The 6 Best Portable Air Conditioners of 2023


Our pick

This portable AC’s powerful inverter compressor and its secondary role as a heater help it dial in a precise comfort level quietly, effectively, and efficiently for most of the year.

The Midea Duo MAP14HS1TBL delivers better cooling performance than other portable ACs while using less energy and making less noise, thanks in part to its variable-speed inverter compressor and its hose-in-hose design. In our tests, it was good at distributing the cooled air, never leaving more than a 1-degree temperature difference across the room.

The Duo MAP14HS1TBL offers all of the standard smart-home capabilities, as well, including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, and the smartphone app and the included remote offer even greater options for custom control.

Its built-in heat pump shifts from cooling to heating to maintain equilibrium at whatever temperature you’ve set, so you can use it for climate control in your home year-round instead of just during the summer.

Runner-up

Just as quiet as our top pick, this version costs less, has a little less cooling power, and does not include a heater.

The Midea Duo MAP12S1TBL is a slightly smaller version of our top pick that offers all the same amenities, minus the heat pump. It’s technically less efficient than our top pick because of the way that portable AC efficiency is calculated, but it has the same inverter compressor and dual-hose setup, and it performs nearly as well.

Also great

This cooling and heating AC is not an inverter model, but it’s just as powerful as our top pick, and it spreads the air more evenly around the room.

The Frigidaire FHPH142AC1 impressed us not only with its ability to maintain a steady chill throughout the room within one-half of a degree but also with its surprisingly low-volume performance.

Although it doesn’t have the same efficiency as an inverter model, this single-hose Frigidaire AC is just as powerful and nearly as quiet.

This Frigidaire model also offers heating capabilities for the cooler months. The window-panel kit isn’t quite as robust as those of competitors, however, and that made the installation process a little more frustrating in our tests.

Also great

This portable AC has an efficient variable-speed compressor, a built-in hose for easier setup, and a convenient storage pocket—but it lacks a heating mode.

If the Midea Duo models are unavailable, the single-hose LG LP1419IVSM is another option for a portable AC with an efficient variable-speed, inverter-powered compressor.

Like our runner-up, it has an impressively simple setup process and lacks heating capabilities, but it’s also slightly more powerful than our runner-up.

This LG model is also the most self-contained portable air conditioner we’ve tested, with a built-in hose and storage compartments for the window panels and remote that make it easy to pack up and roll away for the winter.

Budget pick

This popular model matches our other picks in cooling performance but feels cheaper—it has chintzy buttons and lacks conveniences such as cord storage.

The popular, affordable Black+Decker BPACT14WT delivers where it counts—in cooling performance—better than anything else in its price range. But it’s a little rough around the edges compared with our other picks: Its operation is louder, its controls are clunkier, and it lacks the nice details we like about some other models.

Even so, it gets the job done, and it’s a fine choice if you need a portable AC at something closer to a window-AC price.

Also great

This battery-powered portable AC offers a variety of charging options so you can stay comfortable in any situation, though it isn’t as powerful as our other picks.

The EcoFlow Wave 2 Portable Air Conditioner is the rare portable AC that’s truly portable, with a built-in battery that can provide up to 8 hours of heating or cooling (plus you can run it on fan mode for even longer). It doesn’t need to be vented out the window either, making it a great option for tents, RVs, and semi-enclosed spaces like a seasonal patio. The EcoFlow isn’t quite as powerful as our other picks, so it won’t make the entire room comfortable—but if you aim at a few individual people, it can work wonders.



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