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Best Space Heaters

By: Carl Laron on October 04, 2017

When it comes to ceramic space heaters, Lasko heaters rule the roost

Ceramic space heaters are the most popular type of space heater, and when it comes to expert and user feedback, one manufacturer rises to the top: Lasko. Not every space heater the company makes is well-reviewed, but several are very well-liked.

Leading the list is the Lasko 754200 (Est. $25). It's named the best space heater for small rooms by TheSweethome.com and draws favorable feedback across the board at user-review sites, including Amazon.com, where it receives a solid 4-star rating after nearly 13,000 reviews. While feedback elsewhere is more limited, it's even more impressive, including a 4.4 star rating at HomeDepot.com following more than 415 ratings -- with recommendations from 91 percent of owners. Feedback is similar at Walmart.com, where it, too, draws a 4.4 star rating based on over 350 reviews.

One notable negative is that this space heater lacks a tip-over sensor, which some experts say is an important feature. However it does have an overheat sensor that fulfills much of the same function. "Tipped-over heaters tend to overheat, which could be a dangerous situation -- then again, you should never leave a space heater on and unattended, especially with pets or young children around," says Seamus Bellamy at TheSweethome.com.

Another safety concern, high case temperatures, are no concern at all with the Lasko 754200; "After we ran it for 80 minutes straight, the temperature of the heater's outer casing topped off at 133°F -- one of the lowest surface operating temperatures of any of the hardware we looked at, Bellamy says. ConsumerReports.org isn't as enamored with the 754200 as others, and rates the heater as only Fair at heating an individual seated in a room. However it gives the heater it's top grade when it comes to heating up a "standard sized room." If keeping an individual person warm is your concern, infrared heaters (covered elsewhere in this report) might be a better option than any ceramic model.

Given the Lasko 754200's price, it's no surprise that this ceramic convection heater isn't especially well equipped. In addition to the overheat sensor, you'll find two power settings (1,500 and 900 watts), a fan-only option for summer use and an adjustable thermostat. There's no automatic shut-off timer, something that a few owners grouse about. Still, users are generally more than satisfied with the Lasko 754200. We see lots of compliments for its compact size and its value.

There are some complaints, of course. The fan can get loud, especially at high speed, but that bothers some people more than others. TheSweethome.com says that noise is about mid-pack compared to similar fan-equipped space heaters -- around 40 decibels at six feet away, or about the sound of a whispered conversation (for reference, normal conversation levels typically measure 60 db). Some durability complaints are lodged, but the pattern doesn't seem out of line with what we see for other space heaters -- and it's quite a bit better than what seen with some.

The Lasko 6462 (Est. $70) is another top ceramic space heater according to reviews. It earns a Best Buy from ConsumerReports.org, and good feedback from users. Where the Lasko 754200 is pretty bereft of features, the 6462 is feature packed. It is an oscillating heater with the ability to send its warmth over a full 360-degree arc. The sweep can also be adjusted to cover either a 90-degree arc or a 170-degree arc -- ideal for setting up the heater in a corner or against a wall, as would be typical. Like the 754200, the maximum output is 1,500 watts (and that's the maximum output you will find with any electric space heater). Settings include low heat, high heat and auto, with the last shutting off the heater when the room gets to the desired warmth. A multi-function remote control lets you operate the space heater from across the room. Again, there's an overheat shutdown feature, but no tip-over sensor.

However, in a flip-flop between the experts we trust the most, TheSweethome.com likes the Lasko 754200 much more than the Lasko 6462, saying that the latter "costs more than our small-room pick, but doesn't heat as well." That's something that ConsumerReports.org doesn't necessarily disagree with, at least completely, and rates room heating down a notch compared to the 754200, but still "Very Good." On the other hand, spot heating is rated up a notch, to "Good."

Users break the tie, and most seem plenty pleased. The Lasko 6462 gets somewhat higher scores than the Lasko 754200 from users at Amazon.com (4.3 stars) albeit based on fewer reviews (just under 1,200). Feedback is slimmer still at HomeDepot.com, but even more impressive. There, the Lasko 6462 earns a 4.6 star rating after more than 180 reviews, with 96 percent saying that they would recommend it to a friend.

The bottom line? Whether you want a cheap, simple space heater or a more upscale model with lots of bells and whistles, one of these Lasko space heaters could be just what you are looking for.

A stylish space heater

Ceramic space heaters are primarily designed to be functional, but that doesn't mean they need to be unattractive. We saw some good feedback for the Crane Mini Fireplace Heater (Est. $85). This is a ceramic heater with a fan that's styled to resemble a mini-fireplace (measuring 15-inches high and 7.5 inches across). Users rate the simulated fire and glowing embers as being "realistic" -- or at least as realistic as electric fireplaces ever get. User feedback is pretty positive, with 92 percent of the more than 135 owners posting at BestBuy.com saying that they would recommend the Crane Mini Fireplace to a friend.

Professional reviews are not extensive, but the Crane Mini Fireplace does decently in ConsumerReports.org's testing and that's without considering its aesthetics. It falls short of recommended status, however, as controls are judged to be a little harder to use than with other space heaters. Still, testing reveals that the Crane Mini Fireplace can warm a room quickly, and it is described as relatively quiet. Despite the lack of a tip-over sensor, fire safety is considered to be excellent as its case and exhaust outlet stay cool to the touch during use. There is an overheat sensor as well.

For those that consider aesthetics to matter, they are nice enough to earn this space heater a spot in People Magazine's list of "6 Sexy Space Heaters to Help You Ride Out Winter." The Crane Mini Fireplace Heater is available in orange, red, white and black, to better fit any room's décor and style -- though not every color is available from every retailer. For times that you just want the ambiance of a simulated fire, a glow setting gives you that without the heat. For warmth, heat is selectable at either 750 watts or 1,500 watts. Some users complain, however, that there's no way to turn off the fireplace effect if you just want heat. There's no thermostat, timer or remote control, so once the room gets warm enough, your only option is to get up and turn off the space heater.

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