As Australian summer fast approaches (how long did winter seem to last?!) it's time to prepare yourself with one on the best fans. Australia is no stranger to feeling the heat during summer and there's nothing worse than having to endure those hot and sticky summer days, and sleepless nights, without a turbine blade to keep cool. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best indoor fans and coolers available right now.
We've picked out a mixture of pedestal fans, desktop fans and fully-fledged air coolers, all of which will keep you comfortable as the mercury rises – they're still among the best ways to stay cool in summer.
- Go nuclear on heat, with the best portable air conditioners
- The best air purifiers
- The best dehumidifiers
The best fans you can buy today
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This Dyson Pure Cool tower fan is, simply, one of the best fans you can buy. A typically elegant floor-standing fan from Dyson, it has an additional trick up its sleeve, as it's also an effective air purifier.
You might think this is too attractive to effectively clean your air (most such devices are squat rectangles with buttons on top), but Dyson's designed it to remove 99.95% of ultra-fine particles, including those of 0.1 microns. In fact, we found it a vaguely terrifying device to use at first, as opening the front door or cooking immediately causes its on-body display to warn of pollution in the air, while the very handy iOS and Android app screen turns red and issues dire warnings about VERY POOR air quality. Of course, it then sets about returning your room (up to 27 sq metres) to a non-poisonous state, so that's nice.
It's also a very handy fan, mustering up a decent breeze, but remaining quiet up to about the 60 per cent power setting. On higher speeds there is a bit of a whoosh, as you'd imagine. Turning up the speed also increases air purifying power, but there's also an Auto mode that reacts to potent puffs of micro-particles and gases.
As the app and remote also add scheduling, a quiet and energy-saving night mode, and the ability to show you all manner of graphs about the air quality and temperature, we feel that the Pure Cool does justify its price. There's even adjustable oscillation, via the app.
Fear not if you find it a bit financially testing, however. You could opt, instead, for the Dyson Pure Cool desk fan, which is a smaller version of this tower model with the same tech but a smaller price tag.
If, however, you want something even fancier, why not upgrade to the Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool? As the name suggests, this does what the Dyson Pure Cool does but with the added bonus of safe and sanitised humidification.
Vornado’s stocky floor and desktop fan, the 660 Large Air Circulator is still one of the best fans you can buy. The 660 can move air up to 30.5 meters using it's large, vortex generating blades.
The Vornado 660 Large Air Circulator is designed for open entertaining areas where the larger blades and faster motor circulate a bigger volume of air. With horizontal and vertical positioning adjustments you can point the 660 at opposite walls in the room and effectively bounce an air stream off them to circulate air around the whole room.
When set to top speed, it moves 997 cubic metres of air per hour, but all you need to know is that it feels substantially windy from several feet away. It doesn't have a remote control, but since this one is designed to move air around an entire room, it's more effective if you leave it pointed in a single spot anyway.
Most fans make quite a racket on their highest settings, but the 660 is only hitting around 54 dB at top speed. Perhaps it’s the DC motor or the structural design (or both), but both models produce a much lower frequency when spinning, and that makes a massive difference to a room’s ambience.
Vornado is clearly on a roll at the moment because this is by no means the only great fan in its armoury.
• The 660 has now been joined by an energy efficient pedestal version that sports similar specs for about AU$70 more. Our preference is still the shorter-stature desktop model which works superbly well on the floor or a desk, but if you have the need and the space, the new telescopic pedestal version is definitely the way to go.
If you're in the market for a multifunctional fan that can heat or cool a room with ease and purify the air, all with great results, and you don't have the money to drop on a Dyson, then the only option you should consider is the Breville AirRounder Plus Connect.
Admittedly-divisive looks aside, this robot-looking fan will find itself right at home in smaller rooms and will obey any command you wish to give it. You can get it to heat or cool your room to a desired temperature, have it oscillate to circulate air more effectively (it can do a full 360º spin) and purify the air all while doing so. Temperature and air quality information is displayed in the companion smartphone app, which you can also use to input commands.
If you want to make your little robot fan know who's really boss in the house, then you can partake in the voice control functionality by way of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. You can use these services to set up automations, such as having the Breville automatically turn on heating mode if it detects the temperature in the room drops below a certain point.
Our only slight niggle is that it can get loud on full speed. This isn't a dealbreaker by any means, and it's certainly not alone in this regard, it's just something you'll want to be aware of. But, noisiness aside, the Breville AirRounder Plus Connect is a fantastic purifying fan and at just a fraction of the cost of the equivalent Dyson, we'd say it's exceptional value for money.
The Viomi Smart Tower Fan serves up some genuinely useful features, in an attractive body, for an attractive price. We've not personally reviewed this one here at T3, but based on other online reviews we've determined it deserves a spot on this list.
Rather than have a set number of speed settings, Viomi allows you to take complete control over the fan's speed from within the companion app, using a slider to adjust it to the exact setting you want. It also has a number of air blowing modes, including one called Natural that simulates outdoor wind, and which also runs as low as 28dB, meaning it's exceptionally quiet.
We have read some users say the companion app can be a bit tricky to use, but other than that, this is a solidly built fan that does a fine job of keeping you cool when the temperature rises.
We haven't reviewed the Breville The PopFan, but after reading numerous positive reviews, we felt we had to include it on this list. So, what is it exactly? The Breville The PopFan is an ultra-portable, battery-powered fan that has four speed settings and a couple of clever tricks up its sleeve.
It doesn't do any of the super fancy air purifying magic of some other fans on this list, but if you're looking for a simple, fuss-free way to have a gust of air blown in your direction, it's more than capable. What we particularly like, however, is the PopFan's ability to fold down to make it easy to pack into a bag or to carry with you wherever you go. Now, we don't expect you to carry it with you down the high street to then set up at a cafe, but if you're going camping or to the beach, for example, it can help make the whole experience that little bit more comfortable.
The built-in rechargeable battery is good – Breville claims – for 15 hours on the lowest speed setting and four hours on the highest, but some owners have revealed in their reviews that they've managed to get at least 16 hours out of theirs.
We're definitely keen to give The PopFan a whirl for ourselves, because as space-saving, rather handsome fans go, it looks like it could be one of the best.
A standard fan is only good at circulating warm air around it. To really cool down, you’ll need either a portable air conditioner with a large hot air exhaust pipe leading out of a window, a bucket of ice – or an air cooler like this very efficient model from the house of Honeywell.
This machine is capable of reducing interior ambient temperatures by as much as 8˚C. That might not sound like much, but even a two or three degree reduction can make a big difference. So how does it work? Warm air is drawn into the unit and passed over a wet honeycomb, causing the water to evaporate and lose heat. This cooled, moisturised air is then blown out into the room. Simple innit?
The system works best in dryer environments, but given its efficient cooling effect, we would be happy using one even if living in the Amazon basin (which is what it feels like right now). Standing at 80cm and weighing 8.4kg, means it isn't an appliance that blends in with the furnishings. That said, it's one of the better looking air coolers on the market and it’s certainly less conspicuous than an ugly portable air conditioner.
It's capable of cooling an area up to 16m2 and comes with a remote control, an oscillating function, a dust filter and a 10-litre water tank with a low-water alarm. It also works as an ordinary fan. If you have the funds and don’t fancy cluttering up the place with a large portable air-con, then this mighty air cooler might just be what the doctor ordered.
If owning the absolute best fan that's possible to own right now is top of your list, then look no further. But, the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Formaldehyde isn't just a complete mouthful of a name, and it's not only just the best fan. Oh no, it's also the best heater and best air purifier. It's expensive, yes, but when you consider it's three incredibly good products in one, it's a sound investment.
In Australia, the most important function of this do-it-all Dyson is its cooling prowess, and with 10 speed settings coupled with Dyson's genius bladeless design, you'll be maxing, relaxing and chillaxing in no time.
Other tricks up its sleeve include the ability to remove formaldehyde from the air – apparently this is considered a big deal in the far East – it's certainly a much slicker, quieter and better experience all round, compared to the non-formaldehyde version of the Pure Hot + Cool fan.
The air purifier goes into action when sensors detect various types of pollutants and allergens, and we have to say the heater works very well also.
The squat appearance and muted gold colour scheme might not be to everyone's taste (we would have liked to have seen it available in the white and silver colour scheme, too) but you can't fault the performance.
The Goldair Pedestal Fan is something all homes and offices should have. Utterly foolproof in its use, there's no apps, no fancy settings, just a simple plug in and turn on. The height adjustable fan head can also be tilted to get the perfect angle for air circulation, and oscillation means the whole room can bask in its airflow.
We have to admit we do prefer the chrome version or matte black if you can find it, over the standard white, but the different finishes do command a higher premium. If you're just looking for a cheap and cheerful way to promote airflow during summer, the white version will do just the trick.
What is the best fan to buy?
We still think the best fans around are the Dyson Pure Cool (which sits at the top of our best Dyson fan list, too) and the Vornado 660 Large Air Circulator. The former is a rather beautiful edifice that both moves and purifies the air. The latter bends giant tubes of air to its will, and is now available in desk and pedestal versions.
There’s a lot of choice out there though, as you've seen in our list. You can snap up a cheap pedestal fan that does the job perfectly well, or opt for a retro-style one like the little desktop Swan. Alternatively, you could splash out and get yourself Dyson's latest do-it-all cooler, heater and purifier.
How to buy the best fan
To choose the right fan, first consider the size of the area you want to cool. A desktop fan may be fine for smaller rooms, whereas a standing or floor fan will be more effective for larger spaces. Tower fans (vertical and rectangular) are more compact, discreet and stylish than pedestal fans (stands with big blades at the top), but the latter is usually a lot more powerful.
Also consider settings – higher speed settings can create a cooler temperature – and features. Do you want an oscillating head and tilt action for more flexibility? Do you need a timer? Or remote control? Or even Wi-Fi? Finally, bladeless fans are a good call if you’ve got kids and can be easier to clean.
For our money, though, nothing cools the body quite like a water-based air cooler. These appliances are cheaper than portable air-con systems and are a lot more energy efficient.
That said, you can easily replicate the effect of an air-cooler or even a portable air conditioner by dousing yourself in water and sitting in front of any bog standard fan. This method is so efficient that, after just five minutes, you'll be rushing back out into the sun to warm up again.