After testing 15 of the best heaters on the market today, we chose the Mr. Heater MH9BX portable buddy heater as our top pick. This space heater is powerful and perfect for outdoor applications or in garages. It’s also incredibly portable and safe for use.
To help you find the best heaters for heating your living spaces, we spent over 20 hours testing 15 different options. During our testing, we looked specifically for heating efficiency, safety features and user friendly designs. We included heaters of varying sizes to help you find the right heater for your specific living space. Keep reading below to learn more about the Mr. Heater MH9BX and the other best heaters on our list so you can get warmer in a faster way than before.
Top 6 Best Heaters
#1 Mr. Heater MH9BX Portable Buddy Heater
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This portable heater is the best space heater for garage and other outdoor applications with powerful heating capabilities. It also features a rugged design that can take a bump or two without problem.
- Powerful and easy to move
- Auto shut-off if tipped over
- Portable and user friendly
- Higher capacity requires additional accessories
- No blower
If you’re looking for an outdoor heater to use in your garage or on camping and hunting trips, look no further than the Mr. Heater MH9BX portable buddy heater. This is a propane heater that can produce anywhere from 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs of heat, making it perfect for warming up large spaces up to 225 square feet. We were pleased overall with how much heat the Mr. Heater could produce, even in frigid temperatures and it’s Hi-Low heat settings. We do wish it included a blower to more evenly spread the heat, but this was easy to overlook after a few minutes when the heat had a chance to radiate out further away from the unit.
The MH9BX is also incredibly safe to use. Our favorite safety feature here is the comprehensive automatic shut-off functionality. The Mr. Heater will shut off automatically if the heater tips over, the pilot light is extinguished or low oxygen levels are detected. We were pleased with the overall design of the heater, as well. It’s built from durable steel, plastic and nickel, with a rugged design that won’t get ruined out in the wilderness. You even get a fold-down handle for better portability and a swivel-out regulator for easier fuel replacement. However, if you want to use something bigger than the small propane tanks, you’ll need to purchase an additional hose and fuel filter. To make sure that your cooling needs are met too, you might want to take a look at the best misting fan too.
#2 Dr. Infrared Heater DR-968 Heater
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This heater is super efficient and heats your living spaces in a flash, making it an excellent option for naturally colder areas in your home. It’s also easy to use and doesn’t get too noisy.
- Insanely quick heating
- Quiet operation
- Excellent overheat protection
- No power button on remote
- Thermostat isn’t the most accurate
The Dr. Infrared Heater DR-968 is fast, quiet and safe to use. The DR-968’s most impressive feature was the speed in which it could power on and start heating up your room. The infrared heating systems can warm you up in a matter of mere minutes. Plus, it’s incredibly energy efficient, so you won’t have to worry about paying way too much for such fast heating. The unit also includes a handy blower fan that can distribute the heat evenly. And with 1500 watts of power, the Dr. Infrared Heater can heat up spaces up to 200 square feet. All of these features and functionality make it one of the best space heaters for basement rooms.
When it comes to usability, the DR-968 has plenty of features that make your life easier. You’ve got controls on both the unit and the included remote. Unfortunately, the remote can only control the adjustable thermostat, and doesn’t feature an on/off button, but this is easily overlooked. During our testing, we found the thermostat to be mostly accurate, but there were definitely moments when it wasn’t reading the right temperature, especially farther away from the unit. We were also impressed with how quietly the DR-968 operated, especially when compared to how much square footage it can heat. If you’re also looking to cool a larger amount of square footage, take a look at the best wifi smart air conditioner too.
#3 Trustech PTC-903 Space Heater
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Trustech ceramic heater gives you powerful and fast heating capabilities, all at an extra-affordable price point. It also features 3 adjustable heating levels and built-in safety features.
- Three modes and safety features
- Quiet operation
- Powerful fan
- Noisy fan
- No remote control
The Trustech PTC-903 is an affordable ceramic space heater that offers up to 1500 watts of heating power. This makes it an excellent option for both large and small rooms, especially when you consider the powerful, built-in blower fan. The fan does well to distribute the heat, but it can be noisy at the highest level. The Trustech heats well, but it also keeps you safe in the process. It features a built-in automatic shut-off functionality in case the heater is tipped over or placed on an unstable surface.
The PTC-903 is also user friendly. It’s got a simple control panel with dials instead of buttons. The first dial is the on/off control and the second switch allows you to switch between the different heating modes. While the three different modes don’t equate to an true adjustable thermostat, it still allows you some freedom over how much heat you want the unit to produce. You can adjust the heater between Natural Wind, Low and High modes. Unfortunately, the Trustech doesn’t feature a remote control, which is essentially the only user function we would have preferred to see. But with affordability come some sacrifices, so this exclusion is easy to overlook. For your cooling needs within your home, take a look at the best drying fan as well.
#4 Pelonis PHTPU1501 Indoor Space Heater
Award: FASTEST HEAT UP TOWER
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Pelonis indoor ceramic tower heater is sleek and stylish, with durable materials and built-in safety features. The heater also features a programmable thermostat for greater customizability.
- Setting auto adjust temperature to save energy
- 70-degree oscillation
- Quiet at just 50 dB
- Loud fan on high setting
- Remote doesn’t include batteries
If you’re looking for a customizable and efficient heating solution for your home, look no further than the Pelonis PHTPU1501 indoor tower heater. The first thing that stands out about the Pelonis is its sleek and stylish design. Tower heaters are taller than other options, but they’re also easier to fit into corners and tight spaces. The Pelonis also includes a built-in handle for greater portability. Controls are found on top of the unit, as well as on the included remote, and are easy to learn. One of the best features of the tower design is the 70-degree oscillation, which allows for greater flexibility and versatility in heating your spaces.
The Pelonis’s heating performance is also impressive. The ceramic heating unit can heat up your living room to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 3 seconds. You can set the heater to three different power levels, including a high mode at 1500 watts, a low mode at 900 watts and an ECO mode. It also features a programmable thermostat on top of the different modes so you can get the room’s temperature set to your exact liking. Built-in safety features include overheating protection, tip-over protection and a unique grill design that prevents little fingers from getting through to touch the heating element. If you want a cooling system in your living room that’s built into your home, take a look at one of the best large ceiling fans too.
#5 Heat Storm Deluxe Mounted Wall Heater
Award: BEST QUALITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This heater offers a unique, wall-mounted placement that is perfect for heating small spaces and keeping it away from kids and pets. It’s also built incredibly well with a modern design that includes a helpful LED display and adjustable thermostat.
- Super effective thanks to type of coils
- Compact, wall-mounted configuration
- Safe touch grill
- Not good for larger spaces
- Installation required
The Heat Storm Deluxe heater is a unique option that mounts directly on the wall instead of being placed on the ground or countertop. This gives you more flexibility in placing the unit without losing any floor space, making it the best space heater for apartment applications. Of course, the wall mount does require installation, which is a little more involved than just plugging the unit in and placing it where you want. Fortunately, the package includes a mounting template that’s easy to use, even for most beginners.
The Heat Storm is an incredibly efficient infrared heater, which heats up quickly and keeps your room safe even after the unit is turned off. The heater features a Safe Touch grill, which is made from materials that won’t burn your skin. It also includes auto shut-off functionality if the unit overheats or falls off the wall. We were also impressed with how easy the Heat Storm was to use. It includes a simple remote and the unit features a digital LED display that clearly shows you the room’s temperature and allows you to adjust it with ease.
#6 Lasko 755320 Ceramic Space Heater
Award: BEST FOR LARGE ROOMS
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Lasko ceramic space heater can heat up large rooms quickly with its 1500 watt motor that produces 5000 BTUs of heat, powerful blower fan and oscillating tower design. It’s also easy to use and extra portable.
- Extra powerful blower fan
- Excellent, long-range remote
- Oscillating tower design
- Only high and low fan settings
- Thermostat isn’t very accurate
If you need extra heating power for large rooms, look no further than the Lasko 755320 ceramic space heater. For starters, the Lasko features an effective tower design that oscillates back and forth to better spread heat across larger spaces. It also features a powerful blower fan that can effectively push the heat out to all corners of the room. We were a little disappointed that the Lasko only feature high and low fan settings, with no medium option, but the adjustable thermostat still gives you a certain amount of customizability.
Overall usability is also worth nothing on the Lasko 755320. It features a comprehensive control panel on the top of the unit, and even includes a handy remote. The remote was of surprisingly high quality and can operate the unit at long ranges. If you’re looking for the best space heater for large room applications, the Lasko 755320 is a hard option to beat. If you’re looking for a portable solution to your home cooling, take a look at the best small portable air conditioner as well.
How We Decided
When we first started testing the heaters we purchased, we first looked at heating performance across a variety of different room sizes. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to heaters, so we considered each option relative to its power output. We gave bonus points to heaters that included features to more efficiently spread the heat throughout your living spaces, like powerful fans or oscillating designs.
Next, we only included heaters on our list that were easy to use. The best heaters include helpful usability features like digital LED displays and remote temperature controls. These make the units much more convenient to use overall. We also favored units that gave you greater flexibility in the way you heat your room. The best options include adjustability thermostats with more than two heat settings (e.g. low heat/high heat) and different heating modes.
Finally, we only included heaters on our list if they were safe to use. We measured options based on their built-in safety features and excluded options that didn’t make an effort to keep you and your home safe from accidents. Safety features like automatic shut-off, burn-free materials and housing that’s cool to the touch were all important during our testing.
Best Heater Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Type of Heater
When it comes to the different types of heaters you can purchase, there are a few different options to consider:
- Personal Heater – These heaters are incredibly compact and extra portable. They’re really only meant to heat one person up at a time, but some can produce enough heat for two people.
- Room Heater – These heaters are a little bigger than personal heaters and often output much more heat. As their name suggests, room heaters are meant to warm up an entire room with higher power and onboard fans.
- Space Heater – Like personal heaters, space heaters are meant to be portable and produce enough power to keep you warm in smaller spaces.
- Outdoor Heater – Heaters meant for the outdoors are typically the most powerful of the lot since they’re meant to directly combat the cold air of the winter. They’re also much more durable than other options so they can stand up to the elements. You should also consider the type of fuel your new heater will use. Electric is the most common form of heater, but you can also purchase gas-powered heaters if you want a little more heat output for larger or outdoor areas.
- Coverage Area
Since heaters come in all shapes and sizes, it’s important that you determine exactly how much area you want to heat before clicking that buy button. The output of electric heaters is typically measured in wattage, while gas heaters use BTUs (or British Thermal units). 1500 watts and 5,000 BTUs are the most common outputs for heaters. These heaters are perfect for heating rooms of up to 200 square feet. However, you can purchase options that cover spaces as small as 50 square feet or even as large as 500 square feet.
Unfortunately, nearly 40% of house fires are caused by portable space heaters. This is why it’s so important to purchase an option that includes plenty of safety features that help you prevent fires from starting. Things like auto shut-off functionality, tip over protection, overheating protection and cool-touch housing keep you and your family protected from harm.
- User Friendliness
Like most products, heaters can be incredibly simple and basic or complicated with lots of bells and whistles. Finding the right balance between the two is ultimately a matter of preference. Some usability features you should look for include shut-off timers, remote controls and integrated thermostats.
Which brand of heater is best?`
There is no one best brand of heater, rather, there are a variety of brands that are best for a variety of different applications. Some of the best brands include options like Mr. Heater, Lasko, Pelonis and Dr. Infrared Heater. Other home appliance brands are also worth looking into. These brands include Dyson, De’Longhi and and LifeSmart.
Which type of heater is cheapest to run?
For the most part, infrared heaters are the cheapest type of heater to run. They usually run on the lowest wattage for the amount of heat they provide. Oil-filled heaters are next in the running. They can run for much longer than other kinds, so they make the most out of the electricity they consume.
What is the most efficient electric heater?
The most efficient electric heater on our list is the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-968. It offers an impressive 1500 watts of power with extra-efficient heat production that doesn’t require any more power than is necessary. Pair this power with a high-efficiency blower and you’ve got the most efficient electric heater available.
How much does it cost to run a 1500 watt heater for 24 hours?
Power companies typically charge customers by the number of kilowatt-hours they consume on a given day. If you use a 1500 watt heater for 24 continuous hours, you’d be consuming 36 kilowatt hours. On average, power companies in America charge 13 cents per kilowatt hour. This means that 24 hours of constant usage on a 1500 watt heater will cost you just under $5.
Learn More About Heaters
Heaters have been around in one form or another since the first human inhabited the first home. Heaters come in many forms. Everything from fireplaces, electric fireplaces, electric heating, central heating, electric baseboard, space heaters, radiator heating, the good old furnace, and the boiler to name a few.
Modern home heating really began with Franz San Galli, a Prussian-born Russian who invented the radiator between 1855 and 1857. This was a crucial step toward what would become modern central heating.
Every home heating situation is different and depends on your home and budget. Trust Gadgetreview to bring you the best and latest info on all kinds of heaters. When buying heaters consult our easy to digest buying guides, you will have all of the info that you need to make the right decision for you.
When it's time to buy a space heater to heat up some rooms in your home, you might have some questions. That's okay because we have answers. These portable heaters are a great way to reduce your heating costs by only heating the room that you are currently occupying instead of heating the entire house with warm air.
Safety should be your number one priority when purchasing a space heater. Look for models that have safety features like protective grills that cover the heating elements, automatic sensors so that the heater automatically shuts down if it overheats or tips over. Lastly, make sure that you choose a space heater that is safety certified by Underwriters Laboratories, who makes sure that your heaters safe.
Next, decide what kind of space heater you need.
Convection heaters are the most efficient that you can buy. These models move air over a heated surface to push warmth into the room. That hot air rises, forcing the cold air down. This is how it circulates the air in your room.
Radiant heaters are electric space heaters that use a fan to move the heated air. These heaters are better for small spaces. They often use metal components and a reflector to direct heat into the room.
Gas, Propane and Kerosene or an oilfilled heater are the least safe and so they advise you to not use them in the house. They are more suited for outdoor areas like a sun-room, outdoor patio, a screened porch room or other outdoor situations. They are popular because they can save you as much as half the operating costs when compared to electric heaters. These models use a flame to heat the room, plus they emit carbon monoxide. This is why they must be used with care and never leave an outdoor heater running without a human present.
You can learn everything you need to know about heaters from Gadgetreview.