Why We Love the Vornado Air Circulator for 2023
- 52 things we love
Photo: Michael Hession
The Vornado 630 Medium Air Circulator is simply the most powerful home fan you can find.
The Vornado 630 Medium Air Circulator is not an oscillating fan. The best thing about an oscillating fan is that one glorious moment when it finally blows a cool waft of air right in your direction. But the brief breeze ends almost as soon as it began, leaving you waiting for that fleeting relief from the heat to cycle back around again.
Vornado 630 Medium Air Circulator
The compact Vornado 630 can send breezes to the far corners of a large room. It’s easy to control and clean, and it has a long-established record of reliability.
That’s not the case with the Vornado 630—or anything that uses a Vornado fan, for that matter. That’s because it doesn’t oscillate at all. Instead, the 630 circulates the air, creating a uniform breeze throughout the entire room.
The Vornado’s unique blade design dates back to a patent from 1938, which in turn was based on an experimental airplane engine (video)—giving the 630 an impressive pedigree of propulsion that actually works. Sure, an oscillating fan might seem nice in the moment. But a Vornado can actually cool down everyone in the room at the same time.
It’s also great if, like me, you have a stuffy home-office space without any windows, and you just want to get the air moving so you don’t feel trapped in a stale and desolate room. In fact, Vornado even has some recommendations for how to get the most out of the air-circulation feature in different seasons, including using your fan to help distribute heat in the winter.
A Vornado can actually cool down everyone in the room at the same time.
The Vornado’s air-circulation feature means this fan is likely to last longer, too, because there are fewer mechanical parts that could break. It’s also easier to clean than most other fans we’ve tested.
And if anything does go wrong, Vornado has a remarkably generous five-year warranty (PDF), with a fantastic track record of actually providing that customer service free of charge (which unfortunately can’t be said about every fan manufacturer).
How it compares
We’ve tested dozens of fans since 2012, and Vornado consistently makes some of the best available, including the Vornado 630 Medium Air Circulator.
- The Vornado 630 circulates air much more efficiently than any other model, despite being ¾ the size of a standard box fan.
- This fan is quieter than every other model we’ve tested, except for the Dyson Air Multiplier AM06, which costs nearly $200 more.
- With no screws to remove or difficult seams to wedge apart, the Vornado 630 is easier to clean than most other fans, especially tower fans.
When to buy
This Vornado rarely goes on sale—we last posted a deal on it in 2019, and the price hasn’t dropped below $60 on Amazon in over a year.
$65 Average street price
$40 Best price we’ve ever seen
Make it last
Clean your fan! We cannot stress this enough. Even if you run it constantly, it will still collect dust and dander over time. This can eventually become a potential health risk—especially if you’re someone like me, with sensitive lungs and allergies.
Cleaning will also help ensure that your fan continues working as efficiently as possible. If too much gunk builds up, it could slow the gears or create more friction, weighing down the blades so they can’t cut through the air as well. This could make it harder for the fan to build up the air-circulating vacuum that makes the Vornado so good in the first place.
Luckily, the Vornado 630 Air Circulator is easier to clean than other fans we’ve tested. It also comes with its own set of cleaning instructions (although we have our own advice to offer, too). It doesn’t require any screws or painful panel separation, either. All you have to do is press down on the grille clips to remove the grille face, and then get in there and wipe the blades with a towel and soapy water. Let it dry, pop the grille back on, and you’re done!
At least until next month, when you should probably clean it again.
This post is part of our 2021 52 Things We Love series, an ode to Wirecutter picks that have withstood the test of time. Read the entire series.
Meet your guide
Thom Dunn is an associate staff writer at Wirecutter reporting on HVAC and other home improvement topics. Sometimes his curiosity gets the best of him, such as when he plugged a space heater and a Marshall guitar amp into the same power strip. Pro tip: Don’t do that.
Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).
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Try a Vornado fan—it’s better than air conditioning
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases made through the links below may earn us and our publishing partners a commission.
Living in Boston means springtime for me usually lasts a grand total of three or four weeks. It’s cold in the winter months, then slightly-less-cold in March and April, and then—after a few weeks of warm, mild weather—it becomes disgustingly hot.
Seriously, I go from having my windows covered in plastic insulation to a sweaty mess in the time it takes the first pitch of baseball season to cross home plate.
At least, that was how it was until my Vornado fan came into the picture.
Last spring, I decided enough was enough with air conditioners. Window air conditioning units are luxurious, but they’re also a great way to run your electric bill up. If you live with roommates, and they’ve all got A/Cs, forget about it—your bills are sure to take off in the summer months.
After scouring the web for fans that could maybe hold a candle to my now-defunct air conditioner, I landed on a medium-sized Vornado fan—an air-circulator for medium-sized rooms.
Initially, I balked at the cost. “A $65 fan? That’s absurd.” But, the more I read about it, the more intrigued I grew. Eventually, I dumped it into my cart, paid for it, and prepared myself for disappointment. Oh, how wrong I ended up being.
Vornado fans create the ultimate vortex
This affordable, modestly-sized Vornado air-circulator is powerful enough to cool down a small room.
Vornado fans aren’t like the big wind machines many of us grew up using; even on the highest setting, they don’t really blast your face with a visceral gust of air.
Instead, Vornados are specifically designed to create a vortex that circulates air across an entire room. In other words, you don’t have to be sitting in the Vornado 630’s line of sight in order to feel its cooling effects.
That’s not to say that the Vornado fan isn’t powerful—quite the contrary, actually.
But due to the lack of an initial whoosh that usually accompanies premium fans, you might be fooled into thinking you’ve been duped when you first plug it in, turn it all the way up, and point it at your face. Just give it some time.
Better yet, open a window, put the Vornado fan on the windowsill, and let ‘er rip for an hour or so. Its effectiveness is undeniable; not only does the Vornado fan manage to keep a room cool in tough heat, but the air itself is fresh and pleasant.
The staleness I often associate with garden-variety fans is nowhere to be found—we’re talkin’ sweet, sweet ambient bliss, here, people! My bedroom is easily the freshest-smelling, freshest-feeling room in our apartment.
If you’re still uneasy about dropping spending up on a fan, you might want to test the waters with the Vornado 133. It’s less expensive, more compact, and ideal for smaller-sized rooms like offices or pantries.
Of course, if you’re really looking to circulate some air, feast your eyes upon the Vornado 660, which is powerful enough to push air up to 100 feet. It’ll set you back about one hundred bucks, but make no mistake: This thing’s an absolute beast.
Vornado fans are made to last
The Vornado VFAN Vintage circulates air in a room and looks damn good for a fan, to boot.
All three of these Vornado fans—the 630, the 133, and the 660—are backed by Vornado’s 5-year warranty, which means with any luck, these are the last fans you’ll have to buy for several years. Like any fan, Vornados have a tendency to collect blankets of dust on their blades and in their grills. Fortunately, cleaning is as easy as detaching the grill and wiping it down.
If the monochromatic, utilitarian look of these vortex-creating super-fans doesn’t really fit your aesthetic, allow me to point you in the direction of the Vornado VFAN Vintage. It’s got all power of a standard Vornado fan, but a style that would fit right in at an old 1950s diner. If I wasn’t already content with my 660, I might be tempted to spring for the green one.
Again—I know a premium-priced fan sounds a little crazy, but trust me on this one. I’ve got the freshest room in my apartment, after all. If you’re still in need of some assurance, it’s worth noting that Vornado fans are consistently some of the highest-rated fans on Amazon. Just under 70% of the 630’s Amazon ratings are 5-star ratings, and the reviews tend to be positively glowing.
Get the Vornado 133 fan at Amazon for $31
Get the Vornado 630 fan at Amazon for $65
Vornado 660 fan at Amazon for $100
Vornado VFAN vintage fan at Amazon for $100
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Vornado 5303DC Circulator Variable Control reviews and… 🌀 Domestic fans, 🌬️ Heating, cooling and air quality
Description Vornado 5303DC Circulator Variable Control
th room. SPEED CONTROL – True speed control with 99 unique airflow settings allow precise control via electronic buttons. A remote control and an energy-saving timer provide added convenience. MULTIDIRECTIVE AIRFLOW – Equipped with an adjustable tilt head to direct air where you want it. OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE – Deeply pitched blades combined with inlet guide cone, enclosed duct and spiral grille help move air up to 80 feet. SUPERIOR SUPPORT – Backed by a 10-year uptime promise and backed by a customer service team based in Andover, Kansas. Designed to meet US voltage requirements. Verified.
Excellent fan with very minor complaint
Tiffany W. Williams
900 02 China
Bought This fan is for the bedroom. I don’t have air conditioning and I need a good fan to circulate the air so I can sleep. I had another Vornado that stood on the floor and it was fine, but this one on a stand is much better. I can direct the air from the bed towards me if I want to, or tilt it up to bounce off the wall when I don’t need a direct breeze. Ability to set the speed from 1 to 99 is great. You won’t know how you used to live just…
SUPERIOR SUPPORT – Backed by a 10 year uptime promise and backed by a customer service team based in Andover, Kansas.
Vornado fans are my favorite FANTASTIC fans!
Patricia W. Wilson
I have several Vornado fans and this one is no different, big or small. Here’s what I love about Vornado fans: 1.) They produce a huge amount of air for a small fan, yet have the perfect control to customize the performance to your liking. 2.) They have an incredible warranty and back their products. Yes, you pay a little more, but you’re not busy buying a new fan every year or two. 3.) For some reason the fans…
Designed to meet US voltage requirements. Certified, safety tested and guaranteed for use in the USA only.
Pay for quality and get
Dana B. Black
After ordering and returning a pair of cheap, poorly made, unacceptably noisy/vibrating fans, we bought this Vornado with a brushless DC motor. Assembly without tools takes five minutes. It’s a beautiful piece of hardware; The parts fit together well and the fan is very stable. This 9″ block lets in more air, runs quieter, and has less vibration than the 18″ stakes we bought and returned. He does not hesitate, but with the right …
SPEED CONTROL – Real speed control with 99 unique airflow settings allows precise electronic button control. A remote control and an energy-saving timer provide added convenience.
Exceeded expectations, buy, why anchor in the middle of the power cord?
Brittany W. Williams
Smaller than my original freestanding Vorn ado but works just as well. I really appreciate the stable floor stand; My last Vornado had this “twisted tube” and it was fairly easy to tip over (and break!). This one is durable and looks attractive. The remote control is a nice feature, but the remote control is tiny; I can see the day this thing gets lost in the sofa cushions. The device came with a disassembled stand, but to assemble …
MULTIDIRECTIVE AIRFLOW – Fitted with an adjustable tilt head to direct air where you want it.
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Vornado Compact Circulator Variable Control reviews and… 🌀 Residential fans, 🌬️ Heating, cooling and air quality
Description Vornado Compact Circulator Variable Control
DESIGNED TO WORK – The 133DC ensures you stay comfortable at all times using our unique airflow pattern called Vortex Action to move all the air around you. ENERGY SMART – Powerful brushless DC motor consumes up to 80% less energy. MORE PERFORMANCE LESS SPACE — Compact size and quiet operation, yet incredible power From the office to the laundry room, the compact circulation pump keeps the space you’re in comfortable. CUSTOMIZED COMFORT – True variable speed settings provide precise airflow control, while the tilt-adjustable head provides multi-directional airflow. SUPERIOR SUPPORT – Backed by a 10 year promise and backed by a customer service team based in Andover, Kansas. We expect this product to be perfect. If it’s not, we’ll fix it.
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