With the help of their vertical design, tower fans cool and circulate air in the room, and generally take up less space than box or standing fans. "Tower fans generally cover a wider area than other fan styles, so customers looking to cover the most room would benefit from a tower fan, says Rodney George, a Best Buy home expert. "They also offer flexibility from a placement perspective as they can be placed anywhere in a room." With George's advice in mind, we researched and tested 31 fans in The Lab including tower fans, box fans, desk fans, and window fans, evaluating them on air speed, design, portability, effectiveness, and value. We also sent 15 fans home with our testers to gauge their performance over a hot, summer month.
Out of all of the tower fans we tested, our favorite is the Better Homes & Gardens 40” 3-Speed Tower. Our testers found this fan to be powerful, quiet, easy to carry, and budget-friendly.
Based on our testing and research, here are the best tower fans to cool your space.
Better Homes & Gardens 40” 3-Speed Tower Fan
Powerful direct air flow
Only effective in direct line of flow
Base was a bit wobbly during testing
During our lab testing, the Better Homes & Gardens 3-Speed Tower was our best overall fan in any shape or style due to its quiet operation, strong airflow, and budget-friendly price. And out of all of the tower fans we tested, this is the only one to offer internal oscillation, a feature meant to help keep the fan more stable, since only the insides rotate, and to provide more range of motion. It also teems with other features, including a magnetic area on top of the fan to store the remote; a 7.5-hour programmable timer; and an LED control panel that turns off after a minute, so you're not disturbed while you sleep.
To put the fan’s cooling power to the test, we used each of the fan’s three wind modes—natural wind, sleep wind, and regular wind—at the highest of their three speed settings and stood 6 inches, 6 feet, and 20 feet away, in front of the fan and at each side to see if we could feel the airflow directly and indirectly. For this fan, although powerful and cooling (especially in regular mode), we felt the airflow only directly, both in oscillation and stationary modes. However, this fan is very lightweight and easy to move when needed. Using the convenient carry handle, our tester picked it up and moved it around the lab with one hand!
We also evaluated the sound of the three wind modes. We were particularly impressed by how quiet the fan was, even at the highest speed on each wind mode. Sleep mode produced a quiet, relaxing sound; wind mode was a little more powerful but still relatively quiet. And after using this fan for a month in her own home, our product tester noted, "It keeps the room super cool and the noise level is just right." Overall, the wind modes and speed settings provide a great range of choices, so you can find the right combination that works for you, day or night.
Price at time of publish: $48
Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 41.50 inches | Weight: Not listed | Number of Fan Speeds: 3 wind modes with 3 speed settings each | CFM: Not listed | Decibel Rating: Not listed | Cord Length: Not listed | Oscillation: Yes
Dyson Pure Cool TP01 HEPA Purifying Fan
Air purifier and fan combo
Relatively quiet on strongest setting
May easily tip over
Not as strong as some other fans we tested
The Dyson Pure Cool Air Purifier and Fan is worth the higher price tag, thanks to its stylish design and dual features—you can use it year-round not only to cool and circulate air but also to remove 99.7 percent of pollutants and allergens as small as 0.3 microns, according to the manufacturer. And with its unique look, it's a welcome addition to any room. "I like that it's barely noticeable—not only is the shape really sleek and unimposing, but the lack of blades makes it look particularly streamlined," says our tester.
To circulate and cool the air, the fan features 70 percent oscillation in addition to 10 speeds, although during testing we couldn't really notice it was on until the sixth setting. At the highest setting, the fan was felt as much as 20 feet away and was still relatively quiet—you wouldn't have to yell over it to have a conversation or turn up the volume of the television. In fact, after using it for one month, our tester noted, " 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."
We found it was easy to move this lightweight (8 pounds) fan. A nice touch is if you accidentally tip it over, it automatically turns off. Other handy features include a magnetic remote control, bladeless design, an easy-to-change filter, and a sleep timer. It's worth noting that this fan was not as powerful as others we tested in the lab, and this was reflected by our tester's experience at home, "I would say it's not quite as strong as other tower fans I've used in the past (this might be the lack of blades), but it works well for my use."
Price at time of publish: $400
Dimensions: 7.7 x 7.7 x 40.1 inches | Weight: 7.9 pounds | Number of Fan Speeds: 10 | CFM: Not listed | Decibel Rating: Not listed | Cord Length: 79 inches | Oscillation: Yes
Best for Large Room
Lasko FH500 Fan & Space Heater Combo Tower
Tall and far-reaching airflow
Combination fan and heater
Tip-over safety feature
Cord is shorter than other options
Display lights don't dim
For cooling and circulating the air in large rooms, we recommend the Lask FH500 Fan and Space Heater Combo Tower. Tall enough to reach over a bed, it has a powerful airflow our testers felt as much as 20 feet away. And even at its highest setting, it functions as white noise and is not disruptive.
We love that this is a combination fan and heater, so it can make your home feel more comfortable year-round, and you never need to store it. Although tall, its sleek look and compact base blends into your decor better than some other options we tested. Safety features include a blade-less design, and a tip-over automatic shutoff. Although it was a bit wobbly on its base if pushed, this fan doesn’t seem that it would be knocked over easily.
The control panel on top of the fan and the remote control have separate settings for the fan and heater, which we found very user-friendly. Also, the digital display lets you know which mode you are using, so you can tell at a glance from across the room (red light for the heater, and blue for the fan). And although the display lacks a dimming feature, as other tower fans, you can set an 8-hour programmable timer to turn the unit off.
Price at time of publish: $130
Dimensions: 12.5 x 12.5 x 42 inches | Weight: 12.5 pounds | Number of Fan Speeds: 4 for fan, 3 for heater | CFM: Not listed | Decibel Rating: Not listed | Cord Length: 72 inches | Oscillation: Yes
Best for Office
Lasko T42951 42" Oscillating Tower Fan
Easy to switch between modes
Powerful air flow
Sleep mode and dimmable LED display
A bit bulky
Can't feel airflow further away
If you need a fan for an office or another smaller area, the Lasko Oscillating Tower Fan is a great option, with a wood-paneled look to help it blend into any room. While using it in her own home for a month, our tester noted, "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 noticed during lab testing that the fan feels powerful up to 10 feet away, although it’s hard to notice an airflow at around 20 feet—but this shouldn’t be an issue in small to medium-sized rooms. Plus, it's also a good choice to use while sleeping. Relatively quiet at its highest setting, it has a 7.5-hour timer and sleep mode that dims the LED display while gradually reducing the fan’s speed.
The built-in remote control storage is also a nice space-saving feature. If you need to store or move the fan, it features a built-in carry handle, although it is a bit bulky to be truly portable. As our tester noted, "This is more of a set-it-in-one-spot-and-enjoy kind of fan." Also, if the wood-paneled look isn't the right fit for your decor, this fan is also available in silver and grey.
Price at time of publish: $81
Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 42.5 inches | Weight: 12.17 pounds | Number of Fan Speeds: 3 | CFM: 720 | Decibel Rating: Not listed | Cord Length: 72 inches | Oscillation: Yes
Best for Bedroom
Honeywell HYF260 Quiet Set Whole Room Tower Fan
User-friendly control panel
Lights dim automatically
Remote control with storage clip
Cord dislodges from base when carried
During testing, the Honeywell Quiet Set Whole Room Tower Fan stood out for its user-friendly control panel at the top; our tester determined the easy-to-understand symbols made the display easy to use. We also appreciated the quiet operation. During testing, all five speeds—power cool, refresh, white noise, calm, and sleep—were quiet enough to function as white noise, if noticeable at all. On the lowest setting, sleep mode, our tester heard "a very low hum," The highest-setting sound was more noticeable but still not disturbingly loud.
Other sleep-friendly features include a shutoff timer you can set for 1, 2, 4, or 8 hours, and lights that automatically dim 50 percent after 15 seconds, so they aren’t too bright at night. And since it has a remote, you don't even have to get out of bed to operate it. When not in use, the remote can be stored inside the back of the fan.
After using it for a month in her living room, our tester noted, "It has cooled down my living space without AC exponentially. I have AC in my room, but this does not always travel to our living space. This fan quickly cools down my living room, but it is a relatively small space." In fact, while testing in our lab, we noted that the airflow was best felt 6 feet or closer at the highest setting. This is also the type of fan you would want to leave in one place, ideally, where it wouldn't get knocked over by kids or pets—the base feels a bit wobbly and it is heavy to carry around, even with the carry handle.
Price at time of publish: $144
Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 40 inches︱Weight: 7 pounds︱Number of Fan Speeds: 5 | CFM: 185︱Decibel Rating: Not listed | Cord Length: Not listed | Oscillation: Yes
Comfort Zone 29 Inch Oscillating Tower Fan
Speed settings and oscillation
Not a lot of cooling for a large room
It’s hard to beat the budget-friendly price of the Comfort Zone Oscillating Tower Fan. For less than $30, you get three speeds, 65 degrees of oscillation, and great cooling power. This fan is smaller than some other tower fans, at just 29 inches tall. It may not reach as far but is a great option if space is limited. It comes in white and has a front dial to control the settings.
The Comfort Zone tower fan also is surprisingly quiet for its budget-friendly price—a great feature for this top budget pick since fans this quiet usually cost much more. Due to its settings, quiet operation, and compact size, it’s ideal for a bedroom, nursery, office, or other small room. It may not be powerful enough to efficiently cool a large living room or family room. If you want to use it in a larger room, consider purchasing two and setting up customized zones.
Price at time of publish: $42
Dimensions: 29.3 x 7 x 6.5 inches︱Weight: 6.3 pounds︱Number of Fan Speeds: 3 | CFM: 127︱Decibel Rating: 39 dBA | Cord Length: 60 inches | Oscillation: Yes
Our top pick is the Better Homes & Gardens 3-Speed Tower. A winner out of the 31 fans of different shapes and styles that we tested in our lab, it features internal oscillation, powerful cooling, and quiet operation, all at a budget-friendly price. If you are looking to splurge, we recommend the Dyson Pure Cool Air Purifier and Fan. With a stylish design, this fan also purifies the air, removing 99.7 percent of pollutants and allergens as small as 0.3 microns, according to the manufacturer.
What to Look For in a Tower Fan
Generally, tower fans have smaller footprints than other types of fans, but within this category, height and size can make a difference. A tower fan standing on the floor should be powerful enough to move air throughout a room. Our best overall fan, One designed for tabletop use might be better suited for personal use or as a room's supplementary (rather than sole) cooling device.
A tower fan's cooling power doesn't just rely on its size—its array of speed settings makes a major difference. Most often, a wider range of speeds makes for a more versatile machine. You can use a tower fan simply to create white noise, add a gentle breeze, or noticeably cool an entire room. A fan with fewer speeds might not provide you with the same options but offers simple air circulation.
If you intend for your tower fan to cool down an entire room, make sure to check its range of the back-and-forth motion called oscillation, or whether it oscillates at all. Oscillation is important for complete air circulation. So, this feature should be a priority, unless you plan to use your tower fan on one fixed area.
How do tower fans work?
Tower fans are considered one of the most effective types of fans, mainly due to their overall design: Owing to their vertical blades, they can move air more efficiently than other fans, which generally move air horizontally. Also, the length of their blades allows tower fans to distribute air more widely throughout rooms. Oscillating tower fans offer an even wider range of air distribution.
When should I choose a tower fan over other types of fans?
With their sheer power and minimal footprint, tower fans are particularly well-suited for spaces that need a lot of cooling but lack the space a box fan would demand. If you have a small, stuffy office or a crowded studio apartment that lacks a cross breeze, a tower fan should be your first choice of fan.
Tower Fans can also be a good option in homes with children or pets, as they are bladeless and do not have as many areas for stuck fingers or tails. "Tower fans can often weigh more than other fans, so it’s important to be mindful of where you place it in the house, says Rodney George, a Best Buy home expert. "Avoid elevated surfaces where they can easily be knocked down by small children and pets, and keep in mind that tower fans don’t have a blade for children to touch, so it might also help minimize the risk of getting hurt."
How do I clean a tower fan?
Luckily, you don't have to take apart a tower fan to clean it. "Cleaning the fan will depend on the type of fan you purchase, says George. "Bladeless fans will use filters that you swap out depending on how often you use it and the manufacturer’s guidelines."
Your fan model might also include a cleaning brush, which you can use to scrub dust and lint out of intake grills. (A small, clean toothbrush can get the job done in a pinch.) A can of compressed air helps clear out debris from the fan's blades and the rest of its interior.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Katie Begley, a freelance writer specializing in home and family products. She has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. Living in Hawaii, Begley became a tower fan enthusiast for keeping her home cool and comfortable while saving on expensive electric bills and has used many of these fans in her own home.
Additional reporting was added by Jenica Currie, Associate Commerce Editor for outdoor, gardening, and home improvement at The Spruce. Currie added testing insights from The Lab and from testers evaluating these tower fans in their own homes. Rodney George, a Best Buy home expert, also provided additional insight for this article. George not only offered buying tips but also provided helpful insight on how to clean and maintain tower fans.
What Is Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally, we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.