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How to choose the right space heater for your home

Which space heater is right for your home?

A space heater is an excellent solution if your home doesn't have a central heater or you simply don't wish to spend money heating rooms you're not using. 

The right space heater for your home is a model that fits your needs with your desired aesthetic and capabilities. It should also have the correct wattage to heat the room where you intend to use it and have built-in safety features, such as a tip-over switch that automatically shuts it off when it's no longer upright.

What is a space heater?

A space heater is a portable heater that runs on electricity to heat small spaces such as a bedroom or a small living room. They use four primary methods to heat your area: infrared, fan with a heated coil, oil-filled and ceramic.

While they use different methods to heat your space, each is safe to use in a small area and, depending on their wattage, can typically heat rooms up to 1,000 square feet.

Types of space heaters

While you might already have a preference, it's good to know about all kinds of space heaters. There are five types to consider. 

  • Oil-filled: These heat oil that circulates through metal columns. Then the heated metal columns warm up the surrounding air. 
  • Infrared: These emit electromagnetic waves to heat objects in the room instead of the air, which is how the sun heats the Earth. They come with and without fans. 
  • Ceramic: These use ceramic plates outfitted with metal coils. There are versions with and without a fan. While both heat quickly, the ones with a fan disperse the heat more rapidly. 
  • Fan: These have a heated metal coil paired with a fan that distributes the heat. 
  • Panel: These are called convection heaters. They use electric currents to release heat into the surrounding air.

Selecting the right wattage for your space heater

A space heater's wattage dictates the area it can heat. Generally, you need 10 watts of power per square foot that you wish to heat. 

There are four common wattage ranges to consider. 

  • Up to 750 watts: This can heat a room up to 75 square feet. 
  • 751 to 1,000 watts: This can heat a space up to 100 square feet. 
  • 1,001 to 1,500 watts: This can heat an area up to 150 square feet. 
  • 1,501 to 2,000 watts: This can heat up to 200 square feet of living space. 

If you need a space heater to warm a larger area, use general wattage guidelines to calculate the wattage you need. It's also a good idea to check the manufacturer's recommendations.

Space heater safety features

A space heater with built-in safety features can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. The best have an automatic shut-off to prevent them from overheating, a tip-over switch that turns them off when tipped over, and child protection locks.

If you have small children or pets, you can also go for models you can mount on the wall, such as a panel heater, to prevent your loved ones from coming in contact with them.

Best space heaters for your home

Pelonis 1,500-Watt Oil-Filled Heater

This heater uses oil to radiate heat, is very quiet, and comes with three heat settings and five temperature settings . It has an automatic shut-off to prevent overheating, tip-over protection, a remote control and a 10-hour timer.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Tangkula 14.5-Inch Mini Portable Electric Fireplace

This 1,500-watt tabletop infrared stove heater reaches up to 90 degrees and has two heat settings, as well as realistic flames with four brightness levels. It comes with a convenient carrying handle, a 12-hour timer, remote control and built-in safety features.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater

This oscillating ceramic heater has a thermostat, remote control, timer and two heat settings. It's 1,500 watts, stands 16 inches tall and has built-in overheat protection.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Dr. Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater

This infrared heater is 1,500 watts with three heat settings and remote control. It's safe to touch and has tip-over and overheat protection with a 12-hour automatic shut-off.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Home Depot and Wayfair

Heat Storm HS-1500-PHX Wi-Fi Infrared Heater

This 1,500-watt wall-mounted infrared heater is safe to touch and has a digital thermostat with an app that lets you control it with your phone. It also has a child lock with an automatic shut-off and tip-over protection.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Dreo 1,500-Watt Ceramic Space Heater

This oscillating heater has a thermostat that reaches up to 95 degrees, a remote control and a one- to 12-hour timer. It also comes with an automatic shut-off when it tips over or overheats.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Amazon Basics 1,500-Watt Ceramic Personal Heater

This small heater has two heat settings, 750 and 1,500 watts, with a built-in fan. It also has tip-over protection and an automatic shut-off to prevent it from overheating.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Envi High-Efficiency Whole Room Panel Wall Heater

This 500-watt heater is cool to the touch, easy to install and runs silently. It heats up to 90 degrees and automatically shuts off when removed from the wall. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

KopBeau 1,500-Watt Oil-Filled Radiator

This has a digital thermostat with temperature settings that range from 40 to 95 degrees, four preset heat settings and a 24-hour timer. It also has tip-over protection, an automatic shut off and a child lock.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Ella Scott writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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