- USB desk fans are compact and portable gadgets that can provide extra cooling.
- Using an internal rechargeable battery or plugged into a portable battery, a USB fan can be used in places where an electrical outlet isn’t easily accessible.
- The OPOLAR USB Fan is perfect for almost any scenario, thanks to its versatility and power.
Stuck in an office with air conditioning that seems to barely cool the room? Even in a modern skyscraper like the one my editors work in, the air conditioning can do so much when the bright sun is blasting through the windows. A desk fan can come to the rescue, especially when the summer heat becomes unbearable. And we don’t mean those bulky, loud things you have to hunt for an outlet to plug into. What you need is a fan that is powered through USB.
Many USB fans are compact and lightweight, and the ideal ones are powerful enough to keep your body temperature in check while staying quiet enough as to not disturb your work neighbors. And because they are USB-powered, they can plug into a computer with a free USB port, a USB hub, a power bank (portable battery), or a wall outlet using a USB adapter. These fans are meant for close proximity, although some are pretty powerful. Still, if you want to cool down a large area, you’ll still need a traditional fan.
But you don’t have to work in an office to get the benefits. These portable USB fans are handy for anywhere you want some cool air, especially when an electrical outlet isn’t available. You can use one for camping by plugging it into a p0wer bank, for example. Really, whatever you can think of.
In my research, I search extensively for products that are liked by expert reviewers and customers. USB fans can be a dime a dozen, so I also looked for products that have unique purposes, like for travel or can double as a night-light. Using my experience in covering tech products, I evaluated each product for how they would work for their intended purpose. USB fans aren’t particularly expensive products and most are made out of plastic, but I still considered their value and longevity. Best of all, most of our favorites come in at $20 or less.
Here are the best USB fans you can buy in 2019:
- Best USB fan overall: OPOLAR USB Fan
- Best USB fan for traveling: VersionTECH Desk Fan
- Best USB fan for nighttime: efluky Mini Desk Fan
- Best USB fan for office decor: Sharper Image SBS1–SI USB Fan
- Best USB fan for walking around: O2COOL Necklace Fan
Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks.
The best USB fan overall
OPOLAR’s USB fan is versatile, powerful, and portable, making it a well-rounded option for any scenario.
The OPOLAR USB fan is suitable for a variety of scenarios. It can sit on an office desk, clasp onto a baby stroller, and maybe even hang from a ceiling if you wanted it to.
It offers four speed settings: low, medium, high, and an energy-saving mode that cycles between all three in 30-second intervals. It is attached to a stand that also doubles as a clip.
What’s even more appealing is that OPOLAR uses a large-capacity 10,000mAh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, which means you can run it without needing to plug it in. On a single charge, you’ll get 6, 12, or 24 hours for the three aforementioned base modes, and 12 hours when using the cyclical setting (times are theoretical, not exact).
The fan also includes two different charging ports, USB-C for fast "2A" recharging and Micro USB; the battery can fully recharge in six hours using USB-C, according to OPOLAR. Unfortunately, you can’t use the USB ports to recharge a device, like a phone.
The fan uses three 8-inch blades that users say provide more than enough power to keep you cool. A 360-degree range of motion allows you to get the perfect angle to feel that breeze.
Pros: Smart clip design, 360-degree range of motion, 8-inch fan blades provide a powerful stream of air, built-in battery for remote operation
Cons: Somewhat pricey considering the product category, can’t use USB ports to recharge devices
The best for traveling
The VersionTech’s Handheld Fan is a good travel companion that you can easily take anywhere.
A deskbound fan is awkward for a day at the beach. Conversely, a fan that’s purely handheld doesn’t do much good at your desk. Enter VersionTech’s Handheld Fan: a portable fan that also works perfectly fine whether at a sporting stadium or sitting at a desk. Such a smart design makes it ideal for those who are bouncing from place to place.
The three-speed fan has a handle that lets you easily hold it. When placed on a stand, fold down the handle to create a stand; it also makes it compact for stowing in a purse or backpack. With a 4-inch diameter, this fan can’t quite match the output of pure desktop models, but users say it can output a deceiving amount of air.
The VersionTech Handheld Fan comes with a rechargeable battery for portable use sans USB power. The battery is removable, so it can use a regular non-rechargeable battery as well.
Pros: Folding handle turns into a stand, easy to carry, rechargeable battery, available in five fun colors, can use standard battery if needed, includes lanyard
Cons: Not as powerful as dedicated desk fans
The best for nighttime
With a blue light for mood and white light for utility, Efluky’s 3 Speeds Mini Desk Fan is perfect for those bedtime or late-night study sessions.
The Efluky 3 Speeds Mini Desk Fan does double duty as a USB fan and a night light.
There are actually two different colored lights. A blue light is great for creating mood and functioning as a night light when you’re in bed. When you actually need to see, you can turn on the brighter, white side light to illuminate small areas, like a bedside table.
You can’t adjust the angle, and it only stands up in one straightforward way. That could be a deal-breaker for some. That said, its 4.9-inch blades — with three speeds to choose from — spin up fast enough to cool you down at a reasonable distance.
When it’s not connected to an outlet, its 2,200mAh rechargeable battery lets you take it to another room or even outside.
Pros: Good airflow, two lights for mood and illumination, built-in battery, affordable
Cons: No options for adjusting angle
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