There are lots of heaters that are designed for large rooms and open plan areas, but what solutions are there, when you have a small room or space you want to heat? One of the most popular options is ceramic heaters, which are portable, inexpensive and ideal for heating smaller rooms. The problem with them being so popular is that there’re countless designs and different types of ceramic heaters, so knowing what to look for when trying to choose one, can be difficult.To overcome that difficulty, our ceramic heater reviews will give you the lowdown on the features of 5 top ceramic heaters currently available, plus it will give you invaluable advice on how to choose one.
- Reviews of the Best Ceramic Heaters
- How Ceramic Heaters Work
- Main Benefits of a Ceramic Heater
- Safety Features of Ceramic Heaters
- Features to Look for When Choosing a Ceramic Heater
- Ceramic Heaters vs Infrared Heaters
- Costs Associated with a Ceramic Heater
Reviews of the Best Ceramic Heaters
#1 Brightown Ceramic Space Heater
This is a very modern looking ceramic heater, thanks to its silver color, large curved handle, and the grey grille on the front. It is taller than many ceramic heaters, but it is still very lightweight, so its portability isn’t in question.
While it’s not designed for heating large open areas or rooms, it is perfect for smaller rooms, bedrooms, offices and dens.
It is very easy to operate, using the two simple dials on the top. The right-hand dial is used to select one of the three settings which are ‘Fast’, ‘Slow’ and ‘Fan’. ‘Fast’ blows the heat twice as fast as the ‘Slow’ setting.
When you select ‘Fan’, the heater element switches off, but the fan continues to blow air. This can be used at times when the room temperature is high, and a stream of cool air is more desirable than more heat.
The dial on the left is the thermostat controller, which you set to ‘High’ to switch on the heater. You can then adjust it, and the heater will operate at the temperature setting you chose.
Safety features of this ceramic heater include a tip over auto cut-off if the heater gets accidentally knocked over, and there is also an overheat sensor which prevents the heater from reaching excessively high temperatures.
Things We Like
- Simple and easy to use
- Modern and stylish design
- Multiple safety features
- Light and portable
Things We Don’t Like
- Fan can be noisy
- Slight odor when new
#2 Bovado USA 166648 Ceramic Space Heater
This ceramic heater from ‘Comfort Zone USA’ is smaller than many ceramic heaters of this type, especially in respect to its depth and width, which should be great for locating it in smaller areas.
It has a matt black color which matches the black front grille, and this along with its simple design, should make it aesthetically pleasing to most people.
A small red light illuminates when you switch the heater on, and you can then select whether you want the heater to blow air at a high rate or a low rate. You also have a dial which can be used to select the temperature level from low to high so that you can set the best combination of heat and air flow.
When staying cool is needed than staying warm, you can run the fan to blow air towards you without the heater elements being on.
Should the heater get to a temperature level which is too high, an automatic overheat cut-off will switch it off to keep it safe. Another safety feature is one which switches the heater off if it gets knocked over.
Things We Like
- Adjustable thermostat and fan speeds
- Thinner and narrower than most heaters
- Lower price compared to similar heaters
- Tip over and overheat cut-offs
Things We Don’t Like
- Handle poorly designed and positioned
- Twice as heavy as some other heaters
#3 Pelonis HC-0179 Ceramic Heater
If you are looking for a heater that is very light, then look no further, as this ceramic heater from Pelonis is one the lightest that are currently available. This makes it very portable although the handle could have been designed to let you get more grip when lifting the heater.
While its lack of weight may be a good thing, it also makes it vulnerable to being knocked over if someone brushes past it. To prevent any risk of someone or something getting burned in that scenario a tip over safety cut-off will switch the heater off. The heater will also switch off if its temperature sensor detects that it is going to overheat.
If during the hot summer months, the room you are in is too hot, you can switch on the heaters fan to blow cool air towards you. To do this simply turn the settings dial to the first position, indicated by a fan.
For normal use as a heater, you can adjust the thermostat, and the heater will switch on or switch off automatically, to try to maintain that temperature. As with most ceramic heaters, there are no specific temperature numbers, so this may take some testing to see which position gives you the heat levels you want.
You may also like: Pelonis Heater Reviews and Buying Guide
Things We Like
- Very lightweight
- Adjustable thermostat
- Fan can be used to blow cool air
- Overheat and tip over safety switches
Things We Don’t Like
- Handle recess is not deep enough
- Vibration when running can be excessive
#4 Lasko 5409 Oscillating Ceramic Heater
There may be some of you who believe that a product which continuously has high sales volumes must be a product worth buying. While we cannot prove or disprove that theory, it is the case that this ceramic heater from Lasko is one of the highest sellers on Amazon.
One of the reasons for this could be that it seems a very simple heater to use. The speed control for the fan has three positions, with the first one letting you run the fan without heat whenever you want a cooling breeze.
At the position marked ‘1’ this is the lower setting when you have the heat on, where the air flow is not as strong, but for full speed, you simply turn it to position ‘2’.
The other controller allows you to adjust the heat level although it doesn’t give you the exact temperatures, so it is a case of turning it up or down depending on how hot you want it to be.
The round button just above the control dials is to switch the oscillation function on or off. When it is on the heater will gently move from side to side so the air being blown out is covering a larger area of the room it’s in.
Things We Like
- Lightweight and portable
- Oscillation function
- Large carrying handle
- Suitable for sitting on desks or worktops
Things We Don’t Like
- Front grille gets very hot
- Not automatic cut-off if it gets knocked over
#5 Honeywell Uberheat Ceramic Heater
Our first glance at this ceramic heater had us thinking of an old-fashioned alarm clock, due to its round shape, and thin legs, but it isn’t the time to get up that you set on this, it is how warm you want to be.
Not only does its round design make it stand out from most ceramic heaters, which tend to be square or rectangular, it also lends itself for use sitting on office desks, bedside tables or sideboards. You even get a choice of white or black color, so it can fit in with light or dark decor.
It is very easy to use, with just two heat settings which determine whether the fan runs fast or slow, and the temperature can be adjusted using the thermostat dial. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a fan only option, which the majority of other heaters have.
This Honeywell ceramic heater has important safety features, with the tip over cut-off particularly welcome due to its small size and low weight. An overheat sensor will switch the heater off if it is getting too hot.
The unit doesn’t have a carry handle, although the main body is made from a special material which is cool to the touch, so it could be lifted that way.
Things We Like
- Modern and stylish design
- Suitable for use on counters and desks
- Simple, and easy controls
- Overheat and tip over cut-off
Things We Don’t Like
- No fan only option
- No carrying handle to lift and move it
How Ceramic Heaters Work
Ceramic heaters are based on a very simple concept and they tend to be one of the least complicated and easiest heaters to use.
The main components in a ceramic heater are metallic heating elements, ceramic plates, an electric fan, and the main casing, which will also houses the controls.
When the heater is switched on, the heating elements heat up, but you will normally not be able to see them. This due to them being housed within the ceramic plates which makes them safer, as there is no danger of the hot elements touching and burning any other internal parts of the heater.
As the heating elements heat up, so do the ceramic plates they are housed in and the heat from the plates then heats the air that surrounds them. To enable that air to be released quickly into the room, a fan inside the heater blows the air through a grille or slats.
Normally a ceramic heater will have controls that let you adjust the fan to a high or a low speed. This influences how quickly the area heats up due to the faster or slower rate at which the hot air is being blown into it.
There is also a thermostat control to adjust the amount of heat generated by the heating elements which obviously affects how hot the air is which is being blown out of the heater.
Main Benefits of a Ceramic Heater
- Easy to Use: The top ceramic heaters all have very simple controls that normally consists of no more than a couple of dials and possibly one or two buttons. You’ll have to select which of the two fan speeds you want, and you’ll need to decide how high or low you want the temperature, and that’s it.
- Portability: Being able to move your ceramic heater to any room in the house or from one part of the room to the other, is a great advantage. This is normally possible due to several factors, including the relatively small size of these heaters, the fact that they are lightweight, and because most of them have a handle for you to lift and carry them easily.
- Safe to Use: If used correctly ceramic heaters are extremely safe. They’ll also have safety cut-offs for scenarios such as overheating and being knocked over which reduces the danger of fire or injury. There’s also the fact that because they are enclosed within the ceramic plates, the heating elements are hidden, and thus present less fire risk than naked flames or red-hot heating elements which are exposed on some heater types.
- Energy Efficient: While we cannot guarantee any of the ceramic heaters in our reviews will save money on your energy bills, it is generally considered that ceramic heaters do use less energy than many conventional heaters. Their efficiency is also helped by being able to generate heat almost immediately, and apart from powering the fan, all the electricity is used to produce heat. Read our guide of most energy efficient space heaters for more info.
- Low Upfront Cost: There are some domestic heaters that will set you back well over $1000, and there are lots that cost several hundred dollars. All the ceramic heater reviews we have in this article are for products whose upfront cost is very low by comparison. That must be a big plus when you consider it means you could buy two or three of them and still spend less than what many single heaters would cost you.
Safety Features of Ceramic Heaters
As with any appliance which is powered by electricity, or generates heat, ceramic heaters have safety features, and when considering any of them, you should check closely to see which of these any individual product has.
#1 Overheating Cut Off
While you can adjust the thermostat on a ceramic heater, it is sometimes possible that for a combination of reasons the heating elements get too hot, with a risk that they may overheat. If they were to overheat, one of the main dangers would be that some of the internal parts of the heater would melt or worse start to burn, with the obvious risk then of a fire starting.
To prevent any of this from happening ceramic heaters have a sensor which detects when the temperature is reaching overheat levels. At this point a safety switch turns the heater off and prevents it from being switched on again until it has cooled down sufficiently.
#2 Tip Over Cut Off
Many ceramic heaters are small and portable, and this is one of their most appealing features. However, this also presents one of the biggest risks to the safe use of the heater, and that is it’s prone to being tipped over if someone bumps it or trips over it accidentally.
The risk this poses is anyone who is next to the heater being burned, and this is particularly so for small children who are crawling or toddling around the floor. The other danger is if it falls onto a flammable material and a fire being started.
To reduce these risks most ceramic heaters have a tip over switch, which is normally housed in the base of the heater. If the heater gets knocked over, the switch activates and immediately that turns off the heater.
Features to Look for When Choosing a Ceramic Heater
Our ceramic heater reviews will have highlighted some of the main features of each product, but here we will give you a quick overview of each one which you can use as a checklist.
- Dimensions: If you are planning to put your ceramic heater in a specific spot in a room always check that the dimensions of the heater allow it to some clearance on all sides.
- Weight: This can vary greatly between different models, and it is something to take account in terms of how easy it will be for you to carry, especially if your plan is that you will be moving the heater between different rooms, especially up or downstairs.
- Heat Settings: Most ceramic heaters have at least two settings which dictate how fast the fan blows out the hot air. In addition to this, there will likely be a thermostat dial, which you use to adjust the temperature.
- Fan Only Option: When there is no need for any heating, due to hot temperatures outside, some heaters have an option for the fan to run without the heating elements being on. This effectively turns your heater into an electric fan to help cool you down.
- Handle: This might not be top of your list of priorities, but it is worth noting how the handle is configured on any heater you are considering. Some are excellent and make it easy for you to lift and carry the heater, but some or not, and there are some ceramic heaters that don’t have a handle, so bear this in mind.
- Safety Features: We’ve covered these in detail in another section, so we will simply emphasize that the minimum you want your ceramic heater to have is an auto cut-off if it is overheating, as this is the biggest danger. Tip over cut offs are certainly desirable, but you will find that some ceramic heaters do not have this.
Ceramic Heaters vs Infrared Heaters
Ceramic heaters and Infrared heaters are two of the most popular types of domestic heater but they work in very different ways.
A ceramic heater uses a process called convection heating which works by using a fan to blow air across its heating core which normally consists of metal heating elements encased in ceramic plates. The heated air is blown out by the fan out into the room.
One of the benefits of this process is that as the hot air accumulates and expands within the room, the entire area is heated up.
Infrared heaters do not use hot air, nor do they require a fan. The heat is generated at its core in a similar way, in that metal heating elements powered by electricity, heat its core, which is often made from quartz. Instead of blowing heat out in the form of air, an infrared heater emits heat radiation which is felt by anything in its path.
Of the two, infrared heaters are better for smaller spaces, and for targeting heat in one direction or at one person. Ceramic heaters will heat a bigger space, however, they do have the issue of the heated air escaping due to drafts or open windows, which an infrared heater does not have.
On a practical level, infrared heaters are normally quieter due to there not being any need for a fan to be running as is the case with a ceramic heater.
In terms of safety infrared heaters are hotter to the touch so great care must be taken when they are being used in homes where there are children or pets. Ceramic heaters tend to be cool to the touch so this is less of a concern.
If you’d like more information on our infrared heaters reviews guide, check out this article.
Costs Associated with a Ceramic Heater
- Purchase Cost: As we mentioned in one of the previous sections the upfront cost of the types of ceramic heaters we have reviewed is low compared to other types of heaters. Even those with very limited budgets will have options to buy a ceramic heater.
- Installation Cost: This is literally zero, given that all these ceramic heaters are portable and freestanding. Compare this with some heaters that can only be installed by a qualified engineer, whose fee is likely to be several hundred dollars.
- Running Costs: The efficient way in which a ceramic heater turns electricity in heat means the cost of running it is often less than using other types of heater. How much this may be will obviously depend on how you use it, how often you have it switched on, and what settings you select in terms of heat levels.
- Maintenance Costs: As with installation, this should be virtually zero with simple tasks like ensuring all the air inlets are clear, can be done by yourself. For the more technical amongst you who are happy opening up appliances then the video below will explain some of the simple maintenance tasks you can carry out yourself.
- Repair Costs: There’s the possibility that a ceramic heater may develop a fault, but that will most likely be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty in the first year, with some even extending that to three years for certain faults. Even beyond the warranty period, any repair costs are likely to be minimal, due to the low cost of replacing the heater.
Our ceramic heater reviews have seen us look at 5 top ceramic heaters which most, if not all, of the features that you should be looking for in these products.
We are happy to recommend them all, but if we were to pick our top choice, it would be the Brightown Ceramic Space Heater.
It is super-easy to use, has all the safety features we want to see, such as tip over and overheating, and its large handle and low weight make it very portable.
Finally, we also love how this ceramic heater looks, with its silver color, grey mesh grill, and rounded handle, all combining to give it a very modern appearance.