Is A Water Cooler And A Water Dispenser The Same? Here Is All You Need To Know.

Water Cooler And Water Dispenser Difference

The terms water cooler and water dispenser have been used so interchangeably such that some people have started confusing them to be one and the same thing.

All water coolers can dispense water as channeled from a municipal water line or bottle just like water dispensers can do. However, not all water dispensers can change the temperature of the water before dispensation as water coolers do.

Before you jump into a purchase decision, let’s analyze the two devices in details. This article below will give you a thorough outline of all the similarities, differences, unique features of water coolers and water dispensers.

Stay tuned to have a better understanding of both and be in a position to know which suits your business’ or household’s instant water dispensation needs.

What Is A Water Cooler?

A water cooler is a household or commercial machine used to dispense water at different temperatures.

A water cooler connects to an electrical socket in the office or home and dispenses cold or hot water depending on the settings. It includes two taps one for channeling out the hot water and the other cold water.

Water coolers are super modern both in design and functionality. They are commonly used in offices to keep everyone hydrated.

What Is A Water Dispenser?

A water dispenser is simply a modified container that collects water from a municipal water line or water tank and channels it via a tap for users to drink.

It’s a water storage unit in the form of a bottle or water tank that helps make it easier for people at home or office to access drinking water.

A water dispenser has no advanced features like the one for heating or cooling water.

Similarities Between Water Coolers And Water Dispensers

Water coolers and water dispensers look and function so much alike such that not many people can tell the difference between them. As outlined above, a water cooler and water dispenser are two different things packaged the same way. Let’s discuss some common similarities between the two.

  • They both dispense fresh, clean and cool water via a tap for drinking
  • They both source water from a water tank or municipal water line
  • They can both be installed in household or office settings
  • They are both ideal solutions for curbing the need for quality and clean drinking water at home and in offices.
  • There are multiple brands and types of each most of which are from well-known bottled water manufacturers
  • Both come at a price. Just because water dispenser channels water from a tank or tap without changing its natural state doesn’t mean it’s offered for free.
  • Both machines are user-friendly and environmentally-friendly. They make access to quality and clean water easier with minimal to no technicalities.
  • Both can be easily bought online. There are many online stores that stock and sell water coolers and water dispensers.
  • There are some portable water coolers and water dispensers so you can take any of them with you while going camping or mountaineering.

What Are The Differences Between Water Coolers And Water Dispensers?

Unless you know the differences between the features of water coolers and those of water dispensers, you are going to have difficult moments trying to decide which to buy.

Water coolers and water dispensers aren’t the same and their way of operation isn’t equal. Read below to understand the differences between water dispensers and water coolers for your purchase process to be simpler.

  • Water coolers have inbuilt water heating and cooling technologies. They have the power to change the temperature of the water channeled through them before dispensation. As for water dispensers, they don’t have any inbuilt systems for cooling or heating water. They simply release the water as it is from the tap or water tank.
  • Water coolers need electrical connectivity to work. The cooling and heating systems inside these systems can only be ignited by use of electrical power. Water dispensers don’t necessarily need to be connected to electrical power. These are simple vessels designed to help supply water from a municipal water line or tank in a simplified and more efficient way.
  • Water coolers make it easier for you to prepare drinks and foods that don’t require extensive cooking. Water coolers dispense instant hot water, which you can use to make coffee and tea or easy-to-cook foods. Water dispensers are only good for dispensing cold water for drinking or preparing juicy beverages.
  • Water coolers have tons of customized features including but not limited to child lock safety, compressors, auto-sanitation systems, self-cleaning systems, water temperature control and much more. Water dispensers don’t include these features. They aren’t necessary since water dispensers only work to channel out water from taps or water bottles.
  • You can easily get a cup of water in more advanced water coolers at night without necessarily needing to put on all the lights in the house. They have nightlights that light super brightly to light up the area within which the water cooler is placed making it possible for you to get yourself a cup of water at night. As with water dispensers, you still can get a cup of water when you wake up thirsty in the middle of the night but you have to put on all the nights since they don’t have nightlights.

Which One Should You Buy?

Well, it’s up to you to decide whether to buy a water dispenser or water cooler. And it’s all going to depend on your personal needs. However, regardless of which you opt for, there are certain things worth understanding and which might help in making an informed decision.

Water Coolers

  • A water cooler is a perfect fit for those who want to get an instant supply of hot, cold, and ice-cold water. Most water coolers are modified to make the dispensation of hot and ice-cold water almost instant.
  • Water coolers are a bit more expensive but they offer value for money. They come with tons of amazing features.
    Some water coolers have self-cleaning systems so you won’t have to clean them regularly. Some have child-lock systems that let you keep your children safe from accidental hot water burns.
  • Water coolers can be used both at home and in offices. There some water coolers big enough to be used in industrial settings. The impressive design and styling of water coolers add to the beauty of modern offices and homes.

Water Dispensers

  • Water dispensers are simple water dispensation vessels that can be of any size. These are water containers with water taps that dispense water instantly.
    They are quite affordable and easy to operate. They never disappoint when it comes to dispensing water at room temperature for drinking.
  • Water dispensers aren’t quite common in the modern office and household settings. They used to be popular back in the early 1990s. That doesn’t mean they are out of fashion, though.

Before you set out to go hunting for a water cooler or dispenser, you should have a ready budget. If you prefer water coolers, make sure your budget is fatter as they are a bit pricier.

Bottom Line

If you didn’t know much about water coolers and water dispensers, you now know how they relate. If asked, I believe you can now tell the differences, similarities, and unique features in each of them.


With that helpful information on your fingertips, you are now ready to peruse our other article of the best water coolers for homes and offices and get a model that best fits your style and needs.