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Neck fans are the summer essential you never knew you needed

neck fan review UK
Neck fans have gone viral – here's what we think after we tried one. (Yahoo Life UK)

🛍️ Product reviewed: Amazon Grarg Neck Fan, £14.22

Tested for: Over a year

Rating: 3/5

💸 Reasons to buy: It's hands-free, and looks like you're wearing some headphones around your neck

Reasons to avoid: It's a bit chunky to put in your handbag, marks easily and the air blowing up can irritate your eyes

💰 Best deal we've found: This is the cheapest bladeless neck fan we've found

Despite being Australian and growing up in a sub-tropical climate (think humidity so severe that it’s like living inside a steamy bathroom after a hot shower), I’ve never found a way to cope with the heat. Or the ensuing sweat that pours out of me when it’s above 25 degrees.

Then I happened upon this viral TikTok video about neck fans and I knew I may have found the sweat-drying solution I’d always dreamt of.

I’d never as much as Googled a neck fan before. Like many people I assumed that if such a thing existed it’d be a heavy monstrosity that would suck my hair in its blades, would look dreadful with all my pretty summer dresses and give me neck strain.

I stand corrected. Because when I (along with over 600,000 other viewers) saw influencer Nguyen Yeats-Brown putting a bladeless fan around her neck, and realised it actually looks like a slightly chunkier pair of headphones, I was sold.

I baulked at paying over £30 though. So I found a very similar neck fan with great reviews. And this Grarg Mini Neck Fan is just £14 compared to the viral neck fan’s £30 price point.

The Grarg fan is on Amazon Prime, so if you buy it straight after reading this today, you’ll have it in your hands – and around your neck – tomorrow.

Here’s why it’s now my favourite new way to keep cool.

💸 Reasons to buy

While my Grarg Neck Fan is a relatively new addition to my cooling repertoire, it quickly won me over.

Mainly because it's hands-free and has been designed to look like a pair of headphones. It's also bladeless, which means there’s no danger of your hair getting caught up/twisted inside it.

Another win? It's not too noisy. The last thing you want when trying to listen to your favourite podcast or Kate Bush album is loud chugging noise around your neck. The Grarg Neck Fan makes a very low, gentle whir.

The neck fan does get dirty quickly, but I give it a quick clean with nail polish remover. (Yahoo Life UK)
The neck fan does get dirty quickly, but I give it a quick clean with nail polish remover. (Yahoo Life UK)
Stay cool through the heatwave with this tried and tested neck fan. (Amazon)
Stay cool through the heatwave with this tried and tested neck fan. (Amazon)

Browse neck fans on Amazon £14.22 at Amazon

It also has five speeds, so you can decide the level of air you want to feel on your neck/hair. And the design is very flexible, so you can move it and twist it around to sit more comfortably on your neck.

It’s chargeable via USB, too: the brand claims that one charge can last up to six hours, depending what fan speed you choose.

After charging it – a full charge takes about three hours – I excitedly placed it around my neck, played around adjusting it so it looked and felt comfortable, turned it on and... felt a tiny, disappointing breeze. Akin to someone gently blowing on my neck.

It took me a while to realise I’d put it on upside down, so the side with all the air vents was facing my skin. Doh.

I decide to put my neck fan through its paces and the first time I used it, I took it on a three-mile walk during the hottest time of the day – 1.00-2.00pm – to meet a friend for a posh afternoon tea.

FYI: Even after the slightest exertion, my very fine, short hair gets so sweaty I look like I’ve been swimming.

I played around with speeds at home first – when not moving very fast the first speed is perfect, but for more extreme exertion it’s all about the fifth speed (be aware, though, that the higher speed does blow your hair around as if you’re in an 80s pop video. But I found that quite amusing).

The fan looks like you've just got a pair of headphones around your neck.
The fan looks like you've just got a pair of headphones around your neck. (Yahoo Life UK)
It doesn't cramp my style too much, either. (Yahoo Life UK)
It doesn't cramp my style too much, either. (Yahoo Life UK)

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Verdict? While it didn’t completely stop me sweating, it provided enough of a cooling effect that my hair wasn’t a sodden mess by the time I arrived at my destination.

Nobody batted an eyelid at my fan, either, clearly assuming it was headphones. If they did notice it, they asked where I got it from. Including one very cool, stylish, shop assistant in an expensive boutique who immediately wanted to buy one for herself.

✋ Reasons to avoid

It does blow air up into your eyes which made mine feel a little irritated. So I just popped my sunglasses on. Indoors, I have it on a lower speed so it bothers my eyes a little less.

It’s a bit bulky so it's not suitable for slotting into a small handbag or pocket.

The white gets quite easily marked, too. However, I used nail polish remover to get any marks off.

But these small drawbacks can't take away from the fact I love having a drier head!

💰 Best deal we've found

While the Garg neck fan is one of the most affordable options on Amazon with reputable reviews (over 600 ratings with 73% of customers giving it four or five stars). You can find many affordable versions on the retail site, but we recommend choosing one with a good amount of reviews, just to make sure it's from a reputable seller.

To help, we've put a few other affordable options below for if you want to give portable neck fan life a go this summer.

Shop now: Grarg Neck Fan, Mini Neck Fan Portable Bladeless Fans | £14.22 from Amazon

£14.22 at Amazon

5 other Amazon neck fans under £30

Portable Neck Fan | £15.42

NinetinGel Portable Neck Fan | £19.98

UseeShine Portable Neck Fan | £18.99

Jialexin Bladeless Personal Neck Fan | £25.99 (Was £35.99)

Amacool Neck Fan | £16.99