Guide to Common Ceiling Fan Styles and Blade Count

Most Common Types of Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are available in hundreds of different styles and sizes but they can be best lumped together into four general categories: Ceiling fan with lights, ceiling fan without lights, low profile ceiling fans and outdoor fans. One you pick which type of fan needed you can then move on to the size and style of ceiling fan that best suites your needs.

Types of ceiling fans buying guide - Learn about ceiling fans

Ceiling Fans with Lights - The most common ceiling fan you will find in stores and online is a standard ceiling fan with lights. Ceiling fans with lights often times replace a traditional room light as a two-in-one solution to both lighting and cooling. You can find this type of ceiling fan in just about every style and size.

Ceiling Fans without Lights - This is your traditional ceiling fan and one of the most common types. These fans are perfect for those who need air circulation in a room but already have fixed lighting in the space. Light kits can sometimes be purchased with these fans separately if lighting is later needed.

Low Profile and “Hugger” Ceiling Fans - Low Profile ceiling fans, also known as hugger fans, are the best solution for those rooms or spaces that have low ceilings. The low profile assures that the ceiling fan does not reach too low and adds additional safety. To see you if a hugger fan is right for you check out our Ceiling Fan Sizes article that explains the ideal fan for your ceiling height.

Outdoor Ceiling Fans - Just like an indoor ceiling fan, outdoor fans are available in a variety of sizes and styles. The big difference between the two is that Outdoor Ceiling Fans are UL Rated for damp or wet conditions. Outdoor ceiling fans are available with lights, without lights and in low profile styles. To learn more about picking the right one for your outdoor space please read our guide on outdoor ceiling fans.

The Difference in Blade Count Matters

Less blades: Higher speeds, more air circulation

More blades: Lower speeds, less noise

Ceiling fan buying guide - The difference between 3 4 5 blade ceiling fans


The general rule is the more blades a fan has the more weight there is pulling on the motor. This pulling results in a fan that spins slower but is also quieter than a 2 or 3 blade fan. Increase the number of blades and the slower the RPM on the fan.

Less blades on a fan are best for those who will benefit from stronger air circulation despite more noise. Since fewer blades means a lighter fan, the motor can go faster speeds with just a few blades. 3 blade fans are often used in spaces with high ceilings or outdoors where confined spaces and noise are less of an issue.

The most common fan you’ll find in households is a standard 4 or 5 blade ceiling fan. These fans are low noise and do a great job at circulating air in a living or bedroom. Many people use these fans to compliment air conditioning to move cool air around a room.