The Best Exhaust Fans For Your Bathroom

With daily activities like showering and bathing, your bathrooms are the source of a lot of humidity in your home. The constant running of water from the faucet, shower, or flushing can create excess moisture and heat that can lead to discomfort, mold growth, compromised air quality, and interior moisture damage.

Installing a bathroom exhaust fan can greatly improve air quality in your bathroom, whisk away moisture and odors, help prevent mold and mildew problems, and keep you safe and comfortable while bathing.

What is the best bathroom exhaust fan you should buy today? What features to look for when shopping for a bathroom fan?

Here are some of the best bathroom fans on the market today that will fit your requirements, including bathroom fans with lights, humidity sensors, motion sensors, and built-in heaters. If you want to learn the basics of all things bathroom exhaust fan related before making a purchase, so scroll down to the bottom to read our handy buying guide.

Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans Reviews

Some of The Quietest Bathroom Exhaust Fans

1. Best Quiet Overall: Panasonic FV-0511VQ1 WhisperCeiling Bathroom Fan

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When it comes to bathroom exhaust fans, Panasonic is among the highest quality brands. Panasonic bathroom exhaust fans offer incredibly smart design and a wide variety of high-tech features that make visiting the bathroom a ‘smart’ experience.

The Whisper line of Panasonic bathroom exhaust fans is one of the quietest bathroom exhaust fan lines on the market today. While most bathroom fans produce a consistent “roar” when running, the Panasonic Whisper bathroom fans are virtually silent, with the exception of a small “whooshing” sound of the air escaping the vent. In some cases, the fan is so quiet that you can’t even tell it is running!

Among all Panasonic quiet bathroom fans, the Panasonic FV-0511VQ1 WhisperCeiling DC fan is our choice as the best bathroom exhaust fan for most people. This is an upgrade of Panasonic’s best-selling bathroom fan – FV-11VQ5 WhisperCeiling bath fan, which was discontinued. FV-11VQ5 was a great bathroom exhaust fan and this newer model is just better.

The Panasonic FV-0511VQ1 WhisperCeiling bathroom fan doesn’t include built-in lighting, heating, smart features such as humidity sensor; but it’s very affordable, energy-efficient, easy to install, and on top of all it is virtually silent. At less than 0.3 sones, this bathroom fan operates as quiet as a whisper.

What are sones? Bathroom exhaust fans are rated in sones. A sone is a measurement of sound as it relates to how it is sensed by the average listener. One sone is equal roughly to the quiet hum of a refrigerator in a quiet kitchen. Two sones would double that sound, and so on. A bathroom exhaust fan at less than 0.3 sones is virtually silent! ”

Efficiency is top of mind when you shop for any home appliance or system. Fortunately, this is an Energy Star certified bathroom vent fan, which uses 70% (yes, 70!) less energy than conventional non-Energy Star models. This certainly contributes to low energy costs.

Although this quiet bathroom fan doesn’t have smart features such as humidity sensor or motion detection, it features Panasonic’s innovative SmartFlow technology that allows this fan to provide the optimal airflow output. It’ll monitor the static pressure in your room’s ducting. When an increase in pressure is noticed, the fan will automatically increase speed (50, 80 or 110 CFM), making it ideal even for homes with complicated ducting.

In the end, if all you need is an energy-efficient, quiet bathroom exhaust fan without light, heater or smart sensors, the Panasonic FV-0511VQ1 WhisperCeiling DC fan is the best one to buy. This quiet bathroom fan is affordable but it really can help improve the quality of your home bathroom, also reduce the risk of structural damage or health problems caused by humidity issues, mold and mildew growth.

  • Noise Level: <0.3 sones
  • Maximum Room Size: 110 sq.ft.
  • CFM: 50, 80 or 110
  • Duct Diameter: 4″ or 6″
  • Fits in 2″ x 8″ construction
  • Advanced features: Adjustable Fan Speed, ENERGY STAR certified, brushless DC motor, Flex-Z Fast bracket for simple installation

2. Best with Humidity Sensor: Delta Electronics VFB25ACH Breez Exhaust Fan

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Looking for a quiet bathroom fan with humidity sensor? Model VFB25ACH BreezSignature from Delta Electronic is the best bathroom exhaust fan with humidity sensor for you.

This bathroom exhaust fan is as quiet as the Panasonic bathroom fan, but it has built-in humidity sensor with an automatic shutoff that determines when and how long the fan should run, based on the amount of humidity in the room.

In humidity control mode, the fan will automatically start when humidity is above the user-adjustable set-point. If the humidity level is below the user-adjustable set-point, until a 10-minute time delay has elapsed the fan will stop automatically. Adjustable humidity set points between ~50% to ~80% RH.

The exhaust fan’s default settings include a 60 percent humidity threshold. The fan will start when the humidity level reaches 60 percent. It will remain on as long as the humidity remains above the threshold, and it will turn off automatically after the humidity level comes back down to less than 60 percent.

There is a wall switch that lets you toggle between full speed mode or humidity control mode. There are even blue and amber LED indicator lights to show humidity sensor mode and full speed mode.

Operates at less than 0.3 sones, the Delta VFB25ACH BreezSignature is one of the quietest bathroom exhaust fans on the market. Engineered with DC brushless motor technology for long life, low noise, and low power consumption, this quiet bathroom fan will outlast many household appliances. The fan is ENERGY STAR qualified for efficient cost-saving operation and features a 3-year warranty.

  • Noise Level: 0.3 sones
  • Maximum Room Size: 80 sq.ft.
  • CFM: 80
  • Duct Diameter: 4″
  • Fits in 2″ x 8″ construction
  • Advanced features: ENERGY STAR certified, brushless DC motor, humidity sensor, Flex-Z Fast bracket for simple installation

3. Best with Motion Sensor: Panasonic FV-0511VQC1 WhisperSense Bathroom Fan

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If you’re looking for a quiet bathroom fan with some of the most advanced features, then this is the best bathroom exhaust fan for your home. The Panasonic FV-0511VQC1 WhisperSense features Exclusive Dual Sensor Technology that reacts to both motion and humidity, automatically turning the fan on when anyone enters the bathroom.

There is a delay timer that can be set between 30 seconds and 60 minutes, allowing you to determine when the fan turns on after you enter the room. Its built-in humidity sensor is able to detect changes in your room’s humidity and will turn the fan on when it moves outside of your preferred humidity level between 30% and 80%.

This dual sensor technology is just awesome because you do not have to do anything… your bathroom exhaust fan does all the work for you.

In addition to the Dual sensor technology, WhisperSense is a quiet and powerful fan. This fan operates at less than 0.3 sones on any speed. The brushless ECM Motor is rated for a continuous run with SmartFlow Technology. Pick-A-Flow Speed Selector (50-80-110 CFM) combined with SmartFlow Technology simplifies the selection process and ensures optimum performance to meet code and reduce callbacks

This Panasonic bath fan also has a built-in damper to prevent backdraft, which helps to prevent outside air from coming through the fan. Also, thanks to its efficient, cool running brushless motors, it does not create excessive heat.

Final thought, quiet, energy-efficient, and smart, the Panasonic FV-0511VQC1 WhisperSense is the best bathroom fan for those looking for a fan that can control moisture and odor control in the bathroom fully automatically.

This model is fan only, but you can select model WhisperSense FV-0511VQCL1 that uses a 10 watt dimmable LED light to deliver gentle nighttime lighting.

  • Noise Level: <0.3 sones
  • Maximum Room Size: 110 sq.ft.
  • CFM: 50, 80, 110
  • Duct Diameter: 4″ and 6”
  • Advanced features: Adjustable Fan Speed, ENERGY STAR certified, brushless DC motor, humidity sensor, motion detection.

4. BROAN QTXE080 Very Quiet Bath Fan

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Broan is one of America’s leading brands of residential ventilation products with a wide selection of bathroom ventilation fans. Broan’s bathroom exhaust fans include for ventilation only, ventilation and lighting, smart sensor ventilation, humidity monitoring, and more.

Rated at just 0.3 sones, this QTXE080 model is the quietest bathroom exhaust fan from Broan. It’s much quieter than other Broan models while removing just as much air from your bathroom. The fan is also very energy efficient. It is an ENERGY STAR certified bath fan that is rated at just 23 watts. The fan can vent moisture in bathrooms up to 75 sq. ft.

Broan engineered this quiet bathroom exhaust fan with a permanently lubricated motor for continuous operation. The fan is easy to install and/or replace the existing product for DIY’ers and needs only 2″ x 8″ construction space. The fan can be hung over a tub or shower with a GFCI circuit. Hanger bars are included for easy and fast installation.

Overall, the Broan QTXE080 is a quiet and energy-efficient option for your bathroom ventilation. It’s simple but it does it jobs quietly and efficiently. This quiet bathroom fan is also very easy to install and suitable for the bathroom with limited installation space.

  • Noise Level: <0.3 sones
  • Maximum Room Size: 75 sq.ft.
  • CFM: 80
  • Duct Diameter: 6”
  • Fits in 2 x 8 construction
  • Advanced features: ENERGY STAR certified, permanently lubricated motor.

Best Bathroom Exhaust Fans with Lights and Heater

5. Best Overall: Panasonic FV-11VHL2 WhisperWarm Bathroom Fan/Heater/Light

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If you’re looking for a bathroom exhaust fan with both lighting and heating, then this is the best one for you. The Panasonic FV-11VHL2 WhisperWarm is equipped with a 1400W heater, two 18-watt compact fluorescent lamps are equivalent to 100-watt incandescent lighting, and 4-watt night light as well.

This Panasonic bathroom fan features a durable 1400W stainless steel sheathed heating element that includes Nichrome wire with magnesium oxide for optimal heat transfer, and electrical insulation at elevated temperatures. This Panasonic bathroom vent fan heats the bathroom very quickly if compared to other bathroom exhaust fans with heaters. It takes just about one minute to warm up a bathroom up to 110 sq.ft.

Like others in the Panasonic Whisper series, this is a quiet bathroom fan at only 0.7 sones. Most bathroom fans with a built-in heater are very loud.

WhisperWarm FV-11VHL2 bathroom exhaust fan features a totally enclosed condenser motor – which is rated for 30,000 hours continuous run, and a large, double suction blower wheel to quietly move air. A small wheel turning very fast will create more noise than a large wheel turning more slowly for a given airflow. The fan uses a wide blower wheel that moves a large amount of air at reduced RPMs. The blower wheel is also designed to draw air in from both sides, which helps keep the noise down, as there is more area for the air to enter the wheel.

Overall, this is one of the best bathroom exhaust fans with bright light and super durable stainless steel sheathed heating element. The fan is quiet and works effectively in removing moisture from the bath area.

  • Noise Level: 0.7 sones
  • Maximum Room Size: 110 sq.ft.
  • CFM: 110
  • Duct Diameter: 4”
  • Fits in 2 x 8 construction
  • Advanced features: 1400W stainless steel heater, 18×2 fluorescent lights, 4W night light, ENERGY STAR certified, Totally enclosed condenser motor with Thermal fuse protection.

6. Nutone 9093WH Bathroom Exhaust Fan/Heater/Light

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The NuTone 9093WH is a combined fan-forced heater, ventilator and ceiling light all built into one attractive ceiling unit for your bathroom. This fan delivers 1500 watts of powerful heat which allows the fan to heat up a bathroom up to 100 sq.ft. very quickly.

This bathroom fan has a very bright 100W incandescent lighting provides enough light for the whole bathroom space. It has one 7-watt nightlight (both sold separately) provides a soft glow to light your bath during those nighttime visits. Its white metal grille helps provide a clean, decorative look for your bathroom. It includes a four-function wall switch to simplify controlling the fan.

Unfortunately, this Nutone bath fan isn’t quiet and it isn’t Energy Star qualified. At 3.5 sones, we can say it’s quite loud. This fan isn’t on par with Panasonic’s bathroom vent fans when it comes to the quietness, but it has a very powerful heater, very bright light and it looks nice.

  • Noise Level: 3.5 sones
  • Maximum Room Size: 60 sq.ft.
  • CFM: 70
  • Duct Diameter: 4”
  • Fits in 2 x 8 construction
  • Advanced features: 1500W heater, 100W incandescent light, 7W night light

7. Best with LED Light: Nutone 791LEDM InVent Series Bathroom Exhaust Fan

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The Nutone 791LEDM InVent Series Fan is the best bathroom exhaust fan with LED light you can buy. You can enjoy softer and more diffused lighting in your bathroom thanks to its full-perimeter 12W LED light.

The LED light is integrated as part of the grille so if you want to replace it, you would have to replace the entire grille. But don’t worry, the fan uses LED light bulbs with up to 25,000-hour life. These LED light bulbs are also incredibly efficient with operating wattages that are a fraction of conventional lighting which keeps operating costs extremely low.

The Nutone 791LEDM InVent Series Fan produces 1.5-Sones of sound output, keeping the noise in your bathroom at a reasonable level. This bathroom fan produces 110 CFM which is suitable for bathrooms up to 105 square feet.

  • Noise Level: 1.5 sones
  • Maximum Room Size: 105 sq.ft.
  • CFM: 110
  • Duct Diameter: 4”
  • Advanced features: 12W LED light bulb, ENERGY STAR Certified

Other Bathroom Exhaust Fans You Don’t Want To Miss

8. Best Budget: Broan 678 Bathroom Fan and Light Combo

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The Broan 678 bathroom fan features a bright 100W light bulb and a very affordable price. Powerful enough for bathrooms up to 45 sq. ft., this is the best bathroom fan for anyone who is on the budget and has a small bathroom. So this is not an option if you’re looking for a quiet bathroom fan. However, the overall quality is good, and its light is very bright.

  • Noise Level: 2.5 sones
  • Maximum Room Size: 45 sq.ft.
  • CFM: 50
  • Duct Diameter: 4”
  • Fits 2″ x 6 ” ceiling construction
  • Advanced features: 100W light bulb, ENERGY STAR Certified

9. Smallest Bathroom Exhaust Fan: Delta Electronics SLM50 BreezSlim Fan

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One of the smallest bathroom fans money can buy is the Delta Electronics SLM50 BreezSlim Ventilation Fan. This small bathroom fan is only 7.5″ x 7.25″ with housing deep is 4”, duct size is 3″, making it easy to fit in a really small space.

Operating at 1 sone, this bathroom vent fan is pretty quiet. It features a DC brushless motor, an LED indicator light so you know it’s running, and modern grille design. The fan features Soft Start technology, which quietly ramps the motor to top speed thus reducing the fan’s wear.

  • Noise Level: 1 sones
  • Maximum Room Size: 50 sq.ft.
  • CFM: 50
  • Duct Diameter: 3” and 4”
  • Fits 2″ x 4″ ceiling construction
  • Advanced features: ENERGY STAR Certified, DC brushless motor, low power consumption at 6.4-Watt

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10. Bluetooth Bathroom Fan with Speaker: Broan Sensonic Exhaust Fan

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Bring music to your bathroom with the Broan Sensonic Exhaust Fan. This fan is equipped with dual high-fidelity Sensonic Bluetooth wireless speakers. Unlike wireless speakers that require counter space, Sensonic speakers with Bluetooth wireless technology fill your room with sound from above.

The sound quality of this Bluetooth bathroom fan is as good as high-quality in-ceiling speakers on the market. You can play music and news from a smart device with no required application thanks to the fixture’s Bluetooth functionality. The speaker is loud, but the fan is not loud at all. At 1.0 sone, this bathroom exhaust fan is pretty quiet.

  • Noise Level: 1 sones
  • Maximum Room Size: 100 sq.ft.
  • CFM: 110
  • Duct Diameter: 4”
  • Fits 2″ x 8″ ceiling construction
  • Advanced features: Wireless Bluetooth speaker, ENERGY STAR Certified, Permanently lubricated motor.

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11. Ductless Bathroom Fan: Broan Nutone 682NT Bath Fan

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This is the best bathroom exhaust fan for where ducting is impossible. The Nutone 682NT bath fan doesn’t require any ducting and it can be installed in the ceiling or in a wall. This ductless bathroom fan uses an activated charcoal filter to purify your bathroom air. The fan circulates air past a replaceable activated charcoal filter to continually cycle the air in enclosed spaces.

This bath fan is a great option if your bathroom has a window and humidity isn’t a concern. The charcoal filter helps eliminate smoke, odors, and keeps the air fresh.

This compact ventless bathroom fan is very easy to install and it is 8-1/2 inches square, and features a white polymeric grille with tension spring mounting. The motor is 120 volts with a 1.0 amp rating and can be removed for cleaning and service. The white polymeric grille is paintable so it can be cohesive with your existing decor and wall color.

  • Noise Level: Sones not rated – approximately 2.5 sones
  • Maximum Room Size: 100 sq.ft.
  • CFM: CFM not rated – approximately 40 CFM
  • Duct Diameter: No duct work required
  • Fits 2″ x 4″ construction
  • Advanced features: Long-lasting activated charcoal filter, Removable motor for cleaning and service.

12. Wall Mounted Bathroom Fan: Panasonic WhisperWall 70 CFM Exhaust bath Fan

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The Panasonic WhisperWall bath fan is designed specifically for through-the-wall mounting to provide ventilation in bathrooms where a ceiling mounted ventilation fan is not possible.

What is great about this wall mounted bathroom fan is that it comes with all the pieces necessary to install with relative ease. It comes with the vent mounted on the exterior of the house. It comes with a circular mounting plate and guide to cut a perfect hole in your wall. And of course, this is a quiet bathroom fan!

This fan quietly moves air because it features a totally enclosed condenser motor and a large, double suction blower. The blower wheel is also designed to draw air in from both sides, which helps keep the noise down, as there is more area for the air to enter the wheel.

  • Noise Level: 1.1 sones
  • Maximum Room Size: 100 sq.ft.
  • CFM: 70
  • Duct Diameter: 8”
  • Advanced features: ENERGY STAR qualified

Find The Right Bathroom Exhaust Fan

4 Things To Consider When Buying A Bathroom Fan

Above are some of the best bathroom exhaust fans we think you should buy. But if you don’t know how to get the right fan for your bathroom, here are 4 things to consider when you shop for a bathroom fan.

1. Choose the Right Exhaust Fan Size for Your Bathroom

Selecting the right size fan for your bathroom’s square footage ensures that you’ll get the right amount of ventilation in the space. A too small bathroom fan won’t remove moisture and odors efficiently and will need to run longer, increasing wear on the motor.

Bathroom exhaust fans have different airflow capacities, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). To get the right ventilation fan for your bathroom, use the guidelines set by the Home Ventilating Institute:

For most bathrooms this works out to 1 CFM per square foot of bathroom area. For example, a 7′ x 10′ bathroom would require a 70 CFM fan. A 50 CFM rating is recommended as a minimum for bathrooms 50 sq. ft. and smaller. Larger bathrooms require additional ventilation capacity.

The following chart can be used as a guide for proper bathroom ventilation.

2. Select a Quiet Bathroom Fan

Noise level is also a consideration when selecting the best bathroom exhaust fan. Bathroom fan sound levels are measured in sones, not in decibels.

A sone is a measurement of sound as it relates to how it is sensed by the average listener.

  • 0.5 sones is the sound of rustling leaves
  • 1.0 sones is the sound of a refrigerator
  • 3.0 sones is typical office noise
  • 4.0 sones is the sound of standard television operation

Exceptionally quiet bathroom fans are rated at 0.5 to 1.2 sones. Ratings of 1.5 to 2.0 sones is very good. Bathroom fans rated in excess of 4.0 sones tend to be noisy.

Most of Panasonic bathroom exhaust fans are rated under 0.3 sones means they are virtually silent, you might not even know these fans are on. So if you’re looking for a quiet bathroom fan, Panasonic is your best bet.

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3. Energy Efficiency

Choose an energy-efficient unit is important when choosing the best bathroom fan. You might want to invest in an Energy Star bathroom fan as it uses up to 70% less energy than conventional non-Energy Star models. This certainly save you a lot of money in the long run.

Many of today’s bathroom exhaust fans feature a DC brushless motor that’s very quiet and extremely energy-efficient.

4. Bathroom Fan Features

Today’s bathroom fans have a number of features that help make operating more convenient and efficient.

  • Humidity Sensors: bathroom exhaust fans with humidity sensors automatically turn on when the unit detects high levels of humidity and turn off when humidity is reduced.
  • Motion Sensors: bathroom exhaust fans with motion sensors automatically turn on the fan or light when you enter the bathroom.
  • Lighting: bathroom exhaust fans with lights can replace existing fixtures or add supplementary lighting. Some fans even include night lights for soft illumination during the nighttime hours.
  • Built-in Heater: bathroom exhaust fans with heater can keep the bathroom comfortable without requiring you to heat the entire house. The heater may operate on a separate switch from the fan. Models with a thermostat let you keep the temperature at the desired level.
  • Speakers: Bluetooth bathroom fans with speakers let you stream music from your mobile devices when bathing or showering.

Installing A Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Bathroom fan installation isn’t hard, but it’s not for beginners either, because the project includes cutting a hole in the bathroom ceiling, supplying electricity to the fan, mounting the discharge vent, and finally testing the fan.

If you decide to install a bathroom exhaust fan yourself, this is a step-by-step video guide by Lowes:

How to Install a Bathroom Exhaust Fan:

How to Add a Humidity Sensor in a Bathroom:

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