Need to know
- Dyson fans boast lots of fancy features with hefty price tags to match, but whether they’re worth it depends on your priorities
- Basic pedestal fans are usually much cheaper and often more effective at creating a cooling breeze
- We test a range of pedestal fans and tower fans – check our reviews before you buy to ensure you get value for money
Dyson isn't just about high-end vacuums. Their range of space-age bladeless fans, which can cost anywhere from around $550 up to $799, have also developed a cult following amongst lovers of the sleek design and fancy features.
Pedestal fans and tower fans are great options if you can't install air conditioning or if you're renting and need a fast cooling fix. And they're certainly much cheaper to run than air con, costing around $30 to run over a summer as opposed to $150–300 for air conditioning (depending on the size of your house and the system you're using).
Fans are much cheaper to run than air con, costing around $30 to run over a summer
But, if the goal is to save cash, do you really need to fork out hundreds of dollars for a Dyson fan? Particularly when you can pick up a pedestal fan for as little as $15 from places such as Big W and Kmart?
Pros of a Dyson fan
The Dyson fan range includes desk fans, tower fans, pedestal fans and 'Hot + Cool' fans that turn into portable heaters for the cooler months.
Advantages of Dyson fans include:
- they're easier to clean than basic pedestal fans as they don't have grills or blades that gather dust
- they don't have fast-spinning blades that could hurt little hands
- they have added features like remote controls to adjust airflow settings and sleep timers
- some models have a heating function for winter use
- they look cool, if that's important to you, and the brand is known for investing heavily in engineering new prototypes and perfecting the design.
Are Dyson fans worth the high price tag?
"We test a range of basic, traditional pedestal fans in our labs here at CHOICE alongside the more high-tech expensive models such as Dyson," says our home expert Rebecca Ciaramidaro.
"Although the Dyson models don't perform badly in our tests overall, when it comes to the strength of airflow and their ability to create a nice cooling breeze, you can buy a product that does the job for less than a tenth of the price."
Granted, that $15 Big W pedestal fan won't have any of the fancy features touted by the Dyson models, including air purifying technology that claims to capture 99.95% of fine particles, such as harmful pollutants in the air.
For the purposes of our fan reviews, we focus on each product's ability to cool us down and other factors such as noise. If you're interested in how the Dyson fans perform as air purifiers, you can find the results in our air purifier reviews.
CHOICE tester Matthew Tung puts pedestal fans through their paces in our labs.
Comparing Dyson fan models
"Although these fans perform adequately in our tests, we find that if you're just looking for something to circulate air and create a cooling breeze, the Dyson fans aren't worth the extra cash," says Rebecca.
"You're paying a significantly higher price for the design and technology of the added features which you may or may not need."
How well does Dyson's fan work as a heater?
If you're looking for a unit that's useful all year round, the Hot+Cool Jet Focus AM09 does double as a fan heater, and performed admirably in our electric heater tests.
"Its heating performance is very good," reveals our resident heating expert, Chris Barnes. "It's very fast to heat the room and spreads the heat really effectively with its fan."
If you need a heater in winter and a fan in summer, it makes sense to have one unit that can do both
"As a cooling fan, it's comparable to Dyson's other models – good, though not quite as good as the AM07 which has better airflow," he explains. "But if you need a heater in winter and a fan in summer, it makes sense to have one unit that can do both. If you're happy to pay the premium price tag, the AM09 is a good choice."
The Hot+Cool model we tested doesn't include the air purifying feature, although models with it are available at a higher price point. The AM09's 'Jet Focus' feature means you can choose a 'focused mode' which directs the airflow into one place, or a 'diffused' mode which projects heat more widely to more evenly heat up a room.
Read our full Dyson Hot+Cool heater fan review.
$89 Kmart 'smart' fan vs $548 Dyson Cool Tower Fan
Dyson fans claim to be "quiet and powerful", but our expert testing shows that they're often outperformed in these categories by much cheaper models, including an $89 Kmart Anko pedestal fan.
Cool customer: the Kmart Anko fan outperformed the Dyson Cool Tower Fan for airflow and noise.
We give each fan a score for airflow and we measure the maximum and minimum noise you can expect from the fan in decibels. In these categories, the $89 Kmart Anko pedestal fan outperformed the Dyson Cool Tower Fan (as did other cheaper models). The Kmart fan also includes features such as smartphone app compatibility and multiple wind speeds.
"There's nothing in particular wrong with the Dyson Cool Tower Fan, and it admittedly comes with added features you don't get with the cheaper models, such as a timer and remote control," says our expert fan tester, Matthew Tung. "But, it's more than six times the price for something that essentially does the same job."
CHOICE tip: Most fans could be run 24/7 all summer and you'd only pay about $30 or less for electricity. To make sure you get the best fan for what you need, read our fan buying guide.