For those of us who do not enjoy the privilege of central air and heating, have family members who prefer to keep the home at sub-arctic temperatures, or who are just prone to being chilly no matter what (it me!), space heaters are a godsend. Since my super old gas heater gives out every winter (and doesn't feel particularly safe, TBH), I tend to blast my little space heater—which follows me from room to room all season long—until it gives out, requiring me to repurchase before season's end (and also piling on the heated blankets). Clearly, I haven't yet nabbed an optimal model, which is why I decided to do a deep dive into the best space heaters on the market.
Below, find a list of twelve portable warming devices that made the cut, and which promise not only to do their main job, but also to last you through a season and beyond. And if you're not fond of the energy output these typically require—from an environmental standpoint, financial standpoint, or both—there's a little something on this list for you as well. Scroll to shop for a little something to keep you warm this winter.
Best electric portable space heaters
As noted above, nearly every space heater I’ve ever purchased gives out within a season (as in: ceases to work), but this budget-friendly version offers legit longevity. It packs a lot of power for such a small product, heating entire rooms expediently to your preferred temperature setting. It also manages the room’s temperature on its own, in a sense—it has an internal thermostat which allows the heater to read the room and turn off as needed (which also helps to prevent it from overheating). It’s super portable, too. On Amazon, it’s been reviewed over 30,000 times and maintains a 4.5-star rating, which is no small feat.
This little heater is more powerful than the other small, standard options on this list, meaning it heats spaces quickly and evenly. It offers three heat settings and a mechanical thermostat, standard safety features, and is shockingly quiet as it goes about its business. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a fairly basic unit but can spend a little more for one that performs its core task optimally.
This little guy’s pretty cute too, isn’t it? It features two heat settings, the lower of which offers an energy-efficient option for those not wanting to spend their entire paycheck on staying warm this winter. It also has an adjustable thermostat as well as tip-over and overheat safety protection. It’s super portable and safe to rest on floor or desktop (and if you’re anything like me, you’ll need one heater for each area to get both your nose and your toes warm). It works best in small spaces. Some reviewers have reported this unit as having given out within one season, but the company does offer a three-year limited warranty in the event you get a lemon.
Best space heaters for small rooms
This is another small-but-mighty portable option in the budget-friendly range that is far more powerful than you might expect (though it’s optimal in smaller spaces). It offers low and high-heat settings as well as a fan-only option. To enable portability, this three-pound fan also has a carry handle. It sits well on desktops for workspace heating and features overheat and tip-over protection to prevent accidents.
If you’re looking for a heater that warms all corners of the room simultaneously, this one should do the trick. If offers 360-degree heating for small to mid-size rooms. Like most others on this list, it offers an adjustable thermostat and two heat settings, plus all the requisite safety features.
If you value style as much as you do substance, this heater might be the one for you. As far as function goes, it offers two heat settings—high and low—as well as an adjustable thermostat to manage the flow of that warmth. Its Vortex Action technology ensures the heat is delivered quickly and gently, so you won’t feel as though you’re being blasted by the winds of the Sahara. And while it’s not quite as powerful as some of the others on this list—it works best in small to medium-sized rooms —it sure is cute, isn’t it? The design is inspired by Vornado’s OG fan from 1945, which gives it a major aesthetic advantage over the rest of its class.
Best space heaters for large rooms
This infrared heater features an adjustable temperature setting ranging from 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, tip-over protection, etc. (at this point, you get the drill). But what makes it truly special is that it also features a humidifier to help moisturize dry winter air. And it comes with a remote, which isn’t so great for your daily step count but is, you know, a highly desirable feature nonetheless. It has a programmable timer, too, so you can set it to shut off at a certain time if you’re prone to forgetfulness. Built to last through multiple seasons, it also comes with an easy-clean filter.
If you very much wish you had a working fireplace in your home, this is the next best thing. This heater (which is designed to look like a portable fireplace) gives you heat up to 1,000 square feet, which is probably more than enough for a large bedroom or living room. Unlike other space heaters, this one offers 3D flame effect technology which makes it look like real fire, and its infrared quartz heat helps balance the humidity in the air, so it’s not too dry. Thank to its overheat protection feature, it will automatically shut off before it overheats. Lastly, the digital thermostat makes temp adjustment easy peasy.
This smart space heater is great for rooms up to 750 square feet: Thanks to it being WiFi-enabled, you can use Alexa or Google Assistant to turn it on, off, and adjust the temp whenever you want (it’ll also send you notifications straight to your phone if it overheats or even tips over). If it *does* overheat, the Atomi space heater features overheating protection as well as a cool-to-the-touch handle, so you can move it around without worrying. You’ll definitely want to check this one out if you need heat quickly—it’s 1500W PTC ceramic heating tech can heat up a room to 70 degrees in two seconds (seriously), and its wide-angle oscillating fan makes sure all corners of the room are covered.
Best space heater for the garage
This durable heater comes with three heat settings—3,000, 4,000, and 5,000 watts—and features an adjustable thermostat. According to numerous Amazon reviewers, it does an excellent job of heating insulated and non-insulated garages alike, and can handle various size spaces. This model is meant to be wall or ceiling-mounted, which is great if you want to conserve space and avoid accidents. Still, it offers safety features such as tip-over protection, just in case. It’s also unexpectedly quiet, given its power, which is important if you or your significant other like blasting ’90s music while you monkey wrench.
Best eco-friendly space heater
I have to admit to feeling badly about running my space heaters on full-blast throughout winter months—from an environmental standpoint, it’s not the best approach. This heater, however, offers an eco mode which allows it to automatically adjust to the most energy-efficient settings, which is good for the planet and good for your wallet. It’s got an adjustable thermostat with three settings that warms the room via a quick-acting dual-fan system, and has safety measures in place including a tip-over alarm and protection against overheating. Its sleek design also differentiates it from other models on the market and can make it easier to incorporate into the overall design of a room—especially since it’s capable of being wall-mounted.
Best space heater for the bathroom
Almost nothing is worse, IMO, than stepping out of a warm (or in my case, preferably scalding) shower into a freezing cold bathroom. Fortunately, this little heater will safely prevent that from being a problem. It has just one button for control, and if you press it once, it will disperse high heat for one hour before turning off—which is the perfect amount of time to complete a morning routine in winter months, and allows you to rush out the door and forget it without a worry. If you press the same button a second time, you’ll get high heat, a third time, you’ll get low heat, and a fourth press of the button will turn the unit off. It also comes with a number of safety features specific to bathroom use that will allow you to luxuriate in its warmth without sacrificing peace of mind.
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