When the temperatures begin to rise, having a fan becomes the most important home accessory to help us through daily life. Whether you need to stay cool while working at your desk or want to sleep better at night, electric fans become the solution to those sticky summer days.
If you're currently looking to buy a fan, there are tons of options on the market, which can make it hard to choose the right one. From affordable classic pedestal fans to fancy smart models, there's a fan for everyone, so which ones are the best?
Here at The Recommended, we've done some digging to find this out for you. We have a list of all the top fans for all situations – whether you're into bladeless tower fans, USB-charged rotors or fans that you can easily transport. We've also got a buyer's guide to help you choose the right fan for you, how to position your fan correctly, and common mistakes when using a fan.
Jump to the best fans:
- Best powerful fan: Honeywell TurboForce Power Fan, £30, at Argos
- Best handheld fan: John Lewis Handheld and Foldable Desk Fan, £12 at John Lewis
- Best quiet fan: Dreo 106cm Tower Fan, £89.99, at Amazon
- Best desk fan: SMARTDEVIL Desk Fan, £15.99, at Amazon
- Best pedestal fan: Pro Breeze 16-Inch Pedestal Fan, £74.99, at B&Q
- Best smart fan: Princess Smart Tower Fan, £100.99, at Debenhams
- Best affordable fan: Scandi Tower Fan, £35.99, Wayfair
- Best purifying fan: DYSON Pure Hot+Cool, £399, at Curry's
- Best bladeless fan:ANSIO Tower Fan 30-inch with Remote, £79.97, at Amazon
The best fans
Best powerful fan: Honeywell TurboForce Power Fan
Packs a punch
This small, portable fan proves that size isn’t everything, with cooling power that can be felt up to seven meters away and a 90-degree oscillating head.
The versatile fan can be used on various surfaces, from floors to desks, and promises to keep you cool without keeping you up due to its discreet, quiet design. This fan allows you to customise your comfort with three variable speed settings to suit every situation.
Best handheld fan: John Lewis Handheld and Foldable Desk Fan
Great for home and on-the-go
This stylish little fan from John Lewis packs a punch on hot days. With three speed settings and a foldable handle that click into position as a stand, it's the perfect portable fan for hot days commuting to the office, easily slipping into a bag when you're out and about.
More like this
The charging cable plugs into a standard USB port (so you can charge it from a laptop), and once fully charged (which only takes 5 hours), this fan will operate for approximately 9 hours on low speed, 6 hours on medium speed and 4 hours on high speed - more than enough for some much-needed relief on really hot days.
Best quiet fan: Dreo 106cm Tower Fan
For sound sleep
This electric fan is made with a tower design that can be controlled digitally via a small remote. The remote allows you to control three modes and six speeds. It is equipped with a high-powered motor and a unique air-duct design that provides 7.3m/s that works to distribute airflow and cool temperatures effectively.
The fan’s bladeless design is safer for children and animals and also works to minimise noise through the sleep setting and air-duct design for a more peaceful environment. The Dreo Tower Fan is also designed with a clear LED display that allows you to track room temperature, speed, mode, and timer settings.
Best desk fan: SMARTDEVIL Desk Fan
For a cooler, clearer head
This compact, portable desk fan helps keep you cool at work and comes equipped with a convenient USB charger. It weighs only six ounces yet still provides effective air circulation with a 360-degree tilting design.
Despite its power, this fan is engineered with an ultra-quiet mechanism for quality cooling power that won’t disturb you at work.
Best pedestal fan: Pro Breeze® 16-Inch Pedestal Fan
Classic, effective design
This pedestal fan comes equipped with a powerful 55W motor and 16-inch rotating fan head. This fan is also made with an adjustable height function allowing you to adjust your fan to fit your space.
The fan's versatile design is accompanied by an easy-to-use LED display and remote control that allows you to adjust speed and timer settings across four different modes. The timer function also allows for up to 7.5 hours of continuous cooling, a great solution to sticky summer nights.
Best smart fan: Princess Smart Tower Fan
A high-tech experience
This smart fan allows for a truly bespoke experience, from the app that controls cooling settings from your phone to the voice control capabilities.
The bladeless tower features three wind speeds, a powerful 50W motor, and an 80-degree oscillating range for quality cooling and air circulation. The free smartphone app allows you to control your device remotely, and the voice control feature is compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant for truly convenient cooling.
Best affordable fan: Scandi Tower Fan
Where value meets quality
This stylish Scandi-style tower fan delivers cooling power with a price tag that won’t make you break a sweat. It is an affordable fan which has a unique and stylish design and is available in a variety of heights to suit every space.
The fan also comes equipped with three-speed settings, an 80-degree oscillating range, and a convenient two-hour timer to help keep you cool for longer.
Best purifying fan: DYSON Pure Hot+Cool
This purifying fan works to remove pollutants and cool air at the same time for a refreshing cool breeze. It provides a filtered stream of cool air using Dyson’s innovative core flow technology to help you stay cool and refreshed all year round.
The Dyson is designed with a removable filter for easy maintenance and helps ease allergy sufferers' symptoms by removing unwanted gases and pollutants from the air. Also, the Dyson has a heating setting so doesn't have to be put away for winter and can keep you warm when the temperature begins to drop.
Best bladeless fan: ANSIO Tower Fan 30-inch with Remote
Safe and durable
Bladeless fans are thought to be safer to have around children and pets and provide quality cooling ability in a sleek, durable design.
These sleek bladeless designs are available in four colourways and are sure to complement any décor. They are designed with three wind and speed settings and rotate for well-circulated cooling power. This tower fan can be operated manually by the top-mounted control panel or via the remote control for convenient cooling.
Fan buyer's guide: how to choose the right fan for your needs
Here's our buyer's guide, which will help you choose the right fan for you and set it up correctly.
Key considerations when buying a fan
When purchasing a fan, keep these six factors in mind to ensure your fan meets your cooling needs:
- Type of fan: Determine the fan type that suits your space and preferences. Options include tower fans, pedestal fans, desk fans, wall-mounted fans, and more.
- Room size: Consider the dimensions of the room where the fan will be placed. Larger rooms may need fans with higher airflow capacity or multiple fans for effective cooling. Also, if you have a small room make sure the fan will fit.
- Airflow strength: Look for fans with sufficient airflow, usually measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Higher CFM values indicate better air circulation.
- Noise level: For people for which quiet is a priority, opt for fans with lower decibel (dB) ratings, particularly if you plan to use the fan in a bedroom or a quiet workspace.
- Features and controls: Assess features like adjustable speed settings, oscillation options for wider coverage, remote control for convenience, and timer functions for energy efficiency.
- Budget: Set a budget range and explore options within that range. Balancing features and costs will help you find the right fan for your needs without overspending.
Where to put your fan
Positioning your fan optimally can make a significant difference in maximizing its cooling effect. Here are some different ways to position your fan to get the most out of it:
- Strategically angle the fan: Direct your fan towards the wall at an upward angle. This helps circulate cooler air that builds up at the floor level, lowering the overall room temperature.
- Window placement: For a smart cooling strategy, place your fan in front of an open window, facing outward. This aids in pushing warm indoor air outside, facilitating better air exchange and fresher airflow.
- Ceiling-level cooling: If possible, position the fan so that it's blowing air across the ceiling. This creates a gentle breeze that travels down the walls and into the living space, providing consistent and comfortable cooling.
- Doorway crossflow: Place a fan near the doorway between two rooms. This setup encourages cross-ventilation as cooler air from one room is drawn into the warmer room, creating a refreshing airflow.
How much does running a fan cost?
Running a fan is far more energy-efficient than an air conditioning unit and is one of the cheapest electrical appliances to use. On average, an electric fan consumes about 50 to 100 watts per hour. If your electricity rate is around 34p per kilowatt-hour (the average U.K rate), running a fan for an entire day might cost you roughly 75p if you had it on for the whole 24 hours.
Compared to air conditioning, which can cost several pounds per day, fans are a budget-friendly option for staying comfortable. But, if you're still concerned about fan-related costs, consider turning off the fan when you leave the room. Additionally, using fans alongside smart cooling strategies, like window placement and through-breeze creation, can contribute to energy efficiency.
By strategically placing your fan, managing its usage wisely, and understanding its energy costs, you can enjoy a cooler environment without breaking the bank.
Common mistakes when setting up a fan
Avoid these four common mistakes to ensure your fan setup provides the most effective cooling:
Placing the fan in a sunny zone
Selecting the right spot for your fan matters. Opt for naturally cooler rooms in your home, avoiding areas exposed to direct sunlight. Placing the fan in a sunny spot could lead to circulating warm air, defeating its cooling purpose. If your space lacks cooler rooms, find the shadiest corner to position your fan for optimal results.
Running the fan non-stop
While continuous airflow sounds appealing during scorching weather, it's wise to give your fan breaks. Extended exposure to a fan can increase the risk of allergies and colds and even dry out your skin and eyes. To prevent these issues, avoid running the fan all night and consider periodic breaks to maintain a comfortable environment.
Putting the fan by the window during the day
During daylight hours, exterior temperatures are usually warmer. Placing a fan by an open window won't cool the incoming air. Instead, it invites warm outdoor air inside. Close windows and doors during the day to prevent heat from infiltrating your space. Wait until later in the day to turn on the fan after ensuring the windows are shut.
Elevating the fan
Positioning your fan up high doesn't yield the best results. Warm air congregates near the ceiling, while cooler air resides closer to the ground. For optimal circulation, place the fan on the floor and angle it upward. This mixing of temperatures contributes to an overall cooler room. To enhance cooling, consider placing a bowl of ice in front of the fan to chill the circulated air, creating an even more refreshing breeze.
If you would like to read more expert-recommended round-ups, check out our household page, where you’ll find more home recommendations, including the best portable air conditioning units and the best cooling mats.
Isobel Nutbrown is a Staff Writer at The Recommended and works with leading industry experts to help readers make informed decisions and shop smarter online.
Finn Byrne is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media. He works across several brands including The Recommended, RadioTimes.com, MadeforMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. Finn has previously written for publications including MyLondon, The Mirror, The Express, and The Star. When not writing Finn enjoys spending time on the football pitch and getting stuck into a book.