We all love the summer weather. The warm months are a great time to travel and enjoy the outdoors. Even for those who don’t travel much, merely soaking in the sun for an hour or two every few days can feel intensely refreshing.
However, even the biggest fans of the warmer months will admit that any summer plans must include a cooling mechanism for the few days when it gets too hot indoors.
Box fans are one of the best, most reliable home cooling solutions. Though the air conditioner is often the go-to fix in these circumstances, box fans are a valuable complementary asset that will help you drive the heat away faster while potentially reducing your cooling bills.
Let’s begin with a review of some of the best box fans to consider whenever you decide to acquire one. We’ve mostly selected value-for-money fans that guarantee efficiency and reliability, though we’ve also picked some of the quietest options.
Among the devices designed to cool the indoors for increased comfort, box fans are the simplest. But they are also some of the most effective. The fans especially stand out for their energy efficiency. The box fan consumes very little power. The rest of this guide should help you pick the right one.
What is a Box Fan?
A box fan is a simple electric device used to circulate air to keep the air cool or eliminate odors. The typical box fan consists of rotating blades housed in a square or round box. The covering has slots at the back and front to draw and release air, respectively.
Box fans are often placed on the table or counter for maximum airflow. However, you can also place it close to an open window to draw fresh air into the room or remove stale air from the house. When positioned with the front-facing indoors, it draws fresh air from outside the house. In the reverse position, it draws stale air from the house and dumps it outside.
A key characteristic of the box fan is that it remains low to the ground or base surface because it’s not elevated in any way. This is different from tower and pedestal fans.
How Does a Box Fan Work?
The classic box fan is driven by electronic induction, i.e., electric current’s quality to create a magnetic field in a coil. This magnetic field induces a current and a new magnetic field in anything conductive nearby.
This is how the box fan motor is powered. The two magnetic fields repel each other, pushing the motor around. The number of coils and speed with which the AC current changes speed determines the speed of the motor/fan.
When the motor rotates, the fan blades rotate too. The blades are angled such that they deflect air they rotate, giving air particles a push that sends the particles along the surface of the blade into the room. The moving air creates a breeze that gives a cool feeling as it passes over the skin.
As the blade moves, it leaves a vacuum that’s filled with new air. The process goes on and on this way, resulting in a cool room.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Box Fan
Price is often the first considerations that come to mind when you think of buying anything. But, there are at least four factors just as important when shopping for a box fan;
- Physical size: The diameter of the fan blades directly impacts its performance. Larger blades move more air in every rotation, thus can cool a larger area.
- Size in CFM: The cubic-feet-per-minute (CFM) rating defines how well the fan can move air. The higher the CFM, the better. Some box fans are rated up to 4,000 CFM, while others max out at just over 200 CFM.
- Speed options: The best box fans provide a few speed controls so you can adjust the air conditions in your room as you please. The majority have three-speed levels – Low, Medium, and High.
- Noise level: Noise is a significant downside of box fans. Make sure to find one with a low noise rating (measured in decibels). More importantly, proper maintenance goes a long way. A well-maintained box fan is a quiet box fan.
Top 10 Quietest Box Fans Reviews 2021
1. Comfort Zone CZ9BWT Portable 9-Inch 2-Speed Quiet Box Fan
- PERFECT PERSONAL FAN: The Comfort Zone Portable Box Fan is ideal in a number of situations. Its whisper quiet operation makes it ideal for your home or office desk while you’re trying to work, or a cool breeze while you’re trying to sleep. It has two speeds for customized air flow..Wattage:32 watts.Voltage:120 volts.Number of speeds:2
- COOL AIR JUST WHERE YOU WANT IT: Small, but powerful, you’ll be very impressed with the power behind this little fan. Its compact design makes it perfect for tabletop use and the built-in carry handle allows you to take it wherever you want.
- ENSURED FOR QUALITY: As a leader in safety and reliability, Comfort Zone has dedicated Engineering and Quality-Assurance teams in the US and China. Comfort Zone products are designed and tested to meet strict global quality standards including UL, ETL, SAA, CE, CSA and NOM.
- TRUSTED BRAND: For more than a decade, Comfort Zone has grown to become a trusted brand, recognized nationally as a leader in home environment products. On a typical hot summer day, there are up to 5 million Comfort Zone fans in use across the US and Canada. Imagine that!
- PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS: Package contains (1) Comfort Zone Portable Box Fan – 9”. Dimensions: 9.68" x 8.86" x 25.35". 2 Speed Control. Compact for tabletop use. Great for Kitchen, Bedroom or Dorm Room. Quiet Operation. Built-in Carry Handle.
Let’s kick off with this attractive tabletop fan from Comfort Zone. It’s a compact 9-inch fan that weighs a paltry 2.5 lbs, making it the perfect appliance for flexible use.
A convenient built-in handle allows for easy transportation, while the feet mean you can place it on pretty much any flat surface. Make sure it’s a stable, solid surface.
The neutral white color is another significant attraction. It allows the fan to fit all modern decors, whether you choose to use it in the kitchen, bedroom, or living room.
It’s a 2-speed fan with a low and high setting. The low-speed setting is excellent for nighttime when you don’t need to move a lot of air. The fan is virtually noise-free in this setting. The high setting isn’t particularly strong but delivers more than enough air movement to create a refreshing environment.
As with most box fans, the Model CZ9BWT comes ready to use out of the box. Just plug it in, and you’re ready to go. To begin fanning your home, locate the easy-use rotary dial on the front of the fan to switch it on. It is UL listed for your peace of mind.
- Small size (only 9 inches wide)
- Features built-in carry handle
- Exceptionally quiet (52db)
- No warranty
2. Lasko B20401 Décor Colors 20-Inch Box Fan
- Slim 20 inch box fan provides high volume air movement
- Save-Smart design costs less than 2-cents per hour to run
- Top-mounted control knob with 3 quiet speeds
- Safe, rounded corners plus easy-carry handle for portability
- Fully assembled for immediate use
The Model B20401 fan from LASKO is a slim-design gorgeous product designed for modern homes, especially for personal use. The Décor Colors range of fans comes in a wide range of attractive colors. This particular model is black.
Like most products on this list, it’s a freestanding fan that you can set on the table, window, or floor. It’s designed for residential use but can also be carried to the workplace for personal air conditioning.
The fan features three quiet settings. A top-mounted control knob allows you to flip through the settings to select the best solution depending on the conditions. More importantly, it features a Save-Smart function for energy efficiency. You’ll only need $0.2/hour to run the fan. That’s about $1.2 hours for air conditioning every day, assuming that you run the fan for six hours daily.
It’s a very safe fan. The Blue Plug safety fuse technology protects users from electrical shocks and short circuits. Additionally, the rounded corners mean you don’t have to worry about cuts in case of an accidental bump.
The 20-inch model B20401 is lightweight at a meager 7.25 pounds and comes with an integrated carry handle for easy mobility. It also comes fully assembled out of the box and is weather-resistant (the motor isn’t affected even if exposed to harsh weather). It’s rated at 1847 CFM and comes with a limited one-year warranty.
- Three speed settings
- Energy efficient ($0.2/hour)
- Weather-resistant motor
- Built-in safety features
- 1-year warranty
- No smart features
- Doesn’t tilt
3. Holmes Model HABF120W-N 10-Inch Personal Size Box Fan
- 10" Blade diameter
- Two quiet speed settings
- Lightweight for easy portability
The Holmes brand provides products to transform the home environment for enhanced and ultimate comfort in everyday living. This product, the Model HABF120W-N 10-inch box fan, embodies this mission, guarantees significant air quality improvement without costing a limb.
It’s a slim-design fan, measuring about 10 x 2 x 5 inches and extremely lightweight at approximately 2.0 lbs. This makes it easy to carry from one location to the next. You can even bring it to the office if you wish.
The pearl white color means it fits in most settings without any trouble. Cream options are also available. Unfortunately, there’s no handle. So you’ll have to lift it from the base.
You get the option of two speed settings – low and high. The high setting is recommended for hot days when you need extra power. Otherwise, the low setting should suffice. A manual knob at the top of the box allows you to switch between the settings.
The fan comes ready to use out of the box. The electric/power cable is included for increased convenience. A one-year manufacturer warranty backs it.
- Compact design takes up little space
- It comes in an attractive white/cream finish
- Select from two-speed settings
- Enjoy a 1-year limited manufacturer warranty
- Not ideal for large spaces
- No smart features
4. PELONIS PFB50A2ABB-V 3-Speed Box Fan
- 3-SPEED FAN CONTROL: Rotary 3-speed fan control makes it easy to optimize air circulation and airflow to suit any home or work space.
- SAFE AND DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: The high-performance blades on this fan allow for smooth operation and are covered with a safety grill for protection while in use.
- SAVES MONEY AND ENERGY: This 3-speed box fan helps save money and reduce energy consumption by assisting air conditioners with full-force air circulation.
- LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN: The lightweight construction and convenient carrying handle makes it easy to transport as needed.
- MANUFACTURER WARRANTY: With confidence in the quality of our product, Pelonis offers a 1-year manufacturer with your purchase of any of our product.
The 20-inch PELONIS model PFB50A2ABB-V is a basic fan, though not so simple. It’s an attractive compact fan ideal for medium-sized spaces. For one, it measures about 20.6 x 5.6 x 21.3 inches, allowing it to fit even the tightest spaces. The two feet ensure stability during operation.
At 8.28 pounds, it’s also lightweight enough for effortless mobility. A carry handle mechanism at the top makes it possible to lift the fan with ease.
The fan features three-speed settings – Low, Medium, and High. You can easily flip through to the High setting using the easily accessible control knob on the top right corner. The limitless mobility means you can position the fan to face exactly where you need to cool most. You can also move it close to you without any safety worries.
It comes pre-assembled out of the box so that you can begin air conditioning right away. Just plug it into the regular power outlet. The power cord is recessed into the back of the fan to minimize clutter and prevent accidents.
- Features three fan speeds
- One knob control
- Lightweight and portable
- Features built-in carry handle
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
- It comes in a stale black finish
5. Black and Decker BFB09W Mini Box Fan
- BOX FAN FOR DESK OR TABLE – The small, compact size (10.9 x 4.25 x 10.9) of this mini electric fan fits perfectly on desktops, table tops, and counters - making it ideal for fast, personal cooling in bedrooms, offices, garages, RVs, and dorms.
- SMALL PORTABLE FAN - The slim, square design is uniquely frameless, so it doesn’t take up too much space on bedside tables and office desks, and even sits on windowsills. Lightweight (3.97 lbs.), it can easily be moved around the home.
- QUIET, 3 SPEED AIR CIRCULATION – Customize the airflow exactly the way you like it at home or work with High, Medium, and Low settings. Stay cool and comfortable on hot, humid days without distracting noise.
- EASY TO USE & ACCESS CONTROL PANEL – Just plug it in and create your own personal cool breeze in seconds! No assembly is required. The settings of the 9-inch durable blade are adjusted quickly + simply right from the front bottom corner of the box.
The Black & Decker frameless model BFB09W box fan is another extremely quiet fanning device if you wish to improve air conditioning in a small space without loud fan noises.
It’s small and compact at just 10.9 x 4.25 x 10.9 inches and fits perfectly on desktops, tabletops, and counters. You can use it in the bedroom or living room or even bring it along to the garage and on RV trips.
The frameless design makes it even more unique, making it the ideal pick if you’re looking for an appliance that complements your décor. You’ll also appreciate that it weighs a paltry 3.97 lbs. This means you can carry it anywhere with ease.
Three quiet speed options allow you to adjust the air conditioning to meet your needs. The speed control knob is located at the bottom right corner. You’ll hear the clicks as you switch through the different speed settings. Wait for three clicks whenever you want the highest speed level.
This affordable fan (priced under $20) doesn’t require any assembly. Just plug and play right out of the box. A one-year warranty backs it for parts and labor so that you can feel confident with your purchase.
- Attractive design with low-profile white finish
- It’s small and portable
- Three quiet speed settings
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
- No dedicated carry handles
6. Vornado 573 Model CR1-0118-06 Small Flat Panel Circulator Fan
- VORTEX ACTION — Utilizes Vornado's signature Vortex air circulation to more effectively move air throughout a room.
- SIMPLE CONTROLS — The 3-speed manual control is easy to use and allows you to dial in your comfort.
- MULTI-DIRECTIONAL AIRFLOW — Equipped with an adjustable tilt head that allows you to direct the air vertically or horizontally.
- OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE — Deep-pitched blades paired with an inlet guide cone enclosed air duct and spiral grill help move air up to 60 feet.
- SUPERIOR SUPPORT — Backed by a 5-year hassle-free promise and supported by a customer service team based in Andover, KS.
- Built to meet U.S. voltage requirements Certified safety-tested and warrantied for use only in the U. S.
The Vornado 573 uses Vornado’s signature Vortex technology to provide high performance, moving up to 60 cubic feet of air per minute.
It’s a minimalistic fan with contrasting high gloss and textured finishes that create a modern yet understated appearance. The high gloss grill easily detaches from the rest of the fan system for convenient maintenance.
Vornado Vortex fans circulate air throughout the room so that everyone can feel comfortable. The powerful airflow is directed horizontally across the room so that it reaches every corner of the room. At the same time, some cool air jets upwards to counter the heat from above. The intensity spiral grill creates a spiral effect on the airflow for maximum effect.
Deep-pitch blades inside the box further enhance the powerful performance by maximizing the amount of air moved with each turn of the motor. The blades are enclosed deep inside a cylindrical duct so that air is sculptured into a high-velocity column while the specially sized inlet directs air to the most efficient parts of the blades for increased airflow.
It’s a three-speed fan with a manual control knob included for easy speed adjustments. The fan itself revolves at 2,000 RPM and can deliver up to 236 CFM. However, larger, more powerful alternatives are available with up to 516 CFM.
- Attractive panel design
- Features 6-foot power cord
- Moves air up to 60 feet away
- Compact at 10 x 7.2 x 10.3 inches
- 5-year manufacturer warranty
- No remote control
7. Lasko 20-Inch Weather-Shield Performance Box Fan
- 3 Quiet Speeds - makes this fan ideal for the bedroom, living room, kitchen, or home office. The quiet yet powerful motor provides a cooling breeze throughout the room.
- Save-Smart - means you'll pay less than $0.02 per hour to operate the fan. Combine this with up to 30% more air velocity and you have an energy efficient fan to use year round.
- Weather Shield Motor - allows you to use the fan worry free in an open window. Thanks to the weather shield motor you can leave the fan in place during minor rain.
- Innovative Wind Ring System - is designed to increase air velocity without increasing power consumption. This allows the fan to circulate more air compared to traditional fans.
- Simple No-Tools Assembly - allows you to take the fan out of the box and have it working in seconds. Just clip the stabilizing feet onto the fan, stand up the fan, and it's ready to use.
This is the second Lasko product on this list and for a good reason. Lasko is one of the biggest names when it comes to box fans. The company makes beautiful yet durable fans that you can count on for many years. The fans are also made from metallic parts for flexible use.
The model 3720 is a premium, high-performing box fan with a patented weather shield motor for window use. It also features a high-performance grill for ultimate airflow.
The unique grille system combines with the innovative Wind Ring system to deliver 20% more airflow than traditional box fans. The Lasko weather shield motor ensures a long life of reliable use.
It’s a three-speed fan system with Low (1600 CFM), Medium (1800 CFM), and High (2000 CFM) speed options. A manual knob at the top makes it easy to select the desired speed level. All three-speed settings are very silent. This would allow you to use the fan even in quiet settings such as the office or bedroom.
The 21.2 x 4.7 x 22.5-inch fan weighs about 8.9 pounds, which is lightweight enough for mobile use. A convenient carry handle makes it easy to take the fan with you wherever you go. Similar to other Lasko box fans, a 2-year limited warranty backs the product.
- Durable, weather-resistant design
- The additional height provides stability
- Features a built-in carry handle
- It comes with a 2-year warranty
- No smart controls
8. VENTISOL 18-Inch Wall-Mounted Fan
- Powerful Airflow: Heavy duty metal construction, 3-balanced blades, with a fan speed of 1467 RPM for an air flow of 4,012 CFM. Loosen the knob and adjust the tilt of the fan head, total 360°rotating.Moves air through your target location efficiently for optimal ventilation.
- Safe and Durable: Built for long-term durability and safe use, these wall mounted fans use ball-bearing motors, make it run at least 5 years under good caring.
- Speed Adjustable: With pull chain control featuring three different speeds,high,medium,low. Provide comfortable cooling and ventilating in a workshops, basements, warehouses, home,patio, factory, etc.
- Easy to Install: With new frustration free packaging, wall mounting hardware included, easy to hang it to the wall or the ceiling.
- VENTISOL Quality: With CETL listed, 1-year for the whole fan, 5-year warranty for the motor. Help improve air circulation & energy savings in your home, basement,workshop with Ventisol fans. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us, we are fully committed to customer satisfaction.
VENTISOL mostly makes fans for industrial use. Indeed, even this product can be used in industrial settings. However, it’s one of their few products also rated for domestic use. If you’re shopping for a slightly more powerful fan for a large space, it’s the fan to buy.
First off, it’s a very powerful fan. At 4,012 CFM, it’s only comparable to some of the most potent swamp coolers. The high CFM rating allows it to cool down even large spaces in a matter of seconds. Moreover, it works excellently, even in the hottest weather.
The fan is adjustable too. Simply loosen the knobs and tilt the fan head as you wish. Alternatively, you can rotate it 360 degrees to point the fan head where you need the cooling most.
The 3-blade fan hangs to the wall or ceiling, depending on your needs, and can be switched on/off using a pull chain. The same pull chain also switches through the three speed settings. Simply pull the chain repeatedly until you reach the desired speed level.
It’s a safe and durable fan built from heavy-duty metal for a long life of trouble-free use and is CETL listed. A 1-year manufacturer warranty backs the product.
- Powerful at 4,012 CFM
- Rotates 360 degrees
- Includes 72-foot power cord
- Easy wall/ceiling installation
- 5-year motor warranty
- A tad expensive at over $70
9. B-Air SAFF-20 FIRTANA-20X High-Velocity Electric Industrial and Home Floor Fan
- WIND TO KEEP YOU COOL - Whether you're working with machinery in a large shop, warehouse, or winding down after work outdoor on your patio enjoying a drink, our 20-inch fan will meet your cooling needs.
- POWERFUL - Our fans will help you get through those hot summer days where you need real air flow when those heat waves hit. Great for those that like loud white noise while sleeping.
- VERSATILE - 3 speed settings, tilt adjustable, portable handle, and UL certification to keep you safe. Keep it on the floor or hang it on the wall in your kitchen to circulate the hot air out.
- STRONG AND STURDY - All metal heavy duty housing that is easy to assemble and take apart for easy and convenient maintenance. Small grid spacing to keep out accidental fingers and paws from getting in.
- WARRANTY - 1 year . At B-Air, we engineer quality, durable, and reliable products. We stand by our products and hope you do too.
If you’re shopping for a large/more powerful fan but aren’t a fan of the VENTISOL above, the B-Air FIRTIANA would be an excellent alternative. It’s another very powerful box fan with a capacity of up to 4,650 CFM. The 157-watt fan, however, plugs into the standard household power outlet, drawing a paltry 1.35A.
This fan also hangs on the wall (the manufacturer doesn’t say if it’s safe for ceiling installation). What’s better, the stand pulls forward, allowing for placement on a flat surface, such as the floor.
If you pull it forward fully, the stand becomes flush with the fan head for convenient storage. The same stand also allows you to tilt the fan head as you wish to direct the cool air where it’s most needed and can serve as a portable handle to carry the fan from one place to the next.
The entire fan is constructed from heavy-duty metal for durability but is easy enough to take apart for cleaning and general maintenance. The small grid spaces keep out accidental fingers and paws from getting in.
You can select from three rotation speeds, i.e., 1,507 RPM (High), 1,360 RPM (Medium), or 1,250 RPM (Low). The wall hanger is sold separately.
- Very powerful at up to 4650 CFM
- Three-speed settings, up to 1507 RPM
- All-metal parts for durability
- UL certified for safety
- 1-year warranty
- Wall hanger sold separately
- The power cord is short (only 5 feet)
10. Optimus F-1022 Fan, 10-Inch, 2-Speed Box Fan
- 2-speed energy saving
- Whisper-quiet operation
- 3-position slide switch (Off/Hi/Low) on front of cabinet
- Convenient carrying handle
- No assembly required
Finally, the model F-1022 box fan is another exceptionally quiet box fan. It’s not very different from the fans we discussed initially, with the portable design particularly standing out. At just 11 x 12 x 4.5 inches and weighing 2.73 pounds, you can easily bring it on your travels and even camping trips. Moving it from room to room is also very easy.
Attached to the motor are three fan blades that rotate silently, delivering cool air throughout the room. It’s an oscillating fan that turns from side to side to ensure that cool air reaches every corner of the room. The fan arrives in a white or cream finish.
A control knob, easily accessible from the front of the cabinet, allows you to choose from three different speed settings – Low, Medium, and High. You’ll also love the carrying handle, which you can use to move the unit from one application to the next.
The fan comes fully assembled out of the box, with no further assembly required. The non-slide feet allow it to rest on desks and counters with minimal risk of tip-over.
Though made from plastic, the fan is ETL listed for safety in the US. Better still, it arrives with a 90-day part and labor warranty.
- Compact, portable design for flexible use
- No assembly required
- 3-position slide switch
- It’s an oscillating fan
- ETL listed for safety
- Short warranty (only 90 days)
- Plastic construction feels cheap
Box Fans Frequently Asked Questions
Can you leave a box fan on all day? It’s not a good idea. Though ox fans don’t use much electricity, they tend up to dry up the air. This can leave you with dry lips, skin, and nasal passages.
Can a fan catch fire overnight? All electrical devices can catch fire. However, just as with your air conditioner or humidifier, the chances of a fire are very low.
Is it bad to sleep with a fan on? Yes. Fans dry the air. This can result in the drying of the mouth, nose, and throat, potentially causing various medical issues.
If you plan to reinforce your home cooling arsenal in preparation for the summer, you wouldn’t go wrong with a box fan. Box fans are affordable (most are priced under $50) and extremely energy efficient. They are also compact and typically very quiet.