The Best Tower Fans Are as Cooling as They Are Cool-Looking
Our top trick for beating the heat wave.
Updated Jul 18, 2023 6:50 PM
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There’s no doubt about it, it’s been hot—everywhere. While us East Coasters have personally woken up to abnormally high temperatures this summer (90-degree days have been something of a normal occurrence since May), it’s no secret that the rest of the world has been reeling from extreme heat right along with us. Needless to stay, figuring out how to stay cool—without having to blast our AC units 24-7—has been predominantly occupying our brain space. That’s why we decided to revisit our guide to the best tower fans. This trusty type of technology is one of the most energy- and space-efficient methods for creating optimal airflow that feels like a refreshing breeze.
“Typically tower fans are taller with a smaller footprint when compared to box fans or tabletop fans,” explains Andra DelMonico, lead interior designer for home decor and interior design site Trendey. But that doesn’t mean its characteristically slim profile makes its cooling capabilities any less significant. Powerful circulation and high air velocity were key factors to narrowing down our top picks, below. And, of course, good design.
- Best fan–and–air purifier combo: Dyson Pure Cool
- Best unique finish: Rowenta Urban Cool Tower Fan
- Best retro: Mellco Tower Fan
- Best compact: Vornado Duo Tower Fan
- Best minimal: Stadler Form Peter Tower Fan
Best Fan–and–Air Purifier Combo: Dyson Pure Cool
From the makers of some of the most stylish and effective vacuums and fans on the market comes Dyson’s dual-function fan and air purifier. It contains a HEPA filter that removes 99.97% of allergens, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to reduce exposure to allergens and bacteria. Plus Samantha Weiss-Hills, our managing shopping editor, adds it comes with an extra filter so you can go at least two years without buying a new one. “It’s also good-looking enough to put in your living room, and its shape allows you to tuck it into spots where others wouldn’t really fit,” she adds, speaking to the Wi-Fi-enabled model you can control by remote or voice.
While already a considerable investment on its own, you do now have the option to upgrade to the brand’s new advanced filtration system—the Purifier Cool Formaldehyde. Already designed to capture micro-size particulates in the air invisible to the naked eye, the catalytic filter now includes a formaldehyde sensor that simultaneously continuously destroys the gas. Reviewers who work in salons share it works like a charm.
Best Unique Finish: Rowenta Urban Cool Tower Fan
Not all tower fans come in boring, black and white plastic exteriors. This faux wood coating has caught the eye of many shopper over at Crate & Barrel. Rowenta’s Urban offering offers three fan speeds with a flow rate that refreshes every 2.7 cubic meters per second. Reviewers confirm it is as silent as it claims, describing it as both “powerful and quiet.” One commenter adds, “I love that it can be oscillating or just stationary.” In fact, on the highest setting, they explain you can feel the air flow across the room but can barely hear that it’s on. Controlled via a remote (that you can slip into a slot in the back for easy storage), the digital display showcases the temperature of the room, making it all the more satisfying when the number inside drops.
Best Retro: Mellco Tower Fan
Cute as a button and available in three colors (a dark seafoam green, a light pink, and a crisp white), this bladeless Mellco tower fan is only 10 inches high, but what it lacks in size and power it makes up for in portability (and, we should add, cheeriness). It can be charged via USB and used as a cordless fan, with a micro-leather hand strap for easy transport, making it a great option for a nightstand or desktop, where you might not need it every day but can still take advantage of its small size to amplify the impact of your AC window unit. It also has three fan modes: normal, natural, and sleep.
Best Compact: Vornado Duo Tower Fan
Small but mighty, the Duo clocks in at only 14.5 inches tall and 5 inches wide, so it easily tucks into a corner or a tight spot between furniture. Its four speeds are controlled by a single button, making for an easy (if minimalistic) user interface. It can also be positioned vertically as a tower or horizontally for added flexibility. While it’s definitely on the bulkier side compared to other tower fans on this list, there’s no denying Vornado’s brand reputation. Backed by 2,000-plus positive ratings on Amazon, shoppers swear by this budget-friendly yet effective model. If you are in the market for something a bit bigger, the 41-inch-tall version comes recommended by 5,000-plus buyers.
Best Minimal: Stadler Form Peter Tower Fan
Simple in design with a strong, heavy base, this tower fan is tall enough to provide airflow over furniture and beds but minimalistic and quiet enough to fade into the background. Its remote control has been thoughtfully designed to have a magnetic holder, so you’ll always know where you’ve left it. Other features include a timer that works for one to seven hours, a “natural breeze” mode that simulates a changing breeze, an oscillation mode, a washable air filter, and three wind speeds.
More Fans We Rely on to Stay Cool
From vintage-inspired finishes of sage green and creams to sleek silver and glam brass, there a number of design-forward fans out there we also have on our radar. If you’re looking for a fan that offers more than just the run-of-the-mill low, medium, and fast fan settings, check out Dreo. This smart option offers 12 (yes, really) speeds and can be controlled via voice command or an app on your phone. We’re also fans of Antartic Star’s fun finishes, from a blush pink to minimalist white, that’s favored by 6,000-plus reviewers, but we would be remiss not to mention beloved brand Levoit’s classic tower fan.
Our Shopping Checklist
Blade vs. Bladeless
When shopping for a tower fan, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is whether to purchase a bladed or bladeless design. Bladeless tower fans use a compressor to draw air in and push it out through slits, rather than using blades to capture and push air. This ultimately makes for fans that are lighter in weight, easier to clean, and child-safe, because there’s no risk of getting hit or cut by a whirling blade.
Airflow and Oscillation
Like heaters and air conditioners, fans are sized for different spaces based on their power and airflow abilities. Double-check that the fan you’re considering is appropriate for the size of your space to ensure proper airflow and cooling.
Oscillating fans rotate while blowing (usually between 60 and 90 degrees, but some up to 180 degrees) and are a good option when you’re looking for a fan that provides wide coverage, like cooling the entire length of a long sofa or bed, says Janice Lynn of outdoor budget and home retailer Sky Genius.
Extra Modes and Settings
Many fans come with different airflow modes that can help save energy during sleep hours or simulate natural variations in wind movement. These modes, along with speed and oscillation, can often be adjusted by a remote control—a particularly helpful feature for changing settings in the middle of the night without getting out of bed.
Pro Tips for Buying a Tower Fan
- As air quality continues to be an issue in many places around the globe, home improvement guru Jack Miller of How I Get Rid Of suggests picking out a fan that doubles as an air purifier. “They will cost you a little more, but anything for your health is a wise investment to make,” he says.
- Consider where the fan is going in your home; a sleep or nighttime mode, where the fan runs quieter, is great for undisturbed sleep.
- Regular maintenance, like changing air filters, is a key component of making your tower fan last.
The Last Word
If energy-efficient airflow from a fan that can be subtly tucked into a corner is what you’re looking for, tower fans are the way to go. Aside from their modern, even minimalistic design, our recommendations range in size from just over 14 inches tall to more than 3 feet high to provide excellent airflow in all spaces, from a small office to a large bedroom, even when the temps are hitting an all-time high outside. And while tower fans that also act as air filters or space heaters do tend to run on the pricier side, their multifunctionality is a win-win you can rely on all year round, not just during the sweltering summer season.