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 for every budget. Check our product 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).
But if the goal is to save cash on cooling down, do you really need to fork out the hundreds of dollars needed for a Dyson fan? Particularly when you can pick up a pedestal fan for as little as $18 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 the 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
- 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.
But 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 $18 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.
We currently don't test the air purifying feature here at CHOICE so we can't comment on its effectiveness. Instead, we focus on the fan's ability to cool us down and other factors such as noise.
CHOICE tester Matthew Tung puts pedestal fans through their paces in our labs.
"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."
"An exception for this is perhaps in the case of the Dyson Hot+Cool Jet Focus fan, where you're getting a fan plus a good-quality heater for the cooler months in one," says Rebecca.
The Hot+Cool model we have tested doesn't include the air purifying feature, although models with this feature are available at a higher price point. The 'Jet Focus' feature of this Dyson heater 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 the full Dyson Hot+Cool heater fan review.
Cool customer: the Kmart Anko 40cm Wi-Fi Pedestal Fan outperformed the Dyson Cool Tower Fan when it comes to the scores for airflow and noise.
$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.
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.