We purchase every product we review with our own funds—we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Even homes with the best designs have their heating and cooling issues. When your home heats up, air conditioning units struggle to cool your hard to reach rooms. If you give up on using those spaces during the hotter months, don't! Add a continuous stream of cool air to any room using a tower fan.
Tower fans provide a cost effective boost in airflow to the sweltering rooms of your home. They improve the air circulation in rooms where the AC isn’t effective. These useful fans generally stand between two and four feet high on the floor, and depending on where you need airflow, you can also set them on sturdy furniture. Unlike box or pedestal fans, they fit easily in out-of-the-way places, such as corners.
But how can you tell if a tower fan will return value for your money? What size, style, and type of fan do you need? What features are worth a higher price? Never fear; BestReviews is here!
We put together this guide and some specific recommendations to help you make an informed purchase. We take our product reviews seriously, and we never accept free samples from manufacturers. We conduct our own analysis and testing, and we research reviews authored by actual owners. This approach allows us to provide you with unbiased, informative reviews.
Note: The above product recommendations were updated July 2017. The products below were our original choices and have yet to be updated.
Tower fans come in two main styles: standard and bladeless. Let’s look at the difference between the two.
An electric motor spins the tower and the blades.
The blades create a reliable breeze throughout the length of the tower.
Air moves rapidly through the tower and out the main vents, thanks to the specially designed blades.
Tower fans are incredibly safe. Not only are the fan blades hard for tiny fingers to reach, the blades will stop without causing injury when touched.
Despite the name, bladeless tower fans have nine asymmetrically aligned blades located within a pedestal.
The blades pull air into the unit.
Air flows through a tunnel in the base and up to a tube. The tube serves as a ramp, ushering a consistent stream of air through slits in the housing.
Bladeless tower fans tend to be much quieter than standard tower fans.
Bladeless fans still use blades, but the air is not directed at the user. Instead, it comes out of a slotted tube. This provides a more consistent airflow.
Your office or home environment can improve drastically with the many convenient and practical features found in the best tower fans. Some of the basic features you will find include the following.
Speaking of oscillation, this is a standard feature in most fans. It’s really a must, because oscillation spreads cool air in a wider arc, allowing a single fan to effectively cool a large space.
The angle matters: a 180 degree oscillating fan should be placed in the center of a wall, while a 90 degree fan can go in the corner.
The electronic controls found on top of the unit make operating the tower fan simple. These controls might include speed settings, adjustments for scents released in the circulating air, the on/off switch, and oscillation control.
Quiet operation has become a top priority for tower fan manufacturers. This makes them ideal for locations where a peaceful environment is preferable, such as offices and bedrooms. Check out the decibel rating on models you’re considering, if silence is important to you.
Many tower fans are quiet enough to use in office environments, where significant noise is undesirable. If a silent fan is important to you, look for the decibel rating as you shop for your tower fan.
Sometimes you don’t need your fan to blow you away. A variable speed fan allows you to customize your cooling experience, sometimes with as many as five speed settings.
Many of today’s tower fans release air fresheners into the circulating air. The strength of the scent is typically controlled by a variable dial control. The scent feature can also be turned off completely if you just want air circulation.
Not all tower fans are created equal: if you want a feature like scent control, it may be worth spending a bit more for a unit that has it.
You may not want to get up to adjust your fan while in the midst of a project or a great TV show. Most high quality fans come with a remote control, allowing you to slow down, shut off, or speed up your fan from across the room.
Most tower fans cool your room. However, some of the higher end models also serve as heaters, humidifiers, air purifiers, and more. If these functions would be useful in your situation, it might be worth spending a little extra to get two major capabilities from one device. Each brand also tends to have its own specialty features. Some models have LCD displays, washable filters, and patented, manufacturer-specific cooling technology.
Choose a fan with a remote control so you don’t have to get up every time you want to adjust the speed or turn the fan on and off.
Several factors are key to determining how long your tower fan will last. For the most part, you get what you pay for. The more expensive models tend to last longer, and they also come with longer warranties. Warranties range from one to five years for the top brands.
Both the location and frequency of use impact a fan’s lifespan as well. If your tower fan is used in an environment with significant debris or dust, such as a woodshop, it’ll need more frequent care to ensure as long a service life as possible.
We recommend reading the user manual closely for upkeep and maintenance suggestions, such as cleaning the blades regularly.
Check the warranty of the models you are looking at to ensure you are covered if there is a defect.
The majority of tower fans on the market cost as little as $60 and generally less than $100. However, if it fits your budget, we strongly recommend the bladeless option.
You can find bladeless options out there for under $100, but we don’t recommend those.
A model costing between $200 and $400 is more likely to provide reliable service for a longer time.
Bladeless fans cost more than traditional tower fans, but are worth the price increase. They tend to perform better and offer more secondary features.
Proper placement is key to getting the most from your tower fan. Keep it out of busy walkways, but try to put it where air can move about with the least obstruction. Consider these placement tips.
Most oscillating fans rotate between 90 and 180 degrees. Place your fan in a corner if it only has 90 degree coverage.
It doesn’t make sense to put a fan with a 180-degree oscillation arc in a corner since, it would cool the walls half the time. Instead, move it out to a more central area along a wall.
Maximize the efficiency of your tower fan by keeping it free of obstacles, like stacks of books, houseplants, or clothes.
Obstacles hamper the effectiveness of your tower fan. Couches, beds, bookshelves, and other furniture get in the way of air flow. Avoid this issue by placing your fan on a sturdy base, such as a table, above the obstacles.
If the temperature regularly reaches triple digits where you live and you don’t have strong enough air conditioning, consider buying multiple tower fans. Two fans working in a single room will drop the temperature.
Q. Are tower fans good for the environment?
A. Manufacturers offer plenty of eco-friendly and efficient tower fans, and numerous models were designed with an eye on preserving our planet. To really help reduce your environmental footprint, pick a multifunction fan that doubles as a humidifier, air purifier, or air ionizer. Also, look for a unit with an auto shut-off function. It will help you conserve energy if you happen to forget to turn your fan off.
Q. Are there safety concerns associated with tower fans?
A. Safety is one of the main concerns tower fan manufacturers take into consideration. You can be confident that your pets or children will be safe around the fan when it is in use. The blades in these fans are hard to access, unlike the conventional fans of yesteryear.
Q. Are tower fans easy to move around?
A. Not all tower fans are easily mobile. If you need to move your fan regularly, look for a model specifically designed for portability. Pay special attention to the handle options and weight of the units you consider.
Q. Is it easy to operate a tower fan?
A. A tower fan’s basic functions are generally intuitive enough to operate right out of the box. However, for remote access, programming, oscillation levels, auto shut-off, and other multifunction options, there may be more of a learning curve. Read the owner’s manual thoroughly to get the most from your fan.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.