The 5 Best Tower Fans, According to Our Tests
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
- Best Budget Tower Fan: Better Homes & Gardens 40-Inch Tower Fan
- Best Splurge Tower Fan: Dyson Pure Cool Purifying Fan
- Best Tower Fan for Bedrooms: Honeywell QuietSet Whole Room Tower Fan
- Best Tower Fan With Heat: Lasko All Season Comfort Control Tower Fan & Heater
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
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.
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.