Looking to cool down? The best box fans can effectively circulate large amounts of air. Full-size fans typically have a diameter of 20 inches, but they can vary in thickness, with slimmer models measuring about 3 inches deep. Relatively compact 9- or 10-inch models are also available for tabletop use, and some compact models can be powered with batteries so they’re super portable. When you’re shopping, look for fans with multiple speed settings and pay attention to how much air each fan can circulate. This is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and generally speaking, the higher the better.
A high CFM means a more powerful fan. For a standard 20-inch box fan, the CFM typically ranges from 1,000 to 2,500. But fans don’t just need to be powerful — the material the blades are made from matters, too. Plastic blades are inexpensive and lightweight, making the fan easier to move. Steel blades tend to be more durable, but also more expensive. Also consider the number of settings you need. Most box fans have at least two speed settings, if not three.
When it comes to extra features, most box fans are pretty basic. That said, it’s possible to buy a fan with a built-in air filter if that interests you. Some higher-tech portable models can choose the most efficient power source to charge from, or even charge your phone in a pinch. It’s also worth considering your aesthetic preferences — most box fans are black, white, or gray, but if you’d prefer to make a serious style statement, look for one in a bright and punchy color.
These seven box fans are the best of the best. Reviewers on Amazon indicate that they’re plenty quiet, and yet, super effective at circulating air throughout a room.
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