As efficient as many modern HVAC systems are, some can leave additional rooms, bedrooms, and other areas of a house uncomfortably cool. Rather than boosting the heat for the entire home, a ceramic heater warms these spaces efficiently and economically.
Ceramic space heaters put out up to 5,100 British thermal units (BTUs) of heat and come in compact boxes and tall tower shapes. More portable than wall-mounted and other electric heaters, ceramic space heaters are typically easier to carry from room to room than other types of heaters. They include controls that allow users to regulate the temperature and safety features that prevent fire hazards.
This guide explores crucial attributes to look for when shopping for the best ceramic space heater. It also lists several top models to consider.
- BEST OVERALL: Lasko 5775 Oscillating Ceramic Tower Space Heater
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: GiveBest Portable Space Heater
- UPGRADE PICK: Atomi Smart Third-Generation Wi-Fi Ceramic Heater
- BEST DESIGN: Lasko 6435 Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater
- BEST OSCILLATING: Pelonis Compact Ceramic Tower Heater
- BEST COMPACT: Black+Decker Personal Electric Desktop Heater
- BEST FOR LARGE ROOMS: Dreo Solaris Slim H3 Space Heater
- BEST FOR SMALL ROOMS: Amazon Basics 500-Watt Mini Ceramic Personal Heater
- BEST PROGRAMMABLE: Sunnote Koperlife 5-Mode Oscillating Space Heater
- BEST SAFETY FEATURES: Honeywell ThermaWave 6 Ceramic Space Heater
How We Chose the Best Ceramic Heaters
We reviewed more than two dozen space heaters, paying particular attention to specific features while compiling our list. First and foremost, we only chose space heaters with adequate safety features. All of our selections will automatically turn off if they begin to overheat and most also have a tip-over shut-off feature. We also leaned toward models that offer some versatility with multiple power settings and adjustable thermostats.
When possible, we chose units with digital thermostats over those with analog dials that allow the user to set specific temperatures. We also gave preference to space heaters with useful extra features such as programmable shut-off timers and oscillating fans. While few space heaters can be described as attractive, we chose compact models with designs and color schemes that would not significantly detract from a room’s decor.
Our Top Picks
Our top picks are among the best ceramic space heaters for warming cooler rooms in the home. These space heaters are available in several shapes and sizes, and many include helpful safety or convenience features.
With its tower shape and built-in controls that allow for more precise heating, the Lasko 5775 ceramic space heater is a versatile top pick. While other space heaters use a dial with inexact temperatures, this 1,500-watt ceramic tower heater includes two heat settings (and an auto-off timer). Although it’s a tower model, the unit only weighs 7.25 pounds and has a built-in carry handle.
Other features include a timer that can automatically turn off the unit after up to 7 hours of use. It also includes an oscillation option. The heater has safety features such as overheat protection, auto-shutoff in case it gets knocked over, and housing that stays cool to the touch. At 22.75 inches tall, this model’s tower design enables it to better circulate air around the room than smaller box-shaped models.
- Weight:7.25 pounds
- Dimensions: 22.75 inches tall by 7.7 inches wide by 7.5 inches deep
- Watts: 1,500
- 3 settings make it easier to maintain room temperature
- Timer allows user to program shut-off times for up to 7 hours
- Built-in handle and lightweight design make this heater easy to carry
- Temperature settings only include high and low
- Some users say the fan isn’t strong enough to circulate air in larger rooms
Get the Lasko 5775 ceramic heater at The Home Depot or Target.
When more than one room in a home doesn’t get enough heat, this space heater from GiveBest can be a handy solution. This light 3.2-pound heater’s design supports easy repositioning from room to room. A large curved handle at the top of the heater allows users to pick up and tote the unit.
As with other space heaters, this portable model features heat setting options. It has three settings: two heat levels (750 and 1,500 watts) and a cool air fan-only option. Safety features include an automatic shutoff if any of the parts begin to overheat and a tip-over shutoff if the unit falls over. At 10.2 inches tall by 7.9 inches wide by 6.2 inches deep this model can easily go anywhere a boost of heat is most needed.
- Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 10.2 inches tall by 7.9 inches wide by 6.2 inches deep
- Watts: 750 or 1,500
- Because this model weighs 3.2 pounds, it’s easy to carry from room to room
- Comes with 2 heat settings and a cool air fan-only option
- Compact size makes it less conspicuous than other space heaters
- Some customers complain that the thermostat makes it difficult to control room temperature
- Does not include a shut-off timer, forcing one to remember to turn it off
Get the GiveBest ceramic heater at Amazon.
There are several Wi-Fi ceramic space heaters on the market, but this third-generation model from Atomi Smart sets itself apart with a robust app that gives the user a host of useful ways to program and control it remotely. The heater’s app displays the current room temperature and has a slide adjuster that makes it easy to change the heater’s temperature setting.
The app also allows the user to program daily and weekly schedules, set a countdown timer, turn oscillation on or off, and toggle between high, low, and eco modes. Plus, this heater is also compatible with voice control when paired with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. In addition to smartphone controls, this Atomi Smart model also comes equipped with a digital control panel on the front of the unit.
- Weight: 7.9 pounds
- Dimensions: 25.7 inches tall by 7.9 inches wide by 8.4 inches deep
- Watts: 1,000 or 1,500
- App lets user power unit on or off, set schedules and timers, and control temperature: high, low, and eco mode
- Can be voice controlled by pairing with virtual assistants (Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant)
- Includes a sleek touch-screen control panel that’s easy to use
- Thermostat can be set to specific degrees, making it easier to regulate room temperature
- Some customers complain that this model struggles to heat large rooms
- The reading on the thermostat can vary several degrees from the actual room temperature
Get the Atomi Smart ceramic heater at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Best Buy.
Most ceramic space heaters have a utilitarian look that can detract from the aesthetics of a room. The 6435 Designer Series model from Lasko blends with a home’s decor with its urn shape, tan ceramic look, and wrought-iron stand.
There’s also a lot of functionality to go with that form. This ceramic heater features a thermostat with six specific temperature settings ranging from 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Two different power settings allow one to choose between max heat output and energy savings. A programmable timer stops the unit, shutting it off after 7 hours of continuous use, and an oscillating option rotates the heater from side to side to better circulate warm air throughout a room. While this unit does turn off automatically if it overheats, it does lack a tip-over safety feature.
- Weight: 6.89 pounds
- Dimensions: 16 inches tall by 11 inches wide by 11 inches deep
- Watts: 1,500
- Urn shape and tan color allow it to better blend in with a room’s decor
- Programmable timer shuts off the unit after 7 hours of continuous use
- Thermostat can be programmed to 6 specific temperature settings
- Doesn’t automatically turn off if the unit tips over, creating a potential safety hazard
Get the Lasko 6435 ceramic heater at Amazon, The Home Depot, Tractor Supply Co., or Best Buy.
Most ceramic space heaters put out a similar maximum of 5,100 BTUs, but that’s not the only factor that determines how well they can heat a room. Airflow matters too, and the oscillating function and tower design of this Pelonis compact ceramic heater combine for excellent circulation of warm air to more evenly heat a room. When set to oscillate, this unit rotates 83 degrees from side to side, giving it up to 20 percent better airflow than similar models.
Control knobs on the top of this ceramic tower heater include settings for 900 and 1,500 watts and a thermostat dial. This ceramic space heater also includes standard safety features such as a tip-over switch that shuts the unit off should someone knock it over and an overheat auto shut-off switch. The unit measures 17.76 inches tall by 7.72 inches wide by 7.72 inches deep.
- Weight: 5.49 pounds
- Dimensions: 17.76 inches tall by 7.72 inches wide by 7.72 inches deep
- Watts: 1,500
- Can oscillate 83 degrees from side to side, giving it excellent airflow
- Carry handle and light weight make it easy to carry from room to room
- Able to function as a heater or as a fan; easy to adjust with the thermostat dial
- Analog temperature settings can make it difficult to control room temperature
- Doesn’t have an auto shut-off timer, so it’s easy to forget that it’s on
Get the Pelonis ceramic heater at Amazon.
A good space heater doesn’t need to take up a lot of space, and this compact model from Black+Decker is ideal for small spaces such as a nursery, bedroom, or home office. At 9.5 inches tall by 7.5 inches wide by 6.3 inches deep, this heater can fit on a nightstand, end table, or desk. With a handle molded into the top of the unit and a weight of 3.5 pounds, this little heater transports easily, too.
This heater also includes standard safety features that turn off the heater if it tips over or begins to overheat. The desktop heater has three modes: 900 watts (low heat), 1,500 watts (high heat), and fan. Two knobs on top of the unit allow the user to change between modes and adjust the temperature setting. This heater comes in black or white.
- Weight: 3.5 pounds
- Dimensions:9.5 inches tall by 7.5 inches wide by 6.3 inches deep
- Watts: 900 or 1,500
- Compact size makes it ideal for small spaces with limited floor space
- Light 3.5-pound weight and handle make it easy to carry from room to room
- Available in black or white color options, making it easy to match a room’s decor
- This model’s analog thermostat controls don’t allow for precise temperature settings
Get the Black+Decker ceramic heater at Amazon, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Walmart, or Target.
This space heater from Dreo sets itself apart from other ceramic space heaters when it comes to circulating air. When set high, its Solaris H3 model is capable of moving warm air up to 10 feet per second. Couple that powerful fan with a 70 degree oscillating motion and this Dreo slim heater is a worthy choice for circulating warm air throughout larger rooms.
There are also other things to like about Dreo’s space heater. It uses quiet technology to keep the noise level down to 37.5 decibels, which is about the same as a whisper. It comes equipped with three heat settings (many others only have one or two) and allows the user to set specific temperatures. There’s also an eco mode that automatically adjusts the heater’s power usage, improving energy efficiency. A remote control allows the user to change temperatures and set a shut-off timer without having to get up, which is also a nice feature.
- Weight: 4.63 pounds
- Dimensions: 15.8 inches tall by 5.9 inches wide by 5.9 inches deep
- Watts: Between 700 and 1,500
- This model’s heat settings make it easier to manage room temperature; eco mode adjusts power usage automatically
- Handy remote control lets the user set timers and change temperature settings
- Adjustable digital thermostat allows the user to change room temperature in 1-degree increments
- Operates at a quieter noise level than other space heaters
- Some customers complain that it makes a creaking noise while oscillating
Get the Dreo ceramic heater at Amazon, Walmart, or Dreo.
At a mere 6 inches tall and weighing in at just 1.43 pounds, this small Amazon Basics space heater is a great desktop option for warming up small rooms. While it’s not powerful enough to compete with a full-size ceramic space heater, its 750-watt heat output will warm up a small bedroom or office. Its lower power output also means it is quieter than larger space heaters. It has a tip-over shutoff should one accidentally knock it off a desk or nightstand.
In addition to being less conspicuous, it also comes in four color options (black, white, blue, and pink), making it easier to match the heater to a room’s decor. This Amazon Basics heater does have more limited controls than other space heaters. It runs on a single fan speed and heat setting and does not have thermostat controls, so it will run continuously until the user shuts it off.
- Weight: 1.43 pounds
- Dimensions: 6 inches tall by 3.2 inches wide by 5.87 inches deep
- Watts: 750
- Compact size makes it a good option for small rooms
- Available in 4 color options (black, white, blue, and pink) to match room decor
- Uses less power than many full-size ceramic heaters, saving energy
- This model’s lower power output means it won’t warm up larger spaces
- Runs continuously as it does not have an adjustable thermostat
Get the Amazon Basics ceramic heater at Amazon.
Sunnote sets itself apart from other space heaters with its wide range of timer modes and temperature settings. While most space heaters give users three timer setting options, Sunnote’s Koperlife five-mode oscillating heater allows users to set a shut-off timer in hourly increments for up to 24 hours. Plus, the heater can be set to stay on continuously (other space heaters will turn off after 24 hours), making it a good option for helping regulate temperatures around the clock.
A digital thermostat lets users set specific temperatures. This model’s settings include a high and low heat setting as well as an energy-saving eco option. In addition to tip-over and overheat auto shut-off safety features, Sunnote’s Koperlife heater also has a child lock that prevents children from changing the settings on the heater’s control panel.
- Weight: 4.9 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.2 inches tall by 6 inches wide by 6 inches deep
- Watts: 1,500
- Has a 24-hour shut-off override feature that allows it to run continuously
- Users can set an automatic shutoff time between 1 and 24 hours
- This model includes a child lock as one of its safety features
- Some users complain that it’s difficult to use exact settings with the shut-off timer
Get the Sunnote ceramic heater at Amazon.
Those who have little ones or pets running around can benefit from the safety features onboard the Honeywell ThermaWave ceramic space heater. This model is not only Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed, but it also comes with built-in heater sensors that turn off the unit when it gets too hot and an automatic tip-over switch. It automatically turns off after 8 hours of use to prevent malfunction and provide overheat protection. But there are also 2-hour and 4-hour timers for short bursts of warmth when needed. Plus, the entire exterior stays cool to the touch while in operation.
There are three airflow settings (high, low, or auto) and an adjustable thermostatwith two different heat settings that can be adjusted with the backlit control panel. Plus, this option is only 8.1 pounds, which means that it is easy to move around wherever it’s needed. The only downside to this 1,500-watt heater is that the grill is located at the top of the unit and there is no oscillation function, meaning that the user has very little control over where the heat will be aimed.
- Weight: 8.1 pounds
- Dimensions: 18.54 inches tall by 18.11 inches wide by 7.75 inches deep
- Watts: 1,500
- UL-listed option for reliability; comes with overheat protection, a tip-over switch, and timers
- Exterior stays cool to the touch when in operation; suitable for children and pets
- Comes with 3 different airflow settings and an adjustable thermostat with 2 heat settings
- Easy to maneuver or transport if needed; only weighs 8.1 pounds
- Grill is located at the top of the unit; may not provide a lot of adjustability or aim
Get the Honeywell ceramic heater at Amazon or Target.
What to Consider When Choosing a Ceramic Heater
All ceramic space heaters put out similar amounts of heat, but they vary in size, shape, and the type of thermostat and control options they offer. Here’s a closer look at some of the most crucial features to consider when shopping for one of these heaters.
Ceramic heaters are either box-shaped or tower-shaped.
Box-shaped models are typically about 1 foot tall, 6 inches deep, and 8 inches wide. The small size is easy to carry from room to room and perfect for resting on the floor or on top of furniture, such as a table or nightstand.
Tower models are taller and slimmer. Usually about 2 feet high, 8 inches wide, and 7 inches deep, their size makes them less portable. However, their tall profile helps circulate air more effectively than smaller box-shaped models. The larger tower models or wall heaters typically cost more than box-shaped heaters.
Convective vs. Radiant
All ceramic space heaters function as convective heaters. Though the differences may be subtle to someone standing near one, convective and radiant heaters work in very different ways. Convective types heat the air around them, which then circulates through the room to warm the space. Most convective heaters have a fan that helps circulate the warm air around the room, not unlike a standard forced-air furnace in a central HVAC system.
Radiant heaters heat by releasing electromagnetic waves that warm objects in the room such as people or furniture. Radiant heaters feel significantly warmer near the source of the heat.
In addition, convective heaters can heat up in seconds, but radiant heaters can take several minutes to heat up to their full power. This can make a difference, depending on the heater’s intended use.
Electric space heaters generally max out at 1,500 watts. This isn’t because of a limitation in the heater but rather the limitation of the power output of a standard 110-volt outlet, which maxes out at 1,725 watts.
At 1,500 watts, ceramic electric space heaters can put out up to 5,100 BTUs. That is powerful enough to sufficiently heat a room of about 150 square feet. Most ceramic electric space heaters also have energy-efficient settings that allow the heater to operate at lower power—usually around 900 watts—to save energy.
Thermostat and Timer
Ceramic heaters have thermostats that users can operate to control the temperature settings, so the heater automatically turns off when the room reaches a certain temperature. Heaters have manual and digital thermostats. Manual heaters have a dial with + and – sides that control the thermostat temperature but do not support the dialing in of specific temperature settings.
Digital thermostats allow the user to set the unit to a specific temperature. Some models offer five or six preset temperatures in increments that range from about 60 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Others let the user set the unit to a specific temperature, similar to a home’s HVAC thermostat.
Some models have timers that users can set to turn off the heater after a certain time, typically ranging from 1 to 8 hours. This feature helps prevent accidentally leaving the space heater on for long periods and possibly overheating.
Some space heaters have remote controls so the user can conveniently adjust the heater’s operation from anywhere in the room. This eliminates the need to get up off the couch or out of bed to change the temperature or to turn the space heater on or off. Keep in mind that models with remote controls typically cost more than those that only have manual settings.
Space heaters, by their nature, present fire hazards. As such, they have safety features to prevent the heater from starting a fire. A ceramic heater should have a pressure sensor on the bottom of the unit that automatically shuts the heater off in the event that it tips over. A heater also should have an auto shut-off feature that automatically turns the unit off if it begins to overheat.
Most space heaters also have housings that protect the hotter internal parts while remaining cool to the touch. This feature helps prevent the heater from catching fire if an errant blanket or cushion falls on top of it.
The design of box-shaped ceramic space heaters facilitates easy transport from room to room. Portable models are lightweight at just a few pounds, and they feature handles that make them easy to carry from room to room. They are also smaller, typically less than 10 inches tall and about 7 inches wide.
Our guide aimed to address all aspects of ceramic heaters and their most critical features. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about these types of space heaters.
Q. Is a ceramic heater better than an infrared heater?
Both ceramic heaters and infrared heaters have their advantages and disadvantages. Infrared heaters directly transfer heat to objects and people that are in close proximity to the heater. Ceramic heaters warm the air around them and then circulate this heat with a built-in fan. While a radiant heater will warm someone standing near it more quickly than a ceramic heater, ceramic heaters do a better job of circulating heat throughout a room.
Q. What is the advantage of a ceramic heater?
A ceramic heater provides affordable supplemental heat. This type of heater is available for as little as $25 and can boost the temperature in rooms that might be underserved by a home’s HVAC system. And since most ceramic heaters are compact and weigh around 5 pounds, they can be moved around easily.
Q. Do ceramic heaters use a lot of electricity?
Since the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program doesn’t cover space heaters, it’s tough to compare the efficiency of different models. However, a standard 1,500-watt space heater typically costs about 20 cents an hour to run. If one is running it for 8 hours a day, it would cost around $50 a month for that supplemental heat in addition to the cost of running a whole home furnace.
Q. Can I leave my ceramic heater on all night?
When operated and positioned properly, a ceramic heater is safe for overnight use. Users must make sure the space heater is not located near any flammable objects or materials. Only purchase a ceramic heater that has standard safety features, which include automatic shutoff if the unit should overheat or tip over.
Q. How long do ceramic heaters last?
A ceramic space heater can last for 10 years or more depending on how often it is used and how well it is maintained. Periodically wiping the heater down with a clean dry cloth to remove dust on its exterior and using a brush or vacuum attachment to remove any dust stuck inside the unit helps maintain it.
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