The best office fans of 2022

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Posted Sep 26, 2022 1:00 PM

Desk fans offer a convenient way to control the climate around your workspace. When it’s hot and sweltering, concentrating on work is next to impossible. You don’t want to be sweaty on those Zoom calls and you certainly don’t want a loud, disruptive, distracting A/C window crackling in the background – an absolute work-from-home nightmare. Desk fans are a great way to make up for the hot summer months without breaking the bank with cooling bills. And if you don’t have air conditioning at all, small desk fans should be mandatory in every home! Although desk fans don’t actually cool the air like air conditioning, they do help circulate air around the room to create a wind chill effect, helping your body cool down. The best desk fans are quiet, powerful, compact, and budget-friendly, so we’ve rounded up some of the best options available to keep you comfortable.

How We Chose the Best Desk Fans

Choosing the right desk fan for your setup really comes down to your own needs and personal taste. For this list, we’ve selected templates that work for just about everyone, and others aimed at specific users. However, all of the entries on this list promise reliable build quality, solid airflow, generally quiet operation, and compact size. We relied on a mix of personal experiences, peer suggestions, user impressions, editorial reviews and spec comparisons to choose models from reputable brands.

What to look for when choosing the best desk fans

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Your table fan should be compact enough not to take up all of your workspace! We recommend considering size first and foremost when purchasing your desk fan – a height of around 6-8 inches is a good starting point.

lester

You don’t want large, heavy pieces to lug from desk to desk or around your house. Look for a lightweight, easy-to-move design.

Noise

Fan noise can be measured in decibels. You will need around 40-50 dB for quiet and unobtrusive noise levels.

Speeds

We prefer fans that have at least 3 speeds, so you can customize your experience and noise level to suit your preferences.

The Best Desktop Fans of 2022: Reviews and Recommendations

A small, compact desk fan doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. You can find solid, simple designs for under $20, but sleeker designs will fetch a higher price tag. Higher speed settings and higher wattage will also increase the price, but you really should never pay more than $100 for even the best desk fans.

Best Overall: Vornado Pivot Personal Air Circulator Fan

Why he made the cut: Style, power and brand reputation all line up in this much-loved little fan! It has three speeds, clocks under 2 pounds, and a sleek, modern design.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 5.1″D x 5.7″W x 6″H
  • Item Weight: 1.7 lbs.
  • Number of speeds : 3

Advantages

  • Economic
  • Elegant
  • High brand awareness
  • 3-speed multi-directional airflow

The inconvenients

  • Highest setting is noisy
  • Can be difficult to clean

Designed with a cool aviation-inspired look, the Vornado Pivot looks expensive without breaking the bank. Measuring just 6 inches tall, it’s a great choice for a desk or nightstand that produces concentrated airflow without overwhelming the space. It features three speeds, multi-directional airflow, and multiple colors to match your vibe. Reviewers love that it’s durable, not too loud (especially on the lowest setting), and that it can “blast 11 feet into my room on even medium”. Note that it can be a bit tricky to clean, and the highest setting is definitely the noisiest if you’re trying to take a video call or are a light sleeper.

Best Retro: Vornado VFAN Vintage Whole Room Air Circulator Fan

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Why he made the cut: With a painted green and gold finish, this retro-inspired desk fan provides a groovy vibe with your cooler air. It has three speeds, many positive reviews, and a full-action pivoting head for multi-directional airflow.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 13.8 inches (H) x 11.8 inches (W) x 8.1 inches (D)
  • Item Weight: 7.9 pounds
  • Number of speeds : 3

Advantages

  • 3 speeds
  • Pivoting head for multi-directional airflow
  • Sturdy, solid, well built
  • Many 5-star online reviews
  • vintage vibe

The inconvenients

  • Cleaning the interior can be tricky
  • More expensive than other options
  • Vintage look (not really vintage)

A vintage feel with the benefits of modern technology, this green and gold painted fan is sturdy yet compact enough to fit on your desk. With Vortex technology for whole-room circulation, three speeds to suit your preference, and a strong brand reputation, this desk fan is the perfect choice for anyone with a more retro design style. It’s made from durable metal and requires no assembly – just plug it in! Note this is a retro feel, not a true vintage fan.

Best compact: Vornado 133 Compact Air Circulator Fan

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Why he made the cut: With over 5,000 positive reviews on Amazon, apartment dwellers and space savers will love this two-speed, deep-blade 2-pound mini desk fan.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 7.4 x 5.9 x 8.7 inches
  • Item Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Battery required: Nope

Advantages

  • Lightweight (2 lbs)
  • Mini, compact, space-saving
  • Robust
  • Moves air up to 25 feet
  • Economic

The inconvenients

The 133 Compact Air Circulator features deep-pitch blades, two speeds, and an inlet guide code with an enclosed air duct that moves air approximately 25 feet around the room. That’s pretty good for a fan who only weighs 2 pounds! It comes with an adjustable tilt head so you can direct air directly at your face in the warmer months; however, it only moves up and down (not sideways). Reviewers love that this mini desk fan is sturdy, compact, and budget-friendly at under $40. It’s a “nice little fan” that’s decent enough for a home office or kid’s room. Note that some found it noisy when at the highest speed. It’s not ideal for light sleepers or noise-sensitive people.

Best muffler: Small rechargeable oscillating desk fan

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Why he made the cut: With a maximum sound of 45 dB, this rechargeable oscillating desk fan offers excellent value for money, at a fair price.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 8″D x 8″W x 11″H
  • Material: Plastic
  • Noise level: 45dB

Advantages

  • 4 speeds
  • 45 dB – silent
  • Reasonable price
  • Compact but durable
  • Refillable

The inconvenients

  • Some do not see enough difference between levels 2 and 3

With four wind speeds (Normal Wind, Natural Wind, Sleep Wind, Baby Wind) for a customizable experience, this quiet desk fan is only 45dB when running. It features a smart oscillating fan with turbine technology for a more concentrated blow. While the high-performance DC motor makes for a powerful fan, the low-noise output is perfect for light sleepers, video calls, and those who are easily irritated by noise. Reviewers love this little fan – many note that they love the LED feature, how quiet it is, and that it’s small enough to be compact yet large enough not to be flimsy. It’s also reasonably priced at under $50!

Best budget: Gaiatop USB Desk Fan

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Why he made the cut: For less than $15, you can get a quality three-speed USB plug-in desk fan that has over 11,000 positive supporting reviews.

Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 3.07″D x 4.57″W x 5.43″H
  • Item Weight: 8 oz.
  • Number of speeds : 3

Advantages

  • super cheap
  • Over 11,000 positive reviews on Amazon
  • 3 speeds
  • Powerful but compact
  • Non-slip base

The inconvenients

  • Not the most stylish
  • Included 3ft cords are short

For a simple and straightforward desk fan that won’t break the bank but still deliver powerful circulation, look no further than the Gaiatop Compact Desk Fan. For less than $15, you get a small but mighty fan with three speeds, a USB plug-in, and a button for simple control. The non-slip rubber base helps reduce noise and prevent scratching your table or desk surface. Note that the three-foot cord may be a little short to plug into some outlets, depending on your desk location. One reviewer had trouble fitting other plugs into the small fan’s USB socket, so take note of that when purchasing.

FAQs

Q: Are bladeless fans better?

Bladeless fans are generally safer, especially if you have children (there is less risk of cutting yourself on the blades). They also tend to be stronger, but also more expensive. If budget is the main concern, bladeless fans might not be the best option for you.

Q: Is it cheaper to have fans or air conditioning?

Fans are cheaper than air conditioning. However, they do two separate things. Fans circulate the air in a room, while air conditioning cools the air. If running the fan seems sufficient, it will definitely be cheaper overall. But if it’s unbearably hot, you’ll only be able to really cool the air using AC power.

Final Thoughts on the Best Desk Fans

Stop sweating during work meetings, long nights of writing, or brainstorming sessions at your desk. Stay cool in higher temperatures with these compact, affordable and convenient desk fans that will keep you feeling comfortable and cool without spending a ton on AC bills!

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