Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans 2024

A bathroom exhaust fan plays a vital role in your bathroom by circulating odors and moist air out of the bathroom, preventing foul smells from lingering and mold and mildew from growing. If your current bathroom fan has gone kaput or isn’t getting the job done, you’ll need to replace it with a new one. Finding a bathroom that produces enough airflow to handle your bathroom, has the features you want, and fits the hole in your ceiling can be challenging. In this guide, we’ll cover how to size a bathroom exhaust fan and detail what features you can expect to find with these appliances. We’ll also review some of the best bathroom exhaust fans out there. 

How We Picked the Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Having installed and used a variety of bathroom exhaust fans, we were able to use our own hands-on experience with these appliances to hunt down the top bathroom exhaust fans for this guide. We also conducted many hours of research, comparing specs and customer reviews for more than two dozen different exhaust fans to help inform our picks.

Our selections include exhaust fans to suit everything from small half bathrooms to spacious master bathrooms. Along with basic models, we also chose exhaust fans with useful additional features, such as lights, humidity sensors, timers, and even built-in Bluetooth speakers.  Whether you need a basic bathroom exhaust fan or a top-of-the-line model loaded with additional features, we have the best bathroom exhaust fan for you. 

Don’t miss our article on Bathroom Renovation Preparation!

Our Top Picks for the Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Hampton Bay Wall/Ceiling Mount Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Hampton Bay Wall/Ceiling Mount Bathroom Exhaust Fan 7114-01

  • Airflow capacity: 50 CFM
  • Noise: 1.0 Sones 
  • Housing Dimensions: 10.82 inches long by 10.5 inches wide
  • Ducting size: 4 inches

This bathroom exhaust fan produces just 1.0 sones, making it one of the quieter bathroom fans available. With its 110 CFM airflow capacity, it produces enough ventilation to suit a large full bathroom. It’s also one of the more affordable bathroom fans out there. And since it’s Energy Star certified, it uses very little energy. The Hampton Bay fan comes in a common size, making installation easy if you’re replacing an existing bathroom fan. If you’re looking for a well-built basic bathroom exhaust fan, this is the one. 


  • Operates at a quiet 1.0 sones
  • Affordably priced 
  • Common size for no-cut installation


  • Doesn’t include a light
Harrier Hardware Exhaust Ventilation Fan
Harrier Hardware Exhaust Ventilation Fan

Harrier Hardware Bathroom Exhaust Ventilation Fan

  • Airflow capacity: 70 CFM
  • Noise: 2.0 Sones 
  • Housing Dimensions: 7.5 inches long by 7.3 inches wide
  • Ducting size: 3 inches

If you’re looking to replace an existing exhaust fan on the cheap or have several to install, this model from Harrier is a good budget option. It costs a fraction of many other bathroom fans, yet still puts out enough airflow capacity to handle a master bathroom. Its compact size and quick electrical connections make it easy to install, so you can save money by putting it in yourself. Just remember that it is louder than other exhaust fans with a noise output of 2.0 sones, and it uses a smaller 3-inch ventilation duct. 


  • Affordably priced
  • Puts out enough airflow capacity for a master bathroom
  • Easy to install thanks to quick-connect electrical connections 


  • Noisier than other bathroom fans
  • Smaller duct outlet
Panasonic WhisperCeiling DC Fan (FV-0511VQ1)Panasonic WhisperCeiling DC Fan (FV-0511VQ1)

Panasonic WhisperCeiling DC Fan FV-0511VQ1

  • Airflow capacity: 50-110 CFM
  • Noise: 0.3 sones
  • Housing Dimensions: 10.25 inches long by 10.25 inches wide by 7.5 inches deep
  • Duct compatibility: 4 or 6 inches

This ceiling fan is steeper in price than most, but it’s worth it for its versatility and power. With its ability to produce a max 110 CFM airflow, it can handle vast master bathrooms. And unlike most bathroom fans that operate on a single speed, this one allows you to dial down the airflow to 80 or 50 CFM. Just keep in mind that it requires a larger 6- or 8-inch duct. With its brushless motor, you can expect it to last longer than standard bathroom fans. A built-in damper also prevents cold or hot outside air from back-drafting into your home. And since it’s an Energy Star-rated bathroom fan, you can make back some of its high upfront cost in energy savings. 


  • Multiple airflow capacity options
  • Built-in damper protects from backdrafts
  • Equipped with long-lasting brushless motor


  • Significantly more expensive than other exhaust fans
Panasonic WhisperChoice (RG-C1315LA)Panasonic WhisperChoice (RG-C1315LA)

Panasonic WhisperChoice RG-C1315LA

  • Airflow capacity: 130-150 CFM
  • Noise: 0.3 to 0.8 Sones 
  • Housing Dimensions: 11 inches by 11 inches
  • Ducting size: 3 inches

Panasonic’s aptly named Whisper Choice bathroom fan produces just 0.3 sones, which is virtually unhearable, making it one of the quietest bathroom fans on the market. It also happens to be one of the most powerful, producing an impressive 130 CFM at that noise level. You can also adjust the WhisperChoice to put out a maximum of 150 CFM at a still very quiet noise level of 0.8 sones. This fan also doubles as a light, with a 10-watt dimmable LED panel and a low-level night light. Along with being one of the quietest fans, this model is also one of the most expensive.


  • Operates at a nearly inaudible 0.3 sones 
  • Produces high airflow capacity
  • Built-in dimmable LED light and nightlight
Broan-NuTone 80 CFM HB80RLBroan-NuTone 80 CFM HB80RL

Broan-NuTone 80 CFM Exhaust Fan HB80RL

  • Airflow capacity: 80 CFM
  • Noise: 2.5 Sones 
  • Housing Dimensions: 8 inches long by 8.25 inches wide
  • Duct-compatible sizes: 4 inches

The Broan-NuTone ceiling fan is a familiar one to most as it’s one of the most popular ceiling fans used in newer residential construction. And for good reason. Its 80 CFM output is a great fit for the average full-size bathroom. Plus, it’s affordably priced and doubles as an overhead light. You can also control both its fan and light functions through separate switches. While it’s not the quietest fan out there at 2.5 sones, it won’t overwhelm you with noise either. 


  • Airflow capacity suits the average-sized full bathroom
  • Doubles as light that can be controlled via a separate switch
  • Affordably priced


  • Louder than most bathroom exhaust fans
Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans

Tech Drive Very-Quiet Exhaust Fan (TD-BF-04)Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans

Tech Drive Very-Quiet Exhaust Fan (TD-BF-04)

Tech Drive Very-Quiet Exhaust Fan TD-BF-04

  • Airflow capacity: 80 CFM
  • Noise: 1.5 Sones 
  • Housing Dimensions: 7.5 inches long by 7.25 inches wide
  • Duct-compatible sizes: 4 inches

This compact bathroom fan has a housing that measures just 7.5 inches by 7.25 inches, making it a good choice for smaller bathrooms. An airflow capacity of 80 CFM makes it suitable for most small full bathrooms, and it operates at a reasonable noise level of 1.5 sones. Its small size and use of a standard 4-inch duct vent makes it easy to install in an existing ceiling opening with no attic access required. Along with its affordable price, its motor boasts a long lifespan of at least 25,000 hours. 


  • Compact size makes it easy to install in existing cut-outs
  • Great air flow capacity for its size
  • Long lifespan of at least 25,000 hours


  • A little louder than most bathroom exhaust fans
Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Bluetooth Speaker

SPKN110RGBLBest Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Bluetooth Speaker


Broan-NuTone Sensonic Series Bathroom Exhaust Fan SPKN110RGBL

  • Airflow capacity: 50 CFM
  • Noise: 2.5 Sones 
  • Housing Dimensions: 8 inches long by 8.25 inches wide
  • Duct-compatible sizes: 4 inches

This bathroom exhaust fan helps transform your bathroom into a spa experience with its Bluetooth speaker and multi-colored LED lighting. The speaker connects to a smartphone, allowing you to stream music as you shower and get ready for your day. There’s also an LED light you can set to an unlimited variety of colors via Broan-Nutone’s ChromaComfort app. And since it uses the same wiring as a standard exhaust fan, it’s just as easy to install as a standard bathroom fan. Along with its sound and lighting features, it also functions as a powerful ventilation fan with a high airflow capacity of 110 CFM. Just be prepared to pay a premium for those additional features as this is one of the pricier bathroom exhaust fans out there. 


  • High airflow capacity for enhanced ventilation
  • Functions as a Bluetooth speaker 
  • Equipped with multi-colored LED lighting


  • Louder than most bathroom exhaust fans
Best Exhaust Fan for Basement BathroomBest Exhaust Fan for Basement Bathroom

Broan-NuTone Wall/Ceiling Mount Bathroom Exhaust Fan 682NT

  • Airflow capacity: N/A
  • Noise: N/A
  • Housing Dimensions: 7.125 inches long by 7.125 inches wide
  • Duct-compatible sizes: N/A

This bathroom exhaust fan requires no ductwork, making it ideal for bathrooms located in the basement where there are no exterior walls and ductwork isn’t possible. Instead of circulating air outside through ducts, the fan uses a charcoal filter to eliminate odors. It’s easy to install in either the wall or ceiling with snap-in mounting, and it has a neutral white streamlined look that suits most bathrooms. Since this fan does not vent outdoors, it’s only suitable for half-baths as it won’t remove any moist air created from a shower.


  • Doesn’t require any ductwork
  • Snap-in design makes it easy to install 
  • Charcoal filter removes bathroom odors


  • Won’t remove humidity from the air
Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan and Heater

Utilitech Bathroom Fan and Heater (7123-02-L)Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan and Heater

Utilitech Bathroom Fan and Heater (7123-02-L)

Utilitech Bathroom Fan and Heater 7123-02-L

  • Airflow capacity: 80 CFM
  • Noise: 1.5 Sones
  • Housing Dimensions: 14.625 inches long by 8.25 inches wide
  • Duct-compatible sizes: 4 inches

Hate bathing in a cold bathroom? This bathroom fan includes a built-in 1300W heating element to help warm up a chilly bathroom. Along with heat, this fan also has a built-in light. Plus it provides plenty of ventilation thanks to its 80 CFM air capacity. Fan, heater, and light can be controlled independently of each other through three individual switches. While this bathroom fan is versatile, its three functions also make wiring it a more complicated process. Each function must be wired to an individual switch and it requires a 20-volt circuit. Plus, its large size won’t fit standard bathroom fan holes. 


  • Includes built-in 1300-watt heater
  • Produces ample airflow capacity 
  • Equipped with a built-in light


  • More complicated to wire
  • Requires a 20-volt circuit
ReVent 110 CFM Ceiling/Wall Mount Bathroom Exhaust Fan (RVSH110-D)ReVent 110 CFM Ceiling/Wall Mount Bathroom Exhaust Fan (RVSH110-D)

ReVent 110 CFM Ceiling/Wall Mount Bathroom Exhaust Fan RVSH110-D

  • Airflow capacity: 110 CFM
  • Noise: 0.8 Sones
  • Housing Dimensions: 9.5 inches long by 9.75 inches wide
  • Duct-compatible sizes: 4 inches

This wall-mounted bathroom fan is a good choice when mounting a bathroom fan on a ceiling isn’t possible. With its 110 CFM airflow capacity, it can produce enough airflow to pull in humid air that’s rising to the ceiling. It has a smooth paintable cover that gives it a more streamlined look than those with louvered covers, making it less conspicuous on your wall. Plus, it operates at a whisper-quiet 0.8 sones. This bathroom vent is also easier to install thanks to its SheetLock technology. Other features include a humidity-sensing switch that automatically turns on the fan when it senses high humidity levels and a 0 to 60-minute timer. 


  • Smooth cover can be painted to match wall color
  • Equipped with humidity sensor and 60-minute timer
  • Easy-to-install design
Delta Breez GreenBuilder Bath Fan (GBR80H)Delta Breez GreenBuilder Bath Fan (GBR80H)

Delta Breez GreenBuilder Bath Fan GBR80H

  • Airflow capacity: 50 to 80 CFM
  • Noise: 0.8 Sones
  • Housing Dimensions: 8 inches long by 8 inches wide
  • Duct-compatible sizes: 4 inches

There’s no need to remember to turn on the fan before starting a shower with the Delta Breez. This fan automatically kicks on when it senses high humidity, then slows down to a normal speed when humidity levels fall below a certain level. You can adjust the humidity level between 50% and 80%, and an indicator light on the fan grill comes on to let you know that the fan is indeed running. An 80 CFM airflow capacity makes the Breeze suitable for larger bathrooms. It’s also one of the quieter bathroom fans, operating at just 0.8 sones. 


  • Equipped with adjustable humidity sensor levels
  • Runs at an ultra quiet 0.8 sones
  • Automatically turns on and off


  • Does not include a light 
Broan-Nutone Decorative 110 CFM Ceiling Bathroom Exhaust Fan AERN110LTKBroan-Nutone Decorative 110 CFM Ceiling Bathroom Exhaust Fan AERN110LTK

Broan-Nutone Decorative 110 CFM Ceiling Bathroom Exhaust Fan AERN110LTK

  • Airflow capacity: 110 CFM
  • Noise: 1.5 Sones
  • Housing Dimensions: 10 inches long by 9.25 inches wide
  • Duct-compatible sizes: 4 inches

This model performs the duties of a bathroom fan and looks good while doing it. It consists of a square-shaped framed LED light that gives it the look of a modern light fixture. Vents around the frame allow the fan that’s hidden behind the light to draw in air and ventilate odors and humidity outside the house. And since the frame comes with interchangeable trims, you can match the fan to your bathroom decor. With its 110 CFM air capacity, it’s capable of ventilating larger bathrooms, though it’s louder than other exhaust fans at 1.5 sones. 


  • Looks like a modern light fixture
  • High airflow capacity 
  • Comes with interchangeable trim


  • Louder than the average bathroom fan
  • Pricey

Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan Buying Guide

Size and Airflow Capacity

Understanding CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) Ratings

Air flow capacity, which is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), determines how well the fan can pull odors and humid air out of your bathroom. Most bathroom fans have an airflow capacity that ranges between 50 and 100 CFM. When shopping for a bathroom exhaust fan, purchase one that produces enough airflow capacity to suit the size of your bathroom. 

Calculating the Right Size for Your Bathroom

Determining what airflow capacity your bathroom needs is relatively simple for bathrooms with a standard 8-foot ceiling height. A bathroom fan should be able to ventilate at least 1 CFM per square foot of floor space. So, if you have a bathroom that’s 80 square feet, you should have a bathroom fan with an airflow capacity of at least 80 CFM. 

If you have a high ceiling in your bathroom, you’ll need to make a slightly more complex calculation. Multiply the square footage of the room by the ceiling height then divide by 60. Finally, multiply that number by 8. For example, for a 150-square-foot bathroom with a 10-foot ceiling, you would perform the following calculations:

150 x 10=1,500


25 x 8= 200 CFM

It’s not a bad idea to get a bathroom fan with a little higher capacity than what you need, especially if you enjoy taking long, steamy showers.  

If your bathroom has a water closet, meaning your toilet is inside a separate room within your bathroom, you’ll need an additional fan to handle ventilation duties for that room. 

Noise Level

Evaluating Noise Levels for Quiet Operation

It’s important to pay attention to a bathroom fan’s noise output when shopping for one. Bathroom fan noise levels are measured in sones. The noise level in the average office is 4.0 sones while most refrigerators operate at around 1.0 sones. Bathroom fans produce running from as little as 0.3 sones up to 2.0 sones


Wall-Mount vs. Ceiling Mount

Most bathroom fans mount to the ceiling of the bathroom and then vent to either the side of the house or through the attic to the roof. Wall-mount bathroom fans are a good option when it isn’t possible to mount a fan to the ceiling. If you choose a wall-mount option for your bathroom, just keep in mind there are challenges with this type of bathroom fan. Since warm moist air tends to rise to the ceiling, wall-mount bathroom fans aren’t as effective as ceiling-mount options at lowering the humidity in a bathroom. Wall-mount bathroom fans also are more prone to back-drafting, which allows outside air to circulate through the fan vent and into the house. 

Energy Efficiency

ENERGY STAR Rated Fans for Energy Savings

While bathroom fans generally don’t use a lot of electricity when compared to the other electrical appliances and utilities in your home, you can cut the amount of energy they do use by going with an Energy Star-rated bathroom fan. This may make sense in a high-traffic bathroom in which a bathroom fan sees a lot of use. 

Installation Requirements

DIY vs. Professional Installation

You can save yourself hundreds of dollars by handling a bathroom fan installation on your own if you’re replacing an existing fan. However, if you need to install a fan in a bathroom that currently doesn’t have one, the project is much more complicated. You’ll need to install electrical for the fan and cut a hole in the ceiling to install the fan. You’ll also need to run ductwork to an exterior wall or the roof to vent the fan outside. Unless you’re replacing an existing bathroom fan, it probably makes more sense to hire a professional to handle the install.  

If you’re merely replacing an existing fan, this is a very doable DIY project. If possible, purchase a fan that has the same or very similar dimensions as the one you’re replacing. This will eliminate having to rework the hole in your ceiling to fit the new fan. 

Additional features


Some bathroom exhaust fans double as overhead lighting by integrating a light fixture with their ventilation function. Some even have multicolored LED lights you can set via a smartphone app. These lights are typically wired to two separate wall switches, allowing you to control each one independently. 

Bluetooth sound 

There are also bathroom fans that integrate a speaker with the fan, allowing you to listen to music while going through your morning routine. 

Humidity Sensors and Timers

Ceiling fans with built-in humidity sensors will automatically cycle on when the sensor detects high humidity levels in the bathroom, eliminating the need to switch them on manually. Some bathroom fans even allow you to set the on/off humidity levels. Other fans come with settable 60-minute timers, helping save electricity by shutting off the fan after a certain period. 

Size and Ductwork


Bathroom fans come in various sizes. So, if you’re replacing an old fan with a new one, consider what the size of the old fan is. If you’re purchasing one that’s a different size, you’ll need to alter the size of the hole in the drywall. Try to look for a fan that closely matches the size of the one you’re replacing to make the installation an easier process. 

Proper Ventilation Ductwork

Your bathroom fan will be ducted either out the side of the house for bathrooms on the first floor or through the roof for bathrooms located on the second floor. When purchasing a new fan, buy one with a duct connector that’s the same size as the ductwork running through your home to ensure it vents properly. Measure the duct connector on the old fan to determine what size you need. 


Some bathroom fans don’t require a duct. Instead of venting air outside, these fans circulate air through a charcoal filter that removes odors before recirculating the air back to the room. While these fans are useful for removing odors, they won’t remove any humidity from the air. This makes them suitable for half-bathrooms only. 

Uses of Bathroom Exhaust Fans

Removing Excess Humidity and Eliminating Odors

Bathroom fans are integral to circulating humid air created from showers and sinks out of the bathroom. This air circulation will help prevent a build-up of moisture on the walls and tile, which can lead to mold growth. It will also stop the build-up of odors. 

Safety Considerations When Installing a Bathroom Exhaust Fan

While you can certainly install a bathroom exhaust fan on your own, given that the job involves working with electrical wiring, safety is crucial. Before getting started on this project, you must cut power to the circuit you’ll be working with. Turning off the wall switch isn’t enough as this won’t cut electricity to all the wiring in the circuit. Cut off power at the breaker then use a circuit tester to make sure the power is cut off. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Bathroom Exhaust Fans

How Does a Bathroom Exhaust Fan Work?

A bathroom exhaust fan works by pulling in air from the bathroom and circulating it through a duct that sends the air outside either through a vent in the roof, roof soffit, or an exterior wall. This process works to remove moist air and odors. 

Can I Replace My Existing Fan with a Quieter Model?

Since bathroom fans vary in the amount of noise they produce, you can certainly replace a loud bathroom fan with a quieter model. When shopping for a quiet fan, look at its sone output. A fan that produces 0.8 sones or less creates so little noise that it’s often difficult to determine if the fan is running or not. 

Do Bathroom Fans Need to Be Vented Outside?

If the fan has a duct outlet, it must be vented through either an exterior wall or through the roof. A ductless fan that isn’t vented outside can send moist air into a wall, attic, or crawl space, which can result in mold growth in these areas. Ductless fans do not have to be vented. However, ductless fans, which come equipped with a carbon filter, are only capable of eliminating odors. They will not remove moist air from a bathroom. 

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