Kmart electric heater proves to be a dud

The $55 Anko HD904-11 heater comes joint last in our latest test.

The Kmart heater that'll leave you cold

While Kmart is usually renowned for cheap products that compete with more expensive big brands, the retailer's $55 electric heater is one of the worst performing heaters CHOICE has tested in years.

But you could do even worse with a $459 competitor tying for last place.

Which heaters performed best in our detailed lab analysis? Get the latest results from our electric heaters test.

Cold comfort

With an overall score of just 48%, the Kmart Anko HD904-11 tied for last place in our latest electric heaters test.

There's not much to praise about the heater, although it was one of the cheapest to run – costing just $141 for 500 hours of winter use. Then again, with a measly heating score of 38%, that's probably because it doesn't really do much.

"This is one of the most poorly performing electric heaters I've seen in my time at CHOICE," says Matthew Steen, director of testing and reviews at CHOICE.

"You'll be left waiting a long time for any noticeable heat – over 57 minutes to raise our test room by 5°C – and it didn't even manage to reach a 10°C rise."

It's a disappointing result for a brand that often surprises in CHOICE testing, with Kmart's $89 coffee machine performing well in our tests, but this Anko HD904-11 heater shows more work needs to be done before rushing products to shelves.

Video: Kmart's $55 dud electric heater

Pricey paperweight

Of course, you could do worse than the Kmart heater by paying more for the Noirot 7358-7T electric heater – which also scored just 48% overall. This $459 paperweight is currently available at stores such as The Good Guys and Harvey Norman. 

The Noirot heater did have a slightly better heating score of 50%, but performed miserably on our ease of use score at 42%. It's also more expensive to run, coming in at $263 for 500 hours of use.

How should I heat my home instead?

It may come as a surprise, but a reverse cycle air conditioner is the best heating option for most homes. 

But we know that not everyone can afford that investment or get their landlord to agree to install one, which is why we test portable electric heaters to help you find a good performer to suit your needs and budget.

We also have some cheap and simple tips that can make a big difference to keeping your home warm.

How we test electric heaters

These latest results show that you can be equally ripped off making a $50+ or $400+ investment, and given how poorly these heaters performed in our independent tests, we don't put much faith in the suspiciously glowing reviews you might find online.

Our electric heater tests are performed by an independent lab which assesses heating performance, safety, energy efficiency, and ease of use.

Read more about the testing process.

CHOICE members can get the inside word on truly independent testing with our full electric heater results.

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