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Best Space Heaters

Updated November 2023
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Best of the Best
Dr. Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater with Humidifier
Dr. Infrared Heater
Portable Space Heater with Humidifier
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

A charming infrared heater from a customer-favorite brand that also includes a humidifier to tame dry heat.


This 5,200 BTU infrared heater heats objects directly instead of warming air. A built-in humidifier adds moisture to dry heated air. Thermostatic setting cycles on and off to maintain the desired temperature. Overheat and tip protection.


Not the smallest cabinet. Relatively pricey.

Best Bang for the Buck
Black + Decker Desktop Heater
Black + Decker
Portable Space Heater
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Compact Power
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An extremely powerful heater for its size that comes with 2 power modes and ably heats standard rooms.


Compact size and footprint are great for small rooms. Powerful for its size. Two heating modes at 900 W and 1500 W plus fan-only mode. Includes overheat protection and auto-tip shut off. Integrated carrying handle.


White color yellows with heat. The status light is always on when plugged in.

PELONIS Ceramic Tower Heater
Ceramic Tower Heater
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Great User Experience
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This easy-to-use heater has several great settings and functions that make it a well-loved and practical choice.


Fast heat-up and steady temperature. Several useful safety features. A programmable thermostat, several heat settings, and eco and oscillation modes. Includes a remote and timer setting.


Temperature can only be set in 5-degree increments.

Amazon Basics 500-Watt Ceramic Space Heater
Amazon Basics
500-Watt Ceramic Space Heater
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Small But Mighty
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A reliable, small, and effective space heater that comes from a trusted brand.


Fairly compact at 6 inches in height with a 5.87 x 3.2 footprint. Designed for personal heating on desks, tables, and work surfaces. Stable design; available in a few different color exteriors.


Not designed for room heating.

Lasko Oscillating Ceramic Tower Space Heater
Oscillating Ceramic Tower Space Heater
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Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

This is a powerful and attractive space heater that delivers nice heat output.


Features low and high heat settings and a handy remote control. Delivers 1500 watts of power, making it ideal for small to medium rooms. Oscillating movement distributes heat evening. Quiet operation with a trim design.


Temperature settings are limited. No auto shutoff.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best space heaters

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.

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Consider a space heater to warm your outdoor space, so you can enjoy your patio even as the leaves change colors.

Why use a space heater?

Some rooms in the home or workplace aren’t adequately covered by the central heating system

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.

Prolong the use of covered outdoor spaces

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.

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Expert tip
Space heaters should always be placed on a firm, flat, non-flammable surface. I recommend that space heaters also have a three-foot radius of clearance from any flammables.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Camping can be cold

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.

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Proper venting is extremely important when it comes to models that require gas as fuel. Using this kind of space heater without adequate venting and air circulation can be very dangerous.

Types of space heaters

Gas or oil

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.

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Expert Tip
Retain your warranty paperwork and register your heater in case of recalls. You should also keep your manual in case you need to replace filters, wheels, or remotes. 
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Indoor vs. outdoor

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.

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For your safety
An auto shut-off switch is a great safety feature to have in a space heater. If the heater reaches a preset maximum temperature, it will turn itself off.

Other space heater considerations

Energy efficiency

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.

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Did you know?
Used properly, a space heater can save you money! Turn the thermostat down and warm the immediate vicinity to help reduce heating costs.


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.

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Carbon monoxide poisoning is difficult to detect. Make sure you have a proper detector set up in your home when using a gas-powered space heater.


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 heater safety tips

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.

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For your safety
Don’t get lazy when it comes to safety! Did you know the winter months are the most common months for home fires?

Space heater prices

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.

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Expert tip
Be aware that some heaters (not infrared) can cause reduced humidity in a room. So some users may want to run a humidifier if dryness gets to be excessive.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Advantages and disadvantages of space heaters


  • 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.

  • Quiet operation: 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.

  • Portability: 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.

  • Proximity: 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.

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Warm your toes up while you watch TV with a compact, affordable, mini space heater.


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.

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