Staying cool in the summer is no easy feat, especially when your home lacks the wonderful luxury of air conditioning. Even if you are lucky enough to have the gift of AC, some days it just doesn't cut it, or you'd simply rather have a lighter breeze instead of full blown air conditioning. In any case, table fans are practically a necessity once the temperature hits above 70 degrees. We rounded up our favorites across styles, from the budget-friendly to the seriously luxury, so you can keep your cool all year long.
How This Works
Every week we bring new products into our "test lab" and have the whole office test and vote on their favorites, based on quality, appearance and price.
Maxwell Ryan, our Founder & CEO, oversees the field, throws in his vote as well, and then demonstrates the favorites in a video so you can see them with your own eyes. Come back every Thursday for a new edition of The Guide right here and in social with Maxwell's Instagram story!
There are table fans which look good, those that cool, those that make noise, and those that seem to do very little at all. Table fans are, however, one of the simplest and nicest ways to cool down on hot summer days. Keep the windows open! Let the outside in! But get your fan going so you can sleep comfortably through the night.
For me, fans are essential for summer nights. I love heat, but not when I'm sleeping. For this latest Guide I chose the VFAM Vintage because it not only will do the job, it is one of the few that a. will last a long time and b. that actually add a little sparkle to your bedroom. Compact, beautifully designed, and well priced, this 1945 design is perfect for any style conscious interior. Check out all four colors.
If you don't have the room for a full size desk fan, check out the Pivot, a sleek, jet-inspired personal fan from the expects over at Vornado. With three speeds, a pivoting axis, and only six inches in height, the Pivot is actually quite effective despite its small size. Best part—it costs less than $20.
Good old, reliable Lasko. This pick may not be the prettiest, but I've used it in my apartment every day for the last eight months (I sleep really hot and need a fan even in the dead of winter), and it hasn't failed me yet. It won't blow you away with any special features, but it does have three speeds and can oscillate—what more do you need?
The Blizzard is pretty similar in features to your average table fan, with three speeds and oscillation, except that it can be wall-mounted for maximum air circulation. This small but cool bonus means that you can save space on your desk and get airflow through your whole room.
This sleek option from Bionaire has a few extra features that make it worth the higher price tag. First off, it comes with a remote control for easy adjusting, as well as a timer setting for automatic turn-off. Plus, the three speed settings are a bit different that the average fan, with sleep and breeze modes for maximum comfort.
What goes around comes around, and retro is very much having a moment. This swivel fan is no exception, combining style and function with a vintage look that will actually look nice in your space. It doesn't have certain modern features like oscillation, but it can pivot and tilt in any direction and comes in a variety of colors.
An ultra quiet yet powerful option, the Rowenta Turbo Silence is heavy duty without being an eyesore. It comes with the typical three speeds, but stands out for its additional Turbo Boost function, which basically produces artificial wind gusts. This might seem like a bit much, but as someone who has to climb five flights of stairs to get home, I'm a huge fan of anything that can cool me down fast.
If you put a high premium on your fan blending in with your decor, then check out this gorgeous bamboo fan designed by Carlo Borer for Swiss company Stadler Form. Quiet and powerful with three speeds, it'll keep you cool while looking fabulous.
The holy grail of superior design and functionality, the Dyson Cool is one of the best options on the market. A quick rundown of its features includes a remote control, sleep timer, oscillation and—best part—no blades! Instead, the Dyson Cool amplifies the surrounding air, creating smooth airflow and fan that's safe and easy to clean.
Tips for Staying Cool in the Summer
- Turn off your lights. Sometimes it really is the little things that count. All those little lightbulbs are producing heat, so turning them off and letting the natural lighting do its thing can go a long way in keeping your space cool.
- Flip your fan. This tried-and-true trick may not be as well-known to younger millennials who have been spoiled by functional AC their whole lives (yup, guilty as charged). Simply flip your fan so that it faces the window and sucks out the hot air from your room — it seriously does wonders.
- Hang up a wet sheet in front of an open window. An Apartment Therapy favorite, this trick works quickly and effectively. Air passing through the damp fabric creates a cool breeze that'll last long enough for a summer afternoon nap.
Our Best Fan Posts:
- Desperate Ways to Stay Cool on the Hottest Days of the Summer
- This Weekend: Prepare to Cool Off & Cool Down
- How Did People Survive Before Air Conditioning?
- 11 Modern Ceiling Fans That Are Actually Attractive
Other Good Resources:
- The Best Fan — Wirecutter
- The 7 Best Fans to Buy in 2018 — The Spruce
- The 10 Best Small Electric Fans for Space-Starved Homes and Offices — Best Products