If you’re looking into water dispensers for your home or workspace, a bottom-loading system is a great way to go. Not only do these dispensers look sleeker and more integrated than traditional water coolers, but they also remove many of the drawbacks of top-loading designs. With easy loading and installation, less spilling, and no more back strain, what’s not to like?

Why bottom loading over top-loading?

  • Top loading water dispensers and coolers can be annoyingly difficult to refill. This is especially true for dispensers with larger reservoirs, or for the shorter among us! On a serious note, lifting a five-gallon jug from the ground to shoulder height can spell back issues when done incorrectly, so bottom-loading is a real benefit here.

  • Bottom loading water dispensers often use the same bottled water jugs as top loading systems, meaning there should be no issue with sourcing water.

  • Storing the water reservoir at the bottom of the appliance allows manufacturers to add neat concealment designs to their products. This can significantly improve the look of many dispensers, making them easier to integrate into a kitchen and more appropriate for home use.

  • Aside from the aesthetic design, the only major difference between most bottom and top-loading dispensers is the mechanism for drawing water from the reservoir. Whereas top-loading systems generally use gravity and vacuum methods, bottom loading dispensers usually include a water pump, which draws water up into the cooling/heating tank.

  • Because bottom-loading dispensers have a lower center of gravity and more economical shape, they’re usually smaller and more compact than top-loaders. Therefore, they can fit into a greater variety of spaces.

FAQs

Standard water dispensers will not filter water, as they’re designed to be used with pre-treated water or disposable jugs. That said, more and more hybrid dispenser designs are emerging on the market, which are capable of filtering water for taste and safety, before cooling or heating it.

Home water dispensers come in a greater variety of designs and sizes. This includes countertop models, which have smaller, family-sized reservoirs, or may even integrate with your kitchen plumbing.

For many workspaces, a water cooler is a simple, cost-effective, and efficient way of providing good quality water for a large number of people. Others use a dispenser because they feel they can’t trust their tap supply. This might be due to environmental factors such as flooding, or specific issues such as deteriorated pipes.

Water dispensers are also regarded by many as an effective way to encourage positive dietary routines—both by making water more accessible and palatable, and by providing an alternative to sodas and sugary drinks.

Most dispenser reservoirs are sealed, single-use, disposable jugs, meaning that they are highly sanitary. Where concerns about hygiene do emerge, they’re often focused on a dispenser’s spouts—this being the regular point of contact for users.

Any surface touched by a large number of people presents a potential infection risk, and with dispenser taps and sprouts being so close to the water stream, it’s reasonable to wonder about possible contamination.

In fact, a study of household surfaces by the internationally-recognized NSF found that refrigerator water dispensers were among the top sources of germs in a kitchen, underlining the need to regularly sanitize points of frequent contact.