Oscillating fans come in all shapes and sizes. There are the standing fans which are height adjustable and can tilt in different directions or smaller fans designed just for the office desk. Alternatively, a tower fan is well suited to an office environment with its classy design, multi-speed easy adjustment, and auto timer to turn off the fan after a set period (for instance, at the end of an 8-hour workday).

Fans designs include oscillating round head fans with a small neck that can fit on a desk, a larger extendable round head fan with an adjustable height with the ability to move it around the room, and a rectangular tower fan with more sophisticated features. Each fan type has several speed levels available.

With the wide oscillating fans, they come in a variety of sizes for the office desk or floor. The central fan area is measured in inches, so the buyer can decide how much cooling air they wish to be whipped up by the fan itself by selecting a larger blade size.

The larger fan circumferences are reserved for, the bigger, standing oscillating fans with thicker bases, sturdy stems, and round heads. These types of units are more durable and given that they are height adjustable, are more suitable for homes or offices where the owner wishes to move the fan to different positions from time to time.

The oscillating tower fan is a different animal. It is a taller, slimmer, heavier design that lacks the wider circular fan exterior, but makes up for it with its compactness. Energy saving cut-off timers are offered in most tower units making them more suitable for an office environment and anyone who is energy conscious in the home.

Air purification is a feature that is included with some tower fans to help clean the air shared in an office or home environment. Multiple speed settings with easy access controls, often include a fan movement intended to feel like a light breeze or windy conditions, which is selectable.

What’s Included With The Best Oscillating Fan

With the circular standing fans, they come in a box with the base separate to the stem. The motor will be already attached to the extendable arm, but is detached from the fan blade and branded front safety cover.

The plastic fan blade will need to be fitted first, with the securing mini cover screwed into position to hold the blade in the proper place. Then the fan cover is clipped over the top by lining it up perfectly all the way around and forcing it over the rim and into position. Getting the fan cover to fit into place properly takes a couple of tries to get it right as it can be tricky.

With standing tower fans, these come pre-assembled for the most part, though it is still necessary to follow the instructions correctly. The tower fans are usually much heavier than the standing oscillating fans, though the latter is more awkward to carry around once unboxed.

What To Know Before Making a Purchase

Consider the amount of cooling necessary to make a whole room or part of a room more comfortable. In hot summers, smaller desk fans are not able to provide sufficient cooling and mostly blow warm air around. More powerful standing oscillating fans with a wide circumference blade are better able to handle the heat. Tower fans are usually built more for the office environment and have little trouble handling hotter temperatures.

More assembly is required for a desk or standing oscillating fan than with a tower fan. In most cases, a standing fan doesn’t come with a remote control option, whereas many tower fans do.

Make the motor a serious consideration when buying a fan. With desk and standing fans, the motor can burn out during overuse with the cheaper brands which seem like a bargain at the time of purchase. By contrast, quality brands can provide years of use when maintained well.

Other Considerations

Look for LED displays and energy-efficient timers on the tower fans. Most, if not all, products in this category will offer this facility. Air purification is also an option with some tower fans and is a good idea for stuffy environments. Bear in mind that nothing will beat a dedicated air purifier unit over a tower fan that includes this feature as a nice extra.

Be sure to turn off desk fan or standing fan between uses to rest the internal components, especially the motor, which can overheat quickly.

Best Brands

Lasko Metal Products began life in 1906 and has been making consumer products like portable heaters, fans, and small appliances ever since. Initially based in Philadelphia, the company has since expanded operations to both Texas and Tennessee.

Honeywell has decades of business experience in major consumer and business markets. It now has over $40bn in annual revenues, and 50% of its products are energy efficient.

Holmes has a broad range of fans, air humidifiers and air purifiers on the market.

Rowenta from Groupe SEB, founded in Germany in 1884, is behind the creation of numerous consumer products for the home from irons to oscillating fans to hair straighteners.

Ozeri is a newer brand focused on developing and marketing products at the luxury end of the market.

What Consumers Say

Taking a look at consumers’ reviews, these are a few of the opinions most often voiced by buyers:

Wind Curve: The directional air flow created using windy modes on tower fans is a useful feature. It is similar to such options on air conditioning units and will work well in larger spaces.

Tilting: Check how far back a desk or standing fan can tilt back, or forward, to project air flow higher or lower, as needed.

Speed: Desk and standing fans have between two and four-speed settings depending on the model. A greater number of gradient speed settings is preferable to get the cooling level just right without sending important business papers flying off the desk.