7 Best Space Heaters for Your Specific Needs

by Matt Schmitz
A pair of household space heaters warming a pair of feet

7 Best Space Heaters for Your Specific Needs

These days, we’re all using our homes more for both work and play — and in the interest of everyone in the household having their own space, even that particularly cold, drafty corner is being claimed.

This May Also Interest You: Why is My Heater Not Working?

If you find yourself caught up in this rush for personal space and you need to warm up a room or area that’s underserved by your existing heating system, we’ve identified the following seven space heaters for you to consider for various household needs.

Best Overall Space Heater: Dyson Pure Hot+Cool HP04 Purifying Heater

A combination of air purifier with a 0.3-micron HEPA filter, space heater and fan for use year-round. This unit even comes with WiFi connectivity for use with your Alexa device, and the Dyson Link app for remote control and scheduling. This unit is powerful enough to warm a room, and you can focus the output to specific areas for faster heating. Versatility and year-round use makes this space heater a top choice.

Safest Space Heater: Duraflame DFI-5010-01 Electric Fireplace Stove

The top space heater in this category has to be infrared. Infrared heat doesn’t heat or dry out the surrounding air. Instead, heat is radiated to the objects in the line of sight — including people. “IR heat” is safe and uses less electricity than conventional space heaters.

The Duraflame DFI-5010-01 provides up to 5,200 BTU to warm nearly 1,000 square feet of living space. Digital thermostat control with shutoff protection allows you to set your desired temperature for the entire room while enjoying the sound of a crackling fire with the look of a fireplace stove.

Most Efficient Space Heater: Dr. Infrared DR968

Combine the efficiency and power of infrared heat with a more conventional space-heater feel with this Dr. Infrared-brand model, which boasts both an IR quartz tube and Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) ceramic materials for the heating elements.

The ceramic materials in PTC heating systems change resistance levels when their designated temperatures are reached. Then, the PTC becomes sensitive to the ambient temperature and “self-controls,” increasing and decreasing current draw and, as a result, heat output. With dual systems, IR and PTC heating, this space heater can provide 5,200 BTU up to 85-degrees Fahrenheit.

Best Space Heater for Your Basement: Lifesmart Large Room Infrared Quartz Fireplace

If your basement has now become your office, entertainment venue or refuge, you need a powerhouse space heater to keep the at bay. The LifeSmart Large Room Infrared Quartz Fireplace provides the warmth and safety you need with a fireplace display and adjustable glow levels to suit your mood. A remote control and oak finish make it easy to use and easy on the eyes. Quiet infrared heat delivery makes this unit ideal for areas where blower and fan noise would otherwise disrupt work or recreation.

Best Space Heater for Your Bedroom: De'Longhi TCH8093ER

Being sleek and having a flat-panel tower design help this space heater remain unobtrusive in the bedroom space. De’Longhi uses ceramic elements to deliver 1,500 watts of heat by digital and remote control. An Eco Mode boasts energy savings up to 40% when activated. Standard safety features like a tip-over switch and thermal cutoff help make this unit a safer bet for use while you sleep.

Best Space Heater for Your Home Office: TaoTronics PTC 1500W Fast Quiet Heating Ceramic Tower Heater

This compact, portable tower heater with ceramic elements is the top choice for office spaces. It features a fast and quiet operation below 45 decibels. TaoTronincs incorporates PTC ceramic-heating design in a tower-heater configuration for performance and efficiency. Digital controls include a remote with multiple settings, such as Eco mode for energy savings.

Most Cost-Effective Space Heater: Vornado MVH

For the budget-minded space-heater shopper, the Vornado MVH offers a lot of comfort for less coin. This unit is small, portable, safe and efficient for use in small spaces. Automatic shutdown and tip-over protection are standard. Three heat settings for low, medium and high temperature ranges are controlled by an internal thermostat for automating the heater output.

Using Space Heaters Safely

Each year, space heaters are responsible for some 25,000 housefires and more than 300 deaths. Frequent inspections of space heaters and their surroundings are imperative before, during and after use. If you’re shopping for a space heater, look for models with programmable or automatic shutdown features and temperature controllers. Look for the UL Underwriters Laboratory tag on the heater to be sure it’s been tested and meets voluntary U.S. safety standards.

And remember: location, location, location! Many accidental fires and burns are the result of placing space heaters too close to flammable items or combustible fumes. Here are some recommended practices for your space heater:

  • Keep three feet of airspace surrounding the space heater.
  • Always store flammable liquids outside.
  • Never leave fuel-burning heaters on and unattended — including while sleeping.
  • Plug the unit into wall outlets only.
  • Place space heaters only on flat, level, non-flammable surfaces.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors in all rooms using space heaters.
  • Never use a space heater with a damaged electrical cord.

Space Heaters and Energy Savings

Be aware that you might not be saving money on your energy bills by using a space heater. According to Consumer Reports, more than 60% of homeowners polled believed that space heaters would decrease their energy bills. Keep in mind that electricity is the most expensive way to heat an area, and most space heaters are electric. Therefore, unless you cut your central-system heat in all other rooms, you're unlikely to enjoy a discount.

So Many Sizes and Features

The right tool for this job will match the size of the space you’re heating. Space heaters come in all sizes for all spaces. To keep this simple: If you’re looking to warm a small area — for example, under your desk or in the corner of the room — small space heaters will work quickly and efficiently for one or two people. Heaters in this category resemble small fans and may be combined with air purifiers in some models.

Pricier models will include features and capabilities such as:

  • Timers and temperature controls
  • Eco mode
  • Remote control
  • Quiet operation
  • Higher output

If you want to keep a few guests warm in an average-size room, you may need something about the size of a fireplace. The space heaters in this category are typically self-standing units that emit safe and effective infrared heat. — and often ambient fire-like embers to set the scene.