, The best fans for 2021, tried and tested, Nzuchi Times

The best fans for 2021, tried and tested

It may not be the most exciting of purchases, but a good fan will make soaring summer temperatures more bearable. 

Fans come in many shapes and sizes, and with vastly different price tags, so which one should you buy? The first thing to consider is the room you need to cool – if it’s a home office or small bedroom, a desk fan should suffice, but for a living room, you will want to look for a tower or pedestal fan that has the power to move air around a larger space.

The main types of fans are: 

  • Desk fans, which are small and compact, are best suited to – you guessed it – use on a bedside table or desk. They provide a direct airflow that is great for cooling you down as you work, but aren’t usually powerful enough to cool a whole room.
  • Tower fans are tall and slim (as the name suggests), which makes them a good choice for slotting in narrow spaces.
  • Pedestal fans consist of a bladed unit on top of a stand. Most are height adjustable and can oscillate, making them a versatile choice that can be used in almost any room. They are usually between 12 and 16 inches – the bigger the blades, the bigger the airflow.
  • Floor fans are similar to pedestal fans, but instead of sitting on top of a stand, they consist of a bladed unit that sits on the floor. They usually cover larger rooms, as most are between 16 and 24 inches.

There are a couple of other factors to consider, too. Some of the most premium models offer air purification, a quiet sleep mode and even heating as well as standard fan functionality, so it’s worth looking into any extra features you would like before you buy. (On the basis that most people are only looking for a fan that cools, rather than heats, I haven’t included any of the latter in this list.)

Noise levels are another consideration. Background noise in an (relatively quiet) office equates to around 50db and a refrigerator or laptop emits approximately 35db of noise. If you’re planning on only using your fan in the daytime, noise levels don’t matter so much, but if you would like to sleep with it on then ensure you choose a model with a quieter sleep mode or a noise level of around 50-55db. 

The type of motor in the fan will affect the level of noise it emits. “Fans have either an AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current) motor – DC motors are better as they’re brushless, so are quieter and more energy efficient,” explains Nick Kandola of Aircon Centre, a specialist retailer for fans, air conditioning units and dehumidifiers. 

You should also consider who is living in your home. Tower fans or bladeless designs are safer in a home with young children or pets as they don’t pose a risk to small hands (or paws).

Finally, many fans aren’t exactly stylish – so the way your chosen fan looks is a consideration if it will be on show in your living room.

We canvassed opinion from experts and tried and tested models from leading brands to bring you this guide to the best fans on the market. Each model on this list has been personally tested. So, without further ado, here are the best fans to keep you cool this summer, starting with my favourite… 
 

1. Dyson Pure Cool

£499.99, Dyson

, The best fans for 2021, tried and tested, Nzuchi Times

It will probably come as no surprise to see Dyson’s purifying fan at the top of this list. Its elegant design and powerful (but whisper quiet) fan mean it’s truly a cut above the rest and has won a permanent place in my flat. 

It cools powerfully and efficiently and makes my living room feel degrees cooler in an instant by projecting over 290 litres of air a second. I could really feel the different when compared with less powerful devices. The other reason it seems to cool better than any other fan I tested is that it has 350° oscillation, so it feels as though it moves air round the room more effectively. 

The second reason I liked it is the impressive air purification. Obviously, this isn’t something you can instantly feel, but it filters 99.95 per cent of pollutants out of the air with an advanced HEPA H13 filter. It continually monitors and analyses air quality, and feeds the results to you in real time on an LCD screen or via the Dyson Link app (which also allows you to operate the fan remotely). The air in my home feels cleaner, although without measuring it there’s no way to tell for sure whether I’m breathing easier or have just been swayed by the slick marketing. 

I also found that even the higher fan speed settings are quiet enough to use while concentrating on work or drifting off to sleep (although on the highest of the 10 settings there is a bit more noise, as you’d expect). It has an easy-to-use sleep timer and an ‘Auto’ mode that adjusts the fan speed according to the air temperature and quality in your home. 

However, perhaps the reason I loved it most of all is that it’s a fan you will genuinely want to have on display. Let’s face it, fans aren’t always the most stylish of home accessories, but the Dyson’s distinctive bladeless design is a thing of beauty. Every detail is well thought out, right down to the compact remote that can be stored magnetically on top of the fan. 

The only downside is, of course, that it’s a significant outlay. But its superior performance coupled with the fact that it’s the best looking means that if you are looking to spend more, this is a fan that’s worth the premium price tag. 

If you want a smaller fan, the Dyson PureCool Me desk fan (£299.99, Dyson) is also worth considering.

Buy now
 

2. MeacoFan 1056P Air Circulator Pedestal Fan

£134.95, Aircon Centre 

, The best fans for 2021, tried and tested, Nzuchi Times

It’s no exaggeration to say that this is the king of pedestal fans. The first thing I notice (after how easy it is to assemble) is that it has both horizontal and vertical oscillation which, coupled with a powerful airflow of 1653m³/hour, means it feels as though it has unrivalled cooling capabilities. It feels natural, like a gentle breeze. It’s also very quiet, with a minimum noise level of 20db and a maximum of 60db, roughly equivalent to the noise from a dishwasher. That’s partly thanks to the fact it’s powered by a brushless DC motor, which is more energy efficient and longer-lasting in addition to being quieter than a conventional motor. 

I also found the MeacoFan 1056P delivered in terms of extra features. It has an ‘eco’ mode that adjusts the speed of the fan based on the temperature of the room, a ‘natural’ mode that replicates a breeze, plus a sleep timer, night light and a handy magnetic remote. 

As with the Dyson above, similar technology is available in a desk fan – the MeacoFan 360 Personal Air Circulator Fan (£57.95, Aircon Centre). Its compact design suits a smaller desk or bedside table, but it still feels powerful enough to cool you down efficiently. 

The MeacoFan 1056P narrowly misses out on the top spot on this list because the Dyson offers a wider range of features (including air purification) – but, on the other hand, this model is significantly more affordable. 

Buy now
 

3. Devola 12″ DC Pedestal Air Circulator Fan

£98.95, Aircon Centre

, The best fans for 2021, tried and tested, Nzuchi Times

I can confidently say that this Devola fan offers great value for money. It’s one of the quietest out there (with a minimum noise level of 20db and a maximum of 53db) and is certified by the industry standard ‘Quiet Mark’ accordingly. Even though it’s very quiet, it doesn’t compromise on power. The 12-inch blades offer an airflow of 1140m³/hour, which is not to be sniffed at. Similarly to the MeacoFan model above, it’s powered by a brushless DC motor. 

In practice, this means that I found this fan to be an excellent companion to working from home – quiet enough as to not disturb video calls, but with enough gusto to make my whole living room feel tangibly cooler. Like most other decent models, it has a wide range of 12 speed settings, automatic horizontal and vertical oscillation and an energy-saving eco mode. 

It must also be said that, as far as fans go, it’s pretty good looking – I was happy to have the aluminium alloy pedestal on show. It comes in just below the MeacoFan model above, as it’s slightly less efficient (with an airflow of 1140m³/hour to the MeacoFan’s 1653m³/hour), but other than that it’s a remarkably quiet, stylish fan that’s well worth considering. 

Buy now
 

4. Duux Whisper Flex Smart Wireless Fan

£149.99, Very

, The best fans for 2021, tried and tested, Nzuchi Times

This stylish pedestal fan has a lot going for it, and is the ‘smartest’ on this list. I love the matte black finish, although it also comes in a traditional glossy white. 

Onto the tech: it can be used totally wirelessly (via a rechargeable battery in the base) and controlled via compact remote, a smartphone app or even with your voice. It has an impressive 26 different speed settings and a ‘natural’ mode that creates a varying breeze-like effect, as well as sleep timer.

It’s also height adjustable and can either be used as a 88cm pedestal fan or a 51cm floor fan. It’s not the tallest as pedestal fans go, but the fact that it oscillates both horizontally and vertically means it offers excellent coverage, even in a larger room. 

Although it’s not technically ‘whisper quiet’ as the name suggests, it only emits around 50db of noise (roughly equivalent to the noise from a fridge), meaning it’s plenty quiet enough to have on while I was working and to sleep with. 

It comes below the Devola model purely on the basis of price – at just under £150, this Duux fan isn’t cheap. And, this really is nitpicking, but it’s slightly complicated to assemble (although the parts do come in handy numbered bags to make this easier). Nevertheless, it’s a worthy investment if low noise and high tech are your priorities. 

Buy now
 

5. electriQ eiQ-AM07 24 inch Bladeless Quiet Tower Fan

£89.97, Appliances Direct

, The best fans for 2021, tried and tested, Nzuchi Times

If you want a bladeless tower fan (like a Dyson) for a fraction of the cost, this is the model to go for. It may not look quite as sleek, but the electriQ eiQ-AM07 offers much of the same functionality as the leading brand for significantly less. Plus, it’s energy efficient and won’t add unduly to your electricity bill (as a 45W unit it costs around 0.19p an hour to run). 

The bladeless design is safe for children and pets and efficiently cools a living room, bedroom or home office with a max fan speed of 1200r/min. It’s simple to use and offers three speed options, simply called ‘turbo’, ‘normal’ and ‘quiet’. It also has a sleep timer and a fun extra in the form of optional colourful mood lighting. This is all well and good, but on testing I missed the speed range of some of the more premium models.

I also tested the electriQ 44 Inch Tower Fan (£44.97, Appliances Direct) which has a very tall, slimline design so takes up minimal space and offers many of the same features as the eiQ-AM07 above at a significantly lower price. It has three fan speeds, a sleep mode, smooth oscillation and comes with a remote control. However, it’s not as powerful, and I found it a bit loud for my liking (at 59db). 

Buy now

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