Tower Fan vs Pedestal Fan: Which Is Better?

When it gets hot in summer, the first solution that pops into your mind is to invest in a fan. Almost everything in your house is ready to endure the heat except you and your loved ones. So, which fan should you go for? The most common two types of fans are tower and pedestal fans. Though both offer the same main purpose, which is to blow air, there are several other differences that you should take into account before making the decision. In this read, we’ll be comparing tower fans and pedestal fans from a consumer’s perspective.

Tower fans are stylish, modern, light, and often have features that their counterparts don’t. On the other hand, pedestal fans are conventional, often heavy, powerful, and provide a stronger airflow. Here’s a table to give you a brief idea of the main differences between tower fans and pedestal fans:

Pedestal Fans Tower Fans
Powerful airflow Moderate/light airflow
Minimal features Advanced features
Swing and tilt allow control over the direction No control over direction
Often lack style  Stylish and visually pleasing
Cleaning requires disassembling Cleaning 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

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

Airflow comparison

What’s the first thing you look for in a fan? Its 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 larger 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 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 Comparison

Space and weight are both highly important factors for fans that won’t stick on your ceiling or wall. Pedestal fans occupy a great deal of space due to their large blades. Their upper body is wide and circular. This means that they’ll need a lot of room to blow air. As for their weight, pedestal fans can sometimes be heavier than tower fans. This is due to their large propellers of course. You might struggle in taking the fan from one room to another. 

Tower fans are ideal for small spaces because of their build. They don’t have giant blades on their heads so they can fit pretty much anywhere. You can place a tower fan next to your couch or bed and have the thing cool you off with its direct airflow. 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

Price comparison

One of the most important factors that need to be weighed is price. Despite having great differences in between, 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 on 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

Let’s face it, we all love to control our electronics through remotes and apps on our phones. Unfortunately, most pedestal fans don’t come with remote control systems and advanced features. They have buttons given on the fans’ main body. Whenever you have to turn it on/off or set the speed, you’ll have to be near the fan to do that. However, you get a lot of control of direction with pedestal fans. You can tilt the fan in another direction or have the swing turned on for airflow to reach a wider angle. 

You’ll find most tower fans to have a remote-control system and several other praiseworthy features like a timer for example. Some advanced models can even be controlled with a smartphone application. This is a major plus point for tower fans. Though you can control the tower fan from far away, you can’t really change its direction since it blows air in a straight line. There’s no tilt, swing, or any other control related to direction. You’ll have to physically reposition the tower fan whenever you want to change the direction of airflow. So, it seems like a draw here for control and direction between both types of fans.

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

Style: tower vs pedestal

Good-looking fans can really enhance the overall visuals of your place. When it comes to looks, pedestal fans are generally far from being visually pleasing. Some models do come in unique styles, but those giant blades sitting behind a grill just don’t complement your home’s beauty. Even if you do go for a slightly better-looking model, chances are that you’ll be compromising on the price factor. For outdoors, pedestal fans might often be preferred, but people who are picky about aesthetics would often prefer a fan with less power and better design.

Tower fans, on the other hand, can not only complement your home’s beauty, but they can enhance it. These fans come in sleek designs and futuristic shapes, making your house’s interior design truly superior. Most people today prefer tower fans for their aesthetics and, to be frank, tower fans do bring a great deal of style to modern residential spaces. Besides being pleasing to gaze at, their tower-shaped build gives them a futuristic look. The competition of style is an easy win for tower fans.

Noise

The quieter a fan is, the more valuable it is. Pedestal fans are quiet enough to keep even the lightest sleeper asleep when they’re turned on. Even in the bigger models, you’ll never find noise to be an issue in a pedestal fan. The reason behind their quiet operation is that they only have a couple of blades that spin altogether. 

Now, unlike pedestal fans, tower fans have a slightly different working mechanism. They don’t have a few large blades, instead, they consist of several small blades spinning at once causing much more noise than a pedestal. Some models do come with a slightly quieter operation, but you’ll probably have to compromise on the power of airflow for that feature. 

Energy Consumption

You can’t ignore energy efficiency when buying an electronic device. 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 on 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. 

Durability

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 for, 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

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • Not for tight spaces

You’ll need a fair amount of space for a pedestal fan to keep the air being blown on the entire room. For people that 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

Pros

  • Stylish 

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.

Cons

  • Noisy

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 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.  

The Final Verdict

After thoroughly comparing the features, benefits, and drawbacks of pedestal and tower fans, we’ve concluded that the result is a draw. Both types boast features that the other does not. So, it all comes down to what you’re looking for. If you need optimal airflow, minimal features, and don’t care much about visuals, then a pedestal fan is what we would recommend. However, if you’re picky about style, short on space, and are willing to compromise on power, then a tower fan is the way to go.

Charles John

A novice DIYer who learns about home ventilation. I am a mechanical engineer and have a basic knowledge of HVAC systems but I learn continuously to make myself the best blogger in that space.

Latest Posts