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As the thermostat rises, it makes sense to have a fan on hand 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. With that in mind, we’ve compiled this handy guide to the best fans to help you chill out and find relief from the sweltering heat.

The best fans: Reviews & Recommendations

Whether you’re looking for the best fan for your bedroom to keep cool at night, a battery-powered portable fan to bring on your next camping trip, or deciding between the best window or electric fan, we’ve got cool choices for cooling down.

Best overall: Vornado 660 Large Whole Room Air Circulator Fan



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 for large spaces: Big Ass Sidekick Portable Fan

Big Ass


Cooling a big space can be challenging, so when you set out to do it you need a powerful fan. The Big Ass Sidekick Portable Fan is up for the job. This barrel fan is 48 inches wide, providing plenty of airflow from its six airfoils. The Sidekick comes fully assembled, and its swivel casters make it portable and lockable. With its IPX5 waterproof rating, you can roll this fan indoors or outside. And if you’re not happy, there’s a warranty of up to three years. — Jen McCaffery

Best battery-powered: Honeywell HTF090B Turbo on the Go Personal Fan



While it’s great to have a stationary fan that you can depend on, it’s also very helpful to have one you can take with you throughout your day. Honeywell’s Turbo on the Go Fan is made by a trusted name. It weighs just .64 ounces, but it comes with 250 watts of power. This battery-operated floor fan is powered by four AAA batteries, and it also has a USB port you can plug in to supplement the battery power. It’s also designed with an adjustable base that makes it freestanding. And at a price of around $15, this fan is an excellent way to save energy and money.

Best for windows: Bionaire Window Fan w/ Twin 8.5-In. Blades



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 desk: OPOLAR USB Desk Fan



If you work in a stuffy office, a fan for your desk can provide welcome relief. Opolar’s USB desk fan is designed with four wind modes (including super wind), and it tilts 90 degrees to ensure the cooling breeze hits its target. At the same time, it’s early silent so that you won’t disturb your coworkers, and its 6.5-inch body won’t take up a lot of space on your desk. The USB port allows you to plug into your laptop and other devices, and its size also makes it great for portability. And it comes in at a very budget-friendly price.

Best budget: Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce Air Circulator Fan



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.

Things to consider when shopping for the best fans

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, like outdoor misting fans, so you can take them onto the patio or out in the yard. Other models, such as window fans, will bring fresh air inside by sucking in cooler air from the outside. 


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 to 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.

Bladeless fans

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 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 functionality and aesthetics. 

Battery power

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 adventurous 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 consider 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. Need personal refreshment that takes up minimal space? Consider a neck fan.


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.


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 inside, the best window model will help bring that cool air inside while exhausting hot air outside. 

Final thoughts on choosing the best fans

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.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.