We Tested 31 of the Best Fans, and These 9 Are Actually Worth Purchasing

The Better Homes & Gardens Three-Speed tower fan performed best overall, earning perfect scores for its powerful airflow and quiet operation.

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Best Fans Tout
Rachel Marek/Better Homes and Gardens

There are few things more uncomfortable than living in a home that's stuffy, hot, and lacking airflow. Even if you have an air conditioner unit installed, it may not be powerful enough to contend with summer's stickiest weather. Instead of tossing and turning at night or spending your day sweaty and miserable, consider buying a high-powered fan to improve airflow and keep you cool.

The best fans provide a wide range of speeds, offer an oscillating feature to help move air around the whole room, and remain super quiet, even on the highest setting. This versatility allows you to change how much airflow you need, choose between a direct breeze or one that keeps the entire room cool, and go about your normal tasks without a loud buzzing sound bothering you.

We put 31 different fans to the test in our lab to determine which ones will actually keep you cool and comfortable during hot weather. Our team of home experts evaluated box fans, tower fans, desk fans, and more based on the settings they offered, fan speed, noise level, oscillation, and other factors.

We also tested each fan at distances up to 20 feet to see how close you must be in order to feel a comfortable breeze. Finally, we reviewed the fans' quality, appearance, and ease of use to ensure the product is durable and lasts a long time. Finally, we sent the best fans from our lab tests home with testers, where they used the devices every day for a month before providing insights based on the fans' performance.

After reviewing test results, our choice for the best overall fan is actually one of our own. The Better Homes & Gardens Three-Speed Tower Fan performed best in our lab, providing a wide range of airflow options, a sleep setting for quiet operation, and a sleek yet lightweight design that makes it easy to move from room to room.

Keep reading to find our full list of the best fans.

Best Overall: Better Homes & Gardens 40” 3-Speed Tower Fan

Better Homes & Gardens 40" 3-Speed Tower Fan


Why You Should Get It: This fan offers a wide range of settings and wind modes to provide whole-room cooling without noisy distraction.

Keep in Mind: Our testers found this fan's base to be slightly wobbly.

Whether you're trying to fall asleep at night or provide a little more airflow in a particularly stuffy area of the house, our versatile three-speed tower fan is a sleek and simple cooling solution. With three different fan settings—normal, sleep mode, and natural wind mode—you can control the amount of air circulation, noise, and oscillation this fan provides.

You'll also be able to switch between low, medium, and high speeds in each of these settings, and the fan is easy to program, thanks to the straightforward LED display.

Our testers found this fan to be quite lightweight in spite of its size, which is 41.5 inches tall. The handle on the back of the fan makes it easy to carry from one room to the next with one hand. Plus, there's even a magnetic remote control that allows you to change settings from across the room, then store the remote on the back of the fan itself.

When testing the different wind settings on this fan, we found that it's extremely effective at cooling without being too disruptive or noisy. We were able to feel the airflow from as far as 20 feet away during our tests, and the internal oscillation feature allows you to cool the whole room without the entire fan rotating.

The only downside to this fan was its base, which was slightly uneven after our tester put it together. She noted that this could have been a user error, and while it didn't take away from the fan's cooling capabilities, it may bother some shoppers.

"The airflow on this fan is strong and keeps the room so cool while I'm sleeping," our long-term tester said after using this fan every night for a month. "The noise level is just right, and I love that it has a remote and a spot on the fan to store it so it doesn't get lost."

Price at time of publish: $47.99

Product Details:

  • Fan Speeds: Three
  • Modes: Default, Sleep, and Natural
  • Timer: Up to 7.5 hours
  • Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 41.50 Inches

Related: The 7 Best Window Air Conditioners for Cooling Every Room in Your House

Best Tower: Lasko Wind Curve 42" Oscillating Tower Fan

Lasko Electric Oscillating Tower Fan


Why You Should Get It: The sleek design and powerful fan speeds make this tower fan great for cooling small rooms.

Keep in Mind: Our testers weren't able to feel a breeze when standing further than 10 feet from the fan.

Tower fans are the best fans for cooling an entire room without sacrificing a ton of space or making lots of noise. This sleek oscillating tower fan from Lasko is a great example—it offers three fan speeds, quiet operation, and a space-saving design that makes it easy to tuck into a corner.

During testing, our home experts were shocked by how easily the different fan speeds circulated cool air throughout the room, giving the fan a perfect score in this category. We liked the variance between each fan speed, allowing you to choose between a soft breeze and a powerful, cooling blast, depending on how warm the room is.

When in nighttime mode, the Lasko portable fan slowly decreases the fan speed over time, allowing you to drift off comfortably without racking up your energy bill all night long. There's also a timer setting, which allows you to designate how long you'd like it to run before shutting off.

Each mode provides a comfortable breeze with minimal noise, and the fan has an oscillating setting to help circulate the cool air. Our testers also loved the modern yet unobtrusive design of the Lasko portable fan, which has a matte gray finish, a user-friendly control panel, and a slim frame that won't take up too much space.

"This fan is honestly saving my life right now in the New York City heat," the tester said. "I use it on the highest setting every single day while I work. … It is a really powerful fan, easy to switch between modes, and it's very quiet. In fact, sometimes I forget to turn it off because it's not loud at all."

We recommend using this fan in small-to medium-size rooms, as our testers couldn't feel the breeze when standing more than 10 feet away from the fan. Our long-term tester also noted that the fan's base was very bulky, making it difficult to move from room to room.

Price at time of publish: $74.99

Product Details:

  • Fan Speeds: Three
  • Modes: Default and Sleep
  • Timer: Up to 7.5 hours
  • Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 42.5 inches

Best Box Fan: PELONIS PFB50A2BWW 3-Speed Box Fan

Pelonis PFB50A2BWW 3-Speed Box Fan


Why You Should Get It: This fan works to cool the entire room, not just the space directly in front of it.

Keep in Mind: It's a bit louder than other fans on this list.

If you're trying to circulate cool air in a large or particularly stuffy room, the gentle breeze from even the best portable fan isn't going to be enough. Instead, you'll need a high-powered box fan—like the Pelonis Three-Speed Box Fan—to move stagnant air out of the room and keep the space cool.

During testing, we found the Pelonis box fan to be one of the most powerful models in terms of airflow. The fan itself is nothing fancy; there's no LED display, special settings to try, or auto-shutoff features—you simply change fan speeds by turning a knob. But it's incredibly effective at circulating air throughout the entire room, and you'll be able to feel a cool breeze from even 20 feet away.

We also found this fan to be surprisingly portable and lightweight, making it super easy to move from room to room as needed. There are convenient carrying handles in two corners of the fan, and our testers were able to transport it one-handed without issue.

Because of its powerful airflow, this fan does make a bit of noise, which could be bothersome to light sleepers who want to run the fan overnight. If you're intending to use this fan while sleeping, plan on placing it on the opposite side of the room so the fan doesn't disturb you.

"I like using this fan when I want to cool down a specific area of my apartment, like my kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc. rather than turning on the AC, which makes my entire place cold and is expensive," our long-term tester said.

Price at time of publish: $44.92

Product Details:

  • Fan Speeds: Three
  • Modes: None
  • Timer: None
  • Dimensions: 20.6 x 4.6 x 21 inches

Best Quiet: Dyson Pure Cool TP01 HEPA Purifying Fan

Dyson Tower Fan

Best Buy

Why You Should Get It: This fan has a built-in HEPA filter, allowing it to filter and circulate cool, clean air throughout the room.

Keep in Mind: The lowest air flow settings on this fan didn't seem very noticeable or useful to our testers.

Finding the best fan that effectively cools you down without making a racket can be a difficult task, but the Dyson Pure Cool fan manages both effortlessly. While it's the most expensive fan we tested, our home experts found it to be well-worth the money, given its wide range of settings, quiet operation, and air purification capabilities.

When testing the Dyson Pure Cool, we were particularly impressed with how quiet it was compared to other models. Even on the highest setting, our testers noted that its gentle whirring wouldn't be a disturbance as they were sleeping.

It also has 10 different fan speeds, allowing you to adjust the breeze based on how close to it you'll be (testers reported that they could feel the breeze as far as 20 feet away). Our testers found that the lowest two fan settings were too slow to actually be useful, but they appreciated the wide range of speeds that the higher settings offered.

Unlike other fans we tested, this quiet fan features a bladeless design, meaning you don't have to worry about someone getting injured by the fast-spinning blades. This also means the fan is super easy to wipe down, as there's no grille or hard-to-access blades collecting dust.

To top it all off, the Dyson Pure Cool fan has a built-in HEPA filter, which allows it to draw in and capture pollutants in the air, then re-circulate fresh, clean air back into your room. This cooling fan has been certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

"If you're in a small space, this is a fantastic option, not only because it blends in easily but also because it also works as an air purifier, so you get two products in one," our long-term tester said. "The sound is really only noticeable on the highest settings, but even then, it's nowhere near as loud as my AC unit or a larger box fan. It provides good white noise while I sleep."

Price at time of publish: $399.99

Product Details:

  • Fan Speeds: 10
  • Modes: None
  • Timer: Up to nine hours
  • Dimensions: 4.3 x 7.7 x 40 inches

Best Desk Fan: Vornado 660 Whole Room Air Circulator with Four Speeds

Vornado 660 Whole Room Air Circulator

Why You Should Get It: Our testers could feel the breeze from this fan as far as 20 feet away, making it great for keeping you cool at your desk and throughout the room.

Keep in Mind: It's quite large for a desk fan, so it may take up too much space on small desks.

Productive work days don't have to be ruined by hot weather. If your home office tends to get stuffy and warm during the summertime, we recommend the Vornado 660 Whole Room Air Circulator, which sits conveniently on your desk but can keep the whole room cool.

This portable fan offers four different speeds to choose from, so you can keep the breeze low if you have a lot of papers on your desk or blast the cold air when you're moving around the room. It doesn't oscillate, but you can tilt the fan up and down to control where the breeze is concentrated.

According to the manufacturer, this fan circulates air throughout the entire room by creating airflow in multiple directions at once—and we certainly found in our tests that this fan is extremely powerful. Our testers were still able to feel a light breeze from this fan at 20 feet away on its highest setting, so you'll be able to stay cool at your desk and as you move about the room.

Keep in mind that this fan is a little bulky, measuring 13 inches wide by 15 inches tall. If you have a small desk or limited space, this fan may take up too much room.

"This fan is small but mighty, and the design is minimal enough to not feel like it's changing the style of your room or creating an eyesore," our tester said after using it on her desk for a month. "It circulates air around the room, which is fairly large and lofty, making the room seem cooler."

Price at time of publish: $139.99

Product Details:

  • Fan Speeds: Four
  • Modes: None
  • Timer: None
  • Dimensions: 11.8 x 13.5 x 15 inches

Related: The 9 Best Office Chairs, According to Lab Testing

Best Standing: Pelonis Ultra Quiet 16" Oscillating Pedestal Fan

Pelonis Ultra Quiet Oscillating Pedestal Fan


Why You Should Get It: The sturdy, high-quality design and digital features made this standing fan worth the money to our testers.

Keep in Mind: The carrying handle is quite close to the fan blades, so it's difficult to move from room to room.

This quiet yet powerful fan is a versatile and modern option to help you cool even large rooms in your home. Our testers were quite impressed by its sleek design, which includes a metal build and thoughtful features like its LED display, adjustable height, and wide range of airspeed settings.

In the testing lab, we found that the Pelonis standing fan created breezes strong enough to be felt from distances up to 20 feet on its highest setting (though it was most effective between 6 and 15 feet). With 12 speeds to choose from, you'll be able to adjust the airflow and tilt the fan head up and down to provide the perfect amount of cooling to a room.

It's super easy to change settings on this standing fan right from the LED display, including changing the fan speed, setting a timer, and turning on the oscillation feature. You can also adjust the height of this fan so the airflow doesn't get blocked by furniture or other large obstructions. There's even a remote control that allows you to change settings from across the room.

We recommend using this fan in a room where you won't have to move it around often, as it's quite bulky and difficult to carry. While it does have a carrying handle, it's right next to the fan blades, making it awkward to lift and move from one place to another.

"This is a heavy fan that feels very sturdy and high-end," our long-term tester said. "The fan also comes with a remote control. Since I use it while I sleep, I love that I can control the speed, timer, side-to-side movement, and on/off buttons, without getting out of bed. Even on its higher speed settings the fan is very quiet, which I love."

Price at time of publish: $79.99

Product Details:

  • Fan Speeds: 12
  • Modes: None
  • Timer: Up to 12 hours
  • Dimensions: 15.75 x 15.75 x 51.18 inches

Best for Sleeping: Rowenta Turbo Silence Extreme+ Stand Fan

Rowenta Turbo Silence Extreme+ Stand Fan


Why You Should Get It: This fan has an adjustable stand, so you can raise and lower its height to match the height of your bed.

Keep in Mind: It's quite heavy, making it less portable than other options on this list.

If your typical sleep routine involves tossing and turning at night in a room that's too warm, the Rowenta Turbo Silence fan could be just the solution you need. At just 35 decibels (barely louder than a whisper) on its lowest setting and 60 decibels at its highest, even light sleepers should have no trouble dozing off when it's running.

During testing, this standing fan received perfect scores for effectiveness at circulating air. We were still able to feel a faint breeze while standing 20 feet away from it, meaning it's powerful enough to provide cool air to all corners of the room. The Rowenta Turbo Silence fan also oscillates 120 degrees, helping to cool the entire room as you sleep.

We liked the easy-to-use LED display and the detachable remote, which allows you to change fan settings without having to crawl out of bed. You can choose between five different fan speeds and set it to natural mode or decrescendo mode, which is an energy-saving setting that rotates between high and low fan speeds.

The Rowenta Turbo Silence fan is also the best fan for sleeping because of its adjustable stand, which allows you to change its height to match the height of your bed. This lets you get the perfect amount of airflow as you snooze without having to prop your fan up on something to make it taller.

Our only complaint with the Rowenta fan is its weight distribution—even though it's only 18 pounds, our testers found it to be rather cumbersome to move around, and its large base makes it difficult to store when not in use.

"This fan has "Silence Extreme" in its title, and it definitely lives up to that name," our long-term tester said. "You really cannot hear it when it's on. I put this fan in the living room of my apartment where I don't have an air conditioner, and it cools it down enough to actually be in there during the day, even when it's hot out."

Price at time of publish: $179.99

Product Details:

  • Fan Speeds: Five
  • Modes: Three
  • Timer: Up to eight hours
  • Dimensions: 18 x 17 x 53 inches

Best Portable: Crane Oscillating Desk Fan with Remote Control

Crane 10 in. 3-speed Oscillating Desk Fan with Remote Control

Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: The head of this fan folds back for easy storage.

Keep in Mind: While it's great for direct cooling, it isn't as effective as other models at improving airflow throughout the whole room.

Having a lightweight and portable fan allows you to keep cool anywhere that has a power source without lugging a large, heavy device with you along the way. Whether you're working in an office, packing for an RV trip, or simply adding a portable fan to your nightstand, the Crane Oscillating Desk fan is a simple solution to keep you cool.

With low, medium, and high fan speed settings to choose from and the ability to tilt the fan up to 90 degrees, the fan is adaptable enough to get the right amount of air circulation pointed in the direction you want. It also has an oscillating feature to help circulate cool air throughout the room.

When not in use, you can fold the head of this fan completely flat against the base, creating a more compact cylinder shape that's easy to store in a desk drawer. We found the fan to be powerful enough to faintly feel a breeze as far as 20 feet away, but it works best at close range, around 6 to 10 feet away.

If you're in a tight space, such as a camper or an office cubicle, this fan will be powerful enough to provide airflow across the room, but we found it to be less effective than others at circulating air in an entire room.

Our tester used this fan next to her bed for an entire month, and she reported that, while it was a little too bulky to be used on her desk, it was very effective and easy to control. "This fan performs well and has a unique design that's sleek yet functional," our tester said. "Plus, the top part of the fan folds down when not in use, so it'd be easy to stack in storage."

Price at time of publish: $60.11

Product Details:

  • Fan Speeds: Three
  • Modes: None
  • Timer: Up to seven hours
  • Dimensions: 9.75 x 7.75 x 14 inches

Best Window: Genesis Twin Fan High Velocity Reversible AirFlow Fan

Genesis Twin Fan


Why You Should Get It: The dual-fan design draws in fresh air from outdoors while simultaneously pushing stale air out.

Keep in Mind: Our long-term tester found that the feet on this device aren't the easiest to put on or take off, making it tricky to switch it from a window fan to a standalone fan.

One of the most effective and cost-effective ways to cool your home without an air conditioner is to install a window fan. The Genesis reversible airflow fan performed exceptionally well in our tests, receiving near-perfect scores for its air speed, design, and effectiveness.

The dual-fan design allows the machine to draw fresh air from outside into your home while venting stuffy, warm air back out. You can change the speed and direction of each fan individually, giving you more flexibility with how much air you want to draw in from outside.

Our testers liked that this window fan has three fan speeds and a built-in thermostat to help you more accurately decide what fan speed you'll need for a comfortable room. We found that its airflow isn't particularly strong compared to the portable fans we tested, but it was still effective at removing stale air and keeping the overall room cool.

The Genesis Twin window fan comes with expandable side panels and removable legs so you can fit it snugly into your window without leaving large gaps open for bugs to get through. According to our long-term tester, the removable legs can be a bit tricky to take off or put on, making it an ordeal to switch this fan from a window model to a stand-alone fan. However, aside from this drawback, she found it to be just as effective at home as it was in the lab.

"I placed this fan on the window beside where I work out in the mornings, and it's strong enough to keep the entire room from feeling stuffy, even on hot days," our tester said. "Even the lowest setting is still really powerful, especially given the size of the fan, and it's small enough to tuck away when I'm not using it."

Price at time of publish: $49.99

Product Details:

  • Fan Speeds: Three
  • Modes: None
  • Timer: None
  • Dimensions: 24 to 37 x 4 x 12 inches

The Bottom Line

Our pick for the best overall fan is the Better Homes & Gardens Three-Speed Tower Fan because it has a versatile range of settings and three powerful speeds to choose from. Even on its highest setting, this tower fan is surprisingly quiet, and our testers loved its portability and the detachable remote control.

Our Testing Process

We assembled a team of home experts in our testing lab in Des Moines, Iowa, to put the best fans on the market to the test. As part of our testing, we had our experts evaluate each fan based on its cooling power, speeds and settings, noise level, and more.

We measured the air speed of each fan with an anemometer, noted how portable the fans were, and manually tested how far away we could stand from the fan and still feel a breeze. Our testers also took into account the fans' design, ease of use, effectiveness, and overall value given the price. After completing two days of testing in our labs, we had a team of long-term testers put these fans to use in their homes for an entire month. These testers then reported back at the end of the month with their thoughts based on how the fans performed in the real world.

What to Know About the Best Fans Before Shopping

Fan Type

There are several different fan styles to choose from, depending on how and where you intend to use it. Tower fans are a slim, vertical option that are great for cooling smaller rooms, but are usually less effective in open spaces. Box fans, though typically a bit noisier than other styles, are great for providing whole-room cooling.

You can also shop standing fans, which are typically taller than waist height and are great for cooling large rooms since they can create a breeze that won't be blocked by furniture in the way. If you need a more portable option that provides direct cooling, consider adding a desk fan to your work-from-home setup.

Fan Speed and Settings

You'll also want to take into account the different range of speeds your new fan offers. Since temperatures in your home likely vary depending on the weather and seasons, you'll be able to get the most use out of a versatile fan that has plenty of different speeds.

Additionally, consider fans that offer multiple operating modes, like energy-saving mode, night mode, and a timer setting that automatically shuts off after a set period of time.

Noise Level

If you plan on running your fan in the night while sleeping or keeping it near you as you work, find a fan that is quiet enough that it won't disturb you. While most manufacturers don't list the fan's decibel level in product descriptions, our expert testers made notes on how loud each of the fans we tested in our lab were.

Additional Features

Though a basic three-speed fan may provide all the features you need, a few of the fans we tested had capabilities that stood out from the competition. Our testers really liked fans that came with detachable remote controls, so you can change fan settings from across the room.

The Dyson Pure Cool fan we tested is our pick for the best quiet fan, but we also loved that it doubles as an air purifier, filtering out pollutants and pushing out clean, fresh air. While these extra features typically come with an added cost, some shoppers may find them worth the bigger price tag.

Other Fans We Tested

Blueair Pure Fan

While we loved the chic, retro design of this purifying fan, it fell flat during our lab tests. We found that even on the highest setting, you could only feel a breeze when standing within 7 feet of it, and the perforated grate on the front of the fan created a dead space with no breeze in the center. Given its hefty price tag, we didn't feel this product was worth the money.

Lasko Fan and Space Heater Tower Combo

This tower fan caught the attention of our testers, and it nearly made our list for its bladeless design and powerful, four-speed range. We found it to be made from sturdy materials with an intuitively designed digital display, and on its highest setting, we could feel the breeze up to 20 feet away. However, it was quite difficult to carry, and the manufacturer instructions recommend cleaning this fan's filter every two weeks, which seemed unrealistic and time-consuming to make it a worthwhile purchase.

Amazon Basics Oscillating Dual Blade Standing Pedestal Fan

At first glance, our testers thought the Amazon Basics standing fan would be one of the best fans on our list. Its digital control panel features an impressive 12 speeds, three power settings, and three breeze modes, which is more than any of the other fans we tested.

However, our experts found that the airflow created by this standing fan was almost imperceptible except when on its maximum speed, making all of its lower settings essentially useless. While we liked its appearance, this fan ended up being quite heavy and difficult to maneuver, too, making it unfit for recommendation.

Your Questions, Answered

Is a tower fan better than a stand fan?

Depending on the room you intend to use it in, in some cases, a tower fan may be better at cooling you down than a standing fan. Tower fans are quite slim and easy to transport, but they tend to be less powerful from far away than a standing fan.

If you're looking to cool a small room, a tower fan is a great option. However, if you're trying to cool a room that has a lot of furniture in it, the height of a standing fan will help ensure that cool air gets circulated properly.

What should I look for when buying a portable fan?

The biggest things to consider when shopping for the best portable fan is its size and weight distribution. While a standing fan can be extremely effective at cooling large rooms, they tend to be quite heavy and awkward to move from one room to the next.

Desk fans and tower fans tend to be the most portable because they're extremely lightweight and have a more even weight distribution. Some box fans—like the Pelonis 3-Speed Box Fan we tested—also have convenient carrying handles that make transporting them around pretty effortless.

Do cooling fans really work?

Having a portable fan in your home can be a great way to make your home feel cooler without using an air conditioner. Because they help circulate air and prevent stagnant, stuffy air from getting trapped inside your house, the best fans will help you better tolerate hot weather. Though they won't actually lower the temperature, the breeze that fans create can help sweat evaporate from your skin more quickly, making you feel cooler.

Who We Are

This story was written by Samantha Jones, an associate home editor at Better Homes & Gardens. For this story, she researched the best fans on the market, important features to look for when shopping for fans, then combined this research with insights from our lab tests in Des Moines, Iowa, and from long-term testers. Samantha currently lives in a New York City apartment with no air conditioning, so she's always looking for the best fans to keep her room cool during the summer and fall.

What Is BHG Recommends?

Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they're worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn't an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products and we let you know that we got it for free to remain as transparent as possible about our picks.

Looking for more products that have earned our BHG Recommends seal of approval? Check out our picks for everything from picnic blankets to humidifiers.

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