The Best Quiet Fans to Keep You Cool and Comfortable, Tested

Fans reduce energy costs; if they’re whisper quiet, they can also promote restful sleep. We tested top-rated low-decibel fans—their quiet operation blew us away.

Best Overall

The Shark FlexBreeze Fan With InstaCool Mist in both table-top and pedestal mode with an illustration of blue mist.

Shark FlexBreeze Fan With InstaCool Mist

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Best Bang for the Buck

The Pelonis 16-Inch Pedestal Fan With DC Motor and its remote on a white background.

Pelonis 16-Inch Pedestal Fan With DC Motor

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Upgrade Pick

The Lasko 42-Inch 12-Speed EcoQuiet DC Motor Tower Fan and its remote on a white background.

Lasko 42-Inch 12-Speed EcoQuiet DC Motor Tower Fan

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Decades before air conditioning, fans were the go-to appliances for feeling cooler when summer temperatures soared. Today, fans are as popular as ever, thanks to a growing focus on energy efficiency. However, not all fans are created equal. Some fans can sound like firing up a lawn mower, while others are nearly silent. We researched more than 25 fans and then tested seven models to gauge which fans produced enough airflow to keep us comfortable while generating minimal noise. 

Whether you’re looking to transform a bedroom into a relaxing haven or simply want to lower your utility bills, you’ll find a blissfully quiet fan in this guide. Read on to discover how the following models earned a spot in this lineup of the best quiet fans. 

  1. BEST OVERALL: Shark FlexBreeze Fan With InstaCool Mist
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Pelonis 16-Inch Pedestal Fan With DC Motor
  3. BEST TOWER PICK: Lasko 42-Inch 12-Speed EcoQuiet DC Motor Tower Fan
  4. BEST DESKTOP: Rowenta Turbo Silence Table Fan
  5. BEST FOR CEILINGS: Minka-Aire Barn LED 65-Inch Smart Ceiling Fan
  6. BEST BATTERY: Runtop 12-Inch High-Velocity Rechargeable Floor Fan
  7. BEST PEDESTAL: Vornado Energy Smart Medium Pedestal Air Circulator
The Best Quiet Fan Options
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

How We Tested the Best Quiet Fans

The quietest fans emit a soothing white noise perfect for sleeping or concentrating without distraction. When selecting the fans we wanted to test, we researched more than 25 models, carefully analyzing noise level, design, adjustability, power, and portability. We tested a variety of tabletop, tower, pedestal, and ceiling fans to suit many typical household needs.

We assembled each fan—if necessary—and noted its noise level. Many of these models hovered at 30 to 40 decibels (dB) while in operation, with 30 dB being like a whisper. With virtually every quiet fan we tested, the decibel level rose slightly with increased speeds. That’s to be expected even if the fan’s motor doesn’t make more noise since the faster the blades cut through the air, the more sound they generate. 

We tried out each fan’s features and perks—adjustable speed levels, remote controls, programmable settings, smart options, and adjustable stands (if applicable). We even tested a fan that emits a mist for outdoor use on sweltering days. Then, we awarded points based on a rubric: The better a fan performed on a test, the more points we gave it. After testing, we averaged the points to determine the top picks and categorized each fan according to its best use. 

Testing Stats

  • Products tested: 7
  • Hours spent testing: 5
  • Tests performed: 4
  • Price range: $72 to $550
Video: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Our Top Picks

The best quiet fans featured in this guide represent various styles, sizes, and power levels. While they differ in design, price, and intended use, each fan excelled in our hands-on tests, boasts a reputable manufacturer, and registers less than 60 decibels while in operation. One of these models is sure to be the right pick for your needs. 

Best Overall

Shark FlexBreeze Fan With InstaCool Mist

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Our Ratings: Setup 4.5/5; Cooling 5/5; Noise 5/5; Features 5/5; Value 4.5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Pedestal, tabletop
  • Decibel rating: 32.4 dB on the lowest setting
  • Remote control: Yes

Pros

  • Offers versatility as a corded pedestal fan or a cordless tabletop fan
  • Remote control conveniently adheres to the fan head via a magnet
  • Misting function is an innovative option for outdoor cooling in hot weather

Cons

  • Pricey compared to traditional pedestal or tabletop fans

If you’re searching for a quiet fan that offers a lot of functionality, look no further than the Shark FlexBreeze fan with InstaCool. This innovative fan cools, oscillates, and functions as a pedestal fan and a tabletop fan.

We were pleasantly surprised by the versatility of this fan. We assembled the base unit and stand, which took only a few minutes, and then plugged in the fan and turned it on at the lowest setting. This fan was very quiet—not much louder than a whisper—but it generated a breeze we could feel from halfway across the room. Shark notes that the FlexBreeze generates 32.4 dB on the lowest setting and 58.5 dB on the highest setting. Those numbers were accurate based on what we registered with our decibel tester.

The FlexBreeze is both a corded and a cordless fan. It plugs into a household outlet as a pedestal fan, and by simply pressing a button and removing the fan head, the FlexBreeze serves as a table fan via a rechargeable battery.

Adding to its versatility, this model is also a mist fan for outdoor use. It comes with a misting attachment that snaps on the front of the fan grill and connects to a garden hose to produce a breezy fine water mist perfect for lounging by a pool on a hot summer day. However, it’s important for safety reasons only to use the misting function when the fan is in battery mode. The fan also includes a remote control that adheres to the head via a magnet for easy access.

Read our full review: Shark FlexBreeze Fan With InstaCool Mist

Get the Shark quiet fan at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Best Buy

Best Bang for the Buck

Pelonis 16-Inch Pedestal Fan With DC Motor

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Our Ratings: Setup 4/5; Cooling 4.5/5; Noise 5/5; Features 4/5; Value 5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Pedestal
  • Decibel rating: As low as 38 dB
  • Remote control: Yes

Pros

  • More affordable compared to quiet pedestal fans of similar design
  • DC motor makes it whisper quiet during use—ideal fan for bedrooms, nurseries, and home offices
  • Height adjusts via a twist connector on the pole, adding versatility and personalized cooling

Cons

  • Oscillation is limited to 85 degrees but can be mitigated by placing fan in the corner of a room

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to purchase a quiet fan that keeps you cool and helps reduce utility bills. The Pelonis 16-inch pedestal fan features 12 speeds and a DC motor (the quietest type), so you can enjoy a soothing breeze without distracting noise. 

The Pelonis took a bit longer to assemble than some of the other fans we tested, but that was due to one of the base poles being slightly out of whack, which was likely a fluke. We were able to twist the pole and work it into the adjoining pole bracket. Once assembled, we could adjust the fan’s height without issue. 

The manufacturer notes this fan registers as low as 38 dB. However, on our tester, it only reached 34 dB from 6 feet away when running on the lowest setting. Even at the highest setting, it didn’t exceed 52 dB in our tests. 

While some of the fans we tested oscillated up to 180 degrees, the Pelonis oscillated just 85 degrees, but placing it in the corner of our room was sufficient to offer a cooling breeze to the entire room. An included remote control makes this fan more versatile, but we would have liked a spot on the fan for storing the remote. 

Get the Pelonis quiet fan at Amazon

Best Tower Pick

Lasko 42-Inch 12-Speed EcoQuiet DC Motor Tower Fan

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Our Ratings: Setup 5/5; Cooling 4.5/5; Noise 4.5/5; Features 5/5; Value 5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Tower
  • Decibel rating: 46 dB
  • Remote control: Yes

Pros

  • Tall, slim design saves floor space, making it a good choice for small rooms
  • Strong oscillating breeze ensures everyone in the room is comfortable
  • Quiet operation and noise quality is calming and soothing 
  • Includes a timer function and 12 speed levels for versatility

Cons

  • Tall and narrow design makes it more likely to tip over if bumped

Tower fans are popular for their space-saving vertical design, making them well suited for small rooms. However, being tall and slim doesn’t reduce the effectiveness of the Lasko EcoQuiet fan. This ultraquiet fan produced a hearty breeze in our tests, and it did so without creating an annoying amount of noise. 

The manufacturer notes this fan generates 46 dB of noise, which is already on the quiet side, but it registered just 33 dB from 6 feet away at the lowest speed in our tests. At the highest speed, it registered 50 dB. What we noticed most about the Lasko EcoQuiet fan was the calming quality of its noise. It was similar to the soothing and gentle sound of our white noise machine.

This model features 12 speed options for a variety of room sizes. We liked the timer function and the slow but strong oscillation that provides a cooling breeze to all areas of a room. It also includes a handy remote control that hooks onto the back of the fan when not in use. Overall, the EcoQuiet fan provides a tall, vertical swath of breeze for instant cooling. 

Get the Lasko quiet fan at Amazon or Walmart

Best Desktop

Rowenta Turbo Silence Table Fan

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Our Ratings: Setup 4.5/5; Cooling 5/5; Noise 5/5; Features 2/5; Value 5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Tabletop
  • Decibel rating: 38 to 55 dB
  • Remote control: No

Pros

  • Small, compact, and highly portable, making it convenient to carry from room to room
  • Targeted cooling for a specific area; ideal for use in a home office or on a table
  • Manual operation is simple to understand and operate

Cons

  • Not as effective when placed on the floor due to the angle of the breeze
  • Does not include a remote control

Shoppers looking for the portability and targeted cooling of a tabletop fan will want to check out the Rowenta Turbo Silence fan, which produces no more than 55 dB on its highest setting. 

This is an entirely manual fan. It doesn’t include a remote control or many bells and whistles, but it provides a consistently cool breeze with 85 degrees of oscillation. On the lowest setting, the fan registered just 36 dB on our tester; it was barely audible yet produced a gentle, soothing breeze. 

The fan’s Turbo setting produced a refreshingly strong breeze during our testing. We could opt for 85-degree oscillation or a straight, directed breeze by pulling or pushing a lever on the top of the fan head. Old style, yes, but efficient—and no remote to misplace.

The only downside to a tabletop fan like the Rowenta fan is its inability to get full-room circulation if you place it on the floor. Although you can tilt the head up or down slightly, this fan is best suited for placement on a table, desk, or countertop to offer the best air circulation. 

Get the Rowenta quiet fan at Amazon, Walmart, or Kmart

Best for Ceilings

Minka-Aire Barn LED 65-Inch Smart Ceiling Fan

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Our Ratings: Setup 4.5/5; Cooling 5/5; Noise 5/5; Features 4/5; Value 4/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Ceiling
  • Decibel rating: Not listed
  • Remote control: Yes

Pros

  • Uniform air movement throughout the entire room, helping to maintain a consistent comfort level
  • Premium design that features a trendy weathered-wood look and large blade span
  • Reversible blade direction makes the fan suitable for use in hot or cold seasons
  • Ultraquiet operation; not even noticeable on the lowest speed

Cons

  • Installation requires a working knowledge of household wiring or hiring an electrician
  • Fan is pricier than others we tested, but it also functions as a design element in a home

When you desire consistent and uniform air circulation but a portable room fan isn’t an option, consider installing a ceiling fan. We installed the Minka-Aire Barn fan in a great room with a vaulted ceiling, and when we turned it on the lowest setting, it impressively didn’t even register on our decibel tester. 

This model is a premium ceiling fan. This fan offers a DC motor, a 65-inch blade span, and 10 blades that feature a stunning weathered-wood style. It includes reversible blade direction to serve as an all-season fan and a remote control for convenient operation.

Unfortunately, installation is not a DIY project unless you’re well acquainted with household wiring. While the manufacturer doesn’t list the fan’s decibel rating, it registered just 38 dB on our tester at its highest setting.

If you’re looking for a permanent fan solution and are as interested in style as you are in lowering utility costs, this ceiling fan is an excellent option. 

Get the Minka-Aire quiet fan at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot

Best Battery

Runtop 12-Inch High-Velocity Rechargeable Floor Fan

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Our Ratings: Setup 4.5/5; Cooling 5/5; Noise 5/5; Features 2/5; Value 4.5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Tabletop
  • Decibel rating: Not listed
  • Remote control: No

Pros

  • Portability makes it well suited for outdoor activities like camping and tailgating
  • Runs quietly and efficiently; registered just 43 decibels in hands-on testing
  • LED light is ideal for after-dark use

Cons

  • Users must remember to charge the battery before outings to ensure full runtime
  • Does not include a remote control

Corded fans are great for producing breezes when an electrical outlet is available, but you can take the Runtop fan along on tailgating, camping, and other outdoor events thanks to its internal rechargeable battery that offers a runtime of up to 36 hours at the lowest speed. 

The manufacturer doesn’t list a decibel level for this fan, but it registered just 52 dB at the highest speed and 43 dB at the lowest speed in our tests. It includes a charging cord and took just over an hour to charge fully. Once charged, the Runtop fan is completely portable—just unplug it and go. It features a large base that supports the fan head, and we were able to tilt the head up and down as desired. This fan doesn’t oscillate; it provides a straight, direct breeze that we found suitable for cooling one or two people sitting in close proximity.

The fan speed is also a manual adjustment: Simply turn the knob on the back of the fan head. This model offers a feature that most tabletop fans typically don’t—an LED light, which makes it an excellent option for use after the sun goes down. Just remember to charge the battery, and you’ll have a great little fan that goes anywhere. 

Get the Runtop quiet fan at Amazon

Best Pedestal

Vornado Energy Smart Medium Pedestal Air Circulator

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Our Ratings: Setup 4/5; Cooling 4.5/5; Noise 4.5/5; Features 5/5; Value 5/5 

Product Specs 

  • Type: Pedestal 
  • Decibel rating: 56 dB
  • Remote control: No

Pros

  • Operates at low decibels for minimal distractions
  • Adjustable height and tilting fan head make it possible to direct the breeze
  • Features a wide base that supports the fan well; less likely to tip over

Cons

  • No-frills fan—no oscillation, no timer function, and no remote control

From one of the top fan manufacturers comes the Vornado Energy Smart Air Circulator that can effectively cool a room without making a lot of noise. The fan offers adjustable height: We lowered it to 32 inches and raised it to 38 inches by twisting a plastic connector on the base pole and pulling it to the desired height. 

This model is a direct breeze fan. While it doesn’t oscillate, the fan head tilts up and down, making it possible to circulate air right where we want it. The manufacturer notes the Vornado fan registers 56 dB at the highest speed, and our tests confirmed that number. At the lowest speed, it registered just 38 dB on our tester. Like some of the other fans we tested, the Vornado Air Circulator produces a calming sound, much like white noise, and we found it easy to relax while it was running.

This fan would be an ideal option for a nursery or bedroom where the user wants to direct the cooling breeze in a specific direction. It lacks bells and whistles like a timer function and a remote control, but it features a very quiet DC motor, quality materials, and a broad base that makes it stable and less likely to tip. 

Get the Vornado quiet fan at Amazon, Lowe’s, Walmart, or Best Buy

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Quiet Fan

Quiet fans are available in various types and sizes. Shoppers may choose from small clip-on or tabletop fans that focus a cooling current of air over a limited area. Alternatively, larger fans in tower and pedestal styles are better suited for covering entire rooms. 

Options for airspeed and power settings vary among fans, as well as convenient features like portability, a remote control, and an automatic timer. Read on to investigate a few vital considerations before selecting the best quiet fan for your particular needs.

Type

Based on room size, configuration, and cooling needs, shoppers can choose among several types of quiet fans.

  • Clip-on fans offer focused, directional airflow for individual comfort when clipped to a headboard, table, desk, or shelf.
  • Tabletop fans provide portable air circulation. Place an oscillating tabletop fan on a desk, nightstand, dresser, or table for a cooling breeze.
  • Tower fans stand on the floor and tend to be larger than tabletop fans, although they are typically lightweight enough to allow portability from room to room. With a slender cylindrical profile, tower fans don’t occupy much floor space.
  • Pedestal fans stand on the floor like tower fans, but their shape resembles a circular fan unit atop a vertical pole. With their large size and oscillating capabilities, pedestal fans provide whole-room cooling. However, the caged design can make cleaning dust or debris from the blades challenging. 
  • Bladeless fans operate via an air multiplier system that utilizes 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 air at a high velocity from holes or slitlike vents. The blades are not visible, require minimal cleaning, and do not pose a safety hazard for children or pets. Manufacturers offer bladeless models in both tabletop and tower fans.

Size

When considering a quiet fan, shoppers might think about their available space and particular cooling needs. The dimensions of fans vary in their footprint and their height.

Clip-on fans are the smallest size and 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 inches long by 6 inches wide to 12 inches long by 10 inches wide, and they stand about 10 to 15 inches tall. 

Tower and pedestal fans are the largest sizes. These fans are designed for placement on a floor and often oscillate to offer whole-room cooling. Tower fans are typically about 11 inches long by 11 inches wide to 13 inches long by 13 inches wide, and pedestal fans are a bit larger. Both pedestal and tower fans range in height from around 30 to 48 inches. 

Power and Speed

Quiet fans offer airflow settings that affect the speed at which air blows into the room. Some fans feature modes of operation, including normal, natural, and sleep. The sleep mode ensures the quietest setting to minimize noise while providing a cool breeze for sleeping. 

In addition to modes, quiet fans also feature airspeed settings, including low, medium, high, and highest. Alternatively, some models boast settings with descriptive names like white noise, refresh, and power cool. The lower settings produce the least noise and the gentlest breeze.

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

Controls and Timers

Quiet fans feature controls for on/off functioning and to modify the airflow’s speed, power, oscillation, and timing. While buttons on the base of most units provide manual operation, many quiet fans offer the added convenience of a remote control. With remote operation, you can control the fan without leaving the comfort of your couch or bed.

Many quiet fans feature programmable timing functions for automatic shutoff after a preset 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.

Portability

Although the bedroom may be the optimal location for a quiet fan, it’s equally effective in home offices, living rooms, workshops, or anywhere else in the home. For this reason, shoppers might investigate portability when purchasing the best quiet fan for their needs.

A small clip-on fan is optimally portable at approximately 2 pounds or less. However, it offers limited directional cooling capability. Tabletop fans range in weight from around 2 to 7 pounds, making them conveniently portable for use in various locations throughout the home.

Pedestal and tower fans are larger and heavier than clip-on and tabletop models. Weighing in at approximately 6 to 8 pounds, tower fans feature handles that increase portability. Pedestal fans vary in weight from about 11 to 15 pounds, making them the least portable type of quiet fan.

Noise Level

When the objective is to provide a cool and quiet atmosphere conducive to comfortable sleep, the noise level of a fan becomes an important consideration. The forcefulness or amplitude of sound is measured in decibels, and greater noise levels produce higher decibel levels. For example, the noise level of normal conversation in the home is approximately 50 to 60 dB, while the noise level of a helicopter at 500 feet is about 87 dB. 

In general, quiet fans produce approximately 25 to 35 dB of noise on their lowest settings and 40 to 58 dB of noise on their highest settings, depending on the type of fan. Lower settings and sleep modes produce less noise than higher airspeed settings. Bladeless fans have gained popularity in recent years because they operate at a lower noise level than bladed fans. 

Additional Features

Many quiet 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 slowly and consistently. 

Some quiet fans feature an LED display that allows users to see the power and airspeed settings in the dark. Many units also feature an automatic shutoff for the LED display after 15 to 30 seconds when the fan is in sleep mode to ensure an adequately dark sleeping environment. 

Some fans offer a pivoting head that allows you to aim the airflow at a higher or a lower level for focused cooling. For pedestal fans, the adjustable height function permits you to modify the level of airflow in the room.

FAQs 

A quiet fan can create a comfortable sleeping atmosphere while lowering home energy costs by easing the work of an air conditioning system. However, the wide array of types, sizes, power options, and features can make it challenging to find the best quiet fan for your needs. Read on for answers to several of the most frequently asked questions.

Q. Are bladeless fans quieter?

Yes. Bladeless fans tend to be quieter than traditional bladed fans. They are also more energy efficient, safer for homes with children and pets, and easier to clean after accumulating dust. 

Q. How many decibels is a quiet fan?

The quietest fan produces approximately 25 to 30 dB of noise on the lowest setting and 40 to 50 dB of noise on the highest setting. Many quiet fans have an average volume of 35 dB.

Q. How many decibels is too loud for a fan?

A noise level above 60 dB is too loud for a quiet household fan. For comparison, a normal conversation in the home is approximately 50 to 60 dB, and whispering is usually about 30 dB.

Meet the Tester

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.

Additional research provided by Carol Benton.

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Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a BobVila.com staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries. 

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