Best portable electric heater 2023 - Our top picks

If you're searching for the best portable electric heater to warm up your home, we've got you covered right here.

As the winter months start to kick in, you might be thinking of the best ways to keep warm in your home when you don't have access to a central heating system or you simply don't need the heating on in every single room.

Well, thankfully, we have a great solution for that: portable electric heaters. These little appliances allow you to concentrate on heating whichever area of your home you need to, rather than having to heat your entire house or apartment.

These types of heaters can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes - you can get appliances small enough to fit on your desk, similar to some of the best USB fans used during the summer months, while others are multifunctional and come with programmable timers.

In any case, there's bound to be something here for you. Our list includes ceramic and fan heaters (or a combination of the two), which are generally regarded as two of the most efficient types of heating used in portable electric heaters.

Most are also 1,500W, which should deliver enough power to heat any room. The only exception on the list is a 500W device, as it's designed to perch on your desk to face you and offer more direct warmth.

And, last but not least, all of the products we've selected come with safety features, such as overheat protection and tip-over protection, which are vital in preventing any accidents such as electrical fires.

We've picked out these portable heaters based on these specs, general reviews, and any other features we think make them worth considering.

So, let's take a closer look at our top picks.

Best portable electric heater

Best portable electric heater - Vornado AVH10

Best portable electric heater - Vornado white climate control heater
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Credit: Vornado
Brand: Vornado | Maximum output: 1500W | Weight: 4.8lbs | Dimensions: 11.7 x 9.3 x 12 inches | Heat settings: 2 plus fan only option | Additional features: Auto climate control, cool-touch exterior, tip-over protection, automatic safety shut-off system

The Vornado AVH10 is definitely worth considering and comes with a whole host of convenient features that make it a great portable heater.

Firstly, it uses a special kind of airflow system called Vortex Action, which is designed to quickly and gently heat all the air in the room to ensure you get the best possible heating efficiency.

And, alongside that, it has two quiet heat settings, as well as a fan-only option and adjustable thermostat so you can change the temperature to whatever you desire.

Read more: Best energy-efficient heater

The low setting gives out 750W of power, while the high provides you with a maximum output of 1500W.

Plus, it comes with automatic climate control. Essentially, this means it can sense just how much heat and circulation is needed in order to maintain an ideal temperature and it will adjust itself accordingly.

As with any good-quality modern electric heater, this product also comes with various different safety features to stop any dangerous accidents from happening, including a potential electrical fire.

These include a cool-touch exterior to prevent burns, tip-over protection to switch the device off if it accidentally falls over, and an automatic safety shut-off system if it overheats.

Best portable electric heater for a bathroom - Lasko CD08200

Best portable electric heater - Lasko bathroom heater
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Credit: Lasko
Brand: Lasko | Maximum output: 1500W | Weight: 4lbs | Dimensions: 7.65 x 6.25 x 6.25 inches | Heat settings: 2 plus Simple Heat 1-hour timer | Additional features: ALCI safety plug, Automatic Overheat Protection, cool-touch exterior

If you need a heater for the bathroom so you can keep warm when you're brushing your teeth in the morning or getting out of the shower, then this Lasko heater might be the best choice for you.

The reason it's such a great option for your bathroom is thanks to its safety features, in particular the ALCI safety plug. This is a device that turns off the power to the heater in a fraction of a second if water gets on it and it short-circuits.

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Further safety features include Automatic Overheat Protection and a self-regulating ceramic heating element to prevent it from becoming too hot, as well as an exterior that stays cool so you don't burn yourself if you touch it.

Despite being fairly compact, this heater should give off a lot of heat for its size, with a max output of 1500W. This means it should effectively heat up a room of around 150 square feet; more than enough for almost any bathroom.

It has two steady settings - low and high - as well as a Simple Heat option, which will produce one hour of high heat to warm up your bathroom (or any other room) before turning itself off. A great option for chilly mornings before you get in the shower.

And, because it's a fan-powered ceramic heater, it should warm up fairly quickly, as it uses the fan to push the heat around the room.

Best portable electric heater for a caravan - Honeywell HHF360V

Best portable electric heater - Honeywell black surround heat heater
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Credit: Honeywell
Brand: Honeywell | Maximum output: 1500W | Weight: 3lbs | Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 11.5 inches | Heat settings: 2 plus adjustable thermostat | Additional features: 360 degree all-round heat output, 2x overheat protection, 360 degree tip-over switch, auto-off timer option

This Honeywell heater is a great choice if you want to heat up any small to medium-sized room you have in your home, or if you want to take it on your camping holiday, with its 1,500W of power.

Perhaps the best thing about it is that it offers 360-degree surround heat, meaning you can place it in the middle of a room and the fan will provide warm airflow in every direction.

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It comes with a high mode and a low mode but also has an adjustable thermostat so you can change it to a temperature of your choosing.

It has all of the expected safety features, too, with 2x Overheat Protection, 360 Degree Tip-Over Protection and a Cool Touch Plastic Housing.

The first two protections mentioned can prevent a possible electrical fire because they shut down the heater as soon as it overheats or accidentally falls over. And the cool exterior means you won't burn yourself, so you should be well-protected with all of these features.

Additionally, it comes with an auto-off timer option, so if you want to leave it on for a certain period of time. You can simply set the timer and it will turn itself off when the timer has finished.

This can provide an extra layer of safety so it's not running for long periods of time when you're not home or it could even save you money if you usually forget to turn it off yourself.

Best multipurpose portable electric heater - Lasko FH500

Best portable electric heater - Lasko tower heater and fan
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Credit: Lasko
Brand: Lasko | Maximum output: 1500W | Weight: 12.5lbs | Dimensions: 12.5 x 12.5 x 41.88 inches | Heat settings: 3 plus fan mode and fan + heat mode | Additional features: Tip-Over Safety Switch, Overheat Protection

This thin tower heater by Lasko is a 2-in-1 heater and fan, meaning you can use it all-year round, no matter what the season. So, if you're all about efficiency, this might be a good option to consider.

It has 3 heat settings (high, medium, and low) to choose from, with the highest output being 1,500W. This means it should be able to easily heat almost any sized room.

Meanwhile, the top half of the heater has a fully-functioning fan with four different speeds (high, medium, low, and super low) to be used in the summer for cooling down.

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And, to top it off, the heating and fan systems can work in tandem with each other, which essentially adds another heating mode to the appliance. This can be done by activating the high heat setting alongside the super low fan mode, which will use fan-powered delivery to heat your room faster.

It also comes with safety features, including a Tip-Over Safety Switch and Overheat Protection. These will ensure the appliance turns off in the event of falling over or overheating.

It's worth mentioning, too, that, although tall, the heater has a very slim design, which ultimately means it shouldn't take up too much space in any given room. It also has a built-in carry handle to make it ease to move around.

Best portable electric heater for a desk - Amazon Basics 500-Watt Mini Heater

Best portable electric heater - Amazon Basics black desk heater
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Credit: Amazon
Brand: Amazon Basics | Maximum output: 500W | Weight: 1.43lbs | Dimensions: 5.87 x 3.2 x 6 inches | Heat settings: 1 | Additional features: Tip-Over Protection

Are you looking for something super small to sit on your desk so you can enjoy some close-up warmth while you work from home? Well, this Amazon Basics heater could be your answer.

Its output is 500W, which is less than other products on the list, but for a desk fan, this should be plenty of power.

This is because it's designed to be facing you whilst perched on your desk, allowing it to emit its heat directly towards you from only a small distance away, rather than needing to heat up an entire room to keep you warm.

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Because the device is ceramic, it should heat up within seconds and will therefore warm you up pretty quickly - very handy for starting work on a bitterly cold morning.

It's also available in four colours (black, blue, pink, and white), which means you can tailor it to fit in with the rest of your decor so it doesn't look out of place.

It has a sturdy base, so shouldn't fall over, but if it does, it comes with tip-over protection to ensure it turns itself off as soon as it falls to eliminate the risk of an electrical fire occurring.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below we've given you a little helping hand by answering some of the most frequently asked questions that people have about portable electric heaters.

What is better: a fan heater or a ceramic heater?

We'd say a ceramic heater is better than a traditional fan heater because it heats up quicker and tends to come with more safety features.

It could potentially save you money as well because you won't have to keep the heater on for too long if it heats up your room quickly, and its safety features should provide you with some extra peace of mind.

But a fan heater still has its merits; it can heat a room very effectively and is generally a more affordable choice than a ceramic heater. Some do actually come with safety features, too, but you'll have to make sure you double-check before you buy.

How big of a room does a 1,500-watt heater heat?

As a general rule of thumb, you'll need 10 watts of power for every square foot area in the room you want to heat. Therefore, a 1,500-watt heater should be able to heat an area of around 150 square feet.

However, it's worth keeping in mind that the characteristics of the room itself can affect the performance of the heater.

For instance, it won't heat an open-plan room as well as a closed room with shut doors, and it won't warm up a badly insulated room as effectively as it will a well-insulated room.

These are all factors worth keeping in mind before you buy.

Which is better: a gas or electric portable heater?

Gas and electric heaters are generally suited to different needs, so the answer to this question largely depends on why you want a portable heater in the first place.

Gas heaters tend to be better for outdoor use, for example, if you want to use one in your garden to sit outside in winter, while electric ones work better indoors to heat up an area of your home. In fact, some gas heaters aren't deemed safe to use inside.

It's also a question of money, as gas devices are generally cheaper to run - they'll be the better option for you if you're looking to save some pennies.

However, electric heaters are more environmentally friendly and simpler to use; all you have to do is plug them in, whereas with gas appliances you have to change the gas bottle/canister every time it runs out.

Ultimately, which one is better will come down to what you intend to use it for.

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