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Interior vs. Exterior Fridge Water Dispensers: Which is Better?

by Michael Webster

When looking for a refrigerator with a water dispenser, we all envision that ice-cold water coming from the tap whenever we feel the need to quench our thirsts. And when it comes to fridge water dispensers, there are two different options you can choose from: interior and exterior.

An interior water dispenser is located inside the refrigerator (typically at the very top), and can only be accessed by opening the door, whereas an external water dispenser provides water and/or ice through the refrigerator door. The main difference between the two is essentially the appearance and location; however, they both offer unique features that make them individually stand out.

Water & ice buttons on a refrigerator.

If you’re deciding on a new fridge but can’t land on which type of water dispenser is best for you, check out our breakdown of what to look for when choosing between an interior and exterior water dispenser.

Interior Water Dispenser

If you know you’re getting a new fridge but are debating where you want the water dispenser to be located, let us plead our case for the interior. Rather than being installed into the door, interior dispensers fit discreetly on the refrigerator wall with the ice-maker located inside the freezer.

Filling the water tank inside of fridge.

And while having to open the fridge door for access every time isn’t the most convenient, placing the dispenser within the fridge prevents water spills on the refrigerator surface – meaning those hard-to-clean water stains are virtually non-existent! Along with helping keep the outside of your fridge clean, some other key features for interior water dispensers include:

  • Ice-maker frees up more space in the fridge compartment.
  • Provides a clean aesthetic of a solid refrigerator front.
  • Ability to fill large containers with water or ice due to less space restrictions.

Exterior Water Dispenser

On the other hand, if you live in a busier household where the fridge is frequented often and water is in even greater demand, you may enjoy the easy access of an external water dispenser. Located directly on the fridge door, exterior water dispensers are hands-down the most convenient way to get water (or ice) in your home.

Exterior refrigerator ice and water dispenser.

On top of convenience, many refrigerators with external water dispensers have been designed to maximize user experience by including modern features like a second ice maker. And while exterior dispensers may not provide the most seamless look, many brands will relocate the ice-maker from the refrigerator compartment, to inside the door, in order to maximize fridge capacity. Along with these features, other key characteristics of external water dispensers are:

  • Outside access helps retain cold temperatures inside the refrigerator and freezer.
  • Simple functionality and easy access.
  • More energy efficient than an interior dispenser.

Which One is Best for You?

Buying a new fridge is a huge investment and something you’ll rely on for many years to come. Choosing which type of water dispenser that comes equipped with it can also be a crucial task, but at the end of the day, interior and external dispensers are completely based on your personal preference.

Couple choosing new refrigerator in appliance store.

Having knowledge of both styles can be very helpful when making a decision on your next refrigerator purchase, but all in all, both options will efficiently serve up refreshing water (and potentially ice) for you day after day. If you have any questions about these dispensers and think it’s the perfect time to purchase a new fridge, contact us today or shop our catalog of high-quality refrigerators from top appliance brands.