Box vs Tower Fan: The Pros and Cons

Christine Herrington

Christine is our Chief Editor and a contributing writer to the site.

Last Updated on February 3, 2022

Are you struggling to decide whether to invest in a box fan or a tower fan? Both options present potential pros and cons, so the internal debate comes down to your personal preference.

Box fans are relatively inexpensive and versatile, plus they are portable, compact, and easy to maintain. On the other hand, tower fans have more features, are often more powerful, and are controlled remotely, increasing their convenience.

Weigh the benefits of a box fan vs. tower fan to see which one is best for you, and beat the heat this summer.

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Table of Contents

What is a Box Fan?

A box fan is a compact and square device. It uses a spinning blade that circulates air, resulting in a refreshing cooling effect. The front and back of the housing typically feature mesh or lattice to facilitate airflow. Box fans are designed to be lightweight and portable, enabling them to be used in multiple locations.  


Pros of Box Fans

If you’re looking to invest in a box fan, here are a few benefits these devices can offer:

  • Effective and powerful

Box fans have a higher CFM rate compared to window fans. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, and it measures the volume of air that a fan distributes and moves. The larger the CFM number, the more air a box fan can move.

They remove dust, smoke, and outdoor odors extremely effectively from a room. If you place a box fan by a window especially, they can quickly push unwanted air out of the room.

  • Portable and compact

Box fans are very compact, making them easy to store in the winter months.

The majority of box fans are constructed in a rectangular shape; however, they are also available in circular designs. Because of how compact they are, they are easy to maneuver. This means you can take them almost anywhere without any hassle and use them wherever you need. 

Box fans have a plastic grille that keeps you protected from the blades when carrying the fan or are up close to the model.

  • Cheap to purchase and run

Box fans are cheaper to purchase than the majority of tower fans. Some box fans cost as little as 2¢ an hour to run, making them an extremely cost-effective option for your home.

Cons of Box Fans

Like every device, there are always some cons:

  • Have no airflow control

With box fans, it can be challenging to control the direction of the airflow. To change the direction of the fan’s airflow, you’ll need to manually reposition the unit because most box fans do not have oscillation features.

  • Can be noisy

Box fans tend to produce loud noises when operating. If you’re looking for a fan to run as you sleep, box fans may not be the best option. You should always check the reviews and specifications of box fans before you buy for an exact idea of the device’s noise level. This can be a significant factor for some people when debating between box fan vs. tower fan because a tower fan is much quieter.

What is a Tower Fan?

Tower fans distribute air vertically, unlike conventional fans that blow the air horizontally. After the air passes through the vertical shaft, it moves toward the air guide before leaving through the exit vent. The air blower pushes the air out, distributing it through the room evenly.


Pros of Tower Fans

If you’re looking to invest in a tower fan, you’ll want to check out the fantastic benefits these devices offer:

  • Offer air purification

Some tower fans offer air purification features. As well as providing heat relief, they can also clean the air and create a healthier environment. This can be extremely useful to those who suffer from allergies or asthma.

  • Extremely safe

Tower fans are very safe because the blades are well protected. Tower fans also have a steady, sturdy base, which makes them very hard to knock over. They are often an excellent choice for households with children.

  • Look good in different sized spaces

Due to their streamlined shape, these fans fit in corners and narrow spaces, making them suitable for tiny spaces and easy storage in the winter months.

Tower fans also offer a wide array of functions via advanced settings. You can often choose from high, medium, or low settings to control the fan’s power level. Rotary oscillation is another desirable feature of these fans, which provides cooling coverage all around a room. Some models also have shut-off timers that automatically turn off, conserving energy overnight.

Cons of Tower Fans

Just like the box fan, tower fans have a few cons to consider:

  • Less durable

The durability of your tower fan all depends on the price of the model you purchase, and you get what you pay for. If you’re searching for a tower fan that’s guaranteed to be long-lasting and durable, avoid settling for the cheaper options. Because these fans have so many moving parts, you’ll find you end up spending more money in the long run on repairs while wishing you invested in a quality model.

  • Can be hard to maintain

If your tower fan shows signs of wear and tear, you’ll need to call a professional electrician to solve the problem. You should never try and fix a tower fan on your own, as the mechanisms are too complicated. You might damage the fan or injure yourself.  Only attempt a repair if you have experience with tower fan mechanics.

Box Fan vs. Tower Fan: Which is Right For You?

Whichever fan you choose, you’ll find there are practical features that make the investment worthwhile. From the power and effectiveness of box fans to the air purification offerings of a tower fan, each has advantages that make them unique besides their design

So, all that’s left to do is weigh your options, determine your budget, decide which benefits are most important to you, and purchase your dream model today.

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