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The best affordable space heaters, from $36 to $270

We bring you six of the best space heaters for every budget. The cheapest is well below $50.
Written by Cynthia Bowman, Contributor
GiveBest Portable Electric Space Heater | Best affordable space heater overall
GiveBest Portable Electric Space Heater
Best affordable space heater overall
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Dreo 24" Space Heater | Best whole-room space heater
Dreo 24" Space Heater
Best whole-room space heater
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Heat Storm Phoenix HS-1500-PHX, Infrared Space Heater | Best non-drying space heater
Heat Storm Phoenix HS-1500-PHX, Infrared Space Heater
Best non-drying space heater
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Vornado MVH Vortex Heater | Best space heater for moderate heat
Vornado MVH Vortex Heater
Best space heater for moderate heat
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Dreo Radiator Heater | Best space heater replacement for central heating
Dreo Radiator Heater
Best space heater replacement for central heating
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Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU Vent Free Blue Flame Natural Gas Heater | Best electric space heater alternative
Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU Vent Free Blue Flame Natural Gas Heater
Best electric space heater alternative
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Show more (1 item)

Most homes and offices have one spot that's typically draftier than the rest of the environment. Turning up the thermostat may not necessarily solve the issue. Spot heating may be the best solution, especially if you don't want to heat up an entire home while you occupy one space. 

Also: The best smart thermostats

The best space heaters can handle the task efficiently and safely. However, there are many to choose from. This guide to best space heaters offers a shortlist of models worth considering and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Type: Forced-air, ceramic heating | Power: 1,500/750W | Dimensions: 7.9" x 6.2" x 10.2" | Weight: 3.20 lbs | Features: thermostat adjustable between 0℉ to 158℉, coverage of up to 200 square feet, tip-over switch, overheating sensor.

GiveBest's portable electric space heater is affordable and lightweight enough to quickly and efficiently heat up a room. It can quickly eliminate cold spots at a little over three pounds anywhere there's an electrical outlet available. 

The ceramic heating elements safely warm up the area without becoming overly hot. In addition, tip and overheating sensors can shut off the unit to avoid fires.


  • Portable with integrated carry handle
  • Integrated high-speed fan
  • Quiet operation


  • Small heating area
  • Lower 750W setting blows cold air from side

Type: Forced-air, oscillating, ceramic heating | Power: Three settings of high (1,500W), low (900W) and eco mode | Dimensions: 7.8" x 7.8" x 24" | Weight: 6.82 lbs | Features: Thermostat adjustable between 41℉ to 95℉, coverage of up to 200 square feet, tip-over switch, overheating sensor, remote control, 1 to 12-hour timer

Dreo's tower-style space heater is the ideal choice when an entire room could use warm, inviting heat. The model oscillates up to 70" and blows air up to 10 feet per second to change the ambient temperature in a room in as little as two seconds. Although the space heater is larger than many of the models in this guide, it's incredibly quiet with an available eco mode to keep your electric bill affordable. In addition, you'll forget the heater is even running. It's the quietest setting that outputs roughly 40db of sound, described as the same amount of noise you'd hear in a quiet library.


  • Warms a small to medium room in just two seconds
  • Oscillates to cover more area evenly
  • Programmable timer for heating times between one and twelve hours


  • The unit may be too large for some small spaces
  • The actual heating element is smaller than the photo provided

Type: Infrared heat | Power: 750/1,500W | Dimensions: 18.75" x 4.5" x 12.75" | Weight: 8 lbs | Features: LED thermostat display, 8-hour timer.

Most of the best space heaters work by blowing or radiating hot air in a room. While the traditional method may be effective, it can also be extremely drying and inefficient. An infrared space heater such as Heat Storm's Phoenix model transfers heat to objects, such as someone sitting near it -- without heating the air or the unit itself. Since the air isn't heated, humidity is preserved to keep you comfortable. 

Don't let the gentle nature of this infrared heating unit fool you -- the model can output up to 5200 BTU. Best of all, it uses significantly less energy than a standard heater for a more efficient way to stay warm and cozy.


  • More efficient heating warms objects and not the air
  • It does not affect a room's humidity level
  • Can be wall-mounted or freestanding using the included legs


  • Lack of extra features such as remotes, adjustments and sensors
  • Most effective in very small areas

Type: Forced-air heating | Power: Three heat settings (750/1,125/1,500W) | Dimensions: 9.2" x 10.4" x 10.65" | Weight: 2.18 lbs | Featiures: Adjustable thermostat, tip-over protection, automatic safety shut-off.

Vornado is well-known for its powerful room fans that create a vortex of air. The company's heater combines its patented air circulation with a heating element to distribute warmth quickly. What makes the Vornado MVH Vortex heater unique from other space heaters is how it circulates heat to warm the room. Instead of an intensely-focused hotspot that may cause you to feel like you're overheating, the Vornado carries warm air throughout the room, similar to a whole-house, forced-air system.


  • Gentle heating with no hotspots
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Extremely lightweight and portable


  • Only effective in very small spaces

Type: Radiant/convection, oil-filled | Power: Four settings up to 1,500W | Dimensions: 7.5 x 19 x 26" | Weight: 2.18 lbs | Features: 24-hour timer, remote control.

Dreo's radiator heater is filled with oil to convect heat more effectively. The oil is contained within the unit to maintain an even heat temperature and never needs to be replaced or refilled. The heater can warm up to 300 square feet of area, making it a great solution for larger rooms. You can even program it to switch on before you arrive home so that your arrival is more comfortable.


  • Eco mode helps you save on your utility bill without compromising comfort

  • Four casters and an integrated handle make it easy to move the unit around

  • Heat radiates from all sides of the unit


  • No app or wireless control available

Type: Gas-powered forced air heater, vent-free, convection heat | Dimensions:  23.75" x 11.25" x 27" | Weight: 26.8 lbs | Features: 30,000 BTU warms up to 1,000 sq. ft., low oxygen detection and shut off.

Space heaters can be a lifesaver in case of an extreme cold spell or to warm a cold and drafty room. However, using one regularly can drive up your electric bill. Mr. Heater's model uses natural gas instead of electricity to warm a room. It could come in handy if there is a power outage since your unit could continue to run. Plus, the blue flame can provide some ambiance to the room you choose to warm. 


  • Uses natural gas instead of electricity
  • Can warm extra-large spaces of up to 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Can stand on included legs or be wall mounted


  • Not for bathrooms and bedrooms

Which affordable space heater is right for you?

Deciding on what space heater is best for you depends on a few points. Start with the size of the area you're in search of heating. You can use one of the smaller, more portable models if you plan on heating a small space such as a bathroom or home office. For larger areas, radiator-style units or oscillating, fan-style heaters that evenly distribute warm air in a room are good options. 

Besides an area's size, you'll need to decide on how much you'll use a space heater. You may want to go with a lighter-weight style that's easy to move from room to room. Many space heaters come with an integrated handle that makes it possible to pick up and take with you to use at your office or in a drafty area of your home.

Lastly, consider the kind of space heater and how it can impact your home's environment. Most space heaters can dry the skin considerably because they heat up the air enough to rob it of its moisture. Infrared or radiator-style space heaters deliver gentler, more targeted heating that won't affect your room's humidity level.

How did we choose these affordable space heaters?

There are many crucial factors you should consider when choosing from the best space heaters available. To bring you a small selection of the best models, we looked at the best-selling units and what makes them a success. 

  • Safety: First and foremost, safety is an important factor. All the models included have sensors that detect if the heater is in danger of overheating or tipped over. In case either occurs, the unit will shut off immediately. The units selected were also chosen for their materials, with priority given to models that had cool-touch surfaces that reduce the risk of accidental burns.
  • Price: The units chosen were comparatively low in price to competitors without skimping on safety and quality. The space heaters reviewed may be relatively inexpensive, but will likely bring you years of enjoyment.
  • Heat capacity: Our picks for best space heaters can all quickly warm a space. However, the size of the room can affect heating capacity. Some space heaters are best for small spaces such as a bathroom or under your desk. Others are capable of heating a large room. Heat capacity has a lot to do with how well the heater works. We chose models that produced and delivered more heat than competing units.
  • Energy efficiency: Space heaters with a thermostat and adjustable settings tend to be more energy-efficient since they allow you to adjust how long they run to maintain the level of heat you need. Some heaters include timers that can be set to shut off after a specific amount of time. These features can ultimately save you money on your utility bills. 
  • Special features: We considered space heaters that had at least a couple of extra features such as a remote control or smartphone app to add to the convenience of running one. 
  • Sound level: Most individuals expect to use their space heater in a bedroom, nursery or home office. Some of the most effective heaters have fans or blowers that could be noisy. A heater that runs quietly is one of the main criteria we used to narrow down the list of best space heaters.
  • Customer reviews: Reviews from existing customers can provide you with a wealth of information on the actual quality and function of a space heater. We choose models with the highest number of ratings and reviews.

Is it safe to leave a space heater on all night?

Most space heaters are designed to run quietly and reliably behind the scenes at any hour. They're also safe to sleep near as long as you follow the manufacturer's recommendations. For extra safety, be sure to place the space heater away from objects that could overheat and catch fire, such as curtains, paperwork or books.

It's perfectly fine to run a space heater all night as long as it's not working hard at keeping a room warm. If you'd like some extra peace of mind, many space heaters come with a timer you can set to shut off automatically. Simply select the heat level you'd like to maintain and set the timer to shut off after an hour or more so you don't forget to turn it off.

What's the difference between a forced air and infrared space heater?

A forced-air heater is the most common type available. It warms the air and often includes a fan to blow the warm air throughout the room for even heat distribution. Such heaters effectively heat the room but can dry the air, causing issues such as static and dry skin. 

An infrared heater works by transferring radiant heat to objects instead of heating the air itself. A room's humidity level isn't as affected since the air is not changed.

What is the best place for a space heater?

Heat rises. Therefore, the best place to put a space heater is on the floor. If you're using a space heater in an office space, placing it under your desk or on the floor near you is the ideal spot as long as there aren't any obstructions or flammable items. The heat will slowly rise to warm you. For maximum efficiency, running a ceiling fan on the slowest setting in a clockwise direction in winter can help push rising, warmer air back down into the space.

What space heater is best for a larger room?

Even the cheapest space heater can usually do a great job at heating up a small space such as a bathroom or small office space. However, heating a larger room may be harder. You'll probably need to purchase a space heater that can output at least 1,500 Watts. A space heater with a fan could help push out air further in the room. 

However, even space heaters with oscillating blowers may not effectively warm a larger room enough, especially if the space is drafty. Address your insulation issues first to take care of drafts and cold spots, and consider investing in a radiator-style heater or an infrared version to keep you warm.

Are there space heater alternatives?

If you're looking for a portable option to temporarily warm up an area, a space heater is the most effective option. Other alternatives include an electric mattress pad or electric blanket but they don't provide the same reach you'd get from a space heater.

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