The Best Space Heaters of 2018

By Jonathan Chan

Winter is bad enough, but the chill never really ends if you're someone who's perpetually cold. A space heater is a great way to keep the feeling in your fingertips without turning on the heat for the whole house or office. After weeks of testing in a purpose-built temperature control chamber, our favorite space heater is the Delonghi HMP1500 (available at Amazon for $79.99).

In total, my colleague–Kyle Hamilton–and I looked at 10 space heaters, focusing on three key aspects: spot heating, room heating, and how easy it is to move. While the Delonghi HMP1500 is our best pick for most people, we found smaller and cheaper heaters that you may warm to. Here are the final rankings:

  1. DeLonghi HMP1500
  2. DeLonghi EW7707CB
  3. Lifesmart Quartz Heater
  4. Lasko 6435
  5. Infrared Dr Heater DR-968
  6. Lasko 754200
  7. Lasko 5622
  8. Lasko 755320
  9. Mill SG1500LED
  10. Mill AB-H1000DN
— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Updated February 08, 2018

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Delonghi HMP1500 Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jon Chan
The Delonghi HMP1500 is the best spot and room heater

DeLonghi HMP1500

044387915007
  • Editors' Choice

DeLonghi HMP1500

Best Overall

Type: Mica

Quick Facts: Retails for around $90, wall mountable, wheels included

Safety features: Automatic shut off if tipped over, overheat protection, power/caution indicator lights

If you want a space heater that does it all, you only need to spend $90. The Delonghi HMP1500 aced our spot-heating and room-heating tests. Our thermal sensors recorded the HMP1500 outputting a maximum temperature of almost 95°F. This Delonghi also raised the temperature of a 1350-cubic-foot room six degrees in an hour, more than enough to warm a chilly room.

Performance aside, the HMP1500 also has design elements that can fit any lifestyle. Users that want their heater to follow them from room to room can install the included wheels. Where stairs are a concern, a handle on the back lets you easily lift the 8-pound frame anywhere. If you have one room in your home that needs supplementary heating, the HMP1500 can be mounted to a wall as a permanent fixture.

Lasko 754200

046013768346
  • Editors' Choice

Lasko 754200

Best Value

Type: Ceramic fan-forced

Quick facts: Retails for around $30, weighs less than four pounds, has a fan-only setting

Safety features: Automatic overheat protection

When you think personal space heater, the Lasko 75420 is what most people imagine. It's compact, light, and relatively powerful. However, its power is highly directional. When it's on, you can only heat part of your body. While this Lasko does not have the versatility of our top pick, it's still a good value.

DeLonghi EW7707CM

044387707152

DeLonghi EW7707CM

Type: Oil-filled convection

Quick Facts: Retails for around $79, snap-on wheels

Safety features: Automatic overheat shutoff

The Delonghi EW7707CM came in second place. This radiator-style heater had an output max temperature of around 83°F. Over the course of an hour, it brought the temperature in our testing room up three degrees. With these kinds of results, we found that the EW7708CM wasn't as good a personal space heater as the HMP1500. However, you'll sing its virtues if you place it in the basement. Its lowest setting places the EW7707CM on anti-freeze duty, keeping rooms at around 41°F–well north of pipe-bursting temperatures.

While other space heaters we tested could serve the same purpose, the EW7707CM was more energy efficient than the average heater. So, if you're going to keep a heater warming the pipes all winter, this one will dent your wallet the least.

What about safety?

While space heaters are compact and cost efficient, there is need for concern. According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters are the leading cause of house fires.

All the space heaters we tested had a mechanism built in to shut the device off if it got too hot. Nevertheless, it's recommended to always have a 3-foot radius between a space heater and anything even remotely flammable–including blankets and upholstery.

Also, never plug a space heater into an extension cord. Portable heaters draw up to 1500 watts of power, more than enough to cause a dangerous spark.

Finally, be sensible and don't touch a space heater when it is in operation. Some heaters have a cool exterior when they are running, but that doesn't mean they aren't dangerous. You wouldn't pick up a toaster when it's on, you shouldn't do that with a space heater.


Types of space heaters

Space heaters have various heating methods that can affect the size, weight, and other aspects of the product. Here's a quick breakdown of the types we reviewed:

Mica: Thin, energy efficient, and frequently wall-mountable, mica heaters are part radiant and part convection. They operate silently.

Ceramic Fan-Forced: Convection heaters that blow warm air out from a fan, ceramic heaters are good for spot heating but not for large rooms. Expect some fan-noise. The plastic shell may be safe to the touch in some models, but the grill is always very hot.

Oil-filled convection: Reminiscent of radiators you find in old homes, oil-filled convection heaters work well for entire rooms. They're silent, but they're very hot to the touch on all sides and maybe not the best choice for houses with young children.

Infrared: Sometimes known as "quartz" heaters, these devices don't actually heat the air so much as beam heat directly at you. This is why infrared heaters are often used outdoors, because they are unaffected by wind. Their tops and sides are usually cool to the touch.

Convection Only: Everyone knows hot air rises. Convection heaters simply have a heating element inside a grate. While they are not good for spot heating, they are virtually silent when in operation.


Other Space Heaters We Tested

LifeSmart 6 Element Infrared

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LifeSmart 6 Element Infrared

Type: Infrared

Quick facts: Retails for around $129, has a remote control, won't dry out a room

Safety features: Automatic shutoff if tipped over, overheat protection

The LifeSmart we tested used six quartz-wrapped elements to produce infrared heat. Using this kind of system helps target the heat and maintain humidity. Our test results lined up with what LifeSmart claimed this heater could do. None of the sensors were directly in the path of the heat elements, so the max temperature recorded was around 77°F. Results like these show that the LifeSmart is good as a personal heater, but not for sharing the warmth.

During the hour we ran this heater, we did not calculate a decrease in the general humidity. You'll appreciate that in the wintertime, when the cold, dry weather is chapping your lips and giving you a sore throat.

While the LifeSmart has premium features like a remote control, its weak room-heating performance makes it hard to justify spending $129. Still, if you want a personal heater that won't rob the room of all its moisture, the LifeSmart is worth your consideration.

Lasko 6435

046013762207

Lasko 6435

Type: Ceramic Fan-Forced

Quick facts: Retails for around $57, looks like a vase, oscillates

Safety features: Overheat protection

The Lasko 6435 was the most unique looking space heater we tested. It's only one of two models we tested that could sit on a window sill or a desk, and not look amiss. Where ever you place it, make sure it's close. The 6435 was a better spot heater than anything else. This model also oscillates, meaning it has a motor that waves back and worth, so it can warm up everyone sitting on your couch.

Dr Infrared Heater DR-968

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Dr Infrared Heater DR-968

Type: Infrared

Quick facts: Retails for around $115, on wheels, radiant heat

Safety features: Automatic shutoff if tipped over, overheat protection

The Dr Infrared uses the same quartz heating elements as the LifeSmart. While the doctor was more powerful, it didn't do as well at spreading the heat around the room. During testing, we also noticed that this model dried out the air more than the other infrared heaters. When you combine these two negatives, even the lower price tag keeps the Dr Infrared from claiming a top spot.

Lasko 5622

046013763297

Lasko 5622

Type: Convection

Quick facts: Retails for around $70, no assembly required, also comes in black

Safety features: Automatic shutoff if tipped over, overheat protection

As wide as the Lasko 5622 is, the path of its warmth isn't actually that great. The outer ring of our sensors barely registered any heat. The sweet spot is dead center, and you could get smaller space heaters for that. The 5622's saving grace is that it works right out of the box. Most space heaters in this size range require you to install legs or wheels.

Lasko 755320

046013768162

Lasko 755320

Type: Ceramic Fan-Forced

Quick facts: Retails for around $50, 23 inches tall, oscillates

Safety features: Overheat protection

Where the 5622 was the widest heater we tested, the Lasko 755320 is the tallest. Standing nearly 2-feet tall, the 755320 has the same design as a tower fan. It oscillates like one, too.

During testing, we liked how the handle on the back made it easy to move this Lasko from room to room. However, its performance is lackluster compared to other heaters on this list. Even with the oscillation on, we found that the sides of our testing room did not get warm.

Mill SG1500LED

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Mill SG1500LED

Type: Convection

Quick facts: Retails for around $106, very elegant looking, some assembly required

Safety features: Automatic shutoff if tipped over, overheat protection

Mills makes some of the best-looking space heaters around. The SG1500LED is no exception. Its excellent design went beyond looks: The Mills also has good controls. Our favorite aspect was the ability to set two temperature settings, one for day time and the other for when the sun goes down. However, its performance disappointed us. After an hour, the SG1500LED barely raised the temperature of the room two degrees. Our couch-height sensors also registered little to no change.

Mill AB-H1000DN

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Mill AB-H1000DN

Type: Oil-filled convection

Quick facts: Retails for around $120, very elegant looking

Safety features: Automatic shutoff if tipped over, overheat protection

The oil-filled Mills AB-H1000DN suffers from the same problems as its electric cousin. This heater is a better looker than performer. While it was energy efficient, it barely produced enough heat to register on any of our sensors.

How we tested

The Testers

Hi, I'm Jon Chan, senior lab technician at Reviewed. The testing team–Kyle, Julia, and I–put all the space heaters through their paces. I first cut my teeth testing heaters on the $600 Dyson Hot+Cool. Playing around with such an expensive heater made me think about what kind of value you can get out of a machine that essentially blows around hot air. My testing philosophy is about finding out which products give the best value.

The Tests

In nutshell, our space heater testing is broken down into two categories: performance and usability. To test performance, we placed each heater into a temperature-controlled room, which stayed at 72°F and 50 percent humidity. We know that's not the ideal room you'd heat, but that room is the most temperature stable in our entire laboratory. During setup, each heater was placed in the center of a 180-square-foot chamber with a 1,350-cubic-foot volume, and plugged into a watt meter.

We then placed two rings of temperature sensors at varying heights to simulate feet and torsos at different distances. These sensors were used to determine spot heating and overall room temperature changes.

Each heater was placed on its highest settings and left to run for an hour. After that, we gathered the data from the sensors. Heaters that could evenly heat both the inner and outer rings of sensors received the highest ratings.

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