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The weather in Britain is notoriously unreliable — but there is one thing you can be certain of each year: when we hit a heatwave there will be a run on electric fans as we all scramble to keep our cool.
If you've vowed to be better prepared this year, then now is the ideal time to purchase a cooling fan. As the return of the chill after the first hint of spring-like warm weather, means shops' stocks of cooling fans have not yet been diminished.
Best places to shop fans online
We've rounded up some of the most popular standing, desktop and handheld fans available at Amazon, Currys, Robert Dyas, Lakeland, Aldi and John Lewis & Partners, so you get our hands on them before the rush.
Best standing and tower fans to keep you cool this summer
Dyson Cool Tower Fan, White | £339 at John Lewis & Partners (also available at Currys and Dyson)
Dyson has made a name for itself not only as a maker of luxury vacuum cleaners, but also sleek bladeless fans, which draw in surrounding air. This model is both powerful and quiet — it has earned a Quiet Mark award, meaning it is one of the quietest models of its size on the market.
The fan comes with a remote control and features a sleep timer, which can be programmed to turn off after preset intervals from 15 minutes to nine hours.
"Best fan we have ever bought," one happy customer wrote in a review on John Lewis' website. "Expensive but in our minds worth it. We are now the proud owner of four of these fans that keep you cool all night so you can sleep easy whether it's hot or cold. They move the air around far better than other tower fans and [are] far easier to clean. The remote is very easy to use especially in the dark and can be stored on top of the fan when not in use."
John Lewis & Partners Tower Fan, 42 inch, White/Black | £95 at John Lewis & Partners
This tall tower fan provides a good length of coverage and oscillates to spread the cool air around your room.Controlled via a simple touch panel at the top or remote control, it features three speed settings and a timer function, which means it can be set to switch on or off in advance.
"Without doubt this is the best fan I've ever bought," writes one customer in a review. "On low settings it is very quiet and on high settings perfectly acceptable. The oscillation is superb because it's the inside of the unit that moves and not the whole thing unlike others I've had which always made a clicking noise when they turn. Nice touch is that the LED goes off after a few seconds, which means perfect for the bedroom. Love the design as it doesn't look like a conventional fan."
Igenix 29 Inch Tower Fan with 7.5hr Timer - White | £36.99 at Robert Dyas
The tower fan has three speed settings, a 7.5-hour timer and an oscillation function, which allows the cool air to circulate more effectively around the room.
"I bought this as an update for our old fan and it proved to be a very good move," says one shopper in a review. "It’s light weight, compact, has a remote for easy use and looks good in the room. Also it doesn’t make as much noise as the old fan did which is another bonus. All in all a good buy."
Generic 16 Oscillating Pedestal Air Cooling Electric Fan | £19.76 (Was £21.49) at Amazon
This budget option is a bestseller on Amazon with more than 16,000 customers rating it on average four out of five stars. Bear in mind that assembly is required and this is a basic model, so there's no remote control or timer, but it does have three speed setting and the oscillating head will ensure the cool air is spread around your room.
Easy Home White Tower Fan | £19.99
If you prefer the look of tower fans, this model comes in at a reasonable price of just £19.99 from Aldi. It features three speed settings and an oscillating head. The design is slim-line so won't take up too much room, while the dials on top are large and easy-to-set to your desired time and speed.
Best desk fans for working from home
Meaco MeacoFan 1056 Air Circulator, White | £99.99 at John Lewis & Partners
This fan has won seals of approval from both Which? and Good Housekeeping, and has been awarded a QuietMark, so is widely regarded to be a great option for keeping cool without noise disturbance. It features an ECO mode that automatically adjusts the fan speed as the room temperature changes. There is also a Sleep Mode that adjusts the cooling rate, so you won’t wake up feeling too cold in the middle of the night.
It is easy to move about as it is lightweight and has a faux-leather handle. Plus, it has a magnetic remote control, which sits neatly in the centre of the fan and which allows you to not only choose one of 12 fan speeds, but to also decide whether you want the fan to move from side to side or in an up and down motion.
Beurer Fresh Breeze Purifier and Fan | £54.99 at Lakeland
This compact and portable cooling fan also works as a humidifier. The fan draws the air from the room through the filter, which is soaked with the water from the bottle. The water is then evaporated by the damp filter and released, where it is absorbed by the surrounding air. For even cooler air, it is advised to chill the water in the fridge before use.
It works with a USB cable, so can be powered using a laptop or computer, making it a good option for your desk.
Logik L14FFGM18 14" Floor Fan - Gun Metal | £35.99 at Currys
For a more industrial look, this chunky desk fan makes a bold statement. It has three speed settings and the option to tilt the head so you can get a cooling breeze in any direction. With customers rating it on average 9.1 out of 10 stars and commenting on its power, this is a very popular option.
Honeywell TurboForce Power Fan | £23.49 (Was £32.49) at Amazon
This neat fan is also an Amazon bestseller and has three speed settings and a powerful motor, meaning you can feel the cool air from up to seven meters away. The head pivots by 90 degrees, so it can be placed on the floor and angled up, or on a tabletop or shelf. More than 13,000 customers have rated it on average 4.5 out of five stars.
Amazon Basics 3-Speed Oscillating 20 inch Table Desk Fan | £24.61 at Amazon
This budget desk fan has three speed settings, a tilt-able head and a wide oscillation angle, which means it can cool larger spaces evenly. But bear in mind it does require some assembly.
Best handheld fans for on the go
EasyAcc Mini Handheld Fan | £12.99 at Amazon
Small enough to slip into your bag, this rechargeable six inch handheld fan has a detachable anti-slip base, so can also be stood up on a desk or tabletop.
A bestseller on Amazon, it comes with an 80 cm long USB cable, which can be used to connect the fan to laptops, desktops, power banks, adapters, car chargers and other USB power sources. The fan can be used during charging and the battery will last between 2.5 hours to 9.5 hours depending on the speed setting selected.
Status AirBlast Rechargeable Handheld Fan | £6.99 at Currys
This purse-friendly option is a good choice if you want a fan to take out and about without worrying too much about losing or damaging it. With three speed settings and a USB charging cable, this is also a good option to pop in a suitcase for holidays somewhere hot.