Dyson, KDK and Xiaomi: Which Fan to Buy?

  • Jul 3, 2022
  • 3636 views

Dyson, KDK and Xiaomi rank among the most popular fan brands in Singapore, but which actually deserves a spot in your home? Dyson, with its extra functionality as an air purifier, KDK that looks more like a conventional standing fan we are used to, or Xiaomi, a tabletop air circulator?

We took the three fans out for a spin, reviewing wind speeds and noise levels, so you can see which one to get.

*Not into words? Watch our video review at the end of this article instead.

 

Dyson Purifier Cool Formal-dehyde Air Purifier (TP09) (White/ Gold)

KDK Standing Fan (N30NH) Xiaomi Air Circulator
Number of speed settings 10 3 5
Height 105 cm 91 - 105 cm 33.3 cm
Weight 4.85 kg 4.6 kg 2.3 kg
Max. oscillation angle 350° 70° 90°, 120°
Remote control Yes Yes No
Timer setting Yes Yes Yes
Additional features Air purifier 1/f Yuragi: Fan breeze fluctuates to mimic the natural breeze Two different modes (a direct wind and a natural wind mode)
Price $1,099 $188 $106.90

 

Design and Ease of Use

Dyson Purifier Cool Formaldehyde

Dyson Purifier Cool Formaldehyde has a mouthful of a name.

Dyson features a slim, blade-less tower fan that is essentially made up of two compartments. The white/gold model we reviewed comes with a slightly tacky, glossy white plastic top that unfortunately belies its expensive price tag, and a bottom part covered in perforated metal plates that conceal the three filters, a self-regenerating (means no need to change, ever) catalytic filter that converts formaldehyde into water and carbon dioxide and a replaceable HEPA + carbon filter.

Perforated metal plates hide the filters.

Controlling the Dyson is through a sleek remote control (or through the Dyson Link app), so there are no buttons—save for the on/off button—on its body. There is a tiny LCD screen on the surface as well, that indicates different fan speeds, the various modes available on the fan and the air quality. There’s a button that lets you change the airflow direction, blowing out air from the rear of the machine if you want to use it just as an air purifier and don't want to have the air blowing in front of you.

Dyson's sleek remote control.

'Auto' mode's like their intelligent mode. The sensors on the machine will adjust the settings according to the room's air quality, pausing only when the target air quality is reached. In this mode, the Dyson fan also makes adjustments to the airflow speed to achieve that target air quality.

The Dyson LCD screen displays quite a bit of information, including the current air quality in the room.

Here's a more in-depth look at what the different icons mean on the LCD screen:

Dyson LCD screen

A close-up of the filters: the catalytic filter on the left and the HEPA+carbon filter on the right.

Dyson recommends replacing the HEPA+carbon filter every 12 months and if you download the Dyson Link app, it will notify when it needs to be changed. As mentioned, the catalytic filter is self-regenerating and will never need to be replaced or cleaned. A small brush can be used to remove other dust and debris on the inlet holes of the metal filters and on the loop holes where the fan function is.

KDK N30NH Standing Fan

The KDK N30NH standing fan.

The KDK looks just like a conventional standing fan we are used to, so there’s really nothing much to shout about—it even comes in a nondescript taupe hue. It feels sturdy though, and there are 5 blades, which are coloured translucent with a purple tinge. At 105cm tall in its full height, it’s definitely on the petite side as far as standing fans go. At the back of the fan, a thin metal handle allows the fan to be carried around easily. With its relatively light weight, portability is definitely there.

A close-up of its blades.

What it lacks in aesthetics, it definitely makes up for its user-friendliness, with clear markers and indicators to show what each button does. The fan can be controlled by both the buttons on the body—positioned on the feet of the fan—and via remote control.

KDK's remote control.

It can be slot neatly within the nook at the base of the fan.

As with standard standing fans, maintenance is relatively straightforward, although tedious. The back and front covers can be unclipped from the main body where the motor is. Along with the blade, these parts can be dusted using a soft cloth or washed under warm water.

Xiaomi Air Circulator

The Xiaomi Air Circulator can work as both a table and standing fan.

Unlike the standing fans by Xiaomi, the Xiaomi fan we reviewed works more like an air circulator rather than a traditional fan. As its name indicates, it moves air around the room continuously to keep you cool. With a matte white body and grey blades, the Xiaomi fan feels modern and will sit pretty in any contemporary space.

A closer inspection.

A white handle at the back enables you to carry it around the house easily. But unlike with Xiaomi’s standard standing fans, this one isn’t powered by a chargeable battery so you will constantly need to plug it in. As it stands at only 33.3 cm tall, it feels more like a tabletop fan, but its wide-angle swinging range mean it can work well even if placed on the floor. A small, 'hidden' handle at the back makes it really portable. There is no remote control; control is via the minimalist buttons displayed on the fan’s base.

The minimalist buttons are located at its base.

The concealed handle for portability.

A small 'plus' screw at the button of the fan allows you to remove the front cover of the fan and clean the appliance completely. There are also small markers on the body that helps you with the reassembly.

Unscrewing the small screw located at the bottom of the fan lets you clean out each fan part more thoroughly.

The markers so reassembly after cleaning is less of a hassle.

Test 1: Wind Speeds

We used a basic anemometer (taped onto a good ol' water bottle) and tested the various wind speeds at distances of 100cm and 150cm (around half the width of a standard living room in a 4-room flat), based on the different speed settings available for each fan.

An anemometer to test wind speeds.

Results of the wind speed test

You’ll notice that for Dyson, we were unable to get a stable reading from settings 1 to 5 because of how weak the wind speed was. The anemometer was only able to get a stable reading from setting 6 onwards. Unfortunately, Dyson performed the worst out of the three fans in terms of wind speed.

We also had a relatively hard time trying to find the “sweet spot” for the anemometer to get a reading for Dyson because the wind flow from the machine is only channelled through a very limited range. At its highest setting, its wind speed was 1.9 m/s and 1.6 m/s at distances 100 cm and 150 cm respectively.

We tested wind speeds from two distances, 100 cm and 150 cm.

KDK performed fairly well at all three speeds at a distance of 100 cm, but it faltered slightly when placed at a further distance. At its highest setting, it was at an average of 2.6 m/s and 1.7 m/s at distances 100 cm and 150 cm respectively.

We observed there was a small range of readings at each setting for the KDK fan, which we learnt later was due to its 1/f Yuragi feature, which features a fluctuating pattern that allows the breeze to mimic the flow of natural wind. It therefore feels quite comfortable sitting right in front of the fan, even at the highest setting.

Our wind speed test also involves trying out all the different speed settings of each fan.

For Xiaomi, we tested the wind speeds on its direct wind mode. This fan also has a natural wind mode, but the wind flow in that mode wavered too much for us to take a stable reading on the anemometer. At Xiaomi’s speed settings 3 to 5, it outperformed KDK, with the highest setting measuring wind speeds of 2.8 m/s and 2.1 m/s at distances of 100 cm and 150 cm respectively.

With Xiaomi, we tested it based on their direct wind mode since their natural wind mode was weaker and we couldn't get a stable enough reading.

Test 2: Noise Levels

Next, we tested the noise levels for each fan using a sound metre app that we downloaded on our phone. Because we didn’t test it in a soundproof room, we had to place our phone close to each fan when we read the noise levels in order to be sure that the noise levels came from the fan and not by an external noise.

Screen shot of the sound metre app we used

Results of the noise level test.

Taking the readings from their lowest and highest speed settings, we found that Dyson was the quietest, while Xiaomi came up second. KDK, with its five plastic blades, emitted the loudest noise. 

Conclusion

If we based our conclusion solely on the measurements of wind speeds and noise levels, the Xiaomi air circulator would seem to be the best balance between the two. While it is the most powerful, it also has a moderate noise level if we compare it across the three fans.

But should we perhaps look at the intrinsic function of each fan instead to determine their suitability and "worthiness"?

Dyson, for instance, really should be categorised more as an air purifier rather than a tower fan. We tested out the air purifier function and found that it works well (see our video review below for more information). The fan function for Dyson therefore feels more like an added bonus. And that price tag? Definitely not what you would pay for for just a fan.

With KDK, it looks and works just like your standard standing fan. And we like that minimalist, fuss-free predictability. With the natural breeze feature, it's a great choice if you want to keep cool but don't want to have a constant blast of air blowing onto your face.

The multi-directional Xiaomi works best for moving air around the room efficiently. We also like its flexibility as a floor or table fan and its two wind modes. The natural wind mode is quieter, while the direct wind mode offers a strong blast of air.

So which fan will you be considering for your home? Let us know in the comments!

TL;DR? Watch our video review of the three fans here:

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