5 of the best tower fans for families tried and tested
From feature packed Dyson fans to budget options, we tested five of tower fans on the market to see how well they work for families
Hot weather can be wonderful for you and your family. It can mean trips to the beach and days out enjoying the sunshine. It can also mean sleepless nights in a warm house, sweaty summer days and concerns about heat exhaustion or heatstroke. We have plenty of advice on how to help your baby sleep safely in hot weather and ways to keep your child cool in the summer, but if you're looking for even more help, you may want to consider a tower fan.
The problem is, with so many tower fans on the market (and with a range of safety considerations when buying a fan to use around your family) it can be difficult to know what to choose. There's no shortage of budget options that will provide at least some relief from the heat at home, but is it better to invest in something with more features?
We’ve picked out and tested 5 of the best tower fans available on the market that we think will work for you family, at a range of budgets.
Best tower fans at a glance:
- Best for year round use: Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool™ Formaldehyde HP09 purifying fan heater, £599.99
- Best for simplicity: Beldray 32 inch tower fan, £42.99
- Best lightweight option: Status 29 inch tower fan, £34.99
- Best oscillating function: electriQ 9 inch Quiet Low Energy Oscillating Pedestal Fan, £69.99
- Best entry level Dyson fan: Dyson Cool Auto React Purifying Fan, £449.99
Is it safe to use a tower fan around children?
How safe it is to use a tower fan depends on a range of factors, from the age of your child to the components of the fan itself. For example, using a tower fan to cool your bedroom while your baby sleeps in their crib is different to leaving a tower fan in the same room as an unsupervised toddler.
Even with a baby, it is important to only use a fan to cool the room, and never face it directly towards a cot or bedside crib. As the NCT notes, "never aim the fan directly at the body as that can cause dehydration."
NHS advice suggests using a fan to "circulate the air in the room," noting that your baby will sleep most comfortably when the temperature is between 16C and 20C. They suggest using a nursery thermometer to help monitor the temperature of your baby's room.
All the fans we tested come with timers built in to automatically shut off after a certain duration. This is designed to prevent overheating and overconsumption of energy and can be a great way to ensure safety when using a tower fan in the same room as you and your baby. That being said, the experts at Electrical Safety First advise that it is a potential fire risk to leave your fan running overnight or while you are out of the house.
Parents with older children might consider using a tower fan to cool their child's room down at the beginning of the night if it's used in conjunction with a baby monitor, before turning it off when you go to bed.
Overall, it is safe to use a tower fan around children but it is not advised to leave it in the same room as your child while they sleep. Supervision and adherence to the safety guidance of individual products is the best way to ensure your family stays safe.
How we tested tower fans
As well as speaking to our community of parents to find out which fans they use with their families, we perfomed in-house tests on all the fans featured, focused on safety and build quality, packaging and performance.
We know how useful a fan can be on a warm day but, as with anything you buy for your home, safety around your children is always the highest priority.
We considered a range of factors including the stability of the fan on both hard and carpeted surfaces, whether it has non-slip feet, the type and durability of the material used, the size of the vent around any internal components, the weight, and if there are any small parts included.
When testing the performance of each of the fans we looked at their controls, the basic functionality like oscillation and speed settings, as well as measuring noise levels, setup process and ease of use.
We used an energy meter to test each of the fans' costs-to-run so we can provide the most accurate overview of the most efficient fans on the market. All of our cost-to-run calculations were done against the variable tariff at the time of testing (31.8p/kWh), which may have since changed - read more on the current energy price guarantee rates.
We were also keen to focus on the environmental impact of the fans we tested so, in addition to measuring its energy consumption, we also looked at the packaging used to ship each model, noting the amount of plastic used and the recyclability of materials.
1. Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde HP09 purifying fan heater, £599.99
– Best for year round use
Speed settings: 10 | Cord Length: 2m | Remote Control: Yes | Air Filtration: Yes, Fully Sealed to HEPA H13 standard, detects and destroys formaldehyde | Oscillation: Yes | Timer: Yes, up to 6 hours | Weight: 5.5kg | Dimensions: 76.4 x 20 x 24.8
The chances are that you’ve come across the iconic-looking Dyson bladeless fan at some point. Dyson brought the impressive technical knowhow from its Dyson vacuum cleaners over to its fans, including the My Dyson app, which shows you how well your purifier is working and allows you to control the fan for heating and cooling.
Where the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool HP09 tower fan stands out is with its range of features. Most tower fans will only cool a room, the Purifier Hot+Cool is a fan and heater combo making it just as useful in the winter as it is during a heat wave.
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With the cost of living crisis putting the squeeze on household bills, it is key to have appliances at home that can save you money. The Dyson Hot+Cool HP09 is very expensive at the outset, but some of this cost is offset by the fan's remarkable energy efficiency. When testing, it took our energy meter 20 minutes to register 0.01p on its medium cooling speed setting (without oscillation turned on) meaning that over the course of 1 hour of use it would cost only 0.03p to use or 0.24p for 8 hours.
As you’d expect for a fan in this price range, the build quality is solid. It is made of plastic, which was unexpected for the price, but it is durable and required a considerable amount of force to bend. The design is modern and sleek and the curves and rounded edges improve safety, although the lip around the fan opening is slightly sharp. The lack of blades is obviously a winner if you have children with tiny fingers around. The glossy plastic does pick up fingerprints and it did attract a noticeable amount of dust during our testing, however the overall design’s simplicity makes dusting relatively easy.
The base is stable thanks, in part, to the weight. We tested the fan on both a carpeted and flat surface and found that it took a lot of force to make it wobble when pushed. It does have anti-slip feet, though they are small and we only found them effective on carpet.
Noise wise, the fan was relatively quiet averaging 55 dB on its medium setting, though it is worth noting that the fan was considerably louder on its highest speed setting hitting a high of 78 dB. Overall, the Dyson Hot+Cool fan is a great option if you don’t mind paying the high cost upfront as you’re getting a great all round fan and heater combo that will last a long time.
Considering the price, members of our Top Testers Club raved about the quality of Dyson tower fans. Parent tester Hannah noted that they are "ridiculously expensive but extremely effective and also no chance of little fingers getting hurt or hair stuck in them."
Pros: Very energy efficient, app control is useful, heating and cooling functions
Cons: Expensive, plastic used in packaging, easy to knock over
2. Beldray 32 inch tower fan, £42.99
– Best for simplicity
Speed settings: 3 | Cord Length: 2m | Remote Control: No | Air Filtration: No | Oscillation: Yes | Timer: Yes, up to 2 hours | Weight: 2.76kg | Dimensions: 81.0 x 26.0 x 26.0
If you’re looking for a simple, reasonably-priced option then the Beldray 32 inch tower fan is a great buy. It’s not as feature rich as the Dyson Hot+Cool, but at a fraction of the price it does the basics well and should be more than enough to keep you cool in a heat wave. The controls are straightforward and intuitive, allowing you to control the three speed settings and the timer. It does have an oscillation setting, though it doesn’t cover the widest area.
The low profile nature of the fan combined with the fact that you can remove the base means that it will be easy to store in a cupboard or under a bed during the winter months. It is also lightweight and comes with built-in handles allowing you to easily move the fan around your home. The size and shape won’t take up too much room in your home, though the base's lack of non-slip feet and general design does make it unstable on both carpeted and flat surfaces. After conducting our testing, we would strongly recommend positioning this fan on the floor and never using it on an elevated surface.
The body of the fan is made of plastic but it feels bulky and hard wearing, helping it to stand-up to the rigours of family life. That being said, the lower price is noticeable when it comes to build quality. The plastic does give when pressure is applied, particularly around the fan vent where the plastic can be made to bend if pressed. The control dials are also quite fragile and could be removed with enough force, potentially becoming a hazard.
There are no blades but the vent leading to the fan mechanism is fairly narrow. It would be possible for a child with small enough fingers to get through the gaps in the vent but it is doubtful they'd be able to reach the fan inside as it sits quite far back from the vent. Despite this, it is still worth checking if your child's fingers can't reach the fan unit inside.
On the cleaning front, the Beldray's simplicity makes it straightforward to keep clean. The overall design allows for easy dusting and the low profile of the fan prevents the body from becoming too much of a dust magnet. The vents around the fan itself do attract a lot of dust during use and will likely require regular cleaning.
Of course, the lower price tag also comes with other compromises. The fan is noticeably louder than the electriQ and Dyson Auto React models with an average noise level of 50 dB on its medium setting. Where you'll likely notice the biggest compromise, however, is in the Beldray model's energy efficiency. In our testing, we measured an energy usage of 0.22p over 15 minutes or 0.88p over 1 hour on its medium setting, significantly higher than both Dyson models and the electriQ fan.
The Beldray is a great budget buy, though the cheaper build quality and unstable base mean we wouldn’t advise leaving your child unsupervised around the fan.
Pros: Reasonably priced, easy to use controls, built-in handles
Cons: Base is small and unstable, costs more to run, plastic used in packaging
3. Status 29 inch tower fan, £34.99
– Best lightweight option
Speed settings: 3 | Cord Length: 1.8m | Remote Control: No | Air Filtration: No | Oscillation: Yes | Timer: Yes, up to 2 hours | Weight: 2.745kg | Dimensions: 24D x 24W x 76H
Looking for a basic, lightweight fan to wheel out whenever the weather heats up? This option from Status could be the one. The remarkably lightweight fan is perfect if you need to move it around your home during the day. It comes with built in handles and a removable base that makes it easy to store when not in use.
The lightweight is primarily achieved through the use of a plastic body which is hard wearing and solid if a little cheap looking. Design wise, it’s pretty basic meaning it won’t stand out in your home but it also isn’t the prettiest thing to look at. Thankfully, it is small enough to not take up too much space when in use.
One drawback of the materials and build quality is in the fan's base. The fan does come with non-slip feet but they are very small and prone to falling off making the base very unstable on a carpeted surface. It fares better on a smooth surface but it still isn’t as stable as the Dyson or electriq models.
When it comes to running costs, the Status fan is comparable to the Beldray model using 0.22p of energy after 15 minutes of use on its medium setting. It is, however, significantly noisier than the Beldray model with a peak noise level of 61 dB on its medium setting. We also noticed a strange clicking noise when the fan was in use that appeared to be caused by the timer which contributed to the increased noise level.
That being said, this simple, reasonably priced and easy to store model is a great option for a family looking for a quick solution during a heatwave. It’s not feature rich but it is low-profile and, thanks to the simple design, easy to keep clean.
Pros: Lightweight, reasonably priced, built-in handles
Cons: Base is small and unstable, lots of plastic used in packaging, control dials are fragile
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4. electriQ 9 Inch Quiet Low Energy DC Oscillating Pedestal Fan, £69.99
– Best oscillating function
Speed settings: 32 | Cord Length: 1.5m | Remote Control: Yes | Air Filtration: No | Oscillation: Yes | Timer: Yes, up to 12 hours | Weight: 3kg | Dimensions: 75cm height, 32cm depth, 32cm width
The electriQ 9 inch fan was the biggest surprise of the bunch during our testing. It is a feature rich, highly economical and remarkably quiet fan that would be a great pick for homes with slightly older children.
The fan unit itself is well built and solid, with a hard plastic body that feels very premium. It also comes fully assembled out of the box, meaning that there are no small screws or tricky plastic clips to fix the fan unit to the base. The packaging, though, was very excessive, using a lot of plastic and polystyrene to protect the fan in transit.
Beyond the build quality and packaging, the electriQ has a few notable features starting with vertical oscillation. The neck itself isn’t hugely adjustable and the fan sits quite low to the ground, but thanks to the remarkable 90 degree vertical oscillation, the coverage around the room is fantastic. The controls are also great, with the remote being simple and intuitive to use right out of the box without consulting the manual.
There’s also the 32 speed settings, more than any other fan we tested, which offer you fine tuned control over how fast or slow you want the fan to blow in your home. Considering that this is a fraction of the price of the Dyson models, the speed settings and vertical oscillation really make it a stand out option for families looking for something a bit more premium that won’t break the bank.
It also comes with a handle, though it is on the heavier side so not the best for transporting around the house. As you might expect from a fan that has quiet in its name, we measured a low average noise level of 44 dB on its medium setting when testing the electriQ, so it should disrupt your family on a day-to-day basis,
The electriQ is also very energy efficient. During our testing, it used only 0.03p of energy after 15 minutes on its medium setting, so running the fan for 1 hour would only cost 0.12p. It’s not quite as efficient as the Dyson Hot+Cool tower fan but it beats out the rest of the fans we tested.
It isn’t without its drawbacks, though. The fact that the fan unit itself sits on top of a thin neck means that it does wobble considerably when knocked. As well as this, the vent covering the blades, while sturdy, is quite large meaning that a child with smaller fingers might be able to reach inside.
Overall, if you’re looking for an economical fan that feels premium and doesn’t cost the earth and you have a family with older children then the electriQ is a great option.
Pros: Vertical oscillation, wide range of fan speeds, remote control
Cons: Fan is top heavy, gaps in vent are large, lots of plastic used in packaging
Available at: Appliances Direct
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5. Dyson Purifier Cool Auto React, 449.99
– Best entry level Dyson fan
Speed settings: 10 | Cord Length: 1.5m | Remote Control: Yes | Air Filtration: Yes, Glass fiber HEPA filter | Oscillation: Yes | Timer: Yes, up to 8 hours | Weight: 5kg | Dimensions: 1,050mm height, 220mm length, 204mm wide
If you’re looking to buy a Dyson fan but the Hot+Cool model is outside of your price range, then the Dyson Purifier Cool Auto React is a great option. It is missing a couple of the key standout features from the more expensive model, but at half the price it is still a great fan for families looking for something a bit more advanced.
Assembling the Cool Auto React is simple. It comes with the two filters which attach to the inside of the filter covers and everything fits in place with a satisfying click. The instructions, while sparse, are well designed providing an overview of the fans features, controls and how to install/change the filters.
Speaking of the filters, they are made of recycled materials though it is unclear if they can be recycled after use. On the topic of recyclability, the packaging is particularly excessive, especially when compared with the more expensive model. Multiple components are plastic wrapped including the fan unit itself and the base.
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The build quality is much the same as the Hot+Cool model, with hard shell plastic used around the fan body. The notable difference here is that the base isn’t adjustable in the same way as the more expensive model. While this does mean that the fan is stuck at one angle, it also means that the base is somewhat more stable, particularly on a hard surface. The non-slip feet also work very well on hard and carpeted surfaces, with the fan being particularly hard to move on carpeted surfaces thanks to their friction.
This does also suffer from the wobble that the Hot+Cool model has when knocked, and could easily result in the fan being damaged, especially if it lands on a hard surface like a kitchen floor.
The basic features of the Auto React are very similar to the Hot+Cool including the oscillation which allows for up to 350 degrees of rotation and the speed settings which allow for relatively precise control over the cooling.
While it’s not as power efficient as the more expensive Hot+Cool model, the Auto React only used 0.03p after 15 minutes of use, or 0.12p over the course of an hour, on its medium setting. It did, however, provide some of the best cooling performance amongst the fans we tested. Where the other four options maintained the room temperature, the Auto React actually saw a drop of almost 1 degree in the room temperature from 25.7 to 24.8 degrees after 15 minutes. Noise levels for the Auto React were also a standout with an average level of 43dB, just edging out the electriQ model as the quietest fan we tested.
Overall, while significantly more expensive than the Beldray, electriQ and Status fans, the Auto React does come with some notable features that justify the extra cost. If you’re looking for a fan that will last a long time and doubles up as an air filter to keep your family home cool and clean then the Auto React is a great option.
Pros: Sleek and simple design, easy assembly, remote control
Cons: Plastic used in packaging, no app control
Available at: Dyson
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