Pedestal Fans vs Tower Fans – Which Is Better, And Why?

Researched & Written by Craig

Your living space is almost perfect. The couch, the coffee table… everything’s in it’s place. But we need a fan for when things get hot. The question is, which type? A pedestal fan, or a tower fan? What’s the difference – really?

I was stuck on this for a while. So I’ve put some thought and research into it. Here’s what I found:

Pedestal fans are more powerful than tower fans – they’re great for larger spaces and can sit behind furniture. They’re also quieter. On the other hand, a tower fan works best placed a few feet away from you. Consider a tower fan for smaller rooms with less floor space. 

Pros & Cons of Tower & Pedestal Fans

Sometimes the best way to decide between something is to compare their pros and cons. So I’ve put together this table to do just that! Hopefully it helps.

AspectTower FansPedestal Fans
Height Smaller - often some air will blow into the side of a couch/bed. Taller - can be placed behind furniture and directed straight to you.
Power Less Powerful - the air comes from turbine-like fans. More Powerful - the fan is the same style that powers some planes!
Noise Louder - the fan type is just louder. Quieter - high end models are super quiet. Only sound it the airflow.
Space Less Space - these tall and slim fans can be placed anywhere. More Space - pedestal fans have large bases to balance the power.
Features Standard features of all modern fans. Standard features of all modern fans.
Looks Better Looks - More modern, sleek designs. Basic Looks - not much you can do with a stand and some fan blades.

Overall Recommendations

Looking at everything from a top-down view, when should you get one of these fans over another?

The power of a pedestal fan is the main point of difference. They can be used over much larger areas, and can be positioned behind furniture to reach over them. 

For that reason, consider a good pedestal fan for a larger space.

On the other hand, tower fans are excellent when placed close to you. They’re great for smaller space, where there isn’t much floor space.

Opt for a tower fan for smaller rooms, where you can place the fan a few feet from where you’ll be sitting.

Pedestal vs Tower Fans – Feature by Feature

Height

Tower and Pedestal fans are two of the tallest types of fans out there. While a pedestal fan stands high and mighty, blowing air from a height, tower fans tend to blow air up their entire height.

This is the key difference between the two.

Pedestal fans blow all their air from a height so they can be placed behind objects.

They’re not the prettiest or modern fan, but they can be placed behind a couch or other bit of furniture. Couple this with a remote, and you have a subtle but powerful air source.

Alternatively, tower fans are made to sit in-front of you.

Because their airflow reaches from the floor upwards, they can’t be placed behind anything. This makes them much more suited to being placed a few feet from where you’re sitting.

Power

While these two types of fans can cause the same, they deliver entirely different types of airflow.

Pedestal fans can be real powerhouses. They work the same way that old propeller planes used to be powered – so you can see how powerful they can get!

Modern pedestal fans can pack an amazing amount of force behind them. They come with sturdy bases and powerfully optimized fan blades – giving you as much airflow as you’ll ever need.

On the other hand, tower fans are more like turbines or old windmills. They use a spinning set of blades to spin up and shoot air out of their opening:

While this is works to give air out the whole tower, it’s nowhere near as powerful or direct as a pedestal fan.

Shopping for a workshop? Blower fans give much more direct and accurate airflow.

Noise

The amount of sound from your fan make all the difference. Instead of “this is so cooling and relaxing”, you can find yourself saying “yeah the air is nice, but why won’t it shut up!”

Now – any high quality, modern fan will be mostly silent. But unfortunately for tower fans, the way they push air out is simply a noisier mechanism than a pedestal fan.

Instead of 3-5 simple blades spinning on a quiet axis, tower fans have entire towers of turbine-shaped blades being spun around inside a cylinder. This will just always be louder than a pedestal fan (despite giving less airflow).

In contrast, check out this high-end pedestal fan.

Even on the highest setting, you can barely hear the blades spinning. The only noise is the strong airflow coming from the fan blades.

This fan is our top recommendation and is ultra-quiet, but this still represents the difference between most tower and pedestal fans.

Mobility

For mobility, it’s roughly a draw between tower and pedestal fans.

Both are easy to place – though pedestals have a slight advantage being able to sit behind something.

However, moving requires the same amount of weight and hassle with the plugs. Aside from that, mobility’s a draw.

Space

Pedestal and Tower fans are great space savers –  but for different reasons.

Tower fans are often slim, easy to place, and barely take up any floor space. This makes them fantastic to sit in next to your couch or bed. They’re ideal for when you have limited floor space.

On the other hand, pedestal fans tend to have a big, sturdy base. This is needed to help balance them and the extra power they have. While this can take up more space, they make up for it by sending the airflow over a longer distance. Meaning you have more options to place them.

Features

Modern fans have plenty of features – and these are available to both types of fans.

Remote controls, oscillation, different modes, timer settings, and even child locks, can be found on most modern fan models.

Features is roughly a draw between both models.

Looks

Modern tower fans are starting to look incredibly good. Almost like an ornamental part of the room.

Tall, sleek, slender designs make them blend in with most modern living spaces.

Honeywell’s Quietset Tower fan fits into any modern space. (Image links to Amazon)

On the other hand, pedestal fans aren’t quite as glamorous. 

There’s not much you can do to improve the looks of fan blades on a stick. However, some modern models are looking very respectable. Like the Rowenta fan features in the Noise section above.

Price

The price ranges for both types of fans are around the same.

Starting at anywhere from $20, all the way up to $80 for decent models.

However, pedestal fans have a ‘super high-end category’.

These absolute machines will cost you over $100. Why? Because they’re super silent, super powerful, and super reliable. It’s a hell of a lot of money for a fan, sure. But they’ll last, and never fail to have your friends commenting about how silent but strong they are.

Check out our run-down of the quietest pedestal fans to find the best options.

Conclusion

Pedestal AND Tower fans are both fantastic options for any living space.

For a minimal cost, they can help keep you cool without too much noise, or taking up too much space.

I hope this quick guide has helped you decide which of the two will be better for your living space. In short, you’re deciding between power and quietness, against convenience and minimal space.

If this article’s helped you, please consider checking out some of our related articles below! Our website is entirely reader-supported, and we really appreciate your time.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

– Craig