Best Pedestal Fan of 2020
If you're searching for a pedestal fan that comes with lots of options and a fully functional range of speeds, look no further than the Pelonis Silent Turbo. This fan has 12 different speeds that let you find the perfect airflow for your needs. Stretching just over 54" high, it's also one of the tallest fans we tested and the quietest — barely audible when on its "silent" mode. It has 3 additional modes including "sleep" which gradually slows down over several hours, and "natural" which has variable speeds to blend more organically into the background. Additionally, you can set it to turn off after 30 minutes, 12 hours, or anything in between. The handy remote comes with a battery and the lights helpfully turn off after a few seconds, making it ideal for bedroom use. Unlike many others, it also remembers your last settings when you turn it back on, so no need to fight through all 12 speeds every time you want to use it. A heavy base helps it to be pretty stable, too.
Though the Silent Turbo is one of the quieter fans we tested, it also beeps rather loudly every time you change a setting, which isn't ideal when trying to operate it in a quiet bedroom. A couple of the modes seem very similar to one another as well, and ours took several seconds to settle into the right speed when we changed a setting. This is not the most powerful fan we tested either — despite having 12 different speed settings, the highest rate of airflow we measured was just 10.5 mph, which is below average for this group of contenders. But for convenience and less intrusive noise, we like this fan a lot.Comes With: Remote and CR2032 battery
Directions of Pivot: Down 8 degrees, up 16 degrees
Modes & Features: 4 modes (Normal, Sleep, Natural, & Silent), carry handle on motor
The Honeywell Double Blade 16 is a standard pedestal fan with enough upgrades to make it not only a solid fan, but a solid value too. With both normal, constant breeze and variable breeze modes, this three-speed, remote-controlled fan has plenty of options to help you find something that's comfortable for you. A timer adds another extra touch of usability, and for those of you who appreciate powerful speeds on every setting, the Honeywell is sure to please. We clocked its highest power at 12.7 mph, which is significantly above average for this group. It tilts both up and slightly down and has quieter beeps that are less obnoxious than many.
However, you can't turn those beeps off, if that's important to you. The Double Blade also doesn't remember your last settings when turned off, and always comes on on the lowest speed, without oscillation. It's not a quiet fan, either, particularly on the highest settings, which are difficult to watch TV over without turning up the volume. And while the operation lights on the front will dim after several seconds, if you're particularly sensitive to lights in the bedroom, you may end up covering the front of this one. Overall, however, this is a useful fan with a fair range of features and good power for less money than many others, making it a great value option.Comes With: Remote (AAA batteries not included)
Directions of Pivot: Barely down, slightly more up
Modes & Features: 3 modes (Constant, Variable, & Breezy), 2 blades each with 3 fins
Despite being the smallest of our tested fans, the Vornado 683 Medium is also among the most powerful. Packing a big punch, we measured this little fan hitting 13.4 mph. While this will certainly help cool you off when pointed directly at your face, it's also fairly effective as an air circulator when positioned just right in larger spaces. Instead of a solid base, this lightweight model has five sturdy legs that give it a small, but stable footprint. Of all the models we tested, this one operates at the lowest pitch, sounding more like a hum than the traditional whirring of a fan. Though it can't point down, it can be angled nearly vertically to bounce air off the ceiling and blow it effectively around an entire room. It's the only one with the cord coming out of the bottom of the stand, as well, rather than dangling off the base of the motor, halfway up the stand.
While those that love simplicity will appreciate this straightforward 3-speed design controlled by a simple knob, if you're after settings and features, the Vornado 683 is likely to disappoint. It has no remote, no extra modes, no timer, and doesn't even oscillate. Additionally, this fan may not quite reach the top of your bed — at its tallest, it stands just 38 inches high. It's also quite loud on higher settings, though the lowest speed is reasonably quiet. But if you're looking for a pedestal fan with far-reaching power that you can stick in the corner and forget about, the Vornado may be exactly what you want.Comes With: N/A
Directions of Pivot: Straight ahead, nearly vertical
Modes & Features: Indented carry handle on top
There's a lot to like about this pleasantly quiet fan from Rowenta. The Turbo Silence Extreme 5-Speed offers an impressive range of speeds, which we measured as low as 4.7 mph and as high as 12.9 mph. The "3 speeds and 3 modes" essentially boil down to 5 speeds. Silent Night mode didn't even register sound on our instruments, blowing a very modest amount of air at close range. Turbo Boost acts and sounds exactly like what you'd expect from the name, and the Normal settings are the three middle speeds. This fan exhibits one of the larger and taller height ranges while its heavy base securely anchors it to the floor. It includes a timer and a remote — though no CR2032 battery comes with it — and features a remote caddy on top of the motor. We also love that it's one of the few we tested that remembers your last settings when you turn it back on and is surprisingly quiet and pleasant at every speed.
Unfortunately, this heavy gizmo is one of the most wobbly models we tested, literally blowing itself into a backbend at high speeds. For a futuristic-looking fan, it still has the old school oscillation knob on the unit, with no button to control it remotely. It chirps loudly and obnoxiously with every setting change, and though the lights dim, they never turn off. Switching between speeds, the unit we tested also had considerable difficulty finding the right rate of rotation, shifting awkwardly between several speeds before settling on a constant pace. At the end of the day, though we find much to like about this quiet, effective fan, we're not quite sure its shortcomings make it worth the hefty price tag.Comes With: Remote (CR2032 battery not included)
Directions of Pivot: Slightly down, slightly more up
Modes & Features: 3 modes (Silent Night, Normal, and Turbo Boost) 3 regular speeds and 1 high speed, remote caddy, and carry handle on top of motor
If you're here hunting for a pedestal fan that works and won't blow your budget, the Comfort Zone 3-Speed is that fan. It's extremely simple and straightforward in operation and does exactly what we expect from a basic fan. Its top-measured speed hit just above average for this group, registering at 10.9 mph on High. Though the base is a whopping 24" wide and deep, it comes in the shape of four legs that can more easily fit over, around, or even under other objects in your home. The legs also fold up quickly, making this lightweight fan surprisingly portable. Their width and the fan's overall low weight also add to its sturdiness. With simple push buttons, it's easy to put this fan on a timer or smart switch, helping to make up for its lack of internal timer.
Of course, this level of simplicity may be too simple for some. Offering just three speeds and no remote or other frills, this fan is in no way fancy or modern. It also doesn't blow the competition away when it comes to being particularly powerful or especially quiet, falling about in the middle of the pack on both fronts. Though the Comfort Zone doesn't feel like it's made of the most bombproof materials, we had absolutely no issues with its sturdiness or durability during our testing. At the end of the day, while this fan lacks the bells and whistles of fancier models, it still gets the job done, making it a good value item.Comes With: N/A
Directions of Pivot: Slightly down, slightly up
Modes & Features: Foldable base, indented carry handle on back of blade cage
Ready to feel impressive winds from across the room? The Lasko 1885 18" Cyclone is a powerful fan that spreads air effectively around even larger rooms. This oversized option creates a veritable buffeting wind on higher speeds, just like its name implies. It's fairly lightweight and offers an exceptional range in height, from 42 to 54 inches — the most of any model we tested. While most remote-controlled fans beep with every button push, the Lasko stays silent. It remembers your last settings when turned on each time and can be helpfully positioned anywhere from slightly downward to nearly vertical. On top of that, it comes with a small Velcro patch for the remote that you can stick just about anywhere — like on your bedpost or nightstand — to keep it close by.
Though the Lasko Cyclone does have a timer, it only goes up to 4 hours, which may not be enough for some folks. It has a push-pull tab on the motor to control oscillation, rather than including that on the remote like many others. The super-wide, 21-inch circular base not only takes up a significant amount of room but also slides readily across hardwood floors. As a light, plastic unit, ours bounced and vibrated at every speed — not audibly, but visibly. Unfortunately, the lights on the base also don't dim or turn off, and this is one of the loudest, highest-pitched fans of the bunch, making it not a great option for picky sleepers or for use when watching movies. Though, if you're a fan of white noise and a powerful breeze, you may just love this big unit exactly as it is.Comes With: Remote (AAA batteries not included)
Directions of Pivot: Barely down, nearly vertical
Modes & Features: Velcro patch to stick remote anywhere
This attractive pedestal fan from AmazonBasics is a quiet model that's full of settings and is best for subtlety. Though it boasts a whopping 24 speeds, it's quite difficult to discern a difference between many of them. The lowest 8 speeds are so silent our instruments couldn't even detect them. It's heavy and solid, with a low center of gravity that's not easy to tip over. The lights on the base turn off after several seconds and the head tilts both down and up, slightly. It comes with a remote that controls all the settings — including oscillation — but requires your own AAA batteries.
Oddly, the jump from speed 8 to 9 is far more noticeable than any other speed change, jumping a full 6 decibels. Even though it claims to have 24 speeds, the Oscillating Dual Blade is by far the least powerful pedestal fan we tested, with a measured air speed range from 3.5 mph to just 8.7 mph — a top speed that's nearly the same as many others' lowest speeds. It doesn't remember what speed you were on last, instead always powering up on level 18 with no oscillation and chirping offensively as you scroll through all 24 speeds. If you want a powerful fan, this isn't likely to tick your boxes. However, if you prefer a very light breeze and value silence, this may be a good fit.Comes With: Remote (AAA batteries not included)
Directions of Pivot: Barely down, slightly more up
Modes & Features: 3 modes (Nature, Sleep, Normal), 2 blades each with 5 fins
The Black & Decker 16" is just a small step up from the basic pedestal fans of old. It features a remote and caddy that clips onto the stand and a timer function gives some operational options. The solid base adds stability and the head can tilt slightly. Compared to many others, this fan is on the less expensive side too.
If you'd like to use the controls on the base, they're a bit awkwardly located, partially behind the bottom of the blade cage. It chirps loudly with every setting change and the light on the base stays on all the time — though it's just one small red dot, which is less intrusive than many others. The remote caddy has to be removed from the stand to put the head all the way down and the oscillate function isn't controlled by the remote, but rather by the traditional knob on top of the motor. Our unit also had a heavy, droopy head, which limits its angles of operation from straight ahead to slightly down. We measured this fan as having just under a 2 mph difference between the lowest (8.5 mph) and highest (10.3 mph) speeds. So while it has a few more features than the most basic models, we're not sure they make up for its other shortcomings — or are even worth the relatively low price.Comes With: Remote (AAA batteries not included)
Directions of Pivot: Slightly down, straight ahead
Modes & Features: Removable remote caddy on stand, carry handle on back of blade cage
Why You Should Trust Us
This review is spearheaded by Senior Review Editor, Maggie Brandenburg, who lives and recreates in the hot high deserts of northern Nevada. Maggie grew up enduring the oppressive heat/humidity combination of the Midwest, spending sticky afternoons keeping cool in front of fans. She's spent a huge chunk of her life battling heat and humidity from teaching in the jungles of South America and plains of Africa to living on a remote Caribbean island. Fans have always been a necessary part of life for both Maggie and her easily-overheated dog. From her home gym to her home office, she knows what it takes to find the right fan for any space. She tests several types of fans and has been testing all types of home and outdoor gear for GearLab since 2017.
To find the best pedestal fans on the market today, we spent hours combing the best-rated options on the internet before selecting the top 8 most promising to purchase and test side-by side. Tasked with cooling us off through some of the hottest days of the desert summer, we put these fans through a litany of laboratory and real-world tests. We used them while watching movies, sleeping at night, reading books, and working out at home. We measured air speeds and took decibel readings, comparing them all head-to-head to see which ones offer the most settings, most power, sturdiest bases, and quietest experiences.
Analysis and Test Results
We tested each fan's performance through a battery of tests that cover four metrics. Through laboratory tests, precision measurements, everyday usage, and qualitative analyses we put together a complete picture of each model. Here we break down the metrics we evaluated and the tests we used to pinpoint the best ones for specific jobs.
To test the power of each pedestal fan, we performed multiple tests of air speed on different settings and combined that with how well it translates into what you can feel across a room. We measured airflow, placing each fan across a large room and standing on the other side to gauge how easily we could feel each setting, both directly in front of and off to the sides of every fan. And we considered how many settings, modes, features, and timer options each model has, alongside the usefulness of those settings.
Adding a fan to your home in a strategic way can be a great way to make your space more comfortable — and possibly even more energy efficient during hot summer months. Every model has a unique airflow pattern. Some create a tunnel straight ahead, others buffet wind around the room more evenly, and still others are meant to create a feedback loop of air, circulating it within a space. Play with the placement of your fan, using it to spread air from your window AC, perhaps angling it at the ceiling to create a more even room temperature. How you put the specific fan you decide to take home into your unique space may take some experimentation and practice to perfect, but don't give up!
When it comes to sheer airflow and power, the Vornado 683 Medium takes the cake. In our tests, it reached the highest measured speed of 13.4 mph. It's easily felt from across a room, though only if you're standing directly in its tunnel-like path. Not only does this high velocity feel great in your face after a prolonged period outside on a hot day, but it also helps to circulate air around a room more effectively — exactly what this model is made to do. The Lasko 1885 Cyclone is also quite powerful and has the added bonus of oscillation and a timer, both of which the Vornado lacks. We clocked its 18" face producing speeds of 12.5 mph and a strong buffeting effect even from 20 feet away. Also notable for their similarly high top speeds are the Honeywell Double Blade and Rowenta Turbo Silence Extreme 5-Speed.
Though the Pelonis Silent Turbo doesn't offer the high rate of flow that many others do, it does have a wide range of lower speeds. With 12 distinct speeds, this quiet fan measured between 3.3 mph on its lowest setting to 10.5 mph on its highest. It has four different modes with intuitive speeds and functions to fit precise situations that likely occur on a daily basis in most homes.
To score the overall noisiness of each model, we started off by taking decibel readings of each fan on all of their various speeds. We then qualified each fan's sound, including relative pitch, quality of noise, and respective annoyance levels. We noted if they had extra noises, like clicking, beeping, whirring, or vibrations. And because gunk getting stuck in your fan can affect its noisiness, we also inspected how easy they are to clean.
Just like everything else in your home, your pedestal fan needs regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it working well and help prevent it from getting too loud. Most fans have a way to remove the front grill, which can be wiped or washed, as can the blades themselves. Obviously you'll need to avoid getting the motor wet, but even regular dusting will help you make the most of your fan. Be sure to always unplug your fan from the outlet before taking it apart.
While it seems like every fan claims to be silent, the Pelonis Silent Turbo comes the closest to achieving that lofty goal. Its lowest settings didn't even register on our decibel meters and even at its highest speed, this fan was still surprisingly quiet both in measurement and quality of sound. The Rowenta Turbo Silence Extreme is another fairly quiet fan, regardless of its speed. On its highest setting, which is almost 3 mph faster than the Pelonis, we measured it at a lower decibel reading. The AmazonBasics Oscillating Dual Blade is whisper quiet on speeds 1-8, but by the time you hit speed 24, it's one of the loudest of the group, despite having the least impressive airflow. Though the Vornado 683 Medium is fairly loud at top speed, it also has a low, more even hum that sets it apart from the traditional whirring noise of fan blades.
When it comes to keeping these units clean, all of them have removable grills that can be rinsed or wiped, allowing easy access to the blades for keeping them dust-free. The Honeywell Double Blade and Black & Decker 16" make it even easier, with simple clasps that can be twisted to the side with your thumb for removal. The Comfort Zone and Lasko Cyclone grills can be popped on and off, as they utilize plastic tabs to stay in place. The rest of the fans have at least one screw holding the grill onto the head of the fan. The Vornado 683 has several screws but also includes directions on how to remove both the grill and the blade for more thorough cleaning.
Pedestal fans have a reputation for being ungainly and large — but how ungainly and how large? We measured the dimensions of every fan, checked to see how much their heights are adjustable and considered their base size as well as the blade housing size. Of course, since larger fans are often more powerful, we considered other values of their sizes when calculating scores in this metric. Being able to tilt or oscillate a fan also makes a big difference on where it can live in your home, so we considered these abilities as well.
Pedestal fans can be fan-tastic in your home, but their unique shapes can also make them more challenging to Tetris into your space. Pay attention not just to the size of the fan head, but also to the size and shape of the base. Many have solid bases that can be difficult to squeeze into smaller spaces, but a few have legs that may more easily conform to your needs.
The Vornado 683 is the smallest of the group. It has a small footprint with legs that can go around objects and a small head that's powerful and can be pointed in nearly any direction, pivoting a full 90 degrees, from horizontal to almost-vertical. The lightweight Comfort Zone has a similar base made of four legs, and though they're much wider, their small profile makes them conducive to squeezing into spaces and under furniture. The Lasko Cyclone and Rowenta Turbo Silence are both noticeably larger than the competition, in base and head size as well as overall presence in a room.
Just about every pedestal fan we tested oscillates roughly 90 degrees with the exception of the Vornado 683 which doesn't oscillate at all, but can be twisted on its stand to face any direction. However, the Vornado offers one of the widest pivot ranges, at nearly 90 degrees, where most others are closer to 20-25 degrees at most. The Lasko Cyclone also pivots at close to 90 degrees.
Just looking at some pedestal fans can feel like they're on the verge of being knocked over. If your home includes excitable pets, clumsy children, or ungraceful adults, it's important to have a sturdy fan that's less likely to take a fall when bumped. We evaluated fans on their center of balance, weightiness, sturdiness, and other features that help to hold them in place, like rubber feet. Since many of these come with a tiny remote, we also considered extra features (like remote storage spots) as a bonus in this metric.
Pedestal fans are one of the more awkwardly shaped fans you can put in your home. If you have pets or humans in the house who regularly knock things over, you might consider a sturdier option that's closer to the ground, like a floor fan.
The Pelonis Silent Turbo and Rowenta Turbo Silence use heaviness to their advantage when it comes to stability, weighing over 15 and 17 pounds, respectively. However, the Rowenta has a rather wobbly vertical portion of the unit that makes it feel a bit rickety, while the Pelonis is sturdier overall. The AmazonBasics Dual Blade, Honeywell Double Blade, and Black & Decker 16" exhibit a similar strategy with heavy bases to lower their center of gravity, each weighing between 11 and 12 pounds.
Using a different strategy, the Vornado 683 and Comfort Zone 3-Speed are lightweight but have wide bases compared to their heads, with rubbery grips to help hold them in place. Three models include some form of storage for their remotes: the Rowenta, Black & Decker, and Lasko Cyclone. The Rowenta has a slot on top that securely stores its remote right on top of the unit. The Black & Decker has a clip-on caddy that attaches to the stand but gets in the way of lowering it completely. The Lasko Cyclone provides just a simple Velcro patch, allowing you to connect the other side of it to wherever you find most helpful — whether that's the top of the fan motor or the side of your coffee table.
A good pedestal fan can make all the difference during a hot summer, while a bad one can leave you cursing your decision to buy it. By testing these fans side by side, we hope that our comparative analysis helps you find the one that melts your sweat away and keeps you cool.
— Maggie Brandenburg