Best UK Fog Machine
Updated: January 2021
Here are our top selections in the category of best fog machine to buy in the UK.
#1 Selection: Overall Review Score = 90%
#2: Top Rated Alternative
#3: Best For Positive Review Scores
Stage Smoke and Fog Machines: A Buyer’s Guide
Fog and smoke machines do a lot to create a genuinely intriguing atmosphere. As well as fantastic fun at gigs and concerts, they can also be used in film-making and themed parties. Stage fog and smoke is sometimes called ‘dry ice’ – or at least it has been in years gone by – and since then, the way that stage fog and smoke is created has changed massively. Therefore, the choice of machines available on the market has expanded, too. It’s getting harder and harder to choose the perfect smoke devices for your specific needs! Don’t worry, as we’re here to help break it all down for you into manageable advice.
A stage fog machine can help to bring even the most boring parties to life. It’s a fantastic accessory whether you’re putting on a show, playing music, or simply welcoming people into a celebration. But how do you know what you should be getting from the perfect smoke and fog machines? What works best in the long run, and what makes machines good value for money? Unless you have plenty of experience in dealing with these tools, it’s unlikely you’ll know quite where to start!
In this buying guide, we will take a close look at everything you need to know about party and stage smoke and fog. Buying the best machine means narrowing down plenty of options. Before you go ahead and buy a machine, read through this guide and our commonly asked queries to get more of an idea of what you’re working with.
Why Buy a Smoke Machine?
Smoke and fog machines have come a long way. While they are often seen as retro or throwbacks to a forgotten age, they are still surprisingly popular with professional productions and private parties. For that reason, you will likely find that there is an awful lot of choice available. But why should you buy a smoke machine at all?
You could be creating and staging a play that needs extra spooky atmosphere. Similarly, you might be hosting a scary party or experience, in line with Halloween or otherwise. Beyond this, you may even be setting up regular gigs and performances with a retro feel, bringing your audience into a thick, smoky atmosphere that’s completely safe to enjoy.
Ultimately, you may not actually know the full worth of smoke machines unless you try them out for yourself! Therefore, it would be our advice for you to take a close look at what’s out there in physical high street shops if you can. Ask to see a demo or two of machines so that you can get a feel for what your money is paying for.
A great smoke or fog machine can really add to the atmosphere of a performance or party. Without it, things can seem quite plain! You will need to make sure you leave a lasting, positive impression on your guests and your crowds – and smoke or fog might be a solid investment.
Things You Should Be Looking For
Of course, one size never fits all, which means there are always going to be options and features you should compare. Therefore, take a look at our list of factors and features that differ from system to system. This checklist should, in theory, help you to start narrowing down your choices!
Functionality and Ease of Use
This is naturally going to be one of the first things you should look at. Just how easy is a fog machine to use? Can you control it with a remote, or do you have to physically press buttons on the unit to get it to kick out smoke? You should also think about portability and weight, too. The best smoke machines are those which you can easily move around the room or stage without having to exert too much effort.
One of the other primary factors to consider when buying fog machines is, of course, how powerful or capable it is. This is going to likely make the difference between filling a small room and a full stage! This is generally measured in cubic feet per minute, which should give you an idea of how quickly a machine can fill out the space you require. Obviously, the higher the number, the quicker the unit is going to fill the space.
Fog and smoke machines use liquid fog, which you can top up with separately. However, it’s worth knowing just how much a machine can hold and use at any given time. This will ensure that you’re not wasting money on supplies, and that you can purchase fluid in bulk to last months to come. Some foggers and smoke machines will also come with the fluid you need as standard, meaning you can get started easily enough.
Lights and Added Features
Not all smoke and fog machines purely deal in smokiness. Some have LEDs built in, which means that as well as enveloping stages and rooms with smoke and fog, they will illuminate and add colour as and when desired. It could be a great way to add a little more glitz to your party or to your staging. These models will, of course, likely cost a little more in terms of immediate investment.
Some fog machines are noisier than others. As a machine that is likely to keep ticking over for hours at a time, it’s hardly surprising that they will exhibit plenty of noise while whirring away. If you’re performing music or a play, this probably isn’t going to matter too much. However, it could be an issue if you need to film with a smoke machine adding to the ambience. Look at user reviews and check what buyers say when it comes to noise, as this could make all the difference.
A great smoke or fog machine will withstand years of use. It’s a serious investment. Again, you are likely to pay more for a machine which will work for longer, however, this isn’t always the case. Look carefully at the manufacture of a smoke machine before you buy. You will probably be able to do this easily enough in a shop, though it’s not so easy to do online. This, again, is where you’ll need to depend on the opinions and experiences of others. That’s not always a bad thing!
If a device or machine seems flimsy from photos, it probably is. Therefore, take your time looking carefully at machines if you’re shopping via Amazon or elsewhere. It’s easier to find a robust, durable system through the high street.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s safe to say that a smoke or fog machine isn’t something you’ll buy every day. Therefore, you will probably have plenty of questions you want to ask! Don’t worry, as so do thousands of other buyers. Here are just a few common queries people ask when buying, which may well apply to your own experience, too.
How Much Do Smoke Machines Cost?
This can vary a lot. However, entry level systems and machines should cost you around £30-£40 as standard. This can differ, of course, depending on the manufacturer. It may be worth paying up to £100 – possibly more – if you want to make sure you’re investing in a system which will weather years of heavy use. Otherwise, you could find yourself lumbered with a unit which flatters to deceive.
Aren’t Smoke Machines a Little Tacky?
Not at all! While in some cases they may remind you of old school discos, you can use a good smoke machine to incredible effect. Film-makers still use the units to create specific atmospheres and feels, meaning that you may well have watched some fogging in action and not even have known it. There are some fantastic, professional fogging machines out there which really do stand head and shoulders above the crowd. It is worth narrowing them down!
Do All Smoke Machines Need Ice?
Some do, some don’t. Many will require smoke liquid, while others run on ice. In any case, this should be functionality that is easy to spot before you buy. Some machines even have chiller boxes, which are perfect for making sure that your ice stays in position while you are creating smoke. What works best for you, of course, will vary compared to the general consensus!
Are Smoke Machines Safe?
Of course! Smoke and fog machines, particularly modern machines, are very easy to use and are perfectly safe for public consumption. That means you should never have any worries when it comes to allowing your guests and audiences to breathe in. It does, however, depend on what you put into your machine – use ice or non-toxic liquid and you will be perfectly fine!
Setting up a themed party? Doing some filming, or want to set up a sound stage? You could well benefit from a fantastic smoke or fog machine. Why not take a look at what’s available online as well as on the high street? What you can compare and contrast could surprise you.