- 1 Power and proven durability
- 2 Smaller, less noisy
- 3 Pinpoint control and energy efficiency
- 4 Cheap, yet powerful
- 5 Expensive and excellent
Vornado 630 Medium Air Circulator
Power and proven durability
The compact Vornado 630 can send breezes to the far corners of a large room, is easy to control and clean, and has a long-established record for reliability.
The Vornado 630 Medium Air Circulator is a simple, powerful, and reliable fan that can move huge amounts of air without making too much noise. The 630 isn’t a traditional fan—it’s an air circulator, designed to create a vortex that circulates all of the air in your room better than an oscillating fan, and without the distraction of intermittent gusts. It’s one of the most affordable fans we tested that packs enough power to send breezes throughout a large space. It’s also compact—not much bigger than a basketball. And it’s backed by a five-year warranty. It doesn’t have any frills, such as a remote or a timer, but its minimalist design makes it easy to use—we especially appreciated the easily accessible speed-control dial on the side—and, equally important, easy to clean and maintain. We think you can’t go wrong with any Vornado, but this model offers the biggest bang for your buck.
Vornado 460 Small Air Circulator
Smaller, less noisy
Despite its tiny footprint, the deceptively powerful 460 can move almost as much air as the 630 and has a steadier hum. It’s a great option for smaller rooms or bedrooms.
The volleyball-size Vornado 460 Small Air Circulator looks and works very much like the 630, and costs around $15 less. We slightly preferred its steady hum to the occasionally varied whirring of the 630, which could make a difference to light sleepers. Because the 460 is smaller, it can’t move air as effectively in large rooms as the 630 can, but it’s a great choice for smaller rooms where noise levels matter more, such as offices or bedrooms. Our biggest complaint is that the 460 model’s control dial is placed behind the motor in a more awkward position than the 630 model’s. Turning this fan on and off or changing the speed means reaching around the machine, and often a blast of air in the face.
Vornado 610DC Energy Smart Medium Air Circulator
Pinpoint control and energy efficiency
Infinitely adjustable fan speed, energy efficiency, and a 10-year warranty help offset the Vornado 610DC model’s high price.
The Vornado 610DC Energy Smart Medium Air Circulator is a slight upgrade from the 630 and 460 if you want even less noise and more adjustability. Its variable speed control dial, an energy-efficient DC motor, and a whopping 10-year warranty don’t make it any better at moving air, but they do make it nicer to use if you’re willing to pay a premium for those features. At a usual price of $100 (about $35 more than the similarly powerful 630), the 610DC is a big purchase. But it does offer moderate savings on your electric bill: Vornado claims it’s 80 percent more efficient than similar AC-powered fans, which our testing confirmed—as long as you’re not constantly running it on high. We also liked that the speed dial is infinitely adjustable, allowing you to set the airflow to perfectly match your needs—a luxury we didn’t realize we loved until we had to go back to three-speed fans like the 630 and 460. However, be aware that similar to a laptop, the DC motor requires a large and unsightly (but easy to hide) power brick to operate.
Holmes Lil’ Blizzard Performance Table Fan
Cheap, yet powerful
It’s strong and inexpensive, and it can oscillate, but its build quality and features fall short of our other picks’.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $25.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, but surprisingly powerful fan to use short term or to keep in a guest room, the Holmes Lil’ Blizzard Performance Table Fan is a fine choice. It’s a little louder than our other picks on the highest of its two settings and is made of chintzy plastic, but it’s easy to clean, has a compact footprint, and can oscillate or lock into place. Its build quality and features fall short compared with our other picks’, but that’s to be expected given its low price and small size.
Dyson Air Multiplier AM06
Expensive and excellent
This powerful, feature-packed fan was the quietest and easiest to clean of all we tested, but it’s very expensive. Its design is striking, and it’s worth considering if money’s no object.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $335.
The Dyson Air Multiplier AM06 may seem gimmicky and overpriced, but in addition to being the quietest fan we tested, it is one of the most powerful, and it’s very easy to clean. In our whole-room tests, the AM06 was able to circulate as much air as the best fans we tested, even though its overall velocity score proved middling. The AM06 can oscillate in a 90-degree arc, it has a versatile sleep timer, and its 10 speed settings help you dial in exactly the right level of air movement. It looks and feels polished, with a handsome bladeless design and a small remote that magnetically clips to its side. Of course, the price is really hard to justify for most people. But aside from the cost, the Dyson leaves you with little to complain about, and if aesthetics are the top priority for the room it’s going in, we don’t have any reason to discourage you.
One change for the 2018 update to this guide: We moved a former pick, the Seville Classics UltraSlimline 40″ Tower Fan, to the Competition section. We didn’t make this call lightly and we explain our reasoning in Why we no longer recommend tower fans.
source: NY Times – Wirecutter