6 Best Electric Water Coolers in 2020

After careful consideration of numerous electric water coolers, we strongly believe that the Avalon A1 Water Cooler is the best electric water cooler you can buy today. This hot and cold water dispenser featured a sanitary touchless pour for cold water and can accommodate three and five-gallon bottles.

To determine the best electric water cooler, we looked at the following core features: top-loading vs. bottom loading, temperature settings, freestanding vs. countertop, hot vs. cold water dispensing, and self-cleaning functionality. We know that people want a cooler that’s easy to use, that ideally dispenses hot and cold water, and allows for temperature adjustments. Keep reading to learn more about the rest of our top picks.

Top 6 Best Electric Water Cooler

 #1  Avalon A1 Water Cooler

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: A dual temperature cooler with touch-free pouring makes this the best hot and cold water dispenser, with a slim space-saving profile that is perfect for office settings.

Pros
  • Touchless pour feature for extra sanitary
  • Holds 3 or 5-gallon bottles
  • Slim space-saving profile
Cons
  • Doesn’t allow for temperature controls, beyond hot and cold

As wonderful as water coolers are, many people have raised concerns over whether or not they’re sanitary. While most people think this is about how frequently the tank or water lines are being cleaned, there’s also the issue of multiple hands touching the same nozzles, levers, or buttons. So, we selected the Avalon A1 Water Cooler as our Top Pick because it’s the only one in our guide with a touchless dispenser design, making it the best hot and cold water dispenser.

While you can’t adjust the temperature on this cooler, we do like that you get hot and cold water. And there is a safety feature on the hot water to prevent any accidents if you happen to install this in your home. Plus, we liked that this is a slim cooler that can easily fit into a corner and won’t be obtrusive. You’ll like that this is also an Energy Star rated appliance. This is among one of the best water filters/dispensers on the market.

 #2  Primo Bottom Loading Water Cooler

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: An easy to set up water cooler with three temperature settings with bottom loading for easier refills and a removable dishwasher-safe drip tray.

Pros
  • Bottom loading for quick swaps
  • Dispenses hot and cold water
  • Removable dishwasher-safe drip tray
Cons
  • Doesn’t allow for advanced temperature adjustments

One of the biggest complaints about water coolers is if you have a top-loading model, replacing the jugs can put a real strain on your back. We think you’ll like this bottom loading cooler from Primo — and your back will too. We like that this model can accommodate jugs that range from three to five gallons. As is common in our guide, this model also dispenses hot and cold water.

But we also like that you can choose between two preset temperature settings for cold water, ice cold and cool. As is standard, the hot water features a child safety lock to prevent injuries. We also like that because this is a bottom loading model, the jugs are hidden in the lower compartment. The sleek black and stainless steel finish also create a nice modern effect that’s perfect for your home or the office. This is also an Energy Star rated appliance with a removable stainless steel drip tray that’s dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Compare this with some of the other best water filter systems on the market to determine what’s right for your home.

 #3  Brio Self Cleaning Bottom Loading Water Cooler

Award: BEST QUALITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: An ozone self-cleaning water cooler with three preset temperature settings proves this is the best bottom loading water dispenser, with a handy night light.

Pros
  • Includes handy a night light
  • One-touch self-cleaning ozone system
  • The only pick in our guide that offers room temperature water
Cons
  • Lacks precise temperature customization
  • Top placement of buttons may make this harder for kids to use

We’re big fans of bottom loading coolers because they’re significantly easier to refill. But this model from Brio takes it a step further with self-cleaning technology. If you’re hesitant to buy a water cooler because of sanitary concerns, you’ll like that this model features a self-cleaning mode that relies on the power of ozone to thoroughly clean the entire system, eliminating bacteria and biofilms. This key feature makes it one of the best bottom loading water dispensers in our guide.

Apart from the self-cleaning aspect, you’ll like that you can choose between three pre-set water temperatures — hot, ice-cold, and room temperature. We also like that as is common you have a safety lock feature on the hot water. But you also get a nightlight, making this great for general use or for a home office. This cooler will definitely be a good supplement to your best refrigerator water filter.

 #4  Giantex Top Loading Water Cooler

Award: BEST FOR OFFICES

WHY WE LIKE IT: A commercial water cooler with adjustable temperature controls for both hot and cold water, and a built-in storage cabinet for cups and utensils.

Pros
  • Adjustable controls for heated and cold fluids
  • Includes an anti-dust mite water barrel seat
  • Built-in storage cabinet for bottles or cups
Cons
  • Top loading design may not be ideal
  • Does not work with 3 gallon jugs

Top loading water coolers aren’t exactly new, but we love that this model from Giantex features a built-in storage cabinet. We think that feature means it’s a fantastic commercial water cooler that’s great for offices or public spaces since you can store disposable cups or other essential utensils. This is also one of the few models in our guide that allows for precise temperature control.

While you get hot and cold water dispensing capabilities, you can adjust the cold water to between 42 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit and the hot water to between 190 to 203 degrees Fahrenheit. And as is standard, the hot water dispenser features a child lock. There’s also an anti-dust mite water barrel seat to prevent contaminants from entering the water gallons. This model is designed to work with five-gallon water jugs. If you need water on your next camping trip, you might want to take a look at the best water purification tablets for camping.

 #5  Nutrichef Countertop Water Cooler

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: A budget-friendly countertop water cooler with fully adjustable temperature controls makes this ideal for home use.

Pros
  • A small footprint that’s ideal for home use
  • Adjustable hot & cold water temperature
  • Fits on countertops
Cons
  • Top loading design

While this is a top-loading cooler, we like that our Best on a Budget pick from Nutrichef is the only countertop design in our guide. We think it’s perfect for home use, or even for a small office studio. Even though it has a small footprint, it’s still designed to accommodate three to five-gallon jugs.

More importantly, you’ll like that you can precisely adjust the temperature on the hot and cold water. Cold water can be controlled between 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit and hot water can be adjusted between 170 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold water dispenser features touch-free operation while the hot water requires a two-touch process to activate. Now you won’t have to turn to your best tankless water heater every time you grab a cup of tea.

 #6  Rinkmo Water Dispenser

Award: BEST TOUCH-FREE CONTROLS

WHY WE LIKE IT: A sleek bottom loading cooler that relies on UV technology to power the self-cleaning mode with touch-free dispensing and alerts to notify when it’s time to change the water jug.

Pros
  • Features UV sterilization process
  • Bottom loading design
  • Alerts for when water bottles are empty
Cons
  • Somewhat noisy during use

If cleaning your water cooler is on the bottom of your “favorite things to do” list, we get it. You’ll like that this bottom loading cooler is another self-cleaning model. But this time, it relies on the power of UV light to thoroughly sanitize all of the interior components. For people who were concerned about our Best Quality pick because it relies on ozone, this is a great alternative option because UV doesn’t change the composition of your water since it’s just light.

But we also like that you can adjust the temperature of the hot and cold water. The hot water can be controlled between 194 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit and the cold water can be set between 37 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus this intuitive cooler also has an indicator to tell you when it’s time to replace your water bottles. Other common features include the safety lock on the hot water spout and the ability to accommodate three to five-gallon water jugs.

How We Decided

Water coolers are a great way to incorporate more water into your daily life. To create our guide, we looked at the following features: top-loading vs. bottom loading, temperature settings, freestanding vs. countertop, hot vs. cold water dispensing, and self-cleaning functionality.

All of the picks in our guide offer hot and cold water. However, only a few allowed for precise temperature control: Best on a Budget, #4 and #6. The remaining picks (Top Pick, Honorable Mention, and Best Quality) all feature preset temperatures, with our Honorable Mention and Best Quality both offering two cold water settings.

Choosing between a top loading versus a bottom loading cooler is going to depend on what you find most convenient. But if you prefer a bottom loading design, we recommend our Honorable Mention, Best Quality, and #6 picks. The rest of our recommendations are all top-loading models. Likewise, only our Best on a Budget is a countertop model, while the remainder is all freestanding models.

And finally, a self-cleaning function is great if you’re short on time. Our Best Quality and #6 picks are both self-cleaning coolers. While the Best Quality relies on ozone (which is safe), the #6 uses the power of UV light to sterilize the water cooler system.

Best Electric Water Cooler Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Factors to Consider

  1. Temperature Settings
    Most electric water coolers are designed to dispense cold water. But you should be able to adjust that temperature. Even if they’re preset to a specific temperature (usually 47 degrees Fahrenheit for cold water), a good cooler should give you the ability to change the temperature if you prefer.
  2. Style
    Do you prefer a water cooler that can fit on a countertop or would you rather have a freestanding one? There’s no right or wrong answer here. But depending on where you plan on storing a cooler and the total amount of free space you have available, one style may be a better fit for you versus the other.
  3. Hot vs Cold Water
    Not all water coolers offer hot water and depending on your needs, it may not be a necessity. But if you’re working in an office setting where there isn’t a kitchenette, hot water can be useful for making tea or instant noodles and soups. You’ll need to decide if having the option for hot water is important to you. However, if you do decide to pick a cooler with hot water, look for a safety lock to ensure that people — especially children — don’t accidentally burn themselves.
  4. Levers vs. Buttons
    Levers are a classic choice and are fairly easy to use. But many newer models feature sleek buttons for a more modern design. While both options are fairly user friendly, the style you pick is going to depend on your aesthetic. However, if you’re buying a water cooler for use in the home and you also have younger children, buttons might be easier for them to use.
  5. Noise
    Whether you’re using a water cooler in your home or an office, no one wants to use a machine that makes so much noise that it’s distracting and obtrusive. Look for options that highlight quiet operation so that you can refill your water cup without disturbing everyone around you.
  6. Additional Features
    While none of these are must-haves, the following features can make your electric water cooler more intuitive and easier to use. Options like a self-sanitizing function can help to keep water lines and spouts clean while reducing the total amount of cleaning you need to do. You might also prefer features such as a night light, or an LED indicator that tells you when the bottle is empty. Note that some additional features require upgrading to a more expensive water cooler.

Electric Water Cooler FAQs

What is the best water cooler to buy?

The best water cooler is going to depend on whether you prefer a top-loading versus bottom loading model, the capacity, and how easily you can operate the water spouts to dispense water. but in our guide, we nominated the Avalon A1 Water Cooler as our Top Pick because it featured a touch-free pour and could accommodate three and five-gallon water jugs.

What should I look for when buying a water cooler?

Think about whether you want a freestanding or countertop cooler. Also, consider how much water your home or office drinks and keep this in mind as you decide on a capacity. Picking a cooler that’s too small means more frequent refills. Also decide whether you want to be able to adjust the temperature of your water, or if you want a cooler that can also dispense hot water. Look for safety features, and how easily you can replace water tanks or bottles.

How often should you clean a water cooler?

As a guide, you should fully clean and sanitize your water cooler every six to 12 months. Pay special attention to the tank, spouts, and water lines. This will help to prevent mold from developing in these sensitive areas.

Are water dispensers worth it?

These days everyone’s concerned about the quality of their drinking water. If you’re concerned about contaminants in your drinking water, but also don’t want the added ecological and financial expense of bottled water, a water dispenser is a great alternative. A dispenser or water cooler will give you consistent access to clean drinking water. And often, people find that they drink more water when they have a water cooler or dispenser in their home as opposed to before they installed it.

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Dorian Smith-Garcia

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a bridal and beauty expert/influencer and the creative director behind The Anti Bridezilla. She is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, consumer goods, and tech. She also writes for Inverse, Glowsly, and The Drive along with a variety of other publications. When Dorian's not writing she's collecting stamps in her passport, learning new languages, or spending time with her husband and daughter.

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