The best heaters 2023on January 18, 2023 at 11:30 Tech Advisor

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Although the days are getting longer, there are still cold days ahead. To make your work day productive and your evenings cosy, you may need a bit more heating help at home.

There are several types of heater available, including fan, ceramic, halogen and oil filled. If you’re not sure which sort would be best for your situation, have a look at our guide outlining the different types and their advantages and disadvantages.

But before you buy a portable heater, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The first is safety. Never cover your portable heater or use it to dry clothes.

Second, be aware of cost. A portable heater can save you from switching on the central heating but if you run a plug-in heater all day, it’ll consume a lot of power.

If you’re in the UK, have a look at your new tariff, find the wattage of the heater you’ve got your eye on and use an energy calculator to work out what it’ll cost you to run.

For example, running a 1000W heater on an average tariff under the new October price cap will cost 34p an hour. If the heater is left on for an entire working day, that would be £2.38. This is just an average estimate, by the way, and different power settings will consume more or less electricity. You can get a much more accurate idea of cost by using a power meter. We explain how.

Don’t forget, there are cheaper ways to stay warm at home, if you can get onboard with the idea of just heating yourself, rather than the room. We’ve reviewed a Glamhaus heated throw that costs just 3p an hour to run, as well as a heated under sheet for night time use (check out our Cosi Home heated blanket review).

If you want to heat up your home and potentially save money with more control over individual radiators, check out our guide on the best smart radiator valves. And if you’re ready to take the leap and buy a whole smart home heating system, read our round-up of the best smart thermostats available.

The best portable heaters

Princess Smart Glass Panel heater – Best for semi-permanent use

Pros

Minimalist

Silent

Powerful

Smart features, including scheduling

Cons

Heavy

Not very portable

RRP:



£100

This is a slightly different type of heater, for a different kind of use. Although it can be moved, it’s heavy and not as portable as many of the options in this round-up.

In fact, it would be excellent as a (semi-)permanent addition to a garden office, extension or little-used spare room. If there’s a room you don’t heat via central heating, this would be a perfect way to keep it warm. The panel heater is slim, silent and can be wall-mounted or fixed on feet (which you’ll have to do yourself when you unpack it).

Its minimalist design is complemented by a a subtle touchscreen display but to make the most of the heater, you’ll want to set up its Wi-Fi smart features, which will allow you to schedule and operate it remotely on your phone (although you should be very careful whenever turning on a heater remotely). You can also switch it on and off using voice commands via your home assistant.

This means you can make a cold bedroom cosy before you head up or get an office warm enough for the day ahead – without wasting any heat when you’re not using it.

It’s a powerful heater and good value for its price point. We tested the 1,500W model, but there are also 1,000W and 2,000W models available from various retailers including Amazon. Their prices are only slightly different, so make sure you know which one you’re getting as it could make a big difference to running costs. Still, thanks to its smart features, you can set a timer and only use it as necessary, which will help to save money.

Read our full
Review Princess Smart Glass Panel Heater

Dreo Solaris Slim H3 Space Heater – Best compact heater

Pros

Compact

Attractive

Powerful

Cons

No smart features

RRP:



£74.99

Best Prices Today:



£84.99 at Amazon

Dreo’s heater is a neat, attractive little appliance. It’s a miniature column 40.5cm tall and 14.5cm in diameter, so it’ll be easy to find a spot for and can be used under or on a desk as a personal heater.

It has three heat settings (900W, 1,100W and 1,800W), which allow you control of the temperature and your spend. Plus, there are failsafes to ensure you don’t leave it running. In Eco mode, the heater will switch off when it reaches a set temperature. Or you can set a timer for up to 12 hours, to ensure you won’t forget to switch it off.

The heater can oscillate, to warm up a larger area. Controls come via a control panel on top of the device, and an LED display. There are no smart features but it also comes with a remote control. Its safety features include tip-over and overheating protection, but if you don’t use the timer or Eco mode and forget about it, it won’t switch itself off until 24 hours has elapsed.

UK users should also beware: its 1,800W top setting is power-hungry. On the new, post-October UK tariff, it could cost 64p per hour.

Dyson Purifier HP09 Hot+Cool Formaldehyde – Best 3-in-1 appliance

Pros

Stylish design

Year-round usage

Can destroy formaldehyde

App and virtual assistant

Cons

Expensive

Not easy to move

RRP:



£599

Best Prices Today:



£599 at Dyson£650.00 at Argos

Given its high price, this appliance is a luxury and an investment. However, it may look a bit more reasonable (but only a bit) if you consider that it can take the place of three appliances: heater, personal fan and air purifier. It’s still not a money saver but it is a space and hassle saver, and more stylish than most other options on the market. You can find a spot for it in your home and leave it there year-round.

It can stand on a table or on the floor and unlike some other Dyson appliances, it can be tilted up or down. As it’s bladeless, it’s safe for little hands. The heating is rapid, and to save on power, it’ll automatically turn itself off once it has reached the desired temperature (up to 30°C).

It works brilliantly in all three roles, with the unusual selling point of also being able to destroy formaldehyde in the air, something that not every air purifier can do.

There is one caveat beyond its price, however. It’s not particularly easy to move, so you won’t want to be transporting it around your home with you.

Read our full
Review Dyson Purifier HP09 Hot+Cool Formaldehyde

Princess Smart Heating & Cooling Tower – Best 2-in-1 appliance

Pros

Versatile

Attractive

Easy to use

Good smart features

Cons

Still relatively pricey

Fan is noisy on higher settings

RRP:



£180

This tall, slim tower can stay out year-round, as it also doubles as a fan. Nor will it take up much space, as it has a very small footprint. If you did want to move it, however, you’ll find that it’s light (7.6lbs) and portable – there are no moving parts to catch on things or flap around when you lift it. 

It’s bladeless, so it’s child and pet-friendly – as well as having attractive, minimalist lines.

Best of all, though, are its smart features. Once you’ve downloaded the HomeWizard Climate app and connected it to your home Wi-Fi (a doddle when we tested it), you can control it remotely and set up schedules, including different options for weekdays and weekends.

There is even support for voice controls via Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri. This basically amounts to switching it on and off, although there’s a surprisingly granular level of settings options, so you can have different voice commands to switch on, for example, a low level of heat, with oscillation, or a cooling fan blast that diminishes over the course of an hour.

There are 10 fan settings, four heat settings, oscillation and three modes: natural (which varies the airflow, to distracting effect), normal and sleep (which slowly reduces its intensity while you drift off). 

There’s also an inbuilt thermostat, which allows you to set a target temperature. When it reaches this level, the heater will turn off. It’ll come back on again when the temperature drops. There’s also a timer, which you can set in increments of one hour, for up to 24 hours.

It comes in a choice of black or white and it’s ready to use as soon as you unpack it, with no assembly required, The supplied remote control even comes with two AA batteries. 

On the minus side, the cooling fan does get noisy on higher levels – much more so than a traditional circular fan – and it’s a power-hungry 2000W. 

Read our full
Review Princess Smart Heating and Cooling Tower

De’Longhi Capsule Ceramic Fan Heater – Stylish, compact design

Pros

Stylish

Compact

Capable

Cons

Noisy

RRP:



£44.99

The Capsule isn’t the cheapest small heater you’ll find on the market but there’s much to like in its compact form.

For one thing, it looks good. That’s an important factor in an appliance that will spend its life on show in your home or office. The cute grid stylings, mixture of metal and ceramic, and its modern, curved edges set it apart from many heaters that are built for service but not for display. This is a piece of tech that’ll fit into your home and quickly become part of the furniture.

The Capsule feels built to last, and is a great size. Weighing around 1.3kg, and 192 x 137 x 270mm, it’s perfectly portable. Critically, it’s equally at home on the floor or on your desk, which isn’t true of all ‘compact’ heaters. And its 1,800 watt output pumps out plenty of heat, and quickly – although this means it’s also very pricey to run.

So what’s not to like? Noise. The Capsule is compact in all respects except for its audio footprint. After a while, you’ll tune out its sound but if you’re hoping for a silent heater, this is not it.

Attractive, compact and capable: we like the Capsule a lot. We just wish it was a little quieter.

Dreo – PTC Fan Heater – Best desk heater

Pros

Quiet

Well made

Powerful for its size

Cons

Oscillation of limited use

RRP:



£49.99

Best Prices Today:



£49.99 at Amazon

Measuring just 5.5 x 6.7 x 10.3in (approximately), this handy little heater could stand on your desk – or under it. 

What makes it stand out from competitors is its build quality. It’s compact and attractively made, with nice features including a carry handle at the back and an illuminated LED display at the top. It’s even fitted with a removable filter to prevent you from getting a dust cloud in the face when it’s switched on (useful if you’ve stored it away in a dusty cupboard over summer).  

It’s definitely a personal heater, rather than one to warm up a room but at 1,500W on its highest setting, it’s powerful and effective for its size. But that also means it’s expensive to run.

It has four modes, including a fan-only option, which could be useful to keep you refreshed if you’re stuck at your desk over summer. It also has a 12 hour timer and it can oscillate, although I found these to be less than compelling features in a heater of this size, where you’re likely to be using it close up and on an ad-hoc basis. 

It has an energy saving mode in which it switches off when it reaches the temperature you’ve set. However, it was only partly successful in our test. It switched off when it reached the temperature threshold, but was inconsistent in switching back on, perhaps because it got too warm itself.

Its safety features include overheating and tip-over mode protection. 

Dimplex M2GTS Ceramic Heater – Powerful ceramic heater

Pros

Powerful

Timer

LCD screen

Cons

Won’t suit every interior

RRP:



£80

Best Prices Today:



£84.14 at Amazon£85 at Argos

The Dimplex M2GTS might be relatively expensive for its size, but this ceramic heater packs a punch.

If you need a compact heater with genuine power, the M2GTS will suit. It’s less than a foot tall but can kick out 2kW of power, making it perfect for placing under a desk or in another small space. Its black and red design is stylish, plus it has a useful handle at the back for moving it around.

Spending a little more on a heater like this means you get a bunch of handy additional features.

The M2GTS has three power settings. We really like the small LCD screen that shows the temperature you can set. It goes from a 5°C frost protection all the way up to 30°C and the display changes colour as you go.

You also get optional oscillation, as well as a 12-hour timer. This will ensure you don’t leave it on and forget about it, but at 2000W, it’s one of the most power-hungry heaters in our round-up.

Dimplex EvoRad 2kW Oil Free Radiator – Quietest heater

Pros

Silent

Fast

Timer

Cons

Fiddly settings

Flimsy castors

RRP:



£115

Best Prices Today:



£170 at Argos

The headline feature of the EvoRad 2kW is that it’s completely oil-free, which allows it to heat up much more quickly than a standard radiator: it’ll begin to warm a room up to 25m2 within minutes of being turned on. It’s not quite as fast as a fan heater, but we think it creates a more comfortable heat and, most importantly, it’s completely silent.

It has an LCD monitor that allows you to set the ideal room temperature (anything from 5-30°C), and using a built-in thermostat, it’ll turn itself on and off when required to save energy.

There’s also access to a runback timer and a delayed start option, although these are a little fiddly to activate and we’d have preferred dedicated buttons on the radiator for ease of use.

The lack of oil means that it’s fairly light for a radiator as well – not that you’ll need to carry it from room-to-room, thanks to the addition of inbuilt castors. These are a little flimsy, however, so don’t apply too much force when moving it around.

How we test our heaters

Rather than performing a series of tests in lab-style conditions, we take the heaters home and try them out. We keep products for several weeks and use all of their functions in as many situations as we can think of, so we can give you an honest evaluation of how well they’ll work in your life.  

Thermostats

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