The Best Portable Air Conditioners to Keep You Cool in Any Space

We've rounded up the coolest portable air conditioners you can buy online.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

It’s that time of year again that’s filled with lounging under sunny skies, sipping ice-cold drinks, and firing up the grill. However, although summer is an excellent time for spending time outdoors with family and loved ones, beating the heat in your home can be a whole different story.

If you don’t have central AC or keep making air conditioner mistakes that waste money (like not investing in a smart thermostat!), then a portable air conditioner might be the solution for you. Sure, the best window conditioners can work wonders, but if you can’t install one because of design limitations or building restrictions, portable AC units are an attractive option—especially if you’d like an air conditioner that can be moved from room to room or easily stored away at the end of the summer season.

Before you buy, read up on how you’re shortening the life of your air conditioner—unintentionally, of course—so you can avoid making the same costly mistakes with your portable unit and extend the life of your appliance. If you need your house extra cold, try pairing one of the best cooling fans with your air conditioning unit.

Do portable air conditioners work as well as window air conditioners?

If you have the ability to use window-mounted air conditioners, you’ll probably have an easier time achieving maximum comfort in your space. You may find portable AC units that are comparable power-wise but they’re probably going to be more expensive. It’s also important to note that while portable air conditioners are easier to transport between rooms (most of them have wheels), they do tend to be larger and louder than their smaller window counterparts because of the exhaust hose, which is necessary for venting, so it’s important to make sure you have the extra square footage for one.

Do portable ACs have to be vented out a window?

The short answer is yes. A portable AC unit will be useless without an exhaust hose. They need to be vented outside because the unit is extracting the hot air that you want to be released outside of the room. Most people who own a portable air conditioner vent through a window (most common), wall, ceiling, or even their own front door!

How do you find the best portable air conditioner for your space?

While shopping for the best portable AC, don’t be swayed by all the high-tech-sounding features and swanky, modern aesthetics. More importantly, you’ll want to pay attention to the number of British Thermal Units (BTUs) or Seasonally Adjusted Cooling Capacity (SACC) ratings. If the ratings are too strong, you’ll waste unnecessary power and have the electrical bill to prove it. Too weak and you’ll still use too much energy continuously running the machine on full power—not to mention, you’ll still feel too warm.

Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditionervia

1. Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner

It’s easy to see why this portable air conditioner is our choice for the number one spot. With dual hoses and packing over 14,0000 powerful BTUs, this air conditioner can cool down a sweltering hot room faster than other units. Plus, it also works as a fan with three different speeds and a dehumidifier that can remove up to 101 pints of water per 24 hours. There is also a timer that lets you set a schedule throughout the day. The exhaust hose extends up to five feet so you’ll have some flexibility for where you decide to place it, but you’ll definitely want to clear some space as the unit is a bit on the larger side.

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De'longhi Pinguino Smart Portable Air Conditioner With Heat And Eco Real Feelvia

2. De’Longhi Pinguino SMART Portable Air Conditioner with Heat and ECO Real Feel

Designed to powerfully cool rooms up to 700 square feet, this portable AC from Costco is a beast for tackling heat in large spaces. With its three different settings including a fan and a dehumidifier, summer stickiness can easily become a thing of the past. You can also opt to use this ultimate AC all year round as it comes with a heat pump to keep you warm and toasty when the sunny summer days turn into colder ones. Make sure you don’t let those cool nights dry out your skin and pick up one of the best humidifiers.

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Black + Decker Bpact08wt Portable Air Conditionervia

3. Black + Decker BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner

Check out this 8,000 BTU AC unit to keep you comfortable while you catch up on some serious summer zzzs. It’s quieter than other portable ACs so it won’t keep you up at night, and weighs in at 53 pounds so you won’t have to worry about pulling any muscles moving it around. The filter slides out in the back, making way for easy access for cleaning, and the included remote means you won’t have to leave your cozy bed to change the settings.

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Blaux Classic Desktop Acvia

4. Blaux Classic Desktop AC

If you’re tired of sweating through your favorite office blouse, this desktop portable AC just may be your solution! With a lightweight and compact design, it’s easy to transport wherever you go. This portable AC also comes with three different speeds that you can adjust to cool down and beat the summer heat on even the hottest days.

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Frigidaire Fhph132ab1 Portable Room Air Conditionervia

5. Frigidaire FHPH132AB1 Portable Room Air Conditioner

With the manufacturer claiming this portable AC can stay as low as a low conversation, this Frigidaire unit is one of the quietest on the market! It also has a built-in dehumidifier that removes 67 pints of water a day when used in “dry mode.” Plus, it also comes with a programmable 24-hour timer and a smart auto restart that will resume activity with its previous setting when the unit is turned back on.

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Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner With Heatervia

6. Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner with Heater

Almost identical to the model in our number one spot, this 14,000-BTU unit can last you all year long with its iconic heat settings. Manufacturers report it cools as low as 61°F and heats up to 77°F so it can keep you comfortable no matter what the weather! And in case you need to store your portable air conditioner, it comes with its own storage bag. PS: Did we mention it comes with a remote so you can change the temperature no matter where you are? So cool (pun intended).

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Whynter 12,000 Btu Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner With Dehumidifiervia

7. Whynter 12,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier

This portable AC found at Home Depot is the perfect eco-friendly unit to help you tackle the stifling summer heat while staying green! Portable and easy to set up, this air conditioner features the eco-friendly CFC-free Green R-410A refrigerant and lead-free RoHS-compliant components that lead to reduced energy consumption and a happier planet. This unit can cool up to 400 square feet and can dehumidify up to 61 pints of water per day.

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Dyson Pure Cool Me Personal Purifying Fanvia

8. Dyson Pure Cool Me Personal Purifying Fan

This ultimate portable air conditioner is perfect for cooling the space near you rather than freezing the entire room. It also comes equipped with a HEPA filter which helps purify the surrounding area, claiming to remove 99.97 percent of allergens and pollutants—making it the ideal option for people who are sensitive or suffering from allergies. The compact design makes it a perfect companion on a desk or a nightstand!

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Hisense 10000 Btu Doe (14000 Btu Ashrae) 115 Volt Grey Portable Air Conditioner Wi Fi Compatibilityvia

9. Hisense 10000-BTU DOE (14000-BTU ASHRAE) 115-Volt Grey Portable Air Conditioner Wi-Fi Compatibility

This smart portable AC unit comes with an LCD remote control and the ability to control the temperature from anywhere in the house with the Hisense Smart Connect Life App, which can also be controlled by Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. This unit can cool a room up to 450 square feet and has a two-year limited warranty to give you peace of mind!

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Zero Breeze Mark 2via

10. Zero Breeze Mark 2

If you love the great outdoors but don’t love the heat that comes with it, check out the ultimate portable AC to keep your tent nice and cool. Even though it’s battery-operated, you can still expect over five hours of run time on one charge and a really powerful cooling mechanism that can quickly get a confined space chilly even during the hottest of summer months. Weighing at 16.5 pounds, it’s not the lightest portable AC but it’s still a nice luxury item for long camping trips!

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Honeywell Portable Evaporative Tower Coolervia

11. Honeywell Portable Evaporative Tower Cooler

If you truly don’t feel like dealing with heavy and clunky exhaust fans, take a peek at this portable AC! All you need to do to stay cool with this portable air conditioner is to fill the water tank before use. Not only will it keep the summer heat out of your space, but it will also act as a humidifier. Plus, there are three cooling settings to choose from, and the device will alert you if it is running low on water. Next, learn the reasons why you shouldn’t use your car’s air conditioner and what you can do instead.

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Maryn Liles
Maryn Liles is a home and travel expert who’s covered everything from the best robotic vacuums to the most remote destinations around the world. She's also the founder of Connected Content Co., an SEO and creative content agency that's done work for Reader's Digest along with other companies and publications. When she's not writing, you can find her working on her latest home DIY project, out for a hike or dancing around the house to '80s jams.