The Best Desk Fans of 2022

Stay productive with a personal desk fan that saves space, circulates air, and keeps you comfortable.

By Timothy Dale | Updated Mar 28, 2022 2:07 PM

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The Best Desk Fan Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

Having a desk fan in your office is a great way to increase the air circulation in a limited space, ensuring that you aren’t breathing the same stagnant air as you toil away. The computer and any electronic accessories in your office produce heat while operating, which can send the temperature soaring and make you feel like you are sitting in a dry sauna.

A desk fan, which may be small in size, is powerful enough to circulate a sufficient amount of cold air to combat stuffiness and higher temperatures in your space. Keep reading for shopping tips on choosing the best desk fan for your home office.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Honeywell HTF210B QuietSet Personal Table Fan
  2. BEST BUDGET: Genesis 6-Inch Clip Convertible Table-Top & Clip Fan
  3. BEST MINI: HOLMES Heritage 4″ Metal Fan
  4. UPGRADE PICK: Dyson Air Multiplier Table Fan
  5. BEST RECHARGEABLE: EasyAcc Small Desk Fan, Battery Operated
  6. BEST BATTERY-OPERATED: Treva 10-Inch Portable Desktop Battery Fan
  7. STYLE PICK: Vornado VFAN Mini Classic Personal Vintage Fan
  8. BEST OSCILLATING: IRIS USA WOOZOO Oscillating Circulation Fan
The Best Desk Fan Options

Photo: Amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Desk Fan

Finding the ideal fan to place with your other desk accessories involves knowledge of the different types, power and speed, controls and timers, among other key features. Keep the following factors in mind while shopping.

Type

Based on room size and configuration, as well as cooling needs, shoppers may choose from among several types of desktop fans:

  • Table fans are designed to sit on a table or desktop while conserving space. Some oscillate and most have a head that tilts to blow air at a specific angle. The portability in these models lies in their small size, as they can easily be taken from a bedside table to an office desk, depending on need.
  • Clip-on fans offer focused, directional airflow for individual comfort when clipped to headboards, tables, desks, or shelves.
  • Battery-operated fans are a great option for portability and energy efficiency. Some battery-powered fanscome with rechargeable batteries and a USB cord for charging.
  • Box fans are a type of tabletop fan that have a distinctive boxlike profile. These fans come in plug-in, battery-powered, and bladeless designs.
  • Bladeless fans operate via an air multiplier system that utilizes either moving blades or a brushless electric motor hidden in the base. These moving parts pull air in and push it through a tube, blowing the cool air at a high velocity from holes or slit-like vents. The blades are not visible, require minimal cleaning, and do not pose a safety hazard for children or pets.

Size

When considering the purchase of a fan for the home office, shoppers might think about their available space in addition to particular cooling needs. The dimensions of fans vary in their footprint and their height. Clip-on fans are the smallest size, and they take up zero space on a floor or a table. Although they do not broadcast a breeze throughout the room, these fans provide focused cooling for individual comfort.

Tabletop fans offer more widespread cooling capabilities than clip-on fans. The typical footprint ranges from approximately 6 by 6 inches to 10 by 12 inches, and they stand about 10 to 15 inches tall.

Power and Speed

Some fans feature modes of operation, including normal, natural,and sleep. Many include multiple airspeed settings, including low, medium, and high. Alternatively, some models boast settings with descriptive names like white noise, refresh, and power cool. The general principle is that the lower settings produce the least noise and the gentlest breeze.

Larger fans produce more cooling power via a more robust motor. This makes larger models desirable for whole-room cooling. Smaller fans with a less powerful motor offer directional cooling for focused areas of a room or for individual comfort.

Controls and Timers

Fans include controls for on/off functioning as well as to modify the speed, power, oscillation, and timing of the airflow. While buttons on the base of most units provide manual operation, many options offer the added convenience of a remote control. With remote operation, users can control the fan without leaving the comfort of their bed.

Some desk fans feature programmable timing functions for automatic shutoff after a preset period of time. Additionally, some models include operating cycles that promote ideal conditions for nighttime sleeping. These cycles reduce the power and airflow speed over time, producing prime cooling at the beginning of the nighttime sleep cycle and reducing the airspeed and power throughout the night.

Advanced technology enables users to operate smart fans via a smartphone app. Voice activation is available with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri. Wi-Fi capability and voice controls create ultimate convenience for the operation of smart fans.

Noise Level

The forcefulness or amplitude of sound is measured in decibels (dB), and greater noise levels produce higher decibel levels. For example, the noise level of normal conversation in the home is approximately 50 to 60 decibels, while the noise level of a helicopter at 500 feet measures 87 decibels.

Although many fan manufacturers do not state their noise levels in decibels, a noise level of around 35 decibels would probably be noticeable to users. Lower settings and sleep modes produce less noise than higher airspeed settings.

In general, quiet fans produce approximately 15 decibels of noise on their lowest settings and 40 to 50 decibels on high settings. Bladeless fans have gained popularity in recent years because they operate at an overall lower noise level than bladed fans.

Battery

The lifespan and runtime for fans depends on whether the batteries are rechargeable or nonrechargeable. Rechargeable fans can vary greatly in battery life, often ranging from 2 hours to 16 hours. Conversely, portable fans powered by nonrechargeable batteries often have a lifespan of 40 hours or more. Keep the following points in mind when deciding between the two battery types:

  • Smaller fans tend to have a longer battery life than larger fans because it takes less energy to power the blades.
  • Nonrechargeable fans are often cheaper initially, though buying nonrechargeable batteries can get pricey. The cost of these fans depends on battery type; for example, D batteries are more expensive than AA batteries.
  • For rechargeable fans, frequent charging (or forgetting to charge altogether) may leave you sweating it out until the batteries reach a full charge.
  • Be prepared with backup batteries or a power cord to charge the fan while on the go.
  • Rechargeable models are most commonly powered by a micro USB or standard USB connector, so make sure you have the right adapter.

Additional Features

Many desk fans offer additional features that enhance their usefulness. One of the most useful functions is oscillation. When a fan oscillates, it turns from side to side, altering the airflow direction at a slow and regular pace. This function means that a cooling breeze disperses throughout the space.

Another helpful feature is the LED display included on many fans. The lighted screen allows users to easily read the settings for power and airspeed. Many units also feature an automatic shutoff for the LED display after 15 to 30 seconds when the fan is in sleepmode to ensure an adequately dark sleeping environment. Some options also offer a pivoting fan head that allows users to aim the airflow at a higher or a lower level for focused cooling.

Our Top Picks

Whether you’re looking for a USB-powered fan or a mini desk fan, consider the top picks below.

Best Overall

The Best Desk Fan Options: Honeywell HTF210B QuietSet Personal Table Fan
Photo: walmart.com

This slender tabletop fan from Honeywell offers a modern mini tower style and four cooling modes without taking up too much real estate on a nightstand, a table, or a desktop. Choose from sleep, white noise, refresh, and power cool modes to achieve the preferred level of sound and cool comfort.

The selection light dims in 15 seconds after choosing the desired cooling mode to maintain a dark sleeping environment when that’s desirable. Additionally, users can set the automatic shutoff function to power down the fan after 2, 4, or 8 hours of operation.

Weighing 2 pounds and measuring only 4.7 by 4.7 by 13 inches, this compact oscillating fan meets users’ needs for quiet air circulation. By improving air circulation, this quiet fan reduces stress on the air conditioning system and results in decreased energy costs. Both the environment and the wallet benefit from employing this fan for enhanced comfort in home offices, bedrooms, and living areas.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Table fan
  • Speed Settings: 4
  • Dimensions: 4.7 by 4.7 by 13 inches

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Sleek modern look
  • Automatic shutoff function
  • Quiet operation volume

Cons

  • Some users report some noise while operating

Get the Honeywell desk fan at Walmart and Best Buy.

Best Budget

The Best Desk Fan Option: Genesis 6-Inch Clip Convertible Table-Top & Clip Fan
Photo: amazon.com

If you need to save some space on your desk and some money in your wallet—or you just like the clip-on design concept—the Genesis Clip Convertible Fan is perfect for your home office. The strong, durable clip is easy to put on a lip or edge. However, the structure must be between 1.06 and 1.65 inches thick; otherwise, the clip does not fit properly, and the fan could slide off or the clip could be damaged.

If you measure your desk’s edge and this fan won’t fit, don’t give up yet. Weighing only 2 pounds, this fan comes with an alternate base that can sit comfortably on your desk without taking up too much space. The fan can be set between two speeds for high or low output and has an adjustable head to customize the direction of the airflow. With a reasonable price and clean design, this mini desk fan will fit perfectly with almost any office decor.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Clip-on fan
  • Speed Settings: 2
  • Dimensions: 5 by 6 by 10 inches

Pros

  • Affordable option
  • Strong, durable clip mechanism
  • Adjustable head

Cons

  • Only works with structures between 1.06 and 1.65 inches thick

Get the Genesis desk fan on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Mini

The Best Desk Fan Option: HOLMES Heritage 4-inch Mini USB Desk Fan
Photo: amazon.com

The HOLMES Heritage USB-powered fan looks great in an office setting, with a timeless, antique look that adds a touch of class to your desk. You can easily clean the fan blades by removing the brushed-copper screen. It has only one speed setting that you control with a simple on/off slide switch located on the fan’s side. However, this makes using the fan a lot easier than those with more options because you always know what airflow you will get from the 4-inch blades.

This HOLMES Heritage USB desk fan can be vertically adjusted with an easy-to-use tilt setting so you get directional airflow where you need it, though horizontal adjustments will need to be done with the base of the fan. At just 0.9 pounds, this compact and lightweight fan is ideal for your desk. It plugs directly into a USB port, allowing it to get power from your computer, charger bank, or a wall outlet if you have a USB adapter plug.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Table fan
  • Speed Settings: 1
  • Dimensions: 4.1 by 4.2 by 6.1 inches

Pros

  • Cordless unless charging
  • Compact design
  • Unique vintage style

Cons

  • Limited airflow with 4-inch blades

Get the HOLMES desk fan at Walmart

Upgrade Pick

The Best Desk Fan Options: Dyson Air Multiplier Table Fan
Photo: Amazon.com

If you have the desk space and budget, the Dyson Air Multiplier is a solid choice. This table fan delivers 10 airflow settings that can be accessed using the included remote control. The halolike design offers a distinctly modern look to the home office, although this model does take up a good amount of space. The Dyson desk fan has a touch-tilt system that allows you to adjust the airflow angle.

This Dyson desk fan is one of the most efficient desk fans available, having been designed to consume less energy. The fan even has a sleep timer, so you can easily take it to your room once you’re finished in the home office. The timer can be programmed to turn off at preset intervals ranging from 15 minutes to 9 hours.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Table fan/bladeless fan
  • Speed Settings: 10
  • Dimensions: 14 by 13.4 by 6.7 inches

Pros

  • Energy-efficient, bladeless design
  • Sleek modern look
  • Sleep timer included
  • Comes with remote control

Cons

  • Takes up more space on a desk
  • Pricier than other options

Get the Dyson desk fan on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Rechargeable

The Best Desk Fan Options: EasyAcc Small Desk Fan, Battery Operated
Photo: Amazon.com

For those looking to add a desk fan to their home office but don’t want to worry about cords, the EasyAcc desk fan charges in just 4 hours with the included USB cable and a powered USB port or adapter. This battery-operated desk fan operates for 10 hours on the lowest setting or for 4 hours on the highest setting before it needs to be recharged. The compact design will fit comfortably in most workstations and weighs only half a pound.

The picture-frame design of this desk fan sits on a weighted base, rotating 160 degrees for optimal wind angle adjustment. The base also allows you to hang the fan from a wall if it takes up too much space on your desk. With this small desk fan, you won’t have to worry about having a “too low” and “too high” speed setting because the fan’s speed is fully adjustable with a single power knob you can turn clockwise for more speed and counterclockwise for less speed.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Battery-powered fan
  • Speed Settings: N/A
  • Dimensions: 8 by 5.6 by 1.7 inches

Pros

  • Compact and foldable; includes 160-degree rotatable base
  • Adjustable speed via power knob
  • Lowest speed provides 10 hours of use
  • Includes USB cord and rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Battery takes 4 hours to recharge

Get the EasyAcc desk fan on Amazon.

Best Battery-Operated

The Best Desk Fan Options: Treva 10-Inch Portable Desktop Battery Fan
Photo: Amazon.com

The Treva Portable Desktop Fan weighs only 2.3 pounds and gives you the space you need on your desk while keeping you refreshed with its powerful 10-inch blade. The battery-operated desk fan comes with two speed settings (low and high) that you control with a slide switch located on the fan’s side. These two settings allow you to select the airflow that you want so that you aren’t blasted with powerful air first thing in the morning or greeted with subpar airflow when you need to cool down.

While this option does not have an adjustable fan head for multidirectional capabilities, it is slim enough for the entire body to be easily turned in any direction you choose. This desk fan can be powered with six D-cell batteries for portable, cordless operation, though it should be mentioned that the batteries are not included.

The fan has dual power source options: a 4.9-foot AC adapter cable does come with the fan, giving you the ability to simply plug it in if the batteries run out or if your home office setup is better equipped for a corded desk fan.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Battery-powered fan
  • Speed Settings: 2
  • Dimensions: 4 by 13 by 12 inches

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Dual power source options
  • Powerful 10-inch blade
  • Comes with an AC adapter cable

Cons

  • Does not include batteries

Get the Treva desk fan on Amazon and at Walmart.

Style Pick

The Best Desk Fan Option: Vornado VFAN Mini Classic Personal Vintage Fan
Photo: amazon.com

The vintage look of this desk fan will instantly recall the fan designs of your youth with a few major differences that make it worth the premium price for the classic appearance and modern efficiency. The Vornado Mini Classic Personal Vintage Desk Fan uses its signature air circulation system to direct cool air to the most efficient parts of the propeller blades. The air is then pushed through to the dual injector cones, causing it to spiral when exiting the fan. The spiral pattern of the airflow gives the fan a farther reach than other fans without increasing the size or power output.

The 3.5-pound desk fan is powered with a 6-foot power cord and gives you more than enough space to get your work done while staying cool. With its two speed settings, you control whether you need more or less airflow, while the adjustable head allows you to change the direction of the airflow with a simple vertical tilt. However, horizontal changes need to be made by moving the entire body of the fan.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Table fan
  • Speed Settings: 2
  • Dimensions: 5.7 by 7.1 by 8.3 inches

Pros

  • Attractive vintage look
  • Long power cord
  • Adjustable head

Cons

  • Pricier than other options

Get the Vornado desk fan on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Oscillating

The Best Desk Fan Options: IRIS USA WOOZOO Oscillating Circulation Fan
Photo: Amazon.com

Finding an oscillating small desk fan isn’t easy because the gears’ size often increases the size of the fan until it is no longer suitable for your desk. Still, the WOOZOO oscillating fan measures less than 1 cubic foot, making it ideal for your office space. The fan can oscillate left and right like an ordinary standing fan or room fan, and it can also tilt into six different vertical settings for customized control over the direction of the airflow.

With three different airspeeds, you can decide whether you want the near-silent low operation that’s perfect for staying cool during Skype or Zoom meetings, or the medium or high settings that increase the noise but rapidly decrease your heat. The fan weighs only 4.4 pounds and has a built-in handle for simple, safe transportation. It also uses a 5.2-foot-long power cord to keep your fan constantly supplied with power and running as long as you need it.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Table fan
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Dimensions: 8.7 by 8 by 11.9 inches

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Oscillating feature
  • 6 tilt settings
  • Long power cord

Cons

  • Limited airflow compared with other models

Get the Iris USA desk fan on Amazon and at Walmart.

Our Verdict 

For those in need of a large desk fan for cooling down, the compact Honeywell desk fan comes with four built-in airspeed settings and has an automatic shutoff function. Alternatively, for a budget-friendly pick, the Genesis clip fan has two airspeed settings and can clip onto the edge of a desk to allow more space for working.

How We Chose the Best Desk Fans

We researched the most sought-after desk fans in their respective categories and discovered that the best models are determined by their type, size, airspeed settings, noise level, and other special features included by select brands.

While searching for the best options on the market, the most popular types among users were the table, battery-powered, bladeless, and clip-on fans. Each of these types is compact enough to fit on a desk, table, or side table and provide ample airspeed settings. For added convenience, most of these options produce none or little noise while in operation and come with automatic shutoff features, oscillating heads, remote controls, and USB cords for recharging.

FAQs

You may still have questions about desk fans. Consider the answers to these common queries below.

Q: What are desk fans called?

Several types of fans fall under the “desk fan” category. These include table fans, box fans, rechargeable and battery-powered fans, clip-on fans, and bladeless fans.

Q: Are bladeless fans quieter?

Yes. Bladeless fans tend to be less noisy than traditional bladed fans. They are also more energy efficient.

Q: How many decibels is a quiet fan?

The quietest fans produce approximately 15 decibels on low settings and 40 to 50 decibels on high settings.

Q: How long do portable fans last? 

Rechargeable portable fans vary in runtime depending on the design and speed setting used. Most have runtimes between 3 and 12 hours, with faster speeds draining more battery. Portable fans with nonrechargeable batteries can last 40 hours or more before the batteries need replacing.