Choosing a bathroom extractor fan is no easy task. Think about the many different options in terms of size and extraction rate. Or the switching and operation options. Then, right when you thought you’d figured it all out, you bump into noise and aesthetics details.
It’s a swirl of new information you might find yourself drawn into. But now that you’ve found this guide on extractor fans for bathrooms, it’s going to be a lot easier. Stick with us, as it will only take you a few minutes to read it.
By the end of it all, you’ll know not only what to look for when doing your own research, but also, how some of the best models on the market fit the criteria we just mentioned above. Now, let’s take a deep dive with some specific product reviews.
Best Bathroom Extractor Fans
Best For Low Budgets1Airroxy Planet Energy e100 S Extractor Fan
Best For Low BudgetsAirroxy Planet Energy e100 S Extractor Fan
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|2||Airflow iCON ECO 15 240V Extractor Fan||Buy On Amazon|
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Best Overall3Envirovent SIL100T Axial Silent Extractor Fan
Best OverallEnvirovent SIL100T Axial Silent Extractor Fan
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|4||Manrose Gold 4-inch Timer Extractor Fan||Buy On Amazon|
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Best For Higher Budgets5Xpelair C4TS 4" Simply Silent Contour Extractor Fan
Best For Higher BudgetsXpelair C4TS 4" Simply Silent Contour Extractor Fan
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1. Airroxy Planet Energy e100 S Extractor Fan
- Bathroom extractor with 100mm diameter fan.
- Standard switching method.
- Supports a 93 m3/h flow rate.
- Operates at a 34 dB noise level.
Looking for a simple, no-fuss extractor fan that you can easily set up in your bathroom? Consider Airroxy’s e100 S model, a budget-friendly product that provides outstanding value despite its low price point.
It may look like the average plain fan, but it has plenty of aces up the sleeve. Think of its low, 8W power consumption that can still support a high extraction rate of 93 m3/h. Then, add the super-silent operation, of only 34 dB, and the IP rate IPX2.
All of a sudden, it doesn’t look that average anymore. Sure, it still implies that you’ll have to manually switch it On/Off. But if you really want extra convenience, you can always consider shopping for its more expensive version with a humidity sensor built-in.
- Simple, effective functioning mechanism.
- Surprisingly quiet compared to similar models.
- Low power consumption.
- Very easy to install.
- No humidity sensor built-in.
- Not the best design for the attachment screw holes.
2. Airflow iCON ECO 15 240V Extractor Fan
- Features an axial recessed design.
- Supports a flow rate of 68 m3/h.
- Works with remote control.
- Designed with delayed iris shutter.
With this model from Airflow, you’re getting both an effective bathroom extractor fan and a fashionable item. Additional coloured covers are available in Silver, Sandstone, and Anthracite.
The fan can be mounted either on the wall or on the ceiling.
As a basic fan that operates with a remote switch, it can be enhanced with extra functionalities by separately purchasing a plug-in module. But even without the extra module, you’ll be getting plenty of value, given its 68 m3/h flow rate.
The straightforward operation and elegant design make it fit a wide range of spaces. All while the delayed iris shutter allows it to open and close silently, operating at only 35 dB noise level.
- Built for either wall or ceiling mounting.
- Comfortable to use, with remote control.
- Convenient low noise level during operation.
- Allows colour matching with covers sold separately.
- A tad on the pricey side.
- Plug-in module for extra functionalities sold separately.
3. Envirovent SIL100T Axial Silent Extractor Fan
- Designed as a 4-inch axial fan.
- Extract rate of 96 m3/h or 26 l/s.
- Awarded Quiet Mark with 26.5 dB sound output.
- IP45 rated.
With an outstanding extract rate of 96 m3/h, this 4-inch, 100 mm axial extractor fan is one of the best options you’ll find on the market. Envirovent got the Awarded Quiet Mark award for this product, back in 2013, which makes it even more attractive.
Basically, it’s a small, compact bathroom extractor fan with built-in timer and that can automatically turn on when it detects movement in less than 4 meters away. The adjustable timer can be set to shut off the fan after 1 to 30 minutes following the disconnection.
If you thought that the silent operation is its only strength, think again. This unit comes with airflow guide vanes, backdraught shutter, and pilot light. If you like it, you’ll be happy to hear that it can be installed either on the wall or on the ceiling. What more could you wish for?
- Great extract rate for this size.
- Awarded for low-noise operation.
- Built-in timer and movement sensor.
- Designed with back draft shutter.
- Timer won’t work with only two connections at the fan position.
- Not the most budget-friendly option out there.
4. Manrose Gold 4-inch Timer Extractor Fan
- 4-inch bathroom extractor fan.
- Flow rate of 85 m3/h or 23 l/s.
- Supports either wall or ceiling mounting.
- Ball bearing motor that works with timer.
With this 4-inch timer fan from Manrose, you get to benefit from an effective ventilation option that is both quiet and durable. Also available in 6-inch sizes, all units are powered by a long-lasting ball-bearing motor.
The fan is made of ABS thermoplastic, the high-gloss type, which makes it not only sturdy, but easy to clean and maintain, too. Ceiling and wall mounting are standard options, with the added benefit that you can separately purchase a kit for window mounting.
Easy to install, with a suction power above the average, and a moderate noise level, this product can make a good addition for the comfort you get to enjoy in your bathroom.
- Good quality at a decent price.
- Easy to mount in various positions.
- More than decent air flow rate.
- Practical timer functionality built-in.
- Occasional reliability issues reported.
- More effective at expelling the dry air than the damp air.
5. Xpelair C4TS 4" Simply Silent Contour Extractor Fan
- Intermittent bathroom extractor fan.
- Sized at 4-inch/100mm.
- Two different extraction speeds – 15/21 l/s.
- Can be mounted on ceiling, wall, or panel.
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-range bathroom extractor fan, the C4TS model from Xpelair will certainly catch your eye. How could it not, given its stylish square fascia design (by the way, it’s also available on round) and all the flexibility it provides you with?
Suitable for panel, wall, or ceiling fitting, it is available as a standard model, a model with pull cord switch, or a standard model with built-in timer. It’s also giving you the option to select between two different speeds, at installation.
If you choose the lower speed, of 15 l/s, you’ll get to enjoy nearly silent operation, at around 16 dB noise level. Going for the faster speed of 21 l/s will bring in a little bit more noise, though it will still be music to your ears!
- Easy to install and to maintain.
- Designed with a practical timer.
- Lets you select between speeds.
- Comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Quite high price point.
- Could use better instructions.
Bathroom Extractor Fan Buying Guide
Power & Capacity
Because the main purpose of a bathroom extractor fan is to extract air, the rate at which it functions is one of the most important details in choosing it. The capacity of an extractor is often referred to as air extraction rate.
Air extraction rate is measured in metres cubed per hour (m3/h) or litres per second (l/s). According to Building Regulations, the minimum that a bathroom extractor fan intended for standard domestic bathrooms should provide is 15l/s.
15l/s means 54 m3/h, so you’ll notice that most products on the market easily exceed this value. High capacity extractor fans, however, will have more like around 24 l/s or 85 m3/h. The most powerful bathroom extractor fan we’ve found actually had a capacity of 27 l/s or 96 m3/h.
Battery Extractor Fan
For those who dread the idea of doing the wiring on an electric powered unit, choosing a battery extractor fan might seem like a good idea.
Needless to say, electric units only take a small effort when you install it. Whereas the battery-powered ones will require battery replacement when you expect it the least.
Equally important, a battery extractor fan simply cannot compete, power- or capacity-wise, with an electric unit.
If you go for a battery model, fitting a bathroom extractor fan will not be such a big deal. However, most electric models will give you some limitations when it comes to their placement.
Of course, manufacturers know to make their products versatile enough for both ceiling or wall mounting. There are even units that can be mounted on a window, with a special kit.
But whether you pick a ceiling bathroom extractor fan or a bathroom wall fan, you will still depend on the electrical connection to set it up.
There are two main types of humidity extractor fans in the residential category. You get to choose between the 6-inch bathroom extractor fan, at 150 mm, and the 4-inch extractor fan, at 100 mm.
Most of the top-rated products we’ve reviewed in this buying guide are sized at 4 inches and there’s a reason for it. With the right air extraction rate, the smaller, 4-inch models are more than enough for bathrooms of up to 9 square metres.
The only context when the larger, 6-inch model would make a better fit is for special circumstances. If the bathroom is larger than 9 square metres, or it faces north and it is generally wetter, or if you have a large family and many people are showering in the morning, you’ll want to consider a six-inch shower extractor fan or a dehumidifier.
While a very simple unit at its core, with straightforward functionality, a bathroom extractor fan still leaves room for some embellishments. By far the two most important accessories are the light and the built-in run timer.
A bathroom extractor fan with light adds a touch of elegance to an otherwise simple accessory. These models typically feature a LED light, which makes them effective and energy efficent as the energy consumption is really low. As a side note, such fans come with a practicality of being able to tell when they run without necessarily having to listen to their sound.
A bathroom extractor fan with a timer is highly convenient. You simply set it to run for a specific period of time following a trigger. The trigger is usually your action of turning off the remote switch or even the light in the bathroom.
More often than not, if an extractor fan comes with a built-in timer, setting it has to be done at the moment of mounting it on the wall or ceiling.
It is well-known that silence isn’t quite a strength of any fan out there. However, there are some design features that allow bathroom extractor fans to be more or less silent.
Their operation noise level, measured at a standard 3-metres distance, can be around 35 dB for an axial model and 40 – 55 dB for a centrifugal model.
Usually, the higher the air extraction rate, the higher the noise level. For a fan with the minimum required extraction rate of 15 l/s, you can expect a noise level of 16 dB.
Still, for the more effective ones, with a capacity more like around 23 l/s, you can expect it to have a noise level of 37 dB. Note that this is considered a silent bathroom extractor fan!
Because your bathroom extractor fan is wired to the electrical system and works in a humid environment, it’s essential that you pick a model that truly protects you.
The IP rating, also known as Ingress Protection rating, will tell you if the chosen extractor fan is safe to operate in a particular area of your bathroom.
For the zone inside the bath or shower, you’ll need a unit with a rating of at least IP67.
If you’re looking to place it above the bath area, up to 2.25m above the floor, consider an IP65 rated unit.
As for the area with 0.6m outside the bath perimeter, within a height of up to 2.25m above the floor, an IP44 is the minimum you’ll want.
Bathroom Extractor Fan Kit
A bathroom extractor fan kit would consist of two different grills, for interior and exterior installation, along with the flexible ducting that connects the grills, and duct tape for easy installation.
Such a kit would be required in old buildings with really thick walls where simply attaching a bathroom extractor fan to the wall isn’t enough.
You might notice, however, that there are extractor fan kits for wall mounting and different models for window mounting. If you want your bathroom extractor fan to be attached to the window, you’ll need a special window kit for its installation.
With all of the above factors taken into account, prices vary a lot. You could find a really cheap bathroom extractor fan priced at £10 or £12.
At the opposite pole, the fancier, more expensive models with high extraction capacity and low noise level could cost you more like £50.
If you’re happy with an average extraction rate and noise level, a standard 4-inch/100 mm model with a timer, at around £35, would be a good deal.
Frequently Asked Questions
As a fan with a cover type of unit, cleaning a bathroom extractor fan is fairly simple. You must always turn off the power before you proceed, but, other than that, it suffices to remove the fan cover and to dust inside of the unit.
The cover can be wiped with a soft cloth, or even soaked in soapy water for a few minutes, if it’s too dirty. As you can imagine, it should also be very well dried before setting it back and turning the power on.
The installation of a bathroom extractor fan implies fitting the housing of the fan in a certain spot on the ceiling or on the wall. You’d have to secure the housing and to connect it to a vent. That’s the theory.
In practice, however, every single one of these steps may be more or less challenging, depending on your actual setting. Planning ahead and working with a particular layout in mind is very important, especially if you’re drilling a whole from scratch rather than replacing an old fan.
Of course, the most important part after fitting the fan into the loft and attaching its ducting is to make the electrical connections. Feel free to check and double-check the instructions in the user manual, before you secure the grill cover and start using it.
The quietest extractor fan you’ll come around has a noise level rated at 16 dB, for a minimum extraction rate of 15 l/s or 54 m3/h.
Making a compromise, if you are to enjoy a higher extraction rate of around 26 l/s or 96 m3/h, you’ll get the quietest extractor fan with a 26.5 dB sound output. This model comes from Envirovent, and has already been awarded the Quiet Mark for its amazing low noise level.
Please note that all these noise ratings are measured at a standard distance of 3 metres away from the extractor. Depending on where you have it installed in the bathroom, you might perceive its noise level differently.
The best bathroom extractor fans out there don’t encompass rocket science technology. The secret in making the best choice is, in fact, picking the right size for your bathroom. If the manufacturer has taken the time to design it for easy fitting, even better.
Clearly, you should focus on checking the impeller size and the air extraction rate, the switching options, noise level, and any built-in special feature. As already mentioned above, a unit with a higher motor standard would also make a good investment, if you’re concerned about your safety.
If you still have the feeling like there’s too much information to look into, feel free to follow the shortcut we have shown you. Simply pick one of the best bathroom extractor fans we’ve introduced you to, and you should be just fine!