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A good fan circulates fresh air, delivers targeted cooling, and can even reduce your electric bill.
We spent hours in the lab testing and researching the best fans, evaluating each model on cooling power, adjustability, oscillation, size, style and type, as well as extra features like air purification. Our best overall pick, the Vornado 660 Large whole room fan, is powerful enough to meet all your cooling needs while still being easy to reposition as needed.
Ahead, find the best fans to keep your home breezy and comfortable.
Best Overall: Vornado 660 Whole Room Air Circulator with Four Speeds
Superior cooling power
Easy to move
Who else recommends it? Bob Vila, Reviewed, and Wirecutter all picked the Vornado 660 Large whole room fan.
What do buyers say? 93% of 12,400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
Our tester gave the Vornado 660 Whole Room Circulator rave reviews its vortex cooling power, adjustability, and quiet motor. With four different speed options and a 90-degree tilt adjustment, this fan is small and light enough to be moved from room to room. Its cooling power is excellent, and it effectively cools large spaces. Our tester used it in a bedroom, office, living room, and upstairs hallway. She reports it did a great job of circulating the air and notes this function gives the fan year-round utility. It circulates cool air during the hot months and warm air during the cold months. This fan adjusts easily from horizontal to vertical to best fit your space. This is one of the more expensive options on our list but reviewers note the fan's value justifies its price.
Dimensions: 15 x 13.5 x 11.8 inches︱Weight: 7.3 pounds︱CFM: 584︱Oscillation: No
"The fan does not oscillate, but it doesn't need to. The vortex airflow is powerful enough to circulate the air in an entire room without having to swing back and forth."—Kelly Hodgkins, Product Tester
Best Budget: Honeywell TurboForce Air Circulator HT-900 Fan
Works on a table
Not a whole room fan
It’s hard to beat the budget-friendly price of the Honeywell TurboForce Air Circulator HT-900 tabletop fan. For less than $20, this fan delivers cooling up to 25 feet away. The fan pivots a full 90 degrees to allow you to customize the direction of the cool air. It's lightweight and can be wall-mounted. A smaller fan, this model works best in small rooms or targeted spaces, like a work desk. An adjustable pivot allows you to direct the air where you need it. Customers report that you can purchase several of these models for a fraction of the cost of a larger unit, and get the exact directional cooling that you want.
Dimensions: 10.9 x 6.3 x 10.9 inches︱Weight: 2.6 pounds︱CFM: 350︱Oscillation: No
"The Honeywell HT-900 packs some power for its size, but the fan works best when it is blowing on you or near you. We found it was ideal when it was a few feet away with the fan blowing the air immediately around us. [When] we moved the HT-900 fan into larger spaces, its performance suffered."— Kelly Hodgkins, Product Tester
Best Splurge: Dyson Pure Cool TP01 HEPA Air Purifier & Fan
HEPA filter to remove dust and pollen
10 settings for air circulation and cooling
Filters need to be replaced
Dyson is the top name in high-tech home gadgetry and their line of Pure Cool fans lives up to the hype. This fan has a HEPA filter to remove airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, like dust and pet dander. The filter is at the bottom of the fan, which lends the model a sleek feel. You will need to buy replacement filters eventually, adding to the overall cost. You can use the fan year-round, adjusting the settings to deliver cooler air when desired. An oscillating function gives the model excellent airflow. Most-loved additional features include the sleep timer, 10 settings, and automatic shut-off if it tips.
Dimensions: 7.7 x 7.7 x 40.1 inches︱Weight: 7.9 pounds︱CFM: Not listed︱Oscillation: Yes
Best Tower: Seville Classics UltraSlimline 40 in. Oscillating Tower Fan with Steel Intake Grill
Not great for carpet
Tower fans can be bulky but the Seville Classics UltraSlimline fan is as sleek as it is powerful. The ultra-slim design is 40 inches tall and oscillates to cover the entire room. It has four settings, including energy-saving and a programmable sleep setting.
Our tester liked the oscillation, which brings the temperature to 75 degrees, and found the remote control a handy way to adjust the fan from across the room as needed. This model requires some assembly and the cord needs to be threaded through the base expertly. One drawback, our tester reports, is the model wobbles on carpet or other uneven floorings.
Dimensions: 11.25 x 11 x 40 inches︱Weight: 10.7 pounds︱CFM: 275︱Oscillation: Yes
"The airflow is powerful enough to cool even the hottest room, circulating ambient air and pushing cold air from our air conditioner. You also can choose to have the fan oscillate along a 75-degree arch to ensure everyone in the room gets relief from the heat."—Kelly Hodgkins, Product Tester
Best Box Fan: Genesis 20" Box Fan
Robust cooling power
Compatible with box fan filters
Convenient to move
Only three settings
Box fans are a great for circulation. The Genesis 2-inch Box Fan provides a budget-friendly option with a durable copper filter. You can put this fan on the floor, table, or other level surface without worrying about it tipping over, due to slip-resistant feet. It is compatible with box fan filters, which you can purchase separately.
The fan has three settings to deliver strong cooling power and air circulation. At eight pounds, it is still light enough to move around easily. This fan is louder than other options on our list at 60 dB, but if you like white noise, you will like the sound of this fan.
Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 4 inches︱Weight: 8 pounds︱CFM: 1800︱Oscillation: No
Best Portable: BESKAR USB Powered Clip on Fan
Included USB charging cable
360 degrees of rotation
Not good for whole rooms
The cooling power of the rotating BESKAR USB-Powered Clip-On fan is impressive. It delivers cool air up to 10 feet away and can be securely clamped to surfaces for customized directional airflow. It has three speeds and is relatively quiet. We love this fan for use with a stroller, wagon, high chair. It also works great on a desk, table, or clipped onto a stationary exercise bike or treadmill. It recharges via a USB port and comes with a USB cable, though you will have to purchase a wall adapter or charging dock separately.
Dimensions: 6 x 3 x 8 inches︱Weight: 11.7 ounces︱CFM: Not listed︱Oscillation: No
Best Ceiling Fan: Harbor Breeze Armitage Ceiling Fan
Superior cooling power
Good for air circulation
Remote not included
For cooling power that doesn’t take up floor space, consider a ceiling fan. The Harbor Breeze Armitage has a timeless, functional aesthetic, with three speed settings, and a built-in light. It’s a great upgrade to your bedroom or living room. The model works into rooms up to 400 square feet.
The cooling power of 2263 CFM makes it an exceptional value and is designed for year-round use, circulating warm air through the room in the winter months. It doesn’t have an included remote control so you will need to use a traditional pull chain to adjust the fan speed or turn the light on and off.
Dimensions: 52-Inch diameter x 12.2 inch max height︱Weight: 9.68 pounds︱CFM: 2263︱Oscillation: No
Best Two-in-One Purifier: Blueair Blue Pure Purifying Fan, 3 Speeds with Washable Pre-Filter
Purifies and cools
Washable fabric pre-filter
Needs replacement filters
Fans with a dual cooling and air purifier function, like the BlueAir Blue Pure Fan are a great option for people who are sensitive to allergens. Lab testing at BlueAir shows that the fan removes 99% of airborne dust and pollen after running for 20 minutes. The fabric pre-filter can be vacuumed or washed in the washing machine, while the interior filter can be replaced by ordering a new one directly from BlueAir. One of the more visually appealing fans, this model has a stylish mid-century aesthetic.
Dimensions: 14.9 x 13 x 11 in︱Weight: 11.6 pounds︱CFM: 182︱Oscillation: No
Our best overall pick is the Vornado 660 Large Whole Room Fan for its superior cooling power, adjustability, and reposition options. For something more budget-friendly, consider the Honeywell TurboForce Air Circulator HT-900 Fan which is also adjustable, and delivers targeted cooling and air circulation.
What to Look for in a Fan
There are several types of fans, so choose the one that will suit your room best. A powerful floor fan is usually most effective at moving the greatest amount of air in larger spaces, but anyone who needs to save space may want to look into a tower fan with a smaller footprint. Tabletop and desk fans will have plenty of power for a smaller bedroom or office, while window and box fans can help inject a blast of fresh outdoor air on a cool night.
CFM—or cubic feet per minute—is used to measure the amount of air a fan moves every 60 seconds. CFM is generally dependent on the fan’s motor and blades (their pitch, length, and shape). The higher the CFM, the more air a fan will circulate. Fans with low CFMs are only suitable for small spaces.
Some fans operate from a single position and others oscillate (or rotate) as they circulate air. An oscillating fan is more effective at cooling since it’s better equipped to move air throughout the entire room. If you’d like your fan to focus on one spot—say, to dry a wet spot on a carpet—this feature isn’t necessary.
How do I clean a fan?
For a light, weekly cleaning, you can use either a can of compressed air or a handheld vacuum to remove dust from your fan's blades, vent, and protective housing. For a deeper clean, you may need to disassemble your fan (although doing so might void its warranty). From there, spray down the blades and protective housing with a solution of dishwashing liquid and water, rinse, and let dry before reassembling.
How much electricity does a fan use?
This will vary depending on the type of fan you purchase and how often you use it, but, in general, you can rest assured that a fan will not run up your electricity bill to the same extent that an air conditioner would. In fact, the average air conditioning system is fifty-eight times more expensive to operate than the average portable fan. An online energy use calculator can provide you with a closer estimate, providing you know your fan's wattage and how long you intend to use it.
Where should I set up a fan?
Your fan should maximize the ventilation in the room, so set it up in or near an open window, and don't place any furniture in front of it. Beyond that, consider placing it across the room from where you spend most of your time (say, opposite the couch or against the wall that faces your bed).
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Katie Begley, a freelance writer specializing in home and family products. Katie has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. For this roundup, she considered dozens of models, evaluating each fan on cooling power, adjustability, oscillation, size, style and type, as well as extra features like air purification. Additional input was provided by our independent testers, who spent hours testing fans under lab protocol.