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best air coolers

The Best Air Coolers in 2021

Author: Joanna Davis

Home & Kitchen Expert

Air coolers allow refreshment in the summer for those who do not want or are unable to install air conditioning. With simple but effective technology, they can lower the room air by up to 3 degrees Celsius without the need for an exhaust hose or chemical coolant.

At the same time, this makes the air coolers mobile and versatile. This is because many devices can not only cool the air, but also humidify and even purify it.

The selection of air coolers is large. From classic air coolers to all-round talents and mini air coolers, everything is available. In our air cooler test, we explain how an air cooler actually works, what distinguishes it from an air conditioner, what types are available and how you can find the best air cooler for your needs.

  • An air cooler, or air cooler, is a portable air conditioner that can lower the room temperature by up to 3 degrees Celsius.
  • No chemical coolants and no exhaust hose are needed, as the air in the device is cooled by a water tank and distributed by a fan.
  • There is no need for a fixed installation, the air cooler can be moved at will.
  • An air cooler is less complex and less expensive than an air conditioner, but also does not provide the same cooling capacity.

Best Air Coolers

Honeywell QuietSet Whole Room Tower Fan-Black, HYF290B

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Honeywell QuietSet Whole Room Tower Fan-Black, HYF290B
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Honeywell QuietSet Whole Room Tower Fan-Black, HYF290B
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Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Cooler

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Black + Decker BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner, 8,000 BTU

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Tower Fan, Homech Whole Room Wind Curve Auto Oscillating Tower Fan

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TaoTronics Tower Fan, 35” 65°Oscillating Cooling Fan

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How To Pick The Best Air Cooler

Air coolers are available in different designs and with various additional functions. Before buying, you should consider which device is the right one for your purposes. It is not easy to keep track of the large selection on the market. That’s why we’ve put together some evaluation criteria.

The criteria, with the help of which you can compare the portable air conditioners with each other, include:

  • Performance
  • Size and weight
  • Water tank volume
  • Extras
  • Noise


However, an air cooler is not an air conditioner and therefore will not provide the same cooling performance. The portable air conditioner can lower the room temperature by a maximum of 3 degrees. But in return, the power consumption of an air cooler is also much lower than that of an air conditioner with a hose and compressor.

Basically, the larger the room, the higher the power of the air cooler should be. This is because the higher the output, the greater the range.

In addition to the cooling capacity, however, the power of the fan is also crucial, because the air turbulence alone makes it easier for our body to regulate its temperature.

However, it should also be noted that even very humid ambient air can reduce the cooling capacity. The room air is then already saturated and can no longer absorb the cooling water of the air cooler.

Size & Weight

The larger the air cooler, the more power and range it can provide.

However, the actual size of your air cooler always depends on the individual needs and circumstances.

  • Large: A tall, narrow tower air cooler, for example, can be pushed very well into niches and corners.
  • Medium: If the air cooler is to be placed in different rooms, depending on requirements, it should not be too heavy and unwieldy so that it remains easily transportable.
  • Small: The cube-shaped mini air cooler or table air cooler has less range, but is the ideal companion for the office or the next trip.

Water tank volume

The volume of the water tank in air coolers can vary between 0.3 and 12 liters. The smaller the tank, the more frequently water has to be refilled.

When buying, look for a removable water tank. This makes cleaning easier later.

The water tank must be cleaned from time to time. For this purpose, it can be removed in some devices, in others it is permanently installed and must be cleaned in the device with a cloth.

For additional cooling power, some models can be used cooling batteries, which enhance the effect of the water. In other variants, ice cubes or scented oils can be added to the water tank of the monobloc air conditioner.


Air coolers often offer some extra features besides the pure cooling function. The spectrum ranges from remote control to air purification.

If you want to keep your air cooler running at night, you can set the exact runtime for air coolers with a timer function. The movable lamellas of the swing function distribute the cooled air evenly in the room. The device can be conveniently controlled via remote control and LED displays further facilitate operation.

Especially for allergy sufferers, the air purification function can be beneficial!
The air flowing out of the device is filtered through a fleece, cleaned and freed from pollen. An integrated ionizer can even help against fungi and bacteria.

Air humidification or dehumidification functions can make the indoor climate more pleasant and keep it consistent. Adding scented oils can provide pleasant smells in the room.

Possible extras:

  • Timer
  • Remote control
  • LED display
  • Air purification
  • Air humidification or dehumidification
  • Scented oils


Compared to permanently installed air conditioners, the portable evaporative coolers are very quiet in operation. However, they remain audible.

The noise level often increases with the performance. However, the small tabletop air coolers are usually even louder than their larger counterparts.

People who are sensitive to noise and want to set up their air cooler in living areas should therefore pay attention to the manufacturer’s decibel specifications.

If you want to buy a quieter air cooler, you usually have to pay more for it.

Types of Air Coolers

Air coolers can be divided into three categories: Classic air coolers, All in One units and Mini air coolers.

What exactly distinguishes the different types of air coolers, what their advantages are and what the disadvantages are, we have compiled here to give you a better overview.

Classic Air Cooler

The classic air cooler works like a fan, in front of which a damp cloth is hung. The warm air in the room is sucked in by the device, passed by cold water, ice or cold packs, cooled down in the process and then blown back into the room.

The air is thus actually cooled inside the evaporative cooler, but nowhere near as much as with a real air conditioner. Depending on its performance, the classic air cooler manages a temperature reduction of up to 3 degrees Celsius in rooms up to 65 m2 in size. However, the range and cooling capacity can vary greatly and are not comparable to a conventional air conditioner.


  • Easy handling
  • Fast cooling
  • Inexpensive purchase
  • Low power consumption


  • Limited range
  • Cooling capacity lower than air conditioner
  • Fewer additional functions

On the other hand, the monobloc air conditioner is much easier to use: it only needs to be connected to the power and filled with water to be ready for use. Ideal for those who want a quick, uncomplicated, but not too strong cooling. Accordingly, the initial cost, as well as the resulting cost of electricity of such a device is less than that of an air conditioner.

All-In-One Air Cooler

Air coolers are often offered as X in 1 units. They supplement the classic air cooling function with air humidification or dehumidification, or offer an additional cleaning function.

Humidification is particularly advantageous in winter, as it can compensate for dry heating air. In the hot summer months, however, the humidified air can become a problem. It does bring some cooling, but depending on the ambient air, it can also create mugginess. Therefore, some devices are equipped with a dehumidification function, which is to remove the moisture from the air. Thus, the air cooler should optimally adjust the indoor climate and be usable and helpful throughout the year.

Especially for allergy sufferers, the purification function of the air cooler is interesting. Before the air is returned to the room, it is passed through a built-in fleece that filters the air and frees it from pollen. An integrated ionizer can provide additional protection against bacteria, fungi and mites.


  • Room climate and humidity can be adjusted at any time of the year
  • Air purification against pollen
  • Many extras
  • Well transportable


  • Higher power consumption
  • More expensive to buy

Although these devices with combined functions are practical, they are also more expensive to purchase and higher in power consumption.

Mini Air Cooler

The miniature version of the air cooler is particularly suitable for those who always want to have their cool breeze with them. The small, cube-shaped table air coolers can easily be taken to the office, to the campsite or the next trip.

Thanks to their built-in USB port, they can be powered from the wall socket, but also from a laptop or powerbank, so they don’t necessarily need a power outlet in reachable proximity. This gives the user greater freedom of movement.


  • Ideal to take along
  • USB connection
  • Easy handling
  • Space-saving
  • Inexpensive purchase


  • Low range
  • Higher volume
  • Less power

These space-saving air coolers fit comfortably in a backpack and are a good companion for traveling. Their small size makes them easy to use and inexpensive to purchase. However, the range and power are very low due to the size and the operating volume is higher than the larger variants.

Frequently Asked Questions: Air Coolers

Are you interested in the topic of air coolers, but still have some questions that you would like to know the answers to? We have summarized the most frequently asked questions and the most important answers to help you with your decision.

What is an air cooler and how does it work?

The technology behind an air cooler is not difficult to understand:

An air cooler draws in air, cools it with water, and then blows it back into the room through a fan. This can lower the temperature by up to 3 degrees Celsius.

An air cooler, or air chiller, is basically an improved fan. The device draws in the ambient air and passes it past a water tank and or a cold pack. In the process, the water stored there evaporates, which removes energy from the air in the form of heat and moistens it. This cooled, humid air is then released back into the room with the help of a fan.

In this way, the air cooler can produce a cooling of the room temperature of up to 3 degrees Celsius.

If the air humidity is already high, the cooling capacity of the air cooler decreases, as the air is then saturated with water more quickly and can no longer be cooled down well. This can also lead to an unpleasant sultriness under certain circumstances.

What distinguishes the air cooler from a fan and an air conditioner?

A fan is an essential part of every air cooler. It swirls the air and ensures a better temperature regulation of the body and a cooling sensation. Unlike the fan, however, the air cooler can actually cool the ambient air by a few degrees Celsius thanks to its technology.

The operation of an air conditioner, on the other hand, differs significantly from that of an air cooler in a number of ways. A normal air conditioner supplies a chemical coolant to the warm air inside the unit. The warm exhaust air produced in the process is directed out of the room to the outside through a hose.

An air conditioner, unlike the air cooler, can create strong, lasting cooling, even in large rooms. This requires a permanent installation by a specialist, which is associated with high costs and high power consumption.

The Aircooler as a portable air conditioner is not to be confused with portable air conditioners. Any air conditioner, even portable, has an exhaust hose and accordingly needs a place by the window. An air cooler does not have a hose and is therefore not an air conditioner.

Who should get an air cooler?

Air coolers are especially ideal for people who can not or may not permanently install air conditioning in their home. However, air coolers can also be a good alternative in the summer months for those who want to save money, effort and maintenance.

Air coolers do not require permanent installation or chemical coolants.
Due to its size, the evaporative cooler is well suited to be placed in different places in the house, according to one’s needs, and to be moved at will. Mini air coolers even fit in your pocket and can be taken anywhere.

An air cooler is also great for those who want to protect the environment and avoid using chemical coolants, as it only needs water to function.

However, it should always be kept in mind that an air cooler cannot and will not provide the same cooling performance as a permanently installed air conditioner.

What else can an air cooler do?

Besides air cooling, an air cooler can come up with many other features that can be very useful. These include:

  • The purification of the air from pollen
  • The elimination of mold, fungi and mites
  • The humidification or dehumidification of the air
  • The stabilization of the indoor climate
  • The diffusion of fragrances

The more an air cooler is supposed to be able to do, however, the more expensive it usually becomes and the more electricity it consumes.

What are the alternatives to the air cooler?

Alternatives to the air cooler can be a fan or a permanently installed air conditioner. In addition, there is also the portable variant of the air conditioner, which, however, also requires access to the outside and chemical coolant.

The split air conditioner, where one part is installed inside and the second part outside the house, is quieter and more space-saving than a normal air conditioner, because the compressor is not located in the room. However, it also requires installation by a professional.

What size should the air cooler have?

It all depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. For small rooms, a smaller air cooler with less power is sufficient. The larger the room to be cooled, the more power the air cooler should have, which usually also affects the size.

If the air cooler gets a fixed place, it can be adapted to this in terms of size.

If, on the other hand, the air cooler is to be easily transportable and can be set up in many rooms, it should be correspondingly light and easily portable.

If you travel a lot, you can consider the mini version with USB port, which is very easy to take along.

How do I clean an air cooler?

To prevent mold from forming, the water tank of the air cooler must be cleaned from time to time. In some models, the tank is removable for easier cleaning and can then simply be rinsed out.

If this is not the case, the water tank in the unit should be cleaned carefully with a cloth.

To prevent mold inside the home as well, which can result from increased humidity, rooms should be well ventilated on a regular basis.

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Last product update on 2022-06-30 | Source: Amazon Affiliate