Maybe you’ve returned to work in a chilly office or you can’t agree with a housemate about the perfect thermostat setting—there are all sorts of situations where a throw blanket just won’t cut it. That’s when it’s time to turn on a space heater, which can quickly and efficiently warm up an area without impacting your friend in the next cubicle or room. There are different types of heaters, however, and depending on the size of your space and your aesthetic, some designs and features might be better suited than others. From a sleek tower to a mini matte black model, we’ve researched the best space heaters available to keep you toasty without cramping your style. 

Our Favorites

Best Multipurpose: Dyson HP01 Pure Hot + Cool

Dyson HP01 Pure Hot Cool Domino
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Type: Convection | HEPA filter: Yes | Temperature settings: To the degree | Timer: Sleep timer | Auto shutoff: Yes

What we like:

  • Purifies, heats, and cools
  • Oscillates
  • Remote control

Worth noting:

  • Expensive
  • HEPA filters must be replaced
  • No blades

Why we chose it: This versatile device can be used as an air purifier and fan, as well as a space heater. 

This do-it-all device from Dyson can make your personal space optimally comfortable—warmer, yes, or cooler too—while purifying the air around you. For heat, set the temperature to your desired degree via the included remote control. The blade-less unit has jet-focus control and optional 70-degree oscillation, so you can warm the entire space up to 800 square feet or direct it just at yourself. Plus Dyson’s subtly futuristic design won’t intrude on your style.

The air purifier uses a HEPA filter that captures 99.97 percent of particles 0.3 microns in size, such as pollen, bacteria, and pet dander—a boon to those with asthma or allergies. And the fan function blows cool air quietly. Asleep timer and automatic shutoff round out the features of this versatile all-seasons appliance.

Best Mid-Century Inspired: Vornado Collection Glide Heat

Vornado Collection Glide Heat Domino
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Type: Convection | HEPA filter: No | Temperature settings: Two | Timer: No | Auto shutoff: Yes

What we like:

  • Mid century–inspired design with a metal and wood base
  • Auto shutoff
  • Five-year warranty
  • Noiseless

Worth noting:

  • No specific temperature setting
  • Only works in small spaces

Why we chose it: This attractive space heater quickly warms up a small workspace or bedroom.

A space heater doesn’t have to be an ugly hunk of metal to get the job done. Case in point: this good-looking model from Vornado. A sleek black cylinder that sits on wood peg legs, it has an appealing mid-century modern vibe. Though suited for small spaces only, it packs a serious punch, using 1,500 watts on the high-power setting to quickly heat up a bedroom or workspace. The legs offer extra stability against tipping, and the automatic shutoff system is an additional safety feature.

Best Retro Design: Vornado VHEAT Vintage Metal Heater

Vornado VHEAT Vintage Metal Heater Domino
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Type: Convection | HEPA filter: No | Temperature settings: Two | Timer: No | Auto shutoff: Yes

What we like:

  • Retro look
  • Pivoting head
  • Tip-over protection
  • Five-year warranty

Worth noting:

  • Pricey
  • Only two heat settings

Why we chose it: This space heater may look like it’s from the fabulous ’50s, but it’s powerful enough to heat a medium-size room. 

The Vornado VHEAT Vintage Metal Heater takes its style inspiration from the company’s original Vornadofan from 1945, but its upgraded functionality boasts the latest in space-heating technology. It works similarly to a forced-air furnace, using the brand’s classic vortex air circulation to efficiently warm a small- to medium-size room. With a 47-degree pivoting head and two temperature settings alongside an adjustable thermostat, you can tailor the heat to your personal preference. It’s built for safety, too, with tip-over protection and an automatic safety shutoff system.

Best Mini: Honeywell UberHeater Ceramic Heater

Honeywell UberHeater Ceramic Heate Domino
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Type: Radiant | HEPA filter: No | Temperature settings: Two | Timer: No | Auto shutoff: Yes

What we like:

  • Inexpensive
  • Cool-touch housing
  • Fits on a desk

Worth noting:

  • Somewhat noisy
  • Not good for large spaces

Why we chose it: Small enough to take on the go, this portable mini heater can heat up a small space—such as your corner of a chilly office—and look good doing it. 

Tackle a drafty room at home or an icy work environment with this sleek little ceramic heater. It weighs just 4.6 pounds, and its compact size (8.5-by-9.05-by-10.3 inches) is an asset, as it can easily rest on a desk or under a table. Despite that diminutive stature, the 1,500-watt heater does a fine job of making a small space toasty, with two heat settings and an adjustable thermostat. Its modern, circular design isn’t bad to look at, and its safety features include automatic shutoff and sides that stay cool to the touch. 

Best Panel: De’Longhi Mica Thermic Panel Heater

De'Longhi Mica Thermic Panel Heater Domino
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Type: Mica | HEPA filter: No | Temperature settings: Two | Timer: No | Auto shutoff: Yes

What we like:

  • Thermal cutoff
  • Can be mounted on wall
  • Heats up large space

Worth noting:

  • Slight humming sound
  • Heats slower than convection heaters

Why we chose it: This thin panel heater uses a combination of radiant and convection heat to effectively warm up larger rooms.

Don’t let the slim profile fool you. This device, which heats panels made of mica to warm the air, can effectively heat larger rooms thanks to its 1,500 watts of power. The freestanding unit sits on casters so it can be rolled easily from one place to another, yet it can also be mounted unobtrusively to a wall. It has an adjustable thermostat and two heat settings, plus a thermal cutoff and tip-over switch as safety features.

Best Tower: Lasko All Season Tower Fan & Space Heater

Lasko All Season Tower Fan And Space Heater Domino
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Type: Convection | HEPA filter: Yes | Temperature settings: Three | Timer: Yes | Auto shutoff: Yes

What we like:

  • Doubles as fan
  • Eight-hour timer function
  • Controlled via remote 
  • Oscillation

Worth noting:

  • Pricey
  • Need to clean filters

Why we chose it: The top half of this hybrid model is a high-reaching fan, while the lower half produces an efficient warmth with a choice of three heat settings.

Get the best of both worlds with this Lasko model. The top half functions as a cooling fan and the bottom works as a heater. Designed with conservation in mind, it has an automatic electronic thermostat that takes the current temperature of a room into account and adjusts the output accordingly, effectively using less energy. The device has three heat settings, a timer function, and automatic overheat protection, plus it can be controlled by the included remote.

How We Chose These Products

We tapped experts to learn the differences between the various types of heaters on the market and their important safety features. From there, we researched newly released and best-selling models and the size of the areas they purport to heat. Additional features, such as a cooling fan or air purifier, were also considered. We kept a variety of price points in mind to suit a range of budgets and factored in warranty terms, as well. In addition to performance, we assessed aesthetics, choosing quality heaters that could blend in with a host of interior design styles.  

Our Shopping Checklist

Type of Space Heater

According to Jill Notini, vice president of communications at the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, there are four main types of space heaters: radiant, convection, mica, and oil-filled convection. Radiant models typically heat up a ceramic plate, which disperses heat onto nearby objects, whereas convection heaters use a fan to blow warm air into the space. Mica heaters rely on both radiant and convection functions, while oil-filled convection heaters are similar to an oil-filled radiator and are heated by oil as opposed to a power source.

Size 

The size of the space heater you need depends on the size of the room you’re heating. In general, a larger panel heater with appropriate wattage is better suited for bigger rooms, while a compact, portable unit can sit on or under a desk, warming you up at the office while you work. 

Power and Heating Output 

While both oil-filled heaters and electric coil heaters use electricity to run the heating element, an oil heater consumes less energy, as the unit will stay warm and continue radiating heat after the device is turned off. Electric heaters will warm a coil to emit heat into a space, and most offer a voltage between 750 and 1,500 watts. There are also mica panel models that combine both methods to effectively heat a room.

Air Filters

Space heaters that double as air purifiers typically have a filter that will eventually need to be replaced. High-efficiency particle (HEPA) filters trap some of the smallest particles, including wildfire smoke, pollen, dust, and even some airborne diseases.

Energy Efficiency 

A space heater can help you rely less on central heating since, as the term implies, it can be used to heat only the space you’re occupying. Notini explains that radiant heaters can be more efficient than convection heaters, as they directly heat objects (including people) as opposed to the air. Radiant heaters have the added efficiency of remaining warm after they’re shut off. However, radiant heaters are typically slower to heat up, as they don’t circulate hot air like convection heaters do.

Noise Level 

Most quality space heaters don’t emit much noise, though convection models that use a fan to push heat out might make a slight whirring sound. If a space heater starts making loud sounds, this is likely an indication that something’s wrong with it—to be safe, discontinue use. 

Safety Features 

Space heaters must pass rigorous safety test standards to ensure that they will not overheat or catch on fire. Most important, according to Notini, is an auto-shutoff feature, which automatically turns the heater off if it is tipped over or gets too hot. 

Notini also warns that hyperthermia—overheating the body to a dangerous level—is a concern with space heaters. She advises users to never leave a space heater unattended in a confined space around infants or individuals with reduced physical sensory or mental capabilities. 

Warranty 

As with any appliance, it’s wise to purchase a space heater that comes with a limited warranty of between three and five years. This will help cover any issues or defects that may arise from a manufacturing error. 

Ask Domino

Q: How can I tell which size space heater I need?  

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need 10 watts of heating power for every square foot of space. For example, a 1,500-watt space heater can fully warm up a space of 150 square feet. 

Q: On average, how long do space heaters last?

Space heaters typically last between 10 and 15 years, depending on the brand and how often it is run. The heating element in electric space heaters can wear out over time, making the device less efficient or as quick to heat.

Q: What should I avoid placing near a space heater? 

For safety, avoid putting anything within 3 feet of a space heater, and be sure to keep it that distance from a wall or a curtain. “Give ample space around the unit so that air can circulate and there’s no chance of anything falling onto it,” says Notini. Never stack anything on top of a space heater or use it to dry damp clothing, which could be flammable. 

Q: Can I use a space heater in my garage? 

As long as you keep the space heater attended to, you can use one in a garage. Just be sure it’s on level ground and not on a table surrounded by objects. “Be especially careful in a garage about flammable materials,” Notini cautions.

Q: Can I heat my entire house with a space heater? 

No. It’s unlikely that one unit would be powerful enough to warm an entire house, and it’s both dangerous and inefficient to have multiple space heaters running at once because they’re not to be left unattended. “Space heaters are not designed for whole-home heating; they are designed for heating up a room quickly or heating up one room at a time,” says Notini. 

The Last Word

When it comes to picking a space heater, consider the size of the area you wish to warm and how frequently you’ll be using the device. The Dyson HP01 Pure Hot + Cool is an excellent multifunctional appliance that can heat a space, function as a fan, and purify the air. For a small area like an office cubicle or bedroom, consider the compact, lightweight Honeywell UberHeat Ceramic Heater.

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