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These staff-favorite personal fans will make the summer heat more bearable

Stay cool with these rechargeable and lightweight personal fans.
Shop our team’s favorite neck and handheld fans.
Shop our team’s favorite neck and handheld fans.Amazon

When you’re walking outside in 90-degree weather, covered with sweat, a cool breeze on your skin is an indescribable feeling. That’s where personal fans come in — they can make you feel instantly cool and comfortable amid steamy, humid temps. You can place them on desks, clip them to strollers or use them as a handheld option when you are out and about, according to Christy Hayes, head of brand marketing at VeSync, a provider of smart home products that sells fans from brands like Levoit. (Since VeSync sells fans, we only spoke with Hayes about shopping guidance and tips, and did not ask her for specific product recommendations.)

Personal fans include neck fans and handheld fans, and their biggest draw is that they’re portable, easy to charge or battery-operated and can provide a quick shot of air when needed, according to experts. 

SKIP AHEAD The best personal fans of 2023 | How to shop for a personal fan

Our top picks

How we picked the best personal fans 

We spoke with product specialists and Select staff about their favorite personal fans. Based on our experts’ guidance, we kept the following factors in mind when sourcing top-rated options:

Type of fan: We included options for neck fans, handheld fans and battery-powered fans. Neck fans are typically better if you prefer a hands-free option. They sit around your neck and are always bladeless. Handheld fans are generally lighter than neck fans and are sometimes small enough to fit in your pocket.  

Battery source: Each fan on our list is either battery-powered or rechargeable. For the models on our list, if it requires batteries, they come included with the fan. 

Weight: Every item on our list weighs less than 12.5 ounces so you can easily carry it around. 

The best personal fans of 2023

The below options include staff favorites and top-rated options in line with expert guidance and have an average rating of four stars from over 1,000 reviews.   

Comlife Bladeless Neck fan

The Comlife neck fan is a favorite of Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin’s for its long battery life and lightweight design. “I walk to work, which is miserable in the hot, humid summer,” she says. “I wear this on my walk to give me a cool breeze and make the commute a bit more bearable.” She also likes that it’s rechargeable and stores away easily in her bag during the day. Since it’s bladeless, your hair shouldn’t get tangled in it and you can adjust it to sit in a comfortable position around your neck, according to the brand. 

Type: Neck fan | Weight: 9.7 ounces

Torras Coolify Neck Air Conditioner

This battery-powered personal fan, which has an adjustable neckband so you can control the width for comfort, is a favorite of mine. I love how much relief it provides on extra hot days — it feels like ice against my neck when activated, and has enough battery life to last my 30-minute commute to Jersey City and back, from New York City — though it drains faster on the highest mode. Since it has a cooling plate that sits at the back of your neck, it offers better cooling than a traditional fan with only air vents. Compared to other handheld and neck fans I’ve tried before, this one is faster and more efficient at keeping me cool for longer. Similar to other neck fan options on this list, it’s bladeless so it won’t get caught in your hair. Plus, I love how quiet it is. 

Type: Neck fan | Weight: 12.3 ounces

Snawowo Portable Baby Stroller Fan

“My bathroom gets so hot and humid after I shower, so trying to do my makeup in there makes me feel like I’m suffocating,” says Malin. “I bought this fan to help me cool off.” You can prop it up or wrap its flexible legs around your sink or shower, plus you can also attach it to a stroller, treadmill or bike to take on the go with you. The rechargeable fan also doubles as a smartphone stand, according to the brand. 

Type: Handheld or tabletop | Weight:  11.3 ounces

Jisulife Mini Handheld Fan

This fan is very compact — it’s small enough to fit in the back pocket of your jeans, according to Select writer Bethany Heitman. It has three fan speeds, is rechargeable via a USB-C port and has removable fan covers that make it easy to clean, according to the brand. Weighing just 3 ounces, it’s also the lightest option on our list. 

Type: Handheld | Weight: 3 ounces

O2cool Deluxe Handheld Water Misting Fan 

This battery-powered fan has a built-in misting function, which helps you cool off further, according to Malin, who’s used it at camps, on hikes and anytime she’s outdoors on a hot summer day. You can use it with or without the misting function, but adding ice to this fan through the wide mouth opening will ensure you get a cooling breeze, according to the brand. It requires two AA batteries, which are included in your purchase.

Type: Handheld  | Weight: 7 ounces

Jisulife Handheld Pocket Fan

“I really like this option because it’s a portable fan, flashlight and charger all in one,” says NBC Page Carolyn Chun. “It’s also really relieved me from all the humidity in New York City recently,” she says. The fan’s foldable, which makes keeping it in your pocket or setting it on your desktop easy, according to Chun. It comes with both a USB-C and regular USB port, so you can charge your devices as needed with it. Plus, there’s an additional safety feature that automatically turns it off if you accidentally touch one of its blades. 

Type: Handheld | Weight: 5.9 ounces 

How to shop for a personal fan

If you’re in the market for a personal fan, here’s what our experts recommended keep in mind while shopping: 

Safety features: Fans with blades can pose a safety risk — if your hair gets caught it can get tangled and cause accidents, says Herman He, vice president of product and development at Dreo, a smart home appliance company known for their tower fans. (Since Dreo sells fans, we only spoke with He about general shopping advice. We did not ask him for product recommendations.) The blades may also cause damage to your fingers, which is why neck fans are generally bladeless and many handheld fans come with auto-off safety features in case you come into contact with the blades, according to He. 

Portability: Personal fans are typically portable, compact and miniature in size, according to He. They’re also either rechargeable or require batteries, which eliminates the need of having an outlet nearby at all times. 

Airflow: “If the motor is not powerful enough, then the fan may not provide users with a comfortable experience, even if they are operating at maximum wind speed,” says He. Make sure your personal fan offers multiple cooling modes or fan speeds to avoid this. 

Noise: While personal fans produce minimal noise because of their low speed, they can still be bothersome, according to He. In my experience, neck fans are fairly quiet, but higher speed settings will usually affect the sound level. 

Meet our experts

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

Christy Hayes is the head of brand and digital marketing at VeSync, a provider of smart home products including brands like Levoit and Corsori. Since VeSync sells fans, we only spoke with Hayes about shopping guidance and tips, and did not ask her for product recommendations.

Herman He is the vice president of Dreo, a smart home appliance company known for their tower fans. He is in charge of research and development of Dreo products, including fans and other home appliances. We only spoke with him for general shopping guidance and did not ask He for product recommendations.) 

Why trust Select?

Nishka Dhawan is an associate commerce editor at Select. For this article, she spoke to Select staff about their favorite personal fans and also interviewed product experts from brands like VeSync and Dreo on what to keep in mind while shopping. We did not include products from either VeSync or Dreo — we only relied on our experts for shopping guidance. 

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