Best Electric Heaters
One of winter’s little luxuries, electric heaters can be a cheap and efficient way to keep your living room or bedroom warm. With such a huge selection to choose from - including outdoor, fireplace, wall and portable electric heaters - it's worth thinking about how you'll use your heater before buying.
The $189 DeLonghi DL2401TF quickly heats up a room, and can be turned off soon after it speedily performs a job well done.
Price (RRP) $189.00
Outstanding heating ability
Good value for money
- Build Quality4.8 (17)
- Value for Money4.6 (17)
- Noise Level4.6 (16)
- Heating Speed4.5 (18)
- Temperature Consistency4.7 (18)
- Safety4.8 (17)
- Smell Yes (1) · No (17)
- Heater TypeFin & Column and Portable
- Colour / FinishGrey
- Dimensions 630 x 510 x 150 mm
- FeaturesFan, Thermostat and Timer
- Additional FeaturesAnti-Frost Function
- Number of Heat Settings3
- Power2,400 W
Sensitive Choice approved
Not especially energy efficient
- Build Quality4.2 (27)
- Value for Money3.9 (25)
- Noise Level4.6 (26)
- Heating Speed4.1 (26)
- Temperature Consistency4.4 (25)
- Safety4.3 (24)
- Smell Yes (4) · No (22)
- Heater TypePortable, Convector & Panel and Wall-Mountable
- Max Room Size 10 m² to 24 m²
- Colour / FinishWhite
- Construction MaterialAluminium
- FeaturesThermostat and Timer
- Additional FeaturesThermal Cut-Off, Digital Control Panel and Anti-Frost Function
- Power1,000 W, 1,500 W, 2,000 W and 2,400 W
For a sweet penny-pinching $15, the Kmart Anko Fan Heater provides much toasty-warm goodness for reviewers.
Price (RRP) $15.00
Quick and effective heating
Easy to move around
Great value for money
- Build Quality4.1 (16)
- Value for Money4.3 (16)
- Noise Level3.8 (16)
- Heating Speed3.9 (15)
- Temperature Consistency4.3 (15)
- Safety4.1 (16)
- Smell Yes (5) · No (11)
- Heater TypeCeramic & Fan and Portable
- Colour / FinishWhite
- Dimensions 257 x 220 x 155 mm
- FeaturesFan and Thermostat
- Additional FeaturesThermal Cut-Off and Tip Over Protection
- Number of Heat Settings2
- Power2,000 W
Latest review: Living in Brisbane, whilst it can get quite cold here, there really is no need for below-floor heating. The indoor heat strip is the perfect alternative. I’ve had mine in our renovated ensuite since
Price (RRP) $395.00 to $698.00
The $55 Kmart Anko 11 Fin Oil Heater uses an oil-assisted heating element to produce a gentle yet consistent level of heat within a room.
Price (RRP) $55.00
The $319 DeLonghi Dragon 4 Series offers a range of convection heaters that feature an 11-fin oil column design. They can be used to warm rooms that measure up to 70 metres cubed.
Price (RRP) $199.00 to $399.00
Latest review: Fan works well if you want to circulate air but I really wanted it to warm a small space when I get dressed or come out of the shower. Does not heat at all! Its meant to be a heater..back to using my
Price (RRP) $20.00
Latest review: Effectively heated a small bedroom but within 3 months of using it, the fan sparked and stopped heating. Thankfully it was within a 1 year warranty and I can return it. Nothing is made to last
Price (RRP) $158.99
Latest review: Works much better than i expected. Love it! Noise is minimal: I was worried about the noise from the mechanical thermoswitch. But that has not bothered me at all during the nights. Safety is
Price (RRP) $139.00 to $179.00
Latest review: We have a semi small area & it heats up very quickly. Keeps us warm and not overheated. It copes with the very well & we are very satisfied with the heaters ability to reach temperature in a timely
Price (RRP) $69.95 to $99.95
Latest review: Purchased this as a replacement to an existing one that I had for many years (which was very effective Dimplex). Poor heat emmission quality, temperature gauge goes off repeatedly when it is barely
Price (RRP) $59.95 to $109.95
Latest review: I bought this heater for my baby's room, it heats the space in 5-10 minutes. It keeps the space warm and cosy, but it makes so much noise that my daughter wakes up with the
Price (RRP) $169.00 to $219.00
Latest review: What a perfect heater to heat an office space! This heater lives up to everything I required. Needed something quite to heat a room while zoom counselling. Thank you
Price (RRP) $209.00
The Sunshine Blade Instant Heat Indoor & Outdoor Heater is advertised as being extremely energy efficient and the warmest heater you can find on the market, however the jury is still out on whether or not it lives up to these claims.
Price (RRP) $600.00
Latest review: Heats a small 3m x 3m room to about 18 degrees after an hour No smell Running costs are economical between 20 and 30 cents an hour Great little heater, I don't use the
Price (RRP) $59.00
Latest review: It is very lightweight and heats up quite fast. The only issue is thermometer sensor have a loud click and can make a slightly different sound when they heat up, like crackling, popping or
Price (RRP) $159.00 to $189.00
Latest review: Initially purchased 3 years ago (Bing Lee) to use in a bedroom but now I use in a living room. When I first used this, I was so satisfied because room never became overly hot or cold due to its great
Price (RRP) $158.99
Latest review: Bought it for my living area (45 sqm) and it works fine. Of course it's an electric heater so as soon as you turn it off the heat goes, but that's normal. Consumption is good and it looks really nice
Price (RRP) $459.00
Latest review: Plug heats up so much that prongs can’t be touched . This is dangerous and unsafe for household use. This is s safety hazard due to possible fire ignition and not safe for use!
Price (RRP) $29.00
Latest review: This is a great heater for small enclosed spaces, like a bedroom. It heats up quickly and is whisper quiet. It copes well with being used overnight. I would not recommend it for large rooms.
Price (RRP) $59.95
Which is better, a gas or electric heater?
|Large rooms / Open plan spaces|
Types of Electric Heaters
Offering instant ‘spot heating’, a fan heater radiates heat to the person sitting directly in front of it, via a fan.
- These handy units are the smallest electric heaters - you can pop them under your arm and take them with you from room to room.
- Can also warm up a small, low-ceiling room. If you’d prefer heat to be distributing more evenly around the room, opt for a model with an oscillating fan.
- Often equipped with both heating and cooling functions, fan heaters can be used in summer, too. (Reverse split-system ACs also provide dual heating/cooling functionality).
- Fan heaters are some of the cheapest electric heaters on the market, along with radiant heaters.
- Can be noisy, and dehydrate skin if you’re sitting too close. Pair with a humidifier, which can help. These heaters are not suitable for heating large rooms.
- The fan can make this type of heater very hot, very fast. Make sure kids or pets don’t accidentally touch the unit.
Convection heaters blow cool air over a heating element, which converts into warm air that rises to heat a room.
Panel heaters are a type of convection heater with a slimline, low-profile design. You can wall mount them to save space, or move them around the house . Some types, like micathermic panel heaters, combine convector and radiated heating methods, for even more efficient heating.
- Convector heaters usefully heat a whole room, not just an isolated spot. They’re great for quickly flooding shared spaces like living rooms with near-instant warmth.
- Since warm air rises, convection heaters can be inefficient if your home has high ceilings.
Their columns, or fins are filled with oil, which radiates heat. Oil heaters heat a room evenly and thoroughly, with a superior ability to retain heat.
- Oil heaters are an excellent choice for keeping warm overnight. When switched off just before bed, you’ll remain toasty under the covers. You’ll also save on your energy bill by avoiding leaving the heater on overnight.
- Not especially hot-to-the-touch, even when left on for prolonged periods. This makes them safer for households with curious kids and pets, especially compared to models with partially exposed hot elements, like radiant heaters.
- Smaller models are affordable, making them ideal for childrens’ bedrooms when you have multiple kids.
- The oil inside the heater takes a while to become hot. This makes oil heaters a less favourable pick if getting warm fast is a priority.
Containing tubes that heat up and usually glow orange, these heaters use either a quartz or ceramic heating element. Also known as infrared heaters, heat is radiated into the air in a small radius, warming whoever is directly in front of them – making for an effective personal heater.
- Since these heaters don’t circulate air containing dust or other allergens, they are allergy-friendly.
- Radiant heaters are virtually silent in operation.
- Along with fan heaters, these are the cheapest types of electric heaters you can buy, with models starting as low as $20.
- You need to sit or stand close to the heater in its direct path, making it ineffective if you’re getting up and moving around frequently.
- The glowing tubes that heat up, though protected by a metal grid, are relatively exposed - a danger if small fingers are poked through. Use with caution if children are present.
- Avoid placing anything atop the heater, as this can be a fire hazard.
Designed with an inbuilt ceramic block, which absorbs heat that it radiates to a small area.
- The ceramic block provides a safety barrier in front of the heating element. This makes ceramic heaters safe for young children, and suitable for families.
- Ceramic heaters are effective spot heaters, but aren’t efficient for heating up whole rooms.
Other factors to consider when buying a new heater
Watts (W) are units of power that measure heat output. The higher the wattage, the more expensive your electricity bill, so it’s important to select correctly for your room size.
If you’ve selected a large, powerful heater for a small room, the high wattage means you’ll waste money and energy. Select a heater with the lowest number of watts sufficient for your room size.
For smaller rooms (around 20 sqm), heaters should have around 1500W (or 1.5kW). A heater with around 2000W is suitable for a medium-sized room.
For larger rooms wattage can go anywhere up to 2400W.
You might also need a higher wattage with any of the following present in your room: high ceilings, uncarpeted floors, consistently high outdoor temperatures, or frequent drafts. Also try and shut doors and curtains to retain heat.
Buying a new heater can cost anywhere between $20-700, so you can choose to splurge or be thrifty. Fan and radiant heaters tend to be the cheapest, while convection and oil heaters are more costly.
Running costs depend on factors such as your electricity provider’s usage rate, how often you switch on your heater, and the heat setting you commonly use.
Also check the energy star rating of a prospective model – the higher the rating, the more you’ll save, and be kinder on the environment.
Generally speaking, oil heaters and infrared heaters take the win for cheapest to run. Oil heaters boast superior heat retention, so you can switch them off more often, while infrared heaters offer the lowest wattage per unit of heat.
Convenient extra features add on to the price, but can also make life easier. These include: built-in filters to prevent the spread of dust and other allergens, digital controls, a to maintain ideal room temperature, and , so you can come home to a toasty-warm house.
Many electric heaters have additional safety mechanisms that reduce the risk of fire. These include:
- Automatic shut-off: Turns the heater off if you forget
- Overheat shut-off: Switches the heater off if the heat setting is too high, especially if left on for a prolonged period
- Tip-over protection: Turns the heater off if it’s knocked over, and
- Drip protection: Safeguards the heater from damage caused by water or condensation.
If you have a large space or are the most cold-sensitive household member, an electric blanket might even be a worthy cheaper alternative to a heater altogether. Whatever your final decision, rest assured there are plenty of heating options to make your home a cosy den of comfort when Jack Frost comes to visit.