Best fans for summer — from tower fans to portable versions

Snag one of the best fans for summer before you're stuck in a heatwave

A white, square Blueair fan with tan strap, set upon a white table with wild flowers
(Image credit: Blueair)

It's time to grab one of the best fans for summer whether you're stuck in a tiny space without air conditioning, or just in need of some extra breeze. We tested some top models we think are worth the investment.

After investing in a high-quality fan, you'll feel much cooler and won't have to worry about it breaking down in the middle of a heatwave. They're especially useful to run at night if you sleep warm.

But how do you know what to go for? We tried and tested the best fans so you can cool down a room quickly in those warmer months. See which ones came out on top.

The best fans to buy in 2024

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Where one of our team has not reviewed a particular fan, I have spent hours assessing retailer listings, reviews and other available resources to check features, functions, effectiveness, and prices from tower designs to portable fans. I spend my days elbow deep in eCommerce reviews, guides, and shopping edits, and am very well-versed in spotting the duds from the heroes.

If you need some serious cooling power, it may be worth it to also invest in the viral portable air conditioner doing the rounds on TikTok, which is easy to install, budget and renter-friendly.

Our top fan picks for your space will definitely help cool you down. And, don't forget to keep your fan clean so nasty dust and debris doesn't build up and blow around your room.

Prices were correct at the time of publishing.

What to consider when choosing a fan

When it comes to buying the best fan to suit your needs, there are a few factors worth bearing in mind. These include:

Size
If you have a small room, then a desktop fan is probably enough to cool down the room, but if you’ve got a larger space a standing or floor fan will be more effective at distributing the airflow. These are better for those who suffer from sinus problems or hay fever as they won’t dry out your throat as much.

Settings
If you want a fan you can use throughout the day and night, then one with variable settings will allow you to adjust the speed to accommodate your needs. At night, a lower speed setting will be quieter and less intrusive to your sleep.

Bladeless?
If you have pets or kids around, then a bladeless fan can be safer to stop anything from getting caught. It should accumulate less dust making for easier cleaning, too.

Noise
An important thing to think about is the noise output from the fan. If you’re looking for a quiet fan for a bedroom, bear in mind the decibels of each model. The quietest on our list is the Rowenta Turbo Silence Extreme 16-inch Stand Fan, at just 35dB. Compare that to a washing machine cycle which spins at around 70dB or washes at around 47 to 53dB and you’ll get a good idea of what’s quiet and what isn’t. 

If you have a bigger budget, try the Dyson Air Multiplier AM06 Fan as it's compact, powerful and it features a night mode. Also, it purifies at the same time as cooling, for peace of mind that you're breathing in clean air while you're snoozing.

We've asked experts what to do when you're too hot to sleep in our dedicated guide.

Our best-rated fan

Dyson tower fan on white backgroundReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Dyson)
Purifies as well as heats and cools

Specifications

Speed settings: 10
Noise: 54-81dBs
Dimensions: 30 x 8.7 x 5.9in
Weight: 12.5lbs

Reasons to buy

+
9 hour timer
+
Displays air quality inside and outside
+
Quiet

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

If you're looking for a fan to cool you and a heater to warm you up, the Dyson HP04 has it all. The best part? Unlike basic fans, which just move air, the Dyson Pure Hot + Cold purifies the air, which is perfect during these pollen-filled days.

The Dyson HP04 uses Air Multiplier™ technology to project over 290 liters of smooth, purified air per second. And with 350° oscillation, the air is mixed and circulated to heat or cool you, wherever you are in the room.

In addition to this, the fully-sealed 360° filter system will remove 99.95% of allergens and pollutants from the air which is ideal whatever the weather.

Using your smartphone, the Dyson Link app lets you control your machine. This can be done whether you're at home or remotely, and it will also give you real-time reports on air quality, temperature, humidity, and filter life.

Real Homes rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Read our full review of the Dyson HP04 Pure Hot + Cool.

The best small fan

White box fan with wooden legsReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Blue Air)
Compact and stylish

Specifications

Speed settings: 3
Noise: 56dB
Dimensions: 19 x 16.5 x 14.5in
Weight: 16lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Purifies as it cools
+
Nice, Scandi-style design

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite large
-
Not as quiet as some
-
No oscillation

A truly multi-purpose tool for your home, the Blueair Blue Pure Fan cleans the air as it cools. With a large, cube-shaped design with Scandi-style wooden feet and a leather carry handle for easy portability, it is able to expel a huge amount of air and looks great to boot. It promises to clear 99% of particles from the environment.

You may miss the oscillation, but the Blueair fan releases air across a 90-degree range due to its large face. You can also customize the pre-filters to fit your decor — "diva blue" and "dark shadow" are included you can also choose light gray, pink, and yellow variations.

Real Homes rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars | Read our full review of the Blueair Blue Pure Purifying Fan

The best fan for medium-large rooms

Small white fan on white background

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Vornado 6303DC Air Circulator

Great for large spaces

Specifications

Power: 51W
Size: 13.6 x 12 x 8.8in
Speed settings: 3
Noise: 43dB

Reasons to buy

+
 Can cool a large space
+
 Surprisingly powerful 

Reasons to avoid

-
 No remote

The Vornado 630 Mid-Size Air Circulator is compact and sleek, with its traditional bladed design. Although it stands just over a foot tall, the fan is surprisingly powerful. It can move air up to 70 feet and cool spaces from 300-500 sq. ft.

Thanks to its quiet operation setting, the Vornado 630 Mid-Size Air Circulator also makes a great bedroom fan for light sleepers. Other options on this fan include an air circulation setting and an adjustable tilt head. The design also features an easy-to-remove grill so that cleaning the blades is made safe and easy.

Reviewers on Amazon commented frequently on how brilliant this fan is at cooling the space and the quiet operation, though the odd shopper mentioned the noise level. 

The best retro fan

Green vintage fan on white background

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Vornado VFAN Vintage Whole Room Air Circulator

Retro style

Specifications

Power: 120V
Speed settings: 3
Dimensions: 10.5 x 15.3 x 17.3in
Weight: 12.1lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Great vintage design

Reasons to avoid

-
Small number of speed settings
-
No oscillation

One for those who are looking to build a particular aesthetic in their home, the Vornado VFAN Vintage Air Circulator Fan has a lovely retro design that will bring you back to the 1940s. Retro aesthetic is trending across homes and interiors so it's not surprise this is a hit in 2024. 

As a fan, it's also a fantastic option, with a tilting head (no oscillation, unfortunately) and twin air cones working to boost airflow.

There are three speed settings that, while not as in-depth as others on our list, will allow you to change the speed based on the conditions at the time. This is definitely a low-tech fan, but we think its appearance more than makes up for it and it'll work just fine in a small space.

FAQs

How do I get the most out of my fan?

While you should shut windows to make air conditioning effective, opening them to let slightly cooler outside air in works well with fans. Place them near an open window, aimed at an opposing wall. If there are no obstructions it creates a good flow, pushing air around the room and hot stale air out of the window.

If it is still really warm, fill a large plastic bottle with water and freeze it. Put this in front of the fan to cool the air.

You can also open two windows or doors at opposing ends of your home to create a tunnel of moving air and place your fan either at one window to blow air in/out, or in the middle of the draft you've engineered to help the cooler air move around.

Finally, remember that hot air rises so the cooler air will be near the floor. A small fan at floor level, angled upwards can help move this cooler air upwards.

Fan or air-conditioning?

Air conditioning keeps a room cool but the average central system uses nearly 50 times the watts to run than a fan. So, just think how you could reduce your electricity bill, just by swapping out air conditioning for a fan, even if only for a few hours every day, or overnight when you might decide to turn your AC off.

And, if the heat is unbearable, a fan will make your air-conditioning that much more efficient by circulating the cold air around the room more quickly. Either way, a fan’s a good addition when there’s a heatwave.

How we test fans

Dyson fan in living room

(Image credit: Future)

The fans featured in this guide have been tested based on affordability, size, ease of use, and any extra features (such as air conditioning) that may be included. We test fans in genuine home environments, rather than a lab, as we believe this gives more appropriate results.

We ran the fans for several hours and judged the performance based on how strong the air was blowing and how cool the room became. Our reviewers have tried these fans in their own homes for several days.


If you're really struggling to stay cool this summer, you can grab some extra accessories to help beat the heat. Sleep warm? investing in a cooling mattress pad or cooling pillow will help bring the temperature down in the bed.

Emily Lambe
Deputy Editor

Hey! I’m Emily and I’m the deputy digital editor at Real Homes. I’m here to bring you the latest decor trends, inspirational ideas, informative how tos, the latest celeb homes style and the best budget-friendly buys. I live in a rented apartment, making the most of small spaces and using accent pieces to make things pop. When I’m not writing, I’m usually doing yoga, eating chocolate or working on my skincare routine.

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