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Best Misting Fans

Updated July 2023
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Buying guide for Best misting fans

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.

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Misting fans are not as effective in high humidity because they put more water vapor into the air, which raises the humidity even further.

Misting fan power

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.

Water pressure

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.

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Did you know?
Some handheld misting fans can be plugged into a USB port to charge.

Water storage

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.

Safety features

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.

Fan materials

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,  potential buyers who are interested in a plastic fan should 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."

Fan size

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 gym bag or pocket.

Customization features

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.

  • Height adjustment: A good misting fan enables you to adjust the height of the fan up or down so you can position it where you want it.

Misting fan prices

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 garden 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 selecting a misting fan with a water storage tank, check the packaging and owner’s manual to get an idea of the fan’s runtime.

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Centrifugal misting fans are less likely to clog and tend to produce a finer mist than some other types of misting fans.


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.