In a cold winter or a brisk spring morning, central heating provides everything you need to heat the entire house. However, on many mornings, it is not cost efficient to heat an entire house. In these moments, a space heater can provide local, personal heating without running up the electric bill. Additionally, at work or at your office, a space heater can help keep you warm when it seems the entire rest of the office is cold.
However, when purchasing a space heater, you must consider the type of heater you need. Since there are a variety of heater types, you can easily pick one that does not provide the type of heating you require.
Space Heater Buyers Guide
There are three common types of space heaters: infrared, radiator, and convection.
Infrared heaters do not heat the air. Instead, they heat the object at which the coils are aimed. For instance, once you turn on an infrared heater, the coils emit infrared rays. These rays heat up the surface of whatever they hit. When it comes to keeping people warm, they heat up the person by heating up the skin.
However, once you turn off the heater, the heating capability vanishes–instantly. The air is cool, and you can become chilled again easily. In the same way an infrared heater heats you up quickly, the room will also seem cold just as quickly once it is turned off.
Radiator heaters are coiled tubes that heat up when the heater is plugged into an electricity source. The liquid inside the radiator heats up, and the heater heats the surrounding air. These types of heaters gradually heat up a room. It takes time for the room to heat up because it takes a while for the liquid to heat. Once the liquid heats, it takes some additional time for the surrounding air to heat.
Unlike infrared heaters, radiator heaters take a while to cool down. Additionally, the air will stay warm for quite a while. In fact, even when you turn off a radiant heater, the room will stay warm for some time.
Electric-coil heaters blow air across hot coils heated by electricity. The air, of course, becomes warm as it passes over the coils. In turn, the warmed air warms you. Electric heaters provide quick heat, but because they cool off relatively quickly, the room will also cool down quickly once they are turned off.
Space heaters are not meant to be left alone. Although they are relatively safe, they do present some dangers if they somehow get moved close to a curtain. Additionally, if they fall over, the heater should be engaged with a tip-sensor and shut-off valve.
A heater’s ability to heat a room is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU). A heater with a larger BTU rating will be able to heat a larger room. For instance, a heater with a BTU rating of 5,000 to 8,000 will typically heat a small to mid-size room. A heater with a BTU rating of 8,000 to 12,000 BTU will typically heat a mid-size room of 500 square feet (sf) up to a large room of 800 to 1,000 sf.
Best Space Heater Reviews
One of the best types of heaters is the ceramic heater elements. It is a kind of convection heater. However, instead of using exposed, super-hot, cherry-red, filaments, it uses ceramic-coated, heating elements. The result is fast, safer heat.
This particular heater offers three different heating strengths. For the strong setting, the full, 1500-watt power is used, ensuring your room receives the most possible heated air. The medium setting only uses 750 watts, so it is more cost effective if you do not need to heat the entire room. Finally, the low setting operates via the fan only.
Safety features include an automatic-overheat sensor. If the sensor detects the unit is overheating, it will shut off the unit. Additionally, the heater has a tip-over detector, which will turn off the heater if all four feet are not firmly on the floor.
- ceramic heating elements
- two independent safety, shut-off features
- small heater might not suffice for larger rooms
The space heater by Comfort Zone oscillates, delivering a wide swath of comfortable heat across the room. The elements are ceramic coated, so they ensure safety as well as lengthy heat. For portability, the heater is small and lightweight. It also has a frame that remains cool to the touch, ensuring children can accidentally touch it without being burned. The stay-cool features also allows you to safely pick it up and move it.
It is ETL certified, meaning it has been tested and rated as both safe and efficient. Additionally, it employs an over-heat sensor, which shuts off power to the elements if the unit overheats. Another safety feature is the tip-over sensor, which cuts power if the heater is knocked off balance.
For convenience, it comes with a remote control, allowing users to monitor and adjust the heat from the comfort of the couch. The digital thermostat always gives you the reading, so you know how hot your room is. Finally, it has a timer, allowing you to set it to run for a specified period. Once that time passes, the unit shuts off.
- remote control
- programmable timer
- for small to moderate-sized rooms
This electric space heater by Brightown offers immediate heat for small rooms. Because of its small footprint, it is also perfect for heating personal space, such as the area around a work desk. It has three settings: 1500w, 750w, and fan-only. For carrying, it has a arched handle.
The tip-over, safety feature shuts off the heater if it is titled or tipped, and the overheat sensor shuts off the heater if it reaches 158 degrees. The dial thermostat will keep the heater running until the room reaches that set by the thermostat.
- ceramic heating coils
- for small rooms
- thermostat allows only unspecified temperate
This ceramic heater has two settings: 950w and 600w. It is a personal heater designed to heat your feet, your upper body, or your personal space. To use it, you can set it under your desk, on top of your desk, or at a slight distance from you. Because it is designed as a personal-space heater, it is also quiet. At 42 decibels, you will not even notice it is on.
- The ceramic coils provide quick, reliable heat, and the tip-over feature ensures a safe environment.
- For greater comfort, the fan comes with an oscillating feature, allowing it to fan comfortable warm air across your body.
- 100-percent satisfaction guarantee
- only 5 inches tall
The Lasko space heater is a full-room heating solution. It stands 23 inches in height, 8.5 inches in length, and 7.25 inches in width. The adjustable thermostat will keep the heater running until the room is at the desired temperature, and then the heater will shut off.
The fully assembled unit allows you to un-box it and begin heating your home. For safe operation, it has a stay-cool exterior, and the overheat sensor shuts off the unit if it gets too hot. The remote control allows you to adjust the heat from anywhere in the room, and the timer allows you an economic way to manage your heating bill.
Finally, the heater offers two levels of operation: high and low. Since the heater oscillates, it will heat up the entire room faster and more efficiently, leaving fewer cool spots.
- oscillating heater
- remote control
- no tip-over safety feature
The Lasko 6435 is an oscillating, space heater with ceramic coils. Although it is typical of many other ceramic heaters, this one offers a unique style that will complement any home.
In terms of function, it offers 1500w of quick heat. It stands 16 inches, and the large, heating vent measures approximately 12 inches high x 5 inches wide. Combined, the 1500w and the heating vent enables the heater to quickly heat a room up to 300 to 400 square feet.
In terms of style, it has a beige, baked clay appearance, which will complement vases, plants, or other decorations around your room. Additionally, the dials are artistically inlaid into the heaters top dome, masking the functionality of the heater while emphasizing the pleasing aesthetics.
The timer allows programmable operation for up to seven hours in advance, and the remote control allows convenient adjustments from across the room.
- timer presets: one hour, two hours, or four hours
- The egg-shaped base of the heater sits into a wrought iron circle. As such, it could wobble. Since the unit does not have a tip-over detector, it could present a danger if knocked over.
The Costway oil-filled, radiator heater is a minimalist heater designed to do one thing: heat a room. It has three levels of operation: low, medium, and high, and a thermostat dial allows you to fine-tune the setting. When the room reaches the level designated by the thermostat dial, the unit shuts off.
As with all radiator heaters, there are no hot elements. Additionally, it is equipped with both a overheat sensor and a tip-over sensor. For easy portability, the heater has a heat-resistant handle that you can use to move the heater while it is in operation.
In terms of efficiency, the heater is filled with four liquid pounds of oil. The oil takes approximately thirty minutes to heat, and although that might seem like a long time, once the heater is working it will easily heat a 300 to 400 sf room.
Additionally, once the heater is turned off, it will continue to heat until the oil cools down, which takes another 30 to 40 minutes.
- steady, reliable, long-lasting heat
- no exposed coils
- surface of heater gets very hot to the touch
This 1500w infrared heater is designed to provide immediate heat at the touch of a button. Equipped with a standard 110-volt plug, all you have to do is plug it in, turn it on, and aim it at the area you want to heat. In fact, the moment you turn it on–everything in front of the heater is warm. Heating does not happen quicker than this.
As a line-of-sight heater, the infrared elements have the capability of heating up to 1,000 square feet. The remote control affords you convenient adjustments. For additional convenience and economic efficiency, the heater is equipped with a 12-hour timer.
- powerful line-of-sight heat warms up the room quickly
- 110v plug-in fits standard sockets
- room becomes cold the moment you shut off the unit.
This tiny heater is a paradoxical, mysterious, space heater that absolutely should not have the capability to heat an entire 200 sf to 300 sf room–yet it does.
As with many space heaters, the Vornado has two heat settings: 750w and 1500w. The tip-over features shuts off the heater if any corner is lifted from the ground. Finally, the five-year warranty offers you a peace of mind in that if it ever fails you, Vornado will replace it.
Those are the specifications. After reading them, you might think, “big deal.” After all, the specifications are no different than those of countless other space heaters.
The difference lies in that funky, little fan.
Many space heaters have fans. However, this fan spins quietly and relatively slowly. It is weird. After un-boxing it, it inspires very little confidence. After you turn on the machine, the funky, little fan blows very gently, destroying what little confidence it might have evoked.
Then the impossible happens–the room gets warm.
Additionally, the area of the room that gets warm is not just the area in front of the fan. The entire room gets warm. This statement bears repeating–the entire room gets warm. It should not get warm, because this heater is relatively tiny. You will be amazed.
There are no extras other than the fact this heater heats up an amazingly large space. It should not work. What it does is impossible. How is that for an extra?
In short, the company claims this thing works according to the way the fan blades are shaped and the speed at which they spin. Apparently, the fan is then able to create a “vortex” of heat that gradually distributes warm air throughout a room.
- According to Vornado, this thing operates by science. This is doubtful. It is sorcery, plain and simple.
- Once you become comfortable with the idea that this thing operates outside the laws of physics, you can relax and enjoy the heater.
Important: The specifications require that once the room becomes warm, you should set the thermostat dial at a comfortable, mid-range temperature. With that temperature selected, the heater will shut off once the room reaches that temperature. If the room cools below this temperature, it will turn back on. Via this operation, you will enjoy warmth, and your family will collectively smile, and you will feel as if all good things in the universe have been bestowed upon you.
If, instead, you crank the thermostat to the top notch and leave it there, the cord will become hot. This is a known issue with these heaters. This heater can only be enjoyed by people who follow instructions. Such is the way of sorcery.
The PELONIS oil-filled heater is another stable, reliable space heater. It offers safe, convenient heating via radiator tubes filled with oil. The heater heats relatively quickly, compared to other radiator heaters, and it provides lasting heat for up to 30 minutes after being shut off.
The timer allows you to set the heat and forget it. Additionally, the overheat sensor ensures safe operation. It has a tip-over sensor, so if it is ever tipped over, the unit will shut off, and the metal casing will begin to cool.
- Three settings allow you to economically control your room’s heat, and the included remote control is convenient and precise.
- remote control is included
- might require multiple space heaters for very large rooms