In our tests, the Vornado VH200 surpassed almost every other space heater in speed and total power, delivering an immediate temperature increase that built steadily and evenly across the room over the course of an hour. The VH200 is also quieter than most other ceramic heaters we’ve tried, emitting only a soft, fanlike whir, and it’s compact enough to tuck away in a corner. It’s also one of the safest heaters we tested, featuring overheating and tip-over protection, and a plastic exterior that stays relatively cool to the touch—so you can warm yourself without having to worry. The VH200 does get mixed reviews from some owners who find it slow to heat a particularly cold space or have problems with the airflow from the fan (the heat only blasts in one direction, and while the fan should help to circulate the air around the room, the heat blast can be a little overwhelming). Fortunately, Vornado tends to respond to these critical reviews more reliably than other manufacturers do.
The Vornado AVH10 is a lot like the VH200, with a few added features, such as a digital display, a convenient cord-wrapping post for easy storage, and a countdown clock when you turn it off, for added safety. In our tests, the AVH10 was the absolute hottest room heater model we tested, warming the room more quickly and to a higher temperature than the VH200. However, the AVH10 didn’t distribute its hot air as evenly throughout the space as the VH200, and it also tends to cost between $30 and $50 more. Still, it’s a great alternative to our top pick if you find it for a good price, or if you prefer its extra features.
This effective portable heater works quickly and lasts for years. But its narrow stream of hot air doesn’t feel as comfortable as the heat from models that warm a whole room, and it lacks some safety features.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $27.
We’ve recommended the Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater since 2013, and it’s still one of the cheapest and most reliable space heaters you can find. It warms up faster than most fan heaters we tested, and it has a compact, lightweight body that’s about the size of a loaf of bread. The heat is a focused stream of hot air, which warms the area directly in front of the space heater. But it isn’t as comfortable as the broad, room-filling heat we preferred from the Vornado models. The Lasko struggles in larger spaces as a result, but it’s perfect for warming a home office or for quickly heating up a small bedroom. The 754200 has had consistently positive owner reviews for years, and many Wirecutter staff members have owned one for multiple winters with few complaints. It lacks an automatic tip-over kill switch, a safety feature included in our top pick, and it’s not the best-looking option, but it does feature overheat protection.
Oil-filled radiators are silent but slow. The TRD40615T is the best of its type because it’s sturdier than competitors, with an exterior that stays cooler to the touch.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $168.
Most space heaters can deliver quick heat to a single person, but oil-filled radiators are better for heating a whole room for a longer duration, and the De’Longhi TRD40615T is the best of its kind. Like most oil-filled radiators, the TRD40615T warms up much more slowly than a ceramic heater, but it also retains its heat for longer, making it more energy-efficient. With a burly, all-metal construction that’s more durable than the builds of our other, plastic-clad picks, this De’Longhi model is sturdier and more attractive than any other oil-filled radiator we tested, and it’s also cooler to the touch.
This attractive obelisk has all the heating prowess Vornados are known for, plus the ability to oscillate, which helps the heat to spread more evenly around the room.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $110.
The Vornado OSCTH1 stands out not only for its stylish appearance, but also because it’s the rare Vornado that oscillates instead of blasting the heat straight ahead and hoping the airflow fills the room eventually. While it won’t warm you up quite as quickly as our other Vornado picks, the steady arc of motion means a more comfortable and uniform heating throughout your space. It also just looks great, in a subtly sci-fi sort of way, with easy-to-use digital touch screen controls and all the same safety features we usually look for, like a tip-over switch and overheat protection.
The 3½-foot-tall Lasko FH500 All Season Comfort Control Tower Fan & Heater in One is easily the tallest space heater we tested—but it doesn’t actually take up that much floor space for a room heater. In our tests, it warmed the room swiftly and consistently to the temperature we dialed in on its digital display, and then it steadily held that temperature until the end of the hour. The FH500 is full of thoughtful details, including an easy-to-navigate control panel and a matching remote control. It also has a medium heating option (in addition to the standard high and low settings found on most other space heaters), as well as a timer and an “auto eco” setting for better energy efficiency. While we’ve had concerns about the longevity of tower fans in the past, the Lasko has held up well after a year of continuous use (though we’ll continue to keep an eye out). Speaking of fans—the Lasko also has a built-in cooling feature, which is a nice bonus.
The VHEAT’s solid heating performance is secondary to its delightful design, which makes it a great choice if you’re more concerned with aesthetics.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $150.
The Vornado VHEAT Vintage Heater heats well enough and looks good doing it. With a solid metal construction and wonderfully retro knobs, it’s simply the best-looking electric space heater we’ve found that doesn’t sacrifice (too much) functionality. Though the VHEAT delivers a steady stream of air that quickly heats whatever’s right in front of it, it wasn’t as good at spreading that heat around the room, resulting in a 10-degree difference in the temperature measurements we took from different parts of the room during our tests. The fact that it was able to heat part of the room enough to create a 10-degree difference was still pretty remarkable, however. Some space heaters we tested couldn’t even warm a room by 5 degrees. Overall, we think the VHEAT is a great choice for anyone interested in aesthetics as well as comfort.
If you absolutely need to have an electric heater in the bathroom (or somewhere else where it can get wet), the Lasko CD08200 is the only one we’d recommend to do the job safely.
The Lasko CD08200 bathroom heater is the most effective and — more importantly — safe way to bring some infrared warmth to your bathroom. Generally speaking, you should try to keep electricity (especially something as powerful as a space heater) far, far away from any situation where it might get wet. While you might be tempted to bring our other picks into the bathroom with you, the Lasko is only one equipped with the proper safety features to mitigate the risk of electrocution (though you should still try to keep it far away from the water). It’s also quick to warm the room and incredibly easy to use, with one large button on the top that automatically defaults to a one-hour heating timer. That should give you enough time to shower and build up the courage to leave the comfort of the warm rushing water — but even if it doesn’t, the Lasko has the normal high and low heating settings as well.
Whichever space heater you choose, there are some common safety concerns that many people overlook: You can’t use any space heater with an extension cord, and you shouldn’t leave a heater unattended. And most heaters can’t be used in a bathroom, unless they’re specifically designed for it. We go over these and other considerations in detail in our section on space-heater care, maintenance, and safety.
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