Top 7 Best Quiet Bathroom Exhaust Fans (2022 Review)

If you are looking for the quietest bath fan on the market that has a low Sone rating, you are in the right place!

In this guide, you'll learn:

  • How the 'Sone rating' works for quiet bath fans
  • Tips to pick the right low sone bathroom fan
  • The top 7 quietest bathroom fans
  • And much more!
top best quiet bathroom exhaust fan reviews

I have inspected a lot of quiet bathroom fans during home inspections, and I have also seen a lot of loud and noisy fans. Loud bath fans can literally be heard across the hallway, and they can even become a fire risk (if they overheat).

That's why I created this bathroom fan list! I want to help you save some money, time, and problems so you don't pick the wrong one.

Below is a short list of all our top quiet picks. Keep scrolling to learn more about choosing and using the best quiet bathroom fans!

ImageProduct
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Panasonic WhisperFit
  • 0.3 Sone Or Less (Depends on speed)
  • 50, 80 or 110-cfm with flick of switch
  • Low profile housing for easy install
  • 0.3 Sone Or Less (Depends on speed)
  • 50, 80 or 110-cfm with flick of switch
  • Low profile housing for easy install
View on Amazon
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Broan-NuTone AE110
  • 1 Sone
  • TrueSeal technology
  • No attic access needed for install
  • 1 Sone
  • TrueSeal technology
  • No attic access needed for install
View on Amazon
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Delta BreezIntegrity
  • O.7 Sone
  • Dimmable LED Light
  • High quality DC motor
  • O.7 Sone
  • Dimmable LED Light
  • High quality DC motor
View on Amazon
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Broan Very Quiet
  • 0.3 Sone
  • 80-cfm
  • Easy Install
  • 0.3 Sone
  • 80-cfm
  • Easy Install
View on Amazon
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Delta BreezSlim
  • 0.6 Sone
  • Indicator Light
  • Brushless Motor
  • 0.6 Sone
  • Indicator Light
  • Brushless Motor
View on Amazon
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BV Ultra Quiet
  • 0.3 Sone
  • Low Price
  • HVI Certified
  • 0.3 Sone
  • Low Price
  • HVI Certified
View on Amazon
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KAZE
  • 0.3 Sone
  • 120-cfm fan speed
  • Hanger bars included
  • 0.3 Sone
  • 120-cfm fan speed
  • Hanger bars included
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On November 9, 2022

Our favorite pick for the quietest bathroom fan is the Panasonic WhisperFit because it is extremely quiet, easy to install, and has a high quality motor. A really nice feature of the WhisperFit is that you can choose between 50-cfm, 80-cfm, of 110-cfm with the flick of a tiny switch on the housing. It also comes with a flexible installation bracket which makes the installation even easier, so you don't need attic access.

Our List of the Quietest Exhaust Fans

Don't have much time? Check out our top 7 best quiet bathroom fans right here! Keep reading to learn the details of each pick.

  1. Panasonic WhisperFit
  2. Broan-Nutone AE110
  3. Delta BreezIntegrity
  4. Broan Very Quiet 
  5. Delta Breez SLM80
  6. BV Ultra 
  7. KAZE
quiet bath fan requires larger duct

Quiet Exhaust Fans Reviewed By Us

Our overall hands-down top pick for the best quiet bathroom fan goes to the Panasonic WhisperFit.  

It is a high quality bath fan that is rated at 0.3 sones — an ultra low noise exhaust fan.

You may have trouble hearing if this exhaust fan is even on.

It also has a thin housing of 5-5/8" thickness which makes it easier to install, can fit 2x6" construction, and also comes with a flexible installation bracket.

The cool thing about the WhisperFit is that it has a small switch on the housing so you can choose either 50-cfm, 80-cfm, or 110-cfm.

Pros

  • Whisper quiet at less than 0.3 sone
  • Choose 50-cfm, 80-cfm or 110-cfm by the flick of a switch on the housing
  • Low profile housing (5-5/8") for easy install

Cons

  • May not fit 2x4 wall construction
  • Used for 4" or 6" duct, so if you have a 3" it will need an adapter

Our runners-up top pick for the best quiet bathroom fan goes to the AE110 because it is rated at only 1.0 sone which makes it almost silent.

This quality bathroom fan is rated at 110-cfm for the fan speed, and it is designed for a 4-inch duct.

Broan-NuTone has designed the TrueSeal technology with this exhaust fan which reduces air leaks by 50% at the damper.

The AE110 is also really easy to install and was designed to be done inside the bathroom without needing attic access.

Pros

  • Ultra-silent at less than 1.0 sone
  • 110-cfm fan speed
  • TrueSeal damper technology
  • Can be installed without attic access

Cons

  • Uses a 4" duct (so you may need to use an adapter if it is 3")

Our favorite choice for a quiet bathroom fan with light goes to the Delta BreezIntegrity.

This exhaust fan with light is very quiet at 0.7-sone and comes with a quality DC brushless motor for low noise.

The motor is engineered so that it could be continually used for 70,000 hours (one reason it is so quiet).

It also features a bright LED light that is dimmable. We recommend that you wire the bathroom fan and light to separate switches.

The BreezIntegrity is rated at 50-cfm so it is more suitable for smaller bathrooms.

Pros

  • Very quiet bath fan at 0.7-sone
  • 50-cfm fan speed
  • Dimmable LED light

Cons

  • Best for smaller sized bathrooms

The Broan Very Quiet Bath Fan was designed by Broan-NuTone to be ultra quiet and comes in with a 0.3 sone rating.

It is for bathrooms up to 75 square feet, which is large enough for the average bathroom.

The Broan Very Quiet Exhaust Fan is also rated for 80-cfm and can fit 2x8 ceiling joist construction.

It is motor engineered for continuous operation so it won’t wear out prematurely, and the operation is almost silent.

This Broan fan uses a 6" duct and it comes with a hanger bar install kit if you want an in-between joist installation.

Pros

  • Extremely quiet at 0.3 sone
  • 80-cfm fan speed
  • Includes hanger bar system for in-between joist installation

Cons

  • More work to install 6" duct
  • Designed for a 6" duct diameter (any smaller duct will reduce performance)

This Delta Breez SLM80 is a quiet bathroom fan with a sone rating of 0.6 sone.

The SLM80 even has an  indicator light to know if it’s running because at 0.6 sones, it may be difficult to know. 

It is rated at 80-cfm and it comes with a super efficient DC motor that was designed and tested for 70,000 hours of continuous use.

And since the SLM80 has such a slim profile, it should make it an easier installation for bath fan replacements.

Pros

  • Quiet at 0.6 sone
  • Slim profile for easier retrofit installations
  • High quality brushless DC motor
  • Tested to be able to do 70,000 hours of continuous use

Cons

  • If used with 3" duct, the cfm rating drops to 57-cfm
  • Sound increases to 0.9 sone with 3" duct

The BV Bath Fan is an ultra quiet bathroom vent fan and has a 0.8 sone rating.

BV created silent-clever technology for a pretty quiet bathroom fan, it also may be challenging to know if it's on.

The fan comes with an adjustable bracket for easy installation, and is HVI certified and UL approved.

The BV has a 90-cfm rating and is best for bathrooms up to around 90 square feet.

It uses a 4-inch duct so if you have a 3" you will need to use an adapter.

Pros

  • Quiet at 0.8 sones
  • Stainless steel body
  • Adjustable bracket for install
  • One year limited warranty

Cons

  • May be difficult to install due to large housing

The KAZE SEP120 is a super quiet bathroom exhaust fan that is rated at 0.3 sone. You may even have trouble hearing if it's on.

The KAZE SEP120 is a super quiet bathroom exhaust fan that is rated at 0.3 sone. You may even have trouble hearing if it's on.

This bath fan is rated at 120-cfm and it is suitable for bathrooms up to around 120 square feet.

The SEP120 has installation flexibility since it can be installed to the joist, or you can use the included hanger bars and install it in-between the joists.

It also comes with a 6" to 4" duct reducer in case you don't have a 6-inch duct.

Pros

  • Rated at 0.3 sone so extremely quiet
  • 120-cfm (baths up to 120-sf)
  • Comes with hanger bars for in-between joist install

Cons

  • Designed for 6" duct

What Is A Quiet Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

The quietest bathroom fans have very low sone ratings.

'Sone ratings' are the standard sound measurement for bathroom fans. Quiet bathroom fans usually have a sone rating of 1.0 sone or less.

Anything from 1.5 to 3.0 sones is considered average loudness, and anything 4.0+ is pretty loud. The absolute quietest bathroom fans that you can find on the market are rated at 0.3-sone.

LED Indicator Lights For Quiet Bath Fans

The quietest bathroom fans have LED indicator lights that tell you the fan is turned on.

Since bathroom vent fans with 1.0 sone or less are so quiet, people sometimes have trouble knowing if it's even on. And that is why some low noise exhaust fans have LED indicator lights so that you know it's turned on and working.

But if your fan doesn't have indicator lights, a common test used by home inspectors is to put a piece of toilet paper up to the fan grille to see if there's suction.

Read Also >> How To Fix A Noisy Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

top rated best quiet bathroom exhaust fan (1)

The Science Behind Sone Ratings

The bathroom fan sone rating is a measurement of the perceived loudness.

The sone rating is similar to decibels that people are familiar with, but it is a little different. Sones is measured for human ears only and it set at a frequency of 1,000-hertz for every 40-decibels.

Decibels, on the other hand, measure sound intensity regardless of the frequency. And as you may recall, some animals like whales can hear things at frequencies that humans can't hear. This is why sone is a sound measure standardized for human hearing.

Read Also >> What Are Bathroom Fan Sones (And How Does It Work)?

How To Make A Bathroom Fan Quieter?

A bathroom fan can be made quieter with regular cleanings and by choosing the correct duct size. Here are a few tips:

  • Clean Grille: The cover or grille is the front of your bathroom fan and it easily gets clogged with dust. The dust restricts airflow to the fan and will make it work harder and louder. Clean the grill with some dish soap and warm water.

  • Clean The Fan & Motor: The motor itself and the fan blades can also get choked full of dust. All of that dust will also make the bath fan work harder and make it louder. You can clean the fan and motor with a can of compressed air or a vacuum brush attachment. Turn off power to the bath fan at the breaker box first for safety.

  • Clean The Exterior Cover: The exterior hood usually has a flapper that opens when the fan is on, and closes when turned off. These flaps can get stuck closed and sometimes even birds nest in the vent near the exit. Turn the bathroom fan on, and then check the exterior cover for strong airflow.

  • Install Correct Duct Size: Most new bathroom fans require larger duct sizes than older bathroom fans. Modern quiet bath fans usually need 4-inch to 6-inch duct sizes. If you install the older 3-inch duct on a new bathroom fan, then you won't get the stated performance and low noise rating that you were hoping for. Also, every bend or turn in the duct will increase noise (as well as the length).

Read Also >> How To Clean A Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

best quiet bathroom exhaust fan reviews

How To Pick The Quietest Bathroom Exhaust Fan?

Choosing the quietest bathroom fan requires you to pick the sone rating, the CFM rating, the duct diameter, and the housing size. Read below to see a few tips on picking the best low-noise bath fan:

Sone Rating

The most important thing to consider for the quietest exhaust fan is the sone rating. Anything at 1.0-sone and below is considered whisper-quiet, and a fan rated 0.6-sone or less is extremely quiet.

CFM

It's important to choose the right CFM rating for your bathroom size.

CFM stands for "cubic feet per minute," which is simply a rating for how much air your bathroom fan moves in 60-seconds. If you buy a bathroom fan with too high of a CFM for your bathroom, it will be louder than you need it to be.

Read Also >> How To Pick The Bathroom Fan CFM (fan speed)?

Sone Per CFM

Dividing the sone rating by the CFM will tell you the efficiency of the bathroom fan.

A fan with a smaller 'sone per CFM' means it is more efficient and can deliver a quieter fan at the same power. This metric allows you to compare 'apples to apples' when looking at bathroom fan sone ratings.

Housing Size

The housing size will determine whether the installation is easy or hard.

It will also determine if you have to cut out a larger drywall hole, and too big of a housing may not fit in the ceiling. If you have 2x6 or 2x8 ceiling joists, you need to make sure that the fan is thin enough to fit into the ceiling.

Some bathroom fans are designed to be easily installed without attic access. Other exhaust fans are better suited for new construction where access isn't an issue.

It is important to measure your existing housing size before you buy the exhaust fan.

Ducting

The bathroom fan duct size is an important consideration when installing a quiet bath fan.

Modern bathroom fans usually require larger 4-inch or 6-inch ducts, and if you connect a smaller 3" duct (using an adapter), you won't get the advertised performance out of the exhaust fan.

And if you install a bathroom fan duct that is pre-sleeved with insulation, this will also help reduce noise from the bath fan.

Read Also >> What Are The Best Ducts For Bathroom Fans?

How Do Quiet Bathroom Fans Work?

Quiet bathroom fans work similar to your average bathroom fan except that they have higher quality motors for reduced noise. 

These ultra quiet exhaust fans also tend to have LED indicator lights so you know that they're turned on.

The fan motor may be a brushless DC motor, or it may be an ECM-controlled motor — so overall the bath exhaust fan just runs that much quieter. Some of these motors are also variable-speed so that it can adjust the motor-speed to reach the desired CFM.

Ultra-quiet exhaust fans are also a bit more expensive. And that makes sense if you think about it — a higher quality motor is going to cost more but run more efficiently.

Larger Duct Diameter

Besides the higher-quality motors, many of the whisper-quiet bathroom exhaust fans use 4″ or 6" ducts rather than the standard 3″ ducting used with older bath fans.  

When the duct is larger, the bath fan can exhaust out more air but with less power needed — reducing noise even more.

Read Also >> Can You Vent a Bathroom Fan Into An Attic?

How To Install A Quiet Bathroom Vent Fan?

Installing a quiet bathroom fan is the same as any other bathroom fan.

Homeowners will first need to remove the existing exhaust fan from the ceiling mount.

Some bath fans will come with some type of installation bracket that is first fastened to the ceiling joist. And then you mount the fan onto the bracket. Sometimes they are called “fast install brackets” or something similar. 

If there isn't an installation bracket, the bathroom fan housing will need to be screwed into the joists directly.

Wiring

If your quiet bathroom fan also has a light, you will need to factor in additional wiring to the switch or you may even want a separate light switch.

But if there aren't any extra features such as a heater, light, or humidity sensor — then you won't have to do any additional wiring — making the install easier. You can just connect the existing wiring in the ceiling to your new fan, and use the same wall switch to turn it on or off.

You will then have to connect the wiring to the existing switch and electrical wiring. If you have to add additional wiring because you want a separate switch to turn on the exhaust fan, more wiring work will be required. If you are installing a new switch, you may want to consider hiring an electrician.

Ducting Installation

In addition, installing a 4″ or 6" duct for a quiet bathroom vent fan may also require more work such as widening the exterior wall hole, as well as replacing the duct inside the wall or ceiling. And always remember, bathroom ducts need to vent directly to the exterior. They shouldn't vent into the attic, soffit, or crawlspace.

According to HomeEnergySaver.Gov — if you have a vent duct that has twists and turns, it can be just as loud as an older lower quality bath fan — the size and quality of the duct matters.

Read Also >> How Do You Install Bathroom Fans Without Attic Access?

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