Last Updated on November 19, 2020
A countertop water cooler is a handy device to have in the office or workshop, but there are a few things you will need to consider before you buy one. Technology is advancing and many brands have powerful features that may have cost a fortune just a few years ago. Unfortunately, our throw-it-away society also produces many products that are not durable.
We’ve chosen eight different brands of countertop water dispensers to review for you. We’ll list all the pros and cons of each model and tell you a little about our experience with them. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we take a close look at how these devices work and what features are necessary and which are not.
Join us while we review bottle size, water temperatures, noise, cleaning, and more to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites 2020
These are the eight brands of countertop water dispensers we have chosen to review for you.
|Best Overall||Avalon A1CTWTRCLRBLK Countertop Water Dispenser||
|Best Value||Primo 900114 Ceramic Countertop Water Dispenser||
|Premium Choice||Avalon A8CTBOTTLELESSWHT Countertop Bottleless Water Dispenser||
|Nutrichef Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser||
|Vitapur VWD2036W-1 Countertop Room Cold Water Dispenser||
The 8 Best Countertop Water Dispensers – 2020 Reviews & Top Picks
1. Avalon A1CTWTRCLRBLK Countertop Water Dispenser – Best Overall
The Avalon A1CTWTRCLRBLK Countertop Water Dispenser is our pick for the best overall countertop water dispenser. It features hot and cold spouts that deliver consistent water temperatures of 180 and 47 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot water spout features a child safety lock to prevent burns and delivers water hot enough to make tea or hot chocolate on demand. It also features a slim design that looks attractive on any counter or tabletop, and an internal thermostat helps fine-tune the water temperature if it’s not right out of the box.
The downside to the Avalon Premium Countertop Water Dispenser is that it doesn’t come with a bottle, so you must purchase one separately. There is also no mention of the internal thermostat, so you might not know how to adjust the water temperature if it’s not right. It also tends to run a lot to keep the water cold and hot, which can add a few dollars to your electric bill.
2. Primo 900114 Ceramic Countertop Water Dispenser – Best Value
The Primo 900114 Ceramic Countertop Water Dispenser is our pick for the best countertop water dispenser for the money. It features a lever spout that’s much easier to work than many of the push button spouts, especially when filling a cup. An elevated stand makes it easy to get the cup under the spout and allows you to get a larger glass. There is no power requirement, and it will work with either a three or five-gallon bottle. It also comes with coupons for Primo water, so you can start drinking right away. Without the water, it’s lightweight, weighing a little over ten pounds. The ceramic body is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
When unpacking the Primo 900114 Ceramic Countertop Water Dispenser, the ceramic pot has a smell that lasted a few weeks. It didn’t change the taste of the water, but it makes you wonder if it’s safe. There is no hot or cold, either. This unit only dispenses room temperature water. The holes in the wooden stand were a little too small for the screws, so it was difficult to put together. If you have a drill, it’s an easy fix, and the last problem we experienced was that it tends to leak where the bottle makes contact with the ceramic. There is a rubber seal, but it doesn’t always prevent leaks.
3. Avalon A8CTBOTTLELESSWHT Countertop Bottleless Water Dispenser – Premium Choice
The Avalon A8CTBOTTLELESSWHT Countertop Bottleless Water Dispenser is our premium choice model, and it has plenty of features that put it at the top of the pile. There is no bottle with this brand, and it comes with an installation kit to connect it right to your home water supply. Connecting to your home water means no messy refills and you never run out. Its dual filtration system helps keep your water free of impurities and tasting great. One filter traps sediment while the charcoal filter traps chlorine and organic compounds that can affect the way your water tastes and smells. It features a cold and hot water spout, and the hot water is equipped with a child safety lock to help prevent accidental burns. It features a self-cleaning mechanism that uses ozone to eliminate bacteria as well as mold and algae. There is also a built-in night light so you can get water in low light conditions.
There are, however, a few downsides to the Avalon Countertop Bottleless Water Dispenser. It’s very expensive, and though it comes with an installation kit and easy to follow instructions, it’s still a pain to install. The cooling and heating units inside the machine are also a bit noisy, and the cold water temperature does not stay consistent. In the summer months, we were adding ice to the cold water.
4. Nutrichef Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser
The Nutrichef Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser is a tabletop electric dispenser that features hot and cold water spouts. The hot water has a child safety lock and dispenses water at 170 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than warm enough for tea or hot chocolate. The cold water side delivers water at 40 to 45 degrees, so it’s crisp and refreshing. Use can use three or five-gallon bottles, and it’s one of the quietest electric machines on this list.
Unfortunately, the Nutrichef Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser gets a lot of water on the counter because it is challenging to change the bottle. It needs to sit just right or it spills, especially with the five-gallon bottle. We also had one unit leak after a few weeks from the bottom, which we could not fix. Also, when you first use it, the unit adds a strange taste to the water that takes over a week to diminish.
5. Vitapur VWD2036W-1 Countertop Room Cold Water Dispenser
The Vitapur VWD2036W-1 Countertop Room Cold Water Dispenser features a push-button control scheme that’s easy for all ages. LED status lights make it easy to determine which side is ready and which side is cooling. An electric cooling system works quietly to cool the water and the machine can hold three or five-gallon water bottles.
There are a few things we didn’t like about the Vitapur VWD2036W-1 Countertop Room Cold Water Dispenser. The LED status lights are extremely bright and can shine in your eyes while you are trying to fill your cup, even during the day or in a brightly lit room. It takes a considerable amount of time to cool the water and it can add a plastic taste, especially when it’s new. The area under the spouts to fill your cup is also very small and only suitable for a small glass.
6. Brio CLCTTL520 Top Loading Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser
The Brio CLCTTL520 Top Loading Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser features three fountains. One hot, one cold, and one for room temperature water. Stainless steel construction improves durability and eliminates the plastic taste that plagues many other brands. It features a child safety lock on the hot water to reduce the risk of burns and the removable drip tray is easy to empty and clean. It also features an attractive, modern design and hot and cold water switches that allow you to turn off a function you are not using to save power.
The downside to the Brio CLCTTL520 Top Loading Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser is that it’s expensive and there are many brands with similar features that cost much less. The room temperature water is much slower to dispense than the hot or cold water and it only works with small bottles. We used one-gallon bottles, which are too small for regular use. You may be able to use a three-gallon as well.
7. Farberware FW-WD211 Freestanding Countertop Water Dispenser
The Farberware FW-WD211 Freestanding Countertop Water Dispenser features hot and cold spouts like many other brands on this list, and it also features a thermo-electric cooling system that creates very little noise as it operates. It’s easy to clean and it includes a removable drip tray that pulls out for a deep clean. It also has separate hot and cold water switches to turn one or both features off to conserve power and further reduce noise.
The plastic construction used by Farberware FW-WD211 Freestanding Countertop Water Dispenser is lightweight, but also flimsy and not as sturdy as a stainless steel dispenser. We had concerns about its stability with the five-gallon bottle, but it didn’t fall over. One of the biggest problems was that the machine didn’t let air into the bottle as the water was dispensed, which led to crushed bottles and reduced the speed and less pater pressure.
8. KUPPET Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser
The KUPPET Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser is the last model on our list, but this budget dispenser still delivers some of the most popular features. It has hot and cold water spouts as well as dedicated hot and cold switches that allow you to turn off the cooler or heater independently, depending on your needs. The anti-dust mite water barre seat pulls out so you can clean it easily. It’s ready for three and five-gallon water bottles and has LED status indication.
Unfortunately, the KUPPET Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser has some major problems. One of the biggest problems is its leaky nature. This model leaked out both faucets, which required us to keep it on our porch or it would get water on the floor. It runs continuously and is quite loud. The hot water does not get up to temperature for tea and it’s arguable if it cools the water at all. It also does not have a hot water child safety feature if you got a model that does get hot.
In this section, we’ll go over some of the most important things to look for when choosing a countertop water dispenser.
One of the first things most people look for when choosing a countertop water dispenser is how much water it can deliver. There are two ways it can deliver water, by refillable bottles or by connecting to your home water system.
A water dispenser connected to your home will never run out of water and is available at all times. Connecting to the water supply means you don’t need to struggle with changing the bottle and you don’t have to purchase refills or do it yourself. The downside to connecting the system to your house is that it often requires an installation kit that can be challenging to install. All homes don’t have the same configurations. You may find yourself requiring all kinds of adapters to make the system work. The water is also usually not filtered as well as bottled water, and if it is, you will likely be responsible for purchasing and changing the filters regularly.
Refillable bottles are much more common than home-connected systems and are easy to install. These units don’t require any hoses and connections, and many just require you to put a water bottle on the top, though many also need to be plugged in. Bottled water is also highly filtered and contains less chlorine and other minerals usually present in tap water. The downside to this type of dispenser is that full bottles of water can be quite heavy, which often leads to some water spilling when you try to insert the bottle into the machine. There is also the potential to run out of water when using bottles if you use it faster than planned. Most refillable bottles range from one to five gallons.
Hot and Cold Spouts
A great feature to have included with your countertop water dispenser is hot and cold water spouts. These machines have chambers inside that create and store hot and cold water. It’s a nice feature because the hot water is often hot enough to make tea while the cold side delivers refreshingly cool water.
Unfortunately, this is an area you need to be careful with because each brand has a different idea about what is hot and cold water. We recommend looking for a brand that can cool the water to at least 45 degrees. Any warmer than that and the water will seem warm, especially on hot days. Hot water needs to get up to about 160 degrees to be hot enough to make tea. Many brands will have the temperatures listed on the package, but if they don’t, you’ll need to be careful.
Another thing to consider when choosing a water dispenser with hot and cold faucets is how long it will take the unit to achieve temperature. If the unit spends a lot of time reaching temperature, it will use more power. It will also tend to be at the wrong temperature when you need a drink.
Hot Water Child Safety Lock
If you purchase a model that has hot and cold water spouts, a hot water child safety lock is extremely important. The hot water on a high-quality machine can get much hotter than the recommended 160 degrees, which can easily and quickly scald and burn your skin.
Hot and Cold Shutoff Switches
Hot and cold shutoff switches are another important feature to look for if you buy a water dispenser that provides hot and cold water. Shutoff switches allow you to shut off a part of the machine if you are not using it. It can be handy to save on your electric bill if you never use the hot water or are going away on vacation for a few days.
When choosing a countertop water dispenser, we recommend a model with hot and cold spouts. Our top choice is the Avalon A1CTWTRCLRBLK Countertop Water Dispenser, and it is a perfect example of a brand that has all of the important features. The Primo 900114 Ceramic Countertop Water Dispenser is our pick for the best value. This model is a bare-bones water dispenser that you can use anywhere because it does not require power.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading over our reviews and you have found a brand that’s right for your situation. If we have helped you, please share these countertop water dispensers on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Nerthuz, Shutterstock
David Slone runs the TapIt Water blog. He first learned about water filtration and the impact it has on the world in college. Ever since that day he has worked towards making the world a better place. He writes to inform you about water filtration, the consequences of plastics, bottled water, and how we can do things better.
He loves to spend time with his beloved wife, 3 kids, and dog when he’s not writing.
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites 2020
- 2 The 8 Best Countertop Water Dispensers – 2020 Reviews & Top Picks
- 2.1 1. Avalon A1CTWTRCLRBLK Countertop Water Dispenser – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Primo 900114 Ceramic Countertop Water Dispenser – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Avalon A8CTBOTTLELESSWHT Countertop Bottleless Water Dispenser – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. Nutrichef Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser
- 2.5 5. Vitapur VWD2036W-1 Countertop Room Cold Water Dispenser
- 2.6 6. Brio CLCTTL520 Top Loading Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser
- 2.7 7. Farberware FW-WD211 Freestanding Countertop Water Dispenser
- 2.8 8. KUPPET Countertop Water Cooler Dispenser
- 3 Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Conclusion