Top 6 Loud Fan for Sleeping: What’s the Best Type of White Noise Fan?

Although my research typically avoids the noisiest fans, choosing a loud fan for sleeping can be a good idea. It can help drown out background noise, and many people find the white noise fans produce very soothing.

So, in contrast to my usual reviews, in this article I’ll cover my top picks for the noisiest fan. I’ll look at the best type of fan and how white noise can help you relax.

Hopefully, by the end, you’ll be ready to go out and buy a white noise fan.

What Makes a Good White Noise Fan for Sleep?

A standard fan that you’d use at home ranges between 30 and 70dB. If we’re looking for a noisy fan for sleeping, we’ll want something close to the 70dB measurement.

For a real-world example of 70dB, it’s roughly the equivalent of road traffic if you’re standing on a sidewalk. Of course, this might be too loud for some people when they’re trying to sleep. So, anything above 55-60dB will be fine for a white noise fan.

It ultimately depends on whether you want to drown out background noise or just want a soothing whirr to help you sleep. If it’s the former, your fan will obviously need to be louder than the noise you’re trying to block. But if it’s the latter, 50-60dB should be fine in a quiet environment.

Do Fans Produce White Noise?

Technically, fans don’t actually produce white noise. Proper white noise is sound produced at every frequency audible to the human ear, which is 20Hz to 20GHz. It helps people sleep because it blocks background noise but is so broad that your brain can’t focus on it. As such, your brain essentially gets overloaded, but in a relaxing way.

But, the noise fans make isn’t white noise because it doesn’t cover all frequencies. That said, it’s close enough that it does the same job. So, if you want something to block background noise and help you sleep, a fan can be an inexpensive option.

Top Picks for Best Loud Fan for Sleeping

As the title suggests, my main consideration for these fans is noise. However, we still want them to be functional fans, so I also look at things like airflow and other standard features you need on a fan.

1. Top Pick: Vornado 630 Mid-Size Whole Room Fan

  • Fan Diameter: ~9″
  • Vertical Tilt: 90°
  • Airflow: 331 CFM
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Timer: No
  • Remote: No
  • Noise Level: NC

The Vornado 630 is my best fan for white noise because it’s compact but has great airflow. At just over 9 inches in diameter, it’s small enough to suit most bedrooms. Due to its size, it’s suitable as a personal fan.

Its CFM rating is 331, which is suitable for rooms up to 330 sq. ft. It has 3 speeds, the highest of which produces a great level of white noise. While it doesn’t have a decibel rating, previous users state it’s ideal for drowning out background noise on all settings.

You get numerous other useful features, such as a pivoting head and a removable grille. That said, it doesn’t oscillate, but the Vortex Action helps circulate air throughout the room. 

The removable grille is a good feature because it makes the fan blade easy to clean. This might not sound like much, but if you’ve ever used a dusty fan, you’ll know the difference it makes.

Its only real downside is that it doesn’t have a timer. When we’re looking at fans for sleeping, timers help because they mean you don’t need to run the fan all night. However, you can easily overcome this by plugging it into an outlet timer.

PROs
  • Ideal as a fan for white noise.
  • Circulates air throughout the whole room.
  • Compact enough for bedrooms.
  • Removable grille makes it easy to clean.
CONs
  • No built-in timer.

2. Top Budget Pick: Beyond Breeze Oscillating Table Fan

  • Fan Diameter: 12″
  • Oscillation: 90°
  • Vertical Tilt: 90°
  • Airflow: NC
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Timer: No
  • Remote: No
  • Noise Level: NC

This Beyond Breeze fan is no-nonsense and budget-friendly. It’s a table fan, arguably the most standard type, but is compact and surprisingly good quality considering the price.

It’s quiet but produces enough white noise for sleeping. Users state it’s enough to drown out background noise but not too loud as to be distracting. So, it’s basically the perfect balance as a sleep aid.

The fan tilts vertically and oscillates, meaning you have plenty of control over airflow direction. There are 3 speeds, the highest of which is pretty powerful. It’s also the best for white noise because the lower settings are a bit too quiet.

There’s a metal grille for safety, but you can easily unclip it for cleaning. While it might be a very basic fan, it does everything you need it to.

Much like the Vornado 630, the only real complaint is a lack of timer. Again, the easiest solution is to connect it to a timer outlet, which I’ve linked above.

PROs
  • Budget-friendly model.
  • Ideal as a source of white noise.
  • Not loud enough to be distracting.
  • Simple and easy to use.
CONs
  • No built-in timer.

3. Genesis 3-Speed Box Fan

  • Fan Diameter: 20″
  • Oscillation: No
  • Airflow: 1600 CFM
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Timer: No
  • Remote: No
  • Noise Level: 60 dB

If you want high-end cooling and white noise for your bedroom, a box fan might be the best option. This model from Genesis is 20 inches and has a CFM rating of 1600. As such, it’s a pretty powerful fan.

Better yet, it gives a decibel rating: 60dB. As mentioned earlier, this is right where we want a fan for white noise to be. It’s not too loud but should drown out pretty much all background noise.

It has 3 speed settings but lacks any oscillation or tilt features. However, these aren’t standard on a box fan, so if you want them, go for something like a table fan. If you want intense airflow in your bedroom, though, a box fan is a good choice.

Similarly, box fans don’t come with many other features. You use a dial to control the speeds, and there’s no timer built in. It does have overload protection, so that’s something.

Users mainly critique its build quality, as the housing is plastic. But, at this price point, you can’t expect much more for a box fan. There are models with metal housing, but they’re quite a bit more expensive. If you’re buying it purely for the white noise, it’ll do the job.

PROs
  • Massive airflow capacity.
  • Ideal decibel rating for white noise.
  • Lightweight/easy to carry.
CONs
  • Housing feels cheap.

4. Pelonis Oscillating Tower Fan

  • Fan Height: 36″ tall
  • Oscillation: 120°
  • Airflow: 425 CFM
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Timer: Yes
  • Remote: Yes
  • Noise Level: 48 dB

Tower fans are usually some of the quietest types of fans. But, at 48dB, this Pelonis tower fan is edging towards being a loud fan. It’ll work fine as a source of white noise if you don’t have much background noise to drown out.

As a tower fan, it has a compact footprint but stands 36 inches tall. Its airflow is slightly lower than a box or desk fan. Rather than creating a breeze, it’s more about circulating air around a room.

One good feature is that it comes with a remote control. It means you can change settings once you’re in bed, including setting the timer. As you can probably guess by now, I’m a bit fan of a timer on a fan for sleeping. You can set it up to 7 hours in one-hour increments.

It oscillates in a 120-degree arc, which helps move air around the room. There’s an LED screen on the fan so you can check the settings. It’s not distracting when you’re trying to sleep, as it automatically turns off after a set period.

The biggest problem users have is that they can’t clean the fan. As such, a build-up of dust can make it a bit smelly. Also, bear in mind that this fan is much quieter than the others on this list, so won’t be suitable as a fan for white noise in all circumstances.

PROs
  • Remote control makes it easy to use.
  • Automatic shut-down timer.
  • 120-degree oscillation arc.
CONs
  • Might be too quiet to be a fan for white noise.
  • Difficult to clean.

5. Lasko 1843 Cyclone Pedestal Fan

  • Fan Diameter: 18″
  • Fan Height: Adjustable up to 50″
  • Oscillation: 90°
  • Airflow: 1940 CFM
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Timer: Yes
  • Remote: Yes
  • Noise Level: NC

A pedestal fan (also called a floor fan) is basically a table fan on a taller stand. As such, this Lasko pedestal fan comes with all the white noise benefits I’ve mentioned in my Beyond Breeze fan review.

Previous users praise the build quality of this fan, stating that the fan itself doesn’t make much noise, meaning you’re left with the pure white noise of air circulation. So, if you want something relatively peaceful, this could be a great choice.

There are 3 speed settings, and the fan has a 180-degree oscillation arc. Also, you can tilt the head vertically, giving you plenty of flexibility over airflow direction. The pedestal is roughly 50 inches tall, making it a good choice for putting on the floor behind furniture or if you have a tall bed.

You get a remote so you can change the settings from your bed, and there’s a 4-hour timer. While this isn’t as good as the Pelonis tower fan, a 4-hour timer is generally enough for most situations. After all, having it turn off sooner helps conserve electricity.

The main problem with this fan is its lower-end build quality. Reviewers praise the fan’s blades and motor as well built but claim the pedestal is a bit cheap. However, the blades are perhaps the most important part, so this isn’t a major concern.

PROs
  • Good source of white noise.
  • Wide oscillation arc.
  • Tall stand makes it suitable for use around large furniture.
  • Built-in timer.
CONs
  • Build quality isn’t amazing.

6. Honeywell HT-900 Air Circulator Fan

  • Fan Diameter: 10″
  • Oscillation: No
  • Vertical Tilt: 90°
  • Airflow: 185 CFM
  • Speed Settings: 3
  • Timer: No
  • Remote: No
  • Noise Level: NC

This fan from Honeywell is a compact model that’s ideal for bedrooms. You can position it on a desk, bedside table or other pieces of furniture rather than on the floor. It’s only 10 inches in diameter, but it’s pretty powerful.

The fan head pivots up to 90 degrees but unfortunately doesn’t oscillate. However, like the Vornado, it’s designed to circulate air around the whole room, so it’s not as necessary a feature.

Honeywell claims the fan has a 25-foot reach. But, it’s important to note that it’s less about creating a breeze and more about circulating air. This might sound like a minor difference, but the latter keeps air cool rather than providing a direct breeze.

Even so, it’s a good source of white noise. The fan itself is pretty quiet, meaning you’re left with the sound of air moving around. Much like the Pelonis tower fan, though, it might not be suitable in louder environments for this reason.

Users mainly criticize its weak airflow. But, as I mentioned above, this is because it circulates air rather than creates a breeze. So, providing you’re not looking for a blowing fan, this model should do fine.

PROs
  • Not a loud fan but does create white noise.
  • Good air circulation.
  • Compact design is suitable for bedrooms.
CONs
  • Weak airflow compared to something like a table fan.

What are the Loudest Fans for Sleeping?

In this article, I’ve covered a few different types of fans:

  • Table fan
  • Floor fan
  • Tower fan
  • Box fan

So, which is the best fan when it comes to white noise?

The best fan for white noise is either a box or table fan. Box fans are louder because they’re bigger and so have greater airflow. But, their size means they’re often not practical for use in a bedroom.

Table fans, however, are better suited to spaces like bedrooms because this is what they’re designed for. They’re also more likely to have the kinds of features you need from a fan for sleeping, such as oscillation and a sleep timer.

As I mentioned above, a floor fan is just a table fan on a taller stand. They’re a good alternative if you need something taller.

Tower fans are probably the worst when it comes to a white noise fan. They’re often the quietest type due to their design. While this is helpful in some situations, it means they won’t be the loudest white noise fans. That said, it’ll be perfectly suitable if the environment you want to mask is not too loud.

What to Look for in a Fan for White Noise

Other than fan type and noise level, here are the other important considerations when choosing the best fan for sleeping.

Airflow

As with any fan, airflow is important. We measure it using Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). A fan’s CFM rating roughly corresponds to the size of room it’s suitable for.

A general rule is that you need 1 CFM for every square foot of room. For example, a fan with 300 CFM would be suitable for rooms up to 300 sq. ft. For a more specific idea of the right size fan for your needs, consider using a CFM calculator.

Oscillation is something else to consider when thinking about airflow. It helps circulate air better but isn’t completely necessary.

Speed Settings

All fans will come with speed settings; the most typical setup is low, medium, and high. For quiet fans, I usually recommend choosing a fan with a CFM rating higher than you need, so you can run it on the lower settings.

The same applies for a fan for white noise. Choosing a loud fan does mean you can increase the volume of white noise to drown out your environment’s noise..

Whatever fan you choose, some flexibility in speed settings is helpful if you want to move it between rooms of different sizes.

Build Quality

Build quality is always important with a fan because they’re hard-working devices. You want one with a good quality motor that’ll last. Of course, not many manufacturers give details about their motors, so consider looking into reviews to see what they say.

The fan blades should ideally be metal, although hard plastic works well, too. Metal blades are more durable, but plastic is more common on lower-end fans. Providing the fan has a grille to protect them, you shouldn’t worry too much about damage to the blades.

You’ll usually find the build quality reflected in the price, although this is a generalization. I recommend not spending less than $40 on a fan if possible, although you should judge each product on its merits.

For instance, table fans are generally a good deal since they generally fall under $30 while providing a reasonable amount of white noise.

Portability

Ideally, a fan should be portable. With some fan types, this is much easier than with others. For example, desk fans and table fans are the most portable, with pedestal fans coming in a close second.

The least portable are types like box fans and tower fans because they’re usually heavy and/or bulky. Of course, if you only plan on using it in your bedroom, portability isn’t a massive concern.

Price

The right price for any product is subjective. The cheapest model I’ve reviewed on this list is around $30, but I only chose it because it stands out from others at this price point.

Generally, I wouldn’t go below $30. Similarly, I wouldn’t bother going above $100 for a white noise fan, as there’s just no need. You can get a great home fan within the $50-$70 range.

Warranty

Where possible, buy a fan with at least a 1-year warranty. Some models offer a 5-year warranty, which is a sign of a manufacturer’s confidence in their product.

Inexpensive fans likely won’t come with any warranty, but it isn’t a big loss if you’re only spending $30 on the product.

But, I’d recommend opting for a fan that’s a bit more expensive with a good warranty. That way, you know it’ll last (or that you’ll get a replacement if it doesn’t).

The Benefits of White Noise

I’ve previously written an article in much greater depth about the benefits (and limitations) of white noise as a sleep aid. I recommend checking that article out for more information on the subject. 

White noise has long been linked with the idea of improved concentration and helping people fall asleep more easily. But is it as simple as that?

Generally, yes. There are numerous studies on the subject. For example, one study done on subjects in an ICU found that white noise did help people fall asleep while also improving sleep time and quality by drowning out background noise.

The key takeaway is that it blocks out distracting background noises by covering all parts of the audible sound spectrum. As I state in my other article, it’s just the right level of annoying. It basically overloads your brain with noise information, meaning it has nothing to focus on. While this might sound distracting, it can actually improve concentration for some people.

Fans and White Noise

Although many manufacturers state their fans produce white noise, this isn’t always the case. Thanks to various factors, most fans produce noise that’s closer to pink or brown noise. What are these? Well, you can check out my article on noise colors to learn more.

Essentially, it boils down to the noise’s frequency and amplitude. White noise plays each frequency at the same amplitude, whereas brown and pink noise favors high amplitudes for low frequencies.

So, white noise can help sleep quality, but fans might not be the best devices for it. If you think you’d benefit from white noise, consider buying a dedicated white noise machine. You can check out my article on the top 5 white noise machines to help you narrow things down.

Not only do these produce actual, full-spectrum white noise, but they also don’t move air around the room, making a white noise machine a better option for year-round use. Of course, if you still want the benefits of air circulation, a fan is a good alternative.

Final Thoughts on Fans for White Noise

I hope this article has given you some options for picking the best loud fans for sleeping.

My top pick is the Vornado 630 Mid-Size Whole Room Fan. It’s loud but not annoying and circulates air around the whole room quite easily.

If you’re on a budget, the Beyond Breeze Oscillating Table Fan is a standout pick at this price point. It does everything you need from a loud fan but is less than half the price of the Vornado.

Let me know below if you have any recommendations for other white noise fans or any advice for sleep aids.

Ludovic
Ludovic
Ludovic uses his technical experience as a Mechanical Engineer to compile Soundproofing DIY guides. You’ll often find him breaking down complex topics to make it clearer for others. He also finds inspiration in sharing mindful habits.

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