If you’re a certain type of person, there’s nothing quite so miserable as being cold. We say that, because there’s always at least one joker who likes to swan around in the dead of winter wearing board shorts, however if you’re more of the ‘Snuggie and multiple pairs of socks’ persuasion, you might want to invest in a portable heater when the chillier months roll around – and the best portable heaters, by our reckoning (or rather, by the reckoning of tons of happy reviewers) are the ones you’ll find below.
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While traditional oil radiators have their advantages, we’ve stuck to electric heaters on this list for their efficiency and lighter weight, which makes them more conducive to being carted around from room to room. The majority are fan heaters, wide-reaching heat-expellers which use (what else?) a fan to quickly heat the air around them. The one exception is the Igenix IG9516, a halogen heater which uses the same infrared radiation as the sun to heat objects in its path, including you.
Because these are strictly portable heaters, it’s important to note the weight, and whether each one has wheels or feet. If you’re likely to be carting it around from room to room, look for one that has a handy carry handle, a decent set of wheels, or is on the lighter side. Depending on the size of your room (or just how chilly you really are) you’ll want to look at different output levels too. Most of our heaters have two to three heat settings, and some have adjustable thermostats, but the big number is the maximum output. If you have a particularly large room that needs heating, make sure you go for one that’s up to the challenge, which we’d say is around 2000W or ove
With functions like ‘Jet Focus’ and ‘Air Multiplier’, the Dyson Hot + Cool Fan Heater already sounds high tech before you really get down to the nitty gritty. Together, these are designed to provide consistent, powerful airflow, and a wide reach to heat up a whole room quickly. It does all this while staying completely silent, ideal if you’re a light sleeper who needs a bit of warmth to nod off but doesn’t want to be woken up by a noisy fan. The fact that it looks amazing is just an added bonus.
It might look like an enormous freestanding iPhone for your living room, but don’t be tempted to swipe it. This modern-looking panel heater is pretty much the furthest thing from an eyesore you can imagine, which can’t be said for all portable heaters out there, with its sleek silver hardware and edge-to-edge glossy black finish. It gives the option to wall mount (although of course that would make it a mite less portable) or stand, and is ideal for small spaces due to both its low-profile design and the fact that it gives out a maximum of 1000W of heat, which conservatory and studio owners found just the right side of stuffiness, but those with big rooms might want to consider something more powerful.
This portable electric heater might give you unfortunate flashbacks to the alarming noises and glacial heat-up times of old oil-filled radiators, but behind its menacingly retro exterior it’s a little gem. It’s more efficient to run and quicker to heat than both its oil-based cousins and similar sized electric heaters, and is lighter to wheel around between rooms, too. The inclusion of a 24-hour timer also means you can set the time you’d like it to come on each day, a really handy addition, especially when considering that the rather more modern-looking Adam iRad heater doesn’t have one.
With a roasting maximum output of 2400W, this De’Longhi convector is far and away our most powerful portable heater. If you liked the modern design of the Adam iRad but need a bit more “blimey that’s warm” for your buck, this handsome fan-assisted heater is a superior choice for large spaces. Thermostat control and a built-in timer might be par for the course at this price, but a big thing here, and one that might give the De’Longhi heater the edge over competitors for households with children, is the Sicura safety feature, which automatically shuts off the power if the heater begins to tip over.
If your office is arctic and you want to share the love, or you’d rather get some warm air circulating than park yourself right in front of the source, this oscillating fan heater is ideal. It’s pretty clever stuff. There’s the fairly standard functionality – you can choose between two heat settings for a balmy 1kW or a toasty 2kW, and either set it off on its merry 90-degree rotation or park it still – but it has the edge over some lower-tech options with tip-over cut-out, an adjustable thermostat, and remote control, so if it’s particularly nippy of a morning, you don’t even have to get out of bed to turn it on.
This Igenix halogen heater has many of the same charms as the Prem-I-Air 2kW heater, above, including oscillation and auto cut-off, but its novel heating method sets it apart. Using infrared light to heat objects (like you) rather than the air around you as a fan heater would, this halogen heater is great for use in draughty rooms, or those where doors and windows are constantly being opened. It’s also lightweight and modern-looking, with added safety features, making for a thoroughly well-rounded buy.
It won’t be winning any beauty contests, but at under £20, this is the heater to go for if your heart says “Dyson” but your budget says “jumper”. Like the Adam iRad panel heater, you have the choice to stand it or mount it, and while the former might be a better choice for the design-conscious, this heater’s three heat settings and adjustable thermostat give it the edge on functionality. Reviewers also found it was speedy in heating up rooms, quiet to run, and cheap to boot, so it’s certainly not to be sniffed at.
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