What is the point of a table fan? Shouldn’t people buy bigger fans and stop playing with small under-powered fans? For the record, a table fan is one that typically runs on mains electricity, and isn’t powered by batteries or a USB cable.
The best table fans are handy for use in small rooms, for placing on work desks, and for people who wish to sleep with a cool breeze circulating. They’re small and effective enough to keep people cool, while not being so loud or powerful that they become distracting or wake people up as they sleep.
Here are five of the best table fans based on their economical prices and value for money
Last updated on 2021-04-14
Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce Air Circulator Fan
The Honeywell company spends more on marketing and PR than it does on its products. However, it’s a massive corporation with the buying power needed to push the price of its products down to bargain basement level. As a result, you can find some good bargains when you shop for Honeywell products.
This fan kicks out a fair amount of air. One wouldn’t call it powerful, but it blows far harder than one may expect from such a low-cost and small model. It makes a low humming noise that isn’t distracting.
The fan isn’t a bad price for its size and output. It has a 90° pivoting head, which means it can blow straight forwards or upwards as desired. This means it can be placed on a desk or on the floor.
The cord is around five-and-a-half feet long, which isn’t long, but is longer than most desk fans. This isn’t a USB fan, nor is it battery powered; this fan plugs into the wall. The base can’t be removed, but it has screw holes so that it may be wall mounted.
This fan doesn’t last very long. If you get the one-year warranty, then you’ll probably end up using it. Even a small manufacturing defect will leave the motor under-powered after as little as 90 days. Get a perfect one, and it will last around two years.
This is a licensed product, which means that if you wish to get in touch with the manufacturer for a refund, you’ll need to contact the seller. The seller gives you Honeywell’s information, and Honeywell puts you onto the real manufacturer.
This fan is marketed as a high-powered device, which is a little misleading. It blows out a fair amount of air, but it isn’t as powerful as something like a hair dryer. Plus, you need to treat this fan with extra care because it doesn’t take knocks and bumps very well.
Honeywell HT-904 Tabletop Air-Circulator Fan
The Honeywell company offers a range of different fans, and the HT-904 is one of their better models. It isn’t particularly well made, but it costs a fraction of what you would pay with other companies. If you’re willing to treat their fan with care, you can get a year or two out of it. Honeywell is 77th on the Fortune 500 list, so it’s probably not going anywhere soon.
The fan has a pivoting head that means you can place it on the floor and have it blow air up at you. Or, you can put it in your desk and have it blow air in your face. It also has screw holes so that you may mount it on the wall.
The cord is around five and a half feet long, and the fan has three speed settings. It isn’t a power-hungry fan, and pumps out a fair amount of air considering its size and shape. This fan isn’t powerful enough to circulate air and save you heating money, but it can draw in cold air from outside if required.
The fan does make a noise, but it’s a pleasant humming sound that isn’t at all distracting. Some people may wish to use this fan to keep the air moving, and as a white noise machine.
The fan is very cheap, and not particularly well made. It won’t last long if you bump or knock it. Not that the fan is flimsy, especially not on the outside, but the internal workings will start grinding to a halt unless you’re careful with it.
Customer support for this product is pretty bad, especially since Honeywell are the license holders and not the manufacturers. You can return it to your seller, but will have to pay the shipping costs.
If your product is even a little bit defective, then this fan may stop working within a few months. The internal engine parts are easily breakable, and the warranty demands that you also send 10 dollars for the shipping and handling of your new fan, which is silly, given that the device itself only costs marginally more than 10 dollars.
Holmes Heritage 4-Inch Mini USB Desk Fan
In California, the Holmes company owner operates under the name, “Newell Brands.” They control the Holmes brand name, and have the sort of money that allows them to buy in bulk from China on a massive scale. The company works by adding a small number of great-value products to its inventory, and filling the rest with poorly made tat. They then market the good stuff, and their customers get a great deal. The Heritage 4-inch fan is one of their top-value fans.
The brushed metal colors are very nice. They’re a little brighter than what you see in their marketing pictures, but the brushed metal finish makes the fans look far more expensive than they really are.
The metal construction and that way the fan looks makes it feel like you’re getting value for money. The fan isn’t very powerful, but it does a passable job for personal cooling.
This fan can tilt a little, and has two speed settings. You can open it up to clean the blades, and its motor runs very smoothly. The cord isn’t long, but you can feel a fair and gentle breeze from five feet away.
The fan is pretty cheaply made, which means you have to be careful with it. Even a little misuse will lower its lifespan. If you use it for an hour every day, then it may last you over a year, if you treat the fan well.
Slight imperfections during manufacture may cause your fan to act up. The most common complaint is that the fan blades spin and the fan starts to move. Really defective fans will spin so hard that they vibrate themselves off your table.
When nearing the end of its life, the fan will start letting out a high-pitched metallic squeaking noise. This will increase in intensity until it finally breaks.
Genesis 6-Inch Clip Convertible Table-Top & Clip Fan
The Genesis company cycles through products very quickly. If it’s hot in China right now, then you’ll see it in their inventory. This is a mixed blessing for buyers. On the one hand, buyers get ridiculously low prices, but it also means that once items have sold out, they almost never return. If you like a Genesis product, then you should stock up before they’re taken offline.
The fan is lightweight, cheap, and makes a slightly less desirable rattling noise. Yet, for the money, it’s rather good value. If you’re looking for a longer-lasting fan, then you’ll have to spend more money.
You can clip this fan to a number of different surfaces, and it also has its own stand. The head is adjustable, which means you can point the fan in numerous directions, depending upon where you position it in your house.
Considering its size, this fan moves a nice amount of air and is best suited for a desk where you’ll be close to it. This fan isn’t powerful or effective enough to help cool you down in a steamy kitchen or outside in the summer.
The fan moves around on a hard surface, which probably isn’t an issue for some people, but it can get annoying. It’s mostly the fault of the poor-quality clip that’s unable to keep the vibrating fan from moving around. The fan also moves a little if you use the stand.
This fan is made of cheap plastic, yet it can still take a number of knocks and drops before it breaks. The downside of this is that it’s likely to break or warp if handled roughly or without care. It isn’t built to be outside for too long.
Some fans have slight defects when they come out of the factory, which doesn’t matter right away, but it can severely affect the lifespan. Some will last over two years, others only 90 days.
Vornado Flippi V6 Personal Air Circulator Fan
If you ever need an example of a company that gets the fundamentals right, and the marketing wrong, then look no further than Vornado. They’ve been making fans since 1945, and their products stand up to most tests of function and value. Yet, they play the online game wildly incorrectly. But don’t be dissuaded by their shaky online reputation. It’s born more from PR mismanagement than a dislike of their products.
As an air circulator, it’s best used for keeping the air moving around electronics. Whilst a cheaply made fan, it will last a little longer than most other fans in its price range. It will also survive if you drop it a few times.
On its lowest setting, the fan is almost silent. On its highest setting, it makes a nice humming sound that some may enjoy as white noise. It isn’t a powerful fan, but is okay for smaller spaces.
The fan is compact and you can fold it when you’re not using it. The delicate way it moves air means it won’t irritate people who have dust and mold allergies as much as more powerful fans. It also looks nice on work desks and in small bathrooms.
This fan has been unfairly panned a little. The problem is that it looks powerful, but is more of an air circulator, not powerful enough to dry the sweat from your brow. It’s the sort of fan you may use if you wished to disperse cigarette smoke in a small living room.
The fan is smaller than it looks in its marketing pictures. And even though it looks cute, it feels light and cheaply made. This wouldn’t be such a problem, but it’s so light that you need to hold it in order to turn it off. If you try to turn it off with one hand, then you’ll knock it off your desk.
Though it’s more durable than others in its price range, if you don’t treat it with care, then its motor will start to give out. It starts by making a ticking noise as it spins. When this starts to happen, you only have a few months before the fan breaks.
Best Table Fans Buying Guide
Noise is a big factor for many table fans. Some people like a bit of noise, especially if they sleep with the fan on. However, if you’re planning to use a table fan at work, an overly noisy device may become distracting.
There’s little need to worry about a fan being overly wasteful because even cheap fans are fairly energy efficient these days. Technology has advanced so far that clever machine tooling techniques ensure less power is lost through misaligned and uneven parts.
The amount of air each fan can move is probably the biggest problem most people have with their table fans. Online shopping means that fans can’t be tested. When one arrives that’s under-powered, then people tend to be disappointed. Yet, the more powerful fans are often too noisy and power hungry.
Finally, the build quality is an issue. If you’re spending less, don’t expect your fan to last very long. Many table fans are very cheap. Most people don’t mind a cheap table fan because they only use it during the summer months. However, if you’re trying to find the best table fans, and you’re not willing to pay a hefty price, then don’t expect your fan to last very long and/or be very durable.