One of the most convenient ways to heat up a chilly room is with an electric heater. Deane Biermeier, a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board, says safety features are the most important thing to look into when buying an electric heater, but it’s also important to be aware of “how many watts you need to heat the room and how many watts the outlet you’ll plug into can handle.”
We researched and tested dozens of electric heaters, taking into consideration their heating performance and controls, safety features, noise levels, and design. Our best overall pick is the Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove, thanks to its effective heating abilities, decorative appeal, and easy assembly.
Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove
Warms area well
Easy to assemble
Grill can get hot
The Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove is our favorite electric heater we tested due to its unique and attractive appearance, quality heating power, and energy efficiency. The heater is also UL-tested and has a sturdy yet compact metal frame. We also appreciate its user-friendly controls: There’s a control panel under the unit’s glass window, which includes an adjustable thermostat and timer function so you can tailor the heat’s power and run time according to your needs. These functions are also conveniently available on the included remote.
This electric space heater stands out the most in terms of design. It has a flame feature, which produces realistic-looking fake flames and makes the logs glow so the heater looks like a fireplace. If you want the ambiance that comes with the fireplace-look, but not the warmth, you can opt to use the flame feature without the heating feature. The unit is also available in an array of finishes, so you can opt for the one that best fits your room’s aesthetic. And even though this heater has a decorative design and looks more complex compared to other heaters in this roundup, we found the assembly to be simple, since we just had to attach the legs.
After testing in our lab, we sent this heater to our at-home tester for further insights. She noted after two months of use, "I have been impressed with the heat it puts off and I love being able to have the ’real’ flame. It’s very cozy for the fall and winter."
The main downsides of this heater are that it costs over $250 and that the grill can get quite hot, which is something to keep in mind when deciding where to place it and if you attempt to move it. On the plus side, this is an infrared heater, so it performs well in terms of energy efficiency since, among other types of heaters, infrared heaters typically require less electricity to run.
Price at time of publish: $250
Dimensions: 24 x 12.9 x 23.4 inches | Weight: 28.6 pounds | Wattage: 1500W
Runner-Up, Best Overall
Dreo Solaris Slim H3 Space Heater
Range of heating modes
Modern and compact design
Lack of a sturdy carrying handle
Not ideal for larger spaces
Dreo Solaris Slim H3 Space Heater is our runner-up thanks to its sleek and compact design, quiet operation, and range of heating modes. This is an ETL-certified unit with an array of handy safety features, such as overheat and tip-over protection, as well as a plug with specially-designed, bend-resistant blades. It has other great features outside of the realm of safety, too, such as a timer option that ranges from one to 12 hours and an oscillation function. Also note, this heater is better suited for warming small or medium rooms rather than large rooms.
The heater lets you choose from 5 different settings: H1, H2, H3, eco, and fan only. Across these settings, the heat output ranges from 700W to 1500W. You can also rely on the adjustable thermostat to set the temperature anywhere between 41 degrees to 95 degrees. While this is a quiet option overall, it is quietest on its lowest setting, which has a noise rating of just 37.5 decibels. We do think the carrying handle on the unit could be better since it does not provide the opportunity for a sturdy grip. However, the unit is otherwise well-designed. Between its digital display, slim frame, and availability in black with gold or silver band accents, this heater has a modern, attractive appearance, so it won’t be an eyesore wherever you place it in your home. Overall, this heater offers a lot in terms of features and design for its under-$80 price tag.
Price at time of publish: $68
Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.9 x 15.8 inches | Weight: 4.6 pound | Wattage: 700W, 1500W
De'Longhi HMP1500 Mica Thermal Panel Heater
Multiple setup options
Safety and freeze-prevention features
Front grill gets very hot
Slight smell at start
We tested the De'Longhi Mica Thermic Panel Heater in The Lab and in a real-world setting for over two months and were pleased with its quiet operation and effective heating power. Also, its slim profile makes it a space-conscious addition to any home. There are multiple ways you can set up this heater for added convenience: You can attach the included legs and place the heater on the floor, or you can mount the heater to a wall and save floor space. If you opt to place the heater on the floor, the legs are on wheels, which can be handy in terms of portability. In fact, our at-home tester noted that while the heater doesn't have any special features, the wheels make it very convenient. "I scoot it around all the time, either moving locations or to scoot it closer or farther from me to help regulate the temperature," she noted.
The heater has two heat settings and an adjustable thermostat. "It has a Max and a Min setting as well as a 1-5 setting so it is pretty customizable depending on how chilly it is," our at-home tester noted. The unit also has a freeze-prevention feature, which means it will automatically turn on when the temperature of its surrounding space reaches below 41 degrees, and overheating and tip-over auto-shutoff features. Unfortunately, the front grill grows very hot, so you will want to make sure it is out of reach, especially from children and pets. While testing in our lab, we also noted that the unit produced “a mild odor” during its first use, but that odor eventually faded.
Price at time of publish: $100
Dimensions: 27 x 10 x 22 inches | Weight: 15.43 pounds | Wattage: 1500W
Cadet F Series 48 in. Hardwire Electric Baseboard Heater
Two heat output options
Lower max heat output
Thermostat must be purchased separately
A fixed heat source, baseboard heaters need to be installed and cannot be easily moved. Some of the most important things to consider when choosing a baseboard heater are the best heat output for the space in which you intend to install it, the safeness and effectiveness of your intended placement, and the power source, as some baseboard heaters may require you to hire an electrician for the installation. Our top pick for baseboard heaters, the Cadet F Series 48-Inch Electric Baseboard Heater has a simple and straightforward design, slim profile, and an overall quiet operation that makes it an inconspicuous addition to any room. But keep in mind, it does need to be hardwired to work.
Like most baseboard heaters, this unit’s temperature can be controlled via a thermostat, which you will need to purchase separately. This unit has a maximum heat output of 1000W, when wired to normal house power, 240 volts. This is a lower maximum heat output compared to other models included in this roundup. It can also operate with a heat output of 750W when used in a three-phase 208 voltage system seen in some apartment and condo situations. The 1000W or 750W is not a switchable item. When it comes to safety, this model has a high-temperature safety shutoff. The heater’s housing conveniently has pre-punched holes for easy mounting. This model is also available in multiple sizes ranging from 30 inches to 72 inches, and the 48-inch option costs around $60-$80.
Price at time of publish: $61
Dimensions: 2.5 x 7 x 48 inches Inches | Weight: 9.4 pounds| Wattage: 750W, 1000W
Heat Storm Phoenix Infrared Space Heater
Versatile setup options
Good heating power
Modern and compact design
Buttons on the remote are hard to press
We tested the Heat Storm HS-1500-PHX-WIFI Infrared Heater in our lab and for over two months in a real-world setting and it continues to stand out for its effective heating, multiple setup options, and handy features (that our tester used daily!). The heater can be mounted to a wall, or you can use the included feet to place it on the floor. The heater’s thin and compact, yet sturdy build, means it doesn’t awkwardly or unattractively protrude from the wall. It has a nice and modern aesthetic, too, and its easy-to-read digital display dims at night so the light from it shouldn't disrupt your sleep. While we noted during our lab test that the feet seemed "a bit flimsy," our home tester has used this heater on the floor in her bedroom and living room and didn't note any issues with it falling over.
The heater has a 750W and a 1500W heat output mode. We found it produced a good amount of warmth on its higher setting and warmed a small room quickly, though we didn’t feel as much heat being generated on the lower setting. Also, our at-home tester noted, "The air comes out of the bottom of this heater, so when you use it as a freestanding space heater it takes a little bit for the air to move from the ground up."
It has a tip-over auto shutoff feature as well, and while it did turn off right away when we tipped it over, the fan continued to run since the unit was warm. Our lab tester was not a fan of the included remote control, as they found the buttons were too small and frequently required multiple clicks to be responsive (however, our at-home tester didn't report any issues). Overall, this unit is a bit pricey, but the features and versatility make it a worthwhile choice.
Price at time of publish: $116
Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 19 inches | Weight: 8.45 pounds | Wattage: 750W, 1500W
Broan-NuTone 194 High Capacity Wall Heater
Effective heating power
Unlike space heaters, electric in-wall heaters need to be installed and require hardwiring rather than plugging in. However, we like the Broan-NuTone 194 High Capacity Wall Heater because it has a straightforward installation process, and you have the choice of opting for an in-wall or surface-mounted installation. The heater also requires limited maintenance, thanks to its lubricated motor. Controlling the temperature is easy, too, since there is a user-friendly adjustable thermostat dial right on the front of the unit. However, the convenience of using this heater comes at a hefty, nearly $300 price tag.
The heater has an impressive maximum heat output of 3000W, so it is able to quickly warm up a given space. It can also be set to heat output options of 1500W, when connected to 240 volts. In some situations, your voltage in your home will be 208 volts and here the output can be 1125W and 2250W, so you can adjust the amount of heat being produced according to your needs and preferences. Like most in-wall heaters, this heater can unfortunately be quite noisy when it’s running. On the plus side, the unit is UL-listed and has thermal overload protection to prevent overheating. It also has a simple, inconspicuous design, so it shouldn't disrupt your room’s aesthetic.
Price at time of publish: $296
Dimensions: 3.75 x 16.25 x 18 inches | Weight: 21.7 pounds | Wattage: 3000W
Dyson HP01 Pure Hot + Cool Air Purifier, Heater and Fan
Heats, cools, and purifies
Controlled heat dispersion
Not app compatible
Requires filter maintenance
Dyson Pure Hot+Cool HP01 Purifying Heater + Fan offers heating, cooling, and air purifying abilities in a single unit. The unit has an oscillation function, and it lets you choose between a “diffused” airflow, in which the heat reaches a wider range and is evenly distributed across a space, or a “focused” airflow, in which a more intense heat flows across a smaller, narrower range. It relies on a HEPA filter to purify the air, which means it can capture 99.97 percent of air pollutants and particles with diameters as small as 0.3 microns, such as pollen and pet allergens. The air purifying feature means you will have to regularly replace the filter after some time, which is an added maintenance step. However, Dyson sells replacement filters for the unit.
For Dyson product owners who use the Dyson Link app, or for anyone who was hoping to use app controls, this unit is unfortunately not compatible with the Dyson Link app. However, the unit does come with a remote that can magnetically attach to the top of the heater for easy storage. The blade-less and grill-less design really helps this unit stand out, as it gives it a futuristic and modern look and makes it a breeze to clean. Overall, the unit’s feature-packed, modern-looking design and $500 price tag have earned it the spot of our favorite splurge option.
Price at time of publish: $400
Dimensions: 6 x 8.7 x 24.9 inches | Weight: 8.6 pounds | Wattage: Not listed
GiveBest Portable Electric Space Heater With Thermostat
Sturdy carrying handle
Quick to warm
Light and compact
Front grill gets hot
Lacks an oscillation feature
After testing the GiveBest Portable Electric Space Heater in the lab and at home, we were impressed by the heating power and safety features it offers at an under-$40 price, as well as by its portable design. This heater is simple to operate with just two dials on top. One of the dials allows you to set the heater to a heat output of 750W or 1500W, or to a fan-only mode. The other dial lets you set the temperature somewhere between 0 to 158 degrees.
We also noted how effectively this heater warmed us up, with our tester noting that they “felt toasty after just a few minutes of having it on.” Keep in mind, however, this heater does not have an oscillation feature, so it's better for heating small, concentrated areas as opposed to larger spaces. In fact, our at-home tester noted that the heat seems to come out of one side and is not evenly distributed. However, it didn't seem to change the effectiveness of the heater, and she simply pivoted the heater to direct the flow.
This heater is easy to move around, since it is compact and lightweight, weighing only 3.2 pounds. Plus, it has a large, easy-to-grip handle at its top. These features make it a great on-the-go option for those who want a heater they can bring to their workplace, as our at-home tester does, or on their cold weather trips. Aside from portability, the heater also has great features in terms of safety. It has an overheating and tip-over auto-shutoff feature, and our tester noted the heater “shut off with the slightest tip” and that its “cord was not hot when I unplugged it.” In fact, our tester at home noted that she knocked it over several times by accident, and really appreciated the shut-off feature. While the cord stayed cool, however, the front grill does grow to be quite warm.
Price at time of publish: $35
Dimensions: 7 x 6.2 x 9.3 inches | Weight: 3.2 pounds | Wattage: 750W, 1500W
Best for Small Rooms
Vornado VHEAT Whole Room Vintage Heater
Effective heating power
Loud on highest setting
The Vornado 1500-Watt Fan Utility Indoor Electric Space Heater with Thermostat packs impressive heating power into a compact frame that measures 9.25 inches wide, 11.63 inches deep, and 12 inches high. Tested in our lab and at home, this heater has a low and high heat setting, and we found that it quickly warms up a space on its high setting. Our tester also noted that the heat it provides “seems ‘gentler’ or more even” compared to other heaters. Note, this unit is a bit pricier compared to other available models as it costs around $170.
The heater can be tilted up to 45 degrees, which our tester liked since they were able to adjust the unit to focus heat directly on them. We also appreciate its retro aesthetic and sturdy build. One aspect of the heater’s design we do not like is its metal switch, since our lab tester noted it shocked her whenever she went to use it (although our at-home tester did not report this issue). Also, our tester noted, "This heater is super noisy on the high level, so I typically have to switch it to the low setting when watching TV." On the plus side, this heater is ETL-listed and has important safety features such as overheating and tip-over auto-shutoffs. It also has a cool-touch exterior, which means it’s designed so the frame shouldn’t feel too hot after the unit’s been in use.
Price at time of publish: $170
Dimensions: 9.25 x 11.63 x 12 inches | Weight: Not listed | Wattage: 1500W
Dr. Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater
Effective safety features
Low and high setting are too similar
Not ideal for large spaces
While testing, our favorite thing about the Dr. Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater was that it has wheels, which makes it easy to move from place to place. The wheels roll smoothly, which is why we consider this to be a great portable option despite its 19-pound weight. Our tester also noted the heater is “a nice box shape rather than a tower” and that “in the right room it could be a nice accent piece.” This is another infrared heater, which, again, means it heats up people and objects in a room, rather than the air. This unit is pricier compared to some of the other heaters in this roundup, as it costs over $100.
The heater has a temperature range of 50 degrees to 80 degrees, and it offers three heat output modes: low, high, and eco. However, we were disappointed that there was little difference between the low mode and the high mode’s heating powers, and we find this unit is not well-suited to heat large spaces. That fault aside, we appreciated its safety features, as it has an overheating and tip-over auto-shutoff feature. We also noted the heater turned off immediately when we tipped it over, and that it did not turn back on automatically when re-situated upright. The heater also comes with a remote control, lets you set a timer for up to 12 hours, and operates quietly—all of which make it convenient to use in different scenarios.
Price at time of publish: $150
Dimensions: 13 x 11 x 16 in | Weight: 19 pounds | Wattage: 1500w
Best Smart Features
Atomi Smart WiFi 25" Ceramic Tower Space Heater
Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
Extra setup steps
The Atomi Smart WiFi 25" Ceramic Tower Space Heater is an easy-to-use convection heater with an array of handy smart features. The heater is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can use voice commands to control it when it's linked up to the proper Alexa- or Google Assistant-enabled device. You can also control the heater via the Atomi app, through which you can turn the heater on and off, adjust the heater’s temperature, set timers, or set up a daily and weekly heating schedule. You will need to connect the heater to the app, which does mean this smart heater will require extra setup steps and time compared to other heaters.
If you like smart features, but perhaps have a family member who would rather avoid using voice commands or an app to control the heater, the unit has an easy-to-read digital display and control panel at its top. The heater offers a low (1000W) and high (1500W) mode, as well as an energy-saving eco mode and an adjustable temperature feature. In regard to safety, this is an ETL-certified heater, and it includes overheating and tip-over auto-shutoff features. The exterior housing is designed to stay cool, too, and it has a carrying handle to make it easy to move. The heater is pricier compared to other models, as it costs over $100, but it offers a lot of features in return for the higher price, giving it an overall great value.
Price at time of publish: $125
Dimensions: 8.4 inches x 7.9 inches x 25.7 inches | Weight: 8.08 pounds | Wattage: 1000W, 1500W
The Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove is our favorite electric heater because it offers aesthetic appeal, good heating power, and handy features, all while being energy-efficient since it is an infrared heater. If you’re looking for a heater with smart features, we recommend the Atomi Smart WiFi 25" Ceramic Tower Space Heater, since it is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant and offers a bunch of handy features through its compatible app, such as the ability to adjust the heater’s temperature and set daily and weekly heating schedules.
What to Look for in an Electric Heater
Heat Output and Temperature Control
Heat output refers to the amount of heat a unit generates. In other words, the greater the heat output of a unit, the more warmth it is capable of producing. Heat output is typically measured as watts or BTUs, with one watt being equivalent to 3.41 BTUs per hour. Deane Biermeier, a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board, tells us that “a 1500 watt heater can heat up a decent sized room, usually without tripping the circuit breaker.” Most of the space heaters in this roundup have a maximum heat output of 1500W. The Broan-NuTone 194 High Capacity Wall Heater, being an in-wall heater, has a heat output of 3000W.
Heat control type, as well as their user-friendliness, vary from heater to heater. Many of the heaters in this roundup have two main types of controls—one which lets you select the heat output mode and another that serves as an adjustable thermostat and lets you change the temperature. The heat output and temperature controls on some heaters are dials, while others rely on buttons or a digital display. Some heaters conveniently come with a remote control. Smart, Wi-Fi-enabled heaters can even let you control your heater from an app on your smartphone. It is important to make sure the heater you are looking to purchase offers a heat output and temperature range that meets your needs and preferences, as well as controls you feel comfortable using. Our runner-up pick, the Dreo Solaris Slim H3 Space Heater, has four different heat output modes, as well as a fan-only mode, and a temperature range of 41 degrees to 95 degrees, which can be adjusted via its digital thermostat.
Heaters are available in all different sizes. Some heaters are tall and thin, while others are more square-shaped. Some are compact and lightweight, making them easy to take with you on the go or store under a desk, while others are large and heavy and may require a more fixed space to stay. There are also options like the De'Longhi Mica Thermic Panel Heater, which have a sizable surface area, but are slim enough to not take up too much space when placed on the floor or look awkward when mounted to a wall. It’s important to consider the space you will be using your electric heater the most before purchasing one, and to make sure the heater’s size is suitable for that space. It’s also important to not conflate size and power. Some small heaters may be just as good or better at heating up a room than a larger one. Check the heater’s heat output spec for heating power, rather than its dimensions.
Electric heaters involve both heat and electricity, so it’s incredibly important to make sure you purchase a heater with proper safety features. Automatic shutoffs are important—you will want to look for models that will automatically stop operating when they are tipped over or start to get too hot. It’s also important to make sure the electric heater you are considering buying meets U.S. safety standards. The heater you buy should be clearly labeled or noted as being UL- or ETL-tested, or as being tested by another properly-recognized testing lab. Our choice for the best heater for small rooms, the Vornado 1500-Watt Fan Utility Indoor Electric Space Heater with Thermostat, is ETL-listed and has both an overheating and tip-over auto-shutoff.
Since electric heaters turn electricity into heat, you can expect them to use a lot of electricity and energy. That being said, some heaters are more energy efficient than others, with ceramic heaters tending to be the most energy efficient type of heater. Also, some heaters have an energy-saving “eco-mode.” Timers can also be handy when it comes to saving energy because if you set a timer you can make sure you don’t accidentally leave your heater operating too long. Our pick for the electric heater with the best smart features, the Atomi Smart WiFi 25" Ceramic Tower Space Heater has an eco-mode, and it also lets you set timers, as well as daily and weekly heating schedules, through the compatible app.
Do electric heaters use a lot of electricity?
Electric heaters turn electricity into heat, so they typically use a lot of electricity. According to Biermeier, “Although electric heaters are highly efficient, it takes a lot of energy to heat an entire room. If you use an electric heater more than several hours a day in your home, expect your utility bill to climb by $15 to $50 per month.”
How many BTUs should an electric heater be?
According to Biermeier, “almost without exception” the heat output of electric heaters is measured “in watts rather than BTUs.” Note that one watt is equivalent to approximately 3.41 BTUs. Most of the heaters included in this roundup have a maximum heat output of 1500W. Biermeier adds that a “1500-watt heater is equivalent to, very roughly, 5,000 BTUs,” which is suited to heat a 150 square-foot area.
What type of heater is best for indoors?
Biermeier recommends convective heaters for the indoors. Biermeier, who has two convective heaters in his home, tells us that “convective heaters use electricity to heat and circulate a liquid within the heater, producing heat without drying out the air.”
However, the best type of heater will vary from person to person based on their personal preferences. While Biermeier acknowledges the benefits of convective heaters, he also notes that despite being “more expensive than other types,” ceramic and infrared heaters also have their own benefits, as they “tend to create heat faster.”
Why Trust the Spruce?
Sarah Toscano is a freelance writer for The Spruce, specializing in all things related to home tech. Some of the heaters included in this roundup were tested in The Lab as well as in real-world settings for over two months. All testers followed a meticulous testing methodology to properly evaluate each unit. Toscano thoroughly researched the models that were not tested by reading through scores of customer reviews and by analyzing each product's specs.
In order to gain better insight into electric heaters, Toscano consulted with Deane Biermeier, a member of The Spruce Home Improvement Review Board and contractor who has experience with HVAC and appliance repair.