Your home’s HVAC system should handle your heating just fine during the colder days of the year. Problem is, it’s never perfect. Maybe you live in a building with no direct control over the heating, so you can’t just dial it up a few notches when you crave higher temperatures. It could be you own a big home and don’t want to waste energy cranking up the thermostat when you only want toastier temperatures in the bedroom to help you get some peaceful slumber. Or maybe you have full control of everything, but just happen to have your home office in an area that could probably use a bit more insulation, leaving you uncomfortably chilly throughout your remote workdays.
Whichever the case, a space heater offers the perfect solution to bring warmer temperatures to a confined area of the house. Not only does it serve as a great supplement to your heating system during winter, it also comes in handy during unexpectedly colder temperatures the rest of the year.
Of course, everyone’s heating needs will vary depending on a variety of factors. As such, there are plenty of options in space heaters, from big powerful models that can heat up a large room to small desktop appliances that only warm up your personal space to multifunctional models that can do more than heat up a room.
These are our favorite space heaters.
Lasko Electric Ceramic Space Heater 754201
It’s not the prettiest-looking appliance. If aesthetics isn’t your concern, though, this compact and affordable space heater is one of the most cost-effective options we’ve found. Despite the size (it’s just 10 inches tall), it has impressive heating power, allowing you to quickly bring warm air to small enclosed spaces. If you’re looking to heat up a small bedroom or home office, this is definitely the way to go. It has two heat settings (1500W and 900W), as well as a fan only option for non-winter use at home, complete with a temperature knob, although it only shows abstract markers instead of actual temperature numbers, so you can’t actually dial in exact adjustments. Do note, this delivers really hot air, so if you position yourself directly in front, it can be uncomfortable, so you’ll want to find a not-so-in-your-face place to park it in the room. Of course, the limited size keeps it functional for small rooms only, as it simply doesn’t have enough power to properly heat up a larger space like your living room.
This compact heater can be positioned upright or on its side, giving you more placement options, so you can put it without using too much footprint on top of a table or slip it in the space under furniture. It uses an 1100W fan to disperse the hot air, which it does pretty efficiently, allowing it to heat a small room more evenly very quickly compared to other similarly-sized space heaters. On the downside, the fan is not quiet, so it definitely adds a noticeable distraction to an otherwise peaceful space. There are only three settings: high, low, and fan, with no way to maintain a specific temperature level. It does offer a limited timer, though, with settings for 30 minutes, one hour, and two hours. We appreciate the safety features, too, including an ALCI plug (so it’s safe to plug even in the bathroom outlet), 3x overheat protection, and a housing that stays cool to the touch.
We’ll be honest – it looks more like a speaker than a space heater with its 16-inch tall cylindrical enclosure. That’s a good thing, though, considering the admittedly industrial looks that’s more common in the category. It has five different operating modes (four heating, one cooling), each one using between 700W and 1500W of power to heat the space, with a digital thermostat that lets you fine tune the temperature setting anywhere between 41 and 95 degrees. Suffice to say, we love having these kinds of options to dial in how toasty you want the room to get. The onboard timer lets you set it to operate anywhere between one to 12 hours, while a 70-degree oscillating feature allows you to quickly spread the warm air throughout the room. It’s also extremely safe, with a construction built using V0 flame-retardant materials, top-over protection, overheat protection, and automatic 24-hour shutdown, apart from being relatively quiet at 37db in the lowest setting. Seriously, it’s one impressive space heater for the price.
Designed for medium-sized rooms, this 1,500-watt tower-style space heater uses three infrared heating elements to slowly spread soft, even heat throughout the room. Because it uses IR heating, it operates in silence (no fan) and doesn’t dry the air, since the heating is targeted directly at people and objects rather than the surrounding air. It has oscillating louvers that allows you to direct the IR waves in the exact direction you want for targeted heating, with three available operating modes: 1,000W, 1,500W, and an ECO mode that maintains a constant 68 degrees. Features include a digital thermostat with soft-touch button controls, a 12-hour timer, a handy remote, and a gaggle of safety features. We also like the fact that it looks like vintage furniture, which can add a different aesthetic to an erstwhile modern room.
While this is still pretty compact for a space heater (12 x 11.7 x 9.3 inches), it is impressively powerful, allowing you to heat up medium-sized rooms in pretty short order. According to the outfit, this is courtesy of their Vortex Action airflow, which circulates the air similar to how a forced air furnace works, delivering a twisting current of hot air that uses walls and ceilings as pathways to quickly spread around the vicinity. What we really like about this is the LCD screen and touch controls, which let you set the exact temperature for the room and displays it, so you can check your settings with a quick glance. It will automatically adjust its operation based on those temperature settings, too, with the ability to maintain the desired heat levels all on its own. Features include a cool-touch exterior, too-over protection, two-stage automatic safety shut-off, hidden cord storage (for stashing excess power cord), and a fan-only setting that lets you use it as a cooling fan during the warmer days of the year.
This three-in-one device is a space heater, air purifier, and cooling fan, making it the kind of appliance that can serve you well throughout the year. Of course, the fact that it looks like it belongs in a futuristic home doesn’t hurt things one bit, either. It can deliver hot or cool air at a rate of 77 gallons per second while purifying it at the same time, all while allowing for deep adjustments. How deep? Well, you can specify the exact temperature you want the room to be in and it will monitor closely, automatically shutting and resuming operations as needed to keep it on that same level. You can also direct airflow a variety of ways using the remote or the companion app, from dispersing as evenly as possible and oscillating like a rotating fan to tilting up/down and streaming a focused jet of air in one direction. Oh yeah, it’s completely quiet, making it a great choice if you hate the rumbling noise other fan-powered space heaters make during operation. Provided you can handle that eye-watering price tag, of course.