Having a breeze blow across you and your desk on hot days is sometimes a blessing. It can get mighty hot and sticky sitting in one place all day. And trying to set a big fan on some desks (like mine) will not work. So you will need a fan with a small footprint to keep you cool and your papers in place.
Most of the best and quietest desk fans are fairly small (some of them are portable and called personal fans). As with many things, size matters. And as far as quiet desk fans are concerned, smaller is often more useful and quieter.
Best Clip-On Desk Fan:
Best Mini Desk Fan:
Best Inexpensive Desk Fan:
Best Bladeless Desk Fan:
Best Mini-Tower Desk Fan:
20 Decibels of Noise on Low :
11 Best Quiet Desk Fans
We have assembled a list of very quiet desk fans. Some are quieter than a whisper, and even the loudest ones on the list are quieter than normal conversation. Hopefully, you can find one that fits your needs.
Keep in mind, that these fans are not only for desks. They can be used on night stands, in the kitchen or living room. Anywhere you want a little cooling breeze.
1) Vornado Pivot3C Personal Air Circulator Clip On Fan
The Vornado Pivot3C Personal Air Circulator Clip On Fan does not sit on your desk. It clamps onto the desk edge using non-marking silicone pads–leaving the entire surface area for spreading paper out. The whole unit pivots on the mounting spindle and the fan head pivots vertically–allowing the air to blow exactly where you want it to. It uses vortex action for optimal air circulation, and will move air up to 45′. Even though clamping on the edge of the desk keeps it well out of the way of the desk top, its small size (7″ wide x 12″ high x 8″ deep and only 2 3/4 lbs.) also does not stick out into the room
The 3 speed manual control is simple and easy to use. For its size, the Pivot3C still produces a respectable amount of airflow–77 cubic feet per minute (CFM) on low speed at 1100 RPM and 141 CFM on high speed at 2200 RPM. It only produces 40 decibels of sound on low speed and 52 decibels of sound on high speed–about the same sounds produced by a babbling brook and a refrigerator. As with most Vornado products, this fan is backed by a 5 year hassle-free warranty and with a service team based in Kansas, USA.
- Small quiet fan clamps on edge of desk
- 3 speed manual switch
- Produces only 40 decibels on low speed and only 52 decibels on high speed
- Blows 77 CFM on low and 141 CFM on high
- Pivots both horizontally and vertically
- Vortex action circulates air up to 45 feet
- 5 year hassle-free warranty. Customer service based in USA
The Not so Good
- Clamp may be a little flimsy
2) JZCreater Quiet Mini USB Desk Fan
The JZCreater Quiet Mini USB Desk Fan operates at less than 50 decibels of sound when on high speed. It runs at up to 2400 RPM and the cooling air can be felt up to 8′ away. A 3.7′ long USB cable allows you to get power from multiple sources like your computer, other USB power sources like a USB car charger, or a wall plug–with adaptor. The 3 speed fan is operated with a single button located on the rear of the machine.
This is a very small fan (5″ wide x 6 1/2″ high x 2.2″ deep) that is easy to carry and quick to unfold and plug in. The fan head can be rotated vertically 40 degrees to help direct the air flow to where you need it. Four non-skid rubber pads prevent it from slipping around on your desk. Available in 3 colors–black, white, and pink. This is a very inexpensive small personal fan.
- Inexpensive, small, quiet desk fan
- Produces less than 50 decibels on high speed
- 2400 RPM motor moves air up to 8.5′
- Versatile 3.7″ USB cable powered
- 3 speed fan
- Available in 3 colors – black, white, pink
- Fan head rotates vertically 40 degrees
The Not so Good
- Some complaints that base is not heavy enough to prevent fan from tipping
- USB cord may be a little short for some
3) SmartDevil Small Personal Desktop Table Fan
The SmartDevil Small Personal Desktop Table Fan is a small inexpensive personal desk fan that has ultra quiet operation. A variable speed control dial allows you to get the air flow exactly where you want it. Which is quite different from the average 3-speed fan setting. The USB cable offers the versatility of many power options including computer, car charger, wall plug (with AC adaptor), among others. It is available in 4 colors–white, black, blue, pink, and can be used for office desk, travel, or camping.
The fan head will rotate vertically 20 degrees and the grill is easily removed for cleaning. This is a very small (5.7″ wide x 6.7″ high x 3.5″ deep) and light fan that is easy to move around and operate. It is covered by a 1 year manufacturers warranty and customer service that promises an answer to any question in 24 hours.
- Ultra quiet operation
- Inexpensive small fan
- Variable speed and on/off control dial
- USB cable provides variable power sources
- Available in 4 colors – white, black, blue, pink
- Fan head adjusts vertically 20 degrees
- 1 year warranty c/w 24 hour customer service
The Not so Good
4) Dyson AM06 Air Multiplier Table Fan
At 56 decibels of noise when set on high, the Dyson AM06 Air Multiplier Table Fan is quieter than a normal conversation. The unique attention-getting design does not have exposed fan blades. It blows up to 370 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM). The fan tilts forward and backward and oscillates to ensure that you can get the air to where you want it. Air Multiplier Technology amplifies the surrounding air, providing a continuous smooth air flow.
10 precise air flow settings are controlled with the remote control. The remote will also turn on and off the oscillation, and set the timer, which can be programmed to turn off after preset intervals from 15 minutes to 9 hours. The remote is magnetic and can be attached to the fan when not in use. Easy clean with a damp or dry cloth and available in 4 color combinations–black/iron, black/nickel, blue, white/silver. The AM06 has a 2 year manufacturers warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee.
- Quiet desk fan at 56 decibels maximum – quieter than normal conversation
- Blows up to 370 CFM
- Tilts forward and backward
- Remote control operates all functions but the tilt
- Available in 4 color combinations
- 2 year manufacturers warranty and 30 day money back guarantee
The Not so Good
5) Dr. Prepare Portable Oscillating Desk Fan
The Dr. Prepare Portable Oscillating Desk Fan is a 12″ high twin fan mini tower with 3 speed options–high, medium, low. It oscillates a full 110 degrees for full coverage of your room or work area. The auto-off timer offers 3 options–2 hours, 4 hours, and 8 hours.
Whisper quiet fan produces less than 60 decibels of noise when set on high. A 3 button intuitive control panel is easy to use. This fan comes with a 1 year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee.
- Whisper quiet operation of less than 60 decibels on high speed
- Dual fan mini-tower
- 3 speed options – high, medium, low
- Oscillates a full 110 degrees
- Auto-off timer – 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours
- 1 year manufacturers warranty, 30 day money back guarantee
The Not so Good
6) Beskar 6″ Clip On Desk Fan
The Beskar 6″ Clip on Desk Fan has 3 speed modes (high, medium, low) that produce between 20 and 50 decibels. It is powered by USB cable that can plug into a laptop, car charger, wall outlet (with power block sold separately). The fan clips onto the edge of desks, night stands, tables–leaving the surface free to be cluttered with paper. The clip opens 2.5″ but will realistically only grip up to 1 3/4″. Rubber jaws in clamp will not mar desk and table surfaces. For extra versatility, the fan base is equipped with a hangar cut-out allowing you to hang it on the wall above your desk.
The fan will rotate 360 degrees–both vertically and horizontally. It produces strong air flow at all 3 speeds–2400 RPM on low speed to 4000 RPM on high speed. This fan is available in 5 colors–dark black, black, sky blue, white, and pink. It comes with a worry free 2 year warranty.
Note: The manufacturer, or Amazon, has cluttered up the ordering process with virtually identical battery powered and USB cable powered fans. Which makes the reviews a little difficult to decipher. This is the USB fan.
- Whisper quiet at lower speeds
- Only 50 decibels–sound of refrigerator–on high speed
- USB power cable. Can be used with laptop, AC outlet
- Clips onto edge of desk or can be hung on wall
- Rotates 360 degrees both vertically and horizontally
- Available in 5 colors
- 2 year worry-free warranty
The Not so Good
- Most of the poor reviews are for the battery powered unit. This fan is not battery powered.
7) Ozeri – OZF6 Brezza III Dual Oscillating Desk Fan
The Ozeri – OZF6 Brezza III Dual Oscillating Desk Fan is an ultra quiet 4 speed dual motor fan providing both vertical and horizontal oscillation. It can deliver 1260 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) of cooling air. A large button, easy to read and operate, control panel is situated on the base of the unit. Or use the extended range remote to control all of the machine functions. The Brezza III also has a 4 hour timer to give you auto-off–either at the end of a work day or after you are sleeping. Both the control panel and remote provide individual oscillation control including the option to stop one or both movements at the desired angle.
The 4 speed settings provide the options of a cool breeze, a refreshing wind, an even more refreshing air stream, and turbo. It comes with a 1 year satisfaction guaranteed manufacturers warranty.
Note: Ozeri also produces a Brezza III model that is Bluetooth compatible.
- Ultra quiet fan
- 4 speed settings
- Oscillates both vertically and horizontally
- Remote control with extended range
- 4 hour timer
- 1 year satisfaction guaranteed manufacturers warranty
The Not so Good
- Some reports of clicking noise when oscillating horizontally
8) Xasla Ultra Quiet Mini Desk Fan
The Xasla Ultra Quiet Mini Desk Fan produces less than 50 decibels of sound on the highest setting–quieter than a refrigerator. This small 6″ fan is very powerful with 4 speed settings–low, medium, high, and super wind speeds. Very simple one button operation. At 6.7″ wide x 7.5″ high x 4.5″ deep, and weighing only 1 lb. it is small and portable.
The fan head will tilt vertically up to 90 degrees and the cover is simple to remove for cleaning. Powered by a 4.9′ USB cable that is compatible with laptops, power banks, AC outlets, car chargers, and anywhere else you get USB power. It is economical and environmentally friendly. It has a removable stainless steel base, which comes either black or bronze to compliment the black fan head.
- Ultra quiet even on high speed – under 50 decibels – noise made by a refrigerator
- 4 speed settings – low, medium, high, super
- One-button operation
- Tilts vertically 90 degrees
- USB power cord 4.9′ long
- Inexpensive, small, portable, and powerful
The Not so Good
9) Vornado VFAN Mini Classic Personal Vintage Air Circulator Fan
The Vornado VFAN Mini Classic Personal Vintage Air Circulator Fan is a retro designed fan with modern motor, blades, and electronics. It has 2 speed settings–low and high–that produce sufficient air flow with not much more than whisper quiet sound. Low speed 36 decibels at 1650 RPM and 75 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) air flow. High speed 43 decibels at 2300 RPM and 105 CFM. (The noise level falls between the sound of a whisper and the sound of a babbling brook.)
The 2 pin polarized power cord is 6′ long. It is available in 6 retro colors with a choice of retro base or modern base–green, ice white, storm grey, taupe, teal, vintage white. The fan head pivots vertically to direct air where you want, or need, it. And the all metal construction (except of fan blades and switch) make for solid little 3 1/2 lb. fan. A 5 year manufacturers warranty with customer service based in the USA should give anyone buying this fan a lot of comfort.
- Whisper quiet fan – 36 decibels on low, 43 decibels on high (between a whisper and a babbling brook)
- 1650 RPM – 2300 RPM
- 75 CFM – 105 CFM
- 6 retro colors
- Fan head pivots vertically
- All metal construction
- 5 year manufacturers warranty, customer service in Kansas, USA
The Not so Good
10) Lasko FBA 2004W 2 Speed Clip Fan
The Lasko FBA 2004W 2 Speed Clip Fan is a very quiet unit which comes with a strong clip to attach the fan to a desk, night table, or shelf. And it has a keyhole slot for easy wall hanging. It pivots horizontally and tilts vertically. (Note: These are manual adjustments.) Portable and simple no-tools assembly.
This is an inexpensive, simple to operate 2 speed fan that will keep you cool at your desk. Made in the USA by a US company in business over 100 years. The machine has a 1 year manufacturers warranty.
Note: Amazon has this listed as battery powered and electrical cord powered. It is not battery powered.
Note #2: I have to admit to being partial to Lasko fans. We have 4 of them–3 pedestal and one ginormous box fan. All are over 12 years old, are used every summer, and still work perfectly.
- Very quiet 2 speed operation
- Strong, non-scaring clip attaches to tables and desks
- Optional wall hanging slot
- Pivots horizontally and vertically
- USA made
- 1 year manufacturers warranty
The Not so Good
11) Aluan Ultra Quiet Desk Fan
This Aluan Ultra Quiet Desk Fan produces less than 40 decibels of noise. The 2 speed brushless motor moves a lot of air quietly. Simple to operate single switch–low-off-high. The USB power cord can be plugged into a computer, AC outlet (with adaptor), and any other USB power source. It sits on 4 non-slip pads.
The fan head tilts 360 degrees to get air directed where you need it. This Aluan Fan is available in 4 colors–deep blue, dark blue, pink, and sky blue.
- Ultra quiet fan produces less than 40 decibels of sound – quieter than a babbling brook
- 2 speed brushless motor
- Simple 3 position switch
- USB power cord compatible with computers, AC outlet (with adaptor)
- Fan head tilts 360 degrees
- Available in 4 colors – deep blue, dark blue, pink, sky blue
The Not so Good
- Very light. May move around on desk
Best Quiet Desk Fan Buying Criteria
Small desk fans will likely not cool the entire room or office. They are not designed to do that. Small desk fans will provide a cooling wash of moving air over the person working at the desk. If you need to quietly cool a larger area, please see our articles The Quietest Fans for Sleeping of 2022 and The Best White Noise Fans of 2022. (Both articles list some very quiet fans that move a lot of air.) Using a large volume fan to move the air in the room combined with a small desk fan for personal air should provide a very comfortable work environment.
Quiet Desk Fan Noise Level
Quite likely you are going to be pretty close the your desk fan. I would guess that a distance between 2′ and 5′ is fairly average. Having a machine that sounds like your vacuum cleaner that close for hours is not going to be very soothing.
Almost all of the machines on our list will produce less than 60 decibels of noise on the highest setting. That is quieter than normal conversation. All of them will make significantly less noise on lower speeds–down to the equivalent of a whisper, or a babbling brook, or a refrigerator. Choosing any one of them will not add very much to the noise load at your desk.
In some cases the noise made by your desk fan will actually make for a quieter work environment because fans act as a white noise machine cancelling some of the other sounds you hear.
Quiet Desk Fan Size
Although some people are blessed with a desk the size of an aircraft carrier, most of us are not that lucky. Adding a fan to a 10 square foot desk with 12 square feet of stuff already on it can be challenging. The fans on this list all have a small footprint that will take up only a few square inches of space.
Some of them can be even more attractive and useful to the space challenged by clamping to the edge of the desk and not needing to sit on it at all. A couple can even be hung on the wall and adjusted to blow over you without taking up any desk space.
Quiet Desk Fan Airflow
Airflow is measured as Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). The fans on our list will move between 50 and 200 CFM–enough, in theory, to keep the entire room cool. This is not a correct assumption with some machines. Although the fan may move 100 CFM through the housing, it probably does not have enough power to move it very far. Even though the generally accepted requirement is 1 CFM for each square foot of floor area, these fans will not cool the room efficiently. They will exchange the air given time, but for really effective air movement, consider some of the box fans, or tower fans, or pedestal fans we have listed in The Quietest Fans for Sleeping of 2022 and The Best White Noise Fans of 2022.
Having a high CFM desk fan will allow you the option of lots of air blowing at you with the ability to turn the machine down for less airflow and less decibels as required.
Quiet Desk Fan Design
One of the definitions of design is “the general arrangement or layout of a product”. Quiet desk fan design is a little bit of everything–size, noise, airflow, along with some of the following features. It is the combination that allows the fan to blow the air the way it was intended to.
Once you have looked at the possible options, you should be able to settle on the design that will fit your needs.
Quiet Desk Fans – Additional Features
In addition to the fan features I have highlighted, you may have additional requirements. Because personal circumstances can vary widely, one person can place a lot of value on something that the next person does not care about at all.
- Functionality. Almost all quiet desk fans have the option of tilting the fan head vertically (some as little as 40 degrees, some as much as 360 degrees). Most people prefer the air stream on face, neck and shoulders, making the ability to tilt the head a necessary option. The footprint of the fan and how it sits or attaches to the desk and/or wall is also an important factor of function.
- Oscillation. Oscillation usually describes the side to side movement of the fan head. Some desk fans move, other do not. If you prefer the air flow to wash back and forth over your face and shoulders, then an oscillating machine is the one for you. (Note: Almost all oscillating machines can be stopped in one spot, giving you the option of a steady stream of air to one location.) One of the fans on the list has 2 motors–one for horizontal oscillation, one for vertical oscillation. It also has separate controls for each.
- Power Source. Quiet desk fans usually have one of 3 power sources. Direct AC plug and cord which provides the most power. USB cable which provides the most versatile options–AC outlet (with a converter), laptop or computer, car charger (with a converter), along with any other USB charging options from your treadmill to your camping generator.
- Cost. We listed quiet desk fans ranging in cost from under $20.00 to over $300.00. Hopefully you can find one that fits your price range that does the job you want.
- Warranty. Warranties for quiet desk fans on our list range from 30 days to 5 years, with one or two years being a reasonable average. Having a good warranty on these fans tells you the confidence the manufacturer has in their product. But I feel that if it does not cause problems in the first 3 months, it will probably last for years. (Our 4 Lasko fans have lasted for well over 10 years without any issues.)
- Bells & Whistles. Although electronics are getting smaller and more efficient, the small size of desk fans does not allow for many of the options available in bigger fans. Most of the ones on our list have on/off and speed settings. Some have oscillation controls, and a couple have remote control units. One has a timer. If any of these are very important to you, then include them in your decision-making process. (Note: For comparison, some of the bigger tower and pedestal fans in our other articles can come with Bluetooth, WiFi, dimming lights, infinite speed settings, timer settings calibrated at 30 minute intervals, and more.)
FAQs About Quiet Desk Fan
Quite often the FAQ section can reveal information that you did not see elsewhere. Here are some of the questions we have heard.
1) Are desk fans safe?
Very safe. They rarely overheat, and if something does go wrong, they just generally do not start. As for the safety of your children and pets, the fan cages are usually small enough that little fingers will not fit through. But kids can be very inquisitive and inventive. Shoving a knife or chopstick into your desk fan could be pretty exciting. As with many things and children–keeping them away is probably a good thing.
2) What is the best height setting for a desk fan?
Usually, you want the fan blowing towards your shoulders or head/face. Which is why most desk fans are adjustable vertically. Horizontal oscillation is helpful once the vertical axis is established.
3) Why is my quiet desk fan making noise?
Dirt. Almost invariably, noise is caused by dirt build-up on the blades. Make sure that you clean the blades regularly. If you only use the fan during the hot months, make sure you clean it before storing it away. Your new fan should have an easily removable cover so you do not need to fight to get it off. While you have the cover off get a couple of drops of 3-in-1 oil on the shaft.
4) Is there a whisper quiet desk fan?
Yes. A whisper is usually considered to be around 30 decibels. Some desk fans produce only 20 decibels of noise when set on low, which is the sound made by rustling leaves. Keep in mind that higher fan settings will produce higher decibel readings.