Infrared heaters are ideal for those looking for an efficient and safe way to keep your home warm. Infrared heaters work by providing a pleasant type of heat, which instead of drying out the air, directly heats people and objects in front of them.
If you are on the hunt for the best-infrared heater for your home, this guide is for you. Below you will find reviews of the best infrared heaters which we outline the specifications of each, their benefits and limitations, whatever your budget may be.
We’ve also outlined some essential buying information so you can understand how these infrared heating units operate. With this guide, you will be able to make an informed decision by comparing the best infrared heater for your circumstances.
If you have any questions regarding the information on this page or any of the infrared we discuss, then feel free to share them in the comments section and we’ll try to answer you as best as we can
Quick Picks: Best Infrared Heaters Compared
The EdenPURE CopperSMART 1000 infrared heater has a fantastic reputation and is perhaps the best infrared heater for smaller living areas.
Due to the small design, it is one of the best portable space heaters because it requires little effort to move from room to room and is nice and compact but also effective at heating.
If you live in a property with multiple rooms, you could easily use this in multiple rooms as it is so easy to carry and set up between rooms.
A major advantage of this heater is the mechanism by which it works. The smart-safe running temperature ensures the unit never exceeds a temperature that would be deemed unsafe. In addition, it emits no carbon dioxide so there’s no need to be concerned about ventilation safeguarding.
On the downside, it is limited by the 6-foot long power cable. So if you plan on having the heater nearby to your power outlet, you shouldn’t have any issues, however always ensure you use a suitable cable, designed for heating appliances. Also, please note that this heater is not designed to heat large rooms or poorly ventilated basements.
The Duraflame is a very popular radiant heater and thanks to the 5,200 BTU output it’s great at heating medium to large spaces. More specifically, it’s designed to heat a room of 1,000 square feet or less.
The aesthetics of the heater are also attractive to many, as it will go together many interiors, especially those who prefer a timber finish and since it has more height than width it will likely fit into homes and smaller rooms far easier than many other models.
Safety is often a key concern with regards to heating appliances, this heater is equipped with an automatic shutoff function that operates when the heater reaches 80 degrees. This helps to safeguard any potential accidents on your property.
Portability is another benefit of this unit, thanks to its slim design it’s very easy to transport around your home and upstairs. This means you only have to buy one heater that you can use in multiple rooms, helping to save even more money and of course energy.
A potential drawback for some may be the built-in fan designed to help the distribution of the heat, as this does create some minor sound. In the daylight hours, this probably won’t be an issue, although some sleepers may find it inappropriate for bedrooms when they prefer to sleep in perfect silence.
The Dr. Infrared is for those looking to heat larger living spaces such as average to large sized rooms.
The great bonus about this heater is that it has two heat settings: low and high; this gives you the option to adjust the heat should the temperature of the room get too hot or too cold, helping you to save energy and money.
Perhaps major advantages of the Dr. Infrared model is the built-in humidifier.
This allows you to release extra moisture into the air, which is definitely useful during the colder periods of the year when the air can become stale and dry.
Another great feature of this heater is the overheat protection. This ensures it switches off should it get too hot, preventing damage to the heater itself and the environment. Although a set back to these key safety features are the wheels, providing increased portability but unfortunately do make it easier to tip over, however, these can easily be removed if desired.
With regards to the operating sound, there’s very little, meaning it won’t disturb your sleep or any other activity requiring silence.
This modern style heater would look great in many contemporary homes and if you’re on the hunt for a heater that offers ease of use and the latest innovation, then this is a superb choice.
The Lifesmart heater is ideal for those looking to heat mid to above average sized living spaces with maximum customization.
The timing feature allows you to install a timer for as long as 12 hours, providing peace of mind and of course safety. With multiple heat settings, you can select: high, medium and low – that way there’s no reliance have to rely on a single heat setting that can lead to excessive heat and a waste of energy.
If safety is a top priority as it often is, this model comes fitted with an anti-tip-over shutoff, overheat protection, as well as an external shell that remains cool and which is equipped with a child safety lock.
What Is Infrared Heating?
Infrared heating is a method of warming the room that utilizes infrared light from the electromagnetic spectrum.
This is the same type of heat you experience when the sun rays hit your face or when you can feel the direct heat on your hands from a burning fire.
These infrared rays travel through the air from the initial source and when they hit a surface cause heat energy to be released regardless of the surrounding air temperature. The heat energy hitting the molecules causes them to vibrate and acquire energy (heat up).
Infrared heaters are surprisingly cheap to run due to this mechanism, as opposed to other types of heating such as those that utilize convection currents. For instance: convection heaters e.g. radiators used for central heating inherently require large amounts of energy to create a convection current which relies on a constant supply of heated air to maintain it.
This is because the current naturally rises as the hot air expands and the cool air sinks, resulting in the warm air reaching the ceiling and gradually being dispersed to the lower part of the room.
In addition, air absorbs heat badly and transfers it back out to other objects badly which is another reason why infrared heating is preferred by many. Since infrared heat doesn’t rely on circulating hot air at all, there is no need to be concerned about heat loss due to ventilation ducts or draughts from open doors.
Ultimately, the best infrared heater models are more affordable and have a whole host of benefits that just can’t be sought from conventional heating and this is why many choose this type of heating unit and you may find that its a solution to a problem you have with the current way you heat the rooms in your home, your garage or summer house.
What To Look For In The Best Infrared Heater
Always Choose Value
It is popular to choose the best infrared heater for many reasons. First and foremost due it being so economical; helping you save more on your heating bills. The reality is that opting for infrared instead of the likes of convection heating can help you save more than 50% on energy.
When selecting the right model for your circumstances, it is a good idea to first think about its intended use. What type of space do you want to heat? How large is it? These types of questions need to be asked and considered before choosing the best-infrared heater. For example, if you only intend on heating just one room then simply take note of its dimensions and choose a heater based on them. However, if you want to heat many different spaces, determine the dimensions of the largest room in your property.
If you wish to use the heater in multiple rooms of varying size, then you might want to think about getting your hands on a heater with multiple heat output settings. This variety of heaters enable you to increase the heat output and adjust the setting accordingly for different sized living spaces.
It’s certainly worth remembering that you should always acquire the infrared heater that is made to provide warmth with a certain area in mind. If you select a heater that has a very intense heat output this may result in high energy costs, while a heater that is not producing adequate heat may not produce adequate heat for your room, you’ll find in these cases that you may as well just be throwing money down the drain.
Another consideration for you when buying an infrared heater is portability. Do you plan on leaving your heater in a single room? Or do you want to have the option to transport it to other rooms in your home with ease? The level of portability you desire will significantly dictate which heater you select for your home.
- Optimum portability – Do you plan on moving your heater regularly and into different rooms? Perhaps even upstairs and other awkward places, then you will want to consider highly portable infrared heaters with carrying handles and wheels. These models can be moved with ease, although be aware that units with wheels can be easier to tip over.
- Restricted portability – If you don’t plan on moving your heater far, perhaps just within a single room, it’s a good idea to think about having a larger model. These are superior at heating larger areas and less prone to being tipped over.
- Fixed models – If you plan on having your heater in a permanent spot such as a garage, basement or workshop, you may want to look at fixed units. Or if you wish to using them as fireplace heaters. They can be easily fixed to a wall so that they stay in a fixed spot. These are perhaps the safest option since they can’t be tilted over easily and can be attached to areas that are difficult to touch.
When looking for any heating appliance, it is important they come equipped with the necessary safeguards and infrared heaters are no different.
- Timers – The best-infrared units come equipped with timers. These allow you to determine exactly when the heater will cut off to help save you money and prevent the unit from overheating, reducing the risk of a fire hazard.
- Anti-tip shutoff – Should the appliance be tipped over for some reason but it has an anti-tip shut off function, it will switch itself off immediately. This safeguard provides peace of mind knowing that there is no risk of fire should it be tipped over accidentally. This feature is an especially prudent choice if being used by or around the elderly, children or even animals.
There are also other extra features to look out for which can make your infrared heater much more personalized to you.
- 3D Flame Effect – Some infrared heater models have a 3D flame effect. While these do not look like real flames, they are in themselves quite pretty can can really bring a living room to life.
Infrared Heaters Vs Other Heaters
There is a wide range of differences between infrared heaters and other heaters available on the market. While they all have distinct advantages and disadvantages which are each useful in different circumstances, these are the major comparisons between them.
One of the major benefits of using infrared or radiant heat is the ability for it to create warmth almost immediately. This is a stark contrast to traditional convection heaters that can take considerably longer to have any warming effect.
The reason for this is due to the different method they use to heat the environment; for example, convection heaters work by relying on the circulation of air to heat a room; air from the room is fed over a heating element, and then the warm air circulates through the room.
Radiant heat doesn’t rely on air, instead; the infrared rays from the heat source work as soon as they hit the object or person in their zone.
Infrared beams are dispersed evenly throughout the living space, to provide comfortable and pleasant heat that will not disturb or negatively impact the air quality of the room.
Since they don’t rely on the circulation of warm air like convection heaters, radiant heaters do not reduce the level of water vapor in the air or disturb dust and spores. A variety of other types of heating are well-known to lead to the drying out of sinuses, skin, nails, and hair.
The lack of moving air can be an advantage for individuals with dust allergies, and because no air is used, drafts are avoided.
Since convection heaters utilize a fan to circulate the warm air (convection current) throughout the living space they can be quite noisy when in operation.
Unlike these noisy heaters, infrared units are incredibly quiet. This can be very welcome in rooms such as the bedroom where noisy heaters would be very unwelcome.
Value For Money
Radiant infrared heating units transfer the heat they generate directly to people and objects. This means that no energy nor money is wasted heating up the air in potentially unused space.
In addition, unlike conventional heaters infrared rays start acting on people and their immediate surroundings almost instantly, meaning there is no time waiting for them to heat up the air and circulate it, resulting in reduced energy bills.
Infrared Vs Radiant Heat
When people start discussing different types of heating, it’s understandable that people can get confused. From convector heaters to radiant heaters, there is a considerable amount of difference between them.
Due to this, many people mistake radiant heat and infrared heat as being two separate things, when in reality infrared heating is a form of radiant heat. Radiant heat is defined as any form of heating that transfer the heat they produce directly to people and objects, which infrared does.
Are Infrared Heaters Cost Effective?
Infrared heating can definitely save you money when compared to other forms of heating, but it all depends on the type of heater you use and the size of space you intend on heating.
Unlike convection heating; infrared heaters work by heating up the surface area of the room rather than the volume of air in the room. In simple terms, this means that they heat less space to provide the same amount of heat.
With this in mind, you need to choose the right sized heater for the space you have in mind, for instance, if you intend to keep it in a single room then use the measurements of that room.
However, if you intend on using it in multiple rooms and moving it around the house when needed, use the measurements of the largest room. Conversely, an appliance that is excessively large for the intended space may use excessive amounts of power that is unnecessary, resulting in wasted money and excessive heat.
As a working example if you were to use a 600 watt infrared heater, this would use 0.60kW/h per hour compared to a standard 1500 Watt convection heater that would use 1.50kW/h and cost more than double the amount (based on heat from November through to Feb for 8 hours a day at a cost of $0.14 per kW/h of electricity.
You may also want to consider the best space heaters if you are thinking about supplementing your main central heating or wish to heat a particularly cool area of your home.
Infrared Heating Safety
Many people are concerned about safety when it comes to the type of heating they use to heat their properties. When compared to other types of heating such as pellet and oil stoves, as well as gas fireplaces, infrared heaters are much less hazardous.
Infrared heaters don’t use an open flame like the aforementioned heaters and as a result, there is no risk from toxic exhaust fumes. Unlike infrared heat, they can also affect oxygen levels.
Some heaters, such as a wood-stove heater, will actually deplete the oxygen in a room. These types of heating that utilize fossil fuels also come with the hazard of the often flammable fuels they utilize, so storage of these is another concern not required for radiant heaters.
It is also true that they can be safer than electric heaters too. Infrared units don’t tend to reach the same extreme temperatures seen in electric fireplaces.
It is safety familiarize yourself with how your heater actually works and so I would highly recommend you watch the video below which is my favourite video which explains how infrared heat works.
In addition, since infrared heating doesn’t warm up the air, it doesn’t impact the moisture levels which help prevent condensation and therefore less mold and mildew will be able to grow, which is great for those who suffer from allergies.
Like all types of heating, fire is a major concern and infrared units are no different. Even though they are much safer than heaters that use a naked flame, you should always practice good health and safety, ensuring that nothing is obstructing the heater and that no objects are too close to the source.
In addition, do not be tempted to double the function of a heater as a storage unit and keep flammable materials well away. These precautions will ensure no items are close enough to ignite and potentially lead to a fire.
Is Infrared Heating Safe?
Even though infrared heaters are much safer than many other types of home heating and don’t need any venting, it’s still essential to be aware of the reality that these units do generate heat and as a result, you ought to follow some common sense safety advice.
If you need to use an extension cable to connect your unit to the power source in your home, then it is vital you choose a cable made especially for heating appliances. This is because heaters typically require large amounts of power and as such the current traveling through the lead can be substantial.
Furthermore, leads and other cables running from your heater can be a tripping hazard and as such, make sure to position them in areas where people are not likely to walk, some people go as far to taping the cable onto the floor just so it’s not raised up, posing less risk.
It goes without saying that when the heater is unattended it should be switched off for maximum safety. It is very easy to forget sometimes, that’s why it is advised that you choose a heater that is equipped with an automatic shut off timer. This will make sure it is always turned off eventually, should you forget.
Finally, you should always opt for a heater made by reputable manufacturers with 5-star reputations and ensure it is certified by regulatory bodies. Today the majority of heaters are made to abide by strict health and safety guidelines, however, you need to carry out your own due diligence whenever buying any new appliance, therefore check the packaging and accompanying booklets.
Infrared heaters can be a great heating solution for those who want to save money and understand their limitations. Although they are not for everyone, infrared heaters are a great way to heat a single room and as a result, help to save you money in the long run.
Although for many, infrared heaters can make the best portable space heaters as they are compact, easy to use and energy efficient heaters. Most other portable space heaters use electricity as a power source but as we have seen, propane can be much more convenient and cost effective.
Portable models allow you to make maximum use of your heater and therefore make further savings on your energy bills. There is no doubt that when using them as intended they are much less wasteful than traditional convector heaters and produce warmth much faster.
These infrared heater reviews should help you decide which heater is right for your property. However, remember the importance of choosing the best-infrared heater for your situation, ensuring you consider factors such as room size, multi-room use, safety features, design, and convenience.
About the Author
Dave Miller is a HVAC technician with over 10 years in the industry. Dave created HeatTalk with the ambition for it to become a resource for individuals looking for answers, whether they be a layman, student or a professional.