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Which desk heaters are best?

A desk heater is a cost-effective and convenient way to heat your immediate workspace. They can be used as desktop or under-desk heaters. The best models are energy efficient and offer adjustable thermostat settings. Some also come with safety features such as overheating protection. The Lasko My Heat Personal Space Heater is the top pick with its low price, excellent heating and ultra-portable design. 

What to know before you buy a desk heater


There are two major types of desk heaters: radiant or convection. 

  • A radiant heater uses infrared heat. It is not designed to heat a room but to offer excellent heating when used in close proximity. Most radiant heaters are larger than convection heaters. They offer immediate warmth. 
  • A convection heater works by warming the air, with most models featuring a fan to blow heat. They might take some time to heat up, but can be used to heat the entire room. Generally, convection heaters consume more energy than radiant heaters. Some hybrid models offer radiation and convection heating. 


Most desk heaters are less than 6 inches tall and weigh less than 3 pounds. They are designed to not take up much space on a desk and are typically cube-shaped for a sturdy design. 

Some powerful heaters that offer more than 1,500 watts are larger, making them less portable. Some manufacturers provide specifications for the square-footage capability of the heater to help customers determine if the heater would meet their requirements. 

Power output 

The power output of desk heaters is measured in watts. Ultra-portable models are around 200 watts, while the most powerful models are around 1,500 watts. Ideally, you want a heater that offers multiple heat settings. Keep in mind that a high-powered model will provide better heating but will also result in a higher energy bill. 

What to look for in a quality desk heater


One of the key features in any heater is the thermostat, which switches it on or off depending how you’ve set it. This means that when the room reaches your preferred warmth, the heater automatically turns off and when the temperature drops, it automatically turns on. Most models come with two or three temperature settings, and some also feature a fan-only mode, which lets you use them as a fan in the summer. 

Safety features 

The best heaters come with safety features. The tip-over feature shuts off the heater in case it’s knocked over. There’s also overheating protection, which automatically shuts off the heater if it gets too hot — generally a result of the airflow being blocked or an electrical fault with the device. Some models are made from flame-retardant material for extra safety. 

Quiet operation 

Desk heaters are typically used in close proximity, which means noise level is an important factor to consider. Models that have fans are generally noisier. Typically, manufacturers don’t provide a specification for noise level, so you will have to consider the type of heater and customer reviews to get an idea of it. 

How much you can expect to spend on a desk heater

Budget models cost around $15-$25, while high-end models are more than $40. 

Desk heater FAQ

Can desk heaters be used in the bathroom? 

A. Many manufacturers recommend not using them in the bathroom. The small size might be suitable for the bathroom but they can be a safety hazard — if any water gets on the heater or you touch it with wet hands, you can get an electrical shock. You should stick to towel warmers or heaters designed for bathroom use. 

Are desktop heaters energy efficient? 

A. Energy efficiency is directly related to the heater’s power output. However, certain features can help improve efficiency. Look for models that come with a thermostat so it automatically switches on or off. Models that can oscillate and have unrestricted air flow perform better with less power consumption. 

What’s the best desk heater to buy?

Top desk heater 

Lasko My Heat Personal Space Heater

Lasko My Heat Personal Space Heater 

What you need to know: With only 200 watts, this small under-desk heater offers excellent heating and an ultra-portable design. 

What you’ll love: It’s loaded with features including overheat protection, quiet operation and ceramic casing for a cool-touch exterior. It comes fully assembled, weighing less than 3 pounds. 

What you should consider: The heater does not have tip-over safety.   

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top desk heater for the money

Brightown Mini Portable Ceramic Space Heater

Brightown Mini Portable Ceramic Space Heater 

What you need to know: With its affordable price, fast heating and compact design, this is the ideal budget desk heater 

What you’ll love: This energy-efficient heater has a low wattage at 400 watts and comes with a thermostat. It features tip-over safety and the case is made from flame-retardant material. 

What you should consider: The exterior can get hot. Some users also report an unpleasant smell when the heater is used for the first time. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Black + Decker 2-in-1 Heater + Fan

Black + Decker 2-in-1 Heater + Fan 

What you need to know: This desk heater features a manually adjustable thermostat control, letting you use it at low heat, high heat or fan.  

What you’ll love: With a high heat setting of 1,500 watts, it offers excellent heating. It also has overheating safety and auto tip-over shutoff. The size and weight are ideal for portability.  

What you should consider: It’s noisier compared to competitive products. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Ali Azhar writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them a lot of time and money.

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