Its actually quite difficult to find out which is the best space heater as no-one has completed any extensive research to which is the best space heater and whilst even some those “trusted editorial sources” such as “Consumer Reports” don’t explain how they came up with their top 20 heaters which means they could easily have just chosen the top 20 heaters and wrote something about each one.
With this in mind we decided to do our own research starting off with preparing a long list of every single heater manufacture and model that we could find that is sold on the market today by combining those unit that we found online with those that were sold in department store such Home Depot or Walmart from brands such as Honeywell, Dyson and Delonghi. After we had prepared a long list of a few hundred models, we shortened this list by taking out units that did not have a consumer report rating of more than 75, had been replaced with a newer model, did not have safety features such as a tip-over switch or a overheating cut off and space heaters that had a poor user rating based on customer rating from review sites such as Amazon.
After we had assembled our line-up we then began to test each unit over a 24 hour period whilst I was sleeping and working to see which was the space heater. The main things we tested for were the time that the heater took to heat up the room, the maximum temperature that we could get the room to at night, the cost of running the unit for the 24 hour period and how comfortable we felt by using the space heater during the 24 hour period (was i seriously comfortable about leaving the heater running when I was not in the house or was it actually just too hot that it was about to burn up and destroy itself and anything around it).
Based on this information we then chose our Top Two space heaters for large rooms and small rooms as shown below.
Top Space Heaters for Smaller Areas
Dyson AM04 Hot & Cool Fan Heater
Dyson AM04 Hot & Cool Space HeaterThe Dyson Hot & Cold Fan Heater is a new design in space heater using technology that has never been used before and has won top recommendations from Consumer Reports all over the world. The heater is unique in that it does not use fan blades to blow hot air out of the heater and instead use Dyson’s very own Air Multiplier technology which draws in cold air at the bottom of the unit, heating the air using ceramic plates and then blowing out hot air from the unit to heat the room. Dyson says that the heater draws in upto six gallons of air per second and give the air multiplier technology which amplifies the amount of air that is being expelled from the unit, means that you both get a continuous flow of hot air as there are no blades to interrupt the airflow and your room heats up quickly.
The technology within the Dyson Heater extends passed airflow and into the heater where in heater mode, two PTC ceramic plates are used to heat the air before its blown out to you.
however unlike many cheaper space heaters the ceramic tiles in the Dyson heater only reach 392 degree fahrenheit which means that they do not burn dust and therefore you do not get that horrible smell when your heater has sucked in some dust and its now burning within the fumes being blown on to you. The unit is controlled both from a control panel on the shaft on the unit and can also be controlled from a remote control that will work from 10 meters away. Multiple settings can be used to either turn up the airflow or the temperature which can bet set from 33 degrees all the way up to 99 degree fahrenheit. In our tests the hottest we could get our 150 square foot room to be was 84 degree fahrenheit by turning the fan on flat out and the temperature to its max.
How much does this unit cost to run? well this does depend on how much your electricity costs, however for us, we worked out that it would cost us $3.50 per day if we left the unit on flat out for 24 hours, however given the Dyson heater comes with both a remote control which means that you can easily increase the temperature without moving from the sofa, and an automatic temperature control which will keep your room at a certain temperature by automatically adjusting the both the heat and the airflow, the actual cost will be much less.
Given the unit does not have any blades, its very safe to have around the house, and whilst it is quite heavy, depending on which model you buy the heater does come with a tip-over protector that means if the unit fall over it will automatically switch itself off. The Dyson Blade-less fan also doubles as an air conditioning unit in hot weather which extends its versatility, however like all things Dyson, its quite expensive. Given it looks fantastic and works very well, its probably worth the extra expense to go with brand that symbolism quality.
Lasko 754200 Ceramic Fan Heater
Lasko 754200 Ceramic Fan HeaterThe Lasko 754200 is a small, fantastic space heater that heats up quick, it very portable, produces serious and is cheap, really cheap. The Lasko heater measures a tiny 6″ x 7″ x 9.2″ weighs just over 3 pounds therefore you easily move your heater around the room. Just because it small does not mean it does not come with any heating power because it does and even for its size managed to heat our small 150 Square foot room up to 87 degrees Fahrenheit after an hour in full blast mode. The lasko is very easy to use and is simply operated by a on-off switch which also doubles as a power switch with three settings and a temperature control knob which has 10 settings from cold to hot.
How much does it cost to use, well this really depends on how much your electricity is, however for us we worked out that it would cost us $3 per day if we ran it flat out 24 hours each day. This does sound expensive, however remember that a ceramic fan space heater is designed so that you can switch it on and off as and when you will need it meaning that you will not be using it the whole time.
We did feel safe with this unit and would have no problem with kids running around it or even touching it given that even after 24 hours of continuous use, the outer shells temperature was only 81 degree Fahrenheit which meant that you could easily pick it up and move it around whilst its running. Whilst we did not test the over-heat switch (quite frankly other than getting a blow touch out and putting heat into the heater which would no be clever given we borrowed the lasko, we could not work out how to do this) we left the heater running even whilst sleep and never had a problem.
The major downside of this unit was that we felt it was a little noisy which is something you get used to when you’re trying to sleep, but did feel that other models were quieter. The other draw back is that this model does not come with a tip-over switch, however given that we tested the unit on its side and there was no problem, this does not concern us. Remember – this a fan heater, therefore the minute you turn off the heat, the heat stops and you can really feel the room getting colder.
Top Space Heaters For Larger Areas
Delonghi TRD 0715T Safeheat Oil-Filled Radiator
Delonghi TRD 0715T Safeheat Oil-Filled Space HeaterIf you’re looking at a space heater than you can leave on for long periods of time then, look no further than the Delonghi Radiator as it has proven itself to be one of the top radiant space heaters on the market right now by many consumer reports. The oil-filled radiator offers superb levels of heat whilst maintaining low surface temperatures thanks to its patented thermal chimney which help to funnel cold air through the heater where it can be heated ensuring that your room stay hot all the time. This means that its great for children who like to touch things or pets and often like to explore any heating units.
The Delonghi safe-heat is controlled by a simply knob with three power settings and slider which can set the temperature and control the about of heat that your heater will produce and as an added benefit the Delonghi TRD safeheat comes with a 24 hour programmable timer
This features maintains a set room temperature and can operate to a schedule meaning that you can go to sleep with a nice warm room and the heater will switch itself off over night before switching itself back on in the morning before you wake up meaning that you can get in a nice warm environment. As with most oil-filled heaters, the heat does not stop the minute you switch off the power and with the safeheat we found it took over an hour for the heater to really cool down and stop producing heat.
The heater requires little or no maintenance, and is easily portable given its wheels which allow you to easily move the heater to where you want it, although because its made of metal and full of oil, it is quite heavy and therefore lifting it up the stairs is possible for one person, but you do need to be careful. We also found the Delonghi safe heat to be one the cheaper units to run. Over a 24 hour period we worked that the unit would cost us almost $2 to run continuously flat out, however this figure could be halved if we had used either the programmable thermostat or the timer to control the amount of heat the heater released.
Unfortunately its not all good news with this heater and it does have some draw-backs. The unit is super slow to heat up and requires a good 20 minutes to get warm enough to give off any heat and annoyingly the heater does not have a battery in its control panel meaning that if you set up the heater to come on a specific time, pull the plug out of the socket to move the heater, you will need to reset the times you want the heater to switch on and off again. Nothing major, but something that really they should have thought of.
Optimus H-6010 Portable Oil Filled Radiator Heater
Optimus H-6010 Portable Oil Filled Radiator HeaterWe really like the Optimus Oil filled radiator space heater which came in a very close second from the Delonghi Safeheat above and there are just a few annoying, little problems with this heater than gave the edge to the Delonghi which we will come to later, however the optimus is a fantastic unit that is great value for money and works well. The Optimus heater is one of the smaller oil heaters that we tested and comes in at around 13 pounds meaning that you can easily lift and carry the heater downstairs if however because its a slight cheaper model and probably made slightly cheaper as well, the wheels do not work at all meaning that you will have to carry it because you will not be pulling in anywhere. Even to simply move the heater over some carpet, it was more effort to drag the heater than just picking it up and moving across the room.
The heater is controlled by an on-off switch and then three settings of power with the top setting being around 1500 watts and the lowest setting around 600 watts, however there is also an automatic thermostat program control meaning that you can set a temperature and the device will try and hold the temperature in the room. The optimus heater is constructed well and feels like even if you dropped it from some height it would not break (we borrowed a unit so could not test this) and come with a one year warranty. The heater has other safety features such as a tip-over protection feature meaning that the heater will automatically switch off should the heater fall over which is a safety feature that many of even the most expensive space heaters do not come with.
The unit produces a fantastic amount of heat and on full blast heated our small room to 85 degrees fahrenheit which is the hottest we could get our room to with an oil-filled heater and whilst the unit did give off a terrible smell the first time we used it, this quickly burnt off and stopped smelling. One of the other slight problem of the unit giving off so much heat is that it actually gets quite hot which could be a problem if you have small children or pets and given its superb efficiency takes a long time to cool down which means that you will not be moving your heater in a hurry after you have switch it off as its too hot to pick up and the wheels do not work to drag it.
Even though this heater produces so much heat and there are customer reviews on Amazon with one customer saying that he uses his Optimus heater to heat his entire 800 square foot flat, they are really not expensive to run and flat out, we worked out that our optimus space heater cost us almost $2.50 per 24 period to run which is actually really good considering that you would never leave your space heater on 24 hours a day.
How Much Does Your Space Heater Cost To Run
Generally oil-filled space heaters are cheaper to run than either coil or ceramic element heaters however it does depend on for how long you use your space heater and at what temperature. On the best things about the best space heaters is that they will usually come with temperature controls meaning that you can set a temperature for the room and the heater will main it by switching itself on or off depending on the heat in the room. Using this type of heater can save your bills by as much as 40% in any 24 hour period.
To work out the cost of you space heater, you need to take into account, it’s Kilowatts, the cost of electricity and how much you are going to use it. Use the formula below to work this out.
Kilowatts x Cost x Hours Used = Cost
In this example a 1,500 watt space heater running for 10 hours at rate of $0.10 per kilowatt-hour will cost you $1.50. We calculate this by taking the 1,500 watt and dividing this by 1000 to get kilowatts per hour and then multiplying this figure by the cost of electricity which in this case will be $0.10 and then by the time which in this case is 10 hours to give us the dollar amount for how much our space heater will cost if we run it flat out for 10 hours.
Types of Space Heaters
For warming up just an individual room there’s no need turn up the thermostat for the whole house if you have a space heater. They usually come in small sizes so it’s easy to find a place for them anywhere in the house. Though a safety precaution should always be taken and the unit should be placed not close to any inflammable materials. Space heaters are available of several different types that offer various features with their benefits. To determine which would be the best heater for you, it’s best to understand their different types.
Spaces heaters can be differentiated according to the fuel type they use, such as gas, electric, propane, or kerosene (best kerosene heaters guide here). But also they can be categorized according to the heating technology they use. Below are the most common space heater types based on the technology used for heating a room.
Convection Space Heaters
These heaters are designed for heating a whole room. For providing better heat distribution convection heaters sometimes use a fan. The most efficient among this type of heaters are the units filled with water and oil. In a bath of water or oil they utilize the heating element that cycles on and off. The water and oil stays warm heating the surrounding air. The hot air produced by the unit rises to the ceiling, which pushes the cooler air to the floor level, thus creating air circulation in the room. Another type of these heaters are the baseboard heaters.
Radiant Space Heaters
These heaters use a variety of heating elements. The best element for directing heat are a ceramic core, infrared quartz tube, or an electric ribbon element. When you switch off the unit the heat of the elements quickly dissipates. These units are designed to heat mostly the objects and people in a room. They don’t specifically heat up the air in the room. Usually a person has to sit right in front of a radiant space heater. They produce heat very quickly, so if that’s what you’re looking for it’s a good choice. But when using one of these space heater there’re certain safety precautions that should be taken. It should be placed right next to inflammable or combustable objects. To find a model among this type, read our best infrared heater review.
These units use a ceramic core for heating. They are usually a bit more expensive than quartz heaters but produce about the same amount of heat with every watt used.
Halogen or Reflective Heaters
The heat of these units is provided by a halogen bulb that saves energy and produces heat. The created heat reflects on nearby objects and feels like the sun is shining on you.
So when choosing a certain type of the space heater you need to consider your needs. If you need to heat a whole room, large or small, a better choice would be to get a convection heater. On the other hand, if you want the heater to produce warm air quickly, a more suitable choice would be an infrared heater. Also think about how much heat you need it to produce. Mostly space heaters operate at about 600 to 1500 watts. The more watts it uses, the more heat the unit produces, but also it will consume more energy.
What to consider when buying a space heater?
Along with consistent performance and good value the heater should also combine safety. Check the features of the space heater. A safe one should automatically shut down the unit if the temperature rises to a dangerous level or if the heater tips or gets knocked over. Also a heater that has a protection over the heating coils reduces the temperature of the surface and thus making the space heater more fireproof.
Space heaters are convenient because you can move them from one place to another, so if you plan on moving around the unit a lot look for a lightweight model. For a safe grip the heater should have an insulated handle.
It’s also an important feature, so you won’t have to turn the machine on or off so the room maintains the desired temperature. Also for saving energy units that have multiple output settings are good, so you can set the temperature at high, medium or low and achieve consistent heating.
Space heaters are a good way to reduce the energy bill for heating. Using a space heater for warming up an individual room, you won’t need to heat the whole house. They’re usually not very high priced. If you’re looking for an electric space heater, look for such labels as UL (Underwriters Laboratory), CSA (Canadian Standards Association) or ETL (Intertek). These labels verify that they were laboratory tested and that their performance and construction meet the U.S> safety standards.
- Don’t leave the unit unattained if it’s plugged in and in operation
- Place the space heater on a flat surface and on a level where children and pets would be able to reach it. If you want to place the heater on a tabletop make sure that the manufacturer has specified it.
- Unless the manufacturer has specified that the space heater can be used outside or in the bathroom, don’t place it in wet or damp area. Moisture can damage the heater.
- Always keep a distance of about 3 feet between the space heater and any combustible objects like curtains, furniture or bedding.
We have reviewed many different types of heaters to find the best products in this industry. In our research we have reviewed their quality, price, overall performance and effectiveness, and electric heater reviews of users. We hope that in our best space heater reviews you have found the needed information.