Vornado Zippi

Best small fan

  • Compact and portable
  • Good for cooling a small space
  • Extremely quiet
  • Child-safe blades
  • Limited range of airflow
  • Tends to tip over

Bottom Line

Vornado describes its Zippi fan as a "personal air circulator," and users agree that it's good for cooling just one person at close range. It's great for office use because it's small, cute and very quiet. Owners also like its soft blades, which are safe for kids and pets. However, the Zippi can't cool anything beyond a couple of feet, much less a whole room. Its durability is also iffy, despite its three-year warranty.


Sized for small spaces. Users say the Zippi puts out a good amount of air for its size, but works at only limited range. Reports differ as to just how limited it is: Some say they can feel the breeze up to 2 feet away, while others say it's more like 1 foot. Many owners say the Zippi is great for use in a cubicle, since the air can be directed where you need it without blowing papers around. Some use it to cool computer equipment and pets, and one owner says at Walmart.com that it's good for defogging the mirror in a small bathroom.

On the downside, durability appears to be a weak point. Several users say the Zippi's motor burned out within a year, and a couple of others report that it died after just a few hours of use. One Target.com reviewer has owned five Zippis that all died after being knocked over by the cat. Although the Zippi is backed by a three-year warranty, users complain that the cost of shipping the fan back to Vornado isn't covered, making it cheaper to buy a new one.

Ease Of Use

The Zippi can be tippy. This small fan has very simple controls, just a single knob on the back for adjusting the speed. One Walmart.com poster complains that it's hard to reach the knob without hitting the blades, but most owners have no problem with it. However, several users dislike the Zippi's adjustable fan head. It's designed to tilt up or down to adjust the angle of the airflow and can tuck in completely for easy carrying when not in use, but several reviewers say this feature causes the fan to "flop down" while it's running.

Users also disagree about how stable the Zippi is. Earlier models had a nonskid rubber coating on the wire stand, but the current Zippi has small rubber rings along the base instead. While these rings keep the metal stand from scratching surfaces, one user says at Target.com that this design "makes the fan much less stable on surfaces." A Sears.com reviewer says the Zippi can also be hung from a hook, but this may not always be feasible.


Virtually silent. One feature users unanimously praise is the Zippi's ultra-quiet operation. As one Amazon.com owner says, "Speed 1 is totally stealth, while at speed 2 you can barely hear it." Several say this fan is so quiet, they tend to forget it's running. With no noise to interfere with conversation or disturb others, the Zippi is ideal for office use. One reviewer reports at Sears.com that a co-worker who sits a few feet away didn't notice the fan because it was so quiet.


Style plus safety. Owners agree that the Zippi is a cute little fan, calling its looks "stylish," "fun" and "cool." One review at Target.com calls it a "conversation starter," and another at Amazon.com describes it as "resembling a prop airplane motor with its exposed blades and airplane-like nose cone." Several users post comments about the assortment of color choices.

What reviewers like even more than the Zippi's looks are its soft blades, which won't cause injury if they're touched while in motion. This eliminates the need for a bulky grille, making the fan easier to clean, and safe for use around kids and pets. The Zippi's compact size is also a plus; several owners say it's easily tucked into a suitcase or book bag.

Where To Buy
Vornado Zippi Personal Fan, Black

 (1,476 reviews)
22 Used & new from $16.99

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Global IndustrialGlobal Industrial rated 1.78 (9 reviews)9 store reviewsIn Stock. New$17.99
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Our Sources

1. Amazon.com

Review Credibility: Very Good There are more than 300 owner reviews of the Vornado Zippi spread across several pages at Amazon.com. Users give the fan an average rating of 4 stars out of 5, saying it’s extremely quiet and ideal for small spaces. They also like its design, portability and soft, safe-touch blades. However, many say this fan produces only a light breeze and some complain about durability.

Review: Vornado FA1-0007-24 Zippi Desk Fan, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013

2. Walmart.com

Review Credibility: Good About 60 Walmart.com users share their personal experiences with the Vornado Zippi. Most of the reviews come from the manufacturer's website, but some top-rated ones don't. The fan gets 4.4 stars out of 5, with owners praising its gentle airflow, quiet operation and safe-touch blades. The main drawbacks are that it wobbles and the speed switch is in an awkward location.

Review: Vornado Zippi Personal Fan, Raspberry FA-0007-38R, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of May 2013

3. Target.com

Review Credibility: Good The Vornado Zippi gets more than 40 reviews at Target.com, but most of them are duplicated from the Vornado website. The few posts that are unique to this site agree with the feedback at Amazon.com: The fan is quiet, safe and cute, but it can cool only a small space and is likely to break, tip over or burn out the motor.

Review: Vornado Zippi Personal Fan Raindrop, Contributors to Target.com, As of May 2013

4. Sears.com

Review Credibility: Fair About half of the 16 reviews here are picked up from the manufacturer's website, but most of the posts labeled "most helpful" are unique. These users say the Zippi is quiet and "surprisingly powerful," and they praise its cute design and kid-safe blades. However, as at other review sites, owners say this fan has a very limited range.

Review: Vornado Zippi Personal Mini Fan, Contributors to Sears.com, As of May 2013

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