The answer to the question, what size ceiling fan do I need, is that it depends on the size of the room it will serve and the height of the ceiling.
The average range for ceiling fans is 42” to 72”, though they are produced in sizes as small as 24” and as large as about 96”. In other words, ceiling fan sizes start at about 2 feet in diameter and can be 8 feet across. What size ceiling fan do you need?
Check out our quick Ceiling Fan Size Calculator if you’re in a hurry. Or for more information, keep reading below the size calculator for more details on choosing the right size
Ceiling Fan Size Calculator
Ceiling Fan Sizing Guide
Let’s dig into the information a bit more. We have suggestions for choosing the right ceiling fan size and for what fan sizes work best in various rooms and locations in your home.
How big should the ceiling fan be?
That’s the question, but some homeowners think, “why does it matter?”
Ceiling fans are like many other products designed to improve indoor climate control. The size needs to be “just right” within a certain range to ensure:
You are comfortable – not chilled by too much wind or warm and left wishing there were more of it.
You aren’t wasting energy – An oversized ceiling fan will use more energy than a properly sized ceiling fan will.
You aren’t wasting money – If you buy an undersized fan that won’t adequately move the air in the room it is installed, well, it’s money down the drain. And you’ll be running it at top speed all the time, leading to faster-than-normal burnout of the engine (yes, and higher energy costs).
Here are a few definitions that will assist you in reading information on ceiling fans and making a good choice of a fan for the various rooms in your home that will get one.
Blade Span – The diameter of the circle created by spinning fan blades. Most fans have offset blades, so you can’t simply measure from one blade tip across the fan to another.
CFM – Cubic feet per minute of airflow. The larger the fan, the more air it should move. Most fans have two or three speeds, so there will be several airflow ratings. For example, a 24” ceiling fan might have 3 speeds: 1000, 2000 and 3000 CFM (or cfm).
Downrod – This is a rod that attaches to the mounting bracket on or in the ceiling and holds the ceiling fan. Downrods range in length from about 3 inches to about 36”. Their purpose is to allow you to hang the ceiling fan at the desired height. For example, if the ceiling is 10’ high, then a 24” downrod might be ideal. The 3” downrod would be better for an 8’ ceiling.
Flush Mount – This is a fan without a downrod. It mounts tight to the ceiling. Brands have different names for their flush mount ceiling fans. Delmar calls them “huggers.”
Square Feet – In a rectangular room, the square feet or square footage is the length of the room multiplied by its width. A room that is 20 feet long and 15 feet wide is 300 square feet. It would be best served by a fan with a blade span of about 72” (6 feet).
Standard Mount – This typically means a ceiling fan with a downrod, which is the majority of them.
Our Ceiling Fan Size Calculator gives accurate data for sizing a ceiling fan.
This chart shows basic ranges and the rooms typically in the size range.
Room Size in Sq. Feet
Up to 150
24" to 46"
Bathroom, Nook, Small Bedroom or Office, Den
150 to 250
42" to 54"
Average Bedroom, Dining Room, Large Den or Office, Porches
250 to 400
48" to 72"
Large Bedroom, Living or Family Room, Garage, Kitchen
More than 400
64" to 96" or larger
Large Living or Family Room, Patio or Deck, Garage
Ceiling Fan Buying Tips by Room
Here are a few size considerations and performance options to think about when buying a ceiling fan for each room in your home.
- Bedrooms – A quiet ceiling fan is ideal, so look for one with high ratings in this area. Key to this will be a low speed setting that moves the air effectively without being so strong it disrupts and disturbs your sleep. And if your current ceiling fan is making noise, this Pick HVAC FAQ guide will help you make it quieter: Ceiling Fan Making Noise – Here’s how to fix it.
- Kitchens – In summer, the kitchen might be the hottest room in the house if someone is cooking and/or the room faces south or west and gets sun during the heat of the day. We recommend a multi-speed ceiling fan with a gentle low speed. It’s nice to have a breeze, but you don’t want napkins blowing off the table.
- Living Rooms & Family Rooms – Where people gather, they bring a lot of heat with them. Rooms get extra-warm when there’s a crowd. So, we recommend going a step bigger with the ceiling fan. If the recommended range using our Ceiling Fan Size Calculator is 66” to 90”, for example, choose a model near the upper end of the size range, 84” or bigger.
- Rooms with Vaulted Ceilings (aka sloped or cathedral ceiling) – Be sure to choose a fan with a downrod long enough to allow the blades to spin without hitting the ceiling. That’s the obvious first step. Of course, the downrod must be able to pivot, so that the fan hangs straight down.
The next point is to position the fan one-half to two-thirds of the way up the slope. Why? When you’re pushing air down in summer, this isn’t so important. But when you are pushing air up in winter, so that it moves warm air accumulating near the peak back down into living space, the fan needs to be nearer the peak.
Pro Tip: Determine where you will place the fan on a sloped ceiling and what length downrod you’ll use. Then figure how high off the ground the fan will hang – probably between 9 and 12 feet in most vaulted/cathedral ceilings. Use that measurement in our Ceiling Fan Size Calculator for the Ceiling Height.
Ceiling Fan Size FAQs
Here are common questions about ceiling fan size.
What size is best?
- What size ceiling fan for living room? – 60” to 96”
- What size ceiling fan for bedroom? – 48” to 60”
- What size ceiling fan for office? – 36” to 66”
- What size ceiling fan for bathroom? – 24” to 48”
- What size ceiling fan for garage? – 48” to 96”
- What size ceiling fan for outdoors – patio, porch, deck? – 60” to 96”
I have a long room – what size ceiling fan do I need?
Rooms that are quite square or close to square can be served by one centrally located fan.
Long rooms are best served by two (or more) fans. If two fans, then one should be placed in the center of each side of the room. If the room is more than 60 feet long, then three fans spaced evenly over the room is the best design.
What direction should the fan spin in summer? In winter?
The quick answer is that, given the shape of most fan blades, the fan should turn:
- Clockwise in winter
- Counter-clockwise in summer
Would you like to learn more about this important comfort and energy-saving topic? See our FAQ guide called Ceiling Fan Direction in Summer and Winter: Switch Up or Down?
My ceiling fan isn’t working right. What’s wrong?
Our Ceiling Fan Troubleshooting Guide answers questions about issues with the lights, blades, motor and more.
I have low ceilings and need a flush mount or low-profile ceiling fan. What are the best low profile ceiling fans?
Here is our Top Love Profile Ceiling Fans Buying Guide with plenty of great options to consider.
My current ceiling fan doesn’t work anymore, but it made the room just right – not too much air, but enough to make it comfortable. How to measure a ceiling fan?
How do you measure a ceiling fan? You do it in one of two ways.
Odd # of Blades / Any Number of Blades: Measure the distance from the center of the fan hub/housing to the tip of a blade, and multiply by two. You must measure a fan with an odd number of blades this way – but the technique works for those with an even number too.
Even # of Blades: In this scenario, there are usually blades directly across from one another. You can measure them tip to tip.
Delmar Fans offers this useful pictographic of how to measure ceiling fan size, aka blade span.
What downrod length do I need? What size downrod?
Here is a general idea for getting the fan at the proper height – an important part of ceiling fan sizing, aka choosing the right ceiling fan size.
- 8-foot ceilings: No downrod. Choose a flush-mount hugger or low-profile ceiling fan.
- 9-foot ceilings: Downrod up to 6”
- 10-foot ceilings: Downrod 8” to 16”
- 12-foot ceilings: Downrod 18” to 30”
Sloped ceiling: Downrod of 36” or more, based on the size of the ceiling fan, that is, the diameter of the circle made by the spinning blades.