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A poorly-heated room can be pretty miserable. Whether you’re trying to heat a drafty room in an old house or you need something to keep you from constantly shivering at the office, a small space heater is a popular option to help you stay warm and comfortable.
The best portable space heaters will provide adequate heat quickly, while letting you easily turn the temp down from a simple switch or dial. Unlike home heating units, which heat up the entire house, the best space heaters let you focus on your immediate area, so you can choose your preferred heat settings without affecting everyone else. Space heaters help save a lot of money on energy bills too, and they’re easier to use than a thermostat, where you have to constantly go back and forth between on and off just to maintain a comfortable atmosphere.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Space Heater
Space heaters come in a wide variety of styles and models, including large-scale heaters not ideal for carrying around but great if you plan to leave it in one spot. The most popular portable space heaters are usually towers, which are slightly larger, or small handheld heaters perfect for stashing under a desk.
Other features, including safety components, size and portability, and extras like a remote control, are all things that should go into making a decision on the best space heater for you.
Safety: As with any heating apparatus, improperly or carelessly used space heaters, especially ones that are poorly made, can become dangerous. Fortunately, many models now come with a variety of standard safety features, like an automatic timer that turns the machine off after a certain number of hours, an automatic overheat function, or tip-over protection, which shuts off the heat in case it is kicked or knocked over.
Efficiency: If you don’t want to wait around for heat to kick in while your teeth are still chattering, look for a product that heats up quickly. Luckily, most smaller heaters act fast, especially in smaller spaces.
Thermostat: Most heaters have adjustable temperature settings, but not all of them are as precise as you’d want them to be. We found reliable space heaters with sensitive and accurate thermostats.
Extra Features: Many space heaters include additional components and features. Remote control capability, for instance, often comes in handy when you want to make adjustments but you don’t want to move.
1. Comfort Zone Oscillating Space Heater
This tower space heater is a favorite when it comes to functionality and efficiency, but particularly because of all the extras.
It has a remote control, timer, and oscillating functions (it rotates 70 degrees), as well as a full suite of safety features like overheat protection and auto shut off when knocked over.
The heater’s digital thermostat includes three settings and actually works well, keeping spaces at the desired temp. Perhaps best of all, the Comfort Zone heater also comes with an eco-mode, which senses when to automatically reduce the heat, helping you save on energy bills.
Pros: Effective and convenient features, particularly eco-mode.
Cons: Some people find it to be on the loud side. At 25 inches tall, it’s best put on the floor.
2. Lasko 755320 Ceramic Space Heater
Another oscillating tower version, this space heater also has convenient extra features, including programmable thermostat and remote control. We especially like that it has different fan settings to control the noise level, and this model gets top marks for how quiet and unobtrusive it is.
Choose from “high heat” or “low heat” settings, and let the heater’s 1500 watts of power work to push warmth into your room. The built-in timer lets you run the heater in one-hour intervals, up to eight hours. It’ll automatically shut off after that.
This heater is conveniently small and lightweight, with a handy built-in handle so it can be easily moved from room to room. At 23 inches, it’s best kept on the floor though, versus on a countertop or table.
Pros: One of the more attractive heaters on our list, with a sleek, streamlined design.
Cons: Can get hot to the touch.
3. andily Electric Space Heater
“Small but mighty” is pretty much this heater’s defining feature. It is indeed small, only around eight inches tall, making it ideal for desktops or chilly areas around your feet. And yet, the heat produced by this little appliance is surprisingly powerful. We also like that it starts blasting warmth right away, providing quick and reliable comfort.
Importantly, it also includes essential safety features which automatically turn it off if it overheats or gets tipped over. We only wish the temperature controls were a little more sensitive.
Pros: Very portable with powerful heat.
Cons: Temperature controls not exact.
4. TRUSTECH Portable Space Heater
Another little guy that packs a big punch, this heater definitely isn’t fancy, but sometimes that’s what we’d prefer. People actually like this model because it is so simple, which makes it extremely easy to use. It has just two rotating dials and two heat settings, which, to be honest, many people find is all that they really need.
It also includes safety features like tip-over protection, which people have noted is extra-sensitive, maybe even too sensitive. The thermostat control isn’t our favorite, but we can live with it.
Pros: Simple and easy to use. Great for countertops or desks.
Cons: Some find the tip-over protection too sensitive which causes the heater to automatically shut off.