The 7 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans of 2024

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Keep your bathroom fresh with these picks. Single Phase Motor With Capacitor

The 7 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans of 2024

Better Homes & Gardens / Alli Waataja

A bathroom exhaust fan might not be the first thing that comes to mind when conjuring up ways to improve your bathroom or powder room—but ensuring you have a functional exhaust fan will help ensure you don’t end up dealing with mold or odors down the road.

“When choosing an exhaust fan, it is important to consider the ease of installation as well as the specific needs of the bathroom,” shares Walter E Bennett, a Dallas-based handyman and IAQ expert for homes and multi-storied buildings at Great Leaf Air.

“For example, a small bathroom [with limited ceiling space] may be better suited for a wall-mounted fan, while a larger bathroom with a high ceiling may require a ceiling-mounted fan with a higher CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating to adequately circulate air.”

It can be a overwhelming to shop for the best bathroom exhaust fan, so we’ve put together a list of options for all kinds of bathrooms and preferences, whether you’re looking for something no-frills and budget-friendly or you want to spend a little more to get some additional bells and whistles.

This option is energy efficient but offers a high enough cubic feet per minute (CFM) for most bathroom sizes.

It only has one speed, which can be inconvenient and unnecessarily loud.

The Broan-NuTone AE110 Invent Flex Single-Speed Ventilation Fan ticks all the right boxes when it comes to a top-quality bathroom exhaust fan that won’t necessarily break the bank but will still provide enough power and longevity to make it worth the effort of installation. 

The Energy Star-certified exhaust fan moves air at a rate of 110 cubic feet per minute (CFM), which is enough to quickly and efficiently clear steam and unwanted odors from most bathrooms in the home. This fan might only have one single CFM speed (meaning it’s not adjustable), but it’ll work for most average-sized bathrooms.

It’s also an excellent option for installing over tubs or showers since it sucks up steam before it starts to circulate. It’s designed to reduce the risk of air leakage by up to 50% compared to similar brands and models, cutting down on uncomfortable cold backdrafts.

If you’re nervous to install the fan on your own, Broan-NuTone offers comprehensive installation guidelines in the box, and there are plenty of tutorial videos available on YouTube.

Product Details: CFM: 110 | Features: Powerful ventilation | Mounting Type: Ceiling

This fan features a paintable matte white finish that allows you to change the color to blend in with your bathroom.

The slow (50 CFM) speed might not be adequate for larger bathrooms.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money in order for a long-lasting and reliable bathroom exhaust fan. The Broan-NuTone 688 Ventilation Fan offers the same brand recognition and customer service as more expensive models, but the no-frills design is much more budget-friendly.

Keep in mind that it’s much more bare-bones than many of the other best bathroom exhaust fans. It caps out at 50 CFM, which is a slower speed that might not be enough for larger rooms, and isn’t adjustable. But it should be enough power for a small or mid-sized bathroom.

We also really like that it comes in a decorative coil-like design with a matte white finish. It’s super subtle when installed in the ceiling or wall and doesn’t draw as much attention as some of the clunkier bathroom exhaust fans do. 

The best part? The coil design is made using a paintable polymeric material that allows you to paint over the white and customize the colorway to best suit your existing decor.

CFM: 50 | Features: Decorative design, paintable | Mounting Type: Ceiling and wall

This exhaust fan includes a powerful LED light to illuminate your entire bathroom.

The installation process can be a little tricky and might require some patchwork.

If you’re working with limited ceiling space or you just want a simple solution to your dimly lit bathroom, a bathroom exhaust fan with a built-in light will be a smart option for your home project. 

The Orein Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Light costs about the same as an average bathroom exhaust fan, but it includes a built-in LED bulb that’s bright enough to use as your main light. This option is also dimmable with a compatible switch, allowing you to adjust the mood of your bathroom as needed.

Note that the light is designed to last for about five years before needing to be replaced and comes with a five-year warranty in case anything happens within its expected lifespan.

The ceiling-mounted exhaust fan offers a powerful 100 CFM blower that promises to clear any fog, moisture, and odors quickly and efficiently. It’s also designed to be whisper-quiet, which means you can leave it running while hopping into the bath without having to tune it out during your self-care time.

Product Details: CFM: 100 | Features: Light | Mounting Type: Ceiling

The exhaust fan automatically turns on or off based on the humidity levels in the room, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting when you get in the shower.

The grilled design is a bit clunky compared to other options.

There’s nothing worse than hopping into the shower only to realize you’ve forgotten to turn on the exhaust fan; the foggy mist that descends comes fast and furious during a hot shower and can quickly damage your decor or cause odors, mold, or mildew if it’s not dealt with swiftly. 

That’s why the best bathroom exhaust fan with a built-in humidity sensor, the Delta Breez GreenBuilder, might be worth the investment—especially if you tend to get a lot of humidity in your bathroom or basement. 

It automatically switches on or off depending on the humidity level in your bathroom. It basically doubles as a dehumidifier while helping ensure you’re not faced with a moldy bathroom or powder room.

The heavy-hitting 80 CFM ensures your fan quickly and efficiently gets rid of any moisture in the air—even in a larger bathroom space. It’s also very quiet (less than 1 sone), which means your household won’t be disturbed if the fan turns on automatically at night.

CFM: 80 | Features: Humidity Sensor | Mounting Type: Ceiling

This fan includes a heater to ward off that post-shower chill.

Installation is difficult and may require access from above.

Think of the Delta BreezRadiance RAD80 80 CFM Exhaust Bath Fan as your very own luxury hotel amenity wrapped into one of the best bathroom exhaust fans. The relatively budget-friendly fan is a triple threat: aside from its moisture-busting abilities, it’s also a ceiling light and a heater. Say goodbye to post-shower chills.

The Delta BreezRadiance isn’t just packed with features, though—it’s also well-constructed and made to last thanks to the galvanized steel material and metal duct adapter that resists corrosion. 

The DC brushless motor only runs at 80 CFM which might not be strong enough for larger bathrooms but should be more than adequate for mid-sized bathrooms and powder rooms. It’s also relatively quiet and runs at a noise rating of just 1.5 sones which means it won’t be irritating to you or your household while in use. 

As far as downsides go, this exhaust fan is difficult to install from below, meaning you may need access from above to set it up properly.

Product Details: CFM: 80 | Features: Heater | Mounting Type: Ceiling

Ideal for shower singers, this contender for the best bathroom exhaust fan has a color-changing LED light to set the mood.

Fancy features make it more expensive than the average bathroom exhaust fan.

We love the Orein OL005 Bathroom Fan with Bluetooth Speaker, but it’s definitely designed for a very specific bathroom vision. This is the best bathroom exhaust fan that goes above and beyond when it comes to bells and whistles.

Built-in Bluetooth connectivity allows you to pair the fan with your iPhone or Android. This gives you the option to play music through the fan’s speaker or adjust the lighting from your smartphone. 

It includes a fun color-changing LED light with seven different color options to choose from, all while ensuring that you don’t have odor or humidity buildup in your bathroom. Fast brackets make it easy to install—mount the fan between ceiling brackets and you’re good to go. 

The fan boasts a powerful 110-160 CFM and runs at just 1 sones (the lower the sone, the quieter the fan), so you won’t have to worry about having your fan interrupt your playlist while in the bath or shower.

CFM: 110-160 | Features: Bluetooth, light | Mounting Type: Ceiling

This is the quietest bathroom exhaust fan on our list. 

It’s more difficult to install if it’s a replacement for an existing fan.

Noisy bathroom exhaust fans can ruin the atmosphere of a bath or steamy shower. That’s why seeking out an extra-quiet bathroom exhaust fan might make the most sense for those who like to enjoy a lingering bathtime or who live in a smaller house or apartment with roommates or family members. 

We particularly like the Panasonic FV-0510VS1 WhisperValue DC Bathroom Ventilation Fan because not only is it super quiet (it sits at just 0.3 scones on the lowest level), but it also can also be adjusted to run between 50 to 100 CFM, depending on how much power you need at a given time.

The flexibility means you can keep the fan running slowly and quietly for longer or you can up the power with the flip of a switch. 

Keep in mind that even on the highest level, this bathroom exhaust fan caps out at 0.9 scones, which is still much quieter than the other fans on the list. Installation can be a bit tricky, especially when it comes to using this fan as a replacement for an existing model, since you need attic access.

Product Details: CFM: 50–100 | Features: Speed selector | Mounting Type: Ceiling

Overall, the best bathroom exhaust fan is the high-end and whisper-quiet Broan-NuTone AE110 Invent Flex ENERGY STAR Qualified Single-Speed Ventilation Fan. This energy-efficient fan is powerful, easy to install, and reduces the risk of air backdrafts by 50% compared to other brands.

The CFM—or cubic feet per minute—measurement indicates the fan's airflow capacity, or how much air it can move in a minute. Higher CFM values correspond to more powerful fans, but that doesn’t mean you need to opt for the highest option you can find.

Instead, choose a fan with the appropriate CFM rating for your bathroom size (50 CFM is typically enough for a bathroom 50 square feet or smaller, according to the Home Ventilating Institute, after which you can add 1 CFM per additional square foot) to ensure adequate ventilation and moisture removal.

You’ll also want to consider the type of installation that best suits your needs and existing infrastructure when deciding on the best bathroom exhaust fan. “Ductless fans are easier to install but may not provide optimal moisture removal,” explains John Ward, account executive at Mold Busters.

“In-line ducting fans are installed in the ductwork itself, which can lead to quieter operation and are more discreet. Easy-to-install models often feature simple wiring and mounting options that make installation faster and more straightforward.”

Additional features, such as built-in lighting, humidity detection, or heaters, can enhance the functionality of the exhaust fan. For example, a fan with a humidity sensor automatically turns on when the moisture level in the room reaches a certain threshold, while a built-in heater provides supplemental warmth during colder months.

“The noise level of an exhaust fan, measured in sones, is an essential factor to consider for user comfort,” Ward says. “Quieter fans (with lower sone ratings) are less disruptive, but they might have lower CFM ratings.” Balancing noise level with performance is crucial for finding the best bathroom exhaust fan for your needs.

Installing a bathroom exhaust fan is an important task to ensure proper ventilation and air circulation, which can prevent mold growth and improve indoor air quality. However, the ease or difficulty of installation varies depending on the type of exhaust fan. There two primary types: ceiling-mounted and wall-mounted.

“Ceiling-mounted fans are commonly used in bathrooms with a ceiling, while wall-mounted fans are used in bathrooms with no ceiling or where the ceiling is too low for a ceiling-mounted fan,” Bennett explains.

“In terms of installation, ceiling-mounted fans are generally considered more difficult to install compared to wall-mounted fans. This is because ceiling-mounted fans require cutting a hole in the ceiling and running ductwork to the exterior of the home,” Bennett says.

“Wall-mounted fans, on the other hand, require cutting a hole in the wall and running ductwork to the exterior, which is typically less difficult than ceiling-mounted fans."

“Installing a bathroom exhaust fan typically involves removing the existing fan or cutting a hole in the ceiling, securing the fan housing, connecting the ductwork, wiring the fan, and attaching the grill cover,” Ward says. Factors that can make the installation process easier or harder include:

A ductless bathroom fan, also known as a ventless or recirculating fan, is a type of exhaust fan that does not require ductwork to be installed. Instead, it filters the air through a charcoal or carbon filter before recirculating it back into the bathroom.

According to Bennett, this type of fan is typically easier to install compared to a traditional ducted exhaust fan, but it may not be as effective in removing moisture and odors from the bathroom.

The 7 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans of 2024

Ac Blower Motor Capacitor This article was written by Kaitlyn McInnis, a former lifestyle editor and freelance writer for Better Homes & Gardens. She researched a variety of different bathroom exhaust fans from leading brands in order to find the best options online. She also consulted Walter E Bennett, a Dallas-based handyman and IAQ expert for homes and multi-storied buildings at Great Leaf Air and John Ward, account executive at Mold Busters.