Storm Bottom Vs. AquaBarista: Which Water Dispenser is Better?

Having clean, pure water available throughout the day is essential for staying hydrated and maintaining health. Water dispensers provide a convenient way to enjoy filtered water right from your home or office.

Two popular options are the Storm Bottom Load Water Dispenser and the AquaBarista Bottom Loading Water Cooler. But which one should you choose?

This comprehensive guide compares the Storm bottom and AquaBarista bottom loading water dispensers across several factors. We’ll look at key features, performance, design, installation, maintenance, and pricing to help you determine the best water cooler for your needs. Read on for an in-depth analysis of both dispensers!

At a Glance Comparison

Before diving into the details, here is a high-level overview of how the Storm Bottom and AquaBarista Bottom Loading water dispensers stack up:

FeatureStorm BottomAquaBarista Bottom Loading
TypeBottom loadingBottom loading
Filtration3-stage filtration + antimicrobial reservoir liner3-stage filtration
Storage Capacity3 or 5 gallon3 or 5 gallon
Temperature SettingsHot, cold, and room temperatureHot and cold
Energy EfficientNoYes, Energy Star certified
InstallationFreestanding, countertopFreestanding, countertop
Indicator LightsYesYes
Dimensions12″ W x 14″ D x 41.5″ H10.5″ W x 14″ D x 40.5″ H
Warranty1 year limited3 years limited
Price$200 – $300$150 – $250

Both dispensers have bottom loading, 3-5 gallon capacity and provide hot, cold, and room temperature water. Key differences are that the AquaBarista is Energy Star certified for efficiency and offers a longer 3 year warranty compared to just 1 year for the Storm.

The Storm does provide a room temperature setting while the AquaBarista only has hot and cold. Read on for more details!

Detailed Feature Comparison

Now, let’s take a deeper look at how the Storm Bottom and AquaBarista Bottom Loading water dispensers compare across major features.

Filtration System

Storm Bottom
Storm Bottom

Proper filtration is critical for producing clean, contaminant-free drinking water. Both the Storm Bottom and AquaBarista Bottom Loading dispensers use a 3-stage filtration process to remove particulates, chlorine, and odors/tastes from water.

The Storm Bottom adds an extra layer of protection with an antimicrobial reservoir liner that prevents microbial growth and keeps water fresh. The AquaBarista does not have an antimicrobial liner.

Overall, the filtration systems are comparable, although the antimicrobial liner provides an advantage to the Storm Bottom.

Storage Capacity

In terms of storage, both dispensers are available in 3 gallon and 5 gallon reservoir sizes.

The 3 gallon option is good for small offices or households with 1-5 people. It will need refills about every 2 days.

The 5 gallon reservoir better suits medium to large offices or households of 5+ people. It provides 4-5 days of water before needing a refill.

Since both offer the same reservoir sizes, there is no clear winner here in terms of storage capacity. Choose the 3 or 5 gallon size based on your needs.

Temperature Settings

Having options for different water temperatures is key. Here is how the two dispensers compare:

  • Storm Bottom: Offers 3 temperature settings – hot, cold, and room temperature. Nice to have room temp as an option.
  • AquaBarista Bottom Loading: Provides hot and cold water, but no room temperature.

The extra room temperature setting gives the Storm Bottom slight advantage in terms of temperature flexibility. But both produce hot and cold water.

Energy Efficiency


Saving energy is important for home appliances. In this regard, the AquaBarista Bottom Loading pulls ahead:

  • AquaBarista is Energy Star certified for meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines. Uses less electricity.
  • Storm Bottom is not Energy Star certified. Will consume more energy.

If going green is a priority, the energy efficient AquaBarista is the better choice here.


Installing and setting up your water dispenser should be quick and simple. The Storm Bottom and AquaBarista Bottom Loading are both designed for freestanding, countertop use.

Just place the unit on a sturdy, level surface and it’s ready to go – no plumbing required. The bottom loading design makes changing bottles easy.

For installation, the two models are equal in ease and convenience. Either can be setup in minutes without tools or professional help.

Indicator Lights

Both dispensers come with a set of indicator lights on the front panel which alert you when:

  • Water bottle needs changing
  • The dispenser needs cleaning
  • Water has reached optimal temperature

The indicator lights are very convenient for monitoring your dispenser status so you know when it needs servicing. This is a shared strength of the Storm Bottom and AquaBarista.


In terms of size, the Storm Bottom is slightly larger:

  • Storm Bottom: 12″ W x 14″ D x 41.5″ H
  • AquaBarista Bottom Loading: 10.5″ W x 14″ D x 40.5″ H

The AquaBarista is an inch slimmer in width and height. Not a major difference, but worth noting if you have limited counter space.


The warranty provides important protection in case of defects or issues. Here, the AquaBarista provides a big advantage:

  • AquaBarista Bottom Loading: 3 years limited warranty
  • Storm Bottom: 1 year limited warranty

The 3 year coverage for the AquaBarista is much better than the standard 1 year from Storm. This inspires confidence in the AquaBarista’s quality.


In terms of upfront investment, both dispensers are reasonably priced for their class:

  • Storm Bottom: Approximately $200 – $300
  • AquaBarista Bottom Loading: Approximately $150 – $250

The AquaBarista typically comes in at the lower end of the price range, while the Storm is usually on the higher end. But there is overlap in pricing.

Considering its superior warranty and energy efficiency, the AquaBarista gives you better value overall for just slightly lower cost upfront.

Ease of Use Comparison

Beyond just features, we also need to consider how easy and convenient these water dispensers are to use on a daily basis. Here is how the Storm Bottom and AquaBarista Bottom Loading models stack up in terms of usability:

Water Bottle Changes

The bottom loading design on both makes changing out empty water bottles fast and simple. Just open the front panel, slide out the old bottle, and put the new bottle in place. Takes less than a minute to swap bottles.

Dispensing Water

Each dispenser has a simple push button spout for dispensing hot and cold water. The Storm Bottom adds a third middle button for room temperature water.

The buttons are intuitive to use. Just press and hold the button for the desired temperature. Dispensing is convenient on both models.

Cleaning and Maintenance

To keep water tasting fresh, both dispensers will need periodic cleaning and filter replacements. The process is straightforward and trouble-free:

  • Wipe down external surfaces with a damp cloth
  • Descale internal hot tank every 3-6 months
  • Change filters every 6 months or as needed

Overall, the Storm Bottom and AquaBarista Bottom Loading are equally easy to use day-to-day and maintain over time. The simple, convenient designs make them accessible for anyone.

Also Read: Differences Between InSinkErator HOT100 And HOT150.

Key Pros and Cons

To summarize the key benefits and downsides of each water dispenser:

Storm Bottom Pros:

  • Antimicrobial reservoir liner prevents microbial growth
  • Room temperature water setting
  • Slightly larger storage capacity

Storm Bottom Cons:

  • Not energy efficient
  • Short 1 year warranty
  • Slightly bigger/bulkier

AquaBarista Bottom Loading Pros:

  • Energy Star certified, saves electricity
  • 3 year limited warranty
  • Lower price point

AquaBarista Bottom Loading Cons:

  • No room temperature water option
  • No antimicrobial reservoir liner

Overall, the AquaBarista comes out ahead with better efficiency, warranty, pricing, and overall value. But the Storm does offer nice extras like the antimicrobial liner and room temp setting.

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Which Should You Choose?

Based on this detailed comparison, we can make some recommendations on which water dispenser is the better choice for different needs:

  • For environmentally conscious users who want maximum energy efficiency, the AquaBarista Bottom Loading is the clear winner.
  • For those wanting the longest warranty protection, again the AquaBarista with 3 years coverage is the way to go.
  • If having an extra room temperature setting is important, the Storm Bottom is the only option that provides it.
  • For enhanced anti-microbial protection, the Storm Bottom’s reservoir liner makes it the better pick.
  • For those on a tight budget, the AquaBarista offers similar features for less upfront cost.
  • For small spaces, the AquaBarista’s slightly more compact size may work better.
  • If comparing premium 5 gallon models, the price difference becomes minor – then the AquaBarista provides better value with energy savings and longer warranty.

Overall, for the majority of homeowners and offices, the AquaBarista Bottom Loading offers the best blend of convenience, efficiency, and value in a water dispenser. It excels in the areas that matter most for the average user. But the Storm Bottom does provide some bonus features that may appeal to certain needs as outlined above.

Hopefully this detailed comparison gives you a clear sense of the pros, cons, features, and trade-offs between these two quality water dispensers. Let your specific needs guide you, and enjoy clean, healthy water from whichever model you select!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which brand of water dispenser is best?

There are a few reputable water dispenser brands to consider including Clover, Avalon, Honeywell, Primo, and Brio. In terms of bottom loading dispensers, Storm and AquaBarista are two of the top choices. Based on this comparison, AquaBarista comes out slightly ahead in terms of features, efficiency, warranty, and overall value. But Storm also offers a quality product.

What is an AquaBarista?

AquaBarista is a brand of bottom loading water dispensers made by Aqua Clara International. Their dispensers feature 3 or 5 gallon capacities, Energy Star certified efficiency ratings, hot and cold temperature settings, a built-in night light, and an easy-change bottle design. The AquaBarista Bottom Loading is one of their premium countertop models. It stands out for its 3 year warranty and energy savings.

Which is better – top or bottom water dispenser?

Bottom loading water dispensers generally provide the most convenience and easiest use. Top loading models require manually lifting the water bottle to invert and insert into the dispenser – this can be challenging. Bottom loading dispensers allow you to slide the bottle into place while upright. This is faster, simpler, and avoids spills. The AquaBarista and Storm bottoms highlighted here exemplify the benefits of bottom loading designs.

Which water cooler is best?

For bottom loading water coolers, the AquaBarista Bottom Loading model compares very favorably and earns top marks. It combines convenient features, energy efficient design, and excellent value. The antimicrobial liner and room temperature setting on the Storm Bottom also makes it a strong choice. Other high-quality options include the Primo Bottom Loading Water Dispenser and the Avalon Premium Bottom Load Dispenser, but the AquaBarista stands out as the best overall.

Also Read: Differences Between Brio And Primo Water Dispenser.


While both the Storm Bottom and AquaBarista Bottom Loading dispensers provide quality filtered water, the AquaBarista pulls ahead in several key areas. Its Energy Star rating, 3 year warranty, pricing, and slightly more compact size give it an edge for most residential and office settings. The Storm does offer nice extras like its antimicrobial reservoir liner and room temperature output – which may better suit some specific needs.

Ultimately, selecting between these two excellent bottom loading dispensers comes down to your priorities. But for its stellar combination of convenience, performance, and efficiency, the AquaBarista Bottom Loading takes the prize as the recommended pick for most water cooler shoppers. Thanks for reading this comparison, and may you enjoy refreshing water from whichever model you choose!

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