Are Vornado fans worth it? In this article, we’re going to check how well Vornado fans really perform and whether they are worth the money.
Hi, I am Daniel! I am an electrical engineer and I investigate electric devices in-depth.
I don’t care about the Vornado brand and I am not affiliated with it.
So, everything you read in this review is 100% independent information.
Quick answer: Yes, Vornado fans are worth it. They blow a focused stream of air, optimized for cooling people. Their build quality is superior to most other fans. A Vornado fan can easily last you 10-20 years.
Stick out to the end of this article, where I recommend my two favorite Vornado fan models (a floor fan model & a pedestal fan model).
Background: The internet is filled with rigged Vornado reviews
I decided to write on this topic because I read a totally biased “expert” review on Vornado fans and how they even replace ACs on reviewed.usatoday.com.
The article lacks any technical information. There is no comparison with regular fans. No depth at all.
It’s obvious they simply want to sell you the fan. And that’s something I noticed with many Vornado reviews.
Everybody tries to sell you a Vornado fan. Why?
The expert who wrote this top-ranking article studied media production and screenwriting. Wow.
And since he’s ranked #1 (currently), this means Google thinks a screenwriter writing a sales text on Vornado fans is the best source for indoor ventilation advice.
As an engineer, I can stand that fact. Let me do it better! So, let’s have a look. A real look.
What’s so special about Vornado fans?
The number 1 selling point of a Vornado fan is the “vortex” airflow.
Vornado says the following:
“Vornado’s signature Vortex air circulation [moves air] more effectively throughout the entire room.”
But what does Vornado mean by “more effectively”? What is air circulation effectiveness in their eyes?
From an engineer’s point of view, airflow effectiveness can be either of the following:
- more airflow than comparable fans (high technical energy efficiency)
- better control of direction, a focused airflow (high perceived energy efficiency)
Let’s check both of them.
Do Vornado fans have a stronger airflow than comparable fans? (Technical efficiency)
To find out how much airflow Vornado fans provide, we first have to get data.
Airflow speed & volume is measured in cubic feet (of air) per minute (CFM).
Surprisingly, Vornado does not provide CFM ratings on amazon. Luckily, they provide the technical specifications on the official Vornado website.
So, supplying full technical airflow specifications is a good thing!
Vornado apparently really cares.
So, let’s use the data to compare Vornado fans with comparable fans.
Vornado’s fiercest competitor is Dreo. If I search for “Vornado fan” on amazon, Dreo fans are the first result. Dreo apparently pays to pop up when someone searches for Vornado.
Vornado and Dreo must hate each other.
The Vornado consumes 46 Watts and the Dreo fan consumes 48 Watts of power. So, they are the same class of fans. They even look the same.
So, I’d expect similar airflow.
On the highest setting, the Vornado fan has an air throughput of 1638 CFM, while the Dreo fan throughputs 1082 CFM.
At the same power setting, Vornado throughputs 51% more air than its closest competitor.
To be fair, the Dreo fan is a smart fan with smart home integration. So, it spends a part of its power on computation.
Still, if we look at energy efficiency alone, Vornado fans are indeed good.
Do Vornado fans cool better than regular fans? (Perceived efficiency)
The perceived efficiency of a fan largely determines how much cooler you actually feel when you run it.
A fan with a lot of air throughput volume (CFM) is useless if you don’t feel colder.
Here’s what makes you feel colder when running a fan:
- The airflow from the fan is very focused, meaning you can point it at you from across the room.
- The airflow blows away hot air from your skin faster than your body can re-heat the skin
These two factors largely determine the cold you feel. In both of these categories, Vornado fans are much better than regular fans:
Vornado fans excel in creating a focused stream of air, which stretches across the room. And the airflow is strong enough to cool you down from a distance.
Regular fans don’t focus the airflow. Usually, their goal is to move your room’s air as a whole. Which is not what makes you feel particularly cold.
Vornado fans are great for cooling people.
So, in comparison to regular fans, Vornado fans are great.
But other fan brands such as Dreo and Dyson can also create focused streams of air.
So, yes, Vornado fans are better than regular fans. But other premium brands such as Dyson and Dreo cool similarly well.
Vornado’s competition: Do other brands have a vortex airflow?
Vornado is not the only brand that advertises a directed airflow. Dreo, Vornado’s closest competitor, for example, calls their airflow technology “Turbosilent X”, which is essentially the same thing as the Vorndao vortex airflow.
Heck, even an Amazon Basics fan copies Vornado’s design (and therefore its airflow properties), just at a much, much lower quality.
The vortex technology is not unique to Vornado and is relatively easy to copy. So, Vornado does not really have an edge over the competition here.
Vortex airflow: Do Vornado fans even create an actual vortex airflow?
The “vortex” airflow in Vornado fans is more of a marketing buzzword than a description of the actual airflow.
The air doesn’t spiral like a tornado within the room, but the Vornado fan does create a high-velocity airflow.
In pictures on Vornado’s sales page, the air spirals across the room giving the impression that Vornado fans can create beams of air.
While that is partially true (as there is indeed a strong airflow), the air does not spiral as depicted.
There are many factors that can disturb the airflow, including room shape, obstructions like furniture, and other sources of air movement like ventilation systems or open windows.
Even if one could create a brief spiral flow using specialized equipment, it would likely not be stable for extended periods and would probably not circulate air effectively throughout the room as intended.
Therefore, while it’s theoretically possible to create a spiral of air along a horizontal axis under controlled conditions, doing so in a practical, real-world setting like a room would be quite challenging.
The “vortex airflow” described by Vornado doesn’t literally create a stable spiral of air along a horizontal axis; rather, it’s designed to create a high-velocity airflow that circulates air effectively throughout the room.
Is vortex airflow something you should care about?
Vortex airflow is nothing that you really need to care about. The point of a fan is to either cool you down directly by carrying away hot layers of air from your skin or to improve general air movement within your room.
Any regular fan can do that.
While with a vortex airflow, you might be able to reach distant pockets of hot or cold air within your room more easily, it does not make a real noticeable difference to you as a person standing in that room.
Vortex airflow is a nice feature, but usually, you don’t need it.
Cooling power: Do Vornado fans really replace ACs?
I’ve seen people claim that their Vornado fan replaced an AC. And, to be honest, I believe that’s true.
Vornado fans create a really strong airflow that covers the whole room.
If pure airflow is all you need to cool down, then don’t wait and get your Vornado fan.
But, as an engineer, I have to emphasize one thing: In contrast to ACs, Vornado fans can’t reduce room temperature.
You can only ever reduce the temperature by extracting heat energy from a room and blowing it out of the window or through some other opening in the wall. That’s what all air conditioners do.
Vornado fans (and all other fans) can’t do that. They can only circulate the air in your room.
This can make you feel colder. But it won’t reduce the temperature in your room.
If feeling colder is all you need, then go ahead and get your Vornado fan.
However, if you need to reduce room temperature and extract humidity from your room, I recommend getting a portable air conditioner instead.
See my article on the most powerful portable air conditioners.
Reliability: Does Vornado build quality fans?
Quality matters. Quality is one of my top priorities on this website. If you pay good money for a product, you better get a product that’s worth that money.
Vornado fans are generally built with a combination of plastic and metal components, offering a balance between durability and lightweight design.
The plastic used doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy, and the metal parts add a layer of robustness to the structure.
Full-metal designs are not necessarily better in fans. I have a fully made of steel floor fan at home. It’s a great fan, no question. But it’s heavy. Carrying it around actually hurts.
Vornado fans are light enough to carry around easily. But they still feel very solid.
I like that.
The assembly is usually precise, with no gaps or misalignments.
Perhaps the best indicator of Vornado’s confidence in its build quality is the warranty, which often extends for five years or more depending on the model.
I’ve seen people online saying Vornado fans easily last 10-20 years.
Buying one good fan and using it for a decade is always better than buying a new fan every two years because fan blades or bearings wear out.
Vornado fans are high-quality products, are solidly built and last you a long time.
Price: Are Vornado fans worth the money?
A Vornado fan, specifically a Vornado 660, will set you back around $100 as of my last check.
Some Vornado models, such as the large standing fans even range up to $200. Small room and desk fans are usually around $50.
In contrast, the Dreo CF714S, its closest competitor, costs around $80. The Amazon Basics version costs even less at $30. Although the low-quality Amazon Basics fan is possibly the worst comparison for a Vornado fan I could make.
So: Sorry Vornado for comparing you with Amazon Basics. But it’s for science’s sake. And for the people!
When we break it down, the Vornado fan costs approximately $0.06 per CFM, while the Dreo fan costs about $0.07 per CFM. The Amazon Basics version costs the least per CFM at $0.05.
While Vornado is more expensive upfront, it delivers higher airflow and comes with a much better warranty, thereby justifying its price.
My favorite Vornado floor fan: The Vornado 660
My favorite Vornado floor fan is the Vornado 660 (click here to view it on amazon). Here’s what people say about it:
- Amazon Customer: “This one takes the cake and will blow way more air…It gets the job done. I don’t feel like I wasted money.”
- K2: “Very Effective Air Circulation! When the fan is on Level 4 it very effectively circulates the air…We’re very happy with this fan and would highly recommend it.”
- Lifeguard Station: “More powerful than a 20-inch Lasko WindMachine…I was skeptical at first, but it really does work well.”
- Nicole M: “They really do cool down my 2500 square foot home about 15 degrees if not more…This is not a ‘fan,’ it moves the air around my home.”
- Steve: “THIS FAN IS A GAME CHANGER! It’s 103° outside right now…74° in my MBR!!! INCREDIBLE!”
The Vornado 660 is the best allrounder Vornado fan. It can cool any room, no matter how large it is.
Okay… there is a limit. It’s probably useless for industrial applications or building sites. But for any regular living space, the Vornado 660 does the job.
Because it is compact, it is relatively easy to carry around. So, you can use it in the bedroom, in the living room and in the garage whenever you need to.
My favorite Vornado pedestal fan: The Vornado 783
While the Vornado 660 is already a great choice for most people, the Vornado 783 (click here to view it on amazon) does even better in most aspects!
Because it is a pedestal fan (the objectively most effective type of fan), it can create a whole-room vortex across your room much better than the Vornado 660, which stands on the floor (where it faces obstructions).
So, if a corner in your room is free & you can afford it, I highly recommend getting the Vornado 783.
Here are some reviews:
- Homewerk: “This fan moves a large volume of air QUIETLY…It’s worth the money.”
- brandon: “Extremely powerful fan that lives up to its price tag.”
- Dim: “After a decade plus, had to replace a Vornado fan. This is definitely an upgrade…Would recommend.”
- Jessi Brown: “Best fans I’ve owned. Sturdy and heavy duty and not too loud.”
- debra bogard: “I now have 3 of these fans…They’re energy efficient and well worth the price. Thank you VORNADO!”
- Debra: “For such a big fan you would think it could move some air, but not what was expected.”
I have no idea how some people can be astonished by the strong airflow, but then another comes around the corner and says the exact opposite.
Probably, in that case, the Vornado fan was faulty (which can happen due to transport damages).
Or the expectations were way too high. Remember, you’re getting a premium fan, not a jet engine!
Still, as you can see the general impression is very positive. I’d even say people are thrilled & enthusiastic.
Noise Level: How Loud Are Vornado Fans?
Based on my measurements, the Vornado 660 has a noise level of around 52 dB at its highest setting. In comparison, its closest competitor, the Dreo CF714S registers at 50 dB.
So, while the Vornado is slightly louder, the difference of 2 dB is hardly noticeable to the average human ear and is well within the acceptable noise level range for residential use.
Energy Consumption: Are They Energy Efficient?
At 46 watts, running a Vornado fan for an hour would consume 0.046 kWh.
If your electricity rate is, let’s say, $0.13 per kWh (which is above average in the US), it would cost you around $0.006 per hour to operate this fan. So, it’s almost free.
Even over the course of a month, this cost is negligible compared to running a (portable) air conditioner.
Conclusion: So, Are Vornado Fans Worth It?
In terms of airflow, Vornado fans significantly outperform their closest competitors.
The long-term durability, backed by a five-year warranty, adds significant value to the product.
While the price is on the higher side and it’s a bit louder, the performance and durability largely justify the cost.
If you value efficient air circulation and long-term reliability, then investing in a Vornado fan is a solid decision.