For many reasons, the bathroom in your home is a room like no other. It is a room where you and your family each carry out several essential activities to keep yourselves healthy, well and clean such as showering, washing, brushing your teeth, and a couple more which we’re sure you can work out for yourself.
Given that we tend to be in the bathroom first thing in the morning, or late at night, which are not the warmest times of the day, the need for heat can often be more pressing than in other rooms. In cold spells, even during the day in winter, the bathroom can feel more like a cold room at a supermarket.
This is why your bathroom needs a heater, but the question is, ‘Which one?’. In this review, we are going to look at five of the very best bathroom heaters and highlight all the features they have which will help you, and family, stay warm when you are in there.
We will also give you further information on bathroom heaters with a look at safety, installation advice, and the different types of heater you can choose.
- Reviews of The Best Bathroom Heaters
- Important Safety Considerations Relating to Bathroom Heaters
- Features to Look for In A Bathroom Heater
- Why You Should Fit An ALCI Safety Plug To Your Portable Bathroom Heater
Reviews of The Best Bathroom Heaters
#1 Stiebel Eltron Wall Mounted Electric Fan Heater
Our first bathroom heater is one, which does need to be installed. This includes an electrical cable being run to and through the top of the heater, as well as it being mounted on the wall.
Once this has been completed you will then have a very modern surface mounted heater in your bathroom, which, thanks to its white with black trim coloring, should complement most bathroom suites and color schemes.
In terms of its heating functions, it will pull in the cold air in the bathroom through its top vents, and then blow warm air back out into the bathroom via the vents at the bottom of the heater. The fans which blow this air are extremely quiet, so you should not be distracted whilst you enjoy a long relaxing soak in the bath.
This heater is rated to 1500 watts so the level of heat it produces should help warm your bathroom up quickly even on those coldest of early mornings. There is a thermostat on the side so that you can adjust this heat up or down to suit.
Things We Like
- Simple, modern design
- Heats up quickly
- Adjustable thermostat
- checkVery quiet operation
Things We Don’t Like
- Cable entry at the top instead of the bottom
- Large gap at the top looks ugly
#2 Lasko 6462 Full-Circle Warmth Ceramic Space Heater with Remote Control
One of the main reasons the Lasko 5160 ceramic heater is ideal for bathrooms, especially larger ones, is first and foremost due to its tower design, and thus the fact that it takes up very little space.
Another feature which makes it great for bathrooms is its remote control function. This allows you to soak and relax in the bath, and if you need to turn the heat level up or down, you can do so without getting out. Just make sure your hands are dry and that you do not drop the controller in the bath.
It has a rating of 1500 watts which will allow it to heat up bathrooms which are extremely cold. It has 3 heat sweep settings to project heat around your room. Its heat level can be set to high or low, and thereafter you can adjust it to get it exactly to the level you want. Other features include oscillation, 3 quiet settings, and it is portable, so it can be used in other rooms, when not needed in the bathroom.
Things We Like
- Auto function
- Remote control
- 3 heat sweep settings
- checkOscillation option
Things We Don’t Like
- Auto function only applies to the high setting
#3 Costway Portable Oil Filled Radiator Heater
A lot of homes with a full central heating system will have radiators throughout them providing the heat, and with the Costway Portable Radiator, you have a great solution for heating your bathroom.
This radiator is oil filled and completely sealed, so it is safe in terms of leakage, plus this means you do not have the hassle of having to refill it, which can’t be said for many similar radiators.
It heats to 700 watts and though that might not suit larger rooms, for a bathroom it is perfect for building up the heat on cold winter mornings, and in the evenings before you go for a long soak in the bath after work.
Controlling this radiator couldn’t be easier, with just one control dial which allows you to adjust the temperature up or down to suit. For convenience and safety, an orange light lets you know the heater is on. There are also safety cutoffs which activate if the heater gets knocked over or is in danger of overheating.
Things We Like
- Portable with easy carry handle
- Simple controller
- Overheat and tip over safety cutoffs
- checkDoes not need refilling
Things We Don’t Like
- No wheels for easy movement
- Does take some time to fully heat up
#4 Lasko CD08200 Bathroom Heater
If you are looking for a small heater that is not only great for use in the bathroom, but also light and portable enough to be used in other rooms, this heater from Lasko will appeal to you.
This will also be liked by those of you who want the simplest possible controls on your bathroom heater because as heater controls go, it doesn’t get much simpler than this. You have ‘High’, Low’, and a ‘1-hour’ timer which in conjunction with the high setting will switch the heater off after 60 minutes. This function is great for pre-heating the bathroom before you go in.
Its power rating is an impressive 1500 watts which is a lot for a heater so small it is only 7 inches on its longest side. Even with this impressive heat output, the heater stays cool to the touch, so it can be carried from room to room if necessary.
Safety hasn’t been overlooked with a cutoff function should the heater show any signs of overheating. The heater also comes fitted with an ALCI safety plug
Things We Like
- Cool to the touch exterior
- 1 hour auto off function
- Lightweight and portable
- checkALCI safety plug
Things We Don’t Like
- Not compatible with timers
- No thermostat feature
#5 EconoHome Wall Mount Space Heater Panel
Bathrooms are not normally rooms which have an abundance of space so any heater which helps with, rather than worsen that problem, is welcome.
The EconoHome space heater is well named because by being wall-mounted it means that valuable floor space is not required, and once installed it can heat your bathroom for many years to come. At 400 watts, and without the need for a fan to be constantly running, this heater is very energy efficient
We mentioned installed in the last paragraph because although this can be powered via a wall socket, for a bathroom it is highly recommended that it is hardwired to a permanent power source. This is a one-time job that can be done in just an hour or two, and that includes time for wall mounting.
When in use, its surface remains cool enough to touch, which will be important, not just for adults but especially for those of you with children. For this reason, many customers buy more than one heater for use in other rooms such as nurseries, and children’s bedrooms.
Things We Like
- Very energy efficient
- Cool to the touch
- One-off installation
- checkSimple, on/off operation
Things We Don’t Like
- Gives off a smell when brand new
- Hardware (screw caps etc.) are poor quality
Important Safety Considerations Relating to Bathroom Heaters
While there are safety considerations for all electrically powered heaters, regardless of which room they are in, the particular facets of a bathroom mean there are specific precautions that need to be taken in relation to any heaters which are placed or installed in them.
1. Keep It as Far Away from Water as Possible
There is no getting away from the fact that a bathroom is a room where there is going to be lots of water in use. Whether it is taking a shower, having a bath, brushing one’s teeth or washing your hands, they involve water.
Of course, you should know that water and electricity can be a dangerous and potentially deadly combination, so if you are planning to have an electrical heater in your bathroom you must take heed of the advice to follow, and ensure your family follows those that apply to them too.
- Place or install heater as far away from any water sources as possible
- If the heater is portable do not run extension leads into the bathroom in order to power it.
- If not already fitted, you should swap out the standard plug for an ALCI safety plug.
- A fixed heater should be installed by a qualified electrician who needs to certify that it has been connected to an appropriate safety circuit breaker.
- All your family, and especially young children should be aware that they should not to touch the heater if their hands are wet.
2. It Is Not A Towel / Clothes Rack
Remind your family and anyone who may live in your household that any bathroom heater is not be regarded as a makeshift towel or clothes dryer. While it may seem convenient to simply place a wet towel over a bathroom heater there is a danger that this can cause it to overheat. Bathroom heaters that have heating elements and fans are especially prone to this.
Another problem that is created by hanging clothes and towels on bathroom heaters is that it can accelerate the build-up of fluff and loose threads inside the heater, which again can cause overheating and inefficiency, which increases your power bill.
3. Don’t Make It A Trip Hazard
This applies only to portable heaters which you are able to position anywhere. Notwithstanding that you want it placed away from water sources, you should also try to position it so that it does present a trip hazard for you, or anyone else. The best place is next to a wall where you can see it, and there’s no chance of you toppling over it
There are countless accidents caused by people placing the heater in the middle of the bathroom and then tripping over it as they turned to reach for a towel, or forgetting it was there as they stepped out of the shower to wipe soap from their eyes.
Features to Look for In A Bathroom Heater
As your new bathroom heater is going to be either an installed heater or a portable one, there are obviously going to be features that are only going to apply to one and not the other. For this reason, we’ll do this in three parts: 1) Installed 2) Portable 3) Both
Installation Kit: This is the kit that you need to fix the heater to the wall. Unfortunately, not every product will have this, so the ones that do have the advantage.
Installation Instructions: Hard as it is to believe, there are some heater manufacturers that dispatch their products with absolutely no installation instructions at all, including important details such as electrical rating etc. Check for this before purchasing.
Compatible Wall Brackets: There will be variations in heater weights and subsequently, heater fixtures and fittings. Always check that the wall material your bathroom has is compatible with the heater mountings, especially if they are not supplied, and you have to purchase these yourself.
Tip Over Cutoff: With the risk that a portable heater in any room, including the bathroom, could accidentally be knocked over, the heater should have a safety cutoff. This will switch the heater off if it detects that it has been tipped over.
Timer: Some portable heaters have a timer which allows you to set it to switch off after a preset period of time. This saves energy and also reduces the possibility of it overheating.
Portability: The idea of a heater being portable is all good and well, but it needs some means to make it easy to move. These heaters should either have wheels to help move it, especially larger ones or at least they should have carry handles. Thankfully, most are lightweight so carrying them shouldn’t be too much of an effort.
ALCI Safety Plug: To ensure safe operation, and eliminate the risk of electrocution, a portable bathroom heater should have an ALCI safety plug installed. If it comes with a standard plug, then you are strongly encouraged to swap it over.
Heating Speed: Different heater types will heat up at different rates, and this can influence how you use the heater. If you prefer instant heat, then a heater with a convection fan is a possibility. On the other hand, if you want the bathroom to be heated slowly in advance of you going in, an oil filled radiator might be best.
Quiet Operation: There are all sorts of reasons why you’d want the heater in your bathroom to be as quiet as possible and thankfully most of them are, but there are some exceptions, especially those with fans. The thought of a nice long soak in the bath with your heater working quietly away in the background is far more appealing than a noisy fan whirring and destroying the peace.
Why You Should Fit An ALCI Safety Plug To Your Portable Bathroom Heater
You might have seen us mention ‘ALCI Safety Plug’ a few times in this article, so we thought we’d include a short section to explain what they are, and why they are so important in relation to bathroom heaters.
As you should already be aware, one of the biggest risks in respect of bathroom heaters is that of electrocution. Some of the ways this can happen are, some part of the heater’s electrics getting wet from water being splashed on it, a person who has wet hands touching the electrics, or as tragically been the case, a heater falling into a bath with someone bathing in it.
ALCI is an abbreviation of Appliance Leakage Current Interrupter, and what that rather long and technical phrase means is these plugs are designed to cut off the power to an appliance the instant it detects any differences in the current flowing between the positive and negative sides of the circuit.
There are many reasons that the difference can occur, but in relation to bathroom heaters it could be any and all of the examples we gave above, and more besides. Incidentally, the speeds at which an ALCI senses a problem and cuts off the power is even faster than household circuit breakers.
We are happy to recommend all five of the bathroom heaters we have reviewed and are certain that whichever one you decide to purchase, it will soon be keeping you nice and warm, whether you are entering or exiting your bath, brushing your teeth on a winter’s morning, or simply answering the call of nature in the middle of a freezing cold night.
Having said that, the one we believe is the best bathroom heater, is the Costway Portable Oil Filled Radiator Heater. The reason for this is two-fold. First, it is extremely easy to operate with just a simple heat control, and there’s also the fact that it doesn’t need refilling.
The other reason is that because it is so lightweight and easily carried, it can be used in other rooms in the house, thus making it excellent value for money too.