The Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Build-up moisture and hot air inside the bathroom can make it hard to see and leave you without clear air to breathe. To solve this issue, bathroom exhaust fans can initiate air movement to give you better air quality and less steam.

Since it could take you too long to find the most suitable options, here are our top picks of the best bathroom exhaust fans. We've also included the factors to keep in mind to select the most optimal choice.

1. Panasonic FV-0811VF5 WhisperFit EZ Retrofit Ventilation Fan

Panasonic FV-0811VF5 WhisperFit EZ Retrofit Ventilation...
  • Retrofit Solution: Ideal for residential remodeling, hotel...
  • Low Profile: 5-5/8-Inch housing depth fits in a 2 x 6...
  • Pick-A-Flow Speed Selector: Allows you to pick desired airflow...
  • Flexible Installation: Comes with Flex-Z Fast bracket for easy,...
  • Energy Star Rated: Delivers powerful airflow without wasting...

Our top pick in this list of the best bathroom exhaust fans is the Panasonic WhisperFit EZ. This is the solution you need for removing hot air and moisture from your bathroom using high air movement power.

While the output is quite high, this Pansonic ventilation fan offers a super quiet performance to remove aerial impurities. As such, the whisper-like sound levels ensure you won't even notice when the Panasonic FV-0811VF5 is running.

Since it is also affordable, this bathroom exhaust fan is one of the best you can find on the market. The long-lasting Panasonic fans provide 110 or 80 CFM, making them ideal for bathrooms of residential premises and hotels. The two options ensure you have enough flexibility to satisfy the different design requirements affecting ventilation.

It is easy to install with the Flex-Z Fast bracket, a detachable installation bracket, and a detachable adapter. This ENERGY STAR certified product runs cool operations, which means it's less likely to overheat or get motor failure.


  • Quiet performance
  • Long-lasting build
  • Easy to install with Flex-Z Fast bracket
  • ENERGY STAR rated
  • Suitable for remodeling and renovations


  • Prone to dust build-up
  • Not the most silent model

2. Air KING Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Air King BFQ 110 BFQ110 Exhaust Fan, 100-CFM
  • White, polymeric grill measures 10 x 10-Inch, with durable...
  • Operates at 100 CFM at 3.5 scones, Features a special snap-in...
  • Comes with 4-Inch plastic duct collar with back draft damper for...
  • Can handle continuous operation, is rated for ceilings insulated...
  • Easily installs using the included snap-in mounting system, High...

Next in line in our list is the Air King Bathroom Exhaust Fan, which features a Snap-in system that provides an easy in-ceiling installation and a white polymeric grill. The steps to install it are as clear as connecting the wires and the ducts and adding the grill, which only takes minutes. The high-impact plastic housing provides better performance while minimizing noise effectively, making it one of the best bathroom exhaust fans for your bathroom.

With this 100 CFM Bathroom Fan, Air King, you get a four-inch duct collar and a backdraft damper, ensuring quiet operation. Since the plastic parts are rust-proof, this bathroom exhaust fan is suitable for places with high moisture or near saltwater bodies.

The Air-King Bathroom Exhaust fan can withstand continuous operation and can be installed over your tub or on a GFCI circuit to cover a capacity of 100 -125 square feet.


  • Durable plastic housing
  • 100 CFM
  • 1-year warranty for parts100 CFM


  • Not easy to install for all users

3. BV Ultra-Quiet Bathroom Exhaust Fan

BV Ultra-Quiet 90 CFM, 0.8 Sone Bathroom Ventilation &...
  • Super quiet performance. Silent-Clever Technology with only 0.8...
  • Mounting opening: 9.25" x 9.0". Height: 7.5" Stainless steel 4"...
  • Ventilating area for bathroom space up to 90 sq-ft
  • HVI 2100-certified and UL Approved. Quality & performance...
  • One-year limited product warranty with technical support service...

The moist air from showers, tubs, and other fixtures in the bathroom can collect up on the bathroom surfaces, which can cause rot, peeling paint, and mold growth. The BV Ultra-Quiet bath fan can remove the steamy air volume to provide better air quality inside the bathroom.

It operates at a low noise level while comprising stainless steel housing. As a result, it's a durable and efficient bathroom exhaust fan. With a heavy-duty motor, this fan can handle continuous operation effortlessly while having thermal protection and energy efficiency.

Instead of suspension brackets, the BV Ultra-Quiet fan features Joist Mounting, a unique feature among the best bathroom fans. The super quiet technology will make sure you won't notice the bathroom fan while maintaining excellent motor performance.

The models in this series come with different capacities, including 90, 110, and 150 CFM.


  • Silent smart technology
  • Excellent solid steel build
  • Energy efficient
  • Heavy-duty motor


  • The installation instructions are not easy to follow.

4. Broan NuTone Bath Fan

Broan-NuTone 655 Bath Fan and Light with Heater, 70 CFM...
  • FAN COMBO: Fan, light and 1300-watt heater function independently...
  • DECORATIVE: Designer white polymeric grilles complement virtually...
  • DISCREET: Type IC (Insulation Contact) unit is installed into...
  • COMPACT: Fits 2" x 6" ceiling construction and works in bathrooms...
  • EASY TO USE: Two- or three-function wall controls are available...

The NuTone Exhaust Fan, Broan, is a multifunctional bathroom fan that provides ventilation, heating, and lighting. The heating function will ensure you get the bathroom warm on chilly mornings to make it easier to take a bath. The 100 watts LED light capacity will provide enough light for you at any time of the night.

This Broan NuTone product features a hanger bar system that makes it easy to install, and each blower wheel attached to it is powered by a permanent plug-in motor which facilitates even heating. This enables it to deliver high-efficiency operations at a CMF rating of 70 and a noise level of 4.0 sones.

The 24 inch wide mounting brackets of the Broan NuTone are adjustable to help you install this unit at the most appropriate location. This ventilation fan can handle a bathroom of up to 65 square feet while providing even heating across the bathroom.

The white polymeric grills will complement your bathroom to add a dash of elegance, making the Broan NuTone an excellent aesthetic choice.


  • Provides light, heat, and ventilation
  • Energy efficient
  • Even heat distribution
  • Stylish grill


  • It has a noisy hum sound.

5. Panasonic FV-0510vs1 WhisperValue Ventilation Fan

Panasonic FV-0510VS1 WhisperValue DC Ventilation Fan,...
  • Installation: Features a low profile can ideal for residential...
  • Precision Spot Ventilation: Quiet and powerful ventilation while...
  • Pick-A-Flow Speed Selector: Allows you to pick desired airflow...
  • Slimmest Design: With a 3-3/8-Inch housing depth, WhisperValue DC...
  • Energy Star Rated: Delivers powerful airflow without wasting...

This Panasonic model is a ceiling-mounted bathroom exhaust fan that is easy to operate, quiet, and powerful. That is why it's one of the best bathroom fans you can get today. It features an exceptional EMC motor with SmartFlow technology that detects resistance to adjust the fan speed for optimal operation.

This bathroom fan has an in-built Pick a flow function that allows you to choose between 50 CFM, 80 CFM, and 100 CFM with the flip of a switch. This versatile bathroom exhaust fan is both ceiling and wall-mountable to let you position it where it's most convenient.

The L-shaped bracket of this Panasonic WhisperValue fan simplifies the installation process. You could place it on either the right or left side stud to get the best position.


  • Energy star qualified
  • Three CFM options
  • Ceiling and wall-mountable
  • Slim design
  • Quiet operation


  • You need to access the attic to install
  • It can produce an annoying rattle sound.

6. Delta Electronics GBR80HLED Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Delta Electronics (Americas) Ltd. GBR80HLED Delta...
  • Ultra energy-efficient LED module (11-watt equivalent to 60-watt...
  • Extracts air at a rate of 80 CFM to properly ventilate bathrooms...
  • Precision engineered with DC brushless motor for extended...
  • Energy Star qualified for efficient cost-saving operation,...
  • Fan impeller Stops If obstructed, for safe worry-free operation,...

The Delta BreezGreenBuilder has exceptionally low power consumption making it effective at cutting operation costs. The humidity sensor will automatically power on the fan when the moisture levels exceed a particular mark. The insulation around this bathroom exhaust fan minimizes heat build-up to ensure it doesn't overheat during operation. You should use a four-inch duct for the installation of this bath fan.

It extracts air at a rate of 80 CFM, which can ventilate an 80 square foot bathroom. At 0.8 sones, you can rest assured that all the operations this bathroom fan will run will be noiseless. The DC brushless motor adds the this fan's reliability and longevity. With galvanized steel in its construction, this fan can withstand corrosion from moisture exposure. Additionally, ENERGY STAR is qualified, which means that it has been tested, verified, and approved to be one of the best bath fans on the market.

The grill will provide a stylish look to your bathroom and ensure safe operation, stopping the motor if the fan is obstructed.


  • Cost-saving model
  • LED lighting
  • Strong motor
  • Durable build


  • Challenging to install without attic access
  • The instructions in the manual are not clear.

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan

1. Size and Power

The output of a bathroom exhaust fan is represented in cubic feet per minute (CFM), which is a measure of the amount of air it moves every minute. This information is available on the product's box and includes the suitable room size for the fan.

Generally, the fan's minimum CFM rating should equate to the dimensions of your bathroom in square feet. For instance, a 100 sq ft bathroom needs a 100 CFM. So, you should have the dimensions of your bathroom at hand to use them as a reference for the power capacity of the exhaust fan.

2. Noise

Every exhaust fan emits some degree of noise which is rated in ones. The majority of fans will feature a sone rating ranging between 0.5 and 6.0. A low sone rating is directly equivalent to a quiet bathroom exhaust fan. The models with a rating of about 1.0 or less will be the quietest units you can get.

On the other hand, the bathroom exhaust fans with a sone rating above 4.0 sones will be loud enough to silence your shower singing. Modern versions are designed to operate quietly with their wider ducting attachments. A wider duct will facilitate easier airflow, which places less strain on the exhaust fan, ensuring minimum noise production.

3. Installation and Ducts

The moisture-saturated air the bathroom exhaust fan draws will need to be vented somewhere. Some vents direct the attic's exhaust, which is hardly ideal since it can cause mold-development from moisture accumulation. The best direction to vent the air is to the outside of the home.

If the bathroom is on the first level of a home with multiple stories, you should vent the air through the side. This will necessitate running a duct through the ceiling joists to an exterior wall. If it's not possible to run the duct between the ceiling joists, or if the bathroom has one exterior wall, a wall-mounted bath fan can force the air through the side of the house.

In bathrooms located directly below the attic, the most optimal action is to direct the air towards the attic through the ducts and out the vent pipes in the roof or to a soffit under the eaves. Larger bathrooms could require several fans to ventilate the space efficiently.

4. Positioning

There are three types of mountings for bath fans; ceiling-mounted, wall-mounted, and inline fans.

  • Ceiling Fan

This type of bathroom exhaust fan is mounted to the ceiling and linked to the main vent system to facilitate moisture removal. It is the commonest exhaust fan on the market, and it's found in many homes and commercial settings.

  • Wall Fan

Wall fans are situated along an exterior wall, and it is rare to have them connected to the main vents. While they look unique, wall fans are positioned lower than the ceiling, which means they can't remove all the humidity that rises in the bathroom. Since they need a connection to an exterior wall, it doesn't work well with bathrooms located away from the outer walls.

  • Inline Fan

These directly connect to the ducts away from the ceiling. As a result, they are more flexible and quiet; however, they don't offer many perks for bathroom users. These expensive bathroom exhaust fans are energy efficient since they can cover several bathrooms on the same line.

5. Accessories

The best bathroom exhaust fans feature several additions that add another level of style or comfort to the user. Some of these accessories include

Heat lamps - to provide some extra warmth in your bathroom. They can run simultaneously with your exhaust fan but have a separate control switch so you can switch it off without powering do.

Bluetooth Compatibility - A bathroom fan that is Bluetooth enabled lets you control it from your phone and play music from the Bluetooth speaker inside the fan. This eliminates the need for a bathroom-ready radio since you can easily listen to music in the shower without more electronics.

In-Built LED Night Light- These lights kick in after dark to provide energy-efficient and comforting illumination that can make it easier for you to go the bathroom at any time of the night.

Humidity Sensors - These detect humidity changes to automatically turn the bathroom exhaust fans on when the moisture reaches a certain level.

LED Indicator Light - To provide visual confirmation when you turn the fan on.

Motion sensors - A motion sensor will detect movement to automatically activate the night light function or LED lights when someone walks into the bathroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best bathroom exhaust fan to buy?

This review's best bathroom fan is the Panasonic FV-0811VF5 WhisperFit EZ Retrofit Ventilation Fan, which features quiet and cost-efficient operations.

2. How many CFM do I need for my bathroom fan?

You will need at least a CMF per square foot of your bathroom area. To get the square footage of your bathroom, multiply the length and width of the space, then use the same CFM value.

3. Is more CFM a better bathroom fan?

A higher CFM translates to stronger air movement power which is essential for large bathrooms. However, a CFM that equates to the area in sq. ft of the bathroom will suffice to ventilate. 

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.

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