Is a tower fan suitable for my home?

Clara V.
Clara V.Published on 17 Nov 2021

Tower fans have been all the rage lately. Between the much-hyped Dyson Cool Tower Fan and cheaper alternatives found at ALDI and Kmart, consumers with all kinds of budgets are turning to these bladeless units to cool down their homes.

If you don’t have the option of installing air conditioning (such as if you’re renting), then standalone fans are a go-to for allevating the summer heat. But how effective are tower fans at cooling down a room? And are there better alternatives available?

We go into when a tower fan may be a good option for you, and when you may want to give it a skip and look for another cooling fix.

A black and white tower fan in a lounge room.

How do tower fans work?

To better understand whether a tower fan is right for you, it’s important to know how they work. Tower fans have a fixed base over which the rest of the fan stands - like a tower - and some also have louvres that direct the flow of air up or down.

While a pedestal fan propels air forward with blades that spin in a single direction, a tower fan pulls air in using side vents and then pushes it back out through the front of the unit. This air is pushed out at an angle, and when combined with the height of the fan and the oscillating movement that some make, can give a wider coverage of air circulation.

What rooms are tower fans ideal for?

Tower fans offer more direct, gentle cooling. When they’re placed close to a seating area, such as a lounge or dining area, they can be less intrusive than a pedestal fan while still cooling down your room quickly.

If you like the gentle cooling effect that these fans have, then they’ll be suited to a large room in your house, such as the lounge. Those who prefer more cooling relief will often find that these tower fans are better suited to bedrooms and small rooms where they’re more effective in circulating air.

If you’re more after air directed at a certain spot in a room, such as directly on you when you’re lazing around on the couch, then a pedestal fan may be more suited to your needs. This control over air direction can make them more of a versatile unit, fit for all rooms in your home.

When would a tower fan be better suited to you?

There are a range of situations and preferences that might make you more inclined to choose a tower fan - here are some of the main ones.

If you want something compact and stylish

There’s no denying that a tower fan is more sleek and stylish than pedestal fans, and is particularly well-suited to homes or rooms with a modern aesthetic.

Because they’re less bulky than pedestal and box fans, they’re also easier to find a spot for. They’re simple to slot into a corner or between different furniture pieces, and don’t have protruding parts that are easy to trip over.

These units are also very portable, so you can move them from room to room to wherever they’re needed most.

If you want an appliance that’s easy to clean

Most tower fans are far easier to clean than pedestal fans. They don’t attract as much dust as all the nooks and crannies that their pedestal counterparts have, and are easy to just wipe down with a dry or damp cloth - especially if they don’t have louvres.

Every once in a while, you should also clean the vents by vacuuming them with a soft brush attachment; all the dust, hair, and debris will be satisfying to get out and will also help air flow freely and cleanly.

If you’re concerned about safety

Tower fans are also a little safer, so if you’re worried about curious fingers playing with spinning blades, then a bladeless model will have you sleeping easier at night.

If you want extra features (like air purification)

Tower fans generally have similar features to pedestal fans, but some have extra features, such as a built-in thermostat that checks the temperature of the room that it’s situated in and automatically turns itself on and off when needed.

You can also find models with night lights - perfect for kids rooms - and ionisers and air purifiers, which can help allergy sufferers and those with sensitive noses. You can also find some tower fans with remote control operation so that you can select these settings from the comfort of the couch.

If you also want a heating option

You can also find tower fans with heating and cooling functions, like the Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link and the Kmart Tower Fan Heater, can also evenly heat a room, so you don’t need to fuss over buying an extra heater and finding a place to store it during the warmer months.

When to look elsewhere

When you need lots of airflow

Whether you’re worried about heatwaves, prefer a stronger breeze, or just get really hot and sweaty easily, a tower fan may not be your best option. If you need a unit with a lot of airflow, then a pedestal fan or a box fan may be better for you and your space.

When you want greater control over the airflow

Not only does a pedestal fan have more airflow, it also allows better control over that airflow. The ability to tilt the unit lets you direct where you want the air to go. Combined with oscillation, a pedestal fan also allows for air to reach a wider area.

If you want a quiet appliance

While some more premium tower fans can rival the low noise level of pedestal fans, they’re generally louder than other standalone units. The simplistic design of pedestal fans help reduce their noise level, and make them popular for use in offices and sleeping areas.

Are tower fans worth it?

Tower fans are more practical to find a place for in a room and can elevate your home’s style, while pedestal fans tend to be more powerful and suited to large areas or situations in which you want greater control over air direction.

If your main priority is cooling down a room, then a pedestal fan will be more effective at doing this - and it’ll be cheaper too. However, if you’re looking for a unit that offers a softer cooling effect, is safer to have around kids, and has extra features like a thermostat and air purification, then you’ll probably find a tower fan better suited to your needs.

You can read more about tower fans, pedestal fans, and more in our Standalone Fans Buying Guide, as well as read reviews on a variety of models in stores today.