What are the best portable heaters?

Published on
18 April 2019

So you want a heater you can take with you?

You’ve decided you need portable heating (whether it’s because of cost to buy, or the need to take it with you from place to place, or room to room) … but what’s the best portable heater to choose? Good question. There are quite a few types in plenty of sizes, so here’s the low down on what’s hot (pardon the pun) on the market.

It’s electric!

Electric heaters come in sizes from about 1kW up to 2.4kW and they can be convection or radiant. (Side note: convection or radiant? What’s the diff? In a nutshell, a convection heater heats the air, and a radiant heater heats up surfaces.)

So you can get a portable fan heater that will provide fast heat as it passes air through elements in the side of the heater and presto: hot air. You can get portable fan heaters with thermostats, timers and multi-speed fans.

Radiant electric heaters warm the surfaces of objects they are facing. Bar radiators can especially be better in open plan or draughty rooms if you just point them where you want the heat. (Hint: it’s probably right at you.)

This one’s oil right too

Panel and oil-filled column heaters can be both convection and radiant heating. Portable oil-filled column heaters have oil inside their ‘fins’. The oil heats up and the fins heat up and then the air heats up. This can take a little while as you can imagine, so it’s a bit slow to get started, but on the upside they stay warm after you have turned them off.  (You can also get these with thermostats, timers and a small fan.)

Portable panel heaters slowly heat the air, and they aren’t quite as heavy as oil-filled heaters. They offer radiant heat as the heat radiates off the panel's surface and are not as hot to touch. Some portable panel heaters have thermostats and timers.

Hard wired

If you aren’t planning to leave anytime soon, you can directly wire in a portable heater (rather than plugging it into a powerpoint). And if you already have our heating and hot water product (tariff 41) installed you may be able to get your portable heater to run off this flat rate product, which could save you on running costs.