Living in a corner unit means plenty of sunlight, but given that my building is 100 years old with not the greatest insulation, a lot of cold air sneaks in during the winter. I have filled cracks between the wall and floor that let in a considerable draft, but I still have windows in three directions (none of which are south), so my apartment, which is about 550 square feet, loses a lot of heat. There are old-school New York radiators that do heat the apartment well (almost too well), but I have no control over them — they fire on and off seemingly randomly. During my first New York winter, I found myself layering up as soon as I got out of bed.
I needed a space heater, one that could heat my largest room (about 150 square feet) over a long period. I looked for oil-filled radiators rather than something like an infrared heat dish, because even though oil-filled radiators take longer to fire up, they heat an entire room better (heat dishes heat efficiently but only in one direction). Since I live in a weirdly shaped apartment with distinct compartments and didn’t want to buy three space heaters, I preferred something with wheels that I could easily move from room to room. And since I wanted to run the space heater at night, I wanted something that wouldn’t scald my leg if I tripped over it.
This oil-filled space heater checked all of the boxes. It has 1,500 watts of power and is suitable for heating large rooms (in our previous coverage, experts recommended that space heaters have 1,000 to 1,500 watts of power to heat large rooms). It has wheels, so it can easily move from room to room. And its paneled design protects from the actual “radiator” part of the heater inside — the panels can still get quite warm to the touch, but I’ve never gotten burned when I’ve accidentally bumped into the heater. Outside of some crackling from the oil heating up when I first plugged it in, the machine is functionally silent, and noise from the machine has never bothered me.
The space heater takes a while to heat at full capacity (much longer than an infrared heater would), and at $150, it’s not cheap relative to some space heaters on the market. But it has fit my needs well. This space heater has fully heated every room in my apartment well, no matter the square footage. Even my bedroom, which has two windows and is easily the coldest room in my apartment, felt nice and toasty even on chilly winter nights.
Other space heaters to consider
There are several kinds of space heaters, and some may fit your needs better than others. You might not need one with as much power, you might want one with a fan, or maybe you want something cheaper or more premium than mine. In any case, here are some other models to check out.
This space heater has three quiet settings (low, high and fan mode) as well as 11 temperature settings. Its smaller size (it’s 9 inches tall) and carry handle make for easy transport from room to room. And for its price (under $40), it notably still provides 1,500 watts of power, the same as my De’Longhi heater. Though we don’t test space heaters ourselves, we've highlighted it in our previous coverage for small spaces or bedrooms.
This fan from Dyson is also a heater and air purifier, all in one. The fan, which we’re including here based on our previous coverage, oscillates up to 70 degrees, and you can change between personal heating (like you might find in an infrared dish heater) and full-room heating (similar to an oil-filled radiator). The purifier uses a HEPA filter that can remove 99.97 percent of 0.3-micron particles from the air. Its sleek, silver aesthetic doesn’t hurt, either.