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How we test pedestal and tower fans

Here's how we keep our cool in the testing labs when comparing fans.

pedestal fan living room

Pedestal and tower fans don't chill the air like an air conditioner but for a fraction of the cost the right one will still cool you down. You can buy one for as little as $17, but they can range right up to $1099 for a model that also doubles as an air purifier. 

Here's how we determine which fans have the best airflow.

Our expert testers

We've been testing pedestal and tower fans in our in-house labs for a while now, so our expert testers know what makes a good one. Our test coordinator Matthew Tung has decades of experience in product testing – everything from cots and strollers to stick vacuums and pillows.

How we choose what we test

With so many to choose from, what makes us choose one pedestal fan to test over another? As with most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular brands and types on the market, and what you're most likely to see in shops.

  • We survey manufacturers to find out about their range of products.
  • We check market sales information.
  • We check for any member requests to test specific fan models.

From this information we put together a final list that goes to our buyers. They then head out to the retailers and purchase each product, just as a regular consumer would. We do this so we can be sure the products are the same as you'd find them, and not 'tweaked' in any way for better performance.

How we test pedestal and tower fans

We test dozens of pedestal and tower fan models to find out how well they'll cool you down.


The airflow score is determined by placing the fan in the middle of our test area, then using a sensor to measure airflow speed at various intervals with the fan at maximum speed. We then calculate airflow volume. The CHOICE Expert Rating, our overall score that determines which products we recommend, is made up purely of airflow performance.

We calculate the airflow for circular pedestal fans using a different formula to the tower fans, which are generally a rectangular shape, as the airflow follows a different pattern. You can choose the type you prefer using the filters in our pedestal and tower fan reviews.


We also measure noise at high and low speeds at a 1.5m height and 2m from the fan, but this isn't scored.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.