The following models scored the best results in our test.
|What to buy|
The DeLonghi Garda heater operates at 1250W or 2400W compared with the rest of the heaters at 1000W or 2000W. As a result, it delivers more heat than the other models and is faster to raise the temperature of a room. However, it was also noisier than the other models when using the flame effect without using the heater function.
If you don't want the traditional cast-iron-stove style, the Dimplex Lee20's modern brushed-metal look combined with a good heating performance could be a good option. Castors should also make it easier to move the heater from room to room.
What about the rest?
The FlameGlow heaters certainly look substantial and include the two heaviest models on test. However you need to have a power point close by as the cords are only just over one metre in length.
The Dimplex Brayford was the lightest heater on the test and returned a heating score on par with most of the other models. However, it and the Dimplex Allegri did not have a thermostat to regulate the desired temperature and can't be recommended as a result.
Ideally, all models should require simple safety features. The installation of an inexpensive tilt cut-out switch means the heater will automatically turn off once an angle of incline past an accepted limit is reached.
Unfortunately, few heaters have this basic safety feature. When we placed the heaters in this test on their back and front, most of the models continued to operate.
The heaters with thermostats continued to turn on and off. The models without thermostats continued to heat, except the Dimplex Allegri which turned off and stayed off through the use of a thermal cut-out switch when on its front. None of the heaters were damaged or caused other damage when this test was carried out on a concrete floor. However, the result could be different if this happened or carpet or if someone fell on it and was unable to roll away.
All the heaters passed our towel-drape test without incident, except the FlameGlow FG450 we are testing an additional heater and will provide an update as the results come in.
The user manuals of the DeLonghi Garda and FlameGlow heaters clearly state not to use an extension lead due to the danger of overheating the cord. So why would FlameGlow make a heater with a power cord that is just 1.1 or 1.2 metres long? This small cord length may force you to place the heater away from an ideal heating position to reach an available power outlet.