Are you fed up of cold showers or washing your hands in freezing cold water? Well, adding one of the best water heaters to your home might just be the solution you're looking for.
Whether you're replacing your current appliance or need to purchase one for your new home, investing in the right water heater can be tricky, especially when you consider the vast number of options to choose from.
To try and simplify things for you, we'd suggest the main areas to consider are whether you want a tank or tankless heater and whether you want something that will heat the water in your entire home or just for a single fixture.
When it comes to the tank vs tankless debate, each has its own merits. Tank heaters can provide you with a more consistent flow rate and will typically heat up faster, while tankless options can give you an endless supply of hot water so you don't have to worry about it ever going cold on you.
For our list, we've selected a varied range of capable products. Most are electric heaters, which tend to be rather efficient, but we've also touched on one gas option as well, as they are generally cheaper to run.
So, let's dive in and take a closer look at our selection of water heaters which we've selected based on their specs, price, reviews, and any other unique features that we feel make them worth investing in.
Best water heater
- Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater
- EcoSmart Water Heater
- Stiebel Eltron 230628
- Rinnai RL75iN Natural Gas Water Heater
- Stiebel Eltron 235089
Best water heater - Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater
We're kicking things off with this Stiebel Eltron water heater which appears to be a great all-around pick for heating up the water everywhere in your house.
The tankless heater comes with a technology called Advanced Flow Control, uniquely created by Stiebel Eltron. It's designed to automatically maintain the water temperature, providing you with an endless flow of hot water.
Despite being powerful enough to provide endless hot water to your entire house, according to the manufacturer, it's actually quite compact. This means you should find a place for it in any sized room.
It also comes with an eco-friendly feature known as auto-modulation, which means it can automatically reduce its energy output whenever you require less hot water throughout the day.
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It offers a water temperature range of 68°F to 140°F. However, you can easily select preset temperature options using the electronic switch on the heater in order to change the temperature of the water supply.
Warranties are also an important part of buying a water heater because it's an expensive acquisition and you'll probably want some peace of mind that you'll get your money back or a replacement heater if anything goes wrong.
For this reason, the manufacturer offers a 7-year leakage warranty, in case the heater incurs a sudden leak, as well as a 3-year parts warranty if anything breaks.
All in all, we'd say this seems like an excellent all-round choice of water heater to opt for.
Best energy-efficient water heater - EcoSmart Water Heater
Are you seeking an energy-efficient water heater to try and save some money on your energy bills? If that’s the case, then this EcoSmart water heater might be the best option for you.
The manufacturer claims that this heater is 99.8% energy-efficient and that you can save up to 60% on your water heating costs, which if true, is pretty impressive if you’re looking for effective ways to save money.
Because the heater is tankless, it means you should have an endless supply of hot water, so you don’t need to worry about it suddenly turning freezing cold when you’re in the middle of a relaxing shower, for instance.
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It also comes with self-modulating technology, which means it should automatically use less energy whenever it can by reducing the flow rate.
And you should find it only turns on when you’re actually using the hot water, remaining inactive the rest of the time. Again, this will likely help make it more cost-effective.
Another benefit of this water heater is that it’s quite small and can be mounted on your wall, which should save you space, especially if you'd ideally have this located in a smaller room.
Overall, we’d say this appears to be an excellent energy-efficient solution to heating your water.
Best water heater for faucet - Stiebel Eltron 230628
Back to Stiebel Eltron now and its 230628 water heater which, on the surface, appears to be the best option around that is specifically meant for delivering hot water to your faucet.
The heater can be used to provide hot water to any type of sink and, because it’s tankless, you will likely find it stays consistently hot throughout the day, meaning you don’t have to worry about washing your hands in freezing cold water.
Its temperature range between 86 and 140 is also pretty impressive, plus you can easily set whatever temperature you want it to be at using the control dial on the heater itself.
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It also comes with advanced microprocessor technology, which should ensure the water doesn’t deviate from the temperature you set it at, even if the flow rate decreases.
It also handily comes with a three-year parts warranty, so rest assured, you should be covered if anything needs replacing or if any of its internal parts break or stop functioning within three years of you buying it.
All in all, this should be a great water heater to use for either your kitchen or bathroom sink.
Best gas water heater - Rinnai RL75iN Natural Gas Water Heater
If you’d prefer a gas water heater instead of an electric one, then we’d say the Rinnai Natural Gas Water Heater seems like a pretty good option to consider.
You should never run out of hot water with this tankless device, and the best part is that you can use it on five different fixtures at once. As a result, you should find it's ideal for heating up the water throughout your entire home, even if you have a large house or apartment.
This also means that, not only can you use the heater as a water supply for your faucets or showers, but you can also connect it to your washing machine or dishwasher too.
When you purchase this product, you can choose between a 12, five, or one-year residential warranty, which means you should be covered if the heater fails or any of its parts break within the time period you choose.
Design-wise, it appears to be engineered to save you space, as it can be wall-mounted and, in terms of size, it's actually quite compact.
You also have the option here of buying an additional external pump, which, according to Rinnai, should work with their ThermaCirc360 technology to provide you with faster hot water.
Overall, this heater seems like a reliable option if you’d rather have a gas-operated heater.
Best water heater with a tank - Stiebel Eltron 235089
Finally, we come to the third Stiebel Eltron pick on our list - the Stiebel Eltron 235089.
This particular heater has a 6-gallon tank which, Stiebel Eltron boasts, is designed to "put hot water right where you need it." In other words, it's intended to heat up the water of one particular source, like your bathroom faucet, for instance, rather than many different fixtures at once.
The company claims that using the tank (or multiple tanks) in this way should minimise water and energy usage, and can deliver hot water faster because it's plumbed closer to the source.
The tank is also said to be well-insulated to ensure the water in the tank stays hot at all times. This should avoid the heater needing to use even more energy to constantly warm up the water.
There's a convenient thermostat dial on the heater, too, so you can easily adjust the temperature to your liking, anywhere from 86°F to 140°F.
So, if you'd rather invest in a water heater with a tank, this device might be the right choice for you... we'd definitely say it seems to be worth considering.
Frequently Asked Questions
Buying the right water heater can be tricky at times and can often lead to a ton of questions. Don't worry though, we've answered some of the most common queries below.
What is the difference between tankless water heaters and water heaters with a tank?
Water heaters with a tank use a storage tank to heat and hold water in until it needs to be used, which allows them to deliver hot water more quickly than their tankless counterparts.
They also tend to have a more consistent flow rate, meaning you can deliver hot water to multiple sources without the flow being affected.
Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, don’t come with a storage tank…instead they use high-powered burners to quickly heat water as it flows through a heat exchanger, delivering hot water directly to your shower or faucet.
And if you’re looking for an endless supply of hot water rather than a consistent flow rate, tankless heaters are the way to go.
It’s also worth mentioning that water heaters with a tank are often cheaper and easier to install, whereas tankless heaters typically cost more and tend to require professional installation.
What is the average lifespan of a water heater?
Generally speaking, water heaters can have a lifespan of between six and 12 years, with electric heaters usually being able to last around two or three years longer than gas heaters. This is because electricity typically provides cleaner operation than natural gas does.
A heater’s lifespan also depends on how much it gets used and whether it has a tank or is tankless.
Using large amounts of water means the heater has to work harder and therefore corrodes faster, while heaters with a tank tend not to last as long because the water sitting in the tank can corrode it and leave more sediment behind.