Long battery life on one charge. Large capacity water tank. Cools air like a miniature evaporative cooler.
Quality of mist spray is variable. Fan motor is not very powerful. More light-duty humidifier than cooling mister.
Powerful fan for its size. Includes water refill bottle for outdoor use. Easy to hold in hand.
Some disappointment with overall cooling power. Small water reservoir. Mister can stop working at certain angles.
Creates a light mist for humidifying and cooling air, not heavy moisture. Good for baby strollers and car trips. Powerful fan for its size.
Bulky, not easy to carry in hand. Charging system has quality control issues. Some reports of tank leakage.
Very lightweight, suitable for young children. Misting levels are adjustable. Effective for "hot flashes" and other body temperature issues.
Limited water tank capacity. Better for indoor beauty humidifying use, not outdoor events. Fan is not very powerful.
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On hot summer days, you want to be outside soaking up the sun, but sometimes Mother Nature is so relentless that she sends you running for the nearest air conditioner. You can try setting up a traditional fan, but a warm breeze isn’t going to be that soothing. What you need is a misting fan.
Misting fans combine the airflow of a traditional fan with the cooling effect of a gentle mist, enabling you to enjoy the outdoors in ultimate comfort. But some misting fans are more powerful than others, and some produce a finer mist than others. The right misting fan for you depends on which features matter most to you.
At BestReviews, we did the research and narrowed the field down to the top five misting fans, which are listed in the table above. Keep reading to learn more about misting fans and the considerations that we think are important when shopping for one.
One of the most important considerations when choosing any type of fan is power. You may have heard of the revolutions per minute (RPM) measurement, but this isn’t actually as useful as it might sound.
An RPM measurement tells you how fast the fan spins and can even give you an indication of how loud the fan will be, but it can’t tell you how much air the fan moves. For that, you need to look at the fan’s cubic feet per minute (CFM) measurement.
The higher the CFM, the more airflow the fan produces, and the cooler it will make you feel. CFMs can range anywhere from 200 CFM for small fans to 5,000 CFM for large industrial fans.
If the droplets from a misting fan are too large, you could end up feeling like you’ve been out in the rain. For this reason, most people want a fan that produces the finest mist possible. The quality of the mist depends on two things: the size of the nozzles (the smaller the nozzles, the smaller the droplets) and the pounds per square inch (PSI). A high PSI is indicative of a higher water pressure, which results in a finer mist. In terms of numbers, a misting fan can range from 30 PSI to greater than 1,000 PSI.
Some handheld misting fans can be plugged into a USB port to charge.
You’ll need to supply your misting fan with water, and there are two ways to do this: by filling a built-in water bucket or by connecting the fan directly to a hose. Each method has pros and cons.
A misting fan with a built-in storage tank is conveniently portable; you don’t need to be near a hose for the fan to work. However, the tank requires manual refills and will only work for a limited amount of time.
A tankless misting fan with a hose will work indefinitely. If you’re looking for a product that doesn’t require refilling, you may appreciate this. Bear in mind, however, that the fan must maintain a constant connection with a hose. This could limit your mobility somewhat.
Like all fans, misting fans require electricity. And as everyone knows, water and electricity do not mix. To avoid electrocution, make sure the misting fan you choose is UL or ETL wet listed. This means that the electrical components are safely enclosed and would not be affected should the fan get wet.
If you have a fan with a built-in water tank, you may also want to look for one that has a water shutoff valve. This will automatically shut off the water from the hose and prevent the tank from overflowing.
Misting fans can be made of plastic or metal. Plastic units are cheaper and tend to be lighter, so if you’re looking for something portable, plastic could be the way to go. However, cheap plastic can degrade in the hot sun, especially if it’s kept outside for long periods of time. For this reason, we advise potential buyers who are interested a plastic fan to opt for a higher-end product.
Metal fans are notably more durable and resistant to corrosion. A metal fan may be a better choice if you’re looking for a long-term cooling solution, though you’ll pay more upfront for one. Keep in mind that metal fans are also heavier and therefore not as portable as plastic fans.
Quality construction is especially important if you’re going to keep your misting fan outside. The elements can cause a lot of wear and tear, even when the fan is not in use.
A larger fan can cool a larger area, but it also requires more water and electricity. What’s more, it may be too bulky to transport. Think about how you intend to use your misting fan, and choose one that is large enough to suit your needs without requiring more resources than necessary.
If portability is your main concern, consider getting a small, handheld misting fan. These fans are lightweight and easy to stow in a bag or pocket.
Though not essential to the function of the fan, here are a few additional features that can make using your misting fan a more comfortable experience.
Oscillation: Fans that oscillate can be set to remain in a single position or rotate back and forth to cover a larger area.
Variable speed: Most fans have multiple speed settings, so you can choose how much airflow you need.
Variable misting settings: Like variable speed, variable misting settings give you the opportunity to customize how the fan cools you down.
If noise is an issue for you, look for a misting fan with a lower RPM.
Misting fans range in price from under $10 for a handheld unit to well over $300 for a heavy-duty commercial fan.
If you’re looking for a good handheld fan, we recommend spending around $20 to ensure that you get a quality product that isn’t going to break down on you or leak when you’re using it.
If you want something larger, you’ll probably have to spend at least $100 for a good plastic misting fan. Some have built-in water tanks while others can be connected to a hose. These fans are generally comparable to your standard household fan in terms of airflow, noise level, and features. It’s common to find misting fans with multiple speed settings and oscillation.
Once you get up over $200, you’re getting into heavy-duty commercial fans. These products are generally more rugged and often made of metal instead of plastic. Airflow and water pressure are typically higher, so these fans do a better job of cooling off a larger area. You probably don’t need something of this caliber for everyday use at home, but it could be worth it if you’re going to use it often.
Keep your misting fan away from electrical devices that could be harmed if they were to get wet.
You can use a misting fan indoors, but keep a window open while you run it. Otherwise, the mist will likely accumulate on furniture and other items inside your home.
Read the instruction manual for specific guidelines on using your misting fan, including any required maintenance.
Before purchasing a misting fan with a water storage tank, check the packaging and owner’s manual to get an idea of the fan’s runtime.
Q. How do misting fans help keep me cool?
A. Misting fans don’t cool you off by getting you soaking wet. Rather, they work by evaporative cooling. The fan sends out tiny droplets of water that absorb heat out of the air and then evaporate. This, coupled with the airflow from the fan, helps reduce the temperature of the surrounding area.
Q. Does my misting fan require maintenance?
A. It might. Check your owner’s manual to learn how to properly care for your misting fan. You may have to periodically wipe out the water storage tank with soap and water. The fan blades may also need occasional cleaning if they are collecting a lot of dust.
Q. My misting fan is clogged. What should I do?
A. This is a common problem in households with hard water. Calcium can build up behind the nozzles of the fan and prevent the water from flowing freely through them. If this happens, remove the nozzle and gently tap it to try to remove some of the deposits. You may also try soaking it in vinegar or lime for a few minutes.
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