Office water coolers have been a workplace staple since the early 1900s. Over the years, it has evolved, providing refreshing hydration options, such as hot and cold water, and offering a unique social platform. Offices worldwide rely on water coolers to quench thirst, stimulate conversation, and foster a sense of community. This piece of equipment is more than just a utility; it’s an integral part of our work culture.
The Role of The Water Cooler in the Office
The water cooler’s role in modern office culture is far-reaching. It is a place where employees gather for casual conversation, share ideas, or take a short break from their desks. Its strategic placement facilitates spontaneous interaction, promoting interpersonal relationships and team cohesion. In a way, the office water cooler serves as the office’s social hub, subtly contributing to a positive and collaborative work environment.
An accessible office water cooler encourages employees to drink water regularly, keeping them alert and active. Moreover, hot, cold, and room temperature water options cater to everyone’s preferences, making hydration a pleasant experience.
While other water solutions are available, such as bottled water and individual water bottles, the office water cooler is a classic for a reason. It’s not just about convenience; it’s also about sustainability.
A water cooler reduces the need for single-use plastic bottles, contributing to the reduction of plastic waste. Additionally, modern water coolers offer features like a child safety lock, a self-cleaning function, and a built-in night light, making them a practical choice for offices.
Office Water Coolers: Our Top Picks From Amazon
When we curated our list of recommended office water coolers, we used the following criteria to ensure that they meet the needs of small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. Each criterion is rated on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most important:
- Capacity and Size (Importance: 4)
- Consider the number of people using the cooler. Larger offices need a higher capacity.
- Assess the available space for the cooler to ensure a good fit.
- Temperature Options (Importance: 3)
- Look for coolers that offer both cold and hot water options for versatility.
- Energy Efficiency (Importance: 5)
- Choose an energy-efficient model to reduce operational costs and environmental impact.
- Maintenance and Hygiene (Importance: 5)
- Opt for coolers with easy-to-clean designs and sanitization features to ensure water safety.
- Durability and Reliability (Importance: 4)
- Seek out coolers made from quality materials with a reputation for long-term reliability.
- Ease of Use (Importance: 3)
- Select a model that is user-friendly, especially for offices with diverse staff.
- Noise Level (Importance: 2)
- Consider the noise produced by the cooler, particularly in quiet office environments.
- Aesthetic and Design (Importance: 2)
- Choose a design that complements the office environment.
- Price and Budget (Importance: 4)
- Balance quality with affordability to find a cooler that fits your financial constraints.
- Warranty and Customer Support (Importance: 3)
- Ensure good customer support and a solid warranty
With these factors in mind, here are our top picks for office water coolers on Amazon:
Small Business Deals
Primo Bottom Loading Water Dispenser
- Coupons for Primo water included
- Easy bottom loading design
- Stainless steel door panel and water reservoirs
- Three water temperatures: ice-cold, cool, and piping-hot
- Self-sanitizing feature
- Removable stainless steel dishwasher-safe drip tray
- BPA-Free materials
- Child safety lock
- Compatible with reusable 3 or 5-gallon water bottles
Brio Limited Edition Top Loading Water Cooler Dispenser
- Three Temperatures: Choose between cold, room temperature, or hot water to suit your preferences.
- Innovative Design: The stainless steel cabinet seamlessly blends into your home, kitchen, or office decor.
- Top Loading Feature: Easily load 3-5 gallon water bottles and keep track of water levels.
- Safety: UL/Energy Star Approved with a child safety lock on the hot water spout for peace of mind.
Avalon A5 Self-Cleaning Bottleless Water Cooler Dispenser
- Installation kit: Includes a comprehensive installation kit with 20′ of 1/4″ tubing, adapters, and detailed instructions with illustrations.
- Dual Filtration: Patented dual filters (Avalon A5FILTER and Avalon A4FILTER) are included, offering six months or 1500 gallons of clean water.
- Bottleless: Eliminates the need for purchasing bottled water, saving you money and reducing plastic waste.
- Three Temperatures: Enjoy a customizable drinking experience with crisp cold, cool, or piping hot water options.
- Child Safety Lock: The hot water faucet is equipped with a child safety lock for added protection.
- Nightlight: Built-in nightlight ensures visibility of the water spouts, even in the dark.
- Self-Cleaning: The dispenser features a self-clean ozone function, keeping the water tank fresh and clean.
- Energy Efficient: UL listed and Energy Star compliant, meeting all energy efficiency standards.
- Easy Setup: The unit can be easily connected to your existing sink water line, and all necessary installation parts are included.
Igloo Top Loading Hot and Cold Water Dispenser
- Top-Loading Dispenser: Easily load and monitor water levels with the user-friendly top-loading system. Compatible with 3 and 5-gallon water bottles (not included).
- Hot & Cold Water Options: Enjoy your choice of ice-cold or steaming hot water, catering to your beverage preferences. Perfect for refreshing drinks, tea, coffee, hot cocoa, instant soup, and more.
- Safe & Easy Dispensing: Equipped with two separate spigots for cold and hot water, this dispenser provides effortless pouring into any-sized cup. The hot water spigot features a child safety lock for added security.
- Removable Drip Tray: Cleaning up is a breeze with the removable drip tray, ensuring a quick and easy maintenance routine. The freestanding design offers stability and versatility in any setting.
- Trusted Brand: Igloo, with its 75-year history, continues to deliver innovative designs and exceptional performance, surpassing consumer expectations.
Farberware Freestanding Hot and Cool Water Cooler Dispenser
- Hot and Cool Water Dispenser: Equipped to hold a 3 or 5-gallon water tank (not included) and provide instant access to both cool and hot water.
- Energy-Efficient Operation: Utilizes thermo-electric cooling and high heat efficiency engineering, ensuring energy savings and low noise operation.
- Bottom Storage Cabinet: Includes a convenient storage cabinet for easy access to additional supplies. Dimensions without the water bottle: 31 inches x 11 inches x 11 inches.
- Temperature and Power Specifications: The dispenser features 550 watts of heating power, delivering hot water at temperatures of 194F (90C) at a rate of 5L/h. It also utilizes 75 watts of cooling power, offering cool water at temperatures of 59F (15C) at a rate of 0.7L/h.
- Compatibility with Water Filtration Systems: Designed to work with water filtration systems specifically designed for top-loading dispensers.
Brio Moderna Self-Cleaning Bottom Load Water Cooler Dispenser
- Modern Design: Made with premium-grade stainless steel, this space-saving water dispenser adds sophistication to any environment. It features high-quality internal components, including food-grade 304 stainless steel reservoirs.
- Bottom Load Design: Easily change water bottles with the convenient bottom-loading system, eliminating the need for heavy lifting and reducing the risk of spills. The stainless steel door conceals the bottle, maintaining the dispenser’s sleek appearance.
- Electronic Display & Interface: The smart and interactive display features LED touch-sensitive buttons, indicating heating and chilling processes. It also includes a digital clock, temperature adjustment arrows, and a night light for easy refill even in low light conditions.
- Tri-Temp with Adjustable Hot & Cold: Customize your water temperature preferences with preset options for hot and cold water dispensing. The safety lock on the hot water prevents accidental spills and offers added protection for the whole family.
- Self-Cleaning Ozone: Initiate a 90-minute self-cleaning process using ozone to reduce biofilm buildup in the dispenser’s reservoirs and tubing. Enjoy consistently clean and delicious water without any chemical taste or residue.
hOmeLabs Bottom Loading Water Dispenser
- Easy Bottom Loading Design: Load the water bottle inside the dispenser door and insert the probe, eliminating the need for flipping or lifting heavy bottles.
- Fits Any Space: The stylish stainless steel water cooler dispenser adds a modern touch to any environment. Its compact dimensions of 40.9 x 14.2 x 12.2 inches allow for easy placement in your home, kitchen, or office.
- Intuitive Control Panel with Night Light: Features an LED night light for easy water access in low light conditions. The refill bottle alert notifies you when it’s time to replenish the water bottle. Choose between hot, cold, and room temperature water options.
- Child Safety Lock Feature: The unit is equipped with a child safety lock to prevent accidental pressing of the hot water button.
- 2-Year Warranty & Money Back Guarantee: hOmeLabs offers a 100% satisfaction money-back guarantee, ensuring your confidence in the water dispenser. Contact their customer support team for any assistance.
Frigidaire Water Cooler/Dispenser
- Hot and Cold Water Dispensing: Enjoy the convenience of both hot and cold water options, with a safety lock feature for the hot button.
- Stainless Steel Weld Tank: Prevents overheating and enables efficient water drainage.
- Adjustable Front Leveling Legs: Ensure stability and adaptability to different surfaces.
- Fits Standard 3 and 5-Gallon Bottles: Compatible with commonly available water bottles for easy refills.
- Removable Drip Tray: Allows for easy cleanup and maintenance.
COSTWAY 2-in-1 Water Cooler Dispenser with Built-in Ice Maker
- Classic appearance suitable for various settings
- User-friendly control panel for easy operation
- Cool water capacity: 4L/hour
- Hot water capacity: 5L/hour
- Built-in ice maker produces up to 27lbs of ice per day
- Quick ice-making time: 6-14 minutes for 9 bullet ice cubes
- Anti-rust drip tray for easy cleaning
- Top-loading design allows easy monitoring of water level
- Package includes: 1 x water dispenser with built-in ice maker
Kismile 2-in-1 Water Cooler Dispenser with Built-in Ice Maker
- 2-in-1 Water Dispenser & Ice Maker Design: Offers both water and ice simultaneously for convenience.
- Excellent Working Performance: Produces 5L of hot water or 4L of ice-cold water per hour.
- Built-in Ice Maker: Generates 9 bullet ice cubes in 6-14 minutes, with a daily production capacity of up to 27 lbs.
- Easy & Safe Operation: LED indicator lights and soft-touch buttons for user-friendly control. Child safety lock prevents burns.
- User-Friendly Details: Top-loading design for easy water level monitoring. Removable drip tray for easy cleaning.
Types of Office Water Coolers
Bottled water coolers are a common sight in many offices. They use large bottles of purified water, providing both hot and cold water options. This type of water cooler is easy to install and relocate as needed. However, it requires regular replacement of heavy water bottles, which can be a logistical challenge. Moreover, bottled water coolers might not be the most environmentally friendly choice due to the plastic bottles used.
Point-of-use (POU) water coolers are directly connected to the building’s water supply. These water dispensers filter and chill the water on demand, providing unlimited access to hot and cold water. A POU water cooler eliminates the need for bottled water, reducing plastic waste and eliminating the need for bottle storage. However, it requires professional installation and may not be feasible in all settings.
Countertop water coolers are compact units designed to fit on a countertop. They are an excellent choice for offices with limited space. Like their larger counterparts, they offer both hot and cold water, and some models also provide room temperature water. While they don’t have the capacity of freestanding units, they are a cost-effective and space-saving solution.
Under-sink chillers are hidden away under the sink and connected to a separate tap. They provide chilled, filtered water on demand, making them a great option for offices that prioritize aesthetics and convenience. However, they only supply cold water, which may not meet everyone’s needs.
The choice between different types of water coolers depends on several factors, including office size, budget, and environmental considerations. All these types have their own merits and drawbacks. A bottled water cooler offers flexibility, a POU water cooler promotes sustainability, a countertop cooler saves space, and an under-sink chiller provides a neat solution.
Expanding on the various types of office water coolers, it’s important to note the real-world applications of each model in a work environment:
- Bottled water coolers are a go-to solution for businesses that value convenience and simplicity. These units are particularly useful for temporary setups, like events or construction sites, where access to the building’s water supply might be limited. Their ability to be quickly set up and moved makes them a flexible option for businesses that regularly change their workspace layout.
- POU water coolers offer long-term cost savings and are an ideal solution for businesses focused on environmental sustainability. They can support large workforces without the need for constant bottle replacement, making them an efficient choice for large offices, factories, and other facilities where water demand is high.
- Countertop water coolers are perfect for small to medium-sized businesses or those with open-plan offices where space is at a premium. While they may require more frequent refills, their compact design allows them to blend seamlessly into the office environment, making them a practical choice for businesses aiming to maintain a clean, minimalist aesthetic.
- Under-sink chillers are ideal for high-end office spaces, boardrooms, or customer-facing areas where maintaining a sleek, uncluttered environment is key. These units also make an excellent choice for businesses in the hospitality sector where cold, filtered water needs to be available on-demand.
Health and Hygiene Aspects
Regular water consumption is essential for good health. It maintains the body’s fluid balance, aids digestion, facilitates nutrient absorption, and helps regulate body temperature. An office water cooler encourages employees to drink more water and maintain hydration, ultimately supporting their overall health and wellbeing.
However, a poorly maintained water cooler can pose potential health risks. Bacteria, mold, and algae can grow in the water tank or dispenser taps, contaminating the water. A water cooler with a self-cleaning feature can help mitigate this risk, but it’s not a substitute for regular cleaning.
The importance of regularly cleaning and maintaining the water cooler cannot be overstated. It should be cleaned and disinfected at least once every six months, or more frequently if recommended by the manufacturer. This will ensure the water remains safe to drink and the cooler functions efficiently.
There are several signs of contamination to look out for in a water cooler. These include unusual taste or smell, discoloration of the water, and visible mold or algae in the water tank or dispenser taps. The water cooler should be cleaned immediately if any of these signs are present.
Ensuring a clean and safe water cooler requires shared responsibility. All employees should be made aware of the importance of cleanliness, and a regular cleaning schedule should be established. Additionally, features like a self-cleaning function can help maintain hygiene between manual cleanings.
Office Water Cooler Etiquette
Appropriate water cooler usage is important to maintain a harmonious work environment. Employees should respect each other’s time, avoid blocking access to the water cooler, and clean up any spills promptly. Furthermore, they should avoid touching the taps or buttons with dirty hands, ensuring a sanitary experience for all.
Some do’s and don’ts at the water cooler include: do wait your turn, replace the empty water bottle if you finish it, and keep conversations light and professional. Don’t monopolize the water cooler, don’t bring sensitive work discussions to the area, and don’t use it as an excuse to avoid work.
Cleanliness and shared responsibility go hand in hand. Encourage employees to report issues with the water cooler, such as low water levels, malfunctioning equipment, or cleanliness concerns. This collective approach will ensure that the water cooler remains a pleasant and functional amenity for everyone.
Conflicts may arise around the water cooler, such as disagreements about cleaning responsibilities or disputes over water usage. Address these conflicts through open communication and establish clear guidelines for water cooler etiquette to prevent future issues.
Good water cooler behavior can be encouraged by providing clear instructions, setting expectations, and leading by example. Regular reminders about proper usage and etiquette can help create a positive and respectful atmosphere around the office water cooler.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my office need a water cooler?
An office water cooler offers more than just hydration. It encourages regular water consumption, enhancing employee wellbeing and productivity. It also serves as a social hub, fostering communication and teamwork.
What’s the difference between a bottled water cooler and a point-of-use water cooler?
Bottled water coolers use large bottles of purified water, providing both hot and cold water options. They are easy to install and relocate. However, they contribute to plastic waste and require regular replacement of water bottles.
Point-of-use (POU) water coolers are connected to the building’s water supply, filter and chill the water on demand, and eliminate the need for plastic bottles. They are more environmentally friendly but require professional installation.
How often should an office water cooler be cleaned?
A water cooler should be cleaned and disinfected at least once every six months, or more frequently if recommended by the manufacturer. Regular cleaning ensures the water remains safe to drink and the cooler functions efficiently. Many modern water coolers come with a self-cleaning feature, which can help maintain hygiene between manual cleanings.
How can I promote good water cooler etiquette in the office?
Encourage employees to respect each other’s time, keep the area clean, and report any issues with the water cooler. Establish clear guidelines for water cooler usage and address conflicts promptly through open communication. Regular reminders about proper usage and etiquette can help create a positive and respectful atmosphere around the office water cooler.
How can my office reduce the environmental impact of our water usage?
Switching to a point-of-use or bottom loading water cooler, promoting water conservation, using reusable water bottles, and regularly maintaining the water cooler can significantly reduce your office’s environmental impact. You can also choose water coolers made from sustainable materials and manufactured using energy-efficient processes.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
- Room Dividers: Choices For Your Home Office
- Commercial Soap Dispenser: Top Picks For Your Business
- Desk Organizer: Top Picks For Your Business or Home Office
- Office Microwave: Upgrade Your Breakroom With Our Top Picks
More in: Small Business Essentials