The Best Fans for White Noise

Drown out those loud neighbors and give yourself a great night’s sleep with these fans for white noise.

Best Overall

The Best Fan for White Noise Option: Vornado Energy Smart Medium Pedestal Air Circulator

Vornado Energy Smart Medium Pedestal Air Circulator

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Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Fan for White Noise Option: Vornado Flippi V6 Personal Air Circulator

Vornado Flippi V6 Personal Air Circulator

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Upgrade Pick

The Best Fan for White Noise Option: Blueair Pure Fan Auto

Blueair Pure Fan Auto

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Some folks need a little extra help when it comes to catching those ever-precious Z’s. While many people don’t have any problem shutting down for the day, there are those that live on busy streets, have rowdy neighbors, or simply like a little sound in the air, and the best fans for white noise can help.

According to the Sleep Foundation, white noise is “a noise that contains all of the frequencies across the spectrum of audible sound in equal measure.” In relation to this article, however, we’ll define white noise more broadly and more conversationally as a low, constant sound that can help people fall asleep. It can be from an air conditioner, a sound app, or a fan, and this guide will explain which of those fans are the best options for white noise.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Vornado Energy Smart Medium Pedestal Air Circulator
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Vornado Flippi V6 Personal Air Circulator
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Blueair Pure Fan Auto
  4. BEST TABLETOP: Hunter Retro 12-Inch All-Metal Table Fan
  5. BEST TOWER: Lasko High-Velocity Tower Fan With Remote Control
  6. BEST PEDESTAL: Lasko 18-Inch 3-Speed Oscillating Pedestal Fan
  7. BEST WINDOW FAN: Bionaire Remote Control Twin Window Fan
  8. BEST BOX FAN: Hurricane 20-Inch Classic Portable Floor Fan
  9. BEST COMPACT: Lasko Platinum Desktop Wind Tower Oscillating Fan
The Best Fans for White Noise Option next to a bed with a sleeping person
Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Fans for White Noise

Sleep is incredibly important, so we wanted to put together a list of the best fans for white noise that we possibly could. First, we considered all of the most important features we would expect from a high-quality fan. Then, we performed extensive product research to come up with a list of products we felt might meet our criteria.

Once we knew what fans we were looking at, we dove deep into the research again. We compared each model’s noise level, style, price point, and more to ensure that all of the products we suggested offered enough value. For fans that did not provide a measured noise level, we took into account how much airflow they created, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) by the manufacturer, and used that measurement as a baseline for noise creation. Those that didn’t offer enough value were tossed aside while those that passed were given awards based on their strengths.

Our Top Picks

Below are our top picks for the best fans for white noise. This list offers a variety of fans in size, style, and functionality. After comparing these models, be sure to take a look at important considerations to keep in mind when shopping for the right fan. You’ll want to ensure that your preferred model can produce enough constant noise and airflow for comfortable sleeping.

Best Overall

Vornado Energy Smart Medium Pedestal Air Circulator

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The Vornado energy-smart pedestal fan combines raw power with a smart design, allowing it to provide white noise. It uses steeply pitched blades and a powerful brushless motor to blow air up to 85 feet away while consuming less energy than comparable fans. That air travels in a vortex pattern, hitting the far wall and dispersing around the room. Plus, it produces 59 decibels of fan noise on high, which is enough for sleepers in almost any environment.

The Vornado is all about adjustability. It has 99 speed settings so you can find your perfect airflow and noise level. It also has a tilting head and a telescoping base to ensure the right angle and height, which is adjustable from 31 to 39 inches. This fan also comes with a remote and a built-in timer for energy savings. On the downside, these features do come with a steeper price tag than most standard pedestal fans, and although it’s designed to move air around the room, it does not oscillate.

Product Specs 

  • Decibels: 59 on high
  • Speeds: 99
  • Remote: Yes

Pros

  • Steeply pitched blades and a brushless motor improve its power and efficiency
  • The high setting produces 59 decibels, which is likely enough for most sleepers’ needs
  • Features 99 speed settings so you can find just the right setting for your needs

Cons

  • Does not oscillate
  • More expensive than most standard pedestal fans

Get the Vornado energy-smart fan for white noise at Amazon, Wayfair, or Best Buy.

Best Bang for the Buck

Vornado Flippi V6 Personal Air Circulator

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Folks who just want to add a little noise to their nighttime without breaking the bank will want to consider the Vornado Flippi V6. The Flippi is a compact model with an even more compact price point, and it easily fits on nightstands and suits most budgets. The head is positionable and the base swivels manually, so you can position the airflow or fan sound anywhere you need it.

The Vornado Flippi has two speeds: low and high. The Flippi produces 50 decibels on high and 39 decibels on low. It might not produce enough white noise for some folks in noisy settings, but with it set to high and positioned on the nightstand, the constant hum should work for most folks in quiet or just slightly noisy environments.

Product Specs 

  • Decibels: 50 on high
  • Speeds: 2
  • Remote: No

Pros

  • Positionable head and a swivel base so you can direct the airflow where it’s needed
  • Compact size can fit on a nightstand right where you need it
  • Available in a variety of colors to suit any room or decor

Cons

  • Some users find the power and speed dial on the bottom awkward to use

Get the Vornado Flippi fan for white noise at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Best Buy.

Upgrade Pick

Blueair Pure Fan Auto

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When it comes to upgrading to a top-of-the-line fan, that extra money needs to make sense. With the Blueair Pure fan, that extra cash comes with a replaceable HEPA filter, allowing users to fall asleep with white noise without worrying about breathing in dirty air all night. This fan also includes two prefilters that keep larger particles off of the HEPA filter to make it last as long as possible.

Blueair prides itself on its whisper-quiet 25-decibel noise level on low, but it does reach 54 decibels on its high setting, and that’s just over the sweet spot of 46 decibels, so it’s better for slightly noisy spaces. And while it’s just slightly too large for a nightstand—it’s 15.5 inches tall by 12.9 inches wide by 11.2 inches deep—it does disperse air in a 90-degree range without oscillation. The only real complaint is that it doesn’t come with a remote, even at its premium price point.

Product Specs 

  • Decibels: 54 on high
  • Speeds: 3
  • Remote: No

Pros

  • Includes a HEPA filter to remove dust, allergens, smoke, and more from the air
  • Prefilter prevents large particles from landing on the HEPA filter to improve longevity
  • Disperses air in a 90-degree range, providing a constant breeze instead of an occasional gust

Cons

  • Despite being a premium product, it does not come with a remote

Get the Blueair fan for white noise at Amazon, Best Buy, or Blueair (includes one prefilter).

Best Tabletop

Hunter Retro 12-Inch All-Metal Table Fan

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When it comes to a cool, retro design for white noise, the Hunter 12-inch retro table fan is worth a look. This model looks like a fan from decades ago and even features all-metal construction for a truly old-school feel. Though it might not coordinate with all modern decor, it is available in six finishes—oil-rubbed bronze, matte black, brushed nickel, breezewave green, matte white, and onyx copper—to suit a variety of styles and color schemes.

It has a three-speed motor that produces plenty of noise for sleeping tight. While its decibel rating isn’t readily available, metal is a poor sound insulator, and the old-school design ensures it’s not “whisper quiet” (under 35 decibels). This allows users who need a loud fan for sleeping to position it on a dresser or nightstand and block out the sounds of the street or neighborhood. It also features 85 degrees of oscillation to move air around the entire room at night.

Product Specs 

  • Decibels: N/A
  • Speeds: 3
  • Remote: No

Pros

  • It features a cool old-school design that not only looks great but produces plenty of noise
  • High settings can help block out noise in busy neighborhoods or loud streets while sleeping
  • Oscillates up to 85 degrees to move air around the room all night for improved comfort

Cons

  • The design might not fit everyone’s decor style

Get the Hunter fan for white noise at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Wayfair.

Best Tower

Lasko High-Velocity Tower Fan With Remote Control

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Lasko’s high-velocity tower fan is worth considering for anyone who needs a powerful fan that creates a soothing whir that’s perfect for sleeping. This tower fan moves air at 509 CFM at its highest of three speeds. Though Lasko doesn’t measure decibel levels for its fans, this tower fan’s airflow will likely create enough noise to block out noisy streets and neighbors and offer improved sleep. (Plus, in reviews, many owners have noted how much they appreciate the white noise produced by this fan—not to mention its great airflow.)

This tower model measures 35 inches high, but it’s only 11.9 inches wide and 8.8 inches deep, so its compact footprint won’t take up much space in a bedroom. It has built-in timers, fan oscillation, and even a remote so you can adjust the fan from the bed if needed. It also has a built-in carrying handle for easy transport from room to room.

Product Specs 

  • Decibels: N/A
  • Speeds: 3
  • Remote: Yes

Pros

  • High-velocity fan produces plenty of noise and airflow for a good night’s sleep
  • Features a built-in timer, oscillation, and a remote control for convenience
  • Features a compact footprint that won’t take up much space

Cons

  • Lasko doesn’t provide output decibel readings on any of the settings

Get the Lasko tower fan for white noise at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Pedestal

Lasko 18-Inch 3-Speed Oscillating Pedestal Fan

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Folks looking for a pedestal fan for white noise that they can set up at the foot of their bed, in the corner, or anywhere else in the bedroom will want to consider this model from Lasko. This 18-inch fan is a large traditional design and has five blades. This allows the fan to move plenty of air—it has a 1,940 CFM rating—while also being loud enough to block outside noises. This fan features plenty of adjustments. You can adjust the height, up to 53.5 inches, while also adjusting the tilt of the head and changing between three speeds. It also includes a remote so you don’t have to get out of your cozy bed to set the speed, oscillation, or timer.

Product Specs 

  • Decibels: N/A
  • Speeds: 3
  • Remote: Yes

Pros

  • 18-inch fan with 5 blades produces plenty of airflow and white noise for most sleepers
  • Adjustable height and angle allow users to position the airflow exactly where they want it
  • Comes with a remote for changing speeds and oscillation, as well as a built-in timer

Cons

  • Lasko doesn’t provide the decibel rating for any of the settings

Get the Lasko pedestal fan for white noise at The Home Depot or Wayfair.

Best Window Fan

Bionaire Remote Control Twin Window Fan

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When it comes to getting fresh air in and old, stale air out, the Bionaire remote-control twin window fan makes a great option. This fan fits within the jamb of an open window and allows you to set one fan to blow inward while the other blows outward for air circulation. Both fans can also blow inward and outward, if necessary. And with all that airflow, this fan provides a decent amount of white noise—30 decibels’ worth—in quieter rooms.

This model from Bionaire features three speed settings. It also comes with a remote that can stay on the nightstand for easy speed and airflow direction changes. It features an LED thermostat that will turn the fan on and off at certain temperatures. However, due to its design, the fan only works when it’s actually in a window jamb, so it’s not an all-season solution.

Product Specs 

  • Decibels: 30
  • Speeds: 3
  • Remote: Yes

Pros

  • Dual-fan design allows you to adjust the airflow direction in or out, or both, for plenty of circulation
  • Provides a lower level of white noise, making it great for otherwise quiet rooms
  • Comes with a remote that makes adjusting the fan’s output easier
  • Programmable thermostat turns fan off and on to maintain selected comfort level

Cons

  • Not suitable for use during colder months due to its window installation

Get the Bionaire fan for white noise at Amazon.

Best Box Fan

Hurricane 20-Inch Classic Portable Floor Fan

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This Hurricane model is worth a look for sleepers who prefer box fans. This fan is a basic box design, but it moves air at a whopping 2,400 CFM, so it produces enough airflow to generate white noise to help folks get to sleep. It has a basic square design with a five-blade fan rotor, providing plenty of airflow from all three speed settings.

This model features adjustable feet and built-in cord storage for convenience. At 20 inches tall by 20 inches wide and only 3.5 inches deep, it can sit on top of a bench or dresser, but its best use is on the floor. On the downside, the cord is a bit short at just 5 feet, so you’ll want to ensure that there is an outlet very close to where you’d like the fan.

Product Specs 

  • Decibels: N/A
  • Speeds: 3
  • Remote: No

Pros

  • The 5-blade rotor moves a lot of air to make plenty of white noise
  • Compact size for a box fan allows it to fit on a dresser or bench as well as the floor
  • Has adjustable feet for stability and built-in cord storage for keeping this model organized

Cons

  • There isn’t a decibel rating listed for this fan on any of its settings
  • Cord is a bit short for a fan that does not oscillate or have adjustable height

Get the Hurricane fan for white noise at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Compact

Lasko Platinum Desktop Wind Tower Oscillating Fan

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The Lasko Platinum desktop wind tower oscillating fan features a compact design that you can place on your desk, dresser, or nightstand. This model measures just 14 inches tall by 6 inches wide by 6 inches deep, making it small enough to fit in some tight bedrooms or even coffee tables for nights on the couch.

This model features three speed settings, the highest of which moves air at 114 CFM and should produce enough white noise to help folks fall asleep if placed nearby. But since it only weighs 3.14 pounds, it’s very easy to move around the home. Just keep in mind that, as a smaller fan, it’s difficult to get a ton of noise from it.

Product Specs 

  • Decibels: N/A
  • Speeds: 3
  • Remote: No

Pros

  • Small enough to fit on a nightstand, intensifying the user’s white-noise experience
  • Features 3 speeds to allow folks to customize their airflow and white-noise output
  • Compact design is easy to move about the home

Cons

  • As a smaller fan, it might not produce as much white noise as some users might prefer

Get the Lasko desktop fan for white noise at Amazon.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Fan for White Noise

No one wants their sleep messed with, so it’s important to understand the considerations involved with choosing the best fan for white noise. The following are some of the most important points to keep in mind when comparing these products.

Noise

White noise has the ability to block out background noise, overload the brain (in a good way), and encourage relaxation. This is what a sound machine can produce.

Technically, the sound from an electric fan does not produce white noise, which is a noise that contains all of the different frequencies of sound that a human can hear. But, a fan can produce enough constant noise to bring on the same effects as white noise. Many folks choose to set one up in the bedroom to help them easily drift off at the end of the day.

So how much noise is necessary? In general, a fan with white noise around the 40- to 50-decibel range is ideal for quiet environments. However, for particularly noisy environments or folks who need a little more oomph from their white noise fan, a fan that produces between 60 and 70 decibels is probably best. Coupled with some window soundproofing methods and earplugs, sleepers can find an ideal combination that will feel like they’re far removed from the hustle and bustle.

Type

There are several types of fans, and their distinctions mostly involve their design and how they work. The following are some of the most common types of fans for white noise:

  • Tabletop: Tabletop fans are compact enough to fit on top of a table or dresser. They’re relatively portable but can move quite a bit of air. They’re the perfect choice for a nightstand fan, as these are generally quieter fans, but can be helpful if placed close to the sleeper.
  • Pedestal: Pedestal fans are freestanding. Their bases sit on the floor but they have long shafts that hold the fan 3 to 5 feet off of the ground.
  • Tower: Tower fans are tall, slender fans that resemble columns. They’re typically 2 to 3 feet tall and pivot on a stationary base. They have compact footprints but can move quite a bit of air.
  • Window: Window fans fit inside the jamb of an open window. Many times, these fans have two motors, each powering a fan blade. They can pull air into the room, push it out, or circulate fresh air in while pushing room air out.
  • Box: Box fans are the large, square-shaped fans that folks typically use in front of a window or by placing them on the floor. They’re versatile, and even a small box fan produces a lot of airflow, but they are easy to knock over. These are typically some of the noisiest fans, as well.
  • Compact: A compact fan could potentially fit inside a nightstand or suitcase. These small fans don’t produce much white noise, but they can be helpful for folks who can’t sleep without a bit of noise and some airflow.

Size and Portability 

When choosing the best fan for white noise, you’ll want to consider whether size or portability is an issue. Those with smaller rooms may prefer a small tabletop fan that won’t take up floor space. Likewise, anyone who’d like their fan to pull double duty on a home office desk or in a living room might look for something small and portable. The loudest small fans can handle this job.

However, if you need a lot of airflow or noise, you’re going to need a bigger, more substantial fan. For these shoppers, a traditional box fan, window fan, or pedestal fan may be best, and most of these fans are still portable.

Airflow

White noise is really the icing on the cake for a typical fan. The main purpose of a strong fan is to provide airflow and circulation. There are two ways to control a fan’s airflow: the size of the fan blades (which is a factor the manufacturer determines, and some fans don’t even have blades) and motor speed.

Manufacturers equip fans with adjustable speeds so you can change the amount of air the fan moves. Even cheap box fans are adjustable. This allows you to dial the fan back if it’s getting chilly or ramp it up when they need to move some serious air. However, understand that the slower the fan is running, the less noise it will typically make.

Additional Features 

There are plenty of additional features you may want to consider. For those who just need a fan to help them fall asleep, a fan with a built-in timer that shuts it off after an hour or two can be helpful. For a gentle breeze across an entire room, oscillation might be key. Some models also come with remotes that users can grab to adjust airflow or turn the fan off from the comfort of their bed. Others may include features that enhance stability, such as bases that clamp down onto an end table or feet that adjust to improve stability on an uneven surface.

FAQs

Q. Where should I keep my fan for white noise?

While it may make sense that moving a fan closer will help you make the most of its white noise, a fan should be at least a few feet away from your face while sleeping. Fans can circulate dirty, dry air, and this can cause a sore throat, a dry nose, or other issues.

Q. Is it OK to play white noise all night?

There are a lot of debates on the use of white noise for sleeping. While most researchers agree that it can help restless sleepers, some believe that listening to white noise all night can cause issues for people who suffer from tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.

Q. How many speeds do fans for white noise usually come with?

The most common number of speeds for a white noise fan is three. This includes low, medium, and high, and you can adjust the speeds according to their airflow or noise needs.

Q. What type of fan is best for white noise?

Purely from a white noise perspective, the best fan is a box fan. These fans are loud, move a lot of air, and are usually inexpensive. They can be used with the window open or closed and they can sit on a dresser or the floor.

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Tom Scalisi

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Tom Scalisi is a freelance writer, author, and blogger with a passion for building. Whether it’s a DIY project or an entire website, Tom loves creating something from the ground up, stepping back, and admiring a job well done.

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