We spent over 54 hours researching and testing 15 different types of space heaters and found that performance, ease of use, and heating range were most important. The Lasko Oscillating Ceramic Heater scored high marks in all areas and is our top pick the top-mounted controls which are easy to reach and use. The built in thermostat allowed us to choose the exact temperature we wanted in the room so readjustments weren’t necessary. The heater runs very quietly and can be used in a bedroom without keeping anyone awake. The cool touch feature on the housing makes this heater much safer.
Space Heater Reviews
Weather it’s the middle of winter, a rain storm, or a cold front making its way through your area, cold weather can be hard to avoid and no matter how well your home is prepared for the harsh effects of the cold, staying warm is not always an easy task. A space heater is not designed to be the sole source of heat, or to heat large spaces. However, a space heater can effectively warm a drafty room or add warmth to an individual room to improve your comfort. These cost effective heaters do not take up much space and are an inexpensive and efficient ways to keep warm without breaking the bank or sacrificing high energy bills. A space heater is a single unit that can be plugged into any outlet to generate heat for a particular area of your home or office.
Space heaters are commonly used in offices, where you do not control the overall temperature of the room. In rooms that have drafts from windows or fireplaces, and rooms that you may frequent, but don’t want to keep the whole house as warm as you want the room you are currently in. Workshops or garages are also common places to use a space heater. You do not need it warm all the time, but when you want to complete work in these areas, space heaters are an effective way to warm a space.
These devices can be found in a multitude of sizes and with a variety of settings geared towards heating small and large rooms based on your needs. Space heaters tend to be more efficient at heating a single room in less time than it would take your home’s HVAC system to do so. This saves money on energy costs during the winter months. Space heaters may be used year round to bring warmth to any room in your home or office. Space heaters are compact in size, don’t use a lot of energy, and are easy to transport. You are able to meet all of your intermittent heating needs with a cost efficient space heater.
The Lasko 5409 Oscillating Ceramic Heater is the top pick because it is a ceramic space heater that is both efficient and effective for heating your space. It is specifically designed to bring all the power and benefits of a large heating unit in a small convenient tabletop heater. This space heater is compact in size and only measures 8 inches by 11 inches by 6.6 inches. It only weighs four pounds making it ideal for traveling or transporting. It is easy to store when it is not being used and although this is a smaller model than traditional space heaters, this device can easily warm large and small spaces alike. This space heater has top mounted controls which means all your setting and knobs are located at the top of the heater for easy access that are clear and easy to control.
The Lasko 5409 oscillating heater includes a built in thermostat that will allow you to choose and maintain the exact temperature you desire for your room or space so you won’t have to constantly readjust your heat setting should your room or space become too warm. This also allows you to set the room temperature and it will be maintained without monitoring. The Lasko 5409 comes equipped with 1500 watts of comforting warmth along with three quiet settings. This enables you to use it in a bedroom or other space where the noise level is an important factor. The heater includes a fan so on days when the weather is warmer you can simply run the fan without the heater to circulate the air in the room. The housing on the unit is built with a cool touch feature which means there is not a danger of getting burned even on the hottest settings. The heater also features overheat protection which will turn the unit off if the internal mechanisms get overheated.
The Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater is a top pick because it is a powerful and very quiet heater that can warm a large room effectively. This unit offers energy saving abilities and a high powered heating output. This one of a kind space heater is one of the quietest on the market and only operates at 39 decibels. It includes a high pressure noise blower which reduces the noise levels without impacting heat output.
The unit is still very compact and only measures 13 X 11 X 16 inches and can be used in almost any room. It weighs in at 23 pounds making it portable as well. This unit comes with three settings and can be set to automatic or put on low at 1000 watts, or on high at 1500 watts of power. There is also an energy saving mode which sets an exact temperature between 50 and 86 degrees depending on your comfort levels. This will maintain the rooms temperature automatically. The efficient and compact design has the ability to heat a large room giving you all the power and heat you need while saving you energy and reducing high heating bills. In this space heater you will also find dual heating systems featuring infrared quartz tube with 12 hour automatic shut off.
The automatic shut off feature will grant you peace of mind should you ever forget to turn your space heater off or leave the device unattended for a long period of time. This feature will also prevent your space heater from overheating. Another valuable feature included with this space heater is a remote control, allowing you to choose your heat settings from a distance as well as adjust the noise level all the way down to super quiet for young children, or use in a bedroom at night.
The Oceanaire HFQ15A Warmwave Fan Heater is a top pick because it has a very unique twist on the traditional space heater with its unique design, compact size, and easy to control functions. This unit is very compact and only measures 5 X 8.5 X 9 and only weighs 2 pounds. This unit is perfect for small rooms and can heat up to 150 square feet effectively. This heater is great for small areas and ideal for traveling, taking it to work, or moving it to various rooms in your home as needed. Its compact size also make storage a breeze during the warmer months when the heater is not used. It includes both a heating element and a fan which allows you to either circulate the air or heat a room depending on your needs.
The Oceanaire Warmwave heater features overheat protection that will shut the heater off should it get too hot or become overworked. This feature will give you peace of mind should you ever forget to turn it off or fall asleep with it still in use. The heater comes with two setting and you can set it on 900 or 1500 watts to control the amount of heat the unit will produce. The housing remains cool to the touch even when operating which will prevent burns and is safe around children. The space heater features dual mechanical controls which operate the fan speed and temperature. This unit is ETL certified. The adjustments to the heater are conveniently found on the top of the unit and is made from plastic.
– Sarah Lytle
Summary of Our Top Picks Space heaters can be used almost anywhere and will save you money on your heating bills because you are only heating a concentrated space instead of a larger area. Regardless of which one of the top picks you choose you will find they heat the space effectively and operate efficiently. All three units offer overheat protection and temperature controls.
The Dr Infrared is the largest heater and heats the largest space. It is also the quietest and most powerful. All that power, however, brings it in at the highest price. If you are looking to heat a larger room or need an exact temperature setting to be comfortable this is the best choice. The Oceanair is at the other end and provides the lightest and smallest unit which heats the smallest amount of space at only 150 square feet. This would be perfect for heating a small office area or a small room. It is the least expensive and comes with the fewest bells and whistles and only offers high and low settings. The Laskco is the mid-range option and will heat the space effectively. The unit is quiet, although not as quiet as the Dr Infrared but provides enough heat for an average room. No matter which unit you choose you will be pleased with the energy savings and increase in comfort you gain from a space heater.
Space heaters, while all having the same job (heating a room or space) vary widely in the controls, functions, and other features they may include to customize your experience. With that in mind we have identified some questions to ask yourself to assist in identifying which space heater will best suit your needs.
Where will the space heater be used? Where you intend to use your space heater is the best place to start when identifying your buying needs. The square footage of the area will determine the size and power required from the unit you choose. Selecting a unit that is too small for the space required will leave you unsatisfied with the unit’s performance. It is better to go larger and use it on a lower setting than buy a unit that cannot heat your space adequately. However, getting too large of a unit will use more energy than needed.
How will the heater be used? Do you intend to set it in one room and leave it there or will you be moving it from room to room? Will it be used in an office where size and noise levels may be the most important features? A garage may need a larger unit for the space and will not be moved so a larger unit is a better choice. Your location and application will determine the size and amount of power you will require.
How often will you monitor your device or change settings? Will you set the unit at one temperature and then let it run anytime the room temperature falls outside those ranges or will you only turn it on when you are in the room. Heaters can be automated much like a central unit or they can be used on an as need basis. You will choose your unit based on these requirements. Overheat and tip over protection are very useful if the unit may run unattended.
Features to Consider
Evaluating what features are most important to you will help you select the right model for your needs. A few of the most common features include the following:
Built In Thermometer one feature you can find in space heaters is a built in thermometer. The built in thermometer will allow you select the degree of temperature you would like your space heater to maintain. Some heaters come with high and low settings or fan only settings. Others offer specific temperatures that can be maintained. The more specific temperatures the heater offers the higher the cost will be.
Cool touch housing. Heaters are producing heat and if the housing gets hot then children can get burned if the unit is touched. Some heaters have open heating elements and many heaters get extremely hot Very quickly. If the heater will be used in a traffic area or around children the cool touch housing will be an important feature to look for.
How much heat is produced? Most heaters use 1500 watts to heat but that is not an indication of the motor size or the amount of space it will heat. Look for square footage ratings rather than wattage output. More efficient heaters can produce a lot more heat with 1500 watts than less expensive models.
Remote Control options will allow you to change settings without having to physically get up and go to the heater. The remote control will let you select and change any settings from anywhere in the room.
Automatic Shutoff/Overheat Protection/tip over protection: The automatic shutoff or overheat protection feature means that if you space heater ever becomes too hot, or runs for an allotted time it will shut itself off. Tip over protections will shut it off if the unit is knocked over.
Space heaters are an excellent way to fight the cold and bring warmth into your home or other spaces. The compact nature of the space heaters makes them easy to transport, store, and move about to heat the rooms you need, as you need them heated. Space heaters can be a great way to bring the heat you need into your space while also reducing electric bills providing energy savings. Space heaters can be a great addition to your room or space.
Sarah's passion for cooking and eating healthy is what drives her to research and educate others. Sarah is our expert researcher who manages the Home and Kitchen category. When she's not writing you'll find her listening to Paleo Diet podcasts and educating people on how to live and eat primally.