If you like your bath or shower steaming hot, a powerful bathroom extractor fan is a necessity. It helps remove the build-up of humidity and moisture in the air. Without an extractor fan, you could end up with mould and mildew, which not only looks horrible but can lead to damage.
The excess moisture from an inadequately ventilated bathroom can work its way into your wooden vanity units, cupboards, or window ledge, causing wood to swell, warp, and bubble. And anything metal can start to rust.
As important as they are, extractor fans are notoriously ugly. A chunky extractor fan unit will spoil the look of the most beautiful bathroom. Thankfully, we’ve reviewed the best extractor fans that not only remove moisture efficiently but look stylish, too.
1. Xpelair C4TS Contour Extractor Fan
This is another compact fan option that can fit into unusually small spaces. In fact, the entire design is just four inches in length. Maintenance is simple thanks to the smooth face panel, which can be wiped clean with a cloth.
Installation is also simple. All you have to do is twist the fascia and click it into place. When you need to do maintenance, you can easily take the fan down to wipe it clean. It’s easy to fit the product into panels, ceilings, and walls, so you can make use of whatever setup you have.
The fan comes with your choice of two speeds: 21 litres of wet air per second, or 15. You can make your selection when you install it. Also included with the package is a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
This design operates quietly and is made for shower rooms, toilets, cloakrooms, and bathrooms. It’s best for smaller areas due to the smaller design but it has an impressive air flow rate and a backdraught shutter so no wind from the outside can enter your bathroom when not in use.
Unlike a lot of fans, this has no visible vents, instead, there’s a sleek clean panel, making it blend into white ceilings for a real custom finish. And with its low sound level and smooth operation, you hardly notice it there. It quietly hums in the background, removing unpleasant odours and keeping humidity levels in check.
2. Airflow iCON 15 Bathroom Extractor Fan
The iCON 15 fan is built for bathrooms, shower rooms, en-suites, and toilets. The simple design is quiet, unobtrusive, and stylish enough to match any interior decoration. It’s also easy to install, thanks to a core-drilled hole that allows for immediate fixing.
In addition, the fan can be fixed to uneven surfaces by using the cantilever fixing lugs. The product is designed with a twist-on cover that only needs a single screw to fix in place. This makes it much simpler to install than many competing extractor fans.
The iris shutter helps to prevent back draughts, and the fan operates near-silently noise level. The cover is splash-proof and can be easily wiped clean, making maintenance easy. You can operate the fan with a remote switch and use the control modules to match the design to your room’s requirements.
Included in the purchase is a three-year warranty. You can also upgrade the colour of the cover to match your interior decoration. All pieces comply with the most recent ventilation regulations, and the bathroom fan is energy efficient with a low level of energy consumption.
3. 6-inch Ventilation Extractor from HG Power
These ventilation fans from HG Power are a great choice if you’re looking for a portable, affordable option. They’re designed for use in bathrooms and bedrooms, and they can be mounted to either the wall or ceiling. The no-plug design allows you to connect the fan to whatever plug you want without any complicated electrical setup.
The fan can work at temperatures of -20 to 60C. There’s a stable, quiet motor that provides low noise output and an extra silicone strip to help with different mounting setups. The shutter prevents back draughts, water drips, and the introduction of outdoor air.
One of the biggest selling points of this fan is the construction materials. The front panel is made of high-quality ABS plastic, which is difficult to damage. The overall design is durable and will stand up to wear and tear, including a copper motor with temperature protections that extend the overall product lifespan.
The fan is suitable for an 8 to 12-metre room. In addition to working in bathrooms, it can also be installed in bedrooms, home offices, and living rooms and models with LED backlight are available.
4. Knightsbridge EX004T Extractor Fan with Timer
This is another affordable, compact option. Like the previous entry on the list, this extractor fan is just four inches long. It’s also available in three colours: black, stainless steel, and white.
The fan has a built-in array of LED lights. There’s also an overrun timer that can run from 2 to 30 minutes. The air extraction rate is about 90 metres per hour, and the motor operates at a low decibel level.
According to the manufacturer, this fan is suited to toilets, bathrooms, and kitchens. You can fit it into the ceiling or the wall. When the fan is operating, the LED display lights up. You can wipe the face clean to perform maintenance.
The efficient design is double-insulated and doesn’t need any fancy setup. It’s compliant with the most recent building regulations, and the overrun timer is fully adjustable.
5. Manrose 4-inch Standard Bathroom Extractor Fan
This is another four-inch offering, this time from Manrose. It’s one of the most inexpensive options on the list, making it an excellent choice for anybody who’s shopping on a budget while looking for excellent performance.
You have your choice of whether to mount the design on the wall or the ceiling. The fan is made for use in toilets and bathrooms, capable of efficiently extracting 85 metres of air per hour or 23 litres per second. There are also eleven options to choose from when picking the features that most appeal to you.
All units come with glossy ABS plastics to ensure durability and strength. The gloss adds to the aesthetic appeal, and the smooth surfaces are easily cleaned.
The power comes from a pre-oiled motor, allowing for a long life with very little maintenance required. Every fan is double-insulated and compliant with the most current ventilation regulations.
6. Best Bathroom Sensor Extractor Fan: Envirovent Silent 100
The Silent 100 is a four-inch bathroom extractor fan designed for use in domestic spaces. It can be installed on the ceiling or the wall, and the fan comes with an adjustable timer. If you set the product on the automatic setting, the timer will calculate how long to operate based on how long the fan’s been running.
The motors have been fitted on silent blocks to offer some of the quietest operations on the market. A quiet bathroom extractor fan means the buzzing noise level from the spinning blades and motor won’t annoy the neighbours or anyone else at home, and a back draught shutter helps prevent outside air from coming into the room.
You can choose between a white or silver model. The built-in humidity sensor allows the fan to use its energy efficiently. The timer can be adjusted for anywhere from 1 to 30 minutes, and you can also adjust the humidity sensor.
This model also comes with a longer warranty than most silent bathroom extractor fans of this type. You get a five-year manufacturer’s guarantee against defects and damage. If you want a fan that’s sure to have a long life, this is a great place to start and is available in white, red, black, and chrome for the best fit with your bathroom styling.
7. Blauberg Calm 100mm Bathroom Extractor Fan
These high-quality four-inch bathroom extractor fans come loaded with different features. You can pick a model in your choice of red, silver, black, or white. You can also choose from six different control options, including standard, timer, pull cord, and humidity.
In addition to being used in bathrooms and toilets, these fans can be used in kitchens. They have some of the highest extraction rates on the market, with 27 litres per second and 97 metres per hour. The anti-back draught shutter prevents the backflow of air.
The design is a feat of German engineering. The Blauberg anti-vibration mounts and German motor combine to offer quiet operation and exceptional performance, with the product only reaching 25 decibels while in use. You also get a five-year manufacturer’s warranty, longer than many manufacturers offer.
Bathroom Extractor Fan Buying Guide
It’s easy to take a bathroom extractor fan for granted. Maybe you think a partially opened window is enough ventilation – it’s not, especially in winter as the hot and cold air mixing creates extra steam. But as we’ve learned, without one, moisture in a bathroom can quickly reach damaging levels – causing the paint to peel, wood to swell, metals to rust, and black mould to stain grout and surfaces.
If you don’t have an extractor fan already, you might want to add one to your bathroom. This will improve your indoor air quality and extend the life of your bathroom decor, fittings, and appliances.
Bathroom Extractor Fans Defined
To find the best bathroom extractor fan, you first need to understand what an extractor fan is. These devices are placed inside bathrooms and built to move air from the bathroom to the outside of the property. Prior to the invention of extractor fans, open windows were the only way to expel humidity from the bathroom.
Modern fans help this airflow to happen much faster. They generate powerful currents to move the air out of the room, rather than waiting for it to dissipate naturally. Many are also equipped with shutters that prevent back draughts, so outdoor air doesn’t flow into the bathroom.
When new properties are built in the UK, the building regulations require the bathrooms to be equipped with extractor fans. Older buildings might not have these fans, so they need to be installed.
Categories of Extractor Fan
There are three main categories of bathroom extractor fans: window, wall, and ceiling fans.
Many people have windows in their bathrooms that are open to the outdoors. When this is the case, a window fan is an affordable option for removing humid air. Window fans are also easy to install. Some windows might need to be cut so their glass fits around the fan. Fans of interior design might not like the visibility of the fan cables.
Wall fans are very popular options for extractor fans. With a wall fan, a hole is made in the inner bathroom wall and outer wall of the building. The fan is put in the bathroom wall hole. A duct then threads to the hole in the outer wall, allowing the air to be expelled.
Ceiling designs use the same principle as a wall-mounted fan. However, they’re attached to the ceiling rather than the wall. Many people prefer the aesthetics of a ceiling fan to a wall fan, but ceiling fans might struggle to generate the same power that wall fans do.
How Extractor Fans Work
Extractor fans can come with many different types of motors and interior designs. But they all follow the same basic principle. Inside the fan is a motor that moves quickly enough to create suction. This suction pulls the air from the inside of the bathroom to the outside.
The fan’s motor is connected to the home’s power supply. As the fan operates, air moves in one direction through the fan and cannot return to the bathroom. An extractor fan is rated by the amount of air it can move over time. This is usually measured in litres per second or metres per hour.
Types of Extractor Fan
When you look for extractor fans, you’ll need to choose whether to purchase an inline, axial, or centrifugal design.
The least powerful fans are axial fans. They tend to be about ten centimetres long, but some commercial properties might have larger designs. Because of the low power, they shouldn’t be attached to any ducts longer than three metres.
Centrifugal fans use an impeller at a right angle to create suction. This allows for more pressure than an axial fan, so you can use a longer duct. Because of the greater power, these designs are more expensive than axial fans.
Inline fans cost the most because they generate the most power. They’re ideal for setups with very long ducts.
Features to Consider
First, you’ll want to consider the air condensation extraction rate. It’s important to pick a fan that can efficiently work in the space you have. Larger rooms will need a fan with a higher extraction rate to prevent water from building up on walls.
Consider the size as well. You’ll need to know where you intend to place the fan and what dimensions you’re looking for.
Some extractor fans make a great deal of noise. That’s especially true for more powerful ones. You can look for low-noise extractor fans. The sound output is measured in decibels. Anything under 30 decibels will be quiet.
Consider the materials as well. Many fans are made of durable plastics or metals that don’t rust and can handle getting wet.
Some fans come with an adjustable timer. This allows you to set the device to operate and shut off automatically.
FAQ’s on Bathroom Extractor Vents and Fans
Where to Mount Bathroom Extractor Fan?
Safety first – IEE Regulations in the UK state that a mains power fan must not be within touching distance of anyone using a shower or bath. So, make sure to mount it out of reach. The best place to mount the fan would be on the ceiling, where the odours and humid air can be extracted through ducting and out through vents in the roof.
Mounting on the bathroom roof offers ease of installation as all that’s required in a circle is to be cut out of plasterboard, where wires and extractor tubing can be run inside the loft space. If you live in a block of flats or don’t have access to a loft, then look for a high point on a wall. Remember, heat rises so humidity and condensation levels will be highest near the ceiling, so mount the fan high up in the bathroom.
If you’re unable to mount the fan on a wall because of thick stone walls or some limiting regulation, then your only option is a window extractor fan. For this, you’ll need a class cutter or you’ll need to hire a professional to install, as damaging a window would be an expensive replacement.
Do Bathroom Extractor Fans use a lot of electricity?
Some people worry about power consumption costs, which is understandable as fuel prices increase and pressures for homes to lower their carbon footprint is ever increasing. However, bathroom extractors fan use very little electricity, typically under 10 watts, and because they’re only used for the time it takes to shower, they’re not on for long. If you’re worried about the fan running too long, consider purchasing a fan with a timer function.
How Loud Is the Fan?
If you’re living in a block of flats with poor soundproofing, or you’re up early for a shower while your family is still asleep, then the last thing you want is a noisy extractor fan.