Mini splits are getting popular nowadays. However, there are too many models available in the market. So, I analyzed all of the latest models from all manufacturers and came out with the 7 best mini splits that you can count on.
Based on performance and price analysis, the 7 best mini splits are as follow:
- Daikin ATMOSPHERA Mini Split Air Conditioner
- Mitsubishi MSZ-FS Mini Split Air Conditioner
- Panasonic ClimaPure XE Mini Split Air Conditioner
- MrCool DIY 3rd Generation Mini Split Air Conditioner
- Gree Vireo+ Mini Split Air Conditioner
- Senville LETO Mini Split Air Conditioner
- LG Art Cool Mirror Mini Split Air Conditioner
Note: Click the above link to jump into the section in this post.
People have different needs and preferences when it comes to choosing mini split air conditioners. Some people want to have cheap but quality mini splits. Some people want mini splits that can do well in cold climates.
Some people want to have high-efficiency mini splits while some people want to have the best design mini splits. Some people want to install mini splits by themselves and some people are concerned about air quality.
So, I took all the mini splits in the market and analyzed them in detail and shortlisted the best mini split for 7 categories, starting with 1) best efficiency, 2) best low ambient heating, 3) best air quality, 4) best DIY installation, 5) best low voltage, 6) best budget and 7) best design.
Of course, I also included the price and important specifications. So, it's going to be a long detailed analysis post with plenty of direct comparisons just to make sure you get the most out of this post. Let's get started now.
Best Efficiency: DAIKIN New R32 ATMOSPHERA
The ATMOSPHERA series mini splits are the latest models from the Japanese air conditioning pioneer, Daikin. They launched their ATMOSPHERA mini splits back in December 2021.
The efficiency of their new R32 mini splits is so high that they even beat their own Quarternity mini splits which are their previous all-time best efficiency mini splits. However, the price is competitive. The estimated price of the two most common models are as follow:
9000 BTU @ USD 1,400.00
12000 BTU @ USD 1,700.00
Starting at $1400, the 9000 BTU ATMOSPHERA mini split is very appealing because it has a staggering energy-efficiency rating of SEER 27.4 for cooling and HSPF 13.8 for heating. Such a high energy efficiency rating is one of the best in the market.
To compare, the 9000 BTU LG Art Cool Premier mini split also has a very similar high-efficiency rating. However, it starts at a higher price of $1600 which makes the return on investment not as appealing.
Standard mini splits have an energy efficiency rating of around SEER 20 for cooling and HSPF 10 for heating. Hence, Daikin ATMOSPHERA mini splits are nearly 40% more efficient than most mini splits.
An energy efficiency rating of SEER 27.4 is considered the top of the line for mini splits with the highest one being somewhere around SEER 30. But, mini splits with such a high energy efficiency rating are often priced at nearly $2000 for the 9000 BTU model which is a more than 40% increase in cost.
Daikin utilized their proprietary inverter technology and R32 refrigerant to enable their ATMOSPHERA mini splits to achieve such a high-efficiency rating while maintaining them at affordable prices.
On a side note, Daikin invented the R32 refrigerant. The R32 refrigerant is more environmental-friendly than the R410A refrigerant. Daikin had allowed other manufacturers to access their R32 refrigerant patents for free in order to promote eco-friendly refrigerants since 2015.
There are a total of 4 variants available in the Daikin ATMOSPHERA series. All 4 variants are capable of doing both cooling and heating. The model and capacity are as follow:
|Model||Cooling Capacity||Heating Capacity|
|FTXM09VVJU / RXM09VVJU||9,000 BTU||11,000 BTU|
|FTXM12VVJU / RXM12VVJU||12,000 BTU||13,600 BTU|
|FTXM18VVJU / RXM18VVJU||18,000 BTU||21,600 BTU|
|FTXM24VVJU / RXM24VVJU||21,600 BTU||24,000 BTU|
Apart from being highly efficient, Daikin ATMOSPHERA mini splits come with a built-in WiFi adapter for them to be paired and controlled using the Daikin Thermal Comfort App on smartphones.
Besides, they also can be purchased with an optional Daikin One+ Smart Thermostat for more integrations with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa which then can be controlled using the Daikin One home app instead.
If that is not enough, Daikin offers a 12-year warranty on parts and compressors on their mini splits while many other mini splits only have a 5-year warranty on parts and compressors.
So, where to buy one? Since the ATMOSPHERA series is new, there are no e-commerce stores selling them online. However, you can contact Daikin for enquiry.
Best Low Ambient Heating: MITSUBISHI MSZ-FS Hyper-Heating
The MSZ-FS model has Mitsubishi's proprietary H2i plus “hyper-heating” technology that allows its mini splits to produce 100% heating capacity at -5°F ambient air temperature which is excellent for cold climates.
Most other mini splits in the market can only operate down to about +5°F. Beyond that, they may stop working or start to reduce their heating capacity rapidly and cause insufficient heating.
Mitsubishi Electric holds the H2i plus hyper-heating technology. The technology is available in a few selected air conditioners of Mitsubishi. One of them is the MSZ-FS model.
Mini splits with low ambient heating mode are more expensive than standard mini splits. The estimated starting price of the two most common hyper-heating models of Mitsubishi Electric are as follow:
9000 BTU @ USD 1,900.00
12000 BTU @ USD 2,100.00
There are only a handful of mini splits in the market that work well in low ambient conditions. One of them is the Daikin Aurora series which can operate down to -13°F.
However, Daikin Aurora mini splits alongside other similar kinds of mini splits also start to lose their heating capacity when the ambient air temperature drops beyond +5°F. Some of them are left with only 50% heating capacity when the ambient air temperature reaches -5°F.
Therefore, it is an exception that Mitsubishi MSZ-FS mini splits are able to produce 100% heating capacity at -5°F ambient air temperature. On top of that, they are capable of producing 80% heating capacity at -13°F ambient air temperature.
What's more, Mitsubishi MSZ-FS mini splits have exceptionally high energy efficiency. The 9000 BTU model has an energy efficiency rating of SEER 30.5 for cooling and HSPF 13.5 for heating, putting them on top of the Daikin ATMOSPHERA series.
However, Mitsubishi MSZ-FS mini splits are much more expensive than Daikin ATMOSPHERA mini splits. Hence, considering return on investment, I don't think they fit with the goal of being highly efficient.
Nonetheless, no other mini splits can beat Mitsubishi MSZ-FS hyper-heating models when it comes to low ambient heating. The new Panasonic ClimaPure XE mini splits are great but they also lose heating capacity when the ambient air temperature is too low.
There are a total of 5 variants available in the Mitsubishi MSZ-FS series. All 5 variants are capable of doing both cooling and heating. The model and capacity are as follow:
|Model||Cooling Capacity||Heating Capacity||Heating Capacity @ -5°F|
|MSZ-FS06NA / MUZ-FS06NA||6,000 BTU||8,700 BTU||8,700 BTU|
|MSZ-FS09NA / MUZ-FS09NA||9,000 BTU||9,600 BTU||9,600 BTU|
|MSZ-FS12NA / MUZ-FS12NA||12,000 BTU||12,300 BTU||12,300 BTU|
|MSZ-FS15NA / MUZ-FS15NA||14,600 BTU||16,000 BTU||16,000 BTU|
|MSZ-FS18NA / MUZ-FS18NA||17,200 BTU||19,000 BTU||19,000 BTU|
To couple with excellent low ambient heating, Mitsubishi MSZ-FS mini splits are equipped with a base heater as standard so that the drain line does not freeze up.
Other than that, the indoor unit of Mitsubishi MSZ-FS mini splits has a dual barrier coating that basically prevents dust and dirt from accumulating on the inner surface. At such a price range, Mitsubishi MSZ-FS mini splits are equipped with 3 layers of filters for better air quality.
Mitsubishi Electric alongside Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is known for the reliability of its products. If that is not enough, Mitsubishi provides a 10-year warranty on parts and compressors.
So, where to buy one? For online purchases, there are not many options except from HVAC Direct (affiliated). However, they usually sell at a slightly higher price than other stores. So, contact your local contractors if possible.
Best Air Quality: Panasonic New ClimaPure XE w/ nanoe X
Although the Panasonic new ClimaPure XE mini splits didn't stand on the top for low ambient heating, they provide the best air quality with their nanoeX technology.
Panasonic is well known for its nanoe and nanoe X air filtration technology. Nanoe X reduces the concentration of select pollutants, mold, allergens pollen, PM2.5, odors and the growth of certain viruses and bacteria. However, it does not prevent them just to be clear.
Because of that, Panasonic air conditioners are slightly more expensive. The two most common models from the ClimaPure XE series are estimated to be priced as follow:
9000 BTU @ USD 1,800.00
12000 BTU @ USD 2,000.00
While most mini splits only have a layer of plastic mesh filter, Panasonic ClimaPure XE mini splits can have up to 4 layers of filters which 2 layers are included and the other 2 layers are optional.
The 2 layers of filters included in all variants across the ClimaPure XE series are the evaporator guard filter which is the basic plastic mesh filter and the nanoe X air purification.
With Panasonic's nanoe X technology, it is tested and proven that cigarette smoke odor intensity can be reduced by 2.4 levels in just 12 minutes. In addition, pet odor intensity can be reduced by 1.5 levels in one hour. As for certain adhered bacteria and viruses, the effectiveness is more than 99% when operated for more than 6 hours.
Moreover, common airborne mold such as Cladosporium can be inhibited by 99% in 1 hour and adhered mold such as Aspergillus can be inhibited by 99.5% after 8 hours.
For more than 20 years, Panasonic includes their nanoe technology in various of their air conditioners including the new ClimaPure XE series mini splits. Even Toyota Lexus cars are built with Panasonic's nanoe technology for better cabin air quality.
There are a total of 5 variants available in the Panasonic ClimaPure XE series. All of the 5 variants are capable of doing both cooling and heating. The model and capacity are as follow:
|Model||Cooling Capacity||Heating Capacity|
|XE9WKUA||8,700 BTU||10,900 BTU|
|XE12WKUA||11,500 BTU||12,000 BTU|
|XE15WKUA||14,700 BTU||17,200 BTU|
|XE18WKUA||17,200 BTU||20,400 BTU|
|XE24WKUA||24,000 BTU||28,800 BTU|
Similar to the Daikin ATMOSPHERA series, all Panasonic ClimaPure XE mini splits have a built-in WiFi adapter for them to be paired and controlled using the Panasonic Control App.
Furthermore, the ClimaPure XE series mini splits are meant to be good at low ambient heating. Hence, they can operate all the way down to -15°F ambient air temperature in exchange for lower heating capacity. Nevertheless, they maintain a 100% heating capacity at +5°F.
Moreover, Panasonic ClimaPure XE mini splits are very efficient. The 9000 BTU model has an energy efficiency rating of SEER 28.2 for cooling and HSPF 16.1 for heating, making them better than Daikin ATMOSPHERA mini splits in terms of heating efficiency.
However, as mentioned earlier with the Mitsubishi hyper-heating model, Panasonic ClimaPure XE mini splits are nearly 30% more expensive than Daikin ATMOSPHERA mini splits. Hence, I also don't think they fit very well with the nature of being highly efficient due to lower return on investment.
As for the warranty period, Panasonic only offers 7-year on compressors and 5-year on parts. However, an extended warranty is possible upon request but I don't it is necessary as Panasonic is a well-known brand, especially in Southeast Asia.
Best DIY Installation: MRCOOL DIY Series 3rd Generation
In some places, the installation cost is extremely high. Hence, it makes sense to try to install a mini split by yourself. If that's your intention, then the MrCool DIY series (3rd generation) is your best choice.
MrCool is known for its DIY-friendly air conditioners. Their mini splits package is included with additional accessories, clear instructions and processes for amateur installers to complete the installation like a pro.
Due to the additional accessories for DIY installation, MrCool DIY mini splits are more expensive than other non-DIY mini splits of the same grade. The estimated price of the most common MrCool DIY model is as follow:
12000 BTU @ USD 1,600.00
MrCool doesn't offer the 9000 BTU model in their DIY series. But, all other models come with a detailed instruction manual and additional accessories for DIY installation starting with a cardboard wall template.
Using the cardboard wall template, you can mark the anchor points on the wall accurately. Then, mount the wall bracket given by MrCool to the wall. Next, drill a 3.5″ diameter hole through the wall using your own hole saw machine.
Afterward, you can start to install the quick connect refrigerant line set provided by MrCool to connect the indoor unit to the mini split outdoor unit. Furthermore, MrCool included two rolls of insulations and a roll of UV tape for you to secure and touch up the refrigerant lines.
Other than that, things like pipe sleeve, neoprene pad, anchor, screw, allen wrench and drain pipe which other mini splits don't come with are also included in the MrCool DIY mini split package.
Considering you can save money on the installation cost, it is justifiable that MrCool DIY mini splits are more expensive than other similar grade mini splits. Nevertheless, it only makes sense to install a mini split by yourself if the installation cost is very high.
Most of the time, you should let a professional HVAC technician install the mini split for you because most mini split manufacturers have the right to void the warranty if it is not installed by their authorized HVAC contractors.
There are a total of 4 variants available in the MrCool DIY series. All 4 variants are capable of doing both cooling and heating. The model and capacity are as follow:
|Model||Cooling Capacity||Heating Capacity|
|DIY-12-HP-WMAH-115B / DIY-12-HP-C-115B||12,000 BTU||12,000 BTU|
|DIY-18-HP-WMAH-230B / DIY-18-HP-C-230B||18,000 BTU||18,000 BTU|
|DIY-24-HP-WMAH-230B / DIY-24-HP-C-230B||23,000 BTU||25,000 BTU|
|DIY-36-HP-WMAH-230B / DIY-36-HP-C-230B||34,400 BTU||36,000 BTU|
MrCool DIY mini splits are average in terms of performance and efficiency. The 12000 BTU model has an efficiency rating of SEER 22 for cooling and HSPF 10 for heating. the 12000 BTU model is the only variant that uses 115V while other variants use the standard 230V.
However, MrCool also offers to control their DIY mini splits over their smartphone app. They include a thumb drive form of a smart HVAC controller for you to plug into the indoor unit. So, control using Google Assistant and Amazon Alex are available.
Compared to other manufacturers listed in this post, MrCool is relatively new. However, they provide a 7-year warranty on compressors and a 5-year warranty on parts as well as a 1-year warranty on the remote controller.
Certainly, MrCool DIY mini splits are unique as they allow easy DIY installation that no other mini splits can come even close to what MrCool has to offer.
MrCool DIY 3rd generation mini splits can be easily purchased online. You can buy either from Total Home Supply, Sylvane (affiliated) or HVAC Direct. But, I find that Amazon (affiliated) is selling them for around 10% cheaper.
Best Low Voltage: GREE Vireo+ (115V)
For people who are looking for 115V powered mini splits, the Gree Vireo+ series mini splits are the best ones they can get. There are other 115V mini splits in the market but the Gree Vireo+ series stands out the most.
Gree is the largest air conditioner manufacturer in China and one of the largest in the world alongside Daikin, Carrier and LG. As a matter of fact, most mini splits sold today are originated from China due to lower production costs.
China-made products are often described as cheap. However, that's not the case with the Gree Vireo+ series mini splits. The estimated price for the two most common models are as follow:
9000 BTU (115V) @ USD 1,300.00
12000 BTU (115V) @ USD 1,400.00
Starting at $1300, the price of the 9000 BTU Gree Vireo+ mini split is nearly twice as much as some of the lower-tier mini splits in the market such as the Cooper & Hunter 9000 BTU mini split and the Pioneer Diamante 9000 BTU mini split.
Gree has a wide range of mini splits from affordable to premium. The highest tier which is the Gree Sapphire series starts at around $1900, making their standard similar to most other mini splits listed in this post.
The Vireo+ series has a total of 8 variants to choose from 9000 BTU to 33600 BTU of cooling capacity. However, the low 115V model is only available in 9000 BTU and 12000 BTU but they both can do cooling as well as heating. The model and capacity are as follow:
|Model||Cooling Capacity||Heating Capacity|
|VIR09HP115V1B||9,000 BTU||9,900 BTU|
|VIR12HP115V1B||12,000 BTU||12,200 BTU|
Given the lower price range, the 9000 BTU (115V) Gree Vireo+ mini split has an energy efficiency of SEER 23 for cooling and HSPF 12.9 for heating which is better than other 115V mini splits of the same grade such as mini splits from the Panasonic Pro series and the LG Mega series.
The 9000 BTU model of the Panasonic Pro series has only SEER 20 and HSPF 10.5 for energy efficiency. Similarly, the 9000 BTU model of the LG Mega series has only SEER 20 and HSPF 10 for energy efficiency.
Although both the 9000 BTU mini splits from the Panasonic Pro series and LG Mega series are cheaper than the 9000 BTU Gree Vireo+ mini split, the overall performance of the Gree Vireo+ mini split can justify its higher price.
When compared to the Fujitsu RL2 9000 BTU mini split which has the same price range, the 9000 BTU Gree Vireo+ mini split is 40% more efficient in cooling which makes the latter more appealing.
Other than that, Gree Vireo+ mini splits can operate down to -4°F ambient air temperature but with 50% heating capacity. Furthermore, Gree offers a 5-year warranty on parts and compressors for all of their Vireo+ series mini splits.
So, where to buy one? For online purchases, you can buy from HVAC Direct (affiliated). Besides, you also can buy from Amazon conveniently but they are slightly more expensive.
Best Budget: Senville LETO Series
Not everyone is looking for high-quality mini splits that are priced above a thousand US dollars. Hence, the Senville LETO series is the best mini split under $1000.
Senville alongside Pioneer, Cooper & Hunter and plenty of other mini split manufacturers are considered as low-tier brands. High-tier brands are Daikin, Panasonic and Mitsubishi while medium-tier brands are LG, Fujitsu and Gree.
However, high-tier brands can have low-priced mini splits, as well as medium-tier brands, can have premium mini splits. Nonetheless, Senville LETO mini splits are outstanding given their much lower price range. The estimated price of the two most common models of the Senville LETO series are as follow:
9000 BTU @ USD 750.00
12000 BTU @ USD 850.00
Not all budget mini splits are low in quality and performance. In fact, Senville LETO mini splits are one of the best sellers on Amazon and they receive very good customer reviews alongside their fairly good technical specifications.
It is really a bargain to choose the Senville LETO series because, at only $750, the 9000 BTU model even come with 16 ft insulated refrigerant lines and wires. But, a mounting bracket that usually costs around $100 is not included.
Furthermore, Senville provides a 2-year warranty on parts and a 5-year warranty on compressors.
However, the drawback is lower efficiency. The 9000 BTU model of the Senville LETO series mini split has an energy efficiency of merely SEER 19 for cooling and HSPF 10 for heating. Besides, it is also slightly noisier than other mini splits listed here.
Nonetheless, at such an attractive price range, the Senville LETO series is a good option for cooling and heating. Below are the 7 variants available in the Senville LETO series:
|Model||Cooling Capacity||Heating Capacity|
|SENL-09CD/X (115V)||9,000 BTU||10,000 BTU|
|SENL-12CD/X (115V)||12,000 BTU||12,000 BTU|
|SENL-09CD/220/X||9,000 BTU||9,000 BTU|
|SENL-12CD/220/X||12,000 BTU||12,000 BTU|
|SENL-18CD/X||18,000 BTU||18,000 BTU|
|SENL-24CD/X||24,000 BTU||24,000 BTU|
|SENL-30CD/X||30,000 BTU||30,000 BTU|
Senville LETO mini splits don't come with extra filters like the Panasonic ClimaPure XE series for better air quality. They also don't fit with additional accessories like the MrCool DIY series for easy DIY installation.
However, they do come with a basic plastic mesh filter, a remote controller, different operating modes and other features available in a typical mini split.
Senville LETO mini splits do what they are supposed to do which is to provide cooling and heating. They are budget mini splits that fit for the right purpose.
So, where to buy one? Senville LETO mini splits can be purchased conveniently from Amazon (affiliated). However, Sylvane also selling them but the price is more or less the same.
Best Design: LG Art Cool Mirror
If you are looking for a wall mount mini split that can blend well with your interior design, the LG Art Cool Mirror series is perhaps your best option.
LG Art Cool Mirror mini splits were launched years ago. However, the design of the wall mount unit is still one of the best in the market. Essentially, the indoor unit has a surface finish that reflects light literally like a mirror.
The LG Art Cool Mirror series is not in the premium tier. Hence, they are not as expensive. The estimated price of the two most common models of the LG Art Cool Mirror series are as follow:
9000 BTU @ USD 1,400.00
12000 BTU @ USD 1,500.00
Most mini split manufacturers don't offer fancy-looking units because it is very costly to make customized units. Some manufacturers buy mini splits from established companies and put their logo on. So, they don't really have any choice when it comes to the outer appearance of their units.
However, it is not the case with LG. The Art Cool Mirror series has a black color finish. Basically, you can see the reflection of yourself on the surface of the Art Cool Mirror mini split unit.
I had a bit of struggle when picking the winner in this category because Mitsubishi EF mini splits are also very good-looking with 3 different colors to choose from. However, they are only available when you go for the multi-zone system.
Another direct competitor is the Daikin Emura series. Daikin Emura mini splits are designed to be aesthetically appealing with their curvy front panel. In addition, they are available in two different colors.
However, Daikin Emura mini splits are slightly more expensive than LG Art Cool Mirror mini splits. What's more, their efficiency is about 30% lower than LG Art Cool Mirror mini splits.
Often, aesthetic is a bonus and what we're after is a fundamentally good mini split. I don't think anyone wants to buy a very good-looking mini split that performs poorly.
There are only 3 variants available in the LG Art Cool Mirror series. The model and capacity are as follow:
|Model||Cooling Capacity||Heating Capacity|
|LA090HSV5||9,000 BTU||10,900 BTU|
|LA120HSV5||12,000 BTU||13,600 BTU|
|LA180HSV5||18,000 BTU||21,600 BTU|
On top of being beautiful, LG Art Cool Mirror mini splits have good energy efficiency. The 9000 BTU model has an energy efficiency of SEER 23.5 for cooling and HSPF 11.3 for heating.
Besides, they can operate down to -4°F ambient air temperature and their operation noise level is on-par with the “known-for-its-quietness” Daikin air conditioners. Other than that, standard features and basic functions are all included. Warranty is 5-year on compressors and 2-year on parts.
Unfortunately, LG Art Cool Mirror mini splits are available in black color only. But, if you think that other mini splits listed in this post can't fit quite well with your interior design, the LG Art Cool Mirror series is a great choice.
So, where to buy one? For online purchases, only Total Home Supply is selling LG Art Cool Mirror mini split. Otherwise, you can check with your local contractors.
In my opinion, the best mini split is the Daikin ATMOSPHERA mini split. Not only does it use the more environmental-friendly R32 refrigerant, but it also has very high energy efficiency. On top of that, it is priced very competitively. Hence, the return on investment is very attractive when choosing the Daikin ATMOSPHERA mini split.
Choosing the right size of mini split is as important as picking the best brand and model. So, if you are not sure what size mini split you need for your room or house, check out my blog post: Air Conditioning Sizing Guide: Sizing Chart (BTU & Ton).
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