7 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans | For Humidity, Light & Efficiency


bathroom exhaust fan

The best bathroom exhaust fans will help you keep mold at bay. But that’s at a minimum. Gone are the noisy bathroom fans of the past. You can get a whisper quiet fan with a motion sensor that will turn on an LED light when you enter or pair with Bluetooth. Here are some of the best bathroom exhaust fans in a variety of categories.

What are the best bathroom exhaust fans on the market?

A woman installs a smart bathroom fan

Best Bathroom Fan with Humidity Sensor – Panasonic Whispersense Fan

Best Bathroom Fan with Night Light – Homewerks 7146-80-MS

Quietest Exhaust Fan- Delta BreezSignature

Most Economical Amazon Basics AB-BV101

Best for Small Bathrooms – Broan-NuTone AEN50

Best for Large Bathrooms – Broan NuTone Ultra-Silent QTXE150FLT 

Best Fan with Bluetooth – Homewerks Worldwide Bluetooth Bath Fan

Now let’s take a deeper look at why the bathroom exhaust fans listed above came out on top in their respective categories:

1. Best Bathroom Fan with Humidity Sensor

PROS

  • Adjustable airflow
  • Humidity sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • Quiet
  • Energy Efficient

CONS

  • No light
  • Probably want professional installation

Sones: 0.3

Airflow Capacity: 50-80-110 CFM

Motion Sensor: Yes

Bluetooth: No

Humidity Sensor: Yes

Light: No

This bathroom exhaust fan will auto-adjust to optimize airflow for a bathroom between 50 and 110 square feet. Although the sound level will typically increase as airflow increases with any bathroom fan, you can expect this fan to be very quiet at all airflows.

What’s great is that it is built to help reduce the problem of bathroom mold. With an automatic sensor for both motion and humidity, you can be sure the fan will go on and off when you need it most. (You can choose the best humidity level to trigger the sensor.)

This fan is ENERGY STAR rated, so it meets the US Environmental Protection Agency’s strictest standards for the most energy-efficient products on the market.


2. Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Night Light

PROS

  • 2 color night light with motion sensor
  • Dimmable LED white light for daytime
  • Humidity sensor
  • LED touchpad for manual control

CONS

  • Difficult install
  • Writing on touchpad is small

Sones: 1.5

Airflow Capacity: 80 CFM

Motion Sensor: Yes

Bluetooth: No

Humidity Sensor: Yes

Light: Yes – LED

 

 

LED lights are the most energy-efficient way to light a bathroom and you don’t need to worry about the bulbs going out, as most will last 50,000 hours. This fan has a dimmable LED white light for day. You can choose the amber or blue light for the evening. All lights can be programmed with a motion sensor.

This bathroom exhaust fan is a great addition to any smart bathroom! Not only does it have a humidity sensor, but it also comes with an LED-lit touchpad for manual control.

This fan will automatically turn on when bathroom humidity reaches 60% and off when it falls below that. With 80 CFM, this bathroom ventilation is ideal for an average-sized (5;’ x 7′ or 8′ x 10′) bathroom. At 1.5 sone, it’s pretty quiet – expect the same background hum you’d hear from a refrigerator, hardly noticeable.


3. Quietest Bathroom Exhaust Fan

PROS

  • Super duper quiet
  • Humidity sensor
  • Energy efficient & climate pledge friendly

CONS

  • No exterior light

Sones: 0.3

Airflow Capacity: 80 CFM

Motion Sensor: No

Bluetooth: No

Humidity Sensor: Yes

Light: No

This fan comes in a variety of sizes. The 80 CFM version (optimal for an 8′ x 10′ bathroom or smaller) runs at only 0.3 sones. That’s as quiet as you can get. It’s so quiet, in fact, that the fan comes with a tiny LED light inside the grill that goes on to let you know the fan is actually running.

With the versions of this same fan that are designed for larger bathrooms, as the rate of airflow increases, you’ll get a slightly higher sones rating but they are still very quiet relative to other bathroom exhaust fans for the same sized space.

The other great thing about this fan is that is incredibly energy efficient. Not only is it ENERGY STAR certified by the EPA, but it goes well beyond the requirements for this certification. In fact, relative to a standard bathroom exhaust fan, it can be 75% more efficient. This means it’s good for the environment and good for your pocketbook.

The DeltaBreez Signature fan also has a humidity sensor. When the moisture level reaches 60%, the fan will automatically turn on and run until the moisture level falls below that amount. So you’ll never need to worry about turning it on and off before or after a shower, and you won’t have to worry about bathroom mold. This smart fan knows what to do.


4. Most Economical Bathroom Exhaust Fan

PROS

  • Great value
  • ENERGY STAR Rated
  • Good quality

CONS

  • Need moderate handy skills for installation

Sones: 2.0

Airflow Capacity: 70 CFM

Motion Sensor: No

Bluetooth: No

Humidity Sensor: No

Light: No

Looking for a bathroom exhaust fan to turn over the air and help prevent mold and mildew without breaking the bank? Enter this Amazon Basics fan designed for spaces 70 square feet or smaller.

The grill is 9.5 x 9.5 inches, and at 2.0 sones, it’s not the absolute quietest bathroom fan on the market but it’s not the loudest either. You can expect it to sound like a loudly humming refrigerator.

While you won’t get any bells and whistles – no motion or humidty sensors, no bluetooth or LED light – you will get an excellent fan at great value.


5. Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan for Small Bathrooms

PROS

  • Powerhouse
  • Energy efficient
  • Easy installation
  • Draft preventing technology

CONS

  • No humidity or motion sensors
  • No light

Sones: 0.5

Airflow Capacity: 50 CFM

Motion Sensor: No

Bluetooth: No

Humidity Sensor: No

Light: No

This little powerhouse will suck up the moisture from a bathroom that is 50 square feet or smaller, moving lots of air in the process. It includes TrueSeal Damper Technology to reduce warm and cold air drafts, helping you create a truly fog-free and comfortable space. 

One of the best aspects of this fan is that you won’t need any attic access to install it. This means you can probably do it yourself.

This fan is also ENERGY STAR rated, so you can feel good about running it. At 0.5 sones, it’s one of the quietest bathroom exhaust fans you’ll find.


6. Best for Large Bathrooms

PROS

  • Superior ventilation in large space
  • Nightlight option
  • ENERGY STAR rated

CONS

  • Packaging could be improved

Sones: 1.4

Airflow Capacity: 150 CFM

Motion Sensor: No

Bluetooth: No

Humidity Sensor: No

Light: Yes

This exhaust fan is perfect for large bathrooms up to 150 square feet. If you’ve got a large space and really want to move the air for ventilation, this is the one.

Fans always get louder as you increase their airflow capacity, and this one is no exception. But for the square footage, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that’s quieter.

It comes with 2 18-watt fluorescent bulbs for soft white light, but you can also attach a 4-watt night light (bulb not included).

This fan is ENERGY STAR rated by the US Environmental Protection Agency and it’s safe to use over the tub or shower with a GFCI circuit.


7. Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Bluetooth

PROS

  • Bluetooth speaker
  • 30-foot range
  • Speaker is safe in steam
  • Great ventilation

CONS

  • May have trouble using more than one in the same area of house
  • Pairs with most but not all Bluetooth devices

Sones: 1.5

Airflow Capacity: 150 CFM

Motion Sensor: No

Bluetooth: No

Humidity Sensor: No

Light: Yes

So you’re looking for a great bathroom audio solution to pair with an exhaust fan? This will do the trick! Stream music wirelessly from your iPhone or another device, and leave the device up to 30 feet away.

Only use one of these fans in the same area of the house or you can pick up the other’s connection, and if you were hoping to stream classical as you shower at the end of a day, you might be stuck with hard rock instead.

The fan is 1.5 sones, so it can ventilate up to 150 square feet. This means you can sing in the tub or shower while at the same time you fight mildew and mold. Win-win!

 

How loud is your bathroom exhaust fan?

Sones is a measurement of how quiet or loud your bathroom fan will be. Bathroom exhaust fans typically range from 0.3 to 6.0 sones. As you increase the airflow capacity to ventilate a larger space, the sones of the fan will typically increase.

A fan that is rated 2.0 sones is twice as loud as a fan that is 1.0 sones. There are other factors that affect how loud your bathroom exhaust fan will sound, including the venting and nails or screws. A larger vent without angles will provide quieter ventilation. Fans that are attached with screws instead of nails are also quieter.

SonesSounds Like
0.3Rustling leaves
0.5Whisper
1.0Hum of a quiet fridge
2.0 Hum of a loud fridge
3.0Office noise

What is CFM?

CFM stands for Cubic Foot Per Minute. CFM gives you an idea of the rate of airflow that passes through your fan unit. A larger bathroom will require a higher CFM rating

You want to make sure you get a bathroom fan this is strong enough to ventilate your space but not so big that it will blow you over and make standing in your small bathroom feel like you’re in a windstorm.

A rough guide is that your CFM should, at minimum, equal the square footage of your bathroom. You can get a good estimate of this by measuring the length and breadth of your bathroom and multiplying the figures. 

What is a smart bathroom exhaust fan?

A smart bathroom fan is one that has sensors for detecting humidity and motion. It will automatically turn on when the humidity drops below a certain level or when someone walks into the bathroom. These fans often have additional bells and whistles, such as LED lights, a night light, or Bluetooth speakers.

There are several smart fans listed above. The Panasonic WhisperSense Bathroom Exhaust Fan is an example of a smart bathroom fan.

Note: If you’re about to undertake a bathroom remodel, get our Save Big $$ Cheat Sheet when you sign up for the newsletter. Just fill out the form below. We’ll send you designer hacks that can help you save thousands of dollars.

 

Shana

Shana Burg is a bath enthusiast, content strategist, and award-winning writer. She is the founder of bathtubber.com.

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