Tower Fan vs Pedestal/Standing Fan: 9 Differences

The two most common types of fans are tower and pedestal fans. Though both serve the same main purpose, which is to blow air, there are several other differences between them. In this article, I am comparing tower fans and pedestal/standing fans from a consumer’s perspective.

Tower fans are stylish, modern, lightweight, and feature-rich, whereas pedestal fans are conventional, often heavy, powerful, and provide a stronger airflow. However, tower fans do not have swing and tilt options like pedestal fans.

Here’s a table to give you a brief idea of the main differences between tower fans and pedestal fans:

Pedestal FansTower Fans
Powerful airflowModerate/light airflow
Minimal featuresAdvanced features
Swing and tilt allow control over the directionNo control over the direction
Often lack style Stylish and visually pleasing
Cleaning requires disassemblingCleaning does not require disassembling
Differences between tower and pedestal fans
Tower fan vs pedestal fan; an image showing a tower fan and a pedestal fan
A tower fan on the left and a pedestal fan on the right

Detailed Comparison

Given below is a detailed comparison of tower and pedestal fan models;

Airflow (CFM)

What’s the first thing you look for in a fan? It is the ability to blow air, right? When it comes to airflow, pedestal fans easily take the win. Propeller-powered fans, in general, can easily get you much more airflow than you expect. Due to their large blades and body size, pedestal fans can blow off a whole lot of air as compared to tower fans. The bigger the blades are, the more area a fan would be able to blow air onto. These fans are relatively more powerful and boast a higher CFM. 

Tower fans, although use a similar mechanism as pedestal fans, their blades that are smaller. This means that they’re not capable of producing as much airflow as pedestal fans. As a matter of fact, a tower fan usually has only half of CFM as a pedestal fan. These fans do not come packed with a lot of power. The most they can do is blow air on a person or two at once. Their small propellers are not ideal for large spaces.  So, when it comes to airflow, tower fans don’t bring that much to the table.

Size and Weight

Pedestals, aka standing fans, occupy a great deal of space due to their large blades. Their upper body is wide and circular. As for their weight, pedestal fans can sometimes be heavier than tower fans. This is again due to their large blades. 

Tower fans are ideal for small spaces because of their slim shape. They don’t have giant blades, so they can fit pretty much anywhere. Tower fans are also usually lightweight as compared to pedestal fans. So, it’s easier to take them from place to place. As a matter of fact, most tower fans come with a designated handle to help you get a firm grip on the machine. 

A tower fan
A tower fan doesn’t take up much space because of its slim design


One of the most important factors that needs to be weighed is price. Despite having great differences, pedestal fans and tower fans do not differ that much in price.

Depending upon the model and brand, you can find fans starting from $20 and going all the way up to $200. The bar isn’t set at just $200, however. Other high-end categories in both types of fans can go beyond $300, but those are on the highest levels of performance.

To put it straight, both tower and pedestal fans cover a broad range of prices and it is up to you to decide whether you’d go for a highly advanced model or a regular one. 

Direction and Controls

Pedestal fans typically lack remote controls and advanced features, requiring manual operation near the fan for functions like power and speed adjustment. However, they offer flexibility in directing airflow through tilting or using a swinging feature.

In contrast, most tower fans come with remote controls, timers, and some even offer smartphone app control. While remote operation is convenient, tower fans blow air in a fixed straight line, and you can’t adjust the direction without physically repositioning the fan. So, when it comes to control and direction, it’s a trade-off between the two fan types.

A pedestal fan
Pedestal fans can tilt and swing allowing it to cover more area

Style: tower vs pedestal

Tower fans look modern and sleek, which makes them nice to have in modern homes. They’re tall and thin, so they don’t take up much space. Some tower fans even have a futuristic design that makes them look cool. People often choose tower fans not just for cooling but also to make their room look better.

On the other hand, pedestal fans are more about getting the job done. They don’t focus on style as much. They have a basic round fan head and a stand you can adjust. Some pedestal fans may look special, but that’s not common. Pedestal fans are good for outdoor use because they are sturdy and do a great job of cooling. So, if you want a fan that looks nice indoors, you might prefer a tower fan. But if you need a strong fan for outdoor use or just for practical cooling, a pedestal fan could be the better choice.

In short, tower fans look better than pedestal fans.


Pedestal fans are generally quieter than tower fans due to their simpler mechanism. Pedestal fans typically have two or three large blades that rotate together, resulting in a consistent and relatively low level of noise. This design lends itself well to quiet operation, making pedestal fans an excellent choice for environments where noise disruption is a concern.

The quietness of pedestal fans makes them particularly suitable for bedrooms or spaces where light sleepers need uninterrupted rest. The minimal noise they produce is unlikely to disturb someone trying to sleep or concentrate.

In contrast, tower fans have a different working mechanism. Instead of a few large blades, they feature numerous smaller blades arranged vertically. These smaller blades spin simultaneously to generate airflow. Due to the multiple blades spinning in a tower fan, they can produce more noise compared to pedestal fans.

It’s important to note that not all tower fans are equally noisy. Some models are designed with quieter operation in mind, often achieved through engineering advancements and quieter motors. However, in some cases, quieter operation in tower fans might come at the expense of airflow power, as manufacturers may prioritize reducing noise levels.

Energy Consumption

Pedestal fans only have a few blades to spin and provide airflow, which is why they usually consume slightly less power than tower fans. However, some of those bigger fans can cross the average rate of energy consumption. It majorly depends upon the model of the pedestal fan and the speed you’ve chosen to run it on. On average, a pedestal fan will consume around 60-70 watts of electricity per hour.

Despite blowing less air out of their several small openings, tower fans consume more electricity than pedestal fans. Assuming you run an average tower fan at medium speed, it can consume around 80-90 watts of power. As you can tell, there’s not much of a difference between pedestal and tower fans’ power consumption, but remember that the output you’re getting from both machines is not the same. 


Similar to the factor of price, there’s not much that can be said about the durability of both types of fans. The more you pay, the better appliance you’ll get your hands on. Whether you choose a pedestal or tower, don’t make the mistake of buying a cheap model to save some bucks, you’ll only end up with a poorly built machine that would stay standing for a year or so. Generally speaking, both pedestal and tower fans can last for at least five years on average with timely maintenance.

Maintenance: Which type is easy to maintain?

Much like every other electronic appliance, the fan you choose will require maintenance from time to time. In terms of maintenance, pedestal fans are difficult to clean because of their build. You’ll need to take off the grill and wipe the propellers of the fan clean. Cleaning the grill is a heinous task in itself since it is harder to clean each end of the string. Moreover, you’ll have to take apart the entire fan to give it a proper cleanup, which is a hassle. You can give the pedestal fan to an electrician for a thorough service, but that’s just another cost that most people don’t want to bear.

On the contrary, tower fans are advantageous in terms of cleaning and maintenance. Their vertical body does not require you to completely disassemble the appliance. Rather, all you have to do is clean the outer grill of the fan with a brush or a cloth. There’s no need to make the cleaning tool reach the blades and wipe them clean one by one. So, when it comes to maintenance, tower fans remain unchallenged.

Pedestal fans: Pros & Cons


Powerful airflow

One of the main reasons why pedestal fans are preferred by most is their powerful airflow. The high CFM of these fans makes the disadvantages look insignificant. 

Covers more area

Pedestal fans are the best option for large open spaces where the fan is expected to cover more area. Though it won’t continuously blow air in all directions at once, the pedestal fan’s ability to hit a wider degree angle is admirable.

Strong, durable, and cheap

Pedestal fans give reliance a whole new meaning. They’re cheap, effective, and can last a lifetime if handled with care. If you invest in a pedestal fan after properly doing your homework, rest assured your investment will be profitable.


Not for tight spaces

You’ll need a fair amount of space for a pedestal fan to keep the air from being blown on the entire room. For people who cannot compromise on space, pedestal fans might not be the best option.

Not safe for kids and pets

Pedestal fans are not considered the safest for homes that have toddlers or pets roaming around. Although their blades are covered by a grill, they can still be dangerous for children. Your pets also might not be fond of the fan and would try to knock the appliance over.

Lacks style

There aren’t many ways to beautify three or four propellers sitting behind a grill, which is why you’ll find most pedestal fans to be visually distasteful. Most often, these fans are preferred by folks that don’t care much about looks.

Tower fans: Pros & Cons



If it wasn’t for style, tower fans would not have brought a fair competition against pedestal fans. Their looks are one of the few reasons that make these fans truly stand out.

More features

What good would be a fan that looks modernistic but has features of a fan from the ‘90s? Most tower fan models these days come packed with loads of features such as air purification, timers, modes, LEDs, and much more.

Easier to maintain

If you’re on the hunt for a fan that doesn’t give you a full-body workout with its maintenance then look no further than a tower fan. The occasional maintenance of these fans is relatively easy due to their physique.



You’ll find even the best tower fan models in the market to make a bit of noise during function. If you’re looking for quieter operation in a tower fan, you might need to compromise on other features.

Little control over the direction

Tower fans need to be placed in front of where you want air blown. There’s no option of tilting the fan or turning the swing on with the remote. Only go for tower fans if you’re willing to make do with limited direction control. 

Lacks power

Tower fans don’t boast as much power as their counterparts. their direct airflow is light and nowhere near the level of an average pedestal fan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better; a pedestal fan or a ceiling fan?

Pedestal fans are better for directional airflow ie, if you want strong airflow to a particular area, they are the best choice. But if you want to cool down the entire room or enjoy a nice breeze, a ceiling fan is the better option.

Which fan blows hardest?

Pedestal fans blow air harder than tower fans, thanks to their large blades. Even though pedestal fans run faster, they cannot produce as much airflow as pedestal fans owing to their smaller fan area.

Charles John

Experienced HVAC technician with 8 years of experience in the industry. Capable of handling all sorts of heating and cooling equipment as well as proficient in operational management, construction-related techniques such as preventative maintenance, electrical troubleshooting and AutoCAD

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