Drone Rush logo Hubsan H111 Uvify OOri

Your best bet for flying a drone during the winter months, or during this new quarantine world, is to stick with something that’s easy to fly, operates smoothly and slowly, and, perhaps, is nice and small. Of course, cold air makes for great flight, and large indoor areas are super for racing drones, but if you just want some practice on the sticks in your living room, perhaps we have a solution for you.

Want to fly in your living room, without mom or your spouse yelling at you, too much? Yeah you do, here are some indoor drones for you.

Jonathan Feist, Drone PilotJonathan Feist

Why trust Drone Rush?

I’ve been a fan of flight since a young age; while I’ve had few opportunities at the helm of manned aircraft, the hours on my fleet of drones continue to grow. I enjoy putting cameras into the sky, silky smooth aerial imagery makes me happy. My goal is to help all pilots enjoy flight legally and safely.

 

Overall, the best drones to fly indoors are so small that they can’t hurt you if they hit you, nor cause damage to the wall, if nothing else. The best nano drones easily fit in the palm of your hand, and have tiny propellers that will either spin on the motor shaft or bend when they contact something. We’re not saying they’re totally safe, but they are safe enough to give a try.

Remember, you can legally fly any drone indoors, but there are drone laws to follow the instant you head outside

Best indoor drones

Hubsan H111: Nano drone

Hubsan H111 nano drone in hand

The Hubsan H111 is our top pick for an indoor drone, partially because it is one of the smallest and safest machines you can get your hands on, partially because it’s super fun to fly, and great for almost any pilot. The tiny little battery contains enough juice to fly for about 5 minutes per charge, the the craft is resilient enough to take a few bumps.

The H111 has basic trim level settings, but it offers no flight assist features, no GPS, no camera, and is best flown indoors.

Why we fly the Hubsan H111

I often buy this drone for new pilots, particularly children, as it is safe and easy to fly, but it’s also tough to master, so it can grow with the pilot for a while. I also often fly my own H111 here in the office, it’s just good fun, and totally safe if I crash into the wall, or into my studio equipment. If you’re not getting my point, yes, the H111 is a easy recommendation for your money.

What we like


  • Super small and safe
  • Easy to fly, but tough to master
  • Very affordable

What we don’t like


  • Not great for outside
  • Tough for young pilots to master

Hubsan H111
Hubsan H111
  • Fun to fly
  • Safe for indoors
  • Good trainer
Safe indoor drone

The Hubsan H111 is one of the best nano drones for flying around the house. It is a tiny machine that fits in the palm of the hand, flies slowly and is small enough that it is unlikely to cause harm to you or your house when it crashes. Enjoy a low-risk simple flight experience.


DJI Mavic Mini: Most affordable camera drone

DJI Mavic Mini review case open angle battery

The DJI Mavic Mini is the most affordable DJI drone out there, and the smallest. If you want an indoor drone that also has a decent camera, GPS, vision-assisted safety features, and the ability to fly far and fast, the Mavic Mini is tough to beat. The 2.7K camera is outdone but most all other camera drones, the range is smaller than many other drones as well, but this is about as good and affordable as you can get for something that also flies indoors with ease.

Why we fly the DJI Mavic Mini

If all you want to do is fly indoors for fun, the Mavic Mini might be overkill. We’re not really recommending this drone as an indoor drone, we’re just saying that it’s a capable and affordable little drone that would also be safe enough to fly indoors.

If you are considering this recommendation, also check out the DJI Mini 2, which is basically the same airframe, but has plenty of worthy upgrades for a little larger price.

What we like


  • Good 2.7K camera
  • Easy and fun to fly
  • Very portable

What we don’t like


  • Not specifically an indoor drone
  • Overkill if all you want is a toy

DJI Mavic Mini
DJI Mavic Mini
  • 249 grams
  • Great 2.7K camera
  • Very portable
The smallest Mavic drone

The DJI Mavic Mini is the best drone to hit the market in 2019. It's no Mavic 2 series drone, but we've seen nothing this good under $500 before.

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Ryze Tello: Accessible, fun, and educational

Ryze Tello Iron Man Edition

The Ryze Tello is an affordable little toy drone. While there are more affordable toys available, few offer the same capabilities in terms of the camera, various flight modes, and particularly in the ability to incorporate educational tasks. For instance, you can sit at a computer to code a few flight routines for the Tello to follow. Fun.

Why we fly the Ryze Tello

Please don’t confuse Tello for a camera drone, it’s just a little camera for FPV purposes, otherwise, Tello offers solid safety features for indoor flight, and it’s powerful and fun enough to enjoy outdoors as well.

What we like


  • Small and fun
  • Educational

What we don’t like


  • Controller optional

Ryze Tello
Ryze Tello
  • Educational drone
  • Safe for indoor flight
  • Fun to fly
Educational drone

The Ryze Tello is one of the most capable and versatile mini drones around, enjoy different designs, code your own flight features, or just fly in your living room for fun.


DJI Mini 2: Least expensive 4K drone on the market

DJI Mini 2 front camera angle

The DJI Mini 2 takes the original Mavic Mini and makes it so much better. They share the majority of their airframe, with the same size and weight, but the newer drone offers more flight range, a bigger 4K camera, and a few other upgrades that justify the extra price.

Why we fly the DJI Mini 2

If you are interested in a little DJI drone, we absolutely recommend the DJI Mini 2 over the earlier model, the extended range and bigger camera alone are worth it, but, for flying indoors, they are practically the same, so you might save some cash on the older unit.

What we like


  • Best drone under $500
  • Best 4K camera under $500
  • Good range
  • Fast and fun to fly
  • Very portable

What we don’t like


  • No specifically an indoor drone
  • Overkill if all you want is a toy

DJI Mini 2
DJI Mini 2
  • 4K camera
  • Very portable
  • Easy to fly
  • 249 grams
Best drone under $500

The DJI Mini 2 is a superb update from the Mavic Mini, now offering a 4K camera, Ocusync 2.0 and more power.


DJI Robomaster Tello Talent: Robotics education

DJI Robomaster TT Tello Talent

The DJI Robomaster TT (Tello Talent) is DJI’s take on the Tello drone. The aircraft itself is mostly unchanged, but the new connection ports, accessories, and ways that you can modify and tweak the drone make it ideal for the classroom. DJI wants you to learn robotics on this drone, and hey, it flies, so we’re fans.

Why we fly the DJI Robomaster TT

We don’t want to discourage you, but if you are not looking to get into robotics, if you don’t want to have fun learning about how to make things fly, and what you can make that flying equipment do while it’s overhead, the TT is not worth it. 

What we like


  • Educational drone
  • Learn robotics
  • Fun and easy to fly
  • Code your own flight patterns

What we don’t like


  • Expensive for a toy

DJI Robomaster TT Tello Talent
DJI Robomaster TT Tello Talent
Educational drone

Built for the classroom, the DJI Robomaster TT Tello Talent is an accessible platform to learn how to code drone navigational techniques and more. A welcome educational drone.


Other considerations

Air Hogs drones

Let’s not beat around the bush, almost every drone with an Air Hogs badge is ready to go for your child’s entertainment. They have some really interesting and unique designs, not to mention a bunch of licenses for franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek and more. Best of all, almost all of their machines are under $50. 


Best drones for children

When we considered factors that made a drone adequate for children to fly, we already thought about how they would manage indoors. There are extras on the list that belong outside, but you can find a few more living room safe options in our list of drones for kids.


If you were here looking for a gift for a young one, perhaps a non-flying drone?

Fun robots

No beating around the bush, there is only one flying drone on this list, but the rest are drones, of a sort, land based drones… They’re robots, but you know what, they’re fun robots that we want to play with too. 


Racing drones!

As I am sure you can imagine, drone racing is a huge indoor sport. One of the main reasons for this is the freedoms from FAA line-of-sight rules, and having a wall to prevent your drone from going somewhere it shouldn’t.

Racing drones is fun, challenging, and a growing sport, many of the starter drones you can enjoy for racing are ideal for indoor flight, maybe not in your living room, but indoor, nonetheless. 


Wrap up

yuneec-mantis-q-flying-indoors-9

Truth is, your ability to fly indoors is mostly determined by the size of your room. I’ve seen people fly the DJI Inspire 2 in their living room. Yes, for real. One thing to consider, you can likely take near any drone and slap some propeller guards on it to make it indoor safe. Be prepared for flying papers and stay away from curtains, but your larger drones can do it, even if they are not the ideal indoor drones.

The best part about flying indoors, the FAA has no jurisdiction. If you want to fly FPV beyond line of sight, have fun. If you want to fly a drone larger than 55 lbs, good luck, but have fun! Want to exceed 400 feet above the ground… For real? Where do you live?!?! I want to see this house.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to fly indoor drones outside?

The primary concern with taking a drone outside should be the laws around that flight. Assuming all the requirements for legal flight are in order, yes, it’s usually safe to take an indoor drone outside.

Smaller drones may struggle with wind, and many little toy-class drones have very limited connectivity range, so there are some safety considerations, but a little sun and fresh air is generally as harmful to you as it is to your drone, the same goes for crashing into a tree.

What can go wrong if I try to fly a big drone inside?

Ignoring the obvious issue of having enough room to actually fly, there are two main considerations when flying a larger drone indoors, prop wash and obstacle avoidance. Drone propellers generate a lot of air movement, enough to physically move the drone – if that wind bounces off a floor or wall and back into the drone, odd things can happen. Not to mention how curtains tend to try to get sucked in.

Obstacle avoidance sensors are superb safety features, until you are flying in very tight spaces. For most drones, you cannot change the object detection range, which may be upwards of 6 feet. If your drone offers 6 feet detection on all sides, then it will not be able to operate at all in a room that is 12 feet across or smaller. Make sure your take-off and landing spots are in a large opening. In practice, we’ve found that we can fly most drones around the living room, but almost all of them with obstacle avoidance will refuse to go through a doorway.

What are the best skills to learn when flying indoors?

The two best skills you can develop when flying indoors are how to be gentle on the sticks, and understanding drone orientation. I watch many new pilots struggle with their flights because they are far too aggressive on the sticks. Full throttle into the sky, all left or right turns and crash into the wall. One of the hardest things to do with a drone when manually flying is simply to hover in place.

Drones with auto-hover are life savers. Race pilots and toy-class drone owners know what I’m talking about, it takes a lot of practice to delicately adjust the sticks to keep a drone in place in the sky.

Drone orientation is a simple thing to understand, but easy to mess up. You can usually see which direction your drone is pointing, and pushing up on the right stick is almost always forward movement, easy enough, but when your drone is pointing to your left, and you push up, the drone goes to your left. See what I mean? In your living room, I recommend flying in figure eights, to the left and to the right.

You’ll get the hang of it fast enough, but keep at it so to train your muscles and brain to always know which direction the drone will go when you push on the sticks.

Can I fly GPS drones indoors?

Different brands, and different drones, were made to respond differently in GPS-restricted and GPS-denied environments. Most DJI drones have vision-based positioning sensors that take over when GPS is not available, this does not mean your machine will hold that rock-steady hover, it just means that the drone will take responsive action to avoid crashing into the wall.

For the most part, GPS drones will fly in ATTI mode, meaning they will hold themselves upright and tend to try to hover in place, but they have no tools track their position in the sky, so will just float around with any external influence or tilt in their hovering angle. Most GPS drones do not have tools to adjust the trim either, so if your machine tends to float to the right, it will continue to do so until it is recalibrated, the CG changes, or other factors change how much lift each propeller is achieving.

Yes, you can fly most GPS drones indoors, but please go slow until you know how your machine will react to weak, fluctuating, and/or non-existent GPS signals.


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