Setting up your space with air conditioning is essential if you live in a climate where it is hot and humid for all or part of the year. There are a few different types of ACs you can set up in your space, from movable units, like a portable AC, to more permanent options, like central air conditioning or an in-wall unit.
Do you want an AC unit for a smaller space like a bedroom, office, spare room, or apartment? If so, this free guide is for you.
Below, you’ll find out what the best small room air conditioner is for a variety of budgets and needs.
In particular, you’ll discover what the best small AC unit is in three versions: a portable air conditioner, a window mounted unit, and a personal air cooler.
This guide is meant to be a top resource for finding the best AC for small room purposes and covers everything you need to make the right decision.
Psst, your choice mostly relies upon the size of your too-hot space. Our picks include units recommended by reviewers who live in super sultry locales like Alabama and Texas.
We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, Best Creative Solution may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication.
|🏆 Popular items from this list 🏆|
|A *super* portable air cooler you can tote around as you move about your day because sometimes you and all the other people in the room can’t come…|
|A Honeywell 3-in-1 portable unit (it also works as a fan and dehumidifier!) with a remote control that has tons of rave reviews for its spot cooling p…|
|Or another portable Honeywell air conditioner that works for slightly larger spaces. No “installation” needed!|
Best Small Air Conditioners in 2020
1. A compact Frigidaire window-mount that’s easy to install and will bring some serious chill to a room fast. I’m looking at you, fellow apartment dwellers!
Promising review: “We bought this for a 9×15-foot enclosed porch with 10 tall windows and morning sun exposure. This little AC cools it off nicely in Texas summers. It does not have a thermostat with specific Fahrenheit degree readings. The thermostat is a dial with a range of 1 thru 7; 7 being ‘Maximum Cool.’ However, we ordered a Lux plug-in thermostat into which you plug the AC. It works beautifully. We did not need to buy a support bracket for the outside. We love the compact size and plan to remove it during the winter months, so we kept the box for storage. We are very pleased and have had it for two and a half brutal summer months.” —Kay in Texas
Filter: antibacterial mesh with side, slide-out access
Cooling area: up to 150 sq. ft.
Get it from Amazon for $255.79 (expert assembly available for $97.75)
2. A pretty standard window unit at an incredibly affordable price with quick cool and quick warm starts because you wanted to be cool as a cucumber basically yesterday without selling a kidney to get there.
Promising review: “Bought this appliance for a small room in an old house that I rent. Worked so great (it is now cold enough outside so I’ve removed it). It cooled down my room so quickly, was easy to install, and wasn’t unbearably loud. I am used to a fan sound in my room, however, so it wasn’t an issue for me. Very happy with this purchase!” —Grand Rapids, MI
Filter: antibacterial filter that helps reduce bacteria, room odors, and other airborne particles
Cooling area: up to 150 sq. ft.
Get it from Kmart for $159.
3. A smart LG-certified unit enabled with Wi-Fi and three fan speeds to help you keep your cool without getting a rude awakening on your next power bill. If you’re operating on the energy saver mode, the fan and compressor will kick off once the room gets to the desired level of cool, saving you cash.
Promising review: “This air conditioning unit really delivers! Cools your room in minutes and the auto function is spot on.” —Duckie
Filter: has a filter reminder light for cleaning purposes
Cooling area: up to 350 sq. ft.
Get it from The Home Depot for $299.
4. Or an LG unit for a smaller space that also comes with a remote because back in my day, just having a remote for your window unit was considered fancy! (Its 24-hour on/off timer and energy-saving mode aren’t too shabby either.)
Promising review: “I think this air conditioner is a dream come true! It’s easy to install, you only have to open your window to place the included white plastic brackets on each side of the AC and its ready to go! It fits perfectly on my 13-inch wide widow! I forgot to mention it is so inexpensive and it’s an LG!!!!” —Carlota from Costa Mesa, CA
Filter: includes a standard filter
Cooling area: up to 260 sq. ft.
Get it from Wayfair for $249.99.
5. A Frigidaire window unit made specifically for casement or sliding windows.
Promising review: “This AC works beyond our expectations! We have high vaulted ceilings in the living, kitchen and dining room, two bedrooms, and a bathroom covering about 920 square feet upstairs. This is the first time in decades that we’ve been able to cool down the entire first floor of our home. Our other ACs have only worked in a small area and as soon as we stood up, the air was hot. Now, I can sit in the office without a fan and cook without sweating. Awesome! The packaging is not good at all. Ours came with dents, but the unit itself works great and for us, that’s all that matters. Very impressed with how it works.” —junipers
Filter: washable mesh
Cooling area: up to 450 sq. ft.
6. 🏆 Honeywell 3-in-1 portable unit (it also works as a fan and dehumidifier!) with a remote control that has tons of rave reviews for its spot cooling prowess and lightweight.
Promising review: “We’ve had a couple unseasonably warm days here and decided we needed an AC sooner than later. We ordered this Honeywell unit because it’s a great price for the square footage it covers (up to 350 square feet).
And it seems great so far for our living/dining room, it’s more streamlined than other units we’ve seen so it doesn’t take up much space. We tested all the settings, even though it’s still cold here, and it got noticeably cooler pretty quickly in our living room. Set up couldn’t have been easier, even with a nosy dog poking around. The box came with clear instructions for unboxing. All of the necessary set up accessories were included — including batteries for the remote and the right size window venting piece for the sliding style windows we have. The pieces fit easily together. It took only about 10 minutes to fully install.
This is an AC unit so there is going be some noise when it’s running but nothing I’d consider intrusive. It’s much quieter than your standard old fashioned window unit. The fan and dehumidifier functions do appear to be quieter.” —JJ
Filter: washable dust filter that catches dust, pet dander, and hair
Cooling area: up to 350 sq. ft. or 450 sq. ft
Get it from Amazon for $329.99 (available in two sizes and two color combos)
7. 🏆Or another portable Honeywell air conditioner that works for slightly larger spaces. No “installation” needed!
Promising review: “We bought this product in May and have had some very Hot Texas Summer nights this year. It has stood the test of a Texas summer cooling a master bedroom down to 60 degrees while it’s 85+ outside. Couldn’t be happier, especially for the price.”—Catie Trivett
Cooling area: 350–450 sq. ft. or 450–550 sq. ft.
8. A small-but-mighty window unit with a support bracket and leaf covers because, yes, you need to worry about the part of your unit that’s outside of your window (and passersby).
Promising review: “This little guy throws snowballs! Great value! I bought two. One for a sun porch and one for my home office. Preforming well in the heat and humidity of south Alabama.” —Amazon Customer
Filter: washable filter
Cooling area: up to 150 sq. ft.
Get it from Amazon for $229.99.
9. 🏆 And a *super* portable air cooler you can tote around as you move about your day because sometimes you and all the other people in the room can’t come to a consensus on the perfect chilly temp. You can even add icy water to it to make it feel a bit closer to your freezer’s air. Or if it’s not quite hot enough to turn on the AC, this is a new compromise.
Promising review: “I am working home right now. Getting hot in my bedroom, but not too hot to turn on the AC. It is greater than I thought. Basically it’s a fan and humidifier in one. Not too big and low noise. You can turn on or turn off the humidifier. Put the water or ice in the container, it can run like five hours or so. Just remember it is not a real AC, will not cool down the whole room.” —Jose
Cooling area: this is just to cool one person, not a room
Get it from Amazon for $50.99