Ditch the AC and Embrace the Breeze With These Top Ceiling Fans (2024)

Ditch the AC and Embrace the Breeze With These Top Ceiling Fans (1)

A ceiling fan makes a functional addition to a room by improving air circulation and, in some cases, adding overhead light. To fit the needs of your space, ceiling fans come in a wide range of types, sizes, and styles.

To help you decide on the best ceiling fan, design ecologist Lindsay Tan says to prioritize airflow performance, noise levels, and helpful features like adjustable speed settings, a remote control, and integrated lighting. When shopping for a ceiling fan, she says to consider questions like: “Will it provide a comfortable breeze? Will it be quiet enough to avoid any disturbances? Does it have the features I need for my comfort and convenience?”

With those priorities in mind, we’ve tested 11 of the best ceiling fans, including options for large spaces, small spaces, those with and without a light, and all mounting types. We installed these fans in our own homes and tested them for over 1,200 hours and counting. These are the ceiling fans that impressed us the most with their ease of installation, design, effectiveness, quality, and value.

Our Top Picks

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In This Article

  • Our Picks

  • How We Tested

  • What to Look For

  • FAQ

  • Why Trust The Spruce

Best Overall

Honeywell Carmel Indoor Ceiling Fan

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Our Ratings

  • Setup

    5/5

  • Design

    5/5

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

What We Like

  • Includes wall-mount remote control

  • Reversible blades

  • Quiet operation

  • Auto shutoff for LED light

What We Don't Like

  • Limited color options

  • Better suited to small spaces

The Honeywell Carmel 48-inch Ceiling Fan is a top option if you want an effective and affordable ceiling fan for your home. During testing, this five-blade model impressed us with its quiet operation, substantial airflow, and user-friendly features, including a wall-mounted remote control and an automatic shutoff for the integrated LED light.

We installed this indoor ceiling fan in an open-concept space that measures 13 x 13 feet (within the recommended room size of 12 x 12 feet to 18 x 18 feet), and the fan’s ability to circulate the air in the space is a testament to its effectiveness. With three speeds to choose from, this fan kept the area feeling well-ventilated and cool, clearing smells from the dining room or giving us a quick chill after a workout. Best of all, the ceiling fan didn’t produce any disruptive noise or vibrations that were a distraction during work-related video calls.

Although there aren’t many color or finish selections for this fan, you have your choice of a satin nickel or espresso hardware finish, and the dual-finish blades are reversible, so you can change the appearance of the blades. Don’t let the relatively few finish options deter you too much from considering this ceiling fan. Tan points out that a fan’s hardware finish is likely to be noticed less than you think. “Remember that fans are almost always above your head, outside of your cone of vision.”

It’s worth noting that there is no pull chain to control the fan’s operation. Instead, you control functions like the fan speed and light with the included remote control. Our favorite feature of the remote was the delayed shutoff for the light. When leaving the house very early in the morning, this feature made it possible to have sufficient light for slipping on our shoes and grabbing the keys, but the light turns off 1-minute later, so there’s no chance of leaving the light on.

All in all, the Honeywell Carmel Ceiling Fan exceeded our expectations in terms of performance and price. It earned perfect ratings for set-up, design, effectiveness, quality, and value. We’d recommend it for any small living space or as a quiet, efficient option for a bedroom or home office.

How It Performed Long-Term

Having this ceiling fan in our home for the past two months has been a lifesaver, particularly on hot days. We love to relax in our dining room while the fan is on, especially after a workout on the treadmill. The ability to turn off the lights with the included remote control is one of our favorite features of this fan, which we utilize every morning before leaving the house. Unfortunately, we've found that occasionally turning off the unit requires two presses of the remote. Beyond that, we are completely content with the fan.

Diameter: 48 inches | Material: MDF | Lighting: LED bulbs included | Control Type: Remote | Airflow: ‎5,202 CFM | Mounting Type: Downrod

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What size ceiling fan is best for your room?

If you're planning to buy a ceiling fan, you should know what size you'll need to adequately cool your room. The diameter of the ceiling fan's blades is the primary determinant of the fan's overall size.

  • If your room is small (50 square feet or less), a ceiling fan with a blade diameter of fewer than 29 inches is recommended
  • For medium-sized rooms (between 75 and 175 square feet), most ceiling fans with a diameter of 42 to 48 inches work great
  • For larger rooms (175-350 square feet), ceiling fans between 52 and 56 inches are ideal.
  • For larger rooms (350 square feet and up), the ideal option is a super-sized ceiling fan with a diameter of 60 inches or more (some can be as wide as 99 inches!).

Best Budget

Portage Bay Hugger 52" West Hill Ceiling Fan

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Our Ratings

  • Setup

    5/5

  • Design

    5/5

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Quality

    4.5/5

  • Value

    5/5

What We Like

  • Low-profile design

  • Suitable for use in medium to large rooms

  • Bowl light kit

What We Don't Like

Even on a small budget, you can outfit any room in your home with a quality ceiling fan. For proof, consider the performance and value of this model from Portage Bay. During testing, we were wowed by this ceiling fan’s easy installation, quiet operation, and substantial air movement. With an integrated LED light, it’s an even better value for homeowners who want a ceiling fan with a light.

The Portage Bay West Hill Ceiling Fan has a 52-inch diameter and is recommended for rooms up to 18 x 18 feet. After a straightforward installation process (which took about 1 hour and 15 minutes), we’ve been using this fan in a home office for about 8 hours a day. We noticed an immediate difference in airflow and perceived temperature, thanks to the five-blade design and three-speed motor that delivers up to 3,256 cubic feet per minute. For reference, the space is 11 x 11 feet; results may not be as dramatic in rooms nearing the maximum square footage recommended for this fan.

Contributing to the fan’s low-profile design is a hugger style mount that keeps the fan close to the ceiling, rather than using a 4- or 8-inch downrod. In our testing space with 8-foot ceilings, the hugger ceiling fan was a great choice because it doesn’t encroach on the clearance needed to move about the room. Keep in mind that a pull chain dangles from the bowl of the ceiling fan. It’s used to control the fan’s functions and glides smoothly, unlike some ceiling fan chains that offer a lot of resistance.

In exchange for a super affordable price, you’ll have to make a few concessions. For one thing, this fan doesn't come with a remote control. The only way to turn the fan on or off is by using a wall switch or pull chain or purchasing a separate universal remote control. Another tradeoff is the quality of materials. While the components were installed easily and fit together well, the materials felt lightweight and less substantial when compared to other ceiling fans. With a hugger fan type, this is less of an issue since there is very little vibration, causing components to shake loose or wear quickly. But for a budget ceiling fan, these are small compromises for a fan that gets the job done and does so with minimal noise on all three fan speeds.

How It Performed Long-Term

We are quite pleased with the fan's performance; we have been using it for some time now in our bedroom, which doubles as our office. Its ability to function as a light source apart from the fan is one of its most appealing features, as we need lighting to work. However, we do wish that the light could be a little brighter, which we believe is because the cover is opaque rather than transparent. On the other hand, the fan is quiet and does not cause disruptions, which is ideal for our office atmosphere.

Diameter: 52 inches | Material: Metal | Lighting: LED bulb included | Control Type: Pull chain | Airflow: 3,256 CFM | Mounting Type: Hugger

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How do you measure airflow on a ceiling fan?

Ceiling fan airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). “The higher the CFM rating, the more airflow, but higher isn't always better,” says Tan. She recommends that you choose a fan with a CFM rating suitable for the room's size for optimum airflow and comfort.

Best Splurge

Minka-Aire Light Wave Ceiling Fan

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Our Ratings

  • Setup

    4.3/5

  • Design

    4.5/5

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Value

    4.5/5

Minka-Aire Light Wave Ceiling Fan Review

What We Like

  • Aesthetically-pleasing design

  • Great air movement on medium and high speeds

  • Lightweight but feels well-made

What We Don't Like

  • No option to reverse fan blades using remote

  • LED light is very bright

A favorite option that we've also tested in the past, the Minka-Aire Light Wave Ceiling Fan is well worth its higher-than-average price tag. After installing and testing this three-blade ceiling fan during our most recent testing, we would describe it as art for your ceiling and recommend it for mid-size rooms, like a primary bedroom or bonus room. But there’s more to appreciate than the sleek, modern style of this ceiling fan—it’s also well-built, quiet, and effective. The Light Wave ceiling fan produced noticeable airflow in a bedroom measuring 12.5 x 17 feet on medium and high. We are happy to report there was only audible wind noise on high, with the medium and low-speed settings producing practically no noise.

We credit the quiet, smooth operation of this fan to its high-quality construction and components. Although the fan blades are plastic, their fit and finish are impeccable, making the fan lightweight (a major benefit when self-installing this ceiling fan). An integrated LED light function illuminates the room, but perhaps too much. We found the light to be too bright for our personal preference, but the frosted globe helps to soften the effect.

The only other point of improvement for the Minka-Aire Light Wave Ceiling Wave would be a button to reverse the fan blades on the included remote control. If you want to change the direction of the fan blades, a switch on the motor housing is the only option. Since we installed the fan in a room with 10-foot ceilings, we need a ladder to make the switch (and we suspect this will be the case for many other homeowners). Other fans offer this functionality on the remote control, and we wish Minka-Aire included this option for this otherwise well-designed and highly functional ceiling fan.

How It Performed Long-Term

As hot sleepers, this fan has greatly improved the comfort of our nights. Although the fan produces a whirling sound when operating at high speed, we found that it doubles as white noise and drowns out noises that would normally wake us up. One of the most helpful features is the ability to control the fan from the comfort of your bed. The remote proved helpful when we were unwell and didn't feel like getting out of bed to operate the fan. We did find that when the light is set to its highest setting, it can be a little too bright for our taste, but since it is dimmable, it's not really an issue and could even be beneficial depending on where the fan is utilized.

Diameter: 52 inches | Material: Wood, ABS plastic | Lighting: LED bulb included | Control Type: Remote | Airflow: 4,531 CFM | Mounting Type: Downrod

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Best with Integrated Light

Hampton Bay Mena Ceiling Fan

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Our Ratings

  • Setup

    5/5

  • Design

    4.8/5

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Value

    4.8/5

What We Like

  • Quick-connect LED light

  • Damp-rated

  • Very stable fan housing

  • Remote control included

What We Don't Like

  • Limited dimmer options

Not every ceiling fan is outfitted with a light, but picking a model that has this feature can greatly improve the functionality of your fan. You have many options for this type of ceiling fan, but we recommend the Hampton Bay Mena 54-inch Ceiling Fan with Light Kit.This ceiling fan with a light is great for rooms that you frequently spend a lot of time in, like a living room or dining room.

You might think that the assembly and installation of a ceiling fan with a light would be complicated or advanced, but we had this fan ready to go in less than an hour. Clever design features, like a magnetic LED light kit and snap-in blades, were a big help in quickly and easily completing the installation.

The integrated LED light gives you three color temperatures to pick from 2700K warm white, 3000K soft white, or 5000K daylight. Keep in mind that you can’t use this ceiling fan with a separate dimmer switch, so those are your only dimming options. We wish that we had a little more control over the light levels, but it’s not a dealbreaker. There is plenty of light at the brightest setting, but it does project more or less straight down because of the design of the globe. That works well if your ceiling fan is over a dining table or in a small living room.

The fan moves air exceptionally well and best of all, there is barely any movement from the fan housing even at top speed—which produces airflow movement of 5,246 CFM. It’s very quiet, with the highest speed setting sounding like a small desk fan. Because of the durable ABS plastic blades and the sturdy housing, you can install this fan inside or in a covered outdoor location. It’s damp-rated, so it’s a good pick if you need a ceiling fan with a light for your porch or other outdoor living area.

How It Performed Long-Term

Overall, the fan has been an excellent addition to our home because it circulates air without blowing us away or generating too much noise. The various settings are fantastic since we can personalize the fan's wind to our liking. While the fan has three different light warmth levels, we do wish we could also control the brightness. Regardless, we still believe it would be a fantastic addition to your home as a fan—so long as it isn't your main source of illumination.

Diameter: 54 inches | Material: ABS plastic | Lighting: Integrated LED light | Control Type: Remote | Airflow: 5,246 CFM | Mounting Type: Downrod or angled

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Best Pull Chain

Hunter Fan Company Ceiling Fan

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Our Ratings

  • Setup

    4/5

  • Design

    4.5/5

  • Effectiveness

    4/5

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Value

    4.5/5

What We Like

  • Simple installation

  • Dual pull chains for fan and light

  • Can be wired to two wall switches

What We Don't Like

  • Reversible blades don’t offer much variation in design

  • Pull chains may need extenders in some cases

If you’re not interested in downloading an app or chasing around a remote to control your ceiling fan, pick a basic version with a pull chain to control the fan’s speed and light function. That’s what you’ll get with the Hunter Builder Deluxe 52-inch Ceiling Fan. It features two pull chains (one for the light and another for the fan) hanging from the center of the frosted light globe. When testing this fan, we found the pull chains to be within reach, even when mounted from a 9-foot-tall ceiling. That being said, if your ceilings are taller or you don’t have height on your side, then you might want to consider adding pull chain extenders. The fan is also equipped for dual wiring if you want to control the light function and fan function from two different wall switches.

When considering other aspects of this Hunter ceiling fan, we would describe it as having high-quality construction with a classy look and a design that minimizes vibration. In fact, we were thrilled that the installation only took 1.5 hours and required no adjustments afterward. Because we installed this fan in a large 17 x 14-foot room, we frequently operate this fan on high to meet our preference for strong airflow. At top speed, the fan does sway slightly, but the design of the mount isolates it from vibrating anything else by suspending the fan in a cradle of sorts. The only perceptible noise is from wind speed, not from the fan vibrating.

For the price, we feel that this pick is a good value for shoppers who want a well-built ceiling fan with pull chains. The only drawbacks to consider relate to the fan blades. Although they’re reversible, the finish is very similar in color on both sides, with a variation in wood grain being the only differentiator. A greater variety in the color of the finishes would make the fan more versatile. We also wish that the blades were slightly longer to move air in a larger room at slower speeds more effectively. But we can’t fault this fan too much for these features, since the overall design and quality of the ceiling make it a good choice for most people.

How It Performed Long-Term

We've been putting our ceiling fan to the test for the past two months, and it was a lifesaver during the recent heat wave. Our mid-size living area is now much more pleasant and cool thanks to it. As we found during our initial test, the air movement is still not as forceful as we had hoped. Despite this, we are still impressed with the fan's overall performance and functionality.

Diameter: 52 inches | Material: MDF | Lighting: LED bulbs included | Control Type: Pull chain | Airflow: 3,007 CFM | Mounting Type: Downrod

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Best Basic

Honeywell Belmar Outdoor LED Ceiling Fan

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Our Ratings

  • Setup

    5/5

  • Design

    5/5

  • Effectiveness

    4.8/5

  • Quality

    4/5

  • Value

    4.5/5

What We Like

  • Suitable for indoor or outdoor use

  • Reversible motor

  • Weather-resistant ABS plastic blades

What We Don't Like

  • Noisy on high

  • Bulbs are dimmer than expected

If you are searching for a basic ceiling fan, put this Honeywell model at the top of your list. When testing the Belmar Ceiling Fan, we found it to be a capable and affordable choice for medium-to-large rooms. It has a simple appearance and no smart features, but it moved plenty of air in the 18 x 18-foot room we installed it in.

Some of the things that you should know about this indoor-outdoor ceiling fan include the fact that it features ABS plastic fan blades that won’t warp in the face of moisture or high humidity. The fan itself is damp-rated, meaning that it can be installed in covered outdoor locations, like a porch or patio. It can be installed with a 4-inch downrod or as a flush-mount fan, which we preferred for our 8-foot ceilings. Pull chains control the fan and light functions, and we didn’t have any trouble using them, but shoppers searching for a ceiling fan with a remote control will want to consider buying a universal remote kit, which is easily installed and relatively inexpensive.

In general, this basic ceiling fan lived up to our expectations and earned satisfactory ratings across all categories. Our biggest quibbles with the functionality are that the fan is very noisy on high, and the included LED bulbs don’t put off as much illumination as expected—although that could be remedied by purchasing higher-wattage replacement bulbs.

How It Performed Long-Term

For a basic model, we still recommend the Belmar Ceiling Fan. We've been using the ceiling fan in our guest bedroom for the past two months, and it's been working as great as when we first installed it. It does a great job of circulating the air around the room, which we find very beneficial when we use the walking pad.

Diameter: 52 inches | Material: ABS plastic | Lighting: LED bulb included | Control Type: Pull chain | Airflow: 5,954 CFM | Mounting Type: Downrod, close mount or angled

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Best for Small Rooms

Harbor Breeze Mazon Ceiling Fan

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Our Ratings

  • Setup

    4.8/5

  • Design

    4/5

  • Effectiveness

    4.8/5

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

What We Like

  • Modern design with three blades

  • Available in multiple finishes

  • Reversible fan blades

  • J-hook for easier assembly

What We Don't Like

  • Can’t change the color of the integrated LED light

  • No wall-mount for the remote control

The Harbor Breeze Mazon is a 44-inch ceiling fan intended for use in small rooms, up to 100 square feet. We installed it in a 10 x 10-foot room to test it at its maximum room rating and were pleased with the fan’s effectiveness and minimal noise output on all three-speed settings. It’s smaller than other ceiling fans we’ve used in the past, but we would describe it as very comparable in utility and function.

One of the most notable features of this ceiling fan is its sleek and contemporary design. When you’re installing a fan in a small room, you don’t want it to become an eyesore. We like the fan’s simple aesthetic and three-blade design. The housing is available in brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, white, and black finishes, with reversible blade colors for each option. There’s an integrated LED light panel that eliminates the need to purchase replacement bulbs. You can dim the light, but you can’t change the color output, which the manufacturer describes as soft, warm light. A remote control is included to control the light or the fan function, but we wish it mounted to the wall to minimize the chances of it becoming misplaced.

As you’d expect of a ceiling fan for small rooms, this is a flush mount model. That being said, we were surprised that it hung down slightly lower than expected due to the design of the housing. If you have a small room with a low ceiling, other hugger ceiling fans might be a better pick. But in our case, the 10-foot-tall ceilings still allowed for plenty of clearance.

Some of the other features that we appreciate about this ceiling fan are the fact that it’s lightweight and easy to install, especially since the fan includes a J-hook on the frame that allows the fan to hang in place while you complete assembly. Overall, the installation only took 1.5 hours.

How It Performed Long-Term

We have the ceiling fan in our office, which has proven useful because there is a treadmill there, and it keeps us cool. As a matter of fact, the office has the most pleasant temperature when compared to the other rooms in the house. Not only does it keep our office cool, but the air flows around the halls as well, which is fantastic. While the ceiling includes a remote, we wish it came with a holder to keep it out of the reach of curious kids. Other than that, we think it's a reliable fan for any home.

Diameter: 44 inches | Material: Not listed | Lighting: LED panel included | Control Type: Remote | Airflow: 2,057 CFM | Mounting Type: Flush

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Best for Large Rooms

Honeywell Xerxes Ceiling Fan

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Our Ratings

  • Setup

    4.5/5

  • Design

    4/5

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Value

    4/5

What We Like

  • Long fan blades

  • Multi-function remote control

  • Smart home compatible

  • LED light fixture

What We Don't Like

  • Limited light distribution

  • Angled downrod sold separately

To effectively circulate the air in a large space, you’ll need a ceiling fan that is designed for the job. Skip over smaller 44- and 55-inch versions and pick a large ceiling fan, like the Honeywell Xerxes 62-inch Ceiling Fan. We installed and tested it in a 700-square-foot space and were pleased with the size, design, and effectiveness of this option.

We’d describe this ceiling fan as very aesthetically pleasing, but the most impressive part is the 8-blade design. The number of blades and their length mean that this fan is designed to maximize airflow in spaces larger than 400 square feet, like an open-concept living area or a large primary suite. A 4-inch downrod is included for flat ceiling installation, but if you need to install it on an angled ceiling, the required mounting hardware is sold separately. The fan is available in multiple finishes, with reversible blades to give you more design choices.

The Honeywell Xerxes ceiling fan includes an LED light, but that was our biggest disappointment of the fan’s feature set. The light has a downward focus that results in more of a spotlight-effect rather than a wider distribution of illumination. We wish it did a better job of lighting up the room as a whole, but we do like the fact that the light and fan functions are controlled by an included remote control with self-explanatory buttons for the many functions. You can turn the fan speed up or down, choose to have the light turn off 60 seconds after you push the button, or activate a schedule for the light. In addition, the fan is smart home compatible and integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, although you’ll have to purchase a separate hub to take advantage of that functionality.

How It Performed Long-Term

While we initially tested the ceiling fan in a 700-square-foot space, we ended up moving it to another spot in our home, and we've been enjoying the additional breeze it provides. The only thing we would change is for the light to be somewhat more rounded so that it emanates from all sides of the circle rather than just the one that faces downward. Otherwise, the ceiling fan is still our top recommendation for a large space.

Diameter: 62 inches | Material: Alloy steel | Lighting: Integrated LED light | Control Type: Remote | Airflow: 3,051 CFM | Mounting Type: Downrod

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Best with Remote

Honeywell Carnegie Indoor Ceiling Fan

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Our Ratings

  • Setup

    5/5

  • Design

    5/5

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

What We Like

  • Easy-to-use remote controller

  • Multiple modes and fan features

  • Efficient, quiet air movement

What We Don't Like

  • No listed CFM

  • Remote control can be hard to detach from wall mount

It’s hard to outshine the function and style of the Honeywell Carnegie Ceiling Fan, but our favorite feature while using this fan was the remote control. We’d describe it as intuitive and easy to operate, and it’s loaded with features that control nearly every aspect of the fan’s operation—except for the ability to reverse the fan’s rotation. With that in mind, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this as the best ceiling fan with remote control.

The directions to assemble and install the fan were clear and concise; we were able to self-install the ceiling fan in just over two hours. With a 52-inch blade span, the size of this ceiling fan makes it suitable for spaces up to 400 square feet, so we picked a 12 x 12-foot bedroom for testing purposes. We’d describe it as quiet on all three speeds, and it’s powerful—it gets up to the speed you set it at quickly, and you can feel the cooling effect right away. Unfortunately, the manufacturer doesn’t list the CFM rating for this fan. Although we were satisfied during testing with the fan’s air movement, it’s helpful to know the CFM if you’re comparing two different fans to each other.

This ceiling fan with remote has functions far superior to other fan remotes we’ve used in the past. A push of the button turns the light on or off, and you have individual buttons for the low, medium, and high fan speeds. This contributes to the impression that the fan quickly and efficiently reaches your desired fan speed since there’s no need to toggle through multiple options. There’s also a Variable Breeze mode that is meant to simulate the random breeze in nature.

Other features that really wowed us were the Light Delay Off mode (which gives you 60 seconds of illumination before the light shuts off) and the Home Shield mode. When you press and hold this button, it activates a mode that randomly turns the light on and off between five and 20 times per day. We see it as being useful while you’re away from home for days at a time but want to give the impression that someone is home.

There’s not much negative to say about this Honeywell ceiling fan, aside from the fact that the remote control can be a little harder than expected to detach from its wall-mount.

How It Performed Long-Term

After two months of testing, we're still quite pleased with this fan, which we have installed in our guest bedroom. It offers a refreshing and cozy space for our guests to sleep, and we've also discovered an unanticipated perk for our small ones. The whirring motion of the fan blades captivates little babies' attention and provides them with hours of enjoyment.One feature we really liked is that when you turn off the light switch, this fan remembers your light and fan speed settings. This saves us the trouble of constantly adjusting the fan's settings.

Diameter: 52 inches | Material: Alloy steel | Lighting: LED bulbs included | Control Type: Remote | Airflow: Not listed | Mounting Type: Downrod or angled

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Best Outdoor

Hunter Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan

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Our Ratings

  • Setup

    5/5

  • Design

    5/5

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

What We Like

  • Versatile, modern-looking design

  • Very quiet on all fan speeds

  • Durable materials to resist moisture and rust

What We Don't Like

  • No light kit

  • Doesn’t include a remote control

Increase your comfort while enjoying some fresh air by installing an outdoor ceiling fan. Most often seen on porches, patios, lanais, and other semi-enclosed outdoor living areas, these ceiling fans are designed with special considerations for safety and longevity. The Hunter Cassius Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan is a damp-rated fan that can be used in covered, outdoor locations but is stylish enough for indoor installation, too.

Some of the features that make this ceiling fan suitable for outdoor use include stainless steel hardware to resist rust and durable ABS plastic fan blades. This particular outdoor ceiling fan doesn’t have a light kit, although it’s worth noting that some other damp-rated fans do—like the Hunter Key Biscayne Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan, which we also tested.

While its most important attribute is its weather resistance, we love the simple, modern design of this ceiling fan. We installed a matte black version, but other classic finishes are available, too. There are three reversible blades, giving you the option to have a matching or contrasting fan blade finish on display.

When operating the fan on low, medium, and high, there is no noise to speak of. We would describe it as quieter than a whisper. Since you can install this fan inside or outside, that’s an important feature to note. Whether you need this fan for your family room or your favorite outdoor sitting spot, it’s nice to know that it operates smoothly and quietly. Keep in mind that you’ll need to use the pull chain or a wall switch to turn the fan on or off; no remote control is included (although you can pick a version that includes this feature).

How It Performed Long-Term

We have been testing a ceiling fan in our bedroom for the last two months, and we are still pleased by its exceptional performance. In the past, we had an outdated fan that, when turned on at higher speeds, made a terrible noise and kept us up at night. However, with this new ceiling fan, we have noticed a substantial increase in our sleep quality. The quiet operation of this fan is its most remarkable characteristic. In fact, we often forget that it's on.

Diameter: 52 inches | Material: ABS plastic | Lighting: None | Control Type: Pull chain | Airflow: 4,031 CFM | Mounting Type: Downrod or angled

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Best Quiet

Hunter Key Biscayne Ceiling Fan

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Our Ratings

  • Setup

    4.8/5

  • Design

    5/5

  • Effectiveness

    5/5

  • Quality

    5/5

  • Value

    4/5

What We Like

  • Damp-rated

  • Includes LED light kit

  • Stylish design

  • Standard or low-profile mounting

What We Don't Like

  • No remote control included

After installing and using the Key Biscayne ceiling fan, we have plenty of praise for the fan’s smooth, quiet operation, LED light function, and stylish design. In short, it does everything that you would need an indoor (or outdoor) fan to do.

Regarding the performance of this ceiling fan, we have no complaints. Hunter promises whisper-quiet operation with their motor technology, and we weren’t disappointed. We would describe its noise level as extremely quiet, and we can hardly hear it on any of the three fan speeds. The fan is very well balanced, so even at higher speeds, it doesn't vibrate or make noises.

This ceiling fan is damp-rated, so it can be installed in a covered, outdoor location. It resists humidity and corrosion, but shouldn’t be installed in a spot that receives rain or snow. Wherever you choose to install it, you can expect a simple, fast process. We installed this fan in less than 1 hour.

The style is rather specific but attractive. It has a farmhouse chic look, with a lantern-look for the frosted light kit. The five blades are reversible, with two different weathered finish options. Our only real gripe about this model is the fact that it doesn’t include a remote control, despite the rather steep price tag. You’ll have to control the fan and light with a pull chain or wire it to a wall switch. However, we don’t find this to be a downside that should keep you from installing this durable, attractive, and quiet option.

How It Performed Long-Term

We've been utilizing a ceiling fan in our master bedroom for the past two months, and it's been a great addition to the space. One distinctive feature of this fan is the low-volume "whoosh" sound it makes, which can be described as white noise. Compared to other noisy ceiling fans, this one has helped us relax and get a good night's sleep.Not only does it run quietly, but the fan's design as a whole is stunning. It enhances the room's overall appearance with its design. The fan continues to work great, however, we would have preferred it to have a remote control.Despite this, its quietness and beautiful design make up for the lack of remote.

Diameter: 54 inches | Material: Polycarbonate | Lighting: LED bulbs | Control Type: Pull chain | Airflow: 5,291 CFM | Mounting Type: Downrod

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Compare

SetupDesignEffectivenessQualityValue

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Best Overall:

Honeywell Carmel Indoor Ceiling Fan

$121 at Amazon55555

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Best Budget:

Portage Bay Hugger 52" West Hill Ceiling Fan

$70 at Amazon5554.55

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Best Splurge:

Minka-Aire Light Wave Ceiling Fan

$360 at Amazon4.34.5554.5

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Best with Integrated Light:

Hampton Bay Mena Ceiling Fan

$170 at Amazon54.8554.8

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Best Pull Chain:

Hunter Fan Company Ceiling Fan

$135 at Amazon44.5454.5

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Best Basic:

Honeywell Belmar Outdoor LED Ceiling Fan

$120 at Amazon554.844.5

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Best for Small Rooms:

Harbor Breeze Mazon Ceiling Fan

$127 at Amazon4.844.855

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Best for Large Rooms:

Honeywell Xerxes Ceiling Fan

$199 at Amazon4.54554

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Best with Remote:

Honeywell Carnegie Indoor Ceiling Fan

$123 at Amazon55555

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Best Outdoor:

Hunter Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan

$119 at Amazon55555

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Best Quiet:

Hunter Key Biscayne Ceiling Fan

$236 at Amazon4.85554

Final Verdict

After testing nearly a dozen ceiling fans, we recommend the Honeywell Carmel 48-inch Ceiling Fan as the best option for most homes. It wowed us with its performance and value, plus it has a remote to adjust the speed and light. For a more basic fan on a budget, the Portage Bay West Hill Ceiling Fan is similar in function but lacks a remote control. It has a flush-mount design compatible with just about any ceiling height and a simple appearance that blends into most surroundings.

How We Tested the Ceiling Fans

To find the best ceiling fans for any area of your home, we performed hands-on testing of all 11 models in this article for over 1,200 hours.We installed each ceiling fan ourselves in an appropriately-sized room, evaluating it based on set-up, design, effectiveness, quality, and overall value.

After noting and timing the installation process, we used the ceiling fans in everyday, real-world conditions (our own homes!) and paid attention to factors including how effectively the fan circulates air and how noisy the fan is at all speeds of operation. We tested all speed and light settings (where applicable) and tested how convenient it was to reverse the direction of the blade spin. We also tested any additional features, including a remote control.

We kept testing the ceiling fans for another two months after the first round of testing ended. We went on to provide more details, including whether the remote had changed, how successfully the fans cooled a space, and any glitches or aesthetic adjustments made to the ceiling fan.

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What to Look for in a Ceiling Fan

Mounting

When it comes to mounting a ceiling fan, there are three different options: downrod, angled, and flush. A downrod-mounted ceiling fan is the most common, and most fans include one or two downrods (the piece of metal that connects your fan to the ceiling mount) in different lengths, usually between 3 and 5 inches. To accommodate an angled ceiling, some ceiling fans include a longer downrod and special mounting bracket or make one available for purchase. Flush-mount ceiling fans don’t have the usual downrod and install directly to the ceiling, similar to the look of a flush-mount light fixture.

Make sure you check what type of mounting you need for a new ceiling fan. Some options require specific installation, while others are more versatile. We like the flexible installation of the Honeywell Belmar Ceiling Fan (our best basic), which can be installed with the included 4-inch downrod, as a flush-mount ceiling fan, or with a longer downrod for sloped ceilings.

Motor Type

Most residential ceiling fans have an AC motor. Lindsay Tan, a design ecologist and design director at West Second Street LLC says that AC motors “are traditionally used in most fans for their robust performance, durability, and longevity, [and] are also the most affordable option.” They’re the best choice for balancing economy with reliability and you’ll find that every fan we recommend, including our best overall pick, the Honeywell Carmel 48-inch Ceiling Fan, has an AC motor.

If you have a big budget to spend and prioritize energy efficiency or ultra-quiet operation, then you may be interested in a DC motor over an AC motor. “DC motors allow for more refined control over the fan speed settings, making them more common in high-end, premium ceiling fans,” says Tan. “DC motors are less consistent in terms of longevity, but technology is improving in that area.”

Adjustability Features

A ceiling fan’s adjustability will likely determine how much you benefit from buying a ceiling fan for your home. The most common adjustments for a ceiling fan are fan speed, light function (if equipped), and the ability to reverse the fan’s direction.

A pull chain is the most basic way to adjust the fan speed of a ceiling fan and the light, in the case of fan’s with a light kit. But most people find a remote control to be a more convenient way to make adjustments to the fan’s operation. In some cases, a ceiling fan with a remote control, like the Honeywell Carnegie Ceiling Fan, also gives you other features, like a natural breeze mode or a delayed light shutoff when you exit the room.

Ceiling Height

As you shop for a ceiling fan, keep in mind the ceiling height of your room. The height of the ceiling will dictate what type of mount you need, since you should generally have 7 feet of clearance between the fan and the floor.

Ceiling height becomes one of the most important factors to consider if you have short ceilings (less than 8 feet). If that’s your situation, Tan says: “Go with a flush mount. We call that a "hugger" for a reason—the fan is installed without a downrod so it can hug your ceiling real close and (hopefully) avoid thwacking your tall friends in the head when they visit.” We recommend the Portage Bay West Hill Ceiling Fan (our best budget pick) since it hangs down less than 12 inches from the ceiling.

For standard-height ceilings of 8 to 9 feet, a typical downrod mount is usually the best option. The downrod helps to ensure that the fan circulates air throughout the room. If you have a vaulted ceiling or a steep slope, like in an A-frame house, Tan suggests that you look for a fan with an angled mount to accommodate your ceiling.

Placement

Decide where you will be hanging a ceiling fan before you choose one. Ceiling fans are rated for dry, damp, or wet installation. Dry-rated ceilings are meant for installation in indoor locations only. Damp-rated ceiling fans, also known as indoor-outdoor ceiling fans, can be installed outside in a covered location where they won’t be exposed to direct precipitation. Wet-rated ceiling fans are designed for outdoor use and can withstand a variety of weather conditions, including rain and snow. The Hunter Cassius Ceiling Fan, our best outdoor option, is a damp-rated ceiling fan that can be installed in a covered location, like a porch or a carport. It has a sealed motor and weather-resistant blades to ensure a long life of service.

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FAQ

  • Are three- or five-blade ceiling fans better?

    According to Tan, this is largely a matter of personal preference. “Both three-blade and five-blade ceiling fans can provide efficient cooling and airflow if they are designed well.” This conclusion is validated by our experience testing three-blade and five-blade ceiling fans that moved air to our satisfaction in rooms of varying sizes. So how can you pick the right look for your room? Tan offers this insight into the aesthetic differences between these two types of fans: “Five-blade fans tend toward that classic, timeless look while three-blade fans lean into the sleek and modern aesthetic.”

  • Which direction should a ceiling fan turn in the summer or winter?

    In the summer, the ceiling fan blades should rotate in a counterclockwise direction (when viewed from below). In the winter, the blades should rotate clockwise. Tan recommends setting the fan to low, which will distribute heat more evenly and make the room feel warmer rather than creating a strong breeze from fast-moving blades at medium or high speeds.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Erica Puisis is a freelance writer and product tester specializing in home products and appliances. She has been writing for The Spruce since 2017. For this article, she used our testing insights from testing 11 ceiling fans at our homes all across the country. We installed and used the ceiling fans, making observations regarding the ease of installation, efficiency of air circulation, and noise level from the fan. We also used other features, like integrated lights or remote controls as part of the testing process.

Our Experts:

  • Lindsay Tan, a design ecologist and design director at West Second Street LLC. Lindsay provided real-world advice on how to choose a ceiling fan for any room in your house and explained some of the features you should look for, like the CFM rating, motor type, and mounting type.
  • Daniela Galvez, senior editor at The Spruce

The 9 Best Fans of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Ditch the AC and Embrace the Breeze With These Top Ceiling Fans (2024)
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