Written By Nikola Petrovski
Published Nov. 3, 2020

Do you live in an old and drafty house? Or maybe you need to heat a garage or workshop during the winter months. Either way, there are various reasons you might consider purchasing a space heater. Space heaters help during those months when money is tight, and with the high price of heating oil, coal, and natural gas, paying to replenish your supply isn’t feasible.

Infrared heaters are an excellent option for anyone looking to add an efficient and cost-effective form of portable heat to their home, workshop, or office. Infrared heaters come in many sizes and styles, but all have one thing in common: they help keep you warm on cold nights by emitting direct rays of heat using principles based on the same heating mechanisms as the sun. Here’s a look at the best infrared heaters on the market so you can choose the one that works best for you.

The Best Infrared Heaters

Stylish in design and with enough heat to warm up any space, the Dr. Infrared Portable Space Heater receives our nod for the best overall infrared heater. Dr. Heater has an efficient dual-heating technology featuring an infrared quartz tube with a programmable 12-hour shutoff timer. It has built-in protection against tipping over and overheating so you can be assured it’s safe to use. It comes with a removable filter that is easy to clean and easy to replace when needed. It uses 12 amps of power and puts out 1500 watts of power to give you the heat you need without using too much electricity.

The heater measures 13 x 11 x 6 inches and weighs only 19 pounds, making it relatively easy to carry it wherever you need extra warmth, but it’s definitely not as portable as some other more compact space heaters on the market.

Key Features
  • 1500 watts of heating power
  • Overheat and tip-over protection
  • Remote control for operation from a distance
  • Dual heating technology
Specification
  • Brand Dr. Heater
  • Model DR968
  • Weight 19 pounds
PROS

Super quiet blower is barely noticeable during use

60 percent more efficient than some other heaters

12-hour programmable timer

CONS

Bulkier than some other portable heaters

Heavy compared to other portable heaters

Heating coils get super hot

The Heat Storm Wall Deluxe Indoor Infrared Heater delivers the warmth you need at an attractive price. This sleek and slim infrared heater has enough power to heat a small room or office and has a well-designed grill to prevent children and pets from being burned if they get too close. This heater provides soft heat that won’t dry out the room’s air, and it’s safe to touch. You can even hang it on the wall to save valuable floor space. It has a built-in thermostat with an LED display that you control with a handy remote control. It measures 17 x 13 x 4 inches and weighs only seven pounds for easy portability. It comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.

It should be noted that this heater works best for smaller rooms and offices, as it doesn’t have the heating capacity to heat larger spaces effectively.

Key Features
  • Slim, space-saving design
  • Digital, easy-to-read thermostat
  • Ultra lightweight
Specification
  • Brand Heat Storm
  • Model HS-1000-WX
  • Weight 7.19 pounds
PROS

Super compact and lightweight

Sleek and modern look

Less expensive than some other models

CONS

Not as powerful as some other models

Doesn’t work as a freestanding unit

Not feasible for larger spaces

Enjoy the looks of a wood-burning fireplace with the DuraFlame 3D Infrared Space Heater with an adjustable digital thermostat that allows you to decide the temperature of your room. This 5,200 BTU heater provides enough heat to warm up to 1,000 square feet of space. The patent-pending 3D flame effect technology features realistic flames, including five adjustable color, brightness, and speed settings. The infrared quartz heat helps to maintain the room’s natural humidity and won’t dry out the air. It measures 13.07 x 24 x 23.4 inches and weighs 28.6 pounds, so it’s light enough to be moved from room to room. 

While we like the fun fireplace effect of this infrared heater, it doesn’t look realistic enough to be mistaken for an actual wood-burning stove. However, it does provide a nice ambient touch to almost any room.

Key Features
  • 52,000 BTUs can heat up to 1000 square feet
  • Cool touch technology ensures the unit doesn’t get too hot to the touch
  • 3D flame effect for nice aesthetics
  • Remote control operation
Specification
  • Brand DuraFlame
  • Model DFI-5010-01
  • Weight 28.6 pounds
PROS

Powerful enough to heat a large space

Fun fireplace effect

Maintains the natural humidity in the air

CONS

Heavier than some other models

Bulky

Flame effect is not very realistic

The Fahrenheat FUH Electric Heater is heavy-duty enough to warm up the coldest spaces. It has a built-in single pole thermostat that adjusts from 45 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. It includes a ceiling mounting bracket for vertical or horizontal mounting, or angle it wherever you need the heat with the adjustable louvers. The heater comes with an automatic shut-off that prevents overheating and reactivates the heater when the temperature returns to normal. It measures 12.4 x 12.5 x 14 inches and weighs 24 pounds. Reviewers say that it works great in spaces where heat is needed occasionally, like outside small buildings or workshops, and it doesn’t waste energy by heating the area when unoccupied.

This heater’s design is one of the more industrial-looking models on our list, making it less attractive as an indoor heater for living spaces. Because of this, it’s better suited for workshops, garages, basements, etc.

Key Features
  • Wall or ceiling mount to save space
  • Thermostat adjusts from 45 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Overheat protection shuts the unit off automatically
  • Suitable for indoor or outdoor spaces
Specification
  • Brand Fahrenheat
  • Model FUH54
  • Weight 24 pounds
PROS

Powerful enough to heat a larger space

Can be ceiling mounted and angled to deliver heat without taking up floor space

Easy to use

CONS

Utilitarian design is not as attractive as other models

Louvered vents can get caught on clothes 

Only available in beige

The Life Smart Element Heater should also be considered when thinking about an infrared heater. This heater has a built-in LED digital temperature display that allows you to set the temperature wherever you like. It has three heat settings with ECO mode and has a 12-hour automatic on/off timer. Control the heater from wherever you are in the room with a handy remote control, so you never have to get out of your seat. The heater measures 16 x 13 x 16.5 inches and weighs 21 pounds, so it’s light enough to be moved from room to room, but also sturdy enough not to be tipped over easily by running children or pets. It comes with a limited one-year warranty.

Reviewers posted some concern over the unit producing excessive heat where the plug meets the wall. The basic design is also not as stylish as other heaters.

Key Features
  • Three heat settings
  • 500-watt Eco mode option
  • Digital thermostat with remote control
  • 12-hour on/off timer
Specification
  • Brand Life Smart
  • Model LS-6BPIQH-X-IN
  • Weight 21 pounds
PROS

Several options for heating differently sized rooms

Provides clean heat that won’t overly dry the surrounding air

Compact and sleek design

CONS

Some concern over excessive heat where the unit plugs into the wall

Plain design is less aesthetically pleasing than some other models

If you’re looking for a super-compact infrared heater that can fit just about anywhere, consider the Air Choice Infrared Heater. This powerful heater can deliver three heating options of 1500 watts, 700 watts, and Eco mode, which will cycle between on and off to maintain a set ambient temperature. It’s also equipped with a 12-hour on/off timer and an easy to read LED digital thermostat and display. The temperature capability ranges from 69-95 degrees Fahrenheit and is adjustable in 1-degree increments. This heater provides clean, quiet heating and features the standard tip-over and overheat protection.

At 11 pounds, this infrared heater is one of the lightest on the list, which is great for portability. However, its light weight allows it to be tipped over much easier than some other models on the market.

Key Features
  • Digital adjustable thermostat
  • Remote control operation
  • Three heating modes
  • 12-hour on/off programmable timer
Specification
  • Brand Air Choice
  • Model B07VM8Q4F9
  • Weight 11.38 pounds
PROS

Super lightweight

Easy to program and operate

Extra compact for tight spaces

CONS

Easy to tip over due to its small size and light weight

Hard to heat a large room with this little heater

Louder during operation than some others on the market

The TURBRO Suburbs TS20 Electric Fireplace Infrared Heater deserves an honorable mention for being a strong, reliable heat source available in three separate sizes. Modeled to look like a fire burning wood stove, this compact heater features a fun and somewhat realistic fire burning effect. With the heating element placed at the bottom, the unit stays cool to the touch, making it a safe option for households with children and pets. The adjustable thermostat on this unit can be set between 68-95 degrees Fahrenheit for an optimal level of warmth and comfort. 

A few features that would be excellent additions to this heater would be a programmable timer, remote control function, and an eco mode that would allow you to save energy. Instead, this is a straightforward and easy-to-use heater without a lot of bells and whistles.

Key Features
  • Adjustable thermostat allows temperatures between 68-95 degrees
  • Three size options for different heat needs
  • Flame control can be operated independently from heat control
  • Automatic shut-off for overheat protection
Specification
  • Brand Turbro
  • Model Suburbs TS20
  • Weight 15.5 pounds
PROS

Super easy to operate

Stays cool to the touch at all times

Stable structure makes it difficult to tip over

CONS

No programmable on/off timer

No energy saving heat mode

Not operational by remote control

If you want a reliable infrared heater that will help you save on your home heating costs without a large up-front expense, the Giantex Infrared Space Heater is the ideal choice. It’s one of the most competitively priced infrared heaters on the market. It features a fully digital LED control panel that gives you the option of showing set temperatures in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. The temperature can be controlled remotely for added convenience. It also comes equipped with a 12-hour programmable timer.

While this unit is on the lighter side, weighing only 16 pounds, it can be a little difficult to move around if it’s on a carpeted space. The caster wheels are difficult to roll through the carpet and could be a little more substantially made. However, this is an excellent heater for the price.

Key Features
  • 3400 BTUs provide 1500 watts of heat power
  • Temperature displays in Fahrenheit or Celsius
  • 12-hour programmable timer
  • Fully operational by remote control
Specification
  • Brand Giantex
  • Model EP21683New
  • Weight 16 pounds
PROS

Powerful for its size

Lightweight for easy portability

Quiet operational noise

CONS

Rolling caster wheels are not as durable as some models

Some concern over the durability of the heating element

Not as efficient as some models

Another honorable mention goes to the EdenPURE CopperSMART Infrared Space Heater. It’s a straightforward and easy-to-use infrared heater that comes equipped with dual high limit sensors for overheat and tip-over protection. The adjustable thermostat ranges from 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit and can operate on either high at 1500 watts or low at 1000 watts of heat delivery. It also comes with a convenient remote control for operation from a distance and rolling caster wheels for easy maneuvering.

Weighing in at almost 24 pounds, this unit is less portable than some others on the market, and its price tag is significantly higher than some other available models. That being said, this heater gets some of the best user ratings and reviews of any model currently available, and it comes with a one-year warranty for added peace of mind.

Key Features
  • Two heat settings
  • Remote control operation
  • Stay cool grill won’t burn skin
  • 24 temperature settings
Specification
  • Brand EdenPure
  • Model TS 1000
  • Weight 23.9 pounds
PROS

Very easy to use

Straightforward operation

Backed by a good warranty

CONS

Temperature can’t be adjusted incrementally

Pricier than a lot of other models

Heavier than many other heaters

Best Infrared Heater Buying Guide & FAQ

While often more expensive to purchase than other portable space heaters, many people are drawn to infrared heaters because of their clean and quiet heating method. Working on the same principle as sunlight, infrared heat is absorbed by you and the objects around you, providing a long-lasting heating method that is environmentally friendly and efficient.

When it comes to purchasing a reliable and safe space heater, infrared heaters offer many benefits over other types of portable heating units. Our handy buying guide is designed to help you know what those benefits are and what features to look for to ensure you get the best value for your investment. 

The Advantages of Owning an Infrared Heater

Infrared heaters have many advantages over other types of portable heating technology. They provide instantaneous heat that doesn’t burn fossil fuels or damage the environment, either indoors or out. Because they work to heat the objects in the room versus just the room’s air, they don’t cause the air to get too dry, allowing you to retain valuable and much-needed moisture, limiting the occurrence of static electricity in the surrounding air. This also means you won’t end up with dry, itchy sinuses, or the dry, cracked skin that plagues so many people who use forced-air or conventional heat sources.

Infrared heating technology is very quiet. Because it functions using radiant heat principles and doesn’t use a fan to push warm air out into the room, infrared heating makes almost no noise. Some heaters operate at a noise level below 30 dB.

Infrared heaters allow you to enjoy the same benefits of being in direct sunlight without all the health risks—no need to worry about harmful exposure to UV radiation that may damage skin over time. Infrared heaters are clean and toxin-free.

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Maintain moisture in the surrounding air
  • Efficient, instantaneous heat source
  • Quiet, barely audible operation

The Most Common Types of Infrared Heaters

There are several different types of infrared heaters, some of which are more suited for industrial use than residential. Depending on the source of power they use to produce infrared heat, larger heaters just won’t have a practical indoor application for people who are looking for a home-based portable heating alternative. 

High-Intensity Gas-Powered Infrared Heaters

These are also called luminous infrared heaters. In high-intensity infrared heaters, the heater is direct-fired, meaning that a gas/air mixture passes directly through a porous refractory material to ignite across the surface evenly. The surface is then heated to a temperature of 1,350 degrees Fahrenheit or above. This emits a very large concentration of infrared energy that can be used to heat large areas quickly. 

Because high-intensity infrared heaters usually operate unvented, the space you use them in must have proper and adequate ventilation to ensure that combustion gases are released and safely dissipated. These heaters are usually used in warehouses, ice rinks, etc. where ceilings are high, and the available space is vast.

Low-Intensity Gas-Powered Infrared Heaters

These are also called radiant-tube infrared heaters. In low-intensity infrared heaters, a gas-fired heater is indirectly fired, and there is a radiating surface between the intended load and the initial combustion.

A flame is ignited inside an exchanger, heated to temperatures below or up to 1,350 degrees Fahrenheit that emits infrared energy. That energy is then directed through reflectors out into the surrounding atmosphere. These types of heaters can be used to heat garages.

Electric Infrared Heaters

This is the most common type of portable infrared heaters used in households, where gas is impractical, or in places where gas is unavailable. In electric infrared heaters, heat is produced by putting an electric current through a high-resistance element (usually ceramic, quartz, glass, or metal) that heats up hot enough to emit infrared energy used to heat the space around it.

You’ll find electric infrared heaters work best in your home, on your patio, or to heat your RV

The Most Important Features of Infrared Heaters

Regardless of the type of in-home infrared heater you choose, there are certain stand out features that you should look for in any reliable and efficient infrared heater. These important must haves will ensure that you can rest easy knowing you’ve selected a top-notch, high-quality infrared heater that will deliver portable heat to any room in your home in a safe and effective manner.

Safety Features

A good, reliable infrared heater will have passed rigorous safety tests and have built-in safety features like automatic shut-off in the event of overheating or tipping over of the unit. A stable design with widespread legs and a low profile won’t be as easy to tip over. These safety features minimize the risk of fire and injury if defects or malfunctions were to occur.

Another safety feature you want to look for in an infrared heater is cool touch surfaces. Because the heating elements can get so hot on infrared heaters, you want to make sure that children and pets won’t get accidentally burned by touching a hot grate or surface on the heater. 

Adjustable Thermostat

Most infrared heaters come equipped with an adjustable thermostat, but some are much more adjustable than others. Do you want a thermostat that can be adjusted up or down in 1-degree increments, or is something less precise going to work fine for your needs? 

Consider whether you want a digital or analog controlled thermostat as well. Often, digital thermostats are great for seeing what your chosen temperature setting is, but an analog control will usually be less likely to malfunction over time and may end up being more reliable in the long run.

Proper Sizing

Portable infrared heaters come in a variety of sizes to heat a variety of differently sized areas. If you’re looking to heat a larger room, double-check the specifications to ensure that the heater you purchase can get the job done. An undersized heater will only cause frustration and won’t end up saving you much money on your home heating costs, since it will need to run almost all the time. 

Good Warranty

Because of the complicated construction and cost of an infrared heater, you want to make sure that the one you choose is backed by a solid warranty that will cover any manufacturer’s defects or malfunctions. A good company will provide at least a one year warranty to protect your investment should anything go wrong.

Care and Maintenance for Infrared Heaters

Proper care and maintenance of your infrared heater will help ensure that you get the most out of your investment. One of the most important care tips for your heater is to avoid using extension cords with it—this can be a major fire hazard. Also, depending on your heater’s size, you want to be mindful of the size of the outlet that you plug it into. Larger capacity, 1500 watt heaters should be plugged into a 20-amp outlet. A 1500-watt heater will draw 12.5 amps of power, so if you plug it into a 15-amp outlet, you run the risk of overloading the circuit.

While infrared heaters don’t pose quite the same hazards as other types of space heaters when it comes to being too close to furniture or walls, you can never be too safe. Make sure to leave enough room around your heater to not cause potential burns or fire hazards and allow the heater to efficiently and effectively heat the entire room.

Periodically check and clean the air filter, power cord, and heating element (if you can access it) of your heater to ensure proper airflow and no fraying or damage that could lead to a potential fire. 

  • Be sure to use an outlet that is appropriately sized for your heater.
  • Leave enough space around the heater to avoid fire hazard and to effectively heat the room.
  • Periodically clean and check your heater’s components to ensure proper function.

Best Infrared Heater FAQ:

Since infrared heaters function slightly differently than typical forced air portable heaters, some users have questions regarding their proper care, costs of operation, energy efficiency, etc. Here, we answer some of the top most frequently asked questions regarding infrared heat sources and their nuances so that you can be sure to pick the one that best suits your needs.

Q: How do you clean an infrared heater?

Before cleaning, be sure to unplug your heater and allow it to cool off for at least 30 minutes. Clean your infrared heater with a damp cloth. Avoid using cleaning products or detergents on it. If your heater comes with an access panel for the air filter, remove the air filter and either vacuum or rinse with water and let it dry before replacing it.

Q: Do infrared heaters use a lot of electricity?

How much electricity your infrared heater uses all depends on the heater’s size and your particular area’s electricity fees. A 1500-watt heater will cost less than 25 cents per hour to run. If you run it for an average of 10 hours per day, it will cost around $65-$70 per month.

Q: What is the best infrared heater on the market?

The best infrared heater on the market is one that comes with a solid warranty to back it up, as well as lots of safety features. Having one that has been certified to pass independent third-party safety testing is also a good idea. 

Our Top Pick

The Dr. Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater comes from a well-reputed manufacturer and has been certified to the highest safety standards by UL, a leading third-party certification company. It’s got an easy to read digital display, automatic programmable timer, caster wheels for portability, and stays cool to the touch when being operated. It’s also equipped with three heating modes that allow you to heat a large or small space effectively and efficiently.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s the Dr. Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater or the Heat Storm Wall Deluxe Indoor Infrared Heater, there’s likely an infrared heater that will fit ideally with your space and budget needs.

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