We Found the Best Baseboard Heaters to Keep Your Home Toasty

The best baseboard heater is the Cadet 1500-Watt Electric Baseboard Heater

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The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

Whether it is a hardwired heater or something portable, a baseboard heater is an efficient way to increase your home’s temperature. “Baseboard heaters are great for small rooms,” says general contractor Alan Rickmint. “They’re efficient and can be turned on and off as needed.”

We researched and reviewed the top baseboard heaters to see which ones were the easiest to install and heated the best. Our top pick, the Cadet 1500-Watt Electric Baseboard Heater, provides enough heat for most uses and is easy to install.

Here are the best baseboard heaters.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Cadet 72 in. 1,500-watt 240-Volt Electric Baseboard Heater

4.5
Cadet 240-Volt Electric Baseboard Heater

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Works for most small to medium-sized rooms

  • Pre-drilled installation holes

  • Universal wiring

  • Safety shutoff

What We Don't Like
  • Thermostat sold separately

  • Best with pro installation

Who else recommends it? Family Handyman also picked the Cadet 240-Volt Electric Baseboard Heater.


What do buyers say? 200+ Home Depot reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above. 

Cadet is one of the top names in baseboard heaters and appears multiple times on our list. Not only are its heaters reliable, affordable, and well-made, it also makes choosing the right size and output easy. This 1,500-watt model (referring to the actual output) is a standard 72 inches, fitting most uses and construction. It has pre-drilled holes and universal wiring, making it one of the easiest baseboard heaters to install. It is a 240-volt baseboard heater and requires a double breaker.

This Cadet can heat rooms up to 175 square feet and is ideal for small-to-medium rooms such as bedrooms. The element is covered in steel, which protects the unit and keeps the heat circulating.

If temperatures exceed manufacturer-preset limits, the Cadet 1500-Watt electric baseboard heater automatically shuts off the unit. That can prevent hazardous conditions that could lead to fires. The unit also requires a dedicated thermostat (purchased separately); Cadet sells a compatible unit.

Type: Convection︱Length: 72 inches︱Room Size: 175 square feet︱Wattage: 1,500︱Amperage: 6.3︱Voltage: 240

Best Budget: Cadet 48 in. 1,000-Watt Electric Baseboard Heater

Cadet Electric Baseboard Heater

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Slim design

  • Budget-friendly

  • Safety shutoff

  • Easy to install

What We Don't Like
  • Thermostat sold separately

  • Pro install adds to cost

Another reliable baseboard heater from Cadet, this model is slightly smaller and with less heat output (48 inches long and 1,000 watts). If you have a smaller room or a smaller budget, it is a great choice, as it provides the safety shutoff and other features of its 1,500-watt cousin. This heater is also unobtrusive, with a slim design and a shorter length that can blend in just about any room. It heats up to 150 square feet, but you can strategically place multiple heaters in larger areas.

It has pre-drilled installation holes and universal wiring at both ends. While it needs to be hard-wired, doing so is easy. If you aren’t confident around electricity, consider hiring a pro, although that adds to the cost. The required thermostat (purchased separately) also adds to the overall cost.

Type: Convection︱Length: 48 inches︱Room Size: 150 square feet︱Wattage: 1,000︱Amperage: 4.2︱Voltage: 240

Best Convection: De'Longhi Convection Panel Heater

De'Longhi Convection Panel Heater

Amazon

What We Like
  • Can be mounted or freestanding

  • Digital controls

  • Safety shutoff

  • Anti-freeze setting

What We Don't Like
  • So-so warranty

  • Expensive

Because it is freestanding, this panel heater can go anywhere in the room, offering versatility that many other baseboard heaters don’t have. Putting it at the baseboard makes efficient use of the space. You also can mount it on the wall, with the included mounting kit. It puts out 1,500 watts, enough for a small-to-medium-size room.

The unit has digital controls, as well as a programmable timer. The safety shutoff turns it off when the heat exceeds safe levels, while the anti-freeze setting turns it on to keep the room temperature at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The heater also comes with a three-year warranty, which isn’t as long as those offered with some products, but it still offers the peace of mind, because the manufacturer corrects any issues. We would prefer that the warranty were longer, considering the unit’s high price.

Type: Convection︱Length: 82 inches︱Room Size: 300 square feet︱Wattage: 1,500︱Amperage: 1︱Voltage: 110

Best Small Hydronic: Cadet 47 in. SoftHeat Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heater 47 in. SoftHeat Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heater

Cadet 47 in. SoftHeat Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heater

Home Depot

What We Like
  • Low surface temperature

  • Safety shutoff

  • Universal wiring

  • Sleek design

What We Don't Like
  • Only for small rooms

  • Expensive

  • Thermostat sold separately

This heater uses mineral oil to circulate and conduct heat, so the unit’s surface doesn’t get as hot. The hydronic baseboard heater from Cadet encompasses all of the features we like in Cadet convection heaters, including the safety shutoff, universal wiring, and clean design.

The 47-inch, 750-watt heater is ideal for a nursery, bedroom, or office, where having a baseboard heater that doesn't burn your hand is more important than having the most powerful one available. It is a bit pricey for the output and, as the others, requires a separately purchased thermostat.

Type: Hydronic︱Length: 47 inches︱Room Size: 100 square feet︱Wattage: 750︱Amperage: 3.1︱Voltage: 240

Best for Large Rooms: Cadet 96 in. 2,000/2,500-Watt 240-Volt Electric Baseboard Heater

baseboard heater

Cadet

What We Like
  • High output

  • Pre-drilled holes

  • Universal wiring on both ends

  • Very quiet

What We Don't Like
  • Thermostat sold separately

  • Best with pro installation

With a whopping 2,000-watt output, the Cadet 96-inch baseboard heater is a good option for heating a large room, up to 250 square feet. It is surprisingly quiet, given its large size and output. Its powder-coated steel cover muffles the noise and resists scratching. It includes the safety shutoff that other Cadet models have, but, as with the others, you need to purchase a separate thermostat.

Installing this large baseboard heater, which is hard-wired, using a double amp is similar to other Cadet models. Some additional elements make it easy, given its large size. The pre-drilled holes are at 1-inch intervals, so you can mount the heater where you need it. It also has universal wiring on both ends, so connecting it to power is easy. Like any hard-wired baseboard heater, it’s best to leave the electrical installation to the pros, unless you have extensive knowledge and confidence.

Type: Convection︱Length: 96 inches︱Room Size: 250 square feet︱Wattage: 2,000︱Amperage: 8.33︱Voltage: 240

Best for Small Rooms: Cadet 30-In. 240-Volt Baseboard Hardwire Electric Heater

Cadet 30-In. 240-Volt Baseboard Hardwire Electric Heater

Amazon

What We Like
  • Small footprint

  • Great for very small rooms

  • Includes safety features

  • Includes easy install design

What We Don't Like
  • Thermostat sold separately

  • Pro installation

On the other end of the Cadet spectrum is the 30-inch, 500-watt baseboard heater. The "older baby" of the Cadet family heats rooms up to 100 square feet but includes many of the features of the larger models, such as the safety shutoff and universal wiring setup. You need to purchase a separate thermostat and potentially pay for pro installation, but at this affordable cost, it’s easier to work those into your budget.

There is one smaller option from Cadet, which measures 24 inches; if you want to install the heater on a very narrow wall, these are the two best sizes, but the 30-inch model circulates the heat more and fits in just about any space. Cadet recommends placing baseboard heaters under windows to allow them to work efficiently.

Type: Convection︱Length: 30 inches︱Room Size: 100 square feet︱Wattage: 500︱Amperage: 2.1︱Voltage: 240

Best Portable: Comfort Zone Indoor 1500 Watt Electric Baseboard Convection Space Heater

Comfort Zone CZ600 Indoor 1500 Watt Electric Baseboard Convection Space Heater

Amazon

What We Like
  • Portable

  • Easy to set up

  • Overheat shutoff

  • Tip-over shutoff

What We Don't Like
  • Short warranty

  • Placed out in the room

Just plug in your heater and get cranking! The Comfort Zone CZ600 provides the same output as that of many hard-wired baseboard heaters but without professional installation. It uses standard 110-volt power and can be plugged into any outlet. The unit stays surprisingly cool, although it does warm to the touch.

One standout design feature is the dent-proof construction on each end. Depending on where you place this heater, it may be in the middle of the room and prone to being moved or hit. But the ends do not dent or become damaged, which protects the heating element inside, and your home from potential hazards. It also includes an overheat shutoff and tip-over shutoff. However, it only comes with a two-year warranty, although the manufacturer’s customer service does get high marks.

Type: Convection︱Length: 30.38 inches︱Room Size: 100 square feet︱Wattage: 1,500︱Amperage: 12.5︱Voltage: 110

Best Quiet: Cadet F Series 48 in. Hardwire Electric Baseboard Heater

Cadet F Series 48 in. Hardwire Electric Baseboard Heater

Amazon

What We Like
  • Very quiet

  • Safety shutoff

  • Easy installation

  • Multiple sizes and outputs

What We Don't Like
  • Thermostat sold separately

  • Pro install needed

The Cadet F Series is virtually silent, even as it heats. This heater comes with safety features that we like from Cadet, including the overheating sensor and shutoff. It also has universal wiring on both sides, making installation a breeze for a professional. You need to purchase a separate thermostat, however.

It comes in multiple sizes, from 24 inches all the way to 96 inches. Power output starts at 350 watts in the smallest size and increases until it reaches 2,000 watts in the longest baseboard heater. The best size and output for your room depend on the size of your space.

Type: Convection︱Length: 48 inches︱Room Size: 160 square feet︱Wattage: 1,000︱Amperage: 4.2︱Voltage: 240

Best Hydronic: Cadet SoftHeat Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heater

softheat-baseboard-heater

Courtesy of Home Depot

Type: Hydronic | Length: 59 inches | Room Size: 125 square feet | Wattage: 1,000/750 watts | Amperage: 12.5 amps | Voltage: 240/208 volts

What We Like
  • Quiet operation

  • Conserves energy

  • Automatic shutoff

What We Don't Like
  • On the pricier side

This hydronic baseboard heater is ideal for rooms up to 125 square feet. Even when the thermostat shuts off, the heater continues to generate residual warmth—maintaining a room’s temperature. The unit shuts off automatically if normal operating temperatures are exceeded. And because the heating element is enclosed, the exterior stays cool and doesn’t pose a risk to anyone passing by.

This model must be hard-wired to an electrical supply. Universal wiring allows for installation at either end of the heater. This heater supplies 1,000 watts of heat at 240 volts or 750 watts at 208 volts.

Best 120-Volt: King 4 ft. 1000-Watt 120-volt Baseboard Heater

King 120-Volt Baseboard Heater

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Easy to install

  • Quiet operation

  • Durable construction

  • Automatic overheating protection

What We Don't Like
  • Necessary thermostat sold separately

Most baseboard heaters require a 240-volt connection, but your home might not be wired to support it. When shopping for 120-volt baseboard heaters, your options are more limited, but this 1,000-watt model from King is one to consider. This unit still needs to be hard-wired to an electrical supply, but it requires only a single circuit. The heater can be wired at either end, and this flexibility allows for easier installation. 

With a length of 48 inches and a heat output of 3,413 BTUs, this heater is best suited for smaller rooms. Featuring quiet operation and durable steel construction, it’s an ideal choice for bedrooms and living areas.

Type: Convection | Length: 48 inches | Room Size: Not listed | Wattage: 1,000 watts | Amperage: Not listed | Voltage: 120 volts

Final Verdict

Our Best Overall choice is the Cadet 1500-Watt Electric Baseboard Heater. Installation is easy with the pre-drilled holes and universal wiring. The output is also enough for most rooms and uses. The Cadet SoftHeat Hydronic Baseboard Heater offers the same features in a hydronic design.

What to Look for in a Baseboard Heater

Convection vs. hydronic

Convection baseboard heaters warm rooms by heating the air; hydronic baseboard heaters warm rooms by heating fluid—usually oil or water—from within a reservoir, and then transferring that heat to the room air. The even heating is very quiet and reliable, although not as powerful as that of many convection options. Generally, hydronic baseboard heaters warm rooms more slowly, while convection heaters use more energy to maintain comfortable temperatures. Once their thermostats kick off, convection baseboard heaters don’t stay warm very long, because their internal heating elements and outer steel casings cool down very quickly. On the other hand, heating elements in hydronic baseboard heaters continue to radiate warmth even after shutting off, providing longer-lasting heat.

Wattage 

To find a baseboard heater that adequately heats your space, wattage is an important factor. Wattage determines two things: how much energy a heater consumes, and how much heat it puts out. As a general rule, you can estimate each square foot needing 10 watts. For example, a 10 x 10 room (100 square feet) requires 1,000 watts of heating power.

To choose the right wattage size for a baseboard heater, do the following calculations:

  1. Measure the length and width of the room, in feet. 
  2. Multiply those figures to get the square footage. 
  3. Multiply the square footage by 10.

Length 

Wattage goes hand in hand with the length of a heater, which is measured in inches. The longer the heater, the higher the wattage. Of course, there are exceptions, but here are common lengths and wattages of baseboard heaters you’ll find at big-box home improvement stores. 

  • 24-inch, 240-volt heater: 350 watts
  • 36-inch, 240-volt heater: 750 watts
  • 48-inch, 240-volt heater: 1,000 watts
  • 60-inch, 240-volt heater: 1,250 watts
  • 72-inch, 240-volt heater: 1,500 watts
  • 96-inch, 240-volt heater: 2,000 or 2,500 watts
FAQ
  • How do baseboard heaters work?

    There are two main types of baseboard heaters: convection and hydronic. Although they look pretty much the same from the outside, there are some fundamental differences between the two. The convection process draws cool air into the bottom of the heater. The heater warms that air and then releases it into a room. Hydronic heaters, on the other hand, contain water or oil. The heating warms that liquid, which heats the air.


    “Most people prefer convection heaters, because they are cheaper,” says general contractor Alan Rickmint. “But hydronic heaters are more even, and the actual unit doesn’t get as hot.”

  • What is the best way to clean a baseboard heater?

    Baseboard heaters should be cleaned at least once a year to keep them running smoothly. Before you begin cleaning, be sure to shut off the power and wait until the unit has cooled down. To remove dirt, dust, and other debris from the vents, you can use your vacuum's crevice tool or dusting brush attachments. 

  • How long do baseboard heaters last?

    Since convection heaters don’t contain moving parts that wear out, they could potentially last for decades. Hydronic heaters may last just as long, but they require yearly maintenance to prevent corrosion, rust, and calcium deposits.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was researched and written by Katie Begley, a freelance writer specializing in home and family products. Katie has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. When compiling this list, Katie considered ease of installation and power output as well as safety features. She also consulted with Alan Rickmint, a general contractor who has been remodeling homes for almost 30 years.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. 9 Best Electric Baseboard Heaters. Family handyman. https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/best-electric-baseboard-heaters/

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