The best indoor heaters

If you're feeling the chill, it's time you started searching for your newest winter-time companion: a handy, portable, indoor heater that offers control and comfort wherever you put it in the house...

A portable indoor heater is a great all-round solution, whether you’re preparing to heat your home during an apocalyptic winter, you live in a beautiful but draughty old house that errs on the chilly side, or you’re that chronically cold person who wears fluffy socks and a scarf year round (we feel you). 

If you have a large house that needs a lot of power to heat, using an electric indoor heater instead of switching on the central heating can reflect well in your energy bills, saving you money at the end of the month. This is because it just heats a particular space, not the whole building, keeping running costs very low. It also offers you control: no more arguing over the number on the thermostat if your partner runs hot and you run cold.

Prefer an appliance to keep you cool instead? Fair enough: take a look at our best fan guide for top tower fans, desk fans and bedroom fans.

What to consider when buying an indoor heater

When it comes to finding the best heater for your needs, there are three main types to consider:

Oil-filled heaters are cheap to run, but can take a while to heat, and tend to be heavy and unwieldy, although models on wheels are easily mobile. 

Portable fan heaters are light and mobile, and heat up a room quickly, but can be noisy. 

Convector heaters also heat up quickly, but tend to be quieter and less intrusive while they’re running, making them good for bedrooms.

Use these tips to pick the right indoor heater:

  • Take note of how long each heater takes to heat up, the noise it makes when on, and if it's cheap to run.
  • Note the weight of the heater, especially if it isn't on wheels.
  • Power: the higher the wattage, the more powerful the machine and the hotter it will be; however, it's worth noting that heaters with a higher wattage will use more power. 

1. Dyson AM09 Hot + Cool™ Fan Heater

The ultimate art-piece-meets-heater for stylish spaces

Specifications

Best for: Silent, stylish heating
Type: Fan heater
Size: H59.5cm x W15.3cm x D11.3cm
Power: 2000W

Reasons to buy

+
Super-powerful yet super-quiet heating and cooling
+
Looks fantastic

Reasons to avoid

-
Hugely expensive 

This futuristic-looking machine isn’t just a heater – it’s portable, powerful, incredibly quiet, and cools as well as heats; your own personal climate control. Using that famous Dyson technology, the Air Multiplier creates a constant silent airflow, so aside from keeping you comfortable, you won’t even know it’s there. The intelligent thermostat switches off once your room has reached the desired temperature and knows when to switch itself on again with no intervention. Plus, it looks amazing. A really marvellous machine, if you can afford the price tag. 

2. De'Longhi TRNS0505M Nano S Oil Filled Radiator

A super affordable, super-small oil heater that stays warm for ages

Specifications

Best for: Compact spaces
Type: Oil heater
Size: H38.5cm x W33.5cm x D17cm
Power: 500W

Reasons to buy

+
Small and easy to store
+
Cheap to run

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best for bigger rooms 

The only oil-filled heater on our list, this De’Longhi model makes the grade for its compact size and ability to stay warmer for longer. It’s small enough to store out of the way when not needed, and heats up much more quickly than most oil radiators, perfect for warming up box rooms and conservatories. When it does run, it’s cheap as chips, and unlike many of its competitors, it has a handy timer and is light and easy to move around. For small spaces, for example a home office, it’s a real winner.  

3. Dimplex DXGLO2 GloFan Heater

This competitively priced portable heater blows hot and cold, and learns its surroundings

Specifications

Best for: Fan heating
Type: Fan heater
Size: H27.8cm x W23cm x D15.9cm
Power: 2000W

Reasons to buy

+
An affordable alternative to the Dyson
+
Easy to use 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best looking 

Okay, so it doesn’t have the streamlined good looks of the Dyson, but for everyone who can’t justify spending £400 on a heater, this is definitely the next best thing. Like the much pricier Dyson, it can both heat and cool air, and once you configure the exact temperature you want on the easy-to-use backlit LED screen, it regulates itself to maintain it. It’s also small and light enough to pop on a table, and just perfect for chilly office workers to use at their desks. 

4. Dimplex DXSTG25 Ceramic Tower Heater

Tall, dark and handsome, this stylish tower heater performs well, even remotely

Specifications

Best for: Best tower heater
Type: Ceramic fan heater
Size: H82.5cm x W26.3cm x D26.3cm
Power: 2500W

Reasons to buy

+
Tall and slim; saves on space
+
Remote control

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite pricey 

This tower heater comes with a remote control, so if you have mobility issues, or just have trouble getting out of bed on wintry mornings, simply switch this baby on for a few minutes before emerging into a nice toasty room. Its tall and slender shape saves on space, so it can happily live almost anywhere, even in small flats, and it heats up even larger rooms quickly with a swivel function for dispersing heat. Not quite as cheap to run as the De’Longhi oil heater, but a great, equally compact alternative with some nice added extras. 

5. Silentnight 2kW Upright Fan Heater

This fan heater is great for cosy nights and comfortable mornings

Specifications

Best for: Bedrooms
Type: Fan heater
Size: H56cm x W51cm x D30cm
Power: 2000W

Reasons to buy

+
Self-regulating thermostat
+
Two heat settings and cool-blow setting

Reasons to avoid

-
No digital display 

Silentnight’s portable fan heater warms or cools depending on your mood, controlled by its integrated thermostat for precise comfort. Its two warm-air settings can heat up a mid-sized room in around five minutes, so it’s ideal for quickly warming up boudoirs for bedtime or before shedding your cosy pyjamas in the morning. Plus, its 90º oscillation means nobody’s left out, no matter what side of the bed you’re on. An affordable heater for small bedrooms

6. Adam iRad 1kW Panel Heater

The slim, ultra-modern heater that doesn’t look like a heater

Specifications

Best for: Good looks
Type: Panel heater
Size: H43.5cm x W70cm x D5cm
Power: 1000W

Reasons to buy

+
Looks great
+
Can be wall-mounted to save space

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most powerful 

If you’re not a fan of the classic white heater, this low-key, subtly stylish heater is a great alternative that’ll fit perfectly into any modern home. The black tempered glass finish is impossibly sleek – it looks a little like an enormous iPad and its flat slimline design makes it perfect for wall mounting, saving on precious floor space. Despite its high-end good looks, it’s a little cheaper than the Dimplex tower heater, so if you’re after a space-efficient heater that also looks good, you have two excellent choices. 

7. VonHaus Oscillating Tower Fan Heater

Heats, cools, and spins all around for even temperatures

Specifications

Best for: Even, adjustable heat distribution
Type: Fan heater
Size: H77.2cm x W23cm x D22cm
Power: 2000W or 1000W

Reasons to buy

+
Wide oscillating angle
+
Heats and cools

Reasons to avoid

-
Not quite as good-looking as the Dimplex model 

This VonHaus tower heater shares some obvious similarities with Dimplex’s model: it’s tall and slim, and comes with a handy remote control for from-bed heating, but its sheer versatility and lower price give it the slight edge. As well as two heat settings, it boasts a fan-only function for cooling rooms on hot days, and its 70º oscillation heats evenly and across a wide field. 

8. Dunelm Convector Heater 2000W

A compact and affordable little buy for bringing out when it’s really needed

Specifications

Best for: Budget buy
Type: Convector heater
Size: H40cm x W15cm x L57cm
Power: 2000W

Reasons to buy

+
Very affordable
+
Portable and quick to heat

Reasons to avoid

-
Can’t comment on its longevity 

Cheap and cheerful is the name of the game when it comes to this affordable heater from Dunelm Mill, but even for the very low price, it’s really rather good. It won’t win any prizes for beautiful design, but it heats rooms quickly with its impressive 2000W of power, is easily portable from room to room with its integral carry handles, and gets up to temperature much faster than an oil heater. Great for occasional use, and for bringing out when the boiler goes. 

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Annie Collyer
Annie Collyer

Annie is our Deputy Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes, with her particular area of expertise being home fragrance (there isn't a candle out there that she hasn't lit in her home). She's our guru when it comes to what to buy, when — and also where. She has years of experience when it comes to finding deals — Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday or not — and she particularly loves finding a bargain. With some of her favorite homeware pieces coming from Amazon, she's always looking for budget-friendly alternatives and dupes, as well as eco-friendly products to help her on her recent journey to being more sustainable at home. There's nothing she loves more than her Pug, Doug, and a bargain thrift shop find (yes, she once thrifted a brand new Le Creuset pan). Next up on her to-do list at home: DIY crittall-style doors...

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