Life

WFH Upgrade: These Outdoor Fans Will Keep You Cool From 9 To 5

Bustle / Amazon

The great outdoors can be an escape from everyday demands. But that escape is anything but relaxing on days when the air feels heavy and still, which is why outdoor fans are a godsend. The best outdoor fan — whether it’s a ceiling fan for your porch, an adjustable wall-mounted fan, or a smaller standing unit — has the weather-resistant build and desired airflow for your location.

Damp or Wet Ratings

Outdoor fans can be categorized as either “damp” or “wet” rated, depending on the amount of moisture they can withstand. Damp rated fans can handle a decent amount of humidity but won’t stand up in a downpour. They’re made for areas like covered patios or screened-in porches where they might get a little misty in a thunderstorm but stay relatively protected from the elements. Wet rated fans, as you might expect, will be built for exposed outdoor use. They can be installed on open decks or verandas that experience direct rain or snow.

Materials & Safety

Some fan models can still be built for outdoor use but don't come with designated damp/wet rating. In that case, look for materials like galvanized stainless steel and weather-resistant protective coatings, plus a sealed motor to completely encase the motor’s machinery. Safety features like leak detection and GFCI plugs will provide additional layers of protection from electric shock.

Airflow For Your Space

One final consideration is airflow. Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and a higher number corresponds to a stronger breeze. Semi-enclosed spaces don’t need as much power to feel cool, but open plans require fans with a stronger output since there aren’t walls to contain the breeze. And, since individual preferences vary, knowing what the CFM is can help you narrow down on the outdoor fan that’s right for you and your space.

Keep scrolling for the best outdoor fans that will bring a breath of fresh air to every type of outdoor setting.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

1
This Elegant Damp-Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fan With A Light
  • Blade span: 52 inches
  • Air flow capacity: 5,070 CFM

This damp-rated outdoor ceiling fan with a light is a versatile option that was made for covered porches and patios that don’t field direct rain. It can be mounted three different ways (including on sloped ceilings) and comes with a no-light conversion cap if you prefer not to use it as an overhead light fixture at all. There are three fan speeds and it comes with a reversible motor. Several shoppers agreed that it looked good and was relatively easy to install, although some lamented the lack of a remote control.

  • Available color options: 2 (dark bronze, white)
2
This Outdoor Oscillating Pedestal Fan With The Option For A Cooling Mist
  • Blade span: 18 inches
  • Air flow capacity: 2,400 CFM

This outdoor oscillating fan is a surprisingly good multitasker. It's a great all-purpose standing fan with three different speeds, plus the optional mist function can also naturally reduce the ambient temperature by up to 15 degrees (and it connects directly to your standard garden hose without needing any special connectors for quick and easy setup). It also has a few extra safety features: leakage detection will shut the fan down in case of water exposure to the electrical elements, and a GFCI plug affords a level of protection against electrical shock. This is encased in a water-resistant plastic housing for withstanding the elements.

  • Available color options: 1 (black)
3
A Waterproof Wall-Mount Fan With An Add-On Cool Mist Option
  • Blade span: 14 inches
  • Air flow capacity: 2,473 CFM

This waterproof wall-mounted outdoor fan boasts a rust-resistant galvanized steel frame that encases three powder-coated aluminum blades — the same durable protective coating often used on outdoor furniture. The sealed industrial motor runs at three different speeds and was built for use in wet locations. It can even be converted with a misting kit for outdoor fans (sold separately) for double the cooling power. "The housing is robust and there is nothing cheap about any part of it. It even comes with stainless screws for mounting it," one shopper praised. "As far as performance I am already pleased. It is quiet enough on the low and medium settings as to not be obnoxiously loud and it moves a lot of air."

  • Available color options: 1 (black)
4
A Wet-Rated Outdoor Fan With A Remote Control And Dimmable LED Light
  • Blade span: 60 inches
  • Air flow capacity: 4,677 CFM

This wet-rated outdoor ceiling fan combines a few standout features that make it well worth the investment. It has a dimmable light with three different fan speeds, a manually reversible motor, and it operates effortlessly via the included remote control. All of this is housed in a durable body that can withstand even the harshest weather. "Absolutely love the fan, we needed a good fan truly meant for outdoors," one reviewer raved. "The blades are sturdy and holding up to the rain and humidity." For a less expensive option without the light, you can also check out this brushed nickel wet-rated smart fan.

  • Available color options: 1 (brushed bronze)
5
This Decorative Wet-Rated Floor Fan In Two Different Styles
  • Blade span: 18 inches
  • Air flow capacity: No CFM's listed, but high speed reaches 1,280 RPMs (revolutions per minute)

For a less utilitarian take on the outdoor fan, this adjustable outdoor standing fan features a decorative weighted base that won’t tip over in windy areas. It's wet-rated for outdoor use and constructed in brushed stainless steel with an all-weather UV finish, and has a GFCI plug for safety. There are three different fan speeds and the height can be adjusted between 40 to 51 inches. "Stylish and functional," one shopper summarized. "It is important to note that this is an outdoor fan; therefore, it is a bit noisier than an indoor fan...It looks good and moves the air."

  • Available color options: 2 (midnight, scrolls)
6
A Ceiling Fan For Salt Air Environments
  • Blade span: 60 inches
  • Air flow capacity: 6,246 CFM

If you’re buying a fan for a seaside location, you will want to invest in wet-rated fans made from ABS plastic with a protective coating or marine-grade stainless steel to avoid corrosion from salty air. This coastal outdoor ceiling fan was specifically built to withstand the damaging effects of briny sea air. It's wet-rated to protect the internal components, and the brand's trademarked Climates construction is built from a lightweight ABS plastic and coated with a UV protectant that further resists corrosion. It also has the ability to add a light kit, as well. The only downside is that, even though there are three speeds, it doesn't appear to be reversible.

  • Available color options: 1 (white)
7
A Rechargeable Portable Outdoor Fan That’s Great For Camping Or Travel
  • Blade span: 10 inches
  • Air flow capacity: 1,300 CFM

This cordless outdoor floor fan is perfect for on the go. The battery lasts up to 24 hours on a single charge, and a handy power indicator lets you know when you're running low, though it can also run while plugged in and charging. It has an IPX4 waterproof design that is safe should it encounter the occasional splash or spray, and a sturdy metal frame that can withstand bumps and drops. Its one-knob control lets you adjust the fan speed to your preference.

  • Available color options: 2 (yellow, and a mini version in black)