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The best desk fans of 2019 Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Best Desk Fans of 2022

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The best desk fans of 2019 Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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Editor's Choice Product image of Vornado Pivot Personal Air Circulator
Best Overall

Vornado Pivot Personal Air Circulator

The Vornado fan offers what most are looking for in desk fans, with three speeds, ranging from powerful to moderate. Read More

Pros

  • Three speeds
  • Affordable

Cons

  • None that we could find
Editor's Choice Product image of Iris Woozoo SC15

Iris Woozoo SC15

Read More

Pros

  • Good powerful airflow
  • Breeze feature
  • Remote control

Cons

  • Most settings are fairly noisy
  • Less portable than other desk fans
Product image of TTKTK Desk Fan

TTKTK Desk Fan

Currently
Unavailable

Although it may not look it, this fan puts out an impressive amount of power and volume. It comes with adjustable speed levels and angles. Read More

Pros

  • High speed
  • Adjustable angle

Cons

  • Cheap components
  • Loud
Product image of Aikoper USB Desk Fan

Aikoper USB Desk Fan

Currently
Unavailable

This USB-powered desk fan has a unique design, and it's touch-operated. It is low-power, but that makes it quiet and sensible. Read More

Pros

  • Touch-operated
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Slow
Product image of EasyAcc Desk Mini Fan

EasyAcc Desk Mini Fan

This fan's flat design makes it small, lightweight, and portable, without sacrificing power. Its dial can be set freely, offering a range of speeds. Read More

Pros

  • Small
  • Portable
  • Powerful

Cons

  • No wall adapter

Whether it's in your home or at your office, desk fans can be a real quality of life improvement. Desk fans are an energy-efficient solution to a home air conditioner (at least up to 90°F), and they can help you stay cool at work when the office isn't quite chilled down to your liking.

Whether a desk fan is a constant companion at your desk or provides you with white noise and a comfortable breeze as you fall asleep, finding the perfect one for your needs can be tough. To find out the best desk fans for different situations, we brought them all into our labs for testing, so we can recommend the best performers.

Based on our lab testing, the Vornado Pivot Personal Air Circulator (available at Amazon for $19.88) is the best overall desk fan, offering the perfect mixture of wind speed, quiet operation, variable settings, and aesthetics. While it is our favorite overall, there are a lot of great picks on this list you may like even better.

These are the best desk fans we tested ranked, in order:

  1. Vornado Pivot Personal Air Circulator
  2. Iris USA Woozoo SC15 Globe Fan
  3. TTKTK Desk Fan
  4. Aikoper Twin Turbo
  5. EasyAcc Desk Fan
  6. Lasko Platinum Desktop Wind Tower Fan
  7. Holmes Mini High Velocity Fan
  8. Honeywell QuietSet Mini Tower Table Fan

The Vornado Pivot sitting on an office desk.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Vornado Pivot was the best overall desk fan, with a small footprint and settings that offer a good mix of strong breeze and quiet operation

Best Overall
Vornado Pivot Personal Air Circulator

It should come as no surprise that Vornado blows away its competition, just as it has on our round-up of full-size fans.

This time around, the Pivot Personal Air Circulator manages to check all the boxes of what makes a desk fan great. With its three speeds, it is capable of providing the strongest breeze of the bunch and, for circumstances where you need to keep noise to a minimum, two lower settings are each appropriate for an open-office environment.

At around $20, the Pivot offers a lot of power for its price. The Pivot also comes with Vornado’s five-year warranty—a process that online reviewers claim is straightforward and easy to complete.

Pros

  • Three speeds

  • Affordable

Cons

  • None that we could find

How We Tested Desk Fans

The Tester

Hello! I'm Mark Brezinski, and I've been testing and reviewing consumer tech for over a decade. At Reviewed, I’ve developed testing for dozens of different categories, from smart phones to headphones to full-size fans and more.

The Tests

Point A was directly in front of the fan, point B was 3 ft. away, and point C was 6 ft. away. We also took measurements 4 ft. away from points B and C (points D, E, F, and G).
Credit: Reviewed / Naidin Concul-Ticas

Point A was directly in front of the fan, point B was 3 ft. away, and point C was 6 ft. away. We also took measurements 4 ft. away from points B and C (points D, E, F, and G).

To test fans, we set up a closed-off testing area to isolate our measurements from any external airflow. Once the fan was up to speed, we took measurements at seven different points in the room: three directly in front of the fan, and four to the sides.

We measured average wind speed at each of these points during a 30-second window and calculated the volume of air being moved (cubic feet per minute, or CFM). We performed the same tests again with oscillation on (if applicable), and recorded the average air movement at each measurement point over five full oscillation cycles. On average, we recorded desk fan wind speeds between 3 and 21 mph.

While a fan’s ability to move air is its primary function, we also tested other aspects of the fans’ performances as well. We measured how much energy the fan required to run at full capacity, both with and without oscillation. We utilized our headphone testing lab to isolate exactly how much noise the fan makes at each of its speeds. We also tested how easy and intuitive each fan’s interface felt to use.

What You Should Know Before Buying A Desk Fan

How Do You Clean A Desk Fan?

While desk fans can have all kinds of different designs, you can clean most of them in the same way. Start by unplugging it, then remove the grating covering the blades. From there you can use a vacuum to get rid of the majority of dust clinging to the blades, then use a damp paper towel to mop up the rest.

Do You Need A Fan With Oscillation?

In short, no. Oscillation is where the fan rotates on its base to help spread a breeze around. If you’re trying to disperse smoke or provide air coverage for a wide area, oscillation might make sense for a full-size fan. Desk fans, on the other hand, rarely have the power necessary to leverage oscillation to any particularly meaningful end. Our measurements showed almost all wind movement had dispersed after a few feet.

While oscillation did allow some desk fans to distribute airflow across a wider area, the amount of cooling breeze felt by a single, stationary person will be greatly reduced. Almost across the board, we recorded speeds of less than 2 mph at our closest side measurement points (spots D and F in the diagram). At the two points flanking the 6-foot mark (spots E and G in the diagram), the breeze was barely perceptible and didn't even register on our anemometer.

Are Fans Energy Efficient?

Yes. In general, fans are pretty inexpensive to run. They use about 100 times less energy than a traditional air conditioner.

Desk fans use even less—about 1% of the energy of a full-size fan. We find this is true across the board, so energy efficiency isn’t a meaningful differentiator between the fans we tested.

When Should You Use An Air Conditioner Instead Of A Fan?

Given how energy efficient fans are, in almost every instance you should use one instead of a traditional air conditioner. The only exception to that rule is when temperatures are above 90°F, because at that point or hotter they actually exacerbate the effects of heat stress.


Other Desk Fans We Tested

Product image of Iris Woozoo SC15
Iris Woozoo SC15

The Iris USA Woozoo SC15 globe fan might not be the quietest fan on this list, but it does offer a great range of functionality. In addition to its five different speed settings, timed mode, and oscillation, this fan also has a breeze mode, which attempts to mimic a natural pattern of wind by smoothly cycling through different speed settings. Whether this mode is serenely calming or distracting is up to the user, but as it’s an option you don’t have to enable, we like its inclusion regardless.

Unlike many other desk fans, this one does come with a remote. The remote has a nice layout with clear labeling and responsive buttons that allows access to all of the fan’s functionality.

This fan isn’t as portable as the battery-operated options on this list as it does require a power outlet, but its small footprint and high power makes it an excellent addition to any desk.

Pros

  • Good powerful airflow

  • Breeze feature

  • Remote control

Cons

  • Most settings are fairly noisy

  • Less portable than other desk fans

Product image of TTKTK Desk Fan
TTKTK Desk Fan

This one surprised us. When we initially saw its wood-patterned plastic exterior, a mix of cheap and decent-looking components, and dial with six positions yet only three different speeds, we thought it would be a dud.

Despite all this, the TTKTK Desk Fan surprised us with its impressive wind speed, though its impressive throughput does create a lot of noise. Fortunately, the lower speeds offer a better breeze-to-noise ratio for an office setting.

We like its vertical adjustability, which allows you to angle it appropriately at a variety of distances.

Pros

  • High speed

  • Adjustable angle

Cons

  • Cheap components

  • Loud

Product image of Aikoper USB Desk Fan
Aikoper USB Desk Fan

This little USB-powered fan has one of the more interesting form factors we’ve seen, resembling a piece of elbow macaroni with a tiny fan stuck inside. Its metal base is touch-sensitive and will power on with one tap, switch to a lower speed with two, and turn off again with three.

While the Aikoper Twin Turbo fan actually had the slowest wind speed out of everything we tested, it was also the smallest and quietest by a large margin. We think this fan is perfect for someone who doesn’t necessarily want a lot of breeze.

Pros

  • Touch-operated

  • Quiet

Cons

  • Slow

Product image of EasyAcc Desk Mini Fan
EasyAcc Desk Mini Fan

During testing, we were surprised at the wind speed we were able to get out of this incredibly lightweight, USB-powered fan. At its highest speed, it competed with our top-performers, but its lowest settings provide decent wind without much noise.

Aside from its flat form factor and battery-powered portability, the EasyAcc Desk Fan is notable for being the most customizable—its dial operates like a dimmer switch, allowing you to finely adjust its speed.

As with other USB-powered options on this list, the EasyAcc needs a separate adaptor if you want to plug it into the wall.

Pros

  • Small

  • Portable

  • Powerful

Cons

  • No wall adapter

Product image of Lasko 4916 Wind Tower Fan
Lasko 4916 Wind Tower Fan

The Lasko Platinum is a small tower fan that has an interesting design, full of curves and asymmetry. You can twist the top and bottom halves independently to help share the breeze with a friend, and it also has an oscillation mode to cover an even wider area.

The Lasko Platinum might not have as many settings as other fans on this list, but it covers its bases well enough, providing everything from a decently high wind speed to a moderate, quiet breeze.

That being said, on most settings this fan is on the louder side—it’s definitely more for those who favor power over quiet operation.

Pros

  • Adjustable

  • Oscillating

  • Powerful

Cons

  • Loud

Product image of Holmes HNF0410A-BM Mini High Velocity Fan
Holmes HNF0410A-BM Mini High Velocity Fan

This tiny fan doesn’t offer much more than an on/off switch and 10 mph winds. We like its design, which looks like a miniature version of an industrial floor fan. It's also quite small—it’s impressive how much wind you get out of its relatively quiet, 4-inch fan blade.

The one downside is it creates some minor vibrations. Depending on your desk, this may be enough to rattle a coffee mug full of pens. Otherwise, this is a small, simple, inexpensive desk fan that will likely meet the majority of users’ needs.

Pros

  • Small

  • Powerful

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Creates vibrations

Product image of Honeywell HTF210B QuietSet Mini Tower Table Fan
Honeywell HTF210B QuietSet Mini Tower Table Fan

Right out of the box, we were a bit confused about this fan. It features a tower design with a single, small fan centered vertically inside. There’s quite a lot of space between the fan and its top, as well as the fan and the controls, leaving us wondering exactly why it’s so tall.

Much like the full-size QuietSet we reviewed for our other fan round-up, this version didn’t put up a particularly impressive performance. This fan seems to be aimed at consumers who want a quiet desk fan with plenty of options, but a number of other fans we tested are much quieter. This fan also doesn’t impress with wind speed.

While it does have some features we don’t see on all other models, like a timer mode, they don’t make up for its lack of performance. There are better fans on this list.

Pros

  • Time mode

Cons

  • Low speeds

  • Loud

  • Odd design

Meet the tester

Mark Brezinski

Mark Brezinski

Senior Writer

@markbrezinski

Mark Brezinski is a senior writer with over ten years of experience reviewing consumer tech and home appliances.

See all of Mark Brezinski's reviews

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