Feeling the heat? Here are the seven best desk fans we’ve tried

Are you looking for a new desk fan that will cool you down without stressing you out? Then read on…

As record temperatures get us ever more hot and bothered, desk fans are becoming an indispensable tool in our fight to stay cool at home. But, unlike most small household appliances that get shoved in a cupboard, desk fans, by their very nature, are right in our faces.

To make sure you get the best desk fan in terms of value for money, a design that suits your home decor and an energy-efficient model, we suggest you don’t purchase it in a heated rush.

That’s why we’ve put these seven desk fans through a trial by fire. We can say with confidence that each and every one has what it takes to combat the harsher summer heat.

All that’s left for you to do is decide which of our recommended desk fans cuts the ice for your particular needs.

Editors Choice

Best overall

MeacoFan 1056 Air Circulator


RRP: £99.99
Who’s this for?
Fan purchasers who don’t mind a bulkier medium-sized fan, as long as it delivers the goods. While it’s not one for smaller work desks, this fan’s design is highly portable and it’s the best all-rounder if you appreciate both a good night’s rest and a very cooling experience on the hottest days.
Recommended

Best budget buy

Honeywell TurboForce Power Fan


RRP: £29.99
Who’s this for?
Someone who rates substance over style and doesn’t mind a bit of background noise as a trade-off for the low price tag.
Recommended

Best premium fan

Duux Whisper Flex


RRP: £169
Who’s this for?
For the premium buyer who likes their fan all-singing and all-dancing and does not settle for second-best cooling.
Recommended

Quietest on test

Duux Globe Table Fan


RRP: £79.99
Who’s this for?
Fan purchasers are happy to pay a premium for perfect silence – which this fan absolutely delivers at its lowest setting.
Recommended

Beldray 3-in-1 Cordless Folding Fan


RRP: £37.99
Who’s this for?
Someone who likes to get maximum bang for their breezy buck and a sense of freedom. There is a definite temptation with the Beldray 3-in-1 Cordless Folding Fan to take it everywhere you go. Straightforward to use and seriously multi-functional.

Russell Hobbs Scandi Style 12 Inch Desk Fan


RRP: £54
Who’s this for?
A decor-proud purchaser who wants a fan to look as good as it functions, and who’s also looking for a low-tech, reasonably-priced option.

Beldray 12-inch Desk Fan


RRP: £21.99
Who’s this for?
Someone looking for a no-frills traditional-style fan who isn’t planning on putting it under too much pressure. Perfect for people sitting for a few hours a day in a home office who won’t tinker too much with the settings.

Why we chose these fans for testing and how we tested

The products were selected independently by our team of editors. After a team-wide consultation, we agreed on the most respected fan brands on the market.

We read existing reviews and selected models that stood out regularly as the best in class. There are four purely desk fans, but we also included three hybrid models that can additionally be mounted on the floor and wall.

Once they arrived in our custom-built test centre, our experienced product testing team rigorously put the fans through their paces.

They set up each fan to mimic how it might be used at home. An anemometer was used to measure wind movement force and direction. They also used a sound pressure meter and a power meter to monitor consumption, and took decibel-level readings at each fan setting.

What our testers looked for

Was any assembly required or was the fan ready to go out of the box?

Was the cable long enough to plug into the wall without stretching or causing a hazard?

Was it simple to turn the fan on and off, switch between settings and set a timer, if available? How responsive was the fan?

How many kilowatts of energy is used per setting? By how much does power usage increase when oscillation is included?

Between the highest and lowest settings, what was the recorded noise level? Is the fan suitable for a bedroom at any setting level?

How much airflow is measured between one and three metres from the fan?

When the fan is cranked up to the maximum setting, how much air does the appliance ultimately give off?

Could a child easily push their fingers through and access the blades?

How likely was the fan to topple over if accidentally knocked while on a desk?

MeacoFan 1056 Air Circulator Overview

Best overall

MeacoFan 1056 Air Circulator

Editors Choice
Competitive

This impressive fan is designed to be silent enough to sleep with on its lower settings, and also powerful enough to work on the most sweltering days. It’s a great all-rounder that’s engineered to move both horizontally and vertically at once, allowing for maximum air circulation. The remote control – which can be stored magnetically on the fan – features large chunky buttons that are a pleasure to use.

Ease of setup

Cable length

Ease of use

Power usage

Noise level

Airflow reach

Max settings

Child safety

Stability


Who’s this for?

Fan purchasers who don’t mind a bulkier medium-sized fan, as long as it delivers the goods. While it’s not one for smaller work desks, this fan’s design is highly portable and it’s the best all-rounder if you appreciate both a good night’s rest and a very cooling experience on the hottest days.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Comes pre-assembled
  • Very quiet
  • Vertical and horizontal oscillation
  • Lowest energy consumption of all tested fans
  • Comes with an easy-to-use remote control and magnetic panel
  • A little bulbous – so not suitable for small desks or bedside tables
  • The short, 2.5m (2.7yd) cable length

Expect to pay

RRP: £99.99 We think this fan is a bargain at the full price but we’ve also seen this fan selling for as low as £82.50.

The best desk fan we tried

There is something strongly reminiscent of the 1970s about the MeacoFan. For our test centre pro Mark Wyndham-Jones, it calls to mind a retro divers’ helmet – think Tintin and Captain Haddock on some underwater adventure.

In my case, when the fan rotated dramatically (and unexpectedly) skyward, there was the sense of operating a space satellite seeking extraterrestrial life.

MeacoFanCredit: Saga Exceptional

But while its design is a bit Marmite, I quickly fell in love with this fan when I realised that the centre medallion pops out and is actually the remote control set against a magnetised backing. During the unboxing, I was also impressed by the chic grey leatherette strap attached for lifting it.

The MeacoFan is designed with consumer ease in mind. As soon as it’s switched on, it helpfully displays the room’s ambient temperature. You can then select Eco mode and let the fan decide how much air to throw off to cool the room without breaking the bank.

The remote’s buttons are big, chunky and easy to understand. I need my tech to be nice and obvious and this is. There is also something very approachable about a round remote with big graphic buttons – it feels almost like a toy.

By contrast, the remote on our quietest fan on test – the Duux Globe – seemed fiddlier and less responsive. When I pressed a button, there was a lag before any mode kicked in, whereas the MeacoFan kicked in immediately.

MeacoFan buttonsCredit: Saga Exceptional

Not one for remotes? No problem. Big light-up digital buttons on the fan’s base are nearly as easy to use. A large lightbulb icon switches the button lights off at night when you want perfect darkness.

This fan has nine airflow settings, which makes it highly versatile. Once the fan was up and running on its lowest setting, I was literally blown away. The air force was remarkable. If you aren’t a light sleeper, you can have this fan in your bedroom up to setting four – just don’t point it in your face.

Even at its highest setting, the fan remains remarkably quiet considering the airflow produced, and there is no need to raise your voice to talk over it. If using the fan for desk work, the maximum setting you’d want is seven. Any higher and your papers might helter-skelter around the room.

In terms of safety, it’s hard to imagine what would topple this fan. The base is downright huge. Even when our rambunctious child tester attempted to use it as a space-hopper, it stayed put. Small fingers can’t access the blades through the grates and, due to the globe shape, the blades are set further back compared with a traditional fan design.

One thing I found irritating is the stingy cable length. At 1.5 metres (1.6 yards), it is half a metre shorter than the Duux Globe’s cable. I accidentally pulled it out of the wall socket when shifting the fan a short distance. Another issue is that when the fan gets going, some of the lit-up symbols disappear. This is probably to conserve energy, but it can be awkward if you’re solely depending on the base buttons for control.

An inbuilt timer allows you to let the fan run automatically for between one and 12 hours: a great feature if you are trying to save money on energy bills.

We liked

The versatility of the design that allows for quiet sleep but can also cope with the hottest heatwave at the higher settings.

We didn’t like

The shorter cable. This is something the manufacturers might want to address.


Honeywell TurboForce Power Fan Overview

Best budget buy

Honeywell TurboForce Power Fan

Recommended
Budget

The popularity of the Honeywell Turbo Force Power fan is hard to ignore – over 21,000 purchasers on Amazon give it a stellar 4.5-star rating. For around the £20 mark, this squat little unassuming unit won’t be in the way on a desk or in the corner of the room and blasts out a surprising amount of air for its size.

Ease of setup

Cable length

Ease of use

Power usage

Noise level

Airflow reach

Max settings

Child safety

Stability


Who’s this for?

Someone who rates substance over style and doesn’t mind a bit of background noise as a trade-off for the low price tag.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Solid construction
  • Pre-assembled
  • Compact size
  • Two-year product guarantee
  • Mounts on walls
  • Noisy
  • Not energy efficient
  • Basic design

Expect to pay

RRP: £29.99 The Honeywell is one of the internet’s favourite value fans. The lowest price we’ve seen this model hit is £17.02.

Best value-for-money desk fan

Interested in a basic fan that will comfortably sit on a small desk? The Honeywell offers the most bang for your buck of all the fans we tested, and is nice and compact, to boot.

This unit and the (following) Beldray 3-in-1 can both easily fit on a small desk, but the Honeywell is an “as simple as it gets” plug-in-and-go unit. A breath of fresh air if you want absolutely no bells and whistles and just want to plug in your fan and get to work.

And there is no mistaking that this fan is a workhorse. The design is as basic as it gets and heavy even if it is heavy on the plastic. There is no handle at the top for carrying the unit, although this doesn’t present any real issue given how light the fan is.

In fact, it is the lightest fan of all we’ve tested.

This fan comes pre-assembled, meaning it gives the similarly priced Beldray 12-inch desk fan stiff competition – except that the Honeywell doesn’t oscillate, which may be a dealbreaker for some.

Honeywell FanCredit: Saga Exceptional

Instead the Honeywell can be manually set in five positions on its rocker – including its final position pointed directly at the ceiling. To get the air blasting in the right place, you’ll need to point the fan in the desired direction as the air has limited circulation around the room.

Alternatively, mount the fan on the wall and direct it into a room for better circulation.

The controls for the unit are likewise basic. A little dial at the back lets you choose one of three air-flow settings. With this awkward location, and the dial settings’ small font size, it isn’t the best bet for the visually impaired.

Also, if you are sitting at your desk and need to change the settings, you’ll definitely need to turn the fan around. Even my small fingers weren’t nimble enough to reposition the dial comfortably from above.

But, given the pleasing price tag, none of these issues are insurmountable.

A downside to consider with the Honeywell is the noise. Setting one is reasonably quiet and absolutely fine for desk work. Settings two and three aren’t ideal in any room that requires peace and quiet.

This little fan really blasts out the air. Sitting at a desk, you wouldn’t want the fan directed at your face even at setting one (it’s worth knowing the brand boasts that the fan has a seven-metre reach – I don’t agree, but it does still have a powerful blast, as the “turbo” suggests).

At close range, you’ll want to angle the fan a bit so that the air isn’t directly in your face – unless you really are sweltering and want a seriously cool blast.

Little fingers won’t make their way into the fan. The front central grill is fused to the body of the unit (unlike with the Beldray 3-in-1 Cordless Folding Fan) so the fan is a solid construction.

Because the fan’s design is so stout, stability isn’t a major issue. Sure, it can be kicked over, but no real damage is likely to be done.

At almost two metres, the cable length is generous and you’ll be able to position it on your desk comfortably.

Though this is our budget pick, it’s worth noting that the Honeywell was the worst of the fans we tested by way of energy efficiency. On setting one it uses 29.1w. In contrast, on setting one and on full oscillation mode, the Duux Globe Table Fan uses 6.2w. That means this fan could cost you more to run in the long term. However, we’d say this is only a factor if you’re using it daily over the summer.

This fan is a crowd-pleaser for good reason. It’s stripped down to the bare minimum and does the job you’d expect it to do at a rock-bottom price point. For those seeking greater cooling control, there are some great choices, but the price-tag will reflect the increased functionality.

We liked

The incredible simplicity of using this fan. It is truly stripped down to the basics and just does the job.

We didn’t like

How energy inefficient the fan is.


Duux Whisper Flex Overview

Best premium fan

Duux Whisper Flex

Recommended
Luxury

The Duux Whisper fan has 26 different speed levels. Yes, 26. This product is designed to be the fan for all occasions – it has the option to be cable-free and may be height-adjusted on a whim. The smart fan connects to your Wi-Fi so you can operate it remotely. Best of all, this premium fan boasts impressive noise control and is remarkably quiet, even at the highest settings.

Ease of setup

Cable length

Ease of use

Power usage

Noise level

Airflow reach

Max settings

Child safety

Stability


Who’s this for?

For the premium buyer who likes their fan all-singing and all-dancing and does not settle for second-best cooling.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Robust construction
  • Incredibly quiet
  • Option for rechargeable battery to make fan wireless
  • Option to adjust height
  • 100% compostable packaging
  • Rechargeable battery sold separately
  • Requires assembly
  • Niggles connecting to Duux app for wireless features

Expect to pay

RRP: £169 Great news if you love the Duux Whisper Flex but not the price tag – we’ve seen it nearly 30% off and selling for £119.

Best luxury smart hybrid fan

Owning a Duux Whisper Flex is like owning a top-of-the-line Tesla. Is there a bit of PR spin? Sure – 26 air speed settings is nuts by anyone’s standards. But there is no denying that the fan, like the automobile brand, stylishly delivers on a new kind of cool – tech that’s quieter, smoother and kinder to the planet.

As long as you’re willing to pay for it.

After all, they say silence is golden. Having a fan that “whispers” might mean the world to you if you suffer from migraines and can’t take a relentless whirring sound, or if you treasure your sleep and struggle in a hot bedroom. This fan is silence itself for up to settings 10 out of 26 and you’ll also enjoy luxuries like the blissful “natural wind” mode.

Duux WhisperCredit: Saga Exceptional

If you like the sound of the silent mastery of the Duux brand but guffaw at a fan that retails at around the £170 mark – then your sweet spot may be the Duux Globe Table Fan. The extra £90 to get your hands on the Duux Whisper Flex may not be worth it if you simply want to work in peace with a decent breeze from your fan.

But if you’re in the “more’s more” camp, the Duux Whisper Flex ticks quite a few premium boxes that justifies the price. Just.

First let’s discuss a downside. The fan does need some assembly. It’s not complicated, however, and you only have to do it the once.

One major upside, though, is that the fan has the option to be fully portable. Not being tethered to a socket means your fan is at home anywhere – adding a touch of practical style to your kitchen island, for instance. You could even go wild and take it on a camping trip. That’s what cable-free portability is all about.

But, again, you’ll have to be willing to pay for that easy, breezy lifestyle. The rechargeable battery comes separately (for around £60, if you’re interested). If you are after pure portability but don’t like the sound of that price-tag,there’s always the Beldray 3-in-1 Cordless Folding Fan to consider.

Comfortingly, though, quite a lot comes as standard in the Duux Whisper Flex, including a display dial control with a stonking menu of options. Voice-activated orders issued through Alexa or your Google Assistant can also be given to your fan when you download the Duux app.

I personally didn’t have much luck with the app and with a less than stellar two-star rating on Apple’s AppStore, it looks like other people struggle, too.

Our test centre professionals were particularly keen on the remote control. We feel it’s better laid out and easier to use and navigate than the in-built control dial.

Then there’s the pole. Use it to convert your fan from desk height to floor height in a jiffy.

Using this fan on your desk might prove tricky. There’s a large base (33cm/13in diameter) to contend with. If you have a small desk, you’ll want to bear that in mind if you plan to use it primarily for your home office. On the upside, a large base means good stability, so there is little chance of your fan toppling.

Our product testers used the E word (Exceptional!) to describe this fan’s oscillating prowess. Like the Duux Globe Table Fan and the MeacoFan, it impresses with its simultaneous horizontal and vertical movements.

Of all the fans we tested, this one has the longest cable – a very commendable 2.3 metres .

There also isn’t any risk of a small child’s finger making its way into the fan since the grills are packed tightly together.

We liked

The portability of the fan. It may cost extra, but a fan that’s broken free of its power socket is a fan that we want in our lives.

We didn’t like

The Quick Start Guide is limited in information, with user guide requiring download.


Duux Globe Table Fan Overview

Quietest on test

Duux Globe Table Fan

Recommended
Competitive

This hardworking medium-sized desk fan might not be out to win any beauty contests, but that isn’t the point. It is designed to be tailored to your ultimate comfort – with its bulbous “head”well suited to not only move horizontally, but also vertically. It really comes into its own on its lowest setting which is slightly quieter than the MeacoFan, so it promises comfortable and unperturbed desk work (and blissful sleep, if you use it in the bedroom).

Ease of setup

Cable length

Ease of use

Power usage

Noise level

Airflow reach

Max settings

Child safety

Stability


Who’s this for?

Fan purchasers are happy to pay a premium for perfect silence – which this fan absolutely delivers at its lowest setting.

Our likes and dislikes

  • It’s the quietest fan we tested
  • It comes pre-assembled
  • Two-year product guarantee
  • Vertical and horizontal oscillation
  • 100% compostable packaging
  • The design is on the bulkier side
  • Touch-sensitive panel is a challenge to see at night and remote is not that intuitive
  • Occasional clicking sounds when switching settings

Expect to pay

RRP: £79.99 The Duux Globe Table Fan regularly goes on sale and on occasion we have seen it sold cheaper than £60.

Best for silent desk work and sleep

The Duux Globe Table Fan and the MeacoFan follow similar engineering lines. Again, you’ll either warm to the retro look or you won’t.

But I’d think twice about rebuffing this fan on aesthetic grounds alone if your number one priority is undisturbed work – or restful sleep. This fan on its lowest setting is silence itself. You also get enough cooling air to make it through a moderately hot night.

Slightly more compact and lighter than the MeacoFan, if your desk is medium-sized it should fit comfortably enough. Even on its maximum setting, this fan is no distraction from your work and won’t send your papers fluttering across the room.

Duux Globe imageCredit: Saga Exceptional

One thing I did notice, as did the professionals at the test centre, is that when changing settings there can be an occasional clicking noise. It can last a few seconds then settles down, but it is a little kink worth noting.

Settings two and three are where the fan holds its own on hot days. It churns out a decent amount of cooling air – though it still wouldn’t be my first pick over the MeacoFan on a truly sweltering day, unless I am sitting at a desk working and don’t want a heavy draught in my face.

You’ll notice at setting three, especially, there is an uptick in noise. It will only be of concern if you are trying to sleep with the fan on this setting. Some people won’t notice it, but if you require perfect sleep silence – which is the key selling point of this fan – you’ll want to stick to setting one.

One interesting quirk that this fan shares with the MeacoFan is that it can move horizontally and vertically simultaneously – very space-age and handy when you want maximum air circulation.

For those with younger children around, there is no risk of little ones accessing the blades. Due to the fan’s globe shape, they are further set back than in the average fan, so even the smallest curious fingers would struggle to reach them.

Another design upside is the large base the fan sits on – its size and rubber pad make it unlikely to topple over.

The Duux Globe Table Fan’s two-metre-long  cable makes it easy to position on your desk without too much stress.

An inbuilt timer allows you to let the fan run automatically for between one and three hours – a great feature if you are trying to outwit your smart meter.

We liked

The amazingly quiet function of the fan at its lowest setting, making it an easy pick for those who like to work in near-silence.

We didn’t like

The small font on the touch-sensitive touch pad might be hard to read at night. The Quick Starter Guide is not exactly comprehensive, and the full user guide needs to be downloaded.


Beldray 3-in-1 Cordless Folding Fan Overview

Beldray 3-in-1 Cordless Folding Fan

Recommended
Budget

Want a nifty hard-working fan that is at home on a desk, wall or on the floor? The Beldray 3-in-1 Cordless Folding Fan with LED Light Ring is a cable-free, compact and truly portable fan that folds down in seconds to go where you go.

Ease of setup

Cable length

Ease of use

Power usage

Noise level

Airflow reach

Max settings

Child safety

Stability


Who’s this for?

Someone who likes to get maximum bang for their breezy buck and a sense of freedom. There is a definite temptation with the Beldray 3-in-1 Cordless Folding Fan to take it everywhere you go. Straightforward to use and seriously multi-functional.

Our likes and dislikes

  • It comes pre-assembled
  • Compact and portable
  • You can also mount it on the walls and use on floor
  • Built-in LED light
  • Easy to operate
  • Tree planted for every fan purchased
  • Front grill can be pushed through so safety risk
  • Noise at settings three and four
  • No oscillation

Expect to pay

RRP: £37.99 This is a great fan at a good value price – you can save a few pounds when it sometimes dips to the £30 mark on special offer.

Best budget hybrid

Using the Beldray 3-in-1 Cordless Folding Fan is child’s play. And as there was no need to plug it in and only an easy-to- recognise “on” button to press, the little helper had the fan up and running solo within a few seconds. It took less than one minute to figure out how to use the simple touch-sensitive controls, too.

This is a fun and funky compact fan that’s pleasant to use. No, it doesn’t oscillate, but it does bend over backwards (literally) to be as useful as possible around your home. At less than £40 a pop, it’s easy to warm up to this thoughtful little fan.

Beldray Cordless fanCredit: Saga Exceptional

Getting the unit into the desk position was intuitive. It requires a mild twisting motion of a little grey cuff that acts as the locking mechanism. The base has a diameter of 21cm (8in) so this fan will sit comfortably on all desks.

As we mentioned, the fan doesn’t go left to right – but it does tilt. This makes a big difference to directing the air where you want.

But touching the plastic head of the fan does make your thumb come into contact with the face of the grill, and it depresses when you touch it! That seems quite unsafe to me, given that behind that fragile piece of plastic is a dangerously spinning blade. For that reason, I would be cautious tilting the head up and down while the blades are active .

The fan can also be wall-mounted, with the air coming down from directly above. To convert this fan to floor-standing, you just need to give the head a good yank and it will come up on an ever-narrowing pole.

The fan has four speed settings. The lowest is quiet enough to have the fan at close range on your desk. We would think twice about having it in a bedroom at night though, unless you are a deep sleeper.

Setting two ratchets up the noise level within a tolerable range, but setting three is irritatingly loud in a small room.

For a battery-operated fan, the airflow is good, but without oscillation, expect to direct it to the position you want – it won’t fill the room with cool air. It is very much a one-man-band fan.

With built-in LEDs, the fan could double up as a bedside light. While the fan is on, a mild blue light pulsates around the power key, making this button visible in the dark.

We found that on a full charge at level three, the running time was roughly three and a half hours.

Packing the fan away in its tiny box is a breeze, too, if you are planning to stow your fan away over the winter.

We liked

The complete ease of using this fan – it’s portable and practical.

We didn’t like

How the front plastic grill depresses when it’s touched. Seems a bit dangerous if a person is heavy- handed and tilts the head while the blades are active.


Russell Hobbs Scandi Style 12 Inch Desk Fan Overview

Russell Hobbs Scandi Style 12 Inch Desk Fan

Competitive

Aesthetic hopes aren’t usually high for fans in general, so the Russell Hobbs Scandi’s good looks are a pleasant surprise. For any contemporary room that has been curated with care, the unusual wooden-effect accents in the model’s grey, black or white colours might just sway you to purchase. Look at the specs for dimensions though, as the desk fan’s 35cm (14in) diameter may be a bit wider than you’d expect.

Ease of setup

Cable length

Ease of use

Power usage

Noise level

Airflow reach

Max settings

Child safety

Stability


Who’s this for?

A decor-proud purchaser who wants a fan to look as good as it functions, and who’s also looking for a low-tech, reasonably-priced option.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Good looking
  • Affordable
  • Simple manual controls
  • Oscillates
  • Requires assembly
  • Controls are positioned at the back so not easy to access
  • Moderate noise at highest setting

Expect to pay

RRP: £54 This budget fan has been known to drop to an even more pocket-friendly price of £29.99 in the sales.

Best for good looks

With no digital settings or flashing lights in sight, the Russell Hobbs Scandi desk fan stands out with its modern-yet-traditional good looks and no high-tech pretensions. Available in three easy-to-style neutrals – black, grey and white – with oak accent trim, your preferred colour won’t look out of place in the most stylish of rooms.

Though the style is simple, the black-coated metal build is sturdier than you’d expect and certainly looks more premium than more expensive fans.

It is also a technophobe’s dream. There are no fancy digital panels or remote controls to get to grips with. But there’s a catch. The product needs assembling.

Russell Hobbs fanCredit: Saga Exceptional

Our testing centre experts described the fan as easy to assemble, but speaking as someone who hasn’t the least inclination to build household goods, my definition of “easy” is simply plugging in any new appliance. I didn’t personally enjoy putting it together – I fell at the first hurdle as I didn’t have a screwdriver to hand.

But, to be fair, once it is up and running, it’s a breeze to command with simple manual buttons. Since these buttons are located at the back of the fan, folks who have hand-related mobility issues  are better off picking a fan with controls on the base, as the buttons may be awkward to reach.

There are three air-flow settings to choose from. The first is quiet enough but settings two and three are notably louder. Our test centre experts and I agreed we wouldn’t pick this one for our bedrooms.

This is a desk fan first and foremost. But, with its 35cm (14in)-diameter grill, this fan does take up a fair bit of room on your work surface, so you’ll need a decent-sized desk.

The 1.5-metre (5ft) cable length is another potential sore point. You’ll probably need an extension cord, depending on the location of your socket.

All in all, this is a well-constructed and easy-to-use large metal desk fan that does what it says on the tin. It is relatively quiet for the price-point and disperses air well. A good work horse purchase for the average price of £55.

We liked

Its good looks and a manual button control system that’s as easy as it gets.

We didn’t like

Despite being pleasingly low-tech, the fan needs to be assembled.


Beldray 12-inch Desk Fan Overview

Beldray 12-inch Desk Fan

Budget

Not everyone wants to break the bank when buying a desk fan, so a simple model from a respectable brand name that does the job at a rock-bottom price, is worth knowing about.

Ease of setup

Cable length

Ease of use

Power usage

Noise level

Airflow reach

Max settings

Child safety

Stability


Who’s this for?

Someone looking for a no-frills traditional-style fan who isn’t planning on putting it under too much pressure. Perfect for people sitting for a few hours a day in a home office who won’t tinker too much with the settings.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Value price
  • Two-year product guarantee
  • Easy to operate
  • Tree planted for every fan purchased
  • Oscillation
  • Requires assembly
  • Noisy
  • Short cable

From the get-go it’s worth knowing that the Beldray 12-inch (30cm) Desk Fan comes with a two-year guarantee. That, plus the respectable brand name, makes this fan a contender if you are after a no-frills cooling unit that’s simple and steady, and which also oscillates.

The fan arrives dis-assembled and there isn’t a diagram included to show how to put it together. But, as the fan is such a classic and simple style, figuring it out doesn’t present too much of a problem.

The blades look and feel a little flimsy, but the base and grills are solid enough.

Beldray fanCredit: Saga Exceptional

Unlike the other fans we tested, this one doesn’t have the most generous base. This shouldn’t present a problem if it is used as a low-traffic desk fan – if there’s a hive of activity on your workstation, position it where it won’t be knocked.

This fan couldn’t be easier to operate. In fact, it even pips the super-easy Beldray 3-in-1. Four fat raised buttons labelled 0-3 means that operating it is almost fool-proof.

I say “almost” because the buttons are labelled in white against a white background. This fan is not designed with the visually impaired in mind, although the raised buttons might help get around this flaw.

One major downside we noticed is there isn’t a massive difference between air-flow speeds. We think setting one could have done with being a bit milder since it is almost as loud as the other settings.

This fan isn’t the noisiest we tested, but it’s up there. You wouldn’t want it in your bedroom when you’re sleeping.

It does, however, hold the dubious title for the shortest cable of all the fans we tested, with its 1.4-metre (1.5-yard) cord. You’ll want an extension cord handy. If there are any trip or mobility issues to think about, maybe give this one a miss.

Unlike the Beldray 3-in-1 Cordless Folding Fan, this model does oscillate, but not perfectly. The oscillation angle is somewhat limited. It also isn’t an overly smooth process, and the fan can stick a bit when going left to right. But, don’t worry, it’s more of an aesthetic consideration than anything else and doesn’t impact the usability of the fan.

Is this fan worth a price tag hovering around the £20 mark? Absolutely. In a heatwave, set it on full speed and it will see you through. What will extend its life, though, is if it has a nice cushty desk job where it is keeping a moderate level of heat at bay but no one is expecting daily cooling heroics. Switch the buttons on and off carefully and you’ll get good value for money.

We liked

The airflow is sufficient from what is effectively a cheap, plastic mass-produced fan.

We didn’t like

The noise level remains almost constant due to the limited airflow speed difference between settings.

Written by Joy Archer she/her

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