Holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and is keen on her own home’s climate. Sometimes we think that Carolina owns every single product she writes about – that’s how profound and insightful her reviews always are.
For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may arise during our tests and research.
Last updated: August 24, 2022
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Regardless of the time of year, a bathroom in the early morning hours can feel downright chilly. That is, of course, unless you were able to get your hands on the best bathroom heater you could. These wonderful little devices come in lots of different configurations. Thankfully, however, no matter if you get a portable, ceiling, or wall-mounted model, they can all do a great job of heating up your bathroom.
When we were looking for the best heaters for a bathroom, we first looked at the different types, since your home might not be compatible with some of them. Next, we looked at the wattage to figure out how much energy they required. Finally, we checked into the dimensions of each as well as the coverage area, since the size of your bathroom is going to be a big factor when selecting the right heater.
In order to put together our comprehensive list, we spent tens of hours reading through hundreds of user reviews. This allowed us to also complete in-depth reviews for each of the models we selected so that you would be able to find the one that is right for you. Of course, if you aren’t quite sure what to look for in a heater for your bathroom, then read through our buying guide. This guide will tell you everything you need to know to make sure you get the best heater for your needs.
Type: ceiling exhaust fan, heater, and light combo
Coverage area: up to 65 sq. ft.
Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 3 inches (lens); 13.25 x 7.5 inches (housing)
Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: 4-function wall switch
One of the most important things to keep in mind when you are selecting a new heater is how it will look in your bathroom. The last thing that you want to do is get a model that, instead of flowing with the overall design of your space, is an eyesore. This model, which just might be the best overall heater on the market, is designed to fully integrate into multiple bathroom types, making it a great option for anyone with the eye of a designer.
Not only that but this model is more than just a heater. If you decide to get this unit, you will also be getting a light and an exhaust fan. This versatile design helps to make this a very effective unit, as long as you already have proper venting installed in your ceiling.
Of course, even if you need to install a new electrical hookup for this unit, it is quite easy to do. It is on the smaller side, which makes getting it up into your ceiling that much easier. This smaller design does limit this heater’s coverage area a bit, but it works exceedingly well within its coverage range.
This heater is also very easy to use. It comes with a dedicated four-function wall switch. This switch makes using the unit a breeze since it allows you to select which functions you want to use, and which ones you do not. This usage options also mean it is a very energy-efficient option that we highly recommend you check out.
Type: ceiling exhaust fan, heater, and light combo
Coverage area: small bathrooms
Dimensions: 14.4 x 8.25 x 5.5 inches
Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: Energy Star certified; comes with a CFL light bulb
If you are looking to get a bathroom heater that is also an exhaust fan, then this might be a great option for you. It is energy-efficient and can be used as a heater, light, exhaust fan, or a combination of all three. Since it has so many different functions to choose from, this is one of the more versatile units on the market.
It is, however, a bit more difficult to install than some other models. The overall size of the unit means that you will need to make sure that the space you are placing it in is quite large. The exhaust vent will also need to be hooked up correctly to function properly, which might make the installation process a bit more time-intensive and expensive.
Thankfully, once this model is put in place, it isn’t an eyesore. The fan, heater, and light are all integrated together in a sleek design that would look very attractive in a modernly styled bathroom. The vents on this unit are also very easy to clean, which helps to keep it running much more effectively for a longer period of time.
This unit would also probably be better suited to a smaller bathroom. This is mainly due to its energy-efficient nature. Since its designers planned for this heater to use as little energy as possible, it is not meant to warm up or vent for a larger area. While it certainly could warm up or vent for a bigger space, it won’t work as well as some other heaters on the market for this application.
One of the best things about a portable heater is that you can take it anywhere you want and use it in any room of your house. One of the worst things about portable heaters is that they have a limited coverage area, which makes warming larger spaces quite difficult. This, thankfully, does not apply to this model from Lasko. Of all the different heaters that we looked into, this unit has the largest overall coverage area. Even if you have a very large bathroom that you want to keep warm, this small space heater is more than up to the challenge.
The large coverage area is especially surprising when it comes to this model because this is also the most budget-friendly heater on the market today. Obviously, this combination of large coverage area and wonderful price make this a great choice. It is also quite easy to use since it only has two settings to worry about. This ceramic heater also can be set on a timer, so that you can easily get your bathroom nice and toasty before you enter it in the morning or at night.
One thing that you will want to keep in mind with this unit is that it uses a ton of electricity in comparison to other bathroom heaters. While this shouldn’t come as all that big of a surprise when you consider its coverage area, it is still something to keep in mind before you buy. Though the upfront cost won’t be all that high compared to other models, the operating cost will add up over time.
More features: adjustable, front-mounted thermostat
When it comes to a bathroom heater, it is a good idea to always think about how much it is going to cost you to run over a long period of time. That way, you can better gauge how much your energy costs are going to go up once you start running your heater all of the time in the colder months to warm up your bathroom. This wall-mounted heater is extremely energy-efficient, which makes running it, even if you do so for long periods, quite cost-effective.
The main reason that this heater is so energy-efficient is that it doesn’t use up a lot of energy, even if you are running it as high as possible. In fact, when you keep it on lower settings, this heater only uses about half of the wattage of its competitors. This helps to make it cheaper to run over time, which adds to its efficiency.
This energy-efficient space heater also has a pretty large coverage area. Though it isn’t the highest on the market, it should be more than enough for small or even medium-sized bathrooms. Since there is no venting, this is also a very easy to install system as long as you have electrical wiring near the spot you want to install it.
One thing to keep in mind with this unit, however, is that the thermostat is not all that accurate. Since the thermostat is on the front next to the vent, it gets warmer much faster than the air. This can cause it to turn off prematurely, which could make your bathroom feel cooler than you would want it to.
More features: quiet operation; built-in thermostat
If you are someone that likes to take a bath to relax, then the last thing that you want is to get a heater that is overly noisy. A noisy heater can take your bath from a restful and quiet end of your day to a noisy and bothersome period. This heater, however, is extremely quiet. Even when it is running at full blast, this model is no louder than a whisper, which makes it a great option for anyone that wants to unwind in peace in quiet in their bathroom, while still keeping the room nice and toasty.
This unit also has a very large coverage area. Even if you have an exceptionally large bathroom, this unit should have no trouble heating it up. OF course, this will use up a bit more energy than other models, but if you have a bigger space, that is the price you will have to pay to keep it warm.
This heater is also one of the easiest to install on the market, thanks to its simple-to-use thermostat. This thermostat is built into the side of the unit, which helps it to be a bit more accurate. Since it doesn’t get warmed by the vent of the heater, this thermostat will only take the reading of the air in the room, which means that it will provide you with more accuracy than if it was mounted on the front of the unit.
The only real issue with this heater is that, even when installed properly, the mounting bracket and wiring will remain exposed on the back of the heater. While this poses no danger to the user, it isn’t very appealing to the eye. For this reason, it is best to try and place this heater as out of sight as possible or use aftermarket finishing products to cover up these items.
What do we love it for?
Large coverage area
What were we disappointed with?
Wiring and mounting bracket are exposed after installation
More features: mounts to any standard 3-1/2-inch or 4-inch round/octagonal ceiling electrical box
Ceiling mounted heaters are a great option if you are looking to both heats up your bathroom and keep your bathroom flow intact. Since these heaters are up and out of the way, they don’t detract from the rest of the room and, instead, help to tie the entire space together. This heater is a great example of this design. It would look good in pretty much any bathroom, no matter if you are going for a modern or more eclectic look thanks to its streamlined design.
This heater is also very easy to install. All you have to do is remove your old light fixture and put this in its place. It fits easily onto standard-sized electrical boxes, which helps make the installation process that much easier. Since this is simply a heater, there is no ventilation to worry about, which makes installing it even easier. This simplistic design also makes it effortless to maintain, since you don’t need to clean any vents and the motor is permanently lubricated, which means it shouldn’t break down over time.
Of course, something to keep in mind with this unit is that it is only a heater. This unit does not have a light, so you might need a separate bathroom light installed to make sure you can see in your bathroom at night. On the other hand, since this model is only a heater, it is very energy-efficient, as it doesn’t need electricity for anything but warming our bathroom.
What are its best features?
Easy to install
What could be improved?
Doesn’t have a light
Things to Consider
In this section, we will go through everything that you need to know to find the best heater for your bathroom. We have also taken the time to answer several frequently asked questions, so be sure to read through those as well if you are still unclear on anything.
Why you need a heater for your bathroom
There are several different reasons that getting a heater for your bathroom is a good idea. If you are still on the fence about installing a bathroom heater, then consider the following:
Warms Up an Already Chilly Space – If there is one thing that you can count on when it comes to your bathroom, it is that it is always going to be a bit chillier than other rooms in your home. Bathrooms are notoriously chilly, even in warmer weather. This chilliness is mainly due to the fact that bathroom floors don’t have as much insulation as other parts of your home, thanks in part to the water pipes going through the floor. A bathroom heater helps to alleviate this issue by warming the air, thus making the space feel that much better.
Removes Moisture and Odors from the Air – Another big issue that comes with any bathroom, especially one that has a bath or shower in it, is that there is always a lot of moisture in the air. Odors are also a big issue in a bathroom as well. Regardless of the type of heater you get, whether it is a standard model or one with an exhaust fan, you should be able to eliminate the moisture and odors from the space. As a heater is running, it will dry out the air, which will, in turn, help to alleviate any odors from the bathroom.
Helps to Keep Mirrors and Fixtures Dry – Nothing can be as damaging to mirrors and bathroom fixtures as moisture. The moisture left over after a hot shower might not seem like much, but, over time, it can cause your mirrors to permanently fog and fixtures to rust. By running a heater, you can remove this residual moisture, which will help to keep your mirror and fixtures look their best for years to come.
Inexpensive to Run – Even if you live in a larger home, your bathroom probably isn’t all that large. As such, running a heater within this space is extremely cost-effective, especially when you consider the added benefits that they provide. Even the best small heater for a bathroom is going to do a great job in warming a space without using a lot of energy, which will save you lots of money in the long run.
Easy to Install – No matter what type of bathroom heater you select, you shouldn’t have a tough time installing them. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a handy individual, this process is not all that complicated. Of course, if you don’t want a permanent solution, you can just get the best portable bathroom heater to save yourself the time.
Features to consider while choosing a bathroom heater
As you can imagine, there are lots of different features that you need to keep in mind when you are looking for the best bathroom heater. In this section, we will go through everything you need to know to make sure you get the perfect model for your particular needs.
Ceiling, wall-mounted, or portable?
The first thing that you want to consider is which style of bathroom heater is the best fit for your needs. You have three different choices, which include the following:
Ceiling – Ceiling mounted heaters are usually the most popular model, simply because they cover the most area, and are the easiest to install, especially if you already have a light fixture in your ceiling. Some ceiling heaters such as the Broan-Nutone 9093WH, also operate as exhaust fans, as well, which makes them even more useful in a bathroom. Of course, this requires a more complex installation process, since vents will need to be put in place.
Wall-mounted – Wall-mounted models are very easy to set up as well, especially if you put them near to a power source like switches or a light. If there isn’t any wiring in the wall that you want to install them, it can be a bit trickier, of course. These heaters don’t have quite as much coverage as ceiling models but are more effective than portable options.
Portable – Portable bathroom heaters are a perfect solution if you want to warm up your bathroom without having to worry about any electricity wiring woes. You just need to plug them in and position them where you need extra heat, and you are all done. Of course, these models usually have the smallest coverage area, which makes them a great option for smaller bathrooms. Another added benefit of using a portable heater is that you can store it away when it is not in use, or bring it with you to another room for additional heat during those colder months.
If it’s combined with a fan and a light
Another added benefit of selecting a ceiling bathroom heater is that some of them come with a fan and a light. Unfortunately, wall-mounted and portable heaters might be able to operate as fans, but they usually do not have a light feature.
If you are looking for a heater that comes equipped with both a fan and a light, then the Delta Electronics RAD80L is a great choice. Even if you don’t want to run the heater, you will still be able to light up your bathroom and circulate the air with the fan, which also acts as an exhaust system to pull moist air out of the bathroom.
While you certainly want to make sure that you are getting a heater that can keep your bathroom nice and warm, you also don’t want to spend a ton of money on operating it either. One way that you can determine what the operating cost of your new heater will be is by looking at how many watts of energy it uses. The higher the wattage of the bathroom heater you choose, the more electricity it will require to run correctly. While this will make it a much warmer heater, it will cost more to run.
If you are looking to save a bit of money in operating costs for electricity, then the Broan Wall Heater might be a good option. It uses a minimal amount of watts, depending on the settings that you choose, making it a cost-effective option. On the other hand, if you are looking for the warmest heater possible and aren’t worried about electrical costs, the Stiebel Eltron CK 15E might make sense. It uses a lot of energy, which means that it can put out a lot of heat.
Ease of Installation
When you get a new heater, especially if you get a wall or ceiling mounted model, you want to make sure that it is easy to install. That way, you won’t need to call in an electrician and pay a bunch of money to get your new heater up and running. The Broan 157 is a good choice in this regard since it can be fitted to a standard size electrical box. This heater will be an especially good choice if you are using this new heater to replace an existing light fixture since it can be easily hooked up to the existing electrical box.
The next thing that you will want to pay attention to when you are looking for a new heater for your bathroom is the size of your bathroom. The last thing that you want to do is buy a new heater, go through the process of getting it installed, and start using it, only to find out that it doesn’t keep your space warm. To find the area of your bathroom, carefully measure the length and width of the space. Then multiply those two numbers. This calculation will give you the square footage of your bathroom.
For larger spaces, you should always shoot for the largest coverage area possible. The Lasko CD08200 is a good choice on this front since it has a coverage area of about 225 square feet. Even if you had a really big bathroom, this heater would probably do the job quite nicely.
Heat settings and thermostat
Of course, you want to make sure that your new bathroom heater is easy to use and allows you to find the right heat levels for your needs. That is why you should always look for a model with easy-to-set heat settings. You should also try to find a model with an accurate thermostat as well since this will allow you to set the exact temperature to fit your preferences. Otherwise, you might find yourself guessing as to what kind of heat levels you need for a while before you find the ones that work best for you and your family.
Since bathrooms are already relatively small spaces with limited wall space, you want to make sure that you get a heater that doesn’t take up a lot of room. The Broan-Nutone 9093WH is a great option in this regard, since the overall design of the heater is quite small and stylish, which makes it much less of an eyesore when compared to larger models.
If you are looking to get a portable model, then the dimensions will also play a big part in your final purchase. This is especially true if you are looking to store your heater in a cabinet when you are not using it. You want to make sure that you don’t get a heater that is so large that it won’t fit in your cabinet, or you will always have to keep it out, which could be a bother over a long period of time.
As with any new home appliance, you want to make sure that you get a new heater with a good warranty. That way, you will be covered if anything goes wrong with it soon after you purchase it. You just want to make sure that you read through the fine print very carefully, since a lot of companies will claim that everything is covered, when only very specific components or parts are. You certainly don’t want to find out that you aren’t covered and have to spend a bunch more money to get something fixed right after you install your new bathroom heater.
Bathroom heaters are relatively straightforward appliances, so there aren’t too many different features to keep in mind. Something that you want to be on the lookout for, however, are easy-to-use controls and a simple-to-operate thermostat. That way, you will be able to keep your heater running the way you want. Some models also come with an automatic shut-off and on feature or a timer. This feature will allow you to set your heater to turn on before you wake up to get your bathroom nice and warm for you in the morning.
Some safety tips
As with any electrical appliance, you need to keep safety in the back of your mind. This can be accomplished in the following ways:
Make sure you install your heater correctly – If you are not a handy person, then get your heater professionally installed so that it is hooked up correctly. For portable models, be sure that you plug them into a GFCI outlet to protect it from shorting out.
Keep away from water – Since this heater is for a bathroom, you want to make sure you keep it clear of any water. This is especially important for portable models.
Keep the vents clean – At least once a month you should clean out the vents to prevent them from being clogged by dust and dirt.
Don’t cover the heater – While heaters are made to get hot, they should not be covered up. If the heater is covered, it could overheat, which could cause the unit to fail or cause a fire.
This depends on a number of factors. The first being how powerful the heater, which is determined by how much electricity it uses. The second factor is how large of a bathroom you have. Most heaters will only take about 5-10 minutes to heat up a bathroom that they are rated for. Obviously, if you pick a heater that is a bit underpowered for your space, it might take longer.
The installation process for these heaters is pretty easy, as long as you already have electrical wiring where you want to install your heater. If this is the case, all you have to do is simply remove the old light/fan fixture and hook up the new heater.
On the other hand, if you don’t have an electrical hookup available in the spot you want your new heater to fit, you will have to install wires beforehand.
Even the loudest bathroom heater is pretty quiet. If you are worried about noise levels, then the Stiebel Eltron CK 15E might be a great choice, as it is very quiet.
The Broan-Nuton 9093WH is the best overall bathroom heater on the market today. It is very easy to install, setup, and use. Its sleek design makes it a welcome choice for pretty much any bathroom. It is very energy-efficient, which means it’s a great option for anyone that wants to light up, ventilate, and heat up their bathroom. We highly recommend that you check this model out!
The Delta Electronics RAD80L is a great choice if you are looking for a powerful exhaust fan, light, and heater for your smaller bathroom. It is very easy to maintain, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a long-term bathroom heater solution.
If you are looking for the best bathroom heater based on the coverage area, then the Lasko CD08200 is going to be something you want to check out. It is extremely powerful, and since it is portable, it is also extremely versatile. This budget-friendly choice is a great option for small, medium, or large spaces, yet small enough to fit into a cabinet when not in use.