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10 best handheld fans for 2023

If you’re looking for ways to beat the heat this summer, a handheld fan could be the answer. 

By Natasha Gregson | Last updated Apr 27, 2023

Woman in public with portable fan

It's not long now until summer and the promise of warm and sunny days. Whether you love the sun or prefer a more ‘typically British’ weather situation, we all want to try and keep cool on those super-hot days, which is why it pays to have the best handheld fan in your summer arsenal.

Handheld fans have thankfully come a long way since the – quite frankly – lethal plastic blade models of the ‘80s (remember them?). Now you’re spoilt for choice with designs offering a genuine, cooling relief from hot weather, that not only do the job, but look great too. And while the best air conditioner can excel at keeping you cool at home, you can't really take it with you on your commute, which is where a compact handheld fan is ideal - just pop it in your bag for an on-the-go icy blast.

Whether you’re looking for an everyday handheld fan, something to keep you comfortable on a long journey, a portable unit for when you’re out and about, or a handheld fan to help keep you cool during labour, we’ve extensively researched tried-and-tested recommendations from the Mumsnet forums, expert picks, and authentic, verified consumer reviews to bring you a list of the very best.

Here are the best handheld fans 2023. 

1. Best overall handheld fan: VersionTech Handheld Fan

VersionTech handheld fan

Price on writing: £16 | Buy now from Amazon

What we love

  • Powerful motor
  • Multi-use
  • Lightweight and portable

What to know

  • Not the quietest when on top speed

What Mumsnet users say

"VersionTech Handheld Fan... Great for up-close cooling when I have a hand free." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user hagsrus0)

Our verdict

The VersionTech Handheld Fan is a great all-rounder. With a choice of three speed levels, this small but mighty six-blade handheld fan can deliver everything from a cooling breeze to a strong wind, up to an impressive three metres in an instant.

It’s rechargeable by USB cable – whether through the mains or your computer – with a battery life of around three hours on the full power setting. 

The fan is a nice travel-friendly size so you can easily pop it in your handbag or changing bag when needed. We love that you can also use this as a desk fan thanks to its simple fold, making this a versatile buy ideal for home, work or if you're on the go. With over 8,500 five-star reviews on Amazon, we think this handy fan delivers serious value for money.

2. Best budget handheld fan: Halfords’ Simply Motorised Handheld Fan

Halfords mini fan

Price on writing: £2 | Buy now from Halfords

What we love

  • Excellent price
  • Perfect for travelling
  • Safe foam blades

What to know

  • Not rechargeable
  • Noisy
  • Not hugely powerful

Our verdict

If you’re looking for something cheap and cheerful, you can’t go wrong with this affordable handheld fan from Halfords. Coming in at just £2, this diddy model is an excellent choice to keep in your bag for whenever you might need it.

The foam blades (rather than the traditional plastic) mean the fan is extra safe, posing no danger to your fingers or face if you get a little too close in your quest to cool down. It runs on two AA batteries, which are included but can’t be recharged, so make sure you have plenty of batteries at home to keep this fan going long-term.  

As you’d expect, there are no flashy extras here, but with a powerful 4500rpm motor, delivering a decent airflow, this bargain buy packs an impressive punch for less than the price of an ice cream.

Related: The best kids' water bottle, according to parents

3. Best misting handheld fan: HandFan Misting Handheld Fan

HandFan Handheld Fan

Price on writing: £21 | Buy now from Amazon

What we love

  • Misting function is ideal for keeping cool
  • Can be folded into a table fan
  • Creates powerful breeze
  • Reserve water bottle included for refills

What to know

  • Some users reported leaks
  • Pricier than other fans

What Mumsnet users say

"This one has a mist function and it’s a game changer. So much cooler than a normal fan." (Vetted by Mumsnet user MikeWozniaksGloriousTache

“The thing I was most grateful for in my hospital bag was my handheld fan with in-built water spritz” (Type of fan recommended by Dinosauraddict)

Our verdict

If you’re preparing to pack your hospital bag, this little wonder definitely deserves a spot on your list. Not only does this lightweight fan provide a powerful breeze, but it can also be used as a misting fan. Just fill the small tank (55ml) up with water, then sit back and relax as the fan delivers a fine mist for the ultimate cooling experience. A dream come true in labour!

Similar to many other models, this handheld fan is powered by USB and can be recharged to offer up to nine hours of life depending on the setting you choose. Just bear in mind that if you're using the misting feature, a full tank of water will last up to 40 minutes, but there's a spare water bottle included in the kit so you can top it up on the go. The handle can be folded too, creating a base so it can go on the table if you want your hands free. 

Our main grumble is that it can be prone to small leaks, so make sure you don't overfill the water tank. All in all though, we think this is a fantastic buy whether you're preparing for labour, are dealing with hot flashes or want extra cooling power during a heatwave.

4. Best folding handheld fan: Jhua Handheld Mini Fan

Jhua handheld fan

Price on writing: £8 | Buy now from Amazon

What we love

  • Folds down completely
  • Very compact
  • Soft blades
  • Inexpensive

What to know

  • Not suitable for children
  • Not great as a desk fan

Our verdict

This green and white handheld fan can be folded in half, lengthways, to a teeny 9cm, making it a brilliant option for on the go – it’s so compact it can even fit in your pocket. 

The Jhua Handheld Fan has a choice of two speeds, which deliver an impressive breeze, despite its size. The soft blades won’t hurt your hands, but as they’re not surrounded by a protective case – as some of our other choices are – make sure you keep hair well out of the way.

As well as being completely foldable, this fan can also be used as a desk fan by half folding the handle to a sitting position. However, we think it performs much better as a handheld design, so you'd be better off with the best tower fan or pedestal fan for use at home.

You can recharge the fan using the USB cable, and there’s even a handy red light on the side of the fan which goes off when it’s fully charged.

5. Best rechargeable handheld fan: EasyAcc Handheld Portable Fan

EasyACC USB fan

Price on writing: £26 | Buy now from Amazon

What we love

  • Lightweight
  • Multi-use
  • Powerful fan

What to know

  • Battery life not that long on highest setting

What Mumsnet users say

"I got myself an EasyAcc handheld fan from Amazon. USB charged, portable, fold in half to become a free standing desk fan... The best bit, it has three settings, one is a lively brisk breeze, two is amazing for such a little fan, and three [gives] 'Beyonce hair'." (Reviewed by Mumsnet user amusedtodeath1)

"Those EasyAcc fans have been an absolute life changer the last couple of years." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Rockbird)

Our verdict

Racking up plenty of five-star reviews on Amazon, this handheld fan is a bestseller for good reason. With similar dimensions to our best buy, the VersionTECH, the EasyAcc Handheld USB Fan is compact, lightweight and can fold into a desk fan in a flash.

There’s a choice of four speeds, with even the slowest setting providing a fantastic cooling breeze, and it’s easily recharged with the USB cable. With a battery life of three to 17 hours, depending on what setting you’re using it on, and a useful light display to let you know how much power is left, it’s a great fan to have at home or on the go. It's available in two different colourways – black and white– and we think it's a great buy for summer.

The downside? It is quite expensive for a handheld fan but it does gets rave reviews and Mumsnet users rate this brand very highly.

Related: Discover the best ice cube trays, ideal for cooling drinks on hot summer days

6. Best bladeless handheld fan: Fishyu Portable Bladeless Fan

Fishyu fan

Price on writing: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

What we love

  • Safe for children
  • Stylish design
  • Good battery life

What to know

  • Not a very powerful breeze
  • Larger than some of the other models
  • Noisy

Our verdict

Little ones and whirring fan blades definitely don’t mix, which is why we love this bladeless fan for families. While certainly not the most powerful fan in our round-up, the Fishyu – with three speeds – still delivers a gentle, cooling breeze that's perfectly suited to toddlers and children needing some relief on a hot day. 

Chargeable with USB ports, it can also double as a desk fan – just sit it in the circular holder included for a hands-free breeze. With an operating time of eight hours, it should easily last for a day out too.

Looks-wise, we rate the Fishyu’s sleek appearance, although it can be a little noisy. Overall it's a great child-friendly choice – pair with the best sun cream for kids to keep little ones safe and cool in the sun this summer.

7. Best travel handheld fan: SMARTDEVIL Neck Fan

Smartdevil handheld fan

Price on writing: £28 | Buy now from Amazon

What we love

  • Wearable so you can go hands-free
  • Provides a 360° cooling experience
  • Ideal for hot flashes

What to know

  • Noisy on highest setting
  • Pricey
  • Battery life isn't as long as some other fans

What Mumsnet users say

"It arrived today and it's doing me wonders." (Vetted by Mumsnet user TrickorTreacle)

Our verdict

While it's not strictly a handheld fan, we think this ingenious device deserves an honourable mention on our round-up nonetheless. Mumsnet users rave about this style of fan, declaring them to be "life changing" and "amazing" for heatwaves and hot flashes. You wear the fan around your neck and then the 48 wind outlets provide a cool breeze. This is another bladeless option too, so it's safe to wear without fear of getting your hair caught in the fan.

However, the real beauty of this fan is that you can go completely hands-free, meaning it's ideal for wearing at home while you're doing jobs or out and about – although some may find the design puts them off wearing it out the house. It is a little on the noisy side and the battery life could do with being longer, but we think it's a great investment for beating the heat this year.

8. Best mini handheld fan: EasyAcc Portable Personal Pocket Fan

EasyAcc mini fan

Price on writing: £9 | Buy now from Amazon

What we love

  • Super compact
  • Great battery life
  • Very quiet
  • Detachable base

What to know

  • Bigger models may be more powerful

What Mumsnet users say

"Those EasyAcc fans have been an absolute life changer the last couple of years." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Rockbird)

Our verdict

Although all of the handheld fans in our round-up are a decent, portable size, this dinky offering from EasyAcc beats them all when it comes to compactness.

Coming in at around the size of the palm of a hand, this handheld fan will take up less room in your bag than your mobile phone. It comes with a detachable base, so the fan can go from standing on your desk to being the ideal accessory for keeping cool when you're out and about, just with a quick removal of the base. 

Chargeable by USB, this quiet handheld fan can last up to 17 hours in the low-speed mode and five and a half hours in high-speed mode – and there's even a wrist strap included for even easier portability. If you're in the market for a compact yet powerful fan for under £10, you can't go wrong with this highly-rated option.

Related: The best paddling pools for cool summer fun

9. Best silent handheld fan: ibohr Mini Fan

ibohr mini fan

Price on writing: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

What we love

  • Exceptionally quiet
  • Powerful breeze
  • Swivel head
  • Can be used as a desk fan

What to know

  • Not very compact
  • Not great for travelling 

Our verdict

Sometimes, silence is golden – and this is especially true when it comes to handheld fans. If you’re looking for a fan to use at work, in hospital, or perhaps at an outdoor event, the ibohr is an excellent choice.

The brushless motor and seven-blade design means this three-speed model provides great air movement and a cooling wind, but without the noise. Although we wouldn’t call this 100% silent, it’s incredibly quiet and unobtrusive. USB chargeable and with a battery life of up to seven hours (speed-setting dependent), it has rave reviews on Amazon and it’s not hard to see why.

We also love the swivel head, which you can angle to get the ideal position for use as a handheld fan or as a desk fan with the removable stand – included in the price.  

10. Best cute handheld fan: JYPS Portable Handheld Fan

Cat handheld fan

Price on writing: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

What we love

  • Cute design - would make a good gift
  • Can be turned into a desk fan
  • Lightweight and compact

What to know

  • Noisy
  • Other options may be sturdier
  • Design won't be for everyone

Our verdict

You want practical, but you also want something that looks fun, right? This super-cute offering from JYPS ticks all boxes on our hunt for a handheld fan with a bit of personality. 

Available in three colourways – pink, green, and white – and with a feline design, this compact fan will bring a smile to your face whenever you use it. But, as well as looking cute, it boasts plenty of great features you’d expect from a decent handheld fan. It has three speed settings, is easy to use, and the handle can be folded up to turn it into a desk fan. The blades are in a case too, so it’s a nice, safe option for children.

The downside? It may not be as robust as other options, and some found it was very noisy for its small size. We love how lightweight it is though – it would make a great addition to your bag and you'll still have enough room for essentials like your phone, keys and a reusable water bottle.

How do I choose a handheld fan? 

  • Battery life: Some models can last for 24 hours, while others may run out of steam after three. Always check the battery life, so you don’t get caught out.
  • Is it rechargeable?: The majority of handheld fans now feature rechargeable batteries that can be charged up from your electricity mains or laptop using a USB cable. Rechargeable models are a great money-saving option, and you won’t have to worry about having spare batteries around the house.
  • Power: A decent handheld fan should have a good amount of power behind it to provide you with enough of a breeze to keep you cool. Most models have different power settings – usually two or three – covering everything from a light breeze to a strong wind. It all comes down to personal preference, as well as what you’ll be using the fan for, so be sure to check before you buy. 
  • Portability: If you want to take a handheld fan on holiday or simply out and about with you during a heatwave, it needs to be lightweight and small enough to pop in your bag. 
  • Noise levels: Some handheld fans are noisier than others, so if this is an issue make sure you look for ‘silent’ models, which, although not always 100% silent, are much quieter than traditional handheld fans.
  • How safe is it for children?: If you plan on letting your child use a handheld fan, it’s important to consider the safety elements of each design. Bladeless models are a good choice for children, as there’s nothing for them to hurt themselves on. But, of course, it goes without saying you should never let a young child use a handheld fan unsupervised.
  • Additional features: Some handheld fans are straight-forward in design, while others include all sorts of bells and whistles – we’re talking everything from water misting to light-up models.

What is the best handheld fan?

We think the VersionTECH Handheld Fan offers a lot for the price. Powerful and with great battery life, this fan can be used as a desk fan as well as a handheld. Portable and lightweight, it really does tick all boxes.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users 

First up, we sought out the trusted opinions of Mumsnet users to get their feedback on their favourite handheld fans. We considered the models and brands they loved, weighing up features like simplicity of use, versatility, and, of course, cooling power.

We also looked out for any negative reviews, where Mumsnetters highlighted products that they felt were poor quality or didn’t work.

Expert opinions

Next up, we considered reviews and feedback from trusted industry experts. We want to be confident that the products we recommend are fit for purpose, so we looked out for award-winning products or those that were well regarded in the marketplace.

Authentic consumer reviews

Finally, to bring you our definitive list of the best handheld fans on the market, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites to get wider consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist.  

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products.

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.