Whenever fall and winter come around, you may start to find that your central heating is just not quite sufficient for your home heating needs anymore. Sometimes, the cost of cranking up the central heating can be prohibitive and some homeowners inevitably turn to space heaters to add a supplemental source of heating.
Infrared heaters are a popular choice among many homeowners because of their heating efficiency. The radiation from the infrared waves is able to deliver targeted heat rapidly, warming you up almost immediately making them one of the most efficient electric heaters for home use. They are great for zonal heating but less so for larger rooms. Due to its mechanism of action, the heat also dissipates rapidly once the heater is switched off.
To choose a good infrared heater that can deliver on all fronts, you will need features that can compensate for these flaws and we have already done the homework on that.
Below you will find a list of five infrared heaters from reputable international brands, all geared towards rapid and even heating with their pros and cons clearly listed.
- Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater, 1500 Watt – Best overall infrared heater
- AmazonBasics Portable Eco-Smart Space Heater – Best energy efficient infrared heater
- Duraflame Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove – Most visually appealing infrared heater
- Lifesmart Element Large Room Infrared Heater – Best portable infrared heater
- Heat Storm Deluxe Mounted Space Infrared Wall Heater – Most wall mounted infrared heater
|Dr Infrared||1500W||50℉ – 86℉||No||3 years|
|AmazonBasics||1500W||65℉ – 85℉||Yes||1 year|
|Duraflame||1500W||62℉ – 82℉||No||1 year|
|Lifesmart||1500W||50℉ – 90℉||Yes||1 year|
|Heat Storm||1000W||40℉ – 99℉||Yes||1 year|
You’ll also find a buyers’ guide where you can read our rationale when deciding how to rate these products, and hopefully you can use it yourself when making future purchases.
In a Hurry? This Is Our Winner!
Best Overall Infrared Space Heater
The Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater with Humidifier 968H measures 13 x 11 x 16″ and weighs 24 lbs. It features a dual heating system of infrared radiation and convection, making it a natural choice for heating in large rooms. With tip-over and overheat protection, this heater also delivers on the safety aspect. It also has an in-built thermostat that allows for temperature ranging from 50 to 86 deg F. This heater was also our best space heater in large room in another review.
What we love about Dr Infrared Heater DR968H is the awesome humidifier that comes inbuilt into the heater. This prevents our poor skin from drying out during the harsh and dry winter season. Their heat output is also top range and has been shown to be 60% more powerful than other similar models of similar wattage. Dr Infrared’s advanced heating system enables greater heat production without using any more power with a high-efficiency blower. That sounds like energy efficiency to me.
In terms of the humidification capabilities, the water source is in the form of a water bottle that can be attached to the rear side of the heater. The maximum capacity of the water bottle is 500ml and humidification can last about 8 hours. The manufacturers have recommended that users only use this 500ml bottle that is provided but we have tried using a larger 1 litre bottle and it worked out fine as well. It doubled the humidification duration we got but try this at your own risk!
For the dual functionality, the humidifier can be turned on and off at user discretion so it allows for energy savings when you don’t require the humidification. Also, the humidifier shuts off automatically when the water bottle is empty.
In terms of ease of adding water, the humidifier is attached to the rear of the heater and it might be a little difficult to reach for when you would like to change water. You would also need to remove the whole humidifier unit and unscrew the bottle to add water. I would say it does get a little fiddly for the water change. Also, distilled water is required for the humidification according to manufacturer’s recommendation.
- Contains in-built humidifier to prevent drying of skin during winter
- Blower is whisper quiet at 39 decibels
- Easy portability with wheels
- High and Low setting allows for better energy efficiency. More savings!
- Great safety features with tip over and overheat protection
- Fast at heating up
- Can create up to 60% more heat than other models on the market
- Front grate do get pretty hot to touch as the heated air circulates through there
- Remote can only be used once you manually turn on the heater
What their fans love: “I love this little heater. Cranks out the heat. Quiet and easy to use. Looks good and operation costs are hardly a blip on my electricity bill”
Best Infrared Heater Buyers’ Guide
Type Of Space Heaters
Space heaters are usually meant as a supplementary source of heating to central heating. There are 3 main types of space heaters; convection, radiative and combination.
Convection heater works by heating up the air around it via a heating element. The hot air rises and creates a vacuum for cool air to be sucked in and warmed by the heating element. This circulation of warm air helps to heat up the room.
The advantage of a convection heater is that they excel at heating up an entire room for an extended period of time.The main drawback is that it works slower than a radiant heater as air is a poor conductor of heat.
Radiant heaters work by infrared radiation which travels out in waves to heat up the object in front of it. If you have ever sat in front of a campfire, you have experienced radiant heat. Because radiant heat does not require any medium, it can heat up the object in front of it very rapidly.
Therefore, radiant heaters like infrared heaters are great at spot heating and are a fantastic option in rooms where there is less movement. An obvious choice is the bedroom. Point your infrared heater at the bed and enjoy nice toasty temperatures all the way to the morning.
6 Reasons Why You Need An Infrared Heater
You Like Things Fast and Efficient
As mentioned earlier, infrared radiation heats up objects directly rather than using a medium like air to deliver heat. As such, you can expect to feel warm almost immediately if you know where to position yourself. Since they only heat up a spot, they don’t waste energy heating up other areas. This allows them to be energy efficient and allows you to be cost efficient!
You Love The Outdoors
Unlike convection heaters where they can only work well in closed areas, infrared heaters can work in open areas as well as they are not subjected to air or wind conditions. With this unique property, they are the perfect accompaniment as you lounge on your patio during fall.
You Enjoy Your Peace And Quiet
You Appreciate Convenience
Infrared heaters have no moving parts at all and hence they require minimal maintenance. You don’t need to clean out the motor, replace the filter or change the lubricant. Simple give it a good wipe from time to time.
You Want To Be Healthier
Infrared heaters do not dry out the air like a typical convection heater and hence you won’t need to worry about it drying out your sinuses and skin. There are some reports that infrared radiation may even improve your blood circulation!
You Care About The Environment
Infrared heaters are eco-friendly as they produce no by-products from their heating. They take nothing from the air and they give nothing back.
3 Things The Manufacturers May Not Tell You
The Heat Leaves Fast
Most infrared heaters can heat up the object in front of it fast but once it is turned off, the heat also dissipates very rapidly. This is because air is not warmed up by the infrared rays and the room loses heat very fast.
Not Suitable For Large Rooms
Infrared heaters are great for zonal heating because the rays can be focused onto your targeted area. However, this is not ideal if you move around the room a lot. Also, if there are a lot of furniture in your room, they can pose as obstruction to the rays and the rays won’t reach you at all. Nonetheless, it can perform well in a medium-sized room with you in a fixed position.
Beware, the heating coil of an infrared heater can get extremely hot during use. Thankfully, companies have invested a great amount of time and money to mitigate this with cool touch exteriors, overheating protection and tip-over protection. However, it is always a good idea to keep vigilant and be mindful of the potential dangers
Best Infrared Heater Product review
Best Energy Efficient Infrared Space Heater
The AmazonBasics Portable Eco-Smart Space Heater measures 15.7 x 12.7 x 15.1” and weighs 23.6 lbs. It can run on a maximum of 1500 watts and comes with a 1 year limited warranty. Although it is an infrared heater, it contains a blower which helps to distribute heat to the whole room. This feature makes this a versatile heater which can deliver targeted heat rapidly and also provide general heating to the whole room. The blower is also very quiet at 39 dB making this a suitable addition to your home office or bedroom.
There are three power settings on this heater; Low (1000W), High (1500W) and Eco-mode. Eco-mode cycles between Low and High power to maintain energy efficiency and yet also keep you warm and toasty. The inbuilt thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature from 65 – 85℉ in intervals of 5℉. Although it is not fully programmable it still gives you good control over your heating needs. An added convenience is the remote control which you can use to adjust the temperature across the room.
What we love about this heater is how much they value safety. Designed without any exposed heating elements, this heater makes a great choice for homes with pets and kids. For safe operation, this ETL-certified electric heater also shuts off if it starts to overheat.
Perhaps one aspect which it needs to improve on is its portability. Weighing at almost 24 lbs, it can be a challenge to move around for some. Thankfully, it comes with four rolling casters that allows for movement between rooms. However, this only applies for transfer between rooms of the same level. If there are stairs, you might need 2 people to carry it comfortably.
- No exposed heating element so safe for kids and pets
- Contains inbuilt thermostat
- Quiet blower at 39 dB
- Covers a large room size
- Can distribute heat well throughout the room due to the fan blower
- Has Eco-mode for better energy efficiency
- Not exactly very portable due to its weight but does come with four rolling casters for wheeling
What the fans love: “No more ice fingers! Even with all the drafty areas, it’s been a big help. I highly recommend this one. I’ve purchased probably 6 different heaters in the last 5 years. This one is the best, hands down.“
Best Visually Appealing Infrared Space Heater
The Duraflame Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove measures 13.1 x 24 x 23.4″ and weighs 28.6 lbs. It runs on a 1500 wattage and contains a 5200 BTU quartz heater that has the ability to heat up to 1000 square feet. The quartz heater also allows for heating while maintaining the natural humidity of the air, leading to a more comfortable environment for users like us. The exterior is a complete metal construction that is sturdy and yet safe to touch with its cool touch exterior.
However, what we really adore about the Duraflame Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove is visually stunning it looks! It has a patent pending 3D flame effect technology featuring realistic flames that dance on and behind the logs, including five adjustable color, brightness, and speed settings. Impressing your guests has never been this easy before as this heater will surely make your visitors go wow.
- Incredible visual aesthetics with their patent pending 3D flame effect
- Sturdy metal exterior
- Cool touch technology on the exterior prevents accidental injury
- Has overheat protection to prevent overheating
- Contains adjustable thermostat enabling you to customize your desired temperature
- Able to turn on flame effect without turning on the heating
- Weigh 29 lbs and may not be the most portable heater around
- The cord is only 6 feet long and may limit where you can place this heater
What their fans love: “This heater has worked well since the first day and I think it will last many winters to come. it is one of the best heaters I have and would buy again from this brand.”
Best Portable Infrared Space Heater
The Lifesmart Element Large Room Infrared Heater measures 16.2 x 13 x 17.5” and weighs 24 lbs. It runs on 1500 wattage and has 6 quartz infrared elements that are actually wrapped in a metal heat exchanger coil. In terms of style, it may not be the most outstanding. However, some homeowners would appreciate the simple and professional look which makes it a perfect addition for a home office.
What we appreciate is the 3 energy savings settings that we can choose from. This includes an Eco Setting that will heat smaller areas to 68 degrees using only 500 watts making it a natural choice for users who are more energy efficient.
Other energy saving features include the inbuilt programmable thermostat that allows you to adjust to the temperature you want, and the heater will cycle on and off to maintain the desired room temperature. There is also a programmable timer with a maximum duration of 12 hours that gives you the flexibility to turn off the heater earlier in the morning and saves you some energy and money.
The space heater is equipped with overheating and tip-over protection, it will shut off automatically when the temperature is over 176 ℉ or knocked over accidentally to help prevent accidents, efficiently avoiding burning or fire or any other safety accident.
The limitations of the heater are the fan that tends to get a somewhat noisy when in use and the short power cord that comes with the heater. At 6″ long, the cord might limit the placement of the heater and hence the portability of the heater.
- Features an ECO energy mode for energy and cost savings
- Easily portable with glide caster wheels
- Has a large remote control to operate the digital thermostat
- Programmable timer to facilitate early shut off in the morning
- Has tip-over and overheat protection
- Contains an air filter which will need regular cleaning
- Fan tend to get slightly noisy
- Short power cord (6″)
What their fans love: “We have several of these heaters and have had them for just a few weeks over 3 years now. I can say I’m very happy with them, we’ve never had a scare, they’ve never malfunctioned and they’ve helped keep us warm!”
Best Wall Mounted Infrared Space Heater
The Heat Storm Deluxe Mounted Space Infrared Wall Heater measures 13 x 3.63 x 16.5 and weighs only 7.5 lbs. It runs on a 1000 watt power and has a 1 year warranty. It is designed for surface wall mounting so you do not need to cut out a recess in your wall. If you somehow changed your mind about installing this heater after purchasing it, you also have the option of attaching legs to it to make it a portable space heater. It also contains an inbuilt thermostat.
What we love about this heater is that it can be controlled via WiFi using the Smart Life app. Who needs remote control when everyone has a phone? The grills are also made of material that doesn’t burn the skin, making it suitable in a household with children and pets.
- Can be mounted or portable.
- Power cord can be concealed
- Features anti-trip technology
- Compact and minimal design doesn’t add to clutter of house
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Can be controlled with WiFi
- Thermostat is somewhat inaccurate and slow to respond
- Fan can be noisy
- Only 1 year warranty
What their fans love: “I wall mounted this and it looks and works great. Heats an entire 1000 sqft basement during a 10 deg New England winter day.”
Frequently Asked questions (FAQs)
Q: Infrared vs ceramic heaters, which is better?
A: It depends on your needs. If you want zonal heating that is fast and quiet, electric infrared heaters are your best bet. If you want a heater that can distribute heat evenly in a room then electric ceramic heaters is the way to go. Do note that ceramic heaters are usually fan forced and will generate more noise than a pure infrared heater that has no fan.
Recap of the best infrared heaters
|Dr Infrared||1500W||50℉ – 86℉||No||3 years|
|AmazonBasics||1500W||65℉ – 85℉||Yes||1 year|
|Duraflame||1500W||62℉ – 82℉||No||1 year|
|Heat Storm||1000W||40℉-99℉||Yes||1 year|
Wrapping it up
Of the 5 products we reviewed, Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater was our favorite best heater for large rooms. It ticks all the boxes for safety, portability, quiet operation, energy efficiency and great heat output. What we especially love was the inbuilt humidifier that prevents those dry cracking skin during winter time.
The heating output of Dr Infrared also clearly trumps that of other similar heaters on the market. Although there is a concern of the grate being hot to touch, we can circumvent that by keeping it in an area out of bounds to wandering children and pets. Overall, a big thumbs up from us!
Click here to get one now!