Last updated: August 27, 2021

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The 12V compressor is a particularly small type of compressor that works with a voltage of 12 volts direct current. The mini compressors are usually used for smaller pump-up jobs. Due to their compact design, they are very handy and can also be used in mobile applications. You can connect a 12-volt compressor to your car's cigarette lighter or, with an adapter, to the 230-volt mains supply at home. The devices are used for leisure and bathing as well as for camping.

With our big 12V compressor test 2021 we want to help you find the best 12V compressor for you. We have compared different 12V compressors, both for occasional and regular use, and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages of the devices. This should make your purchase decision easier.


  • The 12V compressor is a particularly small type of compressor that works with a voltage of 12 volts direct current. It is particularly suitable for lighter inflation work.
  • The mini compressor can be used for various purposes. You can use it to measure the tyre pressure of your car and adjust it upwards. You can also use the 12-volt compressor to inflate balls, air mattresses and bicycle tyres.
  • The 12-volt compressor can be used both on the road and at home. You can easily connect it to your car's cigarette lighter or to the 230-volt mains supply at home using an adapter.

The best 12V Compressor in the United Kingdom: Our Picks

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

What is a 12V compressor?

A 12V compressor, also called a mini compressor, is a particularly small type of compressor. As the name suggests, the compressor works with a voltage of 12 volts direct current. Therefore, it is only suitable for various pumping-up jobs.

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

12V Kompressor-1

The 12V compressor is versatile - it is used for leisure and swimming as well as for camping.
(Image source: / stevepb)

The 12V compressor is also used a lot when camping or bathing. On the one hand, it can be used to inflate your swimming gear, such as air mattresses and floaties. On the other hand, you can easily inflate the tyres of your caravan or inflatable boat when camping.

As the name suggests, the 12V compressor only needs a 12-volt connection, which every car, motorhome and even motorbike has in the form of a cigarette lighter. However, if you want to use the compressor at home and not drain the power of the car battery, you can use a simple socket. However, you will need a 230V adapter for this.

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

The small and compact design of 12V compressors makes them particularly suitable for mobile use. They hardly take up any space and you can also store them in the garage or directly in the car.

This means that the compressor can be used in many different ways and is not tied to a fixed location. You can take it with you and use it for bathing and camping as well as for any other excursion.

Since the 12V mini compressors run without oil, they are relatively maintenance-free. There is no need to check the oil level or change the oil. Plus, you don't 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, headphones are sometimes even prescribed.

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

  • Small, compact design
  • Mobile use
  • Versatile use
  • Low maintenance required
  • Low noise
  • Good value for money
  • Low performance
  • 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 they can store air.

Source: unsplash / 123rf