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!
Our #1 Rated Pick
January 2, 2022
Lasko 20 Inch Box FanView on Amazon
This was one of our closest ever tests.--break-- Each and every one of these fans is a top performer, but after much consideration, we decided to name the classic Lasko 20 inch box fan as our best overall winner.--break--Why?--break--In a world of fairly generic box type fans, this model just stands out.--break--First and foremost, it has low energy consumption, meaning it will cost you less to run than comparable fans at under 2¢ per hour. --break--Not only that, but Lasko is a big household name that many already trust with electronics and small appliances in their homes.
Short on time? Below you’ll find a quick list of our top 5 recommendations, keep scrolling to learn more.
Our Top Pick
Our Top Pick
Lasko 20 Inch Box Fan
|View on Amazon|
Lasko Flex 2-In-One
|View on Amazon|
Best Budget Pick
Best Budget Pick
Pelonis 3 Speed Box Fan
|View on Amazon|
Black and Decker Mini Box Fan
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Hurricane classic series
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Lasko 20-Inch Box Fan (Our Top Pick)Check on Amazon
Our best overall winner is the 20 inch box fan from Lasko.--break--It’s one of the best selling fans on the market, and for good reason!--break--Being a Lasko, it’s built with pride in the USA, and it’s built to last. It features a handy 6 foot cord, and the cable itself is actually hard wired into the motor.--break--Not only is the cord permanently attached, but it has a bottom exit, not from the top or middle like some other box fans – this helps with stability and also makes it easier to position the unit in windows or in front of screen doors.--break--It’s equipped with Lasko’s Blue Plug safety fuse device, and it’s backed by a generous 2 year limited warranty. For your convenience, it does have a built in carry handle, and is definitely one of the quieter fans we looked at.
- Timeless Design--break--Simple Controls--break--Slim design
- Frame is a bit fragile--break--Replacement Parts Difficult to Find
Lasko Flex 2 In One (High End Pick)Check on Amazon
If you’re looking for an extra feature not typically found in box fans, we strongly suggest this 2-in-1 air purifying box fan.--break--As the name implies, it doubles as an air purifier!--break--This model is specially designed to work in conjunction with a MERV 10 filter, capable of reducing dust, smoke, pollen, and other allergens and irritants from the air.--break--It features a steel body with ultra violet paint protection and a weather shield motor – a combination of features that ensures window safety.--break--In addition, it’s equipped with a sturdy, ergonomic control knob to shift between this fan’s 3 powerful speeds.--break--This model also comes with Lasko’s blue plug safety fuse, a system that automatically cuts of electrical current to the fan in the event that it detects a potentially hazardous electrical fault in the motor or power supply.
- Easy to replace filters--break--Superb Durability--break--Better cooling than most dedicated air purifiers
- Heavy (over 11 lbs)--break--Motor is a bit noisy
Pelonis 3 Speed Box Fan (Best Budget Pick)Check on Amazon
At this price point, you’re sure to find there’s no better box fan on the market!--break--Pelonis has made an attractive box fan that won't break the bank.--break--It comes finished in black, which really gives it a premium look, and the front mount, single knob rotary fan control is as easy to use as it is convenient to access.--break--It features a handy cord storage recess, a feature that is notably missing from other, more expensive models, and its stabilizing feet really do a great job at preventing unwanted topples and falls.
- Price--break--Easy to clean--break--Attractive Design
- Not the most effective cooling--break--Can be noisy
Black and Decker Mini Box FanCheck on Amazon
We absolutely had to include this excellent little desktop box fan from famed tools and hardware brand, Black and Decker.--break--It follows the classic box fan formula, but squashes it down into a convenient nightstand size package.--break--It has 3 fan speeds, all of which effectively move air, and provide excellent localized cooling.--break--At just over 3 pounds, this unit is by far the most portable on this test, and because it’s completely frameless, it’s slim and takes up minimal space.--break--It is self standing, and offers a simple one dial control knob. It’s a quiet fan but makes the perfect amount of noise for those who find it soothing to sleep to white noise.
- Non-slip rubber on the stand--break--Makes an ideal bathroom exhaust fan--break--Sturdy Construction
- Must be taken apart to clean--break--Prone to rattle during operation
Hurricane Classic SeriesCheck on Amazon
Last, but certainly not least, we have a 20 inch floor fan from Hurricane.--break--This is another simple box fan that does the basics well.--break--It’s got 3 fan speeds, just like all of the other units we reviewed, and it moves a lot of air on all settings.--break--This model boasts polymer fan blades, making them flexible, yet sturdy enough to stand up to daily use.--break--It features a built in cord management system, making it easy for you to keep the power cable tucked away when it’s not in use.--break--The feet are adjustable, too, making this one of the most stable fans we looked at.--break--One of the best features of this model was the ETL safety certification, a recognition given only to devices that pass rigorous safety testing and meet all required standards from Intertek, an OSHA certified testing lab.--break--
- Stable design--break--Durable construction
- Branding isn’t the most attractive--break--Noisy
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.