The best energy-efficient electric heaters in 2024 – from Delonghi to Pure Breeze

Find out how to keep yourself warm this winter at the lowest potential cost

some of the best energy-efficient electric heaters and someone's hands on a radiator

by Eleanor Weaver |
Updated on

There's nothing worse than being unprepared for those colder times of the year, and these days only the best energy-efficient electric heaters will do. After all, we'd all rather not have to wear three sweaters and huddle around a small portable heater if we can help it. As we all start to turn our heating on in an attempt to stay warm, the cost to both the environment and your wallet isn't a small matter. Our pick of the best electric heaters could be your saving grace if your central heating system isn’t cutting the mustard.

But surely, we all know gas heating is cheaper - don't we? Well, when prices are running at a more reasonable rate, gas can be three times cheaper to run than electricity. However, it is nowhere near as efficient. Not all of a gas heater's energy converts to heat. Energy is lost as moisture, light and exhaust fumes. So, electricity is often the best heating option.

Best energy-efficient electric heaters in 2024 at a glance

• Best overall: Pro Breeze 2000W Mini Ceramic Fan Heater - View on Amazon
• Best oil-filled heater: PureMate Oil Filled Radiator - View on Amazon
• Best budget: DONYER POWER Convector Heater - View on Amazon
• Best small energy-efficient: Beldray EH0569SSTK - View on Amazon

Electric heaters, on the other hand, are highly energy efficient. Most of the electricity converts into heat. However, this doesn’t guarantee it will be cheap to run. As with all electricals, the higher the power rating the higher the costs. The answer is to find a type of electric heater that has a low power rating and extras like a thermostat or a timer. But, the heating method is key too - such as fan, convection, halogen, infrared and more. Choose wisely and you'll avoid sitting around a garden fire pit to fight the chill.

With so many different heating methods around, which one is actually going to raise the temperature in your home the way you need it to? And remember - if you don't already have a conservatory heater you'll need something to keep the cold and the condensation at bay. So, let's get plugged in and explore the best energy-efficient electric heaters on the market.

Best energy-efficient electric heaters in 2024

All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

Best overall energy-efficient electric heater

Top seller

Pro Breeze 2000W Mini Ceramic Fan HeaterAmazon/Pro Breeze

A simple yet excellent design, ProBreeze's fan heater offers rapid, energy-efficient heating in a compact, lightweight design that looks fantastic. It's little wonder that the ProBreeze fan heater has so many excellent reviews from customers, it's just plain brilliant.

Pros

  • Rapid room heating thanks to the ceramic element and three heat settings
  • Excellent energy efficiency thanks to the adjustable thermostat and small form factor
  • Advanced safety features for peace of mind

Cons

  • Fan heaters can become noisy over time

Best oil-filled heater

PureMate Oil Filled RadiatorAmazon/PureMate

When searching for a new heater, we're certain you've encountered a dozen. A traditional oil heater is easily on the fastest ways to heat your room, and they hold heat very well. Aside from being great with rapid heat, they also get incredibly hot, so if it's a fairly large room you're looking to heat up, this is a great option for you.

Our major downside to this radiator is its sheer size and weight. While its heft makes it great at distributing heat, it may be just too heavy for some, luckily it does have wheels.

Pros

  • Rapid heating and no exposed heating elements or bulbs
  • Energy-efficient thanks to oil-based radiator design
  • Great heating options with thermostat, timer and 3 power settings

Cons

  • Very heavy (although it is on wheels)

The best non-oil radiator

Dimplex FutuRad 3kW Oil Free Radiator With 24 Hour Timer  Amazon/Dimplex

The Dimplex offers great heat technology and a sleek, user-friendly design. It has Thermocore XR Oil-free tech which is an efficient heating method that can outpace oil options.

There are large rotary controls for easy mode-setting, a 24-hour timer, an adjustable thermostat, a frost setting, and dual heat options which allow you to have ultimate control over the radiator. It's portable too, and carries safety features like overheat protection and a tilt switch.

Pros

  • Efficient technology
  • Good safety controls
  • Many user-friendly modes and controls

Cons

  • A pricier option than others here listed
  • Large size might not work for larger rooms

Best budget energy-efficient heater

DONYER POWER Convector HeaterAmazon/Donyer

Simple, yet effective, this affordable little conventional heat convector will have you toasty and warm within moments of switching it on. It has some handy presets to let you track your energy usage, with 750W, 1250W and a huge 2000W option.

Silent running, simple, light and carryable design, and a two-year warranty finish off the package nicely.

Pros

  • Great heat distribution thanks to convection
  • Excellent value while still energy efficient

Cons

  • Takes longer to hear your room due to the heating method

Best small energy-efficient electric heater

Beldray Flat Fan Heater 2000WAmazon/Beldray

Beldray is an excellent manufacturer of excellent value fans, and their portable electric fan heater is far from the exception. Small enough to be positioned practically anywhere, unlike most conventional heaters, this is the perfect heater to take anywhere around the house with ease. Plus, there's an adjustable thermostat, which means even more efficiency.

If you're looking for something incredibly light for friends and relatives who may struggle with a heavy heater, or you simply don't want to lug a huge heater around - this is the perfect choice for you.

Pros

  • Incredibly light and small - perfect for taking heat with you
  • Great value option for those who only need to heat their immediate space
  • Built-in thermostat for even more hassle-free control

Cons

  • Fans can be a little noisy

Best energy-efficient heater for large rooms

If you need whole-room heating that can just sit in the corner and do its thing, this Amazon Basics ECO tower heater is for you. With three heat settings, you can adjust the room temperature from between 5 and 35 degrees. It also has an oscillating 2-speed fan action with a 70-degree range of motion, so you can be sure the heat will be evenly dispersed.

A remote control is there for easy use, as is a timer that can work in 1-hour increments. There is not auto on or off function though, which would have been handy - but given that this is a large room fan heater you're not likely to want to have it coming on and off on its own. 2200w of power means this is more than capable, and there are also some excellent safety features, including a switch that will turn it off if it tips over and a child lock.

Pros

  • Quick and thorough heating of the whole room
  • Handy remote control and timer for easy use
  • Great safety features like child lock and tip-over switch

Cons

  • No auto on-off feature

Best energy-efficient electric infrared heater

If you're not entirely familiar with infrared heating - we're not surprised. They work by converting electricity into radiant heat, which is far more efficient than your traditional heater with nearly 100% of energy being converted into heat.

The heat it generates doesn't blast you in the face like a standard fan heater, which can become incredibly irritating, instead, heat is evenly distributed gradually through your room, giving you that wonderful steady warmth comparable to a coal fire, it's incredible. This model from ENERJ also oscialltes, so it's also good for larger spaces.

Pros

  • Incredible warmth in moments for convenient use
  • Doesn't require a fan so less noise and air movement
  • Good energy efficiency from this lamp technology

Cons

  • Fairly bulky and a little industrial-looking

Best electric heater with a modern design

Dreo Space Heater, 70° Oscillating Electric PTC Ceramic HeaterAmazon/Dreo

It's no secret that many electric heaters aren't the prettiest to look at, but this one from Dreo combines portability with modern design to fit into any contemporary space. Small and light enough to place on a coffee table or desk, the clear LED display will show you the current temperature and the top touch controls are easily accessible.

Best of all, this is an oscillating heater with 70 degrees of movement, so it'll provide great coverage. A remote control is provided too, and in terms of efficiency, it comes with an Eco Mode that intelligently monitors the ambient temperature and tops it up automatically. Brilliant.

Pros

  • The compact and modern design looks great in all settings
  • The oscillating fan provides wide heat coverage and Eco mode will control costs
  • Tilt detection and overheat protection means this is safe to use and leave unattended

Cons

  • Not for larger rooms

Best energy-efficient electric halogen heater

Warmlite WL42005N Three Bar Halogen Heater, Wide Angle Oscillation Function, 1200 W, GreyAmazon/Warmlite

With 1200W of halogen oscillation, Warmlite's fantastic budget halogen heater is a surefire way to get cheap heat, and fast. Lightweight and extremely portable, this halogen heater is perfect for moving about the house with ease and is especially safe compared to conventional oil heaters.

Like an infrared heater, halogen heaters use radiant heat to warm your home, so heat isn't instant, or as overwhelming as a standard fan heater - which may be bitter-sweet for some shoppers. But, this does give off a comforting glow and is highly energy-efficient thanks to the halogen technology.

Pros

  • Quick heating thanks to radiant halogen bulbs
  • Incredibly energy efficient with oscillation to spread the heat evenly
  • Lightweight and portable for flexible use

Cons

  • Not massively effective at heating large rooms

Best electric halogen heater with realistic flame

Warmlite WL46018 Stirling Portable Electric Fire Stove Heater with Realistic LED Flame EffectAmazon/Warmlite

Sometimes it's nice to watch a fire do its thing - and most of the others here are, well, plain to look at. This one from Warmlite is just the opposite. If you're hankering for that cosy feel on colder days, this Stirling Portable Electric Fire Stove Heater not only looks like a cast iron wood burner, but it has a realistic LED flame effect.

You can switch this between two heating modes for some control, but it's really designed to heat one room up very well. We think that this means it's best used in bursts to top up the heating in one room - and this is how it differs from an actual wood burner that would be crackling away all day. But if you want your heater to be a traditional addition to your decor - this is it.

Pros

  • The look of a fixed wood burner while still light and portable
  • The realistic flame effect adds a cosy feel to any room - and it's adjustable
  • 1000W and 2000W power settings and adjustable thermostat provide flexible heating options

Cons

  • If you're after efficiency, use it to top up your heating in one room - not as the only heating solution

Best desktop electric heater

Dreo Electric Heater, 1500W Energy Efficient Space Silent Room HeaterAmazon/Dreo

If you find yourself working from home and need that extra warmth at your desk or in your study, this is the heater for you. It won't heat a whole room efficiently of course, but that's not what this Dreo Electric Heater is all about. The first thing you'll notice, other than the modern design, is that this is a smaller cousin of the oscillating version we've listed above. It has all the same temperature, thermostat and safety features - plus, of course, it's super-compact.

That means it can perch on a desk or table and happily top up your space with heat in Eco mode - making it the most efficient way we can find of keeping you and your compact workspace toasty warm.

Pros

  • Eco mode helps to control costs by monitoring and topping up the heat as needed
  • Small enough for a table or desk - ideal for heating a personal workspace or small room
  • Thermostat and timer give plenty of control when you need it

Cons

  • Really only heats your personal space - not for larger rooms
  • Top controls are black - some users find them hard to see in low-lighting

Best energy-efficient electric heaters in 2024: Buyer's guide

If you're here it's likely you've already settled on an electric heater and discounted gas. As we touched on above, gas heaters come with their own precautions. The room your gas heater is in needs to stay well-ventilated to account for the safety risks of carbon monoxide and potential condensation from the heater resulting in dampness. All in all, electricity is more efficient than gas. So, let's take a look at the features you should keep an eye out for.

Energy efficiency rating

All electric heaters should state their energy consumption. This is written as kilowatts per hour. For instance, a heater with a rating of 1.5kWh (kilowatt-hour) will use 1.5 kW for every hour of use. You can find out how much you're charged by your energy supplier, and then calculate how much your electric heater will cost you to run.

Thermostats and timers

There aren't too many electric heaters that don't come with a method to control the heat output. But, much like a home's central heating system, a thermostatic control is best That means you can set the heater to monitor the ambient temperature - once the room reaches that temperature, the heater will cut off. Obviously, this is a huge saving over just leaving it on, even on a lower setting; or worse - just forgetting about it.

Timers are another great addition to any of the best energy-efficient electric heaters. Alongside a thermostat, you could set it to come on just before you wake up knowing that the thermostat will turn it off as soon as the place is warm enough. Or, set the off timer. Either way, taking the heater out of action when it's not needed is the way to go.

Heating method

As you'll have seen from our list, there are quite a number of methods used by electric heaters to do the trick. Everyone, of course, will be converting electricity to heat - the question is how efficient is that method? And is it in some way an annoyance? What we mean by this is if you're the sort of homeowner who dislikes a noisy fan, or direct heat from a lamp and so on, the method will be quite important to you. Here are some of the common ones:

Fan

Unsurprisingly, with this heater type an element heats up inside the unit, and a fan circulates the warm air. Although some can be quiet, they are a very direct method of heating the air and not everyone likes the increased airflow in the room.

Convection

A convection heater works by drawing cold air into it's heating mechanism. The hot air then propels upwards out of the top by convection. This type of heater is very good at circulating the air in the room.

Oil-filled

An oil-filled radiator is very similar to a regular water-filled household heating system. Oil lasts for years and doesn't evaporate as water would. It's also an efficient conductor of heat. The metal fins or casing of the heater will heat the air which then rises.

Infrared

Infrared bulbs are high-power lightbulbs that emit light in the infrared range - this is very similar to lamps used in patio heaters and the like. Some dislike this method as it's very direct - whatever the light hits will get warm. Whereas others prefer this method over blown hot air.

Halogen

In much the same way as infrared, this is the same technology we use in household lightbulbs. Heat radiates from a bulb, only more powerfully and less gently than infrared. The advantage over infrared is that these can often be cheaper. By definition, halogens also emit infrared light as part of their spectrum. However, not all infrared bulbs are of the halogen type.

©WTB/Chris Duffill

Best energy-efficient electric heaters in 2024: FAQs

Is an electric heater worth it?

Purely as a cost-based question, the answer is yes - as long as you choose an energy-efficient model. Everyone's purse strings differ, so if you're on a budget for your heating we recommend getting the calculator out and seeing which heater is going to do the best job for you. This comes down to the size of your room or house and how much energy is used per hour to heat your space.

Which type of electric heater should I choose?

When it comes to electricity, having discounted the inconvenience and safety issues with gas, this isn't a straightforward choice. Much of your final decision will, of course, come down to the specific energy consumption stated in the product spec. However, some heating technologies are more or less comfortable depending on your personal preference.

Some users don't like heated air being blown into the room by a fan, preferring a halogen or infrared solution. As always with these things, the choice is yours. But, always put efficiency close to the top of your list.

What's the most energy-efficient heater type?

Our choice for the most energy-efficient would be a halogen heater. These heaters have a low power rating. That makes them one of the cheaper options compared to other gas and electric models. This is because their heat is focused on heating you, so money isn’t being wasted heating an entire room. And with any added key features such as thermostats and timers, they’re a no-brainer.

Our second spot would go to infrared heaters. These are great at heating large spaces if you have an open-plan living space and don’t mind shelling out initially as they come with higher unit costs.

Both are great eco-friendly options for families with no harmful substances at play. And also electricity is a renewable source of energy. Also, if the nights are just a little too cold, heat yourself - not the room - with one of the best electric blankets for you and your family.

Eleanor Weaver is a Commercial Content Writer for WhatsTheBest, and also writes for Yours, Mother&Baby, Grazia, heatworld and Closer across beauty, tech, and lifestyle.

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