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On a quest for the one tower fan to rule them all? We researched dozens of the best options available today and narrowed it down to 10 top models to test side-by-side. We did our best to blow our own socks off while putting these air movers through their paces in the heat of the desert summer. We measured air speed, decibel outputs, and how far away you can feel the wind. We tested these fans' modes, speeds, settings, timers, and remotes through afternoon movies, hot office workdays, and midday naps. We directly compared every one of these fans to tease apart even the smallest differences to help you find the perfect fan for your needs and budget.
The Dreo 42" Oscillating is a great all-around tower fan with the right combination of power and usability that makes it a clear winner. While most tower fans suffer from a lack of power, the Dreo managed one of the highest speeds in our lineup. It has four different operating modes and can be easily controlled by an app on your phone that monitors how much time is left on your timer and can read the temperature of your room and adjust accordingly. Its thinner profile makes for a design that's less of an eyesore in your home, and those shrill beeps from the controls can easily be turned off. This fan helpfully remembers all the last settings you used when turned back on again, making it easier to maintain your perfect indoor environment.
While the base itself is quite sturdy, this slender fan is more than a little wobbly on top. It never felt in danger of tipping over, but that much wobble is a concern for us. As you'd expect, its top speed is rather noisy, which may be a hindrance to your movie watching. And while we appreciate that the lights on the control panel turn off when not in use, they turn off so quickly that we sometimes didn't get a chance to see it properly before it went dark. Despite these few complaints, the Dreo is a great tower fan that offers a range of power and usability that most others don't.
Number of Speeds: 6 Comes With: Remote and app Dimensions" 12.75" x 12.75" footprint, 42" tall
The Pelonis 40" Oscillating provides great coverage at a more affordable cost. It's one of the few models in our test fleet with an oscillation greater than 65 degrees — delivering a full 90-degree spread instead. The range on this fan is also great; when it is on the most powerful settings, airflow can be detected from pretty far away. Features and settings we appreciated on this model were its timer that goes up to 15 hours, four different modes, and its quiet beep and lights that turn off after a short time. You can hardly hear anything when the fan is on low settings, which may be something to consider if you're a light sleeper who is disturbed by a lot of noise.
The silence doesn't continue when the fan is turned up to the highest speed as a mechanical hum can still be heard. It was fairly unstable during testing as well, with a worrisome amount of wobbling between the unit's body and its base. It lacks the convenience of a specific storage location for the remote directly on the fan, and the grey color palette isn't as stylish and sleek as some of the shiny black fans in our testing. However, if you are searching for an affordable fan with substantial coverage, we highly suggest the Pelonis 40.
Number of Speeds: 3 Comes With: Remote (2 AAA batteries not included) Dimensions: 12" x 12" footprint, 40" tall
Degrees of Oscillation: 60° | Timer: Yes; 1, 2, 4, or 8 hours
REASONS TO BUY
Solid and stable
Useful features and remembers last settings
Sounds aren't overly mechanical
REASONS TO AVOID
Still, one of our favorite fans of the group is the hOmeLabs 40" Portable Tower Fan. This model is one of the least wobbly and sturdiest models we tested, making it a great option for busy households. It delivers reliable power at all three of the speeds offered. With clear attention to detail, this fan includes features like automatic display shutoff after 30 seconds, a built-in memory that turns the fan on to your last-used settings, a low beep that's indicative without being obnoxious, and a handy magnetic remote storage right on top. At every speed, the fan emits a pleasant wind-like noise with a low pitch that provides a calm and enjoyable background. A unique feature of the hOmeLabs 40" is that it oscillates inside an outer casing atop a strong base, adding to its already impressive stability.
Compared to the competition, this model is larger, but not unusually so when considering its output. We found its shiny black casing to be aesthetically pleasing. Though the hOmeLabs 40" can be a bit noisy sometimes, it's no more intrusive than a low wind. The options for a timer are helpful, though limited, and we wish there were a couple of additional low-speed options to contrast its high power settings. All in all, this is an appealing, sturdy fan we enjoy using.
Number of Speeds: 3 Comes With: Remote and CR2032 battery Dimensions: 12" x 12" footprint, 41.5" tall
The Aikoper 36" Oscillating earns high marks in our testing and features a number of desirable attributes. Even at top speeds, it's one of the quietest fans we tested, and the wind noises it creates fade into the background. It's also one of the very few tower fans tested here that explicitly directs you to take it apart (with a screwdriver) to keep it adequately cleaned — most others can't be disassembled, only vacuumed or wiped down. The Aikoper conveniently remembers your last-used settings and turns off all lights after 30 seconds. It has one of the most pleasant-sounding beeps, so it's easier on the ears when changing settings in the middle of the night. At 36" tall, this fan is a good compromise of utility and space, with a nice aesthetic appeal to fit around your home.
However, if you're after a powerful fan, the Aikoper 36" is just average; nothing to write home about. Its timer also only goes up to 7 hours, and there is no remote storage on the unit itself. It's also not exceptionally stable; there's quite a bit of wiggle room left between the fan's body and base. Still, if you're looking for a useful, quiet fan for a small to medium space (like a bedroom or office), this is an excellent choice that looks nice and performs well.
Number of Speeds: 3 Comes With: Remote (2 AAA batteries not included) Dimensions: 12" x 12" footprint, 36" tall
Did you come here in search of a fan that packs a powerful punch into the compact shape of a tower fan? If so, then you'll be interested in the Lasko Oscillating High Velocity. Even among all the many types of fans we've tested, this one sets itself apart with exceptionally intense power and high airspeeds. It also stands out from the crowd with its ability to angle airflow up or down via a small lever on the side — something most tower fans aren't equipped with. Its low center of gravity makes it quite stable, and its shape is fairly unique too. Conveniently, this fan remembers your last-used speed setting, emits no obnoxious beeps, and offers timer options of up to 7 hours.
As you might expect, all this power comes at the expense of some pretty intense noise, both in the wind and mechanical. Ours emitted a faint rattling sound as well. The Lasko High Velocity has truly no low speeds, as all three settings are much higher than any other fan — subtlety is not in its lexicon. It's a single-use fan with no additional modes, but we love it for a home gym or non-air-conditioned workshop. We solidly recommend this fan for anyone with Power (with a capital "P") at the top of their list of required attributes.
Number of Speeds: 3 Comes With: Remote (2 AAA batteries not included) Dimensions: 11" x 8" footprint, 35.5" tall
Modes & Features: 1 mode (Normal), ability to angle airflow up and down, hanging remote storage, carry handle
Why You Should Trust Us
This review is led by Senior Review Editor, Maggie Nichols and In-House Tester, Jessica Riconscente. Maggie has been living and recreating in the high deserts of Nevada for the past several years and relies nearly daily on the relief a good fan provides. She grew up in the Midwest, sweating through sweltering summers of humid, stagnant air, with only a fan to help her sleep. Maggie has also spent a good chunk of her life living and working in hot spots abroad, from the Amazon rainforest to the South African savannah to the tropical beaches of the Caribbean. Our tester Jessica has specialized in technological innovation and machine production since childhood. She lives at the intersection of engineering and consumer experience, lending her expertise in both to GearLab's in-house testing team.
We spent hours combing through the best tower fans on the market before carefully selecting this roster of the most promising options to purchase and pit head to head. We challenged each to keep us cool through the hottest days — and nights — of a scorching desert summer. Through a barrage of measurements and tests, we pushed each fan to find out what it's capable of. We used them in hot home offices, to cool us down while relaxing on the couch, and to dry sweat during workouts. We measured decibel readings, dimensions, base stability, and airspeeds and used these fans side-by-side to identify their differences.
Analysis and Test Results
To put together a comprehensive picture of each fan, we tested each tower fan's performance across four all-encompassing, mutually exclusive metrics. Each combines laboratory tests, measurements, and real-world experiences for a well-rounded portrayal of that model's performance. What follows is a breakdown of what went into the testing of each metric and which models impress us in specific areas.
Towers are often a more expensive variation of fans — but is the extra cash worth what you get? Well, a tower fan is a great bet if home aesthetics and saving space are at the top of your list. But, according to our test results, there isn't necessarily a linear relationship between the cost of the fan and its functionality.
The Pelonis 40" Oscillating is the highest value fan we tested. It's not at the very top of our charts, but it's not far down the list. It has a wide degree of oscillation, above-average power output, and great timer options, all for a lower cost than you might expect. This combination of features and functionality makes the Pelonis an impressive high-value competitor. Some fans are worth the extra investment if your budget allows it. The top-performing Dreo 42" Oscillating is one such model. This fan can be precisely controlled by an app on your phone and has a seriously impressive range of power and oscillation. If you're willing to invest in the best, we think the Dreo is worth it.
Having a fan that gives you the power you need to stay comfortable is the most important feature. To test this, we performed numerous tests of airspeed on all different settings and noted how well that translates into actual airflow feel when sitting across the room. We measured airflow right next to each model and from a set distance, noting which have a "tunnel effect" vs. which spread their breeze more evenly. We evaluated the settings, modes, timer options, and other features of every contender and considered how usable each is across the many things we like to do around our homes.
Adding a fan to your home can help up your comfort level and give your AC a little break. As air blows across your skin, it evaporates your sweat and moves the air around your skin, creating a cooling effect. However, every fan creates a different airflow pattern. Some force a tunnel of air directly in front of the unit, relying on oscillation to cover the whole room. Some buffet wind or use variable speeds to simulate the natural variance of wind speeds. Every room and home has different dimensions and belongings that will affect the wind pattern of a fan. Try placing your fan in various spots around the room to find its ideal location for keeping you cool.
When it comes to serious power, the Lasko Oscillating High Velocity is a clear winner. We clocked its three speeds ranging from 23.9 to 28.4 mph. It's lowest setting almost doubles the highest speed of most other models we tested. Among the many styles of fans we tested — including high-velocity floor fans — this model blows them all away for sheer wind speed. The Dreo 42" comes in a distant second place, reaching speeds of 17 mph. The hOmeLabs 40" and Pelonis 40" also did quite well, both reaching high speeds of 15.4 mph.
A couple of models stand out if you're interested in adjustable settings and options. The Homech Oscillating Tower Fan and Dreo 42" both have three regular modes, including Normal, Natural (with variable wind speeds to simulate outdoor breezes), and Sleep (which reduces the speed in increments until reaching Low). The fourth mode, an Auto setting, turns the units off when the ambient temperature reaches a certain degree and back on when it hits another temperature threshold. The Dreo 42" goes a step further with a free app you can use to control your fan from anywhere that also lets you set a timer for a specific number of minutes (not limiting you to half-hour increments) and shows you how much time remains.
We all have different tolerances of what we'll put up with when it comes to the noises in our homes. So, we tested fan noisiness through objective measurements and subjective descriptions of sounds. We also took decibel readings of every tower fan at each speed. We noted other sounds we could hear during operation, from mechanical hums and rattling to whooshing wind. We qualified each fan's pitch and relative disturbance during operation, including extra noises like beeps.
Taking Care of Your Fan
Just like all the other things you own, a fan needs to be regularly cleaned to perform its best and stay as quiet as possible. Some fans can be taken apart to reach interior components more easily. The manufacturers of most tower fans we tested don't recommend this, instead relying on you to vacuum and wipe them down to keep them clean and quiet.
The Aikoper 36" takes the cake for the overall quietest, most pleasant-sounding tower fan we tested. Even on its highest speed setting (about average airflow among our contenders), it stays impressively quiet. We couldn't hear any mechanical hums, clicks, or whirs, just the low whoosh of soothing wind. The Lasko Wind Curve with Nighttime Setting is a near second, remaining relatively quiet even at top speed. It sounds like the whoosh of a fan rather than a mechanical noise, which we preferred. The Honeywell QuietSet is another second-place contender for its overall low noise output. However, some of our testers don't love the quality of the Honeywell's oscillating hum, despite its lower volume.
Both the Dreo 42" and hOmeLabs 40" are quieter than average, with more pleasant, lower-pitched noises at all their speeds. The Amazon Basics Digital Oscillating is also quiet on its lowest speed, though it's also one of the lowest low speeds in terms of airflow. On low settings, the Pelonis 40" is exceptionally quiet, though this scales up precipitously with its speed. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Lasko Oscillating High Velocity is by far the noisiest model we tested on every one of its high-speed settings.
The benefit of a tower fan is a minimized footprint with maximized airflow and usefulness, so size clearly factors into the convenience of your fan. We measured the base size, tower girth, and overall height of each model. Because larger fans often provide more power, we also considered other attributes of each model's size when scoring this metric. The ability and degree of oscillation — as well as any available pivot angle — factored in here, clearly influencing the amount of any space that can be reached by the fan's available range of motion. We also considered other contributing factors, such as each fan's weight, extra portability features (like handles and remote storage), and how easy they are to clean.
Tower fans rarely have an option to change their height or the angle at which they blow air. If you're planning on using your new fan in your bedroom, pay attention to the fan's height, so you're certain it will blow across the top of your mattress. If you'd rather have a fan with adjustable height and angles, consider a pedestal fan instead.
All of the tower fans we tested are quite large, and almost none of them can be tilted, with the exception of the Lasko High Velocity which allows for a slight angling of the airflow up or down controlled by a small lever on the front grill. Two of the most conveniently shaped fans we tested are the Homech and the Dreo. Both these fans have slim profiles and narrow designs that both look good in most spaces. The Homech is also one of the lightest models we tested. It and the Honeywell are the only two that maintain weights under 7 lb.
Though it's not quite as slimly designed, the Pelonis 40" earns an above-average performance in this metric due in part to its extra-wide angle of oscillation. While most models in this lineup offer just 60-65 degrees or less, the Pelonis provides a full 90 degrees, putting it more on par with an average pedestal fan. The Dreo and Honeywell aren't too far behind, each swinging about 80 degrees in their oscillations. Notably, every contender in this category comes with a carry handle or indent for easier portability. When it comes to cleaning, the Aikoper is the only one of the bunch that actually includes directions to remove the grill with a screwdriver for easy access to internal cleaning. All the others direct you to vacuum and/or wipe the units off without ever touching their interiors.
A fan that's ready to fall over at the slightest jostle isn't likely to last long in an average household. We evaluated each fan's sturdiness and wobbliness both on the floor and within their bases. We considered extra grips on bases that help hold fans in place, especially on hardwood floors. And because most of the tower fans we tested come with small remotes, we also took into consideration remote storage options as a piece of this metric.
Choosing a Safe Fan for Your Home
These tall, spindly fans can sometimes be easily knocked over by romping pets or clumsy humans. If the description of occupants in your household includes creatures particularly prone to fumbling inelegance, you might consider a sturdier, closer to the ground option, like a floor fan.
Two models we tested stand out in this area for different reasons. The hOmeLabs 40" offers excellent stability by housing the swinging body of the fan in an immobile shell. This adds stability between the main section of the fan and its base that so many other models lack. Grippy rubber feet under the base add extra sturdiness on hard floors. The Lasko Oscillating High Velocity is also quite stable due to its unique, bottom-heavy shape that concentrates the bulk of the fan's mass and weight near the ground. It also has a relatively large, rectangular base that further contributes to its sturdiness.
A number of the models we tested have special locations on the fan body to store the remote when not in use. All three Lasko tower fans we tested — the Lasko Wind Curve, Lasko High Velocity, and Lasko 36" Tower Fan and Ionizer — have unique remotes with a hook that helps them hang easily on the back of their individual fan body. The remote that comes with the hOmeLab magnetizes to the top of the unit for simple, easy storage. As a bonus, the hOmeLabs and Homech fans come with the CR2032 battery required for their respective remotes.
The right tower fan can transform a stuffy bedroom into a pleasant slumber chamber or a stifling living room into a lovely relaxation den. We directly compared every model we tested, pitting them head to head through all our testing to identify which ones are best for certain spaces and situations. We hope that our thorough analysis helps you identify the perfect fan for your home.
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GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.