5 Best Mini Portable Air Conditioners: Personal Air Coolers (2021)

Let’s face it. Summer working days can be quite sweaty. Conventional A/C units might not be enough to cool us down (meaning our face and upper body). For personal cooling, you really do need a personal air conditioner. We talk about the tiny desktop air conditioner that can be put next to your face.

Specifically, we will look into:

  • How do the personal desktop mini air conditioners work?
  • Do they actually work? By how many degrees can the best personal portable air cooler lower the temperature?
  • What specifications to check for when choosing the most effective mini air conditioners? With a quick buying guide of sorts.
  • Which are the best mini air conditioners? You will find the list of the 6 cutest and most effective desktop air coolers below.

One thing is for sure:

The desktop mini air conditioners are a total craze in 2021. The fact that you can just pour water in them, stick in the USB cable, and enjoy a cooling air with no crazy installation and venting is why these small portable air coolers are so ridiculously popular.

On top of that, the mini desktop air conditioners have a number of advantages everybody loves. Here the most popular reasons why everybody is buying a tiny air cooler for their personal cooling:

advantages of destop evaporative personal coolers

Let’s direct these advantages later on when we learn how to check the specifications.

If you’re in the hurry and just want to know which is the best mini portable air conditioners, you can just skip to the whole list and comparison of the best personal air coolers here:

Skip To List Of Best Personal Air Coolers In 2021

The whole point of personal air conditioners is that you can use them pretty much anywhere. In the office, in your bedroom, or even on the beach. Some of them are battery-powered and can run even without the 110/120V outlets:

where you can use personal air conditioner in bedroom outdoors desktop
You can use personal air coolers anywhere; in the office, bedroom, or even outdoors (battery-powered mini air conditioners).

First of all, let’s look at how air coolers work and answer one specific question:

Do tiny personal air conditioners really work?

How Do Personal Mini Air Conditioners Work?

Conventional air conditioners utilize the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics to create heat exchange. That means that you have an electrical input, refrigerant lines, and cooling output (measured in BTU).

This is not how personal air coolers work. Instead of the complex refrigerant-based system, mini desktop portable air coolers cool your immediate vicinity via the process of water evaporation.

This is how personal evaporative coolers work:

  1. You fill the air cooler with water and plug it in a 110/120V outlet or via USB cable.
  2. The fan generates an airflow over the water you just put in.
  3. Water is evaporated; this is an endothermic process. The passing air is cooled because the energy goes into evaporating water. This is the key step in how mini air conditioners work.
  4. The cooled air is blown out of the air cooler into our upper body and face; cooling down our immediate vicinity.
how to use a mini air conditioner
Using a mini air conditioner is really simple and user-friendly. On the photo: #1 Evapolar evaCHILL

In short, water needs heat to evaporate (everybody has boiled water before, right?). It takes that heat from the hot air. In turn, the air becomes cooler and humid. As such, the mini portable air coolers work as 3 distinct devices, namely:

  1. As air conditioners. These AC units cool the air; that’s their primary function.
  2. As humidifiers. They increase relative humidity levels; very useful if you have dry indoor air.
  3. As cooling fans. The net effect is that this tiny desktop air conditioner will blow cool air, much like regular cooling fans.

Do keep in mind that the air conditioning function is limited to your immediate vicinity. If you’re 20 ft away from the desktop air cooler, you won’t feel the full effect of the unit, even if the mini air conditioner is running at 100% cooling output.

Ok, so how much can air coolers actually cool the air?

Let’s find out:

By How Many Degrees Can Personal Air Coolers Lower Temperature?

Personal evaporative air coolers can generate up to a 34°F drop in temperature. That’s a short answer and it only applied in perfect conditions.

Realistically, however, portable mini AC units can reduce the temperature by 10-15°F. Calculating the exact air cooler temperature drop is a bit complex, and involves the knowledge of psychrometrics.

This involves charts that contain usually unfamiliar terms such as ‘dewpoint’ and ‘direct evaporative cooling saturation efficiency’ and ‘air dry-bulb temperature’. To add to the complexity, this equation is used:

calculation by how many degrees fahrenheit will a personal air cooler drop temperature

We can really simply all of this. In the most basic sense, the efficacy of how well a personal air cooler can cool depends only on two factors:

  1. Current temperature. Mini air conditioners work best at higher temperatures (over 90°F).
  2. Current humidity. These personal desktop air conditioners work better at lower humidity levels (below 30%).

According to Wikipedia, based on these estimates, the personal air conditioner can:

  • Lower temperatures from 90°F to 61°F at 15% relative humidity. That’s a 29°F temperature drop.
  • Lower temperatures from 90°F to 75°F at 50% relative humidity. That’s a lower 15°F drop due to higher humidity levels.
  • Lower temperatures from 104°F to 70°F at 15% relative humidity. That’s a higher 34°F drop due to higher initial room temperature.

As we can see, personal air coolers actually work. They are increasingly effective at higher temperatures and lower humidity levels.

Now, let’s look at all the important specs. This will help you choose the best desktop mini air conditioner for your bedroom, office, and so forth:

What Specification To Look For In Portable Air Coolers? (6 Specs)

Not all air coolers are equal. Some are better, some are way worse, and some of them can be considered the best. How to know which portable air coolers are worth the money?

Checking the specifications, of course. All mini air conditioners have similar advantages, including:

  • They are completely portable. The most lightweight personal air coolers weigh less than 3 lbs, some of them even have handles for carrying them around.
  • They don’t need venting like conventional air conditioners.
  • They can work without the use of refrigerant (freon).

Even the worst mini air conditioners have these qualities. What really makes the difference between a good and bad portable tiny air cooler are these features:

  • Built materials (avoid cheap below $30 units). Cheaply made personal air coolers can just fall apart because they are made from sketchy plastics. The best mini air conditioner is made out of rougher high-quality materials such as durable PVC plastics, aluminum, and have stainless steel fans.
  • Good coverage area (above 40 sq ft). The cooling output of air coolers is usually expressed in the coverage area. The bigger the coverage area, the better.
  • Tank size (minimum of 300 ml). Air cooler needs water to function; when that water is all evaporated, you need to refill it. To prevent refilling it every hour or so, look for the big tank capacity. The bigger the tank capacity, the better the air cooler.
  • Energy-efficiency (below 10 Watts is perfect). Let’s be clear: desktop air coolers spend about 100x less electricity than conventional portable air conditioners. Nonetheless, it’s still good to have an environmentally-friendly mini air conditioner that draws less than 10W.

Now, there is another key metric that determines which portable air cooler is the best for you specifically:

Aesthetics.

best evapolar mini air conditioners in several colors
#1 Evapolar evaCHILL air coolers come in several colors. You can personalize the unit by picking the right color for you.

You will probably place the mini air conditioner:

  • On your office desk. It will be a part of how people perceive you for 8h+ per day.
  • Your nightstand in the bedroom. You probably have a neat interior design all worked out.
  • You can take it outdoors. People will see it with you, you can even Instagram it.

The whole point is that aesthetics matters. Aesthetically appealing (the cutest ones) mini air conditioners will definitely more popular than the less aesthetic, boxy ones.

In 2021, the ovally-shaped personal air coolers are all the rage. #1 Evapolar, #2 BLAUX, and #6 Marnur coolers have the most trendy shape.

With all these considerations, let’s look at the list of the best mini desktop air conditioners

List Of The Best Mini Air Coolers

  1. Evapolar evaCHILL: Best Mini Air Conditioner With Overall The Best Specs And Design
  2. BLAUX Portable AC G2: Most Popular Personal Air Cooler With 2000 mAh Battery
  3. Charmelife Dual Cooler: Best Desktop Mini Moist Cooler + Hot Dry Air Fan
  4. FlyBanboo Cooler: Easiest Personal Air Conditioner To Use
  5. Marnur Cooler: Quietest Desktop Personal Air Cooler And Fan
Mini Portable AC: #1 Evapolar evaCHILL #2 BLAUX Portable AC G2 #3 Charmelife Cooler #4 FlyBanboo Cooler #5 Marnur Cooler
Photo:
Coverage Area: 45 sq ft (personal) 40 sq ft (Est.) 50 sq ft (Est.) 35 sq ft (Est.) 30 sq ft (Est.)
Functions: 3-in-1 (cooler, humidifier, air purifier) 2-in-1 (rapid cooler, humidifier) 3-in-1 (cooler, humidifier, fan) 3-in-1 (cooler, humidifier, fan) 3-in-1 (cooler, humidifier, fan)
Design: 5 out of 5 stars 4.8 out of 5 stars 3.6 out of 5 stars 4.2 out of 5 stars 4.6 out of 5 stars
Tank Size: 800 mL (Enlarged Tank) 300 mL 600 mL 350 mL 200 mL
Operation Time: Up to 9h Up to 4h (Est.) Up to 6h Up to 6h Up to 4h
Energy Efficiency: Extremely High (7 Watts) High (8 Watts) Extremely High (N/A) High (N/A) Average (N/A)
Price: $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Average Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 4.7 out of 5 stars 4.4 out of 5 stars 4.3 out of 5 stars 3.8 out of 5 stars
Availability: Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

1. Evapolar evaCHILL: Best Mini Air Conditioner With Overall The Best Specs And Design

Evapolar evaCHILL: Best Mini Air Conditioner With Overall The Best Specs And Design
Coverage Area: 45 sq ft (personal)
Functions: 3-in-1 (cooler, humidifier, air purifier)
Design: 5 out of 5 stars
Tank Size: 800 mL (Enlarged Tank)
Operation Time: Up to 9h
Energy Efficiency: Extremely High (7 Watts)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 6.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches
Weight: 2 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Evapolar evaCHILL is pretty much the one unit that is driving the 2021’s air cooler craze. It’s the most well-rounded mini air conditioner; quite literally, in fact. Evapolar evaCHILL has the cutest design and it’s both a status symbol and a trendy item to have on your desk.

This ‘Most Instagramable Air Cooler’ is not all about looks. If you dig down under the hood and check the specifications, you quickly realize that Evapolar has made their best mini air cooler to date.

Evapolar evaCHILL has a 45 sq ft coverage area; that’s more than the minimum recommended 30 sq ft. That means that can adequately drop the temperature for more than 10°F under the right conditions.

It basically works like a cooler, humidifiers, fan, and – this is an exception that no other cooler has – an air purification unit. Most air coolers have basic filters; Evapolar evaCHILL comes with thorough air purifier level filters.

You can see Evapolar evaCHILL’s record-level specs when it comes to tank size and operation time. This unit has an enlarged 800 mL water tank; 2x or 3x bigger capacity than comparable units. That also means that it has a prolonged operational time of up to 9h.

On top of that, Evapolar evaCHILL is capable of delivering all that cooling output and prolonged operation time on a maximum of 7 watts. That makes it the most energy-efficient air cooler.

The only drawback of Evapolar evaCHILL is the higher-end price. This is an aesthetically beautiful air cooler with the best overall specs; the higher price point is well-deserved.

All in all, the Evapolar evaCHILL is the single best portable desktop mini air conditioner that is driving the whole air cooler market. You can get it for about $100:

Evapolar evaCHILL Cooler Review

Pros
  • Most Instagramable air cooler; beautiful oval-shaped aesthetics
  • Superb specs with 45 sq ft coverage and +10°F drop in temperature
  • Enlarged 800 mL tank is 2x to 3x bigger and allows for up to 9 operation time
  • The ultimate mini air cooler, hands-down
Cons
  • It has a higher-end price which is well-deserved
  • When full with water, it can be a bit heavier and clumsier to more around the desktop (up to 4 lbs weight)

2. BLAUX Portable AC G2: Most Popular Personal Air Cooler With 2000 mAh Battery

BLAUX Portable AC G2: Most Popular Personal Air Cooler With 2000 mAh Battery
Coverage Area: 40 sq ft (Est.)
Functions: 2-in-1 (rapid cooler, humidifier)
Design: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Tank Size: 300 mL
Operation Time: Up to 4h (Est.)
Energy Efficiency: High (8 Watts)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 8.82 x 8.27 x 7.64 inches
Weight: 2.4 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

BLAUX portable AC was the new sensation, introduced in 2020. It’s marketed as the best and most aesthetically designed personal air cooler. The design is beautiful indeed and the BLAUX G2 model is one of the best personal air coolers.

With an estimated coverage area of 40 sq ft, it is specifically designed to be used as a personal air cooler. You can put it on the desktop in the office, on your nightstand in the bedroom, or even use it outdoors.

One of the key advantages BLAUX G2 brings is that it truly is portable. It is a battery-powered personal air cooler (with a battery capacity of 2000 mAh). On the desktop, you can just plug it into the USB port on your computer. If you want to take it outside, the battery will last for several hours.

Given the 8 watt input, it is considered one of the highly energy-efficient portable air coolers. The biggest drawback of the BLAUX G2 is the smaller-than-average tank size. With 300 mL tank capacity, you will have to refill it every 3-to-4 hours.

Altogether, the looks are what people love about the BLAUX G2. It is battery-powered and thus portable, highly energy-efficient but it does have a smaller water tank for this price point.

BLAUX Portable AC G2 Review

Pros
  • Most popular personal air cooler
  • Powered via USD or battery; complete portable (you can take it on the beach, for example)
  • High energy efficiency (draws only 1-8 watts)
  • Pretty much the best looking mini air conditioner currently on the market
Cons
  • Water tank size is only 300 mL and has to be refilled every 3-4 hours
  • Higher-than-average price

3. Charmelife Dual Cooler: Best Desktop Mini Moist Cooler + Hot Dry Air Fan

Charmelife Dual Cooler: Best Desktop Mini Moist Cooler + Hot Dry Air Fan
Coverage Area: 35 sq ft (Est.)
Functions: 3-in-1 (cooler, humidifier, fan)
Design: 3.6 out of 5 stars
Tank Size: 350 mL
Operation Time: Up to 6h
Energy Efficiency: Extremely High (N/A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 10.83 x 7.24 x 6.46 inches
Weight: 2.44 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars

Charmelife Dual Cooler has a quite intriguing design. It a personal air conditioner with an all-season dual function. It can work as:

  1. Air cooler + humidifier combo. Generates low temperature and high moisture air output.
  2. Heater + dehumidifier combo. Generates high temperature and low moisture (dry) air output.

Primarily, it is used as an air cooler humidifier combo in the summer. However, when winter comes along, having a mini heater near you is equally enjoyable.

The humidifier/dehumidifier is also adjusted to the seasons. In the summer, we usually have problems with dry air; the Charmelife cooler generates a moist airflow. In the winter, we have problems with higher relative humidity levels; and dry air helps with that.

Charmelife cooler has a larger 600 mL water tank. It can operate for up to 6h without refilling. It also has above-average energy efficiency. The drawback of Charmelife personal air cooler is the looks. It’s not really a piece of art, but it does what it’s supposed to do well.

Charmelife Mini Cooler Review

Pros
  • Provides cooler + humidifier function in the summer, and heater + dehumidifier function in the winter
  • Highly energy efficient (saves up to 40% on electricity bills)
  • Has a large 600 mL tank and can operate for up to 6h
Cons
  • It doesn’t really look like a piece of an art
  • Not everybody really needs a cooler and heater in one; cooling function is

4. FlyBanboo Cooler: Easiest Personal Air Conditioner To Use

FlyBanboo Cooler: Easiest Personal Air Conditioner With Ice To Use
Coverage Area: 35 sq ft (Est.)
Functions: 3-in-1 (cooler, humidifier, fan)
Design: 4.2 out of 5 stars
Tank Size: 350 mL
Operation Time: Up to 6h
Energy Efficiency: High (N/A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 7.64 x 7.21 x 6.89 inches
Weight: 2.48 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars

FlyBanboo cooler is pretty much the most popular ‘boxy’ personal air conditioner. That’s primarily because it’s so simple to use. Just plugin it in, add water, and you can start it right out of the box.

FlyBanboo Cooler has a 350 mL water tank. That’s a bit small but it has high water efficiency; that 350 mL can last up to 6h. That also means that the output airflow – the air personal mini air conditioner is blowing in your face – is less moist than with other air coolers.

It does have a lower estimated coverage area of about 35 sq ft. That means that it will really cool anything in its vicinity but if you stand more than 6 feet from it, you won’t feel the cooling effect.

All in all, FlyBanboo mini cooler is the simplest cooler you can get:

FlyBanboo Mini Cooler Review

Pros
  • Simplest mini air cooler to use
  • Produces less moist air output; which some people prefer
  • Can last up to 6h on only a 350 mL tank
  • One of the most popular mini air coolers
Cons
  • Tank is on the smaller size (350 mL)
  • It has a boxy design; not the most appealing trendy look

5. Marnur Cooler: Quietest Desktop Personal Air Cooler And Fan

Marnur Cooler: Quietest Desktop Personal Air Cooler And Fan
Coverage Area: 30 sq ft (Est.)
Functions: 3-in-1 (cooler, humidifier, fan)
Design: 4.6 out of 5 stars
Tank Size: 200 mL
Operation Time: Up to 4h
Energy Efficiency: Average (N/A)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 9.7 x 7.1 x 5.6 inches
Weight: 3.04 lbs
Price: $$$$
Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars

Marnur cooler is just too good to be true. It has a beautiful aesthetic design and is the quietest portable mini air conditioner. The drawback is the 200 mL tank with 4h operational time; but if you don’t mind refilling the tank every 4 hours, the Marnur cooler might just be the best mini portable desktop air conditioner for you.

It certainly is quiet. It has one of the lowest noise level intervals; if it’s on your desktop, it better be quiet. The silent operation is not its best quality.

The quick cooling is. When turned on, Marnur cooler has a quick cool function. That means it starts blasting out cool air with 3.5 m/s speed and can lower the temperature in its vicinity in 30 seconds.

The trendy oval design is also welcoming. It’s the basic new design every aesthetic air cooler should have.

The 200 mL tank, however, is less than perfect. It can be drained quite quickly; if you set it to 100% output, it can be drained in less than 2 hours. That’s a major con of the Marnur cooler.

All in all, the Marnur cooler is superb. If it weren’t for the smaller tank, it could even pose competition to #1 Evapolar and #2 BLAUX coolers.

Marnur Desktop Cooler Review

Pros
  • Quick 30 second cooling; with 3.5 m/s air speed
  • Quietest mini portable air conditioner for personal use
  • Exquisite design
Cons
  • You just can’t get past the 200 ml small water tank that needs to be refilled very very often

This was the rundown of the best personal mini air conditioners. If you have any questions about how these devices work, you can pose them in the questions below.

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