The 5 Best Tower Fans, According to Our Tests

We like the Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan because it has a powerful airflow, quiet operation, and a lot of advanced features for the price.

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Tower Fan
Photo: walmart.com

A tower fan is an excellent choice any time you have limited space, as its tall, slim build means it'll fit easily into tight spaces. Tower fans also tend to be quieter than box fans, helping you get a cool and comfortable night's sleep without any disturbance. Plus, they are designed for use over long periods of time, often with customizable features such as programmable timers, multiple speed settings, and auto shut-off functions.

We tested 31 fans in our Lab, eight of which were tower fans, and evaluated them based on air speed, design, portability, effectiveness, and overall value. For expert tips on buying tower fans, we spoke to Matt Brown, merchant of ACs and fans, air quality, and floorcare at Home Depot.

Our top pick is the Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan because it has an impressive airflow without being too noisy, plus it has many advanced features at a lower price than competing models.

Keep reading to find more of our top tower fan picks, as well as tips on how to buy a tower fan for your specific needs.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Tower Fan: Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan

Tower Fan
amazon.com

Also available at Home Depot and Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want an effective tower fan that will seamlessly blend into any space.
Who it isn't for: People who want a tower fan with many different speed settings.

This sleek tower fan received high marks across the board—and not just because it comes in a stylish woodgrain and silver finish that will go well with any decor. The unique, curved grill on this fan provides a wide range of airflow, especially when paired with its oscillation setting. We found this tower fan to be impressively quiet, and could still feel the airflow strongly from a 10-foot distance (although it did diminish significantly from 20 feet).

Considering its price, this tower fan features an impressive number of advanced features, including an energy-efficient auto shut-off that is programmable from 30 minutes to 7.5 hours, a remote with a built-in docking station, and a carry handle to move it from room to room with ease. Plus, it has a nighttime feature which automatically decreases the fan speed and dims the controls for overnight use. Our only complaint is we'd like to see more speed settings—this unit has three, which, although plenty for most people's needs, is less than some similarly priced models.

In short, its many convenient features make this inexpensive fan ideal for hot sleepers or those with poor air circulation looking to leave it on over extended periods of time. Plus, its lean and vertical build makes it ideal for use in small spaces, such as a dorm room, small bedroom, studio apartment, home office, temporary living space, and more.

Product Details:

  • Size: 12.5 x 12.5 x 41.9 inches
  • Weight: 12.5 pounds
  • CFM: 634
  • Cord Length: 6 feet

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tower fan
Real Simple/Rachel Marek

Best Budget Tower Fan: Better Homes & Gardens 40-Inch Tower Fan

Tower Fan
walmart.com

Who it's for: People who want an inexpensive tower fan with a lot of features.
Who it isn't for: People who want a high-powered tower fan that can be felt from a distance.

Equipped with three speed settings and three wind settings (natural wind, sleep wind, and oscillating), this tower fan comes with many of the same advanced features as competitor models, but at a much lower price.

We found that the fan produced a wide range of airflow thanks to its internal oscillation, meaning it oscillates from inside the tower housing. During testing, the airflow wasn't very powerful when compared to the other models, so it's best suited for use up close. And even at its highest setting, testers found this fan to be impressively quiet.

In terms of portability, the fan comes with a carrying handle and has a lightweight build, although the base is a little wobbly and will require some repositioning when going from room to room. Additional features include an LED display that turns off after one minute so the light won't disturb you at night, a remote control with a magnetic docking station, and a programmable timer for up to 7.5 hours of use.

With this fan, you get many of the features common in more expensive models. We do think this fan would be better suited for small spaces such as a bedroom or home office, because the airflow doesn't reach quite as far as other tower fans. Plus, its tall, narrow design tucks nicely into compact spaces.

Product Details:

  • Size: 12 x 12 x 41.5 inches
  • Weight: 10.4 pounds
  • CFM: N/A
  • Cord Length: 6 feet
  • tower fan
    Real Simple/Rachel Marek

Best Splurge Tower Fan: Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Fan

Tower Fan
amazon.com

Also available at Dyson and Target.

Who it's for: People who want a tower fan that doubles as an air purifier.
Who it isn't for: People who don't want to spend a lot on a tower fan.

This bladeless tower fan doubles as an air purifier, using a filtration system to draw in pollutants and project purified air throughout the room. With 10 different speed settings, it's highly adjustable—although testers say the difference in airflow was indistinguishable on the lowest settings.

On the highest setting, testers were able to feel a breeze from 20 feet away and found the noise level to be fairly low. The 70-degree oscillation makes for a wide range of airflow, and the bladeless design means it's free of fast-spinning blades, giving those with kids or pets peace of mind. Plus, it's easier to keep clean than fans with blades or grilles, which tend to collect dust and debris. Additional features include a magnetized remote control that can be stored on the fan itself, a sleep timer, and an automatic shut-off in the case that it's tipped over.

This fan comes in three different color options, and features a modern, minimalist design that will blend into the background. Although, considering the price, we wish it was made out of a sturdier material than plastic. Keep in mind too that you will need to regularly change the filter. But considering this doubles as an air purifier, it might be worth the splurge—especially for those who suffer from allergies or asthma.

Product Details:

  • Size: 4.4 x 7.5 x 40 inches
  • Weight: 8.4 pounds
  • CFM: 869
  • Cord Length: 6.6 feet

RELATED: The Best Air Purifiers for Cleaner Air

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Best Tower Fan for Bedrooms: Honeywell QuietSet Whole Room Tower Fan

Tower Fan
amazon.com

Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who are sensitive to sound and want a quiet tower fan.
Who it isn't for: People who want a tower fan that can easily go from room to room.

This tower fan is whisper quiet on its lowest setting and only produces a low hum on the highest setting, making it ideal for light sleepers who are sensitive to sound. It comes with five speed settings, all of which testers found to be quiet enough for undisturbed sleep. We were able to feel a noticeable breeze from six feet away, although we couldn't detect any airflow when standing directly in front of the fan from 20 feet away.

The five different speed/sound settings include Sleep, Calm, White Noise, Refresh, and Power Cool. Additional features include oscillation, a programmable timer with automatic shut-off, and a remote control that clips onto the back of the fan.

Although this fan does feature a carrying handle, it's not the easiest to transport because it dislodges from the base when you pick it up. We recommend keeping it in one room where you want to keep noise to a minimum, such as a bedroom or home office.

Product Details:

  • Size: 10 x 10 x 40 inches
  • Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • CFM: 670
  • Cord Length: 6 feet

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tower fan
Real Simple/Rachel Marek

Best Tower Fan With Heat: Lasko All Season Comfort Control Tower Fan & Heater

Tower Fan
amazon.com

Also available at Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, and Wayfair.

Who it's for: People who want a tower fan that can double as a space heater.
Who it isn't for: People who don't want to routinely clean a filter.

We were able to feel the airflow of this fan/heater hybrid model from six inches, six feet, and 20 feet away. Testers described the noise level as "subtle, but noticeable in a silent environment." The four fan speeds and three heat speeds (high heat with high fan speed, high heat with low fan speed, and low heat with low fan speed) mean you can get year-round use out of this multi-functional tower fan. Testers found it to oscillate about six inches from the center in each direction, for widespread airflow.

The fan comes with a remote with onboard storage, as well as digital controls, a programmable timer, and an adjustable thermostat. In terms of safety, it comes with automatic overheating protection as well as a tip-over safety switch. It also has a removable filter that should be vacuumed periodically to keep it running efficiently.

This would not make a great fan for moving from room to room, as it's quite tall and doesn't have a handle for transport. However, we think this fan is a great value when kept in one room, because it doubles as two appliances in one and can be used during all seasons, compared to competing fans of the same price that don't have heating capabilities.

Product Details:

  • Size: 12.5 x 12.5 x 41.9 inches
  • Weight: 12.5 pounds
  • CFM: 350
  • Cord Length: 6 feet

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Real Simple/Rachel Marek

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan because it performed well in our testing in terms of both airflow and noise. It also comes with a number of advanced features at a much lower price than many competing models.

Our Testing Process

We tested 31 fans in our Lab, eight of which were tower fans, evaluating them based on five key factors: air speed, design, portability, effectiveness, and overall value.

First, testers shuffled through each fan speed and used an anemometer to measure the air speed at each setting, noting how noisy it was at its highest and lowest settings. During our testing, we also assessed the design of each fan, considering materials as well as color options, adjustability, safety features, cord length, display, and any additional features.

In general, tower fans are not designed with portability in mind, due to their tall slim build that can be awkward to reposition. However, we did assess how much each fan weighs, how much space it takes up, and how easy it is to move, considering features such as a built-in handle or a reinforced base.

The true test of each fan was its effectiveness at cooling a given space—we stood in front of each fan from six inches, six feet, and 20 feet away and assessed how much the airflow could be felt on the highest setting. We also evaluated the oscillation abilities of each fan.

Finally, testers received the price of each tower fan and scored its overall value based on its price relative to the factors above.

How to Shop for Tower Fans Like a Pro

Airflow

The measure of how much air a fan can move each minute is known as cubic feet per minute (CFM). Fans with a higher CFM will have more cooling power and vice versa. Because they are designed with space-saving in mind, tower fans are generally less powerful than pedestal or floor fans. Most tower fans feature a number of different speed settings, ranging from a gentle breeze to a powerful cool.

Noise

Because they tend to be designed for use in smaller spaces, and thus are less powerful, tower fans are generally quieter than other types of fans. If you're sensitive to sound, purchasing a tower fan is a great choice. However, if you prefer the white noise that comes with more traditional fans, a tower fan might not be for you.

Controls and Features

One of the major advantages of tower fans is that they offer a lot of customizable settings. For maximum control over the air circulation in your space, look for tower fans with multiple speed settings, a programmable timer, an oscillating fan for wider range of motion, and a remote control.

More Tower Fans to Consider

Vornado 154 Whole Room Tower Air Circulator: This tower fan has a unique design—instead of using oscillation, it features contoured outlets that wrap around the unit to help circulate air around the room. However, it doesn't provide an immediate cooling effect like that of other models, especially from a distance.

Questions You Might Ask

How do tower fans work?

Tower fans usually have vents on the back or side of the fan that suck up air from the room—since hot air rises, the fan will pull from the cool air by the floor. From here, the air moves up through the vertical column and pushes out through a vertical shaft. Although most tower fans are oscillating, they are also able to cool in a wider span than that of traditional fans thanks to the vent that runs the full length of the unit. Brown says tower fans "use minimal wattage for maximum cooling airflow and feature an auto-off timer mode and remote control."

Are tower fans better than other fans?

It depends on your needs. Tower fans have a smaller footprint thanks to their tall, slender build, and can be neatly tucked into the corner of a studio apartment or small bedroom. They also tend to be more aesthetically pleasing than large pedestal or box fans, and have more advanced features. "Most cooling tower fans are quiet because they use small blades that produce a quiet hum as compared to traditional cooling tower fans with larger blades," says Brown. And because their blades are tucked behind a grill, they're safe for even the smallest fingers or paws. However, tower fans generally aren't as powerful as other types of full-sized fans and are stuck at a fixed height and tilt, so you cannot aim them in your preferred direction.

How do you clean a tower fan?

To keep your tower fan working efficiently, it's important to keep it clear of dust and other debris. About once a week, wipe down the exterior and use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean the vents. Use compressed air to remove any remaining dust. Some tower fans have filters that need regular cleaning or replacing, too.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Melanie Fincher, associate commerce editor for Real Simple with nearly three years of experience writing product reviews and lifestyle content. To compile this list, we tested 31 fans in our Lab, including eight tower fans, and evaluated them based on their air speed, design, portability, effectiveness, and value. For expert tips on buying tower fans, we spoke to Matt Brown, merchant of ACs and fans, air quality, and floorcare at Home Depot.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. If that's the case, we test the product just like we test anything we buy, but we also disclose that we received it for free to be as transparent with you as possible.

Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

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