Best Box Fans (2021 Review)

Looking for the best box fans on the market? Keep on reading!

In this proHVACinfo guide, you will learn the following:

  • What are box fans? (and why they’re an old favorite)
  • What are the different types of box fan? (check out this surprising upgrade)
  • What do you look for in the best box fans? (don’t forget 5 things)
  • And much more!

Short on time? Below you’ll find a quick list of our top 5 recommendations, keep scrolling to learn more.

ImageProduct
digital-business-prep-table__image
Lasko 20 Inch Box Fan
  • Built-in Carry Handle
  • Safety Fuse Technology
  • Excellent Warranty
  • Built-in Carry Handle
  • Safety Fuse Technology
  • Excellent Warranty
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Lasko Flex 2-In-One
  • Integrated Air Filtration
  • Top Mounted Controls
  • Made in the USA
  • Integrated Air Filtration
  • Top Mounted Controls
  • Made in the USA
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Pelonis 3 Speed Box Fan
  • High Performance Blades
  • Lightweight
  • One Knob Control
  • High Performance Blades
  • Lightweight
  • One Knob Control
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Black and Decker Mini Box Fan
  • Compact Design
  • Easy-Access controls
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • Compact Design
  • Easy-Access controls
  • 1-Year Warranty
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Hurricane classic series
  • Slime Line Frame
  • ETL Certified
  • 3-Fan Speeds
  • Slime Line Frame
  • ETL Certified
  • 3-Fan Speeds
View on Amazon

What Are Box Fans?

A classic, convenient way of cooling a room and improving your indoor air quality (“IAQ”) without having to run air conditioning for the whole home.

No doubt, you’ve seen them placed in windows to draw in fresh air. This may seem obvious, but simple this simple act actually goes a long way.

Ventilation is one of the three pillars of indoor air quality according to the EPA.

Box fans have a grille on both sides (more on why those are actually important in a second), which makes these fans ideal not only for cooling, but also for circulating large volumes of air.

Box fans are inexpensive, and generally quite powerful, making them an excellent option for anybody looking for good cooling and air movement on a budget.

What Are The Different Types Of Box Fan?

Box fans are all similar, but there are of course some subtle differences that can influence your purchasing decision.

The most obvious one is size. The bigger the blades, the more air it can move.

Standard box fans are about 20 inches across (the vast majority are between 20 and 21 inches), but there’s a compact category – that’s what you commonly see on office desks and nightstands.

People love them for light breeze and white noise they generate.

Air purifying box fans are a more recent invention that actually assist in cleaning the air in your home, not just cooling it.

These box fans have a slot to install an air filter in the rear to capture airborne particles rather than just blow them around the room.

Some are even able to install HEPA standard filtration media for top level air cleaning.

What Do You Look For In The Best Box Fans?

When it comes to box fans, the best things to look for are fairly straightforward.

However, as can often happen with the simple things, they can be overlooked by a desire to find flashy features or to save money.

Keep reading to find out exactly what you should be on the lookout for.

Size And Portability

As we said above, the larger the blades, the more air they will move.

Depth is also a factor for consideration. Look for a slim unit that keeps weight down while still allowing for maximum blade length.

In addition to this, carry handles are also a great feature to look for. Carry handles will make it easy to carry your fan from room to room without damaging the grilles.

Airflow

Be on the lookout for the maximum possible airflow from any box fan you’re looking at. Air flow is usually measure in cubic feet per minute, and is a measure of the exact volume of air that passes through it.

Standard household box fans typically range from 1000 CFM at the low end, to 2500 CFM at the high end of the scale.

The higher the number, the more air that passes through it.

For example, a 10’ x 10’ room, with 10’ ceilings is 1000 cubic feet in volume – meaning a 1000 CFM box fan could circulate the air of the entire room in one minute.

Stability

Box fans aren’t inherently stable, and in many cases are liable to topple over, leading to cracks and other damage to the frame and grille.

Finding a box fan that has support feet or some other stability device will keep the unit from falling accidentally.

Noise

Of course, all fans make noise, it’s a natural result of the act of the blades hitting the air.

However, the best box fans will be designed with quality motors that keep that element under control, and fan blades that maximize air flow, while minimizing noise.

Removable Grille

If you’ve ever owned a fan that didn’t have a removable grille, you will have almost certainly noticed that dust, hair and other debris ends up stuck to the blades, on the fan hub, and stuck all around the grille itself.

Having a removable grille allows you to easily pop open the fan in order to properly clean it.

This isn’t just to make the fan look nicer, in fact, a dirty fan can significantly decrease the air quality in your home as it is effectively blasting dust, dander, and whatever else is trapped on the blades, around your room.

Our Reviews Of The Best Box Fans

Final Thoughts On The Best Box Fans

Box fans are staples in most homes, they cool well, they circulate air fast, and they’re inexpensive.

They are great for project work as they can help you to get rid of fumes fast, and they’re handy for extracting food smells out of the kitchen while you’re cooking.

We’d like to finish with a quick safety tip – from time to time, we do see people trying to Jerry rig home made air purifiers from box fans and HVAC filters.

We would like to point out that we strongly advise against this. Not only do you risk damaging your perfectly good box fan, but you also risk starting a fire!

If a fan hasn’t been designed to cope with the air resistance that comes with physical filtration media, then it should not be subjected to that resistance. If you need filtration, buy a purifier, or a box fan with inbuilt filter media.

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

Leave a Comment

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

About proHVACinfo

You’ve got HVAC questions. We have the best answers from a network of seasoned pros.

Recently Published Guides