Are you feeling the heat? Portable fans are an easy and energy-efficient way to keep your cool at home, in the office, and wherever else you go. Check out our top picks for the best portable fans, including buying guide below.
What’s the Best Portable Fan?
Portable fans are basically any type of fan that’s easy to move around. They’re divided into two categories: handheld fans and those that sit on a surface. Many fans work both ways.
As a general rule, if you can comfortably hold the fan with one hand, it’s considered a portable fan. They’re different from box fans, ceiling fans, or pole fans. While practically all portable fans run on batteries, some have optional plug-in capabilities.
At first glance, many portable fans look similar, even if they vary wildly in quality. It’s important to carefully consider a variety of features, including some that aren’t so obvious.
Our Picks for the Best Portable Fans:
- Best Overall – Jisulife Handheld Mini Fan
- Best for Versatile Use – 8″ Rechargeable Clip-On Fan
- Best for Misting – HandFan Portable Misting Fan
- Best for Strollers – Gusgu Mini Portable Fan
- Best for Personal Cooling – Portable Handheld Fan
- Best for Hands-Free Use – Portable Neck Fan
- Best for Long Battery Life – Jisulife Handheld Fan
While we recommend all of the fans listed above, it’s important to note that they’re not all the same. For instance, some are better for hands-free use while others offer extras like flashlights and misting. You’ll need a thorough understanding of how you plan to use the fan so you can pick the best portable fan for your needs.
Why You Need a Portable Fan
One of the biggest benefits of a portable fan is that it’s, well, portable. You can either hold them in one hand or easily move them around. They’re ideal if you want to keep cool but don’t need to cool down the entire area. They’re useful in a variety of situations, including:
- Traveling – They’ll keep you cool when riding in a bus, airplane, or car.
- Outdoor events – They’re commonly seen at sporting events, festivals, concerts, and beaches.
- At home or the office – They’re an energy-efficient way to stay cool on a hot day.
- Personal comfort – Many folks with health issues that affect body temperature, such as menopause, find a personal fan comforting and refreshing.
They’re also easy to mount. Many portable fans have either a built-in clamp or flexible poles so you can put them where other fans won’t fit, such as on cribs, strollers, car visors, and small shelves. And don’t forget your furry friends – portable fans can help your pet’s sleeping area comfortably cool.
Portable fans are also energy efficient. A home A/C system makes up about 12% of the average family’s yearly energy bills. Why pay to cool your entire house if you’re only using one room? Most portable fans are powered by rechargeable batteries, which only take a minuscule amount of power to charge.
Finally, portable fans have benefits for equipment, too. Their small size and easy flexibility make them useful for cooling electronics in small spaces, such as computers, motors, and other devices with a tendency to overheat.
Best Portable Fans: Top 7 Picks
Here’s our round-up of the best portable fans available, including ones good for general use as well as more specialized options.
1. Best Overall – Jisulife Handheld Mini Fan
Our top pick for general purpose use is this versatile mini fan from Jisulife. Even though it’s only 4.7″ by 1.4″ in size, it packs plenty of power, with two wind speeds.
Aside from its power, another reason why it’s our top pick is its versatility. The end of the fan folds out straight, creating a comfortable handle for handheld use. You can also fold the handle inward to create a stand, allowing you to place the fan on any flat surface.
It has some of the longest battery life of any of the fans on our list. At the lower speed, it operates for 21 hours on a single charge. When run at the fastest setting, it lasts for 14 hours.
2. Best for Versatile Use – 8″ Rechargeable Clip-On Fan
Koonie’s clip-on fan delivers plenty of cooling power while remaining perfectly portable. The sturdy, three-inch clamp allows you to attach it to desks, nightstands, treadmills, and practically anywhere else with an edge.
Plus, it requires no cords or wires to operate. The included battery lasts up to 24 hours before needing a charge. You can charge it using either the included micro type-c port or micro USB port.
Three eight-inch blades create a pleasantly strong rush of air without making much noise at all. You can use it while sleeping or in the nursery. With three speed settings and a 360-degree rotating neck, the fan offers a huge range of customization when in use.
3. Best Misting Fan – HandFan Portable Misting Fan
- Features cool misting spray
- Easy one-button operation
- Includes multiple colored lights
- Handheld and desk-based settings
- Might not be strong enough for high outdoor temps
- Mist spray has short range
Add a refreshing mist to the cool breeze with HandFan’s portable misting fan. Simply set the 17 ml water tank in place atop the fan and hold the misting button for three seconds.
This handheld fan is easy to operate. A single button controls the power, misting, blade speed, and nightlights. You can even set the colors to change randomly.
If you don’t want to hold the fan, you can fold the base so it’ll sit easily on flat surfaces. You can also use the included metal bracket so you can clip the fan to a car visor, stroller, treadmill, or similar items.
4. Best for Strollers – Gusgu Mini Portable Fan
- Bendable legs allow for easy and secure placement
- Three speed settings
- Designed for safe use around infants and toddlers
- Wireless operation powered by a rechargeable battery
- Blades don't automatically stop if touched
Keep your little one cool and comfortable with this portable fan from Gusgu. It weighs only 168 grams but creates full-size cooling thanks to three speed settings.
The highlight here is the flexible tripod. You can bend and twist the three legs into practically any position, making it easy to attach to strollers, cribs, desks, beds, shelves, and more.
The fan is made from aluminum alloy surrounded by a layer of silicon. The blades are set deep within a protective cage, where little fingers can’t reach. It’s safe, easy to use, and provides fast temperature control.
5. Best for Personal Cooling – Portable Handheld Fan
- Rechargeable battery lasts between six and 15 hours
- Designed for personal use
- Comfortable, rubberized handgrip
- Includes charging cable
- Noisy at the highest speed
- Users say batteries typically last closer to six hours
If you’re looking for a small, lightweight fan you can use for personal cooling, you’ll find lots to like here. YunTuo’s handheld fan fits easily in one hand. It has a soft handgrip so you can hold it comfortably for long periods.
You can also set the fan down on any flat surface. It rests securely both upright and diagonally, so you can always feel a perfect breeze no matter how you’re sitting.
While the fan isn’t large enough to cool a room, it’s ideal for personal temperature regulation. Many people use it when sitting poolside, dealing with menopause, going to concerts, and any other situations where you might feel uncomfortably hot.
6. Best for Hands-Free Use – Portable Neck Fan
- Hands-free operation
- Includes aromatherapy distribution system
- Frame fits securely and comfortably around the neck
- Lights up for increased night visibility
- Long hair can potentially get caught in fan blades
- Battery compartments can become hot
This hands-free fan hangs comfortably around your neck, where it flows a cool breeze onto your upper torso and face. It’s ideal for sporting events, exercising, lounging at the beach, driving, and more.
It’s lightweight and comfortable to wear because it’s made from silicone that won’t scratch or stick to your skin. Plus, each fan rotates independently, so you have total control over where the wind blows. Even on high settings, the noise is minimal.
The fan has two other noteworthy features. You can add aromatherapy tablets for scent-infused sensations. Also, you can activate a series of lights around the frame, to help increase your visibility at night.
7. Best for Long Battery Life – Jisulife Handheld Fan
- Long battery life
- Folds down for easy carrying
- Features built-in flashlight
- Wrist straps help prevent accidental damage
- Fan can be loud
- Flashlight is easy to turn on accidentally
Handheld fans aren’t known for long battery life, but you won’t find that problem with this fan, which runs for up to 46 hours on a single charge. The blades also fold down, reducing the unit to a portable 5″ by 1.65″.
Even though the fan is small and lightweight, it’s easy to hold thanks to the included lanyard, so you can hang it from your wrist or attach it to a bag. In a unique twist, the fan also has a built-in flashlight, activated by holding down the power button.
The battery lasts between 13 and 46 hours, depending on the average blade speed used. It can be recharged with any standard USB charger or computer. You can also use an adaptor cable to run the fan off any standard 110/220 Volt outlet.
Picking the Best Portable Fan for You
What makes one fan different from another? Here are the key features to consider when selecting a fan.
Handheld or Desktop
As mentioned above, portable fans have two basic types: handheld, which you hold with one hand and aim at your face, or desktop, which you place on a flat surface. Many fans are a combination of both. Additional options such as clamps and flexible legs are also common.
The most portable option is the handheld-only fan, as anything with a base is likely a bit bigger. However, base-only options aren’t ideal if you want to stay cool while using both hands, such as typing at a desk or working in a garage.
Do you just want to stay cool, or are you interested in other features, too? Many portable fans have extras such as lights or misting. Misting allows you to add a spray of water.
Many people find them refreshing, especially when spending time sitting in the sun. On the downside, the water reservoir adds extra weight to the fan.
The vast majority of portable fans, especially handheld ones, are powered by rechargeable batteries. Most use USB chargers, meaning you can plug the fans into the USB port of your computer or a USB wall adapter.
Keep in mind not all fans include a charging cable, so you’ll need to buy one separately for the fan to work. When comparing batteries, consider both total charging time and battery life.
The battery runtime will vary based on the settings used. If you usually run the fan at the fastest speed, the battery won’t last as long.
Above all, make sure the fan is safe to use. Two of the biggest potential risks are faulty charging or electrical cords and water exposure. Always check the cords for any signs of fraying. Also, make sure the batteries show no signs of corrosion or leakage.
While most handheld, battery-operated fans are safe when used outside, always check the manufacturer’s specific recommendations. Additionally, never use any type of portable fan in rainy weather.
So, What’s Best Portable Fan?
A portable fan is an easy way to stay cool and comfortable just about anywhere. If you’re looking for the best portable fan, we recommend the Jisulife Handheld Mini Fan due to its small size, strong breeze, and versatile performance options.
Of course, the other fans on our list also have numerous benefits, including specialized features such as lights, misting capabilities, and more. Stay relaxed and refreshed with a portable fan!