- 1 The best space heater
- 2 A stronger, pricier electric heater
- 3 A sleek, effective, and virtually silent room heater
- 4 A powerful, cheap, reliable space heater
- 5 The best oil-filled radiator
- 6 A powerful tower heater
- 7 A stylish and functional space heater
The best space heater
The Vornado VH200 heated a room faster and more evenly than other models we tested, offering the best combination of power, comfort, and quietness.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $71.
In our tests, the Vornado VH200 surpassed almost every other space heater in speed and total power, delivering an immediate temperature increase that built steadily and evenly across the room over the course of an hour. The VH200 is also quieter than most other ceramic heaters we’ve tried, emitting only a soft, fan-like whir, and it’s compact enough to tuck away in a corner. It’s also one of the safest heaters we tested, featuring overheating and tip-over protection, and a plastic exterior that stays relatively cool to the touch—so you can warm yourself without having to worry. The VH200 does get mixed reviews from some owners—those who find it slow to heat a particularly cold space or who have problems with the airflow from the fan—but Vornado tends to respond to critical reviews more reliably than other manufacturers do.
A stronger, pricier electric heater
The Vornado AVH10 was the most powerful space heater we tested, with a few thoughtful details that set it apart from others. But it tends to cost more.
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The Vornado AVH10 is a lot like the VH200, with a few added features, such as a digital display, a convenient cord-wrapping post for easy storage, and a countdown clock when you turn it off, for added safety. In our tests, the AVH10 was the absolute hottest room heater model we tested, warming the room more quickly and to a higher temperature than the VH200. However, the AVH10 didn’t distribute its hot air as evenly throughout the space as the VH200, and it also tends to cost between $30 and $50 more. Still, it’s a great alternative to our top pick if you find it for a good price, or if you prefer its extra features.
Dyson Hot+Cool Jet Focus AM09
A sleek, effective, and virtually silent room heater
This Dyson is simply the nicest portable room heater we tested. It distributed warm air throughout the room quickly, evenly, and quietly. It’s expensive—but its striking design and strong performance justify the price.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $400.
The Dyson Hot+Cool Jet Focus AM09—one of the most efficient space heaters we tested—also doubles as a cooling fan, making it a great option for year-round climate control. The Dyson allows you to choose between a “focused” or “dispersed” airflow (along with oscillation), so you can use it as a personal heater or to warm an entire room. We were impressed by how consistently and steadily it dispersed heat throughout our test room, and we were even more impressed by how cool it remained to the touch after an hour of continuous heating. And it was one of the only space heater models we tested that significantly dehumidified the room. You do need to use the remote control to access all of the Dyson’s features, such as cooling and timer settings. But the remote conveniently attaches via magnet to the top of the unit for safe keeping, and you can still access the Dyson’s basic heating abilities with the single button on its base.
Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater
A powerful, cheap, reliable space heater
This effective portable heater works quickly and lasts for years. But its narrow stream of hot air doesn’t feel as comfortable as the heat from models that warm a whole room, and it lacks some safety features.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $26.
We’ve recommended the Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater since 2013, and it’s still one of the cheapest and most reliable space heaters you can find. It warms up faster than most fan heaters we tested, and it has a compact, lightweight body that’s about the size of a loaf of bread. The heat is a focused stream of hot air, which warms the area directly in front of the space heater. But it isn’t as comfortable as the broad, room-filling heat we preferred from the Vornado models. The Lasko struggles in larger spaces as a result, but it’s perfect for warming a home office or for quickly heating up a small bedroom. The 754200 has had consistently positive owner reviews for years, and many Wirecutter staff members have owned one for multiple winters with few complaints. It lacks an automatic tip-over kill switch, a safety feature included in our top pick, and it’s not the best-looking option, but it does feature overheat protection.
The best oil-filled radiator
Oil-filled radiators are silent but slow. The TRD40615T is the best of its type because it’s sturdier than competitors, with an exterior that stays cooler to the touch.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $120.
Most space heaters can deliver quick heat to a single person, but oil-filled radiators are better for heating a whole room for a longer duration, and the De’Longhi TRD40615T is the best of its kind. Like most oil-filled radiators, the TRD40615T warms up much more slowly than a ceramic heater, but it also retains its heat for longer, making it more energy-efficient. With a burly, all-metal construction that’s more durable than the builds of our other, plastic-clad picks, this De’Longhi model is sturdier and more attractive than any other oil-filled radiator we tested, and it’s also cooler to the touch.
Lasko FH500 All Season Comfort Control Tower Fan & Heater in One
A powerful tower heater
The Lasko FH500 towers above its competition both in features and in stature, providing an even, vertical distribution of air. It definitely stands out in a room, but at least it looks good.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $100.
The 3½-foot-tall Lasko FH500 All Season Comfort Control Tower Fan & Heater in One is easily the tallest space heater we tested—but it doesn’t actually take up that much floor space for a room heater. In our tests, it warmed the room swiftly and consistently to the temperature we dialed in on its digital display, and then it steadily held that temperature until the end of the hour. The FH500 is full of thoughtful details, including an easy-to-navigate control panel and a matching remote control. It also has a medium heating option (in addition to the standard high and low settings found on most other space heaters), as well as a timer and an “auto eco” setting for better energy efficiency. This is a newer product, and though its test performance was impressive, we plan to watch it long-term to see if it develops the dust and cleaning issues that incapacitated other tower fans we’ve tested. Speaking of fans: The Lasko also has a built-in cooling feature, which is a nice bonus.
Vornado VHEAT Vintage Heater
A stylish and functional space heater
The VHEAT’s solid heating performance is secondary to its delightful design, which makes it a great choice if you’re more concerned with aesthetics.
The Vornado VHEAT Vintage Heater heats well enough and looks good doing it. With a solid metal construction and wonderfully retro knobs, it’s simply the best-looking electric space heater we’ve found that doesn’t sacrifice (too much) functionality. Though the VHEAT delivers a steady stream of air that quickly heats whatever’s right in front of it, it wasn’t as good at spreading that heat around the room, resulting in a 10-degree difference in the temperature measurements we took from different parts of the room during our tests. The fact that it was able to heat part of the room enough to create a 10-degree difference was still pretty remarkable, however. Some space heaters we tested couldn’t even warm a room by 5 degrees. Overall, we think the VHEAT is a great choice for anyone interested in aesthetics as well as comfort.
Whichever space heater you choose, there are some common safety concerns that many people overlook: You can’t use any space heater with an extension cord, and you shouldn’t leave a heater unattended. And most heaters can’t be used in a bathroom, unless they’re specifically designed for it. We go over these and other considerations in detail in our section on space-heater care, maintenance, and safety.