BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
 
Menu
Blog
Beyond reviews, our team aims to provide you with useful, compelling, and fun how-to guides, gift ideas, and deep dives into trendy products consumers like you love. Here are our latest articles.
June 28, 2022  |  Home

Which mini fan is best for your home desk?

A mini fan can keep you refreshed all day long

While air conditioning goes a long way toward beating the summer heat, there’s something uniquely cooling about sitting in front of a fan. However, some fans tend to be too large and noisy for tight quarters.

If you find yourself sweating while working or feel that the air in your home office becomes stale, you can keep it circulating with a mini fan. Mini fans are small enough to perch directly on your desk but powerful enough to maintain a consistent breeze where you need it the most.

Mini fan considerations

Variable speeds

Just like larger options, some mini fans feature variable speed options that let you control how much air they move. This is ideal for a desk fan, as too much power can send papers sliding off your desk and too little can leave you unsatisfied. Selecting a fan with at least three settings will allow you to tailor your airflow however you like.

Oscillation

The majority of mini fans only push air in the direction that you point them. However, some options oscillate and let you keep the air moving across a wider area. Oscillating fans are great for people who move from one part of their home office to another and don’t want to keep repositioning their fans.

Power source

  • USB power. Many mini fans plug directly into a computer, battery pack or other device via a USB cable. USB power is convenient and accessible, but these fans are not as powerful as corded options.
  • AC power. Some fans include a traditional power cable that plugs into a wall outlet or extension cord. These fans are the most powerful and they won’t drain the battery of your device while in use. However, you may find yourself limited when it comes to placement if you don’t have a nearby outlet.
  • Battery power. Mini fans that run off of battery power are the most portable option. Some use disposable batteries and others can be recharged via USB. Often designed for handheld use, if you plan to use a battery-powered mini fan at your desk you will need one that includes a stand for mounting.

Mounting options

  • Bendable legs. Some mini fans feature positionable legs that can be formed into a tripod or wrapped around the side of a desk, lamp or table leg. These fans are the most flexible option, as they allow you to direct air in any direction.
  • Clips. A fan that is attached to a clip can tightly grip the side of a desk or table. Fans with clips are the most stable, but you are limited in where you can put them depending on the thickness of your desk surface.
  • Base. Mini fans that are attached to a base require a flat, stable surface for placement. Fans that include a base, however, can be a bit larger and more powerful than those that use other mounting options. Some even have oscillation options or extendable necks that let you move air where you need it.

Size

The main selling point of mini fans is their compact size. However, there is still a generous range of size options among them. Larger fans are more powerful but make more noise and take up more desk space. Smaller fans are easier to find room for, but they may not push the air you need to feel cool. Consider your desk space and comfort level to choose the fan size that is right for you.

Aesthetics

Mini fans come in many different colors and styles. For a unified look, select one that matches your desk hardware and aesthetic. Those who are less particular about their decor, or just like a little fun in their office, can find mini fans in almost any color they desire.

Cost

Mini fans are affordable, with the most expensive options costing less than $50. The majority cost $15-$25.

Best mini fans for your home desk

Top battery-powered mini fans

Mini Handheld Personal Portable Fan

Mini Handheld Personal Portable Fan

What you need to know: This mini fan provides power, flexibility and both discrete or bright color options.

What you’ll love: Able to run directly off of USB power or be used on the go with its rechargeable battery, this fan is as great for the car or stroller as it is for your desk. It is available in five colors, features flexible tripod legs and has three speed settings.

What you should consider: This fan’s rechargeable battery has a short life, making it best for quick trips away from your desk.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

GUSGU Portable Fan

GUSGU Portable Fan

What you need to know: Designed to be used anywhere, this fan is perfect for your desktop.

What you’ll love: This fan’s flexible legs allow it to be wrapped around objects and positioned right where you need it. With three speed settings and a battery that charges over USB, this fan has all the features one should look for in a portable unit. 

What you should consider: The gaps in this fan’s cover are wide enough to accidentally slip a finger through, although the manufacturer appears to have updated their design to remedy this.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top AC powered mini fans

Portable Desk and Clip-on Fan

Portable Desk and Clip-on Fan

What you need to know: This option features a mounting clip that can also be used as a desktop stand. 

What you’ll love: Thanks to its AC power, this fan pushes air more effectively than other options. Its clip opens wide enough to accommodate thick tables and desks and it can be tilted to the direction you want. It’s available in both black and white.

What you should consider: This fan only has two speed options, and some users have found that its mounting clip is brittle and prone to breaking.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Vornado Mini Classic Personal Fan

Vornado Mini Classic Personal Fan

What you need to know: This fan’s metal construction and vintage looks make it a functional conversation piece.

What you’ll love: Small in size but big on personality, this retro fan comes in seven colors and two base designs. Its robust, metal housing makes it a more durable appliance than similarly priced, plastic alternatives.

What you should consider: This fan only has two speed settings and is a bit on the large side. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top micro mini fans

Missue Mini Handheld Fan

Missue Mini Handheld Fan

What you need to know: When you need maximum portability and the smallest fan possible, this is the option for you.

What you’ll love: At just over five inches tall, this mini fan is tiny enough to disappear on your desk or into your pocket. It features three speed options and its battery can last for up to 10 hours on a full charge via USB-C. Available in three colors.

What you should consider: This fan only comes in fun colors, so those looking for a more subtle option have to look elsewhere.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

JISULIFE Handheld Portable Fan

JISULIFE Handheld Portable Fan

What you need to know: This micro fan has a sleek, minimalist look.

What you’ll love: With up to 20 hours of battery life, this little fan is a powerhouse. It features three speed settings, a rubberized base for stability and a switch that prevents it from being accidentally powering on while being transported in your pocket or bag.

What you should consider: Buyers who have purchased more than one have noticed that the quality control for this fan is not consistent.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top oscillating mini fans

Honeywell QuietSet Personal Table Fan

Honeywell QuietSet Personal Table Fan

What you need to know: Enjoy periodic breezes or keep the air moving across your whole office with this economical oscillating mini fan from Honeywell.

What you’ll love: Exceptionally quiet and surprisingly powerful, this fan has four speed settings and a timer. With its classy tower design, this option stands out from the crowd. 

What you should consider: This fan is a bit larger than other options and it requires a wall outlet for power.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

USB Powered Oscillating Mini Fan

USB Powered Oscillating Mini Fan

What you need to know: This option may be the smallest oscillating fan on the market. 

What you’ll love: With USB power, three settings and oscillation, you don't have to sacrifice options for size with this fan. It is available in three colors.

What you should consider: This fan can only be powered via USB and cannot run off of a battery.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.