Best fans for cooling and heating your home

Find the best fan to keep you perfectly comfortable, whatever the temperature

Once upon a time it was only the Pharaohs of Egypt who could bask in the luxury of a fan as giant palm leaves were used to create a breeze. Now anyone can enjoy that pleasure (minus slave helpers) thanks to technology. To be clear, a fan at its most basic level simply moves air – it doesn’t cool the air. But by creating airflow the sweat on our skin can evaporate which lowers body temperature. It’s in this way that fans keep us cool.

There are fans that create cool air using moisture, much the same as air conditioning. However, such fans are not included in this edit. From desk fans and standing fans to tower fans and cyclonic bladeless fans, there’s a lot to choose from. So which fan is best for you?

For more expert product reviews, check out our buying guides

Best fans

1. Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link Purifier Heater – best heating fan

best-fans-Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link Purifier heater fan

Is it a fan, is it a heater, is it an air filter? This beast is all three. Combining the space saving form of a tower fan with the cyclonic skills of a Dyson, this fan cools, heats and filters air in whatever room it’s placed in. And it looks good too. But it’s not only the eyes this appeals to, it’s easy on the ears, with minimal noise for what can be a very powerful fan.

The ‘always on’ filter keeps air clean and also monitors the conditions of your room, which you can see it in an app. While all that is useful it brings with it a little hum in the background. This is barely noticeable for some but others might find it annoying. The remote control makes switching between focused airflow, room-wide spread and oscillation easy.

Then there’s the Dyson Link app for control from your phone. This gives you information like air quality, temperature and moisture both inside the room and outside the home. While you’ll pay a premium for this Dyson, you do get year-round room temperature maintenance with air filtering thrown in too. It certainly justifies that price and earns its place in your home – after one particularly hot or cold day, in fact.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link Purifier Heater, £297, Amazon

2. Vornado 6303DC Air Circulator – best energy-saving fan

best-fans-Vornado 6303DC Air Circulator

As the name suggest this company is all about offering air moving power to make you feel cooler. But it also does this using a build that, whatever model you opt for, looks good. Less space-age than Dyson’s design, this is still a good-looking fan that enhances a room. Importantly, it delivers the airflow you gasp for on those hot and sticky days.

The Vornado fan is compact enough to sit in any room but moves air up to 85 feet. And energy saving credentials are good, too. There’s a saving of a whopping 80 per cent more efficiency than previous models. The circulator comes with touch controls and a timer system but there is also a remote for easy use of the hefty 99 speed settings. So yup, this offers the perfect balance between noise and comfort.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Vornado 6303DC Air Circulator, £140, Amazon

3. Honeywell QuietSet Stand Fan – best quiet fan for bedrooms

best-fans-Honeywell QuietSet Stand Fan

Sometimes a classic stand fan is exactly what you need. For entire room cooling power or personal focused beams of air the QuietSet aims to cover it all. As the name reveals this has a super-quiet mode, up to 25 per cent quieter than previous models (says Honeywell). It’s efficient at the lower settings with enough air to cool, but at a noise level you barely notice. This fan is intended for night time use, when you’ll appreciate how quiet it is.

And this fan really will let you nod off without your bedroom becoming stagnant and sticky. Auto dimming lights are a nice touch here too for those that don’t want glare in their room at night. Then if the clamminess kicks up a notch you can adjust the fan with five power settings. Oscillation and height adjustments are also helpful. A remote control and timer settings also mean you can keep adapting the fan without having to move from your seat (or bed).

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Honeywell QuietSet Stand Fan, £134, Amazon

4. Bionaire Tower Fan BT150R – best fan for cooling

best-fans-Bionare Tower Fan CUT OUT

Bionaire specialises in making fan-based kit and produces some of the coolest (literally) fans out there. The Bionaire Tower Fan is a way to save on space while keeping air moving in a room. It’s perfect for smaller spaces or anywhere that you want a good looking system in place to enhance the room. While the speed settings are basic with just three on offer, the way they are used in conjunction with oscillation is smart.

At night the fan automatically shifts from high to medium to low so as to help ease you into sleep. Although, starting on the loudest setting might not work for everyone. In another setting it simulates a breeze by randomly changing the speed. This is a nice effect that feels like being outside. A remote control is included and there’s even a slot in the fan’s top for the remote to slip away into – a nice touch to keep things tidy.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Bionaire Tower Fan BT150R, £173, ebay

5. Dyson Cool Desk Fan – best desk fan


Dyson has been at the fan game for a while now and the Cool Desk Fan is seriously high-spec. The latest model is not only an ear-testing 75 percent quieter than older models but it’s 40 percent more energy efficient. All that makes it perfect for leaving on all night long for a comfortable night’s kip. The Dyson Cool Desk Fan is also smaller than the other offerings from the company.

It features the same fan-less design, which not only looks great but produces powerful blasts of cooling air. Despite this being a more affordable offering from Dyson, you still get oscillation, a sleep timer and a remote control. That remote is useful – even when on a desk, and especially when you don’t want to leave your bed.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Dyson Cool Desk Fan, £404, Amazon

6. Swan Retro Desk Fan – best traditional fan

best-fans-Swan Retro Desk Fan

If you want a classically stylish fan then the Swan Retro Desk Fan is probably perfect for you. The 12-inch fan, available in nine colours, comes with a powerful four-blade setup inside a beautifully shiny metal casing. But going for looks doesn’t mean sacrificing settings. You get an oscillating mode, three speed settings and an adjustable 140mm height.

This is a desk fan so if you want more height you’ll need to stand it on something. Also if you need a very quiet fan, this isn’t the perfect option. Having said that, it’s air flow noise rather than the whirring of the motor. Either way, it’s probably better for daytime use rather than night, for most people. If you’re all about style, don’t want to spend too much money and enjoy a classic bladed fan, the Swan Retro Desk Fan should meet all your needs.

Ideal Home’s rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Swan Retro Desk Fan, £51.99, Wayfair

7. Dimplex Mont Blanc Tower Cooling Fan – best space-saving fan

best-fans-Dimplex Mont Blanc Tower Cooling Fan copy

This is one super slim tower fan that look great but functions well, too. A wide angle oscillation of 78 degrees means you can get air flow in an entire room without taking up too much room. The three speed settings aren’t that varied but they’re enough to cool the room as needed. Plus, there’s a timer to leave it running overnight.

Overnight mode is another offering which is quieter than natural mode. There is an LCD display which may annoy some sleepers. A remote control is basic but lets you leave this fan in a corner and continue controlling without getting up.  Also, the price is low enough to have more than one in the house.

Ideal Home’s rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Dimplex Mont Blanc Tower Cooling Fan, £99, Amazon

How to buy the best fan for you

best-fans-Dimplex Mont Blanc Tower Cooling Fan LIFE

Image credit: Dimplex

It’s time to decide what you want this fan for and how much you want to spend. This should help narrow down your choices as there are plenty of options out there. Do you want this fan for a large or small room? Is it for day or night, or both? Do you need to run the fan all day or will a timer be needed? Is having a remote control a deal breaker? Is design a major factor?

These are the basic fan types and what they offer, so you can see which meets your needs.

1. Desk fans

Small form, to sit on a desk, often with oscillating movement and some with height angle adjustment. Generally more affordable but less powerful than larger options.

2. Standing fan

This is like a super-sized desk fan on a stick. That means you get more power, more height adjustment options and generally wider room cooling coverage.

3. Tower fan

This is for smaller spaces where an oscillating fan to cool the whole room area is needed.

4. Cyclonic bladeless fans

These are essentially Dyson fans that use high-velocity air to circulate room air or directly cool a person. They’re generally quieter and more power efficient than the others making them ideal for all day and night use.

What should I consider when buying a fan?

best-fans-Dyson Cool Desk Fan LIFE

Image credit: Dyson

How much should I spend on a fan?

This is a question that really holds a lot of importance as the variation in prices with fans is huge. You can get a basic desk fan for a meagre tenner and it can make a difference to an otherwise stagnant room. Or you can splash out on a top-end fan that cools the room, runs quietly for night use, has a timer, remote control and even air filtering. Then there are plenty of options in between.

So prices can range from £10 to £500. The higher you go the quieter and more energy-efficient the fan will be plus the more options and control systems you’ll have. Also it’s more likely you’ll have the fan for longer before anything goes wrong. So do bear in mind you’re spreading that cost over more years in the case of the high-end kit.

Why do I need a fan?

If you don’t like feeling clammy, sweaty and generally oppressed by the heat of a sweltering day, a fan can help you. If you can afford to install and run air conditioning that will always be cooler. However, that will cost you and can leave you with that dry throat feeling. A fan is a far more affordable way to make the heat bearable without costing you too much. Plus, it won’t take up much room or require installation.

What other key questions do I need to ask?

best-fans-Bionaire Tower Fan LIFE

Image credit: Bionaire

When will you use your fan?

If you plan to use this as a night fan, ask yourself if you are willing to leave it on all night. If the answer is no, then a timer function is a must, if only to save power,

How noisy are fans?

You’ll also want to assess how much the noise will disturb your sleep and decide if you want to spend more to avoid that problem. Light can also be an issue at night, so be sure to find out if any displays can be turned off or do so automatically in a night mode.

What’s the purpose of your fan?

Make sure you know the purpose of use for the fan. Do you just want this on a desk to cool you while you work or will it need to cool another room at certain times? Perhaps you’ll need a few affordable options or one pricier do-it-all fan that you move about.

What are the side effects of having a fan?

You need to consider your eyeballs. Yup, if it’s not a humid heat then all that dry air blowing about can dry your eyes out. So if you suffer from that issue anyway, perhaps a moisture-based cooling system would be better for you.

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