Bottled vs Plumbed Water Coolers

January 12, 2023

Hydrating at home or in the workplace is important for mental and physical health. Water coolers are a perfect solution to providing a steady supply of high-quality, healthy water. However, you may be wondering whether you should get a bottled or mains-fed water cooler. What you need to determine is which water cooler is best for your needs.

Questions you should ask before purchasing a Water Cooler

  • How many litres of water do I, or my office, consume weekly?
  • What temperature of water do I want to be dispensed?
  • Where is the water cooler going to be used the most?
  • What is my budget for water consumption per month?
  • How easy is it to get the water dispenser installed and what is the maintenance and service plan for the water dispenser?
  • What would we like our water cooler to look like?
  • Do we want to purchase water on a weekly/monthly basis or do we want a constant supply of water?
  • Is the environment conducive to handling a direct pipe supply of water?

Now that you have asked and answered these questions for yourself and/or your office, keep them in mind when deciding between a bottled and plumbed-in water cooler

Man drinking water

Pros for bottled water coolers:

  • Easy and instant installation, they just need to be plugged in
  • Compact design that fits in most spaces, even kitchens at home
  • Little maintenance and effort are needed besides cleaning the cooler every 3 months and replacing the empty bottles of water with full ones
  • Immediate access to hot and cold water (depending on the style purchased)
  • High-quality, pure, English water on tap


  • A bottled water dispenser needs a required amount of bottled water on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on your water consumption levels, which entails storage space for water bottles
  • All standard bottled water coolers use plastic water bottles. Even though they are collected and reused (up to 50 times) if purchased through us, they may be considered less environmentally friendly than a mains-fed water cooler which doesn’t require bottles to supply water

people with culligan cooler as foreground

Pros for mains-fed water coolers:

  • Constant supply of water due to the water cooler being connected to your main water supply
  • You do not have to change a heavy water bottle every time your water supply is empty, you simply just pour yourself a glass.
  • It is more environmentally friendly, as no plastic water bottles are needed
  • It is easy to use and is better suited for offices with a substantial number of employees


  • It requires more maintenance than a bottled water cooler, as they have replaceable filters
  • They are initially costlier to purchase than the bottled water cooler
  • Additional costs such as connecting dispensers to the main water supply can occur
  • The placement of these dispensers depends on the available water supply in your home or office environment

So which water cooler do you invest in?

Both the bottled water cooler and the mains-fed water cooler perform many similar functions and are suitable for most environments.

When trying to make your decision, you may be wondering how mains-fed water coolers even work. They are connected to your water supply and are taking your tap water and filtering it, ensuring that clean, filtered water is dispensed from your mains supply, filtered through carbon-based filter systems.

When you purchase a mains-fed water cooler from a supplier like Culligan, we will send out technicians to do the installation. We start by performing a site survey and from there our hydration specialist engineers will be able to install it for you at your specified location. We also have a wide range of plumbed-in water coolers to suit any of your preferences from floor-standing water coolers, countertop water coolers, and carbonated water coolers to direct chill water coolers.

We also have an extensive range of bottled water coolers, from practical and compact countertop/bottled coolers to a variety of classic/floor standing/bottled coolers.

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