Five of the worst electric heaters

Avoid these models if you want a heater that will last more than one winter.

Heaters full of hot air

Electric heaters aren't the most energy efficient way to heat up your home, but they're still an effective solution to quickly take the chill out of a cold room.

We reveal five of the worst-performing electric heaters that we've come across in our testing, and our digital home expert Denis Gallagher shares his tips on buying a good quality, safe heater that will last you several years.

"An electric heater is generally a short-term solution for those nights when it gets chilly in the spare room or the kids' room and you don't have an air conditioner or gas heater in that area of the home," says Gallagher.

What to look for

  • Look out for a heater with a long cord. You want the heater reasonably close to you, particularly in a large room, and you don't want to be using an extension lead.
  • A timer is a great feature for this type of heater as electric heaters are the most expensive heating product to run. If you want to use an electric heater to take the chill out of the room before going to sleep, set the timer for the heater to turn off after a couple of hours and maybe have the timer set to turn on again early in the morning.
  • Size is an issue as you will need to store it somewhere in the summer months, so you might want to consider one of the smaller models.
  • Don't put your clothes on an oil column heater to warm them up, it might seem like a smart idea but it's not – it's dangerous. 

With so many brands on the market where do you begin? Here at CHOICE we've done the hard part for you by rigorously testing the latest electric heaters. And while some of the heaters we tested gave us a warm fuzzy feeling, there were some that left us cold.

Our electric heater reviews score each model for heating performance, comparative energy efficiency and ease of use, to help you decide what's hot and what's not.

Five electric heaters to avoid

  1. Noirot 7358-7T
  2. Costs $439 and scored 48%
    • Borderline heating performance
    • No cord storage
  3. Heller OIL9
  4. Costs $70 and scored 51%
    • Poor heating performance
    • Only OK comparative energy efficiency
  5. Kambrook KOH111
  6. Costs $100 and scored 52%
    • Borderline heating performance
    • Borderline comparative energy efficiency
  7. DeLonghi HCM2030
  8. Costs $38 and scored 54%
    • Only OK heating performance
    • No cord storage
    • No tilt switch
  9. Dimplex OFRC24TIB
  10. Costs $210 and scored 55%
    • Only OK heating performance
    • Borderline comparative energy efficiency
    • Control labels hard to read – they are moulded in the plastic with no contrasting colour
    • Not very easy to move

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