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Infrared heaters, also known as IR heaters, use a quartz heating element to produce the kind of heat you’ll immediately feel on your skin. Most IR heaters have an output of 600 to 1,500 watts of power, though some budget units have a less powerful output. Infrared heaters also operate with minimal noise and stay relatively cool to the touch, making them a safer choice in households with pets or kids.
Choose an infrared heater if you want to feel the warmth from a space heater right away or if you plan to use the heater in an area where raising the ambient air temperature may prove difficult—like in a drafty workshop or garage.
If you're ready to start shopping, here are the best infrared heaters available online.
Best Overall: Dr. Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater
One of the most popular infrared heaters on the market is this version by Dr. Infrared. It features up to 1,500 watts of power and a quartz element for producing infrared heat, combined with a PTC heating element. The dual heating approach of this model does a great job of warming up people and objects (thanks to the infrared heating component), while also raising the ambient temperature of the room (with the help of the PTC element).
A digital control pad on the front of this infrared heater makes it easy to adjust the target temperature within a range of 50 and 86 degrees. One of the features that reviewers appreciate most is the Auto mode, which will hold the target temperature while cycling between 1,000-watt and 1,500-watt modes for better energy usage. A quiet but efficient 7-inch blower assists in transferring the heat into the room, but only produces 39 decibels in operation—making this infrared heater quiet enough to use in the bedroom or while watching television.
With important safety features, like an overheat protection sensor and a shut-off feature if the unit is tipped over, many reviewers point out that this heater is an efficient option that they can use with peace of mind to heat any space in the house, including medium and large rooms.
Best Design: Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove
If you’re shopping for an infrared heater that blends in rather than stands out, check out the Duraflame Infrared Electric Fireplace. This electric fireplace gets attention for its classic woodstove look and realistic electric flames but earns its keep with its 5,200 BTU heater output.
Designed to look like a small woodstove or woodburning furnace, the Duraflame Infrared Electric Fireplace is truly intended to provide supplemental heating in spaces up to 1,000 square feet in size. This model has quartz infrared heating elements that provide the warmth you can feel, without impacting the humidity levels of the room. Reviewers are most satisfied when using this heater in an enclosed room, rather than a large open space where the heat isn’t felt as quickly.
Best Budget: COSTWAY Portable Quartz Heater
For an affordable infrared heater, this tower-style heater from Costway makes a good option for under $100. This model measures 22 inches tall and utilizes a quartz heating element to produce warm, gentle heat. It features both low and high operation modes, and a simple turn dial to regulate temperature.
While this budget infrared heater lacks some of the features that make other models stand out—including an Eco mode, advanced temperature controls, and a digital control pad—reviewers say it’s worth it for its quiet, reliable operation.
Best for Garages: Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988A Garage Heater
Typical electric heaters that focus on warming the air temperature are often less effective at heating up areas with little to no insulation, like garages and workshops. However, an infrared heater is a great option for providing supplemental heat to a garage, since it will directly warm people and objects—rather than wasting energy to warm a drafty, poorly insulated space with a high rate of heat loss.
The Dr. Infrared DR-988A Garage Heater is a great option if you want to feel more comfortable in your garage or workshop. This heavy-duty infrared heater requires a 208 or 240-volt outlet and a 6R-30 plug to deliver a max output of 5,600 watts of power. An adjustable thermostat dial allows you to finetune the amount of heat you need, from low to high. If you want to more accurately assess temperature output, you’ll need a separate thermometer.
Many reviewers use this compact but powerful heater to keep their garage, gym, or shop surroundings comfortable while working on tasks or to keep the ambient temperature of these spaces above freezing during cold weather. Overall, this infrared heater is a good option if you need heat that you can feel when working in chilly areas without sufficient insulation.
Best Wall Mounted: Heat Storm Wi-Fi Infrared Heater
Provide additional warmth to any room with enough wall space to hang this 13-inch by 19-inch heater and you’ll enjoy more comfortable temperatures in spaces up to 400 square feet in size. This wall-mounted infrared heater from Heat Storm puts out up to 5,200 BTU of heat every hour. Users find that it heats up a room quietly and quickly, and also appreciate that the housing of this wall heater doesn’t become hot to the touch.
In addition, this infrared heater stands out for its Wi-Fi capabilities. Use or smartphone or device to control the heater's settings and schedules by means of an app.
Best Splurge: AirNmore Comfort Deluxe Copper Infrared Heater
A spendy but long-lasting option, the AirNmore Comfort Deluxe differs from many other infrared heaters on the market. Instead of using a quartz bulb, as many infrared heaters do, this model uses positive temperature coefficient (PTC) technology by means of a long-lasting copper element to produce infrared heat. With no bulbs to burn out, you can expect a long life of service from this infrared heater.
Like other infrared heaters on the market, the AirNmore produces infrared heat that won’t affect humidity levels in the room. Reviewers are pleased with the heat output, and often mention how they appreciate the fact that the housing of the unit remains cool to the touch.
Best Small: Costway Electric Parabolic Oscillating Infrared Space Heater
If you’re looking for a small infrared heater to provide personal warmth or to heat up a small space quickly, the Costway Parabolic Infrared Space Heater makes a good option. Similar in size and shape to a tabletop oscillating fan, this infrared heater uses quartz elements to produce the kind of heat that warms people and objects in its path.
To make it more functional, this small infrared heater can be set to oscillate, and also tilts up or down to adjust the direction of the heat. It features low and high power settings, with 400 watts and 800 watts respectively. While this is lower than the 750 or 1,500 watts of power on many larger infrared heaters, it’s plenty to power this small model that is designed for personal use.
Best Portable: Heat Storm Logan Portable Heater
This infrared heater weights just 10 pounds and includes a built-in handle that makes it easy to pick it up and move it around, wherever and whenever you need more heat. But don’t let the small size and portable nature of this infrared heater fool you—four quartz heating elements offer up to 5,200 BTU of heating power. A digital control pad makes it easy to see the current target temperature or to adjust the temperature or mode of the unit.
When describing the useful features of his portable infrared heater, the convenience of the carrying handle, along with how lightweight the unit is, frequently are mentioned. This heater is a good choice if you’re looking for a model that can easily be moved and won’t be a hassle to pick up and relocate.
The best overall infrared heater is the Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater (view at Wayfair). It boasts up to 1,500 watts of power and its dual heating system provides even and efficient heat. If you’re in the market for something more design-forward, the Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove resembles a classic wood stove with bright flames.