Comparison and analysis for several usual types of atmospheric turbulence simulator are first given in this paper. Considering the Tatarskii spectrum and the conditions of laboratory, secondly, the numerical calculations of the <i>M<sup>2</sup></i> factor and the spatial and angular widths of coherent Gaussian beams in turbulence are performed. Finally, a kind of a hot-wind atmospheric turbulence generator is designed and its characteristics are analyzed. The results show that the turbulence generator is very suitable to use in studying the effects of turbulence on the <i>M<sup>2</sup></i> factor of cw laser beams. Also, the values of both the structure constant of refractive index fluctuations C<sub>n</sub><sup>2</sup> and the inner scale of turbulence required by the generator are still in accordance with those of actual atmospheric turbulence.