Space heaters are great for a little extra heat on your feet in a home office or to keep things from freezing over winter in your new RV. Some can even be used for camping or in a tent. They are a cheap, easy means of providing heat for smaller spaces without relying on excessive amounts of gas.
A space heater will be useful as long as you have a reliable electrical connection, but there are many to choose from. Our list of the Top Ten Space Heaters is designed to help you narrow down your options and our Buyer’s Guide will lay out some of the most important factors in selecting a new space heater.
1. Mr. Heater F232000 Buddy
Made in the U.S., the F232000 Buddy from Mr.Heater is a 4,000 to 9,000-BTU radiant heater capable of providing heat for space up to 225 square feet. The Mr. Heater is ideal for camping and is safe for use in a tent. It’s approved for both indoor and outdoor spaces because it is clean burning and highly efficient. It may, however, shut off automatically if operated at altitudes over 7,000 feet above sea level.
This propane space heater boasts an auto-shut off if tipped over, if the pilot light goes out, or if it detects low oxygen levels. It also features a fold-down handle and swivel-out regulator that connects to a portable propane tank.
2. AmazonBasics Ceramic Space Heater
The best selling space heater on Amazon is a ceramic heater with an adjustable thermostat that makes it ideal for home and office situations. It also offers a tip-over switch with auto shut-off and overheat protection to guarantee safety, but shouldn’t be used in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or other high-humidity areas.
This space heater features a 1500-watt high setting with three output options (low, high, and fan only). It also boasts a carrying handle for easy transport and a power indicator light that alerts you to when it’s plugged in and is receiving power.
3. Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater
This ceramic heater from Lasko is also great for homes and offices, but can also be used to provide heat for small RVs or garage apartments. It has an adjustable thermostat and doesn’t take up much floor space with dimensions of 7 x 6 x 9.5 inches.
The Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater features high and low heat settings in addition to a fan only setting that’ll help to circulate air in a small space. It also boasts automatic overheat protection that provides peace of mind and convenient carry handles for easy portability.
4. Honeywell UberHeat
The Honeywell UberHeat is designed to provide powerful, personal heating for small rooms and spaces. It offers a 3-year Limited Warranty (1) and can also be used on desks and tabletops in office settings.
This 1500-watt space heater features two heat settings with an adjustable thermostat to dial the temperature to your preference. It also boasts an auto-off tip-over switch, overheat protection and cool touch housing because, as Honeywell would say, “safety matters.”
5. Dr. Infrared Portable Space Heater
The creators of the Dr. Infrared Portable Space Heater designed it to provide heat to large rooms without using an inefficient amount of energy. This 1500-watt heater is an auto energy saving model with high and low features, as well as tip-over and overheat protection.
This space heater also boasts dual heating systems with an infrared quartz tube and PTC (2). This system comes with a 12-hour automatic shut-off timer. It also features an IR remote control, high-pressure low nose blower, and an electronic thermostat that ranges from 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Delonghi Full Room Radiant Heater
This radiant heater from Delonghi is best used for medium to large rooms that require constant heat regulation throughout the colder months of the year. It offers 1500 watts of heating power, silent operation, and is constructed from high-quality, patented steel. It also contains a permanently sealed oil reservoir that never needs refilling.
The Full Room Radiant Heater features up to 40% more heat surface to heat rooms faster, a 24-hour on/off timer, and an adjustable thermostat with three heat settings. It also boasts patented thermal chimneys that are specifically engineered to maximize heat flow while still maintaining a low surface temperature.
7. Lasko Oscillating Space Heater (5409)
Another great space heater from Lasko, the 5409 oscillating heater is made for tabletop or floor use, as it boasts easy-to-use, top-mounted controls, and an adjustable thermostat. This imported space heater offers combined plastic and metal construction.
This space heater will give you 1500 watts of comforting warmth with three quiet settings (high, low, and fan only). It comes fully assembled with an easy carry handle and won’t take up much floor or desk space with dimensions of 8.34” x 6.55” x 11.66”.
8. Vornado AVH10 Vortex Heater
The Vornado AVH10 Vortex Heater is designed to provide gentle heat throughout an entire room to maintain an even, balanced room temperature. It offers two heat settings (1500/750-watt), as well as a fan-only option.
This space heater features a specially tuned airflow system (called ‘Vortex Action’) that effectively circulates heat through an entire room. It also boasts a cool-touch case, tip-over protection, and an automatic safety shut-off system. It is built to meet U.S. voltage requirements and is certified, safety-tested, and warrantied for use only in the U.S.
9. Lasko 751320 Ceramic Tower Heater
This Ceramic Tower Heater from Lasko is designed to provide quiet, steady heat to reading nooks, home offices, and small rooms. It provides heat via an elongated ceramic element with penetrating air velocity that pushes warmth throughout the desired space.
This space heater comes with a multi-function remote control (batteries included) and has dimensions of 23.5 inches high, 7.4 inches wide, and 8.7 inches deep. It also features high (1500-watt) and low (900-watt) settings that allow you to dial heat for your comfort.
10. Optimus 2-Speed Fan Heater
The Optimus H-1322 Fan Heater is also great for floor or desktop use in small rooms or offices. It is made in the USA or imported and comes with two heat settings, 750 and 1500 watts. It boasts an automatic thermostat control and four-position function switch (Off, Fan, Low, and High).
This space heater offers a thermal cut-off safety device and tip-over safety switch. It also features an internal, heat-limiting thermostat and a power indicator light that helps you be sure when it is powered on and receiving ample electricity.
Albert Marsh is widely recognized as “the father of the electrical heating industry” for his discovery of Chromel, which is an alloy made of one part Chromium and four parts Nickel (3). Before his discovery, low-cost cast iron radiators were the common method of heating homes with relative efficiency.
Since Marsh’s discovery at the beginning of the 20thcentury, we have continued to refine and improve home heating technology. Space heaters are just one example, but there are so many to choose from and it’s important to choose one that makes sense for the space you want to heat.
In an effort to aid in your decision, our Buyer’s Guide will focus on three main characteristics that help to distinguish heaters from one another. Those characteristics are size and coverage, fuel types, and important features.
Size and Coverage
The first and arguably most important consideration when selecting a new space heater is the size of the space you wish to heat. Large family rooms require more heating capacity than a small office or garage apartment. It’s also important to avoid buying a heater that’s overly large for a given space, as this will only lead to wasted energy and/or an unnecessarily high electric bill.
Generally, 1500-watt space heaters are great for heating rooms up to 175 square feet. On their low setting, when most of the heaters above put out 750-watts of heating capacity, they will heat 100 square foot space. The image below gives you a great idea of how much space you can heat with a given wattage or BTU rating.
Space heaters can largely be separated into gas and electric options. Within the category of electric heaters, though, there are convection, infrared, panel, and radiation heaters. Convection heaters are generally regarded as the most energy efficient and commonly used means of heating an enclosed space.
Infrared heaters are great for providing direct heat to specific objects or people they are pointed at but don’t tend to disperse heat throughout a room as well. Panel heaters feature the best attributes of convection and infrared heaters while radiation heaters are best for leaving in a room for a long time because they utilize natural air circulation to disperse warmth.
Gas heaters are largely used with either liquid propane or natural gas. Liquid propane allows for the heater to remain portable and not connected to a gas line when not in use. Natural gas heaters typically require professional installation because they need to be connected to a dedicated gas line. The major benefit of gas space heaters is that they will continue to be useful during a power outage.
The heaters detailed above offer a variety of features. Sorting through them to find the most important ones is an important part of the buying process. For starters, it’s hard to argue against buying a space heater that offers an auto shut-off feature, as safety should be the primary concern when buying any heating device. An auto shut-off will help to prevent overheating and fires caused by improper use.
Another important feature that many buyers don’t consider is the length of a heater’s power cord. Because it’s never safe to use a space heater with an extension cord, a heater with a longer cord will give you the freedom to place it exactly where you need it, especially in rooms that lack a good number of available power outlets.
The last feature we’ll mention today is a remote control. Although this isn’t necessarily an imperative feature, remote control operation will allow you to stay comfortably warm and snuggled in bed while adjusting or re-adjusting the settings of your space heater.
Frequently Asked Questions
Space heaters are extremely valuable for providing both concentrated heat on your cold toes in the winter or for dispersing heat throughout a room that otherwise wouldn’t have heat. They can, however, be dangerous if not used and cared for properly. This list of Frequently Asked Questions will help you gain more essential knowledge about space heaters.
What is ‘BTUs’?
BTUs are ‘British Thermal Units’. They measure how much heat a space-heating unit puts out. A heater’s BTU rating determines how much space it can heat safely and effectively.
Are space heaters dangerous?
Some statistics suggest that an average of 40% of home fires are caused by misuse of a space heater (4). The most common transgression is for space heaters to come in contact with flammable materials, so the simple answer is that, if used improperly, space heaters can absolutely be dangerous.
How do I ensure safety when using a space heater?
For starters, never operate your heater near flammable liquids (gasoline, paint, alcohol, etc.). Also be sure not to leave the heater unattended for long periods. Never place it near curtains or use an extension cord to connect a heater. Be sure to replace damaged parts on a heater rather than using it when it’s not “100 percent.”
Can you explain ‘convection heating’?
Convection heating is a common method used by space heaters. By circulating convection currents across a heating element (such as an electric coil, oil, or electric wire, these heaters create an overall warmth in your space.
Can I use a space heater as my main heat source?
In most homes, a single portable space heater won’t create enough warmth to heat the entire space. However, whether a space heater alone will be sufficient in your case will depend on environmental conditions, personal preferences, and housing construction.
Why does it smell like something is burning when I turn my heater on?
Many newer models will give off a slight burning odor when they are first used. This should go away after a while. Radiant heaters can sometimes burn up dust particles in the air, which will give off a noticeable scent. Additionally, some heaters can produce a burning odor as dust builds up on the heating element. These odors are generally not offensive, hardly noticeable, and typically temporary.
A quality space heater means the difference between uncomfortable winter nights and bearable conditions. In some situations, they can also spell the difference between frozen RV pipes and the ability to use all of your essential systems. We hope this article has helped you find a space heater that’s right for you and we wish you Happy Heater Shopping!