The best fans are durable, easy to use, energy-efficient, and have a wide range of speed options to suit all potential situations and preferences.
The Vornado 6303DC is an excellent fan for the money. It has a remote, 99 fan speeds, low vibrations, uses up to 80% less energy than normal fans, and moves air up to 85 feet away. The only downsides are that it can get noisy at high speeds and you need to manually adjust the height.
If you’re looking for a durable, high-quality fan that will stand the test of time, the Vornado 6303DC is a terrific bet. Read on to learn about the pros (and cons) of this high-tech Vornado fan.
Pro-tip: To get the complete picture, you should compare my review with the official Vornado 6303DC Amazon listing. Open the Vornado 6303DC product page on Amazon.com now to compare features and customer ratings.
Before you go off buying an expensive high-end fan, you should first consider whether buying a fan is the right option for you in the first place.
If you find yourself frequently in need of a cooling draft of air — but don’t want to pay for the increased energy costs of an air conditioner — you should consider getting a fan. Fans cool your body by causing sweat to evaporate quicker, which will cool your body faster than if you didn’t have a steady stream of air flowing over your skin.
There is one caveat, though: if you live in an incredibly hot area where the temperature consistently reaches over 99°F, a fan alone won’t cut it. If the air temperature is hotter than your body temperature (which is typically 98.6°F), a fan will actually make you hotter instead of cooling you off.
For a fan to cool you down, the air needs to be colder than your body temperature. You can accomplish this using an air conditioner, or by using a bowl of ice if you’re on a budget.
Okay, so now that we’ve covered whether you need a fan or not, let’s discuss whether you should get the Vornado 6303DC.
If you’re not a big fan of “smart” technology and don’t care about having precise control over your fan’s airflow, you probably won’t need the high-tech advantages this fan has over its simpler counterparts. And if you already have a fan that you’re happy with, there’s really no need to replace it.
However, if you’re in need of a fan that offers precise control over speed and volume, want the convenience of controlling your fan via remote, and want something that provides amazingly powerful airflow without running up your electric bill or producing noises so loud that it sounds like a jet engine is in your house, the Vornado 6303DC is an excellent upgrade to make.
The best room fan: Vornado 630 Medium Air Circulator
The compact Vornado 630 can send breezes to the far corners of a large room, is relatively easy to control and clean, and has a long-established record for reliability.
For a reasonable price, the Vornado 630 Medium Air Circulator packs a powerful punch without using a lot of energy—which is exactly what you want in a fan. In our tests it moved more air than any other fan of comparable specs, creating breezes throughout the room thanks to an ingenious design that continuously circulates the air (as opposed to blowing it intermittently across your face like an oscillating fan does). Not much bigger than a basketball, the 630 doesn’t take up too much room on a floor or on a coffee table. It’s also relatively quiet—and the sound it does make resembles a smooth white noise, as opposed to the choppy whir that most other powerful fans produced in our tests. Perhaps most important, the Vornado 630 is backed up by tons of positive online reports from owners who’ve used the fan for years. Plus, its five-year warranty means you’re still covered in the event the fan breaks after a year or two.
Vornado fans, or “air circulators,” are not designed like traditional fans—they’re built to direct a “beam of air” across a room and draw in fresh air from behind, creating a continuous circulating breeze throughout the entire space. Vornado designer Brian Cartwright told us that Vornado created the basic design in 1945, basing it on a propeller that channeled air through the center of an early jet engine. (The company has a helpful video explaining the engineering.) In contrast, standard fans simply disperse air throughout the room without creating continuous circulation. This is why many of them offer oscillation as an option—anyone will feel cooler for a few moments when a fan is blowing directly on them, Cartwright said. To maximize the amount of air your circulator moves during the summer, Vornado recommends that you aim its airflow halfway up a wall on the opposite side of the room. In the winter the company recommends turning your fan on low and pointing it toward the ceiling in order to evenly distribute heat throughout the room.
Despite the 630’s compact footprint—it’s just 12 inches in diameter, versus a standard box fan’s measurement of 16 inches square—it’s powerful enough to fully circulate the air in most rooms. Vornado recommends the 630 for midsize rooms, such as bedrooms, kitchens, and offices, but we found the fan powerful enough at its highest setting to effectively cool a larger living or dining room. If you have an especially large living room or appreciate gusts, the larger Vornado 660 Large Air Circulator, a former runner-up in this guide, is a better option. But the 630 does a capable job in most parts of the house.
The 630 Medium Air Circulator’s spiral grille helps direct air in a tight column that can move air across a large room.
The 630 has its control dial on the side of one of its legs, so you don’t have to stick your face or arm over the windy face of the fan to change the speed or turn it off.
We found the 630 to be relatively quiet, especially considering its superior air-moving capability. At its middle and lower settings, it issued a pleasant white noise that measured between 47 and 49 decibels, which made it easy for us to talk or watch TV over. The 630 was noticeably louder on its highest setting—but even then, it measured only around 56 decibels, quieter than what the CDC considers “normal conversation” levels (60 decibels). In fact, we’ve found that the white noise is great for muffling street noise, which is particularly helpful if you live in a busy city. In our tests we found that we could still watch TV with the 630 blowing at full force, too, as long as it was across the room instead of right next to us. The only fans we tested that came close to the 630 in both power and quiet operation were the more expensive Alexa-enabled Vornado 660 AE and the far pricier Dyson Air Multiplier AM06, a former also-great pick. And even if some fans sounded quieter overall than the Vornado 630, many of those, such as the Lasko 20″ Wind Machine Fan 3300 and the Lasko Oscillating High Velocity Fan with Remote Control 4930, made inconsistent, revving sounds that were far more obtrusive than the 630’s white noise.
By our energy-consumption measurements, the 630 used 38 to 53 watts, depending on the setting. Based on average US electricity costs, this means you could run the fan on high 24 hours a day from the summer solstice to the autumnal equinox, and it would add only about $15 to your total utility bill for the summer (or $10 if you run it on low the whole time). This makes it an affordable option for cooling your home or spreading that cooled AC air around even more. It does use more energy than some of the other models in our test group—our budget pick from Honeywell uses a little less than half as many watts, for example—but the airflow performance from those fans was nowhere near as powerful in our tests. It’s worth spending a little more on energy for a fan that lets you sleep more comfortably.
The Vornado 630 isn’t much to look at, but it’s durably built and doesn’t look or feel cheap. The pebbled black plastic frame felt sturdier than the flimsier plastic of tested Lasko and Holmes fans, which we could bend with our fingers; try as we might, we couldn’t bend any of the panels in the grille of the 630. Thanks to its squat, circular body, the 630 won’t wobble or topple over—an issue we encountered with several top-heavy tower fans that swayed in a worrying fashion when blowing at full force.
The 630 also comes backed by a five-year warranty (PDF) that covers any defects in material or workmanship; if those are the issue, Vornado will repair or replace your fan free of charge. Vornado sends you a prepaid label if it needs to repair your fan, which means repairs are actually free. Several Amazon reviewers even said that Vornado replaced their fans or parts of them at no cost for issues outside of warranty, such as when they accidentally dropped the fan a day after buying it.
The 630 is relatively easy to maintain and clean, at least as far as fans go. No screws are involved—simply press down on one of the grille clips, and then the grille face should pop off. Wipe the blades with a towel and some soapy water, and pop the grille back on. If you need to do a deep clean, you can pop the fan blades off as well, though it might take a little more elbow grease. You can find the specific cleaning instructions (PDF) in the manual, but cleaning the 630 should become second nature after a few times. And the fact that it’s so much easier to clean means you might actually stay on top of the task. Maybe.
We’ve been recommending the Vornado 630 since 2017, and year after year, it continues to impress with its small footprint and powerful gusting. We’ve only heard from one Wirecutter staffer who’s seen their Vornado fail in that time—and fortunately, it qualified for replacement under the company’s five-year warranty. During the unrelenting heatwave of July 2022, we were able to keep two bedrooms in a 1200-square-foot apartment cooled down with nothing but a Vornado 630 and whatever cool air it may have been pulling in from the air conditioner way off in the living room. We tried to find out if an oscillating pedestal or tower fan could replicate that comfort level, but frankly, it was too hot to endure the testing process. Why mess with a good thing?
We have heard a few complaints that the 630’s powerful vortex sucks in so much air that it gets filthier than other fans. This makes a certain amount of sense—it’s sucking in so much more air than other fans that it’s inevitably going to gather more dust (or pet hair, or whatever else is in your home). While the grille removal remains easier than any other fan we’ve tested, some people have struggled with getting the fan blades off for a deep clean. But again: You’re probably going to run into some cleaning complications no matter what fan you get.
Like most room fans, the Vornado 630 has just three speeds, which can feel limiting after you use a fan that allows more variable speed control. The Vornado 610DC, one of our upgrade picks, has a speed dial that allows for flexible speed adjustment; another upgrade pick, the Vornado 660 AE, has a fourth, “turbo” setting in addition to the standard high/medium/low that you get on most fans. However, both of those models cost about $45 more than the 630.
The 630 comes in only one color: black. Although it would have been nice to select from other colors, we don’t think most people are fussy about matching their fan to their furniture, and black is easy to hide in most decor schemes. If you prefer a white fan, check out the Vornado 610DC, or if you like a more art deco aesthetic, the Vornado Vfan Alchemy is available in gunmetal gray or seafoam green (although it doesn’t perform quite as well as the 630).
The 630 does not come with a remote. But after using fans that do come with remotes for just a few weeks, we found that the remotes are remarkably easy to misplace or lose entirely. They’re a perk only if you remember where you last put them.
Some pet owners might have a little more trouble cleaning the 630, especially if the pet sheds and the hair gunks up in the grille. Even with the 630’s front face popped off, we’ve struggled to access the rear grille area; we’ve used an old toothbrush. To be fair, this is a problem common to many fans.
Some readers—and family members—have complained that they don’t always feel the air from the 630. Or, put another way, they miss that jarring but tangible moment when an oscillating fan points their way, offering a pleasant but fleeting relief from the heat. The Vornado doesn’t provide that exact same sensation, but our tests have shown that it keeps the air in the room moving more consistently, creating more of a steady breeze than a sudden gust. While we personally find that more pleasant to live with, we know that some people just really like that feeling when the fan is right on them. Even if it’s temporary. Even if it doesn’t actually cool them down as much.
Vornado fans create the ultimate vortex
This affordable, modestly-sized Vornado air-circulator is powerful enough to cool down a small room.
Vornado fans arent like the big wind machines many of us grew up using; even on the highest setting, they dont really blast your face with a visceral gust of air. ADVERTISEMENT
Instead, Vornados are specifically designed to create a vortex that circulates air across an entire room. In other words, you dont have to be sitting in the Vornado 630s line of sight in order to feel its cooling effects.
Thats not to say that the Vornado fan isnt 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 youve 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—were talkin sweet, sweet ambient bliss, here, people! My bedroom is easily the freshest-smelling, freshest-feeling room in our apartment. ADVERTISEMENT
Q: Does it swivel vertically?
Yes, this fan can swivel vertically. The fan rotates at the base and will allow you to point the airflow at the ceiling if you wish.
What is so special about a Vornado fan?
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