Heaters Buying Guide

A white heater with grey dials, placed in the middle of a room near a bedside unit.
When your home starts to feel a bit chilly, portable heaters are a great way to warm up single rooms without having to switch the central heating on. In addition to helping you stay warm and comfortable when the temperature drops, the right portable heater can also save you loads of money on your heating bill. With so many different kinds of portable heaters available, we understand that it isn’t always easy to choose the best one for your home. That’s why we’ve written this handy buyer’s guide to help you find your ideal heater today.

What types of heaters are available?

Fan heaters

Fan heaters provide heat exactly where you need it, making them useful when you’re working at a desk or for heating up a cold bit of your living room. You can also get oscillating models, which disperse heat more evenly, making them ideal for heating up small rooms. The majority of fan heaters come with a cold air feature, so they can double up as a handy fan for summer cooling.

Convector heaters

Also known as convection heaters – these are perfect for medium size rooms and work in a similar way to your home radiators. Often, convection heaters are fitted with an additional fan heater which provides an instant heat burst until the body of the heater gets to the right temperature.

What should I consider when choosing a heater?

What size heater should I choose?

Heaters come in a wide range of sizes so choose one that has enough capacity to heat your rooms. Thankfully, there’s a handy calculation you can do to work this out:

1. Measure the length, width and height of your room in metres.

2. Multiply these figures together.

3. Multiply this total by 5.

The result will be the number of BTUs (British Thermal Units) the heater will need to effectively heat the room.

What else do I need to consider when choosing a heater?


Heaters are either oil filled or non-oil filled. Oil-free heaters tend to heat up more quickly, and are generally lighter and more portable than oil-filled heaters. Oil-filled heaters tend to hold their heat for longer.


There are a number of features to look out for that will affect the functionality of your new heater. Useful features include a variable thermostat, timer and frost guard protection.

Are there any safety tips I should be aware of?

Heaters can pose a fire risk, so it’s sensible to take the following safety precautions:

  • Never leave your heater unattended.
  • Never cover the heater.
  • Don’t place wet clothes too close to the heater.
  • Always follow the safety instructions provided in the owner’s manual.

Are there any other purchasing tips I should be aware of?

If you’re going to be moving your heater from room to room, then choosing one that’s fitted with handles is a sensible way to go. As with any product, compare a few different options before you buy, and take a look at some online reviews to see what other owners think about specific models.



Writer and expert