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The Best Space Heaters to Beat the Cold Weather

Best Space Heaters
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Updated January 9, 2024

Whether you live in an area that is prone to freezing temperatures or don’t have heat in your living space, you’ll want to consider purchasing a space heater. That’s not to say that snuggling up under the best down comforters and wearing warm socks doesn’t help, but sometimes you need that extra bit of power to make a room more comfortable. A space heater can help keep your place warm while in use without having to get a fire started.

With so many space heaters on the market, it can be hard to narrow down which one is ideal for your needs. To help make the process easier, we’ve rounded up the best space heaters you’ll want to add to your cart, whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one during the holidays and beyond.

What to consider before buying a space heater

Price

The price of a space heater varies based on the type, size, and brand. You can find options that fall between $30 - $60 and other more luxurious models that run over $100. Regardless of price, you’ll want to make sure the space heater has the features you’re looking for, whether that’s an adjustable thermostat or automatic shut-off. Right now, many brands are having sales on their household appliances, so you’ll want to take a look because you can save big.

Heat source

Space heaters can have a variety of heat sources with infrared and ceramic being the most popular. Infrared heating involves the use of electromagnetic waves to transfer energy from the infrared source to the subject without heating the air in between. On the other hand, ceramic heaters use aluminum parts to transfer heat to a ceramic heating element. According to smart home brand Govee, the unit draws in cool air from the base of the heater and pushes it over the ceramic element and metal parts which, in turn, heats the air and disperses it into the room.

Safety features

As you can probably imagine, space heaters can be dangerous since they often have the ability to reach temperatures in the hundreds. With that in mind, the best space heaters have built-in safety features to ensure that they can be used without damage or injury to the space or yourself.

Two of the most common safety features include tip-over protection and automatic shut-off. In some cases, a space heater can tip over more than forty five degrees, whether that’s due to an accidental encounter or other environmental factor. Regardless, most space heaters have a tip-over switch where they’ll automatically shut off when this happens to reduce the chance of a potential safety hazard to individuals and the surrounding areas.

As for the automatic turn-off, this can mean the heater has a timer feature that prevents the heater from remaining on and active all day so it doesn’t run the electricity bill through the roof. Automatic shut-off can also refer to overheat protection, which means the appliance turns off if it reaches a certain temperature.

You’ll also want to see if the heater has any safety certifications, such as from Electrical Testing Labs (ETL) and/or Underwriters Laboratories (UL). These labels indicate that the product meets certain safety standards and have been evaluated by an independent third party.

Our top picks for the best space heaters

Best budget space heater: Kloudic Electric High Efficiency Space Heater

This electric ceramic space heater is a solid option for those interested in a budget-friendly option. In less than two seconds, the small heater can heat up and disperse into the surrounding area with its 45-degree oscillation mechanism. There’s the option to pick from two wind settings, hot wind and natural wind, to meet various temperature needs and save energy. Not sure where to put it? It works great in an office, dorm room, or bedroom since it’s small and portable at less than two pounds.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 4.6 x 4.6 inches
  • Heat source: Ceramic
  • Heat output BTUs: 0.9
  • Coverage radius: 100 square feet per hour
  • Fan-only option: No
  • Safety features: Auto shut-off, tip over safety switch
  • Safety certifications: ETL
  • Adjustable thermostat: Yes
  • Additional features: 45-degree oscillation
  • Price at time of publish: $29.95

What we like:

  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Low noise level
  • Heats in two seconds

What we don’t like:

  • Not suitable for large rooms

The bottom line:

This is a small and more affordable option for those in the market for a space heater that gets warm quickly and has numerous features to ensure safe use at home or in the office.

Best budget space heater
Kloudic Electric High Efficiency Space Heater

Kloudic Electric High Efficiency Space Heater

Best space heater for bedrooms: Costway 1500 Watt Oil Filled Space Heater

Sometimes not even the best heated blankets can help keep the chill away at night. Opt for this oil-filled space heater that has three warmth levels to choose from, including 600-watt, 900-watt, and 1500-watt. As it heats up, you’ll barely hear it as it’s virtually noiseless with no rattling or hissing sounds. Additionally, the six-foot power cord makes it easier to plug into those rooms with limited outlets, so it can be used without having to opt for a power strip or extension cord.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 13 x 10 x 26 inches
  • Heat source: Oil
  • Heat output BTU's: N/A
  • Coverage radius: N/A
  • Fan-only option: No
  • Safety features: Ventilation holes, automatic shut-off, tip-over protection
  • Safety certifications: ETL and UL
  • Adjustable thermostat: Yes
  • Additional features: Three heating levels, foldable handle
  • Price at time of publish: $86.06

What we like:

  • User-friendly design
  • No wind
  • Three heating levels
  • Long power cord

What we don’t like:

  • Has wheels, which could potentially cause it to move out of its intended place

The bottom line:

The Costway Oil Filled Space Heater is ideal for bedrooms with its various heating levels and accessible design that can be placed in a corner, so it’s out of the way while remaining functional.

Best space heater for bedrooms
Costway 1500-Watt Oil Filled Space Heater Electric Oil Radiant Heater with Safety Protection, White

Costway 1500-Watt Oil Filled Space Heater Electric Oil Radiant Heater with Safety Protection, White

Best wall mounted space heater: Heat Storm Phoenix Electric Wall Mounted Space Heater

If you don’t have floor space for a heater, then you may want to consider this wall-mounted option. This infrared heater is easy to navigate with its included remote and digital screen display, so there’s no fussing around with numerous buttons and settings. It’s great for families with kids, since it can be installed high up on the wall where they can’t reach it. If they do, it’s cool to the touch, so they won’t get hurt. Note that it can reach a maximum temperature of 99°F, so it can definitely get the job done and then some.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 19 x 16 x 5 inches
  • Heat source: Infrared quartz
  • Heat output BTU's: 5200
  • Coverage radius: 150 square feet per hour
  • Fan-only option: No
  • Safety features: Automatic shut-off, cool to the touch
  • Safety certifications: ETL
  • Adjustable thermostat: Yes
  • Additional features: Remote control
  • Price at time of publish: $119.31

What we like:

  • Cool to the touch
  • Washable air filter
  • Energy efficient
  • Quiet

What we don’t like:

  • Installation is required

The bottom line:

This quiet wall mounted space heater is best suited for families who don’t want to have the appliance within arms reach of children.

Best wall mounted space heater
Heat Storm Phoenix Electric Wall Mounted Space Heater

Heat Storm Phoenix Electric Wall Mounted Space Heater

Best ceramic space heater: Lasko Ellipse Ceramic Tower Heater

If you’re looking for a more energy efficient option, then this ceramic space heater might be in your wheelhouse. The sleek space heater has three heat settings and oscillates up to 120°, so it’ll distribute heat over spaces both large and small. It’s also well suited with safety features like a tip-over switch and a child lock, so you and your family can remain safe while it’s in use. Let’s not forget the programmable timer which can be set in 30 minute increments for up to two hours and by the hour for up to 12 hours.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 5 x 6 x 19 inches
  • Heat source: Ceramic
  • Heat output BTU's: N/A
  • Coverage radius: 200 square feet per hour
  • Fan-only option: No
  • Safety features: Tip-over switch, child-lock, plug overheat protection
  • Safety certifications: N/A
  • Adjustable thermostat: Yes
  • Additional features: Three heat settings, two fan speeds, 12-hour timer
  • Price at time of publish: $60.47

What we like:

  • Energy efficient
  • Wide heat distribution
  • Easy-to-set timer
  • Remote control
  • Three-year limited warranty

What we don’t like:

  • Bright for nighttime use

The bottom line:

This Lasko tower heater is an energy efficient option for those looking for a safe, adjustable, and easy to use space heater to use during the cold winter months.

Best ceramic space heater
Lasko Ellipse Ceramic Tower Heater for Home with Tipover Switch, Child Lock, Digital Display, Thermostat, Wide Oscillation, Remote, Timer, For Bedroom, Office, Living Room, Den, 1500W, Black, CT18950

Lasko Ellipse Ceramic Tower Heater for Home with Tipover Switch, Child Lock, Digital Display, Thermostat, Wide Oscillation, Remote, Timer, For Bedroom, Office, Living Room, Den, 1500W, Black, CT18950

Best space heater for direct heating: Vornado Electric Compact Space Heater

This space heater is small but mighty with its steady output of heat that keeps a room, especially smaller ones, warm and comfortable. Although it’s tiny, it can reach a maximum temperature of 120°F, so don’t underestimate its power. There isn’t a remote control, but a dial that can be adjusted to increase the temperature as needed. For added safety, you’ll notice an automatic shut-off and a tip-over switch that can help prevent any unwanted accidents or injuries.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 10.6 x 9.2 x 10.4 inches
  • Heat source: Ceramic
  • Heat output BTU's: 5118
  • Coverage radius: 150 square feet per hour
  • Fan-only option: No
  • Safety features: Cool to the touch, automatic shut-off, tip-over protection
  • Safety certifications: ETL
  • Adjustable thermostat: Yes
  • Additional features: Comes in two colors
  • Price at time of publish: $59.99

What we like:

  • No installation required
  • Energy efficient
  • Virtually noiseless
  • Five-year limited warranty

What we don’t like:

  • No remote for temperature adjustment

The bottom line:

This compact heater is a small, yet powerful device that can warm up rooms up to 150 square feet per hour with its energy efficient and noiseless mechanism.

Best space heater for direct heating
Vornado Electric Compact Space Heater

Vornado Electric Compact Space Heater

Best portable space heater: Dreo Atom One Space Heater

A portable space heater is a great option for those who have multiple rooms in a home that may need some attention. With a built-in carry handle, this space heater can easily be taken from one room to another when necessary. For optimal heating, the thermostat can be adjusted between 41°F and 95°F and used in one of four modes: high, low, ECO, and fan.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 5.5 x 10.3 inches
  • Heat source: Ceramic
  • Heat output BTU's: N/A
  • Coverage radius: N/A
  • Fan-only option: Yes
  • Safety features: Overheat sensor, tip-over protection, fused safety plug
  • Safety certifications: ETL
  • Adjustable thermostat: Yes
  • Additional features: One to 12 hour timer, LED display, remote control, 70° oscillation
  • Price at time of publish: $49.99

What we like:

  • Programmable thermostat
  • Energy efficient
  • ECO setting self adjusts based on ambient temperature
  • Washable dust filter

What we don’t like:

  • Low oscillation

The bottom line:

This heater has a carrying handle for easy portability between rooms and its programmable thermostat gives users the ability to find a setting that suits their personal preferences.

Best portable space heater
Dreo Atom One Space Heater

Dreo Atom One Space Heater

Best space heater for big rooms: Himimi Electric High Efficiency Tower Space Heater

This space heater offers 10 feet of coverage per second with its three quiet heat settings (low, high, and fan only). You’ll notice it oscillates 100° and can reach a maximum temperature of 95°F. For added safety, it automatically shuts off after 12 hours.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 19.68 x 5.91 x 5.91 inches
  • Heat source: Ceramic
  • Heat output BTU's: N/A
  • Coverage radius: 300 square feet
  • Fan-only option: Yes
  • Safety features: Overheating sensor, tip-over protection, cool touch exterior
  • Safety certifications: UL
  • Adjustable thermostat: Yes
  • Additional features: Built-in temperature sensor, three heat modes, remote control, one to 12 hour timer
  • Price at time of publish: $68.01

What we like:

  • Touch and remote control panel
  • Energy efficient
  • Smart ECO mode adjusts temperature based on ambient temperature
  • No installation required

What we don’t like:

  • Limited oscillation

The bottom line:

This Himimi heater can warm up large rooms with its three settings that disperse heat at a rate of 10 feet per second.

Best space heater for big rooms
Himimi Electric High Efficiency Tower Space Heater

Himimi Electric High Efficiency Tower Space Heater

Best infrared space heater: Utilitech Infrared Quartz Electric Space Heater

This infrared space heater distributes even heat across rooms up to 300 feet. With three heat settings and an adjustable thermostat, this space heater is simple to use and works in minutes. It has a two hour programmable timer that can be set and its built-in UV light does extra work by helping kill germs and bacteria from the air while in use. For additional safety, there’s an overheat switch and tip over protection for angles above 45 degrees, so you can feel comfortable knowing this space heater has your back.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 11.4 x 14.4 inches
  • Heat source: Infrared quartz
  • Heat output BTU's: 5118
  • Coverage radius: 300 square feet
  • Fan-only option: Yes
  • Safety features: Tip over and overheat shut-off
  • Safety certifications: TUV
  • Adjustable thermostat: Yes
  • Additional features: Built-in UV LED light, eco mode, three heat settings, front air intake
  • Price at time of publish: $89.98

What we like:

  • UV LED light kills germs
  • Programmable timer
  • Portable
  • Cool touch exterior

What we don’t like:

The bottom line:

This quartz heater can warm up medium spaces in minutes with its adjustable thermostat and three heat settings, plus the UV light helps kill bacteria and germs from the air.

Best infrared space heater
Utilitech Up to 1500-Watt Infrared Quartz Cabinet Indoor Electric Space Heater with Thermostat and Remote Included in Black | HT1268NUV

Utilitech Up to 1500-Watt Infrared Quartz Cabinet Indoor Electric Space Heater with Thermostat and Remote Included in Black | HT1268NUV

Best energy-efficient space heater: Dr. Infrared Infrared Quartz Electric Space Heater

Space heaters have the potential to use a lot of energy making them not very eco-friendly in most cases. However, this electric space heater has an automatic energy-saving mode (eco) that can be selected to disperse heat in a smart and thoughtful way. The blower is super quiet at 39 decibels and the quartz heater can be adjusted using the included remote control. It also keeps moisture in the air, so you don’t experience unwanted and uncomfortable dryness while using it.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 13 x 12 x 15 inches
  • Heat source: Infrared quartz
  • Heat output BTU's: 5120 (also available in 5200)
  • Coverage radius: Greater than 300 square feet
  • Fan-only option: No
  • Safety features: Tip over and overheat protection, cool to the touch
  • Safety certifications: UL
  • Adjustable thermostat: Yes
  • Additional features: 12-hour automatic shut-off, three heat settings, remote control
  • Price at time of publish: $126.80

What we like:

  • Low noise level
  • Eco setting
  • Chic cabinet design
  • Lifetime filter
  • Three-year limited warranty

What we don’t like:

  • Doesn’t oscillate

The bottom line:

With an eco mode, this heater quietly distributes even heat and won’t run the electric bill too much.

Best energy-efficient space heater
Dr. Infrared Heater Up to 1500-Watt Infrared Quartz Cabinet Indoor Electric Space Heater with Thermostat and Remote Included | DR-968

Dr. Infrared Heater Up to 1500-Watt Infrared Quartz Cabinet Indoor Electric Space Heater with Thermostat and Remote Included | DR-968

Best stylish space heater: LifeSmart Portable Infrared Electric Heater

Some space heaters can turn rooms into eyesores with their bulky designs, however, this infrared heater does just the opposite. With its chic black construction, this space heater blends right in and is reminiscent of a nightstand or end table. There are three heat settings available and an eco option that maintains a constant temperature of 68°F. Additionally, it has a lifetime filter, so you don’t need to replace it often.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 16.3 x 14 x 10.4 inches
  • Heat source: Infrared quartz
  • Heat output BTU's: 5118
  • Coverage radius: N/A
  • Fan-only option: No
  • Safety features: Cool touch exterior, automatic shut-off, tip over safety switch
  • Safety certifications: N/A
  • Adjustable thermostat: Yes
  • Additional features: Front air intake, three heat settings, remote control
  • Price at time of publish: $78.08

What we like:

  • No installation required
  • 12-hour programmable timer
  • Remote control
  • Cool touch exterior

What we don’t like:

  • Doesn’t oscillate
  • Prop 65 warning

The bottom line:

This heater features a rectangular black exterior reminiscent of a nightstand or end table that effortlessly blends into any room without sticking out in an uncomfortable way.

Best stylish space heater
LifeSmart Portable Infrared Electric Heater

LifeSmart Portable Infrared Electric Heater

How did we select the best space heaters?

To find the best space heaters, we researched different brands on the market and analyzed several based on first-hand testing, user experience, and customer reviews. Our list includes different space heaters well suited for a range of budgets, temperature preferences, and spaces of various sizes.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which type of space heater is best, infrared or ceramic?

The best space heater depends on your needs and preferences. According to Detroit Radiant Products Company, infrared heating reduces the circulation of hazardous particles, chemical pollutants, and cross-contamination of regularly occupied areas. On the other hand, ceramic heaters can generally heat up more quickly and last longer as the material doesn’t wear out as quickly in the process.

How to care for and maintain space heaters

There are a few ways to care for and maintain a space heater. The first line of business is to make sure you’re changing or washing the filter regularly. This will prevent dust particles from building up and causing disruptions while in use.

In terms of positioning, you’ll want to make sure your space heater is in a place that’s away from both flammable and loose objects. For example, you wouldn’t want your space heater resting near a bed skirt or by a drawer filled with nail polish. A good rule of thumb is to keep it three feet away from any hazardous objects or materials.

As for the cord, you’ll want to make sure to plug the space heater directly into an outlet, not an extension cord. Using a space heater with an extension cord can cause overheating and electrical damage. Also, make sure the wire isn’t frayed. If it is, stop using it immediately.

How safe are space heaters?

Space heaters can be safe, but are not the safest option when it comes to staying warm when the temperatures drop. Space heaters will come with an instructional booklet about where to place your space heater, which you’ll want to pay close attention to when setting it up. And just like you would do when shopping for the best electric fireplaces, it’s ideal to pick a heater that has safety certifications, like ETL and/or UL. This ensures that it has current safety features.

Are space heaters a fire hazard?

Space heaters can be a fire hazard in some cases. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), space heaters account for 44% of home heating fires and 88% of home heating deaths. For example, if they are placed near anything that’s flammable or plugged into an extension cord, they can potentially catch fire or cause an electric shock.

Are space heaters energy efficient?

Space heaters can be energy efficient if you’re only heating a small area, such as one room or part of a room. If you’re trying to heat multiple rooms or an entire home, it’s less likely that space heaters will be energy efficient, particularly if the heater is only designed to heat smaller spaces and/or if it’s an infrared heater. In that case, central heating is the better option.

Infrared heaters work best if you’re going to be in the room. These heaters directly heat whoever or whatever is nearby, so if you’re not necessarily going to be around the heater—or you need to heat multiple rooms—consider a convection heater, which works by circulating air. (Generally, convection space heaters have a ceramic heating element.) You’ll also want to make sure the heater has the capacity to heat a larger area.

Is it okay to leave a space heater on overnight?

It’s generally not advised to leave a space heater on overnight. You’ll always want to have a watchful eye on the heater in case it were to tip over or come into contact with fabric or other material that may be dangerous. Although you may have it programmed to shut off at a certain point, it’s safer to turn it off at night since you aren’t fully aware of your surroundings at that time.

Who needs a space heater?

Space heaters are well suited for those individuals who live in a house with little to no heat. For example, if you live in a historic home, then you might not have central heating or cooling. In this case, a space heater can help warm up the rooms that are most occupied by people including bedrooms, bathrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms.

College students may also benefit from a space heater to add some extra warmth to their dorm room.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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