12V compressor: test & recommendations (01/22)

The 12V compressor is a particularly small type of compressor that operates on a voltage of 12 volts DC. The mini compressors are generally used for smaller inflation jobs. Due to their compact design, they are very handy and can also be used on the move. A 12-volt compressor can be connected to the cigarette lighter of your car or, with an adapter, to the 230-volt power supply at home. The devices are used in recreational and bathing areas, as well as in the camping sector.

With our big 12V compressor test 2022 we want to help you find the best 12V compressor for you. We have compared various 12V compressors, both for occasional and regular use, and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages of each device. This should make your purchase decision easier.

The most important facts in brief

  • The 12V compressor is a particularly small type of compressor that works with a voltage of 12 volts DC. It is particularly suitable for lighter inflation work.
  • The Mini Compressor can be used for various purposes. You can use it to measure the tire pressure of your car and adjust it upwards. You can also use the 12V compressor to inflate balls, air mattresses and bicycle tires.
  • The 12-volt compressor can be used both on the road and at home. You can easily connect it to the cigarette lighter of your car or via adapter to the 230-volt power supply at home.

12V compressor test: Favorites of the editors

The best digital 12V compressor

The Black& Decker ASI300 compressor is very handy and mobile thanks to its small and compact design. The compressor operates at a maximum pressure of 11 bar, which allows it to perform numerous inflation tasks quickly and reliably. In addition, the unit has a digital pressure setting as well as an automatic shut-off feature.

With the compressor from Black& Decker you can easily set the desired bar number and the compressor works by itself. Once the desired bar number is reached, the device switches off automatically. If you are looking for a mobile as well as practical 12V compressor, this is the best choice for you.

The best 12V compressor with accessories

The Defort DCC-255 12V compressor is available with three valve adapters, a cigarette lighter cable, an air hose and a storage bag. At 2.8 m, the cable is long enough to inflate all the tires of a car.

With the appropriate adapters you can not only inflate the tires of your car, but also easily bicycle tires, air mattresses, balls or the wheels of a scooter. If you need a versatile 12V compressor, this Defort compressor is perfect for you.

The best 12V compressor for car

34,99 EUR


32,00 EUR

Last price updates: Amazon.en (30.01.22, 18:25), Other stores (30.01.22, 16:29)

The Einhell CC-AC 35/10 12V car compressor is a very compact and handy compressor, but it offers great performance. With an output of 35 l/min not only balls but also air mattresses can be inflated. For inflating car tires, a Schrader valve connector for car tire valves and four other additional adapters are also included.

Einhell’s 12V compressor is equipped with a cigarette lighter plug, allowing you to conveniently plug it into your car. If you are looking for a suitable 12V compressor for your car, then this Einhell compressor is the right choice for you.

The best 12V compressor for on the go

45,22 EUR


40,00 EUR

Last price updates: Amazon.en (31.01.22, 00:45), Other stores (30.01.22, 16:29)

The Mannesmann mini aluminum compressor 140 PSI with 12 volts is compact, strong and powerful. With a maximum pressure of 10 bar and a delivery rate of 35 l/min, car tires can be inflated in just 1.5 minutes. With the additional adapters, the field of application of this compressor can be further expanded.
The handy 12V compressor is the perfect companion in the car, truck or bus. With the help of the built-in pressure gauge you can regularly check the pressure of your tires. The compressor and the associated accessories you can store in the practical nylon carrying bag. If you’re looking for a compact yet powerful compressor to take on the road, this Mannesmann compressor is perfect for you.

Also interesting

Advisor: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a 12V compressor

What is a 12V Compressor?

Nevertheless, the 12V compressor is very versatile. You can adjust the tire pressure of your car a little bit upwards, as well as inflate your bicycle tire or a ball. For very intensive compressed air tasks, the 12V compressor is less suitable due to its low voltage.

12V Compressor-1

Also when camping or bathing, the 12V compressor finds much use. On the one hand, it can be used for inflating your swimming gear, such as air mattress and swimming tires. On the other hand, you can easily fill the tires of your caravan or inflatable boat with air when camping.

As the name suggests, the 12V compressor only requires a 12-volt connection, which every car, camper and even motorcycle has in the form of a cigarette lighter. However, if you want to use the compressor at home and not drain the power of your car battery, you can use a simple power outlet. But you need a 230V adapter.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a 12V compressor??

This allows the compressor to be used in a variety of ways and is not tied to a fixed location. You can take it and use it for swimming and camping as well as any other outing.

Since the 12V mini compressors run without oil, they are relatively maintenance-free. No need to check the oil level or change the oil. In addition, you do not have to buy expensive compressor oil. A dusting from time to time is quite sufficient.

As a rule, 12V compressors are relatively quiet, especially compared to larger compressors. When using these are sometimes even prescribed headphones.

Finally, these compact compressors can be purchased relatively inexpensively. They also offer very good value for money, as you get very high performance for the low cost price. An air pump has a similar price, but it requires more effort.

  • Small, compact design
  • Mobile use
  • Versatile use
  • Little maintenance required
  • Low noise level
  • Good price-performance ratio
  • Low power
  • Only simple work possible
  • Unsuitable for continuous operation
  • Intensive work takes a long time

Nevertheless, the 12V compressors have some disadvantages. Especially the small, compact design has a negative impact on the performance of the device. In addition, they do not have a tank in which to store air. This allows only relatively simple work with a 12V compressor.

The compressors with 12 volts are also rather less suitable for continuous operation. After a certain running time, the units overheat, especially at high temperatures. Therefore, during more intensive work, you need to turn off the device in between, so that it can cool down.

This means that inflating a long inflatable boat, for example, can take some time.

Why the purchase of a 12V compressor is nevertheless worthwhile, the following video shows. Here we compare the performance of a 12V compressor with that of a regular foot pump:

What does a 12V compressor cost?

For occasional use, there are inexpensive discount models that start at 19 €. Somewhat more powerful compressors are available from about € 50 and can cost up to € 120.

The price also depends on the accessories of the compressor. 12V compressors with numerous adapter attachments, an air hose as well as a longer cable are usually more expensive. However, in this case you can save yourself the purchase of additional adapter attachments, which again can cost between 20 and 40 €.

Where can I buy a 12V compressor?

According to our research, the following online stores sell the most 12V compressors:

  • amazon.en
  • ebay.de
  • idealo.en
  • conrad.en
  • hornbach.en
  • hagebau.en
  • obi.en
  • toom.en

What are the alternatives to a 12V compressor?

In addition, there are the battery-powered compressors that can provide compressed air independently of gasoline or electricity. All devices differ in their performance and therefore in their field of application.

Connection type of the compressor Description
230V compressor 230V compressors work similarly to 12V compressors, but differ in performance and size. While with 12V compressors you can only adjust the tire pressure of your car upwards, with the 230V models you can completely inflate your car tire. Due to their higher power, their design is also correspondingly larger.
220V compressor Basically it can be said that there is no difference between a 220 and a 230V compressor. Since in the past our power grid still supplied 220V voltage through the socket, this term is still anchored in many product descriptions, although now 230V voltage is provided through our power grid.
400V compressor This type of compressor is less suitable for home use and is used more in industry and large businesses. The only drawback here is that this is laid extra beforehand due to its heavy current, so its use must be well planned beforehand.
Battery compressor Accumulator compressors are devices that are equipped with both an air compressor and a rechargeable battery. They are particularly suitable for mobile use in remote places where there is no power connection. They are frequently used especially in the leisure and camping sector.

Buying criteria: Based on these factors, you can compare and evaluate 12V compressors

In the following we will show you which factors you can use to decide between the vast amount of different 12V compressors available.

With the help of the following criteria you can compare the numerous 12V compressor models with each other:

In the next paragraphs, we will describe these criteria in more detail and explain to you what to look for when choosing the right device.

Maximum pressure

The maximum pressure of a 12V compressor is usually given in bar. Depending on the compressor model, the maximum pressure that the device can generate differs. The maximum air pressure you ultimately need depends on the application of your compressor.

If you want to inflate the tires of a truck or an electric wheelchair, you need about 8 bar compressed air. For the tires of a passenger car, 3 to 5 bar is usually quite sufficient. Bicycle tires or balls usually need to be inflated with 2 to 5 bar.

Tire type Pressure in bar
Truck, electric wheelchair 8 bar
CAR 3-5 bar
Bike 2-5 bar

12V compressors manage on average about 5 to 7 bar, which is quite sufficient for smaller jobs. For common pump-up jobs, a 12V compressor should be equipped with at least 5 bar.

Generally speaking, the more compressed air, the better. You should usually buy a 12V compressor with a higher maximum pressure than your actual pressure needs. This is how you ensure that your compressor is not overloaded and stays that way for a long time.

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