Bottles Water Coolers vs. Point of Use Water Coolers


Here we compare the benefits and features of point of use and bottled water coolers. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to each type of water cooler unit ranging from purpose and convenience to price.

Point of use water coolers connect directly to the incoming city water in the home or office so there is no need to buy, store and replace heavy 5 gallon bottles of water. Top water cooler manufacturers claim that a POU water cooler can save between 20 and 70% of the cost of buying bottled water. In addition, this convenience also lowers office injuries and can lower Workman’s Compensation claims because there are no heavy bottles to lift.

POU water coolers also have features that heat and cool water, and store it for instant use. Some units also store water at room temperature. These are very convenient features are perfect for making instant hot coffee, tea, soups or anything that needs hot water. And, the instant cold water is always nice on a hot day in any workplace or home setting.

Point of use coolers can be purchased with single or multiple stage water filtration systems. Because POU water coolers connect directly to the city water, a filtration system is recommended especially when the city water contains higher levels of bacteria, minerals or chlorine or simply tastes bad. Any level of filtration will remove particles and improve the taste of the water. However, multi stage filter systems will remove more particles and improve the taste significantly more.

Depending on the size of the unit, POU water coolers can serve between 40 and 70 people in an office setting. The price range is between $200 for smaller basic units to over $700 for higher capacity fully featured units.

Both POU and bottled water coolers come in similar sizes: Freestanding and Countertop. Freestanding water coolers are the more traditional looking water coolers that sit on the ground and are approximately 40 inches tall. Countertop water coolers are much smaller, are intended to sit on top of a table or counter and can be up to 20 inches tall. Both types of water coolers usually come standard with drip trays under the water faucets to minimize any water spilling on the counter when it is used.

Bottled water coolers do not require any plumbing connections because they simply use a 3 to 5 gallon bottle of water. Because the bottled water cooler does not require any plumbing connections, there is significantly less risk of water leaks causing damage.

Some bottled cooler models are equipped to heat and cool water providing convenient instant hot water for coffee, tea, or anything needing hot water, or refreshing cold water.

Bottled water coolers require minimal maintenance. The reservoir should be cleaned once per year. Most water cooler reservoirs are dishwasher safe, but be sure to double check your particular unit’s manual before putting it in the dishwasher. The reservoirs can be easily removed and washed with soap and water.

Because bottled water coolers use bottled water, they do not use any water filters.

The price range for bottled water dispensers ranges between $60 and $300 depending on the size and features.

Please feel free to contact our knowledgeable water cooler sales staff to help you decide which type is best for you.