The 8 Best Desk Fans of 2021
Keep your workstation cool
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The right desk fan can transform a stuffy office into a climate personalized to your needs. When it comes to options, there's a wide variety: from fans that cost more than an in-window AC unit to grab-and-go battery-powered options. Some come with remotes, others are designed to plug into your computer’s USB port.
When choosing the right fan for your office, first take into account your desk space. That cool retro fan might match your reclaimed wood furniture, but if its footprint will take up most of your workspace, opt for a slimmer model. If you think you’ll be moving the fan around on the desk, then lighter models with integrated handles and retractable cords make transport easier. Variable speed options also provide a bit of versatility, automatic oscillation can help cool an entire room, and the low-noise options can keep you from feeling like you’re sitting next to a noise machine. Read on to see our favorite desk fans to pick up for your office.
Best Overall: Vornado Pivot Personal Air Circulator
Dubbed a “personal air circulator,” the Vornado Pivot delivers a lot for such a small, well-priced fan. You get three-speed controls, a pivoting axis that allows for 180-degree adjustment, and a relatively quiet engine. The curved shape of the stand and the shape of the desk fan itself, inspired by Vornado’s roots in designing jet engines, add flair, and at only 6 inches tall it won’t dominate your desktop. It also comes backed by a three-year warranty. Unlike some models, the Pivot doesn’t automatically oscillate; just point it where you want and you’re set.
Best Budget: Holmes Lil’ Blizzard Table Fan
On a budget but looking to beat the heat? The Holmes Lil’ Blizzard, 8-inch oscillating fan automatically swivels to distribute the air, with a tilt-adjustable head and two manual speed settings adjustable via the rear dial. At only 1 pound, it’s also very easy to move, with a modest footprint, and operates in “quiet” mode at all times. This small desk fan probably won’t win any design awards, but it’ll definitely keep you cool.
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Best Splurge: Dyson Air Multiplier AM06
The Dyson Air Multiplier AM06 comes with a hefty price tag, but you get all the high-quality craftsmanship and winning aesthetics of which the brand is famous for. The desk fan pivots on its own center of gravity and uses Dyson's proprietary “Air Multiplier” technology that amplifies the surrounding air to create a steady stream of smooth airflow from its 10-inch diameter opening without using any actual blades. You can program it to turn off at pre-set intervals between 15 minutes and 9 hours, with smooth oscillation to distribute cool air throughout the room. Naturally, it comes with a remote, curved and magnetized to attach to the fan base, that lets you select from 10 airflow settings and runs whisper-quiet even when going full blast.
Best Retro: Vornado VFAN Jr. Vintage Air Circulator
A modern upgrade to Vornado’s first fan introduced in 1945, the all-metal VFAN Jr. Vintage desk fan adds a bit of timeless design to your desktop. It uses a patented airflow process called “Vortex Action” to circulate the air around the room, with deep-pitched blades and two injector cones to push out air in a spiral and travels greater distances than most competitors. It comes with two fan speeds, a full-action pivot head for multi-directional flow, a five-year warranty, and an unmistakably retro-cool appearance, especially in the green model with brass-colored accents.
Best USB-Powered: MUJI USB Tabletop Fan
From Japan’s home goods superheroes MUJI, this desk fan adds a modern aesthetic to your cooling needs. It’s a touch more expensive than most but delivers everything you’d need, including 80-degree oscillation, a fan angle adjustment of 30 degrees, two power settings, and low noise emission, thanks to its two-blade construction. It’s also powered via USB and comes with a silicone rubber bottom to ensure stability.
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Best Value: Honeywell HT-900 Air Circulator
Get powerful air movement without sacrificing much of your budget with the Honeywell HT-900 Air Circulator. It boasts an array of features, from three different speed settings to an adjustable fan head that pivots up to 90 degrees, and the desk fan's cooling can even be felt from over 27 feet away. Even more, it's 25 percent quieter than competing brands' models, so you can keep it running in silent workspaces. For a high-quality desk fan that offers powerful, multi-directional cooling, the Honeywell HT-900 is a steal.
Most Unique: Aikoper Desk Fan
Stand out from the crowd of traditional desk fans with the unique, yet sleek Aikoper Desk Fan. It features Aikoper's twin-turbo cyclone structure, brand's latest proprietary technology, which cuts airflow evenly for superior streams of air. Get two adjustable speeds (low and high speeds), as well as an adjustable pitch angle for directing airflow up to 18 degrees. Thanks to the desk fan's dual blades design, it also runs fairly quiet. To add to its innovative design, the Aikoper is powered through a sensitive touch control. It's USB-powered, too.
Best Clip-On: Genesis Convertible Table-Top & Clip Fan
To best maximize your desk space, opt for this convertible table-top and clip-on fan from Genesis. You can simply place it on your desk or use the sturdy grip clamp to attach the fan to any base—so you can even attach it on your shelf for various angles of airflow, without it slipping or falling off. This desk fan also has two quiet speeds (powerful and light settings) and an adjustable head for controlling the direction of airflow.
Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best desk lamps article.