Top 5 Best Low Wattage Space Heaters 2020

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Do you have a small room at home that is in need of heating but it seems an overkill to turn on the central heating just for that? Or are you looking for a small portable heater that can be brought around to provide personal warmth and comfort. If these sound familiar then a low wattage space heater is just the thing for you.

If your heating needs are not excessive then a low wattage electric heater would save you energy and money as it can provide just the right amount of heat without overdoing it. You also do not have to worry about it blowing your fuse or tripping a circuit breaker. However, there are so many models out there with so many different functions. What should you consider when choosing a low wattage space heater so as to get the best bang for your buck?

We did the research and here are the results.

Below you will find a list of five low wattage heaters from reputable international brands, all geared towards energy savings with their pros and cons clearly listed.

Comparison of the Best Low Wattage Space Heaters

HeaterPowerHeating typeNoiseSafety Rating
AmazonBasics 500WFan-forced Quiet4.25/5
Heat Storm1000WFan-forcedModerate4/5
Costway700WOil FilledSilent4.5/5
Lasko200WFan-forcedQuiet4.25/5
Brightown400WFan-forcedModerate3.75.5
Table Of Comparison Of The Best Low Wattage Space Heater

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!

AmazonBasics 500W Ceramic Personal Mini Heater

Best Overall Low Wattage Space Heater

The AmazonBasics 500W Ceramic heater measures 5.9” x 3.2” x 6” and weighs 1.43 lbs. This is an extremely compact heater that would work amazingly as a person heater. Due to its compact design, this heater can fit easily on a desktop or under a table to achieve personal heating. Perfect for a chilly night when you need an extra bit of warmth, this heater is a comforting addition to an office, study room or a bedroom.

This is a ceramic fan-forced heater that runs on fast-heating ceramic coils and uses fans to push the warmed air out. Because of the speed of heating, users will be able to feel the flow of warm air within a few seconds after the heater is turned on. Even though it’s fan forced, the operation of the fan is quite quiet and will not distract the user if placed in a work environment.

For safety, this heater has a board and stable base which reduces the chance of it tipping over but if it does, it comes with tip-over protection which allows it to shut off automatically.

For design, the AmazonBasics personal mini heater is quite versatile and comes in 4 different colors; black, white, pink and blue. No matter what decor or design your room has, you will be able to find a color that matches the theme of your room. 

Perhaps the one gripe I have with this heater is the lack of a programmable thermostat. It has just 1 button which is the On/Off button and hence only one heat setting. It does put out great heat but you will not be able to customize it to suit your heating needs perfectly. However, what it lacks in functionality, it makes up for it in practicality. Ultimately, this is a great small personal heater that puts out great heat without much fuss.

Pros

  • Extremely compact and portable
  • Has tip over protection
  • Comes in 4 different color for different room designs
  • Puts out great heat for its size
  • Fan is quiet

Cons

  • Only 1 heat setting
  • Not meant for room heating

What their fans love: “This little 500w heater checked all the boxes so I bought it and brought it into work. It fits discreetly under my cubicle, is very quiet (sounds like a computer fan on high), and outputs just enough heat to keep me warm. I couldn’t ask for more.”


Best Low Wattage Space Heaters Buyers’ Guide

Advantages Of Low Wattage Space Heaters

Budget friendly

Low watt space heaters are friendly on the wallet on many fronts. Firstly, low wattage heaters use less electricity compared to high wattage heaters. For example a 500W space heater would draw less electricity compared to a 1500W heater. With less electricity and energy used, the heating bills would also be lower. 

Secondly, low wattage room heaters are generally smaller units and the unit would usually cost less compared to a larger unit with similar functions. Therefore, the upfront purchasing cost of a low wattage heater is already lower than a high wattage heater. Combined with the point on top, low wattage space heaters can definitely help the homeowner to save on energy and heating costs.

Compact size

Low wattage heaters are usually smaller in size and definitely more compact and lightweight. These heaters are some of the best portable space heaters on the market right now. Being compact and lightweight, low wattage space heaters can easily be transported between rooms and even between home and office.This gives the users a lot more flexibility and options in how they can utilize their space heaters. 

Given that these low wattage heaters are likely going to be used in smaller rooms and smaller spaces, being compact also ensures that they do not take up precious floor space in the room and compete with the user for space. If you intend to bring this to the office, this heater would also not likely interfere with work colleagues or intrude into their space just because of how compact it is.

Energy efficient

When used properly, low wattage space heaters can be more energy efficient than high wattage space heaters. A good example is usage of heaters in a small room. In a small room, a low wattage heater would be sufficient to heat it up to the desired temperature. However, if a high wattage space heater is used then more electricity would be used for the same effect. Therefore, it is important to size your space heater properly before getting it. 

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Space Heater?

This really depends on your local electrical company’s charges for their electricity. 

Formula to calculate cost of running a space heater

Wattage of heater X no. of hours ➗ 1000 X electric rates

Let’s assume; 

  • your local company charges $0.10 per kilowatt-hour. 
  • You are using a 1000W heater
  • You use it for 10 hours

Cost

1000 watt X 10 hours ➗ 1000 x $0.10 = $1/day

Hence, it would add up to about 30 extra bucks/month on space heating and it is definitely  a small enough price to pay.

Key Considerations When Getting Your Low Wattage Space Heaters

Type of space heaters

Convection Heater

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 continued flow creates a circulation of warm air that helps to heat up the room. As such, convection heaters work best in closed spaces. It is worth noting that all convection heaters come with an in-built thermostat for regulation of ambient temperature. Given the proper conditions, convection hearts are one of the best indoor space heaters. In essence, convection heaters work within the framework of “Hot air rises and cold air sinks”.

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. 

Low Wattage Ceramic Heater

As the name suggests, these heaters use ceramic as the main heating element. These heaters are convection type heaters and they usually have a fan inside the unit which helps to speed up the convection process. The fan helps to direct air over the heating element to warm it up and then further direct it to where the user wants it to go. 

These heaters can warm up a room evenly faster than an oil filled radiator but they are also noisier due to the presence of a fan.

Low Wattage Oil Filled Space Heaters

Also known as oil filled radiator heaters, these heaters do not actually generate radiant heat. They are actually convection heaters that utilize the principle of convection to heat up the room. These heaters contain a thermal oil inside their compartments that get heated up with electricity and the oil heats up the heater’s exterior which in turns heats up the air around it. 

The advantages of these low wattage oil filled radiators are safety, silent operation and energy efficiency.

For a detailed guide, read our guide on the best oil filled space heater radiators

Low Wattage Radiant Heater

Radiant heaters work by infrared radiation which travels out in waves to heat up the object in front of it. It does not heat up the surrounding air at all. 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. 

In contrast to convection heaters, they are poor at heating up large spaces as their beams tend to be more concentrated on the object ahead and they do not heat up the surrounding air. They are very good at zonal heating and they excel in spaces where people remain still (like the bedroom).

Besides being one of the best indoor heaters, they are also great outdoor space heaters because they are not affected by wind. For more information, visit our guide on the best radiant heaters for home use!

Combination Heaters

Combination heaters attempt to combine the features of radiant heaters and convection heaters together to get the best of both worlds. A good example of a combination heater would be the micathermic heaters. These heaters use a heating element known as mica which produces electromagnetic rays. Like infrared rays, these electromagnetic rays produce radiant heat. However, unlike infrared rays which will only heat up the object nearest to it, EM rays can heat up all the objects in an area as the rays are more widespread. As the objects heat up, the air warms up. Since each object in the room is being heated up at the same time, the ambient air warms up quicker.

Another type of combination heaters make use of infrared rays to heat up an element and then have a fan to warm the air above the heated element. Therefore, the heater can produce both radiant and convective heat.

The Size Of Your Room

Another important consideration when choosing your low wattage heater is the size of the room you want to heat up. It is crucial to size your heater properly so that you can maximize the heating capacity of the heater. For instance, you do not want to get a heater with a very high wattage for a small room. That would be overkill and not energy efficient. On the contrary, you also want to avoid getting a mini space heater if you want up a large living room. Most likely, you would end up disappointed as the small heater is just unable to heat up a large room. 

As a general rule of thumb, the ratio to consider is 10 Watts to 1 square foot of space. In theory, a 1500 Watts heater will be sufficient to heat up a room size of about 150 sq feet. When choosing your heater, do have a rough estimate of the room size you are heating up.

When we spoke about the power-space ratio in the previous paragraph, it was with the assumption that you have a ceiling height of about 8 feet. Therefore, for anything above 8 feet, the rule of 10 watt to 1 square foot does not apply. You would need to increase the wattage of your space heater an extra 25 percent for every 2 feet of extra ceiling space.

Room Insulation

If you live in a poorly insulated apartment or have a faulty window that lets in cold air, you will also need to factor in for greater wattage. Typically, an increase of 20% wattage would be a good place to start depending on how poor the insulation is. Alternatively, you can consider a second space heater in the same room.

If you want to find out how to effectively size your space heater, check out our FREE space heater sizing calculator here for a quick answer.

Safety

Safety is always one of the considerations when choosing space heaters. When choosing your low wattage room heater, ensure it has tip over and overheating protection. Fortunately, most respectable brands now all have these features. On an additional note, it is always a good practice to look out safety certification from international approving bodies like these mentioned below

  • UL (Underwriters Laboratories)
  • CSA (Canadian Standards Association)
  • ETL (Intertek Group)

Safety Tips When Using Space Heaters At Home

Home fires can be prevented as long as we follow some easy fire prevention tips. We looked through the guidelines suggested by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Electrical Safety Foundation International (EFSI) and we have summarized them for your reference below.

  1. Keep your space heaters at least three feet away from anything that is flammable
  2. Use heaters only for their intended purposes i.e. they should not be used to dry wet laundry
  3. Get your heating system inspected by a qualified service personnel at least once a year
  4. Keep intake and output vents clean and clear of debris
  5. Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms to avoid risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
  6. Purchase space heaters that have the certification label of a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  7. Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use.  If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
  8. Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces, but never place on cabinets, tables or other furniture.
  9. Keep space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
  10. Plug portable space heaters directly into an outlet; do not use an extension cord.
  11. Do not use a space heater in wet or damp areas unless it is specifically designed for use in wet locations such as bathrooms.
  12. Never leave a space heater unattended.  Turn it off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  13. Never use a space heater or any appliance with a damaged cord

Noise

If you are planning to use your low wattage space heater in your small study room or bedroom then noise would be an important criterion to consider. Generally ceramic heaters with fans would produce the most noise due to the moving components. Oil filled radiators and pure infrared radiators have no fans and are totally silent. Combination heaters which combine radiant and convection heat would have fans as well and produce nose.

Silent heaters without fans are my favorites for the obvious reasons. If there is a fan, it is preferably if the noise does not exceed 40 dB.

If you are sensitive to noise, you have to read our article on how noise may adversely affect the behaviour of young children and potentially cause cognitive and learning problems.  


Best Low Wattage Heater Product review

Costway 700W Oil Filled Radiator

Best Low Wattage Oil Filled Space Heater

The COSTWAY Oil Filled Radiator Heater measures 5.5” x 12” x 14” and weighs 8.6 lbs. It runs on 700 watts and comes with a 3 years warranty. This heater is meant as a personal heater which you can bring along to different rooms or even to your office. It is extremely lightweight for an oil filled radiator and comes with a built in carrying handle for easy handling. Due to its sleep design, it can be slotted easily under the desk to provide warmth to your legs as required.

In terms of safety, this heater does quite well and comes with overheating protection and tip over protection. When the heater overheats, it will automatically shut down to prevent accidents and unnecessary losses, providing you with a safe and secure winter.

However, because of the smaller size of this heater, the surface area for heat transfer is smaller and the exterior may get hotter than other oil filled radiator models while taking a longer time to heat up a room. We would suggest keeping this heater away from your pets and children due to the chance of burn injuries from the exterior.

With respect to its functionality, it comes with a twist button that acts as an adjustable temperature control so that you can enjoy the most comfortable temperature for your individual heating needs. If you would like to save even more money, be sure to use the ECO mode so that the heater knows when to switch off once your desired temperature is reached.

Nonetheless, I would still recommend this heater if you are looking for something to use under your office desk or just a heater that you need to transport around.

Pros

  • All rounded safety features
  • Compact and lightweight 
  • Space efficient 
  • Has ECO mode for energy savings
  • Adjustable temperature setting
  • Silent operation (no fan)

Cons

  • Not meant for room heating, would do best for personal heating
  • Exterior can get quite hot due to reduced surface area
  • Highest price point for the heaters in this review

What their fans love: “I get cold very easily, and so far, this works perfectly for the relatively small room I’m using it in. It definitely makes the room warmer, and I love that it does it without all the noise and blowing air of other heaters.”


Heat Storm Deluxe Wall Mounted Infrared Heater

Best Wall Mounted Low Wattage 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. This is a combination heater using predominately infrared radiation but also comes with a fan to blow warm air into the room. This heater has the highest wattage of all the heaters included in this review. Besides being a personal heater, the Heat Storm Deluxe is also able to heat up a room competently if given some time.

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. Also, because it is wall mounted, it is usually out of reach of children and pets anyway.

A limitation of this heater is the thermostat that is slow to react. Without a precise thermostat, the efficiency of this heater would be reduced as it cannot effectively regulate the temperature in the room properly. This results in poorer energy efficiency and increased energy costs.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Thermostat is slow to respond
  • Fan can be noisy 
  • Only 1 year warranty

What their fans love: “I would give this 10 stars if I could. These heaters are lightweight, can be mounted on a wall. They can be picked up and moved at anytime, even while operating. I have had many a space heater, but not ever one as good at the three Heat Storms I have now.”


Lasko 200W Personal Ceramic Heater

Best Budget Low Wattage Space Heater

The Lasko 100 Personal Ceramic Heater measures 3.8” x 4.3” x 6.1” and weighs 1 lb. It runs on 200 watts and comes with a 3 year limited warranty. This is another compact heater that will work well as a personal heater. Compact and sleek, this heater will provide concentrated heat that is ideal for keeping your legs warm in your office or study room. 

As a fan-forced ceramic heater, the ceramic heating element heats up rapidly within seconds and allows the fan to generate warm air in a snap. Users who value quick warmth will surely appreciate this feature.

For safety, this heater comes with overheating protection which will force the heater to shut down automatically when it detects overheating. It also features a cool-touch exterior so that users will be safe even if they touch the heater accidentally. This is especially relevant for people who use the heater for long periods of time and you worry that the heater will become extremely hot. The Lasko 100 also comes with ETL certification, which is an international body that regulates appliances safety.  

Design wise, it comes with 4 colors; black, white, blue and purple which gives the homeowner more flexibility when deciding if the heater would clash with the room design.

One of the limitations is the lack of heat setting. There is only one heat setting and that is the On/Off switch. Although it is lacking in functionality, this heater will still do an awesome job of being a personal heater.

Pros

  • Extremely compact and portable
  • Has overheating protection and cool touch exterior
  • Comes in 4 different color for different room designs
  • Puts out great heat for its size
  • Fan is quiet

Cons

  • Only 1 heat setting
  • Not meant for room heating

What their fans love: “This tiny little unit really puts out a lot of heat without using a lot of power. My office is often like a meat locker, but instead of freezing, I am toasty warm with my tiny heater. I love it! ”


Brightown 400W Mini Ceramic Heater

Best Low Wattage Ceramic Space Heater

The Brightown Mini Desk heater measures 6.3’ x 3.2” x 6.3” and weighs 1.55 lbs. This runs on 400W and comes with a 1 year warranty. Compact and easily portable, this heater is designed to be an indoor personal heater. It may be used on a table top, office desk or even during camping. A fan-forced ceramic heater, the heating element warms up quickly and users can expect warm heating coming within one minute which is pretty fast.

The first thing that probably strikes you about this heater is the bright orange color of the exterior. Perfect for any homeowners with a sense of adventure, this heater will fit perfectly into a home that is fun and exciting. However, if you are going for an elegant theme then this heater may not be the one for you.

Safety wise, this heater comes with tip-over protection that forces it to shut off automatically when it is tipped over. The heater is made up of heat retardant materials which means it will not catch fire easily, making it a safe choice in our homes. Equipped with safety certification from ETL, you can be sure this heater meets all safety standards. The exterior is supposed to stay cool even after prolonged usage but we did find that the exterior gets pretty hot and we would recommend you do not touch it while it is working.

Like most other personal heaters on the market, there is just one heating setting which is the On/Off button so you will not be able to control the amount of heat that is coming out but generally the heat will be comfortable and not too overpowering. 

Pros

  • Extremely compact and portable
  • Has tip-over protection and cool touch exterior
  • Fun and exciting color
  • Fast heating

Cons

  • Only 1 heat setting
  • Exterior do get hot with prolonged use

What their fans love: “This tiny little unit really puts out a lot of heat without using a lot of power. My office is often like a meat locker, but instead of freezing, I am toasty warm with my tiny heater. I love it! ”


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is A Low Wattage Heater Effective?

A: It really depends on what is your intended purpose of use. If you want to use a low wattage heater for a large drafty living room then you will be disappointed. But if you want to use it as a personal heater under your desk then a low wattage heater is the perfect choice for your needs.

Q: How Much Electricity Does A Low Wattage Heater Use?

A: The amount of electricity a heater uses depends on the wattage. A low wattage heater will use less electricity than a high wattage heater.

Q: How To Prevent A Low Wattage Heater From Blowing A Fuse?

A: Generally, low wattage heaters will not blow any fuse because they take in less electricity and hence less likely to blow a fuse. However, for safety sake, you will still want to plug in the heater straight into the wall socket instead of using an extension cord. That would greatly reduce the chance of the heater blowing a fuse.

Q: Where To Buy The Best Lowest Wattage Space Heater?

A: Amazon is probably the best place to buy your low wattage space heaters. They are a big company with a well stocked inventory. Buying from Amazon usually gives me peace of mind knowing that my products will usually arrive as planned and in good condition.

Q: Which Is Better? Ceramic Heaters or Oil Filled Radiators?

A: This really depends on what you are looking for. If you want fast even heating and don’t mind some noise and dryness then ceramic heater is for you. If you want even silent heating and don’t mind waiting for it then oil filled radiators are for you. For more information, read our guide on the best ceramic heater to find out the advantages of a ceramic heater.

Recap Of The Best Low Wattage Space Heaters

HeaterPowerHeating typeNoiseSafety Rating
AmazonBasics 500WFan-forced Quiet4.25/5
Heat Storm1000WFan-forcedModerate4/5
Costway700WOil FilledSilent4.5/5
Lasko200WFan-forcedQuiet4.25/5
Brightown400WFan-forcedModerate3.75.5
Table Of Comparison Of The Best Low Wattage Space Heater

Wrapping it up

Of the 5 products we reviewed, the AmazonBasics was our favorite low wattage space heater for home owners. Besides it’s gret portability, this heater has a good balance of heating efficiency, safety features and functionality. The price point is also reasonable considering the functionalities it provides. All in all, we believe that this is a great heater that you should not miss.

Alternatively, you may also consider the Costway or Heat Storm heater if you prefer something a little stronger. The price point may be higher but you are definitely paying for quality here as this heater is just loaded with useful features.

Click here to get one now!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts