360-degree heat circulation
Lightweight and easy to move
Stays cool to the touch
Slightly dated design
No timer function
Auto setting doesn’t work on low
Shuts off only when 2 degrees higher than desired temp
Some chemical smell
Fan-assisted ceramic electric heaters, like the Lasko Full-Circle Warmth Ceramic Heater, are one of the safest and fastest ways to heat a bedroom, shed, camper, cubicle, or other small space. Here’s how they work: Electricity warms ceramic plates, which then heat aluminum baffles. A fan blows air across the hot baffles, pushing hot air into the room. The ceramic and aluminum heat up fast, so rooms start feeling warm right away—but the exterior stays cool, making them safe choice for areas with kids and pets.
Generally, ceramic heaters of this kind don’t work as well for large rooms, which respond better to long sessions of radiant heat, but when you need to warm up a small area fast, or mitigate drafts, they’ll get the job done efficiently. We put this top-rated space heater to the test to see just how well it worked in a small bedroom versus a large family room.
Performance: Ideal for small bedrooms
The Lasko Full-Circle Warmth Ceramic Heater boasts 1,500 watts of power, which we found worked great at heating small spaces quickly and quietly. Plus, its oscillating shield, which has three settings to direct the airflow from the fan, is practically silent.
How big of a room will it heat? That’s a tough question to answer, since it depends on drafts, doors, insulation, windows, etc. In our experience, the smaller the room, the better. We placed the heater in a small bedroom and it took the temperature of the room within a few seconds. It was a cool 67 degrees. The heater has two modes—low and high—and an automatic feature, so you can set the temp you want and let the heater maintain it.
We set the automatic temperature control to 70 degrees and set the oscillator to the 170-degree rotation. This allows the heated air propelled by the fan to sweep across the room. Otherwise, you can set the oscillator to 90 degrees in order to direct it into one area of the room, or 360 degrees so it can blow completely around the heater. The controls on the heater and on the remote were easy and intuitive.
The fan was quiet enough not to interfere in the least with the audio from the TV—a major plus.
Although the fan can be used on low to keep an area continually heated, it must be used on high when in auto mode. Even so, the fan is impressively quiet and easy to ignore. Within ten minutes, the heater was able to raise the ambient temperature one degree. Sitting near the unit, we certainly felt its warmth, though it took more than an hour to get the room to the temperature we set. The unit has to go a full two degrees above the set temperature before it will shut off, then the room must drop one degree below the set temperature for it to turn on again. In the small room, this was a bit of a problem because the room was almost uncomfortably hot before the heater shut off.
Also, in auto mode, the fan will keep turning on in intervals, even when the heat is off. Every ten minutes, the fan will run for just a few seconds to keep the air circulating until the room needs to be heated again.
The plastic exterior stays cool, making it easy to grab and move, even while it’s working.
In the family room of a finished basement, which is double the size of the bedroom and opens to other rooms, the heater had to work continuously to keep the temperature above the ambient room temperature. The basement area was 66 degrees when we plugged in the unit, and after three hours the room still hadn’t warmed above 69 degrees. Although it was noticeably warmer and more comfortable than before, we’re not sure the heater would ever get this bigger, colder room up to temp. Still, the fan was quiet enough not to interfere in the least with the audio from the TV—a major plus.
It wasn’t surprising that the heater emitted a slight chemical or plastic odor when first used. However, even after about ten hours of use, the odor was still detectable. It’s not overpowering, but we were hoping that “new appliance smell” would’ve burned off by then.
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Design: Looks a bit dated but isn’t obtrusive
Although the Lasko Full-Circle Warmth Ceramic Heater isn’t going to win any design awards, it does have a few things going for it. It’s super lightweight, so it’s easy to carry from room to room. There’s no handle, which might feel awkward to some, but it was light enough that it didn’t matter. And the plastic exterior stays cool, making it easy to grab and move, even while it’s working. The digital display has an easy-to-read (and easy-to-understand) interface. An “A” lets you know the heater is in auto mode. Two flame-like squiggles mean low, three squiggles mean high. And instead of a number, like “360,” you can tell what mode the oscillator is in just by looking at how much of the circle is closed.
The Lasko Full-Circle Warmth Ceramic Heater isn’t going to win any design awards, but it does have a few things going for it, like being lightweight.
That being said, the heater is not remotely sleek or stylish. It seems to have been designed with function in mind and very little thought to post-1990 aesthetics. The flared base is sturdy, and the vent at the top lets the air out. The silver dotted screen at the bottom lets air in and identifies where the filter goes. But these parts as a whole make the unit look like a gray, plastic torpedo, which doesn’t really “go” with any interior except maybe a college dorm room. However, at only 2 feet tall and 9 inches wide, it’s pretty easy to tuck it out of the way.
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Setup Process: Fast, but you’ll need a screwdriver
The heater can’t stand on its own without the base, and the base requires a little assembly. It’s essentially two halves of plastic that have to be screwed together, then screwed to the base of the heater. But as long as you have a Phillips head screwdriver, this takes just a few minutes. When first plugged in, the heater will display Fahrenheit. Those who prefer Celsius can change the mode by pressing the plus and minus buttons at the same time. The heater comes with a small remote, but the two AAA batteries required aren’t included.
Safety Features: Overheat protection and cool-touch exterior
In addition to the cool exterior, the Lasko Full-Circle Warmth Ceramic Heater boasts other safety features including a tip-over switch, which automatically shuts the unit off if it falls over. Auto shut-off will also occur after 12 hours of continuous use, while the overheat protection feature shuts the unit off if the temperature gets too high.
Cleaning: Vacuum the filter to prevent overheating
Overheating is a risk if the filter gets too clogged with debris. The heater draws in air from the room to heat up and blow outward, and the filter covering this air intake area needs to be cleaned every two weeks according to the manual. We found the filter was very easy to clear using the hose-and-brush attachment of a vacuum, although removing the filter cover is a bit counterintuitive at first. Indentations on the side make it seem like it should be squeezed and pulled. Instead, you need to click it to the side and then remove. But at least it doesn’t require any tools.
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At around $65 to $75, the Lasko Full-Circle Warmth Ceramic Heater falls right in line with other 1,500-watt ceramic heaters of the same height. Most, however, don’t have fans that oscillate the full 360 degrees, setting this one apart from the rest. Fans that are shorter but offer the same wattage and features tend to cost about half as much.
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Competition: The fan’s a favorite
There’s no shortage of fan-assisted heaters on the market, and Lasko seems to make the bulk of them. The Lasko 751320 Ceramic Tower Heater is similar to the Full Circle in size and power and also includes a remote. But it sports a sleeker exterior, almost like an audio speaker, and it even offers a built-in timer. However, this model doesn’t have the ability to blow air in a complete 360-degree circle.
Among the few ceramic heaters that do offer full-circle air circulation, the Honeywell 360 Surround Digital Fan Forced Heater is a close competitor in terms of features, but not looks. Like the Lasko Full-Circle Warmth Ceramic Heater, it has a remote and auto temp control, and it stays cool to the touch and is easy to move. It also has a timer and additional safety features, such as a tip-over switch. But it’s half the size in height, so the air blows out at shin-level rather than at waist-level like the Lasko.
A solid choice
Small bedrooms, campers, and sheds will be easy to heat with the Lasko Full-Circle Warmth Ceramic Heater. Its full 360-degree oscillating fan does a great job at distributing the heat around the room. It’s easy to reposition since it stays cool to the touch, and it’s small and slim enough to stay out of the way. A remote makes it easy to control even from across the room. If sleek design isn’t important, this is a solid bet.
- Product Name Full-Circle Warmth Ceramic Heater
- Product Brand Lasko
- Price $75
- Weight 9 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 11 x 11 x 25 in.
- Color Gray/Silver
- Warranty Limited 3-year