Best Space Heater Reviews: Portable Convenience for Smaller Spaces
There is nothing worse than working in a space that refuses to warm to an acceptable temperature during the winter. This is especially true when taking advantage of outdoor buildings and sheds that need a little help to take the chill off and make your working experience that much more comfortable. You may also find that you need a space heater in order to provide enough warmth to greenhouse areas or to keep your vehicles in better working order.
If you only need to heat a small space, wonder what is the best space heater for a garage, or are simply looking to provide a bit more warmth to the area you are working within- then a space heater may be worth looking into. Although technically, by definition, a space heater could fall under the category of any type of heater that heats a specific space, this article is focused on more supplemental heating units. If you are wondering what sort of larger, garage (or other indoor space) heaters, or other gas or portable choices we recommend, follow the links provided!
Table of Contents
- Radiant and Infrared
- Ceramic Fan-Forced Heaters
- Micathermic Panel Heaters
- Fuel Burning Radiators/Heaters
- Why do you want a space heater?
- How much space do you want to heat?
- Where would you place your heater?
- Geek-2016 Portable Electric Ceramic Heater with Warm & Cool Fan
- Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Oscillating Heater
- DeLonghi Safe Heat ComforTemp Portable Oil-Filled Radiator
- Mr. Heater Buddy Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater
- Duraflame Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove
For the sake of this article, I am going to focus on smaller, more portable choices that are not meant to be mounted into a permanent location or connected to a central gas or propane line.
As mentioned, a space heater aids in providing supplemental heat to your space. This may work as a stand-alone unit for small enclosed rooms, or even in conjunction with larger, more fixed units that are not quite powerful enough for what you need. Some may be the best space heater for a garage rather than investing in a larger unit, while another may be the best choice to keep your hands or feet warm when working at a workbench.
These are self- contained units that are often electrical in nature, but may also work with a fuel source as well. Plus, they can help cut heating costs in areas that are difficult to heat since you can control when they are on and off, and use them only when needed. Although there have been many safety concerns about their use in the past (described below), new models are sleek and safe in design- making them popular heating choices.
Space heaters are affordable choices that help in areas that receive inadequate heat or provide a warmer space within which you can work in. Because they are usually smaller in nature, and often very portable, they are obvious choices for temporary heating solutions in a variety of different situations.
Space heaters can work in many different building types, and although some require better ventilation than others, are considered safe, efficient heat sources. They are built to be used for shorter periods of time, and therefore heat fairly quickly to provide you the comfort you need when you need it.
Propane, kerosene, and diesel fuels are all used in various types of heaters for efficient outdoor heating solutions. Depending on the type of heater you choose you will need to consider ventilation and as well as the safety issues surrounding them. They are a great source of heat, however, and are well worth considering for outdoor spaces.
Various space heaters have different hazards to be aware of. Exposed heating elements, hot surfaces, and flame are the reason to provide plenty of room for your heater to sit within to avoid any sort of fire hazard.Fuel powered heaters also have the added concern of carbon monoxide and require good ventilation. Also – space heaters are only as good as the insulation of the room they are within. If a room is drafty, or poorly insulated, then they may not be as effective.
Despite this, space heaters are considered a safe heating choice with proper use and care. They are used in a variety of situations and are considered effective and efficient overall for heating small areas, or providing supplemental heat during cold winter months.
Why do you want a space heater?
What exactly is your reasoning for a space heater? Are you looking to stay warm while you work, or do you need to supplement already existing heat? Do you need to provide added warmth to a greenhouse on cloudy days?
The reasoning behind your search for a space heater may be long and varied, but you need to consider its use in order to better gauge the effectiveness of the models you are considering, and the heating capabilities it has. An uninsulated garage, for example, will not heat as efficiently as an insulated one.
How much space do you want to heat?
Where would you place your heater?
- Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 8 inches
- Weight: 2.5 lbs
- Heating Capacity: 50 to 125 square feet
- Warranty: 1 year
This portable heater is a classic electric ceramic that is so popular in small rooms, offices, and workspaces. The sleek design is a bit more advanced than more traditional styles, is only 5 x 5 x 8 inches in dimension, yet boasts a whole string of cool features to provide you with heat where you need it. Not only will it shut off if it becomes overheated at 235 degrees, it will switch to a lower setting at 140 degrees. Plus, it has an automatic shut off if tipped over.
Adjustable settings allow you to set the products specifically to fan only for cool air circulation, or either low or high heat settings at either 450 watt or 950-watt coverage. This has the capacity to heat approximately 50 to 125 square feet respectively. The heater also has a 60-degree oscillation setting you can take advantage of to better direct heat into the space you are working within.
- Runs quiet
- Works well to supplement heat in a small room
- Safe to use on carpet
- Button defects upon arrival in small amount of products – covered by warranty
- Operator’s manual not helpful
- Dimensions: 8.25 x 8.25 x 16 inches
- Weight: 10 lbs
- Heating Capacity: 175 square feet
- Warranty: 3 year
As a ceramic heater, this product heats quickly and puts out consistent heat. The design is made to fit nicely into the decor of a room, office, or workspace, and provide a respective style as well as effective use. Like most heaters, this one also has some built-in safety features such as a 7 hour shut off timer and overheat shut off. It also has a few other neat features to make it convenient for your use.
High heat, low heat, and thermostat controlled settings are part of this heater, as are two quiet settings. It also oscillates to get more warmth to where you need it. It has an electronic touch operation, plus comes with a remote control for heat and fan settings, as well as oscillation control. The design is also sturdy as the unit sits within a wide base iron frame to warm up to 175 square feet with a 1500 watt output.
- Very efficient and long lasting
- Runs quiet
- Much more powerful than rated
- Sturdy, but no tip over shut off
- Red light stays on when running
- Plastic off-gassing from the unit in some cases
- Dimensions: 14 x 6 x 25 inches
- Weight: 23.5 lbs
- Heating Capacity: ~400 square feet
- Warranty: 7 years
This electric, oil-filled hybrid radiator space heater takes the best of both world to produce an efficient, safe, and clean heat for medium to large rooms. The circulation of oil through the radiator provides a consistent, powerful heat, and since the oil reservoir is sealed, you never have to worry about refilling it. Because of this it is highly efficient and can warm a much larger room with a lower wattage than just an electric heater can.
With a built-in thermostat, adjustable settings, thermal cutoffs, and anti-freeze settings, this is a unit you can depend on for years to come. It also has a low surface temperature. Making it ideal to place in areas where you will be working and moving as it is not a hazard to brush up against, although it needs at least a 3-foot clearance from a surface when running on high. As a stand-alone heater or supplemental heater, this radiator stands only 25 inches tall, and 14 inches wide with a depth of 6 inches, making it compact enough for a variety of different spaces. Plus it has wheels for easy movement.
- Helps save in heating costs
- Runs very quiet and efficient
- Very lightweight and portable
- Off-gassing smell with initial use
- Flimsy wheels
- Hard to see thermostat in low light
- Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 14 inches
- Weight: 9.5 lbs
- Heating Capacity: 225 square feet
- Warranty: 1 year
This portable heating choice is powered by a 1 lb propane tank and provides consistent, clean, and safe radiant heat. With variable settings, you can either put out 4000 or 9000 BTU/hr to heat up to 225 square feet or larger depending on your needs. It has a low-oxygen shut-off, and tip over safety shut off to avoid fires, plus the high-temperature grill keeps the heating elements from coming in contact with any surfaces.
Fold down handles, a swivel-out regulator, and easy, leak-free connector to the propane tank makes this convenient and safe to use even within indoor spaces. It also can be hooked up to a larger propane tank for a longer run time if needed. Shock absorption construction makes this a true portable heater for easy transportation for durable use and long life, and since this can be used literally anywhere as it does not need an electrical source- which makes it handy in any situation.
- Safe enough to use in a tent
- Incredibly efficient
- Great safety features
- Exposed flame in an element, although well protected
- May not work well above 7000 feet elevation
- Dimensions: 13.1 x 24 x 23 inches
- Weight: 28.5 lbs
- Heating Capacity: 100 square feet
- Warranty: 3 years
It’s worth providing here another example of the technology behind space heaters. This electric powered infrared heater is styled to fit into your decor as a wood burning stove – a popular choice for garage workplaces, outdoor offices, and chilly sunrooms come the winter months. Although slightly larger than many others we showcased, this is wholly portable and weighs less than 30 lbs. All you need is a 120-volt electrical outlet to heat a room up to 1000 square feet.
Made to mimic the glow of natural burning logs, this infrared quartz heat helps maintain the natural humidity in the air to avoid the dryness often experienced in the colder months. Both temperature and flame can be adjusted manually or by remote, plus you can set a timer to have it turn off automatically after so long. It also is completely cool to the touch, making it perfect for when pets or children are present.
- Structurally sound
- Provides consistent heat
- Quiet fan
- Minimal difference between flame settings
- Controls behind door
- May not heat 1000 square feet effectively
Hopefully, this article has provided a good example of the types of portable heaters you may want to consider if you have been looking for something dependable and useful for your smaller spaces. Whether it is an electric choice, fuel powered, or a hybrid of types, there are many styles from which to pick that fit your personal preferences and heating needs.
It was pretty difficult to pick a favorite from the above 5 as each presented in this article can have such a variable amount of uses, but the DeLonghi Safe Heat ComforTemp Portable Oil-Filled Radiator is a favorite since it is can be used in a variety of situations. It is limited to where you have electricity, but it is efficient, large enough to heat a good sized space, but also portable and compact to stay out of the way.
If you have any questions about any of the models presented or have a favorite you feel should be added to our list, please comment below! And, as always, please share!