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|Pro Breeze Mini Ceramic Heater|
|VonHaus Oil Filled Radiator|
|Warmlite WL44001 Fan Heater|
|MP Essentials Convector Heater|
It’s that time of year again; the nights are getting longer, it’s almost dark when you come home from work, you’re wearing an extra layer and the heating is on! Yes, autumn is here, and while the trees are all turning a glorious golden colour and the air is crisp and fresh, we reckon you’re feeling it, especially after the wonderful summer we’ve had up to now. That’s the British weather for you – when we get sun it’s superb, but most of the time we put up with cold wet weather, especially when it’s approaching winter.
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Having the heating on all over the house is not always an economical option, and when it comes to the workplace there may be rules about how often you can have it switched on. That’s why many people invest in small, portable yet effective heaters, in order to have a little instant heat when they need it. These are very useful in the home for when you want to warm a bedroom, for instance, or another room in which you will not be spending all day.
Also, you might find you need the extra heat one day, but the next day is warmer, so you don’t want to waste your money on energy that is simply not needed. There are many reasons why portable heaters are useful – another common one is that someone is working on a project in a garage or shed, and needs heat to get it done – so we took a look at the top 10 portable heaters for you to choose from. Before we go on, here’s a very brief look at why you need one, and how they work.
How It Works
We’re not going to dwell too long on this section because, well, a heater is a heater! They tend to be electric for convenience, and provide heat by way of electric coils that radiate heat into the air. Some have fans to drive the heat more directly, and some have an oscillating effect so they can cover more ground.
All come with the requisite safety features, such as auto cut off and – where it is appropriate – a switch whereby the heater cuts out should it fall over, and there are various different power levels to choose from. So, that’s about it, no let’s take a closer look at the top 10.
The Top 10
1: Lloytron F2003WH Staywarm
What we looked for when choosing our selections for this list was a good cross-section of heaters from the very basic to those that are quite powerful, and also a decent price range too. This model comes from Lloytron, who offer a wide variety of goods of this type, and it’s a very neat little heater at a decent price. It can be positioned either horizontally or vertically, it has safety cut outs and is approved appropriately, and it comes with two power levels, either 1000watts or 2000watts.
This one has a verity of settings, so you can choose a cool blow and also a frost watch function which will switch the heater on to a very low level at the temperature when frost may occur. It’s largely plastic and finished in white, and is flame retardant for added safety. Measuring just 24×24.5x12cm, this one is the perfect choice for occasional use or as a conservatory or greenhouse heater, and at the price is very good value so worth a look.
2: Pro Breeze Mini Ceramic Heater
Another fan heater designed for use in limited spaces, this one from Pro Breeze is a neat and tidy design that measures just 18.5x15.5x26cm, yet provides as much as 2000watts of heating power. That’s impressive stuff from such a small heater, and it also features all the safety functions and is certified suitably. This one uses ceramic heating elements which claim to provide quicker heating and longer life, and it is effective too.
It can oscillate through 60-degrees; this gives it the ability to heat a wider space than you might feel possible for such a small machine. It has an overheat protection feature, too, so is safe wherever you use it. A thermostatic control can be set where you want it for more efficient use, and it comes with a 1.5metre power cable for added versatility. If required, you can reduce the output to 1200W. Its very neat, effective, compact and does the job, but we can’t help wondering why you would pay twice as much as the above for one of these – give it another look if small is what you want.
3: VonHaus Oil Filled Radiator
For many people the oil filled radiator will be the stuff of nightmares, with memories from youthful days of waiting ages for them to heat up! These days they are still popular and, like this one from the extensive VonHaus range, are far more efficient and effective than those you may remember. This is a very neat oil-filled radiator that is designed to play a more permanent part than one of the fan heaters, and can heat a quite impressive areas when in use.
It’s a 2500W model so is reasonably powerful and could be put to use in larger rooms such as sitting or dining rooms with good effect, and it is finished in the usual white. This is the 11-fin model – top of the range – and you can choose from a number of smaller ones, and has three heat settings. It can also be operated via a timer – great for setting it to warm your room before you come home, or your office before you get there. It is heavy but is on wheels and is nowhere near as compact as the models above, but if you want something sturdy, safe and reliable, this could be the one, though beware it is not the cheapest on the list.
4: Warmlite WL44001 Fan Heater
Back to the portable, compact fan heater type with this one from Warmlite, another brand with a strong range of products, and it’s typical of the style. It measures just 12.5x24.5x25cm, can provide up to 2000watts of heating power, and is a basic fan heater. This is another model that can be used in either the upright or flat position; we’re not sure of the overall benefits of this, but it does appear to be a featured that is included on quite a few of these.
It’s finished in white or black, has a tip-over switch so will shut down if knocked over – a great safety feature for this type of heater – and has a fan that can be switched on or off too, plus three selections for cool, warm or hot. This one would perhaps not be great for a large room, but in a kitchen, bedroom or conservatory it would easily provide a level of acceptable comfort. It’s also very cheap, so great if you’re on a budget.
5: MP Essentials Convector Heater
This is a slightly different take on the electric portable heater – indeed, we’re not sure it’s that portable – but is worth including as it’s decent quality. It’s a convector heater – that means it isn’t powered by a fan, and the heat rises from the elements inside to warm the air. It’s designed to be wall-mounted so could be a permanent feature in, say, a home office or a cold room in the house, and it can also be used free-standing and therefore moved around.
This one comes with the usual overheat and safety features, has three heat settings and simple push-button controls, and is able to provide as much as 2000watts of heating power. It has a fully adjustable thermostat and is finished in white, and while not particularly attractive, it is unobtrusive as it measures just 13.8cm deep. If you are looking for something to fit in one position this could be it, and it’s not much more than £20 at the time of writing.
6: Prolectrix EH0197 Halogen
Here’s a type of heater we have yet to cover – the halogen heater. Now, halogen is a method of heating that actually uses light, and it makes claims to being very effective. Using infrared light is very effective, and can heat selected spots efficiently without waste of energy. Therefore, this 1200watt model will provide as much heat as a 2000watt blow heater, in a specific area, but will use far less energy as a result. That’s saving money for you, too.
This is an upright design that comes with three heat settings and an oscillation function and it has a base that is designed to be steady, and a handle for carrying it from room to room. It also has a tip-over and overheat cut-off. One thing about halogen elements – or tubes – is that they do not last too long, and these are replaceable as a result. Not the most compact of heaters, but effective all the way, and also surprisingly cheap in this company.
7: Pro Breeze Mini Heater
This very small and very neat heater is another from the Pro Breeze range, and is a rather clever little model at a sensible price. First, as it measures just 11x17x20.5cm it is compact enough for even the smallest rooms in the home. Second, it’s a ceramic element model so heats up quicker, is more efficient and lasts longer than a standard type. It’s finished in white and is an unobtrusive design so could be used anywhere you wish without problem.
Now for the downsides: while this one comes with an adjustable thermostat and the overheat and anti-tip features, it can only muster 500watts heating power. That’s sufficient only for a very small area. We would suggest it might be ok for heating your feet, for example, when watching the TV, but for any larger space it’s going to struggle. It’s not expensive, so if you need a truly portable heater for occasional use, this might be it.
8: Honeywell HZ510E1 Heavy Duty Heater
This model comes from Honeywell, a company with a wide variety of quality products of this type, and it’s an impressive model in many ways. It is surprisingly well made and takes a different stance to most others, being a box design mounted on a stand. It may have only 1800watts output – you can get the same model in the range with up to 3000watts – but it is designed in such a way that it disperses the air effectively enough to heat larger rooms, and would also be good for a garage.
It comes with the usual safety features including the tip over switch and an overheat function. You get a thermostat that is very effective so you can keep the temperature as you wish, and it actually looks quite funky too. It measures 30x18x27cm so is not the most compact here but is not exactly large, and it is very sturdy and easy to us. We like it for its looks and efficiency and while it is not the cheapest on our list we don’t consider it expensive for what is a quality item.
9: Comlife Ceramic Personal Space Heater
We like the fact this one is called a ‘personal space heater’; that is, with just 600watts, what is will be best used for, and if that’s what you want then it could be perfect. For a start, it looks great with a really funky and modern design that somebody has clearly actually thought about, and it’s nicely made. It’s a ceramic element heater so will heat quickly, work efficiently and last a long time, and it’s ready to warm you in 3 seconds after switching on.
You can select how much you want it to oscillate through 50 degrees or not at all, it has a ‘natural wind’ speed that is accompanied by a rather fetching blue light – fun but that’s it – and it is easy to use. It comes with the usual tip-over shut down and auto-off features, is very small – compact enough for desktop use – and is rather nice all round. It’s not the cheapest of the mini-heaters, but we like it because it has actually been designed rather than thrown together.
10: Silentnight Fan Heater
Our final choice comes from Silentnight, a brand with a large range of goods of this type and one with a good reputation for quality at sensible prices, and it’s a simple, oscillating fan heater. It’s very decent, however, finished in white as is standard, and comes with anti-tip switch and all the usual required safety features. It oscillates through 90 degrees so gives you a good spread of heat, and they promote it as ideal for night-time use in bedrooms.
This one has various power settings, can provide up to 2000watts of heating power, and is designed to be quiet when in operation. It has an effective thermostat so you can set your desired temperature, and it is very easy to use. There’s really not a lot more to say about it other than that it is a good model from a known brand, and that it is a little more costly than some of the cheaper items on here.
That’s our list of the top 10 portable heaters for you, but which one is the right one to choose? Before we give you our verdict, let’s remind you of some of the features you need to consider when buying one of these.
Important Features to Consider
What do you need to look for when choosing a portable heater? Here’s a useful check list that might help!
Type – do you want a blow heater, or a convection heater? There are examples of each here, so read through again, and have a look into the pros and cons of each.
Elements – there are three different heating elements among our list: the standard metal element, the ceramic version, and the halogen tube. The first is a heated metal wire – the oldest and simplest of the lot – while ceramic heats up much quicker and lasts longer. Halogen uses infrared light for heat, and is very efficient both in directing the heat and in energy usage. There is also one oil filled radiator that might want to consider.
Oscillation – some of these models are fixed, others oscillate on a pivot. The choice is yours!
Power – the heating power of the models featured ranges from 500watts – which is enough to warm you up or keep you warm in your chair – to 2000watts, which will heat a medium-sized room.
Size – do you want a very compact heater, or just a small one? There are versions of each here, so choose carefully!
That’s our brief check list, now let’s see if we can wrap things up!
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Let’s Wrap it Up!
Firstly, if energy efficiency is your primary concern, you should choose the halogen model from Prolectrix, no.6 on the list. Halogen is by far the most efficient in terms of cost, but be aware a halogen tube can be fragile and has a limited life, so make sure you know where to get spares.
If a very cheap blow heater is your choice, we recommend that you have another look at either of the first two on the list, as they offer 2000watts at surprising prices, and are perfectly decent for the job.
If you are looking for a durable heater that will do the job, and will last a long time thanks to quality build, then no.8 – from Honeywell – could be for you, as it ticks al the boxes.
Finally, if all you want is a very small heater for those few minutes extra heat, then we suggest the very neat and fun looking model from Comlife, no.9, could be for you.
Whichever you choose, here’s hoping you keep cosy and warm this winter!