With us all at home, likely for another couple more months at least, and the weather hotting up, demand for fans will likely be hotting up (sorry).
If you just want a fan to cool you down during the day either in a hot office or while working from home, you can choose almost any large pedestal, floor or tower fan. Normally, the bigger, the better.
However, when it comes to sleeping things are different, most people don’t appreciate the drone of a fan all night, and the sound profile of a fan can make a big difference too. For me, and I assume most people, high pitched or irregular fan noise pretty much guarantees I won’t get to sleep. However, if you can find a fan with a low-end regular hum, the white noise can beneficial.
Like most things in life you get what you pay for, most of the cheap fans you find on Amazon are perfectly good for general cooling, but they generally have very limited speed settings, I have found the big pedestal ones you can buy for £20-ish don’t have a low enough setting to be quiet enough for sleeping.
If you want a fan that is very low noise with a consistent low-end hum, you are going to have to pay for it. Personally, I think it is an investment that is worth it, one night of lost sleep can have a negative effect on my mood and work for a few days. Generally, the more expensive fans have many more speed settings and I think part of the expense is the cost of a motor that is able to run at low speeds.
At the time of writing (early April) it is a good time to buy a fan as many of them are currently at their lowest price. For example, I personally bought the ANSIO Pedestal Fan last year for £69.97, it is now £52.47.
Low noise pedestal fans ideal for sleeping
Pedestal fans are generally better for sleeping than a tower fan, because it is one large fan rather than a bunch of smaller ones, this therefore keeps the pitch of the noise down.
Reviews: 4.6/5 from 346 ratings
This is one of the best-reviewed fans on Amazon and the 26 speeds help ensure you can get the fan speed low enough for it to be inaudible during sleep. It has two sets of blades which makes it a little different than some of the other options on the market.
Reviews: 4.6/5 from 969 ratings
This has only been on Amazon for 60 days but it is essentially the same as the MeacoFan 1056 but sitting on top of a pedestal. I have not personally used it yet, but it has received some incredible reviews. It is also Quiet Mark certified but in my experience that doesn't always mean much.
There are only 12 fan speeds and they don't mention the fan blade size, however, they do claim noise levels of 20 to 60dB(A) which would make it the most silent fan I know of.
Reviews: 4.7/5 from 143 ratings
This is the model I personally use, and for me, it has been great. Attaching the front fan guard is a nightmare, but that's the only bad thing I have to say about it. At its lowest setting of 1 it is barely audible when I try and go to sleep, the fan noise seems to be consistent, and there are with no high pitched notes.
This has a remote and a stop / delay start timer of up to 8 hours
Reviews: 4.6/5 from 156 ratings
For the sake of £7 more, this one maybe a better buy with a greater range in fan settings. This then has a 12 hour delay start and stop timer operated in increments of 0.5hours.
Reviews: 4.6/5 from 156 ratings
Getting a bit expensive now but this has a unique 9 blade design with a blade size of 400mm provides you with wide air sweep. The 30-watt DC fan consumes significantly less energy to produce the same output as other AC fans.
The DC Fan features 26 wind settings with a control wheel for speed regulation and 5 wind mode setting – Normal, Natural, Sleep, Comfort and Silent coupled with a 12-hour timer to suite every situation.
Related: Ansio Pedestal Fan Review
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Reviews: 4.4/5 from 633 ratings
I am listing this just because it is so popular. I have not used it myself so don't have personal experience, but I am quite sure you will get better performance from all the fans above. This throws around air just like a pedestal fan, it just does it in a pretty form factor while also offering a heating option.
Low Noise Fans for the living room and office
Reviews: 4.6/5 from 28 ratings
I have just reviewed this Devola pedestal fan and found it to be excellent, it is probably quiet enough for most people to use a fan for sleeping, but it was a touch too loud for me. It now lives in my office and provides a good air flow while keeping the noise low.
Reviews: 5/5 from 7 ratings
This is a tech blog, so of course, there is a smart fan with voice control. Being smart you have a little more control over how things work, you can set your AirGo Smart Fan to turn on when the temperature in your area goes beyond your set degree.
I had previously recommended this for sleeping because it had a quiet mark rating. However, I bought it, and it was disappointing being far too loud for sleeping. It does make a superb office fan though.
Related: AirGo Smart Fan Review
Cheap fans for general cooling
Reviews: 4/5 from 1358 ratings
I bought this with claims that it is quiet, but with three fan settings it is far too noisy to sleep with, for day time use it is good though. I moved it into my garage/gym and use it when running or cycling in Zwift. It gets the job done and is cheap as chips.
Reviews: 4.4/5 from 1358 ratings
OK, so not exactly cheap, but if you want high performance cooling a massive floor fan is the way to go. These things tend to sound like a propjet plane but the massive 20-inch fan circulates air fast enough to be suitable in gyms, let alone your home office.
[Original Post – 8th of April 2020]
[Updated on 8th of August] New recommendations with updates based on reviews
Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API