It's somehow September, and with the hot days of summer behind us, we're entering that time where it's too warm to sit in stagnant air but not warm enough to justify kicking on the AC. Translation: it's fan season. Like air conditioners, a major turn off of fans is how loud they can be. Especially if you're trying to watch TV or don't like white noise when you sleep. These quiet fans are just what you need. Not only are they whisper quiet, but they also can help keep your air fresh and clean.
For some, a quiet fan is essential. While some people find the whoosh of a powerful fan to be soothing, others find it distracting. That can be a big issue when you're working from home or trying to get a good night's sleep. Rebecca Robbins, PhD, sleep expert and postdoctoral researcher at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, explains that the aversion some have to noise while sleeping has a lot to do with the environment they're used to.
"If you live in the country with little nighttime noise, there may not be a need for a fan or other source of white noise," she says. "City dwellers however may be contending with sounds that they cannot control at night such as sirens, honking horns, garbage truck noises that negatively impact sleep. These individuals have sought out and grown accustomed to white noise or earplugs to combat city noise."
Heat, however, can negatively impact your sleep. A quiet fan may give you the best of both worlds.
In addition to keeping you comfortable, good airflow is extremely important for indoor air quality, explains John McKeon, MD, CEO of Allergy Standards, a company that certifies products as allergy and asthma friendly for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Under the right conditions, fans can help circulate fresh air.
"If you are using a fan but there is no source of ventilation or filtration, then there is a risk that you are just recirculating stagnant air," says Dr. McKeon. "If there are VOCs or excess moisture in the air, a fan could just move them around. It’s very important to refresh indoor air, either by opening windows or doors or by using some kind of air filtration. But once you are refreshing the air, a fan can help make sure that the newer air is moved around the room, and any contaminants are being moved out of the space."
Luckily some fans double as an air purifier. So you can reap the benefits of a quiet, refreshing breeze we've rounded up three quiet fans, two of which double as air purifiers.
3 quiet fans for clean air
1. Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan, $70 (on sale for $54)
This quiet oscillating fan is perfect for circulating air. It's got three speeds so you can put it at whichever setting you need. If air quality is a concern, keep Dr. McKeon's advice in mind and use it with an open window to circulate fresh air in your space.
Shop now: Lasko Wind Curve Tower Fan, $70 (on sale for $54)
2. Blue Air Pure Fan, $300
This cute little fan does double duty as an air purifier. Verified by a third-party tester, two filters allow it to remove 99 percent of airborne dust and pollen and keep the fan blades dust-free. Designed for sleep, this fan is quiet as a whisper on the lowest speed and provides white noise on the highest setting.
Shop now: Blue Air Pure Fan, $300
3. Dyson Pure Cool Air Purifier, $570
This fan is great for cooling and purifying your air. I keep it in my kitchen to cut down on cooking-related pollutants while providing a breeze that feels so nice when standing in front of a hot stove. I'm not gonna lie—on the highest setting, this thing is loud. But luckily, there are 10 settings, and the lowest ones are whisper-quiet. It's certified asthma-and-allergy friendly by Allergy Standards, using a HEPA filter and activated carbon to capture 99.97 percent of pollutants, particles, gases, and odors.
Shop now: Dyson Pure Cool Air Purifier, $570
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