Best Portable Evaporative Cooler

Are you searching for the best portable evaporative cooler?

Evaporative coolers, also know as a swamp cooler, are excellent choices for cooling down if a standard air conditioning unit is not desirable or possible.

With that in mind, I have reviewed the most popular portable evaporative coolers available and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.

Check out the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for my best portable evaporative cooler picks, or read on for my full review:

  1.  Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Air Cooler 
  2.  Honeywell 525 CFM Indoor Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler
  3.  Honeywell 500 CFM Indoor Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler
  4.  Honeywell CI30XCWW Indoor Evaporative Air Cooler
  5.  Whirlpool WPEC12GW 214 CFM Indoor Air Cooler

There are a few things in particular that you will want to consider to ensure you make a good selection. 

First you need to consider the amount of space that you have to cool. 

Some evaporative coolers are able to cool much larger spaces than others are. 

This means that they will take more power and that you will probably have to keep a closer eye on the water level, but you will be able to easily cool larger spaces.

Another thing to consider is the humidity level where you live. 

Evaporative coolers work better in lower humidity levels while others work better in areas with higher levels. 

If you buy the wrong kind of cooler for your particular climate, then you will struggle to get the results you are aiming for. 

Some evaporative coolers work only indoors or outdoors. Some can be used both outside and inside a space, as long as there is ample airflow. 

Understanding what your needs are will help you find the right equipment for your personal use.

Benefits of Having a New Portable Evaporative Cooler

Besides the obvious benefit of helping you cool down your space and being more comfortable during hot summer months, evaporative coolers offer a number of other benefits.

One of the reasons why I love evaporative coolers is because they are very energy efficient. 

They generally cost much less than traditional air conditioners to run, which makes them a great option if you are on a budget. 

Additionally, they can be used outside without you having to worry about cooling down the whole neighborhood.

Another great reason to use an evaporative cooler is because they add moisture to your home. 

If you live in a hot and dry location and suffer from dry skin and decreased home moisture levels, then you will want to consider this type of cooler. 

Evaporative coolers differ from traditional air conditioners because they actually add moisture to your home, while AC units remove moisture.

Because evaporative coolers don’t produce any emissions, they are very good for the environment. 

Additionally, they don’t require any refrigerant or other coolants and don’t release any toxic chemicals into the air. 

What to Look For

First you need to look at models appropriate for you based on room size and climate type. Then make your final selection based on some beneficial options.

One great feature that some coolers have is a remote control. 

This makes it much easier to program your unit and turn it off and on without having to go to the unit itself. 

While this may seem like a small feature, I find that having a remote control allows me to better operate my evaporative cooler and ensure that I get the most out of it.

Another feature to consider is the size of the water tank and how easily you can access it. 

Larger tanks obviously won’t need to be filled as often as smaller ones, but they can make the cooler heavier to move. 

I think that it’s also a good idea to consider how easily you will be able to clean the tank to prevent mold and mildew from growing.

Finally, if you want to make sure that you are as cool as possible, look for an evaporative cooler that has an ice compartment. 

You can easily put ice into the compartment and enjoy cooler air faster than waiting for the unit to run on water alone.

How to Use Your Portable Evaporative Cooler

Every evaporative cooler is going to have differing instructions on how to set it up and to use it, but they all operate in the same basic way. 

The cooler will blow air across a damp surface. 

This will cause the air to cool down as it absorbs the moisture. 

The cool air is then blown out through the vents to lower the temperature in your home. 

For best use, you need to make sure that you keep water in the cooler at all times when it is running and also take time to clean out the filters. 

Additionally, make sure to only run the cooler in locations with plenty of airflow.

With all that out of the way, let’s get to my recommendations for the best evaporative coolers.

Portable Evaporative Cooler

Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Air Cooler

This compact cooler offers all of the power of larger evaporative coolers, but is easy to move to new locations in the home and isn’t so large that it takes up too much room. With three media panels to allow for increased air-intake area and an oscillating design to provide maximum cooling, this air cooler works well in outdoor areas or rooms with open windows or doors. Not for use in enclosed spaces but can handle a 750 square foot space.


        Has two fan speeds and air swing delivery system

        Contains 10.3 gallon water reservoir

        Cools up to 750 square feet

        Four casters make it easy to move it to a new location


        Does not work well in high humidity

Honeywell 525 CFM Indoor Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler with Fan

Perfect for spaces up to 320 square feet, this small and portable evaporative cooler has an energy saving timer that will allow you to preprogram your unit for up to 7.5 hours, as well as a low water alarm. With plenty of room in the ice compartment and a detachable 7.9 gallon water tank, it’s easy to start cooling down your space quickly. Additionally, it features an adjustable humidification knob so that you can customize its use, remote control, and washable dust filter.


        Can be used in indoor and outdoor locations

        Great for use as humidifier during winter months

        Features a remote control for easy use


        Cooling pads do not always fully saturate

         Can be difficult to clean the cooling element and frame

Honeywell 500 CFM Indoor Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler and Fan

At just under 26 pounds, this is a great option for a portable evaporative cooler that you can use outside to quickly cool down your living spaces in areas with lower humidity. The 6.6 gallon water tank is easy to fill up, and even when the cooler is full of water, you can easily move it around your home or deck. With an adjustable humidification dial and durable chassis, you won’t have to worry about your unit being damaged outside or not meeting your needs. Comes with remote control and washable dust filter.


        Lower power consumption of only 235W

        Washable dust filter is easy to remove and to clean

        Helps to reduce air temperature via water evaporation


        Does not work well in enclosed spaces

Honeywell Indoor Evaporative Air Cooler

Thanks to the design of the air vents, you’ll be able to feel the cool breeze from this unit. The ice compartment loads from the top, which means that you can quickly put in some ice to cool your home down in a hurry. With three humidity levels to choose from, you can combat dry air and skin in your home, and the washable carbon filter is easy to clean and prevents pollutants, dust, and odors from being spread throughout your home.


        Detachable water tank is very easy to clean

        Vents are set to blow cooler air at body level

        Easy to convert to adjustable humidifier via the LCD control panel


        All Settings fairly loud

        Does not roll very easily

Whirlpool WPEC12GW 214 CFM Indoor Air Cooler

This evaporative cooler is a great option for areas that have dry heat without a lot of humidity. It doesn’t cost very much to run, since it uses so little energy, and easily cools down rooms that are up to 425 square feet. Thanks to the three fan speeds and the automatic louvers, cool air will be spread evenly throughout the room so that everyone near the unit will be as comfortable as possible.


        Features water pump protection system

        Low power consumption of just 110W

        Designed to be used in open indoor areas



If you really want to have a lot of control over your evaporative cooler and are looking for a unit that will cool your area quickly without any hassle, then I recommend the Honeywell 525 CFM Indoor Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler. I love that this unit works indoors and outdoors, comes with a remote, and can be used to add moisture to your air during cooler winter months without making your room too cold. Additionally, with an ice compartment, low water alarm, and timer, this evaporative cooler is easy to set up and to use and does a great job of cooling down smaller spaces. 

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