What is the Best Window Air Conditioner for a Small Room?

If you recently rented or moving into a small room and you need air conditioning, a window air conditioner is probably your primary choice since it is smaller in capacity. But, there are so many window air conditioners on the market. So, what is the best window air conditioner for a small room?

To understand what makes a window air conditioner the best for a small room, I will need to explain the things that you need to consider when selecting a window air conditioner.

The things that I will help you understand about a window air conditioner are as follow:

  • What size of window air conditioner do you need?
  • What kind of window air conditioner suitable for a small room?
  • What makes a good window air conditioner?

Once we go through these factors, I will need you to decide on one thing and that is how much budget do you actually allocate?

Sometimes, it is difficult to set a budget because it really depends. Hence, I will give you a few choices in the end so that you can make a decision now instead of keep looking around.

This post is updated on April 2022 based on the latest available information on window air conditioner models and features.

What Makes a Good Window Air Conditioner?

If you are not familiar with window air conditioners, I need to brief you about what makes a good window air conditioner so that you will know how to do research.

I worked as an engineer in the air conditioning industry for more than 7 years. So, this is how I choose the best window air conditioner for a small room.

Reputable Brand

The brand of a window air conditioner is undoubtedly important because it tells the quality of the window air conditioner in a sense.

Below are the top brands for window air conditioners (order doesn’t matter):

  • Frigidaire
  • LG
  • Friedrich
  • Midea

Window air conditioners from these brands are often praised as the best window air conditioner across various applications.

Furthermore, these window air conditioner brands are the ones that reputable news and magazines recommend.

For instance, Midea window air conditioners were listed on Wirecutter, The Strategist, CNN and Forbes.

By looking at the brand, we can quickly filter out a lot of window air conditioners. I’m not saying other brands are not good but we are one step closer to the best of the best if we stick with the top brands.

Low Noise Level

For a small room, the noise level produced by the window air conditioner is critical. If it is too noisy, it is a bad choice regardless of the brand, price and features offered.

If you are getting a window air conditioner for the living room, the noise level is not so important (relatively speaking).

But, for a small room, you want a window air conditioner that won’t disturb your sleep and study with irritating noises.

Window air conditioners are noisy by nature compared to other types of air conditioners like mini split air conditioners.

For example, the lowest noise produced by a window air conditioner is 42 dB while it is 25 dB for a mini split air conditioner. However, a mini split air conditioner is 3-4 times more expensive than a window air conditioner.

Below is an audio sample of what 42 dB sounds like:

So, the goal here is to pick a window air conditioner with an acceptable noise level, not necessarily must be the lowest. In a nutshell, anything above 55 dB is too loud.

High Efficiency

A small window air conditioner does not consume much electricity compared to a whole-house air conditioner. However, it does add up.

If you can afford a high-efficiency window air conditioner, why not? It saves you money in the long run.

Window air conditioners in general are relatively inefficient. However, you can get the most out of your electricity bill by choosing a window air conditioner that leans toward high efficiency.

Nowadays, the efficiency rating of most window air conditioners is either 12 CEER or higher. High-efficiency window air conditioners can go up to 15 CEER.

However, we need to make sure that the initial cost is not too high. Otherwise, the return on investment is not attractive.

In addition, if you want to do something to help the environment, use a high-efficient window air conditioner.

Basically, brand, noise level and efficiency are the main things that make a good window air conditioner, especially for a small room.

Now, there is still a lot of window air conditioner to choose from. So, let us find out what size or capacity of window air conditioner you need.

What Size Window Air Conditioner Do You Need for a Small Room?

The size (capacity) of a window air conditioner is determined based on the floor area (square footage) of your room. In most cases, multiplying your room floor area by 25 will give you the capacity needed in BTU.

For example, if your room size is 120 square feet, the capacity needed is 3000 BTU.

However, almost all window air conditioners start at 5000 BTU. Fortunately, window air conditioners nowadays are equipped with inverter technology.

Window air conditioners with inverter technology can reduce their capacity based on the needs. If you only need 3000 BTU, an inverter window air conditioner can match that.

Nonetheless, a 5000 BTU, 6000 BTU or 8000 BTU window air conditioner will be sufficient for a small room.

Window Air Conditioners Suggested by Others

I hope by now you understand what are the things to look for in a good window air conditioner. Also, there are only 3 sizes of the window air conditioner to choose from.

Now, let’s look at what are the window air conditioners suggested by others repeatedly:

MideaU-ShapedWirecutter, The Strategist, CNN, Forbes
FrigidaireFFREConsumer Report, The Strategist
FrigidaireFHWWConsumer Report, Wirecutter

Clearly, Midea U-Shaped is the most suggested window air conditioner backed by Wirecutter, The Strategist, CNN and Forbes.

I previously did a study on over 100 window air conditioners and found that the Midea U-Shaped 8000 BTU window air conditioner is extremely competitive and perhaps the best one.

So, let’s analyze why the Midea U-Shaped window air conditioner is the best one.

Why Midea U-Shaped is Currently the Best Window Air Conditioner?

Midea U-Shaped window air conditioners offered two unbeatable features:

  • 42 db noise level
  • 15 CEER efficiency

At the same time, Midea U-Shaped window air conditioners are affordable; not sky-high prices.

There are other window air conditioners that offer the same features but they are much more expensive than Midea U-Shaped window air conditioners.

Furthermore, Midea U-Shaped window air conditioners include features such as WiFi mobile app control and voice control via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant which others don’t offer.

Combined with its futuristic looking, the Midea U-Shaped is currently the best window air conditioner on the market.


A Midea U-Shaped window air conditioner is the best one for a small room. With a noise level of 42 dB only, it doesn’t disturb sleep. Besides, it is one of the most efficient window air conditioners with 15 CEER. All and all, it is recognized by reputable websites and priced reasonably.

Midea U-Shaped Window Air Conditioner

Best One So Far.

Beautiful looking. Unprecedented low 42 dB noise level. Incomparably high 15 CEER efficiency. Suggested by many.

Amazon’s choice. Midea U-Shaped window air conditioners receive lots and lots of positive comments from customers on Amazon with a star rating of 4.5 out of 5.

This post is updated on April 2022 based on the latest available information on window air conditioner models and features.

This article was originally published on aircondlounge.com. Actions will be taken for unauthorised republication of this article.

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Recommended Air Conditioners

I reviewed and compared hundreds of air conditioners. These are my latest recommended products. Check them out if you’re looking to buy one.

Daikin 19 Series Mini Split Heat Pump

Ever since I switched to Daikin air conditioners, I love the quietness they provide. Everything is built with care. There is no loose part or rattling noise.

  • Efficiency 19 SEER
  • Operating temp. 5°F
  • Warranty 12 years

Midea U-Shaped Inverter Window Air Conditioner

A beautifully designed window air conditioner with the latest environmental-friendly R32 refrigerant gas that runs more quietly than most other window ACs.

  • Noise level 42 dB
  • Efficiency 15 CEER
  • Weight 56 lbs

LG LV1419IVSM Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioner recommended by 6 reputable reviewers. Low noise operation and high efficiency. More than 70% 5-star rating on Amazon.

  • Low noise at 44 dB
  • High efficiency
  • 2022 best portable AC

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Yu Chang Zhen

I enjoy working on air conditioners and ventilation fans because Malaysia is a very hot country.

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