Your Complete Guide to Bottleless Water Cooler Costs, Brands & Considerations
Last Updated: October 17, 2023
Reviewed By: Ashley Smith
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What are Bottleless (Point-of-Use) Water Coolers? #
Water coolers are both convenient and a great way to motivate yourself and others to drink more water. Most people think of large, cumbersome bottles when they picture a water cooler, an image that can be seen in most offices and across pop culture, but there are bottleless models available as well.
A bottleless water cooler still provides ice cold (or steaming hot) water at the touch of a button, all while utilizing state of the art filtration systems and cutting out the hassle of replacing the bottle. In addition to convenience, bottleless systems help to reduce plastic usage. More and more offices are switching to or implementing point-of-use water coolers throughout their office space. Schools are also replacing their water fountains with this cleaner, healhier option.
Though more expensive than traditional options, bottleless water coolers have a lower operational cost than their bottled competitors. Instead of purchasing new bottles every month, point-of-use water coolers take water directly from your water lines and filter out any contaminants in order to provide clean, delicious water for drinking and cooking. You can even connect them to your reverse osmosis system to ensure the highest quality of water. Rid yourself of the hassles of delivery bills, spilled water, and storage issues with a bottleless water cooler.
How Much Does a Bottleless / Filtered Water Cooler Cost? #
Here are some typical costs for a filtered or bottleless water dispenser:
Purchase Price - $300 to $1000 for the dispenser unit. Higher end or more advanced filtration systems will cost more.
Installation - $100 to $300 for initial installation if not included. Cost varies based on complexity.
Filter Replacements - $50 to $100 every 6-12 months depending on usage and filter type.
Maintenance - Little required beyond replacing filters. Occasional cleaning or part replacement may be needed.
Rental Options - Some companies offer monthly rentals of $20 to $50 per month including filters/maintenance.
Filtered Water Cost - The water itself is very inexpensive, often just a few cents per gallon from existing plumbing.
Key factors in costs are the type of filtration used, needed installation complexity, and maintenance options. Overall a bottleless dispenser will cost more upfront but can save over time compared to bottled delivery.
Leading Bottleless Water Dispenser Brands and Pricing #
|Brand||Sample Models||Price Range|
|Culligan||Level 1, Aqua-Cleer||$300 - $600|
|Crystal Springs||Bottom Load, Top Load||$400 - $1,000|
|Waterlogic||Firewall, Midi||$500 - $1,200|
|BlueStar||Bottom Load, POU||$350 - $750|
|Oasis||VersaCooler||$400 - $600|
Business Owners on Bottleless Water Cooler Costs #
We interviewed several business owners about how much they paid for bottleless filtered water coolers. Here is what they said:
We paid $325 to purchase an Oasis standard bottleless water cooler for our small office. The filter replacements and ongoing costs are affordable.
For our larger office, we acquired a leased Flo bottled water cooler with a bottleless filtration system for $19 per month. This covered all maintenance and filters.
I bought a mid-range Igloo bottleless water cooler from a big box store for $215. It came with 2 filters which should last around 6 months each before needing replacement.
We went with a higher end Primo dispenser with 3 stage filtration and digital temperature controls for $450. It was more than expected but should last a long time.
Our office manager purchased basic Sunbeam bottleless water cooler from Amazon for $90. The filter only lasts a couple months but the upfront cost was very cheap.
I splurged on a premium Avalon bottleless cooler with touchless dispensing and voice alerts for $680. It has the best filtration but was very pricey.
Pros and Cons of Bottleless Water Coolers #
Here are some of the key pros and cons of bottleless filtered water coolers:
- More economical - Don't have to continually purchase bottled water
- More eco-friendly - Reduce plastic waste from bottled water
- Better tasting - Removes odors, chlorine taste that bottled water can have
- Convenient - Easy access to cold, hot, sometimes sparkling water
- Less space - Compact coolers take up less space than bottled water
- Customizable - Filter types for minerals, PH, purity, taste
- Upfront cost - Coolers can be $100 - $500+ depending on quality
- Ongoing costs - Filter replacements every 6-12 months
- Limited capacity - Not ideal for high volume usage
- Maintenance - Keeping filters and equipment clean
- Technical problems - Possibility of malfunctions requiring repair
- Certifications - Some want certification like NSF approval