Moisture in the bathroom can cause slippery floors, damp towels, and odors. It can also create a breeding ground for harmful fungi and bacteria.
Fortunately, installing a bathroom exhaust fan can eliminate these problems. But instead of just any exhaust fan, you want one that keeps your bathroom dry and fresh without making a racket.
In a rush? View our top choices below:
To help you pick the best quiet bathroom exhaust fan for you, we’ve put together a review of five of the best exhaust fans from different brands. Each product in our review is not only quiet but also powerful enough to dry a bathroom that’s 70 square feet or larger.
In a hurry? The Panasonic FV-08-11VF5 WhisperFit is our top choice for the best quiet bathroom exhaust fan. It generates less than 0.3 sones, which means it’s super quiet. It’s also energy-efficient and easy to install.
But there are many other good options, depending on your specific needs. For more about the Panasonic FV-08-11VF5 and the other products that made our list, read on.
To help you avoid the cost and hassle of experimenting with different bathroom exhaust fans, we’ve done the research for you.
Here are our top picks:
The Panasonic FV-08-11VF5 WhisperFit is a powerful, state-of-the-art bathroom exhaust fan that delivers great results with minimal noise.
Just how quiet is it? A fan with a 1.0-sone rating is plenty quiet, but with a 0.3-sone rating, the Panasonic WhisperFit is ultra-quiet. It’s so quiet, you won’t even realize it’s on until you feel it circulating air.
Despite how quiet the fan is, it doesn’t compromise on its primary function of keeping your bathroom dry. That’s because it can generate up to 110 CFM (cubic feet per minute), which is enough to dry a 100-square-foot bathroom (or slightly larger.) Aside from keeping surfaces dry, the fan is also effective at removing bad air and maintaining a fresh-smelling bathroom.
Just as important, the WhisperFit is Energy Star certified, meaning it’s an energy-efficient choice that won’t cause too much of an increase in your power bills.
When it comes to durability, the Panasonic WhisperFit again gets high scores. Unlike other quiet exhaust fans that have plastic blades, this Panasonic product uses galvanized steel blades. It’s also optimized to reduce the risk of overheating or developing motor faults.
However, if a fault does develop, you can rest easy knowing the fan comes with a 3-year limited warranty to protect your interests.
Lastly, the Panasonic FV-08-11VF5 WhisperFit comes with a motion detection feature that increases the fan’s energy-efficiency and convenience. With this feature, the fan automatically switches on after someone enters the bathroom.
Simply put, this fan isn’t cheap, but it justifies its price by being an effective product with various features to ensure your convenience and satisfaction. If you want a fan that can keep a medium to large bathroom dry without being a noisy nuisance, this is a great choice.
The Akicon Ultra Quiet ceiling mounted fan may not come from a popular brand, but it deserves your attention thanks to the combination of its price point and functionality. It’s more budget-friendly than the Panasonic WhisperFit, but just as energy-efficient with an Energy Star certification. It’s also very durable and comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
Regarding noise, the fan generates under 0.5 sones when working at full power. It’s not quite as quiet as the Panasonic, but it’s silent enough that it won’t disrupt your meditations in the bathroom. Also, because its motor is engineered for continuous operation, it can run for long periods without overheating.
The Akicon Ultra Quiet fan can produce up to 70 CFM – more than enough to eliminate moisture buildup and bad air from a 70-square-foot bathroom. For larger bathrooms, you can opt for its 110 CFM model, which costs just a bit more.
That said, this fan is only suitable for bathrooms that have a 4-inch duct connection, and you may need the help of a professional to install it.
In summary, the Akicon Ultra Quiet is a budget-friendly fan that excels at being quiet, but it’s most effective at keeping smaller spaces dry and well-ventilated.
The Broan-NuTone QTXE080 Ultra Silent Bath Fan is another silent and efficient air mover thanks to its plastic components and optimized motor. Like the Panasonic WhisperFit, this fan generates only 0.3 sones, keeping its performance super quiet.
It can generate up to 80 CFM of airflow to keep a 75-square-foot bathroom dry. And when it comes to removing odors, the fan has a 6-inch ducting that sucks out foul air and delivers fresh air faster.
In addition to being quiet and effective, installing this bathroom fan is easy thanks to its hanger bars for wall placements. The system is also energy-efficient and durable, ensuring you can use the fan for long periods without worrying about power bills or the system wearing out.
Plus, the plastic body of this fan can blend in and even complement the aesthetics of most bathrooms. It’s also easy to clean.
All in all, the Broan QTXE080 is a top choice if you want a quiet fan that delivers plentiful clean air and is super easy to install.
For bathrooms that are significantly larger than 100 square feet, you’ll need a more powerful exhaust fan. More power usually means more noise, but that’s not the case with the Delta BreezSmart SMT150. It can generate up to 150 CFM and still stay noiseless at less than 0.3 sones.
Aside from being silent and powerful, the Delta BreezSmart SMT150 is highly durable. Instead of plastic parts, it has a galvanized steel construction that’s corrosion and wear-resistant. Its motor is just as tough, consisting of a DC brushless motor for extended reliability.
Other features that boost this fan’s effectiveness and convenience are its 6-inch duct and motion sensor. The 6-inch duct enables the fan to extract bad air and bring in fresh air faster, while the motion sensor automatically turns on the fan when a person walks in. It also has a humidity sensor that immediately triggers the fan once humidity levels in your bathroom pass a certain level.
On the downside, the Delta BreezSmart SMT150 is the most expensive bathroom exhaust fan on our list. It’s also the least energy-efficient fan on our list, meaning it’ll also be pricey to use.
Nonetheless, if you need a fan that’s powerful enough to serve a large or commercial bathroom, the SMT150 remains a great choice. Its durability also justifies its price, especially if you want a fan that won’t require a replacement for years.
Aside from being quiet and effective, the fan features high-quality components, which include a galvanized steel body and blades. It also features a permanently lubricated motor that keeps the fan running smoothly over long periods.
Because of its double hanger mounting bars, installing this fan is easy. You can get the fan with a 4 or 6-inch duct adapter to ensure it fits into your duct system. The duct connection also has a backdraft damper that keeps foul air out without stopping the inflow of fresh air.
What about energy-efficiency? The Kaze Appliance SE90T is ETL-CETL and Energy Star certified for its energy-efficiency, meaning you’ll have fewer worries about your electricity bills.
Considering the price and all the features you get, the SE90T is a great value product that’s worth investing in.
Also Read: The 3 Best Quiet Garage Exhaust Fans
The first step in picking the right quiet bathroom exhaust fan is knowing what features to look for. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll explore the most crucial features, what they mean, and to what degree they should influence your decision.
CFM means cubic feet per minute. It’s a unit of measurement that indicates how much airflow a fan can generate within a room. If a fan’s CFM is too low for a room, it won’t deliver the results you want. For example, a 50 CFM fan is too small to effectively move the air in a 100-square-foot room.
To get a fan that’s a good fit, aim for one that can deliver at least 1 CFM per square foot. That is, a 50 CFM fan for a room that’s 50 square feet or less, or a 100 CFM fan for a room that’s 100 square feet or less.
That means before buying a bathroom exhaust fan, you’ll need to know how to calculate the size of your bathroom. It’s pretty simple – just multiply the room’s length by its width. For example, if the bathroom is 12 feet long and 5 feet wide, it’s 60 square feet. For such a room, you need an exhaust fan that can generate at least 60 CFM.
To be on the safe side, opt for a fan with a CFM that slightly exceeds the room’s size – for example, a 110 CFM fan for a 100-square-foot room.
Pick the right quiet bathroom exhaust fan for your needs by looking out for the following features:
While it’s important to pick a fan with a CFM that matches your room’s size, a higher CFM usually equals more noise. To avoid installing a fan that’s noisier than you can stand, verify the fan’s sone rating.
Sone is a unit of measurement that indicates how much noise a fan produces. The higher the sone rating, the louder the fan. Some fans have ratings as high as 4 sones, but anything higher than 1 sone is not a quiet bathroom exhaust fan. That’s why all the fans in our review have a sone rating that’s lower than 0.5, which is a great score.
CFM means how much air a fan can suck out of a room in a minute. Like we said, go for a fan with a CFM rating that’s at least equal to the size of your bathroom. Generally, it’s best to buy a fan with a CFM that’s slightly larger than your bathroom. But before buying, make sure to verify the fan can generate its maximum CFM without becoming noisy.
If your bathroom exhaust fan isn’t energy-efficient, you’ll be paying exorbitant energy bills to keep your bathroom dry. Avoid such issues by going for a fan that’s at least Energy Star certified.
It also helps if the fan has a motion sensor or humidity sensor feature. If there’s a motion sensor, the fan stays off unless someone walks into the bathroom and goes off after the person leaves. On the other hand, the humidity sensor switches on the fan when your bathroom’s humidity reaches a certain level.
With these features, the fan only comes on when necessary and prevents unnecessary power consumption.
Exhaust fans are available at a wide range of prices, and like any product, what you pay for is what you get. Cheaper fans usually have a lower CFM and less durable components, while pricier ones have more features and last longer.
Instead of buying the cheapest or most expensive product on the market, go for one whose features meet your needs without exceeding your budget.
Some bathroom exhaust fans require professional installation, while others are so straightforward you can install them yourself. If you’d rather DIY it, make sure the fan is a good fit for your current duct system. For example, if you have 3-inch ducts and buy a fan with a 6-inch duct, you could run into some problems.
Some fans are so powerful, it doesn’t matter where in the bathroom you install them. But to be on the safe side, it’s best to install a fan directly over the bathtub or shower. If you have both a shower and bathtub, install the fan between both fixtures, but closer to the one you use the most.
Simply put, always install the fan over the fixture that generates the most moisture. Failure to do so could prevent the fan from lowering humidity levels in your bathroom, which can lead to damp smells, mold growth, slippery floors, and other issues.
But if the fan comes with a heater, avoid installing it over the shower or bathtub. It’s safer to install it away from such fixtures, but not so far it can’t effectively get rid of the humidity.
Aside from leading to high power bills, leaving a bathroom fan on for long periods will cause it to wear out faster. It can also cause the fan to overheat and possibly lead to a fire.
To be on the safe side, never let your fan run longer than 30 minutes. Better yet, go for a fan that uses a motion or humidity sensor to automatically switch itself on or off as necessary.
Picking out an appliance like a bathroom exhaust fan can be overwhelming, but with our reviews and explanation of common features, it’s easier to pick the right quiet bathroom exhaust fan for your space. For example, if you have a larger bathroom, the Delta BreezSmart SMT150 is a good choice. For a smaller bathroom, the Akicon Ultra Quiet 70 CFM will fit in nicely, especially if you are on a budget.
But if you want the quietest and most powerful option for a bathroom that’s under 100 square feet, you can’t go wrong with the Panasonic FV-08-11VF5 WhisperFit. While it’s not the cheapest option, its effectiveness, convenience, and durability make it a worthwhile investment.