I’ve Had This Tiny Fan for Six Years and Five Moves — and It Drowns Out So Much NYC Noise

published Jul 25, 2023
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bedroom with white slatted walls, natural fiber rug, bed with rattan headboard and pale terracotta and white bedding, modern art, framed, straw/wicker accent chair

Confession: I’m an annoyingly light sleeper. Snorers are my ultimate nemeses, and I have zero chill when it comes to even the teeny-tiniest little background sound. I basically need quiet, but not complete silence — big distinction here — so I’ve always slept with a fan or sound machine.

Growing up, it did take a lot of trial, error, and rattling box fans aplenty to find the perfect, actually noise-less design, which turned out to be my trusty Vornado 783 adjustable fan. Seriously, this thing was my bedtime BFF — so much so that I brought it to college with me. I sadly couldn’t pack it when I moved to New York right after graduation, but during an obligatory shopping trip to Bed Bath & Beyond (R.I.P.) upon arrival, I discovered a smaller tabletop version of the same fan, the Vornado 5303. I’m not kidding, this fan was literally my first purchase on day one in the city, and it’s since seen me through six years, five moves, and just as many neighborhoods — all while fitting underneath my nightstand.

What Is the Vornado 5303 Fan?

Vornado’s 5303 model measures 9.9 inches wide by 11.1 inches tall, making it a perfectly-sized, small-space-friendly floor or tabletop fan. The sleek, compact design features an adjustable head, which you can angle however you want, as well as a small side lever with three different fan speeds. And despite its pared-down silhouette, this fan’s highest setting gets surprisingly loud — in a good way, of course, to gently and effectively drown out any nearby noise. It functions just as well from a cooling standpoint, too, capable of circulating air up to 75 feet (!!!).

Credit: Blair Donovan

Why I Love the Vornado 5303 Fan

Because of this fan’s miniature size, I initially didn’t think it would compare to my original, taller Vornado. Well, much to my surprise, the 5303 fan essentially operates the exact same, just from the floor versus standing upright. To put it in perspective, I’ve lived on a handful of busy New York streets, and as soon as I turn this on, car horns, sirens, and even clanking radiators in the wintertime (IYKYK) all practically become nonexistent. It’s also short enough to fit directly under my nightstand, so it stays somewhat out of sight yet conveniently close to my bed while I sleep. It’s a game-changer in the summer, too, because it noticeably helps cool down my bedroom and I don’t need to put my window A.C. on full blast.

Admittedly, I’ve developed a deep dependence on the small-but-mighty Vornado 5303 fan ever since I bought it — this 4.5-pound little guy has given me the gift of a good night’s sleep for six years and counting, and I know it won’t let me down for many, many more to come. It’s better than any other fan or sound machine I’ve ever used, end of story, and I’ve tried plenty. Not to mention, it actually arguably looks good, while doing the same job as tower or box fans for a fraction of the size. And even if you’re not as irritatingly sensitive to sounds while sleeping as I am, ’tis the season to increase the airflow in your home, anyway.