Floor fans tend to be more utilitarian than table fans. They are also loud, which can be great if you like to sleep against a background of white noise or annoying if you're trying to watch TV or have a conversation. They're also a bit more dangerous than other types if you have small children, as their location makes them more accessible and their grilles usually have larger gaps than other fans. However, these models offer the most cooling power.
We found the most favorable reviews for the Vornado 270 (v102) Panel Circulator (*Est. $65). (Technically, this is the full name, but in its own materials, Vornado typically refers to the fan as the V102; reviewers use both 270 and V102 independently to refer to this same fan.) The fan can move air up to 80 feet, according to the manufacturer, and users say that makes it great during the summer and winter for circulating warm or cool air.
With its small footprint and compact design, the V102 is recommended by a Sylvane.com blogger for use in an office space. It pairs an office-friendly size with far more power than comparably sized fans.
Almost every user comment we found says this fan is extremely effective. The few negative reviews it receives at sites like Amazon.com say the fan is loud, and it needs to be placed on a soft surface to prevent it from jiggling. Also, the motor is so high-powered it may cause screws to come lose, making a rattling sound. Most reviewers don't comment on volume, and negative comments are in the minority; most owners say they find the Vornado V102 to be a good value, despite its higher price.
If the Vornado V102 is too expensive, a more traditional floor fan may be a better option. The Lasko 3520 20-Inch Cyclone ($40 ) is one of the highest rated fans at Amazon.com and HomeDepot.com. Owner-reviewers call this fan extremely effective, and the consensus is that it's relatively quiet compared to other large floor fans, though not truly quiet. A couple of reviewers say the Cyclone 3520 is too powerful even on the lowest settings for some applications -- like in a small bedroom. It's used more often to circulate air between rooms or parts of a home.
Although many owners say the Lasko 3520 20-Inch Cyclone works well for years, others report manufacturing flaws or malfunctions. It can also be a bit flimsy and easy to tip over, they say. We found no professional recommendations for this fan.
The Vornado 630 Mid-Size Circulator (*Est. $65) is more compact than the Vornado V102 and Lasko 3520 20-Inch Cyclone. It looks more like a table fan, and its base measures well under 1 square foot. Like the V102, it has a five-year warranty and three fan speeds. Users say its base is large and stable, but this quality makes it inappropriate for use on a windowsill.
The Vornado 630 is one of the top-reviewed fans at both HomeDepot.com and Walmart.com, but it doesn't fare as well at Amazon.com, where it averages fewer than 4 stars. Owners who post reviews here say the 630 isn't as quiet or as solidly built as other Vornado fans; at HomeDepot.com, a few users report malfunctions, which is almost unheard of in other Vornado models. Reviewers at Walmart.com and HomeDepot.com are more satisfied with this fan's performance, with several calling it extremely effective and virtually silent.