Sick of feeling like you're melting in your own home? We researched dozens of floor fans before choosing 9 of the top models on the market to test side-by-side. For our comparison testing, we examined important features like airflow, perceived noise, stability, and measured dimensions and weight to determine value based on size. We battled summer heat in the high deserts of the American West, relaxed on the patio, watched movies on the couch, and worked in the garage during the heat of the day. We tested all of these fans to see which fall short of the task of keeping you cool during the hottest months of the summer. No matter the size of your room or your budget, we've found the best floor fan for you.We have tested the best home appliances, including a wide variety of fans. From powerful floor models and window fans, to table-top models and space-conscious, full-size options like pedestal fans and tower fans, we covered the top models on the market. If a floor fan simply isn't cutting the summer heat, consider a portable air conditioner.
Our Top Picks
Hands down, our favorite floor fan is the Vornado 660 thanks to its strength, setting selections, and small footprint. This compact fan is an "air circulator", designed to move air throughout the whole room rather than blow directly on you. It efficiently mixes the air in the room to give you an equal temperature throughout, and its tunnel-like shape works very well at cooling you down rapidly when needed. It provides plenty of choices with its four varying speeds, which are all quite different. Despite this fan's small size, the top speeds emit powerful breezes, and the lower speeds are impressively quiet.
We had a hard time finding a flaw with the Vornado 660. The fan will pivot vertically 90 degrees, from straight ahead to straight up, which gets the job done but isn't too impressive. And, though each speed is a separate button, you can't just press the one you want to power the fan on. You must first press the power button, which automatically turns it on at the highest setting. Regrettably, this design doesn't allow the fan to be operated from a smart switch or timer. Still, we're really impressed with the performance of this rather compact air circulator fan, and we readily recommend it.Dimensions (D x W x H): 11" x 13" x 15"
Cleaning: Removable grill via screws
If you're here looking for a floor fan that does its job without costing an arm and a leg, the Lasko 3300 Wind Machine is the fan for you. From across a room, even on its lowest setting, this large plastic unit can be easily felt. Though the protruding handle on top stops it from pivoting a full 360 degrees, it does come very close to achieving that goal. It also has knobs on each side to tighten the unit to that perfect angle once you've found it. Though loud, the more even, lower-pitched hum the Wind Machine emits fades into the background far better than the higher prop-plane-like thrum of many others we tested.
Though we think the quality of sound coming from the Lasko 3300 Wind Machine is more pleasant than many others, in terms of sheer decibels, it's one of the loudest fans we tested. Its control knob is also located directly in the middle of the back. As one of the largest fans, this makes it one of the least convenient controls to use. And despite being a relatively large fan, the plastic base has no added pieces to stop it from easily sliding across the floor with a simple push. However, at the end of the day, the Wind Machine is a solid choice to keep you cool on the couch and on a budget — though you may need to turn up the TV volume.Dimensions (D x W x H): 7" x 25" x 24"
Cleaning: Removable grill via screws
Features: Side angle-tightening knobs
Need a suitable fan for a large space like a workshop or garage? Check out the Lasko 20" High Velocity QuickMount. This wire-framed unit does wonders, sending air not just in a tunnel directly in front of the blades but at a wide angle that feels pleasant as you move about your space. It comes with a convenient space-saving wall mount, and on the ground it's one of the most stable fans we tested. With the control knob conveniently mounted on the front, you'll never again have to find yourself fiddling around blindly on the back of your fan to adjust it.
Our biggest gripe about the Lasko 20" High Velocity QuickMount fan is that it's really noisy. Its lowest setting is more powerful than many fans' highest settings, and it has the accompanying noise to back it up. As such, you probably don't want this fan cooling your living room while you're trying to have movie night. Also, compared to other high-velocity fans, it also isn't quite as high velocity, as the column of air is blown in many directions rather than a wind tunnel straight at your face. Still, if you want to keep air moving across a stuffy garage or home gym, the Lasko High Velocity QuickMount is practical and efficient.Dimensions (D x W x H): 11" x 25" x 23"
Cleaning: Removable grill via quick release tabs
Features: Wall mount included
We weren't totally sure what to expect from a battery-powered floor fan like the Geek Aire 16" Rechargeable Outdoor, but we like it. In a sea of relatively simple fans, the added features the Geek Aire brings to the table take it up a notch. Once charged, this fan is slightly smaller than others, adding to its convenience. It is easy to move around with you wherever you go — even out onto the patio! Prominent indicator lights quickly and easily tell you how much battery life is left, and since the battery is removable, you can get more than one and swap them out for seamless use. Unique among contenders, speed is controlled by a completely variable knob with no marked settings, allowing you to choose exactly the amount of airflow you desire. Not enough? It also has a USB charging port to keep your devices juiced up.
However, even on its highest setting, this 21-inch wide fan isn't nearly as powerful as we expected it to be. It is pleasantly quiet, but we're glad it doesn't have a limiting power cord, as you need to be right next to this fan to feel its cooling breeze. It's also by far the most expensive fan we tested, requiring a pretty serious financial commitment. Yet, for the tech-lover in your life, this feature-filled fan may be a dream come true.Dimensions (D x W x H): 8" x 21" x 19"
Cleaning: Removable grill via screws
Features: Battery powered, USB charging port, side angle-tightening knobs
Are you in search of a floor fan with a tiny footprint that's simple to use, works well, and is affordable? Meet the Amazon Basics 3-Speed Air Circulator. This little 11-inch fan is one of the least expensive models we tested and is small enough to hide in the corner of a bedroom or even on the edge of a table. With marked differences between all three settings, this straightforward model does a pretty good job in smaller rooms around your home. The control knob is on the top of the unit, so it's easy to adjust and clicks into place to direct air confidently around the room.
However, it only locks into five available angles, each 22.5° apart to cover its 90° arch. Though adequate in smaller spaces, it's also less powerful than most other floor fans we tested. This fan can only be cleaned by vacuuming it or wiping the outside with a cloth. Without any visible screws to remove the front grill, there is no reasonable way to get to the blades inside. For what it is, though, this simple unit is a solid value to help keep you comfortable in the bedroom or your home office.Dimensions (D x W x H): 7" x 14" x 14"
Cleaning: Vacuum only
If you're after a high-powered fan to blow lots of air directly at you, the iLIVING Home 20" is a great choice. This large fan delivers one of the highest air velocities we measured, topping the charts at an impressive 19.2 mph. It also comes with a wall mount to put the tunnel of air at head height, and it's one of the few fans we tested with knobs on the sides to tighten it to the exact angle you prefer. On top of that, it features two wire pieces on the back to wrap the cord around when not in use so you can keep your space tidy.
If you enjoy quiet spaces, you're unlikely to be keen on the loud sound the iLIVING Home 20" fan emits. Not only is it a pretty high volume, but it's also a higher pitch than the similar Lasko 20" High Velocity, with a whirring quality reminiscent of the blades of a small airplane. In a louder environment like a shop or outdoor space, the iLIVING's noise may be less obnoxious, but it's not something you're likely to enjoy if you're trying to watch a movie. This large fan's control knob is located on the back, which often results in blind fumbling while trying to change the speed. But for all-out power, this option is hard to beat.Dimensions (D x W x H): 11" x 24" x 22"
Cleaning: Removable grill via screws
Features: Cord management on back, side angle-tightening knobs, included wall mount
The B-Air FIRTANA-20X High Velocity 20" is another high-powered fan designed with larger spaces in mind. We clocked this fan at one of the highest velocities we tested — 17.6 mph — putting it just behind the iLIVING Home 20". While many fans claim to pivot 360 degrees, this is the only one that can actually spin completely around without being repositioned. It's also less expensive than many similar fans, making it a good deal if you require some powerful air.
With that said, even compared to the other loud, choppy fans, the B-Air FIRTANA-20X is exceptionally loud, choppy, and higher pitched than we prefer. The whole unit also vibrates while it's on, which isn't ideal. The control knob is located nearly in the center of the back, making it difficult to find without getting behind the fan yourself. Its speeds were labeled in reverse of every other fan we tested. We're not sure if that's a fluke with our specific unit or if the manufacturer labels all their highest speeds as 1 rather than 3. And, though many of the online photos accompanying this fan feature a wall mount, ours didn't actually include one. We had no issues using this fan during our testing, but it has an exceptionally high number of online user complaints of the unit breaking or not working after fairly short periods of time. Again, we did not have any issues with the functioning of our unit, and it scored decently in our lineup, but we read too many reports of other people's issues to not mention it.Dimensions (D x W x H): 12" x 23" x 23"
Cleaning: Removable grill via screws
Features: Cord management on back
Though it isn't topping our charts, there's still a lot we love about the Lasko 3520 20" Cyclone. This big plastic fan is simple to use and is one of the few that has its control knob right on top of the unit. It pushes air out in multiple directions rather than creating a wind tunnel that only works right in front of the blades. Small rubbery feet have been added to the plastic base's underside to help it grip the floor slightly better than the 100% plastic base of the Lasko 3300 Wind Machine. And to top it all off, this fan is on the lower end of the range of prices among fans we tested. Not bad.
Unfortunately, this fully plastic fan has no visible way to remove the front grill to clean the blades inside. It's also on the louder end of the spectrum in this review. The sound isn't quite as high-pitched and choppy-sounding as some we tested, but it was still louder than we preferred while watching a movie. It's a totally adequate fan that costs less than most of the competition; it just doesn't wow us with its loud, relatively lackluster performance.Dimensions (D x W x H): 8" x 22" 24"
Cleaning: Vacuum only
The Vie Air 12" High Velocity is a compact fan that skirts the line between being large enough to live on the floor of your home office and small enough to sit on your dresser pointed at your bed. If a small size is a key factor, this is the shining glory of this 12-inch fan. It also features a spot to wrap the cord on the back, making transportation and storage that much simpler.
We're underwhelmed by this fan, though. We discerned very little difference in power between the three settings, and it's much louder than we'd expect for a fan of this size. It's not particularly powerful, relying on proximity rather than power to push air across your skin. Relatively top-heavy and with a small front-to-back measurement, this mini model is one of the easiest to tip over. It's also somewhat expensive for its performance, and we're just not convinced the small size and uninspiring performance are worth the price.Dimensions (D x W x H): 5" x 15" x 14"
Cleaning: Removable grill via quick release tabs
Features: Cord management on back
Why You Should Trust Us
This review is led by Senior Review Editor, Maggie Nichols. Growing up in the stifling summers of the upper Midwest, Maggie spent hours cooling off in front of fans through 99% humidity days and relied on them to be able to sleep through the equally muggy nights. She's spent summers teaching and researching in jungles across South America and Africa, fully appreciating the power of a fan when air conditioning is just a distant dream. Currently residing in the high desert of Nevada, fans are a necessary part of everyday life for both her and her easily overheated senior dog, Madeline. From her home office to her garage fitness center, Maggie knows how to find the right fan for the space. She also tests pedestal and tower fans and has been testing a wide array of products for GearLab since 2017.
We spent hours scouring the internet for the best-rated floor fans available before choosing this selection of the nine most promising candidates to purchase and test side by side. Through the blazing hot desert days in the height of summer, we tested the fans' ability to keep us comfortably cool while exercising, watching movies, reading books, and working from home. We measured their air speeds on all settings, took decibel readings of their loudness, and checked how far away — and off to the sides — we could feel each. We noted each fan's pitch and whir and how well it faded into the background or stuck out like a sore thumb. From gauging wobbliness to checking how far they pivot, we had our hands all over these fans to help you find the best option for your space.
Analysis and Test Results
To get a complete picture of each floor fan's performance, we tested every model across four metrics that include laboratory tests, precise measurements, real-world usage, and qualitative evaluations. We carefully tested and considered each contender's performance regarding power, perceived noise, size value, and stability. Here we break down each metric to highlight which fans perform the best in each.
To test the power of each fan, we combined multiple measures of air speed as well as qualified how well that translates to what we could feel at a distance. We measured the airflow of every setting for each floor fan. Then we placed fans across the room and stood on the other side to see if we were able to feel the high and low settings, both directly in front of the fan and off to the sides. We considered how many settings each model has and how useful they are for the wide-ranging activities people do around their homes.
CFM, or cubic feet per minute is a measure of airflow used by manufacturers to describe a products' ability to move air around a space. In general, the larger the CFM rating, the larger the space that unit (in this case, the floor fan) should be able to adequately circulate air through. It's calculated using the air speed generated by the blades and the size of the blades themselves. However, this number only gives a measure of how much air is moved in the column of air created by the fan blades and says nothing about the directionality or spread of air around the room. So, while you'll likely get loads of air circulation standing directly in front of a fan, that doesn't tell you how the air circulates off to the sides of the air stream or in the corners of a room.In short, CFM is just one measure of air circulation provided by a fan. Many other factors are at play, from your room's specific dimensions to the exact placement of the fan. Don't rely solely on CFM as the single factor to guide your fan purchasing decision.
In terms of sheer air speed, the iLIVING Home 20" stands out from the crowd by clocking a whopping 19.2 mph at top speed. Not far behind is the B-Air FIRTANA-20X High Velocity 20", which we recorded reaching 17.6 mph. The next two most notable fans are the Vornado 660 Large and Lasko 20" High Velocity QuickMount, which hit 15.9 mph and 15.6 mph, respectively. The Vornado 660 exhibited the most extensive range in speeds, with its lowest setting scooting along at a leisurely 6.2 mph. It also is the only model we tested to have four speed settings, though the Geek Aire 16" Rechargeable Outdoor takes the cake with its entirely variable speed controlled by a free-moving knob.
When it comes to more qualitative measures of power, the Vornado 660 Large and Lasko 20" High Velocity QuickMount are our favorites for circulating air around the room. Both these fans do very well even in large rooms, keeping air moving and refreshing at a regular rate. The Lasko 3300 Wind Machine is also worth mentioning. Despite not clocking the most impressive air speeds, we found ourselves reasonably ventilated in any room we put this fan into, even large open rooms with the fan on the opposite end of the space.
To analyze the noisiness of each fan, we started by taking decibel readings of every model on all available speed settings. However, sheer volume doesn't give a complete picture of a fan's sound — pitch and steadiness are important contributing factors, too. We noted if each fan clicked, whirred, vibrated, or make any other describable noises that might be annoying or problematic. And since the sound a fan often changes when it's battling dust or pet hair, we also noted how easy the blades and grill were to clean.
Just like anything else in your home, your fan needs regular cleaning. Not only for the sake of keeping it (relatively) dirt, dust, and pet fur free, but also to make sure it lasts longer and is quieter. Most fans have a way to remove the front grill, allowing you to clean both it and the blades with water or a damp cloth. However, a few don't come apart at all, making them far more likely to accumulate grime that can only be vacuumed from a distance.
When comparing decibel readings on the highest settings, several fans stand out for their volume. The Vornado 660 Large registered as the loudest fan, hitting 35 dB on its highest setting. However, it also proved to have the widest range of possible volumes, as its lowest setting barely even registered on our instruments. The Lasko 3300 Wind Machine was recorded as the second loudest, hitting 30 dB on High, closely followed by the 29 dB Lasko 20" High Velocity QuickMount. Several others weren't far behind, including the iLIVING Home 20", the B-Air FIRTANA-20X High Velocity 20", and the Lasko 3520 20" Cyclone which tied at 26 dB. The quietest fan proved to be the battery-powered Geek Aire 16" Rechargeable Outdoor, ranging from nearly inaudible to just 18 dB.
Turning to our more qualitative comparison, a similar but slightly different picture emerges. The Vornado 660, though one of the loudest, is also one of the smoothest sounding and has a fairly low pitch, creating a low hum that we find far more pleasant than most others. The Lasko 3300 Wind Machine also makes a smoother hum, with less distinct whirring of the blades. All three high-velocity fans, the Lasko 20" High Velocity QuickMount, iLIVING Home 20", and B-Air FIRTANA-20X High Velocity 20", create some of the most disruptive noises, with distinctive whirring that is very reminiscent of standing next to a small airplane. All things considered, the Vornado and Geek Aire are our favorite fans in terms of noise.
As fans tend to become noisier as they get dirtier, we also considered how easy it is to clean each model as a small portion of their noisiness score. Only two fans don't seem to have removable grills that allow you to inside and clean the blades: the Amazon Basics 3-Speed Air Circulator and the Lasko 3520 20" Cyclone. The Lasko 3300 Wind Machine, the Geek Aire 10" Rechargeable Outdoor, and the Vie Air 12" High Velocity all have included instructions telling you not to take them apart, and only to vacuum them from the outside, but they all have removable grills. While most can be taken apart with a simple screwdriver, the Vie Air 12" High Velocity and Lasko 20" High Velocity QuickMount both feature clasps around the grill that can be easily twisted open with your thumbs for easy access to the blades.
Size matters when it comes to a floor fan, since it is essentially a piece of stand-alone furniture. If it's too large, you may end up tripping over it. If it has an exceptionally short cord, you may have a harder placing it where you need it most (and may end up employing the use of an extension cord). However, larger fans also tend to be more powerful, so we considered other values of each model's size when scoring this metric. We compared a fan's size to its footprint, which takes up valuable floor realty. And because the placement of a fan also relies on how you can tilt it to point where you want it, we evaluated how far each one can pivot. Unlike many other types of fans, none of the floor fans we tested oscillate.
Three fans we tested are noticeably smaller than the rest: the Vie Air 12" High Velocity, Amazon Basics 3-Speed Air Circulator, and Vornado 660. The Vie Air model is the smallest fan overall, and it also performed at the bottom of the pack. On the other hand, the Vornado 660 proved itself to be a powerful competitor even against the larger competition, making its smaller size just another asset for an already impressive fan. The Geek Aire Rechargeable is a bit smaller than a "traditional" floor fan, adding to its portability as a battery-powered fan you don't have to worry about keeping near an outlet.
The three high-powered, high-velocity fans we tested — the Lasko 20" QuickMount, iLIVING Home 20", and B-Air FIRTANA-20X High Velocity 20" — all have deeper bases that add to their stability, but this means they are larger from front to back than all the other fans. Both large plastic floor fans, the Lasko Cyclone and Lasko Wind Machine, are the opposite, with smaller depth stands — though they're still plenty wide and tall. We also considered how far each fan pivots as a part of their size value. The B-Air FIRTANA is the only model in our lineup that actually pivots a full 360 degrees. The Wind Machine comes close, but its top handle stops it at about 350 degrees of rotation. The next closest fan is the iLIVING, which we measured around 135 degrees of rotation.
Having a fan that isn't going to fall over if you accidentally knock into it is an important feature of anything you put in your home — perhaps even more so if your household includes children, pets, or particularly clumsy adults. We evaluated each fan's center of balance, overall sturdiness, and any features that help keep it from sliding around, like rubber feet. A few even come with a wall mount for extra options, which we also took note of.
All four of the wire-framed fans we tested have thick rubber feet on their similar bases to help stop them from sliding. The Geek Aire Rechargeable and the Lasko QuickMount proved themselves to be the sturdiest of the bunch. The B-Air FIRTANA-20X and the iLIVING Home 20" are fairly close behind, but both of these fans' bases are constructed of several pieces that leave a little too much wobble in them when fit together. The Lasko Wind Machine offers a solid combination of a relatively low center of gravity with an overall light weight, making it harder to tip over. As a bonus, both the Lasko QuickMount and the iLIVING come with wall mounts for more options.
Not all fans work equally well in all spaces. We thoroughly tested every floor fan in this review to figure out where each excels and where it falls short. We hope that our sweat (sometimes literally) and hard work help you figure out which fan will fit perfectly in your space.
— Maggie Nichols
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