The Best Evaporative Cooler for Hot Summer Days and Nights - Backyard Boss
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The Best Evaporative Cooler for Hot Summer Days and Nights

Evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, are an excellent alternative to air conditioners, ceiling fans, and expensive central air units. They work on a simple scientific principle called evaporative cooling, hence the name. When hot or warm air from your home is brought into the cooler, it is rapidly cooled by water and damp pads before being spit back out into your house.

In this piece, we discuss five of our top picks for the very best evaporative cooler of 2021. We also discuss what exactly it is that you should be paying attention to when you are shopping for the right unit to keep your home cool.

Backyard Boss Top 5 Best Evaporative Coolers for Summer 2021

Honeywell TC10PEN Evaporative Cooler - The Best Evaporative Cooler for Hot Summer Days and NightsHoneywell TC10PEN Evaporative Cooler
  • Size: 11.5 x 11.6 x 29.6 inches
  • Power: 145 watts
  • Modes: 3
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Breezewell 3-in-1 Evaporative Cooler - The Best Evaporative Cooler for Hot Summer Days and NightsBreezewell 3-in-1 Evaporative Cooler
  • Size: 11 x 10 x 22 inches
  • Power: 110-120 volts
  • Modes: 3
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Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Cooler - The Best Evaporative Cooler for Hot Summer Days and NightsHessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Cooler
  • Size: 37 x 17 x 24 inches
  • Power: 110-120 volts
  • Modes: 3
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Comfyhome 2-in-1 AC and Evaporaitve Cooler - The Best Evaporative Cooler for Hot Summer Days and NightsComfyhome 2-in-1 AC and Evaporaitve Cooler
  • Size: 35.6 x 14.75 x 10.75 inches
  • Power: 120 volts
  • Modes: 4
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Hessaire MC18M Portable Evaporative Cooler - The Best Evaporative Cooler for Hot Summer Days and NightsHessaire MC18M Portable Evaporative Cooler
  • Size: 28 x 10 x 20
  • Power: 85 watts
  • Modes: 5
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Why Trust Us

I have learned more about evaporative “swamp” coolers over the past couple of weeks than I ever expected to. A handful of well-researched articles later, I feel like a practical expert. I can teach you exactly how they work, as well as how to build one. I can even share with you top-secret methods for making your swamp cooler colder than normal.

In this article, we’ll stick with this year’s five best evaporative coolers, as well as discuss what exactly to look for in the best one for you.

Best Overall

Honeywell TC10PEN Evaporative Cooler
    The Honeywell TC10PEN is one of the most currently popular evaporative coolers on the market with homeowners. It's sleek, effective, and easy to use.



What We Like: This user-friendly evaporative cooler is produced by one of the most trusted names in the industry, and it is loaded with extra features.

The Honeywell TC10PEN is a tower-style evaporative cooler designed for efficiently cooling a few hundred square feet of space. The unit features a 3-in-1 setup, giving you the choice of fan, cooler, or humidifier. The cooler comes with some advanced features as well, including a low water alarm, timer, and additional settings. Honeywell produces the replacement pads you’ll need for this cooler.

Who Should Buy It: If you are looking for an excellent entry-level evaporative cooler that comes with all the bells and whistles, this could be the unit for you.

Best Portable

Breezewell 3-In-1 Portable Evaporative Cooler
    Breezewell's 3-in-1 Evaporative Cooler is one for the books, with multiple modes and wind speeds, and a compact energy-saving design, it is hard to beat.



What We Like: The strength and mobility of this unit are far higher than most coolers. It has a large but lightweight body for superior cooling and heavy-duty wheels for ease of use and portability.

The Breezewell 3-in-1 Portable Evaporative Cooler, with its 3-in-1 design, works as a cooler, fan, and humidifier as you see fit. There are also extra settings for fan speeds and more, making it highly customizable. Even more, it works on a 360-swivel wheel and 65-degree oscillation for even better cooling action. The unit could be perfect for a bedroom, living room, kitchen, or small office.

Who Should Buy It: If you’re looking for a high-quality unit that will keep a room or two cool, at home or at the office, with high mobility, look no further than this cooler from Breezewell.

Best With a Large Tank

Hessaire MC37M Evaporative Cooler
    Hessaires MC37M Portable Evaporative Cooler is a heavy-duty unit designed with cooling larger areas in mind.



What We Like: The larger-than-average tank on this bad boy makes it the perfect choice for those looking for one of the biggest and best non-roof-mounted evaporative coolers out there.

A genuine heavy-duty construction and extra-large water tank make the Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Cooler one of the best options on the market for those seeking a solution for a large area such as multiple rooms, garage, or an office. The 10.3-gallon tank lasts longer and keeps things cooler than units with smaller tanks. In addition, the cooler has multiple modes, settings, and uses specially designed pads for even more effective cooling of those big spaces.

Who Should Buy It: If you have a significant area to cool, the MC37M Evaporative Cooler may be the best choice for you and your home or office.

Best for Small Rooms

Comfyhome 2-In-1 AC and Evaporative Cooler
    This easy to use cooler has a sleek and intuitive bladeless design that will keep you cool during the heat.



What We Like: For small rooms, the Comfyhome 2-in-1 AC and Evaporative Cooler is the way to go with its intuitive and powerful bladeless design.

When it comes to cooling small spaces, such as a breezeway, bedrooms, bathrooms, and closed-in porches, patios, and terraces, this futuristic-looking cooler from Comfyhome is our top pick, hands down. With oscillation, multiple modes and wind speeds, and all high-end components, there are few evaporative coolers or small ACs that can compare.

Who Should Buy It: If you simply need to keep a small area cool during the hottest times of the year, such as a bedroom, for example, you can’t go wrong with the Comfyhome 2-in-1.

Best for Outdoors

Hessaire MC18M Portable Evaporative Cooler
    If you're after a heavy-duty, but highly portable evaporative cooling unit, the Hessaire MC18M could be the one for you.



What We Like: This unit is made to keep you cool, outdoors, during the warmest parts of the year. Further, it’s genuinely built to last.

The HEssaire MC18M is one of the heaviest-duty units in the industry, as far as mobile coolers go. This one isn’t as large as the MC37M, but it is otherwise just as capable. It comes with several cooling modes and fan options, heavy-duty construction, and wheels. Further, you can choose from manually filling the water tank or connecting it to a hose and switching over to continuous fill mode.

Who Should Buy It: If you’re trying to keep cool on the porch or balcony this summer, the MC18M could very well be your new best friend.

How to Choose an Evaporative or Swamp Cooler

Image credits: Hessaire via Amazon

Now that we’ve looked at some of the very best units this year’s market has to offer, let’s go over some of the most important factors to consider as you search for the right swamp cooler for you and your specific cooling needs.


The first factor to take into consideration when shopping for the right evaporative cooler is the size of the unit. If you are shopping for a cooler for a single room, a standard evaporative cooler with a one-gallon tank is more than enough. On the other hand, if you are going to be cooling an entire house, or a much larger area than a single room, you want a cooler with a tank as close to ten gallons as possible.


An often overlooked aspect of evaporative coolers is what sort of power they run on. Sure, most models run on good old electricity, but some are 110 Volts, some are 120 Volts, and the largest units (the ones that mount on the roof) may even need to be hardwired. That means you should double-check the power supply before purchasing any given unit, including what sort of plug-in it comes with.


Just about every evaporative cooler out there requires a pad of some sort or another. Some models work with universal pads, some require brand and model-specific pads. With DIY units, towels may even work in a pinch. Be sure that you know what type of pads your new cooler requires before buying, and make sure that they are easily obtainable. Otherwise, you may do better with a unit that you can find replacement pads for with little hassle.

Settings and Features

Depending on how basic or advanced you want your swamp cooler to be, the amounts and type of settings and features is a crucial aspect to pay attention to while shopping. If you just want the basics, you don’t want to pay for all the bells and whistles. Likewise, if you do happen to want the advanced features, like timers, low water indicators, and more, you’ll need to pay a bit more than the average joe.

Cost and Warranty

Based on all of the above, and then some, the cost of any given evaporative cooler varies widely. Entry-level models cost around a hundred dollars while more advanced units run well up into the hundreds. Additionally, regardless of the price you pay, you should go with a cooler that comes with a warranty, even if you are buying a basic model with few features. That said, the more expensive and higher quality the product is, the better the warranty tends to be.

How We Picked

Coming up with a list of the best evaporative coolers for our audience required a great deal of research and patience, as the market is a broad one. Our hands were full, sorting through all of the potential coolers and thoroughly looking over the details of each one.

We looked at the quality of components, availability of cooling pads, general design, overall functionality, and more. After weeding through a dozen of the top units currently available, and comparing them side-by-side, we were able to review and recommend each one of the final five coolers that made the list.

We’re confident that no matter what your cooling needs are, you’ll find a suitable evaporative cooler option here in our guide.

Choosing the Best Evaporative Cooler for You

Selecting the right evaporative cooler for you and your home doesn’t have to be a wild goose chase, despite the number of products on the market. Armed with the knowledge of what to look for in the best unit for you, and the suggestions from above, hopefully, your decision is a quick and easy one.

Our top pick for the best evaporative cooler is the Honeywell TC10PEN Evaporative Cooler. The unit is created by one of the best names in the business, and it really seems to get the job done. That said, if you have a larger space to cool, or are looking for an outdoor cooler, we suggest one of the Hessaire coolers from our list.