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Warm up any room with the addition of a space heater, designed to provide supplemental heat on chilly winter days or cool autumn and spring nights. These small appliances enable you to control the temperature of your immediate surroundings without cranking up the heat in your entire home.
Space heaters use electricity to warm a heating element, often made of coils or ceramic, but other materials—like infrared quartz bulbs—are also readily found. Gas space heaters typically require ventilation and are more commonly used in garages and workshops.
When shopping for space heaters, you’ll find that most electric versions can crank out up to 1,500 watts of power. Other features to consider include auto shut-off if the unit is tipped over, protection against overheating, digital temperature displays and controls, and the option to use a remote to control the heater from across the room.
Here, the best space heaters on the market.
Best Overall: Lasko Bladeless Ceramic Heater with Remote Control
Whether you want to take the chill off your bedroom or create a toasty family room, the Lasko Bladeless Ceramic Heater is an excellent option. This tower-style space heater stands out for its sleek looks and its ability to project heat across a room and quickly make a difference in the temperature of your space.
This space heater stands 27 inches tall and has a large top blower with a bladeless design. While it doesn’t include an automatic tip-over shut-off, its tower design means it is very stable and the plastic housing remains cool to the touch while in use. It features a high mode with a heating power of 1,500 watts and a lower setting with 1,000 watts of power. It’s rated for use in rooms up to 300 square feet. You'll also appreciate handy features like oscillation, a timer, and the option to use the remote control instead of the digital control pad.
Best Electric: Lifesmart 6-Element SlimLine Heater Unit with Smart Boost Technology
It’s easy to add warmth to any room with an electric space heater. Simply plug it in and warm up your surroundings, without the worries of fumes and fuel, which are commonly associated with gas space heaters. There are many models to choose from, but the Lifesmart SlimLine Heater stands out for its quick heating ability and slim, space-saving design.
This model of electric space heater takes a two-fold approach to heating your room for more warmth, more quickly. It uses two SmartBoost heating elements to instantly begin producing warm air to raise the room’s ambient temperature. The unit also has four quartz heating tubes that begin to warm up and release infrared heat to warm the objects and people in the room.
And since you may not want to lose much floor space to an electric heater, you’ll appreciate the fact that the Lifesmart SlimLine has a wall-hugging design that is just 7.1 inches deep. Other practical points to consider include an Eco-mode that allows the heater to cycle on and off while maintaining a temperature of 68 degrees and a 12-hour timer. The digital control pad is easy to read and operate, and a remote control is also included for convenience.
Best Ceramic: Lasko 1,500 Watt Cyclonic Ceramic Heater with Remote Control
Using a ceramic heating element to produce gentle warmth, the best ceramic space heaters fire up quickly and produce warm air that is distributed by means of a fan into the room, though some use good, old-fashioned radiation instead. The Lasko Cyclonic Ceramic Heater is a convection-style space heater that uses a fan to quickly disperse the warm air produced by this 1,500-watt throughout the room to evenly heat the space.
What sets this ceramic space heater apart from other models is the location of the hot air vent at the top of the 24.9-inch unit. This location is well above floor level, where pets or small children may inadvertently get too close to the heat source. Another popular feature is the ability to adjust the vent to direct warm air right where you want it, so you can point your fan in the direction of the couch or your favorite reading chair to get the most heat where you're sitting.
Best for Large Rooms: Dr. Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater
Since it plugs into a 110-volt outlet, the average space heater for your home is typically capped at 1,500 watts of power and is therefore limited in terms of how large of a space it can heat. Most space heaters can handle anywhere between 150 and 300 square feet, with some models heating up to 500 feet or more. What makes the Dr. Infrared Original Heater the best space heater for large rooms isn’t a supersized heating element, but the fact that this model combines two heater mechanisms to produce warm air you will actually feel.
Inside of the Dr. Infrared Original Heater is a PTC heating mechanism, which is made from advanced ceramic materials and warms the air in the room. In addition, the heater uses a quartz element to produce infrared heat that warms people and objects close by. This dual heating approach helps this space heater warm up rooms up to 1,000 square feet in size more effectively than much of the competition.
Best Portable: Lifesmart Deluxe Milkhouse Heater
Stay warm no matter where you go with a portable space heater, like the Lifesmart Deluxe Milkhouse Heater. This model weighs under 5 pounds and features metal housing with a top-mounted handle to make carrying the heater as convenient as possible. Pick it up to carry it from the basement to your patio, or from the workshop to the living room.
While this portable heater has few frills, it's also incredibly durable. It also includes excellent features for a space heater that is being moved around from place to place, like a tip-over shutoff and protection against overheating. The manual dial adjusts between 8 different heat settings, and you can choose from 1,300 or 1,500 watts of heating power. In addition, a fan-only mode adds to the versatility of this portable space heater.
Best Oil: DeLonghi ComforTemp Radiator Space Heater
This oil-filled space heater from DeLonghi offers an energy-efficient way to warm up a room. Bearing a resemblance to a radiator, but equipped with wheels for portability, this space heater is filled with oil, an excellent conductor of heat. The sealed system requires no maintenance or upkeep. As the unit heats the oil, the warmth is released into the room—meaning that the heating element only intermittently has to operate while the radiating heat from the oil continues to warm the room.
The DeLonghi ComforTemp is well-rated for its reliable and efficient operation. The simple controls allow you to manually adjust the heat output and select from 700, 800, and 1,500 watts of power. In addition, this model includes the ComforTemp button which many users find handy; push this button and the heater will optimize its settings to maintain temperatures between 68 and 70 degrees.
Best Gas: DuraHeat 23,800 BTU Indoor Kerosene Portable Heater
Gas space heaters offer major heating power but must be used with basic safety precautions in mind. Most gas heaters need to be used in well-ventilated areas and are most commonly seen in garages, on construction sites, or in workshops. However, this kerosene gas heater from DuraHeat is a good choice if you’re looking for an efficient, high-power gas space heater indoors.
With 23,800 BTU of heating power and a design that radiates heat 360-degrees, this kerosene heater will warm up your house in a hurry—it’s well-suited for spaces up to 1,000 square feet. Other than when you're turning it on and off, most people say this gas heater has no odor during operation. Other essential features include a tip-over shut-off and a fuel gauge that indicates when your kerosene needs refilling.
Best Fireplace: Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove with Remote Control
One of the most popular fireplace space heaters is this model from DuraFlame. Equipped with realistic-looking flames and a 5,200 BTU infrared heater, you’ll find that this heater assists in warming up spaces up to 1,000 square feet in size.
Digital controls are concealed behind the beveled door of the fireplace and enable you to select from five different flame settings and turn the heater on or off. The control pad also displays the current selected temperature and allows you to set a timer. The metal body of this heater comes in five different finishes, including options like French gray, cinnamon, cream, navy, and classic black.
"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 Splurge: Dyson Hot + Cool AM09 Fan Heater
If you’re looking for a multi-functional and highly efficient space heater, check out the Dyson Hot + Cool Jet Focus Fan Heater. With a bladeless design and futuristic looks, this space heater is a real head turner—though the price is quite significant. However, this splurge-worthy space heater is versatile enough to justify its high cost.
The Dyson Hot + Cool Fan Heater operates as either a bladeless fan or space heater. In both modes, you can choose from either Jet Focus or diffused air distribution. As you may have guessed, the Jet Focus function sends a straight column of warm (or cool) air in a single direction, while the diffused setting projects the air around the room. On either setting, the unit doesn’t become hot to the touch, even with continued use. Other safety features that make this a popular pick (especially in children’s playrooms and nurseries) are the tip-over shutoff and bladeless design.
"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 Budget: Comfort Zone Ceramic Electric Portable Heater
Bring the heat without busting the budget, thanks to this affordable space heater from Comfort Zone. This small space heater offers 750 or 1,500 watts of power to heat rooms up to 500 square feet in size—and comes at a very reasonable price. You’ll notice that this space heater relies on a manual dial to select from 9 temperature settings, along with a dial that controls the output of the heating element (either fan-only mode, or 750-watt or 1,000-watt operation).
Unlike some other budget ceramic space heaters, this model has an automatic shut-off feature if the unit tips over. In addition, an overheat protection sensor offers additional peace of mind, especially if you'll be using the heater often.
For a versatile space heater that will warm up any room in your home, pick up our best overall pick the Lasko Bladeless Ceramic Heater with Remote Control (view at Home Depot). It boasts a heating power of 1,000-1,500 watts, and features a sleek build that looks great and stays cool to the touch. But if you're in the market for an electric heater, pick up the Lifesmart 6-Element SlimLine Heater Unit (view at Home Depot). Featuring two smart boost heaters and a petite build, plug-in this small yet mighty space heater for extra warmth in your home.
Type There are many types of space heaters, but the most common, least expensive, and safest 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 those with 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 more expensive.
Watts 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.
Safety Look for models with automatic shut-offs 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 longer power cord if proximity to an outlet is an issue.