You’ve decided to buy a fan, but now you need to choose which fan you want to buy. You might think that all fans are the same and that they will all have a similar appearance, perform similar functions and basically operate in the same way, but there is actually more than one type of fan design to choose from. If you’re not really sure what a pedestal or tower fan is or what the difference is between them then read on to find out more!
When you think of a fan you are probably visualising a pedestal fan. Pedestal fans are basically fans which are on top of a long ‘pedestal’ style base which allows them to circulate air on a higher level. There are different types of pedestal fans. These are:
- Oscillating pedestal fans. These are fans which can spread the air flow around the room rather than focusing on one spot.
- Rotating grill pedestal fans. These fans have a rotating grill part which will circulate the cool air all over the room at the same time rather than just from side to side.
- Fixed variants pedestal fans. These fans will concentrate air flow on one specific location of the room.
- Blade-less pedestal fans. These fans are a good choice in terms of health and safety as they don’t contain the blades which can prove dangerous if your fingers (or your child’s fingers) were to get stuck in the fan.
Tower fans are long and thin in design and their skinny size makes them a good choice for smaller spaces as they can easily fit into corners. Tower fans tend to be quite futuristic in appearance and at first glance, you may not think a tower fan is a fan at all. There are three main types of tower fans.
- Oscillating Tower Fan. These fans are able to circulate air around the room in a horizontal motion so that the cool air is not just concentrated in one area.
- Bladeless Tower Fan. These fans don’t contain blades so they don’t pose any of the associated health and safety risks.
- Ceramic Tower Fan. These fans are made out of ceramic materials and they will reap the benefits commonly associated with this material.
Pedestal Vs Tower Fans
Both pedestal and tower fans have their own advantages and disadvantages. The model which is right for you will depend on your own priorities and needs.
If space is a big concern for you then a tower fan is a better choice. These fans are long and thin and they can fit easily into compact spaces, whereas pedestal fans tend to have a large circular fan on top and will therefore require additional space.
Pedestal fans tend to look a bit old fashioned. Most people know what pedestal fans look like and they are often not the most attractive things in the world thanks to their white/grey colours and internal parts which are always on display. Tower fans are comparatively stylish. They tend to come in black, metallic and monochrome colours, they are slim and sleek in appearance and they don’t look particularly different to other electronic appliances such as speakers.
Tower fans are a good choice if you don’t want to compromise on your décor and you want something that will match your furniture, whilst a pedestal fan is fine if home decorating isn’t your biggest priority.
Neither pedestal nor tower fans are particularly expensive, but pedestal fans tend to be cheaper and more readily available. If you pop down to your local supermarket you will probably find a standard pedestal fan which you can buy then and there, whereas you will probably only find tower fans in specialist shops and online. If you are on a tight budget and you just want something that will keep you cool then a pedestal fan is probably your best bet.
Weight & Portability
Both pedestal and tower fans are portable and fairly easy to carry around. Tower fans tend to be lighter as they are more likely to be made out of lightweight material and they tend to be smaller than pedestal fans, but neither option is going to be overly heavy.
Tower fans tend to be safer than pedestal fans. This is because pedestal fans have blades which can be reached from outside the fan through the mesh guard so if you decided to stick your fingers into the fan they may well come into contact with the blade and/or get stuck inside the fan. This is particularly risky if you have small children or if you get stuck to the fan accidentally.
Tower fans keep their blades hidden inside the unit so it would be a lot harder (or even impossible) to reach them accidentally. Both tower and pedestal fans come in blade-less varieties which are safer, but it is still easier to get your fingers stuck in a pedestal fan.
Oscillation & Air Direction
Both pedestal and tower fans can have oscillation features which will circulate the cold air around the room in a horizontal direction. Some fans will also be able to circulate the airflow in multiple directions as once rather than just from left to right, whilst other options may simply blow cold air into one direction. It’s a good idea to check the specification of each individual fan so you know what to expect and you don’t end up disappointed.
Cleaning a pedestal fan can be quite time-consuming as you will need to take the fan apart, unscrew the blades, clean the inside of the fan and then reassemble it in the right order. As pedestal fans come with open mesh guards they are more likely to accumulate dust quicker and so you may have to clean them more frequently.
Pedestal fans are fairly easy to clean because the blades are inside the unit so they are less likely to accumulate dirt and dust. All you should need to do is vacuum the outside area of the fan and dust the external unit.
Different fans will have different noise levels, but as a general rule pedestal fans are likely to be noisier than tower fans. If noise is a big priority for you then look for tower fans which specify that they are extra quiet. Tower fans are more likely to have various ‘modes’ including a ‘sleep mode’ which is designed to provide cool air without keeping you awake at night.
Pedestal fans have an obvious advantage over tower fans when it comes to height adjustment. Pedestal fans normally have an adjustable pedestal height and an adjustable head which allows you more flexibility over where the airflow is focused, whereas tower fans come in non-adjustable units.
Both tower fans and pedestal fans are likely to come with multiple speed settings which you can adjust depending on how much airflow you want at that given time. Three-speed settings (i.e. high, medium and low) are common with both types of fan and it is an important option to have because it will let you adjust the fans speed there and then depending on how hot or cold you are.
Both pedestal and tower fans may come with a remote control which will allow you to control the fan without having to move. This is very common with tower fans, but it is also an option for many pedestal fans.
Both pedestal and tower fans are going to be fairly user-friendly. The only difference is that tower fans are more likely to have LED control panels which are more straightforward than the more old-fashioned controls which you may find on a pedestal fan.
Some higher-end tower fans may come with an included HEPA air purifier and/or an ioniser which can clean the air as well as cool it. This is not the most common feature and it is likely to rack up the price tag, but it is an option if you are looking for an air purifier and fan in one unit.
Both tower and pedestal fans come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Tower fans are more aesthetically pleasing, they are compact and are suitable for smaller areas, they tend to be quieter and they are more likely to have additional features, but they are not height adjustable and they tend to be more expensive. Pedestal fans tend to be cheaper, they are height adjustable and they perform many of the same functions as tower fans, but they are less attractive and tend to be bulkier and noisier. The fan which you choose will depend on which features you are looking for and what your budget is.