The 10 Best Fans For Dorm Rooms

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by Tiana Crump
Originally Published: 

A fan that keeps you cool and comfortable is one of those dorm room must-haves for sleeping, studying, and hanging out — especially if you don’t have air-conditioning. The best fans for dorm rooms are available in tower, pedestal, and tabletop styles, and there are a ton of affordable options that’ll offer lots of airflow, without taking up too much space.

When you’re choosing the best fan for your dorm room, you’ll need to consider your room’s setup and how you’ll be using your fan. If you’re just looking for personal cooling, you can opt for a fan with a small footprint that’ll offer just enough airflow for you — without bothering your roommate. These compact fans are available in small desktop sizes and even clip-on styles that you can attach to your desk or bed frame. On the other hand, a pedestal or full-size tower fan will provide cooling comfort to your entire space, and many of these options oscillate for even airflow distribution — ideal when both you and your roomie are in the market for a fan. Keep in mind that a tower fan will have a slim profile that takes up minimal floor space — but will offer less airflow — while a pedestal fan will require a bit more room but will be more powerful. (If you have a smaller dorm room, an ultra-powerful pedestal fan may offer too much airflow.)

Additional features like a remote control or USB charging are also pluses, as are multiple speeds and timers. So if you’re ready to cross this essential item off your dorm room checklist, check out the best fans for dorm rooms below.


The Reviewer Favorite

The Honeywell TurboForce Air Circulator is a cult-favorite pick, having earned a stellar 4.6-star overall rating after more than 89,000 reviews. With a 12-inch base, it’s small enough to fit on a nightstand, but offers cooling power that can be felt up to 25 feet away on the highest speed setting. Speaking of which, it operates on three speeds and can pivot 90 degrees, so you can direct the airflow up or down. It doesn’t come with a remote control and doesn’t oscillate (which may or may not be a drawback), and reviewers are pleased with how quietly it operates.

According to a reviewer: “I purchased this small fan for a college dorm room. So far it has worked great. It's small, powerful, and not too loud. It has a nice range of motion and can be angled to move the air where you want. I would purchase again, especially for the price.”


A 5-Speed Tower Fan That Fits Into Tight Spaces

The Honeywell whole-room tower fan has a slim profile (the base is just 10 inches in diameter) that doesn’t take up much space, so it’s perfect for small dorm rooms, where it can fit into tight corners. This slim and sleek fan boasts an impressive five speeds, ranging from a quiet sleep mode to a power cool setting that provides tons of airflow to make hot, stuffy rooms more comfortable. (There’s even a white noise setting, which may make help block out other distracting sounds while you’re studying or trying to catch up on rest.) It has an oscillating function, as well as timers for one, two, four, and eight hours, and comes with a remote control, so you won’t even have to get out of your bed to turn it on.

According to a reviewer: “Bought this when living in a house without air-conditioning over the summer. This was an absolute life saver. Was able to cool off the whole bedroom, I kept it on almost 24/7 for three months and it's still holding up well. The remote control you have to buy your own batteries, but it works well! Super easy to put together, doesn't take up much space, powerful cooling, and not super noisey. At most, it has a kind of white-noise effect where you don't really hear it after a couple days of getting used to it. Would 100% recommend for a little cooling power in a house or for a dorm!”


The Best Clip-On Desk Or Bed Fan

For saving space at your desk or for targeted air when you're in bed, the Hurricane 6-inch fan has a clip-on base that can be attached to surfaces as wide as 2 inches. This small fan features two speed settings with the ability to tilt and adjust the airflow in the direction you want, but it doesn’t oscillate. Reviewers found it to be quiet enough for sleeping and study, and that despite its small size, it really packs a punch. The simple unit doesn’t have any upgraded features like timers or remote controls, but it’s a great space-saving pick for personal cooling.

According to a reviewer: “I’ve been using this in my dorm room that has no A/C and it is incredible!! Would 100% recommend it to clip onto your bed and use at night!”


This Simple Table Fan That Oscillates

If you’re willing to give up some dresser or desk space, this 12-inch oscillating table fan is a great pick that comes at a reasonable price. (For reference, the base measures 8.3 inches in diameter.) The tilt-adjustable unit operates on three speeds and oscillates 80 degrees for full-room cooling. It’s relatively straightforward — there are no timers or remote controls included — but it operates quietly and is a great option if you’re looking for oscillation at a budget-friendly price.

According to a reviewer: “Very impressed with this lil’ fan. I purchased to use in the bedroom at night during warmer months and haven’t been disappointed. It didn’t take me more than a few minutes to assemble, and even on high speed the noise level is minimal- just what I wanted for sleeping. A lot of other table top oscillating fans I’ve seen only have 2 speeds, this one has 3, and the speed and power buttons on the front of the base are extra convenient. Overall great value, definitely recommend if you want a fan for a smaller space like bedroom/office, with good oscillating range.”


A Compact Personal Fan In 6 Colors

If you want to add a pop of color to your dorm room, the Vornado Flippi is a great option that comes in six shades, including blush, plum, vintage white, and turquoise. This high-gloss fan has two cooling speeds and features a tilt-adjustable head and a manual swiveling base, so you can direct the air towards yourself without disturbing your roommate. The non-oscillating fan doesn’t come with a remote control, and reviewers have reported that it really is best for personal cooling. That being said, the design-forward style and compact 5-inch base just might make up for it.

According to a reviewer: “I love this little fan! It's so versatile: up or down, side to side, you can set it up at the angle that you need and it does a great job of cooling down in that direction! Would totally recommend this fan for a desk, a dorm room, or anyplace where you need a small breeze.”


This Slim Fan That Takes Up Minimal Space

If you’re squeezed for space, this slim-profile, 10-inch fan has a 4-inch base that’ll take up minimal room on a dresser, desk, or nightstand, and it’s also easy to store it in the closet once the weather turns cold. Just as good, you can place it on a window ledge if you want to bring in cooler air at night. It’s relatively simple — just two speed modes and no upgrades like oscillation, tilt adjustment, or timers — but it offers decent airflow, and the built-in handle makes it easy to move around. This fan also has the option of being powered by C batteries, so you can take it with you on weekend camping trips.

According to a reviewer: “This fan is awesome. It’s not super [...] powerful, but just perfect for one person. So so so quiet and small. I’ve had fans that have hurt me before that were so much less powerful and efficient. This thing is worth every penny. Plus works with batteries (I haven’t tried) but so cool! Take it to the park! The beach! An airplane! Well, maybe not that one but you get my vibes. It’s a great product from one sweaty dude to another normal person. If you need a personal fan, THIS IS IT.”


A Desk Fan That’s USB-Chargeable

If you don’t have enough wall outlet space to handle all your electronics and a fan, this USB-rechargeable desk fan is a great solution. It offers cooling power for two to six hours (depending on which of the two speeds you’re using), and the head is tilt-adjustable, so you can direct the airflow where you want it. The compact 6-inch size is perfect for a desk or dresser, and while it’s not tricked out with oscillation or a remote control, it’s a great pick for anyone with limited plug-in space.

According to a reviewer: “Pleasantly surprised by how much I love this little fan. It's sturdy. The stand doesn't wobble. It stays at the exact angle were you place it on the 360. Has a pleasant, white noise fan sound - not an high pitched annoying tiny fan sound. :) Puts out an astonishing amount of COLD air. I was immediately chilled. Super impressed. It's easily portable but I'm back to buy a couple more to keep around the house and to put in my travel bag.”


This Compact Tower Fan With Dual Circulation

This compact tower fan doesn’t waste a bit of space, providing two levels of air circulation for more cooling power. The three-speed fan features 110-degree oscillation, and there are options to set two-, four-, and eight-hour timers. With a 4-by-4-inch base, it boasts an ultra-small footprint that can be placed on either the floor or your desk. The only drawback? There’s no remote control.

According to a reviewer: “This is absolutely the best small fan I've had. I am using it on a nightstand to keep me a bit cooler at night. I am going to buy one to place beside my desktop computer, too. It's excellent”


This Powerful Pedestal Fan That’s Great For Large Dorm Rooms

Pedestal fans tend to offer more powerful airflow than tower fans, but their bases tend to be a bit wider, so they take up more space. This pedestal fan has a base that measures in at a diameter of 18 inches, but the low profile means you may be able to slip part of it under furniture, so it’s more out of the way. The three-speed fan has an 85-degree oscillation function for full-room cooling, and it features a seven-hour programmable timer and comes with a remote control. The fan’s head is tilt-adjustable and height-adjustable from 3.5 to 4 feet tall. Keep in mind that this option might be best suited to larger dorm rooms or hotter climates, as it provides a strong airflow that might overpower smaller spaces.

According to a reviewer: “I use this fan at my college dorm and it works super well. I actually get freezing at night from it, so very high powered and good quality!”


The Tower Fan That’s Height-Adjustable

If you have a bunk bed situation in your dorm room, this tower fan is height-adjustable from 40 inches to 52 inches, so you and your roomie can get some airflow on both the top and bottom levels. The three-speed fan features an oscillation function and directional louvers that let you aim the airflow where you need it most. It comes with a remote control, and you can set the timer on half-hour increments up to 7.5 hours, and there’s a sleep mode that shuts the fan off automatically after six hours. Keep in mind that at 14 inches, this fan is 4 inches wider at the base than the other tower fan on the list, so it doesn’t save quite as much space.

According to a reviewer: “Bought this fan for my son's dorm room. It's the perfect height for his 30" lofted bed. With limited surface space, a desktop fan wasn't a good option and would be too short to blow air high enough for his raised bed. This fan is very quiet, the perfect height and the remote is an added bonus, eliminating the need to climb up & down out of bed. The base is wide, which makes the fan very stable.”

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