The 6 Best Fog Machines

Updated June 24, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

6 Best Fog Machines
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Let the good times roll in on a wave of eerie mist as you spice up your Halloween events, music gigs, and even film sets with one of these excellent fog machines. Rated here by fog density, versatility, and ease of use, they are sure to provide a thick layer of mystery to whatever performance is at hand. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best fog machine on Amazon.

6. American DJ Storm

The American DJ Storm sends out fog at a rate of 7,000 cubic feet per minute. Depending on the environment, the mist can hang in the air for up to four hours, even after the machine has been turned off. It has a slightly heavy body, though.
  • external manual activation switch
  • no loss of output after years of use
  • the unit is a bit loud
Brand American DJ
Model FOGSTORM 1200HD
Weight 14.5 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Chauvet Hurricane

The Chauvet Hurricane comes ready to use out of the box, and is ideal for light shows because it enhances the visual effect of particle beams. It can also send out continuous blasts of fog for 20 seconds, and can fill a small yard.
  • decent tank capacity
  • cleans easily with water and vinegar
  • limited control options
Brand Chauvet
Model F-700
Weight 5.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. American DJ Mister Kool

The American DJ Mister Kool uses a chamber of ice to create graveyard-type, low-lying fog effects that are great for Halloween events or a stage. It also comes with a timer, so you can control how often it blasts and for how long each time.
  • uses regular ice cubes
  • sturdy and well-built
  • drainage lever has no indicator
Brand American DJ
Model MISTER KOOL
Weight 19.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Chauvet H1100

The Chauvet H1100 can run for over four hours while barely depleting the tank, and users like that the brand's fluid doesn't have any toxic smell. It's also powerful enough to keep a thick haze present in a completely open garage.
  • remote controls 4 machines at once
  • quiet operation
  • fills a big room in five minutes
Brand CHAUVET DJ
Model H1200 + FC-W
Weight 10.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. 1byone O00QL-004

The 1byone O00QL-004 pumps out dense fog that lingers in the air for a long time and disperses without the help of fans. Its portable size and large carrying handle make it great for DJs or party planners who need to set up in a flash.
  • uses only water-based juice
  • hose drain for indoor operation
  • support for a wireless remote
Brand 1byone
Model O00QL-0041
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. ADJ Products Fury Jett

The ADJ Products Fury Jett has multiple mounting configurations, so you can shoot fog up or down. It also features a heating element that reduces the chances of clogging, so you'll never lose your special effects. Plus, it blasts its mist out over 25 feet.
  • low fluid indicator
  • minimal warm-up time between blasts
  • includes a wireless remote
Brand ADJ Products
Model FOG FURY JETT
Weight 18.8 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

There's Something In The Fog!

If you recognize that headline from John Carpenter's 1980 horror classic, The Fog, then we can be friends. There's a good chance that no other film in the history of cinema created quite as much fog as this one, except, perhaps, the redux of Apocalypse Now.

Fog is associated with a lot of scary stuff. You see it floating ominously around cemeteries and church yards, hovering over seemingly haunted ponds and forests. In Los Angeles, they have smog, which is more scientifically frightening than culturally scary.

That said, fog can also create a great atmosphere for light shows and dances. The waves from bulbs and lasers alike reflect off the fog's particles and let you see the beam as it transverses the space. This is thanks to a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering, which is the same reason that the sky looks blue and that the sun looks redder as it sets, as our atmosphere scatters certain wavelengths of light from the sun.

While most fog in nature consists of the same water vapor that condenses to the clouds in the sky, fog out of a fog machine is a mixture of water and another element, usually glycerin or a mineral oil. The added material keeps the fog from rising too quickly or dissipating too effectively. In other words, it makes the fog hang around longer.

A fog machine pumps that water mixture through a heat exchanger, which vaporizes the mixture and releases it all in one fell swoop. That exchanger needs to reach a certain temperature to be effective, and pushing the mixture through it causes it to cool down, requiring a kind of recharging process between lengthy emissions.

Operating Above The Ideal

The units on our list are all pump-based, heat exchanging fog machines, a category into which most fog machines on the market fall. They create a fog that will likely rise in any room temperature environment. If the dance hall is particularly hot from all the popping and locking on the dance floor, the fog might hang around longer and lower.

That's because fog obeys the same thermodynamic laws as air does–though this time applied to ideal gases, and if the fog is hotter than the air in the room, it will rise. Some fog machines work with dry ice and other materials to create a low-lying fog, but they tend to be prohibitively expensive, especially when you can make a simple fog chiller to compliment your fog machine with a box, some ice, and a fan.

Looking at this great selection of foggers, there some variables that will help guide you toward the perfect choice for your purposes. If you're using the fogger for its most traditional purpose, to enhance the spookiness or mystery of a given space, knowledge of the space is paramount. Take note of each fog machine's capacity and recharge times. If the space is too big and the fog machine too small, or too slow to recharge, you could lose precious fog density when you need it most.

For a live music venue, this is even more important, and you'll likely want to invest in multiple machines, in which case price could considerably become an obstacle. Fortunately, there are some very well-performing budget-friendly options on our list in addition to the higher-end models.

Either way, make sure you also take a look at the wattage of each unit. If you're running multiple machines at once, you're going to want to run them on separate circuits so that they don't blow a fuse.

Controlling The Weather

It isn't easy for man to have a fast and specific effect on his local weather, although the Beijing Weather Modification Office does its best.

I once stayed in a pair of adjoined hotel rooms in Florida with some friends. We had one of those inner sets of doors connecting the two rooms that usually remain locked. We turned the air conditioning all the way up in one of the rooms and the heat all the way up in the other. In the hot room, we also ran the shower on hot until a thick mist filled the space.

When the one room was sufficiently dry and frozen, filled with low pressure air, and the other was steaming hot like a sauna of high pressure air, we violently swung the connecting doors open, hoping to create a small thunderstorm where the pressure systems met. Nothing happened.

Reaching back at least to Elizabethan England, the players at the Globe Theater, where Shakespeare's plays debuted, reportedly used smoke from small controlled fires to create a spooky effect in appropriate scenes like those of the three sisters in Macbeth or Hamlet's visitations from his father.

It wouldn't be until the early 20th century, as air conditioning became a more common application, that the technology of refrigeration would lead to the harnessing of flash-evaporated gasses.

The exact inventor of the fog machine is a disputed fact, but I think if he or she were to make themselves known, we'd have a lot of gratitude to send them.



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Last updated on June 24, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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