Adding a water dispenser to your list of kitchen appliances gives you more than just chilled water on-tap (although, chilled water alone can be pretty great). With many of today’s dispensers offering instant heating, as well as filtering for increased flavor, these devices have a range of uses cases—from herbal teas and coffee alternatives, to helping end troublesome soda habits.
Here are the results of our in-depth review into the best water dispensers available to buy right now. We surveyed the most popular and most recommended water dispenser models on the market, to help you choose your next water-conditioning device.
In theory, a water dispenser is intended to make hot or cold water more convenient and accessible. A water filter, on the other hand, is designed to remove a specific set of contaminants from a tap supply (depending on the filtering mechanism).
The reality, however, is that many dispensers will also filter water to some extent, while many filters can provide the convenience of a countertop dispenser. This makes it important to carefully check a dispenser’s specifications against your needs when shopping.
Those looking for a filtering dispenser should keep the numbers 42 and 53 in mind. These are the Standard Certification numbers for effective home filters attributed by the NSF—the leading water device safety board.
But don’t feel pressured into investing what may be some significant extra costs into a filtering device, if you’re really more interested in the idea of a simple home dispenser. The majority of us live in regions connected to city and regional water suppliers, whose water product is closely monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency for the main threats to water safety and tase.
In fact, all homeowners on a public water supply can check up on what exactly goes into their tap water through their annual Consumer Confidence Report, which suppliers are mandated to produce. This should let you know whether or not a filtering dispenser is a good idea.
If you do happen to be one of the thirteen or so million Americans who get their drinking water from a private well, then a water dispenser—filtering or not—should only ever be a secondary consideration, after you’ve ensured water safety.