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Ceiling fans are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, helping to circulate air in your home while enhancing your decor. Whether you have central air or not, a fan can help keep you feeling cool day and night—and it can even create some peaceful white noise while you sleep.
In the balmy summertime, ceiling fans generate a much-welcome breeze, and in the winter, they help push warm air down into a room. A fan makes an excellent addition to virtually any space in a home, from bedrooms and living rooms to sunrooms and covered decks. Some double as overhead lighting, while others just keep the air flowing. Though you'll find options with classic pull chains, many of today's models can be operated with a remote, wired to a light switch, or even synced with your smart home hub.
To enhance the look and feel of your home, check out the best ceiling fans below.
Best Overall: Hunter Fan 52'' Dempsey 4-Blade Ceiling Fan with Remote Control
Diameter: 52 inches | Material: Manufactured wood, glass | Lighting: Integrated 9 watt LED light | Control Type: Remote controlled | Mounting Type: Flush
Versatile, modern design
LED lasts 15,000 hours
Somewhat tricky to install
When it comes to ceiling fans, Hunter is a household name. Available in plain white or brushed nickel with contrasting black blades, this pared-down fixture is stylish and versatile with a modern appeal. The Dempsey features four blades, each 11 inches wide with a 13-degree pitch to move air around.
We also like that this fan has an integrated LED light with fully dimmable bulbs that'll last for up to 15,000 hours. What's more, it comes with a remote, giving you full control over both the fan and the light from anywhere in the room. If you're not a savvy DIYer, you might want to hire a pro to install this ceiling fan—or at least recruit a qualified friend to help you.
Best Budget: Harbor Breeze Armitage Ceiling Fan
Diameter: 52 inches | Material: Alabaster glass | Lighting: LED bulb included | Control Type: Pull-chain | Mounting Type: Flush
If you're not looking to spend a ton on your fan, we recommend this attractive fixture from Harbor Breeze. The Armitage has five reversible blades and spans 52 inches wide. It comes with an integrated light kit, which includes a long-lasting LED bulb.
While this ceiling fan doesn't have a remote, you can switch between the three speeds with the pull chain. With airflow covering up to 400 square feet of space, it's great for large bedrooms or living rooms.
Best with Remote: Minka-Aire Light Wave LED 52-inch Ceiling Fan
Diameter: 52 inches | Material: Metal, plastic | Lighting: Integrated LED light source | Control Type: Remote control | Mounting Type: Downrod
Comes in four finishes
Easy to install
Hangs from a downrod
Minka-Aire's 52-inch Light Wave is a modern fixture with three elegantly curved blades. This sleek remote-controlled ceiling fan does more than circulate air—it offers ample overhead lighting by way of a long-lasting, dimmable LED bulb. Plus, it enhances the design of your home.
You can choose from four stunning finishes: Koa wood, futuristic silver, minimalist white, or a chic matte black. Since this fan hangs from a downrod, you'll want to make sure you have enough clearance before ordering it. That said, it's notably easy to install.
"It provides very good airflow on the two higher settings but does not seem to move much air on the lowest setting. We feel that other fans we’ve used at hotels or friends’ homes were more cooling, though potentially far more expensive as well."—Tierney McAfee, Product Tester
Best with Lights: Prominence Home 51015 Reston Farmhouse Ceiling Fan
Diameter: 42 inches | Material: Bronze, glass | Lighting: Two LED bulbs included | Control Type: Pull-chain | Mounting Type: Downrod
Easy to install
If you're looking for a lighted option, you should definitely check out this farmhouse-inspired beauty from Prominence Home. It has three rectangular wood-style laminate blades with your choice of a bronze, brushed nickel, or pewter mount.
The Reston operates from a pull string and offers three pleasantly quiet speeds, plus updraft and downdraft modes. As for the light, it comes with two powerful, long-lasting, dimmable LEDs inside a frosted glass enclosure.
Best Modern: Calcutta Espy 3-Blade LED Flush Mount Ceiling Fan
Diameter: 52 inches | Material: Manufactured wood, metal, glass | Lighting: Integrated LED light | Control Type: Remote control | Mounting Type: Flush
Easy to install
Not ideal for tall ceilings
Does your decor style lean more modern? We think you'll love this contemporary fixture by Calcutta. The Espy has three relatively narrow rectangular blades, each angled for optimized airflow.
You can switch between the three fan speeds using the included remote control. This sophisticated ceiling fan also has a built-in LED light inside a frosted glass enclosure. It comes in three simple yet tasteful colors: bright white, gunmetal bronze, and matte black.
Best for Bedrooms: Westinghouse Lighting Indoor Ceiling Fan with Light
Diameter: 52 or 42 inches | Material: Engineered wood, glass | Lighting: Two 8-watt LED bulbs included | Control Type: Pull-chain | Mounting Type: Downrod
Easy to install
Hangs from a downrod
Want to make your bedroom breezier? You might consider this thoughtfully designed fixture from Westinghouse Lighting. It has three curved blades, which come in your choice of gunmetal bronze, light natural wood, or a dark wood finish.
Designed to cover up to 225 square feet of space, the 52-inch model is perfect for your sleeping quarters. Not only that, but the low-profile light kit has two integrated LED bulbs, providing long-lasting overhead lighting.
Best for Large Rooms: Three Posts Alistair Blade LED Standard Ceiling Fan with Remote Control
Diameter: 52 inches | Material: Manufactured wood, metal, glass | Lighting: Integrated 19 watt LED light | Control Type: Remote control | Mounting Type: Downrod
Easy to install
Large coverage area
This five-bladed fixture from Joss & Main was made for large areas. Designed to deliver airflow to up to 360 square feet of space, it's ideal for a living room, great room, or sizable master suite.
The integrated LED light is filtered by a frosted cover and will deliver up to 50,000 hours of illumination—likely a lifetime's worth. What's more, both the light and the fan can be controlled with the included remote.
Best Hugger: Portage Bay Hugger 52" Matte Black West Hill Ceiling Fan
Diameter: 52 inches | Material: Metal | Lighting: LED bulbs included | Control Type: Pull-chain | Mounting Type: Flush
Mounts flush to the ceiling
Easy to install
Instead of hanging from a downrod, this hugger-style fixture from Portage Bay mounts flush to the ceiling and is just 11.5 inches tall. It's ideal for folks with low ceilings and anyone who prefers the clean look of hugger fans.
This ceiling fan has five reversible blades with different finishes on each side, plus an integrated LED light kit. Though it doesn't have a remote control, it's easy to install and switch the blades around to your liking.
Best Outdoor: Joss & Main 60'' Paige 3-Blade Outdoor LED Propeller Ceiling Fan
Diameter: 60 inches | Material: Metal, glass | Lighting: 17 watt LED bulb included | Control Type: Remote control | Mounting Type: Downrod
Large coverage area
Joss & Main's take on the outdoor ceiling fan is this gorgeous triple-bladed piece with a built-in dimmable LED light. It can generate enough airflow to cover up to 360 square feet of space, making it a perfect choice for a patio, large porch, sunroom, or another covered gathering area.
The Paige can be turned on and adjusted with the included remote or wired for wall-switch operation. This propeller fan comes in three beautifully versatile colors: aged dark-wash gray, warm walnut, and mahogany.
While choosing a ceiling fan is somewhat a matter of personal preference, we think the best overall option is the Hunter Fan 52'' Dempsey 4-Blade Ceiling Fan with Remote Control (view at Amazon), thanks to its stylish features and long-lasting LED bulb. If you're looking for a budget pick, consider the Harbor Breeze Armitage Ceiling Fan (view at Lowe's). Despite the low price tag, it's rated for rooms up to 400 square feet.
What to Look for in a Ceiling Fan
First, determine where your new ceiling fan is going to be installed. There are both indoor and outdoor ceiling fans available. Outdoor fans are generally used on porches and patios or in garages. As a general rule, you can put outdoor fans inside, but you can’t put indoor fans outside. This is because outdoor fans are specially designed to withstand wet or damp conditions.
Ceiling fans come in a variety of sizes, with blade spans ranging from 29 inches to 56 inches or greater. When choosing the best fan size for your needs, you’ll want to consider the size of the room it will be placed in.
Here’s a breakdown of the fan size recommended for rooms based on square footage:
- Less than 80 square feet: 36 inches or less
- 80 to 150 square feet: 36-42 inches
- 150 to 250 square feet: 42-52 inches
- 250 square feet or more: 52 inches or more
If your space is on the cusp or you prefer stronger airflow, you can opt for a larger fan size.
The ceiling height is another important consideration when choosing a ceiling fan, as it will dictate the optimal downrod length. A downrod is the piece of metal that connects your fan to the ceiling mount, and using a shorter or longer downrod will raise or lower the fan, respectively. In general, you’ll want at least 7 feet between the fan and the floor.
As you’re shopping, you’ll want to consider how you plan to mount your new ceiling fan because you may need a special mounting kit. If you have low ceilings, you’ll probably need to flush mount your fan, so make sure the product you buy is compatible with this mounting style. Similarly, if you have higher ceilings, you’ll need to shop for a matching downrod of the appropriate length. If you plan to mount the fan on a sloped ceiling, you’ll need a special angled ceiling adapter, which attaches to the outlet box to ensure the fan hangs properly.
There are a few types of motors that power ceiling fans. Alternating current or AC motors, which have been used in ceiling fans for decades, are the popular option. This style of motor is affordable and reliable, and modern AC motors are relatively quiet, as well.
However, direct current or DC motors have gained popularity in recent years as more homeowners switch to energy-efficient appliances. While more expensive, ceiling fans with DC motors use up to 70 percent less electricity and are incredibly quiet. Further, these motors are lighter weight, which makes for easier installation.
Finally, think about how you want to control your ceiling fan. There are three common options: a remote control, wall switch, or pull-chain. Remote controls are arguably the most convenient option, as they let you control your fan from anywhere in the room. However, some people don’t want another remote to keep track of, in which case a wall switch may be a better option. If you have low-profile ceilings, you can always opt for a pull-chain. While these can be a little confusing to operate, they’re a simple option that may minimize installation costs.
How do you balance a fan?
Wobbly ceiling fans can be an issue, but it's easy to fix with a blade-balancing kit, which comes with adhesive weights and an adjustment clip. First, attach the clip to the center of any of the blades, then turn the fan on and observe the wobble. Next, turn the fan back off, move the clip to the next blade, turn it back on, and observe the wobble again. Repeat this on every blade, and note which one causes the least amount of wobbling with the clip on. Keep the clip on that blade to balance your fan.
If you're still experiencing issues, adjust the clip slightly inward or outward to find the most balanced spot on the blade. Still not balanced? Take the clip off and try attaching one of the adhesive weights to the center of the blade.
How do you clean a ceiling fan?
Before cleaning your fan, make sure it's turned off. If you can't quite reach it on your ceiling using a sturdy chair or a step ladder, you may need to uninstall it first. Take an old (clean) pillowcase and insert one blade at a time to remove excess dust. Then use a mild cleanser (one part water and one part distilled white vinegar works) to wipe down the base and each blade.
Modern ceiling fans with encased LED lights don't typically collect a lot of dust inside. However, if yours has a glass globe base, you may need to remove it to empty out dirt, dead bugs, dust, and other debris.
Which direction should a fan go in?
While it depends on the specific model, most ceiling fans are designed to create a downdraft when they run counterclockwise and an updraft when they run clockwise. Many folks like a downdraft in the summer, as it generates a direct flow of cooling breeze. In the winter, updraft is typically ideal, as it pushes warm air down and helps it circulate around a room.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a freelance commerce writer with several years of experience covering home improvement and interior design. With a keen understanding of HVAC and a finger on the pulse of home decor, she knows how to find the best ceiling fans. Theresa has been writing for The Spruce since 2019 and also regularly contributes to Byrdie and MyDomaine.