Quick Summary: Our top pick for the best thermoelectric cooler is the Koolatron P20 12V Compact Electric Cooler and Warmer. It has an 18-quart capacity, a slim and compact design, and plugs into any vehicle’s 12V outlet. It cools to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, has a warming food mode, and can fit easily between bucket seats in minivans or other tight spaces. We have looked at the best thermoelectric coolers and have researched them carefully so that you can have a selection to choose from, so check out our top picks to see which thermoelectric cooler is best for you and your needs.
Imagine this; you are having the time of your life in your backyard with your family or friends, enjoying a beautiful day, and you just finished your drink. You want another one, and to get to your cold drink, you have to go inside your house, all the way to the kitchen, open the fridge, take the drink, and go back outside.
That process can really ruin the mood. If you want to avoid all that hassle and just enjoy a beautiful, carefree day, you should equip yourself with one of these thermoelectric coolers. Thermoelectric coolers offer a convenient and hassle-free way to have your favorite beverage cold and at your arm’s length.
When you want to buy one and try to browse the market, you’ll see that there are thousands of different models and sizes available. With all that choice, and their varying qualities like storage capacity and cooling ability, how can you decide which one is the best for you?
That is why we have prepared, for your convenience, this extensive list of the best thermoelectric coolers you can find on the market at this moment. Keep reading and discover which thermoelectric cooler will be best for keeping your drinks cold and your mind carefree.
- 10 Best Thermoelectric Coolers Comparison
- Reviews of 10 Top Thermoelectric Coolers
- Features of the Best Thermoelectric Cooler
- How to Choose the Best Thermoelectric Cooler
- Our Recommendation
10 Best Thermoelectric Coolers Comparison
1. Koolatron Thermoelectric Cooler (Best Overall)
Here's a cooler that looks like an innocent kitchen wastepaper basket, and that stores fresh items instead; its innovative design and impressive food storage capabilities should make it especially useful.
|Read Our Review|
2. Igloo Thermoelectric Cooler (Best Budget)
This is perfect for the people who really want to make sure that their beverages are as cold as possible; the extensive power cords will help to ensure that this happens.
|Read Our Review|
Here is a cooler that can work just as well as a lunch bag, and that is as portable as you would expect from a product that can more or less serve both important functions.
|Read Our Review|
This is a smooth and tough cooler that is not going to be easily damaged, and that will only help make it more effective at keeping everything inside at the perfect temperature.
|Read Our Review|
While it works much like other units able to both heat and cools your food, it offers a few perks making it the best thermoelectric cooler for convenient design.The cord with 12-volt connector is stored in a covered compartment at the rear.
|Read Our Review|
This cooler has a fan that you can barely hear, and it circulates its interior air very smoothly; other than that, it doesn't have the sorts of moving components that can break and cause you trouble.
|Read Our Review|
The advanced foil lining of the bag will only help it achieve a more consistent internal environment, and it has foil that is resistant to water and other potential contaminants.
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If you need a cooler for anything medical, than this is the one that you may have always needed; few coolers are also this easy to hold and carry with you, making it even better for items like medicine.
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You can actually freeze items using this product, when most coolers will only keep them chilled; it also weighs less than thirty pounds, despite its very solid appearance.
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No one will have to waste time looking for an outlet for this cooler; its power cords are long enough that you could probably use most outlets, and the cooler should be compatible with them.
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Reviews of 10 Top Thermoelectric Coolers
We’ve pulled together some of the most popular coolers on the market and provided in-depth reviews so you can find the one that fits your busy life.
What You’ll Love: If you have been looking for a cooler to fit behind the seat in your truck, the Koolatron will be the best thermoelectric cooler for you!
It is a little smaller than the other units we have looked at, and it’s more expensive, but it is only 9 inches wide with an easy tilt lid.
Leave it in the truck, flip the seat forward and grab your nice cold lunch! Or flip the switch and your leftovers will be kept warm all morning until break time.
It is extra deep, so if you don’t have long arms you may be struggling to pull snacks out of the bottom, but you will never have it tipping over while riding in the passenger side footwell – or causing your guest to struggle to sit comfortably while accommodating an oversized cooler.
Just double check that you have the switch set to the right setting before taking off for the day and avoid being disappointed with a nice hot soda when you wanted a cold drink.
- Slim and tall design fits behind truck seats
- Heats and cools
- Easy to use flip up lid
- Hard to read switch
- More expensive
- May overheat 12-volt outlet
What You’ll Love: This is a simple unit and sized just right to fit a large picnic for the family, making it the best thermoelectric cooler for daytrippers.
The Igloo is only a cooler and runs on a simple on/off a motor. It comes with the 12-volt cord and connector to plug into your car.
If you want to plug it in inside the house, you will need to buy a separate adapter. It is competitively priced and fits nearly 2-cases of soda.
Now, it has a rating of 36F–which according to the manual means that it will cool the contents down to 36 degrees below the outside air.
So, if you are having a picnic on a 90F day, it is only going to chill your drinks down to 54F–which is not particularly cold. It is hard-sided and is designed to fit in the rear footwell of most vehicles.
- Simple, easy-to-use design–plug it in and it’s on
- Holds up to 24 cans
- Fits behind the seat of your car
- Not a heater and cooler
- Lacks power adapter
What You’ll Love: For the family on the run, the Causalyg offers fashionable looks on top of its functionality.
It features a double-insulated zipper that closes up the roomy interior, making it the best thermoelectric cooler for those who wish to carry their unit out to the park for a picnic.
It does double between a cooler and warmer with the flip of a switch, but there are no controls to adjust the temperature settings.
The unit arrives with the standard 12-volt connector ready to plug into your car’s auxiliary port, and an adaptor can be purchased separately if you want to be able to bring it inside at night. It is priced slightly higher than other units, but with its sport-bag appearance, you might expect that.
However, when you add on the highly-priced power adapter, it becomes overpriced. Users report it works as intended, so a good buy for a family that wants their gear to match their wardrobe.
- Attractive designer exterior
- Zippered closure for easy access anywhere
- Both warmer and cooler
- Missing standard power adapter–and expensive to add
- No temperature controls
What You’ll Love: The Coleman PowerChill brings even more versatility to the table with a design that works both as a stand-up fridge and a chest cooler, making it the best thermoelectric cooler for field offices and longterm campsites.
Its 40-quart capacity allows you to load up to 44 cans of soda into it, but it is also large enough to fit entire gallons of milk or enough groceries for a large meal.
It is only a cooler, not a warmer/cooler. Like the others, it runs on 12 volts, but an adapter can be purchased so it can be plugged into standard outlets as well.
Rated to cool up to 40 degrees below the outside temperature, it offers more chilling power than the competition.
Now, its modular design allows you to open the lid from the left or right when it is placed on its side, or use it as a chest cooler while riding in the back of your SUV. It offers a nice low price for the extra room and versatility when compared to other units on the market.
- Super-roomy design holds 40-quarts of food
- Door can open to the right or left
- Use like a fridge or chest cooler
- Not a warmer/cooler
- Too big to fit behind most front seats
What You’ll Love: You might not recognize the brand, but Wagan brings a compact warmer/cooler to the game. Open it up, plug it in, and the hit the toggle switch to cool or warm.
The switch features a lighted indicator, so you know your cooler is doing its job.
A sturdy handle allows you to grab and run while the cord is neatly stored away. There are no temperature adjustments and you will have to buy the adaptor for standard outlets.
It only fits 24 cans, so is considerably smaller than others. But does include an adjustable shelf to help you arrange food more efficiently.
It is also just a little too big to fit behind most car seats, so it will be sitting upon a seat–which is definitely a drawback.
- Cord neatly stores inside unit
- Lighted indicator switch shows when it is on
- Easy to use
- Little too big for most cars
- Only fits 24 cans
What You’ll Love: Here’s a great cooler that looks small on the outside, but that actually has a bigger capacity than you would ever expect. It has a simple and clean exterior, and will help to keep any item contained and fresh.
It’s easy to keep a cooler like this one in almost every motor vehicle. This product isn’t abnormally shaped, and isn’t overly large. It’s also possible to position the model in an upright or downward manner.
Warming and Cooling Capabilities
While this product is obviously referred to as a ‘cooler,’ it’s technically both a heating and cooling device. You can get this container to reach low temperatures of forty degrees Fahrenheit, or high temperatures of one hundred and thirty-five degrees Fahrenheit.
Since each unit has a shelf that can be removed and adjusted again, so you can potentially give yourself some additional room if necessary. This shelf can also be used to keep everything properly ordered inside the cooler, so all of the refreshments are more accessible in practice.
- Works well
- Good for long distances
- If you need to reposition it, you can
- Both a heater and cooler
- Limited temperature range
- Uninteresting visual style
What You’ll Love: This is the sort of bag and cooler than an experienced traveler would use, making it even more useful for the less experienced travelers. They won’t have to improvise as much.
It’s a slate gray cooler and bag with black trim that has the characteristics of several different containers.
Multiple Carrying Methods
It’s a bag that has a set of handles on its sides, along with upper handles that have some padding. You can use both sets or either set in order to hold and carry the bag in a way that is comfortable enough at the time.
While this cooling container doesn’t look especially large, it’s actually strong enough to withstand holding more than fifty pounds at once. In terms of volume, you can put eight gallons of liquid in here.
Capable of Being Flattened
The majority of coolers are very solid, and people will have to find a spot for them at some point. They can actually collapse this particular cooler instead, making it more convenient for you to use the bag in almost any circumstance.
- You can solve a lot of potential problems simultaneously with a bag and cooler like this one
- It was clearly made for multiple situations
- Not all customers will like the simple and boxy exterior design of the bag
- Might not be considered fashionable enough for certain settings
Related: Best Marine Cooler
What You’ll Love: If you want a cooler that really could only be from this century, this is at least one of the first. It has just the sort of sleek look and high-quality engineering that will improve the appeal and performance of any temperature regulation unit.
Many coolers are almost exclusively used to carrying refreshments and items like that. The people who want something that will help them hold and preserve cosmetics, insulin, and other products or medical supplies are tougher to locate. This is the precise cooler that a lot of people have needed for years.
While people might not think that there are lots of ways to improve coolers technologically, this cooler proves that this is the case. It uses semi-conductor technology, which makes it much more sustainable than many similar items in this niche. Thanks to this technology, it’s also barely audible at all.
Some people might look at this unique electric cooler for the first time and think that it’s a piece of information technology. It certainly has the look of one, so it will match many people’s smartphones and other important devices.
- Very unique
- Should meet the very essential requirements of customers who often struggle to locate the right coolers
- Genuinely ideal for both medication and beverages
- Fairly little compared with a lot of other highly-rated coolers
- Only good for small items
What You’ll Love: Ice chests have more capabilities now than they used to, but that is definitely the case with this one. You might not even exclusively use it like a fridge sometimes. It has a smooth and appealing silver and black design that can add to its unique set of functions.
There are coolers than can raise and lower the temperature of food easily, but they usually can’t make that food frozen. This one can.
This cooler can replace your mini-fridge or beer fridge without any doubt. It really is more like a small household refrigerator or mini-fridge than plenty of the other options in this product category now.
This is an ice chest that has an actual USB port, which is certainly not true for even many of the most modern coolers available today. You can get Wi-Fi access with it as well, demonstrating that there really is Wi-Fi in everything at present. The electric cooler also has an LED light inside.
You’ll get a warranty card and manual when you buy one of these electric coolers, along with a lot of other things. It’s an item that comes with other purchases, so there are plenty of benefits in getting it.
- The cooler almost feels like an IT product
- It’s like a tiny refrigerator in form and function
- A little bit harder to handle than some other coolers that are present today
- Basic design
What You’ll Love: This is an old-school cooler that doesn’t look much different from the ones that people have used for years, but it works much better than a lot of them ever have.
It’s a blue and white cooler with a sturdy and angular appearance that helps to emphasize how dependable the product itself really is.
Equipped With Wheels and Handle Sets
Some people find it easier to drag coolers that are relatively heavy. For other people, it makes more sense to use handles and lift everything that way. Since this cooler makes both conveying methods possible, people will not have to pick and choose in a way that may not work for them.
No Need for Ice
In the past, it was very common for people to constantly need more ice when they used coolers like this. The costs of the ice tended to add up, and the ice created plenty of additional chores. Efficient coolers like this one, which need no ice, can save people a lot of work.
Sufficient Storage Space
Relatively compact electric coolers can sometimes be too small to be used practically for many customers. However, this is a cooler that’s expansive enough for the equivalent of sixty soda cans. Of course, it’s possible to keep many different types of refreshments inside of a cooler like this.
- With this model, you should have the opportunity to bring along almost all of the refreshments that you need
- It’s broad and efficient
- Doesn’t require much upkeep at all
- This iceless cooler has a very traditional set of features for a cooler of this type
- Some people might prefer the more modern visual designs that are available today
Features of the Best Thermoelectric Cooler
Thermoelectric coolers operate using the Peltier effect. It creates a temperature difference by transferring heat between two electrical junctions. Although, it is mainly used for cooling thermoelectric Coolers can reverse the process and use it for heating as well.
Most thermoelectric coolers are not going to keep your popsicles frozen. Check to see the lowest temperature it can achieve-your cold drinks and lunch needs to remain below 50F, but the closer you get to 35F, the longer your food can be stored in this small fridge.
The best thermoelectric coolers feature a switch that turns it into a warmer-ready to carry hot dish to a potluck dinner or take to a picnic. If you want to keep your hot coffee thermos warm, make sure your unit includes this key feature.
Fit In Tight Spaces
Do you want to store your cooler in your truck or SUV while you are at work all day? Or perhaps it needs to fit into your camping gear.
The best thermoelectric cooler with includes a compact design the slides right into small spaces without compromising performance.
Related Reading: Best Wheeled Cooler
How to Choose the Best Thermoelectric Cooler
While you are comparing products while shopping for the best thermoelectric cooler, you will want to keep these features in mind, along with what you will need your cooler to do for you.
Size of the Unit
Do you expect to have this cooler ride in the footwell of the back seat, or maybe behind the bench seat of the truck? Check the dimensions to make sure it will fit. Some are square and others are slim rectangles.
How do you intend on running your thermoelectric cooler and warmer? Most of them come with a 12v power cord ready to plug into the auxiliary outlet in your car or RV.
You may have to purchase an adapter to allow you to plug it into a standard outlet in the hotel room or at your office.
If you will be storing medication or hot dishes in your cooler, make sure that it is rated to reach the temperatures you need.
Food should be maintained over 120F to avoid bacterial growth and some medications need to be stored below 45F.
Our Recommendation for the Best Thermoelectric Coolers
If you just need a cooler for your daily lunch and drinks, the Koolatron Compact Cooler offers the compact design to fit into any vehicle while doubling as a warmer when needed, making it the best thermoelectric cooler on the market.
Should you only need a cooler, check out the Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Portable Ice Cooler and save a few dollars on your investment.
We hope our product reviews of the best thermoelectric coolers have helped you find the right one for your lifestyle and budget.