The Best Fan

After close to 60 hours of fan research, nearly a week testing products in an overheated house, and 9 hours measuring air-blowing output with equipment from the HVAC industry, we found that the $60 Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan was the best fan for most people.

Last Updated: September 10, 2015
The Seville Classics UltraSlimLine Tower Fan has become unavailable at a growing number of outlets, including on Seville's website, and won't be available again until March 2016. Fortunately, our alternate pick (and former main pick), the Vornado 660 Whole Room Circulator, is still widely available online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Once we have a chance, we also plan on testing a new entry from Seville, the UltraSlimLine Energy-Saving Tilt Tower Fan, which is similar to our main pick.
Expand Most Recent Updates
July 24, 2015: Our main pick from Seville is now back in stock. If it ever becomes unavailable again, you should check out our runner-up (and former main pick), the $100 Vornado 660. It's very powerful and can move a lot of air, but it doesn't oscillate. If you prefer an oscillating fan, or want to save some money, check out our budget pick, the $20 Holmes Lil Blizzard.
July 21, 2015: Our main pick from Seville is temporarily out of stock. If you need a new fan right away, we suggest our runner-up (and former main pick), the $100 Vornado 660. It's very powerful and can move a lot of air, but it doesn't oscillate. If you prefer an oscillating fan, or want to save some money, check out our budget pick, the $20 Holmes Lil Blizzard.
July 8, 2015: We've added additional data on our testing practices.
June 17, 2015: After 60 hours of research, our new pick for best room fan is the Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan. If our top pick is sold out, we suggest the Vornado 660 Whole Room Air Circulator, though it lacks the remote control and oscillating feature of our main pick. The Holmes Lil Blizzard 7” Oscillating Personal Fan is great to place on a desk, and the best combination desk and room fan we’ve found is the Dyson Air Multiplier AM06 10” Desk Fan.
June 2, 2014: We've added two new alternative picks: the best fan to get if our main pick is sold out or unavailable, and a step-down pick for shoppers on a budget.
May 23, 2014: We've been using the Vornado as well as our standing fan pick from Lasko for over a year now. See the Long-Term Test Notes section below for more about how they've held up over time.
April 30, 2014: We checked around, but there aren't any newer fans that can beat our current pick. The Vornado 660 is still the best fan to keep you cool.
April 1, 2014: Updated our Dyson Air Multiplier dismissal with the 2014 model, the AM06. It's supposedly a bit quieter and uses less energy, but it's still $300. You can pass.
July 12, 2013: We took a look at some standing fans, and decided the Lasko 2554 tower fan was the best bet for that style.
May 24, 2013: We ran some tests of the Vornado 660 against the cheaper 733 and the number 1 Amazon best-selling $33 Honeywell HT-908 to make sure that the 660 was worth the money. Our testing, detailed in the "Re-Testing for the Summer" section, confirm that it's worth spending the extra to get less noise and more efficient air circulation.
Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan
The Seville was the most powerful fan we tested. A well-built tower fan with a number of convenient features, it’ll be a welcome addition to any warm room.

The Seville simply circulated more air than any other fan we tested, as measured both in a controlled test environment and in a home living room and bedroom. It has a compact 11.15 by 11.6 by 40.1-inch footprint, and a stable design that was the hardest to tip over of any we tried. It comes with the best remote control in our test group, a 7.5-hour sleep timer, and an oscillating mode that makes it easy to share the breezy wealth with your sweaty, overheated friends and family. It wasn’t the quietest fan we found—it put out 67 decibels on its highest setting—but it was quieter than an extremely pricy competitor. It’s also difficult to take apart to clean internally, but that was a problem with every tower fan we tested.

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $100.

Vornado 660
While it has no remote control and can’t oscillate, the 660 is a powerful, well-built fan that can move a massive amount of air in a short amount of time. If you can’t get our main pick, get this.

If our main pick proves unavailable when the warm weather hits, pick up the $100 Vornado 660 Whole Room Air Circulator. The 660 was our main pick for the last iteration of this guide. It can’t move as much air as the Seville Classics UltraSlimLine fan (in our tests, the 660 produced a CFM reading of 406 compared to the Seville’s 550). It’s also significantly louder, has a larger footprint (15 by 11.75 by 13.5 inches versus 11.15 by 11.6 by 40.1 inches), can’t oscillate, and doesn’t come with a sleep timer or a remote. But it does have easy-to-use controls, a robust build quality, and an industry-leading 5-year warranty.

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $20.

Holmes Lil' Blizzard
Powerful, a little loud, but capable of oscillating, the Lil' Blizzard is a great little fan for a small amount of money.

If you’re looking for a cheap, powerful fan to use at your desk, the $20 Holmes Lil’ Blizzard 7-Inch Oscillating Table Fan is a great choice. When running on its highest setting, the Lil’ Blizzard produces 70 decibels of sound, which admittedly is a little loud. But, as its name suggests, the fan can oscillate or be locked into place. It comes equipped with two different speed settings, is easy to clean and, with its small 8.1 by 8.9 by 11.8-inch footprint, won’t hog all of the space on your desktop or side table. And while it might not be the most powerful personal-sized fan that we tested (we’ll get to that in a minute,) for $20, the Holmes Lil’ Blizzard is a capable fan at a great price.

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $250.

Dyson Air Multiplier AM06
A powerful, compact fan that’ll serve you well large rooms and small, the AM06 is a powerful feature-packed fan to consider if money’s no object.

The very best desk fan we found—as you’d hope at this price—is the Dyson Air Multiplier AM06. During our testing, the $250 AM06 moved more air than any other desk fan. On its highest settings, this 4-pound 5.8 by 12 by 19.7-inch fan could put out as much air as some of the room fans we tested—and it often worked as well as they did, despite being much smaller. The AM06 can oscillate in a 45° arc and it comes equipped with more speeds than any other fan—10—to help you dial in exactly the right level of air. While it isn’t the quietest piece of hardware we tested, the noise it generates is of such an even quality that it helped me, a legendarily light sleeper and insomniac, drift off to a restful slumber. Other design details, like a sleep timer and a nicely shaped, small remote that clips to the side of the fan via a magnet, add up to a product that feels very polished. Last, it’s just handsome—that may sound superficial, but when you’re looking at something for three months straight, it’s nice to find it attractive. If you’re looking for a small fan that can fulfill multiple roles in your home (and you can get over its steep price), check it out.

Table of contents

How we picked

I’m not going to lie to you: Researching hardware for this guide was a pain. Walk into any store or browse online and you’ll be confronted by an endless array of very similar fans. Fans often look the same, work the same, and cost the same, or at least it’s all close enough that most people would just buy one and get on with the rest of their life. Even if you consider bells and whistles like remote controls and sleep timers, it’s always the same bottom line: Most any fan will circulate some air and help you feel cooler.

The search for a great fan is further complicated by the fact that no one bothers to write much about the things. Consumer Reports had nothing. Real Simple gave lip service to fans’ looks and features, but didn’t do any comparison from model to model. Geek went a little deeper, comparing three different desk fans, but without explaining how they chose the models. That said, one site did well: Top Ten Reviews went down the rabbit hole with tower fans, comparing a wide range of hardware specifications and metrics before declaring the $400 Dyson AM07 their favorite. But reading over the reviews of each fan they feature, I got the impression that they didn’t do hands-on testing—and so it came down to me.

The first thing I did, before devising a test plan, was break down the hardware into two different groups: room fans, designed to cool a larger space (bedroom, living room), and desk fans, designed for use in smaller, personal spaces (cubicle, bedside table). I then took to the internet to see which fans from each category were most popular on sites like Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, and Costco. To trim down the massive number of fans, I decided that only products with more than 100 reviews would be considered, and of those, I’d only include items with an average rating higher than four stars on Amazon (other online stores carried far fewer items in the category, making comparisons difficult).

Fun Fact: A group of fans is collectively called ‘an entourage’ (just kidding).

Fun Fact: A group of fans is collectively called ‘an entourage’ (just kidding).

Doing this dramatically reduced my pool of potential test hardware, but I still had 12 devices to test—seven fans for a large room and five for small personal spaces:

How we tested

A fan’s raison d’être is to circulate air. In order to measure the power of our test fans, I turned a 20 by 9-foot area of my home into a makeshift wind tunnel. Within this space, I designated a set point for the room fans and desk fans, measured out markers at 5 and 10 feet, and tested the amount of wind each fan could generate and how far away that wind could be felt from its origin point. Five feet is a reasonable distance to set up a fan in a living room or bedroom, and it’s enough space for any oscillation to blow on more than one person (during a heatwave, that’s the humane way to go).

Our makeshift wind tunnel with marked testing intervals of one, five and ten feet.

Our makeshift wind tunnel with marked testing intervals of one, five and ten feet.

We used a handheld digital anemometer to measure each fan’s cubic feet per minute (CFM) of airflow, which is a standard unit of measurement used by HVAC specialists, among others, to determine the volume of air moving through a space like a duct system. It’s worth noting that CFM isn’t a precise metric, since gas is compressible—so when I moved back to the 10-foot mark, I combined the anemometer data with qualitative observations of whether or not I could still feel any wind.

Using a handheld digital anemometer and decibel meter we charted the CFM and noise generated by each fan in our test group.

Using a handheld digital anemometer and decibel meter we charted the CFM and noise generated by each fan in our test group.

After this guide was originally posted, a reader by the name of David A. Olson reached out to us. David is an experimental aerodynamicist and had some concerns about how we conducted our tests that we felt were worth addressing. He asked us:
“How did you account for the different sizes of the fans? How big of an area did you use to estimate the velocity? For example, would your test be able to tell the difference between a fan whose diameter is 14” and a fan whose diameter is 140”? Let’s assume the velocity you measure is exactly the same between the two; but clearly the overall CFM for each of these scenarios would be drastically different.”
The answer to David’s question is that we intentionally overlooked these factors. It was decided very early on in our process that we didn’t want to fall down a science hole on this guide, but rather, figure out which fans were qualitatively the best for most people. After all, no once cares about numbers when they’re sweating to death. That said, I felt that we needed a metric to back up what I was feeling from each piece of hardware we tested. Saying that you feel the breeze is stronger from a particular fan while sitting 10 feet away is easier to back up when you have some very rudimentary data to support it.
We chose to use CFM as our metric as, even in an uncontrolled room where the fans vary in size, a higher or lower reading could help to define the sensation I was experiencing while sitting in front of the hardware. I feel that what we’ve done with the data in the guide accomplishes this.

I also looked at how much energy each fan used over the space of a month, as well as whether or not each device drew any power while switched off. Some people will care about this. A lot won’t. I mean honestly: When it gets hot enough to give you swampass sitting down, do you really care how much running a fan costs? I sure don’t.

For a real-world test, I spent 5 days and 6 nights living with all of the fans in my test group to see how they handled themselves in the heat. During the test, it was an average of 55°F outside where I live, which I’m sure you’ll agree isn’t warm enough—so, for a week, I kept all of the windows closed and jacked up the heat to 78°F. Each day for 5 days I used one of the desk fans to stay cool as I worked in my office. For 6 evenings, I used one of the room fans while I cooked, ate, read, and watched TV. At night, I moved the room fan into my bedroom to see what it’d be like to sleep with it (get your mind out of the gutter). In each instance, I took note of how easy the fan was to control, how wide an arc it could rotate while oscillating, how loud each one was, what the quality of the noise was like, and whether the breeze from each fan was cooling and pleasant.

Finally, I checked the safety of each fan. Was it easy to pick up and carry? Did its operating temperature get dangerously hot after running all day? Did the safety grate surrounding the fan bend enough, or were the holes big enough, for me to fit my index finger in up to the second knuckle (or, worse still, touch the blades)? This was mostly a consideration for anyone with children around—curious little fingers and spinning blades don’t mix.

The best room fan

Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan
The Seville was the most powerful fan we tested. A well-built tower fan with a number of convenient features, it’ll be a welcome addition to any warm room.

If you’re looking to cool down or circulate the air in your living room, dining room, or other large area in your home, the $60 Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan is your best bet. It’s the most powerful, most stable fan we tested (with the best remote, too). Its low noise level and pleasant wind quality are on par with the best fans we found—but this one comes at a better price.


When tested on its highest setting at a distance of 5 feet away from its grill, the Seville proved to be the most powerful fan out of everything we tested.

The Seville proved to be the most powerful fan out of everything we tested.
Only one other fan came close to matching the Seville’s 550-CFM output (and that one costs $20 more and isn’t as good). For all the volume of air, the breeze feels steady and comfortable, with no annoying dips or peaks in power. This is due to the Seville’s impeller-driven design, which puts out air with a minimal amount of buffeting. Its output is also aided by simply being a tower fan, which can cut a taller arc of air through an area than most axial fans are capable of.

For a tower fan, it’s very stable, with a balanced, well-built body that was harder to topple over than the other tower fans; we tested. One of my biggest complaints about tower fans (like the Lasko, Ozeri, and Dyson fans) is that because they’re so tall and thin, they tend to be wobbly. By comparison, the Seville fan felt stable on carpeted or tiled floors. The other tower fans I tested could all be pushed over with little more than a fingertip’s worth of pressure. Doing the same thing with the Seville took perhaps 50 percent more force. This is due in part to its weight—at 10.7 pounds, it’s the second heaviest in the test, behind the 12.4-pound Lasko #2554. But beyond that, it simply has a more solid build quality than the competition. Nothing on the fan feels loose or flimsy, and there’s very little give when you knock into it. It even feels solid when compared to the $360 Dyson AM07, and that makes the Seville seem like a much better deal at its $60 price (plus, the Seville comes with a 1-year warranty).

For being solid and heavy, it’s not bulky. Other contenders in this category have more compact footprints (the Dyson AM07 and Ozeri Ultra 42 inch Wind Fan are 9.1 by 9.1 by 39.6 inches and 9.5 by 7.2 by 38 inches respectively), but the Seville’s svelte 11 by 11.25 by 39-inch dimensions can still fit into most spaces without getting too much in your way. The Seville was one of only six out of the 12 fans we tested that oscillates, providing 45 degrees of coverage, so it will deliver that 550 CFM of air to a large area of the room, making it an excellent choice for staying tucked out of the way in a room used by multiple people.

The Seville Classic can be controlled via remote or its built-in controls.

The Seville Classic can be controlled via remote or its built-in controls.

The fan’s remote control was the most powerful one we tested—it worked in sitting and standing positions up to 13 feet away and in an arc of roughly 40°. The remote is not backlit, but it has clearly marked buttons and an LCD display that makes it easy to see and use in all but the darkest of conditions. If you’re not using it, you can store the remote on a (poorly designed) hook at the top of the fan’s cowling. If you don’t need the remote (or if you lose it), you can get up and change the fan’s settings with fairly easy-to-use onboard controls instead.

The Seville is the third quietest of the six room fans we tested. At 67 decibels, it was only bested by the Lasko #2554 42-Inch Wind Curve Fan with Remote (63 decibels) and the Ozeri Ultra 42 Inch Wind Fan (65 decibels.) But the Seville does generate 2 decibels less noise than the Dyson AM07 tower fan—a $400 piece of hardware that prides itself on making 60 percent less noise than its earlier incarnation. Part of the testing included watching TV at volume of 70 decibels (a regular conversation with someone next to you is between 60 and 70 decibels). With the TV at 7.5 feet away and the fan 5 feet away (with no obstacles between it and my ears) the noise of the fan was certainly noticeable, but I had no trouble understanding the TV and never needed to turn the volume up. The same was true when talking on the phone with the Seville on its highest setting: Yes, it makes some noise, but not enough to ruin your life.

On the topic of settings, the Seville has four, which was the norm for fans in this category. (The only exceptions were the two Dyson fans, which had 10.) During the day, the Seville’s maximum power setting easily kept me feeling cool in my 78°F test environment; at night, running the fan on its second lowest setting in my bedroom kept me comfortable enough to doze off. One nice bonus feature is a built-in shutdown timer that works in 30-minute intervals up to a maximum 7.5 hours. A few of the other fans we looked at came with timers as well, but they all came up short against the Seville in other areas.

Safety isn’t a problem with this fan. I couldn’t bend the grate holes with my finger, and I couldn’t get a finger anywhere near the blades, so I doubt any small children in your house could, either. Plus, the stable design described earlier should stay standing if a toddler tries to push it down (or it could at least buy you some time to tell the kid, again, to stop pushing the fan).

Not a lot of trusted editorial sources review fans, and the Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan is no exception. That said, it has a respectable 4.2-star average on Amazon, with 134 five star reviews out of a total of 225. It was also reviewed favorably on Seville’s homepage and The biggest complaint most Amazon reviewers had was that the fan grows louder over time—a problem that seems to have more to do with the gears that make the Seville oscillate than the fan’s impeller. I’ll be watching for this issue cropping up during long-term testing.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

There are only two real complaints I can level at the Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan.

The first is that while dusting the surface of the machine or the nooks and crannies of its front grate or back plate is easy enough with a feather duster or Swiffer-style duster, it’s staggeringly difficult to take apart and give it a thorough cleaning (but just about every other tower fan out there is just as difficult to clean inside of as the Seville is too). You can get in there with a Q-tip and clean out a lot of holes, but it’s a lot of work. A determined individual posted a step-by-step video on how to do it on YouTube, but it’s so involved that I’d say it’s likely more trouble than you’ll want to tangle with unless you’re dead serious about the cleanliness of the air you breathe or have someone in your home who suffers from a dust allergy. If the latter’s the case, I’d recommend taking a look at our Also Great pick, the Vornado 660: its blades can be exposed and cleaned by removing three screws.


The Seville Classic’s remote hanging from its storage hook.

The Seville Classic’s remote hanging from its storage hook.

My second beef is that on the back of the fan, behind its on board control panel, you’ll find a plastic hook sticking out that’s designed to hang the remote control. Everything else about the Seville seems so well-considered, but the hook feels like a clunky afterthought. The hook works well enough so long as the fan’s stationary. But you’ll want to stash the remote in your pocket if you plan on picking up the Seville to move it to a different location in your home. And I don’t trust the remote to not go flying off the hook were the fan to be pushed around or knocked over.

Runner-up room fan

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $100.

Vornado 660
While it has no remote control and can’t oscillate, the 660 is a powerful, well-built fan that can move a massive amount of air in a short amount of time. If you can’t get our main pick, get this.

The $100 Vornado 660 Whole Room Air Circulator was the winner of the last iteration of this guide. If you find that our main pick is sold out, or you are looking for a fan that can be taken apart and thoroughly cleaned, the 660 is a well-built axial-flow fan capable of generating a respectable amount of wind.


Tested from 5 feet away, the Vornado 660 produced a CFM reading of 406 on its maximum setting. That’s 144 less than what the Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan was capable of cranking out. It’s also less than our Lasko, Dyson, and Ozeri candidates (they had CFM readings of 418, 431, and 492 respectively.) But despite having slightly less circulatory power than these other fans, picking the 660 over these other fans as the runner-up for this guide was a no-brainer, for a number of reasons.

For starters, the 660 is built like a frigging tank, with 7.32 pounds of tough black plastic and stainless steel. The fan and its cowling sit and pivot on a single arc of stainless steel. Adjusting the fan to circulate air up or down on any angle along this arc is easy enough. There’s no knobs to turn and, as far as I can tell, no internal gears holding the fan housing and motor in place on the pivot arm. It’s all done with friction. Even the five buttons on the top of the fan that turn the 660 on/off and allow you to change between its four different power levels have a feeling of quality about them. Vornado is confident enough in the robust construction to give the fan a 5-year warranty.

The fan is easy to clean (both its grates as well as its propeller) because the housing is relatively easy to remove. Just remove three screws, pop the grill off, and wipe the blades down with soapy water. Done.

That’s the good stuff. Now let’s talk about the downers. In addition to providing me with a lower CFM reading than the Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan, there were some areas where I found the Vornado 660 lacking when compared to our main pick.

For starters, the Vornado 660 doesn’t oscillate. If you’re using the fan to draw cooler air from another area of your home or from outside, that’s not a big deal: the inducement and entrainment of air created by the fan will cool down the room via circulation. The fact that 660 doesn’t oscillate isn’t a big deal if you live alone, either. When the weather turns warm, point the Vornado directly at the chair you’re sitting in and it’ll fool your body into believing the temperature around it is dropping. But if you need to share the breeze, no oscillation is no good.

It’s also worth mentioning that the fan doesn’t come with a remote control. Is that a dealbreaker? No. But it’s definitely a drawback when you consider the 660’s feature set against everything that our main pick has going on for it. In addition to this, it doesn’t have a sleep timer. No like.

Finally, there’s the money: The Vornado 660—which isn’t as powerful as our main pick, doesn’t oscillate, and has no sleep timer or remote control—costs $100. That’s $40 more than the Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan. Altogether, it doesn’t seem like you’re getting more for the extra money.

Best personal fan

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $20.

Holmes Lil' Blizzard
Powerful, a little loud, but capable of oscillating, the Lil' Blizzard is a great little fan for a small amount of money.

If you need a fan for a small space like a desk or a bedside table, check out the Holmes Lil’ Blizzard 7-Inch Oscillating Table Fan ($20). While it wasn’t the most powerful personal fan I tested, it proved to be the most pleasant to use, thanks to the fact that I found the breeze it produced to be quite steady at both 5 and 10 feet, with less buffeting than anything else in its category. In addition to this, you get a pivoting head, two power settings, and the ability to oscillate in a wide 40° arc—these features aren’t unique to this fan, but the combination gives you more than you get with any other fan at this size and price. For just $20, this thing is a steal.


In my 5-foot CFM test, the Lil’ Blizzard produced a CFM reading of 274 on its highest setting. That’s a respectable amount of circulation for a device designed for cooling down a personal space such as the area around a desk. That said, it wasn’t the most powerful personal fan I tested. The $16 Honeywell Turboforce HT-900 bested the Holmes with a CFM rating of 361 at a distance of 5 feet. But here’s the thing: at my 10-foot test marker, I found the breeze produced by the Honeywell fan to be heavily buffeted and unfocused—it was more distracting than cooling. The breeze produced by the Lil’ Blizzard, on the other hand, had enough strength behind it to cool me down in a manner that felt comfortable and natural at 10 feet.

Beyond the power, the big distinguishing detail is that the Lil’ Blizzard can be set up to oscillate in a 40° arc, or it can pivot and be locked into place to blow in only one direction. None of the other small fans that I looked at could do this, with the exception of the Dyson AM06. The Lil’ Blizzard has two power settings, which are controlled by a chunky, easy-to-turn knob on the back of the fan’s housing. On its lower setting, I found the Lil’ Blizzard to be perfect for keeping cool while I worked at my desk.

Unfortunately, as with the our other picks in this guide, I wasn’t able to nail down any positive or negative feedback on the Lil’ Blizzard from a trusted editorial source. But I can say that it received a four-star average on Amazon, with 180 five-star reviews out of a total of 364. I also found a couple of reviews at Costco for it, but there are so few and all of them award the fan five stars, so it’s almost not worth mentioning.

Most of the complaints about the Lil’ Blizzard concern the build quality of the fan. People complain that it’s made of flimsy plastic. I’m not going to lie to you—it totally is. It costs $20!

People complain that it’s made of flimsy plastic. I’m not going to lie to you—it totally is. It costs $20!
But despite the cheap plastic it’s made from, it still managed to pass my fingertip safety test, and none of the other fans in this category did that (with the exception of the Dyson AM06, which has no blades).

It’s also worth noting the Lil’ Blizzard was the loudest fan in its category. From 5 feet away, I was able to register a reading of 70 decibels. At night, the quality of the noise it makes could be an issue too. I found that it had enough peaks and valleys in the frequency of the noise it generated that it was distracting to sleep with. That said, if you want to cool your bedroom, you’ll likely want something a little larger with a little more power than the Lil’ Blizzard can provide anyway, like our main pick.

The best of both worlds

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $250.

Dyson Air Multiplier AM06
A powerful, compact fan that’ll serve you well large rooms and small, the AM06 is a powerful feature-packed fan to consider if money’s no object.

In my experience, the return you get on a Dyson product has seldom been worth the price. There are usually less expensive, more capable devices out there. But I think I’ve finally found an exception to this rule. If you can afford it, the $265 Dyson Air Multiplier AM06 is actually kind of great. It was the very best desk fan we found (and, at this price, you’d hope so).


First of all, it’s powerful enough to be considered alongside the whole-room fans. Yet, sized at 5.8 by 12 by 19.7 inches, the AM06 is compact enough to be set up on a desk. The Dyson generated a CFM reading of 419, which goes far beyond anything in the desk fan category,and even beat several room fans we tested.

The Dyson generated a CFM reading of 419, which goes far beyond anything in the desk fan category and even beat several room fans we tested.
Plus, it’s versatile enough to function in either role—whether 3 feet from your head or perched across the room—because its 10 power settings give you more options for wind speed than any other fan we tested (except for another Dyson). The third-lowest setting kept me comfortable while working in my office; the highest setting was perfect for cooling the living room at night.

The 60-decibel noise it produced was a pleasant, steady white noise hum. Most fans we tested made a distracting, alternating pitch, but this one sounded different (possibly because it doesn’t have blades disrupting as much air). The sound never distracted from the volume of the TV, and it proved to be the best fan to help me sleep at night—its 60 decibels is 10 fewer than the noise generated by the Holmes Lil’ Blizzard and seven fewer than the Seville.

Like the rest of Dyson’s fans and heaters, the AM06 comes equipped with a IR remote control that allows users to turn the fan on or off, control its various power levels, set it to oscillate, or activate its sleep timer. I found the remote to be just as responsive as the one that comes with our main pick, the Seville Classic. The remote is compact, simple, and attractive, and it magnetically clips to the top of the fan’s circular exterior (which is good, because it’s small enough to easily lose otherwise).

The Dyson’s sleep timer, like its speed settings, is among the most versatile we found. It can be set to turn the fan off in a range anywhere from 15 minutes to 9 hours. And the oscillating feature is nice as well—it turns over a 45° arc and can be stopped at any point along the way to focus its stream in a single direction.

Keeping the Dyson AM06 clean is a cinch. As there’s no grill or external fan blades to clean, it can all be wiped down with a damp cloth or dusted. That said, like the larger Dyson AM07, the hardware isn’t designed to be opened up and cleaned on the inside. So anyone with a dust allergy might want to steer clear of it.

Unlike the other fans that I’ve profiled here, the Dyson AM06 has received a lot of attention from editorial reviewers that I feel comfortable in trusting. CNET’s Ry Crist awarded the AM06 3.5 stars out of five, citing the fact that the hardware is “…so quiet that the Noise Abatement Society awarded it with the Quiet Mark, an award for noise-conscious product design. On top of that, the AM06 claims to be the more efficient appliance, consuming 30 percent less energy than its predecessor.”

Samuel Gibbs of The Guardian newspaper commented on the AM06’s quiet operation as well, saying, “On low levels, around the one to three out of 10 mark, the fan is particularly quiet and sounds like a quiet laptop fan. As the power is cranked up it does get louder, but the noise isn’t annoying and easily blends into the background.” PC Magazine’s Will Greenwald called the fan excellent and summarized his experience with it by saying that, “the Dyson Cool AM06 is a remarkable desk fan that stands at the top of the heap in both quality and price.”

Last, it’s just handsome—that may sound superficial, but when you’re staring at something for 3 months straight, it’s nice to find it attractive. If you’re seeking a small, striking fan that can effectively cool several different spaces in your home (and you can get over its steep price), check this one out. It’s rare that such a premium product actually feels as nice as the price tag suggests, but this item really makes a strong case for itself.

For all of the great things about the Dyson AM06, it has some drawbacks. For one thing, without the remote control, it’s not possible to control the fan’s sleep timer or oscillation. So if you lose that little remote down the crack of your couch, you’re hooped. (You can still turn it on and adjust the speed settings onboard.)

And then there’s the elephant in the room: its price. That’s a topic that everyone of the reviews I’ve cited here touched upon. As much as I like the performance, aesthetics, and even the sound of the AM06, anything around $300 is a lot of money to spend on a piece of hardware when you consider that a device that costs $60 or even $20 will serve you just as well, if not better in some circumstances. I’m certain that, for most people, myself included, our main pick, the Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan is the best choice. And if you need to keep cool while sitting at your desk, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with the $20 Holmes Lil’ Blizzard. It’s close to 21 times cheaper than the Dyson AM06. You can buy a whole lot of ice cream with the cash you’ve got left over.

The best fan for making a Darth Vader voice

The Vornado 660. Of all the fans I tested, it provided the most tremolo when I spoke into the back of it. But despite this, I found that each of my words was still clearly understandable.

Of course I give every fan I encounter the “Luke, I am your father” test, so the verdict on this could change. We’ll be sure to update this post as soon as it does.

The competition

Room fans

The Vornado 733 ($90) was the second most powerful fan that we tested. At a distance of 5 feet, I measured a CFM reading of 544. That’s close enough to the amount of wind power generated by the Seville Classics fan that’d it’d be tempting to call it a tie. However, the power of the 773 is just about the only thing I liked about it. Like our Also Great pick, the Vornado 660, the Vornado 733 lacks the ability to oscillate. Unlike the 660, the 733 can’t pivot. Instead, users are limited to three different positions. That’s pretty far from ideal. What’s more, the build quality of the Vornado 773 I tested seemed inferior to that of the 660. Its plastic felt more brittle but at the same time had more flex to it—in fact, I was easily able to bend the grate aside to reach my index finger in up to the second knuckle. I hated the placement of the fan’s controls too—on the back of the fan, as opposed to the top of front—so I had to lift the fan up if I wanted to turn it on or off. Finally, with a $90 price tag, the Vornado 733 is $30 more expensive than our main pick. Considering its shortcomings, at such a steep price, I don’t feel comfortable in recommending it.


The Lasko’s brittle plastic and 1980s good looks gave us the "no’" feeling.

The Lasko’s brittle plastic and 1980s good looks gave us the “no’” feeling.

I’m just going to say it: The Lasko #2554 42-Inch Wind Curve Fan with Remote is ugly as sin. It’s decked out in faux-wood panelling that wouldn’t look out of place in a 1989 Ford Econoline travel van. I can’t get behind that. More disturbing than this is its shoddy build quality. The fan’s body is made from thin, cheap-feeling plastic. When I went to assemble it, I discovered that a chunk of the fan that mates with the base and one of the cable guides in the base and a cable guide had broken off in transit. While the damage in no way affected the fan’s operation, it left me wondering about how long the hardware would stand up to the casual abuse that would heaped on it over the course of a few years in an average household. The plastic felt kind of slippery too. Even though the Lasko comes with a built-in handle (which does double duty as a place to store its remote control), I always felt like it was going to slip out of my grip when I moved it around my home. The Lasko’s remote control felt just as shoddily constructed. I found that despite having a clear line of sight between where I was sitting and the fan, I often had to press a button on the remote several times in order to get the fan. Oh, and while it costs $4 more than our main pick, it had registered a CFM reading of 451, compared to the Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan’s reading of 550 cubic feet of air per minute. No thanks.

Then there’s the Dyson AM07 Tower Fan ($400). Like all Dyson products, it looks like it’s from the future. As it lacks spinning blades, the AM07 is about as safe as a fan can get. And as having no exposed blades means there’s no need for a safety grate or cowling, it’s a cinch to wipe clean with a dust mop or rag. I loved the AM07’s 9-hour sleep timer and ten different power settings. But that’s where my romance with it ends. The base of the fan, where its impeller and electronics are, feels sturdy—but the top two thirds of the fan felt just as flimsy as the Lasko Wind Curve. If it were to be dropped or knocked over on a hard floor, I’m not confident that the fan would survive the ordeal intact. And knocking over the Dyson feels devilishly easy to do. While the fan might be bottom-heavy, its base isn’t very wide. I was able to make the fan wobble back and forth with the tip of my finger on the tile floor of my test area. Its stability was even worse when I set it up on the carpeted floor of my living room. Finally, on its highest setting, I found it to be less powerful that our $60 favorite, the Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40” Tower Fan. When measured from 5 feet away, the Dyson produced a CFM reading of 431. All of these problems in a fan that costs almost $360? I can’t excuse that.

The Honeywell HT-908 weak plastic grate failed our fingertip safety test.

The Honeywell HT-908 weak plastic grate failed our fingertip safety test.

I had high hopes for the Honeywell Whole Room Air Circulator HT-908. Stout, black, capable of pivoting up and down, and it only costs $25—that would all be great if only it worked well. During testing, it produced a CFM reading of 367. That’s only 6 more cubic feet per minute that the company’s $16 TurboForce HT-900 Fan, which I included as a contender for our personal fan category. I’m not willing to spend $10 extra for such a small increase in power, especially when you throw the rest of the HT-908’s failings into the mix. The plastic on the fan’s front grill bent far too easily, which leads me to believe it could be a safety hazard for anyone with kids in their home. And there’s no other way to say it: It just feels cheap. Gently tapping a finger against it while it was running made the hardware vibrate in its place. Speaking of vibrations, the HT-908 produced 72 decibels of noise, making it the second-loudest fan I tested. the control knob located on the back of the fan wasn’t as hard to get to as I found the one on the Vornado 733 to be, but it was significantly smaller and harder to turn. So the HT-908 might not be the best choice for anyone with arthritis in their fingers or any other issues that affect their manual dexterity. You can argue that it only costs $25. I’d argue that it’s a waste of money. If you need to go cheap, get the HT-900 for 10 bucks less. Or better still, save your cash for a few weeks until you can afford the Seville Classics UltraSlimLine.

The $100 Ozeri Ultra 42 Inch Wind Fan looked promising, with a 4.3-star average on Amazon and five stars from 533 out of 850 reviewers. Unfortunately, I found several things I wasn’t thrilled about almost immediately after taking it out of the box and putting it together. For starters, it’s incredibly unstable. I gave it a gentle push with my finger and it wobbled back and forth like an inflatable punching bag clown.

I gave it a gentle push with my finger and it wobbled back and forth like an inflatable punching bag clown.
I could see a kid or a motivated dog knocking it over. Plus, the display is distractingly bright and colorful—exactly what a designer at work in the mid-1990s thought that the future might look like. (It’s possible to turn the display off with the fan’s night mode.) In addition to this, the Ozeri only has three different power levels, which, in a fan that costs close to $100, is kind of disappointing. Ozeri attempted to put some lipstick on this pig with an operating mode designed to simulate a breeze. In using it, I felt that all it did was create a sense of buffeting that I’d typically associate with an axial-style fan. All of this, and it’s less powerful and more expensive than our main pick? No thanks.

Desk fans

The $16 Honeywell TurboForce HT-900 Fan is one of the most popular fans on Amazon. With a CFM rating of 361, it’s more powerful that our pick for best personal fan, the Holmes Lil’ Blizzard. But the quality of wind it produced is off—it felt weak and unfocused. In addition to this, the HT-900 is made from the same poor quality materials as the larger Honeywell HT-908. Not surprisingly, the HT-900 failed my safety test, as its grill was easily bent with nothing more than a finger’s worth of pressure. It also has the same annoyingly small control knob as its larger sibling does. Finally, it takes up more space on a desk than the Holmes, our pick, and it can’t oscillate. Pass.

The $20 Vornado Zippi Personal Fan is well-built and feels like it could survive the fall off of my desk to the floor. It has two settings, which is standard for the fans in its category. On its highest setting, it produced a whisper-quiet 51 decibels of sound, making it the quietest piece of hardware that I tested this year. Here’s where things go downhill. Like the other Vornado fan, the Zippi can pivot, but it is unable to oscillate, putting it at a disadvantage when compared to the Holmes Lil’ Blizzard. The Zippi is the only axial fan that I tested this year that doesn’t come equipped with a safety grate and cowl, largely because its blades are made of fabric instead of plastic or metal. This design decision makes it dead simple to clean, as there’s nothing to disassemble, but the fabric blades simply are not up to the task of pushing a goodly amount of air. I was unable to register a CFM reading at the 5-foot mark. It wasn’t until I moved closer, to a distance of 2 feet away, that I was able to register a reading of 108. Could it work for someone cooling themselves off at their desk? The answer is no. While the breeze it created was noticeable while the fan was sitting on my desk next to me while I worked, it simply did not feel strong enough to put a dent in the heat of my office. On top of this, the fan’s controls are located on the rear of the Zippi’s cowling. This forces you to either contort around its spinning, albeit mostly harmless blades, or throw caution to the wind and jam your hand through the blades to turn the fan off. The latter makes a racket that’ll give pause to anyone working in your immediate area. This lack of a safety grate makes it lousy to have around kids, too. You could argue that it doesn’t need one as its blades are made of fabric instead of plastic or metal, but that argument stops holding water as soon as a kid decides it’d be a fun idea to stick his face in it.

The Lasko Personal Fan 2002W costs $16, and despite its 4.6 star average on Amazon, has few redeeming qualities. It provided me with a comically low CFM reading 64 from 5 feet away. That’s stronger than the Vornado Zippi could manage, but the Zippi has blades made of cloth, so it’s not really a fair comparison. Could you use it to keep your cubicle at work feeling cool on a hot day? Sure, why not. Should you? No, not when the Lil’ Blizzard can be had for $4 more.

In addition to its lackluster performance, it feels incredibly cheap to the touch. Its body and blades are made from a white, flimsy plastic that’s kind of porous. Over time, I have no doubt that it’ll begin to collect dirt and grease and will look terrible. The 2002W uses a thumbscrew to keep its head in place once you pivot it into position—and while I was testing the fan, the screw came loose on several occasions, and with all the tightening required, the plastic surrounding the screw will eventually strip out. It’s inexpensive, sure, but it isn’t a good buy.

What to look forward to

In March, Dyson announced the release of a new fan that comes with a glass filter designed to purportedly remove 99.95 percent of dust, microbes, and other allergens from the air drawn through the hardware by the fan’s impeller. The fan, called the Dyson Pur Cool, is only available in China and Japan for the time being. It sounds like an allergy sufferer’s dream, but we can’t be sure of how effective it’ll be until we test it. Rest assured, we’ll be sure to get one as soon as it hits North American shores.

Seville, the manufacturer of our current top pick, has released the UltraSlimLine Energy-Saving Tilt Tower Fan. This fan is newer and of a similar design to our top pick and one that we’re definitely interested in testing further. It’s slightly taller than our pick, and has five settings instead of four, one of which is an energy-saving mode that operates at a lower wattage when on high. Those additions also add $30 to the price, so we’ll have to see if the promised energy savings are significant enough to merit spending more.

How fans work

As the wind from a fan blows on you, it removes a layer of radiating heat from your body (sometimes called a boundary layer). With no boundary layer, the relatively cool room temperature air being thrown by the fan comes into direct contact with much warmer skin, providing the illusion that the room itself is cooler.

The most common fan design—like the Vornado 660 and the Holmes Lil’ Blizzard—is an axial-flow fan. This one has a propeller attached to a central shaft run by an electric motor, like a classic airplane propeller and engine. The blades draw in air from the area behind the fan and push out air around it in a process called inducement. This inducement of the air leads to entrainment, which is fancy talk for the air surrounding the edges of the fan blades being dragged along by the induced air. Between all of the inducement and entrainment going on, the fan circulates the air, making you feel cooler.

The other main type of fan is a centrifugal fan, like the Dyson fans featured in this guide, the Lasko #2554 42-Inch Wind Curve Fan with Remote, the Ozeri Ultra 42 inch Wind Fan and Seville Classics’ UltraSlimline Tower Fan. Instead of an propeller, centrifugal fans use an impeller, which typically sits inside of the fan’s housing on a vertical axis. The impeller is driven around a shaft by an electric motor. As the impeller spins, it draws in air through a small opening in the fan, often found at the base. Centrifugal force then rapidly blows the air back out through a vent in the front of the fan, causing a breeze that’ll keep you from losing your mind during a heatwave.

No matter the technology, sometimes it’s just too hot to use a fan. According to Environmental Protection Agency, it’s a bad idea to use a fan if you find yourself in a room that’s 90°F or higher. When the temperature of the air being blown on you is warmer than your body, it can increase the amount of heat stress your body’s suffering from—and you don’t want that. One exception: Can you set up your fan to draw in cooler air from another area? Game on.

Wrapping it up

If you’re looking for a fan capable of circulating cool air from one area of your home to another, or making everyone in a large space like a living room or bedroom feel a little bit cooler this summer, we recommend the $60 Seville Classics UltraSlimline 40” Tower Fan. If you can’t get your hands on that, the $95 Vornado 660 will serve you almost as well.

For smaller more personal spaces like next to you on your desk or an office cubicle, the $20 Holmes Lil’ Blizzard 7-Inch Oscillating Table Fan is a great choice.

Finally, if money’s no object and you’d like to get your hands on a feature-rich fan that’ll perform well in a number of roles throughout your household, check out $265 Dyson Air Multiplier AM06.

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  1. Stephanie Sisco, The Best Fans, Real Simple
  2. Sal Cangeloso, Best desk fan: Dyson vs Vornado vs Honeywell,, April 10, 2014
  3. Ry Crist, Dyson AM06 Review, CNET, March 5, 2014
  4. Will Greenwald, Dyson Cool AM06 Review & Rating, PC Magazine, March 7, 2014

Originally published: June 17, 2015

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  • Richard

    I have earlier models of Vornado fans and they’re excellent products that move air well.

  • Andrew Wilson

    I understand that Vornado 660 is a great fan, but is it really better than four Lasko 3733’s and ~$20 in my pocket?

  • sloanie

    Are these fans all similar enough in electricity consumption that it’s a non-issue in the comparison?

  • Jeff

    I wish the review would have talked about how easy (or hard) is is to clean the fans. That’s the most important part or else you’re stuck with a dirty/dusty fan.

    From my experience, tower fans are notoriously hard to clean. And with Dyson, I always wonder if those internal blades build-up with dust.

    Vornado seems to make it easy, as well as other traditional fans that just snap on and off.

  • Splendor78

    I would love to see a recommendation for a small 2″-3″ cubicle fan as well.

    • SickSix

      The Vornado Flippi V8 of course!

      It’s around $20 at Target at the moment, if you wanted to save some cash.

      • solarfuse

        I have the Flippi V6 (like the V8 but with no oscillation). Surprisingly the reviews on amazon are very mixed – many stating quality control problems. I’ve only had mine one week. My main complaint is that it only has two speed settings and it’s hard to adjust with one hand. At the low setting it’s very quiet but only pushes out a slight breeze. At the high setting it makes a bit too much noise. Perhaps the Flippi V10 with the 3 speed setting is best. I’m looking into other brands.

        • solarfuse

          Actually, I’m wrong. I’m looking at the specs on Vornado’s site now. There’s a difference between V6, V8, and V10 models. The V6 is smaller and has lower CFM at a higher RPM than the V8.

  • pierrot

    The 2554 is not carried by amazon at the moment, but the 2551 looks like the exact same thing just without that (tacky) wood grain, can anyone confirm?

    • Jamie Wiebe

      Yes, they appear to be the same thing.

  • TK

    Picked up the Vornado 660 this week. So far so good! Setting 1 is very quiet, 2 is quieter than a box fan, 3 is box fan level, and 4 is pretty good for drowning out street noise. The reviews are correct that the default mode when you turn it on is 4, and it beeps when you change settings, but it’s not a problem for me. This fan kept my medium sized bedroom cool all night. I like that it’s cool without blowing directly on me. I’ll likely put this fan on top of a desk, it sucked up a few dust bunnies on the floor. Overall, pretty happy with it! Thanks, Sweethome!

  • bggb

    Been using this in different rooms in my apartment for a couple years now. It’s great. It can even get me through some hot summer days without having to use the AC.

  • Vangelion

    The long term testing notes mention “about 1.4 watts per hour”, which is improper. A watt is a measure of power, which means energy per unit time. This should be changed to “about 1.4 watts”.

    • tony kaye

      Fixed. Thank you!

  • Gary Leach

    How about adding a section for desktop fans for the office? The Seville Classics UltraSlimline 12″ Personal Fan comes highly recommended, but I’d like to get your opinion.

    • tony kaye

      We mention how appropriate our pick is for desks above:

      “Unlike other dedicated floor fans, which come in either skinny-tower form factors or ultra-wide industrial ones, the Vornado 660 has both a design and footprint that makes it suitable for use on a floor or a desk. At about a foot wide and 13 inches tall, it’s shaped like a traditional desk fan but is slightly larger and a hell of a lot more powerful. Yes, it’s also more than twice as expensive as many other floor and desk models, but user reviews almost universally say the 660 is worth its $100 price tag.”

      • Ron Farage

        It’s still too big — and definitely too expensive — for a personal desk fan. There really should be a small section for personal fans.

        Keep in mind the staple use case is for a cluttered office desk. So it has to have an extremely small footprint, doesn’t need to be too terribly strong (it’s going to be within a couple feet of you directed right at your face), and shouldn’t disturb others working next to you. The performance of fans over $50 is just wasted on this, so the $15-40 range is the sweetspot.

      • solarfuse

        I also came here looking for the best office or cubicle fan. Something quiet, small, and reliable.

  • Mo Orlando

    What do you think about the Vornado pedestal models such as the 783? Do the same negatives apply to it as other pedestal-style fans?

    • tony kaye

      We haven’t reviewed the 783, so we cannot say one way or the other.

  • HWG

    Wish they would make these available in the UK

    • tony kaye

      Yep I just checked their site as well. Too bad. If they ever become available, I’ll be sure to let you know!

  • barkingburro

    I just returned the largest Vornado fan at Bed Bath and Beyond. It is the new replacement for the 660, but the quality has gone way down. They went back to all plastic, with a rotating speed selector on the base–none of which would be a problem if the fan didn’t vibrate noisily on its lowest setting. The smaller fans are probably quieter, but I think the larger mass is hitting a resonant frequency. I ordered the 660 from Amazon.

    • barkingburro

      5 days later: I just received my new 660 and plugged it in. Oh my, this fan is amazingly quiet and the build quality is way better than its replacement. Buy this while supplies last–it’s the best Vornado fan I’ve ever used.

  • bighaus

    Is there a big drop off from the 660 to the 630?

    • tony kaye

      I don’t believe we tested the 630 (IIRC). I might be wrong, but if its not above chances are we dismissed it early on.

  • Aaron Rosell

    Just wanted to hop in and mention that I bought this Vornado model when I moved into my current condo, based on The Sweethome’s review, and I’ve been incredibly happy with it. I was initially skeptical that a floor-sitting fan angled upright could be enough to circulate air throughout a whole room, but this thing seriously hauls some air. It’s also really nice if you’re hang-drying clothes—you can hang them on a door frame, etc. and point the Vornado at ’em for an hour to dry them really quickly.

  • flua2

    What’s the difference between the Vornado 660 and the 633 model (the 663 is only $67 – about a $30 dollar savings)? Is that one as quiet?

    • tony kaye

      We’re in the process of updating this, will forward along to our expert once it’s up!

  • jennyzeroo

    2 words.

    KOOL OPERATOR by Lakewood. (the original version)

    There IS/WAS no better fan. Hugely powerful/relatively quiet/highly adjustable/excellent build quality

    If you’ve ever had one, you know.

    • tony kaye

      They are pretty good! I remember we had one when I was younger and the main reason I think my mom got it was to drown out bedroom noises. Will forward along though!

  • Sasha Goldberg

    How do these compare to ceiling fans? We have them in all our rooms and I feel they are nearly useless. I am planning on buying the 660 but I wonder if they are just another way of doing what ceiling fans already do.

    • tony kaye

      This guide is being updated. Sit tight!

      • Trinity

        When will this be updated?

        • tony kaye

          It’s actively being worked on. Before summer hits is our goal!

  • pjargon

    How do these compare with window fans for air intake? Those of us in arid or semi-arid climates really just need a little air from the outside to cool off a room or two. I haven’t seen much in the way of CFM ratings for things like the Bionaire BW2300

  • MD

    I bought the Lasko 3 months ago, after reading this review. I LOVE it. Keeps my apartment reasonably cool, and we’re already in the 90s here in Austin. Cut my electric bill almost in half since I stopped relying on my AC!

  • Whit McGhee

    I purchased and tried two different Vornado fans based on this review. I returned both of them. I get the science behind them, but there’s still something to be said for the brute force a larger pedestal fan can produce. My Lasko pedestal fan has a CFM of 1,950. Surprisingly it’s also quieter than either of the large Vornados I tried.

  • Ed McGuirk

    How do these compare to the cheap 20 inch box fans? Especially if we don’t care about oscillation or remote controls.

  • BNCap

    best fan = ceiling fan

  • jbibby

    The entire point of a vornado floor fan is to point it at the corner of a room near the ceiling and it provides circulation for the entire room. For me, this is much better than the on/off circulation you get with an oscillating fine. Perhaps it’s just personal preference. I can keep our vornado on low or medium and cool better than an oscillating tower fan.

  • BethanyAnne

    I have the Zippi on my desk right now. I’ve had a couple of them over a few years. You’d really have to work to hurt yourself with it. My cats would occasionally hit the blades with their tails, and twitch the tail away with an offended look. Never hurt them. (That actually had been a big concern of mine the first time I bought one.) They fail interestingly, though. You wouldn’t have seen it in the relatively short span of time a review takes. The mount eventually strips, and the fan droops into the floor. There’s no way that I’ve found of tightening it.

    I also have the Lasko tower for my living room – or at least a sister model. You got the 2554, and I have the 2551. I think the main difference is supposed to be an ionizing air filter that I never use. The main difference that I bought it for is the wood grain plastic is replaced by a matte silver one. Much better. I got one 5 years ago, and replaced it 2 years ago when it died. Knocked over a few times, but I don’t think that’s what killed it. When it failed, it seemed that the bearings on the blade tower had frozen up. I wish I could get to those bearings to lube them. And that I could get to the blades to wipe them. The best I’ve been able to do to clean it is use compressed air on the porch to blow it clean.

    Apologies if the comment is too long. Fans in south Texas is srs bizness. :)

  • cooper83

    The Seville top pick is $50 at Canadian Costco locations.
    I have the Vornado Zippi for my desk at work and love it. I rarely switch it to the higher setting. I love the reactions of coworkers if they happen to stick their hand in the blades while reaching for a pen or stapler! The retro design is very attractive and is a conversation starter.
    I just picked up the Honeywell HT-900 for DJ’ing. I considered the Blizzard but was hesitant of the quality and I wasn’t familiar with the brand. I didn’t need an oscillating model as it will be pointed directly at me at all times from either waist level or from the floor. The Blizzard appears to be a near-perfect personal/desk fan though.
    It’s true that shopping for a fan can be overwhelming but there are so many different scenarios that call for a fan, so no wonder there are a multitude of models and features.
    Great writeup, as per usual.

  • bikermanlax

    Love the Zippi on my my desk. I’ve it had for at least a year, maybe two. Hasn’t failed yet. It provides just enough air movement to cool my face. I usually only use the low setting. It is on a speaker, about 3 to 4 feet from my face. I’m on the phone with a headset, so I need something quiet and the Zippi is very quiet.

    Again, as with the brooms, great review of something most of use but no one reviews. Good job.

  • Read Weaver

    I set a pretty strong box fan in a window to blow out, which pulls air in other windows–works great as it gets cool in the evening. A review of box fans, especially for that purpose, would be very helpful.

  • Cris


    I have just bought this fan based on this site’s recommendation. I didn’t even really bother to read the review just because they seem to do thorough tests of the products. I have been using it for less than a week now. So far I like it better than the Vornado that was recommended before, it cools the rooms far better. But there is something very annoying about this fan which I only noticed now. There seems to be some rattling noise when the fan is oscillating. I thought it was my own fault since my wife thinks the dogs knocked it over, but upon reading and searching other reviews on I have found that other buyers are and have experienced the same thing. It seems to happen out of the box or some time after. I have fairly good or actually maybe even very good hearing, so hearing that rattle gets annoying after a while. Even if I have the fan is on high I can hear the rattling. i don’t know if I will be returning this fan, this seems to be prevalent defect. All other aspect of the fan are good. it looks better in person, has a good remote and above everything else, it cools our room very nicely. It does wobble when you change the settings on the fan itself so the fan must be held when doing so. I think the wobbling may be there to help when something or someone bumps into it. Ours actually fell because I placed it on a table which is probably not a good idea. I want to point this out because I have seen this addressed in another review on That’s all I can think of.


    • TimMcL

      Yes, I am experiencing the same thing. I will be looking for an alternative. I am very disappointed with this fan.

  • Nat

    How about a review of ceiling fans? They beat out any freestanding fan for power and low noise.

    • tony kaye

      It’s on our list! Coming soon!

      • Adam Goldfarb

        How soon? I need to get one in the next 6-8 weeks. Thanks!

        • tony kaye

          Looks like the end of the month!

          • Mike Shyu

            Need one too. Will look for the review at the end of the month. Thanks!

          • freezepaint

            Good stuff, looking forward to this. Hope you’re taking a look at BigAss Fans. Wondering if they’re really worth the $$$.

          • Adam Goldfarb

            Any update on timing? I need to buy a new white ceiling fan ASAP but wanted the input/guidance from the sweet home. Thanks in advance!

          • tony kaye

            It got pushed back – few weeks out it looks like. That’s all I can say. Sorry but hope this is somewhat helpful!

          • Dan

            What won’t Big Ceiling Fan let you say? The people want answers!

          • tony kaye

            We will not be silenced by Big Ceiling Fan!

            Seriously though, just writers busy on other things that rank higher.

          • freezepaint

            Time’s up! :) Seriously, don’t suppose there’s any updated ETA for this – I’m needing to buy soon…

          • tony kaye

            IIRC it was pushed back. Not far, but late this month/next month. Best I can do hope this helps!

          • freezepaint

            Freezepaint sad, still want ceiling fan review.

  • RudimentaryDiode

    I’m very concerned about dust, as dust gives my significant other a very severe cough. We have air purifiers to help with this, but a fan that pulls in dust is still likely not a good idea for us. Could you guys add a section that specifically ranks the options based on that? It’s somewhat of an important thing to consider.

    • tony kaye

      What exactly are you looking for?

      • RudimentaryDiode

        Just a fan that’s easy to clean and won’t spew out dust. In the article it was implied that the tower fan and the dyson would both accumulate difficult to clean dust.

        • Seamus Bellamy

          You could go with our runner up. It’s very easy to remove the grates on it for cleaning. Or, if you have your heart set on a tower fan and can hold off on purchasing a fan for a while, Dyson’s Pure Cool fan might be EXACTLY what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, it’s not yet available in North America, but I think that this will change in the coming months. In the meantime, it’s possible to sign up for a notification for when it comes to our shores.

          It’s worth noting though, that no one on our team has tested the hardware as of yet and, as with all Dyson products, the price tag on the Pure Cool will no doubt be wicked steep.

  • charlieok

    I’d be interested in a pick that includes evaporative cooling. This may not work well in humid places, but it works really well in dry climates (Denver, Colorado in my case).

  • Trahiega

    Any recommendations for a room fan that I can actually buy in the uk?

  • sabowtage13

    Bought the Seville just after this went live. I was going to order the Lasko instead and feel a bit misled on that one. Maybe I received a bad one, but the fan sounds like a motorized vehicle when starting up or in eco mode. Oscillation is a very loud click/clack noise. Based on my order I can’t recommend.

  • JollyGo0d

    Rowenta Turbo Silence VU5551 pedestal fan

    This is definitely the best fan that I and many others have ever purchased…. quiet, powerful, nice design, remote, stand etc.

  • Vitruvius

    Any idea who the original manufacturer is for the Seville fan, or if there is a UK equivalent? Seville isn’t a brand we have here, and I couldn’t fine one that looks the same – just wondering if there is a rebadged version anywhere.

    • tony kaye

      I’ll see what I can find out!

  • Adrien B. Caldwell

    Well, apparently the $60 Seville fan is not $299 on amazon. I also can’t seem to do a Google search to find it elsewhere for less than $124. That’s rapacious.

    • tony kaye

      Out of stock across the web until August 17th it appears. The Vornado is pretty great. Can’t recommend it highly enough – it was our previous fav pick 2 years straight.

      • Adrien B. Caldwell

        Thanks for the heads up. With the well above 90 degree days I’ve been experiencing in Seattle I’m not sure if I can wait. I’m in the process of returning two Lasko tower fans that make this annoying clicking sound when they oscillate. Does the Seville make any choppy, clicking noises when oscillating?

        • tony kaye


          *EDIT* No, I run it every day. Nothing like that

          And according to our expert, you install the base yourself.

  • Rachel

    Yep, Seville just became a retail unicorn, winning model isn’t even showing on Amazon anymore.

    *sits in bucket of ice*

    • tony kaye

      We suggest both the Vornado & the Holmes Lil’ Blizzard as great alternatives. The Holmes is surprisingly terrific for the price & the Vornado has always been at or near the top of our list – for the last 3 years running!

  • David W

    The scientific explanations are incorrect, and therefore this article is misleading and probably misinforming. At such low velocities and pressure ratios the compressibility of air is negligible, and compressibility is not a concern. However, it’s density does change with temperature and pressure (not the same as compressibility due to compression of gas) and so you do have to correct for barometric and temperature changes, which is not hard to do.

    Also, and most important, an anemometer can only measure velocity, not cfm (cubic feet per minute). To calculate volumetric flow rate you have to multiply velocity (ft per minute, if you want a final flow rate of cubic feet per minute) by flow area (keeping your units straight). This will give you cubic feet per minute. So to say they didn’t want to get bogged down in science is well, silly. As one commenter pointed out, the size and flow area of fan, is a significant and necessary part of cfm calculation – it can’t be ignored.
    David Watson, Mechanical Engineer

  • David

    With this recent unicorn status of the Seville, are there any other tower fans that even come close? Or better yet, are there any physical retail stores (as in not online) that anyone knows of that currently carries the Seville?

    The reason I ask is because I need a fan that can spread air pretty well around a decent-sized room, and the oscillating ability of the Seville along with the tower design really seems ideal since I like to set the fan in front of my open balcony door to blow all the cool air around as it comes in from outside.

    I see Tony recommending the Vornado and the Lil’ Blizzard, but the Lil’ Blizzard isn’t really what I’m looking for and the fact that the Vornado doesn’t oscillate and costs what it does is a turn off. And then when I go to all of these websites that the Seville is currently out of stock at they have plenty of alternative tower fans, but I’m afraid I’ll end up wasting my money on another loud or inefficient fan.

    • Lew Sandell

      It’s back in stock at Amazon!

    • tony kaye

      Back in stock for now. If the Seville is not available, we recommend the Vornado. Under Competition, you can see which tower fans we looked at and why we don’t recommend any others

      • David

        Now that’s just perfect timing. Thanks for the heads up!

  • leol

    Any reason why pedestal fans are not considered?

  • Nitin

    Have you tested the

    Ozeri 3x Tower Fan (44″) with Passive Noise Reduction Technology

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Thank you.

    • tony kaye

      That is the ugliest $90 fan I’ve ever seen in my life, but I’ll send along to our experts as the reviews seem to be 👍

    • tony kaye

      OK this is what our expert had to say!

      We thought about including it in the running, but it’s more of a pedestal fan than a tower fan. As pedestal fans tend to be top-heavy, they have a tendency to be toppled over easily. Not a great thing to have around when you’ve got kids.

      In addition to this, I found allegations that when the hardware is bought directly from the company, they send out a ‘gift’ to users, asking that they leave a review. Not cool. Finally, there are loads of complaints about how bright the fan’s display is, and there’s no way to turn it off or down while it is operating.

      Hope this helps!

    • Nitin

      Thank you for your feedback. I currently have this fan and I am happy with it so far. Just wanted to know if I am missing something.

      I had one of the Honeywell tower fans and my 2 year old put a fork through it and destroyed it.

      The Ozeri has small holes and even my 2 year old’s fingers are not able to get through them. The fork won’t go in either. The fans are also placed far deep inside.

  • p5harma

    Any insight/thoughts on misting fans, asking for all wirecutter fans in Texas.

    • tony kaye

      I don’t believe so no. Sorry :(

  • Tinsley Coker

    Are there any fan recommendations with noise as the primary factor?

  • Danaz

    holms lil blizzard desk fan,was great for 2 1/2 months, stopped working. SO 20.00+ every couple of months? Your better off spending money on something that lasts. Steer clear of that pos.

  • Brian Bush

    Thoughts on ceiling fans? Something in the works?

    • tony kaye

      Yes indeed I believe so!

  • Tristan

    The build quality on the Seville pick is lower than on the Vornado. As someone who owns both, I much prefer the Vornado and sorta can’t believe the Seville was chosen as a pick.

  • Orien
  • angellllll

    What are your thoughts on the $99 Vornado 7503 that is exclusive to Bed Bath and Beyond?

    The specs between the 660 and 7503 are as follows:

    660- full size circulator, 4 speeds, moves 100ft of air, CFM: Turbo= 584, High= 459, Medium= 349, Low= 257

    7503- full size circulator, 3 speeds, moves 100ft of air, CFM: High= 732, Medium= 550, Low= 382, has air accelerator

    Not sure how this plays out in real life. Another thing is you can get the 7503 for $80 after 20% coupon.

    • tony kaye

      Via our expert: I found out really quick last spring that the only way to judge the hardware is to test it. Company listed CFM data is seldom accurate. Additionally, I can’t speak to the build quality either until I have a chance to kick it around a bit. I was really surprised by how much the quality of materials varied between Vornado models this year.

  • Le Monte

    Hello. I’ve noticed that the Seville Classics UltraSlimline Energy-Saving Tilt Tower Fan is now available on amazon, and the reviews seem to be generally positive. Have you guys been able to do any testing with it as yet?

    If it is indeed better than the top pick especially for wind movement I certainly wouldn’t mind purchasing it at all.

    • tony kaye

      I don’t believe we’ve tested it yet but it’s on our to-do list!

      • Le Monte

        Do it quickly, lol… If it’s anything like the top pick I’m going to be sure to buy it.

        That said. I had the Ozeri Ultra 42 and your disappointments ain’t without merit. While I overlooked the flimsy feeling and the instability mentioned. I don’t think I got much over a year out of this fan. To be fair, I used the fan almost all day most days and slept with it through the night. but I expected a little more than a year and a few months. I however loved the room temperature readings it gave on the screen. I wish more fans did this. I’ve also been contemplating the Lasko 2551 which seems to be a better looking version of the 2554(no faux wood). Would you recommend this over the Ozeri by any chance?