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 11, 2021
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If your house’s internal heating system is not as good as you’d like it to be, an excellent solution is buying a space heater. Space heaters are generally a great source of heat and are very portable. They work fast and can bring about a comfortable temperature in little time.
For this guide of the best space heaters, we’ve examined over 35 different models available on the market and have picked ten of them, which we liked the most. Our favorite space heater is the Editor’s Choice, Lasko Digital Ceramic Tower Heater, simply because it does a fantastic job of heating up your room, and its sleek and slender design does not take up much room. Moreover, it comes with remote control and has cool-touch housing. We’ll also take a look at nine other space heaters and will review all of them in-depth so as to help you make the final choice.
To make this review of the best space heaters, we’ve visited official websites, asked experts, and checked owners’ feedback to provide you with the information you need. We’ve focused on a number of key characteristics that are important, including the type of space heaters, their power, the variety of settings, their dimensions and weight, and lastly, the warranty. All of these factors combined allowed us to make our judgment and to help you choose the right one for you and your heating needs. After our detailed product reviews, we’ll then take you through our buying guide to make things easier. Finally, you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the best space heaters in the FAQs section.
In our review of all of the space heaters, there was no space heater that stood out to us more than our Editor’s Choice, the Lasko Digital Ceramic Tower Heater with Electronic Remote Control. We absolutely love the slender design of this 3.5-foot tall space heater. It is also impressive because it is not an eyesore when it comes to the decor of your room.
This tower ceramic space heater uses 1500 watts of power, which is pretty standard to be able to generate plenty of heat for a room. It comes with two heat settings that can be controlled either using the digital display on the space heater or with the use of remote control. On display, it has an automatic thermostat that tells you the temperature of the room and also has an 8-hour timer function, allowing you to heat up the room for up to that amount of time.
As for how long it takes to warm up the room, despite its slender size, you might be surprised to know that it can quickly heat up a standard size room and maintain that heat for hours on end. It also comes equipped with a few safety features, including overheat protection and cool-touch housing. As great as it is, a few owners complained about the receiving damaged unit upon delivery. But the warranty should cover this.
What we liked:
Tall, sleek design
Heats up room quickly
Good safety features
Different heat settings and timer function
What could be better:
A few people reported issues with damaged units upon delivery
Our pick for the Best Value Space Heater is the FLASHVIN Oscillating Space Heater. By far, this space heater is the most simplistic in design, yet very effective. It also is the lightest and smallest space heater in our list, as it weighs less than 3 pounds and is only 5 inches wide and 8 inches tall, which makes it one of the best portable space heaters on the market.
This FLASHVIN ceramic space heater has a number of different settings, including modes for low heat, high heat, and even a cool fan. Despite its small size, it does a fantastic job of distributing heat quickly and evenly throughout the room. That is given a boost with its automatic oscillation (rotating) feature that allows this heater to blow hot air in different directions. It has a tip-over safety feature built in, which automatically turns it off when it gets knocked over. This is great if you have kids and or pets that can occasionally push this lightweight heater. It also offers overheat protection when it senses that it’s getting too hot.
In case something goes wrong with this space heater, you have a 1-year limited warranty to get a new one. For a space heater under $40, this is a simply amazing and tremendous value. Yet, despite this, a few people commented that they would have preferred if the cord was longer.
If you really want to get a more realistic and lively heating effect, why not get a space heater that looks like a fireplace? With our Premium Pick, the Duraflame DFI-5010, you definitely can mimic the classic fireplace look with this infrared, space heater.
While it doesn’t produce actual flames, it does have a realistic 3D flame effect that, coupled with the wood logs, definitely gives off the feeling of warmth from a traditional fireplace. To add to the fun, you can even play with the brightness settings to make the flames more vivid.
In terms of power, it comes with 5,200 BTU (British Thermal Unit) or 1500 watts of power, which is more than enough to heat up a room that is around 500 square feet. It has an adjustable digital thermostat that allows you to set the temperature of the room easily. You might want to settle this space heater in one particular room though because it’s not the most portable option. It weighs nearly 30 pounds, and while that may not seem like a lot, it’s enough weight to make you want not to move it around your house.
Overall, this space heater really has a charm about it, and a premium feel to it with its sheer weight. Complaints are few and far between for this space heater, with the most notable one being that the fan can be a bit nosy.
Another option for a great tower fan is the Honeywell Digital Ceramic Tower Heater with Motion Sensor. It is smaller in size compared to the Lasko tower fan, but this Honeywell option is still a solid choice for your office with its nice design and effective heat dispersion.
Like the Lasko, this ceramic space heater is very light and portable since it only weighs 4.4 pounds. It uses up 1500 watts of power, and coupled with the fact that this space heater has a rotating oscillation feature, it means that your office will be heated up fairly quickly.
Lots of people love that it hardly makes any noise whatsoever as well, which is a common problem for cheaper space heaters that tend to make a bit of noise. In terms of the settings, this one has two different heat settings as well as a programmable thermostat and an automatic off-timer, in case you forget to turn it off before leaving. It also has a few safety features in place, including the tip-over protection that automatically shuts it off when its knocked off. It also overheat protection and cool-touch housing, which ensures that the heater is safe to touch even when it’s operating.
Unfortunately, a few people remarked that the heater stopped working after a few months. However, if this happens, you should take advantage of their 3-year limited warranty and get a new one. By far, this Honeywell product is the best space heater for your office.
What we liked:
Small but powerful
Even heat dispersion from oscillation
Almost silent operation
Great safety features
What could be better:
A few people said that the unit stopped working after several months
The first and only oil-filled radiator on our list is the DeLonghi TRD40615T. Contrary to popular belief, oil-filled radiators don’t use or burn oil to generate heat. In fact, it’s actually very energy-efficient to use and is able to retain heat using less energy, and that’s exactly what the DeLonghi heater does.
While it does take a bit more time to warm-up, and thus, heat the room, once it reaches the optimal temperature, it retains the heat for a much longer time. Its construction is on the bigger side, as it’s 16 inches wide and 25 inches tall and weighs a burly 24 pounds. That’s because it uses much more dense materials in its frame with its all-metal construction. Yet, despite its heavier weight, this heater also comes with four snap wheels that can lock into place when you’ve found a new spot for it. When you want to transport it to a new room, simply unlock the wheels and move this heater to the next room. It has an adjustable thermostat as well as three different heat settings. When it’s on, it is fairly noiseless and can heat up medium to large size rooms with its 24-hour on/off timer function.
One thing you’ll have to keep your eye out for is oil leaks, which has happened to a few owners before. This heater does have a 1-year limited warranty, however, and you might be able to get a new part or new heater in that case.
Here we have another fireplace-like space heater, the Crane Fireplace Heater. With this unit, you get the realism from a fireplace with the strong embers flickering to give off a warmth feel but also providing you with three fantastic heating options to make that effect become a reality.
You get two different power settings to allow you to determine how strong of a heat you want coming from the space heater. Moreover, you can use the glow effect without heat to create the room atmosphere. While it’s not exactly a fire burning inside this heater, the embers inside cast an ambient light making it feel like it is a real fire.
But actually, it’s an infrared heater with a small and portable shape, measuring out to 7.5 inches wide and 15 inches tall. It’s easy to move from room to room since it only weighs 13.5 pounds. This space heater is also great because it does a fantastic job of heating you and the room up while staying cool to the touch on its exterior.
Among the few complaints about this heater, the most common one is that the unit stopped working, although the lights still come out. If that happens and it’s within a year of you getting it, you might be eligible for the 1-year limited warranty policy they have.
The Mr. Heater Big Buddy MH18B is the first and only propane space heater in our list, and it is an incredibly powerful one as well. Unlike ceramic and infrared space heaters, this propane space heater produces heat by using the fuel, thus not requiring electricity to run it.
The propane fuel sits in two small, one-pound tanks. It has three distinct heating settings, low (4,000 BTU), medium (9,000 BTU), and high (18,000 BTU). With these settings, you can easily heat up a 500 square foot area as well as any garage, making this the best propane heater for garage. Be mindful, however, that on high heat, you’ll blow through the two propane cylinders in roughly three hours.
Like most space heaters, the Mr. Heater Big Buddy is very portable with its easy to grip handle at the top and weighing only 16.4 pounds. While using propane to generate heat might scare off some people, its safety features are quite good. It has an automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS) as well as an accidental tip-over safety shut-off function, in the event you happen to knock over this high-powered space heater. Because it’s so high-powered, it can get hot really quickly, and people have remarked that the inclusion of a fan would’ve been a nice addition.
While most space heaters simply sit on the floor, others can be mounted to the wall, like electric baseboard heaters or models like this one. Our pick for the Best Wall Mount Heater is the Heat Storm Phoenix Floor-to-Wall Heater. We should note that this is not strictly a wall mount heater only as it can be either mounted to the wall or sit on the floor.
Using 1500 watts of power with a 5200 BTU heat output, this infrared heater has the ability to easily heat up a room of roughly 300 square feet (i.e., a small room or office space). It has two power modes you can choose between 750 or 1500 watts of power. As for the LED display, it is really convenient to adjust the thermostat, which can also be done using a remote control.
As we mentioned earlier, you can mount this space heater on the wall, or you can easily transport it between different rooms and have it upright on two stands. At 9 pounds, it’s light enough to move it around if you need to. This heater is safe to touch, even the grill area. One of the downsides of this electric wall heater is that it can often trip up the breaker if other appliances are being used on the same circuit, so watch out for that.
The first fan-forced heater here is the Vornado AVH10 Vortex Heater. Fan-forced electric heaters use a fan to disperse the heat and is another effective type of space heater. This Vornado heater works great for small to medium-sized rooms as it is able to circulate the hot air well without generating intense heat.
It comes with two heat settings, low (750 watts) and high (1,500 watts), as well as a fan-only option to optimize the heat output and energy consumption of this model. Like many other space heaters, it has a few safety features, including tip-over protection that automatically shuts it off once knocked over, and it also has a cool-touch exterior giving you peace of mind knowing you can touch it while it’s on. Another cool feature is that it has an auto climate control feature whereby it can sense how much hot air is needed to maintain a certain temperature and can automatically make adjustments to its settings so that you don’t have to keep that in mind.
A few people mentioned that this Vornado space heater stopped working on its own after a few months. However, the manufacturer offers one of the best warranties for their space heater, covering a 5-year period, and thus, you should be able to get a new unit if those issues occur.
By far, the coolest and most realistic-looking fireplace heater is the LifeSmart Infrared Quartz Fireplace Heater. Everything about this heater will make you think it’s a fireplace and not a heater. But it really is a heater!
The all-around wood exterior design and overall aesthetic from the realistic flames will definitely make your medium-to-large size room feel as warm and cozy as possible. It uses 1500 watts of power to heat up rooms, and this heater is enhanced by having six quartz elements to produce much more heat. It comes with a remote control that you can easily use to program this heater to one of their three different heat settings, as well as adjust the thermostat, and use the timer function to auto turn it on and off.
In terms of size, it measures out to 31 inches wide and 23 inches tall and only weighs 20 pounds. Its swivel wheels will allow you to move this around from room to room easily. It also comes with a few great safety features, including a child-lock, tip-over and overheat protection, and cool-touch exterior. A few owners have mentioned that the unit can malfunction and stop working, but the flames will still work. Fortunately, it does come with a 1-year limited warranty, and you should be able to get this sorted out.
What we liked:
Very realistic design
Produces a lot of heat
Great safety features
Programmable timer and remote control
What could be better:
A few owners mentioned that the unit stopped working
Things to Сonsider
If your room feels particularly cold, having a space heater can give a tremendous boost to your heating system. Now that you have a clear idea of the many different models are available on the market, it’s time to turn to our buying guide section of the article. Here, you’ll find out more information about each component of the space heater and what you should look at to get an effective heating unit. If you still have questions after reading this section, we’ll hopefully do our best to answer them in our FAQs at the end.
Things to consider before buying a space heater
When buying a space heater, there are a couple of things you’ll need to keep in mind. First, you’re going to think about what kind of space heater you’re looking for. Most of them are ceramic, but if you are looking for something else, there are other options too. You’re also going to check the power output and if it’s energy-efficient to cut down on electric bills. Other things to take into account are the settings on the heater, its convenience, the dimensions and weight (i.e., if it’s easy to move around), its safety features, and lastly, its price. We’ll briefly touch on each topic below.
Type of space heater
There are five different types of space heaters, and they are infrared, ceramic, fan-forced electric, propane heaters, and oil-filled radiators.
Infrared space heaters are one of the most energy-efficient ways to heat up your rooms because it essentially does not heat up the air in the room, rather it uses infrared rays to heat up the things in the room that the electromagnetic radiation touches.
Ceramic space heaters are usually tiny units that can easily be carried from room to room. It generates heat using a ceramic heating element.
Fan-forced electric heaters are heaters that use a fan to transfer air over a heating element. They are typically noisier but are efficient at generating heat quickly.
Propane heaters use the fuel instead of electricity to produce heat. They are very powerful and can make a great garage or tent heater. But they can consume fuel fast.
Lastly, contrary to the misleading name, oil-filled radiators are heaters that don’t require the burning of oil to generate heat. Rather, oil is used as a heat reservoir, and instead, heat is generated electrically.
As we’ve seen in our list of the ten best space heaters, the power requirement of each space heater can vary. Two of the most common power ratings we notice are watts (W) and the British Thermal Unit (BTU). For watts, we see that most space heaters are either 750W or 1500W. For BTU, we see that they provide 4,000-18,000 BTU per hour. Approximately 3.413 BTUs equal to 1 watt. Thus, for 4,000-18,000 BTU, it equals roughly 1170-5270 watts. Our premium model, the Duraflame DFI-5010, boasts 5,200 BTU and can heat up the room pretty fast.
The higher BTU rating is important because it shows how energy-efficient is the unit and how well it does a job of heating the space. Usually, the room size will determine how much power your space heater will need, and the most optimal amount of power is 1500 watts.
Usually, each space heater will have a few different heating options, such as a low, medium, or high, or some combination of these. The higher the setting, the more power and energy you’ll be consuming, and thus, costs will be higher. Some space heaters have a fan option, and this can help to distribute the warm air to the deeper spaces of your room.
Adjustable thermostats is also another neat feature in space heaters, and it means that the heater will attempt to maintain a set temperature in the room. Some units, like the Lasko Digital Ceramic Tower Heater, can automatically control the temperature. If you worry that you can forget to turn off your heater, you can program the timer function on most space heaters to ensure it turns off at a pre-selected time.
There are a few notable things about a space heater that can make it more convenient for you and your heating needs. Some space heaters can have silent operation, and this just ensures that the unit won’t disturb you during the night. For example, check the Honeywell Digital Ceramic Tower Heater with Motion Sensor, which doesn’t make much noise when working.
Some space heaters also come with remote control, which allows you to set your heat settings at your convenience, and some even have a timer function on it. Moreover, some models have wheels on them, and these are generally found on heavier ones to move them from room to room with ease.
Depending on the space heater you have your eye on, they can greatly vary in size. They can come in a tall tower size or a short, box-like shape. Thus, it really depends on the style of space heater you like and one that will fit in your room.
For rooms with limited space, we recommend the Heat Storm Phoenix Floor-to-Wall Heater, a space heater with a rectangle shape, which measures out to 19 inches wide and 13 inches tall and can be mounted on the wall.
The best thing about most space heaters is their low weight, which makes them extremely portable. Space heaters that aren’t fixed to a primary spot are great because they can easily be moved from room to room in your house.
On our list, we see that the lightest space heater is the FLASHVIN Oscillating Space Heater at 2.8 pounds, while the heaviest one is the Duraflame DFI-5010 at 28.6 pounds. While this range is quite wide, the main thing to note is that, at close to 30 pounds, it’s still fairly easy to transport in your house.
Safety is a big component when it comes to dealing with something that can generate lots of heat. Thankfully, all space heaters come with some built-in safety features in the event that something goes wrong.
Most space heaters have a tip-over or overheating protection function, and they will automatically shut-off the unit if you occasionally push it or if it senses it is getting too hot. Another great safety feature is that just about all of the space heaters have a cool-touch exterior.
If you have kids and pets running around, and your space heater falls, you don’t have to worry about it potentially burning your carpet thanks to automatic shut-off function.
If you happen to find something wrong with your space heater, you can rest assured that these space heaters offer some sort of protection in the form of a warranty. As you can see, the warranties are usually limited, which means that are there are certain conditions that have to be met in order for you to be eligible for the warranty. Usually, the limited warranty duration ranges from 1-5 years, with 3-year warranties seeming to be the average from our list.
Just like with any electric appliance, you can see a huge variety of price tags. But a high-quality product shouldn’t be necessarily the most expensive one. Therefore, you can find a quality unit at a reasonable price. Among the ten models we reviewed, the prices can be broken down into three categories: low, medium, and high.
In our medium category, we have the products that cost up to $120. The Crane Fireplace Heater is an excellent infrared model with a glow effect and fantastic heating performance.
Lastly, you can expect to pay more than $120 for premium models like the Duraflame DFI-5010. At $160, you get a unit that looks like a traditional fireplace thanks to 3D flame effects and heats up the entire room pretty quickly.
Yes, most heaters are very safe to have in your house if you have kids or pets. Most space heaters have built-in safety features to ensure that the ones you love and your house stay safe. Many space heaters have tip-over protection, which means that if your kid or dog happens to knock over the heater, it will automatically shut off. Also, most space heaters today also have a cool-touch exterior so the kids and pets can touch their housing safely. Just be mindful not to let them try to put their hands or paws inside of the heater! Most space heaters will have safety features, but it’s good to double-check the product description before making a purchase.
It depends, as a couple of factors are in play here to answer this question. First, the calculation begins with the model you have. Some units are more powerful than others and offer higher efficiency. Another important factor is the size of your room. It will obviously take much longer for your space heater to increase a temperature in a room with larger square footage compared to a smaller one, so be mindful of that. The temperature outside can also prevent your unit from heating up the room quickly, especially if you open doors and windows often. This is because you’re letting in the cold air from outside, while also letting out the hot air that is trying to build up inside the room. Make sure to have your doors and windows closed to heat up the room quicker.
The first thing you shouldn’t do when feeling a burning smell from your space heater is panic! Instead, you must try to identify the type of smell first before reacting. Sometimes, what can happen is that if your space heater has been inactive for some time. The dust that sits on the heating element can cause this. To avoid this, you can cover the cooled down unit before storing it away, or clean the heating elements if possible. Or you can simply let it work and allow some fresh air inside after a while. On the other hand, if it smells like electrical wires are burning, that is more serious, and it might mean that your heater has overheated. Make sure to unplug the unit immediately.
After this deep dive, we have found the top three heaters that really stood out to us.
The first is the Lasko Digital Ceramic Tower Heater. This one was our Editor’s Choice, and we loved it because of its tall and slender build and its ability to distribute heat to the room fairly quickly and evenly. Its design and colors make it seem like it complements the room and is not an eyesore at all.
Next up, the FLASHVIN Oscillating Space Heater was our Best Value pick, and for under $40, this is the best space heater you will find. We loved that it has three different heat settings, and with its oscillation (rotating) feature, it can easily deliver air to all areas of the room.
Lastly, our Premium Pick, the Duraflame DFI-5010, is great for its elegant and vintage fireplace look and design. On top of that, it also does a great job of heating up large rooms, and with its adjustable digital thermostat, it’s very easy to program as well.
We hope that this information helped you to find the best space heater, and now you can forget about those cold winter nights!