If you’re looking ahead to save on your energy bill this winter, one option is to make sure to keep the thermostat set to a low temperature. You can also invest in a good space heater. During the winter months, these budget-friendly hot boxes don’t just prevent frozen feet, the best space heater can also save you serious money on your energy bill by lowering your dependence on heavy furnace use. It also gives you cozy, ambient heat in any room you’re actually occupying without wasting energy.
If you’re someone who shares a home with a cold-tolerant person, a quality space heater can also help create your own personal comfort zone without threatening your significant other with hot flashes. If cold feet are specifically what you’re trying to avoid, a space heater can ensure that you never have to get out of the bed or shower without a toasty landing pad.
Space heaters come in several varieties, with the easiest being electric models that simply plug into the wall and start delivering heat via a number of various mechanisms. And if you’re wondering if space heaters are safe to use, the answer is yes, if used properly. However, there is some risk of fire, so we encourage you to read this space heater safety guide before you plug one in. Below, we’ve rounded up the best space heater models for 2023 for all of your ambient heat needs this season.
Best space heaters
How we tested space heaters
Our list of space heaters was aggregated from numerous review sites for those models that were most frequently mentioned, as well as best-selling models at major retailers such as Amazon, Target, Walmart and Bed Bath & Beyond. I researched the space heaters in this list by analyzing specs and user reviews, diving deep for mentions of persistent issues, and considering the available features and functionality compared to price as a measure of each model’s overall value. I focused primarily on those models that had extremely high user ratings, typically 4.5 and above with at least 1,000 ratings.
While I didn’t bring every model home and perform extensive hands-on testing, I was able to examine most models in person to get a feel for the design, footprint and intuitiveness of its controls.
Space heaters compared
|Vornado VH2||Lasko Ceramic 754200||Honeywell HHF360V||Dyson HP01||DeLonghi Tower||Vornado VHEAT Vintage||Dreo DR-HSH004A|
|Heat element||Forced air||Ceramic||Forced air||Forced air, oscillating||Ceramic, oscillating||Forced air||Forced air, oscillating|
|Additional features||None||None||None||Sleep timer, HEPA Air Purifier||Timer, remote control, ECO mode||Adjustable head||Remote control, safety plug, ECO mode|
|Dimensions, (DxWxH, inches)||9.5 x 11.8 x 11.9||6 x 3.7x 9.2||8 x 8 x 11.5||6 x 8.7 x 24.9||7.5 x 8.7 x 23.6||13.7 x 11 x 8.7||10.3 x 6.7 x 5.5|
|Energy draw||750W/1,500W||900W/1,500W||1,500W||Not available||1,500W||750W/1,500W||900W/1,000W/1500W|
Space heater buying advice
Space heater price
Most electric space heaters that operate solely in that function, (and not as a dual air purifier, for instance,) are priced below $150, with many models on this list costing less than $100. Several smaller, well-regarded budget models may even run you less than $50. The size of the unit, additional features, number of settings and heating element all contribute to the overall cost of a space heater.
Space heater size
There are no standard sizes or shapes for electric space heaters, and most of the space heaters I researched did not specify the square footage for coverage, other than to mention its capacity to heat a “small to medium” space or to specify room types such as a bedroom or office. Space heaters may be indicated as tabletop, floor, or bathroom models, and many also come as tall but narrow “tower” models, which may or may not oscillate, that have a smaller footprint and therefore a smaller horizontal space requirement.
Types of space heaters
While this list consists only of electric space heaters, (as opposed to water- or oil-heated models,) there are several different mechanisms that electric space heaters may utilize to create heated air.
Fan-forced: Fan-forced space heaters circulate air by pulling it into the unit, and passing it over a heating element, typically metal coils, expelling the heated air through exhaust vents in the unit.
Infrared: Infrared bulbs are those which convert electricity into radiant heat. This is the least common type among the space heaters we included here, but no less effective.
Ceramic: Ceramic space heaters utilize electricity to heat a ceramic plate within the unit, which then emits radiant heat into the air, with or without the additional use of a fan.