The 7 Best Portable Fans of 2023

When deciding on the best type of portable fan for you, use your judgment to consider the spaces and scenarios in which you intend to use it. While some fans are meant to be kept in your hand, others are meant to sit on the ground while operating.

  • If you are looking for a fan to use in your backyard or garden, or if you are planning a camping trip or tackling a new DIY project in your garage, standing fans are probably your best option. These fans offer powerful, hands-free air circulation and are generally considered the best overall portable fan, such as the M18 Milwaukee Jobsite Fan. Standing fans are larger than handheld fans, so they can generate greater air circulation. Unlike other types of fans, these fans are not meant to be moved around while operating and should be kept stationary on a stable surface. However, they come with a variety of settings and are easy to carry and place in different locations.
  • The best fan for the bedroom, our pick is the Treva 10-Inch Portable Fan. It is smaller in size, measuring only four inches deep and around a foot tall and long, making it tabletop-friendly. This fan is perfect for people looking for a portable fan to keep on their nightstand in the bedroom or to take with them into a hot office. Desktop fans are best suited for these situations because they don’t take up too much space on a desk or table and can easily sit on a flat surface. They have a more compact profile compared to standing fans and are meant to be situated on a flat surface when operating. However, they are similar to standing fans in the sense that they are easy to move from one place to another.
  • You while using them, you will have to hold them up, which can be tiring. However, if you are sitting at a table or desk without a grip, you can also use the JisuLife Mini Handheld Fan, which offers some handheld models to choose from.
  • The Jisulife Portable Neck Fan, our selection for the finest neck fan, weighs slightly more than half a pound. A neck fan that is excessively heavy can cause discomfort and potentially lead to neck pain, so it is important to assess the weight of a neck fan and ensure it is sufficiently light to match your comfort preferences. If you have long hair and intend to use a neck fan, it is advisable to tie your hair up beforehand, as individuals with longer hair may find this challenging. Neck fans provide less airflow compared to standing models due to their compact nature. However, unlike handheld models, you do not need to continuously hold them while in use, as they simply rest around your neck for hands-free operation. Similar to handheld fans, wearable neck fans provide airflow that accompanies your movements.
  • Size

    Portable fans are available in a wide variety of sizes. To be considered portable, a fan should be small and lightweight enough to be easily moved. When deciding on the size of fan to purchase, it is important to consider how you intend to use it. For example, if you need a fan to keep you cool while walking around an amusement park, a slim handheld fan that can be comfortably held in your palm, like our top pick, the JisuLife Handheld Mini Fan, would be ideal. On the other hand, if you need a fan for your garage or camping trips, a larger portable fan that is over a foot wide and provides better air circulation may be more practical. This type of fan can be placed on the floor while it operates, allowing you to engage in other activities without constantly moving it around.

    Energy Source

    Below are three of the most prevalent categories of power sources utilized. It is important to acknowledge that numerous fans featured in our compilation have the capability to function on two distinct power sources, with the majority of models offering a choice between a battery-operated option and a plug-in option. Various fans depend on varying types of power sources.

  • You can expect to see how long the fan can run on one set of batteries before they need to be replaced by checking the product description. If you find it inconvenient to replace the batteries right away, you can start using the fan again and quickly pop out the old batteries and put in new ones if you have them on hand. Another benefit of this fan is that it can be powered by AA batteries or a USB cable, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing new batteries if you already have them. Our pick for the budget-friendly and fan-friendly option is the Honeywell Turbo On The Go Fan. It is worth noting that using batteries will incur additional costs, as you will need to buy more before the fan dies again. If you don’t have batteries on hand and don’t want to wait for the battery to recharge, you can start using the fan right away and quickly pop out the old batteries and put in new ones. Another benefit of this fan is that it can be powered by a rechargeable battery, so you will have to wait for the battery to recharge after it dies again. Additionally, disposable batteries tend to be lighter than rechargeable batteries, so portable fans tend to use disposable batteries rather than rechargeable ones. These types of fans also tend to be cheaper than models that use rechargeable batteries. It is important to note that once depleted, disposable batteries must be replaced and disposed of properly.
  • The model can operate for up to 17 hours on its lowest mode and using its rechargeable battery. The Milwaukee M18 Jobsite Fan, our top choice for the best overall portable fan, can run on a rechargeable battery and can also be used while plugged into an outlet with its AC adaptor. Check the product description to determine the expected duration of a given model on a single full charge, as the battery life of rechargeable portable fans will vary depending on the available speed settings. Similar to models that rely on disposable batteries, it can be beneficial to purchase a rechargeable battery-operated fan that can also be used while plugged into an outlet. Once the battery is depleted, you will need to wait for it to recharge before using it again, which is the main disadvantage of a rechargeable fan. Another advantage of rechargeable fans is that they generate less waste. Although rechargeable fans may initially be more expensive, they eliminate the need to buy new batteries from the convenience store, resulting in lower long-term maintenance costs. As their name suggests, rechargeable fans have a battery that can be recharged instead of being disposed of when they run out of power.
  • Some portable fans may be considered as electric corded and portable options, where you need to be plugged in for them to work, offering less flexibility. However, if you need to use your fan immediately without waiting for the battery to recharge, and if you have access to a power outlet, it can be helpful, especially if your fan’s battery is depleted. This option allows you to use the fan without waiting for the battery to recharge. Many fans can be used as corded models, allowing you to use the power or as cordless models, using the battery-operated option simultaneously.
  • Efficiency and Sound Level

    Before purchasing a portable fan, you should check the product description to see how many speed settings the unit offers. You may want to make sure your fan has a high, medium, and low mode, so you can adjust the speed to fit different scenarios. If you intend to use your portable fan in an office where you will be working around other people, in a room at home where you want to watch TV, sleep, or not be distracted from your leisurely activities, or on a camping trip where you will be socializing with others, you do not want a fan that is noisy enough to distract you. Our pick for the best quiet fan is the Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Hybrid Whisper Series Fan, which is designed to operate at a noise level of 47 dBA and has a sound rating of 44 percent quieter than other models. You should also check the product description for additional features and specifications.

    “According to Biermeier, a fan that is easy to maintain cleanliness, sufficiently stable to not require constant monitoring, and capable of providing adequate airflow for the intended task is considered an excellent performer. Additionally, this fan offers easily adjustable speed settings. However, when determining the top-performing portable fan model for your needs, it is important to consider factors beyond just speed settings and noise ratings.”