Your Guide to the Best Portable Air Conditioners
The Design Home is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
A portable air conditioner allows you to enjoy a touch of central air conditioning with the convenience of an old-fashioned window unit. Let’s talk cooler nights without the need to sacrifice a full window.
Unlike old-time air conditioners, the modern mainstream floor units sold today use large hoses to vent air while providing very concentrated, effective cooling to spaces spanning between 150 square feet of space and 600 square feet of space.
The benefit of upgrading to a portable air conditioner from a window unit is that you don’t have to deal with the hassle of shoving a clunky box-style air conditioner inside your window frame. What’s more, these units can actually roll from room to room quite easily.
In addition to being more attractive, portable air conditioners are also more efficient. You also don’t necessarily need standard-sized windows to use them the way you do with box units.
Of course, the biggest benefit of all is that you’ll be making a one-time investment to enjoy more cooling power per BTU.
In top place as the quietest portable air conditioner with the best performance is the Black + Decker BPACT12WT Portable Air Conditioner. This AC unit breezes by the competition for its ability to cool a large space so quietly. However, there are many other contenders that fit the bill for cooling down your home without raising your energy bill.
Here’s the list of the quietest portable air conditioner units out there if you’re shopping for a bedroom air conditioner, sunroom air conditioner, office air conditioner or all-around cooling sensation that you can move from room to room.
The Top Eight Quietest Portable Air Conditioners
1. Black + Decker BPACT12WT Portable Air Conditioner
Known for offering the cutting edge in large appliances, BLACK+DECKER outdoes itself with this 12000-BTU portable air conditioner. It’s a fast and efficient pick for small rooms up to 200 square feet.
This unit definitely makes the list if you’re looking for an air conditioner that can be trotted into a dorm, cabin or camper on hot days. This is an easy contender for the title of quietest 12000 BTU portable air conditioner.
Reviewers who have used this unit in their homes and offices praise it for its quiet operation, easy installation and stability. A special 51-decibel sleep mode makes this a very subtle and still cooling companion on hot nights.
For those looking for something that gives the feel of a smart home AC system, this unit’s simple remote control with 24-hour timer provides control over room temps without the need to learn a system.
- Top-mounted LED display.
- Filter is very easy to clean.
- Three-in-one functionality for cooling, ventilation and dehumidifying all in one machine.
- Works with nearly any double-hung or sliding window.
- Low, medium and high settings.
- Self-evaporating operation with zero buckets or drain pans.
- Weighs 71 pounds.
- Dimensions are 17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 (inches).
2. Honeywell 10000 BTU Smart WiFi Portable Air Conditioner
Using Wi-Fi and voice command, you can instruct this portable air conditioner on exactly what temperature to cool things down to in a room!
With a capacity to cool down 450 square feet of space, it does a good job of mimicking an integrated “smart AC” system. Honeywell really packs in lots of performance features that add peace of mind. The list includes thermal overload protection, dual dust filtration, ETL-certified performance and ISTA-6 certification.
The reason why this Honeywell doesn’t rank first on the list is that not everyone is willing to pay the higher price tag on this unit for the extra tech features. However, the 52-decibel performance of this unit does make it as close to a silent air conditioner as you’ll get in this price range.
Reviewers are quick to comment that this unit is much quieter and cooler than a floor fan. Many remarked that they had no trouble hearing the television when this unit was on.
Lots of reviewers also felt pampered by the voice-command option that allows them to adjust the temperature from the other side of the room.
- Smart Wi-Fi control.
- Built-in dehumidifier.
- Dust filtration.
- Three fan speeds.
- Energy-saving features.
- Compatible with Alexa.
- Weighs 60 pounds.
- Dimensions are 13.6 x 16.3 x 28 (inches).
3. Whynter ARC-148MS 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
With a sound level below 55 decibels, this 14000-BTU air conditioner is an unassuming unit with serious cooling power.
A 24-hour programmable timer makes it easy to cost-effectively manage your cooling settings. Additionally, the unit will restart after a power outage. That means you won’t wake up sweating if your power happens to flicker in the middle of the night.
One reviewer calls this unit “the best portable A/C money can buy.” Reviewers cheer across the board for this unit’s ability to deliver consistent temps for long stretches. Its low noise levels at high speeds also earn it points.
While the unit’s clips and hose earn praise for being sturdy and convenience, some reviewers dislike the fact that the window vent included in the set stays in place on your window even when the unit is put away for the season.
- Four operational modes for auto, cool, dehumidify and fan.
- Continuous, manual draining.
- Easy to set up.
- Includes casters for easy mobility.
- Rotating vent and “follow me” function create custom cooling effects for each room.
- Weighs 73 pounds.
- Dimensions are 15.75 x 18.5 x 30.25 (inches).
4. Black + Decker BPACT08WT
Making a second appearance on the list, Black + Decker wows again with what many reviewers consider to be quietest 8000 BTU portable air conditioner.
This unit is capable of cooling up to 150 square feet of space in a snap. While its size makes it an ideal bedroom air conditioner, it can also hold its own when cooling everything from a cabin to a utility area.
Like larger Black + Decker models, this unit features a 24-hour timer and top-mounted LED display. The sound on this ultra-compact unit gets down to 51 decibels when in sleep mode. It’s a good option if you’re looking for something less expensive than the Black + Decker BPACT12WT with similar performance.
Reviewers applaud this unit for keeping things “nice and chilly.” A few people have found the hose to be a bit unwieldy. However, improvising with a little duct tape seems to do the trick!
- Filter is easy to clean
- Cools, ventilates and dehumidifies.
- Easy to install with nearly all windows.
- Low, medium and high settings.
- No buckets or drain pipes.
- Weighs 52.9 pounds.
- Dimensions are 16.5 x 11.5 x 26 (inches).
5. Shinco 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
Another competitor for the title of quietest 8000 BTU portable air conditioner, this Shinco unit quietly cools rooms up to 200 square feet with a max decibel level of 55.
An LED display and remote control make it easy to control this unit from bed.
Reviewers applaud the way this unit puts out so little water while offering consistent cooling. While 55 decibels makes this unit louder than the comparable 8000-BTU Black + Decker model, most reviewers had no problem at all falling asleep with this bedroom air conditioner.
Most reviewers only noted slight “humming” with this unit cranked to full power. The general consensus is that this is an affordable unit that does what it should.
- Bucket-free, self-evaporating function.
- Easy assembly and installation.
- Dehumidifier function.
- Two fan speeds.
- Self-evaporative system means you can infrequently empty the tank.
- Weighs 55 pounds.
- Dimensions are 14.7 x 13.5 x 26.9 (inches).
6. De’Longhi Pinguino 4-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner, Heater, Dehumidifier and Fan
Delivering whisper-quiet performance, this deluxe De’Longhi portable air conditioner can cool larger spaces up to 500 square feet.
This is actually a four-season unit that heats and cools. This air conditioner can be controlled by your phone, tablet or smart speakers via the De’Longhi PAC app for a true “smart home” feel. It’s built with proprietary “real feel” technology that balances temperature and humidity for optimal air comfort.
At its highest speed, this powerful unit only reaches 56 to 57 decibels.
Reviewers praise this unit for its superior cooling ability. It’s also great for larger rooms or open layouts. Of course, the prime performance comes with a price tag that’s essentially double what you’ll pay for other comparable models that don’t have the built-in heat or “smart” features.
- Cools up to 500 square feet of space.
- BioSilver filter to prevent mold growth.
- No-drip technology.
- Quiet for the power level.
- Weighs 83.8 pounds.
- Dimensions are 34.5 x 19 x 17 (inches).
7. SereneLife SLPAC105W Compact Freestanding Portable Air Conditioner
This 10000-BTU portable unit connects to Wi-Fi for a very user-friendly, high-tech way to control the temp in your room. It easily cools up to 300 square feet of space.
While its noise level of 57 decibels keeps it from winning the tile of the quietest portable air conditioner, this model still offer great performance without being disruptive. However, one reviewer did comment that it sounded a bit like “an airplane idling in your bedroom.”
A few other reviews found that the materials provided for installation weren’t ideal for creating a good seal.
- Automatic swing mode with moving wind vent for max air circulation.
- Three operating modes.
- Built-in dehumidifier.
- Sleek, unobtrusive design.
- Weighs 55 pounds.
- Dimensions are 27.6 x 12.8 x 11.6 (inches).
8. Frigidaire FFPA0822U1 Portable Air Conditioner
A decent “budget” pick, this Frigidaire 8000-BTU air conditioner can cool up to 350 square feet of space. It offers four fan speeds, four operating modes and easy-select controls. If your power flickers off in the night, this unit will start back up to resume seamless cooling!
While some reviewers found this to be an ultra-quiet gem of a bedroom air conditioner, others disliked the noise created by the compressor turning off when the unit reaches its temperature threshold.
While this definitely isn’t a silent air conditioner, it’s a good value for the price. It can be installed and moved quite easily!
- Uses reusable, washable filters.
- “Dirty filter” indicator light protects your air quality.
- Maintains the temperature presets via an built-in thermostat.
- Remote control.
- Weighs 63 pounds.
- Dimensions are 15.16 x 18.75 x 27.91 (inches).
Quietest Portable Air Conditioners Comparison Table
|Black + Decker BPACT12WT
|300 square feet
|17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 inches
|Honeywell 10000 BTU
|450 square feet
|13.6 x 16.3 x 28 inches
|450 square feet
|15.75 x 18.5 x 30.25 inches
|Black + Decker BPACT08WT
|150 square feet
|16.5 x 11.5 x 26 inches
|Shinco 8000 BTU
|200 square feet
|14.7 x 13.5 x 26.9 inches
|De’Longhi Pinguino 4-in-1
|500 square feet
|34.5 x 19 x 17 inches
|300 square feet
|27.6 x 12.8 x 11.6 inches
|350 square feet
|15.16 x 18.75 x 27.91 inches
Final Thoughts on Picking the Quietest Portable Air Conditioner
Choosing a unit that offers a low decibel rating with plenty of power is the goal. All eight of the highly rated picks on our list get as close to whisper-quiet as possible while offering enough to power to quickly and consistently cool a good-sized room.
Air purifiers are great to add to your room in addition to an air conditioner to keep the air pure and fresh. If you’re looking to explore other products to keep your home quiet and running optimally, consider this list of silent keyboards from Optimal Pad.
Quietest Portable Air Conditioners FAQs
What makes and air conditioner quiet?
Manufacturers design sound blankets to make air conditioners less noisy. These are usually covered with a vinyl face and wrapped around the air conditioner’s compressor.
Does the level of sound affect the air conditioner’s performance?
No, it does not. The noise that the air conditioner’s make aren’t connected with the level of coolness or performance of the AC itself.
Can I check the air conditioner before buying it?
If you want to check the air conditioner, you should go check out the reviews section on Amazon. Reviewers post and share their experience with the product and that can help you choose the right one for you.