There are few things as satisfying as a cool breeze on a hot summer day (unless it’s, say, a frozen cocktail)—and a tower fan is one of the most energy- and space-efficient methods for creating that optimal airflow. “Typically tower fans are taller with a smaller footprint when compared to box fans or tabletop fans,” says Andra DelMonico, lead interior designer for home decor and interior design site Trendey.
However, fear not: Its compact size doesn’t mean less cooling abilities, thanks to its powerful circulation and high air velocity—all at a lower energy consumption than air conditioning. So whether you are looking for a way to keep cool without cranking up the AC or in the market for a space-saving alternative to more traditional fans, we’ve done the legwork for you to find the one that fits just right.
- Best fan–and–air purifier combo: Dyson Pure Cool
- Best fan-and-heater combo: Lasko Tower Fan and Space Heater
- Best retro: Mellco Tower Fan
- Best compact: Vornado Duo Tower Fan
- Best minimal: Stadler Form Peter Tower Fan
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Design: When shopping for a tower fan, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is whether to purchase a bladed or blade-less design. Blade-less 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.
Additional features: 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.
Our Top Picks
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 percent of allergens, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to reduce exposure to allergens and bacteria (and, as Samantha Weiss-Hills, our commerce deputy editor here at Domino, notes, it comes with an extra filter so that 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,” Weiss-Hills says of the Wi-Fi–enabled model you can control by remote or voice.
Best Fan-and-Heater Combo: Lasko Tower Fan and Space Heater
Most fans are associated with cooling a space, but this two-for-one tower fan by Lasko is a fan and heater combined. While its size isn’t unusual for tower fans, its footprint is particularly small considering its function as a full-size heater, so you’ll avoid lugging it in and out of the closet when the weather changes. Like several other higher-end fans, it comes with an automatic electronic thermostat that helps maintain a desired temperature and uses less energy, as well as a remote.
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 blade-less Mellco tower fan is only 10 inches high, so 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, so it’s 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. 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.
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.
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 recommended tower fans range in size from just over 14 inches tall to more than 3 feet high to provide excellent airflow to all spaces, from a small office to a large bedroom. And while tower fans that also act as air filters or space heaters do tend to run on the pricier side, their multifunctionality ends up being both a money saver and a space saver.
How We Vetted These Products
Every product in a Domino guide meets these criteria:
- They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use.
- They’re expert approved. In addition to our team of editors, we tap a range of designers, makers, renovators, and all-around knowledgeable people to share their intel.
- They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews to know that they pass the test IRL.
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