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12 Best Cooling Fans That Make the Hottest Days Bearable

Beat the heat this summer with a little help from the best cooling fan for your personal needs, budget and style

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Cooling fans worth every penny

Summer is quickly shaping up to be a scorcher, and you need options to beat the heat. While cooling mattressescooling blankets and cooling bed sheets will certainly help, they can only go so far when the air in your home is stifling. That’s where the best cooling fans come in. They rival the best portable air conditioners and window ACs, as well as complement them, getting to those spots where your AC just doesn’t reach and cooling your space when you don’t need a full freeze. They can also help slash your energy bills.

But how do you find the best cooling fan instead of settling for some rattling dust-collector that you dread using? We’ve got all the info you need to know, including which models are worth your money.

What to look for in a cooling fan

First, unless you need a high-powered fan for a noisy garage or work space, find a fan that’s quiet. This is especially true if you need a bedroom fan. It’s also smart to consider getting a fan with multiple speed settings or modes, so you can change the amount of airflow depending on your needs.

For tower fans, oscillation is ideal, meaning it rotates from side to side to direct cool air throughout the room. And no matter which type of fan you prefer, you may want one that’s portable. These fans are lightweight and/or have handles for easy carrying.

While these are the basics, you should also consider style, smart capabilities and included items like remote controls.

How we chose the best cooling fans

To find the best cooling fans available, we evaluated product specs, looked at star ratings and read through hundreds of user reviews. After all, a product may sound great, but the real test comes when people actually use it.

Here are the top cooling fans based on our findings, whether you need an option for a large space, a small space or anything in between—even a personal cooling fan that you can wear around your neck. Translation: You’re just a few scrolls and clicks away from relief!

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Best overall

Dreo Cruiser Pro T1S Smart Tower Fan

The Dreo Smart Tower Fan is the cooling fan of the future. It’s chock-full of tech features, making it an excellent addition for any smart home—or anyone with a smartphone. For example, if you can’t find the remote control, you can use an app or ask Alexa or Google Assistant to turn on the fan, change the speed or otherwise do your bidding. Plus, the Dreo is sleek and lightweight, making it easy to move from the bedroom to the living room and back again if needed. It’s also quiet, so it won’t keep you up all night. A fan favorite on Amazon with more than 11,500 five-star reviews, it’s a total “dream,” rave happy customers, that will cool your space quickly instead of just blowing around hot air.


  • Smart technology connects with a smartphone app, Alexa or Google Assistant
  • Bladeless design for easy cleaning
  • Six speeds and a 12-hour timer


  • Available in only one color
  • Quiet, so it may not work well for those who need the white noise of a fan to fall asleep

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Best budget

Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce Fan

If you have the AC temperature set on low all summer long, your utility bills are probably a little higher than you’d like them to be. Fortunately, you can ease up on the ice-cold air conditioning and save some money by adding the budget-friendly Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce Fan to your home-cooling setup. This small cooling fan works well in bedrooms and offices—just take a look at its 71,000-plus glowing five-star reviews on Amazon—and despite its size, the breeze off this fan can be felt up to 27 feet away. And did we mention just how affordable it is? It rings in at under $20, so you can afford to get a few.


  • Affordable
  • 90-degree pivoting head
  • Available in two neutral colors


  • May be too small for larger rooms, like living rooms or garages

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Best splurge

PureMate 31-Inch Tower Fan

If you’ve got a little extra money to spend on the best cooling fan this summer, you can’t go wrong with the PureMate 31-Inch Tower Fan. Aside from the usual features you’d want from a tower fan, like an oscillating setting and three speeds, this fan has some flashy extras for a luxurious feel. Notably, it has an aroma function that allows you to disperse your favorite fragrance while the fan blows cooling air. It also runs on a 60W motor, making it more energy efficient.


  • Sleek, slender design
  • Aroma function disperses fragrance
  • Energy efficient


  • No remote control

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Best standing fan

Antarctic Star Tower Fan

You’ve got your lightweight comforter ready for the season, but now it’s time to set up a standing fan to keep your bedroom chill for the best sleep ever. That’s where the Antarctic Star Tower Fan comes in. This bladeless cooling fan is quiet, so it won’t disrupt your rest, and its sturdy pedestal means that if Fido or Fluffy brushes up against it, they won’t knock it over. It also has three speeds, three modes, a 12-hour timer and an 85-degree-wide oscillation function.


  • Sturdy but sleek design
  • Bladeless and designed for safety around kids and pets
  • Quiet
  • Available in two sizes and three colors


  • Offers low to moderate, not strong, airflow

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Best personal fan

HandFan Portable Misting Fan

The HandFan Portable Misting Fan is going to be your best friend on hiking and camping trips, park visits or zoo adventures. Really, any time you plan to be outdoors this summer, you should take this handheld misting fan with you. The mister allows you to cool off with a fine spritz of water in addition to the moving air, and the colorful nightlights are a fun touch that kids (and the young at heart) will love. Verified Amazon reviewer Jennifer Hinson raves that this tiny-but-mighty device was a lifesaver at Disney: “The fan works wonderfully, and a single charge lasts all day if you don’t have it constantly going. The water tank is small, but it surprisingly holds a lot of water, and we never had to refill it at the park.”


  • Includes a mister for extra cooling
  • Features colorful lights
  • USB rechargeable


  • The water feature makes this fan best for outdoors

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Best window fan

Bionaire Window Fan

If you really want to keep cool this summer without a pricey electric bill, you may be considering a portable AC or window fans for each room. When it comes to window fans, the best cooling fan is the Bionaire Window Fan. Like an AC unit, this fan features a programmable thermostat, plus a remote control to change the mode or temperature or shut it on and off from the sofa. While it’s a little more than 24 inches wide, extenders can help provide a customized fit for your window.


  • Programmable thermostat
  • Reversible airflow
  • Remote control


  • Doesn’t fit all windows

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Best bladeless fan

Dyson Pure Cool

The stylish Dyson Pure Cool comes from a trusted brand that’s been in the game since 1993. This modern fan does so much more than just offer a nice breeze, though—it also works as an air purifier. In fact, its powerful HEPA filter captures 99.97% of microscopic particles, including pollen, pet dander and dust. With 10 speed settings, an oscillating function and even an automatic shutoff, the Pure Cool has everything you could want in a cooling fan. Plus, it has a stylish, subtle, bladeless design that won’t detract from your home decor.


  • Doubles as an air purifier
  • 10 speed settings
  • Automatic shutoff sensor if the fan falls over


  • Pricey

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Best design

Vornado VFAN

If looking cool is just as important to you as staying cool, you’ll fall in love with this vintage-inspired Vornado VFAN. This adorable tabletop fan comes in seven colors and has a trendy, retro appearance, so you don’t have to stash it away before snapping Instagram photos of your living area. In fact, it may even elevate your decor. Plus, it works, with reviewers calling out the “excellent air movement in a small room.”


  • Stylish, vintage-inspired design
  • Available in seven colors
  • Tilting head


  • Only two speed settings
  • Designed for smaller spaces

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Best box fan

Genesis 20-Inch Box Fan

If you’re still feeling the heat, even when wearing cooling pajamas, it’s time for a fan that doesn’t mess around. A classic box fan, like the Genesis 20-Inch Box Fan, is just the ticket to a cooler room. This high-velocity fan has powerful speed settings to get the air flowing, but its lightweight construction means you’ll have no trouble moving it from one room to another. The affordable price tag also means you can stock up to keep one in nearly every room.


  • Sturdy design
  • Three high-velocity speed settings
  • Two color options


  • As a box fan, it may not look as sleek as some other cooling fans

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Best floor fan

Lasko 42-Inch Wind Curve Household Tower Fan

The Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan is our top choice for a floor fan, thanks to its durable yet portable design—and we’re not alone. More than 25,000 Amazon reviewers give this sleek, “gorgeous” fan a perfect five-star rating. The nighttime function dims the LED light display for peaceful sleep, and a 7.5-hour timer makes it OK to forget to shut this off before rushing out the door. This cooling fan works particularly well in large spaces, with happy customers raving that it can cool an entire space in five minutes flat.


  • Durable but portable and lightweight
  • Nighttime setting
  • Bladeless


  • Some assembly required

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Best neck fan

JisuLife Portable Neck Fan

Heading to a hot office? Going for a long afternoon jog? Mowing the lawn? The best way to stay cool outside the house is with a neck fan. This hands-free JisuLife Portable Neck Fan looks like a pair of headphones, but its 78 built-in air outlets direct cool air toward your neck and face to help you beat the heat. And even better, the lightweight, quiet design won’t strain your neck or bother your coworkers. This would make an incredibly cool tech gift for the right person.


  • Hands-free design
  • Lightweight
  • Long battery life (4 to 16 hours)
  • Five color options


  • The size isn’t adjustable, so it may be too loose or too tight for some users

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Best for large spaces

Simple Deluxe High-Velocity Industrial Fan

Cooling fans work great in bedrooms or spacious living areas, but what can you do about a hot garage, attic or studio? For large spaces or industrial uses, you need a heavy-duty fan like the Simple Deluxe High-Velocity Industrial Fan. This three-speed fan is suitable for indoor or outdoor use and has additional reinforcement for safety. Reviewers rave that it’s powerful, getting the job done in spaces they’ve had difficulty cooling before, and quieter than expected.


  • Suitable indoors or outdoors
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Tiltable head


  • Since it’s an industrial fan, it can be loud

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Paige Bennett
Paige Bennett is a freelance journalist covering home and lifestyle content for Reader's Digest. She has written for various publications, including Insider, EcoWatch, Buzzfeed and Thrillist. Paige graduated from Ohio University and now lives in Los Angeles. In her spare time, she loves cooking (and eating), reading, cycling and exploring Southern California.