Skip to main contentSkip to footer

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Read our full commerce guidelines here.

Struggling through the heatwave? We’ve found all of the best air conditioning units this summer

Which brand is best for AC units? From De'Longhi to Black+Decker

best air con
Hollie Brotherton
Hollie BrothertonLifestyle & Commerce Senior Writer
Share this:

With temperatures reaching a record 40 degrees celsius in parts of the UK last year and just over 33 this summer, most of us have gone to extreme lengths to keep ourselves cool.

If you've ever resorted to making ice cold ‘hot’ water bottles or covering yourself in freezing towels, it’s probably time to think about ordering an air conditioning unit. Yes, they’re pricey, but heatwaves can be uncomfortable, and with lots of us still working from home they’re a worthy investment.

Thankfully, you can find the most popular brands and models available on Amazon, with quick delivery and many more affordable than you might think. As we're nearing the end of summer, most of them are at their lowest price in months too - a clever investment for next year. To help you choose which is best for you, we’ve searched for the bestsellers with top ratings and reviews. Plus, keep scrolling for some expert tips on how to sleep in the heat.

How we chose the best portable air conditioning units

  • Top-rated: We've only included air con units and coolers that are highly rated on Amazon with glowing reviews from customers.
  • Price: Most units in this edit are now on sale and all of them represent great value for money as you can make use of them for years to come. Plus, many have dehumidifying features for the winter months.
  • Variety: The more powerful ACs come with window kits to remove the hot air from your home, but we've also included some low maintenance options without.
  • Available on Amazon: Every air con unit is available to order from Amazon, so if you need one quickly, we've got you covered.

The best portable air conditioning units to shop now

The De’Longhi air con unit

Delonghi air con 2

Trusted brand De’Longhi has one of its most popular air conditioners available on Amazon. Both an air conditioner and dehumidifier, it cools and dries rooms quickly despite using an eco-friendly gas, which has no greenhouse emissions. It's also super quiet, making it the perfect choice to keep you cool through the night. A window sealing kit comes included.

Top review: "This is a must have if you’re trying to get through UK summers with only a fan. I’ve tried coolings fans and they barely had any effect. This air con works so well and has a light hum compared to other ones I’ve used. It is so worth the money!! Our living room stays very cool and it is very noticeable during these heat waves!"

The Princess Mobile air con unit

Princess air con

This Princess Mobile air con unit has three settings; cooling, dehumidifier and fan, all with adjustable speeds, so you’ll use it far more often than just the hottest days of the year. The castor wheels mean it’s easy to move to wherever it’s most useful, and it comes with two speed settings, plus a timer and scheduling features. 

Top review: "Really pleased with this purchase. Love the fact I can control this from my phone so I can turn it on before I go into my office which can get hot and stuffy. Quite a nice design and an added bonus to add ice packs to the water tank. This is great for anyone looking for an affordable solution to keep cool."

The Black+Decker air con unit

Black decker air con 2

Powerful, with an LED digital display and energy-saving sleep mode, this bestselling air conditioner from Black+Decker comes with a window kit adapter and 1.5 m exhaust pipe for easy installation.

Top review: "This is my third portable air conditioning unit since I first bought one in 2005. It's also easily the best. Cooling is excellent, with the unit easily able to cool a single large room (living room) or three smaller rooms (two bedrooms and a hall). As with all portable air conditioning units, it is somewhat noisy, but it is still probably the quietest I've owned, despite having the highest cooling ability."

Black Decker air cooler

For a more affordable alternative, Black+Decker also has this air cooler for just £79. The low maintenance machine evaporates cool water through the honeycomb filter without the need for a window kit for ventilation, making it ideal for smaller spaces. Simply fill the seven litre water tank with cold water and cooling packs (provided) and let it get to work. It has a 7.5 hour timer, LED display and remote control.

Top review: "Since having this product in my bedroom, I sleep much better as the temperature is kept lovely and cool. The benefit of it being lightweight means I can move it from room to room with ease but, most importantly, gone are the sleepless nights I used to have."

The Avalla air con unit

Avalla air con

Avalla's portable air con unit can be used all year round, setting your desired room temperature as low as 16 degrees during the summer, then used as a dehumidifier during winter and a fan for spring and autumn  Other features include a long reach cable, remote control and touch screen, plus a two-year warranty. It comes complete with a window kit, which includes a 150mm diameter hose (most suited to neatly fit through a sash window) so the hot air from the unit is efficiently removed from your home.

Top review: "For the UK, purchasing air conditioning may seem an extreme measure given the generally unimpressive weather that we tend to experience. Indeed, buying air con might seem over-indulgent and extravagant, BUT given the affordability of the Avalla units we are no longer required to suffer weeks of pain when summer briefly kicks in. The a/c unit is extremely effective at providing genuine temperature change in your hot and stuffy summer rooms. Unlike a rotary fan, this unit does not push the same hot air around the room, it sucks in the hot air and pushes it out of it's (considerable) exhaust, replacing it with genuinely cold air. When you consider that a Dyson fan costs more than one of these it's quite amazing really. I am delighted with my purchase and look forward to more comfortable summers from here on in thanks to the Avalla."

The KGOGO air con unit

KGOGO air conditioner

Thanks to its advanced air compressor, this popular KGOGO air con unit comes in a compact size but is still super efficient. It has cooling, fan and dehumidifying functions, plus multiple reviews say they love that it's fully evaporative, getting rid of water through the exhaust vent rather than having to empty a water reservoir.

Top review: "I've used this type of AC before at my old office, so knew what to expect, only this one had a nice surprise which was no water tank! Usually ACs have a tank to accumulate water and need emptying every few hours, but this one evaporates the condensation out with the hot air, which just seems like common sense! As far as freestanding units go, this one is smaller than most, and it's not too loud when it's running either. Once the compressor kicks in, the air it sends out the front is freezing. Does what it says on the tin."

The mini air cooler

Mini air con

For something smaller and very affordable, this mini air conditioner is ideal. The portable cooler has a three gear wind speed so you can choose from a chill breeze or a cold blast depending on the heat, and it can lower the temperature of your personal space by up to 10 degrees. It comes with a water tank which can be filled with 600ml water or an ice and water mixture. With USB capabilities, it's perfect for a work desk or personal office.

Top review: "This is the best pseudo air conditioner I have used. Just top up the water through the supplied funnel and choose your fan setting speed. Very cold air is quietly blown out and it really works. It won't cool down a whole room quickly but within its proximity of a few yards it has been a fabulous help through the hot weather. Could not do without it in my computer room."

More ways to stay cool this summer...

Expert’s 8 step guide to sleeping in the heat

Kora Habinakova, sleep expert at SleepSeeker, has shared her top tips to help us all get a good night's sleep during the heatwave.

1. Have a warm bath 

Even though it might seem like the opposite of what you should be doing to keep cool, it’s worth taking a warm bath about an hour or two before bedtime as this helps your body temperature to decrease after you leave the bath and your body adapts to the cooler environment. 

2. Freeze your pillowcases 

For extra cooling, freeze your pillowcases in the evening before getting into bed. Another clever hack is to fill a hot water bottle and leave it in the freezer. You can then use it between the sheets like an ice pack before getting into bed. 

3. Avoid exercise before bed 

Avoid doing anything strenuous close to bedtime as this can make it harder for the body to cool down during sleep. However, being active during the day can help reduce stress and boost the amount of time you spend in the deeper/restorative stages of sleep, just aim to finish at least 90 minutes before you head to bed. 

4. Use a fan or cold compress 

A bed fan is best as it provides a more direct flow but any normal fan pointed at your body works well. A simple trick is to place a bowl of ice or bottles of frozen water in front of the fan to cool the air. The most important parts of the body to keep cool while trying to sleep are the head, feet and central body. You can do this by using a wet towel or cloth as a cold compress.

5. Sleep in pyjamas

Wearing pyjamas actually draws sweat away from your body and allows you to keep cooler and more comfortable so it's worth wearing some loose, thin clothing instead of sleeping naked. 

6. Get breathable bedding

Polyester tends to hold heat and is water-resistant, meaning if you sweat due to the heat the sheets could stick against your skin. When it comes to bedding, light-coloured bedding made from natural fibres like cotton and linen offer better breathability.

7. Get the right duvet 

Certain duvets and pillows can trap body heat causing you to feel excessively warm. Look out for summer duvets made of hollow-fibre, which controls your temperature while you sleep. Of course, low-tog duvets of around 4.5 tog are the best option when trying to keep cool. You can now even get dual tog duvets, which have a cool 4.5 tog side and a warm 10.5 tog side, perfect for those couples where one likes it hot and one likes it cold!

8. Keep curtains and blinds shut

It can be tempting in the heat to keep windows and curtains open all day to let air in, but this could actually cause your home to heat up more. Try keeping curtains and blinds closed throughout the day - once the sun sets and temperatures drop you can open them back up if needed for a cooler breeze.

More Shopping

See more