Picking the best ceiling fan can be an overwhelming task. There are literally 1000s of top-rated ceiling fans on the market. Which one is the absolute best?
To figure this out, you should dig into the specs: CFMs, ceiling fan blade diameter, energy efficiency noise levels, brands, prices, number of blades, and so on. To do all that on your own is quite daunting.
To help everybody looking for the perfect ceiling fan, we cracked open a bunch of ceiling fan specs sheets and made a spec-by-spec analysis of the top-rated ceiling fans currently on the market.
Here’s a thing:
You want to know a thing or two about how to go about picking the best ceiling fan for your home. You can do that in two ways:
Option 1. LearnMetrics recommends the 7 best ceiling fans in 2023. This includes specific models, like a ceiling fan with light, high-speed (high CFM) fans, the best outdoor ceiling fan, and so on. You can opt to skip to the complete list of the best ceiling fans, complete with spec-by-spec analysis and reviews of ceiling fans here:
Option 2. This is the better choice. You can join us as we explore and explain what to look for in a ceiling fan. We focus on specifications. Figuring out how to adequately evaluate how good a ceiling fan is will equip you with sufficient knowledge to pick the best ceiling fan for your home yourself.
That’s why we will start with a spec-based ceiling fan buyers guide before we look at the best ceiling fans in the list below:
How To Choose The Best Ceiling Fan?
The perfect ceiling fan should have enough airflow. That usually means it should also have a sufficient blade size. It should also be energy efficient. Have a quiet operation. And it shouldn’t cost a ton. It might even have light or wet-rated blades for outdoor ceiling fans.
There are a number of specifications you should consider if you want to pick the best ceiling fan. No pressure there.
Here’s the deal:
The most energy efficient ceiling fan is not the cheapest. The quietest ceiling fan doesn’t have the highest airflow (CFMs). The addition of light might increase the overall cost of a ceiling fan.
That means that, in order to choose the best ceiling fan, you have to choose the right balance of specifications. That’s exactly what we have done in the list of the best ceiling fans below (you can see the spec-by-spec analysis as well).
In order to illustrate how you can equip yourself with knowledge of ceiling fan specs, we are going to cover the top 7 specifications you should know before choosing a top-rated ceiling fan. Let’s start with one of the most important ones:
1. Ceiling Fan Airflow (CFM)
Needless to say, the perfect ceiling fan should have sufficient airflow. The purpose of a ceiling fan is to adequately ventilate the air in the room, help with cooling in the summer and with heating in the winter (read more about this summer vs winter ceiling fan rotation direction here).
What airflow do you need from your ceiling fan?
You need about 1,000-2,000 CFM airflow for every 100 sq ft of space. Here is a simple table from our article about what size ceiling fan do you need to help you out determine the airflow you want from your ceiling fan:
|Room Size:||Dimensions:||Blade Size:||Adequate CFM:||Room Example:|
|Less than 50 sq ft||6×6, 6×8 rooms||29 inches or less||1000-2500 CFM||Small Bathroom|
|50 to 75 sq ft||8×8, 10×6 rooms||29 to 36 inches||1200-2800 CFM||Small Room|
|75 to 100 sq ft||8×10, 10×10 rooms||36 to 38 inches||1500-3500 CFM||Standard Bathroom|
|100 to 150 sq ft||10×12, 12×12 rooms||38 to 42 inches||2000-4000 CFM||Standard Room|
|150 to 200 sq ft||12×14, 14×14 rooms||42 to 46 inches||2500-4500 CFM||Big Bathroom|
|200 to 300 sq ft||15×15, 16×16 rooms||46 to 52 inches||3000-5000 CFM||Big Room|
|300 to 400 sq ft||18×18, 20×20 rooms||52 to 54 inches||4000-6000 CFM||Small Apartment|
|400 to 500 sq ft||20×22, 22×22 rooms||54 to 56 inches||5000-7000 CFM||2 Rooms|
|500 to 750 sq ft||24×24, 25×25, 26×26 rooms||56 to 70 inches||6500-9000 CFM||3 Rooms|
|750 to 1,000 sq ft||28×28, 30×30 rooms||70 to 84 inches||8500-12000 CFM||4 Rooms|
|1,000 sq ft or more||32×32, 34×34 rooms||84 inches or more||10,000+ CFM||4+ Rooms|
Most ceiling fans can generate between 2,000 CFM and 7,000 CFM airflow. High-speed ceiling fans can generate up to 10,000 CFM of airflow. This should be enough even for big rooms or several rooms with combined square footage of about 1,000 sq ft.
Now, CFM is one metric you should look at when sizing a ceiling fan. Another metric is the blade size:
2. Ceiling Fan Blade Size (From 29 To 84 Inches)
Bigger blades equate to bigger airflow generated. Of course, the speed of the ceiling fan blade’s rotation matters as well.
Here is a rough estimate of how much airflow certain blade space can generate:
- Below 30 inch blades: Very small ceiling fans with below 2,000 CFM airflow.
- Between 30 and 38 inch blades: Small ceiling fans with below 3,500 CFM airflow.
- Between 40 and 52 inch blades: Standard-sized ceiling fans with about 4,000 CFM airflow.
- Between 54 and 62 inch blades: Bigger ceiling fans with 6,000 CFM airflow.
- 62 inch blades and above: Big ceiling fans with more than 6,000 CFM airflow.
Another important aspect of blade sizes is also the placing. You do have a restriction of where in the room your ceiling fan should be placed.
As we have written in an article about ceiling fan downrod length, the #4 rule states that:
No fan blade should be closer than 18 inches from the walls.
If you buy a huge 90 inch blade ceiling fan and put it in a small room (or not in the center of a standard room), chances are the tip of the blades will be closer than 18 inches from the walls. This is recommended against; that’s why it’s useful to measure the room, ceiling fan installation position, and choose the ceiling fan blade size accordingly.
3. Wattage And Energy Efficiency Of Ceiling Fans
Bigger ceiling fans can spend quite a lot of electricity. In order to determine how much electricity does a ceiling fan use, you have to check ceiling fan wattage. You can check the wattages of some ceiling fans here.
An average 48-inch ceiling fan has a 75W wattage. If you run it for a whole day (24h), it will consume 1.8 kWh of electricity. That’s about 1 cent running cost per hour and 20 cents running cost per day.
To cut ceiling fan electricity costs, it pays to choose an energy efficient ceiling fan. Even DOE suggests that you can save quite a lot of electricity with an electricity-saving can:
DOE’s analyses indicate that the adopted energy conservation standards for ceiling fans would save a significant amount of energy. (DOE ceiling fan conservation program)
The metric used to determine the energy efficiency of a ceiling fan is CFM per watt. Namely, we calculate how much airflow (measured in CFM) a ceiling fan can generate for every watt of electric output. You can read more about CFM per watt metric for fans here.
Here’s the summary of how to choose an efficient ceiling fan:
- Make sure the ceiling fan has 50 CFM/W efficiency or more. Some highly energy efficient ceiling fans can have 100+ CFM/W energy efficiency.
- Look for Energy Star certified ceiling fans. These fans have an above-average efficiency and use 40% to 60% less electricity than standard efficiency fans.
- Most ceiling fans will have an EnergyGuide label in their specs sheet. This label contains the wattage, estimated yearly energy cost (calculated on the basis of 6.4 h/day use and $0.12/kWh electricity prices. Here is the example of the #1 Honeywell 51473-01 Xerxes EnergyGuide label:
4. Number Of Blades (Quiet Ceiling Fans Have More Blades)
Does the number of blades on a ceiling fan matter at all?
Generally speaking, quieter ceiling fans are the ones with more blades. We’re talking about 5-blade, 6-blade, 7-blade, or even 8-blade ceiling fans.
Quite a frequent question when choosing a ceiling fan is this:
“I’m looking at 3-blade vs 5-blade ceiling fan. Which one I should choose?”
At first, the number of blades doesn’t seem to matter. What truly matters is the airflow generated and blade size. However, if you want to use a ceiling fan in the bedroom, you would prefer a quieter ceiling fan. As a general rule, the 5-blade ceiling fan is quieter than the 3-blade ceiling fan. If you want to have a fan with a silent operation for the bedroom, it makes sense to choose a 5-blade fan.
5. Indoor Vs Outdoor Ceiling Fan (Look For Wet-Rated Blades)
Not all ceiling fans can be used outdoors. Outside the higher relative humidity can damage some ceiling fans; especially the blades. That’s why, if you want to use a ceiling fan outdoors, you have to check if the blades are wet rated.
As far as these outdoor ceiling fan blades rating, you have different classes. Here are the available ratings of ceiling fan blades:
As you can see, the ‘dry’ rated ceiling fans can only be used indoors. ‘Damp’ rated ceiling fans can withstand higher relative humidity levels usually found outdoors but they cannot withstand the rain; that’s why they have to be covered.
The best outdoor ceiling fans are the ones with ‘wet’ rated blades. These outdoor fans can also be used indoors, of course. The visa-versa is not true: ‘dry’ rated ceiling fans cannot be used outside.
6. Inclusion Of Light In A Ceiling Fan
Having a light built-in ceiling fan can be quite useful for some homeowners. It’s important to understand that not all ceiling fans come with a light, however.
A lot of mistakes were made when somebody bought a ceiling fan, expected there will be a light installed on it, but the ceiling fan arrived without a light.
If you want to have a light on your ceiling fan, you have to check if it indeed comes with light before you buy it.
With all this in mind, you are well-equipped to look at any ceiling fan specification sheet and understand the basic specs. Based on the balance of these specs, LearnMetrics recommends the following top-rated ceiling fans in 2023:
List Of 7 Top-Rated Ceiling Fans
- Best Ceiling Fan With Light: Honeywell 51473-01 Xerxes
- Best High-Speed Ceiling Fan For Large Rooms: Parrot Uncle 1719-L
- Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan: Harbor Breeze Merrimack II
- Best Wet Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fan: Minka-Aire F896-65-ORB Xtreme H2O
- Best Ceiling Fan For Bedroom (Quietest Ceiling Fan): Hunter Cassius Whisper Wind
- Best High-End Ceiling Fan: Monte Carlo 3MAVR60BKD Maverick
- Best Low-Profile Ceiling Fan With Light: Hunter Dempsey Low-Profile
1. Best Ceiling Fan With Light: Honeywell 51473-01 Xerxes
|CFM (Airflow):||3051 CFM|
|Size (Diameter):||62 Inches|
|Number Of Blades:||8-Blade|
As stated before, choosing the best ceiling fan on the market is not the easiest job in the world. The Honeywell 51473-01 Xerxes, however, makes things easier. According to the spec-by-spec analysis, this is the best ceiling fan for the majority of homeowners. And it’s made by Honeywell, one of the more trusted brands for ceiling fans.
Honeywell 51473-01 Xerxes is an 8-blade ceiling fan. The diameter of the blades is 62 inches. With this blade span, the Honeywell ceiling fan can generate up to 3,051 CFM airflow on the highest fan speed setting.
The advantage of the 8-blade fan is a quiet operation. As we have said in the ceiling fan buying guide, ceiling fans with a higher number of ceiling fans generally operate at lower noise levels. That’s why Honeywell 51473-01 Xerxes can also be used in a bedroom as one of the quietest ceiling fans on the market.
Electricity-size, the ceiling fan has a 37W wattage. That means that its estimated yearly energy cost is $10. On top of that, if you include the 3,051 CFM airflow generated, the energy efficiency of Honeywell 51473-01 Xerxes is 82 CFM/Watt; way above the standard 50 CFM/W efficiency.
Honeywell 51473-01 Xerxes also includes a light. For a ceiling fan with light, it has quite an affordable price: below $300. One drawback this ceiling fan has is that some homeowners don’t fight all those 8 blades visually appealing. With a bit over 3,000 CFM airflow, it also can be used in 400+ sq ft spaces.
All in all, Honeywell 51473-01 Xerxes is the best ceiling fan with light. It has a very quiet operation due to 8-ceiling fan, it can generate 3,000+ CFM at 82 CFM/W efficiency, and it has a reasonable price and even lower running costs:
2. Best High-Speed Ceiling Fan For Large Rooms: Parrot Uncle 1719-L
|CFM (Airflow):||9772 CFM|
|Size (Diameter):||72 Inches|
|Number Of Blades:||6-Blade|
If you need considerable ventilation capabilities, you need the Parrot Uncle 1719-L. This is a powerful high-speed ceiling fan that can generate 9,772 CFM of airflow at a remarkable energy efficiency (runs on 36 watts). According to the specs, this is the best high-speed high-CFM ceiling fan currently on the market.
Parrot Uncle 1719-L is a 6-blade ceiling fan with a 72-inch blade span. These kinds of fans generate 6,000-8,000 CFM of airflow.
Due to the high-speed rotation Parrot Uncle 1719-L is capable of, it can generate 9,772 CFM airflow. That’s a massive airflow that can adequately ventilate rooms with a combined square footage of up to 1,000 CFM.
Such high-speed fans can be quite expensive to run. The key advantage the Parrot Uncle 1719-L has is incredibly low running costs. It can generate almost 10,000 CFM with only 36W electric input. With the calculated energy efficiency of 271 CFM/W, this is the most energy-efficient high-speed ceiling fan with light.
The reason why the 36W ceiling fan motor can rotate the blades at such a high speed is that the blades are made from lightweight aluminum. This is the same material they made planes out of.
Of course, high-speed and high-CFM ceiling fans are not without disadvantages. The main drawback here is the literal wind the Parrot Uncle 1719-L can create. If you stand directly under the almost 10,000 CFM airflow, you will be able to feel the full force of that airflow, and it’s not the most pleasant feeling.
In short, this modern high-speed ceiling fan is a powerhouse. It can generate tremendous airflow (almost 10,000 CFM) at a minimal running cost (it cost way less than 1 cent per hour to run). With 6-blades, it’s also quieter-than-average and has a reasonable below $400 price tag:
3. Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan: Harbor Breeze Merrimack II
|CFM (Airflow):||2221 CFM|
|Size (Diameter):||52 Inches|
|Number Of Blades:||5-Blade|
As we know, outdoor ceiling fans have to have wet-rated blades. Of the many outdoor ceiling fans, the Harbor Breeze Merrimack II is one splendid choice. It has wet-rated blades, can provide a light breeze on a patio, and it’s absurdly inexpensive (below $150 price tag). Overall, it’s the highest-rated outdoor ceiling fan with light.
The Harbor Breeze Merrimack II is a 5-blade ceiling fan with a 52-inch blade span. These 5 blades are wet-rated; they can withstand both high relative humidity we find outdoors and even rain.
It can generate up to 2,221 CFM which is enough to provide a light breeze on a patio in the summer heat. For the summer evenings, it also has a light.
Electricity-wise, it has one of the lowest running wattages of any 52-inch fan: 34W in total. That means that it has a yearly estimated energy cost of about $10.
It does, however, generate about 61 CFM of airflow per 1 watt of electric input. This is a good energy efficiency but it’s not as exceptional as other best ceiling fans.
Where the Harbor Breeze Merrimack II does excel at is the price. This is a 52-inch outdoor ceiling fan that costs less than $150. This is a part of the reason why it’s so popular and so highly rated. In fact, it’s almost importable to find an outdoor ceiling fan that gets so much love.
All in all, the Harbor Breeze Merrimack II is an inexpensive choice for an outdoor ceiling fan, and it gets everything. Light, wet-rated blades, can even be used indoors, and it’s one of the most popular choices of ceiling fan altogether:
4. Best Wet Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fan: Minka-Aire F896-65-ORB Xtreme H2O
|CFM (Airflow):||6565 CFM|
|Size (Diameter):||65 Inches|
|Number Of Blades:||8-Blade|
For high humidity places like Florida, you will need the ultimate wet-rated outdoor ceiling fan. As far as the wet-rating goes, the Minka-Aire F896-65-ORB Xtreme H2O has the best wet-rated blades in the industry. These blades are oil robbed and have a bronze finish; they can withstand 80% relative humidity and even heavy rain.
If would hate the summer heat and high humidity, but still want to sit outside, you need a powerful wet-rated ceiling fan. Minka-Aire F896-65-ORB Xtreme H2O is all that. It’s a quiet 8-fan outdoor ceiling fan with 65-inch blades.
With this blade size, it can generate a powerful 6,565 CFM airflow. Having this additional airflow is very useful in high-humidity areas because air with higher humidity levels is harder to move.
Minka-Aire F896-65-ORB Xtreme H2O is also one of the most energy efficient outdoor ceiling fans with the lowest running cost. According to the EnergyGuide calculations, its yearly estimated running cost is only $9. That’s because it can generate 6,565 CFM of airflow with only a 32W ceiling fan motor. The total energy efficiency coefficient is 205 CFM/W; way above the standard 50 CFM/W.
Looking at the specs, you can see that the Minka-Aire F896-65-ORB Xtreme H2O is a remarkable outdoor ceiling fan. But it’s not without its drawbacks. The only – and main – drawback is the price. This fan costs about $500 which is a few $100 more than a standard ceiling fan. However, no standard outdoor ceiling fan has such superb performance.
All in all, if you’re looking for the perfect wet-rated outdoor ceiling fan for high humidity areas, Minka-Aire F896-65-ORB Xtreme H2O is the top choice here:
5. Best Ceiling Fan For Bedroom (Quietest Ceiling Fan): Hunter Cassius Whisper Wind
|CFM (Airflow):||3631 CFM|
|Size (Diameter):||52 Inches|
|Number Of Blades:||3-Blade|
If you want to pick the best ceiling fan for the bedroom, it has to be adequately sized (enough airflow), not overpriced, and, above all else, quiet. Hunter Cassius Whisper Wind is all that and is considered the best ceiling fan for most bedrooms. Do bear in mind that Hunter is probably the world’s best-known ceiling fan producer.
Let’s first cover the basics before the noise levels: Hunter Cassius Whisper Wind is a 3-blade ceiling fan with a 52-inch blade span. It can generate up to 3,631 CFM airflow and has a coverage of up to 300 sq ft. That means it’s perfectly sized for a bedroom.
Now, here’s the thing:
As we have said earlier, generally speaking, ceiling fans with a higher number of blades are quieter. For a bedroom, you obviously want a low decibel ceiling fan. Has can the Hunter Cassius Whisper Wind be quiet if it has only 3 blades?
It’s important to understand that majority of the sound ceiling fans generate come from the fan motor, not from the blades themselves. Yes, reducing the number of blades might mean that the motor has to work extra hard rotating fewer blades quicker, but if you start with a quiet ceiling fan motor already, you can use fewer blades and still get a very silent fan.
This is the case with all the Hunter ceiling fans. They use ultra-quiet fan motors and, in general, their ceiling fans are one of the quietest ones. The Hunter Cassius Whisper Wind is not an exception. In fact, many homeowners praise the Hunter Cassius Whisper Wind precisely because it has such a silent operation.
On top of that, it’s also energy efficient with 98 CFM/W efficiency and 37W wattage. Price matters as well. This is one of the most popular ceiling fans because it has a below $150 price tag.
It, however, doesn’t come with a light. It also doesn’t come with modern remote controls; it’s the basic pull chain control based.
All in all, the Hunter Cassius Whisper Wind is one of the quietest ceiling fans on the market. It’s cheap, made by Hunter (durable), and is best fit to be installed in the bedroom:
6. Best High-End Ceiling Fan: Monte Carlo 3MAVR60BKD Maverick
|CFM (Airflow):||5365 CFM|
|Size (Diameter):||60 Inches|
|Number Of Blades:||3-Blade|
Now, we love specifications. Based on specifications, we choose the best ceiling fans. However, there are homeowners that know how to appreciate the aesthetics as well. If we go into the world of high-end ceiling fans, we immediately hit one of the most prestigious ceiling fan brands: Monte Carlo.
Monte Carlo 3MAVR60BKD Maverick model is considered one of the best high-end ceiling fans in the world. You can inspect the aesthetics yourself; it’s a beautifully-crafted 3-blade ceiling fan. Needless to say, these 60-inch in size blades are made out of wood (balsa wood, to be exact).
For us, it’s important that this high-end ceiling fan is sound specs-wise as well. And it is.
The Monte Carlo 3MAVR60BKD Maverick can generate 5,365 CFM at incredible 269 CFM/W efficiency. Given its blades are made out of wood and that it uses very little electricity (only a 20W fan motor), this is the most environmentally-friendly ceiling fan on the market.
Of course, as with all high-end ceiling fans, the drawback is the price. Monte Carlo 3MAVR60BKD Maverick costs more than $800. That’s about $500 more than a standard ceiling fan.
All in all, if you can afford it, the Monte Carlo 3MAVR60BKD Maverick is pretty much the best ceiling fan the money can buy. It certainly is the most aesthetic one:
7. Best Low-Profile Ceiling Fan With Light: Hunter Dempsey Low-Profile
|CFM (Airflow):||2997 CFM|
|Size (Diameter):||44 Inches|
|Number Of Blades:||4-Blade|
Most ceiling fans are raised at least 8 feet above the floor. If you have a low ceiling, you have to check which low-profile ceiling fan is the best. Given the limited number of ceiling fans with low-profile, you can’t go wrong with the Hunter Dempsey 44-inch fan.
Hunter Dempsey 44-inch low ceiling fan is a 4-blade fan. At its top fan speed setting, it can generate almost 3,000 CFM airflow (2,997 CFM, to be exact). That is enough airflow to adequately provide ventilation to small, medium, and even some bigger low-ceiling rooms.
It comes with a neat LED light and costs a little less than $150. With 76 CFM/W it’s not the most efficient fan but its way about average for low profile ceiling fans.
The drawbacks include some issues with reliability (it seems that the choice of materials used keeps the cost of the ceiling fan down). It’s also not the most visually appealing ceiling fan to have.
All in all, this is a solid-specs low-profile ceiling fan available for a very affordable price:
This has been coverage of the absolute best ceiling fans on the market. As you can see, you have to strike a sensible balance between airflow (CFMs), the number of blades, noise levels, energy efficiency, and price. Hopefully, now the decision of which ceiling fan you should get is a bit easier. Thank you.