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To help you find the best desk fan, we researched over 20 different units and ranked them according to their most important features and functionalities. Our research consisted of measuring each fan’s blowing power, adjustability, and durability. The best models offer a solid and balanced combination of all of these features. We also rated options based on their design aesthetic to ensure you purchase something that not only works well, but also looks good on your desk. Its time to begin identifying the best fans for your desk.
With these considerations in mind, we selected the Holmes Lil’ Blizzard as the best desk fan for this year. It offers two-speed settings that are both powerful and quiet and even features a wide oscillation range to get the air moving throughout your entire room. This balance of power and adjustability will keep cool throughout your entire workday. Keep reading below to learn more about other quality desk fans available for purchase. We’ll help you identify the right criteria for the best fans for any need.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This compact, yet powerful desk fan offers tons of versatility for anyone looking to cool off while working at their desk. It offers a wide oscillation range, multiple speed settings, and plenty of angle adjustability for a truly customizable cooling experience.
The Holmes Lil’ Blizzard desk fan stays true to its name by providing a lot of cooling power for individual users. It sits right on top of your desk or table, with a sturdy balance that prevents tipping even when bumped, thanks to its wide base. This Holmes fan also offers a lightweight and portable design due to its mostly plastic housing. Of course, having all plastic components can make the unit feel a little flimsy, but you shouldn’t have to worry about any durability problems in spite of this.
This portable desk fan also offers multiple adjustable and customizable features. First, and most important of these, is the variable speed control. The Lil’ Blizzard offers two individual speed settings, each of which offers enough airflow to keep you cool. The lower setting is quieter, but the high setting is still quiet enough to not be distracting. You can also adjust the fan head to achieve the perfect angle for your height and position at your desk. This desk fan also offers a wide range on the oscillating head, which is great for cooling large areas, but the button to toggle this feature on and off can be a little hard to press at times. It’s a great option if you’re looking for the best tower fans in a more compact size.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is a simple desk and tabletop fan that offers an impressive amount of power in a compact package. With a 90-degree pivoting fan head, power that can be felt upwards of 25 feet away, and variable fan speeds, this option is an amazing option for nearly any room or desk space.
The Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce is another desk fan that truly lives up to its name. It’s one of the most powerful desk fans available today, with enough force to circulate the air around you up to 25 feet away. With this kind of power, you might expect the HT-900 to be extra loud. Fortunately, it only gets loud on the highest speed setting, so if you’re looking for a quieter experience, we recommend using one of the two lower speeds.
The three variable speed settings are just one of the excellent usability features you get with this desk fan. You also get a pivoting fan head that can adjust anywhere within 90 degrees. So, if you wanted to point the fan directly at the ceiling, you can easily do it. This can help you get powerful air movement in your room without having the cool breeze blowing right on you. The TurboForce is also built well overall, in spite of its all-plastic housing. It’s durable enough to last and it pivots smoothly. For quieter models, we recommend also checking out the best fans for your baby room as these are designed with sound and comfort in mind.
Award: Best Low Noise
WHY WE LIKE IT: Nearly whisper quiet without sacrificing too much power, this mini desk fan is incredibly portable and versatile. It uses a proprietary design to expel air at a greater rate and give you a unique design aesthetic, to boot.
The Fancii Small USB desk fan is compact and powerful. Measuring in at nearly five inches long and just under 4 inches wide, this fan can be placed almost anywhere without ever getting in the way. Don’t be fooled by its small size, either. The Fancii fan is just as powerful as larger models, mostly due to its proprietary twin-turbo Cyclone-Blade configuration. While you won’t get whole-room cooling capacity with this personal fan, you’ll still get a powerful airflow in your office setting.
This is the best mini fan because it is also designed incredibly well. On top of being lightweight and portable, it features a handy, streamlined stand that also doubles as a carrying handle. This stand also allows you to rotate the Fancii up to a 180-degree angle so you get the perfect experience. The fan uses a USB cable for power, but we do wish you could detach the cable from the fan body for even greater portability. However, it still performs exceptionally, and the flexibility from the USB connection is a top-selling point. All of these features make this the best USB fan on our list.
Award: Best Adjustability
WHY WE LIKE IT: A unique and modern design aesthetic, three-speed levels, and pivoting axis make this desk fan an excellent option for desks everywhere. It’s also durable and compact, meaning you can take it with you without worry.
The Vornado Pivot is one of the most adjustable desk fans you can get today. It offers a multi-directional pivot design that allows you to twist the fan head up and down as well as left and right. This way, you’ll be able to customize the fan exactly to your liking. You also get three different speed settings on the Vornado, but to switch between them, you’ll need to twist a manual dial. This can get a little awkward, especially if you’re trying to make adjustments on the fly.
When it comes to power and performance, you’d be hard-pressed to find a desk fan of this size that offers as much power as the Vornado does. This increased power is due in part to the proprietary Vortex body design, which encourages efficient blow out of the fan no matter what speed setting you’re using. We were also impressed with the sleek, modern style the Vornado offers. It’s sure to look good on any desk and even makes for an interesting conversation starter. If you prefer overhead cooling, you might also like our best ceiling fans buying guide.
Award: Best Quality
WHY WE LIKE IT: This desk fan embodies modern technology and design. It’s bladeless and powerful, with plenty of cutting-edge functionality that keeps you both feeling and looking cool on hot days.
As a company, Dyson has been making strides in both the vacuum and fan industries, continually releasing products on the bleeding edge of technology. The Air Multiplier AM06 is no different. This desk and table fan is the perfect combination of functionality and design. This is a bladeless fan that uses an internal, enclosed motor and fan assembly to expel air through the circular, stationary blade on top. This bladeless design both looks futuristic and offers a high level of performance that’s hard to beat, which is one of the hallmarks of Dyson’s products.
The Dyson Air Multiplier is one of the most powerful desk fans available today and it’s also one of the easiest to use. It includes a simple remote control and the controls on the fan are also super simple. It includes plenty of additional features like sleep timers and a whopping 10 different speed settings. The only thing about this Dyson fan’s design we didn’t like was its slimmer base. Ensure you only use it on extra-stable surfaces so it doesn’t tip over during use. Fortunately, due to Dyson’s proprietary bladeless design, you won’t have to worry about endangering yourself or anyone else if it does tip over. This fan is a testament to the fact that Dyson is trying to revolutionize the fan industry. For more cutting-edge options, you might also be interested in the best modern ceiling fan which offers some of the coolest new technology in fans today.
Award: Best Portability
WHY WE LIKE IT: This clip-on desk fan offers best-of-class portability with its clip and ability to be mounted to the wall. You also get a good amount of power for its size and is easily assembled.
The Lasko FBA 2004W desk fan offers the unique ability to be clipped to essentially any table or desktop surface. The clip is padded, as well, so you won’t have to worry about scratching up your surfaces. Once clipped on, the Lasko stays well in place. The fan also features a key-hole mount so you can even hang it on the wall for even greater versatility and portability.
This Lasko desk fan comes in two pieces, but you don’t need any tools or specialized hardware to put it all together. Simply connect or disconnect the clip as needed. The fan itself isn’t as powerful as other options, but if you’re using it in a small space, it does the job well. It offers two separate speed settings as well as some vertical fan adjustment options. You also get 360 degrees of horizontal adjustment, so you can place the airflow anywhere you want with ease. If portability is especially important to you, our best travel fan buying guide has additional options to check out.
Award: Best on a Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: A unique and budget-friendly design, innovative touch controls, and whisper-quiet operation make this USB desk fan an excellent choice for forward-thinking individuals. It also stays securely in place with rubber foot pads for even better usability.
The Aikoper USB desk fan sure packs a lot of features for such an affordable and compact design. It’s one of the best budget options you can buy today and doesn’t sacrifice nearly any functionality to get that distinction. The fan only offers two wind speed settings, and we found that the highest setting is really the only one that offers high-quality cooling performance. The lowest setting is nice for a soft breeze in sleeping situations, but if you’re trying to seriously cool down, you only really have one choice.
The Aikoper’s standout feature by far is its design. This is one of the most unique desk fans you’ll be able to find today, with its tube aesthetic. This design does limit tilt range a little, but you should still be able to get a good angle during use. Another good thing about the Aikoper fan’s design is the stand, which features rubber padding to keep the fan in place. We were also impressed with the Aikoper’s touch controls instead of manual buttons. This adds to the overall futuristic design and feel of the fan. It also helps you more easily control the fan on the go. If you’d rather have similar features for a larger room, you can also consider the best wall mount fan. Now, If you want to ensure that your family or employees work in an environment with clean air, read our best ventilation fans guide.
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Award: Best Traditional Design
WHY WE LIKE IT: This desk fan features a traditional fan design that looks and works well. With an extra-sturdy stand and versatile USB connectivity, you can take this fan nearly anywhere with you and not worry about it getting ruined.
The Opolar F505 desk fan looks like a mini version of a traditional floor fan. Fortunately, this fan provides that you don’t need a cutting-edge design to still move a lot of air around your desk. We were impressed with the Opolar’s overall durability and stability. It features a solid metal stand with rubber clips that keep the fan securely in place. You also get two individual speed options, both of which are quiet and powerful enough to keep you cool on your desk. In fact, the low noise level on this fan makes it an excellent white noise machine, as well.
The Opolar is powered via USB cable so you can use it with any laptop or computer, as long as it has a USB port. Unfortunately, the included power cable is a little short at just 3.9 feet long, which can make fan placement a little awkward if you have a larger desk with lots of stuff on it. This fan is also a little larger than other options, but that shouldn’t be too big of an issue unless you have a cramped desk. Another good option for cooling your office is the best window fan which can provide a gentle breeze without breaking the bank. And if you want to free your kitchen from the airborne cooking byproducts, the best solution is to install the best exhaust fans kitchen.
Award: Best User Friendly
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for a clip-on fan that’s extremely easy to use, look no further. This desk fan can switch between two different configurations and offers a good breeze no matter where you decide to install it.
The Genesis Clip-On desk fan is an excellent addition to the lineup of best desk fans. While it’s labeled as a clip-on fan, it can actually also be used as a standing desk fan. Simply loosen the nut on the fan’s neck, remove the clip and then replace it with the included stand. Be aware that the stand does not include rubber feet, though, so it may not stay in place as well as you’d like. If you don’t bump your desk often, it shouldn’t be too big of a problem.
This office desk fan is also really easy to use with its base functionality. It features a simple toggle switch to swap between different wind speed levels and a fully adjustable fan head that simply twists into place. The clip functionality is also easy to open and close, and it stays firmly in place after install. Overall durability is fairly good, but the grill is a little flimsy so make sure you avoid any direct hits there and you should be fine. Other great clip-on options can be found in our best stroller fan buying guide.
Award: Best Sturdy Design
WHY WE LIKE IT: This desk fan is small and powerful, making it an excellent choice for cramped desks and tabletops. It’s also super sturdy and stable, so once you put it down, it’s not going anywhere.
The Opolar F401 is one of the best compact desk fans available for purchase today, and it’s easy to see why. For starters, it measures in at a mere six inches tall and wide with four-inch blades. Surprisingly, this small size doesn’t detract too much from overall power. Yes, it’s weaker than larger desk fans, especially on the lowest of the two speed settings, but it does enough to keep small spaces cool for personal use.
We were also really impressed with the overall build quality that the Opolar F401 offers. Made from a sturdy metal frame and stand, this personal air circulator will last you a long time. Since the stand and frame are sturdier than other options, it’s less likely that this fan will get knocked over and damaged, thus prolonging its overall lifespan. It will also stay in place with helpful rubber feet. The Opolar is powered via USB cable with a shorter 3.9-foot cable. However, since you’ll likely be using this fan in a more compact space, the short cable should become an issue. Finally, you get a full 180-degree tilt for even greater adjustability and flexibility. For high-powered options to cool more outdoor spaces, you can also check out our best outdoor floor fan buying guide.
When deciding how to rank the best desk fans, we first started by measuring blowing power. Even though they’re small, desk fans should still be able to cool you down in close quarters. We ranked options higher if they combined compact designs with added power. However, it’s important to note that we didn’t exclude fans for offering lower power than other models.
Next, we considered the overall build quality of the desk fans. We only included fans above if they were built well with longevity in mind. Desks are often the source of a lot of movement as you get up and down often. For this reason, we added bonus points to fans that were designed to be sturdier than other options.
Finally, we considered the design aesthetic. It’s hard to mess up the look of a fan, but since you’ll be looking at it every day while you work, you’ll want an option that looks good. We preferred options that complement the design of your desk. We also ranked options higher if they combined design aesthetics with performance. Some of the best desk fans are designed with a unique look that also increases efficiency and power.
Bladed vs. Bladeless
A relatively new technology in the world of fans is bladeless technology. These fans use a hidden motor and fan assembly to push air through stationary blades to help smooth the airflow. Bladeless fans are more expensive, but they’re also easier to clean, more powerful, and safer for children and pets. Despite these differences, traditional fans are still extremely effective and worth it. They’re more affordable and still offer plenty of airflow for personal use. While you may experience more noise on average, many traditional desk fans are still whisper quiet.
In the fan industry, airflow power is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and it’s typically recommended that you pick a fan that offers one CFM per square foot of the room you’re trying to cool. However, this doesn’t necessarily ring true for desk fans. You’ll still want to purchase an option that’s powerful enough to cool you down, but these smaller version fans don’t offer much in the way of CFM ratings and thus don’t advertise those numbers very often. In general, the important feature to watch for is variable speed settings so you can customize how much power you’ll experience during use.
When working at your desk, you’ll definitely want a quiet fan. This way, you can remain cool without hearing the loud hum of a fan in the background. Bladeless fans are typically the quietest options, but many bladed fans also offer whisper-quiet operation. Again, this is where having variable speed options is important. Most fans are louder when on the highest speed setting, so having the option of lowering the speed of your fan – and thus, the noise level – during phone calls and work meetings is essential.
Oscillation refers to the action of a fan moving back and forth, which spreads the air more broadly across a wider area. A desk fan doesn’t require oscillation to be a good product, but it’s definitely a nice feature to have. If you don’t want a desk fan with an oscillating feature, you may want to consider a fan that offers some level of adjustability when it comes to angle and position.
Your desk fan’s power source is also an important consideration to make, especially if you have a laptop or regularly work in different locations. There are three main power sources to consider for desk fans: battery, USB, and AC cables (plug into wall outlet). USB and battery-powered desk fans are the most portable, but they often don’t get as much power as desk fans you plug into the wall. You’ll also have to consider replacing or recharging battery-powered fans. USB power can also be incredibly versatile since you can use it to plug into a portable power bank as well.
The items on your desk can really add or detract from your concentration and flow, especially during work hours. This is why it’s also important to consider the design and aesthetic of the desk fan you purchase. You won’t want to get one that’s so large it becomes an obstruction and distraction. This is a purely subjective consideration, so we recommend taking a look at all your different options and finding one that appeals to your individual tastes.
Since desk fans are at your fingertips, they should also be incredibly easy to use. Look for included features like remote controls and easy to use onboard controls. A remote control can help you control the fan from a distance, but the manual controls are more likely to be used. The best desk fans use buttons instead of dials for added convenience.