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The best space heater

Depending on the size of your room, you want something from either Lasko or De'Longhi.

The Sweethome
12.22.15 in Home
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By Seamus Bellamy

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer's guide to the best things for your home. Read the full article here.

After 87 hours of research and 27 hours of hands-on testing with a PhD physicist, we found the best space heaters. For small rooms, we like the Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater. It heated our test spaces faster and cheaper than anything else we could find, though it's a little noisy. For larger rooms, nothing produces as much heat as the De'Longhi EW7507EB Radiator. It's efficient and practically silent, and it stays warm even an hour after you turn it off.

How we tested

Controls on the top of the Lasko 754200. Photo: Kate Milford

To keep our results scientific and accurate, we asked a PhD physicist to handle the data-intensive testing required to measure a heater's performance in a controlled environment. We put each heater through a rigorous series of tests, using two rooms inside the physicist's home as the test spaces. We looked at the initial room temperature, heating rate, temperature maintenance, heating consistency, minimum and maximum heat settings, maximum surface temperature, humidity tests, decibel level, and operating costs.

In addition to all of the number-driven data, we looked at subjective issues surrounding the hardware—what kind of heating technology it uses, the cord length, whether the heater has digital or analog controls, the presence of a timer, the thermostat's accuracy, safety features, size, weight, and build quality. We even considered convenience features such as a carrying handle or wheels, and if the unit was a pain to set up or ready to work right out of the box. This qualitative data, combined with the quantitative test results, revealed the clear favorites.

Our pick for smaller rooms

Our small-room pick, the Lasko 754200. Photo: Kate Milford

If you want to heat an office or a small bedroom quickly, the Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater is your best option. It generated more heat in 20 minutes than almost anything else we tested. It's roughly the same size as a loaf of bread, so it'll easily travel between rooms and fit most anywhere you'd care to use it. The only heater that bested it was the pricier Vornado VH10, but the Lasko is almost as effective for close to a quarter of the price. The Lasko may be a bit noisy because of its fan, but it gives you some of the best performance and easily the best value—for most people using the device only a few months of the year, that's good enough.

Runner-up for small rooms

Our small-room runner-up, the Vornado VH10. Photo: Kate Milford

In previous years, we've found that the Lasko 754200 can become unavailable once the weather turns cold. If that happens, get the Vornado VH10. It was the fastest heater we tested, raising the temperature of our test area higher than any other heater could manage in the same amount of time. It's much more expensive than the Lasko (and it went 3.3F higher), but that extra cash nets you blisteringly fast heating capabilities, eight temperature levels, quieter operation than our main small-room pick offers, and a casing that stays surprisingly cool to the touch. Plus, it comes with a five-year warranty—that's two years longer than the Lasko's coverage.

Our pick for larger rooms or less noise

Our large-room pick, the De'Longhi EW7507EB Radiator.

For a larger space like a master bedroom or living room that you plan to warm for hours at a time, get the De'Longhi EW7507EB Radiator. It efficiently, silently, and steadily puts out plenty of heat, and it can maintain a set temperature on a schedule with its built-in thermostat and timer. Nothing else can match the amount of heat it can generate, or the way it continues to produce heat for a full hour after you've turned it off. The catch? It's slow to heat up, heavy, and prone to getting pretty hot to the touch.

We originally picked the De'Longhi TRD0715T for larger rooms; according to the manufacturer, however, that model has been discontinued. The EW7507EB, formerly our runner-up, performed identically to the TRD0715T in our heating tests, only it has a digital timer and controls instead of mechanical ones, so you'll have reset it every time you unplug it.

Wrapping it up

If you need to warm up small spaces quickly, nothing can beat the Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater's low price, compact size, and rapid performance (though it is a bit noisy). For larger areas, get the De'Longhi EW7507EB Radiator. It's efficient, nearly silent, and equipped with a built-in timer, and no other heater can generate as much heat. It even stays warm once you turn it off.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

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