As the winter chill sets in, ensuring a comfortable and warm environment at home becomes a top priority.
While many households rely on central heating, space heaters offer a more cost-effective and targeted approach.
Space heaters are compact devices that can transform a cold room into a cozy haven in minutes. Yet, being electrical appliances, their safety quotient is paramount when considering a purchase.
But with numerous options in the market, a pressing question arises: Which space heater is the safest?
In this article, we are going to explore the best space heaters in terms of safety, what makes a space heater unsafe, how to choose the safe space heater, and safety guidelines to consider while using the space heaters.
Top 5 Safest Space Heaters – Picked by the Industry Experts
1. GiveBest Portable Electric Space Heater – Best for Personal Use
Reason – It is compact and portable, making it ideal for personal spaces, such as by your desk or bedside.
2. PELONIS Indoor Space Heater – Best for Quick Heating
Reason – With its powerful 1500 Watts capacity and ability to heat up to 70°F in just 3 seconds, it’s perfect for those who want immediate warmth.
3. Dreo Space Heaters – Best Energy-Efficient Option
Reason – The ECO Mode that adjusts the heat level automatically for optimal temperature and energy savings makes it stand out in terms of efficiency.
4. Vornado MVH Vortex Space Heater – Safest Option
Reasoning: With features like a cool-touch exterior, tip-over protection, and automatic safety shut-off, it prioritizes user safety. This product is especially suitable for homes with children and kids.
5. De’Longhi Comfort Space Heater – Best for Bathrooms
Reason – Its radiant heating method, combined with safety features like antifreeze settings, makes it suitable for damp environments like bathrooms.
For a more detailed review, you can check out HERE.
Now let’s get into the details of how to choose and factors to consider that are necessary to choose the safest space heater.
Understanding Types of Space Heaters – Quick Overview
- Fan Heaters: Quickly warms small spaces using a fan to circulate heated air.
- Convection Heaters: Heat larger rooms evenly by circulating warm air naturally.
- Infrared Heaters: Directly warm objects and people with infrared radiation for spot heating.
- Oil-Filled Heaters: Use diathermic oil to provide consistent, long-lasting warmth.
Which is the Safest Type of Space Heater?
Regardless of the specific space heater model you choose, it is vital to prioritize those equipped with comprehensive safety features. Such heaters tend to be the safest for long-term use. Enhanced safety features ensure the heater’s dependable operation in diverse conditions and offer protection against potential external threats and unintended mishaps.
However, if you are specifically seeking the safest kind of space heater, we recommend opting for an oil-filled variant, as they are generally more secure than their counterparts.
Unlike other types, they operate at lower temperatures, reducing the risk of overheating and potential fires. The oil within these heaters does not ignite easily, adding an extra layer of safety. Additionally, their design ensures even heat distribution, minimizing hotspots.
However, it is essential to exercise caution; while they are safer, prolonged exposure to any heater can be harmful. In summary, prioritize safety features when selecting a space heater, and consider oil-filled heaters for their inherent safety advantages.
Key Safety Features to Look for in a Space Heater
These devices, while incredibly useful, can pose risks if not equipped with the right safety features. Let us delve into some of the essential safety features to consider:
1. Tip-Over Switch
This is a built-in sensor that detects if the heater has been knocked over or is not standing upright. If the heater is tipped over, it will automatically shut off, preventing potential fire hazards or damage to surfaces.
2. Overheat Protection
This feature monitors the heater’s internal temperature. If the heater gets too hot, the overheat protection mechanism will automatically turn it off, ensuring it does not reach temperatures that could cause fires or damage to nearby objects.
3. Cool-to-Touch Exterior
Even when the heater is operating at full capacity, the outer surface remains cool. This reduces the risk of burns if someone accidentally touches the heater, making it especially important in households with children or pets.
4. Safety Certifications
Certifications like UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or ETL (Intertek’s Electrical Testing Labs) indicate that the product has undergone rigorous testing and meets specific safety standards. These labels provide an added layer of assurance that the heater is safe for use and has been tested for potential hazards.
5. Thermostat Control
It Allows users to set a desired temperature, and the heater will maintain it by cycling on and off. This feature prevents the heater from continuously running at high temperatures, reducing the risk of overheating.
6. Safety Grills
Protective grills or mesh screens that cover the heating elements. They prevent direct contact with the heating element, reducing the risk of burns or fires from nearby objects meeting the element.
7. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Plug
A plug that detects imbalances in the electric current and immediately shuts off power to the heater. It is especially useful for heaters used in damp or wet locations, like bathrooms, as it prevents electric shocks.
8. Timer Function
It allows users to set a timer for the heater to automatically turn off after a specified period. This feature reduces the risk of the heater running for extended periods unintentionally, saving energy and preventing potential overheating.
In-Depth Reviews of The Best Safe Space Heaters
In the realm of electrical appliances, few brands like GiveBest deliver both top-notch performance and assured safety. And our first choice is from the same brand. Their portable space heater is a perfect option for everyone who wants targeted warmth at home.
- Made entirely of flame-retardant material, this heater is designed to minimize any fire hazards
- Its multi-protection safety system is a testament to its commitment to user safety.
- The automatic safety shutoff system turns the heater off if it overheats. This is crucial in preventing potential fire risks and ensuring the device’s longevity.
- Additionally, the heater is equipped with a tip-over protection system. So, if the heater is accidentally knocked over, it will automatically shut off. However, if the heater is returned to its upright position, it will resume its operation seamlessly.
Beyond its safety specifications, the GiveBest Electric Space Heater boasts a range of features that enhance its utility and efficiency.
Its 2-in-1 functionality allows users to choose between two heat levels, 750W or 1500W, making it versatile for varying temperature needs. Additionally, it comes with a cool air fan, making it usable even during warmer months. The built-in thermostat is a noteworthy feature, automating the heater’s operation based on the surrounding temperature levels.
Despite its compact size, measuring just 7.9 x 6.2 x 10.2 inches, this heater is powerful. Its PTC ceramic heating technology, combined with a high-speed fan, ensures rapid heating, capable of warming up to 200 square feet in mere seconds.
The heater’s quiet operation, registering below 45 decibels, ensures it does not disrupt your peace, making it ideal for bedrooms or study areas. Its portability is further enhanced by a built-in carry handle and a 6-foot lead cord, allowing users to position it optimally for best results.
A Quick Note on Its Drawbacks
- The compact size might not be suitable for heating large rooms or open spaces.
- The 2-prong connection might not fit all outlet types.
- The exterior might get warm after prolonged use, requiring caution when relocating.
The next choice for the safest space heaters is from the brand PELONIS. Their PTH15A4BGB Indoor Space Heater is specifically designed for compact installation spaces and keeping user safety at forefront.
- Crafted from high-quality cool touch flame-resistant material, it ensures a risk-free heating experience.
- The heater is equipped with an overheating protection mechanism, which automatically shuts off the device if it detects temperatures beyond safe levels.
- Additionally, the tip-over switch protection is a vital feature that turns off the heater if it is accidentally knocked over, ensuring safety for both the device and its users.
- The US standard socket allows for a direct plug-in without the need for any adapters or extension cords, further enhancing its safety profile.
Apart from the safety credentials, the PELONIS PTH15A4BGB boasts a myriad of features that enhance its utility.
With its powerful 1500 Watts capacity and built-in oscillation, it can swiftly raise the room temperature to 70°F in a mere 3 seconds. The programmable thermostat is another highlight, offering three distinct heating options: High, Low, and ECO mode. The ECO mode is designed for energy efficiency, adjusting the heater’s operation based on ambient temperature.
User experience is further elevated with its touch control interface, remote control functionality, and an 8-hour timer. The heater’s design is not only compact, making it suitable for various installation spaces, but it is also one of the quietest in its category, operating at a noise level of just 50 db.
A Quick Note on Its Drawbacks
- The heater might be too powerful for very small rooms, potentially making them overly warm.
- The touch controls, while modern, might require a learning curve for some users.
- Given its rapid heating capability, it’s essential to ensure proper ventilation in the room to avoid stuffiness.
If you are looking for a cost-effective alternative to the premium models, then Dreo space heaters are the right choice. Though they are budget-friendly, the models from Dreo do not compromise on the quality.
- The ETL-listed Shield360° system is a testament to its commitment to user safety.
- This system offers both tip-over and overheat protection, ensuring the heater shuts off in potentially hazardous situations.
- It is designed with UL94 V-0 flame-retardant materials, a crucial feature that significantly reduces the risk of fire hazards.
In addition to the safety features, Dreo space heaters are packed with a multitude of features. Powered by Dreo Hyperamics Technology, the heater boasts an impressive 1500W working power, ensuring rapid heating. Its efficiency is further highlighted by its ability to reach the desired temperature almost instantly.
Users can personalize their comfort with the digital thermostat, adjustable between 41 to 95 ℉ in precise 1℉ increments. The 70° wide-angle oscillation ensures comprehensive coverage, making it ideal for various spaces like bedrooms, offices, and basements.
Engineered for minimal noise, its brushless DC motor combined with 9 aerodynamic blades ensures a quiet operation, registering as low as 37.5 dB. The heater also offers various modes, including High, Medium, Low, ECO, and Fan Only, catering to diverse heating needs. Its lightweight design further enhances its portability, making it a versatile choice for various indoor settings.
A Quick Note on Its Drawbacks
- The wide-angle oscillation, while comprehensive, might cause uneven heating in certain room setups.
- The heater’s exterior might become warm after extended use, necessitating caution during relocation.
The Vornado MVH Vortex Heater ensures you are investing in a product that seamlessly combines advanced technology with user-centric design, making it a top choice for those seeking reliable and consistent warmth.
- One of its main safety features is the cool-touch exterior, ensuring that the heater’s surface remains safe to touch even after prolonged use. This is particularly beneficial in households with children or pets.
- It is equipped with a tip-over protection mechanism, which automatically shuts off the device if it is accidentally knocked over, preventing potential hazards.
- With the automatic safety shut-off system, it turns the heater off if it detects any anomalies or excessive heat.
Coming to its other features, it boasts a range of functionalities. Unlike traditional heaters that might produce intense heat in one direction, the MVH gently circulates warm air throughout the space, ensuring consistent warmth. Central to its operation is the Vortex technology, which ensures efficient and even heating of the entire room.
Users have the flexibility to choose from three distinct heat settings (Low/750W, Medium/1125W, High/1500W), allowing them to tailor the heat output based on their needs. The internal thermostat, featuring seven settings, further refines the heating experience by automatically turning the heater on and off to maintain the desired temperature.
For added convenience, the heater comes with an integrated carrying handle, facilitating easy portability. And to instill confidence in its durability and performance, Vornado backs this heater with a generous 5-year promise, supported by a dedicated customer service team based in Andover, KS.
A Quick Note on Its Drawbacks
- The medium size might not be suitable for very large rooms or open spaces.
- The heater might take longer to heat spaces with high ceilings.
- Some users might prefer a digital display for more precise temperature readings.
Finally, we present another cost-effective space heater option that, despite its affordability, packs a powerful punch and is ideal for heating small spaces.
- It comes with the anti-freeze setting, which automatically activates the heater when temperatures drop below 5℃, ensuring the internal components remain unfrozen and the heater operates optimally. This feature is particularly beneficial in colder environments or during winter months.
- Additionally, the heater is designed with a thermal cut-off, ensuring it shuts off if it detects temperatures beyond safe levels. The fully enclosed heating elements further enhance safety, preventing any accidental contact.
- The heater’s gently rounded design minimizes sharp edges, making it safer in households with children or pets.
This product also comes with exceptional functionalities that are tailored for user convenience and efficiency. Central to its operation is the ComfortTemp feature, which automatically maintains optimal temperature and power levels, making the heater up to 20% more efficient than many of its counterparts.
The exclusive thermal slot design ensures maximum heat flow into the room while maintaining a low surface temperature, ensuring consistent and efficient warmth. The heater is designed to deliver gentle heat, minimizing dry air, making the environment more conducive for breathing, especially beneficial for allergy sufferers.
The absence of a fan ensures that dust, pollen, and dander are not stirred up. The integrated handle and control panel enhance user experience, allowing easy operation and relocation. The smart snap wheels further facilitate easy movement from room to room. Made of high-quality steel and featuring a permanently-sealed diathermic oil reservoir, this heater is both durable and low maintenance, requiring no refilling.
A Quick Note on Its Drawbacks
- Given its design, it might take longer to heat larger rooms or open spaces.
- Some users might prefer a digital display for more precise temperature readings.
What Makes Space Heaters Unsafe?
Space heaters can become unsafe due to several reasons. We have mentioned some of them below for your reference.
- Lack of Safety Features: Older or cheaper models might not have modern safety features like tip-over switches, overheat protection, or cool-to-touch exteriors.
- Improper Placement: Positioning a heater too close to flammable materials like curtains, furniture, or bedding can lead to fires.
- Blocked Air Intakes: Dust, lint, or other debris can block the heater’s air intakes, causing it to overheat.
- Lack of Maintenance: Not cleaning or checking the heater regularly can lead to a buildup of dust or malfunctioning parts, increasing fire risk.
- Using Extension Cords: Using an extension cord not rated for the heater’s power can cause the cord to overheat and potentially start a fire.
- Damaged or Malfunctioning Thermostats: This can cause the heater to run continuously, leading to overheating.
- Using in Wet or Damp Areas: Using a heater not designed for damp areas in places like bathrooms can lead to electrical shocks.
- Improper Storage: Storing a heater while it is still hot or without proper cleaning can pose risks the next time it is used.
- Age of the Heater: Older heaters might not meet current safety standards and can have worn-out components.
How to Use a Space Heater Safely?
Using a space heater safely involves a combination of selecting the right heater, proper placement, and mindful operation. Here are some guidelines to ensure safe usage:
1. Choose the Right Heater
- Opt for a heater with safety certifications like UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or ETL (Intertek’s Electrical Testing Labs).
- Look for safety features such as tip-over switches, overheat protection, and cool-to-touch exteriors.
2. Proper Placement
- Place the heater on a flat, stable surface.
- Keep it at least 3 feet away from flammable materials like curtains, furniture, and bedding.
- Avoid placing it in high-traffic areas where it could be knocked over.
- Do not use it on carpets or rugs, as these can obstruct the heater’s air intake.
3. Operate Mindfully
- Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Never leave a space heater unattended; turn it off when leaving the room.
- Avoid using extension cords. If necessary, use a heavy-duty cord of a short length.
- Do not cover the heater or block its vents.
- Regularly inspect the heater for signs of wear or damage.
- Clean the heater’s surface and vents to prevent dust buildup, which can be a fire hazard.
- Ensure the heater’s plug and cord are in good condition.
5. Safe Storage
- Unplug and let the heater cool down completely before storing.
- Store in a dry location away from flammable materials.
6. Special Considerations
- If using in damp areas like bathrooms, ensure the heater is designed for such environments to prevent electric shocks.
- Keep heaters out of children’s reach and educate them about the dangers.
- Use a timer or thermostat to prevent the heater from running continuously.
- Ensure your home has working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
7. Avoid Overloading Circuits
- Do not plug other high-wattage devices into the same outlet or circuit as the heater.
- Ensure the room has adequate ventilation, especially if using a gas space heater, to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
By adhering to these recommendations, you can relish the cozy comfort of a space heater while significantly reducing associated hazards.
Space Heater – FAQs
Ans: Only use heaters specifically designed for damp environments in such areas to prevent electric shocks.
Ans: It is recommended to keep objects at least 3 feet away from a space heater to prevent fire hazards.
Ans: It is generally not recommended due to the risk of fire. If you must, ensure it has safety features like overheat protection and is placed away from flammable materials.
Ans: It is best to plug space heaters directly into the wall. If you must use an extension cord, ensure its heavy-duty and short.
Ans: Electric space heaters do not produce carbon monoxide. However, combustion space heaters that burn fuel can produce carbon monoxide and should be used with proper ventilation.
Ans: Regularly check your heater for signs of wear, damage, or dust buildup. Clean and inspect it at the start and end of each heating season.
Ans: Yes, but ensure the heater has safety features and is placed out of reach. Educate children about the dangers and supervise them around the heater.
Ans: Regularly check the manufacturer’s website or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for any recalls or safety alerts related to your heater model.
Ans: It is best to place space heaters on a hard, level surface. If placed on a carpet or rug, ensure the heater is designed for such use and monitor it closely.
Ans: Oil-filled radiant heaters are among the most energy-efficient options. After reaching their desired temperature, they require minimal energy to maintain warmth. Additionally, they can continue to emit heat for about half an hour even after being switched off.
Ans: The most secure space heaters are those equipped with features that allow them to automatically shut down in cases of overheating or accidental tipping.
Selecting the right space heater is not just about warmth and comfort; safety is paramount. With numerous options available in the market, it is essential to prioritize heaters that come with advanced safety features, ensuring peace of mind while you enjoy a cozy environment.
Remember, the safest space heater is a combination of its built-in safety mechanisms and the user’s adherence to safety guidelines. By making an informed choice and practicing caution, you can ensure that your winters are both warm and safe.
Whether you are looking for a heater for a small room or a larger space, always prioritize safety alongside efficiency and performance.