Last summer the UK saw temperatures climb to record-breaking highs, and while summer doesn’t officially start until 21 June, the weather is already starting to heat up.
There’s often a mad scramble for fans when we’re expecting a heat wave, so if you don’t already have one, or yours broke last year, you might want to start thinking about getting a new one sooner rather than later.
Here’s our rundown of some the best fans to keep you cool this summer and some of the things you’ll need to consider when choosing one:
How to pick the right fan
There’s no point spending hundreds of pounds on a fan with all the bells and whistles if all you want is to keep the air circulating when you’re working from home, so ask yourself these questions to help figure out the best option for you:
What size fan do you need?
Think about how you intend to use the fan – do you want it to cool yourself down or a space in your home, or maybe both? Generally, there are five main types of fan, each of which are designed for different purposes and spaces:
Handheld or portable
These are fans that are small enough to be carried around with you and are big enough to cool a single person. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Some you can wear around your neck, while others are handheld, but either type can be a great option for keeping cool on the go.
Slightly bigger than portable fans, desk fans are small fans that are designed to be placed on a surface to cool a small area or a person, and usually come with a USB cable that you can plug into your laptop or computer. They’ll often have an oscillating head and small height adjustments and are generally some of the most affordable fans.
Also known as pedestal or floor fans, stand fans are the largest type of fan and usually have a stand that offers different heights, as well as an oscillating function. These fans are usually better for bigger spaces or for cooling a bigger group of people.
Tower fans have grown in popularity over recent years. These are useful for cooling down smaller spaces and tend to be a little quieter than desk or stand fans. They will normally have a number of speeds and oscillation options.
Bladeless or vortex fans
These are higher-end types of fan, and costs can run into hundreds of pounds. Although they are sometimes called bladeless, this isn’t quite true as there is a blade in the base of the fan that draws in air, you just can’t see it. These fans use specialist technology to draw in and push out air at high speeds which can be effective at cooling a space. These come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s likely there would be one to fit your needs, but they come at a premium price.
Do you care about noise?
Some people are really bothered by the noise of a fan whereas others might actually enjoy the sound. If you find that you’re sensitive to noise, then tower or bladeless fans tend to be quieter. If you’re not too bothered, then you’ll likely be fine with any type of fan.
Have you considered running costs?
Basic fans use relatively little energy, with the average fan costing around 10p to run for eight hours a day, based on the current energy price cap.
However, this price will vary depending on the make and model, and of course the number of fans you have going at the same time. If you’re worried about energy costs, it’s worth checking how much energy a fan takes to run before making a purchase. Here we’ve outlined the cost of each of the fans based on the current average energy price cap of 33.2p per kWh.
Best low cost fans
If you’re after something cheap and cheerful, there’s almost definitely an option out there for you. Bear in mind that budget fans will normally be fairly small, usually a desk or handheld fan. Here are some of the best-reviewed fans that cost less than £20:
Oypla electrical 12-inch fan - £17.99
One of the top reviewed fans on Amazon for just under £20 is the Oypla electrical 12-inch (30cm) fan. It has 4,000 five-star reviews, and offers all of the features of a standard fan, with three speeds and a head that tilts and oscillates. It is 35W, which means it costs 1.2p an hour to run.
Mylek electric desk tower fan - £19.99
If you’d prefer a tower fan, then the Mylek desk tower fan could be a good option. It’s 15W, so only costs 0.5p per hour to run, making it a really low-cost cooling option. It has two speed options, low or high and oscillates. It’s 31cm tall, but as it’s a tower fan, it takes up less space width-wise than a traditional fan. However, as it’s a desk fan, it doesn’t have the strongest airflow, so won’t be so good for cooling a whole room.
Best handheld and portable fans
If you’re out and about, but still want to keep cool, then a handheld or portable fan is a great option. These types of fans come in all shapes, sizes and colours, with some really innovative options. Here are some of the best ones we found:
John Lewis Handheld and Foldable Desk Fan - £12.99
This nifty little fan has a couple of ways you can use it. You can either hold it or you can fold the handle back to stand it on your desk or bedside. At 25cm high, it’s pretty compact, it comes in four different colours and it’s rechargeable. It costs around 0.2p to charge for an hour and takes around five hours to fully charge. When it’s fully charged its battery will last for between four and nine hours depending on which speed you use.
JISULIFE Portable Neck Fan - £31.99
One of the best-rated wearable fans on Amazon is the Jisulife portable neck fan. It offers hands-free cooling, as you wear it around your neck, and provides 270° cooling with three different airflow strengths. It comes in five different colours, although you’ll pay more for certain ones. Reviewers say it takes about half an hour to charge and once it’s fully charged, its battery will last between four and 19 hours depending on which airflow speed you choose. It uses 5W of power to charge, which will cost you 0.2p to charge for an hour.
Multiple reviews call this fan an absolute lifesaver for cooling you down in the heat, and even in cooler months, with some reviewers going through the menopause saying that it works wonders for hot flushes.
Best desk fans
Desk fans don’t need to be restricted to your office, you can use them anywhere in your home, they just tend to be smaller than other types of fan. If you’re using it at a desk, whether that’s at home or in your workplace, it’s likely you’ll want it to be quiet, so here are some of the best ones we’ve found:
Honeywell TurboForce Power Fan - £24.99
This fan offers a good amount of power for its size (10.91 x 6.26 x 10.91 cm) and reviewers say that the highest setting offers a strong breeze.
The Honeywell fan can either be used on a table, or it can be wall mounted. It uses 40W of power, so will 1.3p per hour to run. It promises to be 25% quieter than other models, but some users say its higher power modes are still fairly noisy, but that the lower settings are perfectly adequate.
Gaiatop USB desk fan - £11.99
This fan has over 11,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, so it’s a real fan favourite. Measuring 12.5cm in height, It’s small in stature, but it promises three levels of airflow. Its head can be tilted slightly too, but only by 30°.
It’s USB powered, so you can either plug it into your computer or into a plug, although it doesn’t have a battery, so you’ll need to keep it plugged in to work. The description doesn’t say how much power it needs to run, but it is likely to be minimal as it is USB powered.
Best stand fans
A slightly larger version of a desk fan, stand fans are great for cooling slightly bigger spaces, or for more than one person. There are some really expensive options out there, but there are plenty of affordable ones, so here are some of the best value ones:
Generic 16 oscillating pedestal fan - £20.99
This is the number one best-selling pedestal fan on Amazon, and it has nearly 13,000 five-star reviews. It’s a no-frills option, with three speed settings. You can vary its height between 109cm and 127cm, and the head tilts and oscillates. It consumes 40W so it will cost you 1.3p to run for an hour. It produces around 20dB of sound, so it’s a relatively quiet option.
JML My Foldaway Fan - £39.99
If you’re looking for a stand fan with fully adjustable height, then the JML My Foldaway Fan could be a great option. This fan can adjust its height between a small desk fan and approximately 1m tall with a telescopic stand, so it’s really versatile. It also folds flat completely, so will store away compactly over cooler months.
It’s rechargeable too, so you don’t have to be restrained by putting it close to a plug socket, although it can operate while plugged in. It takes about five hours to fully charge, but once it’s full, the battery should last for up to 10 hours, depending on the settings you choose. When plugged in, it uses between 1.55W and 5.25W, so will cost you between 0.2p and 0.5p to run for an hour. It has three speed settings, but the head doesn’t oscillate.
Best tower fans
Tower fans have become really popular over recent years, and one of the reasons for this is that they offer as much, if not more power than a standard fan while taking up less space. They’re also taller than regular fans, so they can work really well if you’re trying to cool down a room. Here are some of the best ones we found:
John Lewis 42-inch tower fan - £95.00
This fan sells out most summers on John Lewis, and with over 200 five-star reviews it’s clearly a popular choice. It’s 107cm (45 inches) tall, and its base is 30cm wide, so it’s nice and slim. It has an oscillating head, three speed settings, as well as a programmable timer feature and it can all be controlled either through a touchpad on the top of the fan, or by remote control. A number of reviews mention that it is quiet for its size. It consumes 45W, which means if you run it for an hour it will cost you 1.5p.
Igenix DF0030 Oscillating Tower Fan - £32.99
This fan is a popular choice on Amazon, with over 1,850 five-star reviews. It’s slightly smaller than the John Lewis tower fan, at 81cm tall, with a base that measures 24cm, and it comes in black or white. It has an oscillating head, three-speed settings and a 120-minute manual timer which counts down before switching off. It uses 45W, which means it costs around 1.5p to run for an hour.
Best luxury fans
While many people are perfectly satisfied with a standard fan, if you want something that’s all singing and dancing, with extra features aplenty, here are some of the best ones to consider:
Meaco Fan 1056 Air Circulator - £104.99
This fan has topped many best fan lists this year, and for good reason. It’s one of the quietest fans on our list, emitting just 20db which is equivalent to someone whispering, so if noisy fans bother you, then this might be a good option.
It consumes between 9.5W to 23.5W of power, which means it will cost you between 0.3p and 0.8p per hour to run. It has 12 power settings, and has multi-directional oscillation which means it bounces air off of the walls and ceiling to cool the whole room.
You can operate it through a remote control and it also has energy features, such as eco mode which monitors the temperature of your room and adjusts the fan speed to maintain this. It also has a sleep mode which gradually slows the fan speed before switching off.
Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool™ Formaldehyde purifying fan heater - £699
This is the latest model in the Dyson “air treatment” range, and it is packed with features. It’s far more than a fan, it actually treats the air that it uses and can either heat or cool it. Air is not only purified but its quality is analysed, so this fan is particularly good for people who suffer from allergies.
It can oscillate up to 350°, has up to 10 speed settings and you can control it from an app on your phone, through remote control or with your voice.
It uses between 6W and 40W, depending on the setting you choose, so will set you back between 0.2p and 1.3p to run for an hour.
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