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best desk fans

The Best Desk Fans in 2021

Author: Joanna Davis

Home & Kitchen Expert

A desk fan provides cool air in the home and office on hot days. In our list of best fans, you can find ratings for dimensions, weight, performance and other details that our team of experts was able to find after reviewing various tests on the Internet.

Holmes Mini High Velocity Personal Fan, HNF0410A-BM

Holmes Mini High Velocity Personal Fan, HNF0410A-BM
7,149 Reviews
Holmes Mini High Velocity Personal Fan, HNF0410A-BM
  • Compact yet powerful personal fan is perfect for use on a…
  • High-velocity motor delivers concentrated blasts of cool,…
  • Tilt-adjustable head allows you to precisely direct airflow
  • No assembly required
  • Measures approximately 6 x 4 x 6 inches

SmartDevil Small Personal USB Desk Fan

 Our Pick
SmartDevil Small Personal USB Desk Fan
8,315 Reviews
SmartDevil Small Personal USB Desk Fan
  • 【Exquisite Design】: ONLY 6 oz! Compact lightweight…
  • 【Ultra-Quiet】:Smartdevil usb desk fan uses a silent…
  • 【Three-speed Adjustable】: Low/medium/high speed level….
  • 【High Compatibility USB-powered 】:The SmartDevil USB fan…
  • [Customer Service]: Provide free online customer service. We…

HOLMES Heritage 4-Inch Mini USB Desk Fan

HOLMES Heritage 4-Inch Mini USB Desk Fan
9,270 Reviews
HOLMES Heritage 4-Inch Mini USB Desk Fan
  • 4-inch blades cast a powerful cool breeze
  • USB powered for work or home compatibility
  • Tilt-adjustable fan head directs cooling air exactly where…
  • Manual on/off switch for simple operation
  • High-end metal finish provides a classic look

Honeywell HT-908 TurboForce Room Air Circulator Fan

 Our Pick
Honeywell HT-908 TurboForce Room Air Circulator Fan
  • Fan for table or floor: The Honeywell turbo force air…
  • Feel the power: Honeywell’s TurboForce line of fans have an…
  • Increase your comfort: Using fans for air circulation in…
  • Honeywell fans: The right fan helps cool you off & improves…
  • Honeywell quality: Help improve air circulation & energy…

Amazon Basics 3 Speed Small Room Air Circulator Fan

Amazon Basics 3 Speed Small Room Air Circulator Fan
13,754 Reviews
Amazon Basics 3 Speed Small Room Air Circulator Fan
  • 7-inch air-circulating fan for table top or floor
  • 3 speed settings with back-mounted controls
  • 90 degree variable tilt head for directional accuracy
  • Improves air flow in small rooms

AmazonCommercial 4-Inch Table Fan

AmazonCommercial 4-Inch Table Fan
1,215 Reviews
AmazonCommercial 4-Inch Table Fan
  • 4 inch metal table top fan for circulating air in small…
  • Powered with corded AC power supply or USB connector via…
  • Ideal for desk or table tops, counters, cubicles, offices,…
  • Durable metal construction and fan blades; reliable non-slip…
  • 360 degree tilt mobility for directing air flow

Fancii Small Personal Desk USB Fan

Fancii Small Personal Desk USB Fan
8,896 Reviews
Fancii Small Personal Desk USB Fan
  • Twin turbo Cyclone-Blade technology provides maximum airflow…
  • 25% quieter and 40% more powerful than similar models | Max….
  • Small, portable and lightweight personal fan perfect for use…
  • Experience cooling air circulation in any desired direction…
  • USB powered for convenience and portability | 2 speed…

Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce Air Circulator Fan Black

Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce Air Circulator Fan Black
65,349 Reviews
Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce Air Circulator Fan Black
  • Small fan for table or floor: The Honeywell turbo force air…
  • Feel the power: Honeywell’s TurboForce line of fans have an…
  • Increase your comfort: Using fans for air circulation in…
  • Honeywell fans: The right fan helps cool you off & improves…
  • Honeywell quality: Help improve air circulation & energy…

OPOLAR 4 Inch Mini USB Desk Fan

OPOLAR 4 Inch Mini USB Desk Fan
3,725 Reviews
OPOLAR 4 Inch Mini USB Desk Fan
  • Made with a brushless motor that makes for a long lasting…
  • 2 speed settings allows you to choose the breeze you prefer….
  • Mini (5.2 inch frame) size saves space and allows easy…
  • The wave shaped base with rubber bottom, makes the fan more…
  • USB Powered: The USB source like a computer, portable power…

Frequently Asked Questions: Desk Fans

What is a desk fan?

A desk fan is a small-sized fan that usually stands on a sturdy base. The air movement caused by the table fan allows the sweat produced to evaporate more easily. This makes the people in the room feel refreshed and cooled down, even if the temperature has not changed. This effect makes table fans an efficient way to refresh yourself on hot summer days.

Conveniently, table fans can be placed almost anywhere, whether directly on the work table, on the shelf of the office, in the classroom or on the kitchen counter. Due to its relatively low design, the device should not be placed on the floor, because here it may not serve its purpose well. Therefore, an elevated position is required.

Our desk fan test refers to simple models with a short cable and higher-quality devices equipped with longer power cables. The latter offer more scope if you want to provide the apartment with more fresh air during the summer weeks. The various designs of table fans, which we have subjected to the test, often work relatively powerfully. Others sometimes have a low power consumption and a correspondingly lower performance.

The rotor head of the desk fan is generally no larger than half a meter. It is often protected by a grille that prevents light objects from getting inside the device. The concept of desk fan is not subject to any standard, so even slightly higher fans can be counted in this category. To some extent, the combination devices that stand on the floor or are fixed to the wall, depending on the height of the bracket, can also be called desk fans. Our desk fan test also includes the modern USB devices that are specially designed for the workspace.

How does a desk fan work?

The functioning of the desk fan is already described in the term itself. The word “Ventilare” comes from Latin and means “to produce wind”. This is done by the rotor blades with which the impeller of the fan is equipped. This electrically powered wheel drive makes the rotor turn slowly or quickly, so that the air is moved around the device. The airflow is not cool in principle, but it suggests a pleasant cool sensation on the skin due to its oscillation.

When light perspiration has formed, this effect is particularly noticeable. This is because then the fine film of sweat evaporates and one feels the drying as a slight refreshment.

In order for the cooling effect of the desk fan to be felt optimally, the device should be placed relatively close to the workplace, or to the place where you are at the moment. This is where the small fans show their flexibility, because if necessary, they can be easily placed in another place.

The functionality of many devices includes several speed levels, which can be set a little higher or lower, depending on the degree of heat and the place of installation. Also interesting are the table fans that have a convenient remote control or a timer function. Here, the handling becomes particularly practical and goal-oriented.

Advantages of a desk fans

The size of the desk fans determines for which room they are suitable. In our desk fan test, it becomes clear that matching the device to the environment makes sense in any case. For example, a small desk fan is not enough to ventilate a large-area meeting room, while a larger stand fan will cause too much wind in a narrow office. In addition, the available space should be taken into account, because the fan should not be in the way or bump against the shelves.

The classic desk fans are small enough to find a place on the work table and are sufficient for refreshing one or two people in an energy-saving way. With the small distance between the fan and the people, it is quite pleasant if the rotor does not rotate too fast.

In an open-plan office or living area, on the other hand, a more powerful fan may be the appropriate solution. This often not only has a higher power, but it is also larger. The draught should be strong enough to refresh but not disturb. In this way, you stay focused at work and the documents that are on the desk still do not get mixed up.

The desk fans help to keep a cool head not only in extreme heat. Sometimes the air is stuffy even when it’s not so hot outside. This can be the case, for example, on Monday morning in the office, when the window was closed over the weekend. Even at home, you can quickly bring more air into your home with the help of a fan.

A poorly ventilated bathroom is soon fresh again with the table fan. The device also helps to increase air circulation in the other living rooms. The air swirls do not change the temperature, but they provide better air flow. Depending on how you position the table fans, the whole office is refreshed, or only a certain area.

This way, no arguments arise because some feel disturbed by the airflow and others want even more cooling. This is also important because some people are more sensitive to drafts than others.

The aerodynamics of the fan rotors and the functional housing design cannot avoid some operating noise, but they can reduce it. This is where the advantage of modern fans, which operate very quietly, becomes apparent. In general, the table fans become louder and louder with increasing power.

According to our table fan test, we recommend to pay attention to the exact manufacturer’s information regarding the noise level. This information is given in decibels and refers to the maximum power. So, at a lower speed, the noise is quieter. A table fan with many speed settings allows precise dosage of ventilation and operating noise. The comparison winners of table fans convince here with their better flexibility and can be precisely adjusted to individual preferences.

Types of a desk fans

The classic desk fan spreads a gentle breeze or a fresh whirl, depending on the power level set. With its handy size, it can be placed on the sideboard or on the work table, depending on where you are. The nearest outlet should not be too far away to ensure safe operation without the cable being under tension.

As a small model, the fan with stand blows the air, which it mostly sucks up from behind, directly to the front. Due to the rather short range, this artificially produced wind does not disturb, but it has a light, pleasant cooling function.

A special variant are the desk fans without a rotor. However, these are available only in a small selection. They are especially suitable for a household with animals, because they do not attract animal hair and do not get dirty so quickly. In addition, they generally have stepless regulation. However, most rotorless fans are stand fans and not table fans.

Pedestal fans with a height-adjustable base can be set up on the floor but also on low or normal height tables. They often have a larger rotor and are also higher overall. Therefore, they are often used in correspondingly larger rooms. Due to their rather bulky design, these floor fans are only suitable for tables with a sufficient floor space.

Flexible fans in small format can be set up or screwed to the wall. Due to the additional option of mounting, these devices offer a special stability. In part, the assembly here is done without tools, so that the flexibility is not lost. At the same time, these small devices convince with their versatility, because they can be set up or mounted in a different position in no time.

The tower or column fans are generally so large that they are not counted among the desk fans. However, the special housing design is sometimes available for tables. Due to their rotor-less operation, these fans are very quiet, so they are considered the favorites in living and sleeping areas. In addition, the tower fans often have a timer function, so they turn on or off at the previously set time. This extra feature makes the tower fans a smart comfort solution.

The floor fan is the counterpart to the table fan. In it, the rotor is located close to the floor, so it does not need a stand. Floor fans can create a particularly strong air circulation.

Some mini-fans are similar in design to the floor fan. As a compact version, they are popularly positioned on the table, where they efficiently swirl the air.

The advantages of table fans

  • good air circulation and pleasant cooling in hot weather,
  • small size,
  • suitable for office and home use
  • flexible positioning (without mounting),
  • low power consumption,
  • targeted dosage of the air flow.

The disadvantages of table fans

  • frequent cleaning necessary,
  • cable length affects flexibility,
  • drafts can be disturbing.

How are desk fans tested?

Our test of desk fans refers to many crucial features. When choosing a fan, there are some constraints to consider so that the fans achieve the desired effect. It is not only about the size and positioning, but also about the performance data and the specific suitability of the desk fans. Below, we list the most important criteria that we noticed in the desk fan test.

Performance & Power Consumption

With most electrical appliances, higher performance also means higher energy consumption. Therefore, it is also difficult to determine an energy-efficient desk fan comparison test winner.

The particularly powerful devices have a correspondingly higher consumption than the standard models. Therefore, to find a desk fan for the living area at home, you should go for a medium maximum power, while a device with a low wattage is also sufficient for the small study.

Rotor: Diameter, Shape & Noise

In general, the faster the rotor of the desk fan rotates, the louder it becomes. To ensure that the fan is not too noisy even at the highest speed, the diameter of the rotor should be relatively large. Due to the air vibrations, the longer rotor blades are quieter than the short ones when they rotate. Some desk fans work without a rotor, so they are pleasantly quiet during operation. In these models, the air flow can often be regulated continuously.

Swivel Function & Tilt Angle

The high-quality desk fans often have a swivel function and/or an adjustable tilt angle. Automatic swiveling of the rotor head further optimizes air circulation because the generated airflow does not only go in one direction. Pivoting, also known as oscillation, also allows a larger room to benefit from the improved ventilation.

By adjusting the tilt angle, a corner or area of the room can be specifically ventilated. When switched off, the rotor is aligned in the relevant direction. This can be useful if you don’t want to feel the airflow on your face, but only on your shoulders.

Remote Control

The remote control allows you to conveniently control the functions of the desk fan. Even if the small fans are usually within reach, the remote control helps to change the speed at the touch of a button. This makes it easy to maintain concentration while working. If you sit a little further away from the fan, so the convenience of the remote control is even more important.

What should I look for when buying a desk fan?

Whether you want to buy the comparison test winner of table fans or a standard device, there are always some important things to consider. First of all, it is about the main place of use, that is, how much floor space and space is available. On a shelf or in a cramped office, the unit should not be too high, while the larger living or work area will also have room for a larger diameter unit.

For the desk space, for example, the USB desk fans are suitable, which are relatively small and lightweight. If the desk fan is to be used flexibly, then a device that can either stand up or be fixed to the wall can be useful.

For these desk fans with more flexibility, a swivel function is advantageous. Also, the adjustable tilt angle strengthens the possibilities of use of such a fan.

The maximum power, noise and speed levels also play important roles in the selection of the desk fan. Here it is a matter of efficiency on the one hand, and suitability on the other.

For those who want only a pleasant, light air flow, a fan with low power and also low operating noise is the right choice. On the other hand, if you want a stronger airflow and more adjustment options, you have to expect a louder noise. A good choice could also be an air cooler in our test comparison.

The table fan comparison test winners impress with the combination of a high performance with a relatively quiet operating noise. These are often the expensive rotorless table fans.

Desk Fan vs. Air Conditioner

When the temperatures rise in summer, the table fans and air conditioners provide a refreshing atmosphere. Nevertheless, no one wants to have too high power consumption. Although the air conditioners show themselves to be very effective, they often drive up energy costs. How much they actually consume in cooling depends on the design and function.

The wide variety of air conditioners available at specialty stores, home improvement stores and online may have an affordable price tag at first glance, but they are relatively expensive due to their operating costs. In a hot summer season, such a device can worsen the until then good ecological balance.

Especially the small-sized mobile air conditioners often show up as power guzzlers. This is due to the fact that they can only discharge the extracted warm air through an open window, so that the warm air from outside flows in at the same time. The large and more efficient air conditioners cannot be compared with the small table fans because of their space-consuming dimensions.

The table fans are hardly cheaper to buy than the small, flexible air conditioners, but they convince with their lower consumption costs.

However, the advantage of the air conditioners can be seen in their functionality. Unlike the fan, the mobile air conditioners lower the room temperature, regardless of whether they are split units or standalone devices. Moreover, the dehumidification effect of air conditioners is much higher than that of fans. This is an important feature especially in a sultry weather.

When choosing a suitable air conditioner, the size of the room plays a role, just as with the table fan. The unit should not be oversized but also not too small. Otherwise, the right effect can not be achieved. With an air conditioner, there is also a great risk of catching a cold or getting a stiff neck. Therefore, you should place the device so that you do not sit directly in front of it.

In addition, the air conditioner should not be set to a temperature that is too cool. So, if it is blisteringly hot outside, you should not set a temperature difference of more than 10 degrees, but a maximum of 7 degrees less than the outside temperature. This is enough for a pleasant cooling effect and reduces the risk of catching a cold.

Split units are particularly suitable for larger rooms and favor uniform cooling. In addition, the dehumidifying effect of these split air conditioners is better than that of standalone units. However, the maintenance effort of the split units is mostly higher, while the standalone solutions can be prepared and activated by the consumer himself. The standalone air conditioners thus show themselves to be relatively flexible and can, for example, replace the table fan in the office or in one’s own home.

The table fan scores over the air conditioner with its handiness and low consumption, and it is also very popular due to its small purchase price and low energy consumption, as our Table Fan Test shows.

However, a closer look reveals that the table fan does not actually cool the air, but only swirls it. You only get the feeling of cooling as the airflow dries the sweat on your skin, which has a cooling effect. From temperatures of about 25 degrees, this effect is only slight and depends on the personal feeling of warmth.

Some models of table fans combine the classic ventilation system with an air vaporizer. They work with atomization of moisture and distribute tiny water particles in the air of the room. This is another method for a perceived lower temperature.

Care Tips

In order for the desk fan to work properly, cleaning is due at repeated intervals. The rotating rotor attracts dust particles that can stick to the device or spread around the room as it rotates. To prevent this, fans can be easily wiped or, if necessary, disassembled to perform a thorough cleaning operation.

Before cleaning, the mains plug should always be disconnected. This is the only way to ensure that the rotor is not accidentally activated. The housing and rotor blades can often be wiped directly. A slightly moistened cloth is sufficient for short cleaning. If necessary, add some washing-up liquid to the cloth to increase the cleaning power. A vacuum cleaner can also help to remove dust.

For this, however, one should only set a low suction level until the large dust is removed.If the desk fan has a protective grille, in many cases this can be opened with the help of retaining lugs, hinges or clamps without the need for assembly tools. It is then possible to conveniently clean the guard grille from the inside as well as the rotor.

When opening the protective grille should not use force, but proceed carefully so as not to damage the device. Some desk fans are assembled with screws, so you need a screwdriver to open them.

Only after the various parts have been carefully cleaned and dried is the desk fan reassembled as described and put back into operation. As long as the components are still damp, they are particularly susceptible to dust and new dirt.

In the case of a tower fan, maintenance is somewhat more involved. The housing must be opened to clean the air roll and other internal parts.

For the rotorless table fans, there are often special tips for cleaning. These can be found in the product description or instructions that come with the fan. Since these table fans without rotor blades offer little surface for dirt to attack, they generally only need to be wiped down on the outside.

Desk Fan Accessories

Our test of desk fans also includes the accessories. The additional parts and replacement components are used to expand the range of functions or to optimize operation. Some parts are also required for repair, which can be replaced without any manual skills if necessary.

Whether it’s a normal desk fan, a high-class and classy column fan or a combination unit, components such as a new stand or special pads for better stability can be easily fitted.

Since the length of the power cord is rather short on many desk fans, it can be useful to purchase an extension cord or a replacement cord. This extends the flexibility of the fan. Depending on the design, the new cable is used as a replacement for the device cable and is attached directly to the fan, or the additional cable is used to extend the main cable without extra assembly.

Even the simple desk fans from our test work properly without any accessories. Generally, the most important components are included in the standard scope of delivery. These components may be mounting materials or detailed instructions.

In addition, there are elements that improve the comfort. This can be a remote control, but also a timer can be retrofitted if necessary. A timer activates the table fan even when you are not in the room. In this way, special ventilation phases can be programmed to produce fresh air in the home or work area.

If you like it particularly fresh and airy, you can supplement the mini-fan with an air conditioner or wind machine. Other ventilation systems such as dehumidifiers can also be used in addition to the table fan. With USB connection or via other cable connections, a practical system can be put together.

Tailor-made and efficient or simply practical and flexible, the table fan can be adapted to individual needs with the appropriate accessories. Fresher air and a healthy indoor climate are no problem with the fan and the appropriate additional equipment.

Desk Fan Alternatives

The different types of fans can often be easily replaced. Therefore, the desk fan can be replaced by a small stand or column fan. However, here it is always necessary to pay attention to the appropriate size. In addition, not every device can be used regardless of location. A fixed wall or ceiling fan needs a stable mounting and stays in place.

Instead of the desk fan, an air conditioner or air purifier can also be used. Here you can see a big difference in the operation and effect. Nevertheless, these devices are considered a popular alternative to the practical desk fan.

The decorative solution is the hand fan: this requires a little manual work, but never goes out of fashion. However, at work it can not be operated, because you always need a free hand.

Last product update on 2021-04-10 | Source: Amazon Affiliate