The Best Space Heater for Every Room
For extra warmth where you need it most, our guide will help you find the best space heater to keep you snug this winter.
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Family Handyman, via amazon.com (3)
What To Know Before You Buy a Space Heater
A space heater, like the name suggests, targets warmth in the areas you need it most. Whether under your desk to keep toes toasty or next to the bed to take the edge off chilly mornings, space heaters are a portable and practical appliance to have around the house this winter.
Most space heaters are electric (infrared, ceramic, forced air and oil-filled radiator), while others use propane or kerosene fuel. (Note: Kerosene heaters emit carbon monoxide, and you’ll need adequate ventilation if used indoors.) Many room space heaters come with a fan that pushes heat into the room efficiently. Oil-filled/radiant heaters don’t come with a fan.
When deciding which type of space heater is right for you, consider the following:
- Size/heating capacity. Figure 10 watts per square foot of floor space.
- Safety. Look for tip-over sensors, auto shut-offs, heat-resistant exteriors, and UL, ETL or NTRL listings.
- Energy efficiency.
- Free-standing or mountable.
- Convenience — digital displays, thermostats, timers, remote controls, smart capabilities.
- Cost. Prices range from $25 to more than $1,000.
We looked at the top research, as well as ratings and reviews. Here are our picks of the best space heaters for every room.
Best Space Heater for Home Offices
We love the Andily electric heater. It’s chock-full of great features and doesn’t require a big budget.
For less than $30, you get long-lasting ceramic elements that heat up fast without open coils that burn. Other perks include a three-mode setting (low-heat, high-heat and no fan) with a power indicator light, and its compact size. It’s small enough to place on a desk, as well as the floor.
Best Space Heater Splurge
If you’re in the market for a high-end space heater with lots of bells and whistles, then check out the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Air Purifier, Heater + Fan. It does double-duty as a cooling/heating fan and air purifier, and you also can choose between long-range personal or whole-room heating.
Other features include thermostatic control, oscillation, a sleep timer, remote control and Alexa voice-enabled functioning via the Dyson Link app.
Best Baseboard Space Heater
Slim and portable, the Comfort Zone Convection Baseboard Heater with silent operation is safe to use around kids and pets. That’s because of its advanced safety system, featuring a stay-cool casing and an overheat protection sensor that cuts the power if it’s too hot or gets knocked over.
On top of that, it delivers 1,500 watts of zone heating without the hassle of installation, like a hard-wired baseboard heater.
Best Space Heater for the Garage
Great for bone-chilling garages and workshops, the wall- or ceiling-mounted CCC Comfort Zone keeps you warm while you work. No-fuss features include three heat levels (5,000/4,000/3,000 watts), rugged steel construction that holds up in the harshest environments, easy-to-turn controls and adjustable louvers that aim the airflow exactly where you want it.
Best Space Heater for Small Rooms
No need to compromise comfort for size. The compact Vornado VH Vortex Heater packs a punch, raising the ambient temperature in small-to medium-size rooms. Perfect for dorms, bathrooms, dens or other small spaces, the Vorando has three quiet heat settings and a built-in thermostat to maintain the set temperature automatically.
One Amazon reviewer loves the Vornando: “It keeps our TV room nice and cozy and we don’t have to heat all the bedrooms and kitchen and office.”
Best Space Heater for Large Rooms
The LifeSmart six-element infrared heater is up to the challenge of heating large spaces. It features six quartz infrared elements that emit light rays, efficiently heating the people and objects around them instead of the surrounding air. That’s a plus for a large room. “It kept my whole living room warm enough to wear a T-shirt and feel fine,” writes one Amazon reviewer.
Bonus: Infrared heat doesn’t dry out the air like other heat sources.
Best Space Heater for Kids’ Rooms
Safety and effectiveness combine to make the Vornadobaby Tempa nursery heater an ideal forced-air space heater for nurseries and kids’ rooms. It has a cool-touch case so little fingers never get burned, a safety shutoff feature so it never overheats, tip-over protection, hidden cord storage, a child-lock switch and no pinch-points or sharp edges.
Best Propane Space Heater for Decks and Patios
Campers and fans of propane-powered space heaters love the Mr. Heater indoor-safe radiant heater. It runs off a one-pound propane cylinder but can also connect to a 20-pound cylinder via an optional hose and filter.
This 4,000- or 9,000 BTU-per-hour heater can heat up to 200 square feet safely, thanks to a swivel regulator. Other features include a fold-down handle, low-oxygen emergency safety system and accidental tip-over shutoff.
Best Space Heater for Open Plan Living Areas
With the low-profile, wall-mounted Heat Storm WiFi infrared heater, you can manage room temperature from your smartphone or Google Home. From the kitchen, set the thermostat to warm up the kids playing in the family room. It emits efficient infrared heat to cover up to 300 square feet of insulated space (or up to 750 square feet as a supplemental heat source).
Writes one Amazon reviewer: “The app allows you to control the heater from the phone but more importantly to schedule the device to turn on and turn off at preset times (like early morning), at your desired temperature, and on your choices of days (like “work days only” as an example).”
Best Overall Space Heater
Reviewers love its three quiet settings (high heat, low heat and fan only), easy-to-use controls, convenient carry handle, overheat safety protection feature and cool-touch exterior. And don’t let its compact size fool you: “Very effective even for larger spaces,” writes one Amazon reviewer.