Best Modern Ceiling Fan

If you’re in the market for a cool looking way to keep your home cool or just make it less stuffy in the winter, here are seven of the best modern ceiling fan for bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms, and with a range of design aesthetics and price points too. That in mind, we stuck with models that offered at least 3000 CFM of air movement and, for eco-friendliness as well as utility cost, had an efficiency of at least 50 CFM per watt.

Our top pick, the Hunter Builder Deluxe, is a whisper quiet yet powerful design that includes energy efficient, dimmable lighting and a convenient pull chain. Like most of the best ceiling fans today, it features a reversible motor, and it benefits from Hunter’s Whisper Wind sound isolating motor mount design.

Top 7 Best Modern Ceiling Fans Compared

 #1  Hunter 53091 Builder Deluxe 52” Fan – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: Quiet, efficient performance, moving 5102 CFM of air and an understated, modern design, all at a reasonable price and with an easy to use pull chain for on and off and speed adjustments. It’s great for those looking for quiet, versatile airflow solutions in medium sized rooms such as living rooms or master bedrooms.

Pros
  • Ultraquiet
  • Toffee glass for pleasing lighting
  • Lifetime motor warranty
Cons
  • Not the highest airflow capacity of any fan on our list
  • May be too large for rooms with 8’ or lower ceilings
  • Design is more conservative than some other ceiling fans on our list

This 52” modern ceiling fan pairs handsome, classic looks with class-leading quietness and efficient, energy guide-rated performance. It pushes from about 2000 to 5102 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM for short) and its per watt airflow efficiency comes in at 76 CFM per watt. Its exceptional quietness makes it well suited to bedrooms, living rooms and study areas, since it won’t drown out music or keep you up at night with its racket. Relatively easy to install, the Hunter Builder Deluxe includes a toffee glass dome with two dimmable 60W LED bulbs. These should last a long time, and you can wire the fan and lights to be on separate switches if your ceiling wiring allows for it.

Control is via a simple, yet effective pull chain that adds to the charm of the fan. It comes with two different size hanging rods as well, so you can choose how far below the ceiling you want it to go. That said, this isn’t the smallest ceiling fan on the market, and it works best in rooms that have ceilings higher than eight feet. For some situations, you will want to read about the best ventilation fans.

 #2  Westinghouse 7876400 42” Indoor Ceiling Fan – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: A handsome, modern fan/ overhead light that works well in smaller rooms, this best-selling ceiling fan has a pleasing frosted glass fixture, a reversible motor and three speeds. It’s great for year round use in smaller bedrooms, kitchens and dens.

Pros
  • Compact & unobtrusive
  • Sleek, reversible blades
  • Uses less energy than the Hunter Builder Deluxe (our top pick)
Cons
  • Not as much airflow as the Westinghouse industrial (our #3 pick)
  • Not as quiet as the Hunter Deluxe
  • The included 40 W bulbs not bright enough for every room

This Westinghouse 42” ceiling fan and frosted glass light fixture combination is a sleek and modern looking choice for smaller rooms. It takes up less vertical space than most ceiling fans, only about 10” so it can work even if you don’t have particularly high ceilings. With an airflow rating of 2897 CFM it goes best in rooms of around 100 to 130 square feet. Like most modern ceiling fans the motor is reversible, letting you spin it clockwise in the winter for downdrafts of warm air, or counterclockwise for cooling updrafts. It has a frosted glass fixture and comes with two 40W energy efficient LED bulbs.

While you can install this compact, 42” fan in a larger room as well, it doesn’t move the quantities of air that the larger Westinghouse “Industrial” model (our #3 pick) does. Also, the included light bulbs may not be bright enough to offer stand alone illumination for a whole room, but they work well for studies, dens, and bedrooms. After all, even the best USB fans aren’t going to cut it for cooling those rooms.

 #3  Westinghouse 7812700 56” Fan – Best for High Ceilings

WHY WE LIKE IT: A powerful fan for larger rooms with high ceilings, it moves around 6000 CFM of air and comes with a convenient 5-speed wall switch. It’s great for anyone looking to add airflow to a loft, entryway, lobby or workshop.

Pros
  • 6000 CFM airflow
  • 5 speed wall controller
  • Clean, minimalist design with large 56” blades
Cons
  • Doesn’t include a light fixture
  • Requires a high ceiling since it’s designed to be 10’ off the ground
  • Not all versions are reversible for downdraft/ updraft

This larger ceiling fan, as the “Industrial” name implies, is designed for larger spaces and works great in high ceilinged lofts, entryways, lobbies, industrial workshops and art studios. Its high powered, single capacitor motor is quiet and efficient, moving 96 CFM per Watt, which ranks above even the top pick Hunter Deluxe residential ceiling fan.

A clean, minimal modern appearance and easy installation are additional pluses with the Westinghouse Industrial fan. Its wall-mounted control unit lets you choose from among five different speed settings. While this may not be as quiet a fan as you get with the Hunter Deluxe (our top pick) it’s still not very obtrusive, and when mounted at the recommended 10 feet or higher the motor becomes almost inaudible. For those looking for an outside solution, our best outdoor ceiling fan guide has the answers.

 #4  Harbor Breeze Mazon 44” 3-Blade Fan – Best Remote Control

WHY WE LIKE IT: A modern looking, reversible ceiling fan for small rooms, it has the added convenience of an included remote control. It’s great for those looking to install a fan in den or home theater rooms, bedrooms and other small spaces where the ability to integrate with a remote control is a plus.

Pros
  • Included remote
  • Integrated dimmable LED
  • Very quiet, comparable to the Hunter Deluxe
Cons
  • Not as energy efficient as the Hunter Builder Deluxe
  • Included 18W LEDs not particularly bright
  • No auxiliary controls in case you lose the remote

This fan from Harbor Breeze gets high marks for quietness and ease of installation. It also works well in small rooms and in spaces with a clean, minimalist vibe, since with its 44” blades and roughly 11 inch depth from the ceiling it doesn’t take up a huge amount of space. It also lacks a dangling chain, which adds to the sleek, modern appeal of this ceiling fan. It comes with a remote control that lets you turn it on and off and select among three different speeds as well as turn the included light on and off. The remote has a wall cradle for storage.

The lack of secondary controls with this fan does add to its minimalist aesthetic, but can cause inconvenience if you can’t find the remote. Another caveat is that the included LED light doesn’t come with an easy way to swap out the bulbs. Speaking of easy, our best tower fan guide has some great choices for other areas of the home.

 #5  Minka-Aire F844-DKLight Wave 52” Fan with LED Light – Best Design

WHY WE LIKE IT: A unique, organic modernist design featuring a distressed Koa finish and elegant blades that flow smoothly into the light fixture, it makes a great centerpiece for a room with complementary, modern decor. It’s great for anyone looking to add both visual flair and some air flow to a medium-sized room.

Pros
  • Built-in LED Light
  • Convenient three-speed remote control
  • Optional different length down rods
Cons
  • No easy way to change the included LED bulb
  • More expensive than the Westinghouse Industrial (our #3 pick)
  • Reversing direction requires flipping a switch located under the fixture cover

This fan stands out for its twist-blade design and integrated blade housing/ light fixture, giving it a sleek and streamlined modern, organic appearance. Depending on the decor of the room and your aesthetic preferences this could be a major selling point. As far as functionality goes, this Minka Aire fan moves about 4500 CFM of air and its motor uses just under 65 watts. This makes it less efficient than the large Westinghouse Industrial fan but more so than the Westinghouse 42” fan. The Minka Aire comes with a remote control and two different length down-rods, a 3.5-inch rod, and a 6-inch rod. Other lengths are available from the company as well.

While this fan has unique design appeal, it’s not as quiet as the Hunter Indoor Deluxe, and like the Harbor Breeze (our # 4 pick) it lacks an easy way to change the bulbs. This may be an issue for those looking to use the fan as a main lighting source, since the LEDs in this fan may not be too everyone’s taste. Also, there’s no option on the remote to switch rotational directions, you have to flip a hidden switch on the fan itself to do so. Also, read the best ceiling fans for homes.

 #6  Hunter Indoor Low Profile 44” Fan – Best Low Profile

WHY WE LIKE IT: Among the quietest fans on the market, this low profile ceiling fan comes with a remote and fully dimmable lighting. It’s great for those looking for a fan for rooms with lower ceilings since it mounts flush to the ceiling, giving more clearance.

Pros
  • Fully dimmable
  • Low profile flush ceiling mount
  • As quiet as our top pick, the Hunter Indoor Deluxe
Cons
  • Only 3000 CFM, less than most other fans on our list
  • Installation more complex than with the Westinghouse fans
  • Light up remote can be too bright for bedrooms

This fan is designed for those who want a flush mount, minimally intrusive airflow solution in rooms measuring less than about 130 square feet. It comes with a convenient remote control and multiple modes for its built-in LED lighting. Like most fans, it’s reversible. The remote offers more options than just on/ off and fan speed, letting you set a delay-off function or dim the bulbs. And unlike with the Minka Aire fan, the included light bulbs are replaceable in case you don’t like the color or brightness.

The Hunter Low Profile fan comes with a pretty comprehensive installation kit that includes a balancing kit, however, if you’re a novice looking to DIY the process, the instructions may be somewhat lacking. This fan also moves significantly less air (3000 CFM vs over 5000 with the Hunter Indoor Deluxe) which, however, might not be a drawback in smaller rooms.

 #7  Parrot Uncle Retractable Blade Ceiling 46” Fan with Chandelier – Best Retractable Ceiling Fan

WHY WE LIKE IT: Its retractable acrylic blades stay out of sight when the fan is off, giving you a fine looking chandelier. It’s great for those looking for a nifty, part time way to move air around the room without the visual impact of a ceiling fan.

Pros
  • Retractable blades
  • Replaceable LED bulbs for the chandelier
  • Comes with remote
Cons
  • Less airflow than most, just 3600 CFM
  • More expensive than the Westinghouse indoor fans (our number 2 and 3 picks)
  • Can be tricky to install

This neat high tech ceiling fan has some novelty appeal thanks to its hidden, retractable blades. When the fan isn’t on it looks just like a regular, if somewhat conservatively styled, small crystal chandelier. The acrylic blades extend to a diameter of 46” and move about 3600 CFM, making it more than adequate for a 130 square foot dining room or kitchen area or for smaller living rooms as well. It works best in rooms that aren’t huge but also don’t have very low ceilings, since, with either of the two included down-rods (4 inches and 10 inches) it does take up more vertical space than other small fans like the Hunter Low Profile (our #6 pick.)

This retractable fan also comes with a remote control and the included LED bulbs are replaceable. They’re not dimmable, however, so in order to change the lighting intensity or hue you have to buy different bulbs.

How We Decided

Since ceiling fans are supposed to be energy efficient and quiet enough for use in a home, we stuck with models that offered at least 3000 CFM of air movement and, for eco-friendliness as well as utility cost, had an efficiency of at least 50 CFM per watt.

We also narrowed down our search to those which feature quiet motors and at least two different fan speed settings. With an exception made for the powerful Westinghouse Industrial fan (our #3 pick) we only included home ceiling fans that are reversible, so you can use them year round for either updrafts or downdrafts.

Modern Ceiling Fans Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Motor sound insulation
    With indoor ceiling fans in such places as bedrooms, quietness is important. A ceiling fan like the Hunter Deluxe with its “whisper wind” motor mounts is quiet enough that it can be left on and provide airflow even at night without disturbing sleep. Even some larger industrial fans like the Westinghouse 56” (our #3 pick) are acceptably quiet.
  2. Ceiling Depth
    Depending on the size of the room and the height of your ceiling, it’s important to pick a fan with the right drop height. In general, you want to make sure the blades are at least eight feet off the ground.
  3. Built-in Lighting
    Built-in lighting is optional but many of the best modern ceiling fans include fixtures in either chandelier or standard Edison bulb sizes. Many, such as the Hunter Indoor Deluxe (our top pick) and the Minka Aire (our #5 pick) come with included LED bulbs.
  4. Airflow Rate
    The airflow, typically measured in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) in the US, is how much air the fan can move. This determines what size room it will work best in. You want a fan whose airflow is matched to the size of the space; typically the CFM should be at least three times the size of the room. This means for instance that a 10×10 room with 10-foot ceilings would need a fan capable of moving 3000 CFM.

FAQs

  • Can anyone install these or do you need an expert?
    In general with basic tools and wiring know how, most of these ceiling fans could be DIY jobs. Some require more complex processes than others, with the remote-controlled and dimmable Hunter Low Profile and the retractable Parrot Uncle fans (our #6 and 7 picks, respectively) being somewhat more complex jobs.
  • Are they reversible?
    All the fans on our list except for the Westinghouse Industrial style fan come with switches to reverse direction of the motor. This lets you choose between updrafts for cooling or downdrafts to circulate warmer air.
  • Can you change the lighting that these come with?
    Some ceiling fans offer switchable bulbs and some don’t, while the Westinghouse Industrial (our #3 pick) is the sole fan on our list without a built-in fixture of some kind. All the best ceiling fans we’ve included, with the exceptions of the Harbor Breeze (our #5 pick) and the Minka Aire (our #6 pick) have replaceable bulbs.

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Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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