Nine inches in diameter yet circulates air in an entire room with ease. Saves both time and costs compared to other cooling devices. High marks for its ability to impact air temperature and operate quietly as well. Controls are conveniently placed.
Doesn't "blast" you with air like a standard fan. A little pricey.
Two-in-one form factor converts from a table fan to a 33-inch tall stand fan. Air circulator features like angled blades and tunnel housing create steady air movement across the whole room. Tilting head helps mix air in summer and winter.
Not as efficient as dedicated air circulators.
Attractive and appealing rounded design. Successfully creates focused air column to circulate all the air in a small room. Fan head oscillates horizontally and vertically. Convenient remote.
Somewhat pricey for its size.
Simple controls were easy to use in our testing. Circulated air well both in a small bedroom and a larger space. Stylish and minimalist design was a positive. We liked the timer feature and the remote control.
We would have liked the option to oscillate.
Based on the original air circulator invented in 1945. Moves all the air in a mid-sized room quietly and thoroughly. Tilting head. Quiet performance. Three speeds. All-metal casing in 2 retro paint schemes.
Controls can be hard to reach. Heavy. Costs more than a standard fan.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
By design, an air circulator fan works differently from a desk fan or stand fan. Instead of producing a strong blast of air, it sets the air in the room in motion to cool it down without any oscillation required.
The concept of air circulator fans originated with airplane engines — in fact, these fans often look a lot like airplane engines. While an ordinary fan disperses air directly in front of it, an air circulator sends a steady column or vortex of air across a room, creating a circulation pattern that gets all the air in the room moving. It does this with specially angled, or pitched, fan blades; a funnel-like or wind tunnel-like housing; and aerodynamic intakes and outlets. This eliminates any pockets of warm, stuffy air and keeps everyone in the room equally comfortable.
After hours of research and hands-on user testing, we determined that the Vornado 630 Whole Room Air Circulator is our top choice for its expert design and excellent performance. And if you want a convertible table or stand fan with air circulator features at an affordable cost, we highly recommend the Pelonis 2-in-1 Air Circulator Fan.
Vornado invented and popularized the vortex-action air circulator, and this particular model, which is our top pick, proves the company knows what it’s doing. Deeply pitched propeller-like blades combine with an aircraft-derived inlet-and-duct design to create a steady stream of air up to 70 feet long. At the same time, a spiral grille twists the air into a vortex that activates the rest of the air in the room.
Nonslip silicone feet keep this fan in place without marking surfaces, and we think you’ll appreciate the easy-reach location of the control knob on the right side of the base instead of the back. The all-plastic housing is sturdy and lightweight, and the motor is surprisingly quiet for how powerful this model is. Ideal for a bedroom or office, it comes with a five-year warranty, which Vornado confidently offers for most of its products.
This model from Pelonis packs several useful features at an affordable cost. It has angled blades, a spiral grille and a channeled intake for excellent circulation. Unlike many air circulators that are designed to be placed on either the floor or a desk, this one is height adjustable, so you can transform it from a 14-inch tabletop fan to a 33-inch stand fan if you like.
This fan has five aerofoil-shaped blades (compared to the typical three of other air circulators), allowing it to move air with plenty of force. It’s as if Pelonis heard people’s complaints about the perceived low power of air circulators and made sure their product could hit you with a good stiff breeze like a traditional fan.
Something of a hybrid between a fan and an air circulator, this model’s air column is only focused enough for 22 feet, but the oscillation feature makes up for it. It’s quiet, too, and a good white-noise maker.
The latest version of the Woozoo Oscillating Vortex Fan from IRIS makes our list with its attractive, modern design, multi-directional oscillation and handy remote. It weighs a little less than 3 pounds and measures 11 inches tall, and it has the ability to oscillate horizontally, vertically or both ways at the same time.
Pitched blades and a spiral-vented wind funnel grille create a focused stream of air of up to 82 feet, which, combined with the fan’s oscillation, can freshen rooms up to 350 square feet.
It boasts eight fan speeds, a natural mode that imitates the rhythms of real breezes and a timer function if you want it to turn off after you fall asleep. All this plus a remote control add up to a feature-rich air circulator fan that’s well worth the extra money.
Shifting from the fan-and-cowl design of its main line of air circulators, this Vornado model takes its cues from the small-footprint, high-airflow design of standard tower fans — with an added twist, literally. The Vornado 184’s air intake and output grille wind around the length of the tower like a DNA molecule, aiming to create a constant moving cycle of air without need for oscillation.
We tested the Vornado 184 and found it to be a powerful, easy-to-use appliance that circulates air well at various speeds but lacks the ability to oscillate. Vornado says the lack of oscillation makes it more stable than standard tower fans, but we would have liked the option.
This one is a bit loud, especially at high speeds, but its remote allowed us to change settings as needed from across the room.
If your space is small and you want an air circulator that won’t leave a big dent in your funds, consider this one from Amazon Basics. Despite having “small room” in its name, it’s compact but not mini, measuring about 11 inches tall and 7 inches deep.
Although its fan housing is open and airy, the spiral front grille and angled blades create air circulation similar to that of more expensive fans. This circulator can angle its head 90 degrees up and down, which is great for mixing warm and cool air.
Like any Amazon Basics product, it’s stripped down when it comes to features. But customer reviews are positive and focus on good fan strength and reasonably quiet performance. It’s also affordable enough to make up for any drawbacks.
This is the air circulator that started it all — or at least it’s a highly accurate modern version of it. The Vornado VFAN Vintage Air Circulator looks almost exactly like the original vortex-action air circulator that Vornado introduced in 1945. If you love a retro aesthetic, you’ll appreciate the VFAN’s streamline dieselpunk design with mint green or glossy white paint and a shiny brass or chrome grille.
Like the 1945 model, the VFAN has a real metal housing instead of lightweight plastic. It has pitched blades and dual inlet cones to create the necessary air vortex, but it lacks the specially curved grille of a modern model. The location of the three-speed switch at the back of the fan cowling is authentic but a little inconvenient, but it works well, and it does so with plenty of style.
Here’s a small-yet-powerful air circulator with a built-in aromatherapy feature for adding fragrance to your space. Inside its rounded fan housing is an absorbent pad that can be moistened with a few drops of aromatic essential oils. When you turn it on, the scent of the oil wafts into the concentrated air column and disperses throughout the room.
Five pitched fan blades move plenty of air up to 23 feet away. The Tredy’s deep funnel housing and spiral grille help create the necessary air circulation effect.
Like some other small air circulator fans (this one is 8 inches), it could be mounted on a wall or ceiling and kept off the floor altogether, if you choose.
At just 6 inches tall with a blade diameter of barely 3.75 inches, the this fan won’t be cooling a living room or even a den any time soon. But if you want an air circulator for your desk or cubicle — or you need a small, portable air circulator for project ventilation — the Pivot is a stylish performer.
Despite its diminutive size, it still does a good job of moving the air at the highest of its three speeds, and it’s got the pitched fan blades and deep funnel cowling that create the spiraling air column necessary for a real air circulator. It also looks great, coming in four color choices including copper and champagne, and makes a decorative statement on any desk.
After researching the history, features and different brands of air circulators, we tested the Vornado 184 tower fan for setup, design and performance, including whole-room coverage and noise.
A. An air circulator can be placed anywhere in a room as long as it’s unobstructed in front and back. That said, you might decide to position your air circulator based on the season.
In summer, you can place an air circulator near an air conditioning vent and set it to blow at a high speed across the room halfway up a wall. This forces cool air as far and wide as possible. In winter, you might angle it at the ceiling to disperse warm air trapped there.
A. Air circulators can be used throughout the year, not just when it’s warm. The circulation helps distribute warm air in the winter and spread fresh outdoor breezes in springtime and autumn.
By forcing air to mix, an air circulator evens out temperature and air quality throughout a room and even through a whole house.
A. Air circulators, like standard fans, don’t directly change the air temperature like space heaters and air conditioners do. But by forcing the air in a room to mix, they can make a room feel more moderate. So, if there’s plenty of warm air near the ceiling, it may feel like the room is getting warmer as the air layers mix.
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