The best floor fans are portable and versatile, designed to keep you and others cool on the patio, in the home office, living room, or other spaces in the home. These powerful yet lightweight fans offer a cost-effective alternative to blasting the AC when the weather is warm, and can help you save on energy bills. Floor fans are available in two designs: traditional square-shaped box fans and high-velocity round air circulator fans.
Floor fans come with various features, including multiple speed settings, adjustable tilt for direct air circulation, and some even sport rubberized feet to protect hardwoods and other surfaces. Many floor fans suit small or medium indoor spaces, such as bedrooms or home offices. Others are powerful enough to cool oversized areas, including great rooms, outdoor kitchens, or garages. Follow this guide for important shopping considerations and recommendations on some of the best floor fan models available.
- BEST OVERALL: Lasko 20″ High Velocity QuickMount
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: PELONIS 3-Speed Box Fan
- BEST FOR OUTDOORS: Geek Aire Outdoor High Velocity Floor Fan
- QUIETEST OPERATION: Vornado 660 Large Whole Room Air Circulator Fan
- BEST FOR SMALL ROOMS: Air King 12-Inch High Velocity Pivoting Floor Fan
- BEST FOR MEDIUM-SIZED ROOMS: B-Air FIRTANA-20X High Velocity Floor Fan
- BEST FOR LARGE ROOMS: Tornado 24 Inch 3 Speed Air Circulator Fan
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Floor Fan
Floor fans are available with a range of features and benefits specific to each model. When shopping for a floor fan, consider the room’s size and how you plan to use the fan. That will help narrow your choices based on size, design, cooling power, oscillation, speed settings, controls, and noise levels.
Floor fans vary in dimension (typically anywhere from 12 to 24 inches), with 20 inches considered average. A fan’s size and features are among the variables that contribute to their weight. The average 20-inch floor fan weighs approximately 10 to 15 pounds, which makes it easy to move. Small, personal floor fans can weigh as little as two pounds. Larger industrial floor fans can weigh 30 pounds or more.
A fan’s cooling power is measured by CFM, meaning cubic feet per minute. This value measures how much air a fan moves every minute. CFM varies by model based on the construction, size, motor, and blades. Fans with high CFM move air more quickly than fans with low CFM, which is why a high CFM value is recommended for larger areas (great rooms, greenhouses, garages) that require more air movement.
Unlike standard box fans that blow in one direction, the blades of oscillating fans are housed in a case that rotates from side to side to provide broader air circulation. Typical oscillation settings offer 180-degree rotation for optimal air coverage. Some models have blades that rotate a full 360 degrees. You can also find fans that allow you to pivot the hub up and down to direct air where it’s most needed. Some floor fans allow you to switch from standard to oscillation mode with the simple click of a button.
Many floor fans have multiple settings that allow you to choose the ideal speed for each use. Most have three different speed settings (low, medium, and high). Generally, low is suitable if you want a light breeze. High speed quickly circulates air for strong breezes. You can easily switch between different speeds, typically with the turn of a rotary dial found on the fan’s front or back.
Some floor fans are equipped with remote controls, allowing you to change the airflow settings without having to access them directly on the device. Some remotes also have automatic shut-off functions.
Since fans require motors and blades to operate, they usually generate some noise. However, it is possible to find a quiet floor fan. To do so, check the decibel (dB) levels. Normal conversation is about 60 dB, office noise is about 70 dB, sound from a vacuum cleaner is around 75 dB, and a noisy restaurant or power mower is approximately 80 dB. The decibel (dB) rating is listed for some, but not all, floor fans. Smaller personal fans are almost always quieter than larger models.
Our Top Picks
Each of the floor fans recommended below has its own set of features and benefits, including cooling power, speed settings, and noise levels. Consider one of these high-performing cooling devices for your home.
This high-velocity floor fan comes with a powerful motor, durable steel construction, and metal blades. It measures 22 by 12.63 inches wide and is powered by electricity from a standard 110-volt outlet. The CFM ranges from 3160 to 3460, so it has sufficient power for use in a large garage or workshop. Its classic silver design is attractive enough to use in traditional living spaces. Built-in rubber pads on the bottom of the fan protect hardwood floors and other surfaces.
Users can select from low, medium, or high speed on the Lasko’s front-facing manual control button. The pivoting head is adjustable to control the airflow up, down, or between for more targeted ventilation. This model comes with instructions and hardware that can convert it to a wall-mounted fan with the included bracket. The Lasko weighs a manageable 14.5 pounds and includes a convenient carrying handle, so it’s easy to move around the house.
The Pelonis 3-Speed Box Fan is a highly functional, low cost option. The fan supports low, mid, or high air speeds to optimize airflow for whichever room you choose. This Pelonis model measures 21 by 20.6 by 4.6 inches and weighs only 8 pounds. The lightweight construction and handle allow this fan to be easily carried from room to room.
The Pelonis fan comes fully assembled with recessed cord storage and stabilizing feet, features more often found on higher-priced fans. A standard 120-volt electrical outlet powers this unit.
Beneath the surface of the Geek Aire’s sophisticated yellow design is a rechargeable, high-velocity cooling device. You can use this 16-inch fan indoors, but it excels in garages, patios, and other outdoor workplaces. A lithium-ion battery powers this fan, with a power bank function that supports digital devices. An LED battery life indicator lets you know when power is running low.
The Geek Aire fan comes with an adjustable 120-degree tilt head so you can precisely direct airflow. Its curved metal blades help reduce noise levels and provide a maximum 2500 CFM, suitable for use in many oversized areas including garages, gyms, warehouses, workshops, and outdoor spaces. The IPX4 water-resistant structure and anti-slip rubber feet help protect the fan from inclement weather.
This air circulator fan has deep-pitched blades, an enclosed air duct, and a spiral grill combine to push air up to 100 feet for maximum coverage and efficient airflow. Use the adjustable chrome glide bar to direct air where you need it most (positioned vertically or horizontally). This fan operates with a standard 120-volt outlet and comes with four speed settings (whisper-quiet to turbo), accessed by buttons on top of the circulator.
The Vornado has a CFM range from 257 (at low speeds) to 584 (at high speeds). The sound rating starts at 35 decibels when used at the lowest speed and hits a top level of 54 decibels at its highest speed. You can disassemble the Vornado’s grill to easily access and clean the blades.
If you’re planning to cool a small room, an appropriate balance between fan size and power is important—it’s not ideal for the fan to take up too much room, or have air speed capabilities that aren’t useful for the space. This Air King floor fan strikes a good balance between the two.
The powder-coated blades on the Air King 9121 are only 12 inches, and the whole unit measures 15.5 by 8.5 by 16.5 inches. This compact design fits easily into a small room, and sufficient power to keep the space cool. The CFM ranges from 1010 (low) to 1170 (medium) to 1360 (high). The decibel rating spans from 42 to 52, so the unit is pleasantly quiet. Just plug it into a regular household 120-volt outlet and it’s ready to go.
The 20-inch B-Air Firtana is a great option for mid-sized rooms, with a medium-high CFM of 4650 to go with it to keep you cool in steamy environments. The 5-foot long cord allows you plenty of options to move this 21.5 inch by 21.75 inch fan to where it’s needed most. The 360-degree rotation points airflow strategically as well.
You can quickly assemble this B-Air fan, and its design can be mounted on a wall or positioned on the floor. The all-metal housing is easy to take apart so you can clean the blades as dust collects.
This 24-inch yellow air circulator drum fan is a great option for larger spaces, including basements and warehouses. It measures 29.3 by 11 by 29.5 inches and weighs a relatively hefty 32.1 pounds. The Tornado comes with an 8-foot power cord for added convenience in large spaces so you can move it to where it’s needed. This floor fan has ultra-light aluminum blades, a powder-coated rust-resistant grille, and two carrying handles for maximum portability.
This powerful Tornado model has a 3-speed, thermally-protected 120-volt power cord that you plug into a standard outlet. The CFM ranges from 5000 (for low speed) to 6000 (medium) to 7800 (high). Users adjust the speed by using the rotary switch located on the back of the unit and use the 360-degree tilt function for targeted air circulation.
FAQs About Floor Fans
Here are some top questions and answers about floor fans to help you through your shopping journey. Remember these helpful FAQs as you search for the best floor fan for your home.
Q. What is a floor fan?
A floor fan stands on the floor, though some are designed with mounting features. It has rotating blades powered by electricity from a standard outlet or by a battery.
Q. Where is the best place to set a floor fan for maximum airflow?
Place your floor fan so that it faces the opposite wall where most activity takes place. This allows cool air to bounce off the wall and out into the rest of the room. Ensure no large objects are blocking its pathway, so the air spreads out further and maximizes the fan’s effectiveness.
Q. What is the difference between floor and tower fans?
Floor fans sit low to the ground and have large blades that can generate greater airflow output and circulate air through large spaces. Tower fans are less powerful than floor fans but are better suited for some small areas due to their tall and narrow design. They also tend to be quieter than floor fans.