Best Small Portable Air Conditioner

If you’re dreading the summer months because you want an air conditioner but don’t have much space to put it in, then it might be time for you to check out our guide to the best small portable air conditioners of 2019! For this list, we wanted to consider air conditioners that truly live up to their “portable” name, measuring no more than 30 inches tall, 18 inches across, and 15 inches deep.

We also ruled out any air conditioners that were less than 10,000 BTUs, because just because you’re trying to save some room in your house doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on power to get it!

All these factors in mind, we had no problem naming the Honeywell MN10CESWW ($337) the best small portable air conditioner of 2019 thanks to its solid 10,000 BTU rating, 70 pint/per 24-hr dehumidification engine, and minimal frame that only measures 28-inches tall at its highest point.

Best Portable Air Conditioner

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#1 - Editor's Choice#2 #3
Honeywell MN10CESWWWhynter ARC-10WBHaier HPB10XCR
BTUs10,00010,00010,000
Weight61 lbs64 lbs41 lbs
Size15.2 x 18.1 x 29.4 inches28 x 17 x 13.6 inches13.8 x 27.5 x 12.9 inches
IR Remotegreen-check-mark
green-check-mark
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Air Purificationgreen-check-markgreen-check-mark
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Price$369.00$549.00$399.95
Buy NowBuy NowBuy Now

#1 Pick  Honeywell MN10CESWW – Editor’s Choice/Best All-Around Small Air Conditioner

Honeywell MN10CESWW
Honeywell continues to top the lists of some of the best portable air conditioners on the market

Price: $337.58 | Features: 10,000 BTUs, 70 pint dehumidification/24hrs, LCD display

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: For an all-around solid choice at a great price, the Honeywell MN10CESWW takes the cake. 

If the Honeywell portable air conditioner sounds a bit familiar to you, you might recognize it from our original best portable A/C list of 2019. We already lauded the machine for its no-drip evaporation system as well as its super simple setup process, but what makes it the #1 pick for this list is its downright petite profile compared to other air conditioners with the same amount of power output.

Read More: Best Air Purifier for Smoke

All told the Honeywell MN10CESWW tops out at a mere 28 inches tall, 15.2 inches deep, and 18.1 inches across. Potential buyers should keep in mind that because it has the larger motor to push out 10,000 BTUs, the unit itself is actually quite heavy at just over 61lbs. This is hefty for even larger A/C units, but thankfully the MC10CESWW comes with its own set of caster wheels on the bottom so you can easily roll it from one room to the next without breaking your back to get it there!

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#2 Pick Whynter ARC-10WB – Best Budget Small Air Conditioner

Whynter ARC-10WB
The Whynter isn’t the sleekest looking option, but it’s got more than enough power to make up for it

Price: $265.99 || Features: 10,000 BTUs, single-hose setup, included remote and programmable LCD display

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The Whynter ARC-10WB packs a lot of punch in a pint-sized package.

While the Honeywell is the best pick for both size and portability, the Whynter ARC-10WB definitely takes the cake when it comes to price. At just $265.99 (during the time of this writing), the Whynter is a cheap small portable air conditioner that still provides 10,000 BTUs of room-chilling bliss during the sweltering summer months.

Read More: Air Purifier Comparison

This Whynter portable air conditioner measures just 28 inches at the tallest point, with 17 inches of width and 13.6 inches of depth. This makes it smaller, but it’s also heavier than the Honeywell at 64lbs thanks to its denser, more compact size. Other notable features include the antibacterial ion filter which removes pollutants and germs from the air while you’re cooling down your room, as well as a self-evaporating de-humidifier that makes sure you don’t have to spend your precious vacation days emptying out trays of stillwater every six hours.

If you’re on a budget but still want the best small portable A/C that will get the job done with minimal effort on your part, you can’t go wrong with the Whynter ARC-10WB.

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#3 Pick Haier HPB10XCR – Lightest Small Portable Air Conditioner

Haier HPB10XCR
For the most space-conscious among us, the Haier’s slim profile wins out

Price: $298.00 | Features: 10,000 BTU, ultra-efficient operation, auto-evaporation system

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: The Haier HPB10XCR is the pick for you if portability is the most important feature you’re on the hunt for. 

Last up we come to a model with a brand name that may not be as immediately recognizable to most consumers, but still has the power and portability to back itself up. Heck, it wouldn’t make it onto our best of 2019 list unless it did, right?

The Haier HPB10XCR is far and away both the smallest and lightest portable A/C here, without question. At only 27.5 inches tall at a feather-light 41 pounds (by comparison to the other choices on this list, at least), if you’re only in the market for the smallest and most portable option, you’re going to want to go with the Haier over anything else.

The Haier comes with a 10,000 BTU rating just like the rest, alongside a single-hose system that can cool, fan, or even de-humidify the surrounding environment for up to 24-hours on one timer. While its stats are standard, its small stature and lightweight build are what really set it apart from the pack.

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Key Factors and Features to a Good Small Portable Air Conditioner

Power/BTU Rating

  • Just because these are smaller portable air conditioners doesn’t mean they have to be puny on power though, right?
  • This power is rated in what’s known as “BTUs”. Without gettting technical, in general it’s said that a 10,000 BTU AC can cool upwards of a 350 sq. ft room, but not much more than that.
  • Don’t be afraid to tack on a little weight and size if you need to cool a room larger than that, and you can find plenty of other units up to the task in our best portable A/C list for this year.

Dehumidification

  • Summer months bring two things with them every time: hot air, and swampy, humid weather.
  • Dehumidification features on the best small portable A/C ensures that the air around the unit is cooled efficiently, and all the moisture that passes through it is pulled out to make for the perfectly crisp, dry and cool environment that air conditioner owners crave most.

Ease of Installation

  • Knowing how to set up a portable air conditioner is an important part of the buying process if you haven’t done it before.
  • Before you make your pick, be sure to measure out the window or sliding glass door you plan to install the air conditioner next to to be sure the mounting kit will kit.
  • Some window or door moldings can make it impossible for the kit to create a proper exhaust seal, so know where the A/C is going prior to hitting the purchase button.

Power Saving Options

  • Because these are all only 10,000 BTU units, they’re obviously not going to use as much energy as their 12,000 or 14,000 BTU cousins.
  • That said, this doesn’t mean they’re not still going to make a pretty hefty dent in your monthly electric bill. If possible, find units that offer eco-friendly settings which can disable the unit with timers or temperature detection while you’re away so they never have to run any longer than they have to.
  • This will save money and power in the long run, making it easier on your wallet and the power grid as a whole.

Mistakes to Avoid

Maybe Get a Window Unit Instead: While all these units are convenient for their portability, ultimately if size is your main concern, a window-based model can’t be beat. With window-based A/C, not only is the unit itself significantly smaller and lighter than portable units, half the housing will always sit outside your house to dispose of waste water and siphon in new air.

Go Big if You’ve Got a Big Home: Althought it might be tempting to keep things as tight and neat as possible, these portable A/C units are best for smaller, cramped rooms only. If you’re trying to cool an entire bottom floor or dining room/living room combo with a 10,000 BTU unit, prepare to be sorely underwhelmed since these units are only rated to chill a maximum of 350 sq. ft at a time.

What Else Should You Think About?

Now that you know which units out there made the cut for our best small portable air conditioners and that the Honeywell MN10CESWW takes the cake as #1, what other types are out there that are still worth a mention?

Well, being that it’s 2019, of course, there are plenty of smart home-ready Wi-Fi enabled air conditioners you can take a look at that makes it easy to control your home cooling system from wherever you are out in the world.

Or, if you just want a plain old powerful monster of a portable A/C that can easily cool rooms 500 sq. ft or larger, check out our review of the 14,000 BTU LG LP1415WXRSM (which also has its own Wi-Fi features to boot!),

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Chris Stobing

Chris Stobing is a writer and blogger from the heart of Silicon Valley. Raised around tech from birth, he's had an interest in PC hardware and networking technology for years, and has come to Gadget Review to contribute his knowledge on both. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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