Here are test results for 29 electric heaters from $39 to $595, including nine newly models.
Our rigorous testing reveals which models:
- heat a room evenly, effectively and with the least fluctuation in temperature, and
- are easiest to use.
On this page, you'll find:
What type of heater?
An electric heater may not be the most efficient or cost-effective way to heat a room, but a convection or column heater can take the chill out of a small living area or bedroom.
A heater with a fan is best for rapidly warming a room, but fanless operation is very quiet so it has its advantages too. If you want the best of both worlds, some of the electric heaters we tested operate with the fan on to reach optimum temperature and then allow you to turn the fan off and let the element keep the room at a stable temperature. If portability is important, most convection models are significantly lighter than their column counterparts. We also included one fan heater, some radiant-and-convection models and a ceramic fan heater, for comparison.
For more information on electric heaters, see our heating options buying guide. Or, for more heating and cooling test reports go to Heating and Cooling.
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Abode 11-fin 8126795
Atlantic Artisan 519622
Atlantic Artisan 519627
Atlantic Rio 521824
# Atlantic Tatou Digital RYHGH-ATL2
DeLonghi Dragon 3 TRD2400T
# DeLonghi TCH7092ER
# Dimplex OFRC24ECCB
Dyson AM04 (A)
# Everdure HPE222W
# Omega Altise OAE24ET
# Omega Altise OCON20F
Omega Altise OMC24E1
# Omega Altise OMP24E
# Sunbeam HE2105
# Newly tested models. (A) Discontinued. Dyson claim the AM05 has the same heating performance but have improved the cooling performance.
Our tester looks at:
How long the electric heaters take to raise the room temperature by 5°C and 10°C, and how evenly the heat is distributed. Several heaters didn't manage a 10° temperature rise.
Ease of use
, including controls, stability, moving around, storing the power cord and cleaning.
Our tester also conducts electrical safety and surface temperature tests, including those required by the Australian standard. We also include a towel test, in which a towel is draped over the heater while it's on full power. We check that the heater doesn't overheat and that it shuts down before it damages the towel or itself - a tough test that simulates what might happen if something is draped over the heater (deliberately or accidentally). While most electric heaters pass this test, always put your clothes on a rack nearby rather than put anything in direct contact with a heater.
We’re often asked why we don’t include running costs for heaters. But there are many factors that make this hard to gauge. For example, if your heater has a thermostat – as it should, if you’re serious about saving money – it won’t be on all the time. Instead, it will be detecting the change in temperature and adjusting the heating accordingly – so regulating the cost. Other factors also affect the dollar amount of energy you use, such as insulation, room size and type of heater.
One thing we can do, however, is measure the electricity use of the heater over its first two hours during our performance test of heating up a cold room.
In this update, we include a column in our results table displaying the cost of a heater for these first two hours, using 26c/kWh as the base cost for electricity. This figure is derived from the national energy price survey we conduct each year. Bear in mind, however, that this price will fluctuate and should only be used as a rough guide: a good heater adjusts its output over time and a well-insulated room won’t need to be as constantly heated as a poorly insulated one.
In other words, running costs don’t give an indication of performance – as you can see from the results
Get access to our independent testing reports and save yourself time and money.