Need to know
- Our 'bedroom score' rates how well a ceiling fan moves air at the lowest setting without disrupting your sleep
- Ceiling fans using a DC motor tend to be quieter with more settings and therefore better for bedrooms
- Not only do they keep you cool in the summer, but ceiling fans can also be used to recirculate heat in the winter and help keep you warm
Looking into the best cooling options for your bedroom? Ceiling fans are a stylish, cost-effective choice that you may prefer over a bulky air-conditioning unit – and they can also help keep you warm in winter by helping to recirculate warm air from a heater.
But a noisy fan whirring above your head while you try to sleep isn't ideal either, so it's important to choose a quiet one with a range of speed settings. We measure the decibel (noise) level of each fan we test at the medium speed setting to give you an idea ofn what to expect. Anything below 35dB should allow you to sleep soundly.
We test over 120 models in our CHOICE labs and give each one a 'bedroom score' for how it performs at the lowest setting while still moving enough air to make you feel cooler without too much of a breeze.
You may also like to consider added features such as a timer (so the fan will turn off after an hour or two) or remote control (so you can turn the fan on or off from your bed) and dimmable integrated lighting that fits in with the décor of your bedroom.
Smart functionality is also starting to appear with some of the latest models and while it may appear to be a gimmick, it can be quite handy if you are tucked up in bed and can dim the light or turn down the fan by simply telling Google, Siri or Alexa to carry out your commands.
It can be quite handy if you are tucked up in bed and can dim the light or turn down the fan by simply telling Google, Siri or Alexa to carry out your commands
Here are four ceiling fans that tick a few boxes when it comes to creating an ideal sleeping environment. For the full results on all the fans we test and to find out which ones we recommend, head to our ceiling fan reviews.
CHOICE tip: One question we often get asked is 'Can you install a ceiling fan with a DC motor in a standard home?' The answer is absolutely, but make sure you get a licensed electrician to carry out the installation.
The DC motor has an internal rectifier and is therefore compatible with normal AC electrical systems, so you don't need to do anything special to install a DC ceiling fan in a home.
The Mercator Instinct has six speed settings.
- Cost: $349 (with light)
- Bedroom score: 90%
- Features: Plastic blades, integrated 18W LED dimmable light, remote control
This stylish ceiling fan has six speed settings and gives excellent air movement performance at both lower and higher fan speeds. So, while it's excellent in the bedroom, it would also be a good option for the living room where more air movement may be needed.
The Mercator Instinct is a good option for a larger bedroom, and the three curved blades offer a point of difference over the standard four-flat-blade models. Running costs of around $20 are a bit more than some fans we tested but still substantially lower than any other cooling option available. We tested the 54-inch model with integrated light and there are models available without a light.
As with most of the latest ceiling fans you need to choose a model with or without an integrated light, because you can't add a light later. While some fans can be installed on a raked (angled) ceiling, this isn't possible with the Mercator Instinct – it needs to be installed on a completely flat ceiling.
CHOICE tip: All of the fans featured here have a reverse mode, a feature that's useful in winter to move warm air down from the ceiling area. Use the fan in conjunction with a reverse-cycle air conditioner or room heater to heat your space more efficiently and cut down on energy costs.
The Fanco Horizon DC fan
Fanco Horizon DC
- Cost: $499 (with light)
- Bedroom score: 90%
- Features: Plastic blades, integrated 18W LED dimmable light, remote control, reverse mode on remote or via app.
This ceiling fan has six speed settings and gives excellent air movement performance at both lower and higher fan speeds. It's also one of the quietest fans we have tested with a noise level of only 31dB at the medium setting. The Fanco Horizon DC is tropically rated, which means fewer issues over time when used in a humid environment, and running costs of around $14 make it a good cost saver.
We tested the 52-inch model with the integrated light, but it's also available without a light, and in larger sizes and different colours. As with many of the latest ceiling fans, you need to choose a model with or without an integrated light – you can't add a light later on.
While a wall switch comes standard for the older fans with an AC motor, a remote is the standard controlling device supplied with the latest DC motor fans. However, if you prefer not to use the remote you can add a wall switch that gives you the same control over the six speeds. But you still need a remote or a smart app to control the light and reverse mode (for using the fan in winter). The smart app to control several of the latest Fanco ceiling fans is called Tuya (available on Google Play or Apple app store).
Aeratron AE3+: noiseless movement.
- Cost: $749
- Bedroom score: 90%
- Features: Stylish, quiet design; energy-efficient, remote control, reverse mode.
With a design inspired by bird wings to create noiseless movement, this stylish fan is also efficient, using far less energy than an ordinary AC ceiling fan and costing an average of just $11 a year to run. This ceiling fan has six speed settings and gives excellent air movement performance at all fan speeds, including the lower settings required for a good night's sleep. It's also one of the quietest fans on test at all speeds, including the medium setting (32dB), making it an ideal choice for the bedroom.
This model has a reverse mode so you can use it in conjunction with a reverse-cycle air conditioner in winter to circulate warmth from a heater and cozy up your bedroom.
If you already own this fan and want to add a light, you're in luck: the Aeratron AE3+ is one of the few models currently sold where you can buy a light kit and retrofit it to your existing fan if it didn't already include a light. However, it will set you back a few hundred dollars extra whether you add the light later or select it at time of purchase.
This is an attractive, high-performing fan with a premium price to match. While designed to be installed on a flat ceiling, a kit is available (added cost) to allow this fan to be installed on a raked (angled) ceiling. A wall switch is also available (added cost) providing control over the six speeds as well as light control and dimming if a light is installed.
Claro Summer DC fan
Claro Summer DC
- Cost: $299
- Bedroom score: 90%
- Features: Timber blades (version with ABS plastic blades available), integrated 18W LED dimmable light, remote control, reversible mode.
This ceiling fan has six speed settings and gives excellent air movement performance at lower fan speeds. It's very quiet at the medium setting (33dB), making it a good choice for a peaceful night's sleep.
The Summer DC is rated for use outdoors when used with the plastic fan blades, which means fewer issues when used in a humid environment (the model we tested with timber blades is for indoor use only). Running costs of around $15 make it a good money saver.
The integrated light in our test model can be altered to suit your lighting colour preference, with Natural (4200K), Daylight (5000K) or the more subdued Warm White (3000K), which might be the best option for the bedroom.
There is a version of the Summer DC without a light, but as with many modern ceiling fans, you can't add a light to this model later on, so if you want lighting in the room, make sure you decide before you purchase.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.