A refreshing breeze from a reliable electric fan can be the perfect remedy to a stuffy room. Our independent lab tests will help you avoid buying an electric fan that simply isn't good enough.
Many free-to-access websites review electric fans using a single tester, with scores generated based on that individual's preferences. These same sites may also receive electric fans free of charge, directly from manufacturers.
Which? market-leading electric fan tests are different. Our scientific test scores are based on measurements and ratings supplied by a full team of experts at our lab, ensuring there is no room for unconscious bias when giving an overall rating.
We buy every electric fan that we test, refusing to accept free samples from PR companies or manufacturers.
Only the electric fans that earn top marks in our lab tests are worthy of Which? Best Buy status. If you're buying a , you know for certain that the fan is easy to set up and guaranteed to make a claustrophobically stuffy room more bearable.
To become a Which? Best Buy, an electric fan must achieve a total score of 70% or higher.
The total test score for each electric fan is shown as a percentage.
When we calculate the total score, we ignore price completely. That means that every electric fan passing through our lab is tested on the same scale, making it easy to compare models on your shortlist.
Below are the key testing categories and how we evaluate each one. Our expert tests cover desk fans and floor (pedestal and tower) fans.
The performance score is key in determining whether or not an electric fan is good enough to be a Which? Best Buy. Our overall performance score incorporates a number of tests:
After assembling an electric fan in our test lab, we make notes on the usefulness of the instruction manual and how much of a chore the setup process proved to be.
Once the electric fan is turned on, we review the accuracy and effectiveness of any remote controls that come bundled with the product.
We also assess how easy the fan is to use on a daily basis, based on its typical functions, settings and displays. We check to see how accessible the control switches are and how easy it is to adjust oscillation.
Electric fans that score well for ease of use are also a breeze to clean.
Our features score checks what useful features a fan has, including the number of speed settings available, oscillation, built-in timers and remote controls.
Nobody wants to buy an electric fan that wastes electricity.
With that in mind, we measure power consumption at each fan's lowest and highest speeds and at the speed that's most comparable across all tested models. Our lab experts also look at additional power consumption caused through oscillation.
We also evaluate power consumption with the fan switched off and in standby mode.
The best desk fans and floor fans that have passed through our test lab are very stable.You can set them up and walk away without worrying about them tumbling over.
To make sure you're getting the best electric fan for your money, we assess build quality and check whether the fan is made from sturdy stuff or cheap, fragile plastic.
When scoring construction quality and stability, we focus on the amount of force (and tilt) needed to tip the fan over. After these tests are finished, we check how much damage has been sustained by the fan.
Our electric fan tests include two types of fan:
While the top-level test categories we assess for both types of fan are identical, as outlined in the chart above, within each category we may weight different elements slightly differently based on how each type of fan is intended to be used.
Because of this, while very similar, the scores for desk fans vs tower/pedestal fans are not directly comparable.
Where a fan can extend and collapse to act as either a pedestal fan or a desk fan, we evaluate it as a pedestal fan.
Of course, we would never recommend a fan that isn't safe to use. If our tests raise concerns about safety, we will limit the score a fan can achieve, and – depending on the seriousness of our concerns – may make it a Don't Buy.
We note down:
Without checking our reviews, you risk buying an electric fan that's a pain to set up and use and won't do its job effectively. And, as our expert reviews prove, spending big on a product isn't a guarantee of quality.