Adding an outdoor ceiling fan to your space is a great way to keep cool, add some ambiance, and keep pesky bugs away during your next outdoor party. You can even use them as part of a whole outdoor living room glam up and make it a place where you want to spend time every day. Whether it’s a practical addition or a style upgrade, outdoor ceiling fans are one of the best ways to create an inviting outdoor oasis.
“Beyond pure functionality, customers are looking for designs that deliver comfort,” says John Barnes, design expert at Lamps Plus. “Customers are looking for that visual impact, and they also want the designs they choose to help create relaxing, inviting spaces for them to be in."
We researched the best outdoor ceiling fan, evaluating them on their size, control type, and ease of use.
Hampton Bay Mena 54-Inch Ceiling Fan
Multiple fan speeds and light colors
Not great for very wet environments
If easy installation coupled with elegance is your jam, we recommend this fan from Hampton. In addition to sprucing up your space, the Hampton Bay Mena's dimmable light will provide you with the comfort and atmosphere you've been searching for. With the included remote control, you can adjust the fan speed and select from three different color temperatures (daylight, warm, and soft). You can even reverse the fan blades to use the fresh outdoor air.
The QuickFit system makes installing the fan a breeze. The fan and its five matte-black fan blades slide onto the mounting bracket. The LED light uses a strong magnet to snap into place without the need for screws or tools.
This fan is damp-rated, so you can be sure it won’t rust or warp in moist environments. However, it is not wet-rated, so if you live in an area that experiences heavy rainfall and the fan is exposed to downpours, you should look elsewhere. It strikes a good balance among between performance, convenience, and ease of installation, making it suitable for most settings.
Price at time of publish: $169
Blade span: 54 inches | Number of blades: 5 | Damp/Wet rating: Damp | Control type: Remote
Honeywell Duval 52-Inch Tropical Ceiling Fan
Multiple finish options
Remote not included
This budget-friendly fan is proof that you don’t have to spend a lot to create a tropical oasis in your outdoor space. The Honeywell Duval ceiling fan comes in two finishes, white and black, that complement a range of styles. The fan blades mimic the look of tropical leaves but are made with wicker that is wet-rated, which means this ceiling fan can be used even in truly tropical climates with high rainfall.
This fan has rounded blades, giving it a more casual appearance. It has four speeds but no remote control, so you have to use a pull chain to change them. Be sure to measure the ceiling, as the fan works best in medium to large outdoor gathering spaces.
Price at time of publish: $94
Blade span: 52 inches | Number of blades: 5 | Damp/Wet rating: Wet-rated | Control type: Pull chain
Progress Lighting Smyrna Collection Indoor/Outdoor 52-Inch Ceiling Fan
Wall switch with many control features
Hammered glass shade
Requires professional installation
The walnut wood fan blades in the Progress Lighting Smyrna collection bring some luxe style and durability to this fan. An additional touch of elegance is provided by the hammered glass shade of the light fixture. Every detail of this fan, which can be used indoors or outdoors, is designed to maximize style while still being easy to control with the included wall switch.
As might be expected, the price tag reflects the item's luxurious quality. It also requires a more complex installation, because the wall switch can be set to dim the built-in LED light and adjust the fan speed. There's no remote control, which some may prefer over the manual wall switch.
Price at time of publish: $368
Blade span: 52 inches | Number of blades: 5 | Damp/Wet rating: Wet-rated | Control type: Wall switch
Best with Light
Hunter Fan Company 52" Coral Bay Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan with LED Light and Remote
Two downrod length options
Requires more clearance
The Hunter Coral Bay ceiling fan has a stylish light that boasts three energy-saving LED bulbs. Both the lighting and the fan speed can be adjusted with the included remote control, providing a wide range of options for creating the perfect atmosphere. The fan blades are reversible, and you can choose from three speeds. The remote can be stored in a wall cradle for easy access.
When considering placement, keep in mind that the light fixture does hang lower in the room than most fan lights. Since the manufacturer recommends having at least 7 feet of clearance between the bottom of the fixture and the ground, you'll want to make sure you have the right ceiling height. The kit comes with two downrods, one 2 inches and one 3 inches, so you can choose the one that works better for your space.
Price at time of publish: $230
Blade span: 52 inches | Number of blades: 5 | Damp/Wet rating: Damp-rated | Control type: Remote
Best with Remote
Modern Forms Vox Smart Indoor/Outdoor 5-Blade Flush Mount Ceiling Fan
Compatible with smart home devices
Includes a remote and wall switch
Not great for large spaces
If you want an outdoor ceiling fan with a handy remote that is also smartphone-compatible, the Vox Smart ceiling fan is your answer. The remote allows you to adjust the fan's speed and light, and even reverse the fan blades. You can also choose to install a wall switch, but doing so will require wiring and a nearby electrical outlet. One of the benefits of the Vox Smart fan is that it can be controlled from an app or other smart home device.
This smaller profile ceiling fan is perfect for small to medium spaces. The fan blade span is only 38 inches, which takes up considerably less space than most ceiling fans. However, this also means it cannot adequately generate enough air to cool a larger space. The smart integration makes this fan more expensive than the average one, which may be too much for some people to justify for their modest outdoor patio.
Price at time of publish: $366
Blade span: 38 inches | Number of blades: 5 | Damp/Wet rating: Wet-rated | Control type: Remote, wall switch, app
Best Heavy Duty
Monte Carlo 88'' Maverick Super Max Ceiling Fan
Multiple downrod lengths available
Requires high ceilings
While expensive, this ceiling fan is made to last and withstand just about anything. It is crafted from hand-carved balsa wood with a walnut finish, a matte black motor, and a 6-inch downrod. The included remote control allows you to select from six different fan speeds. You can also opt for a wall control if you prefer.
This fan is large, with an 88-inch blade span. The company recommends only using it in rooms with at least 9-foot-tall ceilings. There are even longer downrods available, from 12 to 72 inches. If you want to go with the longest option (72 inches), you'll need a room with a minimum ceiling height of 16 feet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a light included. In addition to the high cost, there is the need for a dedicated lighting solution in the room.
Price at time of publish: $1,095
Blade span: 88 inches | Number of blades: 3 | Damp/Wet rating: Damp-rated | Control type: Remote
Best for Small Spaces
Home Decorators Collection 25'' Heritage Point Integrated LED Indoor/Outdoor Natural Iron Ceiling Fan
LED light included
Three fan speeds
Expensive for size
For outdoor areas with limited space, a ceiling fan enclosed in a protective cage like this one from Home Decorators Collection may be the best option. This design reduces the fan's overall size and eliminates the risk of any accidents with a blade. The Home Decorators Collection Heritage Point fan still includes all the features you may want, such as an LED light, three fan speeds, and a remote control.
This fan is only damp-rated, so it is not great for very wet environments. It is also quite expensive for its size. If you need to cool a larger room, buying two of these fans may be more expensive than buying a larger one.
Price at time of publish: $189
Blade span: 25 inches | Number of blades: 3 | Damp/Wet rating: Damp-rated | Control type: Remote
Best for Large Spaces
Minka-Aire F896-65-CL Xtreme H2O 65-Inch Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Large blade space
For extra-large spaces, you need an extra-large fan like the Minka-Aire 65-inch outdoor ceiling fan. It has eight fan blades and a blade span of 65 inches. Each fan blade is supported by a blade arm that blends into the finish. The blades are weather-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about discoloration or warping, even in damp environments.
This fan is quite expensive and requires a lot of clearance. It isn’t a good option for those in small or medium spaces. The included downrod is 6 inches, which means that your ceilings should also be tall, to avoid hitting your head on the fan or housing. The fan kit comes with a remote that controls the fan speed and reverses the direction. This is a great feature, especially if your fan hangs high in a large room and is hard to reach.
Price at time of publish: $490
Blade span: 65 inches | Number of blades: 8 | Damp/Wet rating: Wet-rated | Control type: Remote
Best for Coastal Areas
Hampton Bay Gazebo III 52-Inch Indoor/Outdoor Natural Iron Ceiling Fan
Weather-resistant fan blades
Frosted glass light fixture
Remote not included
Areas with more rain and moisture need an outdoor ceiling fan to withstand the elements. The Hampton Bay Gazebo III model is wet-rated for use outdoors, even when there is plenty of rain, snow, or sea spray. The blades are weather-resistant, and the housing is wet-rated to prevent moisture from getting inside. The optional light kit has a frosted glass dome, which helps hide dirt, salt, or other buildups that are common in these climates.
This fan doesn’t have a remote control, although you can purchase one separately and add it to the kit. Otherwise, you can use the pull chain to adjust the fan speed and turn the light on and off. Depending on the season, you can also reverse the fan blades to get the best results.
Price at time of publish: $124
Blade span: 52 inches | Number of blades: 5 | Damp/Wet rating: Wet-rated | Control type: Pull chain
Our top pick is the Hampton Bay Mena 54-Inch Ceiling Fan. It has all the most desired features, such as variable speeds, dimmable LED lights, and a remote control. It is also easy to set up and doesn't require any special tool knowledge. For an even more budget-friendly option, consider the Honeywell Duval 52-Inch Tropical Ceiling Fan. It also features adjustable speed using a pull chain.
What to Look for in an Outdoor Ceiling Fan
While most fans have between three and five fan blades, larger units can have up to eight or ten. When a fan has more blades, it requires a larger support unit and more space to operate. Both the Minka-Aire F896-65-CL Xtreme H2O 65 Inch Outdoor Ceiling Fan and the Monte Carlo Maverick Super Max Matte Black Ceiling Fan are great options if you have a spacious area. If you are looking for a ceiling fan for a smaller area, look for one with smaller fan blades, such as the Home Decorators Collection Heritage Point 25 inch Integrated LED Indoor/Outdoor Natural Iron Ceiling Fan.
It's important to think about the surrounding conditions. If you get a lot of rain or snow, look for an outdoor ceiling fan that is wet-rated. A wet-rated ceiling fan can withstand high levels of moisture because the hardware and electrical parts inside are protected from water damage. On the other hand, a damp-rated fan can handle some moisture, but it needs to be better protected. The Hampton Bay Gazebo III Indoor/Outdoor Natural Iron Ceiling Fan is wet-rated, making it an excellent choice for rainy environments. Keep in mind that some fans have wet-rated blades but damp-rated motors, so they still require protection.
If you have high ceilings or a large room, or just want the convenience of being able to change the fan speed or light without getting up, a remote-controlled ceiling fan is the way to go. Many fans come with a remote, such as the Progress Lighting Smyrna Collection Indoor Outdoor 52 Inch Ceiling Fan with LED Light and Remote and our top pick, the Hampton Bay Mena 54-Inch Ceiling Fan. Budget-friendly options, like the Honeywell Duval 52-Inch Tropical Ceiling Fan, may have a remote control sold separately or have a pull chain to turn on.
What is the best type of ceiling fan for outdoors?
Outdoor ceiling fans should be damp-rated or wet-rated, meaning that the parts are protected from the elements. This is especially important if you live in a rainy climate. The best outdoor ceiling fans also have weather-resistant fan blades and finishes. It makes them more durable and prevents them from fading or warping over time.
John Barnes, a design expert at Lamps Plus, says that when choosing a fan for your space, you should pay close attention to details. “Warm metal tones, such as brushed metals, weathered surfaces, and golds, are popular now for their luxe appeal,” says Barnes. “There's also a trend for natural materials like woods, alabaster, and rattan. These add an organic feel to a room and look warm and glow beautifully when illuminated.”
Are outdoor ceiling fans hard to install?
Some outdoor ceiling fans are easy to set up, because all you have to do is plug them in, while others have to be hard-wired. Dimmer lights, wall switches, and integration with smart home technology will be some of the most challenging features to install. If you already have a junction box in your ceiling or are replacing an existing ceiling fan, installation can be done without a lot of tools.
Where can you place an outdoor ceiling fan?
When purchasing an outdoor ceiling fan, one of the first things you should consider is placement. “Check the location of your ceiling junction box,” says Barnes. “Is it in the right location? Do you even have one? If not, you may have to contact an electrician.”
If you already have a junction box in your ceiling, make sure that it meets local building codes. These can vary by area but frequently include clearance requirements for height and width. You should also follow the manufacturer's recommendations to ensure that there is enough vertical clearance. Some have multiple downrod lengths for different ceiling heights.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Katie Melynn, a freelance writer who specializes in home and family products. Melynn has been writing for The Spruce since 2019.
To compile this list, Melynn looked for ceiling fans with adjustable speeds and lights. She also considered cost, ease of installation, and features and talked to John Barnes, a design expert at Lamps Plus, about current trends and tips for installation.