Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Hunter Builder Deluxe Single Light Ceiling Fan at Amazon
"An ideal fan for the balance traditional and contemporary style."
Best High-End: Minka-Aire Light Wave Ceiling Fan at Amazon
"It is equal parts ceiling fan and eye-catching sculpture."
Best Bedroom: Hunter 52092 Watson Ceiling Fan with Light at Amazon
"The fan features a WhisperWind motor which keeps the sound low."
Best Budget: Hampton Bay Middleton at Home Depot
"A perfect choice to save some money without sacrificing on the quality."
Best Outdoor: Hunter 54098 Bayview 54-inch Ceiling Fan at Amazon
"It is optimized for use in damp outdoor environments."
Best Modern Design: Monte Carlo 5DI52PND 52" Ceiling Fan at Amazon
"Most owners have written that it is very quiet."
Best for Large Spaces: Hunter 53237 Builder Plus Ceiling Fan at Amazon
"This five-blade fan can easily handle family rooms."
01 of 07
Best Overall: Hunter 53091 Builder Deluxe Single Light Ceiling FanWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Great for bedrooms
Complex installation process
The Hunter 53091 Builder Deluxe fan balances traditional and contemporary style, and our tester said the "soft lighting" is "ideal for a bedroom." Suitable for rooms up to 400 square feet, the fan has 52-inch blades and is available in all white or either cherry/oak with brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze accents. Other features include a reversible motor and pull-chain operation, but there isn't a remote.
While it comes with detailed instructions, our tester said the installation process is frustrating: "Even with two people to install, we were unable to get this to work on our own," he said. "Ultimately, I had to hire a professional handyman who was able to complete the install in 30 minutes."
02 of 07
Best High-End: Minka-Aire F844-DK Light Wave 52-Inch Ceiling FanWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Light can feel too harsh
The Minka Aire Light Wave is equal parts ceiling fan and eye-catching sculpture with its three rounded, twisting blades. Our tester called it "modern and sleek." The 52-inch, three-speed fan is suited for rooms up to 400 square feet and comes in all white, silver, and distressed koa. It comes with an integrated 17-watt LED light that our tester said is "a bright white instead of a soft white," but it can be dimmed. It comes with a remote control and the fan is reversible. Our tester did report a slight humming noise.
"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
03 of 07
Best Bedroom: Hunter 52092 Watson Ceiling Fan with LightWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Powerful for its size
Perfect for small spaces
Light could be brighter
The Hunter Watson 34-inch fan is the ideal size for small bedrooms and offices. Even with its smaller blades, reviewers say it is powerful enough to effectively cool a room, and it features a WhisperWind motor, which keeps the sound to a minimum. The blades are reversible; one side has dark walnut wood and the other has cherry so you can assemble the fan to fit your bedroom's overall design. It features a light, but a couple of customers wished it were just a bit brighter. Overall, though, reviewers say the price, attractive design, and cooling capacity make it an incredible buy.
04 of 07
Best Budget: Hampton Bay MiddletonWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Good air movement
Easy to install
Noisy on high
The Hampton Bay Middleton 42-inch fan is the perfect choice to save some money without sacrificing on quality. Reviewers say the fan does a great job circulating air. The five fan blades are reversible so you can choose between a maple or cherry finish, and the white globe light matches a variety of interior decor styles. Customers love that the entire setup is energy efficient and easy to install with the included mounts and lighting kit. While some say that this fan isn't as quiet as higher-end models—particularly on high—most agree that the minimal humming isn't a deal-breaker, especially for the bargain price.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Outdoor: Hunter 54098 Bayview 54-inch Ceiling FanWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Wobbles a bit on highest speed
Doesn't include light
Anyone searching for a durable outdoor ceiling fan will want to take a look at the Energy Star-rated Hunter Bayview, which is optimized for use in damp outdoor environments such as covered porches or patios. This fan has five durable plastic 54-inch blades, meaning it can move a ton of air in spaces up to roughly 485 square feet. It comes in either white with white blades or muted gold with dark brown blades.
Reviewers love the reversible WhisperWind motor that minimizes noise on all three settings. Most reviewers say installation is easy, and they especially love the design for tropical-style patios and sunrooms. Some customers warn that on the highest setting it does wobble a bit.
06 of 07
Best Modern Design: Monte Carlo 5DI52PND 52" Ceiling FanWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Attractive, high-quality design
Remote not included
Owners love the modern, streamlined design of the Monte Carlo 5DI52PND ceiling fan. This five-blade, three-speed fan measures 52-inches across and is ideal for living rooms or large bedrooms. It comes in enough colors—brushed steel, matte black, white, roman bronze, and polished nickel—to blend with any decor.
The opaque dome light requires one 75-watt mini-candelabra bulb, but a few reviewers warn that it isn’t the brightest light. While it includes a downrod (a few say they had to purchase a different size), the fan can also be flush-mounted. The motor is reversible and comes with pull-chain controls, but remote and wall-mount controls can be purchased separately.
07 of 07
Best for Large Spaces: Hunter 53237 Builder Plus Ceiling FanWhat We Like
What We Don't Like
Multiple mounting positions
Some issues with durability
Suitable for rooms up to 485 square feet, the five-blade, three-speed Hunter 53237 fan can easily handle family rooms and other large spaces. It comes in brushed nickel and Brazilian cherry, oil-rubbed bronze and mahogany, or all white. It comes with a light fixture that has three bell-shaped, swirled glass shades, but the fan can be installed without the light as well.
Installation gets mixed reviews: Some say it’s fairly easy, but others warn it’s a little more involved than comparable fans. It can be installed using standard, flush, or angled mounting to suit a variety of rooms. Other features include a reversible motor and pull-chain operation, though reviewers say it’s easy to add a remote. Another plus? Noise is next to non-existent, reviewers say.
Which way should a ceiling fan turn?
Fan settings are set by the manufacturer so it’s always best to check your specific fan’s guidelines first. However, if you don’t have product information, the general rule is that in the hot summer months, blades should rotate counter-clockwise, which will create a breeze. In the winter, blades should turn in a clockwise motion, which will push air up and pull the warm trapped air down to improve overall heat distribution. You can also conduct your own test to make sure you have it set right for optimal energy savings.
What size downrod do you need with your ceiling fan?
Most standard ceiling fans come with a downrod, which is the piece of metal that connects your fan to the ceiling mount. There should be a minimum of 7 feet between the fan and the floor, so you’ll need a downrod based on your own ceiling height. For 8-foot ceilings, it’s recommended that you use a flush mount; for 9-foot ceilings, use a 6-inch downrod; for 10-foot ceilings, use a 12-inch downrod; for 12-foot ceilings, use a 24-inch downrod.
How do you balance a ceiling fan?
Wobbling is a common problem that can be fixed with a blade-balancing kit, which includes an adjustment clip and adhesive weights. Start by attaching the plastic clip over the center of any blade, turning the fan on, and observing the wobble. Turn off the fan and move the clip to the next blade until you have tested all of the blades, keeping track of which blade has the clip on when the ceiling fan wobbles the least. The clip should then stay on that blade nearest to the inner part of the fan. If that doesn’t fix the problem, move the plastic clip outward in small increments until you find the fan’s most balanced spot. Remove the clip and place one of the self-adhesive weight strips on that spot in the center, upper part of the blade where it’s not visible from the ground.
The Ultimate Ceiling Fan Buying Guide
Ceiling fans are an often underappreciated household staple. Many people rely on air conditioning to stay cool in the summer, but ceiling fans can help—without using nearly as much electricity. While fans don’t lower the temperature or get rid of humidity, they do help circulate air throughout your home and make you feel cooler thanks to the “wind chill” effect. Plus, many ceiling fans are a stylish addition to your home.
Ceiling fans have been around since the late 1800s, and the technology behind them is relatively simple. Electricity powers the central motor in the fan, which causes the blades to spin. The blades are tilted at a slight angle—generally between 12 and 15 degrees—which pushes air down toward the floor. When the air hits your skin, it causes sweat to evaporate, leaving you feeling cooler, even though the room is technically the same temperature.
Moving air around may not seem like it would make much of a difference, but a ceiling fan can make a room feel up to 8 degrees cooler thanks to the wind chill effect. This allows you to raise the thermostat a few degrees, saving you significant money on energy. However, ceiling fans aren’t just a one-season wonder. You can also reverse them during the winter, which forces warm air down from the ceiling, helping you make the most of your heating costs.
To pick the right model for your space, consider things like the size of your room, the ceiling height, and your home decor style. It's also important to set a budget when shopping for a ceiling fan, as they can cost anywhere from $30 to $2,000, depending on the size and style.
Buying a ceiling fan isn’t as simple as picking one that matches your decor. You’ll want to mull over the following considerations before you go shopping.
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. With this in mind, the following are the recommended downrod lengths based on ceiling height:
- 8-foot ceiling: flush mount
- 9-foot ceiling: 6-inch downrod
- 10-foot ceiling: 12-inch downrod
- 12-foot ceiling: 24-inch downrod
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.
Naturally, you’ll also want to consider the style of ceiling fan you choose. Aspects like the finish, blade style, and the number of blades can all impact how well the product matches your decor.
Today, you can find ceiling fans to match essentially any design style, whether your home is traditional, modern, eclectic, industrial, or rustic. In general, experts recommend matching the motor finish to other hardware in the room—so if your kitchen has brushed nickel hardware, find a fan with a brushed nickel motor. This will help to create a seamless aesthetic.
The number of blades on a ceiling fan also impacts its overall style. Traditionally, fans have four or five blades, but modern “helicopter-style” fans can have as many as nine! If you’re going for a more industrial look, you might consider a fan with a cage around it, while those with a bohemian style may like the look of “palm leaf” blades. If you’re unsure about what would look best in your home, some blades are reversible, giving you two designs to choose from—perfect if you like to change things up once in a while.
If you want your ceiling fan to have a light, there are a few options. First, you can simply buy a product that has an integrated light or a light kit included with the purchase. Alternatively, you can purchase a separate light kit and install it onto the ceiling fan you choose. This is a good option if you’re looking for a specific style of light fixture. Most light kits are universal, so they can be installed on any lighting-compatible fan. However, it’s always a good idea to double-check that the units you purchase will work together, as some brands only make their fans compatible with their own light kits.
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.
It’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the various styles of ceiling fans, as this will help you narrow down your options as you shop.
Most people will ultimately purchase a standard ceiling fan for their home, but there are still a lot of products that fall into this category. Think of “standard” ceiling fans as “non-specialty” products. Standard ceiling fans come in a variety of sizes and styles, with or without lights, and with a variety of control and downrod options. They can cost anywhere from $30 for a basic model to more than $1,000 for a high-end one.
If you think a remote-controlled ceiling fan is the best option for your home, there are plenty of options to choose from, including a wide range of sizes and styles. These options are a little more expensive than a pull-chain model, but you can still find a good remote control fan for as little as $100.
If you have low ceilings and need a flush-mounted ceiling fan, look for products labeled “low profile.” This style of fan is mounted flush to the ceiling with no downrod, ensuring they’re as high as possible. Low-profile fans can cost anywhere from $30 to several hundred dollars.
Looking for ways to cut back on your energy bills? Then you might want to look for an Energy Star-certified ceiling fan. To earn this certification, products must move air 20 percent more efficiently than standard models, and if the fan comes with a light kit, the energy-conserving design is 60 percent more efficient. Despite their energy-saving benefits, Energy Star ceiling fans are still quite affordable, costing as little as $50.
As the name implies, dual motor or dual head fans have two separate fans on one mount. Typically, these fans can be angled in various ways, allowing you to optimize airflow, and certain models even oscillate the two heads and/or allow you to control them separately. This style of specialty ceiling fan is more expensive than a standard model, starting at around $200 and ranging up into the thousands. However, they’re often a good solution for larger rooms where you don’t necessarily want to install two separate ceiling fans.
If you already have smart home gadgets throughout your living space, you may want to consider a smart ceiling fan to further your home automation. Smart ceiling fans connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control them via smartphone. This allows you to create schedules for the fan and control it remotely.
However, those with other smart home gadgets can reap additional benefits from a smart ceiling fan. Many smart fans are compatible with Amazon Alexa or Apple HomeKit, allowing you to control them with voice commands. Several popular models can integrate with products like the Nest Smart Thermostat, and the two devices will work together to keep your home at the ideal temperature while reducing energy costs. While admittedly high-tech, many smart ceiling fans are surprisingly affordable, starting at around $200.
Damp or Wet
If your fan will be placed somewhere that it might get wet, such as the bathroom or a porch, you’ll want to make sure you get a fan that’s made to withstand these conditions. You’ll find that outdoor ceiling fans are either “damp rated” or “wet rated,” and this signifies where they can be installed.
UL Damp Rated fans can be placed in covered damp indoor or outdoor location—anywhere they won’t be directly exposed to water or snow. They can resist a little bit of moisture, making them ideal for porches, garages, and even bathrooms, and you can find a damp-rated fan for as low as $100.
UL Wet Rated fans are even more hardy, and they can be directly exposed to the elements. This type of fan is best for pergolas, exposed decks, gazebos, and more. Despite their heavy-duty nature, wet-rated fans are still quite affordable, starting at less than $100.
Industrial or commercial ceiling fans are designed for huge rooms—think barns, showrooms, or warehouses. These products are typically much larger than standard fans, sometimes reaching up to 100 inches or more. If you’re looking for a ceiling fan for a large, industrial space, you’ll probably end up spending at least $400 on this type of heavy-duty fan.
There are several well-known ceiling fan brands you’ll likely encounter as you shop. Here’s what you need to know about each.
This brand has been around for more than 100 years, and its goal is to balance quality with affordability. You can typically find Hunter fans with many desirable and innovative features, all for a reasonable price.
This line, sold by the Minka Group, is one of the most popular ceiling fan brands available today. The high-quality fans are fashionable, reliable, and affordable.
Hampton Bay is Home Depot’s own line of ceiling fans and lights, and as such, you’ll have to buy them through this big-box retailer. Hampton Bay fans get top marks from customers and are available at a wide variety of price points, starting as low as $50!
A relatively new brand, Monte Carlo aims to provide “a comprehensive and trend-inspired product line.” Its fans are typically more modern and on the higher end of the price spectrum. However, this brand is a great option if you want a high-quality contemporary ceiling fan.
If you’re looking for an industrial or smart ceiling fan, you should consider products from Big Ass Fans. Not only does this company offer some huge commercial styles, but its Haiku line of smart fans are some of the top smart ceiling fans out there.
There’s nothing worse than buying a beautiful new home fixture, only to have it burn out within a few months. When shopping for a ceiling fan, it’s always a good idea to check the specifics of the warranty to see what’s covered and what's not.
Most ceiling fan manufacturers have their own warranty terms. For example, Hunter offers a limited lifetime warranty on the motors of its fans and will replace them for free if the motor fails due to a defect in the material or workmanship. However, other parts of the fans, such as electronic components and controls, are only covered by a one-year limited warranty. Glass, light bulbs, and control batteries are not covered at all.
You’ll want to review the manufacturer’s warranty on the ceiling fan you ultimately buy and be sure to check whether it’s still covered if you buy the product from a third-party retailer.