The point of small space heaters is to provide portable heat. You should be able to carry one around from room to room so you can stay warm wherever you go, no problem. A big, heavy personal heater is an oxymoron. Keeping this in mind, we tried to think of something that’s in most households and that weighs very little. Cat. The average adult cat weighs about 9 pounds and is easy to pick up. Fat cats and mean cats don’t count here. We decided that this lightweight pet would serve as the perfect point of reference for the maximum weight a small space heater should be.
So here are 8 small space heaters that are popular on the market, that weigh less than your cat, and what you need to know about them before deciding which one to buy. If you’re too lazy to read, we have a comparison chart at the bottom, with the best, most balanced heater model selected for you.
Holmes HFH111T-NU Portable Desktop Heater – 2.5 Pounds
At 2.5 pounds, this is the lightest heater on our list. We’re talking kitten weight level here. As the name suggests, you can set it right on your desktop like a functional paperweight. It has two heat options, with high pulling 1500 watts and low pulling 1000 watts. The unit also has a separate, adjustable thermostat knob to calibrate the temperature in an unspecific range between “lo” to “hi.” This small space heater is very portable, with a carrying handle, and it’s also safe, with a tip-over shut-off switch, overheat protection, and an outside that stays cool to the touch.
However, some customers had qualms with the Holmes HFH111T-NU’s noise-level: compared with other fan-forced convection heaters on the market, this one was a little bit too boisterous. Another common complaint was that the heater didn’t do much at all to warm up the room in which it was used — just the person sitting directly in its line of warmth.
Vornado VH101 Personal Space Heater – 2.6 Pounds
We’re not quite sure what the word Vornado is a combination of, but if it’s a hybrid of volcano and tornado, we’re a little afraid of this heater. Whatever the case, this personal space heater has two heat settings: high (750 watts) and low (375 watts), making it a cost-saving device in terms of energy consumption. It also operates at whisper-quiet levels and circulates heat throughout the whole room using “Vortex” technology. Along with tip-over protection and automatic shut-off, the cool touch case is an added bonus, in case you mistake the heater for your alarm clock.
On the negative end of the spectrum, customers have complained about the cheap plastic on the Vornado VH101, along with the fact that the heater isn’t very reliable. That is, that it goes kaput after only a few weeks or months. The heat output might not be quite up to what’s advertised either, with some customers not able to feel the warmth if the heater is more than 2 feet away. As such the Vornado VH101 is a heater you may have to get really up close and personal with, like this cat:
DeLonghi DCH1030 Safeheat 1500W Basic Ceramic Heater – 3.3 Pounds
This DeLonghi model is a compact heater that looks similar to the Lasko 754200 you’ll see below. It has two heat flow settings, with high at 1500 watts, and low at 825 watts, and an adjustable thermostat. It provides heat via a ceramic heating element, which is generally considered safer than other types of heaters because the hot stuff is snuggled within a ceramic core. This product also has an adjustable thermostat, along with overheat protection. This means the heater will turn off all by itself if it gets too hot. Plus, it has a carry handle for mobility between rooms.
However, the DeLonghi DCH1030 doesn’t have a tip-over switch, which makes it slightly less safe than the name suggests. Customers also complained about the fact that the thermostat isn’t really adjustable: turning it even slightly one direction causes the heater to shut off, without turning back on, while the other direction causes it to run continuously, forever. So, if you get this heater, be prepared for lots of manual heat control.
Holmes HFH436WGL-UM Digital Bathroom Heater – 3.6 Pounds
This one’s the oddball on the list, since it’s specifically called a bathroom heater. It earns this special title really only because it has a bathroom-safe ALCI plug, which is designed to prevent shocks in wet areas. So you can also use the heater in other rooms in your home if you want. It uses fan-forced technology to push out heat and has one heat setting with a maximum pull of 1500 watts. You can also adjust the temperature on the Holmes HFH436WGL-UM using a programmable thermostat with fancy LED controls. This small space heater is wall-mountable, which is good for getting it up and out of the way of wet traffic. Plus, it has overheat protection and the outside stays cool to the touch.
On to the negative. Like some of the other heaters on this list, this product doesn’t have a tip-over switch, so if it topples, it’s going to continue to produce heat. Also, while many consumers seem to like this heater while it works, there have been more than a few complaints about the model dying after only a couple of months. The motto of this heater might be “great until it wasn’t.”
Lasko 754200 Portable Ceramic Space Heater – 3.7 Pounds
This heater is a super popular little guy weighing just 3.7 pounds. The high setting on this heater uses 1500 watts, while the low option only uses 900 watts. On high, it can warm up spaces up to about 150 square feet in size. This heater runs on electricity, with a ceramic heating element nestled inside. The thermostat is completely adjustable and will maintain the heat level once set. It also has a carry handle so you can tote it around like a tiny lunch box.
One thing we don’t like about this heater is that it looks like a speaker and might be tempting for kids to play with if they can’t tell that it’s a heater. And while it does have an automatic shut-off feature, this unit doesn’t have a tip-over switch. A main complaint that consumers have also had about the Lasko 754200 is that the fan is LOUD. The problem might be that this product is too small: while the heat settings are adjustable, the fan level isn’t, and it has to work its little butt off to push out hot air through the tiny front opening.
Lasko 5307 Oscillating Ceramic Tower Heater – 5.6 Pounds
Tower heaters offer more vertical surface area for emitting heat. They’re also space-savers since they’re tall and thin. This model from Lasko is 16 inches tall and weighs less than 6 pounds. You can choose between high heat, which uses 1500 watts, and low heat, which uses 900 watts. A nice bonus on this heater is that it can oscillate, for greater distribution of warmth throughout the room. There’s also an adjustable thermostat, with the option to have the heater shut off once it reaches a certain temperature.
That last feature might be the downfall of this heater. Some customers have complained that the heater turns itself off after only about 20 minutes and won’t turn back on until it cools down. Another problem is that this heater doesn’t have an automatic shut-off when it tips over – it will just keep wafting hot air while laying sadly on its side. Finally, while the oscillation is a nice option, customers have found that there’s an arctic spot at the base of the heater.
NewAir AH-400 Low Watt Oil Filled Underdesk Heater – 6.5 Pounds
The NewAir AH-400 small space heater is one of the best on the market in terms of energy-usage. This is because it pulls only 400 watts of power, but still manages to effectively heat spaces of about 40 square feet. Customers have found that it even functions well in rooms up to 100 square feet.
The special diathermic oil used in the AH-400 heats up fast and then stays warm after the heater is turned off – saving more energy without sacrificing warmth. Since the heater uses natural convection to circulate the warm air, there’s no loud fan at all to worry about. In fact, oil-filled convection heaters are one of the most efficient heating appliance types at warming up rooms. Plus, the product has both overheat protection, a tip-over switch, and a carrying handle.
One of the only complaints customers have had about this nifty little heater is that the feet seem difficult to install.
NewAir AH-470 Flat Panel Micathermic Space Heater – 8.8 pounds
Hey, no dogs allowed!
The NewAir AH-470 Space Heater is deceptively lightweight, since it’s a relatively taller space heater at just over two feet high. At just 8.8 pounds, it’s the heaviest on the list, but it still weighs less than your cat, and it offers the most bells and whistles without being an overweight small space heater. This is mainly because it relies on micathermic technology. Since the mineral mica is such an efficient conductor, only a small heating element is needed to warm up rooms; hence a lighter heater. Mica can also hold up against high temperatures and has insulating properties that help protect against fires.
While the AH-470 heater doesn’t have a handle, it’s the only one on this list with rolling casters. It can warm rooms up to about 150 square feet, and has two heat settings: full power (1500 watts) and low power (1000 watts). There’s also an adjustable thermostat with a temperature range of 32°F to 97°F.
We find that the NewAir AH-470 offers the most features within the category of lightweight, small space heaters. This unit has both overheat protection, along with a safety tip-over switch, and an actual digital display of the exact temperature in the room, not to mention other elements like a timer. While all of the above heaters have many similar features, this particular space heater provides the best balance between portability, safety, and calibrated high and low heat output, while using a heating element that works quickly and throughout the room.
Comparison Chart of Small Space Heaters that Weight Less than Your Cat
|HEATER||WEIGHT (LBS)||SPACE HEATER TYPE||HEAT SETTINGS||OVERHEAT
|NewAir AH-400||6.5||Oil-Filled Radiator||400W||Yes||Yes|
*Provides the best balance of portability, safety, and heat output in the category of small space heaters.