The best space heater for your needs depends on your room size and the heater’s intended use. At the very least, you’ll want a space heater that is both efficient and reliable. In this article, we’ll recommend several of the best space heaters, including electric and propane heaters. Our team has personally tested each of these recommendations, and we share our experience below.

Each of the best garage space heaters has strengths and weaknesses, so the right one for you will depend on your needs. Every garage heater we profile performed well during our testing and received generally high marks from customers in online reviews.

5 Best Garage Space Heaters

Best Garage Space Heaters, grouped on table

  1. Best For Large Spaces: Dyna-Glo Delux 80,000 BTU Space Heater
  2. Best For Small Rooms: Pelonis Ceramic Tower Heater
  3. Best Features: Heat Storm Infrared Heater PHX-WIFI
  4. Best Portable Space Heater: Mr. Heater Portable Buddy
  5. Best Budget Space HeaterAndily Ceramic Heater

#1 Best For Large Spaces: Dyna-Glo Delux 80,000 BTU Space Heater

Dyna-Glo Delux 80,000 BTU Space Heater

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Pros Low power usage Powerful, fast heating Easy to use Heats a large space
Cons Loud Requires kerosene Slight odor Expensive

The Dyna-Glo Delux is the most powerful space heater we tested. It’s a high heat cannon capable of throwing out 80,000.0 BTU (British Thermal Units). This forced hot air heater is your best option if you need to rapidly raise the room temperature. It’s simple to use and easy to carry if you can lift 27.0 pounds.

We purchased and tested the 80,000.0-BTU model, but you can also purchase this heater in models ranging from 50,000.0 BTU to 180,000.0 BTU.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $300
  • Power: 50,000.0 – 180,000.0 BTU
  • Power source: Kerosene
  • Heating method: Fan and forced air
  • 5.0-gallon tank
  • 26.9 pounds
  • 32.0 by 11.7 by 16.7 inches
  • Comfort control thermostat

Our Experience

Dyna-Glo Delux 80,000 BTU Space Heater in garage, powered on

Overall Rating4.1 out of 5
Heating Power5 out of 5
Efficiency4.5 out of 5
Ease of Use4 out of 5
Extra Features3 out of 5

After filling the tank with kerosene you must attach the heater to an electrical outlet. This heater uses electricity only to power the air blower, and so draws only 0.06 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power an hour. Because it doesn’t come with a long power cord, you’ll need a separate extension cord to reach an outlet.

Once started, the heat output is immediate and powerful. This room heater is good for large spaces, though should probably not be used unattended.

We made a couple of observations while using this space heater that detracted from its overall score. The heater was the loudest of those we tested – it resembles the sound of a distant jet engine. The heater also produces an odor while burning the kerosene. The smell isn’t especially strong or unpleasant, but it’s noticeable.

Energy Efficiency

The Dyna-Glo cycles on and off to maintain the selected temperature, so the noise and smell are not ever-present while using this heater. The heater turned off for about two minutes every ten minutes to maintain a consistent 70.0-degree temperature during our testing. It burned about a half gallon of fuel in an hour.

What Customers Are Saying

Average Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars based on more than 1,600 customer reviews

Positive reviews mention the Dyna-Glo’s powerful heat output. Several reviewers note that the device is essential in the winter months and capable of warming their spaces up to 20.0 degrees above the ambient temperature.

Some reviewers complain that they received faulty or broken heaters from Amazon. A few others say they didn’t care for the smell, which seeped into their clothing if they stood too close to the unit for more than an hour.

#2 Best For Small Rooms: Pelonis Ceramic Tower Heater

Pelonis Ceramic Tower Heater

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Pros Silent Tip-over protection switch Auto-shutoff Oscillates 60° Heats quickly
Cons Mediocre energy efficiency when set to high

The Pelonis Ceramic Tower Heater is a low-cost, compact convection heater good for small spaces. It includes several safety features that make it suitable for areas where there may be pets, children, or flammable materials.

Among the electric space heaters we tested, the Pelonis had the best heating power, especially considering its size. This heater includes an adjustable thermostat to control heat levels and remote control.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $80
  • Power: 1,500.0 watts
  • Power source: Corded Electric
  • Heating method: Radiant
  • Remote
  • Built-in temperature monitor
  • Eco energy-saving mode

Our Experience

Pelonis Ceramic Tower Heater powered on, in garage

Overall Rating4 out of 5
Heating Power3.5 out of 5
Efficiency3.5 out of 5
Ease of Use4.5 out of 5
Extra Features4.5 out of 5

During testing, we were comfortably warm sitting next to the Pelonis, but it didn’t significantly raise our test garage’s temperature. It can effectively warm an area 6.0 feet around the tower.

Energy Efficiency

This space heater used the most power of any corded space heaters we tested, using 1.6 kWh in an hour. For perspective, the average residential household in the United States uses around 30.0 kWh a day, so using this device on high continuously for long periods could make a noticeable impact on your electric bill.

What Customers Are Saying

Average Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars based on more than 9,000 customer reviews

A total of 88 percent of reviewers award the Pelonis at least 4 stars. Many customer reviews say this small heater is powerful for its size, adequately heating well-insulated spaces. Users are also pleased with how easy it is to set up, especially given its light weight.

Some reviews mention that the temperature control setting doesn’t work very well. If you try to heat a room to a specific temperature, the heater doesn’t turn on until the room falls below that temperature. The heater then warms the room to above the desired temperature. This may not be the best heater if you’re looking for precise temperature control.

 

#3 Best Features: Heat Storm Infrared Heater PHX-WiFi

Heat Storm Infrared Heater PHX-WIFI

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Pros Smartphone and Wi-Fi integration Sleek design Good heat output
Cons Involved installation process Expensive

Heat Storm’s wall-mounted heater offers a high degree of control over heat settings. This is a good pick if you’re seeking the most customizable heating solution, as it has smartphone and Wi-Fi integration. An included remote makes it easy to adjust temperature settings and the Heat Storm’s long list of useful features earn it a spot as one of our top picks for a space heating system.

Because the Heat Storm requires wall mounting and Wi-Fi integration, the installation process is more involved than other options. If you don’t plan to move your heater after setting it up, the Heat Storm offers a sleek, low-profile design.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $130
  • Power: 1,500.0 watts
  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Heating method: Radiant
  • Remote
  • Child lock
  • Delay and timed modes
  • Digital display
  • Washable filter

Our Experience

Heat Storm Infrared Heater PHX-WIFI heating garage

Overall Rating4 out of 5
Heating Power4 out of 5
Efficiency3.5 out of 5
Ease of Use3.5 out of 5
Extra Features5 out of 5

The Heat Storm’s button interface is intuitive, and the device is simple to control and program with the remote or a smartphone.

Aside from the Dyna-Glo, this was the most powerful heater we tested. It warmed our garage 4.5 degrees, and standing close to the Heat Storm was comfortable.

Energy Efficiency

The Heat Storm is average in terms of efficiency, using 1.6 kWh in an hour.

What Customers Are Saying

Average Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars based on more than 11,000 customer reviews

Most users are happy with the heat this unit produces. It warms quickly, and users like that it integrates with Alexa for easy control. However, the Heat Storm may not be powerful enough to fully heat a large living room or a garage. This heater can keep you warm in a cool space but may not be the best option for full temperature control across a large area.

#4 Best Portable Space Heater: Mr. Heater Portable Buddy

Mr. Heater Portable Buddy

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Pros Doesn’t require outlet Includes one-year warranty Lightweight
Cons Requires propane

The Mr. Heater Portable Buddy is a propane gas garage heater that doesn’t require an outlet. These features, along with its low weight and carry handle, make it an easily-portable heater. Rather than heating a large room, it can be cheaper to carry a portable unit and keep it nearby.

While the Portable Buddy doesn’t create as much heat as larger, forced-air heaters, it’s a good pick for an easily movable heat source. It heats quickly and is strong enough to keep several people warm.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $90
  • Power: 9,000.0 watts
  • Power source: Propane
  • Heating method: Radiant
  • Fold-down handle

Our Experience

Mr. Heater Portable Buddy in garage with fuel attached.

Overall Rating3.9 out of 5
Heating Power3.5 out of 5
Efficiency4 out of 5
Ease of Use5 out of 5
Extra Features3 out of 5

Set to high, the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy warmed our test space pretty quickly. Sitting near the unit was comfortable in the otherwise 50.0-degree garage. Though one of the lower-strength heaters we tested produced enough heat to work in the garage comfortably.

Energy Efficiency

A small tank of propane will easily last for several hours. We ran the device for more than 2.5 hours and didn’t even half-deplete our small propane canister.

What Customers Are Saying

Average Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars based on more than 450 customer reviews

A total of 95 percent of reviews award the Mr. Heater a minimum of 4 stars and we feel these scores indicate reliable performance.

Users who don’t need a heavy-duty heating solution most appreciate the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy. This heater is reliable and works well in icy conditions where some electric heaters may fail.

Some users complain that the heater makes strange noises and smells odd when set too low. We didn’t experience this in our tests, but it’s a problem other reviewers have noted.

#5 Best Budget Space Heater: Andily Ceramic Heater

Andily Ceramic Heater

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Pros Inexpensive Lightweight Has tip-over safety switch and overheat protection
Cons Less powerful than larger heaters

The Andily ceramic space heater is a low-cost heater that throws a surprising amount of heat for its size. While this isn’t an especially powerful space heater, it’s a cheap and reliable unit for small rooms. The automatic shutoff tip-over switch and built-in overheat protection make this a safe heating option.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $30
  • Power: 1,500.0 watts
  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Heating method: Radiant
  • Ceramic heater elements
  • Built-in thermostat

Our Experience

Andily Ceramic Heater plugged into wall in garage, powered on.

Overall Rating4 out of 5
Heating Power3 out of 5
Efficiency4 out of 5
Ease of Use5 out of 5
Extra Features4 out of 5

The heating element on this space heater warmed up very quickly, and we were noticeably more comfortable in its radiant glow.

However, this was the weakest of our test heaters, only warming our garage by 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit. But given the size of the garage, this is an impressive feat. Working near the heater in the cold garage was plenty toasty.

Energy Efficiency

This heater was the most efficient of the electric heaters we tested, using 1.57 kWh in an hour.

What Customers Are Saying

Average Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars based on more than 29,000 customer reviews

Eighty-eight percent of reviews for the Andily Ceramic Heater give it 4 or more stars.

Like us, satisfied Amazon reviewers are surprised by how much heat this small device can produce. The Andily warms well-insulated rooms quite well but may not work well from far away (more than 10.0 feet).

Some customers complain that the device is loud when set too high. We didn’t notice a noise, but we only used the Andily for a couple of hours. These heaters may develop a noise over time, though this isn’t an especially prevalent complaint.

Why Use A Space Heater? 

While certainly not powerful enough to heat an entire home, the best space heaters can supplement areas that need additional warmth. Prime examples include a drafty guest room or office space with poor heat retention. A space heater could also be a cost-saving alternative for an infrequently-used room with isolated temperature controls.

Space Heater Buyers Guide

Before purchasing a space heater, be sure the room you plan to warm is insulated. It’s a waste of energy to attempt to heat an uninsulated room.

Next, consider what you need your space heater to do. If you do not need to heat the whole room (and just your own body), you may only need a small, personal heater. If you want to regulate the temperature of an entire room, you’ll need to purchase a heater based on the room size. A general rule of thumb is that you’ll need 10.0 watts or 35.0 BTU of heating power per square foot.

Electric Or Fuel

Electric-powered space heaters don’t need refilling, and they are odorless. However, electric heaters can be more expensive to run, depending on the power draw. If you plan to use an electric heater, be sure to look for an efficient model.

Some heaters can run on kerosene or propane. These will always produce some odor, and you will only want to use this type of heater in a ventilated space with good airflow.

Forced Air Or Radiant Heat

When it comes to heaters, shoppers should be aware of two types:

  • Forced air heaters: These work by venting warm air throughout a space.
  • Radiant heaters: This type of system uses infrared radiation to directly heat objects. Radiant heaters are more energy-efficient than forced air heaters but can’t cover as large an area.

Safety

Above all, you should purchase a space heater that’s safe. Look for safety features such as tip-over switches and overheat protection. Be sure to follow any safety instructions included with the heater you purchase. Don’t touch warm heaters and ensure your space heater has a stable base. For further safety information, consult this National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) document that lists all the ways you can keep your home, family, and self safe from electric heaters this season.

How We Tested

The space heaters in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon for top products, looking at factors such as customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and prices.

For testing purposes, our team ordered the space heaters that fared best in these areas. We then tested each product’s heating power, efficiency, and ease of use in our test garage. We also considered the extra features available with each heater and scored each recommended product on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on these criteria.

Space Heater Testing Process

heater thermostat reading the temperature

To determine the best space heater, we tested several top models from Amazon in a 217.0-by-224.0-foot insulated garage space.

We placed a digital thermostat 12.0 feet from the heater grill and measured the difference in temperature each device produced in an hour when set to 70.0 degrees and high. We also sat near each heater while it was on, being mindful of our comfort and its noise and smell.

To determine efficiency, we ran each corded device through a power consumption meter and noted the kWh each device consumed in an hour.

heater powermeter tracking the power consumption of each heater.

  • Heating Power: Our heating power score is based on the heater’s ability to warm our test garage. Heaters capable of raising the temperature the most in an hour score highest in this category.
  • Efficiency: Efficiency refers to electricity and fuel use. Garage heaters score higher in this category the less fuel and/or power they need to operate.
  • Ease of Use: Garage heaters that require little setup, are portable, and offer the simplest control mechanisms score best in this category.
  • Extra Features: Extra features include items such as safety shut-off switches, programmable timers, and heat output adjustability. Products with the most useful extra features score highest in this category.

Why You Can Trust Us

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. A team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more.

Best Space Heater: Bottom Line

Purchasing a space heater for your garage or any other room in the house means considering two things: power and heat output. While a kerosene or propane-powered heater may seem nice, an electric heater is likely better suited for work indoors. 

Other Space Heater Recommendations

While we did not test these in person, the heaters below stood out to us during the research phase.

Vornado TAVH10

One of the best space heaters we profiled.

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Features like auto climate control, an automatic timer, and remote control make the Vornado TAVH10 a contender for our shopping list. We also like the small form factor. 

Dreo Portable Space Heater

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Customers that want an oscillating heater may like the Dreo Portable Oscillating Heater. It has four different heating settings and similar safety features that make it comparable with our other picks.

 

Best Space Heater: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.