The hottest stretch of summer is upon us, so it’s probably a great time to invest in a powerful yet portable fan that’ll help you stay cool in your home. We gathered picks for every budget, and even a few that even circulate and purify the air.
What to Look for in a Portable Fan
Whether you prefer your fans in oscillating tower form or as small and quiet desktop accessories, be sure to keep these important fan features in mind:
- Multiple Speed Settings: A fan that lets you control its intensity is a friend, indeed. While low, medium, and high will suffice, we favor fans with lots of speed options from a peaceful comfortable breeze at night to a turbo wind gale on the hottest days.
- Low Noise Levels: Some fans get pretty noisy when turned up all the way—an unfortunate feature that’s often hard to escape. Fortunately, most fans out there are designed to run quietly, which is great to have if you need a quiet environment for sleeping or studying. It’s worth noting that even “quiet” fans will still make a noticeable amount of noise when set at higher speeds, however.
- Smart Design: While most folks are content with having literally any fan during summer, there are times you need to take a fan’s design into consideration, like if you have active pets or kids. If you do, consider fans that sit directly on the floor rather than tower or pedestal fans, as they’re less likely to be knocked over. You might also want to ensure your fan has a small footprint if you don’t have much spare room.
- Convenient Extras: Some fans offer unique features or handy extras you might not normally think of that set them apart from the rest. More fans have started shipping with remote controls, so you can stay comfy on the couch while adjusting speed or oscillation, while other models are specifically designed to circulate air or purify it, in addition to providing you with a refreshing breeze.
Best Overall: Lasko T42951
The Lasko T42951 is a solid overall choice thanks to its powerful speed settings, small footprint, and quiet performance. It gives you 3 speeds to choose from—low, medium, and high—all of which run quietly. The fan’s small footprint measures 13 x 13 inches, so it can stand in a corner out of the way, and with a height of 43 inches, it’s still enough to ensure there’s a nice breeze in your room.
The Lasko does its best work at night, however. The quiet motor provides relaxing white noise, and the Nighttime setting automatically dims the display and runs on high for an hour to cool you down, then on medium for an hour to help you fall asleep, then on low until you interact with it again the next morning. Of course, you can always set it to the speed you prefer and set a timer anywhere from 30 minutes to 7.5 hours. The fan is backed by a 1-year limited warranty.
Lasko Portable Electric 42" Oscillating Tower Fan with Nighttime Setting, Timer and Remote Control for Indoor, Bedroom and Home Office Use, Silver T42951
This powerful tower fans runs quietly, doesn't take up much space, and is great for nighttime use.
Best Budget Pick: Honeywell HT904 Tabletop Air Circulator
The Honeywell HT904 might be tiny, but it’s also mighty. It works equally well sitting on a table or on the floor, and its compact design doesn’t take up much space. The fan has 3 speeds and a 90-degree pivoting head that do a good job cooling down and circulating air in small to medium-sized rooms.
You can feel the HT904’s breeze from 27 feet away (according to Honeywell, anyway), and it’s a great way to feel a cool breeze when you want to give your air conditioner a break. Because of its small size, it also tends to run fairly quietly. The little fan works super hard and is an amazing budget pick.
Honeywell Kaz HT-904 Tabletop Air-Circulator Fan White,Small
This fan is small, powerful, and inexpensive, plus its easy to use.
Best Premium Pick: Dyson Air Multiplier AM06
If you’ve got a larger budget for a fan, any Dyson fan is absolutely worth your money (plus they’re fun to look at). The Dyson Air Multiplier AM06 is a premium fan, and one of Dyson’s least expensive options. The bladeless fan offers uninterrupted airflow and is super safe for use around curious children or pets.
The AM06 comes with a slim remote control that lets you choose from 10 airflow settings or set a timer anywhere from 15 minutes to 9 hours. It’s also curved and magnetized, so it can be stored directly on the machine when not in use. The fan ships with a two-year warranty on parts and labor, which is nice to have on a premium device.
Dyson Air Multiplier AM06 Table Fan, 10 Inches, White/Silver
The Dyson AM06 is stylish, bladeless, powerful, and has a magnetic remote control.
Quietest Fan: Honeywell QuietSet
The Honeywell QuietSet tower fan is slim, powerful, and best of all, extra quiet. It has 8 speed settings, from Sleep up to Power Cool, most of which run nearly silently like white noise. The fastest speeds do produce a noticeable sound, but it’s nothing that would drown out a TV program at a moderate volume. You can set the auto shut-off timer for 1, 2, 4, or 8 hours.
There is a button on the fan’s interface that lets you dim the display light, with 5 brightness options to choose from. You can control power, speed, and oscillation either directly from the display or via the included small remote (which can be stored on the back of the fan when not being used). The QuietSet has a slim lightweight design and a small footprint, so it’s easy to move around your house, and it doesn’t take up much space. Set up is a cinch and doesn’t require any tools, though you’ll need two AAA batteries for the remote.
Honeywell QuietSet Whole Room Tower Fan-Black, HYF290B
This tower fan has 8 speed settings, a remote control, a timer, and runs quietly.
Best for Air Purification: Blueair Blue Pure
Not only is the Blueair Blue Pure adorable, it also purifies the air. As it takes in air, the Blue Pure removes 99% of dust and pollen particles, which makes it great for those with sensitive allergies. It also has customizable prefilter fabric colors like Dark Shadow and Diva Blue that you can alternate to keep it looking fresh and stylish in your home.
The fan pushes out air at a 90-degree angle instead of oscillating. It also has a single button that lets you control power and 3 speed settings, in favor of its minimalist design. It even runs quietly enough to use in your bedroom while you sleep.
Blueair Blue Pure Purifying Fan 3 Speeds with Washable Pre-Filter Reduces Allergens, Dust, Pollen, Pet Hair
This adorable fan purifies the air as it provides a breeze, and has customizable colorful filters.
Best for Air Circulation: Vornado 630 Air Circulator Fan
If air circulation is your thing, don’t skip the Vornado 630 Air Circulator Fan. Its spiral grill, internal air duct, deep-pitch propeller blades, and inlet air accelerator do a thorough job of circulating all the air in a room. Vornado’s signature Vortex Action airflow ensures that air moves efficiently up to 70 feet away from the fan.
The Vornado has 3 easy-to-use speed settings and an adjustable tilting head for optimal placement. It also comes with a 5-year warranty—the best of any in our list. It measures 8.1 x 9.8 x 10.8 inches, so it’s relatively small and can be placed either on the ground or on a table.
Vornado 630 Mid-Size Whole Room Air Circulator Fan
The Vornado 630 is scientifically designed for precision air circulation up to 70 feet away from the fan.
Best for Large Areas and Heavy-Duty Use: Lasko U12104 High Velocity Pro
If you’ve got a big room to cool or you just need a super industrial (yet still affordable) fan to beat the heat, the Lasko U12104 High Velocity Pro has your back. Because it’s so powerful, it’s great for using in your home gym, garage, basement, workshop, or even at parties or job sites.
The High Velocity Pro is, well, a pro at circulating air, and its adjustable head lets you direct the air exactly where you want it to go. It’s ready to use right out of the box, and even has two accessory outlets (and a circuit breaker and reset button) if you need to connect additional devices. Despite its formidable power, its small footprint means you won’t have to sacrifice any space. It measures just 11.3 x 14.5 x 14.5 inches, includes a 10-foot power cord, and has a built-in gripped handle for easy maneuvering.
Lasko High Velocity Pro-Performance Pivoting Utility Fan for Cooling, Ventilating, Exhausting and Drying at Home, Job Site and Work Shop, Black Grey U15617
This fan is small yet powerful, enough for big rooms, plus it has outlets and a circuit breaker built in.