HomeHome & Garden ProjectsThe 12 Best Space Heaters: For Living Rooms

The 12 Best Space Heaters: For Living Rooms

While there is no such thing as an ‘all-in-one’ heater, we’ve put together a list of the best space heaters for a living room so you can get warm and cozy without breaking the bank.

Choosing the right space heater for a large room can be challenging as there are many factors to consider.

Not only do you need it to heat up your entire room, but think about choosing one that’s energy efficient and fits your budget.

Why should you trust me? You can trust me because I did extensive research to find the best heater for our large living room space.

I considered size, efficiency, and price to find the perfect heater. And I made a purchase based on this research.

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I spend most of my time in this living room, which also doubles as my office and craft room. It is critical that I choose the correct heater, or it will make for an unpleasant daily routine.

I will elaborate shortly on why this room is the coldest in our house and the difficulties we face in heating it.

UPDATE 2023: We decided to purchase the wall-mount infrared Heat Storm.

After much research, it met our requirements for the best space heater for our size living room. I am mostly happy with the decision.

For this large space, it heats the room to my desired temperature, as long as the door isn’t wide open. However, on cooler days, it can take a while. Bear in mind this space is over 650 square feet.

One negative is that even though it is infrared, it has a blower and tends to dry the air in the room.

Please read on to learn about the different features to consider when shopping for a space heater in a large room.

Your requirements may differ, and other factors may come into play when deciding.

First, the best space heaters for a living room will have a high wattage and produce high BTUs.

A powerful space heater will get warm fast and keep it warm. They come at a higher price point but are a worthwhile investment if you use them daily.

Types of Space Heaters For Living Rooms

There are three main types of space heaters to choose from when stocking up on heating equipment for your living room this winter –gas, infrared, and electric.

A gas heater provides the best balance between speed and power. If you don’t have a gas supply installed in your home, an electric heater is a good choice due to its convenience and safety features.

An electric heater can come with a standard heating element and a blower, where an infrared unit will radiate heat, which will heat objects in the room rather than the air.

For in-depth information on the different types of heaters, click the links below to be taken to the bottom of the page. Otherwise, continue with the essential features you should look for and the list of the 12 best heaters for a large room.

Electric Space Heaters
Natural Gas Space Heaters
Infrared Space Heaters

Features to Shop For In A Living Room Space Heater

There are several features to consider when choosing which space heater is best for your living room.

When it comes to big rooms, there are special requirements a space heater will need to meet.

First, my research includes space heaters that can heat large rooms as a supplementary heat source or heat a small to medium-sized room as the primary source.

Our TV room/living room is the coldest in the house because it is on the terrace level, faces north and east, and has large windows that do not get direct sunlight.

Though it has central heating, it does not provide enough warmth in this large room.

And if your builder is like ours and wasn’t the brightest engineer, he may have specified that your thermostat be located on the highest level upper floor.

Due to heat naturally rising, it ends up being the warmest spot in the house. So the heat doesn’t turn on when the rest of the house is cold.

This lower-level room gets pretty chilly, and I’d like the space to be a cozy 72-73 degrees.

Okay, on to the features.

For more help researching outdoor heaters, here is my list of the best ones for a natural gas patio!

Amount Of Heat A Space Heater Produces and How Fast It Can Heat vs. Cost
When looking for space heaters, you’ll come across wattage as a valuable performance indicator.

Most models have an output capacity that can be measured in watts, although some exceptions exist.

A higher output heats up a larger area more quickly, so higher-wattage space heaters are the best option for large rooms.

Using a space heater as a primary heating source will take longer to heat a large room than if it’s used as a secondary heating source.

This is where you can sometimes get away with using a heater specified for a smaller amount of square footage.

Built-in Adjustable Thermostats
A thermostat is very useful because it automatically switches the heater on and off depending on the temperature in the room. 

Typically, these models will allow you to set the temperature to where you want it rather than just offering a high and low setting.

Some space heaters only turn on or off and have no settings, so check carefully.

All the heaters in my list have at least two setting options–most have an adjustable thermostat.

A thermostat on the unit is also helpful, especially for large rooms where heat will naturally escape more quickly.

With an adjustable thermostat, you can set it to the perfect room temperature, and the heater will shut off once it reaches that point.

Quiet Operation
A heater with a fan will likely be louder than one that doesn’t. Many infrared models don’t use a fan. 

Noise level is another crucial factor for me. If you have to increase the TV volume because of the fan’s blower, then it may not be the greatest choice for the space.

You can see the trouble ensuing when I’m reading upstairs, and my husband has the TV cranked because he can’t hear it over the space heater. Nope, it’s gotta be on the quiet side.

Remote Control or Wi-Fi capability
A remote control is especially beneficial with a space heater because it will allow you to keep your living room toasty without getting up.

It’s a TV room, so if I gotta get off of my duff in the middle of some fantastic moment of Mare of Eastown to adjust the temperature or turn it on or off, it’s going out the window. Nothing’s ruining a good night of a TV marathon. ?

It needs to have some aesthetic value. It can’t look like it belongs in a garage workshop, and I’d prefer that it look representative of the modern era.

My style tastes are not everyone’s, so while I’d love to have nothing but a list of the most minimal or space-agey-looking space heaters, most people wouldn’t read this. So, I concede.

There’s plenty here to suit a variety of design styles. It doesn’t look like it was dragged out of Uncle Jimmy’s ice fishing shack.

Do you have a fireplace now that doesn’t work? Should you chose to get that working, or just want to upgrade the look, then you’ll love this article with inspiration and tutorials for fireplace makeovers.

Other features you should consider when shopping for the best living room space heaters.

Built-in Timers
Some come with built-in timers to ensure your room is warm when you want it to be.

Timers are handy for turning the heater off automatically after a certain time.

Or they might have a built-in function that allows them to switch off before overheating becomes an issue.

An oscillating fan can spread heat more evenly throughout the room if no objects are blocking its path.

Safety Features
Not all models will have the same safety features, but most will include some built-in protection. Look for heaters that have automatic tip prevention.

This feature will cause the space heater to switch off automatically if it tips over. 

Another essential safety feature is overheat protection. A heater with overheat protection will automatically shut off once it hits a certain temperature.

The 12 Best Space Heaters For A Living Room

Here are the best space heaters for a living room. After a great deal of research, I've found 12 great options for heating a large space.

Portable Space Heaters

Tower Style Heaters

Compact Portable Space Heaters

Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace Style Heaters

You may want to check out this article about basement flooring options to help you sort out what features and benefits make the most sense for your home.

Electric Space Heaters

Electric space heaters are one of the best ways of warming up small areas quickly in winter.

They come in different sizes with different wattages. Which one you choose will depend on the square footage of your living room.

Electric space heaters can be a cheaper option than oil-filled radiators and are less cumbersome to install. 

They tend to be cheaper than other models but may be less powerful when it comes to heating up larger spaces quickly.

For that reason, it might be worth investing in a low-wattage infrared model for your living room if you don’t want to spend a lot of money.

Natural Gas Heaters

Natural gas heating can really be the best space heater for your living room to heat it quickly and efficiently.

It’s ideal if you don’t want the cords of electric heaters to cramp your movements around the room.

 Just make sure you have a gas supply installed by a professional before buying one.

If you want gas heating then look for an ‘open vent’ model. These are designed to be used without any flues or chimneys attached.

While gas heaters provide one of the most efficient ways to keep your living room nice and warm all winter long, it’s important to have a supply installed by a professional.

This is because this type of heater emits carbon monoxide and needs to be ventilated. With a professional installation, you can take comfort that it’s reliable and safe.

Radiant Infrared Heaters

If your living room gets very cold in winter, consider investing in a radiant space heater. Infrared models are among the best space heaters for quick heating because they emit radiant energy.

They warm objects and surfaces, rather than the air itself. Although it’s a quick way to heat a space, the heat will dissipate as soon as it’s shut off.

Infrared heating can come from any fuel source, but if an area isn’t directly open to the heater, it won’t receive any heat. The heater needs to be relatively close to anything it heats.

One especially great benefit to infrared heating is that they don’t dry out the air like other types of heaters.

Ceramic and Quartz Space Heaters

Ceramic and Quartz heaters are usually used with infrared heating. They use either ceramic or quartz heating elements.

Ceramic heaters have a lot of benefits that make them an excellent choice for heating your living room quickly and efficiently.

A ceramic element can be found in regular electric heaters that blow hot air, as well as in infrared. 

They’re also very easy to use with simple on/off buttons and adjustable temperature controls on many models.

Also, these tend to be less of a fire hazard. This is in part because the case stays cool so the heater itself doesn’t get as hot as other types.

Quartz heaters use infrared. The benefit of a quartz heater is how energy efficient it is. They can come at a higher price point, but in the long run, may save you less.

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Best space Heaters For Living Room
Best space Heaters For Living Room

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  1. Have you seen the tabletop fire “pits” that are made of cement and look like candleholders? They have an insert that lets you use isopropyl alcohol as fuel so you can have an actual flame. They seem awfully small for what people are charging, so I’ve been wondering how hard it would be to make my own. What do you think? I can post a link if you want. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I sure have, and love the look. But one that would give enough heat is the kind for outside that uses propane- I have a post on those too. A DIY one with a little insert isn’t going to provide enough heat to add warmth to a room, plus I’d worry about safety if it was bigger. Look up “DIY Creators fire pit bowl”. He has a good youtube video like you describe.