Skip to main content

The best indoor drones in 2022

(Image credit: DJI)

Looking for the best indoor drone? This guide will tell you what to look out for, show you are pick of the best models, and guide you to the best price deals…

Wherever you’re doing it, and for whatever reason, flying drones is a lot of fun. Nowhere is that more pure and true than indoors. You get all the fun of close quarters' flying, the relative safety of compact quads, and complete freedom from any aviation regulations (until you fly out the window).

Theoretically, of course, any drone (opens in new tab) can be flown indoors, so long as it’s kept away from the fixtures and fittings, but some are better suited to it than others – indoor drones are smaller and, better still, can also be a lot more wallet-friendly. 

Drones built with photography in mind usually feature GPS, which becomes useless indoors, have lenses designed for aerial photography rather than First Person View (FPV) piloting, and excessively powerful radio control systems. Excess power is great in outdoor wind, but may be risky near much-loved fixtures & fittings. 

Far better to use a craft suited to indoor use. If they’re small and light, making the indoor world seems bigger by comparison. They generally feature propeller guards to avoid any damage to the drone, furniture, people or pets nearby, and ideally a small camera with a wide field of view, though it is far from an essential component.

Outdoor drones typically use Radio Control (RC), allowing them to travel several kilometers from their remote control. Indoor drones can use this technology, but more commonly use wi-fi frequencies; some can then offer mobile phone control, or phone viewing of a built-in camera) without a connecting cable, unlike an RC drone.

Because there is such an overlap with the fast-moving toy world, there are a lot of choices; some of the newer products have the advantage of mass-production prices, while some of the established drones offer more in terms of features and quality. 

Here's our selection of the best indoor drones you can currently buy, to suit all tastes and budgets.

The best indoor drones for 2022

(Image credit: Potensic)
(opens in new tab)

1. Potensic Firefly A20

This is the best tiny indoor drone: cheap, simple with kid-friendly controller

Specifications

Dimensions: 89 x 89 x 31mm
Battery: 5 mins (x 2 batteries)
Weight: 25g

Reasons to buy

+
Great for beginners
+
Easy to control
+
Choice of colors

Reasons to avoid

-
Prop guards less protective than some

The A20 fits in the hand with room to spare, and in a crowded marketplace it stands out on build quality (not least the chunky propeller guards) and simplicity of both use and design. Many mini drones come with confusing controllers with an array of push-buttons for calibration, but the Potensic is elegant. There are two thumbstick controls and shoulder buttons to operate the camera and cycle thorough the three speed modes.

Beginners will appreciate the altitude hold (meaning you don’t need to continuously adjust the throttle to hover) and headless mode (meaning you don’t need to worry about the drone’s orientation). There is also automatic landing, and a red LED at the rear which flashes when the battery is about to run out so you can make sure you’re hovering in a good landing spot.     

This drone, the A20, is the entry level option but for a higher investment the A30W or the P7 (a little further down this list) add a 720P camera.

(Image credit: Force)
(opens in new tab)

2. Force 1 Scoot LED

Best indoor drone for children (and for big kids!)

Specifications

Dimensions: 110 x 110 x 45mm
Battery: 4 minutes
Weight: 80g

Reasons to buy

+
Novel control method
+
Fun even for toddlers

Reasons to avoid

-
No real skill to use/master

Eschewing the traditional remote controller with sticks approach, this drone wants to get up close and personal, responding to hand gestures from inside a complete protective cage. This lack of complication and total finger protection make it ideal novel fun for children of all ages.

To get in the air, you simply toss the drone cage into the air and the motors will kick in. It’ll slowly but continuously rotate and it has two IR sensors on opposite sides which it uses to detect and avoid your palm – so essentially you can “push” it without touching it. It maintains altitude, but also has an IR sensor on the bottom so you can “push” it up too. Finally the motion sensor will shut it straight off it hits something, with the cage absorbing the blow. Simple but effective. If you get your hands near the sensors on both sides (which isn’t as easy as it sounds) then it’ll even attempt a flip.

The only physical interaction you’ll need is via the on/off switch at the bottom and the small charging port (which connects to a standard USB socket). The cage has a good balance of flex and rigidity, the packaging and manual is good, and – while Scoot offer other versions – this with UFO-like LEDs – is definitely the favorite. There is no camera, and you can’t practice your controls, but it’s a lot of fun. 

• See also Best drones for kids (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Ryze)
(opens in new tab)

3. Ryze Tello

If you're after a bit more quality then opt for this indoor drone

Specifications

Dimensions: 98 x 93 x 41mm
Battery: 13 minutes
Weight: 80g
Control: Phone via Wi-Fi

Reasons to buy

+
5 megapixel camera
+
Programmable 
+
Excellent software

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly flimsy prop guards

While some of the drones on this list are toy-grade, this is in every respect a consumer-grade product, with quality packaging, safe-looking batteries, and a full set of features. It is a little more expensive than some, but you get what you pay for – not least the Intel and DJI tech on board. That includes a downward-facing sensors which make for stunningly stable hovering and auto landing, and the ability to react to a wall bounce.

At first you’ll have fun flying it around the house like any other drone, sneaking round doors using the FPV video on your phone screen (you can also use an optional game controller). There are button-press flips and stunts to impress friends and family, but really that’s just the start.

You can capture still photos at 5 megapixels and video via the app (from the same camera that you see through as you fly); the video is digitally stabilized and looks much better than equivalents in this price bracket. Thanks to visual block-based programming tool Scratch, you can experiment with programmed flight. Since Scratch is often used in schools as a way of introducing programming, it’s easy to learn, and rewarding.

(Image credit: Potensic)
(opens in new tab)

4. Potensic P7

A mini drone with FPV battle mode

Specifications

Dimensions: 145 x 134 x 36mm
Battery: 10 mins (x 2 batteries)
Weight: 590g
Control: Included remote & phone app

Reasons to buy

+
Kids of all ages can make a game of it
+
Good prop cages 

Reasons to avoid

-
Multiple drones needed for battle
-
All contestants need a phone

(Image credit: EMAX )
(opens in new tab)

5. EMAX TinyHawk II RTF

Best indoor drone for FPV Racing

Specifications

Dimensions: 75mm
Battery: 4 mins
Weight: 31g + battery
Control: FrSky D8 Radio Control

Reasons to buy

+
Fast and exciting
+
Everything you need in a single case

Reasons to avoid

-
Manual hard to follow for beginners

Drones have been embraced as professional tools and fun toys, but there is another dimension – a dedicated hobbyist community (with their own racing and freestyle competitions). At the cutting edge this side of the hobby relies on separate goggles, radio controllers, specialist batteries & chargers, and ultra-low-latency analogue video signals. Many enthusiasts build their own drones, but this “Ready to Fly” kit gets you in the air faster.

The tiny drones – the Whoop category, as the fans say – are idea for indoor flight. It features a camera which can be tilted to an aggressive angle (so it is level when the drone is traveling forward at speed), atop a very strong frame, this drone is the perfect craft to master the skills of FPV racing. It’s durable enough to survive the knocks, has a strong radio, and the powerful brushless motors can reach stunning speed.

The analogue video system eliminates the digital encoding/decoding latency which toy drones are prone to, so you feel a direct connection to the world you see through your goggles. There are three modes to get you going, but it is tricky to master and there are a wealth of options which could be bewildering to non-geeks; this is really a gateway drug to quad racing.

If you’re looking for a half-way house, EMAX’s EZ Pilot has more beginners' features.

(Image credit: Simrex)
(opens in new tab)

6. Simrex X300C Mini Drone

Folding drone with joypad-only or phone operation

Specifications

Dimensions: 80 x 30 x 5mm
Battery: 10 mins
Weight: 230g
Control: Wi-Fi (around 30-40 meters)

Reasons to buy

+
Very reasonably priced 
+
Choice of speed modes
+
Copes well outdoors (when it’s not too windy)

Reasons to avoid

-
Propellor guards have to be attached 
-
Remote’s phone grip isn’t very strong
-
Brushed motors benefit from a rest between flights

The Simrex X300C manages to fit the feeling of a basic drone, and a good bit of fun, in a very small device – and the enticements of flips and rolls too! The control pad’s sticks – which slide in place – are surrounded by arrow buttons which make calibrating the drone’s hover straightforward (though inevitably not as precise as a professional device). Nonetheless we’d still recommend flying with the prop(ellor) guards on – and with them the device can gently bounce off walls no problem. The fact all this can be achieved without adding the phone makes this a great choice for kids, but loop that into the wi-fi and access to a 1920 x 1080 camera with 110˚ field of view is a nice touch. 

Holding ‘down’ once you’ve landed stops the props, just like a much pricier drone; aspects like that makes this a great “first drone” 

(Image credit: Adam Juniper/Digital Camera World)
(opens in new tab)
The ultimate ‘toy’ drone for serious flying indoors and out

Specifications

Dimensions: 159 x 203mm
Battery: 31 mins
Weight: 249g + guards
Control: Radio Control (10km)

Reasons to buy

+
High quality 4K 60fps video indoors and out
+
Can be used outdoors too
+
Exposure control & raw photography
+
Collision sensors in some directions

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for fast flight indoors
-
Propeller guards cost extra, and you will need them
-
An expensive choice (but a flexible one)

The DJI Mini 3 Pro has supplanted the DJI Mini 2 (opens in new tab) at the top of the firm’s ultra-light options, sporting as it does collision sensors and an all-new high resolution camera with portrait mode. For some, at least, those collision sensors will be an excellent addition to indoor missions. Others won’t agree, and DJI have a cost-saving option for them in the form of the Mini SE. Both are on our round up of best camera drones); but in short collision sensors make a lot of sense in big rooms, like halls, but will likely require disabling in a smaller space, where physical propellor guards let you get a lot closer.

Both aircraft, however, use a ‘visual positioning system’ (sometimes known as ‘optical flow’) to track the surface beneath them, meaning they can reliably hover in a well-lit room with some texture to the floor but, in the dark, or on a perfectly even surface, there is some risk of drifting (though no more than other indoor drones).

Both are operated by the excellent DJI Fly app (though the Mini 3 has more up-to-date physical controllers), which allow for capture of high quality images and video as well as sharing them, so if creativity is your goal DJI is where you should be looking. The ‘Cine’ mode, for slow flight, means you can sneak along corridors and round corners to capture smooth dolly-like shots. The only real worry is the down-draft; it’s light compared to a prosumer drone, but pushes a lot more air around than the others on this list, so don’t fly it over any lose papers!

Much of this goodness can be found for a lower investment in the DJI Mini SE. We’d say the SE was fine for indoors; check out the differences in our DJI Mini SE vs Mini 2 and  DJI Mini 3 Pro v Mini 2 guides.

(Image credit: Snaptain)
(opens in new tab)

8. Snaptain H823H

A convincing and solid indoor frame for safe fun

Specifications

Dimensions: 76 x 71 x 246mm
Battery: 7 mins (usually sold with 3 batteries)
Weight: 240g inc. guards
Rangee: 30m / 100ft

Reasons to buy

+
Effective frame
+
Supplied with batteries & USB charger
+
Headless modes, one key return & flip modes.
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs pairing on every power up

One of the most pressing problems with indoor flying is the exposed propellors, but the Snaptain H823H deals with that more convincingly than most. Targeting kids and beginners, the drone is built into a guard which shield not just the sides of the rotating blades but top and bottom of the propellors too.

You might very well expect a negative impact on the aerodynamics, but Snaptain have solved this in a couple of ways, not least including three batteries to extend the flight time. Since the frame means you will typically just bounce off things indoors, you should be flying a nice long time too (bare propellors are less forgiving!).

The controller is probably best suited to small hands, and beginner pilots will appreciate both the ability to take off and hover automatically with altitude hold and the option to advance by increasing the flight speed. If you’re choosing for kids you’ll no doubt also be thankful that Snaptain seem to provide then with different tints so the props and thumb sticks will match the pilot’s favorite color. The only down-side, shared with most drones at this price, is that the controller has buttons which aren’t clearly marked or (in the case of the top right shoulder button) simply have no function); just check the instructions and you’ll be fine. 

(Image credit: DJI)
(opens in new tab)
The elite option for grand scale indoor flight

Specifications

Dimensions: 255 x 312 x 127mm (with props)
Battery: up to 20 mins
Weight: 795g + guards
Rangee: Radio control (10km)

Reasons to buy

+
Can be used outdoors too
+
Phenomenally fast and powerful

Reasons to avoid

-
Propellor guards are an optional extra
-
Unsuitable for children

Flying indoors doesn’t just mean navigating small home corridors; some of the most spectacular feats of piloting are achieved in grand arenas especially decked out for the purpose with hoops and obstacles to be navigated at speed. The best drone to tackle challenges like this, while retaining a fair claim at sensible safety precautions, is the DJI FPV. It’s unfair to compare this to toy drones, but it earns its place on this list as an alternative best suited to aerial thrill seekers and filmmakers exploring a unusual angles.

There are problems – indoor flight in too confined a space might encourage the collision protection systems to err on the side of caution – but this is also a machine which positively begs the pilot to find somewhere they can kick off the shackles of safety and blast around at the 140kph top speed. That makes this a great step up; prove yourself with a compact drone, but when you want to express yourself – acrobatically and in terms of 4K 60fps video – this is the machine which will let you do that.

The DJI FPV also makes some concessions to the risks of indoor flight (or just over-enthusiastic flight) in terms of having some replaceable components as well as detachable propeller guards. It also draws plenty of attention to itself with colur-changing LEDs which the pilot can set to taste.

(Image credit: 4DRC)
(opens in new tab)

10. 4DRC V2 Mini Drone

A great indoor toy drone with combination case controller

Specifications

Dimensions: 94 x 94 x 31mm
Battery: 9 x 3 min
Weight: 300g in controller case
Range: 100m (300ft)

Reasons to buy

+
Folds out for efficient use of space
+
Protective case/controller design
+
One key take off & landing

Reasons to avoid

-
Too easy to use without prop guards
-
-Short-range use only

Very much in the gift category, the 4DRC V2 is a small drone best suited to indoor flight by any kids old enough to remember to attach the propellor guards before take off. Why do they come off? Because the drone can fold up and fit into a cavity in the controller which is a pretty useful facility. We also liked the replaceable batteries having traditional contacts rather than dangling cables with tiny connectors. In terms of controls, there are three speed modes, altitude hold, and assorted flips to play with. As a seasonal gift the ability to fold up and be thrown quickly into a protective case can’t be sniffed at either – perfect for demonstrating to friends and relatives. We didn’t like that there appeared to be a camera on the marketing materials even though there isn’t on the drone (there is a sister product with one). 

Choosing a drone to fly indoors

Flying a drone indoors is a lot of fun, and has the advantage that it isn’t subject to the buffeting of wind which requires a certain minimum of weight and power to overcome. That’s why the main decision you need to make about an indoor drone will be whether it’s exclusively a toy, or whether you need a drone which will be just as happy outdoors. That will inform the price, but there are other factors to keep in mind:

  • Camera: Not all indoor drones feature a camera; if you’re performing stunts within a few meters of yourself the video produced is likely to be grainy as well as subject to a lot of bounce. 
  • Safety sensors: Collision sensors from outdoor drones don’t enjoy being in normal homes; they will warn about walls from anywhere in the room and if they automatically stop the drone you’ll likely have to turn the feature off while you’re flying inside. On the other hand, in larger spaces, these can be very useful. The enormous Inspire 2, for example, had forward and upward distance sensors, the later to prevent flying into ceilings. 
  • Size and weight: The main factor which makes indoor and toy drones safe is their low weight. While aviation authorities like craft to come below 250g (8.8oz) indoor drones will have no problem coming in at a fifth of that, meaning they will hurt less than a tennis ball (which typically weighs 58g (2oz) and can travel a good deal faster!)
  • Propellor guards: Whether they’re removable, or fixed aspects of the design, a frame around the propellor is a very useful safety feature. For the concerned parent, it protects over-enthusiastic children’s extremities, but even more so it protects the very vulnerable small propellors from the inevitable collisions which, in turn, will keep a small drone alive which might otherwise not survive its first crash.
  • Flight time: Most small drones have only a few minutes flight time, but in practice this isn’t much of an issue – you’ll likely want to concentrate in short bursts and a battery swap can make for a good moment to hand to the next sibling in turn. We would recommend having a number of batteries though or waits between short sessions will be long.

Read more

The best drone accessories (opens in new tab)
The best drones for aerial photography (opens in new tab)
Drone rules and regulations (opens in new tab)
The best 4K camera for filmmaking (opens in new tab)
The best laptop for video editing (opens in new tab)

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 


Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 


He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones (opens in new tab),The Smart Smart Home Handbook (opens in new tab),101 Tips for DSLR Video (opens in new tab)andThe Drone Pilot's Handbook (opens in new tab)