The best outdoor misting fans for staying cool in 2024 (2024)

Gear

Outdoor Gear

Escape your air-conditioned cave and enjoy the outdoors, even in peak heat, with these cooling devices.

By Billy Cadden

Updated on Apr 24, 2024 5:02 PM EDT

11 minute read

Best oscillating

The best outdoor misting fans for staying cool in 2024 (1)

NewAir AF-600 Outdoor Misting Fan

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Best overall

The best outdoor misting fans for staying cool in 2024 (2)

Geek Aire Battery Operated Misting Fan

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Best battery-operated

The best outdoor misting fans for staying cool in 2024 (3)

RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Bucket Top Misting Fan Kit

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The best outdoor misting fans for staying cool in 2024 (4)

You can’t air condition the outdoors, but an outdoor misting fan provides the next best thing. These devices push cool air carrying clean mist across large spaces in order to keep everyone chill. Whether you prefer a wall-mounted option or a portable pick, here are the best ourdoor misting fans on the market.

How we chose the best outdoor misting fans

A standard fan can create a nice breeze, but it can’t match the cooling power that comes from a misting fan. For this list, we’ve relied on a combination of personal experience, consumer feedback, editorial reviews, expert opinions, and spec comparisons. The list started with more than two dozen options, some of which are still great, but didn’t quite make the list. We prioritized durability, versatility, and overall effectiveness when it came to make our decisions.

The best outdoor misting fans: Reviews & Recommendations

When it comes to cooling off, not everyone can afford an above-ground pool (and they’re not very portable, anyway). Luckily, there’s an outdoor misting fan for every occasion. Depending on your budget and needs, options like a budget-friendly misting fan conversion kit or a cordless misting fan are perfect for a camping trip. For more consistent use, misting fans that use a garden hose and electrical cord are the play. And for high-end outdoor entertainment areas that look like a Caribbean all-inclusive, you can have professionally installed outdoor oscillating fans, just like restaurants use.

Best overall: Geek Aire Battery Operated Misting Fan

Best overall

Geek Aire Battery Operated Misting Fan

The best outdoor misting fans for staying cool in 2024 (5)
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Specs

  • Dimensions: 10.5 inches D x 19.3 inches W x 29.5 inches H
  • Weight: 23.4 pounds
  • Power: One lithium-ion battery
  • Water supply: Tank
  • Price: $299

Pros

  • Self-contained unit with tank
  • Powerful
  • Portable

Cons

  • Some users say the battery doesn’t work well

Looking for an all-around cooling solution that you can use on the back porch and take camping? Consider the Geek Aire Battery Operated Misting Fan. This water mister provides an impressive 1500CFM (cubic feet of airflow per minute). Plus, you can rotate the fan up to 74 degrees for maximum cooling. It’s also equipped with two nozzles and a self-contained water tank that can spray mist up to 11.5 feet away.

Powered by a detachable lithium-ion battery, this fan can provide continuous airflow for 3 to 23 hours, depending on whether you bring backup batteries. The included battery can also charge your other devices. This outside fan also comes with four casters that make it easy to move around your patio or job site but also locks to stay in place. Made of durable metal, this option is also a waterproof outdoor fan and can also be easily disassembled.

Best battery-operated: RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Bucket Top Misting Fan Kit

Truly Cordless Cooling

The best outdoor misting fans for staying cool in 2024 (6)
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Specs

  • Dimensions: 15.75 inches H x 13 inches W x 10.4 inches D
  • Weight: 5 pounds
  • Power: Battery
  • Water supply: Hose or bucket (not included)
  • Price: $129

Pros

  • Provides two separate speeds and misting levels
  • Quiet
  • Backed by a 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Battery and charger sold separately

The RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Bucket Top Misting Fan can be attached to a standard five-gallon bucket (not included) and powered with a rechargeable 18V battery (included). This portable misting fan offers an adjustable fan head with two separate high/low switches to adjust both the fan speed and the water flow. Use it on a full water bucket, or with a garden hose sitting on a level, hard surface for more flexibility (garden hose adapter included), and enjoy up to three hours of refreshment. The 1.3-amp 18V lithium-ion battery is included along with its six-hour charger.

Best oscillating: NewAir AF-600 Outdoor Misting Fan

All-Metal Oscillation

The best outdoor misting fans for staying cool in 2024 (7)
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Specs

  • Dimensions: 16.54 inches D x 20.28 inches W x 55.91 inches H
  • Weight: 21.6 pounds
  • Power: Corded electric
  • Water supply: Garden hose
  • Price: $149

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Three speeds
  • Easily portable
  • Comes with safety features

Cons

  • Some users say some of the components arrived damaged
  • Power cord is short

With three fan speeds (the highest being 2,800 CFM, or cubic feet per minute), the NewAir AF-600 Outdoor Misting Fan cools 600 feet of outdoor space—that’s a patio that’s around 24 feet by 25 feet. This outdoor cooling fan can be used with or without the misting feature, adding more flexibility; this is especially helpful in outdoor dining areas where mist can cool down the food too. The all-metal design adds season-long durability, and the brown finish blends with outdoor furnishings. The wide-angle oscillation movement and an adjustable fan head allow for more cooling coverage. This large outdoor fan is 56 inches high and includes a garden hose connection. Finally, this outdoor mister features an inline GFCI electrical supply for added safety.

Best handheld: HandFan Portable Handheld Misting Fan

Best handheld

HandFan Portable Handheld Misting Fan

The best outdoor misting fans for staying cool in 2024 (8)
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Specs

  • Dimensions: 1.57 inches D x 4.13 inches W x 8.07 inches H
  • Weight: 6.7 ounces
  • Power: Battery
  • Water supply: Internal tank
  • Price: $23

Pros

  • Provides three speeds
  • Doubles as a facial steamer
  • Lightweight and ideal for travel

Cons

  • Doesn’t provide lots of cooling power
  • Only covers a small space

When it’s hot outside, but you’ve got things to do and don’t have time to relax on the porch, HandFan’s Portable HandHeld Misting Fan can be handy. At 6.7 ounces, the plastic fan is lightweight but still provides three fan speeds. It’s foldable, so you can easily set it up on your desk or in a fitness class to provide some respite from the heat. The HandFan also comes with a clip so that you can attach it to a stroller or golf cart on a hot day.

This device is also designed with a 17-milliliter (.57-ounce) tank that you can fill with water, turning the device into a mister, personal humidifier, or facial steamer. The HandFan also comes with a USB cable that allows you to recharge it with a USB plug, PC, power bank, or car charger. And its compact size makes it easy to tuck into a carry-on bag when you’re traveling somewhere tropical.

Best wall-mounted: HydroMist 18-inch Shrouded Oscillating Fan

Professional Performance at Home

The best outdoor misting fans for staying cool in 2024 (9)
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Specs

  • Dimensions: 17 inches D x 20 inches W x 25 inches H
  • Weight: 27.8 pounds
  • Power: Corded electric
  • Water supply: Hose and pump
  • Price: $449

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Five misting nozzles to adjust flow
  • Made from durable metal

Cons

  • Pump and water supply line must be purchased separately
  • May need professional to assemble

The HydroMist 18-inch Shrouded Oscillating Fan is a smaller version of its 24-inch misting fan preferred by restaurants. With several metal finishes, it complements your backyard oasis. This outdoor hanging fan features three settings to move air: 3500, 4200, and 5100 CFM. You’ll feel it, but your hair shouldn’t move. In addition to airflow settings, this unit includes five misting nozzles creating the finest mist on the market. The mounted fan requires a 3/8-inch high-pressure water supply line and a 1000 psi (pounds per square inch) water pump, both purchased separately. It can be installed by an experienced DIYer, though you might prefer to hire this job out.

Best budget: HOMENOTE Fan Misting Kit for a Cool Patio Breeze

DIY A Misting Fan

The best outdoor misting fans for staying cool in 2024 (10)
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Specs

  • Dimensions: 7.2 inches D x 1.77 inches W x 7 inches H
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Power: Corded electric
  • Water supply: Outdoor faucet or garden hose and tube
  • Price: $17

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Works with a variety of fans
  • Good for cooling pets

Cons

  • Temporary solution
  • Misting power determined by water flow

The Homenote Fan Misting Kit attaches to an existing stand fan with zip ties (included) and an outdoor water faucet (not included) to make a misting fan for under $20. The outdoor misting system features a preassembled unit with five removable misting nozzles in a ring that attaches to your existing fan with zip ties. The ring is connected to a black 16-foot-long tube that connects directly to an outdoor water faucet or another garden hose, and the flow of the water is controlled by the faucet’s pressure (with no way to adjust the flow at the fan). This is an excellent option for those needing an outdoor patio fan for occasional use, like during a temporary heat wave, or to cool off pets briefly during the summer.

Things to consider about the best outdoor misting fans

The basic concept of the science of cooling starts with an electric fan and a water supply (most likely a water hose). Outdoor misting fans take tiny water droplets and emit them through nozzles directly into the fan’s airflow. Using the thermal concepts of convection, conduction, and evaporation (remember those from your high school science class), a fan with water mist creates a cooler outdoor environment.

When water droplets move through the air, each removes heat; this is called convection. The opposite is felt when hot air blows in your convection oven, producing even baking. Of course, people don’t like to bake, evenly or not, while sitting on the patio. Thankfully, the water from your hose is cooler than the temperature of your skin (about 98 degrees ). So when it hits your skin, it feels cooler; this is conduction. Finally, the fine water mist evaporates off your skin, giving you a cooling effect; this is evaporation, which is why it’s such a great way to stay cool without AC.

Portability

Not that long ago, misting fans were only for commercial installations, like restaurants with outdoor dining areas. Now backyard BBQ kings can find a full range of outdoor misting fans on the market to extend the comfortable cookout season. For those needing a portable misting fan, consider one that needs only an outdoor water supply and an electrical outlet. Ideally, portable fans are used on your deck, patio, or in your yard for temporary cooling relief from the heat. If you’re looking for maximum portability, then a neck fan might be the call.

Charging

Sometimes you end up somewhere quite hot away from home, like at a tailgating party. That’s when a battery-operated portable misting fan might fit your needs. It utilizes a rechargeable battery pack, cutting the cords. The fan unit is designed to sit on top of a five-gallon bucket, which you can fill with water before you leave home if it has a tight enough top. In addition, many support a garden hose as an alternate water source.

Oscillation

Outdoor oscillating fans bring that circulating pleasure you’ve come to know indoors and transport it to the wider areas of your yard that need relief. A fan head moves from side to side in a sweeping motion, offering more cooling coverage. These types of units can be attached to a stand or mounted to the wall.

Your space

If your home features a well-defined outdoor area, like an outdoor kitchen or covered patio, a wall-mounted misting fan might be your go-to product. Ideally, use this type of fan in an area with a roof to protect the fan unit, which is mounted to the wall and will require both a water and electrical supply line to operate. Also needed will be a water pump to increase the water pressure, producing the finest water mist. There’s more involved, but this is a big step-up from the portable units.

Price

For those who don’t plan on spending much time outdoors, consider a DIY conversion kit to transform any outdoor-friendly fan into a misting one. These kits are easy to test drive if you’re not ready to dive deep into the misting lifestyle. And this might be the best option for pet owners during the summer, as dogs need a cool place to hide out from the heat, but you might not want to spend hundreds. Just add a cooling mist to an area with shade and a concrete patio, and you can keep your best buddy happier outdoors if you’re away.

FAQs

Q: Do misters work in high humidity?

Outdoor misting fans work best in dry and arid environments, like the desert. In areas with less than 40 percent humidity, ambient air temperatures can feel up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler. In an area with average relative humidity (40 and 80 percent), air temperatures can feel about 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler. In high humidity (more than 80 percent), the cooling effect is about 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q: Do misters keep mosquitoes away?

Mist can keep flying insects away since they don’t like the added moisture along wind currents. Who likes flying in a rainstorm (bugs included)? Though the water mist doesn’t kill bugs since there’s no insecticide.

Q: Do misters use a lot of water?

No, most patio misters use one to two gallons of water an hour, depending on the water setting and if your unit uses a water pump.

Q: Can I use an outdoor misting fan inside?

Yes, many outdoor misting fans are also designed for indoor use and can cool the air better than a fan. If it’s a corded electric model, have an outlet nearby. That said, indoor use may not be appropriate for models that get their water supply from a garden hose or outdoor faucet.

Final thoughts on choosing the best outdoor misting fans

If you want to extend your outdoor enjoyment this summer, consider the best outdoor misting fan for your needs and your budget. With options ranging from using an existing outdoor cooling fan and a $20 conversion kit to professional units requiring a water pump, you can cool your outdoor environment this summer for you and your guests by tens of degrees. Don’t forget, your pets and plants will also benefit from a cooler outdoor environment. Who knows, your orchid plant might bloom again.If you’re still hot, go check out these tips for cooling down until your package arrives.

Why trust us

Popular Sciencestarted writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

The best outdoor misting fans for staying cool in 2024 (2024)

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