Getting out of the bath or shower to a chilly room is no fun. On those cold winter mornings, it’s hard enough to get out of bed without having to stress out about an unpleasant showering experience. Thus, it’s no surprise that bathroom space heaters are now actually a thing.
If you want the ultimate luxury of stepping out of the shower and having warm air circulate, you might want to think about investing in the best space heater for bathroom.
Like any appliance, you should examine the specifications of any bathroom heater you intend to buy before you go through with the purchase. Certifications, safety features, and customizable options are just some of the specifications that can influence a homeowner before purchasing one.
Let’s take a look at some of the best bathroom heaters currently available on the market:
Best Space Heater For Bathroom
1. Lasko CD08200 Bathroom Heater
The Lasko Bathroom Heater CD08200 includes 1500 watts of power that provides sufficient and comforting warmth in your bathroom area. You can use it in a wide variety of rooms; it’s not only restricted to your bathroom. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.
First, it’s an advantage because this is essentially a portable heater. If you live alone, this is perfect for moving around according to what room you’re spending your time. It’s small and lightweight, so you won’t struggle to move it from place to place. Its dimensions are all below the 8-inch mark, so it’s nice and compact. Plus, it weighs just under 4 pounds, which is roughly equal to 4 paper bags of sugar.
This portable aspect might not be what you’re looking for, however, if you want something more permanent that resides in your bathroom and doesn’t move anywhere else. This is a standalone unit, so it doesn’t attach anywhere, and you can’t install it to heat your bathroom specifically. As such, you might not want a standalone object cluttering your bathroom space.
Still, this has several useful features including a one hour shut off and automatic overheat protection. It is suitable for heating areas of up to 225 square feet, so it has all of the power you need to create a cozy environment.
Heats areas up to 225 square feet
A standalone unit: it isn’t installed or attached anywhere, it just sits in the room
2. DeLonghi Bathroom Safe Fan Heater HVF3555TB
The DeLonghi Bathroom Safe Fan Heater HVF3555TB is specially designed for bathrooms, so you can rest assured that this product has been manufactured with a lot of thought and innovation. It’s also suitable for other small rooms, like a study or spare bedroom. It has up to 1500 watts of power, so it has the capability of heating your bathroom quickly and effectively.
It includes a special plug known as the GFI plug. A GFI plug, sometimes also called a GFCI plug, is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter device. This device ensures that even if there is some outage or fault in your outlet, you will not receive an electric shock. Thus, you do not need to be afraid of using this electrical appliance in the moist environment of your bathroom.
Another safety feature that will give you extra peace of mind is this unit’s IP21 certification against drips and condensation. The last thing you want is a unit that is impacted by moisture in the air after a bath or shower, so it’s nice to know this has prevention measures firmly in place.
This bathroom heater has three power settings and an adjustable thermostat. This is perfect for customizing your bathroom space according to who is using it. In a house with numerous family members, for example, you might find that what’s too warm for one person is ideal for another. The knobs and buttons are directly on the front of the unit, and easy to use, so changing things up according to who is using the bathroom will be convenient.
Provides instant warmth
Includes a 24-hour programmable timer
Another standalone model, it might take up too much space in your bathroom area
3. OPOLAR Space Ceramic Bathroom Heater
The OPOLAR Space Ceramic Bathroom Heater includes a ceramic heating element that is both powerful and robust. This form of element is exceptionally quick in getting things started and can heat up in just three seconds.
There are a number of settings on this unit that you will find useful no matter what season it is. You can select cool wind, low heat, and high heat. Thus, you’ll be able to maintain the desired temperature level all year round. The main heating system in a home is usually directed towards bigger rooms, and we tend to forget about the comfort level in our bathrooms. This appliance ensures you can have things as cool or warm as you like without having to adjust the settings of your main heating system.
This has automatic tip-over protection, meaning that the unit will shut off automatically if and when it tilts or falls accidentally. When it is placed securely upright again, it will turn itself back on and get right back to heating your room as if nothing happened. This is certainly convenient.
This unit also has 80-degree oscillation that ensures wide heating coverage. So you can rest assured that whatever space you choose to use this in will be equally and evenly heated up for your ultimate comfort.
A standalone unit: it isn’t installed or attached anywhere, it just sits in the room
4. Panasonic Whisper Warm Ceiling Mounted Fan FV-11VH2
The Panasonic Whisper Warm Ceiling Mounted Fan FV-11VH2 is a compact fan designed to be exceptionally quiet when in operation. It is also easy to install and made with the best quality materials to be powerful and durable.
For one, it has a tubular heating element sheathed in stainless steel that also includes nichrome wire with magnesium oxide. Nichrome is known for its high resistivity and good oxidation resistance and is an ideal material often used in heating elements. This ensures optimal heat transfer and durability.
The blower wheel of this fan draws in air from both sides, allowing more air to enter the wheel, thus providing heat more effectively.
With this appliance, you are guaranteed to have a continuous and hassle-free operation for many years to come. This is due to the sheer quality of the various components used to build it. Moreover, the motors are permanently lubricated, which will inevitably extend their use.
Mounted on your ceiling, so it won’t take up counter or floor space
High-quality heating element for optimal heat transfer
The dimensions of your bathroom ceiling will have to complement those of the fan unit
5. Pulsair Bathroom Wall Heater 1501TW
The Pulsair Bathroom Wall Heater 1501TW offers 1500 watts of power and uses a standard 120 volts. It’s BTU rating is 5,118 BTUs, ensuring that it is capable of heating your bathroom space.
This model is designed to be hard-wired to your bathroom wall. So even if you’re not a DIY expert and hesitant about the extra costs involved in hiring a professional, you may prefer the ease of use of a standalone model. However, if the installation isn’t a problem, you’ll certainly enjoy the benefits of this unit.
It is a safe and reliable product with thoughtfully designed round corners for extra peace of mind. It includes a top-quality heating element which improves its energy efficiency, and it emits soft and safe heat.
The front of the unit has two grilles: the top one is for air intake, and the bottom one is for air discharge. It also has a thermostat knob that allows you to adjust the temperature. The temperature range is between 40 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thin, sleek, and simple design
Includes a portable thermometer with every kit
The body of the unit only has one knob for adjusting settings: it could have more customization options
6. Broan Directionally-Adjustable Bathroom Heater
The Broan Directionally-Adjustable Bathroom Heater is an HVI certified fan, 100-watt incandescent light, and 1500 watt heater all in one.
Its simple design may not be the most aesthetically pleasing in the world, but it’s still not too bad to look at and will blend in relatively easily with most ceiling designs.
It’s nice and compact, so it won’t overwhelm your ceiling space. It will fit a 2 by 6-inch ceiling construction, so make sure you measure your dimensions before purchasing.
It can heat bathrooms of up to 90 square feet. So it’s perfect for smaller bathroom spaces where you don’t want to use an overpowered model which will inevitably consume unnecessary energy. Moreover, this unit runs very quietly, so you can enjoy your relaxing bath or shower in peace.
Heater, light, and fan combo all in one
The grille appearance of this unit is not very aesthetically pleasing
Bathroom Heater Buying Guide
When shopping for a bathroom heater, there are several factors and considerations you need to keep in mind. The rest of this guide is intended to help you select the best product to suit your needs. Let’s start with why one would need a bathroom heater.
What are the benefits of a bathroom heater?
A heater for your bathroom comes with three main benefits;
- Gets rid of moisture and foul odor: Many homeowners already use exhaust fans to keep the bathroom dry and free of foul smells. Unfortunately, that’s rarely enough. Even the most powerful exhaust fan may not prevent moisture from accumulating in your bathroom and fogging your mirrors. Bathroom heaters are excellent at keeping the bathroom dry, fending off mildew, mold, and slippery floors. By keeping the bathroom dry, the heaters also keep away foul odors.
- Keeps your bathroom warm: Another reason you should consider installing a heater in your bathroom is to fend off morning chills. This would be especially important if you take your showers in the morning. During the winter season, the bathroom can be freezing. A bathroom heater would help warm up the area so you can enjoy every moment spent in the bathroom.
- Keeps the environment dry: Finally, a bathroom heater also keeps the floors and walls dry. After a shower, you’re likely to have spilled water everywhere, especially on the floors. A wet floor is a huge safety hazard; it only takes one misjudged step for the occupant to slip and fall. Depending on the flooring material, a slip-and-fall accident in the bathroom can lead to various degrees of injuries. A bathroom heater keeps the whole place dry, significantly reducing the risk of slipping.
Types of Bathroom Heaters
If you’re excited by the benefits of bathroom heating, the next step is to learn about the different types of bathroom heaters. There are three broad categories of bathroom heaters;
- Portable heaters: Portable bathroom heaters are small and easy to maintain. As the name suggests, they are portable, i.e. can be carried around the home with ease. However, they’re also durable and specially designed to withstand temperature, fumes, and moisture. Most portable bathroom heaters are built with heat-resistant polyethylene (sturdy plastic) while others are made from aluminum. The heaters also feature an ALCI plug that prevents water from penetrating the plug and potentially causing trouble inside the heater.
- Wall heaters: When it comes to wall-mounted electric heaters for bathrooms, there are two subcategories to choose from; built-in and detachable. Built-in bathroom heaters are installed into the wall. A hole is drilled into the wall so that the entire electrical network is tucked away and remains out of sight. Detachable bathroom heaters, meanwhile, is installed on a metal frame. The frame is screwed to the wall, and then the heater is either slid into or screwed to the frame. In this setup, the wiring network is visible and runs across the bathroom wall.
- Ceiling heaters: Ceiling fan heaters are similar to wall heaters, the most significant difference being that they are installed on the ceiling rather than on the wall. Most ceiling bathroom fans are permanent fixtures installed by professionals. A hole is drilled into the ceiling, and the heater installed into that hole, with the wiring tucked away. Since they sit high above on the ceiling, the heaters can’t be obstructed and are much safer than both portable and wall heaters.
- Radiant floor heaters: Finally, you could also opt for radiant floor heating systems for bathrooms. The most popular heating method in this category is baseboard heating. These heaters have a minimal footprint so, don’t take up much space. They also produce significant amounts of heat without consuming a lot of electricity.
Most baseboard bathroom heaters are plugged into a wall outlet while others need to be wired into the home’s electric wiring system. One downside, however, is that they take longer to warm up a room. A standard baseboard bathroom heater can take a whole two hours to raise bathroom temperatures to the desired level. The great news, though, is that they keep radiating heat long after the unit is turned OFF.
How to Select a Bathroom Heater
Aside from heater type, there are at least five other critical factors to consider when choosing a bathroom heater. These are;
- Heater Footprint
The term “footprint” refers to the amount of space the heater takes up. Since space is at a premium in the bathroom, you should aim for heaters that take up as little space as possible. Fortunately, most bathroom heaters are designed with this in mind.
Ceiling bathroom heaters, for example, take up no space valuable space in at all. That’s because the ceiling heaters rests on the ceiling. They won’t interfere with movement in the bathroom at all. They also don’t block the water source. Wall mounted water sources take up a bit of space, but not so much as to block your way around the bathroom. The same applies to radiant floor heaters. The only heater types that may impact free movement in the bathroom are portable heaters. Although small, they still take up some space. You may even have to change your routes in the bathroom to avoid knocking down the heater.
- Permanent or Temporary
Another crucial consideration is the permanency of the heater. Bathroom heaters can be permanent or temporary.
If you’re interested in a permanent heating fixture, ceiling and some wall mounted heaters are the best options. Two key advantages of permanent heating features are durability and extended warranties. The major downside, however, is that they are more difficult and costly to install. Permanently installed bathroom heaters are a great option if you’re the owner of the property.
Temporary heaters are mostly portable types. Their biggest advantage is their mobility – the heaters can be moved around with ease. You can carry the heater to the bathroom when needed and take it back into the garage for storage when you’re done. Another reason to consider portable bathroom heaters is their low price. Compared to permanent heating fixtures, portable options are significantly cheaper. The drawback, however, is the higher risk of breakage/damage. Temporary heating is an excellent option for tenants of if you expect to move out of the house soon.
- Heater Efficiency
Electricity is the most expensive fuel for home heating. Therefore, it’s prudent that you consider high-efficiency bathroom heaters that doesn’t consume too much power. Studies show that wall/ceiling heaters are the least energy efficient followed by portable heaters, with baseboard (under-floor heaters) being the most energy efficient
What makes wall/ceiling heaters rather inefficient is that they don’t retain much heat. With wall heaters, you only get for the period that the heater is on. When you turn OFF the heater, the climate in the bathroom will be back to its previous cold state within seconds. Another thing is that in wall/ceiling heaters, the heat is blown straight in front of the unit; it’s not spread out at all. This often leads to uneven heating, further contributing o inefficiency.
Portable bathroom heaters work almost the same way. They don’t retain much heat. The difference, however, is that most portable bathroom heaters radiate heat in all directions, resulting in faster space heating.
If you’re solely after heating efficiency, then baseboard (under-floor) heaters are the heaters for you. Like other electric heaters, they use significant amounts of electricity to warm up. But, once they’re warm enough, only a small amount of power is needed to keep them at the desired temperature. Even better, baseboard heaters are excellent at heat retention. Even half an hour after turning OFF the heater, you’ll still have sufficient warmth in the bathroom.
- Heat-Up Duration
Finally, it’s also important to consider the heat-up time or the amount of time the heater takes to raise the temperature in the bathroom to the levels you desire.
Here, wall and ceiling heaters are the clear winners. As already mentioned, wall and ceiling heaters blow warm air directly through the front into your bathroom. Depending on the model, it only takes seconds to get the bathroom to the set temperature. Portable bathroom heaters also work this way. But, since most of them are smaller than wall/ceiling-mounted heaters, it could take slightly longer to attain the desired temperatures.
Under-floor baseboard heaters, however, take significantly longer to warm up. If using a baseboard heater in your bathroom, you may need to turn on the heater up to 30 or more minutes before bathroom time.
Bathroom Heater Safety
Bathroom heaters are generally safe. But that doesn’t mean that nothing can go wrong. The risk of electrocution and even fires, though negligible, is always there. The following tips should help keep you, your loved ones, and your home safe;
- Buy the right heater: Safety starts with buying the right heater for the bathroom. Not all space heaters are designed for use in wet/humid areas; make sure your model is approved for use in the bathroom. In short, make sure it’s a bathroom heater. This is especially important when buying portable heaters. Using a heater not approved for wet/humid areas into the bathroom creates unnecessary electrocution risk. Additional, exposure to such conditions can damage the heater.
- Don’t soak it in water: Even if it’s a waterproof bathroom heater designed to withstand humid conditions, intentionally soaking the unit in water is not advisable. First off, the heater is connected to an electric source and water is a good conductor of electricity. So, there’s a risk of electric shocks. Secondly, knowingly getting your heater wet is one of the quickest ways to damage the unit.
- Install the heater in the right place: Where you install or place the heater is vital. If it’s a permanent ceiling or wall heater, install it in a position where it doesn’t stand in the way of occupants. You don’t want a situation where the bathroom occupant regularly brushes cross the heater when entering or leaving the bathroom, or grabbing something. Also, install or place your heaters in a position where they won’t come in contact with too much water or humidity.
- Keep portable heaters away from traffic: One of the biggest downsides of portable electric heaters is the risk of being knocked down. Perhaps you’re in a hurry and carelessly place the heater somewhere on the floor close without thinking about the consequences. If it gets knocked over, there’s a risk of fire. For this reason, identify a safe location for your portable bathroom heaters and always double-check that the heater is in that spot.
- Invest in an extinguisher: This might come as a surprise, but, yes, you’ll need a fire extinguisher if you don’t have one already. Electrical fires are rather stubborn and aren’t extinguished in the same way as other fires. Even if you never use it, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How Much Does It Cost to Run an Electric Bathroom Heater?
Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer here. Different types of bathroom heaters consume different amounts of electricity and thus cost different amounts to run. Here’s what we know;
Baseboard (under-floor) heaters take the longest to warm up the place sufficiently. But, once they reach the desired temperature, they require the least amount of electricity to maintain the set temperature. Also, they keep radiating heat for up to half an hour or more after you turn off the power. However, with some models in this category requiring up to one hour or more to reach the set temperature, they are not the best choice cost-wise.
Wall and ceiling heaters are a much better choice. Although they have poor heat retention, they warm up the place fast. The good news is that when it comes to bathrooms, this is precisely what you want – fast heat-up. Not many people spend a whole hour in the bathroom, so the heat-retention qualities of under-floor heaters may not benefit many of us. If you’ll be spending less than 30 minutes in the bathroom, this would be a great cost-effective option.
Portable bathroom heaters, however, are a mixed bag. Since the heaters come in many different styles and materials, cost-efficiency is determined by the model you choose. Portable ultra-red heaters warm the objects in the room, including you, without warming the air. They also deliver instant radiation. Other types use PTC ceramic element to produce heat. they work in the same way as wall/ceiling heaters, but use up less power.
How to Install a Bathroom Heater
Going by the heater types discussed earlier, you can already tell that the installation process varies from one heater to another. In this section, we’re only going to discuss how to install wall heaters are they are the most common bathroom heaters. More importantly, to avoid costly mistakes and safety hazards such as electrocution, the installation process should be left to a professional.
That said, assuming that you have the heater as well as installation tools and materials at hand, proceed as follows;
- Find the Electrical Circuit
The first thing you need to do is to identify the electrical wiring branch that passes through your bathroom and the short circuit that controls it. This step can be a lot simpler if you have an existing exhaust fan in the bathroom as you’d be able to use the same electrical circuit. If there’s no exhaust fan, you’ll have to bring a new circuit from the main electric panel that supplies light to your bathroom.
Ensure that the panel has at least one empty circuit breaker – two if you’ll be installing a thermostat too. Where there’s no empty circuit breaker in the said electric panel, you’ll need to call a licensed electrician to handle this step. Otherwise, proceed to step two.
- Turn OFF Power
Never begin any electrical installation with electric power ON. It exposes you and even the home to serious safety hazards. So, begin by turning OFF the circuit breaker the bathroom branch. Use a tester to verify that the power on that line is indeed OFF.
- Identify a Location for the Heater
In a situation where you have an exhaust fan, you can install the bathroom heater in the fan’s place. But, where there’s no fan, you’ll need to identify an optimal location. An ideal location for a wall heater is at chest-height, a few feet away from the bathtub/shower, and at least three inches away from flammable items such as towels, curtains, etc. Any of the four bathroom walls is allowed.
Since a wall heater goes at least 4 inches into the wall, choose a solid wall. Then, create a cavity that can hold a 4 x 2 (inches) metal frame. Remember to keep away from plumbing, electrical wiring, heat vents, and ducts running across or buried in the wall.
- Hardwire the Heater
The manufacturer’s manual should guide you through this process. Just remember that the majority of bathroom heaters use 240V electricity, so you’ll need to connect both the white and black wires. Wrap tape around both wires and tuck them away into the back of the framing. Mark the white wire as “hot wire.”
- Finish Up and Test your Heater
In this final step, ensure the heater is secured to the frame, and the wires aren’t hanging out loosely. Then, turn the circuit breaker back ON and test the new heater. If you followed all the five steps, it should work.
Now that you’ve considered some of the best bathrooms space heaters currently available on the market, it’s up to you to decide which specifications are most important to you.
There are a wide variety of options to suit every preference, so the best thing you can do before purchasing a bathroom heater is to make a list and prioritize the most important features.
For example, if you lead a busy life, you might find that a thermostat is absolutely essential. If you have a small bathroom space, the dimensions might take preference over anything else. With all of the information provided in this article, however, the final decision will be much easier. Good luck!