Desk Fan

Desk fans are normally fans that are small and portable.  These two features allow them to fit on top of a desk without causing too much clutter and at the same time make them easy to move and put away if needed.  They are ideal for both office and home use during the summer months.  Not only can they help to keep your electric bill down when working or relaxing at home, but will make sure you’re cool and comfortable when in the office regardless of if there is air conditioning or not.  If you are hot and sweaty there is no way you can be your most productive. The many desk fan options available can help you deal with that problem and at a temperature which is just right for you.

Questions To Keep In Mind When Shopping For A Desk Fan

What Are You Going To Use It For?

Each type of desk fan has its own advantages and functions for which it really shines.  Deciding first what purpose your desk fan will serve will help you to quickly eliminate options that don’t fit what you need.  Are you looking for something to cool down an entire room? Just you at your desk? Keep your electronics from getting too hot?  Are you going to travel with it?  Do you want a fan that will add to your home décor?  Thinking about what you want your fan to do first will save you from wasting money on a fan that doesn’t fit your needs.

How Much Space Do You Have?

While all desk fans are considered small, some are much smaller than others.  Realistically look at the space you will be using it and decide on a desk fan that will fit.  A 12” desk fan might be perfect for your nightstand but be too big for your cramped workspace for example.  So when you know what you want your fan to accomplish then look at your space and you will be able to further narrow down your choices.

Desk Fan


How Much Sound Do You Want It To Make?

Do you prefer a silent desk fan?  A quiet desk fan?  Or something in-between?  Many people purchase a desk fan obviously to keep cool, but also to help them concentrate.  A fan which can produce enough sound to block out the noise of voices, footsteps, etc. might really help you to be able to do so.   Many people find that the constant, monotonous, sound of the fan blades themselves also really improve their focus.  Yet, there are others who may find this distracting and also don’t want to bother their coworkers if they are working in close quarters.  There are many ultra quiet choices for you if this is the case so don’t worry.    Another way to go could be to purchase a desk fan which makes a moderate amount of sound, which is not enough to be distracting but also helps to block out background noise as well.  Or the sound it makes might not be a consideration for you, you might not care at all, but it’s a good thing to ask yourself.

Desk Fan

2 of the Best Desk Fan Features to Look For

With a ton of choices in size, style, and functions there are two features in particular which are almost always helpful.  Being light in weight will make a desk fan easy to deal with.  This means easy to carry, reposition, transport, and less damage done (hopefully) if it should happen to fall.  A longer cord can also be very convenient as you won’t have to worry about purchasing a fan only to realize your desk is too far away from the plug.  What happens if you move your desk?  An extension cord is not always an option and can sometimes be a safety hazard.   A longer cord can save a ton of frustration. While both are not a necessity by any means, they do make things a lot easier when purchasing a desk fan.

The Best Desk Fan Options

Whether you are looking for something more traditional, modern, big or small, there is a desk fan for every space and function.  Here are the top choices:

A Desk Fan / Table Fan

A standard type desk fan looks similar to a pedestal fan but shorter, smaller, and will normally have blades which can range in size from 6”-12” inches in diameter that are made from metal or plastic.  They almost always use a standard electrical cord as they require more power than smaller desk options.  Sometimes they are referred to as table fans and will typically have at least three speeds and some have more.   Fans in this group oscillate so they can keep quite a decent sized area cool.

Desk Fan

Unlike desk fans in the past today many have features such as a remote, LED lights, and can tilt to a wide range of angles.   Desk fans can be used in any room of the house and on any flat surface, table, or desk.  In fact many people purchase them for their bedrooms not only to keep them cool at night but to help block out noise.   Some models can really move quite a bit of air which means you won’t have to use your air conditioning as much if you are in a smaller room.

A High Velocity Desk Fan / Air Circulator

A more powerful option is a high velocity desk fan.  These are also sometimes advertised as air circulators because they can function very well to circulate air throughout a room.  Many can also be adjusted to distribute air at virtually any angle even straight up and even more than sixty feet away.  A high velocity desk fan can also really cool down an entire room on a hot day or be used in conjunction with air conditioning to circulate the cool air which can make a surprising impact. While some are a little too large to be used on small desks, they are extremely popular with people willing to pay a little more than the cost of standard type fans for the extra power and cooling effect.  If you work in an office environment that is hot, humid, or needs circulation one of these is the best answer.

Desk Fan

Your work mates will thank you as they are definitely powerful enough to cool down a much larger area than other fan types and are very quiet despite their strength.  On the higher speeds some can help to produce some white noise if you need it to concentrate or many people even use one on a night stand, table, or desk near their bed to help them sleep.  Top models will often have up to four speeds, a remote, and timer.  The most well-known and trusted brands in this category are Ozeri, Vornado, and Honeywell.  Ozeri high velocity desk fans are considered outstanding and are famous for their ability to oscillate while moving vertically at the same time (dual oscillation).

Desk Fan


A Personal Air Circulator is another way to go if you are looking for power in an even smaller package.  Buying one of these will really make sure you’re comfy and many like the one shown below can actually cool down a small room by themselves.  They are cheaper, smaller, and depending on your situation, often more than enough fan for a desk, cubicle, or small office space that will easily fit even in a tight spot.

 Desk Fan

A Tower Desk Fan

If you have a limited amount of space but really need to stay cool a tower desk fan can be a lifesaver. These get their name from their vertical body that is similar in shape to a tower.  They are actually also sometimes referred to as mini tower fans as they really are a smaller version of full size tower fans that are used to stand on the floor.  Normally they are anywhere between 11”-14” tall. The main advantage of this type of fan is their slim design which will take up only a very small amount of desk space.

Desk Fan


This can be particularly convenient when oscillating because unlike standard type desk fans with a round face they don’t need to take up any more room to do so.  While some will twist on their base, others have a pivoting top nodule also called a twist top.  Some even have two pivoting nodules which can distribute air in opposite directions at the same time.  Tower desk fans are also more efficient in when it comes to air flow than many other types of fans and are very quiet.   Some models are even silent.   Another reason many consumers choose one of these over other varieties is their sleek design which can come off as much more luxurious looking which many also find more visually appealing in an office or professional environment.  A typical model will have at least two speeds and many come with extras such as a timer, easy to carry handle, and even a remote.


 Desk Fan

A Retro Desk Fan / Vintage Desk Fan

A different option and one that is often unfortunately overlooked by many people is a retro desk fan or sometimes called a vintage desk fan, whichever you prefer.  These can be a fantastic choice for someone looking to add vintage style or just a classy looking and extremely functional desk accessory to their work space. The best part is you get the retro look but all the technology of today.  Many of these are actually made by companies who have been manufacturing fans for more than a century!

Desk Fan


And of course they have a guard that does not allow fingers (especially those of young children) to get through to the metal blade, as many fans in the past did not,  which makes them very safe to use as well.  Unlike other types of desk fans these are heavier, usually around nine or ten pounds as they are meant to be sturdy, strong, and reliable.  And while you will pay more money for a retro desk fan, don’t forget that they are meant to be like a work of art, adding to the style of your office or home work space. Luckily there are quite a few different styles and finishes to choose from.  Most are made from all metal construction and many are available in bronze, nickel, and chrome finishes.  But many companies offer a variety of other color options to match your existing decor also.  There are even a few really small inexpensive plastic retro desk fans that use a USB.

Desk Fan

A Bladeless Desk Fan

The most hi-tech way to go is a bladeless desk fan.  Instead of using normal fan blades these draw air in, and then accelerate it through an aperture.  This acceleration works to cool the air which is then dispersed into the room much more smoothly and quietly than using a fan with blades.  Bladeless fans can be very attractive as they really portray a modern look and even one that is futuristic.  They also are perfect for someone who does not want the inconvenience of having to have to clean their fan blades, as these don’t have any, and are looking for something extremely energy efficient.

Desk Fan

An added plus is that a bladeless desk fan will always also be a guaranteed conversation piece.   While there are quite a few very small and very cheap options, the vast majority of these are not worth it. You are much better off going with a good brand.  Dyson is the most well-known and trusted as they have some top-notch options particularly in their Air Multiplier line. But, you will have to pay for that quality.  Not too worry if you don’t want to shell out too much cash, brands like Airso can be found for about half the price and are very well-rated.


A Mini Desk Fan 

Many times a small desk fan is all you need, or you just don’t have room for a larger one.  If that is the case a mini desk fan is ideal.  With the average size being 6” and smaller, you will be able to fit one even in a very tight space.  Mini desk fans are cheap, small, and don’t require much power to run.  They are meant to keep you cool when placed close to you on a desk or table top however they are not fans which are meant to keep an entire small office space or room cool.  This is why they are also called personal fans.  If you are sitting within a few feet and have it aimed at you, expect a nice cool breeze.

Desk Fan

Don’t expect one to oscillate or have many speeds; most just have one or two.  A mini desk fan is small so that means portable and easy to take with you on trips or set up in all types of places.  While some use an electric cord, others use a USB, and some are battery powered.  Most of the time they are constructed from all metal, plastic, or a combination of both.  There are also many shapes and styles to choose from, even ones that have clip on bases and some even have cloth blades like the one pictured below. Mini desk fans are also a cheap and easy way to keep electronics cool and by doing so prolong their life.

Desk Fan

A USB Desk Fan

No longer are the days when you need to plug your fan into the wall or power strip. Now there are many desk fan options that plug right into any USB port instead.  This makes it possible for your fan to be powered by your computer or laptop and will allow you to use it wherever you use them such as in a coffee shop, library, virtually anywhere.  Some even come with additional USB ports so you can charge other devices too. These fans are generally smaller and it is their smaller size which allows them to use less power. Many are what are called mini desk fans and they come in all types, even bladeless.

Desk Fan

Because they are smaller and require less power many are silent as well.  Just remember if you are going to be plugging yours into the back of a computer which is below your desk as opposed to a laptop or tablet make sure you buy one with a long cord.   While you can find many super cheap fans of this type for only a few dollars you are much better off spending a few bucks more and purchasing one from a reputable brand which won’t cost that much more at all, and will save you from having to buy another one when you realize how inferior it really is. The Arctic Freeze fan shown below can often be found for under $20, is very reliable, and an all-around fantastic buy.


A Clip On Desk Fan                                                                                                                           

Unlike other fans which use a base to stand, a clip on desk fan uses a clip to firmly attach to your desk. The main advantages of choosing one of these are that they are inexpensive, compact, and extremely versatile.  You can find top quality brands that will last for years for under thirty dollars and sometimes even fewer than twenty.  It’s worth the extra few dollars purchasing from a reputable manufacturer not only to get a good machine but also for the strong clip.

For the most part, the majority of clip on desk fans have fan blades of around 5”- 6” in diameter.  Most do not oscillate (rotate) but you can definitely find some models that do if that is what you need.  While some have only one speed the better brands will have two.    You will also have a choice of power sources as well.  Most use electric cords but there are also USB and battery powered models.

Desk Fan

Tower style clip on desk fans are yet another choice.  They provide a slimmer design than traditional round-shaped fans andmany people also find them more attractive and sleek-looking too!  A tower style clip on fan usually is more efficient than other styles and you can adjust it to work vertically, horizontally, or somewhere in-between for whatever your unique desk space requirements are.

One extremely popular option in this category are clip on fans with adjustable necks and foam blades.  Their flexible necks allow for even greater versatility in terms of adjusting them and where you can clip them. The soft foam blades don’t need to be enclosed as they are totally safe. In fact they are so safe that many moms choose to use them with their babies and they can even attach to strollers.  Typically these are cheaper and more portable than your standard clip on desk fan but usually only have one speed setting and don’t oscillate.  It just depends what you are looking for.

Desk Fan

Their small size and ability to clip-on a variety of objects not only your desk, really makes a clip on desk fan regardless of the style, an excellent choice especially for someone who does not have a lot of space available.  A clip on desk fan can also be attached to shelving and cabinets above your desk or even chairs to save even more room.   Some people even like to put one under their desk and even a nail in a wall can often be enough of a platform to clip one onto if your have nowhere else to do so.

Other than at the desk these versatile little fans really can work just about anywhere.  They are often used to keep electronics cool, circulate air, keep small areas like bathrooms and closets at a comfortable temperature, on treadmills, in dorm rooms, cubicles, and are fantastic on boats where a fan with a base would have major problems.

Clip on desk fans can also really help to prevent arguments between roommates and couples over temperature because they can easily be used near the bed for someone who likes it cooler than others. Some people even use them to circulate air for plants like orchids. And because they are so light-weight and portable they can also be brought outside for use on patio tables, porches, and outdoor bars.   Really the options are only limited by your own creativity!Desk Fan

A very helpful feature to look for is rubber teeth on the clip which will give it extra gripping power and protect your desk at the same time.  Another convenient one which isn’t necessary but nice to have is a removable base. This allows your desk fan be clipped on or used with a base instead depending your situation.

There so many options that there really is no excuse to stay cool while at your desk. Decide on what you will use it for, how much space you have, and how much sound you want it to make, and you will be well on your way to being more comfortable and more productive.  Best of all you’ll finally be able to do so at a temperature that is to your own choosing.

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