Thanks to a big row of west-facing windows, my apartment can get really hot in the afternoon. And since I don't have a ceiling fan, I was looking for a tower fan that would help me cool down without needing to run my air conditioner all the time. I randomly bought a Vornado tower fan at Target and I'm so glad I did. The basic idea of the Vornado brand is that their fans circulate air throughout the room rather than just blowing it in one direction (like a traditional fan) or providing intermittent bursts of air in different directions (like an oscillating fan). I was worried that was all just marketing jargon, but I've found the design actually works really well. In fact, the fan creates a far wider range of air circulation than I was expecting.
I wound up purchasing two different models, the NGT335 33" Whole Room Tower Circulator ($99.99) and the Model 143 29" Tower Circulator ($79.99). The NGT335 has a wider range and a bit more power and, in my opinion, is absolutely worth the extra $20. The Model 143, however, also gets the job done just fine. Both fans come with remotes and have timer features in case you don't want to leave them running all day/night.
As far as tower fans go, both models are pretty elegant and discrete. They aren't invisible by any means, but they also don't look out of place sitting in a corner of my living room. And since they don't rotate, neither draws the eye the way an oscillating fan might. The NGT335 is a little bigger and bulkier while the Model 143 is slightly sleeker. However, because the Model 143 works on a curved pattern, you might have to get a little creative in terms of where you place it in your room in order to ensure the air blows where you want it to.
Really the only downside I've found so far is that the fans can be a bit noisy on their highest settings. On their lowest settings, however, they're both essentially silent. And, to be honest, when it's sweltering outside I don't mind a little extra noise so long as I can stay cool. Admittedly, I've only been using these fans for a few weeks so I can't speak to their longevity. But so far I've been absolutely thrilled with the purchase. If you're looking to stay cool this summer, the Vornado brand is definitely an option to consider. And a few years ago Boing Boing also praised the company's small air circulators as well.
[Note: This is not a sponsored post. I purchased both of these Vornado fans with my own money and just happened to really like them.]