Holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and is keen on her own home’s climate. Sometimes we think that Carolina owns every single product she writes about – that’s how profound and insightful her reviews always are.
For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may arise during our tests and research.
Last updated: February 19, 2021
House Weather is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
While a full central heating system is probably the most effective way of heating your home in the cold winter, for some people, it’s unnecessary. Apart from consuming too much space, it also consumes too much energy, which is not ideal for people who live in small apartments and those who want to reduce their monthly energy bills. If that sounds like you, buying the best electric baseboard heater might be a wise decision. It’s a space-saving solution that gives your home the desired coziness and warmth.
However, there’re too many models on the market, and that could drive you to the wrong choice if you’re not careful. To help you choose the ideal baseboard heater for your needs, we’ve selected and reviewed the top seven models. For obvious reasons, we considered important factors such as wattage (which determines the unit’s potential power), heat settings (which will tell you how versatile the heater is), and dimensions (so that you know where it would fit).
As usual, we’ve invested a lot of time into the research for this article, which explains its comprehensiveness. We’ve not only reviewed our selected products in-detail, but we’ve also given supplementary tips in the buying guide, which will help you in your search for the perfect electric baseboard heater for your home. Apart from that, we have included a comparison table, which particularly comes in handy if you’re in a hurry.
Thanks to its durable and sturdy heavy-gauge sheet metal cabinet, the Optimus H-3603 Baseboard Heater is quite different from other compact heaters around. For increased convenience, it features an inbuilt carrying handle and a unique power indicator. This compact unit comes with versatile features, making it more efficient for an extended period. Although figuring out how to operate it may be a bit difficult, you should find it easy after reading the manuals.
If you’re in search of a baseboard heater that can fit into a small part of your room easily without needing any mounting bracket, you can’t look beyond this model. It features a special digital display, a three-position function switch, and two versatile heating settings. The most impressive thing about this model is that it’s equipped with two heating settings and delivers a maximum power output of 1,500 watts. It’s worth noting that it’s rare to find a baseboard heater that is this powerful.
For better heat dispersion and heat circulation from ceiling to floor, this model from Optimus uses a unique framework that involves a vent wrapped around the front, instead of the orthodox framework. In general, it is the best electric baseboard heater on the market, thanks to its high performance and excellent workmanship. For safety, it comes with a tip-over safety integration and a built-in thermostat that alerts the user when it’s overheating.
Equipped with everything that you will ever need in a small baseboard heater, the Heat-Wave Portable Electric Baseboard Heater is a model that is very popular with users. Excellently, it’s equipped with an inbuilt thermostat to enable you to easily control the temperature of the heater. Besides, it’s also outfitted an automatic safety mechanism that cuts power off when it is tipped over.
For added safety, the unit will automatically turn itself off in case of overheating. Besides, it provides you with two power settings to choose from – 500 watts and 1,000 watts. While the 500 watts is suitable for small areas, the 1,000 watts is ideal for a medium-sized room. Probably the biggest attraction here is the enticing cost of this unit, which to us, makes it a steal.
However, despite the brilliance of this baseboard space heater, it’s not without its downsides, with its design being its biggest one. While it doesn’t come with an obvious design flaw, its all-black finish may not be appealing to most people. In general, the unit is an excellent purchase that is certain to provide you with all the things you need.
What we liked:
Two power settings
Comes with built-in safety mechanisms Equipped with a built-in thermostat
Compact and lightweight
What could be better:
The all-black design might not be appealing to everyone
The KING 4K2407BW Baseboard Heater is another hydronic unit that is perfect for mid-sized rooms such as office and bedrooms. While operating very discreetly, this model can deliver effective heating performance without disturbing your sleep. No buzzing noises or any annoying sound, ensuring that you can relax peacefully in your home while it is operating. Apart from its quiet operation, it also sports a rugged construction, which makes it an ideal choice for living areas.
On top of that, this unit is also engineered for ease of installation, as shown by the fact that you can wire it at either end. Besides, the built-in sturdy fins and crushproof element ensure premium quality and durability. And speaking about durability, this unit has a durable baked enamel finish, which ensures that its exterior will continue to look as fresh as new for a long time. The finish will not bubble, rust, or flake, and it also makes the unit easy to clean.
Furthermore, the heater features a SureStop high-temperature feature, which automatically shuts the heater off in the event of abnormally high temperature, thereby preventing the unit from overheating. In terms of wattage, it generates a maximum output of 1,000 watts, which is decent for a baseboard heater. However, while this unit is really impressive, it would have been even more impressive if it came with a built-in thermostat.
If you’re looking for an energy-efficient space heater for your small apartment, there are not many better options than the Fahrenheat PLF1004. Apart from helping you to cut down on energy bills, it will also give you efficient and reliable heating for your workspace or home. And with its ability to produce 1,000 watts of heating, you would be hard-pressed to see anyone betting against this heater. Thanks to its hydronic design, you can also rest assured that this unit is safe around your kids and pets.
Furthermore, this unit is filled with water, which means even though it doesn’t heat up instantly, you can enjoy comfy heat even after the unit has been turned off. To increase the unit’s power, the model’s heating part has been immersed in a solution for heat transfer, which improves the heat production. This makes sure that this unit will deliver a better performance than its rivals on the market.
It can be dangerous to be obstructing or covering a baseboard heater, as it could cause a fire. That’s why this unit is equipped with a thermal shut-off feature, which ensures that in the event of an obstruction, the heater will switch off itself and won’t turn on again unless the obstructions have been cleared. You also have multiple mounting options to choose from, as you can either mount it on a carpeted or tiled floor.
While baseboard heaters aren’t generally renowned for their beautiful designs, the Cadet Manufacturing 3F750-1W begs to differ. Sporting a beautiful white finish, this unit is certain to fit in perfectly with the rest of the space where it is installed. Apart from its beautiful design, however, it also delivers a great performance. It’s capable of keeping you warm during the cold and will make sure everything is done in harmless conditions.
Since a lot of similar models overheat, safety is always a major concern, and that’s why a lot of attention was paid to safety during the production of this one. Despite being rather affordable, it isn’t cheaply made, and it is capable of delivering lots of benefits for that cost. It is also easy to install, which means you can start using it sooner than your expectations.
However, it’s comparatively longer than its rivals, so it may take up more space. Although, that will still work in your favor as it means it will heat a wider space faster. Furthermore, the unit features radiant heat fins, which increase its durability and performance and guarantee a silent operation. However, you need to bear in mind that you need a separate thermostat to control its temperature. Plus, it comes with only one heat setting, which makes it less versatile than others.
We know that Dimplex isn’t a company with a huge reputation, but we assure you the company will soon work its way up to the top, thanks to their high-quality products like the Dimplex LCM3007W31 Baseboard Heater. Apart from sporting a beautiful design, supreme durability, and high heating performance, this Dimplex model is also offered at an affordable cost. If you’re on a budget and looking for a baseboard heater that works, you might want to take a look at this one.
Furthermore, this unit is engineered with ease of installation in mind. All performance and installation aspects are optimized for reliability and simplicity while maintaining the standard Dimplex styling. For easy installation, it features an incorporated wire way along the unit’s full length, which enables you to run it to the heater’s opposite end if necessary. While the 750 watts produced by this heater is nothing remarkable, we think it’s acceptable for a heater of this price.
It also comes with shark-fin heating element blade design, which enhances heat transfer and dispersion, extends product life, and provides quiet operation. However, it comes with just one heat setting, which means it is not as versatile as some other models on this list. In general, though, it is a decent electric baseboard heater that is sure to serve you well if you’re on a budget.
TPI Corporation isn’t a brand you hear about every day, but their TPI H2905028SW Baseboard Heater is a decent product that reeks of quality. With its solid lines and industrial quality, this baseboard heater looks extremely sleek and elegant. If you are a design purist, we are confident that you will love and appreciate the amount of thought that has gone into the design of this unit. However, it comes with only one heat setting and produces a maximum output of 500 watts.
To be honest, these are obvious downsides as it means this unit is not as powerful as most of its alternatives on this list. Plus, the one heat setting it’s equipped with means versatility was completely ignored during the manufacturing of the device. Nonetheless, its super-affordable price ought to make up for those downsides, as there are not many quality baseboard heaters that are cheaper than this model. Despite its affordable cost, its junction boxes contain quick-connect cable clamps, which aids installation.
Speaking about the installation, this unit is one of the easiest-to-install models you will ever come across. Besides, it features an over-temperature thermal limit, which ensures that the device never overheats. Apart from that, the unit is equipped with a stainless-steel heating element and aluminum fins, which is renowned for its fire-resistance attribute. This means that there is no fire danger with this unit, and it’s safe to use wherever you want.
What we liked:
Safe to use
Comes with an over-temperature thermal limit
Very affordable price
Easy to install
Looks sleek and elegant
What could be better:
Average wattage output
Features only one heat setting
Things to Consider
If you’re keen on buying the ideal electric baseboard heater for your needs, you need more than just reviews. That’s why we’ve included this enlightening buying guide, which contains numerous handy tips that will help lead you to the right model.
How do electric baseboard heaters work?
Baseboard heaters resemble long electric wall heaters and usually keep your offices and rooms toasty and warm by using convection heating. For starters, convection heating means the manufacturing of heat from within the device, after which the heat is dispersed to the surrounding areas through pipes, fans, or any other heat-transferring mechanism.
If the unit has a fan, it will generate heat and then discharge the hot air all over the room with the fan. Then, the warm air rises and fills all the cold spaces in your room or office. As the air begins cools, it begins to sink and ultimately fall back into the heater. Afterward, the unit will heat the air again and discharge it out into the room again. This cycle will continue for as long as the machine is turned on, ensuring that you are kept warm at all times.
Benefits of electric baseboard heaters
Energy-efficient – Electric baseboard heaters usually convert nearly all the energy they utilize into heat. If the unit has a fan, a very small portion of that energy will be utilized to rotate the fan. If it doesn’t have a fan, it will convert all the energy into heat, which makes these units extremely energy efficient.
Easy installation – Regardless of the type of electric baseboard heater you’re choosing, they are very easy to install in comparison to central air heating systems. You don’t need to make any breaches in the walls and no ducts are involved. You just need to screw the heater into a wall in your room, plug it into an outlet, and run it. However, bear in mind that some electric baseboard heaters have to be hard-wired into your electrical circuit. This means you will have to hire a professional for installing these models.
Excellent value – Electric baseboard heaters are cheaper than central air heating systems, and their installation is less expensive. The ductwork needed to install a central air heating system alone is more expensive than everything you will spend on installing a highly-functional heating system utilizing just baseboard heaters.
Low maintenance – Since central air heating systems usually have lots of parts, every one of them tends to fail, particularly the ductwork. However, electric baseboard heaters require little maintenance. You just have to clean them before the arrival of the cold season, and once per month while you are using them.
Environmentally friendly – Electric baseboard heaters do not generate toxic by-products during their operation, and they do not utilize an open flame. Also, they do not utilize any carbon while they are running. They do not require fuel lines, which means they will not leak and pollute the atmosphere. They take nothing from and add nothing to the surrounding air, which makes them safe for the environment.
Reduce the heating bills – Electric baseboard heaters, unlike central air heating systems, can be utilized to heat just the room you use. Rather than heating the whole house with the central air heating system, you can save lots of money by utilizing baseboard models where they are needed.
Besides, you can reduce your energy bills by utilizing the baseboard heaters as a secondary source of heating, using both the central heating system and the electric baseboard system together. You can reduce your bills by up to 30 percent when you lower the central air heating thermostat by ten to fifteen degrees Fahrenheit and when you use baseboard units in the colder sections of your house.
Features to consider while choosing an electric baseboard heater
If you’re looking for a baseboard heater that will work, then you must know that there are some factors you must keep in mind for your shopping. Below are some of the most important ones:
Before buying a baseboard heater, you need to determine the wattage you need. Meanwhile, you just need to multiply the square footage of your room by ten to determine the perfect wattage. For instance, a room that measures 100 square feet could utilize a 1,000-watt unit. This makes sure that you can heat a space quickly and efficiently.
While a unit that has too little wattage may eventually heat a room, it could just take several hours. Electric baseboard heaters are perfect for heating rooms between 50 and 200 square feet. So, if your room isn’t within this range, you may need to look at another kind of heater. Producing 1,500 watts, the Optimus H-3603 is the most powerful model on our list.
The coverage area is one of the most important factors you must keep in mind when choosing the ideal baseboard heater for your needs. Typically, baseboard heaters are compact units that are designed for small to medium-sized rooms. So, you know you don’t have many options to choose from in terms of coverage area.
The number of heat settings a unit has speaks volume about how versatile the unit is. Most baseboard heaters don’t usually offer much in terms of heat settings, with most of them often coming with one heat setting. However, both the Heat-Wave Portable Electric Baseboard Heater and the Optimus H-3603 offer two heat settings each, which shows why they are the best models on this list.
If there’s an inbuilt thermostat
The latest baseboard heaters usually feature a range of sophisticated smart features, which include adjustable thermostats that enable you to control and regulate the heat production just as you would on an orthodox central air heating system. Both the Heat-Wave Portable Electric Baseboard Heater and the Optimus H-3603 are the only models on our list that feature a built-in thermostat.
Contingent upon where you are using the heater, there are some safety features you need. For carpeted rooms, it is necessary to find a model that has an automatic switch-off mechanism, which will help prevent a fire hazard if the machine falls over. A lot of heaters such as the Fahrenheat PLF1004 will automatically switch off if they are overheating.
Additional safety features are controllable power settings and adjustable thermostats, which will enable you to regulate the temperatures accurately. You may also consider carrying handles, as they reduce the risk of you accidentally dropping the unit.
Baseboard heaters are known to be compact and lightweight models, so it’s important to consider dimensions when selecting your unit. While you may not really be bothered about this if you only use your unit in your home without moving it around much, it may be very pivotal if you plan to be moving it around a lot.
Of course, they are compact models, so there is no crime in moving them around. Consider the dimensions to ensure that the model you’re looking at won’t give you many problems while being transported.
While some baseboard heaters come with one, five, or seven-year warranties, there are some models that are covered for ten years or longer. In an ideal world, a warranty ought to cover replacement parts costs and shipping. You will bear the cost of installing replacement parts, so we advise you to hire a professional for the installation of more expensive units.
Apart from the obvious features that we have mentioned, there are still some extra features you may consider, depending on your budget. Some of those extra features include wiring options, colors, and other wattage options available.
Some safety tips
While electrical baseboard heaters are not the most popular kinds of heating systems, they can be extremely efficient when they are used right. Below are some safety tips you need to follow to ensure your baseboard heater remains in peak conditions.
Never Block the Heater – Electric baseboard heaters function by drawing air through the base, heating it, and then discharging it into the room. Therefore, the unit will be ineffective when you block its lower part. In addition, it will become less efficient when you block the rising warm air.
Keep the Top Clear – It is important to keep the top of the heater clear. The first thing you need to be concerned about is ensuring that the airflow is not blocked, as it could lower the efficiency of the heater. However, they can get hot after a while if you obstruct the top of the unit with combustible objects, and that could even lead to a fire. Thus, bear in mind that blocking the unit’s top may be a fire hazard.
Utilize a Thermostat – You need to utilize a thermostat to control your heater at all times. Provided that you’re using more than one heater in a room, then you need to control all of them with a single thermostat, rather than having multiple thermostats that unpredictably switch the units on and off.
Keep the Thermostat at Low Values – When your home is colder than expected, you may be tempted to raise the temperature to heat the space more quickly. However, you must be careful as baseboard heaters just don’t function that way. While heating a room may take longer for them, they preserve that temperature longer in comparison to other space heaters. Therefore, you’re recommended to do it gradually if you want to increase the temperature of your room.
Careful Around Children – You need to be very careful with how you use these devices around your children as their little arms and hands can reach inside some models, directly touching the elements. Of course, this may cause some severe injuries and buries.
Besides, you need to also be careful as kids may place household objects or their toys inside the baseboard heater, which could represent a fire hazard. Also, some baseboard heaters can have somewhat sharp edges. Thus, you’re advised to keep your kids away from these units.
No, a single electric baseboard heater is not capable of heating up your entire apartment. If you’re looking for something to heat your entire home, then you may need to consider other types of heating systems as baseboard heaters are only designed for small to medium-large rooms.
Generally, electric baseboard heaters are designed to operate quietly, albeit with a little operational noise. However, if your baseboard heater is excessively loud, it may be caused by some problems. With that being said, one of the quietest models on our list is the Dimplex LCM3007W31.
It was rather easy to choose our Editor’s Pick this time. It goes to the Optimus H-3603 Baseboard Heater. Equipped with a high output of 1,500 watts, built-in automatic thermostat, unique digital display, and multiple heat settings, this model is the overwhelming winner from this round. It’s rare to find a baseboard heater with such a display of power, and that’s why this model is the best electric baseboard heater on the market.
With the Optimus model winning in an overwhelming manner, only the second and third spots were up for grab for the other heaters. Deservingly, the Heat-Wave Portable Electric Baseboard Heater takes the second spot, thanks to its multiple power settings, built-in thermostat, and an automatic safety mechanism that cuts power off when it’s tipped over. On top of that, it comes at a very affordable price.
Taking the third position is the KING 4K2407BW Baseboard Heater, which with its super-discreet operation has won the hearts of homeowners. While its discreet operation is probably its most popular feature, its supreme durability and efficient safety feature are also among its perks.