I don’t know about you but I really struggle to get to sleep in the warm weather, any temperature above 25° and I feel uncomfortable, clammy and sweaty.
I’ve previously written about my attempts to keep cool at night by getting rid of my foam mattress and swapping it for a cooler variant with a breathable topper.
I struggle with the heat so much that I’ve even researched how much it costs to install a home air conditioning unit.
At the time of writing, we are in the middle of yet another heatwave here in the UK, but this time I’ve done my homework and have tested several cooling fans.
The Six Different Types of Units and Cooling Fans. Which One is Best For You?
There are several different types of cooling fan to choose from, in ascending order and price:
- Handheld cooling fans, chargeable via USB and ultra-portable, these are ideal for public transport and anywhere you can’t plug in an electric fan.
- Oscillating tower fans are tall and slim, they cover a wide area and are easy to store when not in use. Timers and remote controls mean you don’t have to get out of bed to turn the device off.
- Ultra-quiet cooling fans are more costly and don’t have the same coverage but are designed for those who struggle to get to sleep in the heat or require a quiet device that won’t disturb them.
- Unlike mere fans, portable air con units cool the air by several degrees and are ideal for bedrooms and living rooms. You’ll need to make a provision for the exhaust hose and expect to pay several hundred pounds for even the cheapest device.
- The last option is to install a full air con unit outside the home with a fan on the inside wall. A home air conditioning unit costs over £1000 to install, while this is the more effective option it’s also the most expensive. This makes an air-con system the perfect option for the elderly and those with medical conditions.
If you’re looking for the best cooling fans and units, check out my list of favourites below.
The Best Cooling Fans You Can Buy
The Top 2 Winners Are…
#1 – The Chilly 9000BTU Portable Air Con Cooling Unit
This Chilly 9000BTU unit manufactured by Inventor will cool an average-sized room by several degrees in around one and a half hours.
This is perfect for small and medium-sized rooms such as bedrooms and living spaces.
The Chilly cooling fan is mounted on casters for the portability around the home.
With an energy rating of “A” and the latest eco-friendly refrigerant, the Chilly already exceeds future UK energy standards.
As with all air con units, it comes with an exhaust hose.
You can either cut a hole in the wall and install a vent to the outer wall or purchase a separate window sealing kit.
More details about the window sealing kit can be found here.
The device is a little noisy which is typical of portable air-con cooling units.
The cooling unit and fan are all located indoors, unlike traditional fixed units, which locate the noisy parts outside.
If you want more than just a fan but don’t want to pay for a full air-con system, the Chilly 9000BTU unit is the best out there in our opinion.
Weight: 25.3kg. Height: 70.3cm. Length: 34.5cm. Width: 35.5cm.
#2 – Pro Breeze 40″ Oscillating Cooling Tower Fan
At 40″ tall, the Pro Breeze is the tallest tower we looked at.
This means a larger fan for more coverage in your room, the Pro Breeze is also perfect for bedrooms with a bed that sits high off the ground.
The Pro Breeze also has a 7-hour timer – perfect for those of you that need a breeze to fall asleep but would like the fan to switch off during the night.
This cooling fan also comes with a remote, a handy extra that allows you to switch the device on or off without getting up from your bed.
The oscillating tower fan has a wide 80° coverage sweep and comes with three settings – low, medium and high.
The display is all digital – no analogue dials or switches.
It’s a fan, not an air con unit, so it doesn’t actually cool the air, although the feeling of air blowing over the skin can make you feel refreshed and reduce sweat.
This fan is more costly than most tower fans – the remote control, taller fan unit, extended timer and all-digital display bump up the price to above average.
Only available in white, this device doesn’t look as sleek as other tower fans on the market.
Weight: 5.4kg. Height: 106.5cm. Length: 21.8cm. Width: 21.6cm.
The Best of the Rest
#3 – Ansio 30″ 60° Slimline Oscillating Cooling Tower Fan
For a standard tower cooling fan, the Ansio 30″ ticks all the boxes; it’s currently on sale for less than £50, it rotates 60°, has three power settings with the lowest being acceptably quiet, has a timer for auto-shutdown and is lightweight.
Its slim tall design means storage is easy and the grilles protect fingers from the fast-spinning blades.
At 30″ tall, the Ansio is suitable for living rooms and bedrooms, the breeze it creates travels far and the hum isn’t too loud, you can comfortably watch TV with this tower in the same room.
It’s a rotating tower fan, nothing more and nothing less.
It doesn’t come with a remote control, which is a drawback for those of you that like to switch the device off without leaving your bed.
The Ansio tower fan blows air around and may make you feel cooler and fresher but it isn’t an air conditioner and doesn’t contain a refrigerant, so it won’t actually cool the air.
If you want a tower fan that has a timer, three power settings and isn’t too loud, this is the best of the bunch.
For under £50 and with free delivery, you won’t find a better fan, we know because we’ve had one in the office for the last two summers.
Weight: 4.1 kg. Height: 76.5cm. Length: 24cm. Width: 24cm.
#4 – The Ultra Quiet Option by Meaco
If you’re looking for the best ultra-quiet cooling fan, look no further than the Meaco.
This compact fan is perfect for light sleepers, watching television or on a work desktop.
You can expect the noise decibel level to no more than background noise on the lowest setting (20db) and at the highest power setting up to 50db which is comparable to most tower fans on their lowest setting.
The Meaco was awarded the Quiet Mark award in 2019 for meeting or exceeding low noise and high-efficiency standards.
The Meaco also comes with a timer and remote so there are lots of options for those of you that want to switch the device on/off without getting out of bed.
Lightweight and portable, you can use the 1.6kg Meaco at work or at home, or both.
Power via mains or USB connection.
Priced around £100 this isn’t the cheapest cooling fan on the market and it doesn’t chill the air.
It’s ultra-compact, so won’t cover a wide area. The device is much more powerful than a handheld fan but you’ll experience nowhere near the coverage of a typical tower fan.
We feel the Meaco is one of the best cooling fans for desktops and bedside tables where the user needs to keep the noise level as low as possible.
Weight 1.6kg. Height: 34.3cm. Length: 25.4cm.Width: 26.0cm
#5 – The EasyAcc Portable Mini-Fan
The EasyAcc portable fan is perfect for public transport, theatres, hot buildings and anywhere you need to stay refreshed whilst away from the home and office.
With up to 23 hours battery life and lots of ways to recharge; desktop/laptop, mains socket, in-car charging point or battery pack, you’ll never run out of power.
Affordable and lightweight, this device makes travelling from one point to another quite literally a breeze.
Comes with a free storage bag.
We’re struggling to find anything we don’t like about this product. For around £15 – £20, it’s a bargain, especially if you use public transport such as the notoriously hot and sweaty underground.
It’s a little flimsy, but any heavier and it wouldn’t be so portable.
Weight: 191g. Height: 10.6cm. Width: 6.4cm. Length: 11.4 cm.
#6 – Install a Home Air Conditioning Cooler Unit
Back in 2018, we asked air conditioning installers how much it would cost to install a unit into a typical home.
We also looked into running costs, effectiveness and a whole host of other factors.
Check out our research and see how much it costs to install a home air-con unit here.