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The Best White Noise Fans

Plain old unheralded fans have been the ‘go to’ white noise machines for years.  Having just about any kind of fan running in your bedroom can help cancel out incoming noise. People have been known to use vacuum cleaners, air cleaners, and almost anything with a fan to try to get some sleep.

White noise is the combination of all audible frequencies, somewhat like white light is the combination of all colors of the visible spectrum. This is why most white noise machines include fans and/or fan sounds in their repertoire.

Unlike small bedside white noise machines, fans have more than one function–air movement and cooling in your bedroom, or other rooms in the house. Here are some of the best white noise fans available. 

Best Box Fan:
Best Tower Fan:
Best Pedestal Fan:
Best Floor/table Fan:
Best Ceiling Fan:
Best Wall Mount Fan:

White Noise Fans – Basics

Although almost any type of fan will work to some extent as a white noise machine, some are better than others. And personal needs and circumstances help dictate your choices. Five of the more popular options are:

  • Box Fans. Box fans are not designed to produce white noise. That they do so is just a happy accident of the combination of sounds they produce. They are so effective that you can actually download a 9 hour video called Box Fan for Sleep that is used in hospitals to help patients get restful sleep.
  • Tower Fans. Although tower fans are made to produce air flow, many of them now include a white noise and a sleep setting to take advantage of the white noise sounds they produce.
  • Pedestal Fans. Pedestal fans–like box fans–produce white noise as a byproduct of moving air for cooling your room.
  • Table or Floor Fans. Table or floor fans offer room placement options that are not available with other types of fan.
  • Ceiling Fans. Ceiling fans generally run quieter than the other options because they do not force air through a small area at high speeds. So they will not cancel as much loud intrusive noise, but provide soothing sounds to help with peaceful sleep along with air movement.

10 Best White Noise Fans

All of the following white noise fans will help make your sleeping hours quieter and more peaceful. Hopefully, you will find the one that suits your needs and budget from this list.

1) Genesis G20BOX-WHT 20″ Box Fan

The Genesis G20BOX-WHT 20″ Box Fan provides up to 1800 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) air flow at 60 decibels of sound. It has a 3 speed manual switch located on the front of the machine leaving the case smooth and sleek. The thin design makes it easy to place on the floor, a dresser, or table. The long life copper motor provides plenty of air flow.

A built in carry handle and cord storage make the G20 easy to move to where you need it. It is ETL approved and UL listed with an overload protection fuse in the plug.

Nothing very fancy with this product–just a good reliable fan producing white noise and cooling airflow.

The Good

  • Provides good air flow at 1800 CFM
  • Produces 60 decibels of sound
  • 3 speed manual switch
  • Overload protection
  • Carry handle and cord storage

The Not so Good

  • Virtually nothing

2) Honeywell HYF290B QuietSet Tower Fan

Honeywell QuietSet Whole Room Oscillating Tower Fan (5 Speed Settings, Oscillating 80°, Timer Function, Auto-Off Lights, Remote Control) HYF260

The Honeywell QuietSet Whole Room Oscillating Tower Fan (5 Speed Settings, Oscillating 80°, Timer Function, Auto-Off Lights, Remote Control) HYF260 produces 41 decibels of noise on the highest setting. There are 5 speed settings on this machine including a white noise setting at 48 decibels. An oscillating fan provides better room coverage.

The control panel which is set at an angle, is on the top of the machine, making it easier to read and operate. It features a blue light 5 sound/speed display, auto off timer, oscillation control, and light dimming switch. Most of this can be controlled with the remote, allowing you to stay in bed while changing fan settings. When you are not using the remote, it sits in a convenient storage slot on the back of the machine–just under the carrying handle.

The QuietSet fan base is only 9″ in diameter and 33″ tall, weighs 9.2 lbs. making it an easy machine to move around. It comes with a 1 year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

The Good

  • Very quiet white noise and sleep settings (28 and 26 decibels)
  • 5 sound/speed settings
  • Auto off timer
  • Oscillating fan
  • Remote control
  • 1 year limited manufacturers warranty.

The Not so Good

  • Virtually none

3) Lasko 1885 18″ Cyclone Pedestal Fan 

The Lasko 1885 18″ Cyclone Pedestal Fan is a perfect fan for sleeping because it extends high enough to blow across tall beds, and creates a soothing white noise purr to cancel most sounds that will intrude on your sleep. In addition to the fully adjustable height (41″ to 53.5″), this fan has a vertically tilting head that also oscillates 90 degrees–enough adjustment to get air coverage to the complete room.

Powered by 3 energy-efficient speed settings and a premium-grade electric motor, it moves a lot of air–even at low speed. (One reviewer suggested that high speed blows the cat off the bed.) It comes with a 4 hour programmable timer and a remote control, allowing ‘stay in bed’ adjustments. 

The patented ‘Blue Plug Technology’ protects your house and the people in it by cutting off electrical current if it detects a potentially hazardous electrical fault in the fan or the electrical supply. Lasko is an American company in business for over 100 years that manufactures in the USA and provides a 1 year limited warranty.

Note: I have to admit to a Lasko bias. Our 3 pedestal fans are manufactured by Lasko. Two are over 10 years old, and are still performing flawlessly. (3 speed manual switch, tilts vertically, oscillates). Nothing fancy–just work.

The Good

  • Produces soothing white noise purr 
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Height adjusts from 41″ up to 53.5″
  • Oscillates 90 degree c/w vertically tilting head
  • Remote control
  • 4 hour programmable timer
  • USA made by 100 year old company
  • 1 year limited warranty

The Not so Good

  • Remote is a little weak, requires ‘line of sight’ to operate properly, and does not have an oscillate button

4) Vornado 660 Whole Room Air Circulator Fan

The Vornado 660 Whole Room Air Circulator Fan uses Vornado’s vortex design to move air more effectively throughout the entire room. The simple to use 4 speed push button controls are on the top of this floor or table mount machine. 

Due to its unique design the 660 will move air up to 100 feet and circulate it throughout the entire room. A chrome glide bar allows for a full 90 degree tilt of the blowing head. Vornado backs its products with a 5 year satisfaction guaranteed warranty.

Note: Order carefully. Amazon offers choices of color (black or white), size (small, medium, large), with, or without Alexa and/or Echo Dot (whatever that may be), and various combination packages–all on the same page. Make sure you click what you want.

The Good

  • Complete room air circulation keeps white noise consistent throughout the room
  • 4 speed push button controls located on top of machine
  • Floor or table mount
  • Moves air up to 100 feet
  • Can be adjusted 90 degrees from full horizontal to full vertical
  • 5 year satisfaction guaranteed warranty

The Not so Good

  • Virtually nothing. Note: Reviews for too loud are for smaller sized machines, not the 660

5) Honeywell 50512-01 Belmar Ceiling Fan

The Honeywell 50512-01 Belmar Ceiling Fan runs very quietly leaving just the white sound of moving air to make your sleep more comfortable. The fan is damp-rated making it ideal for outdoor or indoor locations. (Not rainproof.) So sleeping and/or napping on the patio, in the screen room, or sunroom is definitely possible with this white noise ceiling fan.

It comes with 2 LED A15 bulbs, and a ‘no-light’ conversion cap if you prefer a non-light fan. Different lengths of down rods included in the package allow various mounting options including sloped ceiling mounting. The 3 speed reversable motor is operated by chains, and allows for either downdraft or updraft air circulation.

The Good

  • Quiet fan motor leaves just white noise of moving air
  • Damp rated fan for exterior mounting
  • LED lights or no-light conversion cap
  • Multiple mounting options
  • 3 speed reversable fan – chain operated
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee warranty

The Not so Good

  • Virtually nothing

6)HealSmart 16″ Wall Mount Oscillating Fan

The HealSmart 16″ Wall Mount Oscillating Fan is very much like some floor/table fans, or pedestal fans. Its big advantage is that it mounts on the wall–up and out of the way. The head will tilt 60 degrees and it will oscillate 90 degrees. 

On the control panel you will find speed control (high, medium, low), a timer control that can be set in half hour increments up to 4 hours, 3 mode options (normal, natural, sleep), and oscillation control. This fan also comes with a remote control that runs all of the same functions and has a range of 5 meters (about 16 feet), and will work in a 30 degree radius to left and right of the fan. And it has a 1 year manufacturers warranty.

Note: This fan comes with screws and some of those plastic drywall anchors. I have some faith in screwing into drywall if all I need is shear strength, such as for a picture. Hanging a spinning, vibrating 7 lb. machine on just drywall anchors–not so much, or more accurately, NONE. Buy a good stud finder (if you do not have one) and minimum 2″ screws and anchor it solidly to a stud.

Zircon StudSensor i65 OneStep Center Finding Stud Finder with Wire Warning

The Good

  • Wall mount keeps it up and out of the way
  • Oscillates 90 degrees, tilts vertically 60 degrees
  • Timer up to 4 hours
  • 3 speed 
  • 3 modes (normal, natural, sleep)
  • Remote control with 16′ range
  • 1 year manufacturers warranty

The Not so Good

  • Do not trust plastic drywall anchors

7) Air King 9723 Box Fan

As with most box fans the Air King 9723 Box Fan is a very simple machine. It comes with a 3 speed manual control dial and moves lots of air–very well. The 3 speeds operate at mid-range decibel levels (low at 53, medium at 57, high at 62). 60 decibels is the sound or normal conversation. At the same time, it moves a lot of air (1463 CFM on low setting, 1900 CFM on medium, 2163 CFM on high).

The fan and motor are encased in a durable steel body with impact-resistant plastic grills to protect fan blades, and snap on feet to provide stability when placed on the floor, table, or dresser. The 9723 fan is made in the USA and has a 1 year limited warranty.

The Good

  • Mid range decibel rating – low 53 decibels, medium 57 decibels, high 62 decibels. About the sound of normal conversation
  • High Cubic Feet per Minute air circulation – low 1463 CFM, medium 1900 CFM, high 2163 CFM
  • Steel body
  • Impact resistant plastic grills
  • Made in the USA
  • 1 year warranty

The Not so Good

  • Handle and control knob located on top making it difficult to fit in a window 

8) Lasko T45954 Oscillating Tower Fan

Manufactured by a USA company in business for over 100 years, the Lasko T45954 Oscillating Fan has 3 fan speeds and a sleep setting that provides just the right amount of white noise to help you get to sleep quickly. Not only does the sleep setting dim the control panel, it automatically reduces speed for more comfortable sleep. High for an hour, medium for an hour, low until you change the setting. It also has an auto-off timer programmable from 1/2 hour to 7 1/2 hours. Although not as powerful as some fans, it still produces 425 CFM on low and 634 CFM on high.

The fan has a space-saving design with a 13″ diameter foot print and it stands 42.5″ high making it tall enough to blow over most beds. A remote control unit allows you to run the fan from your bed or La-Z-Boy. Unlike some fan remotes, this one also controls the oscillation function. The patented Blue Plug safety system protects from overheating. It also comes with a built in handle for easy moving, remote control storage, and a 1 year manufacturers warranty.

The Good

  • Quiet fan with sleep setting providing white noise and dimming display
  • 3 speeds – produce air between 425 CFM and 634 CFM
  • Timer programmable from 1/2 hour to 7 1/2 hours
  • Remote control
  • Wide oscillation
  • Blue Plug overload safety system
  • 100 year old USA company
  • 1 year manufacturers warranty

The Not so Good

  • Some complaints about loudness of fan

9) Pelonis PFS45A5BBB Oscillating Pedestal Fan

The Pelonis PFS45A5BBB Oscillating Pedestal Fan comes complete with an Auto Eco temperature control sensor that automatically increases or decreases the fan speed according to the room temperature–saving energy in the process. An easy to read LED display features 4 mode settings (Normal, Nature, ECO, and Sleep modes), 5 speed settings, the 7 hour timer, and the oscillation control. Settings can be done on the control pad on the machine or with the included remote control.

Oscillation will cover 85 degrees, the fan head adjusts 24 degrees vertically, and the fan column adjusts between 3.9′ and 4.7′ high allowing you to cover the whole room. The heavy sturdy base keeps the fan stable, and the auto off overload protection makes the unit safe. Low speed produces 50 decibels of sound and high speed produces 65 decibels–around the sound of normal conversation.

The Good

  • Produces between 50 and 65 decibels of sound
  • 4 operating modes – Normal, Nature, ECO, Sleep
  • Remote control
  • 7 hour timer
  • Oscillation up to 85 degrees
  • Adjust from 3.9′ to 4.7′
  • 1 year manufacturers warranty

The Not so Good

  • Some complaints about the air flow being too strong

10) Vivosun Air Circulator Floor Fan/Table Fan

The Vivosun Air Circulator Floor Fan/Table Fan is a powerful small fan with many options included. It will sit of the floor, table, night stand, or dresser without taking up much space. Its footprint is only 12.8″ wide x 8.7″ deep making it compact and powerful.

This fan comes with 3 speed settings (low, medium, high) and 4 modes–Normal, Natural, Sleep, and ECO. Natural mode is designed to mimic the breeze outside by cycling through 3 different speeds 2 hours at a time. The timer can be set for 1 to 9 hours. And a dimmer switch will turn off the display light for sleeping.

The fan can be run off the LED display panel or with the remote control which clips to the side of the machine when not in use. It has 2 oscillating controls–one for horizontal oscillation, and one for vertical oscillation, making air movement throughout the room easy to accomplish. The oscillation in both directions can be stopped in whatever position you want if desired–to keep air flowing towards specific locations.

The company was founded in the USA and is still headquartered in California. All of their products have a 1 year manufacturers warranty.

The Good

  • Quiet white noise fan with dedicated sleep mode
  • Powerful and compact (footprint of 12.8″ wide x 8.7″ deep)
  • Timer settings up to 9 hours
  • Remote control
  • Oscillates both horizontally and vertically–individually or at the same time
  • USA company
  • 1 year manufacturers warranty

The Not so Good

  • Temperature seems to be displayed only in Celsius

11) Lasko Wind Machine 20″ Air Circulator Floor Fan

The Lasko Wind Machine 20″ Air Circulator Floor Fan is a great white noise machine providing lots of power with just the right amount of fan noise to help you fall asleep. It features 3 quiet, high performance speeds with energy efficient operation. Very simple operation with the switch on the back and a carry handle on top. Light at 9.5 lbs. and easy to move where required.

This wind machine will tilt vertically 90 degrees to point straight up. It comes with Lasko’s patented Blue Plug that cuts off electrical current if it senses either supply or machine problems.

Lasko is an American company that has been around for over 100 years. All Lasko fans have a 1 year manufacturers warranty.

The Good

  • Excellent white noise machine (noted by customers in reviews)
  • 3 speeds
  • Energy efficient operation
  • Light and easy to move
  • Tilts vertically to 90 degrees
  • Electrical overload protection
  • 1 year manufacturers warranty

The Not so Good

  • Virtually nothing

How White Noise Fans Work

White noise is an audio signal in the range between 20 Hertz and 20,000 Hertz, which is heard by the human ear as a hissing sound. The flow of air created by fans along with the motor hum and vibration create that hissing noise for your ear. Confusing the ear and ‘cancelling’ incoming noise. For way more information please see this article: Wikipedia – White Noise.

Fans produce white noise because of the combination of sounds they make:

  • rush of air on the suction side
  • motor hum and/or vibration
  • fan blade noise due to rapid movement and air friction
  • sound of air moving out of the machine

Many dedicated white noise machines like the Dohm Marpac are nothing but fan noises, and most white noise machines provide a selection of fan noise along with other options like nature noises. White noise fans cancel or overpower incoming noise by producing a steady hum of frequencies.

The fans also help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. They are being used to treat tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Fans also have the added advantage of blowing cool air, which usually helps people sleep better.

How we Chose the Best White Noise Fans

Because all fans produce white noise, I tried to find a cross section of the best ones that will allow you to choose the one that suits your needs and circumstances. Here are some of the things we took into consideration while compiling this list.


White noise fans seem to be most effective in the 50 decibel to 65 decibel range. The fans I have listed generally fall into that range, but some of them can be turned up to get more noise and more cooling as you require. Some will not make much more noise. You will have to do a little experimenting to find the proper white noise level that works for your sleeping comfort.

Temperature Control

Some fans (usually those with LED control panels) give you the option of setting the temperature you want in your bedroom, setting the fan to ECO mode, and letting it turn on and off, or speed up and slow down to keep the room temperature constant.

If you choose a fan without this option, you will have to use a little trial and error type of experimentation to find the fan speed that works best for both the white noise you want to control and the air coolness you want to achieve.

Room Size

Although I did not spend any time on room size, it is something you may need to take into consideration when buying a fan. Most of the fans on this list will provide significant air movement, and white noise–enough for most normal sized bedrooms. You will have to decide if the fan you are considering has enough power to do the job you want. (Quite a few reviews about some of these machines mention the need to turn the machines down.)


With new types of technology going on the market almost daily, some of the options found on fans remain pretty basic. They do the job, but having extra bells and whistles makes them more convenient to use.

  • Remote Control. Remote controls provide many advantages. You do not have to leave the bed or chesterfield to make changes to the operation of your fan. Generally you can change speeds, turn it off or on, adjust the oscillation, along with a few other options on some products.
  • Choice of Modes. Many fans not only give you the choice of speeds, but the choice of modes, such as Normal, Natural, White Noise, Sleep, ECO, etc. 
  • Oscillation. A fan that oscillates will more evenly distribute cool air throughout your bedroom. 
  • Timer. Having a timer option allows you to set the fan to turn on a while before you go to bed. Or it allows you to set the fan to turn on or off some time before the alarm clock goes off to increase comfort levels.

I also considered warranties, cost, where it was made, weight and portability. 

FAQs About White Noise Fans

Here are some of the questions that come up when fans and white noise are mentioned together. With some answers.

Are loud fans really good for sleeping?

Yes. Specially if you live in a noisy location. White noise contains all frequencies at equal intensity and works by confusing your ears with too many sounds. Quite often you need a loud fan to cancel loud exterior noises.

Will a fan make enough white noise?

Yes. Almost all of them. Those with 18″ or 20″ blades will certainly make enough noise. In fact, you may be using them on medium or even low settings.

Is it healthy to sleep with a fan making white noise?

Yes. Specially if you do not sleep very well. Most of us do not get enough sleep at the best of times. If there is a lot of noise getting into your bedroom and disturbing your sleep, anything that helps sleeping is a good idea. Fans happen to work very well.

What does night mode or sleep mode mean on fans.

It can mean different things on different fans. It could mean that the control panel display light is dimmed or turned off. It could mean a quieter speed for sleeping (if you do not need lots of white noise). It could mean that it uses the timer to turn on or off, or change modes for a more natural wind sound experience. Just make sure you know what your are getting.

End Notes

Unfortunately, white noise fans will not cancel all noises. At some time you will hit the point of diminishing returns where the noise of the fan cannot cancel all incoming noise, and will only add to the noise in your bedroom.

If the fan by itself is not the answer, you might want to see some of our room soundproofing articles:

Fans can also have a few disadvantages that you do not find with small bedside white noise machines.

Disadvantages of Using Fans as White Noise Machines

As mentioned, fans work very well as white noise machines. But, as with most things in life, a white noise fan may not be perfect. It is worthwhile to know the potential downside of fans in your bedroom. Here a few things you might want to take into consideration before buying a fan as a noise cancelling device.

  • Allergies. Running a fan all night may aggravate any allergies you have. Which makes having a fan with a timer a good idea. Fan timers usually can be set in increments of half hour to 2 hours–depending on manufacturer. Being able to set the length of time your fan is running may solve the problem. Also keeping the fan clean will prevent dirt and dust from being blown around the room. Some fans come with filters and/or ionizers, which can reduce the problem significantly.
  • Dry Skin. One of the big advantages of using a fan as your white noise machine is that it helps keep you cool–by evaporating the sweat from your body. Which, of course, will dry out your skin. As inviting as it sounds to have the fan set to blow over you on a hot summer night, it might not be a great idea if you tend to dry skin or live (like we do) where the humidity runs around 30%. (We are occasionally concerned about losing body parts due to the power of static shocks.) A few suggestions to help with this problem include: set the fan so the air flow does not blow across your body, buy a fan with a timer so it will not blow all night, invest in a room humidifier, or use lots of body moisturizer.
  • Noise. Just because most people find the sound of rushing air soothing and relaxing and an aid to sleeping well, it is not a given that you will have the same experience. So, if at all possible borrow, or use a fan you already have to check out how it works for you. (Note: It should be a fan you test drive. We tried to leave our bedroom air conditioner on a few times. After all it has a fan. It also has a loud compressor. Also, about the noisiest night time sounds around here are cats in love.)

Terry Schutz

I have worked as a contractor, sales person, and business owner in the construction industry for over three decades--mostly in home renovations and also as a home builder. I have been married to the same wife for 46 years. We have 3 children and 4 granddaughters. I have also been writing semi-professionally for about 20 years--construction articles, personal stories, and politically incorrect social commentary.

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