What is the best space heater for large room use?
There a several models that could be called the best large room space heater. We’ve selected 7 top large room space heaters for you to consider.
Each of the models has heating performance or style features that make them unique from the rest, as you can see from the list. That allows you to select one best suited to our purposes.
Best Large Room Space Heaters & Reviews
There are 7 categories. Here they are with the top model in each.
Choose the link to learn more about the space heater or to find the lowest purchase price.
We’ve made finding a heater and getting it ordered quick and easy.
Safety first: By the way, each of these large room space heaters has required safety features. Saying it here saves you time from having to read it in each of the “pros” sections below.
AmazonBasics Space Heater
- 1500/1000W, 2 Settings
- Tip-Over And Overheat Protection
- Real wood cabinet, Timer, Remote
Cadet Com-Pak Twin
- Two 2,000-Watt Heaters
- Wall Mounted
- Steel Frame And Cover
Extra Large Room
Comfort Zone Oscillating Tower
- 800, 1000 & 1500W
- Overheating & Tip-Over Protection
- Eco Mode, 8hr Timer, Remote
Pro Breeze Mini Heater
- 1500/750W, 2 Settings
- Overheating & Tip-Over Protection
- Lightweight And Compact Design
Duraflame Quartz Fireplace
- 1500W, 5,200 BTUs
- Flame Color And Brightness Are Adjustable
- Over Heat Protection
- High (1500W) or Low (750W)
- Overheating & Tip-Over Protection
- Wall Mountable Option
Pelonis Electric Heater
- 900 & 1500W + Eco Mode
- Overheating & Tip-Over Protection
- 10hr Timer, Remote, Casters
Best Oil Filled
Mr. Heater F274830 MH18BRV
- 4, 000-18, 000 BTUs, 450 sq. ft
- Tip-Over Protection
- For Ventilated Spaces
Our Guide to Large Room Space Heaters follows reviews of top models. The guide covers the issues consumers ask about most when shopping for a large room space heater.
#1 AmazonBasics Portable Space Heater 1500W
Best Overall Large Room Space Heater
This highly rated, attractive large room space heater is a much better value than similar heaters that cost up to 3 times more. It’s available in black too when you select the link.
- Pros: 1000 and 1500 watt settings. Efficient infrared heating. Remote. Timer. Genuine wood cabinet. Cool to touch.
- Cons: 23+ pounds, so a little difficult to move. It has wheels, though.
- Best Use: Stationary locations like large bedrooms, living rooms, small apartments and RVs.
#2 Cadet Com-Pak Twin 4000W Wall Heater with Thermostat
Best Extra Large Room Heater
Two 2,000-watt heaters in one cabinet!
- Pros: Quickly heats a large space. Wall mounted, so no floor space used and no tripping hazard. Tough steel frame and cover.
- Cons: Must be recessed in wall. Hardwired. Requires 208/240 volt circuit.
- Best Use: Living area, large bedroom, small addition, basement, insulated garage.
#3 Comfort Zone Oscillating Space Heater Tower with Remote Control
Best Oscillating Large Room Space Heater
Easily distribute heat side to side with the ceramic element, fan and oscillation.
- Pros: 800/1000/1500 watt settings. Quiet operation. ETL safety certification. Timer. Digital thermostat. Lightweight design.
- Cons: Tower style is easier to tip. But it has a tip-over shut-off.
- Best Use: Oscillating action makes it great for any room occupied by multiple people in different locations.
#4 Pro Breeze 1500W Mini Ceramic Space Heater
Best Portable Large Room Space Heater
This fast-heating ceramic space heater delivers up to 1500 watts of heat and weighs about 3 pounds!
- Pros: Immediate heat. 750 & 1500 watt settings. Very light. Highly rated. Affordable.
- Cons: A little noisier than most.
- Best Use: Bedroom, office, bathroom, dorm.
#5 Duraflame Electric Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove with 3D Flame Effect
Best Fireplace Large Room Space Heater
Why not enjoy relaxing ambience while getting warm? There are several nice models. This fireplace heater looks the most realistic and has great ratings.
- Pros: 3D logs. Flickering flames. 5,200 BTUs from the 1500-watt infrared heater. Digital thermostat.
- Cons: Cost. There are many cheaper 1500 watt fireplace heaters, but none look this good.
- Best Use: Living room, bedroom, den, cabin.
#6 DeLonghi HMP1500 Mica Panel Heater
Best Wall Mounted Large Room Space Heater
This slim, innovative and very quiet heater packs 1500 watts of heat. Wall kit and optional feet included for versatile use.
- Pros: Space-saving design. Kit included. Efficient micathermic heat. Installs on wall, not in wall.
- Cons: No fan, so heat takes longer to radiate to furthest part of the room.
- Best Use: Anywhere you want quiet heating – bedroom, TV room, office, etc.
#7 Pelonis Electric, 1500W Portable Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater
Best Oil Filled Large Room Space Heater
Oil heaters are common, but most don’t meet our quality expectations. This one is the best in its class. Two heat settings are 900 and 1500 watts. The oil retains heat, so the unit radiates heat long after being turned off.
- Pros: Efficient. Quiet. Timer. Remote. Caster wheels. LCD display.
- Cons: Oil heaters take longer to get hot.
- Best Use: Living room, bedroom, office, small apartment, cabin.
#8 Mr. Heater F274830 MH18BRV Big Buddy Grey Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Heater
Best Propane Large Room Space Heater
A propane large room heater delivers immediate heat and a lot of it. This top-rated propane heater has 4K, 9K and 18K BTU settings.
Pros: Integrated fan for fast heating. Push-button start. Oxygen Depletion Sensor. Can be used with bottle, cylinder or tank.
Cons: Accessory hose & regulator needed for cylinder and tank use. They’re not included.
Best Use: This extra large room heater is ideal for poorly insulated space such as a drafty room, unfinished basement or converted garage.
Note: The optional hose/regulator combo is available here.
This propane large room space heater requires 4 “D” batteries or this AC adapter to run the fan.
Here is comprehensive research to help you select a large room space heater you will be happy with in terms of its performance, heating ability and style.
What Does “Large Room” Mean? Heating Capacity
A large room space heater is one that is rated for 800-1,000 square feet.
- For electric large room space heaters, that is 1500 watts.
- For propane heaters, that is about 9,000 BTUs.
How Much Space Does a Large Room Heater Heat?
This is a trick question. It really is. Yes, many space heater product pages say things like “heats up to 1,000 square feet,” but that is, at best, an incomplete statement.
A more accurate description would be something like: “This space heater supplies supplemental heating for up to 1,000 square feet of insulated space.”
Factors that affect how much space any heater will heat are:
- Heating power of the space heater: All the electric models in this guide are at least 1500 watts, the largest capacity for most large room space heaters.
- Insulation: How well the room is insulated. The better the insulation, the larger the room the heater will serve.
- Central heating: How well does the main heat source do its job, and what temperature is the thermostat set to.
- Indoor temperature: If the room is heated to 65F by a furnace or heat pump, then it might boost the heat to 72F in a 1,000 square foot area. But if the room is only heated to 50F or isn’t heated at all, the space heater won’t be able to warm a room that size.
- Outside temperature: The heater might easily heat 1,000 square feet when it is 55F outside, but will struggle to keep a room that size warm if it is below-freezing outdoors.
Most Common Uses for a Large Room Space Heater
Where would you use a large room space heater? One could say, “big rooms.” Sure, but perhaps we can be more helpful. We recommend a space heater for large room use in:
- Living rooms and TV rooms where people gather but are spread out
- Bedroom-bathroom suites/Large bedrooms when the central heating is turned down for the night
- Rooms with poor insulation or old, drafty windows
- Rooms far from the central heating source that don’t get adequately heated
- Small apartments, townhouses and condos with an open floorplan
- Small bungalows / 1.5-story homes with open floorplans
- Small additions when you don’t want the expense of a separate furnace or heat pump
- Bonus rooms above garages, since they are often poorly heated
- Cabins and small vacation homes
- Unfinished basements that are chilly and damp
- Converted garages or attics not served by central heat
- Insulated garages and workshops
- 3-season rooms when you want to use it more months of the year
- Large RVs/Fifth Wheelers
In general, there are two ways to use large room heaters:
1. Supplemental heat: Remember, space heaters are primarily designed to supplement the heat produced by a central heating source – a furnace, heat pump or boiler, for example. As described in the list above, this supplemental heat makes space comfortable when the central heat is inadequate or when it is turned down. This is how most large room heaters are used.
- You have a home office that is the room mostly occupied from 9am to 5pm.
- You enjoy a toasty bedroom in winter.
- You spend your evenings in the [name the room, kitchen, TV room, finished basement – every household is different].
- In these and many other scenarios, you can save money by turning down the house’s primary heat source and add supplemental heating to the occupied room/zone.
2. Occasional heat: Can a large room space heater ever be the only source of heat? Yes. But this approach only makes sense for occasional heating. This is the case because electric heat is expensive compared with a gas furnace or a heat pump.
This table compares heating cost for the most common heat sources.
|Type||Daily Cost to Heat 1,000 s.f.|
|Mini Split Heat Pump||$0.65 – $1.05|
|Standard Heat Pump||$0.80 – $1.05|
|Gas Furnace||$1.20 – $2.15|
|Boiler||$1.45 – $2.30|
|Electric Space Heater||$1.90 – $2.40|
As you can see, electric heat is the most expensive type by a wide margin.
What it comes down to is doing the math.
Will you use a cabin 15 days of the year? Then a large room space heater might be a better choice, since a central heating source like a furnace or ductless heat pump cost $1,500-$3,000. It would take 10+ years to recoup the cost of a central heating system.
Will you use a workshop 150 days a year? Then a central heat source will be a better option. Though the equipment cost will be higher, you’ll make it up through lower energy bills in +/- 5 years depending on the heat source you choose and its efficiency.
Large Room Space Heater Features to Consider
What makes a great space heater for large rooms and zones? Keep these features in mind as you browse large room space heaters. Not all heaters have all these characteristics.
- Heat production: An electric space heater should produce at least 1500 watts when used in a large space. A propane heater should create 9,000 BTU minimum. Multiple heat settings make any heater more versatile. For example, large room heaters might have a 750 or 1000 watt setting for smaller rooms to complement its 1500-watt capacity.
- Fan: A fan helps push the warmed air to parts of the room furthest from the heater. This doesn’t mean the room will heat up faster, as some heater literature states. That’s a false claim, since a fan doesn’t create heat. A fan just moves heated air.
- Oscillation: These units move side to side and have fans. The range of motion among the various models is about 55 to 85 degrees. If you put these fans in a corner, an 80-degree arch will move air to most of the room.
- Portability: Small 1500-watt heaters are the most portable, weighing less than 6lbs. Tower/oscillating heaters are also pretty light – less than 10lbs. Cabinet heaters are the heaviest, typically between 22 and 30 pounds. Most, however, have casters/wheels, so are easy to move over hard flooring. They’re a little tougher to roll over carpet. The only large room space heaters that aren’t portable are wall-mounted units fixed in place to the wall.
- Remote Control: A remote adds convenience to any large space heater. Stay seated on the couch. Don’t get up from your desk. Just reach over to the nightstand. Easy. The best remotes give you the same functions as the control panel on the heater: On/Off, adjust the thermostat setting, change the heat setting or mode, etc.
- Digital Thermostat: Many space heaters have dial thermostats, and they aren’t very accurate. That means you’ll have to experiment with the thermostat to figure out what setting on the dial is right for the heat level you want. A digital thermostat is generally more accurate. They’re not perfect. Typically, a unit with a digital thermostat will shut off before the room temperature reaches the thermostat setting. This is simply because the unit will be quite warm, and that will affect the thermostat sensor.
- Timer: A timer will turn off the heater automatically. This prevents energy waste. For example, turn down the furnace thermostat while watching TV in a room supplemented with a space heater. Set the heater timer for a few hours ti be sure it won’t run all night, heating an empty room while you’re snuggled in your bed under a thick blanket.
Space Heater Types
There are a few ways that large room space heaters create and distribute heat. Understanding how they work might assist you in deciding which space heater to buy.
1. Radiator/Radiative Space Heaters
These are the simplest types. The heating element heats up, and heat radiates out from it. Think about an electric stove element. Electricity runs through it, causing it to get hot through “resistive heat.” The heat then simply spreads out from the element.
Oil: Some large room radiator heaters have elements immersed in a tank of oil. The value is that the oil holds heat very well.
When you turn off an oil heater, the oil will continue to radiate a decreasing amount of heat for up to 30 or 40 minutes. This means you can shut off the heater manually or via a timer a short time before you don’t need its heat. Running the heater for 3 hours and getting heat for 3.5 hours reduces energy use and cost.
Metal Elements: The cheapest radiator space heaters have a bare metal element.
Ceramic: Some have elements encased or at least connected to ceramic. They are usually a bit more costly. The value of ceramic (clay) is that it holds heat better than bare metal. This improves efficiency, but only slightly.
Fans: Some radiative heaters use fans to push the heated air into the far reaches of the room. Oil heaters do not have fans.
Infrared Space Heaters: Infrared radiation sounds scary, but it isn’t. The radiation isn’t strong enough to penetrate your skin. Instead, it gently heats what it touches.
Sunlight is very similar. On a 50-degree autumn day, you might be quite warm standing in the sun, but would be chilly in the shade.
Infrared space heaters only heat objects, not air. This helps their efficiency. For more information, see our Best Infrared Heaters Reviews and Guide.
2. Convection/Convective Space Heaters
These are hybrid heaters. They use metal, metal/ceramic or infrared technology to create heat and a fan to disperse it.
Fans do not heat space faster. Fans don’t create heat. What they do is push it further than simple radiation can quickly reach.
Most metal and metal/ceramic heaters have fans. So do many infrared space heaters.
Oil heaters do not incorporate a fan.
3. Propane Heaters
A few propane heaters burn the fuel so completely that they create little byproducts such as carbon monoxide.
A propane heater is a good choice for rooms that aren’t insulated or have very poor insulation. See the Electric vs Gas section below for important considerations.
Electric vs Gas – Pros and Cons
More than 90% of indoor large room space heaters are electric. There are risks and rewards for considering a propane indoor space heater.
Electric large room space heater: These units are easy to use. Unpackage it, read the manual for best practices, and plug it in.
Then turn it on and adjust the settings such as the heat setting (low/medium/high or 750 watt/1500 watt).
Expect an odor at the start. The smell is caused by burning off machine grease left on the element from its manufacture, or simple debris like dust.
- Pros: Simple to use. Easy to move from room to room. Digital thermostat gives precise temperature control. Cheap electric heaters cost less than gas large room space heaters.
- Cons: Electricity costs more than propane, especially if the propane heater is run off a cylinder or tank rather than a 1lb bottle, so operating costs are higher.
Propane large room space heater: These heaters have their place, which we hope to define in the pros and cons.
- Pros: More heat is produced and the heater does it for less money than electricity when the unit is fueled by a cylinder or tank. Many units cost less than electric large space heaters.
- Cons: Potential carbon monoxide poisoning risk if the unit is not safe for indoor use or is used in an unventilated areas. Moving the heater and its tank or hose can be a hassle, so stationary use is best.
Electric vs Gas Space Heaters – Bottom Line
Unless you need a lot of heat for your purpose, an electric large room space heater is a better choice.
When should you use a propane large room space heater?
1. When the space isn’t insulated or is poorly insulated.
2. When you want a versatile and portable space heater like the Mr. Heater model in the list above. You can use it indoors and outdoors. Propane heaters are great for the garage, deck or patio, fishing shanty, hunting blind, campsite, construction site and much more.
How to Use a Space Heater Efficiently
Electric heat is the most expensive heat source among your major options. That’s a red flag. But it is also deceiving. This section details when and how an electric large room space heater can be the right choice.
1. Reducing Whole House Heat
If just one room in your home is occupied for 2+ hours, then you can save money on your heating bill by turning down the central heat source and keeping the occupied space comfortable with an electric space heater.
- Bedrooms at night
- Home office during the day
- TV room/Living Room in the evening
2. Supplemental or Occasional Use
Sometimes supplemental heat is needed. Here are a few common scenarios:
- Your central heat source, a furnace or heat pump for example, is undersized and can’t quite keep your home warm on the coldest winter nights.
- A room far from the heat source is always cooler than the rest of your home.
- The basement is finished, but heat rises, so its often cold down there.
In these cases, using a space heater for supplemental heat is popular and efficient.
A space heater can also provide occasional heat in areas you don’t often use in winter. An insulated garage or 3-season room are examples.
Using the space heater’s timer can prevent you from leaving the unit on when heat is no longer needed.
4. Home Upgrades
If the heat made by a space heater is conserved, energy costs will be significantly lower. These home improvements will help a lot:
- Add attic insulation: Make sure the attic in your home has at least the amount recommended by the US Department of Energy.
- Weatherproof doors and windows: Make sure the caulk around door and window frames is in place and in good condition. Replace it, if it is not.
Also, add weather-stripping to doors and windows that are drafty. This will help prevent heat loss small cracks caused by the lack of a tight fit.
- Install insulated curtains and/or blinds: These cost a little more than blinds and curtains that are not insulated, but your home will be more comfortable and the extra cost will be paid back pretty quickly through lower energy costs.
All these upgrades will improve both your winter heating efficiency and your summer AC efficiency.
A space heater for large room use can be an important part of your total home heating plan.
- Use it safely per the instructions included with the unit.
- Use it wisely by turning down the central heating system and as supplemental and occasional heat.
- Take other measures to make your home energy efficient.
When you follow these basic guidelines, a large room space heater will help to keep your home comfortable and your energy costs lower.