The 8 Best Baseboard Heaters of 2021

Stay warm with one of these top-rated models

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Baseboard heaters are a great way to provide supplemental heat to an individual room. Because they have a slim profile and lie flush against the wall, they also take up very little space—making them ideal for smaller spaces.

There are two types of baseboard heaters on the market: convection and hydronic. Typical convection baseboard heaters draw cool air over a heating element and emit warm air in return. Hydronic baseboard heaters are pre-filled with water or oil. The internal heating element heats up this liquid and releases warm air into the room. Although hydronic heaters typically cost more than convection baseboard heaters, they tend to be quieter and more efficient.

Most baseboard heaters need to be hardwired to an electrical supply. There are some portable versions available, which can be plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet. Baseboard heaters come in various lengths and offer anywhere from 750 to 1,500 watts of power.

To help you find the model that’s best-suited for your space, we've researched the top-rated baseboard heaters in a variety of categories. Read on for our top picks.

Our Top Picks
With easy installation, even heating, and quiet operation, this baseboard heater is a go-to choice for homeowners.
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This affordably priced electric baseboard heater is a great choice for smaller rooms.
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This top-rated electric baseboard heater allows for greater flexibility when it comes to installation.
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Offering quiet operation, energy efficiency, and great safety features, this hydronic unit is a good choice for almost any living area.
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Best for Small Rooms:
King Baseboard Heater at Amazon
At 750W, this compact heater isn’t the most powerful, but it’s efficient enough to warm up a small space during a cold spell.
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Due to its longer length and higher heat output, this baseboard heater is well-suited for larger spaces.
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This portable model can easily be moved from room to room, and it offers a nice selection of customizable features.
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If your home isn't wired to support a 240V heater, this highly-rated 120V model is a great alternative.
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Best Overall: Cadet 72 in. 1,500-watt 240-Volt Electric Baseboard Heater

Cadet 240-Volt Electric Baseboard Heater

Type: Electric | Length: 72 inches  Room Size: 200 square feet | Wattage: 1,500/1,125 watts | Amperage: 6.3 amps | Voltage: 240/208 volts

What We Like
  • Easily installation

  • Quiet operation

  • Automatic overheating protection

  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Requires a separate thermostat

This model stands out for its even heating and quiet operation, making it a popular choice for bedrooms. With a powder-coated finish and steel-sheathed heating element, it’s also very durable. For added peace of mind, this baseboard heater offers automatic overheating protection and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Like most residential baseboard heaters, this unit requires a hardwired connection to a 240-volt or 208-volt electrical supply. Installation is easy thanks to pre-punched mounting holes and universal wiring. 

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

Cadet Electric Baseboard Heater

Type: Electric | Length: 48 inches  Room Size: 150 square feet | Wattage: 1,000 watts | Amperage: Not listed | Voltage: 240 volts

What We Like
  • Easy to install

  • Small profile

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Less efficient than a hydronic heater

If you want to stay warm without spending a lot of money, consider this budget-friendly model from Cadet. With 1,000 watts of power and a heat output of 3412 BTU, it’s not the most powerful baseboard heater on the market, but it is one of the more affordable. And thanks to its slim profile and all-white finish, it can blend in with just about any room.

This electric heater is best suited for smaller spaces up to 150 square feet; if you want to heat a larger space, you can install two (or more!) units to increase the impact.

Like most residential baseboard heaters, this model must be hardwired to a 240-volt electrical supply. It comes with a lifetime warranty to ensure customer satisfaction.

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

baseboard heater

Type: Electric | Length: 96 inches  Room Size: 350 square feet | Wattage: 2,500 watts (maximum) | Amperage: 10.41 | Voltage: 240 volts

What We Like
  • Easy to install

  • Quiet operation

  • Durable construction

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Thermostat is required and sold separately

This 96-inch electric baseboard heater from Cadet is a popular pick among experts and consumers. With up to 2,500 watts of power, this unit can effectively circulate heat in rooms up to 350 square feet. This heater earns accolades for its easy installation, quiet operation, and rugged construction. It has automatic overheating protection and is backed by a lifetime warranty for all-around peace of mind. 

Note that this is a multi-watt unit: If it’s installed at 240 volts, you choose between 2,500 or 2,000 watts, and when installed at 208 volts, it can produce 1,875 or 1,500 watts. Because this heater can operate at a lower or higher wattage, it’s suitable for a variety of room sizes. 

Best Hydronic: Cadet SoftHeat Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heater

softheat-baseboard-heater

Type: Hydronic | Length: 59 inches  Room Size: Not Listed | 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

Quieter and generally more energy-efficient than electric heaters, this hydronic baseboard heater is ideal for rooms up to 150 square feet in size. Even when the thermostat shuts off, the heater will continue to generate residual warmth—maintaining a room’s temperature while conserving energy. The unit will shut 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 hardwired 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 for Small Rooms: King K 3 ft. 120-Volt 750-Watt Baseboard Heater

ing K-Series 3-foot Baseboard Heater

Type: Convection | Length: 36 inches  Room Size: 120 square feet | Wattage: 750 watts | Amperage: 6.25 amps | Voltage: 120 volts

What We Like
  • Easy to install

  • Quiet operation

  • Automatic shutoff

What We Don't Like
  • Not programmable

  • Thermostat not included

Delivering 750 watts of power, this compact 36-inch baseboard heater is an excellent choice for smaller rooms. When it comes to installation, this unit allows for greater flexibility. Although it needs to be hardwired to an electrical supply, there is a universal wiring harness at either end of the heater for easier installation. The unit relies on convection heat to provide consistent warmth throughout a room. 

This baseboard heater is highly praised for its quiet operation and durable steel construction, making it a popular choice for living areas and bedrooms. If the temperature gets too high, the heater will shut off automatically—a great safety feature for added peace of mind. Keep in mind that this heater is not programmable and it requires a thermostat, which must be purchased separately.

Best for Large Rooms: Fahrenheat PLF1504 Liquid Filled Hydronic Baseboard Heater

PLF1504 Liquid Filled Hydronic Baseboard Heater

Type: Electric | Length: 70 inches  Room Size: 120 square feet | Wattage: 1,500 watts | Amperage: Not listed | Voltage: 240 volts

What We Like
  • Easy installation

  • Quiet operation

  • Can effectively warm a large room

What We Don't Like
  • Only available in beige

This 70-inch baseboard heater from Fahrenheat has 1,500 watts of power. It releases strong heat at maximum efficiency, making it an ideal choice for larger rooms. Despite being so powerful, this model has a quiet operation. Installation is simple thanks to the wire-way along the back of the heater, which allows it to be hardwired at either end. Note that this heater requires a 240-volt connection, and not every home is wired to support it. 

As with many other options on this list, the exterior of this unit stays cool to the touch. Overheat protection prevents the unit from running if the air intake is blocked, reducing the risk of a fire.

Best Portable: Lasko Portable 1,500-Watt Baseboard Heater

Lasko Portable Baseboard Heater

Type: Electric | Length: 34 inches  Room Size: 300 square feet | Wattage: 1,500 watts | Amperage: 12.5 | Voltage: 120 volts

What We Like
  • No hardwiring required

  • Quiet operation

  • Digital thermostat and timer

  • Impressive selection of features

What We Don't Like
  • Questionable durability

Unlike the majority of baseboard heaters, this portable model doesn’t need to be hardwired to an electrical supply. You can place it almost anywhere in your home within proximity to a standard 120-volt outlet. With 1,500 watts of heating power and 5,100 BTU, this heater can warm rooms up to 300 square feet in size. It’s available in two finishes—black and white. 

In addition to its portability, this model earns praise for its silent operation and convenient features. It includes an adjustable thermostat, timer, overheat protection, and a tip-over shutoff. Although there are some reports of breakage within a short period of time, you can add a protection plan for added peace of mind.

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

King 120-Volt Baseboard Heater

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

What We Like
  • Easy to install

  • Quiet operation

  • Durable construction

  • Automatic overheating protection

What We Don't Like
  • Thermostat is required and sold separately

Most baseboard heaters require a 240-volt connection, but your home may not be wired to support it. When shopping for 120-volt baseboard heaters, you’ll find that your options are more limited, but this 1,000-watt model from King is one to consider. Keep in mind that this unit still needs to be hardwired to an electrical supply, but it only requires 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.

Final Verdict

With its quiet operation and even heating, the Cadet 48 in. Electric Baseboard Heater is a go-to choice (view at Home Depot). This model is backed by a lifetime warranty to ensure years of reliable use. If energy efficiency is a top priority, consider the Cadet SoftHeat Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heater (view at Home Depot). Even after shutting off, this unit will continue to radiate warmth while conserving energy.

What to Look for in a Baseboard Heater

Convection vs. Hydronic

When compared to a convection model, a hydronic baseboard heater will be slower to heat up a room. Convection baseboard heaters take less time to reach their target temperature, but they’re not as effective or energy-efficient on the whole. While the upfront cost of a hydronic heater is more than a convection heater, you will likely save more on energy bills in the long run. 

Once the thermostat kicks off, convection baseboard heaters don’t stay warm for very long. The internal heating elements and the outer steel casing cool down very quickly. For that reason, a convection heater will likely use more energy to maintain a comfortable temperature. In a hydronic baseboard heater, the heating element will continue to radiate warmth even after shutting off, and therefore provides longer-lasting heat.

Wattage 

To find a baseboard heater that will adequately heat your space, wattage is an important factor to consider. Wattage is a unit for measuring electricity and it determines two things: how much energy a heater will consume, and how much heat it will put out. As a general rule of thumb, you can estimate 10 watts of electric heating per square foot. For example, a 10 x 10 room (100 square feet) will require 1,000 watts of heating power. 

To choose the right wattage size for a baseboard heater, you can do the following calculations. 

  1. Measure the length and width of the room (in feet). 
  2. Multiply the length x the width of the room to get the square footage. 
  3. Multiply the square footage x 10. The end result will give you the estimated wattage required to sufficiently heat a room. 

Length 

Wattage goes hand in hand with the length of a heater, which is measured in inches. The longer the length of the heater, the higher the number of watts. Of course there are exceptions, but here are common lengths and wattages of baseboard heaters that 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: 1000 watts
  • 60-inch 240-volt heater: 1250 watts
  • 72-inch 240-volt heater: 1500 watts
  • 96-inch 240-volt heater: 2000 or 2500 watts
FAQ
  • How do baseboard heaters work?

    There are two main types of convection 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 hater warms up that air and then releases it into a room. Hydronic heaters, on the other hand, contain water or oil within the unit itself. The heating warms that liquid and in turn, heats the air. 

  • 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 any moving parts that will wear out, they could potentially last for decades. Hydronic heaters may last just as long, but they require yearly maintenance to prevent corrosion, rust, or calcium deposits. Although you’ll probably pay a little more for the energy a convection heater consumes, it will likely last a bit longer and give you fewer worries than a hydronic heater. 

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Sage McHugh, a freelance writer who covers home appliances for The Spruce. For this roundup, Sage considered dozens of baseboard heaters, evaluating each model’s features, functionality, and heating power. To find the top-rated products on the market, she consulted hundreds of reviews from users and third parties. All of the models featured are either 120-volt or 240-volt baseboard heating units. 

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