Best Air Circulator Fans

Updated November 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

21 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
248 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best air circulator fans

Last Updated November 2019

A regular fan has one job: to blow air across your skin to make you feel cooler. An air circulator fan can do everything from cooling you off to keeping you warm to saving you money on your energy bill. The best air circulator fans eliminate hot and cold spots, making your home a more comfortable environment so you can better enjoy life.

If you're still not exactly sure what makes an air circulator fan different from a regular fan, don't worry — that's why you've landed on this page. After reading through this guide, you'll know how to choose the right size air circulator fan and have a firm grasp of the most efficient ways to use one.

To get started on your air circulator fan education, keep reading. If you're ready to purchase and are just here to quickly see which models are the best, consider the air circulator fans we've spotlighted in this article.

When used in a workplace, an air circulator fan can even out the room temperature, eliminating hot and cold spots, in order to create a more productive workforce.

Key considerations

Types

When considering the purchase of an air circulator fan, you need to make sure you get the best one for your available space. There are four basic options: table, floor, pedestal, and tower.

Table: This is the smallest size of air circulator fan. It is proportioned to fit on a table, and the best ones pivot and swivel or oscillate so you can direct the airstream exactly where you want it to go.

Floor: This type of air circulator fan is similar to the table model but larger and more powerful. If you placed this item on your desk, it would likely disrupt your ability to work. This air circulator fan can be positioned anywhere in a room where you have adequate floor space and there is no low furniture that would inhibit the airflow.

Pedestal: A pedestal air circulator fan is a powerful option that is best for larger rooms where you might have obstacles such as sofa, coffee table, or other low furniture that would make a floor air circulator fan less effective.

Tower: This type is often the most elegant air circulator fan. Its sleek design means the unit takes up less space than other styles and makes it great for use in a room where décor is important. The tower air circulator fan is a powerful option.

Powerful, sturdy air circulator

Vornado's midsize air circulator fan features powerful, deeply pitched blades that can move a great deal of air with each rotation. The sturdy base offers added stability while the removable grill offers simplified maintenance. The unit has three speed settings and comes with a five-year warranty.

Air circulator fan features

There are a number of different features that can enhance your experience using an air circulator fan. We've listed the most desirable ones to consider here. Not all models have all of these options, so you'll need to decide which ones are best for your situation.

Oscillation: An air circulator fan that oscillates from side to side may be useful if you have a larger space that you need to cover.

Tilt: If you want the best air circulation, the fan needs to tilt at least 90°. This is essential for creating the proper airflow for your particular situation. The exceptions are tower air circulator fans.

Bladeless: A bladeless air circulator fan seems to move air as if by magic. In reality, the blades are hidden in the base. The benefit is that these models produce a much smoother airstream.

Speeds: The best air circulator fans have three speed settings so you can adjust it for your needs. At the very least, you'll want two settings so the unit can function at a slower speed during the winter, which is essential for keeping the air from cooling you off.

Timer: Some air circulator fans have a timer so you can automate when the unit turns on and off.

Remote: Some air circulator fans come with a remote so you can control a variety of functions from a distance.

Warranty: Since air circulator fans require minimal maintenance, multi-year warranties are common. The length of the warranty tells you how much faith a manufacturer has in its product.

CFM: Cubic feet per minute is a measure of the amount of air your unit can move. If you purchase an air circulator fan that doesn't have a high enough CFM for your needs, it won't function efficiently in your situation. The FAQ section (below) explains how to calculate your CFM needs.

DID YOU KNOW?

Using an air circulator fan can help reduce your energy bill all year round.

Air circulator fan prices

Air circulator fans have a fairly broad price range that can be broken down into three general categories to help you better budget for your needs.

Inexpensive: You’ll find tabletop models in the $13 to $25 category. Don't be fooled by their diminutive size, though. Many of these units have three speeds, can tilt, and offer enough power to circulate the air in a small room.

Mid-range: At $25 to $60, you’ll mostly find larger floor models. The air circulator fans in this price bracket are high-volume directional units that can adequately cover the needs of most midsize rooms.

Expensive: From $60 to $120, you’ll find a mix of pedestal and tower air circulator fans that are powerful enough to circulate the air in larger spaces. These higher-priced models may also feature a timer and a remote.

Air circulator fans are portable units that can be moved from room to room as needed.

Placement tips

An air circulator fan is one of those devices that can accomplish a variety of tasks. However, if you don't quite grasp how it works, the room you’re trying to keep warm in the winter might turn into the coldest spot in your house. The following are a few tips to help you get the most out of your air circulator fan.

  • Aim the fan at the middle of a wall. If you want to cool a room, use a floor air circulator fan tilted so it hits about halfway up the least-used wall in the room. This will lift the colder air from the floor and bounce it back into the room, effectively lowering the overall temperature.
  • Keep it close to the wall. An air circulator fan cools more quickly when it's positioned close to a wall or a corner.
  • Aim for the cold air. When you aim your air circulator fan to collide with the air exiting the air-conditioning vent, it helps distribute that incoming cold air more evenly throughout the room.
  • Clear obstacles. Furniture or other items can deflect the airflow. If you can't clear a path that allows the air to circulate the way you need it to, consider aiming the air circulator fan at a different wall.
  • Warm up cold spots.  Position your air circulator fan facing straight up toward the ceiling and turn it on low. This will gently disperse the warm air, which gathers at the ceiling, and spread it more evenly around the room to help keep it warm.
  • Consider backup. If you have a large room or two rooms connected by an open doorway, map out a larger plan to create an effective airflow that will accomplish the job. To do this, you’ll need two (or more) air circulator fans.
  • Add blackout curtains. Adding blackout curtains to the windows can help your air circulator fan function more effectively, keeping heat out in the summer and in during the winter.

Small, rugged, effective

Lasko's 20-inch air circulator is a cost-effective option that’s compact and easily portable due to its built-in handle. The unit features three speeds and a pivoting head so you can aim your airflow in the direction it provides the most benefit. The air circulator fan comes fully assembled: just take it out of the box, plug it in, and turn it on.

Other products we considered

Every room is different. What works in a bedroom or your home office, probably won't be effective in your living room. To be sure you have a sufficient selection to find the best air circulator fan for your needs, here are a few more highly rated options. If you're looking for a way to circulate the air in a smaller space, the Vornado Flippi V6 Personal Air Circulator is an affordably priced option. The unit has two speeds, tilting fan, and a swivel base so you can direct the airflow any way you desire. For a larger space, the Vornado 573 Small Flat Panel Air Circulator Fan uses its deep-pitched blades to move air up to 60 feet. It offers three speed settings and comes with a five-year warranty. The elegantly designed Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan features wood-grain accents and a space-saving design. This 42.5-inch device also has an ionizer to help clean the air, three quiet speeds, and optional oscillation.

Maintaining an air circulator fan is relatively simple. All it involves is unplugging the unit and wiping down the blades to remove any dust.

FAQ

Q. What's the difference between a fan and an air circulator fan?
A.
Both create currents of air, so the difference basically comes down to usage. A fan is a device that blows air directly on a person who wants to feel cooler. An air circulator fan, on the other hand, creates airflow that keeps all the air in a room in continuous motion to eliminate hot or cold spots. Additionally, air circulator fans can be used in warm and cold weather.

Q. How does an air circulator fan help in the winter months?
A.
No fan actually lowers the temperature of a room; all it does is move the air. When a fan is blowing directly on you, it helps the air evaporate the sweat from your skin, which lowers your body temperature. An air circulator fan doesn't (or shouldn't) blow directly on you. In the winter, if you aim the fan up and set it on low, it can move the hot air that’s lingering near the ceiling and distribute it more equally around the room, eliminating those cold spots.

Q. How do I choose the right size air circulator fan?
A.
Air circulator fans are categorized by how much air they can move in one minute. This is expressed as cubic feet per minute (CFM). To find the best air circulator fan for your needs, multiply the room's length by width by height to get the cubic feet. Divide that number by 3 to get the ideal CFM needed to circulate the air in that particular room. For example, if your room is 15 feet long by 15 feet wide by 8 feet high, it is 1,800 cubic feet. Divide 1,800 by 3 to get 600. The ideal air circulator fan for that room is 600 CFM. Alternately, you could divide by 5 to get the lowest CFM advisable. In the above example, that would be 360 CFM.

EXPERT TIP

When used in conjunction with an open window, air circulator fans can rid rooms of that stuffy, musty smell.


Staff  | BestReviews
The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey