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Best Affordable Air Coolers To Beat The Heat With

Geralyne Ong

Geralyne Ong

Last updated 07 June, 2021

I think I speak on behalf of at least 75% of those who are WFH when I say that Singapore’s weather isn’t for the faint-hearted. We’ve definitely taken the centralised air-conditioning system in our offices for granted. 

Every spending situation is unique. SingSaver assembles the 'Best For' list, so you can decide what’s best for you.

Let’s be honest, Singapore’s weather is excruciatingly warm. 

There have been one too many incidents where I would be working at my desk with my fan on only to realise that I’ve perspired so much my arms have been ‘glued’ to the table, or where the back of my knees are stickier than a Post-it pad and I’ve left detailed thigh prints on my chair seat. The struggle to keep cool is real.

Recently, a friend (who had grown tired of my incessant whining) suggested that I purchase a mini air cooler. Skeptical as I was, I decided to try it anyway because it was on offer and the heat was really bothering me. I’m proud to say that it has been about a week since I started using it and it has blown me away. My afternoons are much cooler and I don’t perspire as much during the day. 

So, if you find yourself nodding up till this point or have been considering an air cooler for some time, this article’s for you. 

From the differences between an air cooler and air conditioner, to the perks of having an air cooler and the best ones to spend your money on, this is your comprehensive guide to surviving the heat in Singapore like a champ. 

Last updated on 7 June 2021. Prices of air coolers are subject to change without prior notice.

What is an air cooler?

Think of an air cooler as a fan and air conditioner hybrid, which helps cool the room quickly, uses less electricity than an air conditioner, is portable and cost-efficient. This 2-in-1 cooling machine works by blowing air through a water-soaked pad or mesh to produce cooler air.

Air cooler versus air conditioner

Aren’t air coolers and air conditioners the same? No. Although they may serve the same purpose, they operate differently and offer different features. 

AttributeAir coolersAir conditioners
How it cools a roomWith a fancy evaporation fan that works by blowing air through a water-soaked pad to produce cooler and more humid airSucks humid and hot air, then passes it through a chain of chiller pipes followed by a dehumidifier, before blowing out now dry and cooled air 
PriceFrom $21.90From $989 for a single-unit system
(Source: Gain City)
Cooling efficiencyMedium, able to bring a room’s temperature down by approximately five degrees CelsiusHigh, able to bring a room’s temperature down by more than 10 degrees Celsius
Type of airHumidDry
Settings and modesPreset controlsMore detailed and customisable controls
InstallationNo installation neededProfessional help is needed for installation and piping works
MaintenanceMinimal maintenance needed, can be performed without any professional helpProfessional help is needed to clean and maintain an air conditioning system
Energy usageLowMedium to high
Cost to upkeepAffordableMore expensive

Perks of owning an air cooler

  1. No additional startup cost needed as air coolers do not require built-in piping or wiring.
  2. Replacement is more affordable in the event your air cooler breaks down and is beyond repair.
  3. Affordable — an appropriately-sized air cooler for a bedroom can be found for just $109.
  4. Low maintenance cost — no additional cleaning or maintenance required. 

What’s there not to like? 

Best affordable air coolers from $21.90

Source: Shopee

OEM, 3-in-1 mini air cooler

Price: From $21.90
Water tank capacity: 300ml
Best for: Desk-use and small rooms

With hundreds of positive reviews, you can’t go wrong with this desk cooler buddy that produces cool air at speeds of up to 5m/s. Unlike some older models, this air cooler promises to operate so silently (less than 50 decibels) that it wouldn’t wake a sleeping baby. 

Apart from keeping you cool, it also works as a negative-ion air purifier and nightlight (seven-colour LED ambient light).

Earn cashback and enjoy platform exclusive credit card discounts when you charge your air cooler to the right card. Apply for one with SingSaver today and get rewarded with cash or attractive prizes!*

*Rewards may change at any time. Terms and conditions apply.

Source: Shopee

Xiaomi Microhoo, 3-in-1 mini air cooler

Price: $35.90
Water tank capacity: 1L
Best for: Desk-use and small rooms

Is there any device that Xiaomi doesn’t offer? 

For a little under $40 (including delivery), you could get this 99-speed air cooler that brings down the temperature of your room while purifying the air at the same time. With triple the water storage capacity as the OEM mini air cooler, depending on fan speed, a full tank of water can provide up to five hours of cool air.

The Xiaomi Microhoo is also lightweight and powered by a type-c port. This means you can enjoy cool air on-the-go (e.g. beach, park, picnics, coffee shop, etc.) as long as you have a portable battery charger and cable with you.

Source: PowerPac

iFan (PowerPac), evaporative fan with ioniser

Price: $109.00
Water tank capacity: 6L
Best for: Bedrooms and living rooms

Featuring three-speed settings (wind speeds of up to 6.3m/s), three operating modes (normal, natural and sleep), oscillation control, dust filter and built-in ioniser, this iFan air cooler is powerful enough to efficiently cool your bedroom or living room. 

Looking for something a little less clunky? For $20 more, you could get a sleeker iFan air cooler that features a larger water tank, stronger wind speeds and a remote control.

Source: Lazada

Mistral, air cooler with ioniser

Price: $228.00
Water tank capacity: 15L
Best for: Bedrooms and living rooms

Keeping your cool will be a breeze with this compact air cooler from Mistral. Similar to the other air coolers on this list, it offers features like three-speed settings, two operating modes (normal and sleep), built-in ioniser, low-water alarm, oscillation and sleep timer (up to 24 hours) — all of which can be controlled by its handy remote control.

Source: Lazada

SONA, evaporative air cooler

Price: $248.00
Water tank capacity: 30L
Best for: Bedrooms and living rooms

Boasting a large water tank and twin turbines for stronger winds, this evaporative air cooler from SONA is built to cool you down in a jiffy. It is packed with all the features you’ve come to expect from air coolers: three-speed settings, three operating modes (normal, natural and sleep), oscillation, built-in ioniser and remote control. 

In addition, it comes with two ice packs that you can freeze and add into your water tank to help cool a room faster on extremely hot days. Pretty nifty, right?

Source: Lazada

BUOU Blizzard, industrial air cooler

Price: $386.00
Water tank capacity: 45L
Best for: Larger living rooms and open spaces (e.g. backyard or driveway)

You read that right: I’ve found an industrial air cooler online that isn’t ridiculously priced! Perfect for large family gatherings or house parties (when COVID-19 safety restrictions are lifted, of course) that spill over to the backyard or driveway. 

Features include three-speed settings, oscillation, in-built dust filter, quiet operation (approximately 75 decibels) and a large water tank that can provide up to 12 hours of cool air. Like most of the other larger air coolers on this list, the BUOU Blizzard also comes with a handy remote control.

Summary of air coolers

BrandModelPriceWater tank capacityWarranty on motor (months)Best for
OEM3-In-1 mini air cooler, upgraded$21.90300ml3Desk-use and small rooms
Xiaomi Microhoo3-In-1 mini air cooler$35.901L1Desk-use and small rooms
iFan (PowerPac)Evaporative fan with ioniser, IF7310$109.006L60Bedrooms and living rooms
MistralAir cooler with ioniser, MAC1600R$228.0015L24Bedrooms and living rooms
SONAEvaporative air cooler, SAC6331$248.0030L24Bedrooms and living rooms
BUOU BlizzardIndustrial air cooler, BO-8000$389.0045L12Larger living rooms and open spaces (e.g. backyard, patio or driveway)

Finding it difficult to decide on an air cooler? I was too, but I think the easiest way is to figure out your intention before setting a budget. For example, my intention was to keep myself cool during working hours, which is why I decided on a small desk air cooler instead of a larger one that can cool an entire room or house. 

Budget-wise, I would recommend that you only hit the purchase button when there is a massive sale, e.g. shopping events on Shopee or Lazada. This way, you’ll not only get access to special discounts, but also additional vouchers, and if you stack your discounts right (including credit card), you could enjoy additional savings of 10% or more. 

Earn cashback that can help offset your next DIY home improvement project when you charge your air cooler on the right card. Apply for one with SingSaver today and get rewarded with cash or attractive prizes!*

*Rewards may change at any time. Terms and conditions apply. 

Read these next: 
8 Best Air Purifiers In Singapore For Your Room, Home Or Small Office
7 Work-From-Home Essentials For All Budgets
7 Affordable Home Gym Essentials For Small Spaces
Latest NTUC Fairprice Promo Codes In Singapore
Latest iHerb Promo Codes In Singapore

A lover of gin and all things Nigella Lawson, Geralyne’s constantly trying to adult like a pro. She spends most of her leisure time serving fur-babies and doing as many mountain climbers as she possibly can.


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