Types of Fans

Discover the different types of fans available to keep you cool all season long

Types of Fans Buying Guide Hero

A quality fan can help you and your guests feel more comfortable on hot and humid days. Whether you’re looking for information on portable fans, small fans, oscillating fans or all of the above, keep reading below for a full breakdown of the types of fans available to you so that you can decide which will best suit your needs.

Personal Fans

Personal fans are designed to blow a concentrated stream of air in a small area. These include quiet fans for bedrooms and office spaces like desk fans and handheld fans.

Desk fans are small, portable, and easy to maneuver atop counters, tables and other hard surfaces. Some options include an adjustable clip so you can customize the angle to your liking. These are some of the best fans for bedroom nightstands and small workstations.

Handheld fans are compact enough to hold in your hand and are ideal for hot, humid days or moments when you need a quick blast of concentrated air. Many are equipped with a small water reservoir for a cool and misty breeze.

Floor Fans


Floor fans are designed to sit on the floor and circulate air throughout the immediate area. Some of the most popular floor fans include tower fans, pedestal fans and box fans.

Tower fans are named for their streamlined, tower-like design. They fit well in corners and tighter spaces and operate quietly, making them a great option for bedrooms and kitchens. Oscillating tower fans turn from side to side to cool different parts of the room. Choose a tower fan with a remote control for the convenience of adjusting settings from a distance.

Pedestal fans can stand up to five feet tall and are supported by an adjustable pole or stand. These fans generally require some assembly and oscillate at a wider angle. They also tilt up and down to help cover larger areas.

• Box fans get their name from their boxy shape and are best used in spaces that can accommodate their larger silhouette. Available in multiple speeds, they are an affordable solution to your cooling needs.

• Blower fans are great for garages and utility spaces and are mainly used for their drying capabilities. Varieties include squirrel cage fans which offer an intense blast of air to keep areas free of moisture, and axial fans which are weight-balanced and easy to carry.

Wall Mounted Fans

Wall-mounted fans come in indoor and outdoor varieties, and some work well in either environment. Many include varying speeds and oscillating functions, while some also offer remote control access for added convenience.

High-velocity blower fans, also known as industrial fans, are ideal for commercial spaces like warehouses, gyms and shops. These help preserve floor space while cooling larger areas at heavy-duty speeds.

Window Fans

Window exhaust fans are designed to fit a variety of windows and cool larger areas in the home. Many owners describe these as fans that cool like air conditioners, thanks to their advanced motors and sensor capabilities. These fans are discreet in size, affordable and easy to install.

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a mainstay in many homes. Since they distribute air from above, these are arguably the best cooling fan for a room or living area. They are available with many features and in numerous styles for both indoor and outdoor applications. See our ceiling fans buying guide for detailed information on choosing the right one for your space.