Our pick for most people
If you often work outdoors and desire an affordable, portable fan to keep you cooling immediately during daylong outdoor activities, then our pick MOFAN 2500mAh Battery Handheld Fan is right up your alley. It’s a powerful, affordable and long-lasting fan. It features a minimalist design. Measuring only 105 x 210 x 40 mm (4.1 x 8.3 x 1.6 in.) in size and weighing 166.8g (5.9oz), it’s compact and lightweight relative to the same type of contenders. More conveniently, the MOFAN comes with a charging base. Just ensure that its base is connected to the power source, and then plop the fan on the base to charge itself.
The best 2-in-1 choice
If you are a busy man who always works in and out of the office, and want a portable fan that comes in handy to hold in hand or place on your desk, then CHANGHONG Foldable Handheld Fan is an ideal sidekick for you. It offers three speed settings. Its handle is foldable, allowing you to fold it back and use as a mini desk fan. It can stay stable on a desk. Additionally, its head is adjustable. You can manually tilt up and down to direct the airflow. On the back of its head, there are two hooks that help attach to an umbrella’s inside frame. That’s a win-win solution — blocking out the sun and bringing refreshing breeze at the same time.
The best handheld fan with power bank function
When you stay outside and find your phone is about to die, you can use a handheld fan with a power bank to juice your phone. It’s quite convenient since you don’t need to carry an extra power bank when you go out. Through testing and comparing, we’re sure that HANDFAN Portable Fan with 5200mAh Power Bank is a best-in-class choice. Its handle can be disassembled independently to work as a power bank. Meanwhile, the handle is foldable. You can fold it back to stand stable on a desk and serve as a desk fan. Plus, it has three speed settings, and offers the strongest airflow among all products we tested.
The best misting handheld fan
Thanks to its misting feature, QinBen Misting Handheld Fan is able to cool you down more quickly than the regular handheld fans. You just need to add water to the water tank at the top of the fan, then it can convert water to ultra-fine mist. Blowing together with strong wind will greatly beat the heat. Appreciatively, it has two misting modes: continuous and intermittent. The intermittent misting mode is great for prolonging the spraying time. The QinBen fan also offers three speed settings. And it has a foldable handle as well, which allows for stable standing on a desk after folding it.
If you don’t always carry a bag out but want a powerful handheld fan on muggy summer days, then AGQ Mini Handheld Fan is a solid bet. With the compact size, it can easily fit into your pants’ pocket. Don’t look down upon such a compact fan. It can provide stronger airflow than we expected.
If you think the regular handheld fans are so bulky that add burden to your journey, and you expect to find an alternative to cool you down, then Xiaomi Portable USB Mini Fan is your perfect accompaniment. It is the most compact fan we’ve ever tested. With about a pen-size stem and detachable blades, it’s pretty convenient to store and pack. This fan can be powered by laptops, power banks, USB chargers or other devices with USB-A ports. It is tiny and light, though. We do appreciate its airflow, as it can be comparable with other regular handheld fans at their low speed settings. Best of all, it produces minimal noise which is barely audible.
Who is this for
Up to now, portable fans are one of the most ingenious inventions. They can help users cool down the surrounding temperature in any situations. With small size, they are easy to fit into your bags, purses or even pockets. On those scorching and muggy summer days, the best way to beat the heat is to use a portable fan, especially when you are working outside and ice-creams or cold drinks can’t help cool you down.
Portable fans are not limited by time or usage scenarios. When staying in a crowded classroom or gym for a long time, obviously you will feel stuffy. At this moment, a portable fan can provide you with revitalizing relief from the heat. When waiting in line, you might feel annoying and unbearable especially in somewhere poorly ventilated. In this awful situation, a portable fan will keep you cool quickly. When you are in a library — one of the quietest places in the world, the air conditioner may be not strong enough that fail to cool you down, then a portable fan will play a big role. As it’s small and doesn’t make too much noise, it’s barely noticeable and won’t bother other people in general.
A fan, also called an air circulator, works by driving the fan blades to circulate air throughout the whole room to cool off, ventilate and even dry a certain area. In various situations, fans can offer immediately cooling effect, which is no match for that of air conditioning system, certainly. Air conditioners actually utilize refrigeration to chill indoor air, while the fans work with electric motors to move air. But as we all know, the operating cost of air conditioning system is way much higher than the fans’, and it’s not necessarily available in all situations. In comparison, fans are indeed the more economical and optimal replacement to air conditioners.
There are many kinds of fans on the market, including tower fan, floor fan, ceiling fan, misting fan and portable fan. However, aside from portable fan, other types of fan are bulky that will take up much space, and they are not convenient to move around from place to place. I believe that you’re not willing to take a giant fan on the go. Me neither.
Now, the market is flooded with various kinds of portable fan. They feature different shapes and design that may lead to different cooling effect. So, you’d better clearly know what types of portable fan you need before buying. Based on the major structure, we classified all portable fans from the marketplace into four categories as follow.
Among all portable fans, this kind of fan has the highest wind speed and strongest airflow, generally comes with different speed settings for adjustment, and offers longest battery life. But nothing is perfect. They are usually bulkier than other kinds of portable fan. For safety, they are built with mesh grille to separate the fan blades so as to avoid scratching by the rotating blades.
Besides, some products combine with spray, power bank and more features.
Handheld fans with handle allow you to hold them in hand easily. Inside the handle, there is plenty of space to place a large-capacity battery. That’s the main reason why they have long battery life. And the handheld fans without handle always come with relatively small battery capacity, so they tend to be lighter and smaller than those with handle.
Mini handheld fan
This kind of fan can become more compact by folding or retracting. You can even put it into your pocket.
To make it easier to store, this kind of fan usually has only two small blades which are made of soft rubber material, like TPE.
But that would cause the wind speed and airflow to be a bit low and weak. One more flaw is that it’s easy to hit your hands by the rotating blades. Although that’s not dangerous, you still feel a significant sense of pain when touching it accidentally. Thus, for the sake of safety, we do not recommend children to use this kind of fan.
Bladeless handheld fan
Perhaps you know Dyson’s bladeless fan which is one of the greatest inventions of Dyson. Until recent years, this technology has been applied to handheld fans. The bladeless handheld fan operates in a way similar to Dyson’s. Put simply, it starts with surrounding air sucked through the channel in the fan’s handle. Then, the air is directed up by the invisible blades inside the handle, and forced out through the slit around the hoop.
Bladeless handheld fan (Left) & Dyson’s bladeless fan (Right)
The shining point of this kind of fan is super safety. You never need to worry that the running blades would slice off your fingers. Best still, it’s very easy to clean. However, as the blades are built in the handle, their handles incline to be thick. And they have two fatal flaws. One is that the wind speed is way weaker than the regular handheld fans. The other is the loud noise.
Plug-and-play USB fan
This special kind of fan doesn’t have any built-in battery, which means you need to plug it into the USB port that can supply power. They fit most standard USB-A ports. When you are working in front of your laptop, you can plug the fan into your laptop’s USB port to run it. When you do outdoor activities, you can use it by plugging it into your power bank, which is the most flexible way to use. Compared to other portable fans, it seems to be not that convenient to use, but there’s no doubt that this kind of fan is the most compact, the lightest and the most portable one.
How we picked
As usual, firstly we pored through large amounts of information about portable fans on the Internet, and then scanned major e-commerce platforms, such as Taobao, Alibaba, Jingdong, Amazon, Aliexpress and Souq.com where have huge selections of portable fans. However, there are a wide range of portable fans that are pretty overwhelming. In order to make things simple, at the first round, we knocked out those with weird shape and nothing attractive. Next, we divided all portable fans available on the market into four categories: handheld fan, mini handheld fan, bladeless handheld fan, and plug-and-play USB fan. Then we sifted them based on the following criteria.
When selecting products, it’s hard to figure out their real-world airflow. However, we know that the fan’s head size is directly proportional to airflow. Generally speaking, the larger head and blades a fan has, the stronger airflow it will provide. With that in mind, we took the head diameter as one of the important criteria. If say, a handheld fan’s head measures about 10cm (3.9in) in diameter, then it meets our requirement. Besides, it’s worth noting that many manufacturers talk a big game about the number of blades and claim it as a selling point. But don’t be fooled. The number of fan’s blades actually makes no contribution to airflow.
Except plug-and-play USB fans, almost all portable fans have built-in batteries. The battery life of a portable fan depends on its battery capacity. Therefore, if products with similar price and bulk, we will give priority to those with large battery capacity.
As we mentioned above, the head size of a fan has a lot to do with airflow. We expect that a fan can produce adequate airflow, but not comes in a bulky size. So, we dismissed products with a head measuring over 12cm (4.7in) in diameter. In addition to the head size, we also compared each model’s height and thickness to find out ones with sufficient airflow and ideal to take on-the-go.
Battery capacity goes hand in hand with the weight of a portable fan. The higher a battery capacity is, the heavier a fan is. With that in mind, we ruled out some overweight products with overlarge battery capacity. Plus, products with overlarge battery capacity are prone to cost significantly more. We also knocked them out.
We felt way excited every time when we found some portable fans with extra functions, such as some are foldable, some combine with a spray or a power bank, and some come with a charging base. Those bonuses will make portable fans more practical.
Of course, the price is one of the important factors we count on. Initially, we weeded out some ridiculously expensive products. Given that prices vary in products with different design and performance, we will seriously check out whether their features really justify the cost, and then eliminate those gimmicky, overpriced products.
How we tested
According to the above criteria, we finally bought in 43 models that meet our requirements to do hands-on tests.
We measure each portable fan’s airflow in cubic feet per minute (CFM). CFM tells that the amount of air that a fan can circulate in a minute when it runs. This value depends on many factors, including wind speed, distance, head diameter, etc. When we referred to test methods on the Internet, we found that to calculate the CFM of ceiling fans or large fans, they will consider the room’s cubic footage, the desired frequency of air change, etc (Click here to view). Apparently, this measurement is not suitable for portable fans, because portable fans are just for personal use, and they can’t move a huge range of air. Therefore, we customized a set of measurements to calculate the airflow of portable fans.
Firstly we placed an anemometer in front of the center of the fan’s head at 5cm away to measure its wind speed (ft/min) (If we placed it very close to the center of the fan’s head, the center part of the fan’s grille will block some airflow. If we placed it too far away, the actual airflow will be affected by other factors, such as air dispersion and real-world airflow. Thus, we set the testing distance at 5cm so that we can obtain the most accurate value.). Then, we multiply the wind speed (ft/min) by the area of the fan’s head (ft²) to calculate the airflow (CFM).
Testing wind speed
We turned on two fans which come with the same wind speed but have different head area. Blowing at the same distance, the fan with a larger head area moved a wider range of air than the other one. When two fans with the same head area but different wind speed blew at the same distance, the fan with higher wind speed apparently produced more powerful wind. All in all, at the same distance, a fan with higher CFM will let you feel more wind.
On YouTube, we found a video about measuring the CFM of air conditioners. It mentions that K factor (the area of the grill where air is not going through) will affect the overall wind speed of an air conditioner. Similarly, the fan’s wind speed will be also influenced by the mesh grill. However, we didn’t take the K factor into account when calculating CFM, because not only will it lead to more complicated calculation, but also make this article more difficult to understand. Moreover, in real-world using, the K factor is negligible, since it doesn’t do much to the portable fan and basically every handheld fan has an almost-the-same grill.
BTW, the data we obtained only help us to pick out the best portable fans. They do not necessarily represent the real-world airflow. So, it’s not appropriate to use these figures to make comparisons with other types of fan.
It’s a huge pet peeve of most users. If a fan emits relatively loud noise, you’ll feel way annoying, especially when you’re resting. Unfortunately, the noise level is directly proportional to wind speed. That is to say, the noise will become louder while the wind speed increases. Additionally, the size of blades also has impacts on noise. In general, a fan with small blades has to accelerate its rotational speed to produce higher wind speed, thereby generating louder noise. To ensure the accuracy of test results, we tested in a quiet meeting room, used a decibel meter placing beside the fan at 15cm away (15cm is a normal distance we use portable fans), recorded the decibel of each fan at each speed setting, and made comparisons. You may ask why we place the decibel meter beside the fan rather than in front of it. If we place the decibel meter in front of the fan, the wind noise would be together detected, which would lead to a higher amount of decibel. And that result can’t represent the real-world noise we hear.
Testing decibel level
Aside from comparing their battery capacity, we also check their battery life. We first fully charged them and turned on each portable fan on different speed settings to see how long they can last.
Testing battery life
We held each model in hand to weigh their practicality. We also factored whether they can fit in our daily-carry bags.
We used an electronic scale to measure each portable fan. But considering that different types of portable fan have different weight standards, we determined the best ones mainly based on our real-world using experience.
Long-term real-world use
Our pick for most people
Our Pick: MOFAN 2500mAh Battery Handheld Fan
If you often work outdoors and desire a portable fan with a good price tag to keep cooling yourself during the daylong outdoor activities, then our pick MOFAN 2500mAh Battery Handheld Fan is right up your alley. It’s a powerful, affordable and long-lasting fan.
It may be the most adorable handheld fan you’ve ever seen.
The MOFAN features a minimalist design and keeps color consistent on its main body and blades. Except a pair of cat ears decorating on the top of the head, there is no extra embellishment. If you think the cat ear would dampen its overall aesthetic, of course, you can take it off easily.
Measuring only 105 x 210 x 40 mm (4.1 x 8.3 x 1.6 in.) in size and weighing 166.8g (5.9oz), it’s the most compact and lightweight relative to the same type of contenders. You can put it into your bag with ease.
Handheld fan is capable of wireless charging?
The MOFAN comes with a charging base, which is a nice bonus. Just leave the base on your desk and go with the fan. When back to the office and sit down, just plop the fan on the base to recharge it. That’s way more convenient than other products whose docks only function as a stand to help the fan stand firmly. You have to charge them with a cable to connect the charging ports on their main bodies.
Another useful perk of this MOFAN fan is that you can still run it when charging. You might take it for granted, but one product we found during selecting can’t do that. When you’re outside and the fan’s battery runs out, you certainly can use your power bank to juice it via the charging port on its handle.
Easy placement even without the base
A small area on the rear grille is deliberately made flat, which is a thoughtful design. To be more specific, if you want this fan to work as a desk fan but unfortunately you left the charging base at somewhere, at this point, you can make full use of that flat area to lay the fan in landscape orientation on your desk， which means it can be used as a small desktop fan.
Powerful yet quiet
The MOFAN fan’s airflow is one of the strongest among all models we tested. It has three different speed settings. On its lowest setting, it sends gentle breeze, producing a CFM reading of 46.3 and noise level at 51.3dB. The sound is small enough, similar to the steady hum emitted from a running computer host. So it’s best to set at this speed when you take a nap. At the second speed setting, it delivers more wind. The CFM goes up to 60.7 and noise level measures 55.8dB. It provides strong wind on its highest setting, with a CFM reading of 76.7 and noise level at 60.1dB. That noise level is normal, because the faster the rotational speed, the louder noise the rotor will emit. Therefore, this speed setting is optimal for using outdoors to cool down yourself quickly.
Last a whole day
The MOFAN has a 2500mAh battery. It can last up to 6 hours on its lowest setting, enough to meet your daylong need. It runs for 3 hours and 10 minutes at the second, and 1 hour and 46 minutes on its highest. Well, it does decline a lot, but its battery life is still longer than other portable fans. Also, you can use your power bank to charge it when it’s about to die.
The best 2-in-1 choice
Our Pick: CHANGHONG Foldable Handheld Fan
If you are a busy man who always works in and out of the office, and want a portable fan that comes in handy to hold in hand or place on your desk, then CHANGHONG Foldable Handheld Fan is an ideal sidekick for you. It can double as a desk fan, able to convert between handheld mode and desktop mode easily.
One step to turn it into a desktop fan
The CHANGHONG fan measures 125 x 225 x 45 mm (4.9 x 8.9 x 1.8 in.) and weighs 187.3g (6.6oz), slightly bigger and heavier than the MOFAN. It doesn’t come with a dock, but its handle is foldable, which can fold back and help stand stably on a desk. Additionally, its head is adjustable that allows you to manually tilt it back or forward to direct the airflow, something that not every handheld fan can do. This feature is our basic requirement for a desk fan, because with an adjustable head, you can adjust the fan’s head to let it blow in a perfect orientation.
Have you ever thought of installing a fan inside an umbrella?
On the rear of its head, there are four hooks that help attach to an umbrella’s inside frame. That’s a win-win solution — blocking out the sun and bringing refreshing breeze at the same time. However, we find it’s not that super-convenient to install it on and take it off from an umbrella, though it’s still acceptable if you do need to use this bonus function
3 speeds for different scenarios
This CHANGHONG fan offers three speed settings. Its airflow is a little weaker than MOFAN 2500mAh Battery Handheld Fan, but it still bests other contenders we tested. In our test, the first speed setting delivers a CFM reading of 45.3 and 52.3dB noise. It sends quiet and slight breeze, giving you a silent and cool environment for a noontime snooze. At the second speed setting, it measures a CFM reading of 57.9 and noise level at 56.7dB. Blowing gentle natural gust, it brings you revitalizing relief from work anxiety. The third speed setting provides strong wind to help evaporate sweat quickly. We get a CFM reading of 68.8 and noise level at 62.4dB. Though the noise increases a lot, it doesn’t matter, as the third speed setting is more suitable for outdoor using.
Better than VersionTECH
On Amazon, we found a best-selling option — VersionTECH Handheld Fan. Its handle is also foldable, while the head can’t move up or down. Worst of all, it’s cost twice as much as our pick CHANGHONG. Thus, we think CHANGHONG is a better option.
The best handheld fan with power bank function
Our Pick: HANDFAN Portable Fan with 5200mAh Power Bank
When selecting products, we found one kind of handheld fan that can also use as a power bank. Imagine that, when you stay outside and your phone is about to die, a handheld fan with a built-in power bank can juice your phone in a pinch. So you don’t need to carry an extra power bank. After testing and comparing 6 models of this kind, we’re sure that HANDFAN Portable Fan with 5200mAh Power Bank is a best-in-class choice.
The handle is a power bank.
The HANDFAN’s handle can be separated independently to work as a power bank. Its 5200mAh capacity is more than enough to charge an iPhone X once, and twice for an iPhone 8. During testing, it charged my iPhone 8 Plus at 4.8V⎓0.98A (4.75W), which was similar to the charging speed of my iPhone’s original charger. Although it failed to hit the fastest charging speed of iPhone 8 Plus, it is still adequate to meet our daily needs. There are two ways of power supply: through the power bank in the fan’s handle and the Micro-USB port on the middle part of the fan. Even if you plug out the handle, you can still run it by connecting a Micro-USB cable to a charger or a power bank.
This fan measures 222×130×34 mm (8.7 x 5.1 x 1.3 in.) and weighs 238g (8.4oz). It’s relatively heavy as its battery capacity is way higher than the regular handheld fans’. Well, that’s acceptable. On the plus side, its handle is detachable and foldable. Even without a base, it can still stand firmly on a desk. Its head features a folding joint that helps adjust the angle. You can tilt its head up or down to direct the airflow when using it as a desk fan. In this case, the cool and refreshing air will keep blowing on your face, while most of its competitors only blow on your chest.
A useful trick is that it comes with a hanger. You can install it and hang the fan on your bedstead when you go to bed. Additionally, It has two hooks on the back of its head, which help attach to the umbrella’s inside frame. In this way, you can block out the sun and at the same time breathe refreshing breeze. Cool!
Multiple modes of use
The most powerful handheld fan we’ve ever seen
The HANDFAN offers three speed settings. At speed 1, it produces a CFM reading of 49.5 and noise level at 51.0dB. We especially appreciate it as it provides stronger airflow than other products at this speed setting, but with lower noise. At speed 2, its noise level increases to 55.8dB, and the CFM goes up to 70.2 that exceeds most products’ airflow at their third speed setting. Most surprisingly, at speed 3, it delivers the strongest airflow among all products we tested, with a CFM reading of up to 89.5! Its decibel level, of course, also increases to 62.2dB, but still remains at the average level and won’t make us annoying.
Also the longest-lasting handheld fan we’ve ever tested
With a 5200mAh battery, it can run much longer than the regular handheld fans. Our test shows that it can continuously work for 15 hours and 45 minutes at the first setting, 8 hours and 30 minutes at the second, and 4 hours and 55 minutes at the third.
The best misting handheld fan
Our Pick: QinBen Misting Handheld Fan
On those record-breaking hot days, I felt like I was literally in a terrible sauna. No matter how strong wind a portable fan blew on my face, it still failed to cool me down effectively, because the breeze it produced is stuffy. NOT COOL AT ALL. Luckily, I found QinBen Misting Handheld Fan and I’m 100% sure that you will also appreciate the benefits of this fan. Guess what? This fan combines with a misting feature. Blowing together with wind will give you a remarkably cooling effect. Especially when you’re staying outside, once you turn on its misting mode, you’ll feel as if you were enjoying the chilly air conditioning.
Stand on a desk even without the base
Measuring 106 x 240 x 40 mm (4.2 x 9.4 x 1.6 in.) and weighing 203.8g (7.2oz), it’s slightly bigger and heavier than our pick MOFAN 2500mAh Battery Handheld Fan, but it’s acceptable. Plus, its handle is foldable, making it easy to fit into your bag. Despite the fact that it doesn’t include a base to help the fan stand, its handle can act as a stand, as long as you fold it back to lie flat on your desk. One more thing to mention, its head is unadjustable.
A few simple steps for exceptional cooling effect
There’s a 35ml water tank on the top of this QinBen fan. Just pull out the plug, add water into it, switch on, then it will do the job. As it sprays out ultra-fine mist, you don’t need to worry that it would wet your face or ruin your delicate makeup.
It has two buttons on its handle. The upper one is misting mode option and the lower one is wind speed option. It’s rare to come across a misting fan that separates these two functions to two buttons, which is quite practical and convenient, while most misting fans have only one button to control the modes.
A unique and thoughtful perk is that it has two misting modes: continuous and intermittent. When the tank filled with water, it runs just 20 minutes at the continuous misting mode until the water is used up. While at the intermittent misting mode, it can last about 35 minutes. Interestingly, aside from keeping you cool, this misting feature can also work to moisturize your face in dry weather.
Continuous misting mode (Left) & Intermittent misting mode (Right)
3 speeds for different scenarios
There are three speed options offered by the QinBen fan. At its lowest setting, it produces quiet and slight breeze that is perfect for sleeping, registering a CFM reading of 35.7. And it is barely audible at 48.5dB, lower than MOFAN 2500mAh Battery Handheld Fan. At its second setting, it sends gentle natural gust, with a CFM reading of 54.6 and noise level at 58.6dB. On its highest setting, it delivers strong wind for evaporating sweat quickly, measuring 65.6 CFM and 61.2dB noise, just slightly louder than that on its second setting.
Sufficient battery life for daily use
The QinBen fan comes with a 1800mAh battery. Competing with MOFAN 2500mAh Battery Handheld Fan, though smaller, our real-world test proves that it can last up to 5.5 hours at its lowest setting, enough for your daily use. At its second setting, it can run for 2 hours and 23 minutes, and 1 hour and 32 minutes at its highest. Although both are shorter than its lowest setting, you can use your power bank to prolong its battery life.
Our Pick: AGQ Mini Handheld Fan
If you don’t always carry a bag out but want a powerful handheld fan to beat the heat on muggy summer days, then our recommendation AGQ Mini Handheld Fan is a solid bet. Only 79 x 126 x 21.5 mm (3.1 x 5 x 0.8 in.) in size and 75.3g (2.7oz) in weight, it’s compact enough to fit into your pants’ pocket easily.
Stronger airflow than we expected
Frankly, I was expecting to be unimpressed with this AGQ fan’s airflow due to its tiny size. But surprisingly, our test result has proven that it can produce more powerful wind than many handheld fans with handles. It offers two speed settings, measuring 30.6 CFM and 32.9 CFM, respectively. The differences are minuscule. Both are strong-enough wind to meet your daily needs. As its head is only 67mm in diameter, which is much smaller than the regular handheld fans, its CFM is relatively small, even though its wind speed is high.
Testing wind speed
Ideal for outdoor using
As for noise level, it rates at 51.9dB on low, and 57.4dB on high. Both are very close. That’s because this AGQ fan’s blades are small. In order to create high wind speed, it has to accelerate the rotational speed of its motor, thereby causing louder noise than other compact-size portable fans. But considering that it’s mainly for outdoor using and can provide powerful wind, it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue.
Testing decibel level
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Low battery capacity is a common problem for all diminutive portable fans. The AGQ comes with an 800mAh battery that can last 1 hour and 37 minutes on its low setting, and 1 hour and a quarter on high. Compared with our other picks, indeed, its battery life is way shorter. Even so, it still fits well for commuting. You can also use your power bank to prolong its battery life. Small issues aside, this ultra-thin and powerful AGQ fan is still an ideal companion.
Our Pick: Xiaomi Portable USB Mini Fan
If you think the regular handheld fans are way too bulky and heavy, and expect to find an alternative to cool you down, then Xiaomi Portable USB Mini Fan is your perfect accompaniment. It’s the most compact fan we’ve ever seen. We compared it with a pen and found that they are about the same size.
It’s about the size of a pen.
With detachable blades, it’s pretty convenient to store and pack. You can easily put it into your pocket or bag, and it barely takes up space in your bag.
Powered by any devices with USB-A ports
Among all our recommendations, Xiaomi Portable USB Mini Fan is the only portable fan without built-in battery. It is powered by any devices with USB-A ports, like laptops, power banks, USB chargers, etc.
Multiple modes of use
After using for a long time, we think that power banks are the best way to power it up, particularly the small-size power banks, because they are handy and easy to move around. Thanks to its flexible stem, you can bend and angle it toward you as needed.
Barely audible noise
This mini fan is tiny and light, though. Its rotational speed is fast enough and the airflow can be comparable with other regular handheld fans. In our test, it produces a CFM reading of 43.8, which is about in line with that of our pick CHANGHONG Foldable Handheld Fan at its lowest speed setting. Moreover, it creates the least noise among all test models, measuring a mere 47.7dB, which is barely audible.
Testing wind speed (Left) & decibel level (Right)
Lots of similar but shoddy products available on the market
There are many plug-and-play USB fans on the market, but currently we can’t find any product that can rival Xiaomi Portable USB Mini Fan in performance and usability. In addition, many off-brand products from the marketplace share the same look as the Xiaomi. We bought in 7 products from different brands and found they all existed fatal quality problem (click here to check out). Hence, we dissuade you from buying those off-brand products.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Keep in mind that, this fan has no grille to prevent small and curious fingers, so it’s easy to hit your hands accidentally by the high-speed rotating blades. It’s not dangerous, but for the sake of safety, we do not recommend children to use this kind of fan.
Products to avoid
After a series of testing and researching, we found four kinds of portable fan that exist huge defects in design. You’d better avoid buying them.
Mini handheld fan
This kind of fan can become smaller by folding or retracting, but it may be thickened too. If you put it into your pants’ pocket, you may feel uncomfortable. To make it easier to store, this kind of fan generally has only two small blades which are made of soft rubber material, like TPE. However, that will lead to weak airflow. Plus, it trades off battery capacity for a more compact size, so it usually comes with short battery life. One more flaw is that it has no mesh grille. It’s easy to hit your hands accidentally by the rotating blades. Yep, I experienced this several times during testing, and really felt a significant sense of pain.
Bladeless handheld fan
As far as we know, the bladeless handheld fan operates in a way similar to Dyson’s. Out of curiosity, we bought in two models for hands-on testing. The test result was quite disappointing. They produced way too weak wind, and the airflow at the three speed settings was almost the same. We barely felt any measurable wind from them. Worst of all, they emitted substantially high decibel level, quite harsh and annoying.
Testing wind speed (Left) & decibel level (Right)
Lightning/Micro-USB/Type-C phone fan
This is a kind of plug-and-play mini fan that connects to your smartphone’s charging port. On the surface, they seem fancy. But don’t be fooled. They may put your phone at potential risks, or even kill your phone. The reason is that this kind of fan draws high current, while the phone’ charging port is not designed to output power. If you stick to use these fans, they would probably damage your phone’s battery and circuit board. Your phone may start experiencing a shorter battery life, stop charging or fail to restart. Even worse, they may ruin your phone’s motherboard, thereby making your phone crashed.
Off-brand plug-and-play fan
We bought in seven products from four different manufacturers on Alibaba to make a comparison with our pick Xiaomi Portable USB Mini Fan. These seven products share the same look and with no brand names. Through testing, we found various quality problems occurred. For example, they got overheating, the rotational speed slowed down, or the fan directly broke down. These off-brand products are uncertified, without any quality guarantee. So, you’d better avoid buying them.
(1) Jianyue F2 handheld fan: With a 4000mAh battery, its handle is quite thick and heavy. It features long battery life, though. The head is small, only 80mm (3.1in) in diameter, so its airflow is weak. Besides, the base is not included.
(2) Jianyue F2 Plus handheld fan: It also comes with a 4000mAh battery, while its head is bigger than the Jianyue F2’s, measuring 98mm (3.9in) in diameter. Its airflow is stronger than that of the F2, but it’s still inferior to our pick MOFAN 2500mAh Battery Handheld Fan which costs only 60% of the price of the F2.
(3) Benks F12 handheld fan: I’m impressed at the creative design of this fan. Though it doesn’t include a base, its handle can stretch to be a tripod, letting it stand stably on a desk. Its head is adjustable that can move up and down. Moreover, there’s a foldable phone holder hiding on the top of the fan’s head. You can open it and place your phone on it to watch videos. But in my eyes, it’s more of a bane than a boon. As the joint of its tripod is not reinforced, it is easily damaged if you press hard on it. In addition, its phone holder can’t hold your phone firmly. Incautiously, your phone will fall down from it. Furthermore, this fan’s wind speed and airflow fall short of our expectations.
(4) Kecheng F2001 handheld fan: This fan is the quietest fan we’ve ever tested. The price is the same as our pick MOFAN 2500mAh Battery Handheld Fan. However, it rotates in a way too low speed (that’s why we barely hear any noise), leading to weak airflow.
(5) Working F181 handheld fan: It’s one of the cheapest fans among all test models. In our test, its airflow and decibel were on the average level. However, it wobbled fiercely when operating. We are quite doubtful of the quality of its motor.
(6) Weixi SS-3 handheld fan: When we open the new box, ridiculously, there’s a long hair caught in its grille. We tried to pull it out, but failed. It was probably left by a careless worker during the assembling process. Thus, we strongly question the QC in this factory. Worst of all, it produced the weakest airflow among all test models.
(7) Hawk F317 handheld fan: This fan comes with a charging base, while its design is unreasonable. It is powered via the Micro-USB port. That means every time you charge the fan, you have to accurately align it to the charging port on the base, otherwise, it’s easy to damage the base’s charging connector.
(8) Remax RT-EM17 handheld fan: It also has a charging base, which is as convenient as our pick MOFAN 2500mAh Battery Handheld Fan. However, its airflow is much weaker and it costs 40% higher than the MOFAN.
(9) Rooshin handheld fan: This fan’s foldable handle can work as a stand, but its head is unadjustable. With poor build quality, this fan is no match for our pick CHANGHONG Foldable Handheld Fan.
(10) XY°S life handheld fan: Its handle is long, but the battery capacity is a mere 1200mAh. The head diameter is only 93mm (3.7in), leading to inferior airflow.
(11) ZUZAI Z-0100 handheld fan: This fan is rough-made. It totally broke down when we got it.
(12) FengYin handheld fan: I’m fond of its simple appearance and its additional base that can act as a phone stand, but its base isn’t built with charging function. Its airflow is also inferior to our pick MOFAN 2500mAh Battery Handheld Fan.
(13) ZERO 9 bladeless handheld fan: Among all test models, its airflow is the weakest. We barely felt any measurable wind. More fatally, it emitted loudest noise, quite harsh and annoying.
(14) Rone R1 bladeless handheld fan: It is way shorter than the ZERO 9. Without a base, it still can stand stably on a desk. In our test, its airflow is slightly better than the ZERO 9, but the noise is substantially harsh.
Handheld Fan Without Handle
(15) LI-ION handheld fan: Although its airflow is stronger than our pick AGQ Mini Handheld Fan, it’s bulkier as well, unable to fit into my pants’ pocket. It has no handle, making it uncomfortable when holding in hand. Yet, it’s louder.
(16) HanFan HF-320 portable fan: It features a special design and can act as a handheld fan, a desk fan or a necklace fan. But we think that it’s not powerful enough as a handheld fan.
Misting Handheld Fan
(17) KEJEA HG-F888 misting handheld fan: Its head diameter is relatively small, and the water tank is built inside the grille, which may block out some wind. Therefore, it produces quite weak airflow. Meanwhile, instead of spraying continuously, it just can spray intermittently.
(18) ONAN FS08 misting handheld fan: With only 73mm (2.9in) in head diameter and slow rotational speed, I hardly feel any wind from it. Also, it’s way bulkier than the regular handheld fans.
(19) iEGrow Hqm-MY001 misting handheld fan: This bulky fan has way poor build quality. It completely broke down after running less than an hour since we bought it.
(20) Handfan HF318 misting handheld fan: Its handle is foldable. It is close to the regular fans in bulk. And it features high volume of spray that can cool you down quickly. It would be in our picking list, but unfortunately, we found its water tank was leaking after filling with water. So we ruled it out finally.
(21) Guangyi FS320 misting handheld fan: It is the most powerful misting handheld fan we tested so far. However, it’s much too giant, with 101mm (4in) in head diameter and a thick handle, while the battery capacity is only 1500mAh.
Handheld Fan with Power Bank Function
(22) LEMOISTAR FX1 5000mAh battery handheld fan: Its appearance and design are considerably attractive. The whole body can be separated into three parts: head, handle, and base. Its handle can be disassembled to work as a 5000mAh power bank with output speed at up to 5V⎓1A, which is equivalent to the charging speed of iPhone’s original charger. Its head can directly plug on the base and power up through the rear Type-C port. Moreover, it offers four speed settings and produces strong wind that can be comparable to our pick MOFAN 2500mAh Battery Handheld Fan. However, there’s a fatal issue. When I tried to disassemble its head and handle. it’s quite difficult. I took a lot of effort to separate them, ending up with my fingernail scratched.
(23) MEIDI 2500mAh battery handheld fan: Its handle and head can’t be disassembled. The handle is foldable that can help the fan stand stably on a desk. Meanwhile, its head comes with a 30° rotation. With a 2500mAh battery, it’s sufficient for a handheld fan. While working as a power bank, 2500mAh is way too less. In real-world using, it can replenish only 30% juice for my iPhone 8. Hence, its battery capacity is far less than enough for both itself running and power delivering.
(24) Xiangzhi handheld fan with power bank function: It is similar to the MEIDI in structure. The handle can work as a stand as well. But in comparison, this fan falls short of some detail designs. For example, its head can’t rotate, and its handle doesn’t build with an anti-slip rubber. Thus, it’s not that convenient when using as a desk fan.
(25) Kmoso UFA01 5000mAh battery handheld fan: Its handle can detach to function as a power bank with 5000mAh capacity. However, if you want it to charge your phone, you have to stop the fan. Because it has only one USB-A port on its handle, that means you can’t do both things at the same time. Worse, its airflow is one of the least among all test models, even inferior to our pick AGQ Mini Handheld Fan.
Mini Handheld Fan
(26) Remax mini handheld fan: When we got this fan, we found that it is much bigger and heavier than what we expected. It’s significantly less effective to cool you down on a hot day.
(27) Remax F10 mini handheld fan: It’s compact enough, though. Its airflow is less powerful than what we desire. Also, it doesn’t come with any anti-slip rubber, making it unstable and move back when using on a desk.
(28) JANPIM mini handheld fan: This fan utilizes a magnet to attach the fan blades to the motor’s loop. You can take off the blades, place it inside the handle and then fold up the handle to store it. But it will become thickened after folding. Putting it into your pants’ pocket is quite uncomfortable. Besides, when you install the blades, you should ensure that it stays well, otherwise, it would fly out when running. This occurred several times during testing.
Plug-and-Play USB Fan
(29) Alibaba USB fan 1: We bought two models for testing. Their wind speed gradually slowed down, and one of them even stopped running. It fully proves that the QC of these fans’ manufacturer is not rigorous.
(30) Alibaba USB fan 2: After a few minutes of using, its head heated up seriously and the rotational speed greatly slowed down. I barely felt any wind from it.
(31) Alibaba USB fan 3: In real-world using, it doesn’t heat up or gradually runs slowly, but its airflow is far more inferior than our pick Xiaomi Portable USB Mini Fan.
(32) Alibaba USB fan 4: This fan produces the most powerful wind among all plug-and-play USB fans we tested, with up to 54.1 CFM. It almost became our pick. However, after using for a long time, we found that it would stop working when we bent its stem to one side. What a pity!
(33) Alibaba USB fan 5: It’s more flexible, but it’s longer and less portable than Xiaomi Portable USB Mini Fan. Also, its airflow is relatively weak.