4 Best Space Heaters of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Stay warm all winter with these affordable indoor space heaters, from personal heaters for small spaces to oscillating tower styles that offer more coverage.

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Updated on February 09, 2024

Our Top Space Heater Picks:

Space heaters come in handy for residential spaces when central heating isn't available in milder climates. They're also great for residents who have different temperature preferences for different areas or those who want to save money on the power bill by turning down the home thermostat.

Types of Space Heaters

Space heater options range from small tabletop models intended for personal use to larger tower-style fans that can heat a bigger area to radiator-style heaters that use oil to heat the largest area the most efficiently. Many heaters come with overheat protection and tip-over protection, meaning they'll automatically shut off if the heater gets too hot or knocked over. All of our recommendations come with at least an overheat protection feature.

There are several important safety measures to remember when using a space heater. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) does not recommend using electric heaters while sleeping, around flammable materials like curtains or bedding or near water. The commission's electric heater safety guide also recommends unplugging the electric heater when not in use and keeping the cord visible at all times and not under a rug or couch. Always check to make sure the cord isn't damaged or frayed before using one, too.

Beyond safety, we also considered price, design, ease of operation and energy use when researching, testing and selecting our top space heater picks below.

How We Tested

To find the best space heaters, our shopping editors spent time researching the features this appliance could have that consumers would most benefit from: This included the types of space heaters sold, the important safety features a space heater must have, the fuel or power source they use and additional features like heat settings or the ability to oscillate.

After the editors determined the most important aspects of a space heater, the team narrowed the list down to a few promising models before testing them in their home for a few weeks. In their homes, they recorded observations around things like effectiveness, general heating capabilities and the success of the safety features. These observations led us to our top picks.

Photo Courtesy Amazon
What We Like
  1. Great for personal use in a workspace or office
  2. Aesthetically pleasing
What We Don't Like
  1. Limited heat settings

This little heater is perfect for personal use and small spaces. It features two fan speeds, a simple temperature-controlling knob, tip-over and overheat protection, and a cool-touch design. Available in black and white-and-black, it's one of the most stylish heater options we've seen, and this is a great choice if you want something that will somewhat blend in with the rest of your decor. Thanks to its small footprint, this heater can rest on side tables or desks as well as on the floor, so it's easy to find a safe location for it. When testing, we noticed the tip-over protection worked really well — if you simply lift the heater a few degrees forward using the hidden handle at the top while the heater is powered on, it will shut off and won't start back until you set it down to rest on the stand again. The safety features and easy-to-use operation combined with the style make this an all-around great space heater. Plus, you can't beat the price!

Our Editor Says: "Since I work from home now, this little heater is the perfect size to keep next to my desk for extra heat or even to use instead of my central heating on mild days when the weather doesn't warrant heating my entire house. Plus, I love how cute it looks!"

Photo Courtesy Walmart
What We Like
  1. Has a number of heat settings
  2. The fan is adjustable as well
What We Don't Like
  1. No tip-over protection

For another basic personal heater option for heating a small space, this Lasko electric heater is a great budget buy, too, especially if you don't care as much about aesthetics. This model has three fan speeds: low heat, high heat and fan only. It also features an adjustable thermostat with 11 different temperature settings, overheat protection and a cool-touch design. We prefer the Honeywell heater because it has tip-over protection and this Lasko model doesn't, meaning it wouldn't be a good pick to use around pets or kids, but as long as you're following recommended safety measures, this small heater is still a great basic budget buy.

Our Editor Says: "This compact heater is easy to move to different locations with ease, and I love the range of temperature settings to choose from and the cool-touch feature. I do wish it had tip-over protection, but since I don't have kids or pets in my household, the lack of that added protection is not a dealbreaker for me."

Photo Courtesy Walmart
What We Like
  1. Heats up 200 square feet of space
  2. Oscillates to evenly heat room
What We Don't Like
  1. A bit bulky

For heating a larger room, an oscillating tower heater like this Honeywell model offers more coverage than a small personal heater but still has a slim footprint that makes finding a good location for it easy. This unit features overheat protection, a cool-touch design and 360-degree tip-over protection that works extremely well, making this a great pick for homes with kids and pets. When testing, we felt the heat immediately, and it took about 15 minutes to completely heat up a 200-square-foot room. It also has a hidden handle that makes it easy to carry and an easily removable dust filter on the back for easy cleaning. While it's not the most stylish home accessory, it blends in well enough, and the functionality and safety measures make this pick well worth sacrificing a few style points.

Our Editor Says: "I love that it turns off the moment it tips over and stays cool to the touch. The oscillating function also has a great range of motion."

Photo Courtesy Honeywell
What We Like
  1. Has an easy-to-use digital display
  2. One of the rare options that has a timer
What We Don't Like
  1. Oil-filled heaters take longer to heat up

While most consumers with central heat or those heating a small space will probably find personal or tower-style heaters to fit their needs, a radiator heater can be a good option for anyone needing to heat a large space frequently since a radiator heater uses oil and can run for hours using very little energy. If you need to heat a large living room, accessory dwelling unit or maybe a garage or shed (as long as the heater can sit far enough away from any combustible materials), a radiator heater like this model from Honeywell will get the job done without skyrocketing your energy bill. The Energy Smart electric radiator features easy-to-use digital controls, three heat settings, a programmable thermostat and a one-to-12-hour auto-off timer. This model also features overheat and tip-over protection. Radiator heaters aren't exactly stylish, but we do like the high-gloss black finish on this model compared to other greige-colored ones we tested. On the downside, this heater is large and bulky and the cord isn't super long, meaning it's more difficult to find a good, safe location for it.

Our Editor Says: "The controls on this model are very easy to understand and features a ‘hold’ setting so you can set the temperature, just like a standard thermostat. Also, the handle on this model is large and easy to access and would make it very easy to safely move this model around a space for precision heating."

Frequently Asked Questions

Do space heaters use a lot of electricity?

Generally, space heaters use between 750 and 1500 watts of electricity per hour, which is comparable to a window AC unit's usage. If you're running a space heater eight hours a day, it will likely add around $50 a month to your electric bill. However, that's significantly less expensive than heating a whole house with oil, which costs about $14 a day in 2023, or natural gas, which costs around $6, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Can you keep a space heater on all night?

In a word, no. Even with things like automatic shut-off or tip-over protection, space heaters are meant to be used while the consumer is awake. To heat a bedroom at night, the best practice is to leave the device on to warm the room up before sleeping, then turn it off when in bed or, at the very least, purchase an option with a timer.

Where's the best place to keep a space heater?

The best place to keep a space heater is on a hardwood floor like tile or wood instead of on a rug or carpet. It should also sit a few feet away from curtains, loose fabric and furniture. There should never be anything draping over or touching a space heater, either.

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