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Best tower fan 2024: Effective cooling in a practical package

A group of tower fans

Cool your room in style and save a little space with the best tower fans from £33

You can never bank on getting hot weather in the UK but, when it does come, it can come with a thump. When the mercury rises and the air stays still, it’s almost impossible to escape the humidity and heat, yet – for most of us – air conditioning is overkill. Get hold of a fan, however, and you can get a breeze going inside your home and make the temperature a bit more bearable. Put one in the lounge and you can properly chill out; get one in the bedroom and you might just get some sleep.

Tower fans aren’t your only option – desktop fans, floor fans and pedestal fans can all be great – but they’re often the most practical. The advantage of their tall, cylindrical shape is that you get a lot of cooling without a massive footprint, and it’s spread out over a larger vertical area. What’s more, tower fans usually oscillate, twisting left and right to spread the cooling airflow over a wider space. Cram one in the corner of a room, and you’ll be surprised how much of the space it can cover. And it will also do so relatively quietly, and often more efficiently than the equivalent pedestal or floor fan.

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How to choose the best tower fan for you

Decided that a tower fan is for you? Well, now your choice comes down to size and features. Generally speaking, the larger and taller the fan, the higher the airflow and the bigger the room it can cool, with the added bonus that you might not have to push it so hard to have the same effect. This means you can run the fan at a slower speed with – usually – less noise. That’s handy, as noise is the second-biggest factor. A noisy tower fan can be distracting in the daytime, but a real issue if it stops you dropping off to sleep at night.

Oscillation is the other key feature. Nearly all tower fans oscillate, turning slowly from side to side to cover a larger area, but they differ in how wide the angle of oscillation is. Again, the bigger the space you want to cool, the wider you want it – and you can always turn oscillation off if you just want to keep yourself comfortable.

How we test tower fans

Our fan tests start with a battery of airflow tests, where we measure the speed of the air pushed through the fan at a distance of 1m with an anemometer. We test at maximum and minimum fan speed settings, plus a medium setting in-between.

Testing an NSA tower fan with an anemometer

We also measure sound levels at these settings, along with power consumption at the highest and lowest. From there, we use the fan in a selection of different rooms to gauge how effectively they work in different situations and layouts. We also try out any special modes and get to grips with both the built-in controls and the remote control, if supplied.

What controls and features should you look for?

Most tower fans offer a choice of speeds, and the vast majority have a timer function that lets you set your fan to cool you down while you drift off to sleep, but go off after a couple of hours to give you a quieter night.

You may find other settings that vary the speed to give you the feeling of a natural breeze – although the rise and fall of the fan noise tends to spoil the overall effect – and sleep settings designed to minimise the hum and keep you cool without keeping you awake.

Finally, it’s worth looking at the practicalities. Is the cable long enough to place the fan where you want it? How stable is the fan on its stand? Some tower fans we’ve tested have been surprisingly wobbly, and while they tend to be less prone to falling over than your average pedestal fan, you still want to know it won’t tip over at the slightest provocation.

READ NEXT: The best fans to keep you cool this summer

The best tower fans you can buy in 2024

1. Igenix DF0030: Best budget tower fan

Price when reviewed: £33 | Check price at Amazon

If you don’t need to cool a massive space – and you can handle a little noise – then this 30in Igenix fan is something of a bargain. It’s compact and light, meaning it’s easy to lug around the house with the integrated handle, yet it puts out a decent airflow on each of its three speed settings. It also oscillates and has a two-hour timer, although the latter’s an old-school mechanical effort with a quiet tick. Plus, while the build quality isn’t what you might call stellar, it’s backed by a two-year warranty.

This isn’t the perfect fan for sleepers, as even on its lowest setting it’s far from silent, but it’s fine for cooling down a small living room or taking some heat out of the bedroom before sleep. Looking for maximum cooling for a minimal cost? The Igenix is pretty hard to beat.

Key specs – Dimensions: 76.2 x 24 x 24cm; Weight: 2.66kg; Oscillation angle: 80-degrees; Cord length: 1.8m; Warranty: 2yrs; Power: 45W

2. Honeywell HYF1101E1: Best budget tower fan for larger spaces

Price when reviewed: £49 | Check price at Amazon There’s no getting around the fact that the Honeywell HYF1101E1 is pretty basic. It’s a simple fan with a choice of three speed settings, a shut-off timer and no remote control. Where other tower fans offer 80 to 100 degrees of oscillation, the HYF1101E1 settles for just 55. Frankly, it’s not much of a looker. However, on the plus side it’s reasonably powerful – we measured a maximum air speed of 2.1m/sec from a 1m range in our tests – and it’s not horrendously noisy, with noise levels of around 47.5dB running at full blast, dropping to just under 39dB at the lowest setting.

You wouldn’t want to try sleeping while it’s up and running, but it’s better than most budget fans when it comes to excess background noise. What’s more, once you’ve put the two-part stand together and slotted the cable into position, it’s a reasonably robust and well-built tower that’s not as inclined to tipping as some of its bargain basement rivals. Another £15 will net you the superior Dimplex MontBlanc, while its sister fan, the HY245E QuietSet is even better and just another £10 on top of that. All the same, if your budget stops at £50 to £60, then this is the tower fan to buy.

Key specs – Dimensions: 80 x 21 x 17cm; Weight: 2.5kg; Oscillation angle: 55-degrees; Cord length: 1.8m; Warranty: 3yrs; Power: 36W

3. Ansio 30in Tower Fan: Best budget fan for cooling power

Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at Amazon Don’t expect much in the way of modes or features, but this striking 30in tower fan has it where it counts. It’s one of the more powerful tower fans we’ve tested, with air speeds reaching 3.2m/sec from a metre away. Even at the lowest of its three speed settings we measured 2.4m/sec.

That’s a lot of cooling power, even if we’d say that the airflow is strongest relatively low to the ground. Noise levels are relatively high as well. If you struggle to sleep through the 41dB at low power, you can forget about the 49.9dB at full. Still, the old-school mechanical timer works surprisingly well, and if it’s not the most refined of fans, you’ll appreciate its icy blast as the temperature soars.

Key specs – Dimensions: 76.5 x 24 x 24cm; Weight: 3.96kg; Oscillation angle: 60-degrees; Cord length: 1.75m; Warranty: 2yr; Power: 45W

4. Honeywell HY254E QuietSet: Best tower fan for the bedroom

Price when reviewed: £64 | Check price at Amazon The Honeywell HY245E QuietSet is an established favourite: slim, well-designed and solidly built, even if it wobbles a little on its round plastic stand. There are some thoughtful touches such as the compartment where you can dock the supplied remote, the carrying handle and the soft-glow indicators at the top, where they won’t shine in your eyes as the fan oscillates from side to side. It has five fan speeds ranging from “Sleep” to “Power cool”, plus a one, two, four or eight-hour timer, and the straightforward controls make it incredibly easy to use.

The best news is that the QuietSet name isn’t just marketing hype: the HY245E is noticeably quieter than most conventional tower fans, even at its higher settings, with a night mode you might actually sleep through. Other fans are bigger and put out more air over a wider space, but this one delivers more than enough cooling for the average living room during the day and works better in the bedroom at night. And if the price is a little higher, it’s well worth paying.

Key specs – Dimensions: 84 x 27.3 x 27.3cm; Weight: 4.8kg; Oscillation angle: 75˚; Cord length: 1.75m; Warranty: 3yrs; Power: 35W

5. NSA UK Dual Position Midi: Best compact tower fan

Price when reviewed: £90 | Check price at NSA UK NSA UK’s tower fan comes with a twist: you can use it upright like any other tower fan or on its side, tilting upwards. Either way it can oscillate through 90˚, either working to cool a larger area or giving you head to toe cooling when you’re lounging on the sofa. You can turn the speed down and still get a nice draft, making it a great tower fan for snoozing, particularly as the noise output on its lowest speed settings aren’t much above ambient levels.

It’s easy to use, has a timer and a great natural breeze setting, and is reasonably powerful by compact tower fan standards; we measured the maximum airflow at 2.2m/sec. It’s also light enough to lug around everywhere, which is handy in a heatwave. Throw in low energy consumption, even at higher speeds, and this is the best of the compact options.

Read our full NSA UK Dual Position Midi review

Key specs – Dimensions: 54 x 15 x 14cm; Weight: 2.4kg; Oscillation angle: 90-degrees; Cord length: 1.6m; Warranty: 2yr; Power: 18W

Check price at NSA

6. Dimplex Ion Fresh Cooling Tower Fan: Best tower fan for fresher air

Price when reviewed: £110 | Check price at Amazon The Ion Fresh stands out from the crowd thanks to its imposing 1.07m height, its built-in ioniser mode and its rather classy brushed copper finish – even if it’s just a coloured plastic. It looks great with its low-glow green digital temperature display and touch-sensitive controls, and we’re also keen on the fan’s tilt feature, where you can push it back by up to 7 degrees to direct the airflow upwards.

The ionisation feature is designed to discharge negative ions that attach to positive ions to freshen-up your environment. Whether this actually works or not is somewhat controversial, but the Ion Fresh does a nice job of making stuffy rooms more liveable and – more importantly – moving air around at speeds of up to 2.3 metres per second at maximum speed, or 1.3 metres per second at its lowest. Add a wide 70-degree oscillation, and it can cool a surprisingly large area, while it also packs in a 12-hour timer, sleep mode and variable speed natural mode. One thing it isn’t is quiet: on its lowest settings it puts out over 40dB, and that can reach 50dB when you turn the fan speed up. Still, if it’s not the ideal fan for bedroom use, it’s a good-looking, capable cooler for everywhere else.

Key specs – Dimensions: 107 x 31 x 31cm; Weight: 5.6kg; Oscillation angle: 70-degrees; Cord length: 1.5m; Warranty: 2yr (3yr after online registration); Power: 45W

7. Princess Smart Tower Fan: Best tower fan for big spaces

Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at Amazon  Even by tower fan standards, this one’s monolithic, standing over 1m tall and with each end capped in gleaming metal plate. The screw-on base actually has a matching shell, although this doesn’t stop the tower from wobbling when you move it or prod the slow pressure-sensitive controls at the top. Luckily, with just three speed settings, a timer and a choice of three modes, you shouldn’t need to use them all that often.

As the name suggests, this fan also has basic smart features through the Climate Wizard smartphone app, but these don’t extend beyond remote control functions and a timer. Enable the Alexa or Google Home skills, and you can also turn it on or off or change the speed using voice controls, but you can’t switch between the Normal, Sleep and Natural modes.

Instead, the best reason to get this fan is that it pushes so much air out over such a high and wide area, thanks to the sheer size of the fan, a 2.4m/sec maximum airflow and an 80˚ degree oscillation feature. It’s just a shame that it’s noisy, putting out 46dB at its highest settings and 40dB even in Sleep mode, while the Natural mode is plain distracting, constantly revving up and revving down the fan speed. Still, if you want a fan for a large space and noise doesn’t matter, this one’s a keeper, and one of the few tower fans we’ve tested that can rival a pedestal fan on reach and range. It doesn’t take up as much space, yet it’s a serious tower of power.

Key specs – Dimensions: 103.7 x 31.5 x 31.6cm; Weight: 4.11kg; Oscillation angle: 80-degrees; Cord length: 1.18m; Warranty: 2yr; Power: 50W

8. John Lewis & Partners Tower Fan, 42-inch: Best tall tower fan

Price when reviewed: £95 | Check price at John Lewis This John Lewis own-brand tower fan is not just one of the biggest, but also one of the best. Despite its 1.07m height, its gloss white and black plastic finish looks stylish, and the solid build puts it miles ahead of some cheap and creaky budget options. It has superb touch sensitive controls and a clear display that’s smart enough to turn off when you’re not making adjustments, and even the remote control is better than the norm, looking more like something you’d get with a TV streaming stick.

What’s more, it’s a good performer, pushing through air at speeds of up to 2.8 metres per second to cover more vertical space than most tower fans, and across a 60 degree arc with oscillation. Here, only the inner portion rotates back and forth, meaning minimal noise and wobble. And while it can go loud, putting out nearly 50dB at max speed, it’s relatively quiet on its lowest speed setting, at roughly 32.4dB. It also has a Sleep setting, where it reduces the speed over time, a variable speed natural mode and a timer, covering up to 12 hours. It’s more expensive than your average tower, but well worth the extra.

Key specs – Dimensions: 107 x 30 x 30cm; Weight: 5.7kg; Oscillation angle: 60-degrees; Cord length: 1.8m; Warranty: 2yr; Power: 45W

Check price at John Lewis

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