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Space heaters are a great way to add warmth to a single room without heating up the entire house. These portable small appliances can be placed in any room that needs some extra heat. Space heaters utilize three different types of heating elements: radiant, convection, and combination. A convection space heater will gradually raise the ambient temperature of a room, while radiant space heaters immediately distribute warmth to people and objects in the room.
When shopping for space heaters, take features into consideration. An automatic tip-over shutoff, protection from overheating, and a cool-touch exterior are ideal safety features—especially in a household with children and pets. Conveniences like an easy-to-read temperature display, digital touchpad, and remote control will certainly enhance the user experience.
Another factor to consider before buying a space heater is the amount of heat it produces. Most 120-volt space heaters crank out up to 1,500 watts of power, ideal for heating rooms between 150 and 300 square feet. However, some models—particularly those with a higher BTU rating—can effectively warm up a larger area.
We sent some of the top-rated heaters to testers across the country to see if they could live up to their claims in a variety of climates and home designs. Our testers rated them on the above categories like special features and ease of use as well as volume and appearance. Here are the best space heaters on the market right now, based on our testing insights.
Best Overall: Lasko Bladeless Ceramic Heater with Remote Control
Heating Element: Ceramic | Voltage: 120 | Wattage: 1,500 | Power Source: Electric | Dimensions: 8.1 x 27.17 x 9.16 inches | Weight: 9.8 pounds
Easy to use
Remote control for convenience
No automatic tip-over shutoff
Does not heat a large room effectively
If you’re looking to heat a small- to medium-size room, this tower-style heater stands out for its sleek design. Offering 1,500 watts or 1,000 watts of power, it’s recommended for use in rooms up to 300 square feet. The adjustable temperature ranges from 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. We tested the Lasko Ceramic Heater and found it easy to use. Thanks to its slim, space-saving profile, our tester could use it almost anywhere in the house. Our tester used it multiple times a day and found the device could heat up a small bedroom in 15 minutes. We also appreciated the nice selection of features, which include oscillation, a timer, and remote control.
The Lasko heater lacks one key safety feature: an automatic tip-over shutoff, earning a 4/5 for special features. However, the tower design is very stable, and the plastic housing remains cool to the touch when in use. While this heater did an excellent job warming up the smaller rooms, we would opt for something more powerful to heat a large open-concept living room or basement.
"One of my favorite features is the timer, which allows you to specify the amount of time you want the heater to run. I never had to worry about accidentally leaving it on when I left the house."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Best Budget: Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater
Heating Element: Ceramic, radiant, and infrared | Voltage: Not listed | Wattage: 1,500 | Power Source: Electric | Dimensions: 12.99 x 9.13 x 9.06 inches | Weight: 5.4 pounds
360-degree heat output
Top-mounted handle for easy carrying
Great selection of safety features
If you want to bring on the heat without breaking the bank, consider this affordable model from Honeywell. This small yet powerful space heater offers 750 or 1,500 watts of power to warm small to medium-size rooms. The fan blows air in a 360-degree rotation, allowing for even heat distribution. This unit relies on a manual dial to select from two power settings (low and high), along with a dial that adjusts the temperature.
Unlike some other budget space heaters, this unit comes with an impressive array of safety features. It shuts off automatically if it tips over or overheats, and the plastic housing is cool to the touch. Other convenient features include a top-mounted handle and timer. At just over 5 pounds, this heater can be easily carried from room to room.
Best High-End: Dyson Hot + Cool AM09 Fan Heater
Heating Element: Forced air | Voltage: Not listed | Wattage: 1,500 | Power Source: Electric | Dimensions: 8.03 x 6.02 x 23.4 inches | Weight: 5.92 pounds
Bladeless design is safe for kids and pets
Auto temperature function
Oscillates to heat small to medium rooms faster
Remote required for several functions
Doesn't heat a large room effectively
The Dyson Hot + Cool Jet Focus Fan Heater is one of the most expensive products on the market. This innovative, sleek model is incredibly efficient. It can heat up a room faster than other space heaters, giving it a strong edge over the competition. Yet when testing this product in the winter and summer, we found that in large rooms, the heater excels at heating a specific area rather than the entire space. This multifunctional unit operates as a heater and fan. You can easily customize the airflow to suit your needs. The Jet Focus function allows you to send air in a single direction, while the diffuse setting oscillates air throughout the room.
This unit is jam-packed with user-friendly features to justify its high cost. It has automatic temperature maintenance, a sleep timer, and a remote that magnetically attaches to the unit. With safety features, such as a bladeless design and tip-over shutoff, it’s an ideal choice for households with children and pets. We found that even in the heating mode, the unit stays cool to the touch thanks to a buffer of cool air circulating between the thermoplastic plates and the interior ceramic plates. With all its features, we rated this design 5/5 overall.
"Oscillation is one of the remote-controlled features and one of our favorites. The fan moves quietly along a wide arc, delivering a blast of warm air across the length of a room. It also tilts up and down, so you can direct the airflow right where you need it."—Kelly Hodgkins, Product Tester
Best for Large Rooms and Basements: Dr. Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater
Heating Element: Radiant | Voltage: Not listed | Wattage: 1,500 | Power Source: Electric | Dimensions: 11 x 16 x 13 inches | Weight: 26.5 pounds
Heats rooms evenly and efficiently
Can heat rooms up to 1,000 square feet
Great selection of safety features
Heater must be turned on manually
Remote is required to use the timer
A bit heavy and awkward to lift
This portable model uses a dual heating system, combining infrared heat and convection heat, to evenly warm up a large room. It has three power modes: high (1,500-watt operation), low (1,000-watt operation), and eco (which maintains the desired temperature while consuming less energy). The adjustable temperature can be set between 50 and 85 degrees. We tested the Dr. Infrared Heater and were very impressed with its performance. It was able to heat an open-concept living area and primary bedroom evenly and efficiently. Our tester wasn't a fan of its vintage look, rating the product 2/5 for appearance. With its industrial look and large heating capacity, it may be better suited for a basement.
If you’re using the heater in a room that’s not monitored consistently, safety features are an important consideration. This unit will shut off automatically if it overheats, it tips in any direction, or the inlet air duct is obstructed. It comes with a remote control, but the heater must be turned on manually, which our tester found to be an inconvenience.
"I was very impressed with its performance and its ability to heat my large primary bedroom evenly. I set the temperature at 70, and the room heated up in less than a half hour, even with outdoor temperatures near freezing."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Best Fireplace: Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove
Heating Element: Infrared quartz | Voltage: 120 | Wattage: Not listed | Power Source: Electric | Dimensions: 13.07 x 24 x 23.4 inches | Weight: 28.6 pounds
Equipped with realistic-looking flames
Five different flame settings
Impressive heat that doesn't dry out skin
Small form factor
Top is too warm to display items
This freestanding model from Duraflame is one of the most popular fireplace space heaters. The 3D technology creates a realistic flame effect. Features include an adjustable digital thermostat, five different flame settings, a timer, and a remote control for added convenience. The metal body of the heater is available in several different finishes, including options such as black, bronze, cream, and navy.
Our tester used the heater in their Colorado home and found that it did an excellent job heating up smaller rooms and creating a cozy ambiance. Equipped with a 5,200 BTU infrared heater, this unit helps warm spaces up to 1,000 square feet. Thanks to a cool-touch exterior and overheat protection, this heater is safe to use around children and pets. Though the Safer Plug is a nice feature for shutting down when the unit gets too hot, our tester found the device shutting down too frequently. We also found it annoying that closing the door hid the control panel, though it does add to the unit's real-flame factor. Because the unit needs to stand on the floor and is too hot to put anything on top, our tester rated the product 3/5 for versatility.
"While the Duraflame unit shouldn’t be used as a primary heating method in a home, it did a remarkable job warming up smaller cold rooms in our Rocky Mountain home and added a nice ambiance for visitors in our guest room." —Justin Park, Product Tester
Best Portable: GiveBest Portable Electric Space Heater with Thermostat
Heating Element: Ceramic | Voltage: Not listed | Wattage: 1,500 (or 750) | Power Source: Electric | Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.3 x 4 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds
Quick heating ability
Great selection of safety features
Only heats areas up to 200 square feet
No remote control
Equipped with ceramic heating technology and a high-speed fan, the GiveBest heater can warm up a room in minutes. This model weighs just over 2 pounds and features a top-mounted handle, making it easy to carry. Measuring 8.3 x 6.3 x 4 inches, it can be placed just about anywhere in your home. In addition to providing two heat levels (1,500 or 750 watts), it can be used as a cool air fan in warmer weather. A knob control allows you to adjust the temperature. Unlike larger units, it has a fairly small coverage area—it’s designed for rooms up to 200 square feet.
The GiveBest heater has some great safety features that make it a popular pick, including an automatic tip-over shutoff and overheat protection. It’s made from flame-retardant material to avoid fire hazards.
Note that this space heater lacks some of the advanced features you’ll find on more expensive models, including a remote control and digital touchpad. However, it still delivers portable and powerful heat at an affordable price point.
Best Gas: Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU Vent Free Blue Flame Natural Gas Heater
Heating Element: Convection | Voltage: Not listed | Wattage: 30,000 BTU | Power Source: Natural gas | Dimensions: 23.75 x 11.25 x 27 inches | Weight: 26.75 pounds
Powerful heat output
Runs without electricity
Can be wall- or floor-mounted
4,500 feet altitude restriction
Not approved for use in California or Canada
With an extremely powerful 30,000 BTU heater, this gas-powered model can adequately warm a large area—up to 1,000 square feet. Because it doesn’t require electricity, it’s ideal for use during power outages. The lack of electricity also means you won’t see an increase in your energy bills. You have the option to mount the unit on the wall or floor (mounting brackets and fasteners are included). Some people have noticed a slight smell of fumes during operation. To err on the side of caution, use the heater in a well-ventilated area.
Convenient features include an electronic ignition—which makes start-up a breeze—and an adjustable thermostat. The blue flame burner ensures even heat distribution. Thanks to a built-in oxygen sensor, the unit will shut off automatically if oxygen drops to a dangerous level. Take note that this product might not work above a 4,500-foot elevation. And it is not approved for use in California or Canada.
Best for Garages: Sengoku Kerosene Heater
Heating Element: Convection | Voltage: Not listed | Wattage: 1,500 | Power Source: Kerosene | Dimensions: 18.5 x 18.5 x 25.5 inches | Weight: 22 pounds
High-power Kerosene space heater
23,500 BTU of heating power
Easy to fill and operate
Requires safety precautions
If you’re looking to warm up a drafty space, such as a garage or workshop, consider this portable kerosene heater from Sengoku. Equipped with a 23,500 BTU heater, this unit can effectively heat an area up to 1,000 square feet. The fuel capacity is 1.9 gallons, which will provide 12 hours of heat. A push-button start and EZ flame adjuster make this unit easy to operate. A battery-operated siphon pump is included with the heater, allowing you to safely transfer kerosene without any spills.
Other convenient features include easy-to-read fuel gauges, automatic shutoff, and safety grills to prevent damage to the unit. Because it runs on kerosene and no electricity is required, this heater will come in handy during a power outage.
The Lasko Bladeless Ceramic Heater earns accolades for its sleek design and its ability to quickly warm up a small- to -medium sized room. With convenient features like oscillation, a timer, and a remote control, this unit is very easy to operate. If you need to heat a larger space, such as an open-concept living area or basement, consider the Dr. Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater. This powerful unit uses a combination of ceramic and infrared heating elements to warm rooms up to 1,000 square feet in size.
How We Tested the Heaters
We sent top-rated heaters to different testers across the country to see how well they performed in different climates and home designs. The testers used the heaters daily for several weeks, placing the units in different rooms to test how much space they could handle. Besides the ability to heat, the testers scored the heaters for looks, volume, ease of use, and any special features like safety shut offs and remote controls. From their findings and our editors insights, we compiled this list of top heaters.
What to Look for in a Space Heater
There are many types of space heaters, but the most common—and often least expensive—models are compact space heaters with fans. Other relatively safe compact space heaters have ceramic plates or coils. Models with ceramic plates are self-regulating to avoid overheating. Models with coils are often exposed and get very hot, posing a safety risk, especially to children and pets. Some floor-standing space heaters run off infrared heat or oil. Infrared heats up very quickly but does not stay hot. Oil models are very effective but large, heavy, and expensive.
Nearly all 120-volt space heaters are rated up to 1,500 watts at the maximum setting, which is suitable for approximately 150 square feet. Avoid models with less wattage—the price is often comparable, and they are much less effective. To heat a larger room, you’ll need to purchase multiple space heaters or consider a larger, more professional-grade heater.
Look for models with automatic shutoffs or temperature regulators, particularly if your space heater will be running frequently or overnight. Always buy models that meet U.S. safety standards. Look for labels that indicate the unit has been tested by recognized labs like UL, ETL, or CSA. And never use an extension cord with an electric heater—choose a model with a long power cord if proximity to an outlet is an issue.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Sage McHugh, a freelance writer who covers home appliances for The Spruce. To choose the best products for this roundup, she consulted user reviews, third-party reviews, and tester feedback. She also took safety features, functionality, and heating power into consideration.