Last updated: August 10, 2021

Welcome to our big electric heater test 2021. Here we present all the products we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best electric heater. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide.

If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a ribbed electric heater.




Summary

  • Electric heaters are inexpensive, quick-to-use radiators that can be used wherever there is an electricity connection.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between direct heaters and power storage heaters, in which there are various subcategories.
  • While other radiant heaters require costly installation and piping, this is not the case with electric heaters.

The Best Electric Heater: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an electric heater

Why do I need an electric heater?

An electric heater is an easy-to-install radiator that is a reliable alternative to conventional radiators. There are different electric heating systems that work differently. The heating systems can be used to support the heating systems already installed in your home without the need for cumbersome installation.

Due to their compactness, they are usually ideal to transport and can be moved from A to B in no time. Electric heaters usually cost much less than other heating systems and are therefore always a lucrative alternative to conventional radiators.

What does an electric heater cost?

Buying an electric heater is often cheaper than buying a comparable radiator. In this table you can see how much the different electronic heaters cost.
Model Price
Infrared radiator From 100 euros
Radiant heater From 25 euros
Convector From 25 euros
Radiator From 75 euros
Surface storage heater From 250 euros

Where can I use an electric heater?

You can use an electric heater practically anywhere. Whether as a supplement in the home, as a quick heater in the garden or arbour or as a luxurious, mirrored version in the bathroom.

There is a suitable electric heater for every occasion. You should find out beforehand which electric heater is the right one for your project. Due to their weight and ease of use, most electric heaters can be used in several places and do not have to be bought several times.

This way you can decide individually when you want to have which room heated.

What are the disadvantages of electric heating?

Electric heaters work with electricity and are therefore associated with significantly higher heating costs than conventional gas or oil heaters. In addition, there are higher CO² emissions, as electricity is usually generated from fossil fuels in power stations.

In addition, an electronic heating system delivers significantly poorer efficiency than a conventional heating system.

Large electronic heaters also need their own electrical circuit, so the help of an electronics engineer must be enlisted.

What are the advantages of an electric heater?

First and foremost, electronic heating is significantly cheaper to purchase than a conventional radiator. In addition to the price of the device, an electronic heater does not require any costly piping, which can quickly cost several thousand euros.

With their simple installation, the standard devices can be put into operation immediately and you can save yourself the boiler room.

As a rule, electric heaters are the most profitable solution for rarely used rooms such as holiday homes, cellars, sheds or scattered gardens, as they offer the best price/performance ratio. There is no need for fuel storage as with oil or gas heating, nor does the fuel have to be ordered and financed in advance.

Electronic heating is also a sensible alternative for houses without a chimney or fireplace. Regular chimney sweep maintenance is no longer necessary. In addition, electronic heating is considered to be low-maintenance and very durable and does not cause any dust or dirt.

With a photovoltaic system like this, you can produce your own electricity. (Image source: pixarbay.com / skeeze)

With a photovoltaic system, you can produce your own electricity cheaply and are independent of energy suppliers. If you use green electricity, your electronic heating works with a clean CO² balance. In well-insulated houses, new buildings and when using photovoltaic systems, it makes sense to invest more in electric heating.

Decision: What types of electric heaters are there and which one is right for you?

Basically, there are five types of electric heating you can choose between:

  • Infrared radiators
  • Radiant heater
  • Convector
  • Radiator
  • Surface heater

We present the most important model types from these two types and want to show you what advantages and disadvantages they offer. Please note that there are some hybrid types that are a combination of different systems.

What distinguishes an infrared radiator and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Infrared radiators radiate solid and liquid surfaces and thus heat the room. The infrared rays can be compared to those of the sun and lie in a magnetic wave range between three and 50 nanometres. Thus, they are not visible to the human eye, but we perceive their warmth as pleasant, comparable to the warmth of a tiled stove.

The practical infrared radiators are available for different areas of application. In the living room, they can be mounted on the ceiling and used as a mirror, picture frame or towel holder. Outdoors, they can be used as a heater in the conservatory or on the terrace, for example.

Advantages
  • Pleasant warmth without convection
  • Short pre- and post-heating time
  • Attractive appearance
Disadvantages
  • High purchase price
  • Not very robust

What distinguishes a fan heater and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The classic fan heater is a simple electronic heater in which a resistance heater is combined with a fan. The air is blown past the heating wire and thus emitted heated. With its low initial cost and very light weight, the fan heater can be found in many public places such as offices, common rooms or shops.

Some radiant heaters can be mounted on walls, but it should generally be noted that the fan heater is free-standing. In addition to the waste of energy that results from this, you can get a serious burn if the radiant heater heats up a lot.

Advantages
  • Low price
  • Quickly heated room
  • Easy to transport
Disadvantages
  • Convection promotes dry air
  • Noise level
  • Can heat up strongly

What distinguishes a convector and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The convector is a classic heating system that heats the air by direct radiation. The electric convector heating transfers heat to the room air by convection, i.e. warm air rises and cold air "falls" and is heated by the convector. This creates air circulation.

A fan is built into the convector to heat the room faster and more effectively and to blow the warm air upwards. In higher-quality models, this can be switched off. Convectors are among the cheapest electric heaters in terms of price.

Advantages
  • Low price
  • Quickly heated room
  • Durable
Disadvantages
  • Convection promotes dry air
  • Loudness
  • Can heat strongly

What distinguishes a radiator and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The radiator uses oil, water or gas inside its body that is heated. This heat is then released outside into the room air, whose surface area is increased by the fins. The heating medium takes a little longer to heat up because no fan is used, this should be taken into account.

The radiator can be easily connected to a power socket. By not using fans for heating, the radiator is quieter and safer. With its increased surface area, the radiator also heats larger rooms quickly.

Advantages
  • Heats quietly
  • Very affordable
  • Long-lasting
Disadvantages
  • Slow preheating time
  • Can heat up strongly

What are the characteristics of a surface storage heater and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Electric radiators with a surface accumulator secure the heat in special stones, made of fireclay, natural or soapstone. These storage cores are connected to heating conductors that heat up and transfer the heat to the outside.

There are often direct radiators such as infrared heating convectors and radiators that are additionally equipped with a surface storage tank in order to benefit from the advantages of both systems. This electric heating works with a self-regulation system. As soon as a selected room temperature is reached, the power supply switches off.

Advantages
  • Low convection
  • Adjustable over time
Disadvantages
  • High purchase price
  • Very heavy

The storage cores continue to warm up the room. The surface storage unit does not need electric ventilation to stir up dust. Night storage heaters were at their peak in the 1950s and 1960s, when attempts were made to improve the utilisation of power plants at night.

The night storage heaters were charged with the cheaper night-time electricity in order to avoid the more expensive daytime electricity during the day. Nowadays, night storage heaters are little used, partly because electricity prices have been adjusted. Renewable energy could be used more effectively with night storage heaters, so it is not impossible that night storage heaters could make a comeback.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate electric heaters

You can use these buying criteria to evaluate and compare which electric heater is right for you:

  • Size
  • Heating levels
  • Heat output
  • Timer and thermostat
  • Heat & frost monitor
  • Test seal
  • Seal of approval

Electric heaters differ in terms of handling, efficiency and safety, and we've put together a list of what matters.

Size

The size your electric heater needs depends on the size of the room and the power the device provides. Larger units generally deliver more power. Here is a small list so that you know what power is needed.

Square metres For new buildings For old buildings
20 m² Approx.1000 Watt Approx.1500 Watt
40 m² Approx.2000 Watt Approx.3000 Watt
60 m² Approx.3000 Watt Approx.4500 Watt

Heating levels

Different heating levels offer you the possibility to adjust your electric heater individually. Standard models usually offer two to three heating levels. Higher-quality models can regulate the temperature to the exact degree and thus offer you full control over how warm you want it to be.

Heat output

You should always calculate a heating capacity of around 60 - 100 watts per square metre. Most electric heaters work with a heat output of 500 - 2000 watts. However, there are also models with less or more power, depending on the intended use. The weight of the electronic heater increases with the amount of heat output.

Powerful electric heaters with a total output of more than 2 kilowatts per hour must be registered with the energy supplier.

Timer and thermostat

The timer is a useful feature of an electronic heater. You can set a time limit for your radiator so that it really only heats for as long as you want. In this way, you can effectively heat greenhouses, stables or simply your bedroom, for example, and save time and money.

With a thermostat you have the possibility to set the electric heating and regulate it as you like. Without a thermostat, there is always a chance that your electric heater will continue to heat up until the overheating protection kicks in. The thermostat allows you to optimally readjust until you have reached your desired heat output.

Heat & frost monitors

Heat and frost monitors are important functions of an electric heater, which do their job especially when you are careless. The heat monitor makes sure that your new electric heater does not overheat. This is because electric radiators can generate a lot of heat if they are not regulated.

Your heating should be neither too hot nor too cold. (Picture source: pixarbay.com / thommas68)

The frost monitor is a function in the thermostat that switches on the radiator as soon as the room temperature falls below a certain value. This is particularly advantageous in winter when you forget to turn on the radiator. For electric heating in the bathroom, splash water protection is recommended. Before you buy, you can find out which radiators have splash water protection. This is indicated by a protection symbol

Test seal

In general, you should look for the following test seals when buying an electronic heater.

  • The TÜV seal stands for tested safety with the electric heater.
  • The GS seal confirms that the electric heater meets the requirements of the German Production Safety Act.
  • The IGEF seal stands for reduced emissions of electrosmog from the electric heater.
  • The VDE seal from the independent Association of Electrical Engineers.
  • EU declaration of conformity is the European directive control mark.
  • RoHS certification certifies that the heater is free of harmful substances.

Protection symbol

You can use the protection symbols to see for which area your electric heater is suitable.

Protection class Place of use
P20 For living areas
IP24 Splash water protection
IP55 Suitable for outdoor use
IP65 Splash water protection and dust protection

Facts worth knowing about electric heaters

What special forms of electric heating are there?

Electric underfloor heating

Modern electric underfloor heating systems are becoming more and more popular, especially in modern sanitary facilities. Depending on the thickness and material of the floor, they are offered as direct current or current storage heating.

The price of these underfloor heating systems is lower than that of their water-bearing competitors.

The costs can vary depending on the quality and manufacturer, but are well below 100 euros and start from 25 euros. Electric wall heating works on the same principle, but is categorised as direct heating because walls are usually constructed thinner than floors.

Natural stone heaters

Natural stone heaters work in principle with the same principle as storage heaters, combined with that of direct heating.

In most cases, a natural stone is heated with heating conductors and directly emitted as heat radiation with infrared mirror walls.

The dual function of direct and storage heating, coupled with the timeless but sophisticated design, means that natural stone heaters are moving into more and more households. They are ideal because of their glazing in hallways, bathrooms or as an optical element in the living room. Prices for natural stone heaters start at 500 euros.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 107350164

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