Three best space heaters

Kailey Fralick

Keep electric space heaters away from anything flammable, such as curtains or blankets.

Staying toasty during the winter can be a struggle, especially if you live in a cold climate. You can turn up the thermostat, but heating costs are expensive, and sometimes even your furnace can't adequately do the job. A space heater is a great alternative for those who want a little extra warmth without the big electric bill that comes with running your furnace constantly. Here's a brief guide to help you choose the right space heater for your home, as well as our top three recommendations for the best space heaters on the market.

Considerations when choosing space heaters

Space heaters come in two main types: electric and non-electric. Non-electric models are powered by propane, kerosene, or some other type of gas. They don't need to be plugged into an outlet, but they do need to be kept in an open space for ventilation so that carbon monoxide doesn't build up.

Electric space heaters are the best choice for indoor use because they are generally safer. They have to be plugged into an outlet and kept away from flammable objects, but apart from that, you don't have to worry too much with an electric model. Most of these units have built-in safety features to prevent them from starting a fire.


Once you know what type of space heater you're looking for, it's time to compare different models and evaluate their features. Here are the most important features to consider.

Safety features

This is arguably the most important concern when choosing a space heater. Make sure the model you choose has overheating protection at a minimum. The best models will also automatically shut off if the unit is tipped over.

Heating capability

Make sure that the space heater you choose is powerful enough to heat the area you need it to. You can get a good idea of a unit's heating capability by reading customer reviews and checking the manufacturer's description.


A large space heater may not be a good choice if you don't have a lot of room in your home.

Energy efficiency

While cheaper than running a furnace, electric space heaters will still add to your electricity bill. If this is a concern for you, look for a model that doesn't use a lot of power.


Some space heaters come with multiple heat settings and programmable controls, so you can set the unit to turn on at certain times or when the temperature in the room gets below a certain point.


Q. Are space heaters safe to use?

A. Yes, most space heaters employ a number of safety features, including an auto shutoff function when the unit gets too hot or tips over. As long as you follow the manufacturer's instructions and don't place the space heater near anything that can catch on fire, it should be safe to use.

Q. Can I use a space heater indoors and outdoors?

A. There are space heaters that can be used both indoors and outdoors, but not all models work this way. Think about where you need the space heater the most, and choose a unit that works in this area.

Space heaters we recommend

Best of the best: OPOLAR Ceramic Oscillating Space Heater 

Our take: This space heater is small, but it packs a big punch with its useful safety features and adjustable controls.

What we like: This powerful heater lets you choose any temperature you want from 58° to 94°F, and then it oscillates to distribute heat evenly. It also operates quietly and comes with a built-in timer, overheating and tip-over protection, and a one-year warranty.

What we dislike: You can only adjust the temperature in two-degree increments, and it won't turn on automatically until the room is at least four degrees below your desired temperature.

Best bang for your buck: Lasko Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat 

Our take: This is an affordable choice for those who are looking for a small space heater to put under a desk or warm a small room.

What we like: This space heater comes with two different heat settings and a fan-only setting, so you can use it in the summer as well. It's easily portable and comes with a cool-touch carrying handle and overheating protection.

What we dislike: There is no tip-over protection, so you have to be very careful not to knock this space heater over by accident.

Choice 3: Vornado AVH2 Plus Whole Room Heater 

Our take: This is a good choice if you're looking for a powerful space heater that can adequately cover large rooms.

What we like: This model comes with a five-year warranty, two heat settings, and a fan-only mode. It employs automatic climate control technology to keep the room precisely at the temperature you set, and it's powerful enough to cover large areas.

What we dislike: There have been a few complaints about noise, and some have said that the thermostat isn't always accurate.

Kailey Fralick is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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