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Best Floor Fan

By: Amy Livingston on April 24, 2018

Good choices in a range of prices

Among floor fans, one model clearly stands out in both professional tests and user reviews: the Vornado 630 Medium Air Circulator (Est. $65). This floor fan is one of the best overall performers in comparison tests at Wirecutter, second only to the Seville Classics UltraSlimLine 40" Tower Fan (Est. $60) (covered in our discussion of best tower fans).

Reviewer Tyler Lynch explains that Vornado fans, or "air circulators," are built differently from traditional fans. Rather than sending a jet of air in a straight line, they're designed to disperse it throughout an entire room, "creating a sort of vortex." The Vornado does indeed perform better than the top-rated tower fan at dispersing air, moving five of the seven ribbons placed throughout a large room. It produces an impressive airflow of 781.3 cfm in a makeshift wind tunnel, beating out most other desktop and tower fans.

However, the Vornado's mighty airflow comes with mighty noise as well: 53.4 dB on its lowest setting and 61.2 dB on high. That's louder than most tower fans and roughly on a par with the more powerful Vornado 660, discussed below. The fan also doesn't offer the same features found on a typical tower fan. There's no remote control, no sleep timer, and no oscillation mode – though as Lynch points out, the way Vornado fans move air, it doesn't really need that last feature. On the plus side, it has simple button controls, a pivoting head that tilts to redirect the flow of air, and a grille that comes off easily for cleaning. It's backed by a 5-year warranty, the longest we've seen for any electric fan.

We found more than 1,300 reviews for the Vornado 630 on Amazon, Home Depot, and Target, with overall ratings of around 4.4 stars out of 5. Owners agree that this floor fan moves a lot of air and does a good job circulating it through a room. They also appreciate its compact size and sturdy build. However, they're split on its noise level, with some saying it's reasonably quiet while others find it obtrusively loud. Some also consider it overpriced at $60. There are a few reports of breakdowns during the 5-year warranty period, but most owners say Vornado customer service is very cooperative about replacing it should that happen.

If you're looking for even more power, the Vornado 660 Large Air Circulator (Est. $100) gets good feedback. In the Wirecutter test, the Vornado 660 moved even more air than the 630 – close to 960 cfm – and managed to ruffle six of the eight ribbons. Lynch opts not to recommend it over the smaller 630 because it's slightly louder, has a larger footprint, and costs significantly more. However, he's impressed with its "robust build quality" and easy-to-use controls. It has the same 5-year warranty as the Vornado 630.

Users at Amazon and Best Buy are largely pleased with the Vornado 660. They say it's reasonably quiet, at least on its lower speed settings, and produces great airflow with surprisingly low power use. Several users note that it's important to experiment with the placement of the fan in order to find the sweet spot for distributing air throughout an entire room, rather than just directing a breeze at one spot.

For those who are put off by the Vornado's relatively high price tag, the Honeywell HT-908 Whole Room Air Circulator (Est. $25) also gets plenty of positive feedback from users. This sturdy black fan with a pivoting head received thousands of reviews on Amazon, Walmart, and Target, where users generally say it delivers great airflow without excessive noise. However, Wirecutter's test finds that its actual air output is only 367 cfm, barely more than the smaller Honeywell HT-900 TurboForce Air Circulator Fan (Est. $15), which costs $10 less. (The HT-900 is covered in more depth in the section on the best small fans.) Lynch also says the HT-908 is one of the loudest in the test, at 72 decibels, and the plastic front grille bends easily, creating a possible safety hazard for kids with prying fingers. Amazon.com reviews bear out Bellamy's concerns, with several complaints that either the motor or the stand broke within a year or so.

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