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Best Portable AC: Ranking Top Portable Air Conditioner Units

Best Personal Air Conditioner Units

You can use portable AC units to stay cool during the hot summer months. The units can be used in medium-sized spaces and work well when lowering temperatures. You can use portable ACs anywhere in the room and they are not as costly as ordinary AC units. Modern technology has enabled you to add air cooling systems to small units and manufacturers are taking advantage of this by creating different types of portable AC systems.

Our team has researched, analyzed, and tested different portable AC systems over the internet. After going through the different AC systems available, here are our favorite Portable AC units for 2021.

  • Arctic Air Pure Chill Portable AC
  • Blast Auxiliary Portable AC
  • CoolX
  • IceBox Air Cooler
  • Glacier Air Cooler
  • Sleep Connection Mist Humidifier
  • UV Cooler
  • T10 Cooler
  • CoolFeel Max
  • Tundra Breeze AC

Arctic Air Pure Chill Portable AC


The Arctic Air Pure features a water tray that can hold up to 450ml of water, to provide long-lasting cooling effects. According to the official website, the device uses Hydrochill technology to add water to the air and help cool dry hot temperatures. Because of its unique features, the device can be used as a humidifier or a fan.

Arctic Air Pure Chill portable AC has adjustable vents to help better direct air and features a removable silver filter to clean and purify the air that runs through it. Starting at $89.99 this device can be a practical cooling solution for a hot summer.

The device is said to work best for individual use but can be used to cool a small room. To learn more about Arctic Air Pure visit the official website for additional information.

Blast Auxiliary Portable AC


This AC is small and affordable but powerful which is why it is at the top of the list. It is easy to use, has a cord-free operation, and has a humidifier add-on. Blast Auxiliary Portable AC is recommended for cooling small spaces during the hot summer season. You can power the AC unit with a USB cable which makes it ideal as you can charge your fan anywhere you go. The device can run with or without power and has a humidifier, filter, and additional features not seen in other units of the same price.

Price: $90



CoolX air conditioners are suitable for your home and car. The AC comes with an adjustable seven-color LED that you can use as a night light. You can use the AC unit to cool your bedroom as it has three preset speeds to keep you comfortable all night. It is easy to use, has a simple design, and changes room temperatures quickly. The device works as a humidifier, purifier, and air conditioner. With this device, you can be sure to have your air cleaned, humidified, and cooled.


IceBox Air Cooler


The IceBox Pro Air Cooler works by absorbing hot air on one side and expelling cool air on the other side. It can be used in the dorm, office, or bedroom to cool you down. The IceBox Air Cooler has unique features like a crystal-clear LCD screen to set the temperature range. You can also use the sleep mode at night to reduce the noise while it is working. There are seven mood lights and you can enjoy five cooling levels. The IceBox Air Cooler is known for its customizable ability compared to other portable AC systems. It is $10 more expensive compared to other AC units but you can lower the price per unit to $60 when you buy multiples.

Price: $100

Glacier Air Cooler


This air cooler uses an external battery that can be recharged. This makes it ideal for outdoor activities like when you are going to the beach. The Glacier Air Cooler is the only portable AC that can be used as a lantern and air cooler since it has an in-built lamp. This makes it ideal for camping trips. It is one of the smallest air coolers and you can add ice to the cooler to create an arctic-like atmosphere wherever you are. It is also considered one of the most stylish systems with its retro look.

Price: $94

Sleep Connection Mist Humidifier


The SC Cool Mist Humidifier system comes as a portable humidifier and air conditioner. It is one of the most stylish portable AC units and can cool and humidify the room while enhancing the aesthetic appeal. With this system, you can enjoy having better health, better sleep, and you can breathe better. All you need to do is add water to the unit and use it as much as you want. The mood light present can add to the room’s ambiance making this AC unit the most preferred AC in terms of style. It is also the cheapest AC unit as it goes for $15.

Price: $15

UV Cooler


The UV Cooler is an air conditioner that can give you cool and purified air in your room. It has a USB (Universal Serial Bus) cable used for charging like other portable air coolers. It can use ice and water to produce very cold air. Its unique factor is that it uses Ultraviolet light to sanitize the water that eliminates bacteria and toxins from floating around the room. It is also small and compact making it ideal if you want to cool the air and clean it.

Price $100

T10 Cooler


The T10 Cooler is an air cooler that can be used in cars, rooms and can be carried around. It functions similarly to other air coolers on the list through the use of hydrochill technology. This is where hot air passes through a medium or cool water and exits on the other side as cool and humid air. It runs quietly and there are three cooling options and seven LED colors. Just like the other units here, the T10 cooler can last for up to 8 hours between refills.

Price: $100

CoolFeel Max


This is the only portable cooler that can fit around your neck and is exclusive through PopularHiTech. There is a 30-day refund policy if the cooler does not satisfy you. Since it fits around the neck, it can keep you cool wherever you go and you can enjoy a blast of cool air to your face. The CoolFeel Max air cooler is ideal for people working out or relaxing at home. It is easy to use and affordably priced. This device is the best shoulder cooler on this list.

Price: $60

Tundra Breeze AC


This is one of the least good-looking air conditioners. However, even though it does not look good, it is effective when it comes to cooling your room. It also uses hydrachill technology like most coolers. It absorbs hot and dry air on one side, passes it through a curtain and the air comes out through the other side cool and humid. The Tundra Breeze AC is ideal for those who want to get cool and humid air that is not possible with ordinary air conditioners.

Price: $90

Ranking Criteria

To learn more about each portable AC brand listed on this post, be sure to visit the the product official website using the links below:

Portable air conditioners usually promise to lower temperatures through their small and portable designs. They are meant to provide the convenience of having cool temperatures wherever you go. Unfortunately, most AC units do not deliver what they promise. You can find some only spreading water vapor without cooling the air while others break down after a few months. To give you the best air conditioning systems above, we used the following criteria.

How effective they are at cooling: There are portable coolers that are not efficient as some bring out extremely chilly temperatures. The most important criteria when choosing cooling effectiveness is cooling effectiveness. When buying an air conditioner, you are looking for one that will cool and humidify the hot and dry air in your home.

How they humidify the air: When buying portable coolers, most people look at how they humidify the air. Good portable air conditioning systems like those listed above add moisture to the air when cooling it. You get a humidifier with an air conditioning system. We look at the effectiveness of humidifying the air before ranking them.

Aesthetics, style, and design: This is not very important but we considered it when looking for the best air conditioners in 2021. There are some air conditioning systems that have awesome designs that can improve the aesthetic appeal of your room while others are simply plain.

How easy they are to use: Most portable air conditioners are easy to use and do not require tech skills. All you need to do is add water and ice, plug them in and switch them on.

Additional features: The main goal of portable air conditioners is cooling the room. However, some manufacturers have made their brands stand out by adding humidifiers and filters. You not only get cool air, but the air is humid and free from bacteria and other toxins.

Return policy: Not all AC units work well and you might want to return them after making the purchase. However, you will find that some AC units do not have a return policy and deliberately make it hard for you to return the AC units. Companies that do this have their ranking drop. Reputable companies should make it easy for customers to return their AC units within a given timeframe if they are not satisfied with their performance.

How to customize: When looking for an AC unit, you want one that has multiple settings to adjust to different temperatures. You might want to have a cool breeze during the day and cool temperatures during the night so you do not freeze. This makes customization options important when it comes to ranking.

How air is cooled: most AC units either use a water curtain, ice tray, or misting device when creating cool air. Through these devices, hot and dry air can be absorbed and converted to cool, clean, and humid air. For this category, the quality of the cooling devices matters.

Value and Price: Price matters when it comes to portable AC units as everyone has a different budget. That is why the list above includes portable AC units in different price categories to make it easier for you to make your choice. However, no matter the price, the portable AC units listed are the best quality so as to give you value for your money.

Customer Reviews: Even though all the portable AC units were tested, there was a need to go through the customer reviews. Customers test AC units in different weather conditions and their feedback contributes to our ranking. Even though we test all the AC units, we also want to hear from other customers and learn more about their experience in case we missed anything.

Transparency: Some AC companies provide all the information concerning their product. However, there are others that do not give even the most basic information. Transparency is important as it lets the customer know what they are getting. We consider this when ranking the best AC units in 2021.

Where Portable AC Units are Used

Portable AC units are ideal for different temperatures and rooms. Most portable AC units do not need direct power which makes them convenient for use in different places. Some of the ideal places for using portable AC units are:

  • Bedrooms
  • Offices
  • Apartments
  • Condos
  • Dorm rooms
  • Outdoor spaces
  • Small homes

You do not need to rely on power outlets when using portable AC units as they can give you cool and clean air wherever you go. Some even have rechargeable batteries that can store enough power for hours making them ideal for camping.

Top 11 Advantages of a Portable Air Conditioner

Our Best Portable Air Conditioner units have several benefits over other air coolers including:

Saves money: instead of paying hundreds of dollars to cool your home using a HVAC system, you can use a portable air cooler that will be more energy efficient. You can use the portable AC to cool the rooms you are using and this will save on your energy bills. Most portable AC units use as much energy as a smartphone and have a battery that can store power. You do not need to keep it connected all the time.

Filters the air: Most portable air conditioning units have filters that can remove toxins, bacteria, dust, and other compounds leaving clean air behind. Some have ultraviolet filters while others have physical filters. With portable air conditioners, you never have to worry about breathing dirty air.

Customizable temperatures: There are portable air conditioning systems with thermostats while others do not have thermostats. You can choose from three to five different temperatures and choose how cool or hot you want the room to be.

No more dry air: If you do not like dry air, you can consider getting a portable air-cooling unit with a humidifier. This will ensure that the air you breathe will be nice and humid. Enjoy your summer with cool and humid air from now on.

Easy to use: Portable AC units are easy to use and do not require any tech skills. As long as you follow the instructions when filling the water tank and ice cubes, you can easily use the AC unit.

No installation needed: Portable AC units do not need to be installed. You can move them to the room you are using and just plug it in.

Electrical outlets are not needed: Most Portable air-cooling units run on micro-USB or rechargeable batteries. That means they can run off your laptop or outdoors without you having to look for a power source.

Easy to move: This is the main benefit of getting a portable AC. You can move it to the place where it is needed. You do not need to worry about the AC being used in empty rooms. You can also use them when working out or camping. With portable air-cooling units, you can enjoy cool temperatures around you no matter where you go.

Affordable: You can get a good portable air conditioner for less than $100 as most are priced at around $90. Ordinary HVAC systems cost more than $5000 up to $10,000 to install. They also consume lots of power, unlike portable air conditioners. If you are tight on cash and want to enjoy cooler temperatures at home, you can consider getting a portable AC that can be used wherever you are.

No running noise: With portable air conditioners, you do not need to worry about noise when they are running. HVACs are known to be extremely noisy and can keep you up all night. However, portable air conditioners have multiple sound settings where you can choose the sound and speed of the fan. Their quietness makes them ideal for the bedroom and office.

Effective: Portable air conditioners are effective when it comes to cooling temperatures in the home or office. Even though they are not considered as effective as HVAC systems, they can do an amazing job at cooling your home’s temperatures at a cheaper price.


How Portable Air Conditioners Work

Portable air conditioners work differently. The ones listed above use simple technology where they pass air through a water curtain to produce cold vapor. They work best in small spaces like bedrooms, offices, and apartments.

There are more advanced portable air conditioners that can cool bigger rooms. Some of them have thousands of BTUs and can use a hose to connect to the outside air. There are some with a single and double hose design.

Advanced air conditioners come with a refrigerant to cool the air, a compressor for the refrigerant, and a fan to move the air. They work in a similar way to HVAC systems by taking outside air, cooling it, and distributing it through the home. These air conditioners are bigger than portable air conditioners and are ideal for large spaces and homes. They can be noisy and they use excessive energy. Some remove water from the air making it drier.

The air-cooling systems listed here work differently as they add moisture to your home. They cool the air without drying it. However, they do not use refrigerants or compressors. Here are how the portable air conditioning units listed here work:

Step 1) The unit absorbs hot and dry air from outside on one side.

Step 2) The air passes through a water curtain in the unit. A hydration chamber and ice tray are connected to the water curtain in most units making it cool and wet.

Step 3) The hot air makes the water in the water curtain evaporate and this removes heat from the air making it cooler and cleaner.

Step 4) A fan blows the cool and moisturized air on the other end of the device and circulates it in the home. This lowers the temperatures in the room.

There are some air conditioners that have UV light filters, bacterial filters, and advanced features. However, the steps above are used by most units to cool and humidify the air.

FAQs about Portable Air Conditioners

Q: What is the difference between a regular and portable air conditioner?

A: The most obvious difference is that a portable air conditioner can be transported to different rooms. The technology they use is also different as portable air conditioners do not use refrigerants and compressors when cooling air. Instead, they use evaporation, water curtains, and ice trays to cool the air.

Q: What is a portable air conditioner?

A: A portable air conditioner is a device that lowers air temperatures and can be carried around easily.

Q: What is the cost of portable air conditioners?

A: If you look at the portable AC units listed above, you will find that the price ranges from $15 to $120. Most of them are priced at around $90. With $100, you will get a good portable air conditioning unit that will keep you cool during hot summer days.

Q: How much space do portable air conditioners cover?

A: The portable air conditioner covers listed do not take up a lot of room. They can fit small spaces in the home and office and some can fit on your shoulders. They are designed to cool small spaces hence do not occupy a lot of room.

Q: Which size of portable air cooler do I need?

A: The portable air-coolers listed here have less than 7,500 BTUs making them ideal for small spaces. One unit can cover a space of about 200 square feet. A 10,000 BTU unit can cover about 300 square feet and a 14,000 BTU unit can cover 500 square feet. You need to consider the size of the space to determine the size of the portable air-cooler you need.

Q: Do I need access to a window or outside for my portable air-cooler to work?

A: No. These air-coolers do not use tubes or hoses. Instead, they use water curtains and ice trays so they can work perfectly without having to be near the window or outside.

Q: Is it safe to run a portable AC unit in my home?

A: The best portable AC units listed here do not use compressors or refrigerants. They use water curtains, and ice trays to cool the air. It is safe to use the AC in any home since you are only creating water vapor and circulating it in the home.

Q: What is the best portable AC Unit?

A: The best portable unit is any of the ones listed above. All you need to do is pick one that will suit the size of the room and enjoy cooler temperatures.

Q: Do Portable AC units consume a lot of energy?

A: Using a portable AC unit will not consume as much energy as installing an HVAC system. However, you can get higher energy bills if you use multiple portable units to cool different rooms simultaneously. To prevent this from happening, you can use the portable AC unit to cool the temperatures in the room you are using and carry it to other rooms when needed.

Q: Do portable Air Conditioning units leak water?

A: The moveable AC units use an ice tray and water curtain to cool the air. Since they use different technology compared to other air conditioners, they do not leak water.

Q: Why is there a UV light on my air conditioner?

A: There are some portable air conditioners that use UV light among other filtration systems. The American College of Allergists attributed 50% of illnesses to indoor polluted air. You can find the air in your home is full of toxins and harmful microorganisms. UltraViolet lights help remove these harmful compounds from the air leaving you clean air to breathe.

Q: How long do portable AC units last?

A: The best portable units last for at least 5 years before they need to be replaced. With regular maintenance, most can function for longer. They use USB power so there is no need to replace the battery. However, you will notice the battery life getting shorter as the unit gets older.

Q: What is SEER?

A: SEER rating is Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating that shows how efficient your air conditioner is. The higher the number, the more energy-efficient your unit is. On average, the SEER rating is between 13 and 16. However, some of the best air conditioning systems have a rating of 20 and higher.

Q: How do I cool my home without a HVAC system?

A: Portable AC units are ideal for cooling a home if you do not have an HVAC installed. If you do not have the money to get an HVAC system, you can get any of the portable AC units listed here and use them to cool and clean the air in your home.

Q: How does a central AC system function?

A: Central AC systems lower temperatures by pumping refrigerant through the system using a compressor. The refrigerant removes heat and moisture from your home. The hot air gets pumped over cooled indoor coils located at the top of the furnace. While the hot air is pumped outside, cool air is circulated in the home.

Q: Why does my air conditioner dry the air?

A: Modern HVAC systems cool the air temperatures and remove the moisture in the air. This leaves the air cool but dry. This is why most homes using HVAC systems feel dry during summer. The dry air can leave the skin feeling dry and you might experience other issues as a result of the dry air. On the other hand, getting a portable AC is beneficial since they humidify the air. With a portable AC unit, you won’t have to worry about dry air all summer.

Q: What is an energy star?

A: Energy star is a program created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help organizations and individuals get effective electronics. A large percentage of air conditioners bear the energy star label that shows the unit is energy-efficient.

Final Thoughts

Over the past few years, portable air conditioning units have improved in both design and technology. Now, you can get a good AC unit for less than $100.

Portable air conditioning units can cool temperatures in small spaces. They do not consume a lot of energy and moisturize the air, unlike traditional HVAC systems. The designs also make them suitable for use in cars and outdoors ensuring you always have cool air wherever you are.

If you are looking for a portable AC unit, you can look at our list of the best portable air conditioning units in 2021.

More Like This: BreezeTec Portable AC Review: Is Breeze Tec Air Cooler Scam or Legit?

Affiliate Disclosure:

The links contained in this product review may result in a small commission if you opt to purchase the product recommended at no additional cost to you. This goes towards supporting our research and editorial team and please know we only recommend high quality products.


Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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