Bathroom Exhaust Fans

Author: Evelyn y

Mar. 07, 2024

Home Appliances

Best Rated Bathroom Exhaust Fans

Shop products with the best ratings based on our customer reviews

We evaluated dozens of bathroom exhaust fans, considering each for size , airflow capacity , noise level , extra features , and overall value to narrow our choices down to the best options for your home.

The location of the fan within the bathroom is also important, says Golubev. For optimal performance, he suggests installing the fan as close as possible to the moisture source (often a shower or bathtub) and keeping the ducts as straight and short as possible.

"A common rule of thumb is to have at least 1 CFM of ventilation for every square foot of bathroom area," says Michael Golubev , the CEO of Mold Busters. "For bathrooms larger than 100 square feet, add 50 CFM for each toilet, shower, and bathtub.”

The two most important numbers to know when choosing a bathroom exhaust fan are the size of your bathroom in square feet and the CFM of the fan. CFM (cubic feet per minute) is a measurement of the airflow produced by the fan. The larger the bathroom, the higher the necessary CFM to effectively control moisture and odors.

Without a bathroom exhaust fan, humidity can build up in your bathroom after a shower or bath, potentially leading to the growth of mildew. A good bathroom exhaust fan also helps remove all types of unpleasant odors .

Best Overall

Broan-NuTone Single-Speed Ventilation Fan

Amazon

$89

$113

$114

What We Like

  • Energy Star certified

  • Quiet operation

  • Safe to install over bathtubs or showers

What We Don't Like

  • Only one speed

  • No light

If you are in need of an exhaust fan for a bathroom up to 100 square feet in size, then we recommend this Energy Star-certified option from Broan-NuTone. While it does just have one set speed of 110 cubic feet per minute (CFM), it is a very effective fan that's designed to have a long motor life and reliable performance without ramping up your electricity bill. Plus, it's easy to install even without attic access, and its TruSeal damper technology means there won't be backdrafts or air leaks.

The fan is built for 4-inch existing ducts, which are common in most newer homes. You can install it right over your tub or shower for the most effective humidity control; no more steamy mirrors or musty odors. And this isn't a loud fan; when on, its sound level is 1.0 sones, which is about the same as the hum from your refrigerator. It is non-obtrusive in appearance and is easy to wipe clean of dust and smears when needed. Our only complaint about the fan is that it doesn't have an included light, and it doesn't give you any speed options. Still, this is a great choice for most bathrooms, and installing it is easy enough for most experienced DIYers.

Dimensions: 9.25 x 10 x 5.75 inches︱Weight: 8 pounds︱Material: Alloy steel, plastic︱CFM: 110︱Noise Level: 1.0 sones

Best Budget

Broan-NuTone Ceiling and Wall Ventilation Fan

Amazon

$21

$30

$31

What We Like

  • Can be painted

  • Simple to remove for cleaning

  • No screws required

What We Don't Like

  • Loud

  • Only for very small bathrooms

It's only suited to bathrooms that are no more than 45 square feet, but if you have a small bathroom or powder room and don't want to spend much on an exhaust fan, then this easily installed model from Broan is worth considering. Note that it's designed to work with 3-inch ducts, so you'll need an adapter if your house has 4-inch ducts. The fan moves air at 50 CFM, and it is very efficient at removing humidity and odors from small bathrooms. You can install it over a shower or tub if desired.

This is definitely not a quiet fan; its sound level is 4 sones, which is around the typical level at which most people watch television. Whether that's a plus or a minus is up to you, as some people feel a loud bathroom fan provides more privacy, while others don't want too much noise. The fan can be installed in either the ceiling or the wall, and you can paint the grill to match your decor if desired. While there is nothing fancy about this very reasonably priced bathroom exhaust fan, it's a fine choice for any small space that needs to keep humidity and odors under control.

Dimension: 7.5 x 3.63 x 7.25 inches︱Weight: 3 pounds︱Material: Galvanized steel︱CFM: 50︱Noise Level: 4.0 sones

Best Quiet

Panasonic WhisperCeiling DC Fan

Amazon

$137

$145

$146

What We Like

  • Ultra-quiet

  • Comes with installation adapters

  • Adjustable airflow

What We Don't Like

  • Light not included

If having an ultra-quiet bathroom exhaust fan is important to you, then we recommend this exhaust fan from Panasonic. Regardless of speed, the manufacturer claims it only produces a sound level of 0.3 sones, which is around the level of a whisper. Although pricier than most of our other picks, this splurge-worthy fan does a great job of removing humid air and impurities from your bathroom and circulating fresh air. Its Flex-Z Fast bracket, as well as a 4- or 6-inch adapter, makes installation easy, whether you are adding it to new construction or replacing another exhaust fan, and you can generally install it without having to access the attic. It can be placed over a shower or tub, as well.

When installing the fan, you have a choice of three airflow settings: 50 CFM, 80 CFM, and 110 CFM. All you have to do is flip a switch on the unit to set your option, making this fan suitable for bathrooms small to large. Note that once the speed is set and the fan is installed, you cannot change the airflow without pulling it back out. The fan is Energy Star certified to reduce electrical costs, and its brushless motor provides a long, efficient life. It also has SmartFlow technology, which means that the fan will automatically adjust itself to continue providing the same level of airflow even in the face of static pressure.

Dimension: 13 x 13 x 8.5 inches︱Weight: 11 pounds︱Material: Metal, plastic︱CFM: 50, 80, 110︱Noise Level: 0.3 sones

Best With Bluetooth

Homewerks Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Bluetooth Speakers and LED Light

Amazon

$106

$159

$170

What We Like

  • Clear, crisp sound up to 30 feet away

  • LED light plus nightlights

  • Suitable for fairly large bathrooms

What We Don't Like

  • Might require an electrician for installation

If you like to sing in the shower, this fan from Homewerks is the fixture you didn’t know you were missing. It has built-in Bluetooth speakers that deliver crisp, clear audio up to 30 feet away. After installation and initial pairing, the fan's speakers will automatically pair with your device, whether that be your phone, laptop, or tablet, whenever it's within range, allowing you to stream your favorite music while showering, shaving, or carrying out any bathroom routine. But that's not all that this admittedly pricey exhaust fan has to offer.

The fan provides up to 110 CFM of airflow, making it suited to bathrooms up to 110 square feet, where it will efficiently whisk away humidity and odors. At 1.5 sones, which is the equivalent of moderate rainfall, it's a quiet fan as well. An integrated LED light gives you 600 lumens of illumination, making it easy to apply cosmetics or other bathroom tasks, and there are two nightlight options: cool blue or warm amber light. On the downside, the fan does require attic access for installation, as well as a neutral wire connection for the separate wall switch that controls the fan and its lights, so there's a good chance you'll need an electrician to install it. Although this is a round exhaust fan, the housing is square and won't require touching up your drywall if you already have a square fan of the same size.

Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 9.25 inches︱Weight: 13.75 pounds︱Material: Metal︱CFM: 110︱Noise Level: 1.5 sones

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Best With Light

ReVent Ventilation Fan With Adjustable LED Lighting

ReVent

$166

What We Like

  • Three light temperatures to choose from

  • Extremely quiet

  • No attic access required

What We Don't Like

  • Bulb cannot easily be replaced

Why have a separate bathroom fan and light when you can combine the two in this effective fan from ReVent? It moves air at up to 110 CFM, making it ideal for bathrooms up to 110 square feet. You can keep the light and fan wired to the same switch, meaning that both will always operate together, or wire them separately so you can control the light and the fan separately. Either way, the fan is easy to install on either the ceiling or the wall, and can be positioned over a tub or shower enclosure. Nor do you have to access the attic to install it. And at just 0.8 sones, this is an amazingly quiet fan that you'll barely notice.

The fan has an integrated LED light. When installing it, there's a switch behind the fan's shield that lets you set the intensity of the light: choose from warm white at 2700 kelvin, bright white at 4000 kelvin, or daylight at 5000 kelvin. ReVent claims the LED bulb will last for 100,000 hours, which is around 20 years in most homes. However, note that should your bulb burn out early, you'll need to contact the manufacturer for a new one, as it is not sold separately.

Dimension: 9.5 x 9.75 x 6.4 inches︱Weight: 8 pounds︱Material: Metal, plastic︱CFM: 110︱Noise Level: 0.8 sones

Best With Humidity Sensor

Utilitech Ventilation Fan With Humidity Sensor

Lowe's

$139

What We Like

  • Switches on automatically when humidity is over 60 percent

  • Multiple operation modes

What We Don't Like

  • May require electrician for installation

If you or one of your family members has a hard time remembering to turn on the fan before stepping into the shower or the bath, then you need this bathroom fan from Utilitech. It automatically turns itself on when the humidity climbs above 60 percent, and then it shuts itself off once the moisture levels drop below that level. If you prefer the fan to run continuously regardless of humidity levels, just flick the wall switch off and on again to turn off the humidity sensor and keep the fan running. The fan has a small blue lighted indicator that shows when it's in humidity sensing mode, and an amber light when it's in continuous run mode. Either way, the fan delivers 110 CFM of airflow with a mere 1.1 sones of sound. That's not much more than the hum of your refrigerator.

This Energy Star-compliant fan is good for bathrooms up to 105 square feet. It must be installed in the ceiling, not in the wall, but can be positioned over a shower or tub. While an experienced DIYer with access to the attic can probably do the installation on their own, most people will prefer having an electrician hook it up.

Dimension: 9.7 x 9.7 x 8 inches︱Weight: 7.5 pounds︱Material: Galvanized steel, plastic︱CFM: 110︱Noise Level: 1.1 sones

Best Decorative

Akicon Decorative Lighted Bathroom Fan

Amazon

$119

$123

$123

What We Like

  • Four finishes to choose from

  • Dimmable LED light

What We Don't Like

  • Requires attic access for installation

Most bathroom exhaust fans are admittedly not too attractive; generally, all that shows is a white grill. However, this fan from Akicon is an exception to the rule. Not only does it effectively reduce moisture and odors in spaces up to 80 square feet, but it also holds two dimmable 9-watt LED bulbs to keep your bathroom brightly lit. Instead of a plain white plastic grill, the exposed portion of the fan is an attractive metal ring in your choice of oil-rubbed bronze, matte black, brushed nickel, or satin white finish with a frosted glass cover.

The fan's airflow is 80 CFM, and it produces a moderate level of sound at 2.0 sones, which is around the sound level of an office workspace. It's fairly easy to install as long as you have access to the attic, and it can be positioned on the ceiling over a tub or shower. If you are handy at electrical work, you can wire it so that the light and fan each have their own switch. It can also be wired to one switch, meaning both fan and light will always come on together. Note that although the exposed portion is round, the fan box itself is square, so if you are replacing an existing fan, measure carefully to be sure that no cut areas of the ceiling will be exposed. The exposed portion of the fan, including the ring and globe, measures 13 inches across.

Dimension: 8.5 x 8.5 x 5.8 inches︱Weight: 12 pound︱Material: Alloy steel, glass︱CFM: 80︱Noise Level: 1.5 sones

Best With Heat

Delta Breez Bathroom Exhaust Fan With Light and Heater

The Home Depot

$135

$141

$75

What We Like

  • Built-in LED light

  • Blows warm air up to 85 degrees

What We Don't Like

  • Best installed by an electrician

There's no need to shiver in a chilly bathroom when you have this fan with a built-in heater and LED light. At an airflow of 80 CFM, the fan is just right for a medium-sized bathroom up to 80 square feet. And at a sound level of 1.5 sones, it's quiet, as well. You will likely need to hire an electrician to install the fan, though, unless you are experienced and comfortable working with electrical switches and wires. The fan is best installed with a three-way switch to allow you to control the fan, light, and heater separately. It is only recommended for installation in the ceiling, not the wall, and should not be placed directly over the tub or shower enclosure.

The heater blows warm air up to 85 degrees, keeping you toasty warm and comfortable when you step out of your shower. The integrated light has a LED bulb with a warm light "temperature" of 2700 kelvin, which is bright enough for most bathroom tasks without being too harsh. The bulb will last up to 30,000 hours before needing to be replaced. All in all, this is a great way to pamper yourself without spending a bundle.

Dimension: ‎8.25 x 5.5 x 10.7 inches︱Weight: 10.4 pounds︱Material: Steel, plastic︱CFM: 80︱Noise Level: 1.5 sones

Best for Large Bathrooms

Air King 200-CFM Ceiling Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Walmart

$165

$171

$166

What We Like

  • High air flow

  • Sound rating of 1.4 sones

What We Don't Like

  • Not for wall installation

If you have a large bathroom that's up to 200 square feet, then you need a correspondingly powerful exhaust fan to keep humidity and odors under control. This model from Air King provides up to 200 CFM of airflow to whisk away moisture that might otherwise encourage the growth of mildew. Despite that high level of airflow, the fan is still very quiet at a mere 1.4 sones. The fan can be positioned over a tub or shower enclosure but is only recommended for installation in the ceiling, not on a wall. It is designed to work with 6-inch ducts, which is typical for high air-flow fans.

This Energy Star-certified fan is easiest to install if you have access to the attic, although it is possible to carry out the task without overhead access if absolutely necessary. This is also a good choice for other areas in your home that could use some fresh air and venting, such as a laundry room or basement. When installed in areas other than bathrooms, the fan is powerful enough to work in a space of up to 250 square feet.

Dimension: ‎12.88 x 12.75 x 9.88 inches︱Weight: 14.6 pounds︱Material: Steel, plastic︱CFM: 200︱Noise Level: 1.2 sones

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