Skip to content   Skip to footer navigation 

How to buy the best pedestal and tower fans

Not just spin: some fans are better than others.

two pedestal fans

How much thought did you put into buying your last fan? You can buy perfectly functional fans for a few tenners these days, and some are good value for money.


Buy smarter with CHOICE membership

  • Find the best brands
  • Avoid poor performers
  • Get help when things go wrong

Running costs

Fans don't chill the air like an air conditioner, but they'll still cool you down (through the effect of evaporating perspiration) at a fraction of the running cost, so long as the room is not extremely humid.

Most fans could be run 24/7 all summer and you'd only pay about $30 or less for the electricity used.

Pedestal and tower fans generally aren't expensive to buy, though there are some very expensive models out there.

Benefits of pedestal and tower fans

These fans have other good points too:

  • You can choose exactly how and where to position them (unlike with ceiling fans).
  • Many come with extra features such as variable speed settings, remote controls and timers.
  • They're also handy when you want to clear the air in a room due to damp carpet, wet paint, or smoke from a burnt dinner.

Which is better: pedestal fans vs tower fans?

It all comes down to where you'll use the fan and what sort of air flow you want – direct or indirect.

Home Cooling Pedestal fan

Pedestal fans sit on a (usually) height-adjustable stand, and can be useful when you want air directed at a height above ground or at a certain spot in the room – for example, to blow directly onto your face, across a bed's surface, or angled up toward the ceiling for an indirect breeze.

Home Cooling Tower fan

Tower (or column) fans have a long rectangular air outlet that usually sits closer to the floor, although their upper section can still blow air at a reasonable height and some have louvres to direct the air flow up or down. They're often best suited to a large living area.

Key features to look for


The quieter the better, especially if you're using the fan on a low speed at night while you sleep. Ask to hear the fan in the shop before you buy; check for thrumming, whining or buffeting noises.

Adjustable height and angle

These features will give you more options on how and where you can use the fan. Angling the fan head allows you to create an indirect breeze, which can be useful if the fan speed is too powerful for a direct breeze.

Fan modes

Some fans have a mode (usually called 'natural' or 'sleep' mode) which varies the fan speed to simulate a natural breeze.

Some also have a reduction mode, which switches the fan to the next lowest speed after 30 minutes. This is handy if you use the fan at night in your bedroom; on a hot night you might want to go to sleep with the fan on, but you won't want it to be too noisy.

A gentle mode like this might suit you better than simply putting the fan on low speed.

Remote control

A remote control is handy for changing settings from across the room. Some are Wi-Fi enabled, letting you control functionality through an app.


Some models have a timer to switch the fan off after a set period.


Some have electronic indicators to show fan settings.


The humble pedestal or tower fan comes in an array of different colours, shapes and sizes to suit your home decor. But don't be swayed by its appearance, as not all of them perform alike.

Blades or no blades

A bladeless tower fan can be easy to clean, and suitable for a home with small children. Pedestal fans with blades can attract dust over time, so you'll need to make sure it's not annoying to remove and clean the cover.