The best fan 2019: stay cool this summer

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and head to the online fan shop for Dyson and Meaco's finest

Best fan 2019

Are you suddenly desperately in search of the best fan available to humanity? Thought so. The UK has already experienced two heatwaves this summer and we're currently in a third one. 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 right now – they're still among the best ways to stay cool in summer

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 MeacoFan 1056 Air Circulator. The former is a rather beautiful edifice that both fans and purifies the air. The latter is a brute of an air mover, which comes into its own when the temperature soars. It is SO powerful, and yet not terribly loud. 

There’s a lot of choice out there though, as you'll see in our list below. You can snap up a cheap pedestal fan at Sainsbury’s 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 an oscillating tower fan like the Bionaire BT19. Or, for a little more class, a handsome bladeless Dyson Cool Desk fan

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? 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 bogstandard fan. This method is so efficient that, after just five minutes, you'll be rushing back out into the sun to warm up again.

Anyway, enough of that – here are the best fans and coolers right now.

The best fans you can buy today

Best fan: Dyson Pure Cool

1. Dyson Pure Cool (TP04)

Not only the best fan, but also an excellent air purifier, and smart home gizmo to boot

Specifications
Fan type: Air purifying fan
Format: Tower
Number of speeds: 10
Oscillation: Yes
Timer: Yes
Weight: 4.98kg
Reasons to buy
+Highly effective+Purifies the air too+Attractive design
Reasons to avoid
-Not cheap

This Dyson Pure Cool tower fan (TP04) 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 guffs of microparticles and gases.

As the app and remote also add scheduling, and a quiet and energy-saving night mode, and 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 (DP04), which is a smaller version of this tower model with the same tech but a smaller price tag; or you can scroll down through our best fan list for some very good fans that cost less. But if you've got the cash, this is a fantastic choice that will serve you well.

Best fan: MeacoFan 1056 Air Circulator

2. MeacoFan 1056 Air Circulator

Our runner up best fan is cheaper than the Dyson but doesn't look as nice

Specifications
Fan type: Cooling fan
Format: Floor or desk
Number of speeds: 12
Oscillation: Yes
Timer: Yes
Weight: 4.32kg
Reasons to buy
+Extremely powerful and freakishly quiet+Near 360º oscillation+Excellent price
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't look as nice as the Dyson

UK-based Meaco is best known for its range of excellent dehumidifiers. However, the MeacoFan 1056 Air Circulator is the result of its first attempt at making a bog-standard fan – and it’s brilliant. The Vornado-like MeacoFan comes with 12 fan speeds, an on/off timer and both vertical and horizontal oscillation. In fact you can select the type of oscillation required, but we found it works best with both systems on, since it effectively bounces the air stream against all the walls, creating a more effective cooling experience. 

Speed 12 moves 1,056 cubic metres of air per hour, but all you need to know is that it feels substantially windy from several feet away. This fan comes with a remote control, too, which is handy if you can’t be bothered to get off the sofa. The remote also lets you adjust the fan’s trajectory so it faces you all the time; simply wait till the air stream moves towards your direction, and switch the oscillation off. Or you can get on hands and knees and use the fan’s attractive interface instead.

Most fans make quite a din on their highest settings, but this one is like a church mouse, even at full tilt, which makes it the perfect bedroom or lounge buddy. Perhaps it’s the DC motor or the structural design (or both), but this fan produces a much lower frequency when spinning, and that makes a massive difference to a room’s ambience. By contrast, most of the other cheaper fans on this page sound like industrial hand dryers. Even the Dyson Pure Cool above – which has a more pleasing sound – is also louder at higher power settings.

The bods at Meaco have clearly thought this one through and invented a very strong contender for the best fan ever, at a price that's ridiculously cheap. 

Best fan: MeacoFan 360 Personal Air Circulator

(Image credit: Meaco)

3. MeacoFan 360 Personal Air Circulator

Powerful bedside fan that's as quiet as a church mouse

Specifications
Fan type: Cooling fan
Format: Desk
Number of speeds: 12
Oscillation: Yes
Timer: Yes
Weight: 1.36kg
Reasons to buy
+Impressive breeze generator+Twelve speeds+Horizontal oscillation+Compact size
Reasons to avoid
-Not the prettiest of fans

Unless you have a sizeable bedroom, the MeacoFan 1056 (reviewed above) may be a blast too far since it’s way too big to place on a bedside table. That’s where its titchy stablemate, the 360 Personal Air Cooler, comes to the rescue. At just 30cm tall and 20cm wide, this DC fan produces a much larger volume of breeze than its diminutive size would suggest, and with very little electricity consumption in the process (from just 2.5 watts).

Like it’s bigger bro’, it has 12 fan speeds and is really, really quiet; in fact, at its lowest setting its noise level is just 15dB. It also features sideways oscillation and a 12-step timer that runs to a maximum of six hours. The head of the fan can also be tilted up and down in four substantial steps.

In our opinion, Meaco’s current range of fans are more efficient than any others on the market, the Dysons perhaps notwithstanding. They’re incredibly quiet, exceedingly competent and amazingly energy efficient. As if to prove the point, there’s another Meaco model four steps below.

•Buy the MeacoFan 360 from Meaco

Best fan: Honeywell Remote Control Evaporative Air Cooler

4. Honeywell Remote Control Evaporative Air Cooler

The best fan with a water-based cooling system

Specifications
Fan type: Evaporative cooler
Format: Desk
Number of speeds: Variable
Oscillation: No
Timer: No
Weight: 1kg
Reasons to buy
+Uses water to create a cooling effect+Very effective+Cheaper than air-con
Reasons to avoid
-Not especially attractive

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). The CS10XE stands at 80cm and weighs 8.4kg, so it’s not 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. 

The CS10XE is 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.

Best fan: Stadler Form Q

5. Stadler Form Q

A stylishly industrial fan

Specifications
Fan type: Cooling fan
Format: Floor
Number of speeds: 3
Oscillation: No
Timer: No
Weight: 4kg
Reasons to buy
+Dapper design+Efficient wind blowing
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Noisy at full speed

No bog standard fan, this. A funky, industrial-style lump of stainless steel , the Q is designed by Swiss artist Carlo Borer, and makes even the Dyson look a little tame. As it only stands 36cm tall, it’s not going to stand out like a sore thumb, however. And even if it did, at least it’s a stylish sore thumb.

The Q comes with three wind speeds that are easily changed with a twist of the huge knob on the support leg; output should be good enough for rooms up to 40m2 in size. The removable wire mesh on either side of the blade slightly spoils the aesthetics, but at least it prevents children from having their fingers diced, which is even less aesthetic.

It’s not the quietest fan in the neighbourhood when running at full tilt, but at least there’s no assembly required.  Just yank it out of the packaging, plug it in and, whoops, there go all your tax return receipts.

Best fan: Dyson Cool Desk AM06

6. Dyson Cool Desk AM06

A fantastic fan for your desk with loads of great tech

Specifications
Fan type: Cooling fan
Format: Desk
Number of speeds: 10
Oscillation: Yes
Timer: Yes
Weight: 1.8kg
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic design and looks+Multiple air speeds+Easy to clean+Safe for kids
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't purify the air as well

A doyen of British design, the Dyson Cool Desk has no visible fan blades spinning about. In fact, it looks like an empty circular tunnel with no visible means of blowing any air at all. But it will cool you down in next to no time and not make a racket in the process.

Now, are you concentrating? The Dyson uses ‘Air Multiplier’ technology which involves a fast spinning blade faced upwards 90˚ vertical in the base of the unit. Air is drawn in through the base and is forced out through a hidden aerofoil-shaped ramp to create a low-pressure wave behind and around the fan. This change in pressure forces surrounding air to be drawn into the airflow, resulting in a substantial waft of body cooling magnificence.

The Cool Desk also features an oscillating function and ten airflow speeds, and it’s all controllable from the sofa using the clever magnetic remote. If aesthetics are of prime concern, then make this one your first port of call.

best fan: MeacoFan 650 Air Circulator

(Image credit: Meaco)

7. MeacoFan 650 Air Circulator

Excellent mid-sized alternative to Meaco's big 1056

Specifications
Fan type: Cooling fan
Format: Desk
Number of speeds: 12
Oscillation: Yes
Timer: Yes
Weight: 1.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Lots of power+Sideways oscillation+Remote control
Reasons to avoid
-Wish it had full 360˚ oscillation

If you feel that the big 1056 model reviewed above is too large for your room and the 360 (also reviewed above) is too small, why not meet half way and consider plonking this excellent midsize model on your desktop or floor.

The 650 is essentially a petite version of the 1056 and it shares many of that model’s features, including 12 fan speeds, DC technology for low noise levels (from 20dB) and inexpensive running costs. We would have loved to have seen full vertical oscillation as featured on the 1056, but beggars can’t be choosers and, besides, the horizontal oscillation it provides is perfectly adequate for a fan of this size.

And speaking of size, the 650 is only 34cm tall and 26cm wide, so it’s perfect for desktop and kitchen worktop use, while the included remote control also makes it a practical fan for bedrooms. If you’re after a fan that kicks out larger volumes of air than the norm and doesn’t cost a packet, then this one’s worth a whirl.

•Buy the MeacoFan 650 Air Circulator from Meaco

Best fan: Swan Retro Desktop Fan

8. Swan Retro Desktop Fan

The best retro fan for your desk

Specifications
Fan type: Cooling fan
Format: Desk
Number of speeds: 3
Oscillation: Yes
Timer: No
Weight: 2.8kg
Reasons to buy
+Ample cooling effect+Dashing retro looks+Coatings of many colours
Reasons to avoid
-Iffy build quality

It’s a fan. It sits on your desk. You turn it on. The blade spins and you feel a bit cooler. If a conventional desktop fan is all you require then this retro-styled offering from Swan is as good a bet as any.

Available in nine natty pastel colours, this 12-inch desktop model is described by Swan’s marketing team as having an ‘array of functions’ but, as pretty much expected, we could only find, er, three: an oscillating function, three airflow speeds and a tilt function. Perhaps an app-controlled, sensor-filled version is in the pipeline. Still, if you're looking for a cheaper fan, this is an excellent choice.

best fan: Stadler Form Tim

(Image credit: Stadler Form)

9. Stadler Form Tim

A great looking table top option

Specifications
Fan type: Cooling fan
Format: Desk
Number of speeds: Variable
Oscillation: No
Timer: No
Weight: 1kg
Reasons to buy
+Stylish looks+Variable speed dial+Manually rotatable
Reasons to avoid
-Short power cable-Not the most powerful of desktop fans

Swiss designer stable Stadler Form produces some of the best looking air-quality products on the market and this minimalist variable speed table-top fan is a case in point. The Tim (all Stadler Form products are given proper nouns) measures just 26.7cm in width and 28.5cm in height. Its footprint, too, is a very respectable 18.9cm, making it ideal for bedrooms and lounge side tables. However, we would have preferred a much longer USB cable (the one that comes with it is just one metre in length).

Tim doesn’t belt out anything like the same volume of air even Meaco’s smallest model produces, but it does look a lot classier. It doesn’t feature oscillation either, but it can be manually rotated and inclined a full 360˚. The continuously variable speed control wheel on the rear is wonderfully tactile and allows for a wide range of speeds from a near silent low speed to the equivalent of the similarly-sized Meaco’s fourth speed setting. Granted, this isn’t an especially powerful model but it’s perfectly suitable for close quarters use. Tim is available in black, red or white.

•Buy the Stadler Form Tim from Amazon

best fan: Igenix White Tower Fan DF0038

(Image credit: Igenix)

10. Igenix White Tower Fan DF0038

Handsome tower fan with small footprint

Specifications
Fan type: Cooling fan
Format: Tower
Number of speeds: 8
Oscillation: Yes
Timer: Yes
Weight: 3.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Decent output+Discreet looker+Eight fan speeds
Reasons to avoid
-Not as powerful as a big-bladed fan

At 91cm in height and just 20cm in width, the handsomely glossy and feature-rich Igenix is our pick of the tall tower models. Pop this air-moving column in the corner of a room and you’d be hard pressed to spot it. However, you will notice its effect because it does shift a decent volume of air, and it does so via a DC motor that is both energy efficient and remarkably quiet. It also comes with an air filter that removes dust and other larger particles, and a remote for effortless control.

The Igenix is equipped with three different ‘wind’ modes, eight speed settings, an oscillating function, sleep mode, an eight-hour timer, a built-in digital thermostat with LED temperature readout and a remote control. It uses just 25 watts of power so you should be able to leave it running for much of the day without raking up too high an electricity bill. Granted, it’s not as pleasing to look at as the Dyson (very few fans are) and it’s pretty pricy, but its versatile medley of features still makes it a worthwhile alternative.

•Buy the Igenix White Tower Fan DF0038 from Amazon

best fan: Voxon TurboForce Air Circulator

(Image credit: Amazon)

11. Voxon TurboForce Air Circulator

The best fan you can buy under £30

Specifications
Fan type: Cooling fan
Format: Desk or wall mounted
Number of speeds: 3
Oscillation: No
Timer: No
Weight: 1.22kg
Reasons to buy
+Cheap but well built+Adjustable fan head+Surprisingly powerful
Reasons to avoid
-No bells and whistles

The Voxon TurboForce Air Circulator (KYT09) is one of the best fans you can buy within this budget price point. It’s well-built, relatively quiet, with three speeds and excellent performance, delivering a powerful airflow. The adjustable fan head can also tilt, pivot and reach a 90 degree angle. 

We like that it’s super portable, and works perfectly well on your desk or the floor – or mounted to the wall. You don’t get a remote or any of the extra features from the best fans elsewhere in this list – but if you’re looking for a decent cooling fan below £30, the Voxon TurboForce Air Circulator is well worth a look.

Best fan: Bionaire Tower Fan with Remote Control BT19

12. Bionaire Tower Fan with Remote Control (BT19)

This tower of power is one of the best cheap fans around

Specifications
Fan type: Cooling fan
Format: Tower
Number of speeds: 3
Oscillation: Yes
Timer: Yes
Weight: 3.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Remote controllable+It oscillates
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best looker-Quite tall

If the Dyson is a financial step too far and the last thing you want is a big ugly pedestal fan, then how about this Dubai skyscraper-style tower option? The Bionaire is 71cm tall and 22cm wide, so chances are you’ll easily find a range of suitable places to site it.

Decked out in a black and charcoal colour scheme, the BT19 has three speed settings, an oscillating function, a Breeze mode for silent nights, an eight-hour timer and a remote control for added convenience.

best fan: JML Arctic Air

(Image credit: JML)

13. JML Arctic Air

Effective desktop air cooler

Specifications
Fan type: Evaporative cooler
Format: Desk
Number of speeds: 3
Oscillation: No
Timer: No
Weight: 1.2kg
Reasons to buy
+Very effective at close range+Good for desktops
Reasons to avoid
-Paper filter attracts mould-Creates only a light chilled breeze

This personal evaporative air cooler is just 16.5cm square and perfect for sitting on a computer desktop or table where the user is more likely to feel the benefits of its air-cooling technology. It’s also a great option for bedtime since it’s really quiet and comes with a built-in multi-coloured night light. Unlike most of the models on this page that simply re-circulate the air in a room, this one is equipped with a water-absorbing paper filter and evaporator that uses water from a small 600ml reservoir to create a gentle chilled breeze, with the emphasis on gentle.

Pop this little fella within three feet of you and you’ll be impressed at how efficiently it works. In fact, you may even need to slow the fan down from time to time because the air coming out of its car-like air vent is properly cool. And it’s even colder if you fill the tank with iced water. 

However, as is the nature with anything that uses water and a paper filter, if you leave the Arctic Air unused for more than a week, dreaded mould may set in which is not only impossible to remove, but it smells awful and probably isn’t very good for you.

•Buy the JML Arctic Air from JTF

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