service is ideal because they’ll never have to lift a full water jug.

To replace the water bottle, open the cabinet, push the jug in, unscrew the water bottle cap, put the straw on top and push down on it until it clicks into place. You’ll hear the water start to fill the takes, which takes up to 20 minutes. Then, you can switch on the cold switch (green), the hot switch (red) or both. The hot water takes about 20 minutes to reach the right temperature and the cold water takes about an hour. In the meantime, you can use the room temperature water.

The built-in nightlight makes the spouts easy to see in the dark. This is helpful for night owls and early risers who want to fill up their cup without turning on the blinding kitchen light. The nightlight can be turned on from the back of the unit – look for the blue switch. To save energy, make sure to keep the nightlight out during the day.

The Avalon water cooler works by pumping water from the bottle through the machine and to the spouts using advanced pumping technology. Rest assured that the compressor is high quality and long lasting. The only assembly that’s required is to install the anti-tip brackets, which is great if you have children or pets in the house. If you don’t have little ones running around and you’d rather not mount the cooler, skip the bracket installation – the unit is stable enough on its own.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Avalon Hot/Cold Top Loading Water Cooler

Avalon Hot/Cold Top Loading Water Cooler

View it on Amazon for $139.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerThe innovative and stylish Avalon Hot/Cold Top Loading Water Cooler is both UL and Energy Star approved. This slim, lightweight Avalon top-loading water cooler is 45.3 x 14.5 x 13.5 inches and weighs 37 pounds. With a jug of water on top, the unit will be closer to 59 inches tall. Thanks to its sleek design, you can put the Avalon cooler anywhere in the home or office. Setup is simple thanks to straightforward instructions and you’ll be able to use your new Avalon water cooler in no time. Plus, the taste of the water is excellent!

Easy-to-use press-paddle spouts deliver both hot and cold water. The water pressure is good and the flow of water is steady. There’s enough space underneath the spouts to fill up even oversized cups and mugs without needing to slant them. Unlike some units that have buttons to press, the paddles don’t get stuck, even after years of use. By pressing your cup gently against the paddle, the water will flow out of the spout. Thanks to the efficient compressor, the cold water is so chilled that there’s no need to add ice. Plus, the water will continue to come out cold even after dispensing cup after cup. The hot faucet delivers water that’s hot enough to use in your tea or soup. You can get hot water instantly without bothering to put the kettle on the stove! This is a great option for offices that don’t have a kitchen area, too.

The child safety lock on the hot water spot makes sure your little ones stay safe. The paddle itself will not dispense hot water. instead, you’ll press and hold a button while simultaneously dispensing hot water. This two-step process ensures that children don’t accidentally dispense hot water themselves. The hot water can get as hot as 167 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s important that kids don’t have access to it. If your kids have figured out how to get around the child safety lock, you can turn off the hot water in the back of the unit.

The unit holds three- and five-gallon water bottles, including the Avalon 3 Gallon Filter Bottle, which means you won’t need to continually buy refill bottles. It will hold plastic as well as glass water tanks. It takes approximately ten minutes for the water to become hot when a new jug is installed. When the lights on the front of the unit are on, that means that it’s making hot or cold water at the moment. When the lights turn off, the unit is ready to use. While the lights will periodically come on, if they’re on all the time, it could point to a problem with the unit.

People who are environmentally-conscious love the top-loading Avalon water cooler because it reduces their carbon footprint. With other units, you may go through as many as 15 water jugs every two weeks. With the Avalon cooler, you can take the reusable jug to a supermarket to have it refilled. The unit is also energy efficient and Energy Star certified.

Avalon water coolers are especially useful in office settings thanks to their reliability and durability. They’re designed to dispense multiple cups of water per day and to last for several years. The sleek appearance fits into a professional workplace and multiple functions suit every employee’s needs. Avalon units can also be found in various school and medical settings throughout the U.S. High quality construction and ability to handle a high volume of traffic makes Avalon a top choice for businesses.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Hamilton Beach BL-1-4A Bottom Loading Water Cooler Dispenser

Hamilton Beach BL-1-4A Bottom Loading Water Cooler Dispenser

View it on Amazon for $199.00*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThe Hamilton Beach BL-1-4A Bottom Loading Water Cooler Dispenser has a sleek black design and delivers water in three temperatures: hot, cold and room temperature. You can also get this water cooler in white if that goes better with your home or office. There’s a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, so if anything should happen to your unit, you can contact the company to have it repaired or replaced. The easy bottom-loading design makes it simple to replace the water bottle and a cabinet hides the water jug.

Setup of the Hamilton Beach water dispenser is easy. Note that after the item is shipped, there will be blue static film over the bottom door’s stainless steel panel. This is to prevent scratches during the shipping process. Simply remove the film and discard it once the unit is set up. The unit is quiet and does not make a lot of noise even when it’s cooling or heating the water. Since the unit draws water via suction instead of pumping air into the tank, the unit is quieter than many other similar water coolers. The Hamilton Beach water cooler is 14 x 13 x 42 inches and weighs 44.2 pounds.

Push button controls deliver hot, cold and room temperature water. You can get a glass of water that’s so cold you don’t need ice, room temperature water for your pets or plants, or water that’s hot enough to make a cup of ramen or brew tea. The child safety lock keeps your children safe from hot water. The water dispenser does not require any filters. There’s an LED light that will let you dispense water even when the lights are out or in a room with low lighting. There’s a power down switch for the hot and cold tanks. If you don’t often use the hot water, for example, you can turn that tank off. This also adds another level of child safety. One drawback to this product is that it dispenses water slowly because it has low water pressure – if you fill up several large water bottles or containers daily, this may become a problem.

When the bottle needs to be replaced, an red indicator light on the front of the unit will flash. When the low level indicator is on, that means there’s about one gallon left of water. At this point, the water will remain room temperature – you can either swap out the water jug and lose the remaining gallon or you can use up the mild temperature water before replacing it. The water cooler takes three- to five-gallon water bottles. The stainless steel water tanks are food-grade, providing delicious, clean drinking water around-the-clock. Bottom-loading design makes it easy to install a new jug of water and also eliminates spills. You won’t need to lift the bottle of water to install it, other than moving it to the bottom cabinet. The easy-to-remove drip tray can be put in the dishwasher when you want to clean it.


#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Primo Top-Loading Bottled Water Cooler

Primo Top-Loading Bottled Water Cooler

View it on Amazon for $137.53*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickThe Primo Top-Loading Bottled Water Cooler has a single dispensing spout and comes in black and stainless steel. The leak guard ensures there won’t be any messes in your home or office. The cooler dispenses icy cold, room temperature or piping hot water in a fast-flowing stream using a compressor cooling system. While less expensive than similar water dispensers, the water flow is excellent and reliable, a common perk of using a top-loading dispenser.

It’s virtually noise-less and remains quiet even when cooling and warming water. If you hate tap water and are sick of constantly refilling your Brita water pitcher, the Primo water cooler is a sleek, cost-effective solution. The unit also has convenient features, like LED indicator lights and a soft nightlife so you can get water in the early morning or late at night.

This top loading water cooler can hold three- to five-gallon plastic water bottles. Metal bottles, glass bottles or bottles with filters cannot be used with this unit. However, you can use refillable bottles in this unit in order to cut down on your carbon footprint. Bringing your empty plastic water jug to a refill station costs a small amount of money, less than you’d pay for an entirely new bottle, and is eco-conscious at the same time. The Primo water cooler stands at 36.6 inches, is 10.8 inches wide and 12.5 inches deep, and weighs 26.4 pounds. The unit is Energy Star compliant, which is good news for shoppers who want to stay eco-friendly and reduce their carbon footprint.

The cold water is delicious and refreshing, while the hot water is piping enough to brew a cup of tea or make a bowl of oatmeal. While the cold water isn’t ice cold, it’s still noticeably cooler than the room temperature water. You may notice that once you have the Primo water cooler in your home, you drink even more water than you did before! There’s also a safety latch on the hot water so that your children don’t accidentally burn themselves by mistakenly dispensing hot water or playing around the unit.

To prevent spills when swapping out the bottle, use bottles with caps that don’t need to be removed before placing the jug on the unit. Old-style bottles have caps that need to be removed, which makes you lose a lot of water when replacing the bottle. This is a major gripe of many people who have used top-loading water coolers in the past. You can signup for a home delivery service that will send five-gallon bottles right to your door. Another option is to refill your water bottles at a refill station, which will save you even more money.


Pre-purchase considerations

Price Range

While water dispensers have the same basic functions – to dispense water at the temperature of your choice – there are so many design elements and features to choose from that they come in a variety of price ranges. Some can be simple and inexpensive while others will have all the bells and whistles you can want with a price tag to match. The first step toward buying a new hot and cold water dispenser is determining how much you can spend on one. Also, take into consideration the cost to replace the water jugs every time you need a new bottle.

Energy Efficiency

Today, many appliances, including water dispensers, are made with the environment in mind. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible, look for an Energy Star certified unit. Also, look for water coolers that have on/off switches in the back. That way, if you don’t use hot water or ice cold water a lot, you can turn off the associated tank. Not only are energy-efficient units better for the environment, but they also will reduce your utility bills. Also, consider refilling the water jugs at refill stations instead of using a brand new bottle every time.


Bottom-Loading vs. Top-Loading

You can find water dispensers in both bottom- and top-loading styles. The one you choose mostly depends on your aesthetic taste. Bottom-loading units hide the water jug in a cabinet so that you don’t have to see the bottle on a daily basis. Instead of lifting the jug up and turning it over onto the unit, you an simply push it into place and then attach the straw. This is convenient for older people or people who are recovering from an injury. However, some people prefer top-loading units because they feel that they get better water pressure with them.

Water Capacity

If you’re only going to be using the water dispenser in your home, you may require less water capacity than if you were going to use the dispenser in an office. Depending on the traffic that the dispensers will see, you may be able to use a smaller unit that holds smaller water bottles. While most water coolers take up to five-gallon jugs, if you have a top-loading dispenser, this may be too heavy to lift on a regular basis. If you don’t go through the water quickly, you may be fine with a top-loader.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

There are a number of things to take into consideration when shopping for a new water dispenser. Once you’ve determined who’s going to be using the dispenser and which temperature settings are most important to you, it’ll be easier to choose the right cooler for your needs. Also think about the space you have available and the design of the room where you’ll be keeping the water cooler. When you choose a water dispenser that fits your needs, you’ll have a convenient addition to your home or office, making it easy to sip water all day long or make your favorite hot beverages whenever you want them.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. Choosing a Hot and Cold Water Dispenser, Air-N-Water.com
  2. Got Water? The Complete Water Cooler Buyer’s Guide, CompactAppliance.com

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