Holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and is keen on her own home’s climate. Sometimes we think that Carolina owns every single product she writes about – that’s how profound and insightful her reviews always are.
For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may arise during our tests and research.
Last updated: July 27, 2022
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Nobody wants to sit around, feeling hot and sweaty in their own home. Fortunately, evaporative coolers can help with this, cooling down the air around us and providing a more comfortable experience for the whole household.
We’ve reviewed 10 of the best evaporative coolers money can buy today, choosing a range of different options to suit all needs and budgets. These coolers come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from small coolers for studios and small homes to strong and powerful coolers you can use in a large property. Our research concluded that the Honeywell CO60PM was the very best of all, offering powerful cooling over a huge space in a lightweight, compact, and convenient model.
We spent many hours consulting the various features and aspects of the best evaporative coolers in order to recommend only the finest models to you. We looked at features like the fan speed options, which provide more flexibility and versatility in each cooler, to the air flow and cooling coverage, which show how effective the cooler is at cooling down spaces of different sizes in short amounts of time. We also looked at the water reservoir, with larger reservoir coolers offering longer and stronger cooling, as well as the dimensions and weight of each model, choosing both lightweight and more heavy duty options for you to choose between. The comparison table below shows you our findings, followed by detailed reviews of each model and an in-depth buying guide.
More features: three-side cooling, tough exterior, continuous water option
If you’re looking for an evaporative cooler with the best design and most powerful features, look no further than the Honeywell CO60PM. It’s one of the most expensive evaporative coolers around, but it definitely justifies the price tag with its awesome array of features and powerful functionality, able to cool down close to 1,000 square feet of space with an impressive air flow rating of 1,540 cfm and no less than four fan speeds.
Part of what makes this indoor and outdoor evaporative cooler so special is its design. The Honeywell CO60PM is a tri-sided cooler, allowing it to draw in air from multiple angles and work more efficiently. Speaking of efficiency, it’s one of the most energy-efficient coolers around, being made with minimal power consumption in mind. It provides a cool, moist breeze to refresh you on those dry, hot days, ideal for those in the Midwest or other warm and low humidity areas.
What’s more, the Honeywell CO60PM is also highly compact and lightweight, especially when we consider just how powerful it is. Honeywell has successfully managed to put a lot of power under the hood of this cooler, while still keeping it at a great size and weight for easy movement around the home. In short, it’s an almost flawless cooler and it’s relatively quiet too, maxing out at 65 dB but being much quieter on the lower settings.
More features: easy to drain, cooling pad notification, water level display
One of the best evaporative coolers money can buy by far, the Hessaire Products MC61M Mobile Evaporative Cooler comes to us from one of the top brands in the business. Hessaire are industry leaders when it comes to cooling solutions, and the Hessaire Products MC61M Mobile Evaporative Cooler is a real winner in every department, from air flow to cooling coverage, and even ease of use.
It can work both indoors and outdoors, being flawlessly designed to offer superior cooling performance in bedrooms, living rooms, offices, patios, decks, garages, and more. It comes with a 4-position rotary switch to help you adjust between the fan speeds on the fly and features a portable yet powerful design, being relatively easy to move around on its wheels while still packing a real punch in terms of air flow and cooling coverage.
It makes use of high-density XeL50 rigid media with three separate panels, resulting in greater air intake, faster cooling, and more efficient performance overall. In short, the Hessaire Products MC61M Mobile Evaporative Cooler offers 80% more evaporation space compared to regular models, resulting in a more satisfying experience for the user. It comes at quite a high price, but this model gives you that strong level of cooling you need, especially if you live in a very warm and dry place and require constant cooling.
More features: carbon dust air filter, remote control, low water alarm, energy saving timer, adjustable humidification dial & ice compartment
Honeywell has always been one of the best brands in the swamp cooler space, and the Honeywell CO30XE Portable is one of the top models from this manufacturer. Many evaporative coolers struggle to provide much use in outdoor conditions, but the Honeywell CO30XE Portable can work both in interior and exterior environments, giving you the strong cooling you need to enjoy a satisfying experience. It’s perfect for use in places like the south or the Midwest.
Totally weather resistant, the Honeywell CO30XE Portable can sit outside for days on end without suffering any damage at all. It’s a tough, resistant machine and it comes with some super bonus features too, including a remote control for ease of use and even a carbon dust air filter that actually works to clean and purify the air that passes through the cooler, giving you a healthier breathing experience.
The Honeywell CO30XE Portable features reasonably strong airflow, so can cool down spaces quickly, but it only works in small to medium-sized spaces like the living room, the garage, the deck, or a bedroom. It definitely isn’t the best option for the bigger spaces out there, but its alarm and timer features, combined with its lightweight and easy to manoeuvre design really help it to stand out in the competitive cooler marketplace.
Warranty: 2-year warranty on parts, 3 years on the motor and a lifetime on the housing
More features: in-line pressure regulator
If power and performance are what you want above all else, the Cool-Space AVALANCHE-36-VD Swamp Cooler is what you need. This is by far the most powerful evaporative cooler on the market today, offering incredible levels of performance for industrial and commercial use. This evaporative cooler can handle enormous spaces, cooling down massive areas with ease and coming equipped with a gigantic 46-gallon water reservoir.
Maintenance with the Cool-Space AVALANCHE-36-VD Swamp Cooler is minimal and it doesn’t need to be hooked up to a water supply since the reservoir is so huge. It’s also one of the strongest and most resistant coolers around, able to withstand almost anything. The whole body of the Cool-Space AVALANCHE-36-VD Swamp Cooler is thick, UV resistant, rust-proof, and leak-proof too. It offers impeccable strength, giving you total peace of mind and letting you get on with work or daily life as the machine does its job.
The Cool-Space AVALANCHE-36-VD Swamp Cooler also comes with a longer warranty than most of the competition, and its air flow and cooling coverage ratings are off the scale. In short, it’s a super-powerful cooler, but it does come with a few drawbacks. In order to provide all that power, this device has to be quite large and bulky, and it’s incredibly heavy too, especially with the reservoir all filled up.
Warranty: 1-year warranty on the parts and 10 years against leaks due to rust
More features: exclusive MIRROSCOPIC Blower shaft finish process
Next, we come to the Phoenix Manufacturing BW3004. Phoenix Manufacturing is one of the best and most trusted brands in the cooler space, and this device is a dream for both home and commercial use, offering a lot of strength and powerful cooling potential, being easily installed on the window and left to work its magic.
The Phoenix Manufacturing BW3004 requires minimal maintenance and can cool large spaces of up to 500 square feet, making it a nice option for mid-sized homes or large, open-plan spaces. Other variants of this model are also available, providing even more cooling potential at a higher price. One of the best things about the Phoenix Manufacturing BW3004 is just how easy it is to install. You won’t have to worry about spending a long time setting this device up or adjusting it again and again.
It’s simple and seamless, fitted with a durable MIRROSCOPIC polished blower shaft to provide stronger and longer shaft life, and it even comes with a 10-year warranty against leaks, plus a 1-year warranty on parts, so your purchase is totally protected. This evaporative cooler only has two fan speeds, so lacks a little functionality and doesn’t have the same advanced features as other models, but it’s a strong all-round swamp cooler.
Many evaporative coolers are big and bulky, but there are plenty of models out there that are compact, lightweight, and easy to move around. One of the best portable evaporative cooler models you can choose is the NewAir AF-1000W, and it’s also one of the best value options too, available at a super price that simply can’t be beaten.
The NewAir AF-1000W comes in a few different color options, which is a nice bonus and allows you to pick a model that suits your home just right. The black and white models are chic and stylish, and there’s also a red variant for those who prefer to be a little different. Best for indoor spaces, the NewAir AF-1000W works well at low humidity ratings and in dry climates. It can cool spaces of up to 300 square feet and is super energy efficient, not having a huge effect on your utility bills.
Not only that, but this is one of the quietest evaporative coolers you’ll ever use, much more silent when running on top speed than many of its rivals. Of course, it’s not the strongest model around and won’t be able to handle large spaces due to its low power output and cooling coverage, but the NewAir AF-1000W still has plenty of positive points that have made it a popular choice with buyers.
Warranty: 8-year cabinet warranty, 1-year parts warranty
More features: remote included, adjustable air vents, machine balanced blower wheel & permanently lubricated pump
A big and bulky cooler, the Essick Air Window Evaporative Cooler N44W may not be the best-looking device in the world, but it makes up for its rather unappealing aesthetic design with powerful cooling technology and a super-strong, 120V motor that keeps everything ticking over smoothly. It’s one of the best evaporative coolers for commercial use, able to cool spaces of up to 1,100 square feet in total.
It only comes with two fan speed settings, which is a minor flaw when compared to other models with a greater range of options, but it doesn’t take much away from this US-made device. The Essick Air Window Evaporative Cooler N44W has a high price too, but its extended cabinet warranty and super strong air flow really help to justify that price tag and make this a terrific option for larger spaces like garages.
It comes with a remote control for ease of use and is one of the toughest evaporative coolers around. It can last for years and years with only minimal maintenance required, able to cool down your home reliably and consistently. All in all, if you’re looking for the best window fan and evaporative cooler around, prioritizing performance and power as your most important factors, the Essick Air Window Evaporative Cooler N44W is one of the top options you can buy.
Many people worry that evaporative coolers are always expensive, costing hundreds of dollars every time, but the truth is very different. It’s perfectly possible to get a top-quality swamp cooler for around $100, as proven by the COSTWAY Portable Evaporative Air Cooler. This is one of the top budget models on our list. It’s super silent and very compact too. It barely weighs a thing, so you can lift and carry it around with relative ease, and it comes with solid wheels on the base to be wheeled around from one room to another as well.
As well as being highly portable, the COSTWAY Portable Evaporative Air Cooler comes with a remote control for ease of use, plus three different fan speed options for you to choose between. It features impressive air cooling and humidification features, with a 6-liter water tank, timer settings for automatic adjustments, and an easy to use operation panel with all the buttons you need to enjoy total control over your cooler.
On the downside, the COSTWAY Portable Evaporative Air Cooler has a very short warranty, so you’ll have to hope that it doesn’t encounter any faults or failures further down the line, but the low price and strong feature list of this model help to set it apart as a terrific value choice.
More features: dismountable honeycomb filter, water pump protection system
Next up, we come to another of the more affordable entries on our list: the Whirlpool WPEC12GW. Available at a great price and offering terrific value for money, there’s a lot to love about this device. It can cool over 400 square feet of space effortlessly, with an air flow rating of 214 cfm. It’s not the toughest or strongest machine out there, but it gets the job done in relatively small spaces.
The Whirlpool WPEC12GW comes with a water pump protection system and has been designed for use in low humidity areas, operating at peak capacity in spaces with humidity of 60% or less. It features a fully dismountable honeycomb filter too, so it’s easy to take apart if you need to do any repairs or make any adjustments, and maintenance on this cooler is mostly minimal. The reservoir is quite small, however, so refills and replacement pads may be needed more regularly than with a larger device.
The Whirlpool WPEC12GW is a tough and long-lasting swamp cooler, and we have to talk about its aesthetics as well. It’s a sleek, chic, white cooler that really blends into the background nicely, fitting in well in almost any room and never really looking out of place. If you want the benefits of a cooler without the compromise of a bulky, bad-looking device taking up space in your home, this is a great option to choose.
More features: elegant design, energy-saving timer, remote control, ice pack included
Last but not least, we come to the Luma Comfort EC111B. Our Budget Pick for this list, the Luma Comfort EC111B is one of the most affordable evaporative coolers you can buy. It’s the perfect option for those with smaller budgets, as well as people who don’t necessarily need a fancy cooler with lots of features and huge cooling coverage. The Luma Comfort EC111B works well in small spaces.
This cooler won’t be very effective in a big home or a large open plan living area, but it’s ideal for cooling down a single room like a bedroom or office. As a budget model, it doesn’t have the same sorts of features as some of the more expensive options out there, but it still comes complete with a remote control, letting you adjust settings on the fly without needing to actually walk over to the machine and hit the buttons. It comes with a timer feature too, which is a nice bonus at this price point.
Weighing in at only 17 lbs, the Luma Comfort EC111B is a compact, convenient, and lightweight evaporative cooler. It’s not the best swamp evaporative cooler ever made, but it does a very reliable job, performing its functions efficiently and effectively. Its reasonably strong air flow allows it to cool down small spaces very quickly, and it even looks attractive too, with a modern, stylish, black design working well in many contemporary living spaces.
Why are we impressed?
Lightweight and compact
Slick black design
Reasonable air flow
Timer and remote control features add functionality
What negatives must you be aware of?
Basic budget model
Lacks strength in larger spaces
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve seen some of the best evaporative coolers around, it’s time to look at the various features and factors that help you choose the best possible model for you. This evaporative cooler buying guide will tell you all you need to know about shopping for evaporative coolers, complete with an FAQ section, revealing answers to some of the most common questions you might have about evaporative coolers.
Choosing the best evaporative cooler
When shopping for an evaporative cooler, you have to ask yourself a few different questions and consider a list of factors. Some factors might be more important to you than others. For example, if you don’t have too much money to spend on your cooler, you’ll want to find the best value model that fits into your desired price range. Or perhaps if you’re trying to find a cooler for a large home or space, you’ll need to focus on one with a lot of cooling coverage and high fan speed settings to cover all that space, rather than a smaller and weaker model.
Ultimately, choosing the best evaporative cooler is all about analysing your own situation, considering why you want the cooler, how you’re going to be using it, how much you’re willing to spend, and what features matter the most to you.
Maybe you only need a small, budget model like the Luma Comfort EC111B, for example, or perhaps you need a more powerful and feature-filled model that can handle larger spaces and comes with additional options, like the Honeywell CO60PM. Read on to learn about the individual factors and aspects of evaporative coolers.
Voltage essentially tells us the electrical power of an evaporative cooler. In terms of voltage, these devices tend to range from 110 to 120V. An example of a 120V is the Essick Air Window Evaporative Cooler, N44W, which will typically have a stronger output and potential than a lower voltage alternative. Voltage isn’t a hugely important factor when choosing an evaporative cooler, but it’s still worth keeping an eye on this detail when comparing different models.
Every evaporative cooler comes with different fan speed settings. Some may only have a couple of options, while others, like the Hessaire Products MC61M Mobile Evaporative Cooler, will have three different fan speeds, and others may have even more. If you’re trying to find the best rated evaporative cooler, having more fan speeds is always better.
Additional fan speeds give you more flexibility with your cooler, letting you adjust the speed to suit the conditions of the space.
Some coolers will also come with remote controls or automated timer settings to change their fan speeds more easily, giving you even more control and flexibility with your cooler.
The air flow of an evaporative cooler tells us how much air the device can move when set on its top fan speed. This aspect is measured in CFM, which stands for cubic feet per minute. The higher the CFM rating, the move air will be moved by the device. It’s important to note that the CFM of a cooler doesn’t tell the whole story, as various other factors will affect how powerful your cooler really is.
However, a higher air flow is always a good thing and is a strong indicator of an efficient cooler. The Cool-Space AVALANCHE-36-VD Swamp Cooler boasts of air flow rising up to 9,700 CFM on max settings.
This is one of the first factors to think about when buying an evaporative cooler. These coolers aren’t all equal. Some are able to handle huge spaces, while others are best kept in smaller areas and won’t have much of an impact in a large home or open environment. The cooling coverage of an evaporative cooler tells us how much space it can cool down. A device like the Honeywell CO30XE Portable is a good option for a small home or apartment, offering up to 320sqm of coverage, while a cooler like the Hessaire Products MC61M Mobile Evaporative Cooler is able to offer much more coverage and is a better suited fan for a whole house.
The water reservoir of a swamp cooler tells us how much water it can hold.
The more water in the machine, the greater the cooling and the longer it will last before needing to be opened up for refilling.
Evaporative coolers tend to be quite big and bulky devices. They’re heavy and hard to move around for many people, so it’s important to think about their size, their weight, where you’re going to install them and how often, if at all, you plan on moving them around. Measuring up at under 17 lbs, the Whirlpool WPEC12GW is the most compact and convenient evaporative coolers. It’s highly lightweight and easy to move around, which can be very helpful for those who plan on using the cooler in different rooms around the home.
If you’re hesitating between two different evaporative coolers, it might be a good idea to consider any extra features each model has in order to help you decide on the best one. Some of the cheaper coolers out there won’t come with any extra features, but some come with a lot of useful bonuses like a remote control to help you operate the cooler and adjust fan speeds from a distance or timers that let you configure the cooler to change speed or turn itself off after a set amount of time. The Luma Comfort EC111B, for example, comes with a timer and remote control, while the Honeywell CO30XE Portable comes with a special filter for removing dust from the air.
Evaporative coolers aren’t always cheap. They can cost anywhere from one hundred dollars up to almost a thousand. Before shopping for your next swamp cooler, it’s important to consider your budget and calculate how much you’re willing to spend on the device. More expensive coolers will typically be more efficient and effective overall, having additional features, stronger fan speeds, and better cooling coverage than others, so if you want the best performance, you may have to pay a little extra. However, it’s perfectly possible to find great value evaporative coolers like the NewAir AF-1000W.
Evaporative coolers, as the name implies, work by cooling the air through the evaporation of water. Water has to absorb a lot of heat in order to evaporate, so this process can be used very effectively in order to lower the surrounding air temperature. It uses a lot less energy than refrigeration and the concept of evaporative cooling has been used for thousands of years. Put simply, an evaporative cooler will make use of water-soaked pads to cool down the air. The fan pulls hot air into the unit, which then flows over the pads to evaporate the water, which effectively absorbs the heat as it passes through.
Many people prefer an evaporative cooler over other devices, for example, cooling fans, due to their energy efficiency and affordability, but they do require a little bit more regular maintenance than a classic air conditioning unit. You’ll need to give them a clean on a regular basis and change the cooling pads too. Keeping your cooler clean is very important if you want to help it last for years without any problems, and cleaning should be done on a monthly basis, at least. Simply use a soft, damp cloth to clean the surface of the cooler. You’ll also need to check the pads every now and then, changing them once a year or more often, depending on the climate and usage of your cooler.
This really depends on the model of swamp cooler you buy. Some models are much noisier than others. It also depends on where you place the machine and how sensitive you are to noise. Some people barely notice the sound of an evaporative cooler, while others can be more easily bothered by it. The best evaporative coolers can produce around 40-50 decibels of sound, but other models can go up to 70 or even 80. For reference, a vacuum cleaner can typically produce over 70 decibels of sound, while many regular air conditioning units can range from as low as 40 up to 80 decibels or more.
The whole concept of an evaporative cooler is to make use of water to cool down the air. Without water, the cooler is basically just doing the same job as a simple fan, so it loses almost all of its efficiency and cooling potential. It is still possible for evaporative coolers to keep running when there is no water left in the tank, however, while others will automatically shut down or show some kind of notification to let you know that water needs to be added. This is why it’s important to practice regular cooler maintenance and replace the pads over time to keep your cooler in perfect condition.
Overall, our best-rated evaporative cooler is the Honeywell CO60PM. Compact, powerful, and versatile, this cooler has it all. It gives you everything you could desire in a cooler, working wonderfully in any environment and providing powerful instant cooling whenever you need it.
The second best swamp cooler is the Hessaire Products MC61M Mobile Evaporative Cooler. Built to last and offering stronger technology than leading alternatives, this cooler is so fast and powerful, you’ll feel the air temperature drop almost instantly, even on the warmest and sunniest of days.
Third on our list of best evaporative coolers is the Honeywell CO30XE Portable. One of the few coolers that can be used reliably both indoors and outdoors, this device is perfect for parking out on the patio or deck, while feeling equally at home in a bedroom or living room.