Summertime is here–and with it comes sprawling sunny afternoons, later evenings outside–and, more often than not, blisteringly high temperatures. At first, they’re a welcome respite from the cool grey weather. Before long, the search begins for relief from the heat.
The best cooling fans currently on the market can do more than just deliver a much-yearned for breath of fresh air. With purifying technology, eco-friendly energy-efficient modes, and newer blade-free models that propel fresh air silently around your home, the best fans of the season can transform your home into a healthier, more restful oasis amid the summer heat.
Whether you’re looking for fans that cool like air conditioners or the best fans for cooling an apartment, you’re likely searching for one thing: relief and comfortable relaxation. With our ranking of the best fans for summer as well as our helpful buyer’s guide below, you’re sure to find a fan to help you beat the heat and truly enjoy every minute of your summer.
Our ranking of the best cooling fans of 2020
- Lasko Ultra Air Performance: Overall best
- Holmes Blizzard: Best value
- Dyson Pure Air Purifier: Best high-end
- Seville UltraSlimline: Best tower fan
- Honeywell Quietset: Best floor fan
- Vornado VFAN Sr. Pedestal: Best standing
- Dyson Pure Cool: Most stylish
- Lasko Metal: Best desk fan
- Rowenta Turbo Silence Extreme: Best bedroom fan
- Lasko High Velocity: Most powerful
- GreenTech Environmental: Most energy-efficient
- GermGuardian True HEPA: Best air purifier
- Vornado Air Circulator: Best cooling
Lasko Ultra Air Performance: Overall best cooling fan
With three speed settings, a tiny footprint, and a built-in ionizer, the Lasko Ultra Air Performance tower fan delivers a steady stream of fresh, cool air to help make the hottest of days a breeze. With the height this indoor cooling fan provides, you can easily send soothing streams of air just over beds or chairs—giving a room similar benefits as air conditioning without the noise or energy investment.
This fan is designed with helpful details which make it easy to use. A carrying handle, energy-efficient timer, optional oscillation and a remote control device make this tower fan a good option for those who live in small or multifunctional spaces.
The team behind this fan designed it to be beautiful as well as functional; it can blend in with your decor with any of six finishes, including grained silver and black wood. Between the cooler air and the clean, fresh feeling this ionizer and fan subtly delivers, the Lasko is an excellent all-around choice for a high-quality cooling fan at an accessible price point.
We’re pleased to rank the Lasko 1.2m (48”) Tower Fan as the best overall cooling fan.
Holmes Blizzard: Best value fan
If you’re looking for powerful cooling in an even tinier package, the Holmes Blizzard Rotating Fan offers the capacity to send a refreshing breeze to every corner of a 46 square metre (500 square foot) room—while itself taking up almost no room at all.
This fan is designed to be ultra-portable, which means you can carry instant relief from the summer heat and humidity wherever you go. With an oversized carry handle built into its top and incorporated cord storage, packing this fan up for transport is easy and practical.
Even though it’s small, the Holmes Blizzard Rotating Fan manages to pack in several features echoing those in more deluxe fans, such as differentiating speed settings, a selection of rotation patterns, sleep modes and automatic shutoff timer patterns, and a remote control unit for your convenience.
This fan is best for those who require powerful cooling and practical features as well as budget-friendly value. This fan is ranked as the best value fan on our list.
Dyson Pure Air Purifier: Best high-end cooling fan
For a smart fan which can sense precisely what your room needs, turn to the Dyson Pure Air Purifier. Its built-in sensors are attuned to air pollution, temperature and humidity levels and automatically delivers purification as well as constantly updated information about your environment on its LCD display.
Inside is a HEPA filter which can capture the vast majority of common allergens; it can even purify the air of smoke and its residue. The Pure Cool Cryptic then projects purified, cooled air throughout your room with 350 degrees of oscillation.
As an added convenience, this Dyson cooling fan is fully connectable to your home’s WiFi. Using the free associated app, you can see real-time reports and create schedules around your day. With all of its updated and thoughtful features, we’re pleased to rank the Dyson Pure Air Purifier as the best high-end cooling fan.
Seville UltraSlimline: Best tower fan
Featuring four different speeds including an ‘eco’ setting, an easy-to-read control panel and steel intake grill which naturally reduces its sound, the Seville Classics UltraSlimline Oscillating Tower Fan was designed to mould itself to suit your lifestyle.
Choose between sleep, natural, and calming programmes to initiate patterns of cool, relaxing breezes to waft around your room specifically meant to help you relax. With a remote control and 75 degrees of oscillation, this fan manages to do quite a bit with a small footprint, making it a great choice for small spaces.
Fused safety plugs, easy-push buttons with LED indicators, and the all-steel internal mechanisms mean that this fan is built to last for a long time and keep you safe and cool. Its sleek silhouette helps it seamlessly become a part of any room’s decor!
With its safety features and functional, easy-use interfaces as well as its varying programmes and settings, this tower is the right choice for people who want a fan who can handle a wide range of use. It is the best tower cooling fan on our list.
Honeywell Quietset: Best floor fan
The Honeywell Quietset Tower Fan seeks to manufacture a spring breeze winding its way through your home; and, with its powerful oscillating fan, one could say that it does. This fan can easily be used year-round for optimal comfort. It features full volume control and choice among several different programmes and patterns for cooling.
Dimming features and auto shut-off timers allow you precise control over exactly how and when this fan cools your room. The included remote control can also give you that power without you having to make a trip across the room! As the Honeywell Quietset Tower Fan comes in a sleek chrome finish, there’s no reason it can’t add to your room’s style, as well.
With the customizability and power this fan offers, it’s excellent for those who don’t have room for a large box fan or for multiple fans but still wish to have options for cooling an entire room effectively. We’re happy to name the Honeywell Whole-Room Tower Fan as the best floor fan in our 2020 ranking.
Vornado VFAN Sr. Pedestal: Best standing fan
Looking for a powerful fan which combines modern features with a retro aesthetic? Coming in sage and cream colourways, the Vornado VFAN Sr. Pedestal is a standing option with a striking silhouette.
This fan brings together the performance of other fans in the Vornado line—the 3-speed power, the multi-directional airflow, the adjustable height and swift air circulation which can revitalise an entire room—and the iconic styling of an Art Deco piece. As a solid upgrade, both in looks and in features, from other standing fans on the market, the Vornado wins the title of the best standing fan on our list.
It’s perfect for those who want to have the height and manoeuvrability of a free-standing fan, but don’t wish to have a large, loud plastic piece in their living room to look at all summer! As an added bonus, this fan comes with a 5-year hassle-free warranty.
Dyson Pure Cool: Most stylish cooling fan
For an untraditional desk option which packs a high-quality air purifier and powerful cooling fan into a petite, design forward shape, consider the Dyson Pure Cool. This piece continuously monitors the quality of the air in your environment and changes its activity to match, radiating purified air constantly through to every corner of your room.
Featuring 350-degree oscillation, a Night Mode with its quietest and dimmest settings, and both forward and backward airflow options, the Dyson Pure Cool is geared to enhance your current life in powerful yet subtle ways as a seamless part of the background of your room.
With smart-home capabilities, the Dyson Pure Cool seeks to be completely effortless to use and informative at the same time. Its LCD screen keeps you updated at all times on the status of the air quality in your home—and what the Dyson Pure Cool plans to do to improve it.
The high-tech features this fan offers in its sleek, modern table-top shape make the Dyson Pure Cool Air Purifier and Fan the most stylish fan that we’ve seen.
Lasko Metal: Best desk fan
There are fans which are plastic, clunky behemoths which you bring out only when necessary; and then there are fans which are stylish enough in their functional design that they can proudly become a part of your home’s decor, rather than detracting from it!
The Lasko Metal Table Fan is a good example of what happens when function meets beauty. Formed entirely from brushed chrome, this fan has muted branding and sleekly shaped blades for an overall vintage look, instead of a modern industrial feel. As it’s a table fan, it can easily sit out on a book-case or end table and breathe life into your room without overpowering it with a large footprint.
With simple controls—just a button and a dial to switch between speeds—and a light carrying weight, this fan is easy to move, use, and live with; and, because you won’t feel the need to hide it away for aesthetics, it can merge seamlessly with your life instead of feeling more like a tool to be taken out when required. Its three speeds offer a comfortable variety of differing airflows as well as the ability to ramp up or down the white noise you require in your home.
For its unassuming, design-driven look and its easy-to-use features, we’re pleased to rank the Lasko Metal Table Fan as the best desk fan that we’ve seen.
Rowenta Turbo Silence Extreme: Best bedroom fan
If you need a fan in your bedroom to keep you cool throughout the night—after all, cooler temperatures usually aid with more restful sleep—you may wonder at the models of fans which boast of powerful motors and hundreds of moving parts. With the Rowenta, you can be assured of the power you need to keep yourself cool and low enough noise for you to sleep peacefully at the same time.
With five-speed settings—each calibrated to be as quiet, and including a Silent Night mode for soundless operation—this fan offers powerful oscillating airflow without the whirring, humming noise you may associate with fans. Its handy remote control, ergonomic handle, and easy-to-see electronic controls offer you the practical ease necessary to consider this fan a helpful addition in your summer survival toolkit.
Due to its reputation as a strong yet completely silent fan, this product is perfect for those who are looking for the quietest fan possible to keep on through the night. We’re pleased to rank the Rowenta Turbo Silence Extreme as the quietest fan and therefore the best bedroom fan on our list.
Lasko High Velocity: Most powerful fan
From Lasko, maker of the tower fan we’ve ranked as #1 above, comes another noteworthy addition in this lineup: a blower fan that offers powerhouse speeds to help you rejuvenate the atmosphere of even the largest and stuffiest rooms. With three speeds and optional oscillation, this is a great fan for large places that need proper ventilation such as kitchens, garages, and gyms.
You’ll find that the airflow on this fan is easy to manipulate, with adjustable louvres to help you control precisely where you need a fresh breeze in your home. The control system on this fan is extremely simple: instead of a range of buttons with tiny labels, there’s just one large button and one large dial—you can control this fan without even looking!
This Lasko fan has been outfitted with several safety features, which are especially necessary with this fan’s high power. There is a fuse placed right in the plug itself which can help turn the fan off in the case of an electrical fault.
Between its safety features and its extremely powerful airflow, we’re happy to note that the Lasko High Velocity Blower Fan is the most powerful fan on our list.
GreenTech Environmental: Most energy-efficient fan
For an innovative entry in energy-efficient cooling fans, turn to the GreenTech Environmental PureFlow. With its modular shape, it may not even seem like a fan initially; but once activated, this table fan can circulate fresh, clean air through an entire room with 90-degree vertical tilt and 90-degree horizontal oscillation.
With safety-first features which include its completely blade-free design and fast air cycling programmes which actually allow for stronger breezes than traditional bladed fans, this cooling device is great around children and pets—and particularly effective for a sustainable alternative for at-home cooling. Because it requires less energy to move blades, this fan can concentrate all of its work in propelling cool air around your home. Using only 2 watts, this fan can provide as much as twice the circulation and air speed of a traditional fan!
Choose from 12 differing speeds with the GreenTech Environmental PureFlow Bladeless fan, including quiet settings for overnight usage. Between its innovative, blade-free system and its sustainable, eco-friendly design, we’re naming this fan the most energy-efficient fan in our 2020 ranking.
GermGuardian True HEPA: Best air purifier
If you’re looking for a fan that prioritises clean air, truly helping sanitise the atmosphere in your home instead of just pushing the air around, then the GermGuardian may be a good choice. With a HEPA air filter that can filter out particles as small as 0.3 microns from your environment, you no longer have to fear dust, pollen, germs, pet dander, most common allergens and even certain airborne viruses.
However, it can do more than just provide you and your family with pure air: the HEPA filter can even filter out gases and smoke to provide you with a completely scent-free home environment. Included is an activated charcoal feature which works to remove any unwanted aromas from the air in your home.
The air purifying filter included is a good fit for a room up to 15.5 square metres (167 square feet). It also has a UV-C setting which can kill pathogens in your air, making this a great choice if you’re worried about catching a cold in your home! As an added bonus, it does all of this quietly: the quietest setting is a low hum, easily used as white noise while you sleep soundly.
The GermGuardian True HEPA is the best air purifier on our list.
Vornado Air Circulator: Best cooling fan
The Vornado 783 is a standing fan with a unique angled base and strong Vortex air circulation which promises to effectively cool an entire room. With a pivoting head and adjustable height, it’s easy to get the airflow wherever you need it; and once you’ve set it up properly, this fan can circulate air up to 30 metres (100 feet) away.
Its controls are easy to master: a simple dial allows you to switch between its three settings, and an on/off button manages power. Where the Vornado truly shines is its capacity to move air quickly, with deep-pitched blades, an inlet guide cone, a spiral grill and enclosed air duct all meticulously engineered to provide as little friction and as much power as possible.
Its interior circulator allows the Vornado 783 to create a unique pattern of airflow within your room that mimics the effect of a heavy-duty air conditioner, without the required energy and the loud sound effects. With its promise to move all of the air in any given room, instead of merely the air at which it is pointed, the Vornado 783 Air Circulator wins the title of the best cooling fan on our list.
How to find the perfect fan for you
Fans have made innovative leaps and bounds over the past few decades. Here are the most common types on the market, as well as the situations they may best suit:
- Table: Table fans are portable, versatile, and often are targeted to deliver perfect ventilation for just one or two people.
- Tower: For smaller spaces that may not have the room for a bulky rotating fan, consider one of these slimmer oscillating pieces—which frequently have a footprint of less than one square foot.
- Standing: Standing fans feature a traditional rotary fan on an extendable vertical base to help you spread fresh air at an elevated angle.
- Bladeless: The newest tech in ventilation systems allows for air to be circulated and purified without noisy blades, resulting in quieter, lighter systems.
Fans are also getting smarter and easier to use, with different programmes for day and night, smart home connectivity, and remote controls to help make using them truly easy. Think carefully about how you might use the fan in your day-to-day life to determine which features would make a great fan worth it for you.
Should you choose a cooling fan or an air conditioner?
Fans hold several differing benefits over air conditioning units—not the least of which is that they are generally far less expensive. Fans are also more portable: As opposed to air conditioning units, which may be wall or window mounted, fans tend to be free-standing and certainly less heavy, which means they are easier to take with you wherever you are for targeted cooling relief.
Fans often come in desk or tabletop sizes as well: if you’d like pure, cool air as close as possible, fans can be a more practical choice.
However, an air conditioner can often provide an advantage when it comes to generating ice-cold air very quickly. While fans can cool down air and help transport fresh air to you (for example, if you have the fan next to an open window, directing cool air in), an air conditioner can take hot air and make it freezing cold in seconds.
On the other hand, air conditioning units take a lot of energy to run and offer little versatility. With high-quality fans placed strategically, it’s more than possible to get the relief that you need.
Methodology: How we selected, tested, and ranked the best cooling fans on the market
We began our process by looking up the most recent offerings from brands which have consistently provided excellent fans for several years, including online bestsellers. We then carefully went through the specifications of each of these fans and read many reviews to get a feel for whether these fans did what they set out to do.
Next, we used the heightened search criteria gleaned from our first round of research to look for any up-and-coming brands which had promising products. After analysing these as well, we created a pool of candidates for our ranking. Each of these we compared to one another—keeping in mind that we wanted to offer our readers a wide variety of cooling fans—until we narrowed the list down to thirteen candidates: the products featured above.
Frequently Asked Questions about cooling fans
The best fan to keep you cool is the Vornado 783 Air Circulator.
There is not a fan that blows specifically cold air on this list, because refrigerating the air before blowing it out is more a job for an air conditioner. However, many fans on this list can cool you down by increasing airflow very effectively.
The Dyson fan does cool a room by effectively moving and purifying air for a refreshing and rejuvenating feel. However, it is not an air conditioner—though its effects may cool you down enough so you don’t need one.
Fans can actually cool you down by providing clean, fresh air instead of allowing hot air to sit. With the right placement strategy, it’s possible to rely on fans for relief instead of air conditioners, which can save you energy and money.
The Dyson Pure Air Purifier fan is best for cooling, providing as it does a clean, fresh sensation that is soothing during the heat of the summer.
The best fan for cooling a room is the Vornado 783 Air Circulator; its air circulation patterns are most effective at cooling an entire room.