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Best Box Fans

Updated February 2023
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Best of the Best
Hurricane 20" Classic Series
20" Classic Series
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Energy Efficient
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Offers a contemporary design and reliable airflow for a mid-level price.


Airflow of 2,400 cubic feet per minute with an 1100 rpm motor. Energy efficient. Lightweight with an attractive modern design and adjustable feet. The standard 20-inch size doesn't take up space. Has 3 speeds.


May be too loud for some.

Best Bang for the Buck
Mini Box Fan
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Best for Tight Spaces
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Small enough to sit on your desktop and slim enough to place on a windowsill.


This compact unit sits on a tabletop, desktop, or windowsill. Powerful for its size. Weighs less than 4 pounds. Offers 3 speeds. Stands upright on flat surfaces. Provides enough white noise without overpowering.


A few reports of motor burnout.

PELONIS 3-Speed Box Fan
3-Speed Box Fan
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Streamlined & Modern
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For a 20-inch model with a little more style, try this powerful model.


Streamlined control and cord placement. Slim blades maximize airflow. The stylized grill is tight enough to help prevent injury to fingers. A carry handle is integrated into the frame.


Several reviewers note how loud it is.

Genesis 20-inch Box Fan
20-inch Box Fan
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Simple Yet Solid
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Boasts a long-lived motor and standard square housing.


Slimmer blades for more airflow. Standard square 20-inch housing with a built-in corner handle and storage. Three-speed motor with copper construction. Sits upright on flat surfaces.


Some complaints about its noise level of 60db.

Amazon Basics 20-Inch Box Fan
Amazon Basics
20-Inch Box Fan
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Best for Everyday Use
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This black box fan has a traditional design and is ideal for small-to-medium-sized rooms.


This square box fan offers 3-speed levels and has front-facing controls for easy operation. It has a lightweight build with a carrying handle and a freestanding design with large feet for support and stability.


Some customers find it too loud.

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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 all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
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.About BestReviews 

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.

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Buying guide for Best box fans

When temperatures start to rise, you'll need help keeping cool and comfortable at home. An air conditioner is an effective option, but it can be costly to operate. A fan may be a more economical and efficient choice, and when it comes to affordability and convenience, it’s hard to top the box fan.

Box fans are one of the most common fan types available. If you want the right one for your home, you have to figure out the proper size, CFM, power settings, and other features that would make it most effective.

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While most box fans are square, there are some models that are rectangular, oblong, or even round in shape.

Anatomy of a box fan

A box fan is a large, portable fan that’s usually square in shape. It contains a propeller blade that helps circulate air. The back and front of the fan feature a grille or lattice-work design to encourage airflow.

This type of fan is ideal for placing in a window or a doorway to help draw cool air from one area to another.

Box fans are usually large enough to cool bigger rooms. However, they’re still light enough to move from room to room, so you can place your fan wherever you need it most.

Box fan benefits

There are several reasons why a box fan can be such an effective cooling appliance for your home.

Easy setup

Many box fans come fully assembled. Simply plug the fan in, and it’s ready to cool your home.


While box fans can be fairly large, they’re usually rather light, and they don’t require an exhaust or drainage system like an air conditioner does. As such, you can easily move a box fan from one room to another.

Energy efficiency

A box fan uses less energy than an air conditioner. If you’re trying to minimize your energy costs, a box fan is an economical option.

Easy maintenance

Unlike an air conditioner, which requires you to clean and/or replace filters, drain water, and perform other maintenance chores, a box fan doesn’t require much upkeep at all. As long as you keep the blades and fan interior clean, it should operate well.

Budget friendly

A box fan demands less of your wallet than an air conditioning unit or central AC system. In fact, it’s one of the more affordable fan options in general.

Environmentally friendly

Because it uses less energy and no refrigerant, a box fan is an eco-friendly cooling option for your home. If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s helpful to have a box fan in your arsenal of cooling options.

Features to consider

Fan size

Most box fans are roughly the same size, with a blade diameter of 20 to 21 inches. Because they’re fairly large, they require more space than some other types of fans. However, they typically provide more effective cooling power as a result.


Like all fans, a box fan’s power is measured by how much air movement it provides. Airflow is typically rated in cubic feet per minute (CFM), which helps indicate how quickly a fan can move the air in a given area. For example, a box fan that’s rated at 2,000 CFM will cool a room of 2,000 cubic feet in one minute.

To determine the cubic foot measurement of a room, multiply the height of the ceiling by the room’s square footage. So, for example, a 250-square foot room with an eight-foot ceiling contains 2,000 cubic feet.

Experts suggest that when choosing a box fan, you should look for a model that can move the air through your room in five minutes or less. But for the most effective air movement, look for a model that can get the job done in three minutes or less.

Speed settings

To allow you to customize the amount of airflow in your home, a box fan typically offers multiple power or speed settings. Most models offer three speeds: low, medium, and high. However, some box fans only offer two speeds: high and low. The more speed settings there are, the easier it will be to customize airflow in your room.


Box fans usually make noise when they’re working, though some models are louder than others. To determine how noisy a box fan will be, check out its decibel (dB) rating. If quiet operation is a priority, look for a model that emits 35 dB or less.

Remote control

Some box fan packages include a remote control that allows you to operate the fan from across the room. With the remote, you can turn the fan on and off and adjust its speed.

Box fan prices

Because most box fans are roughly the same size, their prices typically vary based on how many speeds they offer and their CFM rating. However, you can usually expect to pay between $15 and $60 for a box fan.

Lower-priced fans tend to have only two speeds and a CFM rating under 2,000. If you’re looking to spend the minimum, expect a cost of $15 to $25.

Looking for a mid-range option? A box fan with three speeds and a CFM rating between 2,000 and 2,500 will likely cost you between $25 and $35.

And if cost is not a factor, you may be interested in a fan with a CFM rating over 2,500. For a fan such as this, expect to pay between $35 and $60.

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Make sure your box fan is stable and sturdy, so you don’t have to worry about children or pets knocking it over.


Q. Where’s the best place to put a box fan?

A. Many homeowners place their fan in an open window, where it can draw fresh air in from outside. You can also place the fan with the front portion facing outward, so it draws out the warm air from inside your home.

Otherwise, it’s a good idea to place the fan on a table, bookcase, or another piece of elevated furniture. Elevating the fan allows it to more effectively circulate air in the room.

Q. Can I use a box fan with an air conditioner?

A. Yes. A box fan actually pairs very well with an air conditioner. It can help circulate the cool air from the AC throughout your space to make it even more comfortable. In fact, running a box fan at the same time as the AC may allow you to raise your thermostat by three to five degrees. Place the fan near the AC vent for best results.