When most people think of drones, they think of taking aerial photos and videos outside. However, there are also many drones that are suitable for indoor flying. These drones prioritize safety, durability and usability to make them suitable for indoor use, but how do you find the best indoor drone for you?
In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about indoor drones. We’ll explain what you can do with them, how they differ from outdoor drones, and where you can legally fly them indoors. We’ll then review the best indoor drones on the market that you can buy today.
Why Buy an Indoor Drone?
The majority of drones are used outdoors, not only for photography, but also a wide range of other hobbyist and professional uses, from racing and fishing to surveillance. So, why would you specifically look for a drone that’s suitable for indoor flying? Well, there are several reasons.
Indoor drones are ideal for kids as they can be safely flown at home under the watchful eye of an adult. They make great, fun presents for young children, or if you have a slightly older kid who wants to get into drone flying, a beginner-friendly indoor drone is a great start.
Of course, that’s not to say indoor drones are just suitable for kids, though. They’re also a great way for adults to familiarize themselves with indoor drone flying before taking the step outside with more advanced drones.
You can buy indoor drones for under $100 that have decent cameras for aerial photography and videography. Many indoor drones can perform cool tricks and stunts like 360-degree flips and rolls, and there are even indoor drones that are designed to introduce you to FPV drone racing!
Indoor Drones vs Outdoor Drones
If you’re flying a drone in an enclosed space such as your living room, there’s more chance of collisions than if you’re flying in a larger, open space outside. So, an indoor drone firstly needs to be safe and robust.
Indoor drones are generally very lightweight, small and have low top speeds to both resist damage to both the drone and its surroundings in case of a collision. They also come with propeller guards to help prevent damage and make them safe for children to use.
Most indoor drones are relatively basic compared to the more advanced camera drones that are used for outdoor flying. While there are some indoor drones with cameras, many are toy drones that are designed for kids and used to perform stunts and tricks.
Read more: the best stunt drones
You’ll also find that many drones have multiple flying difficulty settings, usually three, so that they’re very easy to control in the air.
Due to this, indoor drones are also a lot cheaper than outdoor ones, typically ranging from $20 to $100.
We should note that many drones can’t be pigeonholed completely into outdoor or indoor flying – lots are suitable for both. If you are looking specifically just to fly indoors, though, the key is to find a drone which is safe enough and simple to fly.
Can You Legally Fly a Drone Indoors?
You should always check out the laws on drones for the place you live before buying and flying one. In the US, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) sets out the rules on flying drones, but the good news is that the rules are generally a lot more relaxed for lighter indoor drones.
This is because you don’t need to register a drone that weighs under 250g with the FAA. As most indoor drones weigh less than this, you can fly them straight out the box without going through the registration process.
There are no laws against flying drones indoors, and you can of course enjoy flying one within your own home. However, you need to be really careful when it comes to flying indoors on properties that aren’t your own.
You certainly can’t just take a drone to a public building and start flying it. You can legally fly them in privately owned buildings if you have permission from the owner, but you should always exercise caution when doing this and bear in mind there’s always the chance of an accident.
The Best Indoor Drones
Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s review the best indoor drones.
We’ll cover several different types, including toy drones for young children, drones for older kids that can be used for tricks and stunts, and a few higher-quality indoor drones with cameras.
RRWJK UFO Drone – Toy Indoor Drone for Young Kids
UFO drones like the RRWJK UFO Drone are shaped differently to traditional quadcopter drones and are a really popular gift for young kids.
This drone is perfectly suited for indoor flying. All you need to do is throw it out gently from your hand and it’ll steadily hover, so it’s incredibly easy to get started. You don’t even need a remote control to operate it!
It’s really durable, lightweight and flexible, so it’s highly unlikely to damage anything in your house in a collision. Plus, the bouncy material is also damage resistant so the drone can withstand impacts.
The drone has two-speed settings, intelligent sensing and automatic obstacle avoidance, so it’s a really safe toy for kids.
Plus, it has a built-in LED light with a glare lens and is available in blue or pink, so it looks really cool in the air!
Attop Mini Drone – Indoor Drone with Augmented Reality Game Mode
The Attop Mini Drone is a nice little indoor drone that’s available in blue and red and is a great choice for first-time fliers.
Unlike many other toy drones, this one actually has a camera, so it’s a nice way to get started with drone photography. Not only can you take pictures, but you can also stream and record live video in FPV (first-person view).
As is important for any indoor drone, the Attop mini drone has a very safe design and has some really useful smart flight features that make flying this drone a walk in the park.
You can make the drone take off and land by pressing just one button, while the altitude hold feature makes the drone hover at a certain height so you can focus on taking pictures. There’s also the headless mode that ensures the drone faces the pilot at all times.
There are three different speed modes on this mini indoor drone, so you can take your time gradually working up to faster flying. You can also perform tricks like 3D flips.
Perhaps the highlight of this drone for indoor flying, though, is the AR (augmented reality) game mode. In this mode, you control the drone through your mobile using the Attop app, and fictitious rival drones will appear on your screen which you can shoot and takedown. This is a really innovative feature that’ll provide kids with plenty of entertainment.
Potensic P7 – Popular Indoor Drone with Camera & Battle Mode
Potensic is a popular manufacturer of cheap drones and the Potensic P7 is a great, easy-to-fly indoor drone that’s suitable for kids, teenagers, and adult beginners.
This indoor drone with a camera can make a particularly good birthday or Christmas present as it has a battle mode that a group of friends can enjoy together. This sees the drones send infrared waves from their noses to the opponent’s drone. Four hits and the opponent’s drone will land, so this can offer hours upon hours of fun.
The Potenic P7 also has a 720P HD camera and 2.4G WiFi transmission, so you can stream clear images and video in real-time. You can then share your footage through the Potensic app.
Like other top indoor drones, this model has some smart flight features that make it easy to get to grips with. For example, the altitude hold function makes it hover steadily in the air, which is great for taking photos. There’s also one key take-off and landing, so it’s super simple to get started.
It even supports hand gesturing recognition, so you can control the camera and make it capture photos and videos simply by moving your hands! You can create custom flight paths and perform aerial acrobatics like 360-degree flips, which can add another dimension when in battle mode.
The P7 has three different speed modes, so you can keep things slower when it comes to flying indoors. With up to 20 minutes flight time, low battery landing protection, and an updated propeller protection guard, this is a cheap and cheerful indoor drone with plenty to offer.
Ryze Tech Tello – Overall Best Indoor Drone with Camera
The Ryze Tech Tello is arguably the best indoor drone for beginners on the market. This is a lot more advanced than the drones we’ve covered so far, largely because it’s produced by Ryze in collaboration with DJI, the world’s leading drone manufacturer.
This DJI indoor drone is a great starter model if you’re looking to get into drone photography, as it has a high-quality image processor that allows you to capture 5MP images and 720P HD videos.
There’s also the EZ shots feature, which helps you take professional-looking footage that you can then share on social media. Thanks to the electronic stabilization feature, the camera stays super steady during flight.
The Tello is particularly well known as one of the most popular programmable drones on the market. This is because the Tello Edu supports Scratch programming, so you can control the drone’s functions simply by dragging and dropping coding blocks on the mobile app. So, it’s a fun and unique way for children and students to develop their programming skills.
You can easily control this indoor drone through the Tello app, and it’s capable of performing cool tricks like flips and rolls. It’s super lightweight at just 80g and is well built with four propeller guards, so it’s very safe and durable.
It offers an impressive 13 minutes of flight time per charge, and it’s even compatible with VR goggles so you can enjoy a more immersive flying experience.
We think the Tello is perfect if you’re looking for an indoor drone that can also be used to get used to outdoors flying.
Emax EZ – Best Indoor Drone for FPV Flying
The Emax EZ is different from the other indoor drones that we’ve reviewed so far, as it’s designed to be a beginner-friendly introduction to indoor drone racing and FPV flying.
Drone racing has a really big hobbyist scene as well as a professional circuit. If you’re asking yourself how racing drones can be suitable for indoor flying, the truth is they’re not. However, the EZ is specifically designed to help beginners get used to FPV flying and is super lightweight, safe and easy to control, so it’s a suitable indoor drone.
This mini indoor drone comes with a pair of FPV VR goggles that allow you to see what the drone sees. This provides a much more immersive flying experience than most other indoor drones, and you don‘t even need a smartphone or WiFi to enjoy this feature.
It’s super easy to fly and has three difficulty levels, so it’s suitable for kids, teenagers, and adults. For example, level one allows you to control the drone using just one of the analog sticks on the remote control, which keeps things really simple.
As you gain confidence you can move up the levels, which increases the drone’s speed and sensitivity, so you can work on more complex maneuvers and stunts.
The only downside to this FPV indoor drone is the pretty short four minutes worth of flight time, but if you’re looking for an easy introduction to immersive FPV drone flying, the EZ is a great choice.