What’s the most efficient space heater? We review 7 great space heaters that have proven themselves to be reliable, efficient and affordable for heating spaces in your home. We’re confident you’ll find something suitable for you needs as we cover a wide range of models.
Efficient Space Heater Models
Are you sick and tired of your bills going through the roof in winter? All the extra energy you use will be going towards heating your home. Unfortunately, you’ll always have to spend a little extra if you don’t want to freeze.
If you’re smart it’s possible to save money by reducing the amount of energy you burn through. You’ll need to find the most efficient space heater before getting started. Here are a few top contenders you’ll definitely be interested in.
- Lasko 754200 — Ceramic Heater
- Honeywell HCE840B — HeatGenius Ceramic Heater
- DeLonghi TRD40615E — Radiant Heater
- Mr. Heater MH9BX — Buddy Radiant Heater
- Honeywell HCE200W — UberHeat Ceramic Heater
- Dr. Infrared Heater DR968 — Space Heater
- Duraflame DFI-5010-01 — Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove
Lasko 754200 — Ceramic Heater
Most Efficient Space Heater for the money. Compact and powerful.
- 1500-Watt heater at 120-Volt provides ample heat
- High and low heat settings and a fan-only setting to provide versatile use
- Adjustable thermostat control helps provide personalized comfort
- Non-slip base and automatic overheat protection help maintain safe operation
- Designed for quiet operation
- Durable plastic construction helps provide long-lasting use
- Silver color helps add a stylish touch to your room
- Carry handle offers easy portability
- ETL listed for safety
The Lasko 754200 ceramic heater is one of the most basic models you’ll find, which is actually a positive thing. It means it’s extremely easy to use. You’ll use a couple of controls sitting on top of the heater and you won’t have to touch anything else.
Even though it’s dirt cheap it still comes with 3 heat settings + an adjustable thermostat. It’s got most of the safety features you’d expect to see too. It has a cool touch exterior and automatic overheat protection to keep you safe.
If you want to move the space heater from room to room you won’t run into any difficulties. It has a convenient carry handle and only weighs 3.5 pounds. The overall dimensions are 6 x 7 x 9.2 inches, so you’ll be able to place it anywhere.
Honeywell HCE840B HeatGenius
Most Efficient Space Heater (Ceramic)
- Easy to use digital controls with LED display
- Programmable thermostat
- 6 heat setting options for customized comfort:
- Personal heat high and low settings
- Room heat high and low settings
- Floor only heat setting
- Quiet Mode heat setting
- HeatPhase Timer – a phased 30 minute – 2 hour auto-off timer that adjusts heat down a level every 30 minutes until the heater turns off.
- Quiet Mode – a heat setting that combines gentle “white noise” with soothing warmth.
- Safety Features:
- 4-way, tip-over protection automatically shuts the heater off if tipped in any direction
- Cool touch handle and housing
- Overheat protection
- High quality, heat resistant plastic
- Stable, sturdy base
The Honeywell HCE840B HeatGenius comes with 6 different heat settings. You’ll have the ability to target what you want to warm up. The list includes your body, the floor, or entire rooms. A couple of options are much more technologically advanced.
The new Quiet Mode feature doesn’t just mean your heater will make less noise. It combines a low heat setting with the fan speed to produce white noise. It’s designed to help soothe your ears while keeping you warm at the same time.
VIDEO OVERVIEW | Honeywell HCE840B HeatGenius
A HeatPhase Timer will turn down the heat over a 2 hour period. The heat will drop every 30 minutes before it finally switches off. You will be able to start the timer at any level if you don’t want to wait a couple of hours.
DeLonghi TRD40615E —Radiant Heater
Most Efficient space heater
- Patented Thermal Chimneys: Engineered to maximize heat flow yet maintain a low surface temperature.
- Optimal Heat: Up to 25% more radiant heat.
- Programmable Timer: 24-hour programmable timer allows you to heat rooms for any desired amount of time and lets you select different time periods throughout the day and night.
- Anti-Freeze Setting: Will automatically turn on when the temperature in the room drops below 41 degrees F.
- No Assembly Required: Patented Smart Set Wheels.
- Adjustable Thermostat.
- Three Heat Levels.
- Silent Operation.
- Digital Controls.
- Safety Features:
- Thermal cut-off function.
- Permanently sealed with pure diathermic oil.
- Rust-resistant durable metal construction.
- Fully enclosed heating element.
- Extra wide feet.
If you want to warm your room up fast the DeLonghi TRD40615E is a great option. The large fins offer a 40 percent bigger heat surface, plus the thermal chimneys help to maximize heat flow too. You’ll still be able to touch it without burning your hands.
There are a few other reasons why you’ll be safe. The heater is able to switch off automatically once it’s been tipped over. If your room drops below 41 degrees Fahrenheit it will switch itself on to prevent the pipes from freezing.
You’ll love the 24 hour programmable timer built into it. You will get to decide when the heater switches on and off at different times of the day. Use the ECO function and it will find a comfortable temperature that helps you save energy.
Mr. Heater MH9BX Buddy
Most Efficient space heater : Radiant Heater
- 4,000 or 9,000 BTU per hour
- For use with propane gas
- Heats up to 225 sq. ft.
- Single control start knob
- Hi-Low heat settings
- Swivel regulator
- Fold down handle
- Accidental tip-over safety shut-off
- Includes Piezo igniter
- Runs off a 1 lb. cylinder
- Connects directly to a 20 lb. cylinder with optional hose and filter
If you want a liquid propane model the Mr. Heater MH9BX is a fantastic choice. The swivel regulator will let you hook it up to a 1 pound cylinder within seconds. You’ll need a hose and filter if you want to hook the space heater up to a 20 pound cylinder.
One of the best things about this heater is the fact you’ll be able to use it outside. It will keep you warm if you’re sitting in the garden at night. It’s safe to use indoors because the oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) will pick up on low oxygen levels.
Lighting a liquid propane heater is slightly different, but the integrated Piezo sparking mechanism is extremely reliable. You will only need to rotate the knob to pilot and push it in. Once it’s on you can choose between a high and low heat setting.
Honeywell HCE200W — UberHeat Ceramic Heater
Most Efficient space heater
- Powerful, personal heating-1500 watts
- 2 heat settings
- Personal heating for small spaces
- Adjustable Thermostat
- Tip-over switch
- Overheat protection
- Cool Touch housing
- 3 year limited warranty
The Honeywell HCE840B UberHeat is ideal for those who want a stylish space heater. It looks like a stereo speaker plucked straight out of an Apple store. It comes with a couple of different heat settings, but the lowest is the most interesting.
If you work at a desk the UberHeat will keep you warm and it won’t be hot enough to annoy anyone else. It will usually be sitting pretty close to you, but it won’t burn your hands if you touch it.
The table or desk it’s sitting on will be fine too.
You’ll still have an adjustable thermostat in case you want a more personalized temperature. It measures 7.8 x 5.9 x 8.6 inches and weighs 3.8 pounds, but the highest setting can still heat up entire rooms inside your home.
Most Efficient space heater
The blower inside the Dr. Infrared Heater DR968 is 7 inches long, which is more than double the length of most space heater blowers. It generates lots of pressure and moves lots of air at a slow speed, so it only hits a maximum noise level of 39 decibels.
In tests carried out by the company they found it delivered 60 percent more heat than similar space heaters. Even though it produces a lot more heat it will still last the distance. It’s been engineered to keep going for roughly 80,000 hours.
Auto energy saving mode will let you choose a temperature between 50 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you’re done the heater will switch itself on and off automatically to save energy. Everything can be pre-programmed on a timer.
Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove : Most Efficient space heater
- Infrared quartz fireplace stove with 3D flame effect
- Helps to maintain the natural humidity within the air, resulting in moist, comfortable heat without drying out the room’s air
- 5,200 BTU heater provides heating for up to 1,000 sq. ft.
- 3D flame effect provides a natural layered flame effect for a realistic fire — with 5 adjustable brightness settings
- Fire effect with glowing log and ember bed can be operated with or without heat
- Safe for kids and pets stays cool to the touch
- Adjustable thermostat allows you to decide the temperature of your room
- Portable unit is easy-to-assemble, simply attach the legs, plug it in and it is ready to heat; requires no venting or gas lines.
- Remote control with 2 AAA batteries (included)
If you’ve always wanted a log fire you can’t go wrong with the Duraflame DFI-5010-01. The patent pending 3D flame effect technology is outstanding. It looks lifelike because the flames sit behind, in between, and in front of the log set.
Not only do the flames look realistic, but you’ll also be able to adjust their speed and brightness.
If you want to look at the flames all year long they’ll work without any heat. You can control everything from across the room using a remote.
Once it’s switched on it can tackle rooms up to 1,000 square feet + infrared heat will maintain the natural humidity in the air. Children and pets won’t get burned when they touch it, plus it’s got a few more safety features to protect you.
VIDEO | Consumer Reports Space Heater Buying Guide
Most Effective Way To Use Space Heaters
You can’t use space heaters to warm up your entire home. It’s extremely inefficient and will cost a lot more than your central heating. The most effective way to use space heaters is by heating up one particular room at a time.
This is usually referred to as zonal heating. Instead of turning your central heating up, you’ll keep the thermostat set to a certain temperature non-stop. When you’re cold you can heat up an area of your home with the most efficient space heater you can find.
Let’s look at a few benefits of zonal heating:
- You’ll Save Lots Of Energy
- You Can Please Everyone
- HVAC System Lasts Longer
You’ll Save Lots Of Energy – It’s a complete waste of energy heating up every single room in your home if you won’t be using most of them. You’ll be wasting money on heat you never use.
When your thermostat is set at a certain temperature it will use the same amount of energy all the time. Any extra you use will be to heat up specific rooms using an efficient space heater.
You Can Please Everyone – If you did decide to turn the thermostat up it would affect everyone in your home. There is no guarantee they’ll feel comfortable at the temperature you desire.
When you use a space heater in your room it won’t have a negative impact on anyone else. In fact, if more than one person has a space heater everyone will be able to set it to their ideal temperature.
HVAC System Lasts Longer – If you crank up the HVAC system it’s got to work much harder, which means it won’t last as long. You’ll need to repair or replace it quicker than you think.
Once you use space heaters the exact opposite will happen. The HVAC system won’t need to work as hard, so it will last a lot longer. Space heaters are easier to replace because they’re so cheap.
Affordable Ceramic Heater : Rosewill RHTH-17001
Ceramic tower heater with 2 heat settings. (Buy from Amazon)
- Ceramic tower heater with 2 heat settings : 900-Watt and 1500-Watt with thermostat range of 59 degree F – 95 degree F
- 75 degree oscillating heater: provides wide and even heat distribution
- 9 hour timer: set the heater to suit your needs
Types of Space Heaters
Space heaters fall into a few different subcategories, but they’ll all heat up your home in a couple of ways. Here are the main ones you’ll come across when you’re researching them:
- Convection Space Heaters
- Radiant Space Heaters
- Micathermic Space Heaters
Convection Space Heaters – Convection heating occurs when a warm object comes into contact with the air. It’s a very basic explanation that’s easy to understand, but we can focus on a few specific examples to make it even easier.
Ceramic heaters work by taking electricity and running it through metal coils. The metal coils heat up the ceramic plates they’re attached to. Once the ceramic plates begin to heat up they’ll slowly warm the air inside a room.
Oil filled heaters work in the same kind of way, except energy will be supplied directly to an electric resistor. This will heat up oil inside the unit, which will warm up the surrounding air through the fins it comes into contact with.
Blowers (fans) are sometimes added to convection heaters to improve their effectiveness.
Radiant Space Heaters – Radiant heaters work in the complete opposite way. They’ll generate infrared radiation, which will move away from the heater in electromagnetic waves. They won’t have any affect on the air surrounding the heater.
Instead, they’ll heat up objects directly. This includes people, floors, and furniture. The electromagnetic waves always move out in a straight line, so the heater should be facing you in order to work effectively.
It uses reflective housing to direct the heat. When electricity is used it’s run through metal heating coils. When gas is used it’s burned to heat up air, which will then be used to heat up radiant tubing.
Micathermic Space Heaters – Micathermic heaters offer the best of both worlds because they use radiant and convection heat. Heat will radiate off a panel, plus natural convection will slowly circulate warm air around your room.
Benefits Of Different Space Heaters
You don’t just want the most efficient space heater on the market. You also have to look at the main benefits of each kind. Depending on your individual preferences you’ll probably like one more than the others, so here is what you need to know:
Convection Heater Benefits
- They Warm Up Entire Rooms
- The Heat Will Stick Around
- You Can Move Around Freely
They Warm Up Entire Rooms – If you want to warm up an entire room convection heaters are the best choice. Radiant heaters only warm up objects and you have to be sitting in front of them. When the entire room is warm you’ll be able to sit anywhere.
The Heat Will Stick Around – Once you’ve switched your heater off you might want the heat to linger. A perfect example of this is when you’re using it at night. If you don’t want to keep your heater switched on when you go to bed it will stay warm until you’ve fallen asleep.
You Can Move Around Freely – We’ve already talked about how you can sit anywhere when the entire room is warm. You’ll also be able to move around freely whenever you please. This isn’t the case when radiant heaters warm you instead of the air.
Radiant Heater Benefits
- Designed To Warm Up People
- They’re Good For Your Health
- They’ll Cool Down Quickly
Designed To Warm Up People – A heater designed to heat you up directly isn’t always a bad thing. If you’re freezing cold it will be able to warm you up quickly. They’re perfect in winter when you don’t want to sit around in the cold too long.
They’re Good For Your Health – Thanks to the way they work a radiant heater doesn’t affect the moisture in the air. It’s amazing for your skin, plus it has lots of other health benefits too. Better blood circulation is considered a big one.
They’ll Cool Down Quickly – Sometimes this isn’t a good thing, but you don’t always want your room to be warm. When you’re too hot you’ll want it to cool down quickly. Infrared heaters deliver on this front because they only warm up objects.
Micathermic Heater Benefits
- They Don’t Make Any Noise
- They’re Great For Allergies
- Warm Up Large Rooms Quickly
They Don’t Make Any Noise – If your heater makes a lot of noise it can be very distracting. In an ideal world, you want it to be completely silent. Micathermic space heaters don’t use blowers to push air around, so they won’t make any noise.
They’re Great For Allergies – Even if it’s a really efficient space heater, a model that uses a blower is bad for people with allergies. A micathermic space heater won’t send dust and other allergens flying around the room.
Warm Up Large Rooms Quickly – When it comes to heating rooms you’ll get the best of both worlds with these models. The radiant heat will warm you up quickly, plus convection heat will eventually spread across the room warming the air.
Most Popular Space Heater Styles
The most efficient space heaters will come in all shapes and sizes, but they usually stick to a certain style. This mostly depends on where it’s going to sit. We’ll have a look at the most popular ones:
- Floor Heaters
- Personal Heaters
- Wall Heaters
Floor Heaters – These heaters are designed to sit on your floor, but they’ll still be light enough to move around freely. They’ll usually be tall and thin to help you save space, or they’ll be shaped like a box. You can keep them in the corner and they’ll heat up your room.
Personal Heaters – A personal heater is designed to sit closer to you. For example, you can place them on nightstands, tables, and desks. The shape they come in will vary, but they’ll be very compact and light. You’ll have no trouble moving them around.
Wall Heaters – Some wall heaters are built with the sole purpose of being hung up, whereas others can still sit on the floor. Either way, they’ll always be a wall-mountable shape. You’ll be able to move them around, but once they’re up it’s easier to leave them in position
How To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
You want to buy the most efficient space heater, so it’s obvious you want to save energy. There are a lot more things you can do. Here are a couple of obvious ways to waste less energy when you’re at home:
Seal As Many Holes As Possible – There are lots of places around your home where warm air can escape. Gaps at the sides of your windows and doors are usually problematic, but they can be sealed up easily.
If your chimney is open it will let a tremendous amount of heat out. There are too many places to touch on today. You’ll just have to find out where they are and seal them up using any means necessary.
Keep Windows And Doors Closed – If you’re going to use a heater in certain rooms make sure you don’t open the windows and doors every few minutes. This is particularly important if you’re using a convection heater.
The most efficient space heater won’t make much difference if heat isn’t trapped inside a room. You’ll soon discover it’s pretty pointless using space heaters in certain rooms.
Annual Heating System Inspection – Using a space heater is one way to warm your home, but your central heating still pays a crucial role too. It will find it hard to fulfill this role if it’s faulty.
You need to make sure you call someone out to inspect it every year. They’ll be able to check everything is running smoothly, plus they’ll notice if something is ready to break down.
Don’t Let Your Vents Get Dirty – You’ll have the power to look after your central heating system too. You should focus your attention on the vents. After a while they’ll fill up with dust and debris.
When they’re dirty your system will waste a lot more energy to produce the same amount of heat, which means your bills will shoot up. If you wipe them clean on a regular basis they’ll be okay.
Turn Your Thermostat Down – Once you’ve bought a space heater you can turn the thermostat down even further. Keep turning it down until you’re on the brink of being cold if you want to maximize your savings.
You’ll never be too comfortable, but you won’t be uncomfortable either. If you do want to warm yourself up this is when you’ll turn to a space heater. Turn the thermostat up a degree or two if it feels extreme.
Don’t Always Heat Entire Rooms – It’s easy to get carried away once you’ve found the most efficient space heater. You’ll still only conserve energy if you learn how to use it correctly.
Don’t feel like you need to heat the entire room if you’re on your own. Sometimes you’ll turn the heat up because you’re freezing, but make sure you adjust it once you’ve warmed up.
Wear clothing – When you have access to a space heater it doesn’t mean you don’t have to wear clothes. If it’s cold outside you should be dressed appropriately when you’re indoors.
If you’re not under-dressed you won’t have to turn the heat up so high. Also, you don’t always have to rely on your heater. If you’re on the couch watching TV a blanket could keep you warm.
Important Features You Should Look Out For
If you want a great space heater there are certain features you should look out for. Even though they’re not essential you’ll appreciate them for a variety of different reasons. Let’s look at some you won’t find on all models:
A Programmable Timer – It’s not a great idea to turn your space heater on when you’re not in, but it’s still possible using a programmable timer. A timer is amazing if you want your heater to switch off once you’re sleep or switch on before you wake up.
A Remote Control – You won’t always want to get up once you’re relaxed on the couch, but you could save energy by turning the heater down a few degrees. If you have a remote control you’ll be able to do it from the other side of the room.
Tip-Over Safety Switch – The majority of space heaters will switch off when they begin to overheat, but it’s useful if they switch off when knocked over too. If your model can switch on when it gets too cold it’s even better.
A Programmable Thermostat – An adjustable thermostat lets you find a nice temperature, but a programmable thermostat will keep it there. The heater will switch on and off automatically to ensure it’s always sitting at your ideal temperature.
Energy-Saving Setting – The most efficient space heater should have an ECO setting unless it’s a cheap model. This will make sure your room is comfortable enough to sit in, but it will try to save as much energy as possible at the same time.
Wheels And Handles – It’s unlikely you’ll leave your space heater sitting in the same place. Anything that will help you move it around is a good thing. If you’re lucky your heater will have solid wheels and a carry handle.
Almost Silent Operation – Don’t underestimate how much noise some space heaters make when they’re running. You don’t want to hear the blower when you’re trying to relax. You should look for a model that is almost silent.
How Much You’re Likely To Spend Every Month
We looked at a liquid propane heater with a 1 pound cylinder. When it’s switched to the lowest setting it will last around 4 hours. Once you know how much the cylinders cost you’ll be able to work out how much you’re likely to spend every month.
Let’s do the exact same thing with electric models, which requires us to look at an equation:
Electricity Rate (1) x Operating Time (2) x Kilowatts Per Hour (3) = Your Daily Operating Cost
The Electricity Rate is how much you pay per kilowatt hour of electricity. It’s on your electric bill, but let’s use $0.10 for this example.
The Operating Time is how many hours your heater will be up and running every day. For this example we’re going to say it’s been running for 6 hours.
The Kilowatts Per Hour is calculated using the power of your heater. Take 1,500 watts and divide it by 1,000, which gives you 1.5.
0.10 x 6 x 1.5 = $0.90 per day (or $27 per month)
Important Space Heater Safety Tips
Space heaters are a lot safer these days, but they’re still dangerous. It’s estimated they’re directly responsible for around 22,000 fires per year, which results in hundreds of deaths + thousands of burns. Here are a few important safety tips:
Keep Them Away From High Traffic Areas – Don’t leave your space heater sitting in an area where lots of people will be walking. It’s easy to bump into something when you’re not paying attention. Even if it has a tip-over safety switch it will still hurt.
Avoid Using An Extension Cord – Your space heater could have every safety feature imaginable, but it won’t matter if it’s plugged into a cheap extension cord. To avoid any trouble you should refrain from using them at all costs.
Don’t Plug In Other Electrical Devices – Stop plugging multiple electrical devices into the same outlet. It might be okay if you’re trying to charge your phone and laptop, but a space heater needs an outlet to itself with zero exceptions.
WATCH THIS VIDEO | Space Heater Safety
Make Sure You Have Smoke Alarms – We’ve already said heaters cause thousands of fires per year, so you could easily fall victim to one. Your smoke alarms need to be working in case you do. Test them every week to make sure they’re serviceable.
Never Leave A Heater Unattended – It takes a brave person to leave their space heater unattended. If anything does go wrong you won’t be around to do anything about it. If you plan on leaving your home for more than a few minutes switch it off.
Inspect It Carefully Before Each Use – Heaters last an extremely long time, but you’ll end up with problems when they do eventually break. Inspect yours carefully before each use. It should only take you a few seconds once you know what to look for.
Place Them On Flat Surfaces – If your heater has a good base it’s unlikely to fall over, but they’re designed to sit on flat surfaces. When they’re sitting on a slope anything could happen. If a surface isn’t level place it somewhere else.
Please Note: You must read your instruction manual for a full list of safety tips.
Most Efficient Space Heater For Your Home
If you want an efficient space heater for your home you should choose one of the models we’ve looked at today. They are all excellent in their own special way, which you’ll know if you examine the features.
There is an easy solution if you’re finding it difficult to choose one. Click on the links and read a few unbiased reviews on Amazon. You’ll find out exactly what past customers think about each model.