Looking for the best cheap fog machine for $100 or less? Throwing a great party shouldn’t break the bank! At least we don’t think so.
We’ve reviewed 5 quality fog machines that come with a reasonable price tag. Affordable and reliable can coexist, so we’ve narrowed our top picks to reputable brands that won’t let you down.
Short on time? Here’s a list of our top picks! Click below for details:
- American DJ Fog Fury 1000
- Chauvet Hurricane 1000
- Eliminator Turbo Fog 1000
- Martin RUSH SM 850
- American DJ VF 1300
To skip ahead to our in-depth reviews of these fog machines, please click here.
What is a “cheap” fog machine?
Cheap is often a negative word for consumers. It’s often a synonym for products that are unreliable, janky, and liable to fall apart. No fog machine listed here falls into that category. Our mission is to review professional equipment that won’t let you down. We want you to make an informed decision and help you find the product that’s ideal for your context.
So what do we mean by “cheap?” The fog machines listed here are high-quality products made by some of the best manufacturers, but they are inexpensive entry models. So when you hear cheap, think affordable. Not everyone is looking for a high-output, top-of-the-line fog machine. For example, maybe you’re throwing a Halloween or birthday party, so you need something that fills up a backyard not a school gym. The fog machines reviewed in this post are for you.
- These cheap fog machines are reliable AND affordable.
- They’re efficient for smaller areas like a backyard.
- Many can be controlled with a remote or timer, but are not DMX compatible.
- They cost $100 or less
- They are small and portable – ideal for gigs
These fog machines may be entry-level models, but thanks to a growing and competitive industry, they are increasingly equipped with advanced features. Things like quicker warmup times, higher output, and remote control timer options are quickly becoming the standard.
What to look for in a budget fog machine?
As with any product, the primary question we encourage you to ask is: What do you plan to use the fog machine for? What do you want its capabilities to be? Are you a mobile DJ looking to tote this sucker around at gigs? Throwing a birthday party and want to fog the heck out of your living room? Building a haunted house and want something to blind your nervous guests as they grope their way through each jump-scare? (please no chainsaws sawing blindly through the darkness… we all know that never ends well)
If you’re reading this, you probably have a goal in mind already. This is great. Below we outline the various features of each fog machine so you can easily make an informed decision. We suggest one more consideration before moving on: be open to fog machine features you weren’t looking for at the start. Chances are there’s a fog machine here that does more than you originally planned for, without costing a you a single cent more. This is where we can help…
Allow us to be your tour guide!
One fun aspect of reviewing high-quality DJ products is the chance to show you some of the “bells and whistles” (aka special features) available. Think of us as your personal tour guide through the world of fog machines!
We believe investing in new gear is a big deal. Whether you’re spending $25 or $2,500, each dollar should be spent securing gear that is efficient, powerful, durable, and ultimately boosts the creativity and aesthetic of what you do.
You may already know the ins and outs of fog machines. Even so, the chance to view them side by side will prove helpful. As you become more knowledgable about various models, you will be better equipped to make the right purchase at the right time.
What criteria did we use?
Perhaps it’s helpful to state what we didn’t do when choosing these foggers. We did not scour the Internet for the cheapest products we could find and copy and paste them here. That’s a waste of everyone’s time. You can definitely find cheaper fog machines out there, but most of them are sure to break down on you, perform poorly, and in the long run cost you more money when you end up buying a higher-quality fog machine anyway.
So what criteria did we use? How did we end up with this list of cheap fog machines?
#1 – Brand Reliability
Not to be snobbish about it, but certain brands try to sell unreliable products and others deliver high-quality goods. We prefer the latter. The brands featured here are backed by years of reliable manufacturing and are used by professionals. Even at a price-point under $100, these fog machines deliver what they promise. The brands included here are American DJ, Chauvet, Eliminator, and Martin. These are brands you will find at any reputable DJ or production retailer.
#2 – Price
This one is pretty self-explanatory but still important. For many applications, a fogger that costs $1,000+ is not necessary. Not everyone needs a piece of gear at that level. The reviews below focus on fog machines that max out at $100.
#3 – Helpful Features
We highlight fog machines that offer practical features like fast warmup time, timer options, heating indicator, fog output, etc. Not only are these products affordable and efficient.
Please note: the following reviews are not in any particular order or priority. We recommend making a decision based on the features of each product, not the order it appears on this list. Enjoy!
Cheap Fog Machines: Top 5
The American DJ Fog Fury 1000 is an exceptional product with an output of 3,500 cubit feet per minute. At only 7 lbs, it’s lightweight and ideal for mobile situations. Utilize the single yoke bracket to mount to a wall or truss. Due to its compact design, you can easily stow this fogger behind your DJ booth to accentuate your light show. Place it on your porch or in your haunted house for a spooky cloud of fog on Halloween. This fog machine is perfect for backyard parties and smaller events. For mobile DJs requiring less fog output due to smoke alarms, this is a product worth investigating.
- LED Heating Indicator – sometimes it can be a pain trying to figure out if your fog machine is ready for action. Wonder no more! The ADJ Fog Fury 1000 comes equipped with a handy heating indicator that immediately tells you whether or not it’s ready. Red means the unit is still heating, green means it’s ready to use.
- Control – this fogger comes with a wired remote that allows you to turn the unit on/off
- No Clogging – if you’ve ever had a fog machine clog or sputter in the middle of a gig or event, you’ll appreciate this feature. Thanks to a sleek oil-type transmission pipeline system, this fogger experiences minimal clogging. You can trust it to perform clog-free.
- Compact Design – the dimensions of this product are 7.25 x 4 x 2.5 inches, making it ideal for tiny environments. Even if you’re not space-limited, why take up extra room unnecessarily? This fog machine will get the job done without invading your space.
- Heating Element – 650 watt heater
- Fluid Consumption – 18 ml per minute
- Power Draw – 700 watt max
- Weight – 7 lbs
- Output – 3,500 cubic feet per minute
- Warmup Time – 4 minutes
- Tank Size – 0.9 liter
- Fog Type: water-based
Especially for the price, this fog machine is compact yet powerful. The wired remote makes it simple to turn the unit on/off without having to bend down or grope through the dark. With an output of 3,500 cubic feet per minute, you can easily fill up a room, backyard, or porch. Compact and lightweight, this product is easy to move around, store, and set up. Any drawbacks? If you’re looking for a customizable timer for your fog machine, the ADJ Fog Fury does not come with one. You have to purchase that separately (we recommend this one). Other than that, we unabashedly give this product two thumbs up.
Upgrade Options: the ADJ Fog Fury 1000 is actually the smallest model in the series. If this product has sparked your interest, check out some of its bigger brothers and sisters. Click on the image for details:
See the American DJ Fog Fury 1000 in Action:
The Chauvet Hurricane 1000 Compact Fog Machine lives up to its name, but don’t let its humble dimensions fool you… this product is powerful! As a leader in the professional fog machine market, Chauvet ‘s Hurricane 1000 produces 10,000 cubic feet of fog per minute. In addition to a easy-to-use wired remote, this unit also features a manual fog button. You can also purchase Chauvet’s FC-T wired remote which allows you to control the duration of each fog blast, as well as the interval between fog blasts. This product is ideal for mobile DJs, club owners, Halloween enthusiasts, or anyone looking for a compact fog machine with a relatively high output.
- LED Heating Indicator – the Hurricane 1000 features an LED-illuminated tank that tells you the heater status as well as the fluid level. Thankfully this convenient feature is becoming an industry standard and saves you the time of opening up your fluid tank mid-gig.
- Control – this fogger comes with a wired remote that allows you to turn the unit on/off. An indicator light on the remote illuminates to notify you the fogger is ready for action.
- Warmup Time – Chauvet’s website says 2 minutes, manual says 3-4 mins. Either way the warmup time on this unit is remarkably fast.
- Dimensions – 11.9 x 8.9 x 8.2 inches
- Fluid Consumption – 20 ml per minute
- Power Draw – 740 watt max
- Weight – 5.8 lbs
- Output – 3,500 cubic feet per minute
- Tank Size – 0.26 gallons (1 liter)
- Fog Type: water-based and operates residue-free
This fog machine boasts an impressive 10,000 cubic feet of fog per minute, which is ideal no matter what context you’re using it in. Chauvet’s diverse remote control options ensure that you can monitor fog output as desired. A warmup time of 2-4 minutes is also hard to beat. This is definitely a plug-and-go product that can meet the demands of a mobile DJ, club, or theatrical performance. At 5.8 lbs you’ll have no trouble carrying this fog machine.
Any drawbacks? Not really, just be aware that the Chauvet Hurricane 1000 consumes 20 ml per minute. With the easy-to-monitor LED tank this makes it effortless to keep an eye on fluid levels. However, you won’t have to constantly refill the tank anyway due to an entire liter capacity.
See the Chauvet Hurricane 1000 In Action:
The Eliminator Turbo Fog 1000 has some features you’re going to love, especially considering you can pick one up for less than $100. This fog machine weighs only 6 lbs making it ideal for DJ gigs, backyard parties, or any scenario in which you need to move it around. It comes with two separate remotes – the wired EF-TFR controller and the wireless EF-WR controller. As an entry-level model these diverse controlling options are outstanding. The convenience of triggering this fogger from across the backyard lawn or dance floor is highly appealing.
One of the most innovative aspects of this light is its continuous, uninterrupted output. In other words, no annoying duty cycle to get in the way of what you’re doing. If you’ve used various fog machines, you know that many of them essentially shut off while the heating element kicks in. Many DJs are forced to wait in frustration while their fogger warms up.
With the Turbo Fog 1000, put those worries aside! According to the manufacturer, once heated this unit will produce continuous fog without shutting off. How do they pull this off? Essentially the heating element continues working even while fog is being produced. Many other products shut off fog output to reheat, which can be a total drag. In the first video below, an Eliminator spokesman even claims to have tested the Turbo Fog for 30 minutes straight! That’s impressive.
- Mounting – adjustable mounting bracket suitable for stand, wall, or truss
- Warmup Time – only 2-3 minutes right out of the box!
- Output – 10,000 cubic feet per minute, continuous uninterrupted fog output!
- Control – this fogger comes with a wired remote that allows you to turn the unit on/off. It also includes a wireless remote to control the fogger from a distance. You can also trigger fog manually from the unit itself.
- Dimensions – 11 x 6.5 x 7.25 inches
- Power Draw – 800 watts
- Power Draw – 740 watt max
- Weight – 6 lbs
- Tank Size – 0.8 liter
- Fog Type: water-based
For the price, Eliminator has provided some incredible features in the Turbo Fog 1000. One common weakness of cheap fog machines is their limited output – not only in terms of volume but frequency. As mentioned above, some foggers tend to shut off while reheating. The Turbo Fog 1000’s ability to produce nonstop fog sets it above many other products.
Another attractive feature of this fog machine is three modes of control – manual, wired remote, and wireless remote. While some companies offer these options separately, Eliminator has included them under one affordable price.
Any drawbacks? Not really! By most standards this is not a high-output fogger in terms of volume. There are bigger models out there. But given this product’s continuous output, it probably has the edge in output over similar models. We highly recommend checking out this fog machine!
See the Eliminator Turbo Fog 1000 In Action:
The Martin Professional RUSH SM850 is a powerful 850-watt fog machine that boasts an output of 7,062 cubic feet per minute. Needless to say, this sucker can crank out the fog! While this fogger needs a bit more time to heat up (8 minutes), it is well worth the wait. The SM850 produces fog for 45 seconds at full output. This product is great for small venues, mobile DJs, house parties, and small stage productions. It’s sturdy steel housing makes it durable. At only 16 lbs it is manageable to lift, transport, and mount.
One of the more innovative features of this fog machine is the included 4-channel wireless remote. This allows you to effortlessly trigger the RUSH SM850 from up to 100 feet away! If you prefer to use the included wired remote, its 15-foot cable ensures convenient placement and operation. You can even monitor fluid levels at a distance thanks to a blue LED-illuminated tank. If you’re looking for a fog machine with slightly more output, this one is worth considering.
- Control – two remotes are included with the RUSH SM850, including a 4-channel wireless remote and a 15-ft cabled remote.
- Fluid Tank – features a blue LED-illuminated tank so you can easily monitor levels. This is located at the rear of the unit for easy access and visibility.
- Carrying Handle – although this product is not overly heavy, transporting it is simple thanks to a convenient handle
- Warmup Time – 8 minutes
- Heating Element – 850 watt
- Tank Capacity – 1.6 liter
- Weight – 16 lbs
- Dimensions – 16.2 x 11.6 x 12.2 inches
- Output – 7,062 cubic feet per minute
- Fluid Consumption – 60 ml per minute
- Mounting – includes adjustable yoke and safety eyebolt
- Fog Type: water-based
The Martin Professional RUSH SM850 is a solidly-built, reliable, and adaptable fog machine. It’s output of over 7,000 cubic feet per minute is impressive given the unit’s size and price. The two included remote controls offer the user both wired and wireless options – this always comes in handy. The black metal housing is sleek and durable, ready for the rigors of life on the road. We highly recommend this fog machine for mobile DJs, small venues, and house applications.
See the Martin Pro RUSH SM850 In Action:
The American DJ VF 1300 has the highest wattage of any fog machine on this list. It produces approximately 12,000 cubit feet of fog per minute. This product is ideal for medium-sized nightclubs, venues, stage productions, or dance floors. The VF 1300 is excellent for backyard parties and Halloween exhibitions. Depending on where you purchase it, it often includes a wired and/or wireless remote, making it easy to control the unit from afar. With a 2.3 liter fluid tank you won’t have to worry about running out of fog. If the tank empties, the VF 1300 will automatically shut off to protect the pump.
American DJ has several foggers in this series, including the VF 400, VF 1000, and VF 1600. We chose to highlight the VF1300 because of the high-output volume you get for the price. This fog machine has some really cool features, such as Electronic Thermo Sensing (ETS) for optimum heating levels. Translation? This fog machine will keep up with you – the heating element will operate in conjunction with how much fog you’re using. This ensures that when you need fog, it’s there.
- Fog Level Indicator – on the back side of the unit a fog-level indicator allows you to effortlessly monitor how much juice you have left
- Heating Element – the ADJ VF 1300 features a high-efficiency heater block that burns through fog so there’s no residue. This is a significant feature – if you’ve ever used a fogger that leaves slippery residue behind then you understand why!
- Controls – depending on where you purchase this fog machine, it typically includes one or two remotes. It’s compatible with a wired and wireless remote. For increased control you can also purchase the ADJ VFTR timer remote. This remote allows you to control the duration of fog output as well as interval time between bursts. Lastly, there’s a manual fog output button on the rear panel.
- Fluid Tank – holds up to 2.3 liter
- Warmup Time – 7 minutes
- Output – 20,000 cubic feet per minute
- Weight – 10 lb
- Dimensions – 15.7 x 11.4 x 12 inches
- Fog Type: water-based
The American DJ VF 1300 offers a lot for a product around $100. Many entry-level foggers lack some of its features, such as automatic shutoff when fluid is low, high-efficiency heating element, multiple remote control options, and fluid level indicator. This product’s output of 12,000 cubic feet per minute is impressive and works well with most dance floors or party spaces. This fog machine delivers a lot for a reasonable price.
See the American DJ VF 1300 In Action: