Industry insights

Water Cooler vs Water Dispenser: Which Is Best And What's The Difference?

3 min read

By Ryan Tedder |  Published

When it comes to office hydration in London, the battle between the classic water cooler and the modern water dispenser ranges on. Both devices serve the essential purpose of providing refreshing water, but if you're in a dilemma about which one is best and which one to choose for your workplace or home, we look into the differences between these two hydrating champions and help you decide which option suits your needs best.

Water Cooler vs Water Dispenser: What's The Difference?

Water coolers have been an essential staple in offices and public spaces for decades, offering a tried-and-trusted method of dispensing chilled water. On the other hand, water dispensers are newer innovations that use advanced technologies like refrigeration and filtration systems to provide hot and cold water at the touch of a button. Let’s look at some of the key differences between the two models.

Water temperature options

Designed to cool and maintain the water at a refreshing and cold temperature, most water coolers offer one temperature option – chilled – alongside ambient water. Water dispensers are known for providing chilled, ambient, and hot water.

Water supply options

Water coolers are most commonly used with pre-filled 18.9 or 13-litre water bottles to keep the cooler supplied, making them ideal for locations without a direct water connection. Water dispensers are generally directly connected to the mains water supply and have a more permanent position.

Water filtration

Water coolers don’t have any in-built filtration. The water quality depends on the source or the quality of the bottled water used. In contrast, most water dispensers come with advanced filtration systems to remove impurities and microplastics and improve the taste and odour of the water.

Water Cooler vs Water Dispenser: Which is best?

Choosing between a water cooler and a water dispenser depends on your specific requirements and preferences. Both models have their strengths, delivering different needs. Let's consider the factors to help you determine which option is best for your hydration needs.

Choose a water cooler if:

  • You only need ambient or chilled water and want to keep things simple
  • You prefer naturally filtered, pure spring water 
  • You want the convenience of a moveable unit or lack access to a direct water supply

Choose a water dispenser if:

  • You want a mix of filtered ambient, chilled, sparkling, and hot water to cover all options
  • You want a more permanent installation in an office kitchen 
  • You want to reduce plastic waste or don’t have water bottle storage space 

Understanding these key differences between water coolers and water dispensers will help you decide which is best for you based on your specific needs and preferences, ensuring you choose the best fit for your workplace. But the good news is that most units will offer the best of both cooler and dispenser worlds.

Thirsty Work – the best of both worlds

Our water cooler and dispenser rentals are fast becoming the norm across London and the southeast, where the taste of the mains water supply puts people off, and big-name supplier satisfaction is at an all-time low.

Depending on the model, our bottled water coolers and mains-fed water coolers provide you with all the ambient, chilled, sparkling, and hot water you need. Available in freestanding and countertop options, you get the same great taste, convenience, and satisfaction without all the confusion, drama, and supplier letdown.

For more information on switching to Thirsty Work to take advantage of the fast, reliable service and deliveries only an independent can offer, contact the Thirsty Work team today on 020 3740 9480 or 020 3740 9481 or email You can get your free quote and start your no-obligation, 10-day free trial immediately, delivered and installed directly from our London depot

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