The 10 Best Portable Swamp Coolers

Cooling your home in the summer can get expensive, and cooling your backyard or deck can be even more expensive if you are using a typical fan or air conditioner. But if you live in an area with a relative humidity of less than 60%, you could drastically cut your cooling costs by investing in an evaporative air cooler, also known as a swamp cooler.

Swamp coolers work by evaporating water from a  water tank and forcing it into the air that is pushed through, thus cooling it a few degrees. Swamp coolers require very little energy and can use up to 75% less than central air conditioning units, so they are also better for the environment. Adding to their eco-friendliness, they are able to cool your space without using any of the harmful, ozone-damaging refrigerants that air conditioners do. With these swamp coolers, you’ll have a cost-effective way to cool indoor and outdoor spaces as well as dampen dry air.

Costway Evaporative Air CoolerCostway Evaporative Air Cooler

Starting out our list is this little evaporative cooler from Costway, perfect for use in any room of your home. It is compact enough to fit in just about any space and lightweight enough to be moved from room to room. Not only is it lightweight, weighing only 10 pounds, it also has 4 caster wheels for even easier transporting. A honeycomb-shaped cooling pad is used on the inside of this Costway cooler to ensure the air is being cooled the most that it can be. To even further boost its cooling capabilities, this swamp cooler also features 2 ice-crystal boxes that fit perfectly under the top flap.

If you’re anything like me and you put cleaning off for as long as possible, you’re in luck because maintenance for this swamp cooler is pretty low. All you have to do is fill the spacious 4-liter water tank, freeze and insert the ice-crystal boxes, and occasionally clean the removable filter. Keeping the filter is clean because it’s the part that filters out all the dirt and dust from the air around you and ensures you’re breathing clean air.

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Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Air CoolerHessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Air Cooler

Looking for an evaporative cooler that’s better suited for outdoor use? This stunner of a swamp cooler, from Hessaire, features several bells and whistles without compromising any of the overall performance. Sure, this cooler saves energy and money and easily glides on its casters, but what you’re really going to notice is the cool, steady supply of air streaming from this cooler.

The Hessaire MC37M can cool up to 750 square feet, making it great for outdoor parties, barbeques, or other gatherings. The air from this cooler is able to effectively reach such far distances partly because of the oscillating design of this cooler, and partly because of the XeL50 cooling media. The high-density cooling media allows for more evaporation area than regular density media.

It’s also suited for continuous use for several hours, unlike coolers with smaller water tanks. This swamp cooler has a massive 10.3-gallon water reservoir, but you don’t even have to think about the tank if you choose to take advantage of its direct connect to hose feature for an endless supply of water. Lastly, since this cooler was meant for outdoor use, it only makes sense that it has a UV protective coating to protect it from the sun’s harsh rays.

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SPT SF-614P Evaporative Air Cooler with 3D Cooling PadSPT SF-614P Evaporative Air Cooler with 3D Cooling Pad

The greatness of this evaporative air cooler from Sunpentown lies in its 3D cooling pad, which maximizes the contact between the air and water for greater cooling power. The unique cooling pad has a 3-dimensional weaving pattern, which is treated with special stiffening and wetting agents to maximize water absorption and retention.

The SPT SF-614P seems to be tailor-made for convenience. It can be controlled from a distance, using the included remote control, so you can experiment and find just the right settings without ever having to get up. You can also set a timer for the cooler to turn off, which is great for evenings when you don’t need the cooler on all night. However, when you do need it running, you can rely on the auto swinging louvers of this cooler to evenly disperse cool air far and wide, further adding to the overall convenience.

Of course, one of the great parts of having an evaporative cooler is that they use way less energy than traditional fans and air conditioners. This air cooler uses only 65 watts to operate, which is significantly less than any kind of central air conditioning system and considerably less than most electric fans. Since it’s operating at such low power, it’s probably no surprise that this cooler operates in near silence, so you can turn it on and forget about it.

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NewAir AF-310 Portable Evaporative Air CoolerNewAir AF-310 Portable Evaporative Air Cooler

The NewAir AF-310 is perfect for small rooms or offices and serves various functions as an all-in-one air cooler, humidifier, and purifier. You can easily slip this tower cooler into a corner and rely on it to cool up to 100 square feet of space, providing you with cool, clean air. The NewAir AF-310 has 3 different fan speeds, so you can choose exactly how cool you want your area to be.

But you can give it a chilly boost, regardless of what fan speed it is set at, with the included gel ice pack. The gel ice pack is extremely helpful because it cools the water in the reservoir even further before it is evaporated into the air, meaning you can get colder air without using any more energy. If you don’t want to mess with adjusting the fan speed, there is also a Nature Mode preset. Nature Mode mimics a natural breeze by varying the fan speed, which some people find more pleasant.

Of course, what makes this swamp cooler so special is the fact that it’s so versatile and can be whatever you need it to. In the cold, dry months, it can serve as a humidifier to help stave off dry skin, throat, and lips. Humidifiers can also help ease the symptoms of the flu and common cold and even help with snoring. Air purifiers are also useful year round and can dramatically improve the air quality of your home, especially if you have pets. This evaporative air cooler, as a purifier, can remove dust, pollen, odors, and other irritants from the air and are especially good for people with allergies.

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Hessaire MC37A Portable Evaporative CoolerHessaire MC37A Portable Evaporative Cooler

If you’re looking to cool more than 100 square feet, you’ll need something a little more powerful, like the Hessaire MC37A. The Hessaire MC37A can cool up to 750 square feet, making it perfect for outdoor gatherings or just relaxing outside. You can turn your backdoor patio into a veritable oasis during dry summer months and lounge outside all day.

This swamp cooler is easy to set up and doesn’t take a lot of technical know-how to get the hang of. It’s also easy to maintain because the water level display makes it easy to see exactly how much water is left in the reservoir. For even easier maintenance, you can hook up a hose directly to the float valve and you’ll never have to worry about manually filling the tank.

Although I’ve mainly talked about this swamp cooler as an outdoor accessory, it works just as well indoors and can help save on energy costs. The oscillating louvers ensure every inch of space is filled with cool air. The only downside to this swamp cooler is it really isn’t suitable for humid climates, like the southeastern United States. However, this is standard for evaporative coolers.

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Honeywell CO60PM Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler with FanHoneywell CO60PM Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler with Fan

The Honeywell CO60PM is carefully designed to provide ultimate convenience to the user. To start with, it features thick honeycomb pads on not one, but three sides, so cool air is constantly sent flying in every direction, not just to the left or right. The CO60PM also has an easy to fill ice compartment, which produces even colder air when filled. And if that isn’t convenient enough, you can hook up a hose for all day, unattended cooling. Plus, if you’re inside and can’t connect a hose, the nearly 16-gallon water tank should keep you cool as a cucumber for several hours.

Whether inside or outside, the CO60PM can cool up to 850 square feet and operates at just 65 decibels, which is about as loud as a normal conversation or background music in a coffee shop, making it easy to tune out and just enjoy the breeze.

This Honeywell swamp cooler is built to last and can actually withstand the elements, unlike some coolers which don’t live up to that claim. You don’t have to hesitate to take this cooler outside with you because it is coated with special UV protectant and built to be weatherproof. It’s meant to stand up to even the most demanding conditions, however, if something does go wrong with it, you’re covered by the included 1-year warranty.

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Luma Comfort EC220W Portable Evaporative CoolerLuma Comfort EC220W Portable Evaporative Cooler

If you’re up on the top level of your apartment complex or business office, you know how unbearably hot it can get indoors during the summer; that’s where the Luma Comfort EC220W comes in. The Luma Comfort EC220W cools the air in your home just as well, if not better than a fan, without utilizing any hurtful coolants or synthetic concoctions or even needing a compressor. This augments productivity and keeps your cooling costs low.

The Luma Comfort EC220W is simple to operate and suitable for almost all settings, making it a great option for people of all backgrounds. Whether you are looking to cool and humidify your greenhouse, living room, or back porch, this portable evaporative cooler can help you out. Although the EC220W does not come with a remote control, it’s easy to get exactly what you want from this cooler, with the three knobs on top to control the power, speed, and swing. Best of all, for such an effective, far-reaching cooler, it is very affordable and won’t set you back too much, costing less than $300.

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Portacool PACCY130GA1 Cyclone 130 Portable Evaporative CoolerPortacool PACCY130GA1 Cyclone 130 Portable Evaporative Cooler

If you’re not willing to settle for anything less than the best, then the Portacool Cyclone 130 is what you’re looking for. Although this high-end, two-speed cooler tends to retail for several hundred dollars, it is very effective at cooling large spaces. It features Kuul Comfort evaporative media, which is where the air gets forced over and enriched with cool water vapor. The Cyclone 130 also has a water level indicator, so you can see when the 16-gallon water tank is getting low.

This cooler is probably too big for residential use unless you have a lot of open space in your house, but it is perfect for outdoor use or industrial use. Portacool knows that safety is just as important as functionality, so there are several safety measures in place on the Cyclone 130, including the low-water shut off.

Although the Cyclone 130 isn’t the sleekest looking swamp cooler, it is extremely durable and is backed up by a 1-year warranty on the electrical components and a lifetime warranty on the housing. The Cyclone 130 requires nearly no maintenance and even comes already assembled, so it’s virtually ready to use right out of the box, all you have to do is plug it in and enjoy the breeze.

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Quilo 3-in-1 Quiet Energy Efficient Portable Tower Fan with Evaporative Cooler & HumidifierQuilo 3-in-1 Quiet Energy Efficient Portable Tower Fan with Evaporative Cooler & Humidifier

Although this neat little gadget from Quilo is a fan first, it is also an evaporative cooler, and a good one at that. This tower is perfect for use indoors and uses minimal energy, saving you lots of money in the long run. Built with their special patent-pending motor, the Quilo Quiet minimizes energy consumption, and therefore noise levels, too. This evaporative cooler tower uses less than 8 watts of energy and operates at just 24 decibels, making it the quietest cooler on our list yet. Set it up in any room of your house and get ready for refreshingly cool and perfectly moist air.

The Quilo Quiet is one of the few evaporative coolers that include a water filter, which helps prolong the life of the cooler and improve the quality of your air. The filter prevents hair, pollen, dust, and other particles from getting in the water tank and in your air. Additionally, since this 3-in-1 tower cools and humidifies, it’s a handy tool to have year round and ensures year round comfort. Just remember to open a window when you use this cooler so that the air continues to circulate and not just sit stagnantly.

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Honeywell CL30XC Indoor Portable Evaporative CoolerHoneywell CL30XC Indoor Portable Evaporative Cooler

Another great swamp cooler from Honeywell, the CL30XC has a few key features that the CO60PM lacks. For example, it comes with a remote control for easy operation and is more suitable for smaller, indoor areas than the CO60PM.

The Honeywell CL30XC is a feat of engineering that many swamp coolers just can’t live up to. The active carbon filter in this cooler traps dust and particles and keeps them out of the water tank. The filter doesn’t need to be changed often and can be washed clean for added convenience. You can also easily set the timer for up to 7.5 hours and go about your day without having to pay it any attention. For an even cooler breeze, you can fill the ice compartment with ice, making it so that ice cold water is being evaporated into the air. This also helps eliminate dryness in the atmosphere around you and increases the relative humidity, which works wonders on dry and chapped lips.

Finally, the Honeywell CL30XC is also sleekly designed from top to bottom. From the smooth, compact, silver housing to the easy-to-read LCD display and super strong casters on the bottom, this cooler is very aesthetically pleasing.

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