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Published Jun. 8, 2021

Spinning in circles looking for a new fan? As the thermostat rises, it makes sense to lock down the best fan purchase for your home or outdoor adventure needs before the stifling summer weather makes you too lazy to shop. In addition to cooling you down without running up your electricity bill, an efficient one can help keep you healthy by stimulating air circulation. Science has confirmed that we hate being hot, and a quality fan could mean the difference between a pleasant evening or a poor night’s sleep.

So whether you’re looking for the best for your bedroom to keep cool at night, a battery-powered pick to bring on your next camping trip, or deciding between the best window or electric fan, we’ve compiled this handy guide to help you chill out and find relief from the sweltering heat.

Features to consider when shopping for the best fan

Before you begin your search for the best fan, make sure to measure the size of the room where you plan to use it. Most have several speed settings, but you’ll want to determine in advance that the one you bring home is powerful enough for your space. Another aspect to consider is how much sound it makes. Some, especially if they’re set to full-blast, can be quite loud, while others are so silent you might even forget they’re on. If you’re very sensitive to noise, you may want to consider a bladeless fan, which tends to produce much less of a din than traditional ones. But bladeless models are often more expensive, so if you want the latest technology, expect to pay a higher price. 

Not to worry, though, because there are plenty of great picks for every budget. Most are cheaper than air conditioners, plus they use less electricity, so buying one may ultimately help you save money. Also worth considering is whether you want one with a remote control or timer. If the temperature in your bedroom dips overnight, you might prefer one that you can turn off (or that is already off) before you get out of bed. Many are battery-powered, so you can bring them outdoors, like outdoor misting fans. Other models, such as window fans, will bring fresh air inside by sucking in cooler air from the outside. 

1. In with cool air, out with hot air

If you’re looking for something that will not only make you feel cooler but actually lower the temperature of your home, window fans are the way to go. The key to making them work, however, is all about positioning. Inward-facing models bring in cool air from outside, while outward-facing ones exhaust hot air from inside. To make the most out of your window unit, you might want to consider buying two of them and placing them on opposite sides of the room or house. Just be sure to put the inward-facing model on whichever side gets more shade so you maximize the amount of cool air coming in. 

Want even more control over airflow? Other window fans come with inward- and outward-facing blades that can be set individually. Dual window fans can help cool down any room, but they are especially helpful in the kitchen since they can expel heat and odors while bringing in fresh air from outside.

2. Take advantage of the latest in cooling technology with a bladeless fan

Bladeless fans (also known as air multipliers) work by utilizing entrainment, meaning the air surrounding the edges of this electric option will begin to flow in the direction of the breeze. Finally, because the ring is thinner at the front than it is at the back, a phenomenon known as the Coandă effect occurs, creating low pressure in the inner part and causing additional air to be sucked in from behind it. Considering the technological wizardry behind their sleek design, it’s no surprise that air multipliers are significantly more expensive than their traditional counterparts. But if money is not your main concern bladeless fans can’t be beaten when it comes to both functionality and aesthetics. 

3. Need something portable? Look into a battery-powered fan

If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to fall asleep in a stuffy tent, you may want to consider buying a battery-operated fan before going on your next camping trip. Even if you’re not an outdoorsy adventures person, this type can still make a great addition to your next picnic or keep mosquitoes away while sitting on the porch. The best thing about battery-powered models is that they are portable, but there are advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation. 

The most important things to consider before you buy are the size and weight, plus how long the batteries will last. You probably won’t want to lug around a heavier fan if you’re going on a long hike, but if you just plan on using it on your patio or you’re taking it with you in an RV, you might appreciate the extra power that a bigger design provides. You’ll also want to think about whether the model runs on rechargeable or disposable batteries. Rechargeables are better for the environment, but if you don’t have a way to charge them, they won’t do you much good. Some battery-powered models also come with neat features such as a radio or lights, but using these add-ons will run the battery down faster. 

4. Beat the heat without breaking the bank

If you want to stay cool this summer without putting too much strain on your wallet, an inexpensive device can be a lifesaver. Mass-produced electric models have been around for more than a century and, today, affordable options abound. Does anyone actually need an expensive bladeless fan? Not necessarily, but staying cool and keeping the air around you circulating can make all the difference when it comes to your health. Although cheaper ones tend to lack bells and whistles like timers and remotes, if you can live without those extra features, there are plenty of models that you can pick up for a budget-friendly price point of less than $20.

Best fan for bedroom: Vornado 660 Large Whole Room Air Circulator Fan

Sleek Circulation

Vortex action keeps air circulating around the entire room. Vornado

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The Vornado is one of the best fans for the bedroom fan because of how effectively it circulates air. Although it doesn’t oscillate, this Vornado creates a vortex of air that bounces off the walls, leaving the entire room feeling cool. And while it would be nice if it had some basic features like a remote control or timer, the no-frills design makes it simple to find the right power setting.

Best window fan: Bionaire Window Fan w/ Twin 8.5-In. Blades

Flip-It-and-Reverse-It

The Bionaire fan brings in cool air from outside while simultaneously exhausting hot indoor air. Bionaire

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This window fan lets you set both of its blades individually, meaning you can use it to bring in fresh air from outside, expel hot air from indoors, or do both at the same time. Other great features include a programmable thermostat and timer, so you can set it and forget it while maintaining your preferred temperature.

Best bladeless fan: Dyson Air Multiplier AM06 Table Fan

Top Design for Techies

Say goodbye forever to choppy air. Dyson

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This powerful and virtually silent Dyson bladeless fan comes with a remote so you can easily adjust its 10 different power levels. While some may scoff at the price tag, die-hard Dyson supporters say you get what you pay for: a beautiful device that works wonderfully and is easy to clean. 

Best battery-powered fan: OPOLAR Battery-Operated Desk Fan

Lightweight for Outdoor Lifestyles

A long-lasting battery helps keep you cool wherever you bring it. OPOLAR

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This is a great pick if you’re looking for a desk fan with a long battery life that’s also easy to carry. Featuring a 20000mAh rechargeable battery but weighing in at only 1.7 pounds, this provides a powerful breeze, but it’s also a little pricier than other models. Reviewers say the it lasted for four days on one charge while camping without killing the battery, plus it can run while it’s being charged. They also rave about the portability and claim it’s pretty quiet, too.

Best budget fan: Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce Air Circulator Fan

Small but Mighty

The Honeywell is a cheap fan that still delivers. Honeywell

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This is an inexpensive, quiet fan for use in small to medium-sized rooms. While you can pivot the head of this model 90 degrees, it doesn’t oscillate or offer any features beyond its three power settings. For the price, though, it does pack a powerful punch. Reviewers say this is the least expensive they’ve found, isn’t noisy at all, and the airflow is nice without blasting you with cold air.

FAQs

Q: Are bladeless fans better?

Bladeless fans are also called air multipliers because they’re specially designed to blow out more air than regular ones. But since they also come at such a steep price, the question of whether or not they’re “better” for you will depend on your budget. There are many on the market that will keep you perfectly cool at a much lower price point. 

Q: What should I look for when buying a fan?

When you’re buying a fan, make sure that it’s powerful enough to keep your space cool. The size of your room or home may dictate the best type of fan to choose. Some models are also noisier than others, so look for a quiet fan for your bedroom that won’t keep you up at night.

Q: Which fan is best for summer?

The best for summer depends on the space you plan to use it in, and how hot it gets outside vs. inside. For example, if it’s cooler outside than in, the best window model will help bring that cool air inside while exhausting hot air outside. 

The final word on choosing the best fan

The best fan for you is the one that keeps you comfortable. For most people, this is going to come down to how powerful the model is and whether or not it is a quiet fan. Beyond that, there are plenty of extra features that you may want (such as timers, remotes, and thermostats), but if you’re just looking for a blast of cool air, those bells and whistles may not be necessary. Ultimately, the most important thing to remember when shopping is to buy it before the temperature goes up and while a variety of popular models are still in stock.

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