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How To Find The Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan In 2021

Last Updated: 15 June 2021

Let us build a scenario here that is all too common in all households. You go take a hot shower and right after you plan on shaving. You don’t have an exhaust fan and you cannot see anything in the mirror, so you spend half an hour throwing water on the mirror and trying to shave really quick. Or how about your roommate had Chipotle and your bathroom is now a beautiful smell fusion, a delight to the senses. If you don’t have a bathroom exhaust fan all you can do is sit there and suffer. We provided one daily occurrence and one monthly occurrence. But they both happen, and you know they are just around the corner. So act fast and purchase the best bathroom exhaust fan 2021.

The solution to your pressing issues is to go ahead and purchase a bath exhaust fan. You probably already reached this conclusion on your own prior to looking for our article. We just wanted you to know that we understand your situation and we will do our best to offer the most unbiased opinions and present you with the best bathroom exhaust fan options on the market right now. Consult each one of the products featured to see if it matches your current demands.

Home Maker Guide created for informational purposes only. Thus, we neither endorse you in any way to buy specific products in our reviews, nor making you act like it’s written in our guides. We are reserving the rights for you to make your personal decision.



Editor-in-Chief of the Home Maker Guide
Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan

TOP 10 Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan: Comparison Chart

Best Overall: Broan-NuTone Ceiling and Wall Ventilation Fan Review

First one our list will go to Broan-Nutone for their 688 model. This is because they are delivering great performance while keeping an affordable price tag. Simply have it placed between two studs in the location that requires the most ventilation and it will remove humidity, smoke from cigarettes and cooking smells. It can be used both in the kitchen and in the bathroom so that provides it with even more versatility. The grills can be painted to enable the exhaust fan to blend seemingly with the initial design.

A dependable unit that comes at a very affordable price. It will do everything that it sets out to do while providing the best possible results.

Why We Like It?

  • Can be installed quickly and without any tools
  • The motor is permanently lubricated
  • 3-inch duct diameter
  • No screws will be needed to complete the installation
Best at Quiet Operation: Panasonic Bathroom Exhaust Fan Review

We don’t need to talk about Panasonic and their legacy in the electronics field. When you purchase a Panasonic you already know the highest standards of quality will be delivered. Same applies in the bathroom exhaust field because of their FV-30VQ3 model. It can move 290 cubic feet per meter of air at 2.0 sones. It is designed to be installed in commercial spaces that have light air pollution. It is a very powerful unit, but a quiet bathroom exhaust fan is what you should expect to receive.

A powerful unit that also remains compliant with all the relevant ventilation codes present on the US market. The unit will use less energy to move larger quantities of air. This means overheating will be greatly diminished.

Why We Like It?

  • You can expect an immediate increase in air quality
  • Energy Star certified
  • Can be installed on 6” ducts
  • The unit can be positioned at the ideal location using the hanger-bar system
Best Budget: Broan Through-Wall Fan Review

If you need your old bathroom exhaust fan replaced or are just installing a fresh one, we suggest you give Broan a chance. Replacing and installing the unit is a very simple task because of the adjustable housing that can fit between 4.5” inch thick to 9.5” inch. It can be installed in various rooms around the house where it can perform different tasks. It is great at reducing humidity in the laundry room while also collecting all the fumes that appear in a workshop.

The unit does an amazing job at removing moisture from any room while not making too much noise and keeping out most of the draft.

Why We Like It?

  • 180 CFM that will fare great in rooms that are up to 170 sq. ft.
  • The damper that is included in the product can minimize backdraft
  • Polymeric fan blade
  • Epoxy painting on the grille
Best Dual Purpose: Broan Through-Wall Fan Review

This next through the wall bathroom exhaust fan featured on our list comes from Broan and it is the perfect product when it comes to fitting out a bathroom. It can keep your room odorless free while also heating up your entire bathroom in the morning. And like that wasn’t enough it also has a bright 100-watt light so it can satisfy three features. The white grille blends perfectly into any room design and you can change the color of the room as many times as you’d like.

Do you want to have the bathroom fully heated and ready to accommodate you every morning from now on? If that’s t


  • 1500W heating element
  • 70 CFM fan power
  • Required pieces to complete the installation can be found inside the box
  • A wall switch can operate all three functions making it easy to use


  • Older buildings are not included in the user manual. You’ll have to do your own search on this one or call a specialist.
Best Noise Performance: Panasonic DC Ventilation Fan Review

There’s always this one mind blowing feature that Panasonic just sprinkle in their product specifications. For the FV-0511VQ1 it would be an incredibly silent operation. The fan moves at less than .3 sones making it virtually inaudible. Work with both 4” and 6” ducts so can be installed in rooms that have complicated duct distribution or antiquated layout. Smartflow technology makes it so that the speed is increased when the fan encounters static pressure. Smartflow also temporarily boosts the fan output and in turn moisture is removed from the room.

The ventilation fan from Panasonic can run 24/7 and would be suitable for such a task due to the Smartflow technology. We do not recommend it, but it is an option.


  • All relevant quality standards valid for the US are met
  • Energy Star certified
  • Flex-z Fast install bracket that allows you to place the unit wherever you desire
  • A decade of experience and innovation


  • Incomplete instruction manual makes it so that you will need to browse the official Panasonic site in order to successfully install the unit
Best With Light Included: Broan-NuTone Ventilation Fan and Light Combination Review

The Broan-NuTone 678 model comes at a very affordable price considering it has not only a fan but also a light source. It is designed with bathrooms in mind and can fare well enough in rooms up to 45 sq. ft. The light is very bright at 100-watt and provides extended use with a diffusing lens included. The model design is as unassuming as possible, in a white tone, so that it can blend into any bathroom design. The best bathroom exhaust fans with light and heater have no restrictions when it comes to where you install it.

The ventilation fan and light combo blends well together and for the affordable price it comes at it can be considered for a purchase. The bathroom exhaust fan with LED light is ideal for small size bathrooms.


  • Can be placed above a bathtub or shower
  • Insulation contact unit
  • Polymeric duct connectors included
  • A motor that self-lubricates while in use


  • The lightbulb is not included
Best Energy Rating: Broan-NuTone Energy Star Single-Speed Ventilation Fan Review

The AE110 model from Broan is a high-quality fan that can reach up to 110 CFM while keeping a very low sound feeling of 1.0 sones. It can be effective in very large bathrooms of up to 105 sq. ft. and maintain a superior air quality within them. If you are one of the people that loves long steamy showers this unit could be the perfect match for you. Due to its powerful ventilation it will ensure that your mirror or windows will never retard humidity ever again.

All in all, a highly efficient bathroom exhaust fan that has clear enough instructions to enable DIY installers to have a go at installing the unit.


  • TrueSeal Damper Technology
  • Air leakage is reduced by up to 50%
  • Can be used above a shower or bathtub
  • BFCI circuit to tackle steam and moisture


  • Our editor has reported that the noise levels are a tad higher than reported by the manufacturer
Best Value for Money: Delta Exhaust Bath Fan Review

What makes this unit from Delta stand out from the crowd is the fact that it can reduce your energy bill by 85% because of how efficient it is. The motor that is highly durable can cover up to 50 sq. ft. all thanks to its 50 CFM output. If you have a larger bathroom you need to investigate the Delta high cfm bathroom exhaust fans. The unit is backed up by an ENERGY STAR rating guaranteed by the EPA. The affordable price coupled with the unit specs make it a very interesting purchase as far as we are concerned.

The unit looks great and will complement any bathroom design, so you do not have to worry about this fact. Their motors life expectancy is the main selling point.


  • Brushless motor
  • Can be installed in the space vacated by current exhaust fan
  • Handy green LED indicator to know if the unit is operating
  • One single speed to simplify use


  • Not suitable for large bathrooms. Please consult the product specification and choose a model with higher CFM as they are available for the same model
Best for Bathroom: BV Ultra-Quiet Bathroom Ventilation & Exhaust Fan Review

The standout feature that the BV Ultra-Quiet sidewall bathroom exhaust fans have is the fact that they only generate 0.8 sones making them one of the quietest units we have featured on our list thus far. It will greatly improve the air quality and remove all odors in bathrooms that are lower than 90 sq. ft. Technical support is included with the purchase and is coupled with a generous 1-year warranty if the installation is performed according to standards.

The joist mounting option can make this unit the best choice for people who have issues with space and cannot install an exhaust bathroom fan the traditional way.


  • Unit weighs in at 9.2 lbs.
  • 4 suspension brackets included in the packaging
  • Long and short screws required for the installation will be provided by the manufacturer
  • Joist mounting possible


  • Some models have a manufacturing fault and purple tint is visible on the front of the unit
Best with Humidity Sensor: Delta Exhaust Bath Fan with Humidity Sensor Review

The feature that makes this unit special when compared to all the other entries on our list is the humidity sensor is the innovative humidity sensor. Why would you need such a sensor you might ask? Its main purpose is to ensure that humidity and condensation are stopped before they have time to escalate. This means that if this unit is installed in your bathroom you will never have condensation on your mirror ever again. All this while also having a brushless DC motor that is known to last well over 10 years of continuous operation.

If you plan on purchasing an exhaust fan for your bathroom and want to make an investment that will last you should consider this unit.


  • Energy Star rating
  • Low energy costs
  • 2.0 sones when it comes to noise levels
  • 10”x10” ceiling opening requirement


  • It is louder than the other units we have featured on our list

Buyer’s Guide: All You Need to Know About the Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan

What is the Fan in the Bathroom for?

What is the Fan in the Bathroom for

The purpose of a bathroom fan is to remove all unwanted odors and to remove moisture. It also stops condensation and will always keep your mirror visible.

How do Bathroom Fans Work?

Bathroom fans work by sucking the air out of an enclosure that does not have any windows. A ductwork then collects the moisture and releases it outside of the home.

What Size Bathroom Fan Do I Need?

What Size Bathroom Fan Do I Need

Figuring out the size of the best bathroom exhaust fan required for a specific bathroom is simple and straightforward. You will need 1 CFM for every square foot within your bathroom. The industry standard is at 100 CFM more than enough for most bathrooms.

How to Choose the Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan


Most bathroom exhaust fans are quite small and compact units that are meant to be placed on a wall. If you are short on space, you could also look into a round bathroom exhaust fan because they take up much less space.



The weight of a bathroom fan is not something that you should base your purchase upon. They are generally light and what is important is if you have the space to accommodate the unit. Inline bathroom exhaust fan tend to be heavier because they are meant to be installed inside the ceiling and weight is not very important in that case.


You can expect plastic to be used as the outside material. Most models feature a grill and are either white or black in color to better match your current bathroom design. Decorative bathroom exhaust fan with light are mostly made of plastic.

Air Flow Capacity

Air Flow Capacity

Exhaust fan capacity is measured in CFM. CFM is a very handy measuring unit because it is easy to translate and figure out how much CFM you need. The golden rule is that you need 1 CFM for every square foot.

Noise Level

When it comes to noise exhausts fans are not measured in decibels like most other appliances. Instead they use sones. The lower the sones rating is the less noise your bathroom exhaust fan will produce. They range anywhere from 0.3 sones on the quietest fan and can reach up to 3 sones on fans that are generally used in commercial settings.

Mounting Options

Mounting Options

The first thing that needs to be considered when it comes to installing an exhaust fan in your bathroom is to make sure that you have an exhaust route. If you are replacing an old fan, then the process will be much easier. You can mount it on a wall or in the ceiling, both options are just as viable. A wall mounted bathroom exhaust fan just looks better in our opinion.


The exhaust fan will function if its motor will function. The best motors for an exhaust fan are the brushless DC motors. They can last up to 8 years of uninterrupted use.

Built-in Humidity Sensor

The humidity sensor is a cool little gadget that is included on some of the entries on our list. It will ensure that you do not have to deal with a foggy mirror every again because it will enable best bathroom exhaust fan with humidity sensor to stop humidity from building up.

Ease of Installation

Ease of Installation

Installing a bathroom exhaust can be done by someone without specific knowledge. If you plan to replace your old exhaust fan because it became too noisy it will be an even easier task. If your house does not allow for you to install a small bathroom exhaust fan, we suggest you investigate a portable bathroom exhaust fan.


The exhaust fan we have included in our list starts off as low as $30USD and can cost up to $200USD. The low-price exhaust fans are used for smaller bathrooms and the higher priced exhausts fans are designed for commercial areas that require high CFM. If you are looking for a bargain it would be wise to head over to our best window fans article.

Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan Types

Standard Exhaust Fan

Standard Exhaust Fan

A standard exhaust fan will provide the task of removing unwanted odors out of your bathroom. It can be placed in other rooms where it has the capacity to keep the moisture down to a minimum. Ventless bathroom exhaust fans can also be an option.

Exhaust Fan and Light Combo

Another type of bathroom exhaust fan is the one that has the option to use a light bulb and replace your current light in the bathroom. The cool feature that comes with an exhaust bathroom vent fan that has a light feature is that when you turn on the lights the exhaust fan will also start working.

Verdict and Our Recommendations for 2021

Standard Exhaust Fan

Let’s just say picking the best exhaust fan 2021 wasn’t the easiest task we had to undertake. Usually there Is more consensus within our team when it comes to the ranking of products. This time it was a little chaotic because everyone was swearing by one or the other product. However, majority was reached after a few hours of debate and we consider the Broan-NuTone Ceiling and Wall Ventilation Fan to be the most complete product.

We have approached the ranking from the quality, effectiveness and price criteria and it ranked the highest on two out of three counts. Thank you for visiting homemakerguide and do not hesitate to consult our other articles. We hope that this product review had all the information you were looking for and you are known knowledgeable when it comes to the best bathroom exhaust fan.

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This greatly depends on the motor that is installed on the modern bathroom exhaust fan. Look for energy ratings and Energy star ratings and make sure they are of a high tire. The higher the energy tier the less energy it will consume.
Does your bathroom have a window? If it does not have then we would say that an exhaust fan is a mandatory addition to your bathroom. And if removing the moisture and odor isn’t enough of an incentive for you to purchase a bathroom exhaust fan with heat lamp, we will inform you that you can also purchase a bathroom exhaust fan with Bluetooth speaker. This way you can listen to music while taking a long steamy bath.
Yes, even ductless bathroom fans will remove moisture efficiently. They do so with the use of a charcoal filter that collects moisture from the air while also removing odors. If a ductless fan is what you are looking for make sure you check our article about thebest ceiling fans.
It depends on the size of your bathroom. But the general rule of thumb is to purchase a unit with as many CFM as the square feet within your bathroom. A powerful bathroom exhaust fan will have around 150 CFM.
Yes, just like with a normal bathroom fan you need to make sure that the unit is not running before you start cleaning. It is important to clean your bathroom exhaust fan with light regularly because mold could build inside the unit. A damp cloth should do the job for the exterior – make sure to also clean the interior around the blade if you have access. If you do not perform regular maintenance and cleaning, you might end up with mold in bathroom wall.
How We Tested
We performed all the tests necessary to figure out which bathroom exhaust fan is the best option. We have initially selected the top 10 best exhaust bathroom fans based on popularity and the best bathroom exhaust fan reviews. After we have purchased all of them, we distributed them each to one of our editors. After 2 weeks we asked to report back with a detailed list of feedback. We have analyzed the provided list and compared the ten units in order to best rank them from first to last. And this is the exhaustive list that you have just read. We make sure to test all the products we feature on the list with the utmost attention. This way we can offer an unbiased, objective and complete buying guide to our readers.
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