There’s nothing worse than stepping out of a nice hot shower or bath into a cold bathroom!
If you’re looking for a space heater to keep your bathroom warm, you’re in the right place!
In this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll learn:
- What are space heaters for bathrooms? (What makes them different?)
- What are the different types of space heaters for bathrooms?
- How do space heaters for bathrooms work? (Key safety features)
- What do you look for in the best space heaters for bathrooms? (Be sure these are on your radar!)
- Our review of the best space heaters for bathrooms
- And much more!
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
April 4, 2021
Vornado VMH500 Whole Room Space HeaterCheck on Amazon
After considerable deliberation, we settled on the Vornado VMH500 as our best overall winner.--break--Why?--break--The manner in which this effective little heater warms a small space like a bathroom is unlike any of the other units we tested.--break--Rather than using intense, direct heat, it uses a moderate amount of heat and amplifies it using a vortex technique, just like you’d find on a forced air furnace.--break--The end result is fast, even heat across the entire room.--break--This is beneficial not only for your comfort level, it also helps prevent drying out your skin, especially when it’s wet from washing your hands or using the shower.
Below is a quick list of our top space heaters for bathrooms. Keep reading to learn more!
Vornado VMH500 Whole Room Space Heater
|View on Amazon|
Dyson Hot Jet Focus Fan Heater
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Lasko Portable Ceramic Heater
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OPOLAR Ceramic Bathroom Heater
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Stiebel Eltron Wall Mounted Electric Heater
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What Are Space Heaters For Bathrooms?
Unlike space heaters for most spaces in the home, there are specific features that make a space heater suitable for bathroom use.
One of the gold standard features is an ALCI plug.
ALCI stands for appliance leakage current interrupter, and effectively, these plugs monitor current coming into the device, and if an imbalance is detected, it shuts off power to the device.
Next, there is IP21 certification. IP21 is a rating that shows the device is protected against condensation, which in a steamy bathroom can become an issue.
At the bare minimum, a bathroom space heater should not have any kind of exposed heating element.
It should be sturdy, with auto tip over shutoff, and in any case, should be plugged in as far away from a water source as possible, and placed in such a position that there is no chance it could possibly be knocked over into any kind of pooled or running water.
Moreover, since 1975, all homes have been required to have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (“GFCI”) sockets in bathrooms.
While this is not a catch all, it does add an element of safety as these outlets monitor the opposite of an ALCI plug, as they look for current returning to the source.
In the event the bathroom heater has shorted, the GFCI outlet should cut the power in as little as 1/40th of a second.
What are the Different Types Of Space Heaters For Bathrooms?
With space heaters for bathrooms, there are two main types, which are further broken down into heating technologies from there.
Portable space heaters for bathrooms are the most common. They offer the convenience of being able to use the heater in any other room when needed. They are in most cases inexpensive, easy to move, and efficient.
The other style of space heaters for bathrooms are the wall mounted type.
These usually require drilling into a wall in order to install, something not everybody wants, especially those who are renting.
Their big advantage is that they don’t take up any floor space.
Whether you’re looking at portable or wall mounted, they will most likely use one of the below technologies in order to provide warmth.
Fan heaters pass a current through a metal coil, which begins to heat the metal. As the coil becomes hot, it warms the air around it.
The warm air is then assisted into the room by means of a fan.
Fan heaters typically draw in air from the rear and blow it out through the front, so will offer heat in the direction that the unit is pointing.
Bladeless Fan Heater
Bladeless fan heaters provide warmth in a similar fashion to standard fan heaters, but how they deliver that heat to the room is very different.
The technology was pioneered by Dyson, but has since been copied by other manufacturers.
It isn’t truly bladeless, but there are certainly no visible blades.
Within the pedestal of the fan, there is a tiny fan that draws in air through vents on the base, this air is forced through a tube and past some stationary fins that stabilize that air.
The tube gets narrower, which increases the velocity of the air, so for the same amount of energy used, the output is higher, thus increasing efficiency.
The base principle of a ceramic heater is actually the same as a standard fan heater.
As in, a current passes through a coil, and heats the metal, but instead of being concerned about heating the surrounding air, in a ceramic heater, the coil is used to heat a ceramic plate.
Ceramic plates are highly regarded for their ability to radiate even heat when they are hot.
They can be supplied with or without fans, and because of the effectiveness of ceramic plates, can be shrunk to tiny sizes.
How Do Space Heaters For Bathrooms Work?
All of the heaters that we have recommended are powered by electricity.
When you turn on your heater, the device begins to draw current, which in turn heats up its coil, typically made of a nichrome wire.
The current passes through a resistor, which as you can probably guess, creates resistance, and in turn the electrical energy is turned into heat energy.
The way the heat is delivered is usually by convection or radiation.
When we talk about radiant heat, we are talking about the instant feeling of warmth that occurs when you place your hand near to the heater.
The closer you get, the more of that heat you’ll feel. As you get further from the heat source, the less radiant heat you will observe.
On the other hand, many bathroom space heaters provide heat by convection.
This happens when the air surrounding the heater gets warm and begins to rise. This action starts to draw down cool air and it in turn gets warmed.
This cycle is known as a convection loop, and as it begins, you will feel a noticeable difference between the air temperature at the top of the room, and by the floor, but as more of the air from your bathroom gets caught up in this loop, the heat will begin to feel more even.
Once temperature is equalized throughout the room, the convection loop slows down, and the temperature will be comfortable everywhere.
What Do You Look For In The Best Space Heaters For Bathrooms?
These are the top features we recommend you look for in a space heater for your bathroom.
Cool Touch Surface
When in the bathroom, you’re more likely to have skin exposed than you would be anywhere else in your home.
For that reason, a cool touch heater is essential to prevent accidental burns to potentially sensitive areas of your body.
As we mentioned earlier, there are some safety features that are highly desirable in a bathroom space heater, things like ALCI plugs, tip over shutoff, and IP21 rated condensation protection.
Many of us enjoy nothing more than a quiet, relaxing bath.
A noisy space heater is a fast way to interrupt that tranquility – look for fans that offer quiet operation.
Both for convenience and safety, a remote control is a great feature to look for in a bathroom space heater.
It allows control over the appliance from a safe distance, and helps to keep unnecessary risks of water exposure to a minimum.
Precision Thermostat/Climate Control
Precision control over the temperature in the bathroom will help you to keep it as comfortable as possible, while maximizing efficiency.
Vornado VMH500 Whole Room Space Heater (Our Top Pick)Check on Amazon
For myriad reasons, we named the Vornado VMH500 our number one pick in the category of best space heaters for bathrooms.--break--It boasts a number of excellent features, not least of which is an automatic climate control function – set the temperature you want, and the unit will automatically adjust heat and circulation to maintain that exact temperature throughout the room.--break--It has thoughtful features like a discreet storage area to keep the power cord when the heater is unplugged, as well as a large, clear LED display on the front.--break--Vornado stands behind their product, and prove this with a generous 5 year satisfaction guarantee.--break--Most importantly, it’s loaded with safety features including a cool touch cabinet, overheat shut off and tip over protection.
- Attractive design--break--Innovative vortex heat distribution--break--1-12 Hour timer
- No ALCI Plug/IP21 rating--break--Relatively large compared to other bathroom heaters
Dyson Hot Jet Focus Fan Heater (High End Pick)Check on Amazon
Here we have the most premium of all of the portable space heaters, the Dyson Jet Focus Hot + Cool. It offers rapid heat, and quiet, even distribution, thanks to the patented bladeless air multiplier system.--break--This heater is equipped with intelligent climate control, which monitors the air temperature and maintains it by adjusting fan power and heat output.--break--All heating elements are completely hidden, and are have pre-set heat settings to prevent the burning smells often associated with space heaters.--break--Because it offers both cool air and heat, it’s a great year-round option, so while the price tag is considerably higher than other similar heaters, you can get your money’s worth all year long.
- Excellent remote control--break--Very quick to warm the room--break--Top quality construction
- Temperature display is small--break--Difficult to clean
Lasko Portable Ceramic Heater (Best Budget Pick)Check on Amazon
This tiny little space heater packs a big punch! It measures in at just 6.25”x6.25” x 8” tall, but it still offers 1500 watts of powerful ceramic powered heat.--break--This is a plug and play model right out of the box, and it’s one of the simplest heaters to operate we’ve ever come across.--break--Lasko have equipped this model with an ALCI plug for safety, as well as overheat protection and a cool touch exterior.--break--It features 2 heat settings, plus a 1 touch quick heat button.--break--For your convenience, this model is equipped with a 1 hour timer, too.--break--It’s an affordable no frills option, but it works well, which is why it was our best choice for those on a budget.
- Price--break--Can fit almost anywhere in the bathroom--break--Has a timer function
- No temperature display--break--Limited heat options
OPOLAR Ceramic Bathroom HeaterCheck on Amazon
Specifically designed for bathroom use, the Opolar bathroom heater is another excellent value prospect.--break--It has IP21 condensation protection, keeping it safe from drips and built up moisture, which is why it’s so well suited to bathroom use.--break--For consistency of temperature, it’s equipped with an adjustable thermostat, and thanks to the ceramic plate, the radiant heat it puts out is comfortable and even.--break--If you are looking for a bathroom space heater with an oscillation function, this is a great choice for you as it pans over 80 degrees to spread warmth across the room.--break--It’s equipped with both an ALCI plug and thermal overheat protection, and the power switch is protected by a plastic cover to prevent shorts from accidental splashes (although it is still recommended to keep it far away from water sources).
- Designed for bathroom use--break--Highly portable design with carry handle--break--ALCI plug
- Easily knocked over--break--No LED temperature display
Stiebel Eltron Wall Mounted Electric HeaterCheck on Amazon
If you’re not looking for a portable space heater for your bathroom, and you’d prefer something wall mounted, the Stiebel Eltron 230345 is one of the best there is.--break--This is a premium wall mounted electric fan heater, drawing 1500 watts of power from a standard 120v outlet.--break--It offers quiet operation at just 49.7 dB, and because of the built in thermostat it provides a constant comfortable temperature.--break--The design is discreet, and should fit well with most bathroom décor.--break--This model draws cold air from above with its induction fan, and blows the hot air out from the bottom.--break--This helps to provide even heat throughout as the warm air rises up and displaces the cold air.
- 60 Minute heat booster function--break--Turns on automatically after power interruption--break--Sleek design
- Power cord is at the top of the unit--break--No accurate temperature display
Final Thoughts On The Best Space Heaters For Bathrooms
We hope we’ve been able to provide you a good selection of options when it comes to space heaters for bathrooms.
These are must have household appliances, and when used correctly, can help you to further your home energy efficiency goals by only heating the spaces you are occupying.
Above all else when it comes to any electrical appliance in the bathroom, exercise caution when choosing a location and always use a GFCI outlet.