If you’re ready to buy but want a bit more advice on the type of heater to get, have a look at our guide outlining what you should consider when you’re buying a portable heater.
It might also be worth investigating smart heating systems and thermostats: these often give you granular heating controls from your phone, and can be a great way to make your heating system more energy efficient. Take a look at our guide to the best smart thermostats to find out more.
Before you buy, there are a couple of things to bear in mind. The first is safety. Never cover your portable heater or use it to dry clothes.
The second thing to consider is cost. If you run a plug-in heater all day, it’ll use a huge amount of electricity. A portable fan heater running for 24 hours continuously on a standard electricity tariff cost you £7 per day.
With all that said, read on.
The best portable heaters
De’Longhi Capsule Ceramic Fan Heater
With a suggested retail price of £44.99/$49.95 the Capsule isn’t the cheapest small heater you will find on the market. It is pretty much permanently discounted on Amazon, however, and there is much to like here.
For one thing, it looks good. And that’s an important factor in a device that will spend its life on show in your home or office. The cute grid stylings, mixture of metals and ceramics, and Apple-esque curved edges give an overall feeling of classic modernity. This is very definitely tech, but a part of the furniture.
The Capsule feels built to last, and is a great size. Weighing around 1.3 kg, and 192x137x270mm in size, it is perfectly portable. Critically, it is equally at home on the floor or on your desk, which isn’t true of all ‘compact’ heaters. And the 1,800 watts output – although not the most powerful compact heater there is – pumps out plenty of heat, and quickly.
So what’s not to like? Noise. The De’Longhi Capsule HFX30C18.IW is compact in all respects bar its audio footprint. Like living near an airport you soon forget the noise, but it is very far from quiet.
Well priced, compact and capable of pumping out heat, we like the Capsule. We just wish it was a little quieter.
Dyson Pure Hot+Cool
Ok, it’s extremely expensive compared to many of the heaters you can find on the market, but its Dyson so we expect little else. This isn’t a case of just overpriced plastic though, you really do get what you pay for because you get a lot more than just a heater here.
As the name suggests the Pure Hot+Cool is both a heater and a cooling fan in one product. Oh and it’s a pretty advanced air purifier to boot. This is a device that will be useful all year round so there’s no need to go chucking it in and out of the loft for chunks of the year.
It might do various things, but all them work well so this isn’t a case of a jack of all trades, master of none.
The Pure Hot+Cool is packed with features including an LCD screen that can give you real-time information about the air quality as well as basics like the temperature and fan speed. You can set it on diffuse mode if you don’t want air coming out the front and make use of the night mode for quiet operation.
There’s a useful remote control and you can even control the device from your phone using an app – even when you’re not at home.
Read our full Dyson Pure Hot+Cool review.
Dimplex M2GTS Ceramic Heater
The Dimplex M2GTS might be relatively expensive for its size, but this ceramic heater packs and punch. It has an RRP of £90 but you can get it from Amazon and Argos for cheaper.
If you need a compact heater than isn’t just weedy in performance then 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 another small space. It looks stylish with a black and red design, plus has a handy handle at the back for moving it around.
Spending a little more on a heater like this means you get a bunch of features that will come in very useful.
The M2GTS comes with no less than three heat settings and that’s just the start. We really like the small LCD screen which shows the temperature you can set. It goes from a 5 degree frost protection all the way up to 30 degrees and the display changes colour as you go.
You also get optional oscillation as well as a timer that goes up to 12 hours.
Dimplex EvoRad 2kW Oil Free Radiator
The headline feature of the EvoRad 2kW is that it’s completely oil-free, which allows it heats up much quicker than a standard radiator, and can 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 degrees Celsius), and using a built-in thermostat, it’ll turn itself on and off when required to save energy.
You’ve also got access to a runback timer and a delayed start option, though these are a little fiddly to activate and we’d have preferred dedicated buttons on the radiator controls for ease of use.
The lack of oil means that it’s fairly light for a radiator too – not that you’ll need to actually carry it from room-to-room, thanks to the inclusion of built-in castors. They are a little flimsy though, 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 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.