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7 Best Electric Space Heaters to Fill Any Space and Budget
Electric space heaters are among the quintessential household appliances, and it’s easy to see why. They offer the promise of effective room heating, and can be moved anywhere throughout the house. Whether you’ve got a chilly conservatory or a house add-on unconnected to central heat, the best portable radiators work a treat to provide comforting warmth when and where you need it most.
Today, we review the best electric space heaters your money can buy.
Each serves a different niche inside your home or office, and occupies a different price point. Once you’ve seen our recommendations, you’ll find a short buyer’s guide to help you accurately identify your needs–and the best radiator to meet them.
Table of Contents
Best Electric Space Heaters On The Market
Shopping for the right radiator can be a headache. After all, the designation of “space heater” is so broad, it can be difficult to directly compare a portable fan-blown unit to a large convector on wheels.
Below, we cover the best electric space heaters, discussing their feature sets, and the roles they serve best within the home or office.
Pro Breeze is no stranger to our best-of lists, and their 2000W Mini Ceramic Fan Heater tops out as our favourite electric space heater overall. There’s just so much to love about this mighty little machine.
First is right in the name: you’ve got a monstrous 2000W of power which is more than enough to effectively warm up a medium sized room. What’s more, there’s a 60° oscillation feature to more evenly distribute that heat throughout larger spaces.
Virtually speaking, this has the oomph of a much larger radiator in a tiny package.
Of course, you can also attenuate the heat for smaller rooms by toggling from high (2000W), to low (1200W). It’s probably still more heat than you’d like for a personal desk heater, but it will excel in garages, bedrooms, cubicles, or campers. The Pro Breeze features patented ceramic heating discs, which heat up much faster than traditional wire heaters. No gas is burnt, so no need to worry about carbon monoxide in cramped quarters, either.
There are myriad other features which make the 2000W Mini Ceramic an incredible value for money.
- It’s incredibly light at just 1.75kg;
- It also sports a sturdy integrated carry handle and super-long 1.75m cable for hassle-free placement.
- You’ve also got a simple-but-effective manual thermostat to optimise energy efficiency and comfort.
Pro Breeze didn’t skip out on safety either, as there’s both overheat and tip-over protection.
All in all, this diminutive dragon is just 18.5×15.5x26cm, yet performs like a radiator thrice its size and quadruple the price. We wish there were a warranty, but it’s so durable and effective for the cost, we tend to forgive Pro Breeze.
Looking for a personal warming device that looks slick and doesn’t skimp on features? Check out Douhe’s Portable Space Heater, which costs less than lunch for two.
At core, there are three heating modes denoted by different coloured lights:
- blue is for a nice cooling wind which can be deployed even during hot summer days;
- dark red is for low heat;
- whilst bright red is full power, sufficient to warm your bones and much more besides.
At just 1.1kg, this is truly a tiny heater. However, its PTC ceramic heating elements conduct extremely efficient heat transfer, allowing it to blow toasty warmth without wrecking your power bill. What’s more, PTC ceramics are much safer than traditional heating wires, running closer to 270° C vs. 480°+. The Douhe takes safety a few steps further, with flame retardant material construction, automatic overheat protection, plus a tip-over cut-out switch.
There’s even a master safety switch on the bottom of the unit that locks out the main controls atop the unit. This prevents accidental (aka unsafe) utilisation, and protects your peace of mind.
Speaking of peace, did we mention the Douhe is whisper-quiet? Its fan runs at a hushed 45dB, which is about as loud as a school library. The heating element emits no light, either, so you can sleep like a stone. On super-cold nights, you’ll love how the Douhe jumps to life. Within 10 seconds, you’ll enjoy full heat. Coupled with the adjustable projection angle, and you can customise your heater performance to perfection.
The Douhe is just 12.5×12.5×20.5cm, and sits politely on or beneath an office desk. Indeed, because it provides both warm and cool wind, we’re confident this unit will fast become an indispensable productivity tool. And with a 2-year warranty, it’ll serve in that role faithfully indeed.
Duronic’s heaters are something quite unique, and possess attributes quite apart from both oil-filled and convector heaters. The HV10X series both feature micathermic heating panels, which heat to full capacity within 60 seconds. What’s more, they offer truly radiant heat that won’t kick up dust and glgens, nor dry out the room like a crypt.
But perhaps most notable is the fact that mica panels are by design highly insulated, and thus extremely resilient vs electrical shocks and fire. Coupled with the protective mesh grills, and you have a heating system which externalises heat whilst remaining quite cool to the touch. It is well to consider mica panels both an efficiency and safety feature. Of course, Duronic also includes automatic overheat protection and a tip-over switch to round out the safety suite.
Both the HV101 and HV102 possess automatic thermostats and anti-frost functionality. However, there are a host of quality of life differences to set them apart.
- The HV101 sports simple manual controls to switch between three heat modes (1000W, 1500W, and 2500W).
- The HV102 features an attractive digital display, a timer, plus a remote control.
It is, however, slightly less flexible in offering just two heat settings: 1500W and 2500W.
So, if you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing, dead-quiet, energy-efficient, and moreover safe space heater, Duronic’s got a strong answer. It’s a good bit larger than the other units on our list, at 6.1kg and 76×23.2×64.8cm, but it glides nicely upon oversized castor wheels. It also features a generous 1.8m plug with built-in cable tidy, so you can truly position the Duronic where it is most needed.
At 250W, you’d be right not to expect much of the Dimplex DDF250–but you’d also be pleasantly surprised! To be sure, this is a personal heater; but whether you deploy it in a cubicle or a camper, you’ll find the entire space cheered right up with comforting warmth.
We’ve already touched a bit upon the virtues of ceramic heating, but the Dimplex begs we do so again! Heat is forthcoming almost from the very moment you switch it on, so no waiting around to defrost after arriving at the office through a wintry mess.
Its size isn’t the only thing that makes it perfect for the office; Dimplex has outfitted the DDF250 with a convenient USB charging port for your phone, headphones, or power bank. Being ceramic, you’ll never find the noise a bother either–as there isn’t any.
The DDF250 is just 14x14x18.4cm and a hair under 700g. Thus, it fits everywhere, and can travel anywhere you need. There’s a 1.5m cable as well, so no need to fuss with extension cables. There’s a tip-over switch which shuts the unit down if you knock it over, so no need to worry about catching your desk on fire. The thermostat is extremely basic, and doesn’t offer the degree of control such that you know precisely how hot it is. But really, it’s a personal heater, and “a little more” is an adequate measure of comfort adjustment.
Don’t confuse this for its larger, 2000W sibling. The Pro Breeze Mini Heater stands, well not exactly tall–but very much on its own. It is the smallest personal space heater on our list, at just 19×10.5×16.5cm and scarcely more than 700g, but it’s got plenty of heart. Inside this white-and-silver wedge-shaped object lies a powerful ceramic heating element coursing with 500W of power.
To be sure, so long as the Pro Breeze is your deskmate, you’ll never be cold.
There is one slight issue with this model, however, and that’s its upward angle. If you sit it head-high upon your desk, it’ll blow over you rather than at you. This can be remedied by placing it underneath the desk, but it would’ve been nice to have an adjustable blower. Don’t worry about kicking it over under there, as there’s both overheat and tip-over protection.
The thermostat knob is a simple thing, just an unmarked silver dial. If you want to control your ambiance down to the degree, this isn’t the heat for you. But if you want something you can easily nudge up into your comfort zone, you really can’t ask for much more than the Pro Breeze Mini is offering.
Just holding the Mini is a pleasant experience; its construction is so obviously well-made that you could probably drop the thing multiple times and not worry about it breaking.
The casing never heats up either, so no need to worry about contact burns at full blast. It might’ve been nicer to have a bit more than the single-metre cable on offer, but that’s just picking the nittiest of nits. We love the Pro Breeze Mini, and for the price, we think you will too.
Taking a bit of a departure from the ultra-tiny desk heaters, we arrive at the still-compact 2000W Ceramic Tower Heater from Ansio. To be sure, there’s much more than size that differentiates this unit from the rest on our list–and the market at large for that matter. First off, you can deploy the Ansio horizontally or vertically. If you try that with most other heaters, they’ll just shut off due to the tip-over switch.
Of course, Ansio’s got its own tip-over switch for safety purposes, so you won’t be able to flip it about while you’re running it. Once you’ve found the position you like, you can activate the internal oscillator, which blows hot wind in an arc for further-enhanced heat distribution.
If it isn’t obvious already, Ansio values flexibility, and you’ve got even more of it with dual heat modes (1200W and 2000W). Taken together, there’s no space you can’t heat with the Ansio.
Bolstering the utility of the Oscillating Tower Heater is a 24-hour timer, and full-range thermostat (5-35°). Better yet, you have full control over these settings with the included remote control. There’s even an eco-mode to slash your energy bill when maximum heating isn’t required. Ansio also contains a special memory unit, which retains the last settings you’ve used–even in the event of a blackout or moving it from room to room.
Dimensions are 16×18.5x55cm, and it weighs 5kg. There’s no carry handle per se, but it’s quite manageable as-is.
We recommend you don’t use an extension cord, as it draws too much power for most cables to safely handle. Your Ansio is nevertheless highly efficient, and costs just 18p per hour at the lowest setting. Buy in confidence thanks to a generous 2-year warranty.
Finally, we arrive at a more traditional choice for space heaters: the 2500W Oil-Filled Radiator from PureMate. It’s fairly well-known that oil-filled radiators are a pretty slow burn, but efficient in the long-term. However, we picked the PureMate because it is still highly efficient, but heats up within 10 minutes. That’s almost unheard of in the world of oil-filled radiators!
The PureMate’s 11 fins provide ample radiant surface area, and are quite thin for efficient heat transfer. Also due to their thinness, the PureMate remains relatively cool to the touch. Though, you probably will want to refrain from sticking your hand fully between the fins at full blast regardless. Whether this was intended as a safety feature or not, the result is exceptional heating.
On the topic of safety, there’s the standard fare of overheat protection and a tip-over switch. You’ll enjoy true radiated heat as well, which doesn’t kick up dust or allergens or sap the air of humidity. It’s dead-silent as well, and the lack of a bright LCD display or LED lights makes PureMate a solid choice for light sleepers. There is a soft power light that denotes when the unit is powered on or not, which is much more useful than you’d think.
Control over the PureMate comes in the form of three manual dials:
- a toggle for three heat settings (1000W, 1500W, and 2500W),
- an adjustable thermostat,
- plus a 24-hour timer.
Moving it from room to room isn’t quite as easy as the rest of the entries on this list. However, it is hardly a monolith at 50x24x62cm and 11.2kg, and features four castor wheels for easy transport.
Overall, the Oil-Filled Radiator from PureMate is an exemplar of its class, with highly efficient heating and a surprisingly fast warm-up period out of a relatively diminutive frame.
Buyer’s guide for electric space heaters
There’s no lack of choices when it comes to space heaters, especially as the term is such a broad one. But unless you’re already something of an expert, comparison shopping can be daunting, to say the least. How can you know where the best value for money lies? Is it just the cheapest heater with the highest power rating?
It’s these questions and more which has lead us to compile this short buyer’s guide. Don’t hit the market until you’ve considered these key points about what will make an electric space heater the best pick for you.
How will you use the heater?
The first question you ought to ask your self is this: Will you be using your space heater continuously, or do you need something which heats up quickly? Many radiators claim to be a silver bullet, but in reality you’ll want to pick a purpose-built heater to meet your needs.
I need fast heat
So, if you’re walking in out of the cold, frozen to the bone, it makes sense that you’d want a radiator which produces instantaneous heat. Space heaters with heating wires are the traditional pick, as it takes almost no time at all for the electrical current to surge through the metal heating elements. However, they are no longer the most efficient, or even most effective at this task. You might consider heaters infrared quartz or ceramic heating elements, or else halogen lamp radiators. While the concept is similar to heating wires, these more modern materials produce more heat with less draw from the mains.
You might also consider any of the above types of heaters, but with a forced-fan system. Fan-blown units take a more active role in warming the air by physically running more air over the heating element. What’s more, the resultant wind stream is highly directional, and can concentrate a thawing blast right where it’s most needed. This type of heating is ideal for poorly insulated rooms, as you can quickly turn the radiator on and off as needed.
These do draw more power from the mains, and have a way of drying out the air and kicking up allergens. So, if you suffer from asthma or other breathing difficulties, you’ll want to weigh carefully whether whether a fan is necessary or desirable. Depending on the size and feature set, exposed element heaters are often cheaper than their larger, slower counterparts.
I need continuous heat
On the other hand, you may be looking for something that produces a gentle heat more or less throughout the day. Perhaps your bedroom is one of the cold spots in your home, but loud noises and dry air keep you up. In this case, your best bet is an oil-filled radiator.
These are probably what you first think of when you hear the word “radiator”. They often have fins to increase the radiant surface area, though there are more novel designs out there as well. As the name might suggestion, oil-filled radiators are filled with a fluid–usually glycol or some sort of mineral oil–which are extremely retentive of heat. It usually takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to heat up; but once it’s up to temperature, an oil-filled radiator is extremely cost-effective, as it only draws a sip of power from the mains to maintain this temperature.
Oil-filled radiators can produce purely radiant heat, convected heat, or both. Radiant heat has a more natural feel to it, and won’t dry out the air or irritate your allergies. Typically, this is what we recommend when you don’t need to flip a switch for warmth. We do recommend you only use slower heaters in decently insulated rooms, otherwise it’ll waste energy trying to continuously keep up with the heat leakage.
I need a jack of all trades
If you’re dead-set on having a generalist space heater, consider an oil-filled convector heater with a timer. These produce both convected and radiant heat, and so are great for filling a room without drying it out too much. Many modern hybrid heaters come pre-filled with a heating medium which can heat up as fast as 10 minutes, mitigating the slow-burn downsides of their more traditional kin.
Nevertheless, the programmable timer will be key here–if you anticipate coming home through the cold at 5:00 in the evening, set your radiator to hit high heat at 4:30. This way, your radiator will already be at optimal internal temperature, yet will have had enough time to thoroughly fill the space with its warmth.
In terms of efficiency, oil-filled convectors are no less polite to your monthly bill. They use the same basic principle of heating up a body of oil. But their designs create a sort of slipstream, through which cold air is moved up between the radiant fins, then is ejected out into the room in a steady current. However, these heaters often have the most advanced kit of features, and tend to be more of an upfront investment.
How big is your space that needs heating?
There exist many calculators online for calculating how many BTUs are needed to fill a space with heat. However, we generally advise readers to err on the side of too much power, rather than not enough. Here’s why:
- 3000W heater is certainly overkill for a 14m2 space, but most larger units will feature a power cut option to better serve smaller rooms. Even without this feature, most radiators have a thermostat you can set to attenuate output to a comfortable temperature.
- On the other hand, a 600W heater will never be able to fill a 22m2 space adequately. Even if you set the thermostat to max, it will fall short of its setting, causing the heater to draw more and more energy to compensate. Not only is this highly inefficient, but it can cause your unit to overheat and pose a danger to yourself and your property.
Wattage isn’t the only consideration for filling a space, though. An oscillating or fan-blown heating element will dramatically increase the reach of your radiator’s effective range. Consider also whether or not you actually need to heat the entire space. If you can get away with using a cheaper directional heater, you may spend considerably less in the long run for the same level of comfort.
What are the essential safety features?
When you’re trusting a device to get hot enough to warm an entire room, you need to make sure it won’t overdo it. Put more directly: don’t buy a heater that doesn’t have some form of overheat protection. This basic failsafe senses when your radiator surpasses safe operating temperatures. Then, it shuts off the power before it all goes up in flames. Even cheap space heaters tend to have some sort of thermal cut-off, so make sure you’re always looking out for this feature.
Space heaters, by design, are often quite mobile–standing free on castor wheels or a base. The best manufacturers do what they can to reduce the chances of you tripping over the unit. This might include rounded fins, wheel locks, cable tidies, or an overall small footprint. But the most important safety provision will be a tip-over switch, which cuts the power when it detects the heater’s been knocked down. This can prevent your carpet or upholstery from catching fire, and is once again essential for anything but larger, wall-mounted units.
If you’ve got kids, look for space heaters with the ability to lock the control panel. You don’t want curious hands fiddling with unsafe settings! Password protection or else a complex series of button presses will go a long way towards preventing unintentional and unsafe usage of your radiator. We also find that wall-mounted heaters are better for children, as they can be mounted a safe distance above paw-range.
Finally, don’t sleep on environmental protections, like anti-frost and open-window detection systems. Anti-frost systems keep your radiator just a bit warm–enough to stave off the frost during extended periods of disuse. This is a safety feature because it prevents the degradation of electronic components, which contract with cold.
Open-window detection, on the other hand, has as similar job to overheat protection. Opening a door or window can drop your indoor temperature 5° or more in a hurry, kicking your thermostat into overdrive to compensate. This will lead to energy waste, and can cause your radiator to overheat, as well.
As you can see, there are as many space heaters as there are different applications for them. Whether you need something to heat up quick, or a slow-burner to provide a gentle, constant warmth, there’s incredible value for money on the market. We’ve selected a few of the best electric space heaters to recommend here today. We’ve also shared some key research criteria, which you can use to inform your own comparison shopping.
What type of space are you looking to heat? Got any firsthand experience with any of our recommended electric radiators? Sound off in a comment below!