Best electric heaters for beating the winter cold

Our guide to electric heaters

Keeping your home cosy is essential, especially when the cold weather begins to bite. From portable electric heaters to fan heaters, there are lots of ways to turn a chilly living room, bedroom or conservatory into a place of comfort. Here's our rundown of the types of heaters available.

Best electric heaters for your homeShop electric heaters

Convector heaters

Convector heaters warm up to a comfortable temperature. They are best used as a backup or top-up heater, or for heating smaller spaces like spare rooms. Because they heat rooms by warming the air, they’re often less effective in spaces with little or no insulation.

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Oil-filled heaters

Oil-filled heaters take time to warm up, but once they have, they retain their heat for longer. Most have adjustable thermostats and variable heat settings, so you can easily control the temperature of a room. As they stay warm for several hours after they’ve been turned off, they tend to be more cost-effective than other types of heater.

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Panel heaters

Panel heaters provide instant warmth on cold days. They’re ideal for warming up rooms that are used occasionally, or as a back-up to the main heating system. Their slimline style means they won't get in the way or take up precious floor space.

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Best electric heaters for energy efficiency

Halogen heaters

Radiant heaters like halogen ones provide more direct heat, making them effective in drafty spaces with no insulation. They emit heat through a halogen lamp, which heats up the objects around it, not the air. Although they’re not designed for larger spaces, halogen heaters are good for warming up a small area within a room.

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Oil-free heaters

Oil-free heaters take little time to heat up. They are light and very portable, so you can easily move them from room to room. Similar to their oil-filled counterparts, they warm up to a preset temperature and maintain that temperature level for as long as required.

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Best portable electric heaters

Fan heaters

Fan heaters are not capable of heating a whole room, but do provide a quick blast of warmth when you need it. They’re small in size and great for supplementary heating, especially if your central heating system takes a while to warm up. Some also have an option for cool air, making them great for the summer too.

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Ceramic heaters

Ceramic heaters are often used as a secondary heat source. They mainly come in tower or desktop forms, and the ones that oscillate distribute warm air to all parts of the room, not just one direction. Unlike oil-filled heaters, they don’t get too hot to the touch, so they’re safe to use around children and pets.

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Heater featuresShop all

Frost protection

An electric heater with frost protection emits low level heat when the temperature drops below a certain level.

Programmable timer

With a programmable timer you can set the heater to automatically turn on and off at any time. This is especially useful if a heater takes time to warm up.

Oscillation

Heaters that oscillate from side to side spread warmth evenly around a room. This function often gives a heater a higher coverage area.

Power output

If you’re looking to heat up a smaller room, go for a heater that uses less energy. For larger spaces, you’ll need a heater with at least 2kW of power.

More help and inspiration

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