Best radiant heater

Heating, Cooling & Air Quality

An electric radiant heater with a long power cord gives you more choices for placement.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which radiant heater is best?

For those cold days where your home’s furnace isn’t quite keeping up with the weather, a radiant heater is a nice choice. You can use a radiant heater to create warmth in the area directly around you, rather than heating an entire room.

A radiant heater is a type of space heater that doesn’t use a blower or fan to circulate the warm air it generates. This means it doesn’t cause dust to recirculate throughout the room, making it an efficient option for allergy sufferers.

Our favorite radiant heater is the DeLonghi Comfort Temp Full Room Radiant Heater.

What to know before you buy a radiant heater


When selecting the best radiant heater for your needs, pay attention to the physical size of the unit, its wattage and its power source. Also take into consideration the size of the area you intend to heat.

  • Less than 100 square feet: Use a heater with less than 1,000 watts of power for a small area. You usually can carry this size of radiant heater from room to room easily by hand.
  • 100 to 150 square feet: A midsize radiant heater will have 1,000-1,500 watts of power. This style of heater may be too heavy for some people to carry by a handle.
  • More than 150 square feet: Heaters with 1,500-2,500 watts of power are large enough to handle a big room. This style of radiant heater may have wheels to aid in portability, or it may be designed as a stationary unit.

Power source

The majority of radiant heaters will run on electric power, using a cord that plugs into a standard three-prong outlet. The electric heater is the safest model for use indoors. It’s also the easiest design to use.

Some radiant heaters run from a propane tank or canister. These heaters often are limited to outdoor use, although a few models are safe to use indoors. Because you can carry the propane tank with you anywhere, this style of heater is nice for camping or use on a patio where electric outlets are not available.

If you purchase a radiant heater made to run on natural gas, you may need to hire a technician to connect it to a gas line. A natural gas radiant heater is only made for outdoor use, such as a permanent installation on a patio, at an outdoor eating area or on a deck.

What to look for in a quality radiant heater

Heat levels

At the very least, a radiant heater should have two settings of high and low. Some may have three or four settings. If your heater doesn’t have a thermostat, being able to set the levels of heat generation is important.


If you’ll be using the radiant heater around pets or children, safety features are extremely important. A tip-over feature will shut off the unit if it topples, for example. Additionally, the unit’s case should remain cool to the touch, even when it’s running.


With a built-in thermostat, you can have the heater activated only when the room reaches a certain temperature. This helps with energy efficiency.


The timer allows you to run the heater for a certain period of time, usually up to 12 hours, before it shuts off automatically. This is a nice feature for use in a sleeping area.

How much you can expect to spend on a radiant heater

Small radiant heaters that use up to 1,000 watts will cost $15-$75. The most powerful heaters can use between 1,000 and 2,500 watts, and may cost $75-$500.

Radiant heater FAQ

Will you be able to sleep with a radiant heater in the room, or is it too noisy?

A. The majority of radiant heaters run quietly, so they shouldn’t interrupt your slumber. A radiant heater doesn’t need a fan, creating an almost silent operation.

Are radiant heaters dangerous to use?

A. As long as you follow the directions and adhere to the safety rules from the manufacturer, it will be safe. Keep flammable items away from the heater. And look for a model that shuts off if it tips.

What’s the best radiant heater to buy?

Top radiant heater

DeLonghi Comfort Temp Full Room Radiant Heater

DeLonghi Comfort Temp Full Room Radiant Heater

What you need to know: This unit is perfect for delivering a reasonable level of heat to above-average sized rooms.

What you’ll love: It runs quietly, so it’s nice for a bedroom. There is plenty of control settings available.

What you should consider: It needs quite a bit of electrical power, so avoid using light-duty extension cords with it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top radiant heater for the money

Mr. Heater’s Buddy Indoor-Safe Radiant Heater

Mr. Heater’s Buddy Indoor-Safe Radiant Heater

What you need to know: This unit uses propane to deliver the heat, which means you can use it anywhere, even where electrical power is not available.

What you’ll love: It heats medium and large rooms adequately, and has redundant automatic shut-off settings in case of malfunction.

What you should consider: There are some reported problems with customer service responding to issues.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Tangkula’s Electric Radiant Heater

Tangkula’s Electric Radiant Heater

What you need to know: Those with pets or children in the house will appreciate the safety features on this model.

What you’ll love: It includes wheels to easily move the heater to a new room and it runs quietly.

What you should consider: It doesn’t generate quite as much heat as more expensive units.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Kyle Schurman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.