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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. If you don’t have a home heating unit, 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.
They’re also handy to have in your arsenal if you don’t live in a colder climate, for those times when the temperatures do dip lower than normal. Even a compact space heater can make a world of difference when you’re trying to heat up a smaller living space.
What Is the Best Space Heater for Small Spaces?
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. Honeywell Motion Sensor Ceramic Convection Heater
Honeywell’s Motion Sensor Ceramic Convection Heater is our top pick because it offers a lot of fine-grain control and comes in a slim package.
It has two heat settings (high and low), but allows you to change the temperature manually. The target temperature is shown in big digital numbers, which makes them really easy to rad. The heater sits on an osculating base, so it can heat your room evenly, and has tip protection to keep it from falling over.
You can set this space heater to turn on when its motion sensor is triggered, or put it on a timer — one, two, four, or eight hours — if you’re using it before going to bed. Honeywell says its heater is cool to the touch despite putting out a lot of heat, so you can move it to different parts of your room (be sure to turn it off first) without waiting for it to cool down.
Its ease of use, relative portability, and control options make Honeywell’s Motion Sensor Ceramic Convection Heater the first one you should consider.
2. GiveBest Portable Electric Space Heater
GiveBest’s Portable Electric Space Heater is our entry-level pick, but it’s the one I use every day in the autumn and winter and it’s the easiest in terms of movability on our list.
One knob controls its power settings: I, II, and fan, and another controls its heat settings. The heat setting knob is analog, so you won’t know exactly how hot your room will get, and have to play around with it to strike the right balance.
Despite its small size, this space heater puts out a lot of heat. I regularly have to turn it down, or even off, because my room gets too toasty. Although it’s simple, GiveBest’s heater does have an important safety measure. If it’s tipped over, a button on the bottom will pop up and cut power to the heater.
This is our budget and ultra-portable pick, and it’s the right choice if you need extra heat and don’t have much space. It may take a little while to dial the settings in just right, but GiveBest’s heater does a great job once you do.
3. Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace
If aesthetics are important to you as heating your room, we recommend Duraflame’s 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace.
This space heater is designed to look like a traditional fire place, but blows hot air through a vent toward the top of the unit. Its controls are located on a panel that’s revealed when you open the door, and let you select a temperature, set the heater on a timer, or adjust the color, brightness, and speed of the “flames.”
Duraflame says this heater will work well in rooms up to 1,000 sq. ft., which means it’s a great choice for a small living room. The company says that using this space heater may allow you to turn your thermostat down between 10 and 15 degrees, ultimately lowering your energy bill.
If you want to heat your home, but don’t have access to a wood-burning fireplace, Duraflame’s electric model is the space heater you should get.
4. 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.
5. Dyson Pure Hot + Cool, HP02
Dyson’s HP02 is a heater, cooler, and air purifier that change the temperature of your room while improving its air quality. Yes it’s a little bigger and bulkier than other picks on our list, but the three-in-one capability can’t be beat.
Air is sucked in through the base of the HP02, run through Dyson’s filtration system, then blown in multiple directions through fans on top. Dyson says the HP01 can capture 99.7% of pollutants in your room.
Dyson bundles this device with a remote, which lets you adjust the temperature of the air it blows out. You can use the HP02 as a heater in the winter and fan in the summer, which means it’ll be useful to you all of the time. Dyson’s remote also allows you to put the HP02 on a timer, change its osculation radius, or change the directions of its fan. Using the Dyson Link app, you can also monitor indoor air quality or get air quality updates from your area right on your smartphone. Add voice control by combining with an Alexa device like the Echo Dot to adjust settings on the HP02 hands-free.
If you’d like a high-end heater you can use year-round as a cooling fan and air purifier, Dyson’s Pure Hot + Cool, HP02 is the one we recommend.