Best Air Coolers

The Best Air Coolers UK (2024)

Last updated: 31.10.2023 Reading time: 12 Min.

The weather is finally starting to heat up in the UK, and so are our bedrooms.

Lying awake all night in the sweltering heat is hardly how we want to spend our summer.

Thankfully, there are plenty of amazing air coolers on the market to keep you comfortable all summer long.

And don’t worry, they are at a much lower price point than the infamous Dyson air cooler.

In this article, we take a look at some of the best air coolers in the UK and the technology behind them.

woman lying on sofa in heat
Compact Design

Honeywell Portable 3 in 1 Air Cooler 10L

The Honeywell Air Cooler is equipped with a cooler, fan and humidifier.
  • 330 m³/h air flow rate
  • 10 litre water tank
  • Remote control included

 

Tell me more about the Honeywell Air Cooler

The Honeywell Air Cooler offers a 3-in-1 functionality that combines evaporative cooling, a fan, and humidification.

It’s also the quietest of our air cooler recommendations at 47 dB. 

This product boasts a powerful airflow of 330 m³/h, ensuring consistent cool air circulation throughout a smaller space.

Its energy-efficient performance is complemented by a power consumption of only 120 watts, allowing for cost-effective operation without compromising cooling capacity.

This cooler comes with a water tank capacity of 10 litres and a carbon filter to trap dust floating around your home. 

Reasons to buy

Lightweight for easy transport 

Very quiet (47 dB)

3-in-1 functionality

Reasons to avoid

Water needs to be changed regularly to prevent stagnation 

Value For Money

Symphony Diet 3D 20i Evaporative Air Cooler

The Symphony Diet 3D 20i Evaporative Air Cooler offers a cost-effective cooling solution.
  • 960 m³/h air flow rate
  • 20 litre tank 
  • 60 dB noise level 

 

Tell me more about the Symphony Evaporative Air Cooler

The Symphony Evaporative Air Cooler has multiple advanced features that distinguish it from other air coolers on the market. 

For example, this cooler features honeycomb pads to maximise the cooling effect by effectively absorbing water and facilitating evaporation. 

It even has an empty water tank alarm to let you know when it’s time to refill. 

Furthermore, the Symphony Air Cooler uses innovative i-Pure technology to prevent air pollutants from entering your home. 

It cleans the air using five filters, including a bacteria filter, smell filter, dust filter, allergy filter, and wash filter. 

In fact, it is the first air-cooling device to combine evaporative cooling with this kind of technology. 

Reasons to buy

Includes a remote control 

Removes pollutants from the home 

Alerts you when it's time to refill 

Reasons to avoid

Noisiest of all our recommendations 

Luxury Option

Vybra Vybra Multi Air Purifier

The Vybra Multi Air Purifier aims to make indoor air quality comfortable and safe.
  • 1350 m³/h air flow rate 
  • 80-degree oscillation & 9 air speeds
  • Remote control, Amazon Alexa or app 

 

Tell me more about the Vybra Multi Air Purifier

The Vybra 3-in-1 is an air purifier, cooler and heater.

It uses UVC air sterilisation technology to eliminate bacteria, germs, and viruses from the air in your room. 

The app provides real-time data on the air quality in your room, allowing you to adjust the settings accordingly. 

The device is ideal for people with allergies or respiratory problems as it can remove harmful pollutants from the air.

The Vybra 3-in-1 is described as a ‘cooling fan’ instead of an evaporative cooler, so it doesn't use a water tank like other air coolers. 

Reasons to buy

Purifies, cools & heats in one

Great for allergies 

Customers are impressed with the overall quality 

Reasons to avoid

More expensive than some other options 

Sleep Hero Favourite

Pro Breeze 4-in-1 Air Cooler 5L

A 4-in-1 air cooler with an ice compartment, LED display and automatic oscillation.
  • 276 m³/h air flow rate 
  • 5.5 litres
  • Easy-roll wheels

 

Tell me more about the Pro Breeze 4-in-1 Air Cooler 5L

The Pro Breeze 4-in-1 Air Cooler is a popular choice on Amazon, with over 1,000 reviews. 

It includes a detachable 5.5-litre water tank with the option to include two ice packs to elevate the evaporative cooling effects.

This device comes with four different settings, including fan only, air cooler, natural mode and night mode.

This ice air cooler has an airflow rate of 276 m³/h and a power consumption of 110 watts, making it one of the most economical air cooling solutions on the market. 

It also has easy-roll wheels for manoeuvrability so that you can transport it from room to room without much hassle!

Reasons to buy

Customers say it's quiet 

4 modes & 3 speeds 

Easy to move 

Reasons to avoid

Mixed reviews about temperature capabilities 

What is an air cooler?

Before you start your search for the best air cooler UK, you need to understand exactly what you’re looking for.

Air coolers, also known as room coolers, swamp coolers or evaporative coolers, work on the principle of evaporative cooling. 💦

Unlike traditional air con machines that use chemical refrigerants to cool the air, air coolers rely solely on water evaporation.

Air coolers generally consist of a water tank, a fan, and a wet pad.

How does an air cooler work?

Air coolers work on a pretty straightforward cooling system.

how an air cooler works
The inside of an air cooler.

The cool air is produced by drawing warm ambient air through a water-soaked pad, often with a honeycomb pattern.

Honeycomb pads are made from cellulose with water retention compartments so they can quickly transform hot outside air into cool inside air.

The water evaporates as the air passes through the wet pad, reducing the air temperature.

The cooled air is then blown out into the room with the help of a fan. ❄️

How to use an air cooler

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your new cooling solution.

Place the cooler in a well-ventilated area

Air coolers draw in warm air and pass it over water-soaked pads or ice packs to cool the air. 🧊

The cooled air is then blown back into the room by a fan.

Without proper ventilation, the cooled air produced by the device won't be able to circulate effectively, and the cooling effect will be limited.

house with air blowing through
A breezy open window can do just the trick!

Placing the air fan cooler near an open window or door or in an area with good ventilation ensures a constant flow of fresh air into the room, maximising the cooling effect. 🍃

Turning on your air cooler

Most air coolers are fairly straightforward to operate.

Fill the tank with cold water, turn on the unit and choose your desired speed. 🚰

water jug refilling air cooler
Refilling is super easy if you have a water jug on hand.

You could even add a few ice cubes from the freezer to make the water tank extra cold.

The machine will begin to circulate cold air around the room, gradually lowering the room's temperature to a comfortable level.

You could even switch on the air cooler a few hours before bedtime so it’s cool by the time you settle in for the night.

And don’t worry, you can sleep with an air cooler turned on all night.

Just remember to regularly refill the water tank to maintain the cooling effect.

How often should I change the water in an air cooler?

You should change the water in your cooler every day or every other day, depending on the frequency of use.

This will help prevent the growth of bacteria and mould, which can lead to unpleasant odours and health risks. 🦠

Be sure to also clean the unit regularly, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Is it okay to sleep with an air cooler on?

Yes, it is safe to sleep with an air cooler on. 💤

A bedroom air cooler can make a much more comfortable temperature for sleeping.

Man sleeping on the bed with a thermometer
Many people find it easier to sleep with the cool air circulating in the room.

Just be sure to keep the cooler at a safe distance from your bed and clean the unit regularly to prevent dust or mould accumulation.

Do air coolers cause damp?

They do not cause dampness unless they are used in a poorly ventilated or humid environment.

Air coolers add moisture to the air, which can be helpful if you are sensitive to dry environments [1].

Dry air can cause headaches, nosebleeds, chapped skin and much more.

Your air cooler could solve two problems in one as a cooling solution and a humidifier.

However, if the room is already humid, the added moisture can make the air feel muggy and uncomfortable. 🥵

Should I use water or ice in my air cooler?

When it comes to how to use an air cooler with water, you just need to fill the water tank to the recommended level.

The machine has a cooling pad that absorbs water, and as air passes through it, the water evaporates, providing a cooling effect. ❄️

If you want to learn how to use an air cooler with ice, you will need to find an air cooler with an ice compartment or ice blocks, like the Pro Breeze 4-in-1.

BUY PRO BREEZE 4-IN-1 AIR COOLER£ 149.99

Alternatively, adding a few ice cubes to the water tank can significantly lower the air temperature, especially in hot and dry climates. 🌴

Who are air coolers suitable for?

Find out whether an air cooler is suitable for you and your lifestyle.

Those looking for an affordable cooling solution

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly cooling solution, an air cooler might be just the ticket.

They are much cheaper than air conditioners and other cooling solutions.

People looking for a quick and easy cooling device

While they can’t compete with the cooling capacity of air conditioning, an air cooler requires far less effort.

And, of course, they are ideal for hot summer days when you need some refreshing, ice-cold relief in your bedroom or home office.

Man lying in bed in summer
An air cooler could save you from hot summer nights.

People looking for a portable option

Air coolers offer mobility, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking for a light breeze on their skin while working at their desk, relaxing on the couch, or sleeping in bed. 🌬️

Eco-conscious individuals

Air coolers are far better for the environment than air conditioning units.

They use evaporative cooling to lower your space's temperature - just water, a fan and some wet pads. 🧊

In comparison, air conditioners use chemical refrigerants known to damage the ozone layer [2]and contribute to climate change! 😲

Who are air coolers not suitable for?

While air coolers are an excellent cooling solution for many people, they may not suit everyone.

Those in super hot climates

If you’re looking for a cooling solution for your holiday home in the Bahamas, air coolers may not be the best fit. ⛱️

In these cases, a full air conditioning system is better equipped to provide adequate relief from the heat.

woman opening curtains in sun
An air cooler can’t compete with super hot climates.

People with respiratory problems

Additionally, people with respiratory issues [3] may find that air coolers exacerbate their symptoms, as these units tend to circulate air, distributing allergens or irritants. 🫁

Those after the ultimate cooling solution

If you prioritise maximum cooling power over low costs and flexibility, you may be better served by a full-fledged air conditioning system. 💸

It's always best to consider your individual needs and circumstances before investing in any cooling solution.

How do air coolers compare to other cooling devices?

We took a deep dive into how air coolers compare to the most popular cooling solutions on the market.

Air cooler vs air conditioner

Air coolers and air conditioners differ in operation and cooling capacity.

While air coolers add cooler air to the room through evaporation, air conditioners (AC) extract heat from the air using chemical refrigerants, releasing cooled air back into the room.

As a result, a small air conditioning unit for your bedroom is more effective at reducing the temperature quickly and effectively.

For example, a 12000 BTU air conditioner unit can lower the temperature [4] by up to 20 degrees.

However, chemical refrigerants used in air conditioning systems, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are known to be potent greenhouse gases that can contribute to climate change and damage the ozone layer. 🌳

When these refrigerants are released into the atmosphere, they can cause significant harm to the environment and human health.

Evaporative coolers don’t use these chemical refrigerants, making them much better for the environment and your carbon footprint.

benefits of air coolers
Some air coolers even have air purification capabilities to keep your home bacteria and dust free!

Air conditioning units also come with greater installation effort and higher acquisition and usage costs.

These prices are much higher than air coolers or fans, reflecting the difference in efficiency.

A cheap portable air conditioner is likely less effective and may not be worth the installation hassle.

If you’re looking for a budget option, an air cooler will likely be more effective in lowering your home's temperature and environmental impact.

Here’s a quick overview of the main differences between air coolers and air conditioners.

Air coolers Air conditioners
Cost £ ££ - ££££
Environmental impact Use evaporative cooling, consisting of a fan, water, and wet pads Use chemical refrigerants and potent greenhouse gases known to harm the environment
Power consumption Between 150 - 300 watts per hour Between 3000 - 3500 watts per hour
Portability Most air coolers come with wheels to move around. Small desktop options are also available Smaller portable AC units are available

Is a fan better than an air cooler?

Fans circulate the air in the room, providing a cooling effect on the skin but not actually lowering the air temperature.

They offer a simple and budget-friendly option for those seeking a cooling effect on the skin.

woman with ice packs on face
There are plenty of cooling solutions available, even air cooler ice packs can help!

However, even a fan with an ice compartment or bucket of ice in front of it can not compare to an air cooler or aircon unit at home.

Air coolers provide a more powerful and sustainable solution for reducing room temperature through evaporation.

Air cooler UK buying advice: It all comes down to this

Using an air cooler is a simple and effective way to cool a room on hot days. 🌤️

Here are a few things to consider when purchasing an air cooler.

Air flow rate and cooling capacity

Generally, an air cooler with a higher air flow rate will have a stronger cooling capacity. 🙌

But you guessed it - a higher airflow rate often comes at a higher price point and may be out of budget.

For a portable air cooler fan, we recommend looking for an air cooler with an airflow rate of over 200 m³/h, such as the Pro Breeze 4-in-1 Air Cooler.

BUY PRO BREEZE 4-IN-1 AIR COOLER£ 149.99

However, larger coolers can reach an airflow rate of up to 2000 m³/h with superior cooling effects.

The Symphony Diet 3D 20i Evaporative Air Cooler is a good in-between with an airflow rate of 960 m³/h and multiple advanced features.

BUY SYMPHONY DIET 20i EVAPORATIVE AIR COOLER£ 138

However, if you are looking for a lower air cooler price point, you may have to look for a lower air flow rate in a more basic model.

Here are some coolers at a more affordable price point:

  • Beldray Air Cooler EH3193V2: This Argos air cooler is affordable and comes with two 300ml water tanks, so you’re not constantly refilling.
  • Black + Decker Air Cooler Manual 3-in-1: With an airflow rate of 234 m³/h, this is the perfect small room air cooler for a great price.
  • JML Air Cooler Chillmax: If you're looking for an Asda air cooler, check out this cheap air cooler cube with up to 10 hours per fill.

Find an air cooler that works for your home and budget to stay cool this summer!

Water tank

An air cooler with a larger water tank won’t need to be refilled so frequently, making it more convenient for you. 🚰

You can purchase a cooler with a water tank of 20 litres at a great price, such as the Symphony Diet 3D 20i Air Cooler.

BUY SYMPHONY DIET 20i EVAPORATIVE AIR COOLER£ 138

Make sure the water tank can be easily opened, removed and cleaned without too much hassle.

There’s no point in purchasing an air cooler that is complicated to clean and refill.

Keep it simple with an easy-to-use system. 👍

Noise

If you intend to use your cooler at night, make sure to consider the sound of your machine before purchasing it. 🎧

Check out customer reviews and try it at home to see how much noise the air cooler makes.

Man in bed with hands over ears
You don’t want to be kept up at night by a noisy air cooler.

You can also check the manufacturer's specifications for noise levels to ensure the unit is not too loud. 📚

The Honeywell 3-in-1 is the quietest air cooler of our recommendations!

BUY HONEYWELL 3-IN-1 AIR COOLER£ 125.95

Power consumption

With the current energy crisis, it’s important to think about how much energy your device will use.

On average, an air cooler uses 100 to 200 watts of electricity [5] per hour of continuous use. 💡

Before purchasing your cooler, make sure to calculate the wattage with your current energy rate.

That way, you can get an idea of how much it will cost to run every day and whether you can afford it.

Just remember that every cooling solution has a different power consumption, and you might find some air coolers cost more than this estimate.

Handling, stages and functions

Before purchasing your device, check for the number of speed settings and special features like oscillation, night mode, timer function, LED display, and control via remote control or smartphone app. 📱

For example, the Vybra 3-in-1 comes with numerous features, such as 80-degree oscillation and smart home compatibility.

BUY VYBRA 3-IN-1 SYSTEM£ 168

These advanced features make this product stand out from other air coolers on the market and enhance its functionality.

air cooler powered by remote control
Change your air cooler settings with the click of a button.

Always read the customer reviews of these features and make sure they function correctly.

Portability

If you plan on moving your air cooler fan from one room to another, choose a small air cooler model with wheels or castors for easy transportation and a lightweight design. 🛒

There are plenty of mini air coolers on the market that will fit your requirements, such as the Vybra 3 in 1.

BUY VYBRA 3-IN-1 SYSTEM£ 168

You could even purchase a portable cooler to take to work on a hot day and place it on your desk.

So, when finding the best portable air cooler, you need to find something lightweight, small and easy to move around.

Delivery conditions

There’s no point ordering an air cooler for the summer if it arrives three months too late.

Every retailer has a different set of delivery conditions, so it’s important to check out the fine print before ordering your air cooler.

You could even head into a local store to check out the products in person!

How to clean your air cooler

Every air cooler comes with its own manual on how to clean the different parts.

However, as a general guideline, we recommend focusing on three areas: the wet pads, water tank and filter.

Honeycomb pads

You should clean your air cooler pads at least every week and replace them entirely once a year.

Here is a quick overview of how to clean your air cooler honey pads:

  1. Turn off and unplug the air cooler.
  2. Remove the front panel or access cover to access the honeycomb pads.
  3. Gently remove the pads from the cooler.
  4. Rinse the honeycomb pads under running water to remove dust and dirt. You may use a soft brush to scrub any stubborn dirt gently.
  5. If the pads are heavily soiled, soak them in a mixture of mild detergent and water for about 15 minutes.
  6. Rinse the pads thoroughly to remove any detergent residue.
  7. Allow the pads to dry completely before reinstalling them.

You can follow the same process for regular air cooler pads without the honeycomb pattern.

Water tank

Learning how to clean the air cooler water tank is important as it can become quite slimy after just a few days. 🦠

Follow these instructions:

  1. Ensure the air cooler is turned off and unplugged.
  2. Locate the water tank and detach it from the unit (if applicable).
  3. Empty any remaining water from the tank and discard it.
  4. Fill the tank with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent.
  5. Use a soft brush or cloth to scrub the interior of the tank, including the walls and bottom, to remove any residue or deposits.
  6. Rinse the tank thoroughly with clean water to remove any detergent residue.
  7. Allow the tank to dry completely before reattaching it to the air cooler.

Even if your water air cooler has a water supply connecter, you should remove the tank every few days for cleaning.

Filter

Your air cooler filter will collect dust and debris over the summer months. ☀️

Don’t worry, you can quickly clean it with these steps:

  1. Turn off and unplug the air cooler.
  2. Locate the filter compartment, usually at the back or side of the unit.
  3. Remove the filter from the compartment.
  4. If the filter is washable, rinse it under running water to remove dust and debris. Use a soft brush if needed.
  5. If the filter is not washable, replace it with a new one according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  6. Allow the filter to dry completely before reinstalling it.

Make sure to clean your filter at least once a month to keep your air cooler in good condition.

So, do you need an air cooler this summer?

Air coolers are effective cooling solutions without the price tag of an air conditioning unit.

They are portable, compact and powerful devices that can provide some relief from the summer heatwaves here in the UK.

Check out our recommendations and find the air cooler that works best for your home and lifestyle.

Our best air coolers UK:

Frequently asked questions

  • How to build an evaporative air cooler


    A homemade air cooler will be less effective than a full air cooling system designed with advanced technology. 

    However, building your own evaporative air cooler is a good place to start in a pinch. 

    Firstly, you need a fan to draw air into the unit and a housing structure using materials like wood or plastic to enclose the fan and other components. 

    Place a water tank inside the housing that can be filled with water. 

    Attach a water pump to circulate the water from the tank to a cooling pad or honeycomb filter. 

    This pad should be positioned in front of the fan. 

    As the fan draws air through the wet pad, evaporation occurs, cooling the air. 

    Finally, ensure proper ventilation for the cooled air to circulate in the desired space.

  • Can I use an air cooler in a closed room?


    Using an air cooler in a closed room can have limited effectiveness. 

    Air coolers evaporate water to cool the air, requiring proper air circulation and ventilation. 

    In a closed room, the cool air produced by the cooler may not be able to escape, leading to increased humidity and reduced cooling efficiency. 

    If you still choose to use an air cooler in a closed room, it's crucial to provide some ventilation by partially opening windows or using exhaust fans to allow for air exchange. 

    However, it is generally recommended to use air coolers in well-ventilated or open spaces for optimal performance.

  • How can I increase the cooling efficiency of my air cooler?


    You can take a few steps to increase your air cooler's cooling efficiency.

    Place the cooler in a well-ventilated area near an open window or doorway to help expel the humid air produced by the cooler.

    You could also put the cooler near a cross breeze or fan for additional ventilation. 

    Make sure to regularly clean and maintain the cooling pads or filters to prevent clogging and maintain optimal airflow. 

    Equally, adding ice to the water tank or using the ice compartment, if available, can further enhance cooling. 

  • How can I keep my air cooler from smelling?


    To keep your air cooler from smelling, cleaning and maintaining it regularly is essential.

    Scroll up to see our full guide with instructions on how to clean your air cooler. 

    You should also ensure the air cooler has enough ventilation to prevent stagnant air and avoid putting any essential oils into the water tank.

  • What is the difference between monobloc and split air conditioners?


    Monoblock and split air conditioners have a few differences in operation and installation. 

    Monoblock indoor air con units are either fixed or mobile air conditioners that transport warm air out of the living space through an exhaust hose. 💨

    In contrast, split units have an indoor and an outdoor unit that work together.

    The heat exchanger in the indoor unit heats the refrigerant, and the compressor in the outdoor unit performs the actual cooling. 🔄

    Split air conditioners require complex installation and have a higher price, but they provide a stronger cooling effect and are much quieter than monobloc air con units for home use.

  • Where can I buy air coolers?


    • Aircon Centre: If you’re still unsure which Air Cooler to buy, this site has every air cooler you could ever want, with detailed product descriptions and fair prices. 
    • Amazon: If you have Amazon Prime already, why not order your air cooler here and get free delivery? 
    • Appliances Direct: This company installs and tests your air cooler with delivery, and they even recycle and tidy up the packaging for you.
  • References

George arkley image

George Arkley

Content Writer

I’m always the first person to try the latest sleep hack - whether it’s drinking coffee or counting sheep. Now, I get to write about the latest sleep gadgets, mattresses and much more in a bid to help you find the perfect night’s sleep.

Was this article helpful?
Please fill out
Yes
No

Great! Do you have any questions or feedback? We'd love to hear from you.

What would have made it better?

You may also be interested in:

    Yes, please!
    No, thank you. Take me to the UK site.

    We have an affiliate relationship with some manufacturers, where we receive a commission on sales if you click over from our site. This does not affect the purchasing price. In contrast: By using our discount codes, you'll get the best deal possible.