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: January 31, 2021
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There are many reasons why you’d want to find the most efficient space heater. It could be that you need to heat a room that doesn’t have power, want to isolate the heat to just one room to save money, or simply want to increase the temperature. Whatever your reason, with so many different options to choose from, it can be hard to find the best energy-efficient space heater for you.
That’s where we can help. We have examined 36 different models and compiled a list of ten of them, which we liked most. In our opinion, the Dr. Infrared DR-968 Original Heater stands out above the rest. It shows great performance with three heating modes, is easy to use and has important safety features. It could be that you’re looking for a different type of heater, and there are nine other great options here.
With different types, heat settings, dimensions, and weight, it makes a choice even harder. To help out, we’ve completed countless hours of research, so you don’t have to do that by yourself. We have also consulted with our expert sources to give you only the most relevant information possible. We’ve broken that info down into a comparison table, in-depth reviews of each product and a buying guide. We also have an FAQ section that gives the answers to common questions. Once you’ve finished reading, you’ll know which space heater suits your needs.
The Dr. Infrared DR-968, just like many other infrared heaters, is popular for quite a few reasons. They heat the objects around it that makes the air warmer after. You also get that constant source of heat hitting you at all times. It’s the same way that outdoor bulb heaters work.
The negative to that is that it only really heats the space in front of it, and the heat isn’t great at spreading throughout a large room. This makes it perfect for smaller rooms, which this unit will heat quite fast.
There is also an option with humidifier here and, therefore, you’re going to have that comfort in your room. Some heaters can be quite ugly to look at, but this one has a good sense of style to it, allowing the heater to be a permanent feature of a room.
In terms of safety, it’s another area where this space heater can excel. It will prevent it from overheating, and also it will automatically shut off should it be tipped over. It’s a heater that you’re going to be confident in.
Another huge benefit of infrared heaters is that they tend to be quiet and not have that annoying buzz that others make. This model comes with remote control, and that is going to help to make your life even easier.
This heater has a ceramic plate that is used to deliver the heat to your room with the help of a small fan. This can take a while to get warm, but once it does, the heat is going to spread to all the corners of your room. This is why many people love this model.
The air circulation from this heater is helped by the fact that it oscillates. This will prevent the heat from building up in one spot and will give everyone the same level of warmth. It makes it a better option for larger rooms.
When you take a look at it you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s going to be very heavy. In fact, the opposite is true. At just 6.5lbs, it’s one of the lightest heaters around and will allow you to take it from one room to the next easily.
The overall styling of the heater is beautiful and would be a fantastic addition to any cold room. The heater has some great operating features such as an adjustable thermostat and an automatic shut-off timer. It doesn’t come with a remote control, but that’s only a minor disadvantage.
The 3-year warranty that the manufacturer gives you here shows the level of faith that the company has in their heater. It’s a warranty that you are very unlikely to use as this is a high-quality model that is going to stand the test of time for many years of use.
Many people want an efficient space heater that has a look of a traditional fireplace. If that sounds like you, then you’ll love this model. It has the heating element on the bottom while having the fire effect as the main feature.
Due to it being an infrared heater with the element tucked under the main body, it makes it a good option if you have children in the house. It is also a very sturdy heater, but if you do manage to tip it over, it will automatically turn itself off.
That sturdiness partly comes from the fact that this is quite a bulky heater. While some people might like that, others will find that it takes up too much space. It’s great for large rooms that have that space as it works well there.
Another major benefit of infrared space heaters is that they don’t affect the amount of humidity in the room. Other types of heaters can make the air very dry, but this one isn’t going to have those issues to allow you to enjoy the heat in comfort.
If you plan on placing your heater in a different room as and when needed, it’s worth considering the weight. At 18lbs, it could be a little too heavy for some people to move it comfortably. If you don’t mind the weight and bulk, this is a perfect heater.
Micathermic heaters can combine the qualities of both convection and infrared heating. In that sense, it is able to have the advantages of both while being able to deliver a good level of heat to your room.
One of the problems with micathermic heaters is that they aren’t able to heat large rooms quite as efficiently as other types of heater can. In this sense, they resemble electric baseboard heaters which are also considered to be cost-effective. That being said, they are great for medium and smaller sized rooms where you need that heat boost.
This heater is highly portable, and with those wheels, you’re going to be able to roll it into any room that needs the heat. At over 15 pounds, it isn’t the lightest heater out there, but you should be able to carry it up some stairs easily.
The space heater isn’t quite as stylish as other options out there, but would still look nice in most rooms. If you wanted it to be a permanent feature of your room, you could have this heater wall-mounted to provide a constant heat source as the back panel stays cool.
The controls are very simple to get the precise amount of heat that you need, and it’s able to do so efficiently, so that you’re not going to be punished by having huge bills. It’s a marvelous option for a medium-sized room.
LifeSmart has been able to make a heater that takes on a unique and modern design. Part of that design is a digital display that is going to give you plenty of information and allow you to set the temperature you’re looking for easily.
One of the features that you’re able to select on that display is an eco setting that will only give you more heating when required. It also works as a thermostat and has a 12-hour timer that you can adjust with the remote control it comes with.
At 21lbs, this is the heaviest heater that we’ve included in this list. It does come with wheels tucked underneath the body, and, therefore, you’ll be able to move it across a flat surface. Taking it up and downstairs could be too tricky for some.
Part of the reason for that weight is because the heater is very well made and is going to cope with a lot of punishment. Some heaters can feel a little flimsy, but the strong metal case here will give it an outstanding level of durability.
If you’re looking for an efficient heater that is going to be silent, then this would be an ideal option for you. With it being an infrared heater, it’s great for all places at home and would even work well in a garage or shed.
Are you looking for a highly portable heater? Well, at just over 5lbs, this model is going to be exceptionally easy to take from one place to another. It makes it great for those only interested in heating one room at a time.
This is a fan-forced electric heater that will quickly distribute the heat throughout the room. The problem with these types of heaters is that they can be a little bit noisy, and this does make a buzzing sound when in operation.
If you wish to get the safest efficient space heater, then this is also a marvelous option for you. It has that tip-over protection that will automatically shut it off if needed. It always remains cool to touch, and, therefore, is excellent for kids and pets.
The build quality of this heater is very high, and that is reflected in the warranty it has. At 5 years, the manufacturer has a high level of confidence in the performance of this heater. Despite being compact, it has quite a solid construction with wonderful design and convenient LED screen.
This is one of the most versatile heaters out there as it can be used in any room, and the 6ft cord it comes with means that you should be able to find a power source easily. It has a wide range of settings, and you’ll have a good level of control.
Honeywell has been able to make an astonishing fan heater that is going to tick a lot of boxes for people. One of those is just how light it is. At less than 5lbs, it will be hard to find a heater that is lighter than this.
The safety features here are also brilliant. Like many fan-forced options, it’s exterior always stays cool, making it ideal for anyone who might be tempted to touch the heater. It has tip-over and overheating protection too.
It’s probably a good idea that it has the tip-over protection as with the heather being quite tall and so light, it could be knocked over easily. It is quite durable, though, and will be able to work even after it gets knocked over a few times.
The range of features that we see here is fantastic. You can on time from 1 hour all the way up to 10, and there is a hi-limit switch to go with a programmable thermostat. It will allow you to have the ultimate control over your heating.
Furthermore, the space heater also comes with a 3-year warranty to give you peace of mind. It’s a warranty that you are very unlikely to use as this is such a fantastic heater.
Not interested in portability? It could be that you only have one specific spot or room in mind for your heater, and if so, this wall-mounted model could be your best bet. It comes with everything you need, and the attachment will be very secure.
That will allow you to place it exactly where you need it to keep it away from any pets or children. The construction is very solid with the high-quality materials used. There is no reason that this heater won’t last for a good number of years.
The 3-year limited warranty is going to give you a good level of confidence in the durability, and the frost protection settings are going to kick in should the air get too cold. It has a stylish design that will fit into most walls.
A lot of fan-forced heaters have an annoying buzz sounds and can be quite noisy. This is going to be one of the quietest on the market and allows you to enjoy the heat generated in peace. It isn’t completely noiseless, but it’s barely noticeable.
With up to 1,500W of power, it can produce up to 5118 BTU. That should be able to heat up most rooms fairly quickly. With the built-in thermostat it has, you’ll also be able to get the exact level of control you need.
If you don’t mind paying a premium price, then this could be the perfect option for you. Dyson has built this brilliant model that is not only able to give you that warm air in winter, but it’ll also be able to blow cool air in the summer.
That level of versatility means that you’d be able to use this heater on an almost constant basis. That helps to justify the price tag as you are going to get a lot of use out of it. It looks impressive and will fit in nicely to any room.
The airflow that comes out can either be directed with a narrow airflow or much wider, depending on your needs. That will provide perfect air circulation. There is a remote control included that will give you the full level of control over your heat settings. The timer can be programmed to activate sleep mode.
Although it is quite a tall device, you don’t need to worry about it tipping over. The heater has a wide base and an automatic shut-off safety feature.
Another great aspect of this heater is that it will filter the air that runs through it with the high-quality HEPA filter it has. It is easy to clean and maintain. While the price might be high, this model has a perfect level of usability. And don’t expect it to be as effective as an air conditioner when cooling the room.
There can be misconceptions about oil heaters, but they represent a great alternative to other types of heaters. The COSTWAY Oil Filled Heater doesn’t require much maintenance and will be able to stay warm for a long time, making it very efficient.
One drawback of all oil-filled radiators is that they can be quite heavy with this one coming in at just under 20lbs. Although it weighs quite a lot, this oil heater has wheels to make it easier to roll on the flat surface and also a handle, making it simpler to pick up.
There is a good level of power options here with 600W, 900W and 1500W settings available. It makes it a perfect option for large rooms. The efficiency that you get here means that your bills aren’t going to skyrocket. Moreover, it doesn’t make noise while working, which can be very convenient if you are planning to use it all night long.
If you’re looking for a heater that is safe around children and pets, then this isn’t going to be it. The heater is going to remain hot to touch even after some time it has been turned off.
It is also quite, tall but it compensates for that by having a large wheelbase. It has tip-over protection if you do manage to knock it over. It’s a brilliant option for those looking for a heater, which is easy to maintain and highly efficient.
What we liked:
High power level
Wheels and handle for better portability
No maintenance required
What could be better:
Hot to touch
Things to Сonsider
There is a lot of information to take here as it can be hard to know, which energy-efficient space heater is going to be the best option for you, as there is a lot of different aspects to consider. That’s why we have developed this buying guide to make your life a lot easier. We will go through all the key features to paint a picture of the best energy-efficient space heater for you.
How to pick the most efficient space heater?
There are a few key questions you need to ask yourself to find the best energy-efficient space heater for your needs. How big is the space that you need to heat? Do you need your heater to be portable? Do you care about style? Once you know these questions, it’ll make life a lot easier. As we got through this guide, it’s a good idea to make a note of how important each feature is for you.
The heating area is a crucial aspect of which heater you can get as some options aren’t going to be able to cope with a large room. All you need is some basic calculations, and you’ll be able to work out how big your room is in cubic feet, which is a measure of the total volume of your room. Others measure it by square feet, and that is calculated by the length times by the width.
If you can’t be bothered with these calculations, then you’ll know if you’re trying to heat a small, medium or large-sized room.
As a general rule of thumb, you want to have 10 watts of power for every 1 square foot of floor space.
As an example, if you had a room that was 15ft long and 10ft wide (15 x 10), then the square foot would be 150ft. You can then times this by 10 and see that such a room would need 1500 watts of power. That space can be effortlessly heated with the unit like the COSTWAY 1500 W 7-Fin Electric Oil Filled Space Thermostat Heater. Although these are rough calculations, they work.
Type of space heater
There are five main types of heaters: fan, convection, oil, infrared and micathermic.
Infrared – Infrared heaters, such as the premium Dr. Infrared DR-968 Original Heater, use beams of heat to warm you and the objects around with heat particles. They do not affect the humidity level in a room.
Ceramic – Heaters, such as the Lasko 6405 Designer Oscillating Heater, work by heating ceramic plates and letting that hot air to be distributed in the room with the fan and convection. These can be quite noisy and hard to clean.
Fan-forced – Fans heaters, just like the Vornado AVH10 Vortex Heater, also work by convection but in a different way. They’ll heat an electric coil and then blow that heat through a room with a fan. They can make the air warm very quickly but are noisy, and that warmth effect will get lost almost instantly if you open the window and let the cold air in.
Micathermic – Perhaps this is the rarest type of heaters but possibly the most efficient. Heaters like the De’Longhi Mica Thermic Panel Heater HMP1500 have an element covered in mica, which produces both infrared and convection heat. They are silent, quick and portable but struggle to cover large areas.
The power of these space heaters is generally measured in watts with these models ranging up to 1500W. You’re probably not going to need that level of power all of the time, and, therefore, it’s a good idea to look for a heater that has various heat settings.
As well as heat settings, it can also be useful to have fan settings that can either direct that heat in a direct beam or spread it out much wider. You simply want to make sure that the heater you choose has enough power for your needs.
When it comes to heaters, you need to know how much they are going to add to your bill. It could be, instead, that you’re looking to drastically reduce your bill by using it only to heat one room. Either way, you want to know how much energy you’re using.
Each heater will come with its own energy rating, and you need to look out for this if you want to lower your energy bills.
In general, oil heaters have a high level of efficiency, and other types will often have eco settings to make sure that energy is not being wasted.
There are several different ways that a space heater could be inconvenient, and one of the main ones is noise. Some types of heaters can be quite noisy, and this is something you want to check. For example, the premium Dr. Infrared DR-968 Original Heater doesn’t make noise at all and can be a perfect option to run it all night long.
To make your life easier, you can look out for other features too. Some come with remote control, and there are settings such as a timer, thermostat, and auto-restart that can be useful.
You have to think about how convenient it is to move. If it’s heavy, then wheels are a great feature or even a handle to carry it. Apart from the main features, how easy it is to maintain and clean is also very important.
As we mentioned just then, it can be easy to look at the headline features of a space heater and forget what else is important. How it is going to fit into your home is another essential aspect as these heaters come in all different shapes and sizes.
Here we have seen box-shaped heaters, flat models and even ones that will be attached to your wall.
You need to plan your space and then get a space heater that will fit in accordingly to your needs. The last thing you want is a heater that is too bulky and cumbersome if you want to use it in different rooms.
You’ll already know the importance of weight as some of these heaters are a lot more portable than others. The Honeywell Deluxe weighs only 4.6lbs, and this will be perfect for anyone looking for an efficient space heater that is very easy to carry. This can be taken anywhere you want with minimal effort.
If the weight and portability don’t concern you, and you wish to get something that looks like a fireplace, go for the Duraflame DFI-550-22. It is very safe to use and have sturdy construction.
All of the plug-in options that we have looked at here, such as the De’Longhi Mica Thermic Panel Heater, come with a cord length of 6 feet. That should be more than enough to find your nearest plug socket.
If you need extra cord length, then it would be a good idea to look for an extension cord. This would be easier than trying to find a high-quality heater with a long cord, as these can be quite rare.
There are a few safety features to look out for, so here we look at the most important ones:
Cool-to-touch – If there are pets or children in the room, then you will most likely want a heater that is going to be cool to touch, such as the Vornado AVH10 Vortex Heater. This will prevent you from constantly worrying about them when they play.
Auto shut-off – You want your space heater to shut down if it starts overheating or encounters and other issues. The Lasko 6405 Designer Oscillating Heater is a wonderful device that you’ll be able to rely on.
It’s always important, however, to treat warranties with a note of caution. They will only cover specific types of damage, and you want to know exactly what is covered. Some of them will only cover defects in the manufacturing process.
Have an unlimited budget? Or looking for something a lot more affordable? Here we have both options covered.
If you want a high-quality product, then at around $400, you can get the Dylson Hot+Cool Jet Focus AM09, which has a quite fantastic range of versatility.
There are plenty of fantastic heaters way under that figure. At a little below $100, you could get either the Vornado AVH10 Vortex Heater or the LifeSmart 6 Element, which both have a great range of heating ability and are very easy to control.
If you’re looking for a budget option, then the Lasko 6405 Designer Oscillating Heater at just below $50 is perfect for you. With the performance and functionality it has, the space heater represents brilliant value for money and would be an excellent choice.
Most people have integrated home heating systems that they are happy to leave on all night. For high-quality space heaters, it’s no different. They all have safety features that are going to ensure that you can sleep in a warm and comfortable environment.
These energy-efficient space heaters come with auto-shutoff timers, overheating protection and tip-over protection. If anything happens to your heater, then the power will be cut off. This means that you would be able to sleep soundly and not have to worry about it.
When used just to heat up one room, a space heater can make a dramatic difference to your electricity bills. That’s because all of the heat that you are using will be concentrated into one area, and you won’t be wastefully heating places that you don’t need.
Of course, if you use a space heater in addition to your regular heating system, then this will have an impact. Even then, these space heaters now have a brilliant level of efficiency and low power consumption. If you use them in the right way, you can save a lot of money.
The majority of space heaters will develop that kind of smell when they get so hot that they burn away any dust that has accumulated on them. This often only happens with exposed heating elements, and when it does happen, it’s not for a long time. You can minimize this possibly happening by wiping down your heater between uses and also checking any filter it has. Any smells are usually brief and not that unpleasant. Other heaters won’t get hot enough to reach the point of burning dust. For that reason, you should check the manufacturer’s description of the product. But be careful not to spill anything on them. We recommend getting an infrared heater, such as the Dr. Infrared DR-968 Original Heater, if you are sensitive to smells and don’t want your heater to make it.
We’ve looked at many wonderful heaters here, but it’s hard to get any better than the Dr. Infrared DR-968 Original Heater. It will provide a very quick level of powerful heat while not affecting the humidity level in the room. It also looks great too and doesn’t consume much energy.
If you’re looking for the most attractive option, then the Duraflame DFI-550-22 would be the best bet.
While these three are all brilliant energy-efficient space heaters, there are seven other options here that could be better suited to your tastes. Whatever option you choose here, you can be sure that you’re getting a high-quality unit. All that’s left to do is pick the best energy-efficient space heater for your needs and enjoy the warmth it provides.