The 8 Best Small Fans of 2022

Stay cool and keep your energy bill down with these small but mighty blowers.

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If it feels hotter to you this year, you’re not alone. Record-breaking heat waves have been recorded across the United States. How much warmer has it been? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report that the average June temperature across the contiguous United States was 72.6 degrees Fahrenheit (4.2 degrees hotter than average), making it the hottest June in 127 years of record keeping.

Climate changes that increase atmospheric temperatures are here to stay, making air conditioning a near necessity for many environments. But making some minor changes in your lifestyle, such as employing electric fans in your home, can save you money and cut down on your greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Department of Energy, air conditioning the average home uses more than 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. Using a fan in specific situations can be vastly more efficient. Not only do fans not use refrigerant gases like air conditioning (which accounts for 65 percent of worldwide hydrofluorocarbon emissions), but fans also use between 30 and 50 times less energy.

Our picks for the best small fans will blow away the competition.

Best Overall

Vornado 460 Small Air Circulator

Vornado 460 Small Air Circulator

Amazon

Similar to larger Vornado models, the 460 Small Air Circulator pulls air in the back through a narrow, guide cone inlet, then pushes it through an enclosed air duct to create a narrower channel of air. Rather than spread air directly in front, the objective is to create a flow of air powerful enough to spread across the opposite wall and circulate. This makes the 460 a portable powerhouse, able to push air 70 feet and recirculate it around midsize rooms. It works better than cheap box fans four times its size.

The Vornado 460 Small Air Circulator has three speed settings, plus a chrome glide bar that lets you easily adjust the angle of its output. Backed by a 5-year warranty, the 460 is available in either black or white.

Best Budget

Honeywell TurboForce Air Circulator HT-900 Fan

4
Honeywell HT-908 Turbo Force Room Air Circulator Fan, Black, 15 Inch
Courtesy of Amazon.com.

Employing a similar vortex design as more expensive competitors, the Honeywell TurboForce Air Circulator cools effectively and quietly. It features three speeds and a 90-degree vertical tilt. Quieter than many other fans of its size, the TurboForce can be felt up to 25 feet away. It can even be wall mounted, so you don't need to take up surface spaces.

Best Splurge

Dyson Pure Cool Link Purifying Desk Fan

Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Desk Fan

Dyson

This is the perfect fan for those looking to clean the air as well as cool it. A glass and activated carbon HEPA filter is built into the Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Desk Fan, capturing more than 99 percent of particles over .3 microns, trapping lung irritants like dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and dust mite feces. The Dyson purifier is certified asthma & allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. It even has three sensors, so you can monitor your indoor quality from your phone.

The Dyson Pure Cool Link Purifying Desk Fan oscillates 70 degrees to circulate air all around a room or can be set to a quieter Night mode to filter while you sleep. It also comes with a remote control, so you can make adjustments without getting up.

Best for Desks

IRIS USA Woozoo Quiet Personal Desktop Circulating Fan

IRIS USA, Inc. Woozoo Personal Fan

Amazon

Able to rotate 360 degrees, the Woozoo Quiet Personal Desktop Fan is a perfect up-close fan for your desk or workspace, allowing you to adjust the angle of your exposure. Compact, with a recessed handle, the Woozoo fan can easily squeeze into a corner. Plus, it has three different speed settings, including a low setting that's quite enough to take calls with it running. It even comes in four fun colors.

Best Box

Black + Decker Mini Frameless Tabletop Box Fan

Black + Decker Mini Box Fan

Black + Decker

This trimmed-down version of the standard box fan is ideal for bedrooms and dorms. With a frameless, self-standing design, the Black+Decker Mini Tabletop Box Fan could also make a stable addition to RVs and other mobile homes for those looking to keep cool while living the van life. Perfect for slightly out-of-reach places, the Black+Decker Mini Box Fan has its control knob on the front face for easy access, with three different speed settings available.

Best With Clip

Genesis 6-Inch Convertible Table-Top and Clip Fan

Genesis 6 in. Convertible Table-Top and Clip Fan

Amazon

Thanks to this fan’s sturdy clamp and adjustable head, you can ensure airflow stays directed right where you want it. The Genesis 6-Inch Convertible Fan includes both a table-top stand and a separate clip. The two are easy to switch between using an included butterfly screw. The Genesis convertible fan has two different speed settings.

Best Quiet

Rowenta Turbo Silence Extreme Table Fan

Rowenta VU2660 Turbo Silence Fan

Amazon

Describing a fan as turbo and silent might seem strange. Yet, this whisper-quiet fan operates at 35 decibels, a sound level the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association places somewhere between a whisper and a quiet room. It's also powerful, pushing up to 1,695 cubic feet of air per minute.

The five-blade, 12” diameter head oscillates for broad coverage. Its five speed settings include "Turbo Boost" and "Silent Night" modes, which can be adjusted using the included remote control.

Best Cordless

NewGod Air Circulator Fan

NewGod Air Circulator Fan

Amazon

Looking to take a cool breeze with you wherever you go? This cordless, rechargeable desk fan can be your new outdoor pal at the beach or a backyard BBQ. The rechargeable battery can be juiced up from your computer, car charger, or portable power bank and can run for 6 to 20 hours after fully charged.

The NewGod Air Circulator has four different speed settings and an adjustable head that can be rotated 180 degrees horizontally or 90 degrees vertically. It's also quiet, outputting approximately 45 decibels of sound at its highest setting.

Final Verdict

If you want a small fan with the power of a large one, the Vornado 460 Small Room Air Circulator Fan (view at Walmart) has most rooms covered. For close-up cooling, opt instead for the Iris USA Woozoo Quiet Personal Desktop Fan (view at Walmart) or, if you would rather not take up any surface space, the Genesis Convertible Table-top and Clip Fan (view at Amazon). Finally, if you need cooling on the go, opt for the NewGod cordless, rechargeable Air Circulator Fan (view at Amazon), which is perfect for when there's no electrical outlet nearby.

FAQs

How do I choose a fan?

After determining your budget, the most important consideration is how big a space you intend to cool and how close you expect to be to your fan. Some fans—like box, tower, or oscillating models—are designed to cover larger areas, while others are more suitable for close-up cooling. To save even more on your energy bill, keep an eye out for EnergyStar certified fans and models that include shutoff timers.

How do I clean a small fan?

Ensure that the fan is unplugged and in the off position. A hairdryer on the coolest setting is an excellent way to eliminate dust that accumulates on the fan blades. You could also vacuum it or wipe away smudges and dust with a damp microfiber cloth. For deep cleaning, consult the user’s manual or manufacturer’s website for assembling and disassembling instructions. Several models in our roundup, including our Vornado top pick and the Honeywell budget pick, have a removable grille to make cleaning the fan blades even easier.

How else can I avoid turning on the AC?

Beyond choosing an energy-efficient fan, there are free ways to stay cool without creating any greenhouse gas emissions. Some personal hacks include wearing loose-fitting clothing, snacking on cooling fruit, and staying hydrated. You can also move around indoors so that you’re on the side of your home or office that isn’t getting direct sunlight.

You can make your home and neighborhood cooler by planting trees, shrubs, and gardens around your house. You can also add heat and draft blocking curtains to your windows or install cold tube radiant cooling.

Why Trust Treehugger?

For nearly two decades, Treehugger has been dedicated to sustainable practices, including saving energy in the home. We are committed to helping readers reduce the environmental impact of our day-to-day lives, with years of research, testing and real-world experience backing our recommendations.

Heidi Wachter has been writing about health and the environment for over a decade. A DIY devotee, she is always seeking out sustainable ways to reduce the energy footprint of her air conditioner-less, 107-year-old home.

View Article Sources
  1. Di Liberto, Tom. Record-Breaking June 2021 Heatwave Impacts the U.S. West. NOAA Climate.gov, Climate.gov.

  2. Bateman, John. “June 2021 Was the Hottest June on Record for U.S.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  3. Central Air Conditioning. Department of Energy Energy Saver.

  4. Morris NB, Chaseling GK, English T, et al. Electric fan use for cooling during hot weather: a biophysical modelling study. The Lancet Planetary Health. 2021;5(6):e368-e377. doi:10.1016/S2542-5196(21)00136-4.

  5. Loud noise dangers. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.