Keep in mind that you MUST have a window or some other way to vent a portable air conditioner to the outside in order to use a portable air conditioner. If you don't, we suggest you head on over to our fan report to find a great choice to keep you comfortable.
If you do, and you are looking for a portable AC for a small bedroom, we saw some good feedback for the 8,000 BTU LG Electronics LP0814WNR (Est. $280). It's best for a very small space of less than 200 square feet -- about a 12 by 15 foot room, but with the trend toward smaller and smaller apartments in some cities, there might be a big market for this little AC unit.
The LG LP0814WNR takes the top spot in one professional roundup, although they don't recommend it (because they don't give Recommended status to any portable air conditioners). But if a portable air conditioner is your only choice, this is probably the one you can rely on the most. It gets just Fair ratings for comfort (which is the ability to reach and maintain the set temperature) and earns a Good rating for noise on both low and high speeds.
Owners are mostly happy with the LG LP0814WNR and it gets average ratings on retail sites -- better than most portables, but not as good as we see with other types of air conditioners. Most say that it works fine, but a number of users say that it's crucial to be sure that the hot air vent is well-sealed where it joins to the window so that all of the hot air vents to the outside. Others point out that this is for a very small room, and that you will be happier if you pay attention to buying the proper size. Most also say it's not very loud, or that the hum acts as white noise and actually helps them sleep. This is not a self-evaporative unit, so water will need to be emptied regularly, but most say that's simple to do, and that the indicator light that alerts you when the reservoir is full is very helpful. A few would like the option of being able to attach a hose to let it drain outside, but that's not possible with the LP0814WNR.
This portable LG air conditioner has a nice range of features for such a small unit, including a dehumidifier-only setting, auto-restart (in case of a power outage), two fan speeds, two cooling speeds and a remote control. It rolls on caster wheels and is nicer looking than some other units, owners say. It's fairly small, too, measuring just 11.8 by 13.9 by 29.8 inches -- a smaller footprint than even some so-called "ultra-compact" portable air conditioners. It's covered by a one-year warranty that includes in-home service, if necessary.
Speaking of ultra-compact models, the EdgeStar AP8000W (Est. $270) bills itself that way, but, while it's shorter than the LG at 24.75 inches, it's also wider at 19.25 inches. Its depth is 13.25, just a skosh narrower than the LG, and it weighs 56 pounds to the LG's 47.6 pounds. So, "light and compact" may be in the eye of the beholder. Regardless, the EdgeStar gets pretty decent ratings from owners (we didn't see it in any professional roundups), even better than the LG LP0814WNR's reviews, although there's less feedback overall for the EdgeStar.
Most say the EdgeStar AP8000W makes a notable difference in the temperature of their room, and does a particularly nice job dehumidifying. They're also very pleased with the self-evaporative system that means they don't have to empty water from the unit in most instances. Many do note that it's loud, however, especially those who use it in a bedroom, people who use it in a common area seem less bothered by the noise. Most of the low ratings we say had little to do with the EdgeStar's performance, however, and much to do about shipping and durability issues, some say their unit arrived broken, others say it stopped working after a relatively short time. These complaints are in the minority, though. The EdgeStar is covered by a one-year warranty on parts and labor, and a three-year limited warranty on the compressor.
If you need something a bit larger than 8,000 BTU's, the Honeywell MN10CESWW (Est. $350), our top choice for small rooms last year, is still a solid pick -- it fell out of our top spot this year only because it no longer appears in any professional roundups. This 10,000 BTU portable air conditioner is rated for rooms up to 350 square feet and comes in three color versions, all of which perform identically. The Honeywell MN10CESWW is white while the Honeywell MN10CESBB (Est. $380) is black; a black and silver version, the Honeywell MN10CES (Est. $480) is also offered, but is harder to find. This is a self-evaporating unit so, like the EdgeStar, you shouldn't have to drain water in all but the most humid environments.
In spite of its absence in expert roundups, the Honeywell MN10CESWW has higher owner satisfaction ratings than the LG LP0814WNR. Most users, especially those who use the unit in appropriately sized rooms, give the Honeywell AC a thumbs-up. Unhappy owners share the typical portable AC complaints of disappointing cooling and finicky to install window vent kits. We also noted a couple of complaints about poor customer service, but not enough to raise any red flags. The portable Honeywell AC is covered by a one-year warranty and a five-year parts warranty on the sealed cooling components. Features include three operating modes (cooling, dehumidifying, and fan), a remote control, 24-hour timer, and the aforementioned auto-evaporation system. The dehumidifier can pull up to 68 pints of moisture out of the air per day, but this unit is hefty for a smaller portable AC, weighing in at nearly 64 pounds. In spite of its heft, the Honeywell's footprint is similar to that of the two portable AC units discussed above at 29.3 by 15.2 by 18.1 inches.