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The Best Desk Fans

Last updated on March 8, 2024

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Desk Fans

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

SkyGenius Compact Office Clip-On Desk Fan

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Compact Office Clip-On Desk Fan

Need to move from the kitchen table to your office desk? This lightweight desk fan moves with you. Its base is a clip that can be attached to any surface. The fan offers a little personal relief from the heat on a warm summer day.

Overall Take

Lightweight and PortableThis battery-operated mini desk fan has 360-degree vertical and horizontal rotation.

 Runner Up

SmartDevil Mini 360 Degree Desk Fan


Mini 360 Degree Desk Fan

You'll find this desk fan is quite versatile. It can be used at home or the office, as well as in a car. The fan is powered via a USB cord and comes in a choice of navy blue or cherry pink. It offers three fan settings and is designed to run quietly, so as not to disturb your sleep.

Overall Take

Effective OptionYou can adjust this desk fan a full 360 degrees, giving you the flexibility to aim it in any direction.

 Best Value

Gaiatop Rotatable Space Saving Desk Fan


Rotatable Space Saving Desk Fan

As soon as temperatures start to rise, grab this desk fan and stay cool. It's quite versatile and can be used in a car, on an office desk or outside on a lounge chair. You can get the fan in blue, white or black. Each features three fan speeds, a 30-degree rotation and a USB port.

Overall Take

Most AffordableWhen shopping on a budget, this economical desk fan is the way to go.

 Also Consider

Treva Built-In Handle Dual Power Desk Fan


Built-In Handle Dual Power Desk Fan

Overall Take

Buying Guide

Whether your office space is without air conditioning or you just need a boost of air once in a while, a desk fan can be a lifesaver. Most desk fans are designed to save energy, so they don’t cost that much to run. Additionally, work productivity has been known to increase when a person is nice and cool versus when they are hot and bothered.

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As you shop for the best desk fan, determine which size would work best for your space. For example, the SkyGenius Battery Operated Clip Mini Desk Fan is on the smaller side at less than 6 inches in height. It’s meant for personal use at a close distance. Consumers can use the built-in clip to attach the fan to a baby stroller, lawnmower handle or the edge of a desk or shelf. Other models are larger and can be placed on the floor, on top of a desk or mounted to a wall.

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Check the power of the desk fan’s motor and the number of speeds the model is able to offer. Smaller models may only have one speed, while larger desk fans typically have three speed settings. Some tabletop desk fans are equipped with a motor that is so powerful that it has a reach of 27 feet.

Look for a desk fan that is adjustable. A fan that swivels a full 360 degrees is an excellent choice. That means you’ll be able to position the fan at the angle the provides you with the best breeze. Other models have a limited tilt; however, this isn’t a bad thing so long as you can tilt it far enough to get the cooling effect you need.

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Consider any special features that make the desk fan a prime choice. For example, some fans run at 50 decibels or less, so you won’t have to worry about the fan being so noisy it distracts you or keeps you awake if you run it at night. Other desk fans are sold in a choice of colors, like pink, sky blue or white. 

What to Look For

  • If you find that your desk fan vibrates and moves across desk when you have it on a higher speed, you can place a non-slip mat underneath it to prevent this. The non-slip liners made for kitchen cabinets are an excellent choice as they don’t cost that much.
  • Check the length of the desk fan’s battery charge. Some run for just 6 hours after a charge, which is great if you’re working, but not long enough if you’re using it to stay cool while you sleep.
  • Positioning your desk fan on the floor is a good move. Since hot air rises, the coolest air in the room is near the floor. After setting your fan on the floor, you simply need to tilt the fan’s head upward in the direction where you’re sitting.
  • Your desk fan will build up with dust over time, so you’ll need to clean it once a month. Make sure you always turn the fan off and unplug it from its power source before you attempt to clean it. Afterward, remove the fan’s grill and wipe down the grill and blades with a soapy dish rag. Go back over the grill and blades with a clean wet rag to rinse them off. Use a soft bristle brush to clean out the motor. Once the fan has fully dried, you can reassemble it.
  • Fortunately, desk fans are extremely affordable. You’ll find some desk fans are as cheap as buying a couple of coffees at Starbucks. You’ll pay a bit more for the tabletop fans that have a few unique features. The SkyGenius Battery Operated Clip Mini Desk Fan has the highest price tag, although it is still affordable.

More to Explore

It may surprise you to learn that desk fans have been around since 1822. Dr. Schuyler Wheeler created the fan, and his first model wasn’t equipped with any safety features. Early desk fan models had blades that resembled those of a windmill. They were so expensive that for the most part, they were only used by businesses and wealthy homeowners.

Desk fans have come a long way in the last 100 years. They are now equipped with safety features, such as cages around the blades and casings around the wires. The fans are more lightweight and easy to move around the house. Today’s fans are also adjustable, so you can position them exactly where you need the air to go.

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