Best Budget-Friendly Fan: Genesis 20” Box Fan

Box fans are 20″ fans that are, well, shaped like a box. They are designed to sit on a floor (or in a window) and move air around a room or dry out a damp space. So what makes a good box fan?

Well, we looked for box fans that were sturdy and easy to move around (some have handles, some don’t). Box fans are pretty noisy . . . so we tried find the LEAST noisy option as well.

For the best budget-friendly fan, we liked the Genesis model G20BOX-WHT. Here’s why:

What We Liked

• Metal box—not plastic!

• 3 speeds.

• Stabilizer feet that are adjustable—so you can put it in a window. Or if you have an uneven floor.

What Needs Work

• No handle. We prefer box fans with handles to make them easier to carry from room to room!

• Louder than others we tried. On the plus side, some folks like the sound as white noise.

Best Portable Box Fan: Air King 9723 20-Inch 3-Speed Box Fan

If you need to move a box fan from room to room, we’d suggest a fan that is both lightweight AND has a carry handle. After trying out several models that fit that bill, we thought the Air King 9723 fan was best. Here’s why:

What We Liked

• Lightweight at 6.2 lbs. Yes, that is lighter than other models we tested. The Genesis fan above is 8.9 lbs.

• Carry handle!

• 3 speed.

• Long cord (8 feet). Other fans have cords as short as 5 feet.

• Top mounted speed switch.

• Sturdy.

• Steel box.

 Made in the USA.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Loud on its highest setting. This fan measures 65 decibels on the highest speed—that’s only slightly less than a vacuum cleaner! Good news: on the lowest setting, the noise is much more tolerable.

• Some fans have shipped with the cord wedged under the handle. We see reports that some folks had to break the handle to get the plug out from under the handle. That’s sub-optimal!

Best Compact Box Fan: Hurricane HGC736501 Floor Fan (20”)

If you need a box fan to fit in a narrow space like a window sill, the best bet is a compact model. After considering a handful of alternatives, we thought the Hurricane model HGC736501 is probably the best bet. Why? It is only 3.5″ deep—that compares to other fans we tested that were twice as deep. Since most window sills are rather narrow, we think this fan would work best—with one caveat (see below).

What We Liked

• Sturdy.

• Lightweight at 7 lbs.

• Removable, adjustable feet.

• Area for cord storage.

• 3 speed.

• Narrow depth 3.5″ = fits nicely in most windows.

• Speed dial on front of fan—that’s most helpful when using it in a window! (Other fans have controls on the top, which is less convenient.)

What Needs Work

• No handle so it is less ideal as a portable fan.

• Noisy.

• Short cord (5′). The Air King recommended in this earlier has a cord 8 feet in length.

• Can’t use this fan in a window if it is raining outside. That’s because the housing doesn’t shield the motor from rain. If you need a fan that can be left in a window when raining, consider the next recommendation.

Best Box Fan For Window: Lasko 20” Weather-Shield Performance Box Fan

This fan has one key advantage over other box fans: the motor is shielded against moisture—that means you can use it in a window even if it is raining outside.

What We Liked

• Energy efficient (costs about 2 cents per hour to run).

• Easy to carry from room to room, thanks to top handle.

• Dial control on top.

• Assembly requires no tools. The only assembly is attaching the feet.

What Needs Work

• A bit heavy at 8.9 lbs.

• Noisy.

• Could be more stable. We see a few reports this fan can tip over during operation when placed on the floor.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

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