This page was last updated in
This page was last updated in
Spring and Summer are the best time of year—you get to wear light and comfy clothing, eat ice pops, and hang out at the beach. Unfortunately, that beautiful weather doesn’t stick around all year. By the time winter rolls around, you’re reaching for your thick blankets and wool coats, desperately fighting the cold and longing for warmer times.
Feeling chilly isn’t fun. At best, it’s uncomfortable and distracts you throughout the day. At worst, you can get seriously ill or even die from prolonged exposure to extremely low temperatures. This is why, in the colder parts of the world, radiators and heaters are an absolute must. Central heating systems are pretty effective at keeping you warm, but they can be expensive to keep on.
If you need more heat without doubling the cost of your electricity bill, then a space heater just might be the solution for you. These portable devices add extra warmth to a room, making you feel more comfortable even in the harshest winter months.
There is a lot on the line when you buy a space heater: your comfort, your money, and your safety. So choosing the best space heater for large rooms and space is important. We checked out several different space heaters from the most popular brands to answer the question, “which is the best space heaters for large rooms?”
Keep you and your family warm and happy all year round with one of these top 3 indoor electric space heaters.
Protip: You may also need to invest in one of these best essential oil diffusers to maintain your room hair fresh and healthy.
What to Look for in a Space Heater
We’ll talk about our top 3 in a bit. But first, we’re going to break down for you how we chose the heaters on our list. This will also be your guide when you’re comparing space heater models so that you can make the best decision for your home.
All heaters have the same result: they make your room a warmer, more desirable temperature. But how they achieve that result differs from heater to heater. Here are some of the types of heaters available on the market:
- Convection heating: One of the most common space heater types. Convection heating is known for evenly generating heat across a room. It does this by heating up a metallic or ceramic element, causing the air around it to get warmer. It can then use a fan to distribute the heat better and faster.
- Radiant heating: You might already be familiar with this type, perhaps by its other name: radiators. Radiators are filled with a type of liquid, usually water or oil. When the radiator heats up, it heats up the liquid inside its pipes. The heat then “radiates” outwards. Unlike convection heating, radiators can’t heat through objects or circulate warmth throughout a room. This type is best for noiseless spot heating or for people with sensitive skin/allergies.
- Infrared heating: Infrared heating is sort of a subset of radiant heating (in that the heat radiates outwards from the device), except it produces heat through infrared waves and not hot liquid. It doesn’t heat the air, but our bodies and clothes still absorb the waves, making us feel warmer anyway. The upside is that infrared heaters are often more energy-efficient and fast, but they also are more expensive and cannot transfer heat through objects.
- Micathermic heating: A relatively new type of heating, mica heaters combine both convection and radiant heat. This hybrid technology combines the best of both worlds—it’s quiet, dustless, and evenly generates heat throughout a room. They’re also often flatter, thinner, and lighter, making it a great space-saving option as well.
Space heaters follow some pretty easy logic. Smaller space heaters produce less heat, while bigger space heaters can produce more heat. However, that doesn’t always mean that bigger is better.
The larger your space heater, the more electricity it consumes. So if you’re trying to heat up a smaller area or only one side of the room, it wouldn’t be cost or energy-efficient to go for the biggest model on the market. Instead, you should get the right size for your room so that you’re staying warm without wasting money or electricity.
The rule of thumb is that you need 10 watts for every square foot, although that number can go up or down depending on the model, whether or not you have good insulation, etc.
Controls & Features
A space heater shouldn’t be rocket science, it should be easy to use and control. Some good features to look out for include:
- Multiple heat settings so that you’re comfortable and have more control over the temperature
- A programmable timer that switches the heater off automatically while you’re asleep or away from home
- An eco mode that provides ample heat with lower energy consumption, saving both electricity and money
- A longer power cord that allows you to freely position your space heater around the room to target cold spots and place it away from flammable items
- A remote control and/or LCD screen that makes controlling the temperature easier
As scary as it is to think about, you have to remember that space heaters are not 100% risk-free. Thousands of fires and even more burns are caused by space heaters every year. But you can protect yourself and your family by using the space heater appropriately, buying the right space heater, and taking the necessary precautions.
A good space heater will have a variety of safety features that minimize the risk. Tip-over sensors will turn the space heater off when it’s been knocked over. A thermal switch will detect whether or not the heater is overheating, and shut it down accordingly. There are also heaters with airflow sensors that prevent the heater from turning on if the exhaust vents are blocked by dust or objects.
Besides these safety features, it’s important to look for certification. The Underwriters Laboratories’ UL 1278 and UL 1042 stamp of approval should be a non-negotiable.
This particular factor may or may not come into play, depending on where you’re going to use it and what your tolerance for ambient noise is. For quiet spaces like your bedroom or home office, a noisy heater can make it difficult to sleep or concentrate. In busy spaces like your living room or kitchen, this may be less of a concern.
If you need to keep the room quiet, you’ll need a silent heater. Generally, space heaters without fans are more silent than their fanned counterparts, but they’re also more expensive and heat the room less evenly.
Chances are, you won’t be taking your space heater out on road trips. But you will be moving it in and out of storage, and possibly even around your home. Portability might be a deal-breaker for you.
If you want to be able to use the same heater in multiple rooms, you’ll need to find a space heater that is both lightweight and easy to carry around. A handle or built-in wheels make it easier to store and move around when you need it.
There are lots of different space heaters at different prices, and you don’t have to spend a lot to get a decent one. Space heaters can range from as low as $50 to over $500, so don’t worry too much about having a limited budget.
The good news is that space heaters are often on sale; seasonal promotions and discounts will help you get a better deal. Shop around with different manufacturers to find the most cost-effective space heater for you.
The Best Space Heaters for Large Rooms Review
#1. Vornado MVH Whole Room Vortex: Budget Space Heater
Small but powerful—that’s how we’d describe this Vornado product. The Whole Room Vortex Heater weighs just under 4 pounds and it doesn’t take up much space at all, but it still covers up to 180 square feet of space. Its 3 heat settings and 7 fan levels help you maintain an ideal temperature with no hassle.
Of course, the heater is fully equipped with all the necessary safety features, such as tip-over protection and automatic safety shut-off. It’s completely tested and certified safe for home use. What’s more, it comes with a long 5-year limited warranty. You’re guaranteed a good, reliable product for an unbelievably affordable price.
- Small and lightweight
- 5-year limited warranty
- 3 heat settings and multiple fan levels
- Quiet operation
- Not as powerful as bigger models
#2. Dr. Infrared Portable – Best Hybrid Space Heater
One name that always makes the list is the Dr. Infrared Heater. With almost 4,000 glowing reviews on Amazon, this one’s a popular choice. The dual heating system combines infrared heating with a convection fan, allowing this heater to safely and effectively cool up to 1000 square feet. Dr. Infrared also claims that it delivers 60% more heat at 1500W than its competitors.
Through its digital thermostat or infrared remote control, you can adjust the heat from 50-86F or select the energy-saving eco mode. There are also safety features included such tip-over protection and automatic 12-hour shutdown. This powerful heater comes in a beautiful vintage wood casing with built-in wheels for mobility.
- Powerful, efficient heater for large rooms
- Infrared remote control
- Low-noise fan blower
- 3-year limited warranty
- Vintage wood casing
- No timer
#3. DeLonghi TRH0715 Radiator – Best Oil-Filled Heater
No list of top heaters is complete without a DeLonghi. This particular model is your classic, old-school radiator—with a sealed oil reservoir that never needs refilling. The patented heat flow design adds a significant amount of warmth to rooms up to an impressive 250 square feet. DeLonghi claims that this model is 40% more energy-efficient than others on the market, so you can expect some cost savings here as well.
The digital controls are easy to use. You can set an automatic shutdown timer, adjust the thermostat, or choose eco mode. There are also unique safety features such as a thermal cutoff for overheating and an anti-freeze setting in extremely low temperatures.
- Heats large rooms effectively
- Sealed oil reservoir
- Big and bulky
- Only 1-year warranty
- Occasional clicking sound
No two space heaters are exactly alike. Some perform better in large spaces while others boast higher cost savings or a unique design. This is why choosing the BEST space heater isn’t an easy task.
All of the heaters on this list have their fair share of pros and cons. The Vortex heater is small, lightweight, and super affordable—the best choice if you have limited space, a small budget, or have portability as your #1 priority. The DeLonghi model is on the other end of the spectrum, being ultra-powerful but also bulky.
Ultimately, it boils down to your specific circumstances. But we believe that the Dr. Infrared Heater stands above the rest. It combines the best of ALL worlds. It’s relatively compact, yet it’s also one of the most powerful heaters on the market. It might be a little bit pricier, but we believe it’s worth the cost.
What Is the Ideal Room Temperature?
There’s no one answer for this. Everyone has their own idea of what the “ideal” room temperature is, which makes heating a household a bit tricky.
Some people are more sensitive to cold than others and prefer hotter rooms, while others can handle much lower temperatures. Space heaters help solve this issue by spot heating parts of the room. This way, everyone can enjoy a comfortable level of heat.
However, scientists do suggest that there is an ideal room temperature for sleeping. To get the most out of your nightly sleep, your thermostat should fall between 60 and 67 degrees.
Are Space Heaters Safe?
Space heaters will always come with a little bit of risk. But you can minimize that risk by using it according to its safety guidelines.
Many space heaters today come with safety features to protect you and your household. Also, electrical space heaters (like the ones on this list), do not produce carbon monoxide. Still, there are a few things you need to do to avoid costly or even fatal accidents.
First, place your space heater on a solid, flat surface. Keep it away from flammable items like curtains or other pieces of furniture.
Second, switch off the space heater when it’s not in use. That means turning it off when you leave the house and before you go to sleep.
Lastly, plug the space heater directly into the outlet. Do not use extension cords. If the cord, outlet, or space heater itself shows signs of cracking or damage, do not use the heater until it’s been checked by a professional or (ideally) replaced.
Are Space Heaters Expensive to Keep Running?
Just like any electrical appliance, space heaters will add to your monthly electricity bill. How much exactly depends on the wattage of the space heater and how long you keep it running.
Some models are more energy (and cost) efficient than others which means that they consume less power while producing the same amount of heat. If electricity costs are your main concern, look for a space heater that has an eco mode, multiple heat settings, and a programmable timer.
Generally speaking, central heating is more effective at heating your entire home, but it can also be very expensive. Space heaters can help you add warmth to a single room without wasting a lot of energy or money.
How Do I Save on Electricity Costs With a Space Heater?
Nobody wants to get saddled with a costly electricity bill at the end of the month. So if you’re using a space heater, here are some tips on how to save money:
- Use a programmable timer to automatically switch the heater off before you go to bed. If your heater doesn’t have a timer, you can heat up the room to your ideal temperature, and simply just switch it off yourself before you hit the sack.
- Unplug the space heater when it’s not in use.
- Find a space heater with a low heat setting so that you can use minimal heating when you don’t need too much warmth.
- Insulation of your home is incredibly important. Even the best and most energy-efficient space heater can rack up quite the bill if your home isn’t well-insulated. If you’re losing a lot of heat and you need to crank up the thermostat to feel comfortable, consider investing in your home’s insulation first.
If your home’s central heating isn’t enough, space heaters are your best bet in the battle against the cold. The right heater restores calm and comfort in the room, no matter what the outside temperature is. Use this guide to help you choose between thousands of different space heating devices and find the best fit for your home.