10 best cooling fans

Stay cool, calm and collected when the heatwave hits with a much-needed device

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The Independent Online

As this spring has revealed, you can never quite tell when an unexpected hot spell might come your way. So get prepared with one of our recommended fans.

Don’t forget to think about how much space you’ll need for your fan to do its job, as well as the kind of look you want. Slimline tower fans, for example, are great for those short on floor space and who like a contemporary look, while traditional round blade fans can give a nice retro look, but they take up more room. Meanwhile, for those who want an uber-modern look – plus no blades or noise – check out our recommended Dyson fans, one of which doubles up as a heater in winter.

Consider your room size too. A desk fan or mini tower fan are usually enough for a small room, while a pedestal, tower or floor fan are better suited to larger spaces.

Remember not all fans are equally powerful, adjustable or variable in terms of speed settings, so these should be further considerations – and think about whether you want bonus features such as a remote control or timer.

1. Dyson Pure Hot + Cold Link: £499, John Lewis


Seeing is believing with this quiet, blade-free fan that offers ultra-smooth air flow and 10 different fan speeds. In fact, we defy anyone who experiences it in action not to want one, particularly if they suffer from hay fever as it purifies pretty much all of the pollutants it detects in your home. Plus, it doubles up as an effective heater in winter, using thermostat control that can be set up to 37 degrees Celsius. Once the room hits the desired temperature, it maintains it and tops up if necessary.

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2. Swan Desk Fan: £39.99, Very


This is part of Swan’s range of stylish, retro-look home accessories, which come in a range of funky colours. There are two fans available: a pedestal one and this 12-inch desk one, which we found quiet and effective on all of its three speed settings, as well as easy to adjust so that you don’t blow all your papers away.

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3. Judge Three Speed Pedestal Fan: £49.94, Harts of Stur


If you’re after a sturdy and easily operational tall fan that’s sturdily built, but without an eye-watering price tag, this will serve you well summer after summer. It might not be the best looking of fans, but it’s by no means offensive and has a useful timer that can be set from 10 minutes to one hour. The height and angle of the fan are adjustable, too.

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4. NSA’UK Mini Tower Fan: £39.95, John Lewis


This doesn’t take up much space, making it a great option to place on anything from a bedside table to a kitchen work surface. It’s easily transportable, quiet and has a handy four-hour timer, as well as a programme you can set to reduce fan speed slowly over time before it switches itself off completely – particularly handy if you like to fall asleep with your fan on. It’s not the most stylish of fans on our list, though.

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5. Dimplex DXMBCF: £51.99, Argos 


This slim, sleek and modern-looking black tower fan takes up very little room on the floor and creates a wide flow of air thanks to the automatic oscillation. There’s an easy-to-read LED display on the remote control too, meaning you don’t even have to get up from your armchair to work it, but it may be too noisy for some to have in the bedroom.

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6. Challenge Chrome High Velocity Tilting Fan: £44.99, Argos


There’s no need to assemble this great-looking fan – just get it straight out of the box and switch it on one of its three settings and use the tilting mechanism to suit your needs. It doesn’t make anywhere near as much of a racket as many other fans of this ilk, and it is robust too. 

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7. Halfords Simple Motorised Handheld Fan: £1.50, Halfords


Available in a range of fun colours, these cheap and cheerful lightweight fans are handy for popping into your handbag to keep you cool on the go. So whether you’re suffering from a menopausal hot flush or getting a bit sweaty on your summer picnic, this will do the job nicely. Includes two AA batteries, which should see you through five or six hours of fanning.

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8. Stadler Form Charly Floor Fan: £99.95, John Lewis


Most floor fans have a retro look, but if you want something more contemporary, our vote goes to this one, which also wowed us with its effectiveness and sheer power, while also remaining quieter than most. It’s much more robust than it looks too, and can automatically oscillate.

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9. Dyson Pure Cool Link Tower: £449.99, John Lewis


You can buy portable air conditioners for less than this, but they don’t look as cool as this blade-free and extremely quiet fan, nor do they provide the kind of intelligent air purification that this does, apparently capturing 99.95 per cent of potentially harmful particles. You can even see the progress of your air-filtering on a smartphone app which, by the way, doubles up as a remote control.

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10. RED5 LED Clock Fan with Stand: £13, John Lewis


This may seem gimmicky, but it’s also good fun and does do its two jobs of keeping you cool and telling the time well enough for us to have been persuaded to include it here. Once you’ve connected it to your laptop with a USB cable, the fan (which you can adjust via the goose neck) starts to whir and the time lights up.

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The Verdict

It costs a bomb, but we love the Dyson Pure Hot + Cold Link. Not only is the best looking fan in our round-up, but it acts as a great heater in winter too. For more wallet friendly options, our votes go to the Dimplex DXMBCF and the Swan Desk Fan.

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