Holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and is keen on her own home’s climate. Sometimes we think that Carolina owns every single product she writes about – that’s how profound and insightful her reviews always are.
For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may arise during our tests and research.
Last updated: August 18, 2022
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When it’s summertime, everyone is looking for ways to keep themselves cool. Of course, installing an air conditioner is one effective way of beating the hot weather, but it is both expensive and bothersome to install. In that case, a cost-effective solution would be buying a box fan. Usually made in either a square, rectangular, or oblong shape, the best box fan ensures that the air in your house is properly circulated, thereby reducing the temperature levels and keeping you cool.
However, recognizing that you need a box fan is one thing, but knowing the right box fan to choose is another thing. We’re here to make shopping a lot easier for you. The blade size determines the amount of space that a box fan can cover, so we took it into consideration. We also considered the fan speeds, which obviously determines how fast the unit will be in its operation. In the end, we’ve been able to gather the five best box fans on the market currently available.
With that said, it’s worth noting that we have invested a lot of time into the research for this, as usual. Not only have we read the specifications of the products, but we have also taken our time to read the different reviews left by customers. To simplify this guide as much as possible for readers, we’ve included a comparison table and a detailed buying guide, sandwiched by the comprehensive reviews of our picks.
Gone are the days when box fans used to be huge units. Nowadays, they are so compact and portable that they could fit pretty much anywhere you want to put them. For example, the Hurricane Box Fan is such a compact device that it’s perfect for anywhere where space is an issue. Like most other models, this box fan features three speed settings, and is equipped with a long power cord that would make it very convenient to use.
Like we already mentioned, it features three speed settings, which include low, medium, and high-speed airflow. However, this box fan from Hurricane might not be a good option if you are easily disturbed by noise. In other words, it’s a fan that emits a decent amount of air but it’s quite noisy as well. But you will be hard-pressed to find any fan that doesn’t make any noise, so this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Moving on, it also features an excellent wee tilt capability, which allows you to tilt the fan up to 15 degrees and slightly direct the airflow more than your regular fan.
In addition, this fan has a weather-resistant metal exterior and motor shield, which is an exceptional design from the company. Plus that, there is also an excellent side effect. The additional weight from the thick sides and motor shield means there is some added weight, which prevents the fan from rattling or shaking when at high speeds. Without a doubt, it’s the best box fan on this list and the best 20″ box fan we have seen.
The beautiful and high-performance Lasko 3300 Wind Machine is an excellent addition to any home. Equipped with three different speed settings to choose from, it’s easy to see that this machine was designed with versatility in mind. Apart from that, it also has five super-fast blades, which ensure the proper distribution of air. And despite boasting five blades and three speed settings, it’s energy-efficient at the same time, which means that it is not likely to drive your energy bills up at the end of the month.
Furthermore, the box fan comes with a pivoting head, which becomes super helpful when you need to adjust the direction of the airflow. You can tilt the fan to blow in your direction or completely tilt it to face upwards. Apart from that, the fan sports a wonderful design, which features an integrated carrying handle that makes it super-convenient to carry the fan. Added to that, the fan has a rugged design, which means it is likely to withstand some rough handling.
Still speaking about the construction, the plastic material it is made of makes it easy to clean. Besides, the plastic construction makes it lightweight, which subsequently makes it convenient to carry. To increase your convenience further, the Lasko 3300 Fan comes assembled – you just need to do is buy, unpack, and start using. In terms of noise, however, at the highest speed, the fan may be too noisy for most people.
More features: fits window openings that are between 27″ to 38″ wide by 26.25″ high
Whether you are looking for a box fan to use at your workplace or at your home, the Air King 9166F may be the ideal box fan for your needs. The fan is capable of circulating air at a high speed, thanks to its powerful, premium-quality motor. Unlike most box fans we have seen, this one is available in different sizes, which enables you to pick the exact one that fits your needs.
Additionally, it is made of durable and sturdy plastic, but its blades are made of steel. Plus, this box fan comes with a special feature referred to as the Air King’s Storm Guard feature. For starters, it is a special feature that enables you to lose the window behind the fan, instead of just taking the fan apart as some other models require. On top of that, the package comes with useful extras like sling panels, mounting hardware, and instructions.
For homes where there’re toddlers or children, it’s advisable to utilize the fan while it’s mounted. Apart from helping to protect your kids, it also prevents the fan from falling outside the window if you use it on the window. Like all the box fans we featured here, this one also offers three speed settings, which you can change using the rotary control. While the fan is generally quiet, it can get very noisy when you use it the highest speed setting. It’s also worth noting that this fan may seem overpriced for some.
Honeywell is a company with a good reputation, and it’s easy to see why they are so highly regarded with their Honeywell HT-900. This outstanding fan is so versatile that it could either be installed on walls or used on desks. With its slim and sleek built, this box fan offers you a lot of convenience as you can easily use it in confined spaces without any issues. It’s an ideal option if you are looking for a box fan for extreme personal cooling.
In order to maximize the flow of air, this unit comes with aerodynamic TurboForce design, which allows it to force a great amount of air with no difficulties. Besides, the fan has a very sturdy construction, which means it won’t be easily damaged. Despite being compact and lightweight, the fan is still energy-saving. This means you will be paying less for energy consumption while running the fan for longer hours. It’s a win-win. To achieve satisfactory and optimal performance, the fan is equipped with a tillable head. This enables you to project airflow to the direction you want without needing to move the unit.
The fan is also 25 percent less noisy than regular fans, which is a huge plus as most box fans are noisy. And with its three-speed settings, it offers enough versatility to use the fan in the way you want. The only issue most users have with this fan is that it’s not easy to clean as there doesn’t seem to be any way to take it apart so that you can wipe down the blades. In general, it is the best cheap box fan on the market today.
More features: self-standing frameless design; front panel control
There are not many countries in the electronics industry with the reputation of Black & Decker, and the reasons for that are glaring to see in the BLACK+DECKER BFB09W. Being an extremely reliable and versatile unit, this box fan is ideal for numerous purposes. Despite being a very quiet machine when in operation, it moves lots of air, which is impressive. Besides, it is an affordable machine, and its stability is out of this world.
Furthermore, this unique unit from Black & Decker is equipped with a self-standing frameless design, which makes it a more unique unit when compared with the modern tabletop fan. In terms of speed choices, there are three different speed settings, which ensures that you customize its operation to your taste. Despite all of that, it is an extremely compact unit and, in the event that you are planning to put it in a confined space, there won’t be an issue.
In terms of durability, you will hardly find any box fan that is more durable than this offering from Black & Decker. When it comes to usability, it is one of the most intuitive models around. It is easy to use, and it features all the necessary functions to easily control the nine-inch blade for desired or maximum airflow.
In terms of shortcomings, we didn’t find many. However, the fact that it can’t be taken apart makes it difficult to clean. Additionally, the fan is not as powerful as many users expected it to be.
Why did it make our list?
It has a durable construction
Easy to use
Sports a frameless self-standing design
Offers three speed settings
What is not ideal about it?
Difficult to clean
Not as powerful as expected
Things to Consider
Despite the reviews you have seen up there, we understand that you may need more knowledge to make your decision. Hence, we have included a handy buying guide that contains different tips and information, all of which will help you choose the ideal box fan for your needs.
When and where a box fan might be useful
You can use a box fan to ventilate a dirty room. To get the ideal ventilating output, you could put one or multiple box fans in your workshop or in the attic.
If you have a laptop that gets hot often and you don’t have a cooler, a box fan can be used as a desktop or laptop cooler in such circumstances.
If you are looking to make your small-sized room cool faster, you could place a box fan around the window. It’ll help to pull the hot air out and draw in the cool air.
A box fan can be used to manufacture a DIY air cleaner for a garage or workshop.
A box fan can help you make a DIY Swamp cooler, which can help you minimize the cost of buying a new swamp cooler. It’s quite straightforward – just place a large ice blow in front of your box fan, and you’re good to go.
Features to consider while choosing a box fan
There are some important features you may need to consider before buying a box fan, especially if you’re just buying this kind of product for the first time. That said, below are the important features.
One of the first things to consider is the size of the blades on the fan you’re looking at. Why is it important to consider the blade size? Well, the blade size determines the amount of space that a box fan can cover. So, you need to choose a fan depending on how large or small your bedroom or living room is.
Number of speeds
To enable you to fully tailor the amount of airflow to your needs, a box fan usually comes with multiple speed or power settings. Most models provide three speed settings – low, medium, and high. Some box fans, however, only provide two speeds – low and high.
The more the speed settings a box fan has, the easier it’ll be to control your room’s airflow.
The length of the cord is also a key factor as it’s one of the features that will determine the fan’s ease of use. With a short cord, you must make sure you place the cord close to a socket, and not necessarily where you want. With a longer cord, however, you can put the fan wherever you want for optimum airflow.
One of the first things you need to figure is how big you want your box fan to be. There’re many things you may keep in mind in order to get the ideal size for your needs. Where will you put your box fan? If you’re simply looking to put it on your desk, then you will want a small model that will fit perfectly on your desk. Perhaps, you also don’t want the fan blowing too hard since it’ll be sitting right beside you.
If you’re intending to use it as a floor fan in your big living room or bedroom, then you may need to opt for a bigger fan. The standard size is a 20-inch model (like the Hurricane Box Fan), which should be enough to move a great amount of air to cool a room. Besides, it is the size you are likely to want if you intend to put the fan in your window for more airflow. While you don’t want something too big, you also want something that is sufficiently big to make a significant difference.
The noise level of a box fan is another thing you need to consider. The majority of box fans produce annoying noise particularly when it’s functioning at the highest speed setting. You don’t want a box fan that would disturb your sleep.
Sadly, it is hard to know the noise level of a box fan when you’re trying to buy one online. Their manufacturers usually don’t indicate the noise level, which makes it hard to figure out how loud they will be.
Your best bet is reading reviews before making your purchase. For instance, a model like the BLACK+DECKER BFB09W is known for its quiet operation.
The warranty is a very important factor that you can never overlook when buying a box fan as it will save you a lot of headache in the long term. Apart from serving as some sort of security for your purchase, it also tells you how confident its manufacturers are in its quality. We advise you to look for a fan that comes with at least a one-year warranty.
Apart from the features we already mentioned, there are also some extra features you may need to consider when buying a box fan. Some of those important extra features are handles, a pivoting head, coverage area if stated, and CFM. However, bear in mind that the more the extra features, the more expensive a box fan is likely to be. While the Honeywell HT-900 is equipped with a carrying handle, the Lasko 3300 Wind Machine comes with a pivoting head.
Tips for extending the lifespan of the fan
Choose the ideal size – It may seem cost-effective to choose a small fan, but using it in a large room is likely to cut its life short and also have a negative effect on its performance. The fans and motor will work too hard to move the air, and the person that’s not close to it may not even feel the cooling. Of course, this may damage the motor untimely.
Use it when necessary – Using the fan continuously often exerts needless strain on the components and will affect its lifespan negatively. Also, it will increase its energy consumption. You don’t need to run the fan when the room is not too hot. You also need to turn it off when going out. Apart from consuming less power, a lower speed setting also has a lower effect on the components. Therefore, you don’t need to run the fan at maximum speed when the room is not really hot.
Keep it away from water and moisture – Water and moisture will spoil the internal parts of the box fan, especially the motor. It’ll corrode the wires and other parts, and may even trigger a short circuit. Therefore, make sure you place the unit away from a wet environment. Besides, always ensure the power cord is not frayed or broken, and the plug is always in good order.
Handle it carefully – Even the strongest of box fans will crack or break eventually when banged or dropped too often. You need to be careful with how you handle the fan and move it only when it’s necessary. Putting the fan on a stable base, and making sure there is enough space around it often reduces the odds of falling.
A box fan is not more effective than an ordinary standing pedestal fan, especially considering the fact that it doesn’t oscillate. However, it’s much more portable and convenient to use near a window to cool the whole room effectively.
While box fans are different from window fans, there are some box fans that can be alternatively used as window fans. An example of such a fan is the Air King 9166F, which also doubles as a window fan.
Cleaning the blades of a box fan is quite straightforward – simply unplug the fan and then remove its outer covers. Then unscrew and remove the screw that secures both grilles to the metal box frame. After then, clean the fan’s outer covers, before spraying and wiping down the blades for cleaning.
It is rare to find a compact box fan that packs the kind of power offered by the Hurricane Box Fan nowadays. It’s a perfect example of why size doesn’t really mean much when it comes to fans. Apart from being efficient in its operation, this fan also features a weather-resistant construction, making it the best box fan on our list.
Coming close at second is the Lasko 3300 Wind Machine, which with its pivoting head and energy-saving operation has won the hearts of homeowners around the world. That said, our third pick is the Air King 9166F, which apart from being a box fan also doubles as window fan. The high-quality motor it’s equipped with ensures that it delivers high speeds at all times.