If you’re shopping for a generator, you’ll find several different types to choose from. Conventional generators are used more than any other type, and they’ve been around for the longest period of time.
Most conventional generators are powered by propane, gasoline or diesel. A standard generator consists of a motor, and it uses various fuels to run an alternator and generate electricity.
To produce a specific amount of electricity, the motor runs at a steady speed. Inverter generators are popular products, and they’re some of the newest products in the industry.
With state-of-the-art magnets and advanced electronic circuitry, inverter generators convert AC current to DC voltage, and once the conversion has been made, they convert the DC voltage back to AC.
The major benefit that this type of generator has to offer is adjustable electrical current. If you want the best quiet inverter generators, then you must know what to look for.
Quietest Inverter Generators – Comparison Table
|Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator
|Delivers over 50% more starting capacity
Reduces sound emissions and provides optimal performance
Compact & lightweight with built-in handle
|4.6 out of 5
|Generac 6866 iQ2000 Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
|1 easy-to-use dial
PowerBar monitors and displays wattage used
Fuel Capacity: 1.06 Gallons
|4.1 out of 5
|Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
|3700 Rated Watts and 4500 Peak Watts at Less Than 3% THD
Features a 5–20R 120V Duplex Household Outlet
Rotating Digital Display Shows Fuel Level
|4.3 out of 5
|Champion Power Equipment 100519 6250-Watt Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology
|Quiet technology and extended run time
Advanced open frame inverter design
Clean power and economy mode
|4.5 out of 5
|Champion Power Equipment 100263 Inverter Generator
Convenient Electric Start with 3-Position Ignition Switch – Battery included
|4.6 out of 5
|Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series Generator
|USB port allows charging of portable electronics
Produces less than 3% total harmonic distortion
1-gallon fuel tank for up to 6.5 hours of continuous operation
|4.2 out of 5
|Honda EU2200i 2200 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator
|This popular model can operate a wide variety of appliances
Reliable Power is now at your fingertips with Honda's Inverted Generators
Two identical models can be paralleled
|4.8 out of 5
|WEN 56200i Portable Inverter Generator
|Noise Level: 53 dB operation
Great for campgrounds, construction sites
Produces clean power to safely operate
|4.6 out of 5
|WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
|Operates at 51 dBa
1-gallon fuel tank
|4.6 out of 5
|WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
|Operates at 57 dBa
2.2-gallon fuel tank
|4.7 out of 5
What to Look For When Buying A Quiet Inverter Generator
Out of several different types of generators, the inverter category represents some of the quietest products available. Many of the companies that make inverter generators use a decibel meter to measure how much sound is produced by the products.
If a product doesn’t have a decibel rating, you can use the wattage rating to approximate the noise level. Products with a larger power output tend to be louder. Since you need a larger engine to get more power, the noise level must also increase.
Many of the best quiet inverter generators produce between 50 and 60 dB, and when compared with conventional alternatives, they’re significantly quieter. It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to list a dB range for their products, which represents the lowest and highest potential noise levels.
The lowest number represents the noise level when the generator is isn’t under load, and the highest number tells you how much noise to expect when the generator is under heavy load.
Most inverter generators are naturally quiet and produce the same amount of noise as a conversation. However, some products produce significantly more noise and should be avoided.
Portability and Size
Some of the best inverter generators have a small, lightweight design, similar in size to many space heaters or air compressors and just like these products, they’re easy to transport or keep inside of a garage.
Since these products are frequently used away from home, it’s a good idea to look for a portable, lightweight design. You should have no trouble transporting the product in your RV, boat or car.
Most conventional generators are very bulky and don’t offer the same level of convenience that you’d get from an inverter style.
Run Time and Fuel Efficiency
You can think of inverter generators as small engines, and like your car, they derive electrical power from a fuel source. When shopping for a quiet inverter generator, you need to consider the run time, which is determined by the size of the fuel tank.
In most cases, you can attach an external fuel tank to the generator and increase the total available run time. When compared with conventional alternatives, inverter generators tend to deliver better fuel efficiency and use engines that can adjust speed.
One of the fastest ways to separate the different types of generators is to examine the noise ratings. Inverter models are designed to be much quieter than their conventional counterparts.
Inverter models are known to have special mufflers, quieter engines and special technology, which dramatically reduce noise output.
Conventional models are designed to run at a steady speed, and inverter models use microprocessors to adjust the speed of the motor. The major advantage of an inverter generator is its ability to adjust the engine speed based on electrical loads.
Most conventional generators run at a constant speed and can sound as loud as a chainsaw. Even if the load is reduced, the conventional model will continue producing an unbearable amount of noise.
Max Power Output
Before you decide on a particular product, you should consider its total power output. The total power output that you can get from a conventional generator might be between 500 to 50,000 watts.
Inverter generators are different because they’re smaller and designed for convenience. Most inverter models can produce between 1,000 to 4,000 watts.
Here’s what we consider to be the Best Quiet Inverter Generators On The Market
Generac 7129 GP3000i Inverter Generator
The Generac 7129 GP3000i has two 5-20R outlets and protects your electrical circuits from overload. For smaller devices, it has a 12-volt battery charging outlet, and there are 2 USB ports too.
Since it produces 3000 starting watts and 2,300 running watts, it serves as a convenient power source, and you can use it for a variety of outdoor applications. It’s equipped with special technology for sound reduction, which makes it quiet enough to use at a campground – around 57dBa.
The Generac 7129 GP3000i has a compact design, but is a little weighty at 59.5 lbs. With flex power, it conserves fuel and optimizes engine speed for greater noise reduction.
This product grabs raw power from its motor and sends it through an advanced microprocessor. As a result of this process, you get clean, stable power, which is safe for sensitive electronic devices.
Generac 6866 iQ2000 Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
The Generac 6866 iQ2000 is designed to be quiet, long-lasting and light. It has a total weight of only 50 pounds and can be transported anywhere.
When operated with a load of 25 percent, this generator can run for 7.7 hours. It has been tested by several third-part vendors and proven to be much quieter than several competing models.
Once it has been started, it gives you three operation modes to choose from. The control panel has an easy-to-use Power Dial and simplifies the stop, run and start functions. If you want to reduce noise production and save fuel, it’s as easy as flipping a simple switch.
The Generac 6866 iQ2000 has several status indicators and lets you know if it’s overheating, overloading or needs fuel. You can even use a parallel kit to connect two iQ2000 generators.
Westinghouse iGen4500 Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Here is a popular product from Westinghouse. It features a quiet, compact design and can deliver power anywhere. When used at 50 percent load, the noise rating for this product is 52dBa, which is much quieter than conventional alternatives.
The Westinghouse iGen4500 can be used to safely power your electronic devices, and it produces 3700 Rated & 4500 Peak Watts. It uses a 3.4-gallon gas tank and offers better fuel efficiency than many competing models.
With a full tank of gas, this generator can supply electricity for up to 18 hours. If you ever need to double your power, you can use a parallel kit to connect two of these generators together. It also comes with Economy Mode for maximum fuel efficiency.
The Westinghouse iGen4500 is CARB and EPA compliant, and it has the following outlets:
- 5–20R 120V Duplex Household Outlet
- RV-Ready Tt-30R 30 Amp Outlet
- Two USB Outlets
To protect sensitive electronics, it features low THD and has a built-in 12V DC power outlet.
Champion Power Equipment 100519 6250-Watt Open Frame Inverter with Quiet Technology
The Champion Power Equipment 100519 6250-Watt Open Frame Inverter weighs 121 pounds and has a frame with wheels for portability. With a full tank of gas, it can run at 25 percent load for 12.5 hours. Since it uses inverter technology, the engine speed is adjusted for reduced load, which reduces engine wear and saves fuel.
The Champion Power Equipment 100519 has a noise rating of 59 dB, which for a generator of this size and output, is very quiet. The low noise rating makes it ideal for cabins, a home backup, rave events and campsites.
It comes with a two-year limited warranty and has several different outlets. It has a longer engine life than many competing products and uses less fuel.
While it’s running, the Champion100519 is capable of producing 6250 starting watts and 5000 running watts, which is enough power for lots of appliances. For greater convenience, it features a portable open frame and quiet design.
Champion Power Equipment 100263 Inverter Generator
Here we have another top product from Champion, and it’s much more expensive than other products on this list. Since it can run on propane or gasoline, you can use whatever fuel source is most convenient for you. It has a noise rating of 59 dB, which is very quiet.
You should have no problem using this product for cabins, campsites and RVs. It starts with 3,400 watts and drops down to 3,100 running watts. With a full tank of gas, this generator will run for 7.5 hours.
By connecting a propane tank, you can increase the total run time to 14.5 hours. The 192cc Champion engine is parallel ready and produces enough power for several devices. It’s made with automotive, household and RV outlets and can be used almost anywhere.
Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series Generator
The Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 is from the PowerSmart Series, and it offers some of the best fuel efficiency available from a portable generator.
The 111cc OHV engine starts with 2,200 watts and drops down to 1,700 running watts. With a production of less than three percent harmonic distortion, it’s safe to use with your laptop computer and sensitive electronics.
It has a tank that can hold a single gallon of fuel, which is enough for eight hours of continuous run time. To charge portable devices, the Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 is equipped with a standard USB port, and it has a parallel port for more power.
When operating under normal conditions, this generator produces a noise level of only 59 dB, so it’s quieter than a typical conversation. However, depending on the location, the noise level might be slightly higher.
Honda EU2200i 2200 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator
The next product on the list is the Honda EU2200i. Capable of producing 2,200 running watts, this generator delivers plenty of power for several devices.
It uses a recoil starting system and generates a noise level of between 48dBa at lower loads and 57 dBA at higher loads. The Honda EU2200i can provide 2,200 watts of AC electrical current, and on a full tank of gas, it can run for 4 up to 9.5 hours depending on the load.
When used with a load of 25 percent, a full tank of gas will give you 9.5 hours of run time. If you’re looking for a quiet inverter generator, this is one of the quietest products available. There are 2 15 Amp outlets, but there are no additional USB outlets on this generator.
WEN 56200i Portable Inverter Generator
The WEN 56200i is an affordable option, and it’s quiet enough to use in campsites and cabins. With such a low noise rating, this generator produces about the same amount of sound as a conversation between two people. It’s also CARB and EPA III compliant.
With a smaller 79.7cc engine, it generates about 1,600 running watts. The four-stroke OHV engine is designed for efficiency and reliability, and it’s great for power outages, tailgates, construction sites and campgrounds.
The WEN 56200i delivers enough clean, safe power for your sensitive electronics, so it’s a top choice for computers, televisions, tablets and smartphones. It has two three-prong, 120V receptacles and one 12V DC receptacle. For smaller devices, you can use this generator’s built-in 5V USB port.
WEN 56203i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Great for emergencies and off-grid adventures, the WEN 56203i generator can give you power when you need it most. It holds a gallon of fuel and generates up to 2,000 watts of power.
Compared to other generators, this machine is tranquil. Generators are notorious for producing a lot of noise. They do use combustion-style engines, after all! While it still makes noise, this equipment is heavily insulated. The mechanics work efficiently inside the thick plastic shell.
To take advantage of the power generated, you have a slew of usable outlets. These include three-prong outlets, a 12-volt receptacle, and even some USB charging ports.
- Operates at 51 dBa
- 1-gallon fuel tank
- Fuel shutoff
- It weighs only 39 pounds
- Up to 2,000 surge watts
- Multiple outlets
WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
If you need something a little beefier than the previous model, the 56380i has you covered. It expands on the smaller WEN generator model, adding some must-have features and more capabilities.
This generator is slightly louder than the one before. However, the difference is subtle. It produces only 57 decibels, which is still far quieter than most generators on the market.
Thanks to the larger fuel tank, you’re getting a lot more power with this machine. As a result, it also has more receptacles for added power versatility. A detailed multimeter on the side is also included to let you keep track of your consumption.
- Operates at 57 dBa
- 2.2-gallon fuel tank
- Fuel shutoff
- Up to 3,800 surge watts
- Multiple receptacles
- Durable caster wheels
- Collapsible handle