guide to outdoor fans by bethrmartin.com

Last Updated on January 2, 2024 by bethrmartin

Nothing is better than curling up on your outdoor furniture and relaxing on your patio in the warmer months. The only thing that might make it even better is adding the perfect outdoor ceiling fan.

A great outdoor ceiling fan can offer a cool breeze, be a versatile design feature, and even keep bugs away.

Outdoor ceiling fans are different from the interior version because they must be constructed to withstand exterior conditions like moisture. Unfortunately, this usually means you will be paying a higher price, so it is critical to ensure you get the best outdoor ceiling fan for your money.

This guide will help you determine what type of fan you need and help you find the best outdoor ceiling fan on the market.

The best outdoor ceiling fans can revolutionize how you spend your time outdoors. Image via bigassfans.com
Outdoor fans are always a great idea, even in covered outdoor spaces – Image via bigassfans.com

What are the Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans of 2024?

​​Here are my top picks for the best outdoor ceiling fans this year.
  1. Big Ass Fan – Haiku (84″)
  2. Quorum International – Proxima Patio Fan (72″)
  3. Casa Vieja – Velocity (72″) – Best Large Fan
  4. Minka Aire – Windmolen (65″)
  5. Monte Carlo – Maverick (60″)
  6. Hunter – Solaria (60″)
  7. Casa Vieja – Wind and Sea (60″)
  8. Hunter – Milstream (56″)
  9. Minka Aire – Concept IV (54″)
  10. WAC Lighting – Eclipse (54″) – Best Medium Fan
  11. Hunter – Crescent Falls (52″)
  12. Fanimation – Kute (52″)
  13. Minka Aire – Gauguin (52″)
  14. Monte Carlo – Cruise (52″)
  15. Hunter – Cassius (44″)
  16. Hunter – Kennicott (44″) – Best Small Fan
  17. Minka Aire – Gyro (42″)
  18. Possini Euro Design – Home (39″)
  19. Kichler – Sola Olde (34″)
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Large Fans

1. Big Ass Fan – Haiku (84″)

3 fan blade wood outdoor ceiling fan with  black hardware.

Big Ass Fan might be a silly name, but they make the best large outdoor fan on the market. The 84″ Haiku looks modern and stylish in the Caramel Woodgrain finish, and this beast will expertly cool rooms up to 900SF.

Their outdoor ceiling fans are not cheap, but you can also trust that their product is extremely high quality and will withstand harsh weather conditions. Designed specifically for outdoor use, Big Ass Fans are one of the most weather-resistant brands you will find on the market.

Commercial spaces have trusted Big Ass Fans since 1999, so if your outdoor room is enormous and you want the best, you can count on them.

Big Ass Fans also make the best outdoor ceiling fans for salt air since they are insanely durable and can withstand the harsh conditions of coastal living.
  • Available in 5 finishes
  • Number of blades: 3
  • Blade span: 84″
  • Energy efficient reversible motor (Energy star certified)
  • Optional light fixture available
  • Speeds: 7
  • Made to order in the USA
  • Specifically made for exterior use
  • Hand-balanced and sound tested in Lexington, KY
  • Controlled by remote control (included)
  • CSA rated for wet locations
  • All residential ceiling fans include a 3-year warranty (non-residential is 2 years)

2. Quorum International – Proxima Patio Fan (72″)

Wet rated bronze outdoor ceiling fan.

The Proxima Patio Fan is an eye-catching mix of industrial and modern and will keep you comfortable in style.

This bold outdoor ceiling fan is packed with features, super energy efficient, and perfect for your large outdoor patio.
  • Available in 3 finishes
  • Number of blades: 8
  • Blade span: 72″
  • Energy-efficient reversible motor
  • Optional light fixture available
  • Speeds: 6
  • Wet rated
  • Includes 4″ and 6″ downrods
A 3 blade stainless steel outdoor ceiling fan by Casa Vieja which is the best outdoor fan in it's class.

It’s hard to escape the fact that larger ceiling fans are expensive, but the Velocity by Casa Vieja is a diamond in the rough. Its sleek, simple lines are modern, and the nickel finish will bring an industrial vibe to your covered porch.

This contemporary design can complement many outdoor environments, and these are a great price, especially when you need multiple fans. For all these reasons, the Velocity is one of the best outdoor ceiling fans on the market.

This fan is damp-rated, making it the best ceiling fan for screened porch patios or semi-covered spaces.

  • Brushed steel/brushed nickel finish
  • Number of blades: 3
  • Blade span: 72″
  • Reversible blades: No
  • Speeds: 4
  • Damp rated fan
  • Includes 6″ downrod
An industrial-styled outdoor ceiling fan with a light feature will be a feature in your outdoor decor.

With a showstopping 12 fan blades, this industrial-styled ceiling fan will be a design focal point on your outdoor ceiling.

It’s wet-rated for ultimate durability, and the energy-efficient system will keep you comfortable on even the hottest days.

  • Available in 4 finishes
  • Number of blades: 12
  • Blade span: 72″
  • Energy-efficient, reversible motor
  • Speeds: 6
  • Controlled by remote (included)
  • Included dimmable built-in LED light
  • Wet-rated outdoor ceiling fan
  • Includes 10″ downrod (additional downrods are available for purchase)

Medium Fans

5. Monte Carlo – Maverick (60″)

Wood outdoor ceiling fan with stainless hardware.

The clean lines of this three-blade fan look almost too good to be for outdoor use, but it’s actually a wet-rated ceiling fan. It will stand up great in the outdoor elements while adding an elegant design feature to your space.

  • Available in 7 finishes
  • Number of blades: 3
  • Blade span: 60″ (also available in 52″, 70″ and 88″)
  • Reversible blades: Yes
  • Speeds: 6
  • Controlled by remote (included)
  • Optional light kits available for an additional price
  • Wet-rated outdoor ceiling fan
  • Includes 6″ downrod

6. Hunter – Solaria (60″)

Black outdoor ceiling fan with a light feature.

The Hunter Solaria ceiling fan is the perfect mix of modern and industrial. The elegant lines make this fixture feel very chic, and this outdoor ceiling fan would look great on a contemporary patio.

  • Available in 2 finishes
  • Number of blades: 6
  • Blade span: 60″
  • Speeds: 6
  • Dimmable built-in LED light included
  • Damp rated
  • Includes 3″ and 6″ downrod

7. Casa Vieja – Wind and Sea (60″)

Bronze outdoor ceiling fan with a light feature.

I love that the Wind and Sea outdoor ceiling fan style looks updated but timeless, and this is the perfect fixture if you are looking for something more traditional.

The design will make your space feel charming, and the cooling power will make you feel more than comfortable.

  • Oil-rubbed bronze finish
  • Number of blades: 5
  • Blade span: 60″
  • Reversible blades: No
  • Speeds: 3
  • Controlled by remote (included)
  • Dimmable led light included (integrated)
  • Rated for wet locations
  • Includes 6″ downrod (additional downrods are available for purchase)

8. Hunter – Milstream (56″)

Black outdoor ceiling fan with a light feature.

If you want your ceiling fan to stand out, why don’t you try one with two blades? The Milstream by Hunter will be an eyecatcher, and the powerful motor is still strong enough to keep you cool.

This outdoor ceiling fan is the perfect size for an oversized patio, and it is wet-rated to be durable for all four seasons. The woodgrain style fan blades make this look feel modern yet approachable.

  • Available in 3 finishes
  • Number of blades: 2
  • Blade span: 56″
  • Integrated LED light included
  • Wet rated
  • Includes 6″ downrod (additional downrods are available for purchase)

9. Minka Aire – Concept IV (54″)

White outdoor ceiling fan with a light feature.

This stylish and unfussy indoor outdoor ceiling fan will blend in well with any decor. It has six-speed settings to keep you cool and is wet-rated for ultra-durability.

This is a solid choice if you just want a ceiling fan looks good, has a quiet motor, and will hold up in the elements.

  • Available in 4 finishes
  • Number of blades: 3
  • Blade span: 54″
  • Enabled with smart fan technology
  • Can be mounted as a flush mount fan or hanging (you must purchase the correct mounting style)
  • Energy-efficient reversible and quiet DC motor
  • Speeds: 6
  • Controlled by remote control (included)
  • Dimmable led light kit (integrated)
  • Wet rated
  • Downrods are available for purchase
Gold and black outdoor ceiling fan.

People don’t often expect so much style from an outdoor ceiling fan, but the Eclipse indoor outdoor ceiling fan will look like jewelry on your patio. Your outdoor lighting is integrated into this ceiling fan, and the five-blade design is modern and contemporary.

The great price, exceptional design, and functionality make the Eclipse the best outdoor ceiling fan that will fit most standard spaces.

  • Available in 3 finishes
  • Number of blades: 5
  • Blade span: 54″
  • Enabled with smart fan technology
  • Reversible, quiet DC motor
  • Speeds: 6
  • Controlled by remote (included)
  • Dimmable LED light included (integrated)
  • Damp rated
  • Includes 6″ downrod (additional downrods are available for purchase)

11. Hunter – Crescent Falls (52″)

Stainless industrial outdoor ceiling fan.

This galvanized steel outdoor ceiling fan from the Hunter Fan Company has old-school windmill vibes, which could be perfect for your farmhouse-inspired covered porch. Its size is ideal for most standard patios and will look like a dramatic design feature.

  • Galvanized steel finish
  • Number of blades: 10
  • Blade span: 52″
  • Speeds: 6
  • Controlled by remote control (included)
  • Dimmable integrated LED light included
  • Damp rated
  • Includes 6″ downrod (additional downrods are available for purchase)

12. Fanimation – Kute (52″)

Gold and white outdoor ceiling fan.

The simple lines of this modern ceiling fan make it perfect for almost any design style. This indoor outdoor ceiling fan is available in many different finishes and has unheard-of sixteen-speed settings to ensure you are always comfortable.

  • Available in 6 finishes
  • Number of blades: 3
  • Blade span: 52″
  • WiFi and Bluetooth compatible (controls sold separately)
  • Reversible, quiet DC motor
  • Speeds: 16
  • Controlled by remote (included)
  • Light available as an additional purchase
  • Damp rated
  • Includes 4.5″ downrod (additional downrods are available for purchase)

13. Minka Aire – Gauguin (52″)

White coastal outdoor ceiling fan.

If you are looking for a coastal ambiance, The Gauguin is the perfect outdoor fan for your porch. The traditional coastal palm fan has been updated with a modern twist, and the result is straight out of a luxury vacation.

Don’t let the vacay vibes fool you because this sleek fan is Smart Home enabled and has a wet rating for ultra-durability.

  • Available in 3 finishes
  • Number of blades: 4
  • Blade span: 52″
  • WiFi and Bluetooth compatible
  • Optional Smart Hub available for purchase
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Includes light kit with LED bulb
  • Wet-rated outdoor fan
  • Includes 6″ downrod (additional downrods are available for purchase)

14. Monte Carlo – Cruise (52″)

White coastal outdoor ceiling fan.

If you like the style of the Gauguin but want something a little more budget-friendly, the Monte Carlo Cruise is an excellent option. It has a wet rating, and the design of five blades is fit for a seaside retreat.

The lower price does come with fewer features than the previous model: the standard control is a pull chain (a remote is sold separately), and lighting is an additional cost.

  • Available in 2 finishes
  • Number of blades: 5
  • Blade span: 52″
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Controlled by a pull chain (remote control can be purchased)
  • Light kit available for additional purchase
  • Wet rated
  • Includes 4.5″ downrod (additional downrods are available for purchase)

Small Fans

15. Hunter – Cassius (44″)

Gray outdoor ceiling fan.

Hunter makes high-quality fans for a great price, and the Cassius is no exception, especially if you are on a tight budget. This outdoor ceiling fan is minimal and contemporary, and no one will believe you could get an outdoor fan for such a great price.

This price point has drawbacks: the standard control mode is a pull chain, and you must spend more on a remote. Lights aren’t available in this model, so consider that.

Depending on your space, this could be a fantastic deal for the size and style.

  • Available in 3 finishes
  • Number of blades: 3
  • Blade span: 44″
  • Reversible 36-watt AC motor
  • Speeds: 3
  • Pull chain included (remote control available for purchase)
  • Damp rated
  • Includes 2″ and 3″ downrod (additional downrods are available for purchase)

Ditch that old ceiling fan and go for something bold for those warm summer days! I love that this ceiling fan is a classic style but is available in a couple of updated, fun colors like Dusty Green and Terracotta. (Classic colors are offered as well.)

This ceiling fan is also a great price, making it my choice for the best outdoor ceiling fan for the smaller size range.

  • Available in 6 finishes, including the unique Terracotta color
  • Number of blades: 6
  • Blade span: 44″
  • Reversible 45-watt AC motor
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Controllable by wall control (included)
  • Damp rated
  • Includes 2″ and 3″ downrod (additional downrods are available for purchase)

17. Minka Aire – Gyro (42″)

Set your outdoor space with this non-traditional outdoor ceiling fan that exudes vintage charm. This design has two ceiling fans that rotate on an axis, making it perfect for high ceilings.

The antique-styled outdoor fan has a wet rating making it highly weather resistant. Warm air will be banished, and your space will feel charming with this captivating outdoor fan.

  • Available in 3 finishes
  • Number of blades: 6
  • Blade span: 42″
  • Full function wall controlled system incorporates the fully independent fan head speeds and axis rotation
  • Wireless remote control operation
  • Light kit included
  • Speeds: 3
  • Controllable by wall control (included)
  • Wet rated
  • Includes 6″ downrod (additional downrods are available for purchase)

18. Possini Euro Design – Home (39″)

This modern ceiling fan is small but mighty. It will look sleek and contemporary in your smaller outdoor spaces, and the three fan speed options will be appreciated on those hot days.

  • Black finish
  • Number of blades: 3
  • Blade span: 39″
  • Light kit included
  • Speeds: 3
  • Handheld remote control is included
  • Damp rated fan
  • Includes 6″ downrod

19. Kichler – Sola Olde (34″)

When you need a classic petite ceiling fan to fit into a tight space, the Sola Olde is perfect. Its traditional lines will not overwhelm a small area, and the wet rating will allow this fixture to hold up in the harshest elements.

  • Bronze finish
  • Number of blades: 3
  • Blade span: 34″
  • Integrated LED light included
  • Speeds: 3
  • Wet rated

Things You Should Consider Before You Buy

Before you fall in love with a particular ceiling fan, you need to make sure it will meet the requirements of your outdoor living space:

What Size Fan Should You Choose?

I have organized this guide by the blade span (the fan’s diameter) to make your search much easier. The largest ceiling fans are at the top and get progressively smaller as you go down the list.

Below is a guide to help you pick the correct size fan for your space based on the square footage:

Extra Large and Open-Air Spaces (Over 650SF)

If your room is massive, you should choose a fan with a diameter of 84″ or larger or be prepared to use multiple outdoor ceiling fans.

Large outdoor Spaces (Between 300SF and 650SF)

You will need a fan diameter of 60″-72″ for large spaces. This would typically be large open seating or an extra-large garage.

Medium Outdoor Rooms (Between 140SF and 300SF)

A standard size porch or garage will require a ceiling fan with a diameter of 52″ to 60″.

Small Outdoor Spaces (Between 60F and 140SF)

Small patios, porches, and exterior spaces will require a ceiling fan that is 36″ – 42″.

Extra Small Outdoor Areas (60SF and Under)

You should choose a 36″ or smaller fan for the smallest patios and exterior spaces.

The Three Types of UL Listings

There are three types of UL listings for all ceiling fans: dry, damp, and wet-rated. It is important to consider each rating type before selecting the fan for your outdoor space:

Dry Rating

Dry-rated ceiling fans are only rated for interior locations without any moisture and should not be placed outdoors. An outdoor ceiling fan can be used as an indoor fan, but not the other way around.

Don’t worry. You won’t find fans with this rating in this guide, but be careful in your search because sometimes you find these mixed in with the “outdoor ceiling fans” while shopping online.

Never use a dry rated indoor ceiling fan outdoors, but outdoor fans can be used indoors. If you like the look of any of these outdoor fans, then don’t hesitate to use them anywhere in your home.

Damp Rated

Damp-rated ceiling fans can be subjected to some moisture but not exposed to direct rain, snow, and water. Damp-rated fans are ideal for covered porches, covered patios, and covered decks where water is mostly protected.

The best ceiling fans for screened porch patios or semi-enclosed spaces will be damp-rated.

Wet Rated

Wet-rated fans can be subjected directly to rain, snow, and water, offering the highest protection level. If you plan to place your fan in a very exposed outdoor space, like an open gazebo, a wet-rated fan is for you.

Control Types

The control type is how you turn the ceiling fan on, change the speed setting, and power the light (if it has one). From a remote control to an old-fashioned pull chain, there are a few control types that you will commonly see:

Remote control

Most outdoor ceiling fans are controlled by a remote these days, which makes changing the settings super easy. You can also mount the control on the wall with your other switches so it never gets lost.

Wall switch

Some ceiling fans can be hardwired and controlled from a wall switch (like a typical light switch).

Pull chain

The pull chain method uses a chain connected to the fan’s motor. When you pull the chain, you cycle through the speed settings and can also turn the fan off. This is usually the backup control method, but some lower-end ceiling fans use the pull chain as the main operation mode.

Smart technology

Ceiling fans that use smart technology are connected to a smart app where you can control the settings directly from your phone. This usually works through Bluetooth or WiFi. Some smart ceiling fans require an additional adaptor to enable this technology.

It’s also possible to find a smart ceiling fan controlled by Amazon’s Alexa’s voice commands. As long as you don’t mind talking to Alexa, this can be a handy alternative to keep track of your phone. An Alexa ceiling fan with light controls will offer great convenience and allow you to manage all the functions without moving or even opening your eyes!

Lighting

When selecting your outdoor ceiling fans, you must determine whether you prefer the fans to have lights. Some ceiling fans automatically come with lights, some can be covered with caps if you don’t want to use them, and some fans do not have lighting options.

Selecting a ceiling fan with lighting can be a great design feature. It also keeps you from needing to figure out a secondary light source. This is a great option for a smaller space or if you want to be budget conscious.

These days, if a ceiling fan has lights, they are usually integrated LED lighting. LED lights are extremely eco-friendly and use significantly less energy than a standard bulb.

This also means that when the lights go out, you will need to replace the entire fixture or change the lights at the manufacturer.

LED lighting lasts an extremely long time, and you can expect around 30,000 to 50,000 hours out of most fixtures, but you should be aware of this before purchasing.

Style

There are endless options when selecting an outdoor ceiling fan, but don’t let this overwhelm you.

Here are a few design considerations that you should take into account when choosing an outdoor ceiling fan:

Color and Finish

You can find outdoor ceiling fans in the same traditional colors and finishes as their indoor counterparts. Black, white, nickel, bronze, and brushed aluminum are all common finishes found in many styles.

If you want a more modern design, many ceiling fans now have finish options in different wood variations and metal options like brass.

Companies like Hunter Fan Company even offer outdoor fans in unexpected colors like green and terracotta, which can bring a fun design element to your outdoor space.

Number of Fan Blades

With older technology, the number of fan blades changed the airflow a fan would deliver, but today this is a design choice. A ceiling fan can have any number of fan blades, and the ones on this list offer options from two to twelve.

Options with fewer fan blades often have a more modern look, but there is always an exception to this rule.

Ceiling Slope

If your ceiling has a slope, an additional adapter may be required – this is the case with many outdoor ceiling fans. Some outdoor ceiling fans can’t be installed on sloped ceilings, so check with your model before you purchase if your ceiling isn’t flat.

A bronze indoor outdoor ceiling fan by the Hunter Fan Company is on a teal ceiling on an outdoor porch.
The Kennicott indoor outdoor ceiling fan by the Hunter Fan Company will keep you cool in any room – Image via wayfair.com

Final Thoughts On The Best Outdoor Fan

When it comes to keeping a larger space cool, the Velocity by Casa Vieja is a fantastic option. Not only does it boast a sleek, contemporary design, but the price point is quite remarkable for a fan of this size. Thanks to its functionality and affordability, it is one of the best outdoor ceiling fans on the market today.

At the end of the day, there are many factors to consider when searching for the best outdoor fans.

For medium size outdoor rooms, I love the Eclipse by WAC Lighting. This fixture is ultra-sleek and will look like jewelry on your ceiling.

If your room is smaller, I recommend the Kennicott by Hunter. The fun color options will set your space apart, and the sleek, modern design is hard to beat for this price.

One of the best outdoor ceiling fans on the market is the Haiku by Big Ass Fan, but it also comes with a hefty price tag. These are high quality, extremely weather-resistant, and the attractive modern style truly sets them apart. But this price tag can be justified since it is a top-rated ceiling fan brand.

Overall, if you pick any ceiling fans on this list for your outdoor space, you will be cool and comfortable all summer long.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my outdoor ceiling fan review. If you found this guide helpful, check my articles on Inspiring Patio Floor Ideas or The Best Tanning Ledge Chairs!

Stay cool!