Heats up quickly and warms medium to large rooms. Patented design with thermal slots deliver excellent warm air distribution. Sealed unit doesn't require oil refills. Durable build with casters for easy maneuverability.
Occasionally emits mild fumes from the oil that powers it. Slightly noisier than expected.
Adjustable thermostat with easy to read dials. Three power settings. Cool-touch housing and other valuable safety features. Offers three quiet settings. Convenient, compact size that is suitable for rooms up to 300 sq. ft.
Fairly small, so it's not suitable for some larger rooms or open layouts.
An attractive design with a sturdy build that isn't easy to tip over. Delivers 1,500 watts of power to produce warm, comfortable infrared and PTC heat that's ideal for medium to large spaces. Casters make it easy to move.
Front metal grate gets hot. Remote and front control panel has been reported to malfunction. Pricey.
Great for year-round use with both a powerful fan and heater function. Features advanced technology to quickly and evenly project and distribute hot or cold air. Long-range airflow and no exposed heating elements.
An expensive product. Works well, but isn't as powerful as regular space heaters.
Multiple safety protections, including tip-over protection and automatic shutoff. Equipped with a 12-hour timer and energy-saving mode. User-friendly remote and LED display on device. Compact and easily portable.
A few consumers felt the controls were a bit temperamental. Not great for huge rooms.
A reliable space heater should put out a decent amount of heat while performing safely. For warming up a cold spot in your home or office, a space heater is a handy device to have around.
Space heaters are generally designed for either indoor or outdoor use but not both, so you should have an idea of where the heater will primarily be used before you purchase. Some models are gas- or oil-powered, which makes them handy when camping or when you’re without electricity. Electric models are more common and tend to be safer, though they are restricted by their cord length. Some models have a built-in fan, which increases their heating efficiency and can help reduce electricity costs. Many space heaters have built-in safety features, but they should still be used carefully and far from any clutter that could ignite.
If you think you are ready to pick out a space heater, take a look at our top recommendations. To learn more about the variety of heaters available and common features, continue reading.
If you have a pesky room in your home that doesn't seem to get or stay warm, you may want to consider a space heater. It can help you to efficiently warm up space without having to turn your thermostat way up or overheat other areas.
If you have an outdoor space you frequently use even in the cooler fall months, a space heater may be a good choice to help you get the most out of that area of your home.
Some heaters are specially designed for this type of outdoor use and will allow you to take advantage of your covered patio long after the summer is over.
Sure, you can build a fire, but that requires wood fuel, and some people don't enjoy the smoke that comes with real flames.
A compact space heater is a good choice for campers who want to keep warm without relying on a fire.
These types of space heaters require some kind of fossil fuel (propane, natural gas, or kerosene) for power. There's no need to plug the unit in, but you'll need to pay attention to placement since these models need to ventilate.
They are a good option for when the power goes out.
There are great options for heating both indoor and outdoor spaces. Indoor space heaters tend to be larger, and sometimes allow the user the option to mount the unit somewhere in the home.
Outdoor models are usually more compact and can easily be moved around; some are even small enough to fit on a patio table.
You'll need to make sure that the location where you plan to use this type of heater has a conveniently placed outlet.
Another consideration is that these types of heaters may increase your electricity bills.
Electric models do tend to be quite safe, though.
More efficient space heaters will work to quickly and evenly distribute heat in whatever space they're placed.
Heaters with fans or forced-air construction are among the most efficient.
Units that require some sort of fuel (like oil or gas) take a lot longer to produce and distribute heat, but the warmth resulting from these models tends to be long-lasting.
This is one of the most important considerations to keep in mind when deciding on the right space heater.
Find out whether the models you're looking at have modern safety features that work to protect you, like automatic shut-off in the event of overheating, or tip-over sensors should the unit topple over when you're not around.
Consider the space you'd like to use a space heater for, and where you're likely to put it.
Accounting for a heater’s size is important if you only have limited room, or, in the case of an electric heater, limited outlets.
Space heaters are a great way to warm up a room without having to crank up the thermostat and waste energy heating the rest of your home. Unfortunately, fire is a potential hazard if you act carelessly, or don't handle your heating unit with care. As with any kind of appliance, especially one that emits heat, you should take precautions when using one in your home or workplace.
Be careful when placing electric heaters. Keep them away from anything that might be easily flammable, like curtains.
If you're leaving the house and have pets, unplug the heater, or situate it such that it cannot be knocked over while running. Most modern options feature safety shut-offs to eliminate this kind of danger, but better safe than sorry.
Don't turn it on and leave it to run. You're not doing yourself any favors since you'll be heating an unused space!
Buying a heater second-hand is generally unadvised. Avoid older models that lack safety features.
If you're going to use a fuel-burning heater, make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector installed. Check it frequently to ensure it's functional.
Most basic personal heaters start at $40, but the price can quickly climb when you factor in construction quality, features, and aesthetics.
Don't forget to consider operating costs when choosing a model; these costs vary depending on the type of heater you buy and how often you use it.
Efficient and cost-effective
A space heater allows you to warm up a room fast, and it’s generally more cost-effective than trying to heat that smaller space by cranking up your thermostat.
Most space heaters won’t emit much noise, so you won’t need to worry about being bothered by loud whirring or buzzes while you work or enjoy your favorite show.
Many of these types of devices can be moved easily from room to room, thanks to their compact size. Some units even come with easy-to-grip handles to help with transport.
Inefficient for large homes
A space heater probably isn’t suitable for warming a very large room in a bigger house and isn’t for use as a whole-house heater.
Can increase electric bills
If you don’t use the space heater efficiently, you might inadvertently spike your power bill.
Smaller heaters, and those that use technology like infrared heating, require you to get up close to feel any kind of warmth.
Suitability for children or animals
Some space heaters do not have a cool-touch exterior, which means they can get very hot. These are not ideal for homes with youngsters or pets.
Q. Is a space heater really a safe choice for heating?
A. Yes! As long as you take the appropriate precautions when placing it, and you don’t leave it turned on without supervision. Make sure the heater has a wide berth and is far away from potentially flammable materials.
Q. Where should I put my new space heater?
A. If you have chosen a space heater that requires ventilation, make sure you do not block its vents. Check the instruction manual for your new heater for manufacturer suggestions.
Q. Can I use a space heater as my only source of heating?
A. A space heater is meant to supplement heating in a home. It’s not likely to produce enough warmth to ensure comfort throughout a house, especially in the winter months.