Last updated: August 11, 2021

Welcome to our big thermostat test 2022. Here we present all the thermostats we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best thermostat for you.

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 thermostat.




Summary

  • Thermostats are perfect for setting the optimal room temperature and other settings on your infrared heater. Thanks to the independent temperature gauge, the device can control the heating independently.
  • Basically, you can choose an analogue thermostat, a digital thermostat, a radio thermostat or a socket thermostat.
  • A thermostat is not only user-friendly, but can also help you save money and valuable energy.

The Best Thermostat: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a thermostat

What is a thermostat, why do you need it and what is its functionality?

Most infrared heaters, especially those that are screwed to the wall or ceiling, do not have a thermostat built in. The IR radiator itself therefore often has no possibility to control and regulate the heat intensity. A thermostat is a small device that allows you to measure the room temperature and switch the IR heater on and off. In addition, the thermostat offers you the corresponding setting options.

Many manufacturers do not build thermostats into the IR radiator, because such a thermostat can only measure the temperature in the room poorly because it is built directly into the device. In order to be able to measure the optimal temperature, it always needs a certain distance from the radiator itself. Such a distance is also necessary for the control and regulation of the heat wave rays.

Another reason why most IR radiators do not have a thermostat is that the electronic thermostats usually have a shorter life than the radiators themselves. So it makes sense to sell them separately, as you can then simply replace the defective thermostat later.

In the case of infrared heaters that are permanently connected to the home electronics, the heaters automatically get another technology when they are installed to regulate and control the heating intensity. Other IR heaters, which are connected by means of a mains cable, actually work without a thermostat.

The heating is therefore switched on when you plug in the cable and is therefore only switched off as soon as you unplug the cable. Of course, this is not comfortable.

That's why manufacturers usually sell an additional thermostat to make controlling the heating easier and more effective.

What types of thermostats are there?

There are many different variations of what such a thermostat for your infrared heater could look like. Essentially, however, a distinction is made between the following four types:

  • Analogue thermostats
  • Digital thermostats
  • Wireless thermostats
  • Socket thermostats

If you attach a lot of importance to the easy handling of thermostats, an analogue thermostat is certainly a good solution. On the edge of the IR radiator there is an adjusting wheel where you can set the desired room temperature by turning the adjusting wheel. Depending on the level at which you have set the temperature, the heater will try to maintain it.

Analoges Thermostat

With the analogue thermostat, you set the desired temperature by hand and thus ideally adjust it to your needs. For example, you can turn it down a little at night if you don't like it so warm. (Photo: TBIT / pixabay.com)

With a digital thermostat, you can be more technical. Such a thermostat has a digital room temperature controller with LCD display. You can read the current temperature from the display and set the desired temperature. If you want to measure the temperature anywhere in the room, a wireless thermostat is ideal for you.

This device can be mounted anywhere and works wirelessly. If your IR heating is connected to the conventional 230V socket, you can also use a socket thermostat there. This is advantageous for you if you want to use your infrared heater on the move, because the socket thermostat does not require any installation work. You simply plug the socket thermostat into the socket where you plugged in your IR heater and the device works.

There are many different variants on the market, where you can see a mixture of two or even three basic types (from those mentioned above). Examples of this would be digital socket thermostats or radio thermostats with an adjusting wheel.

What are the advantages of a thermostat?

Not only does comfort play an important role with a thermostat, but also the effective use of the heating system. Thanks to the programmable control, you can use the IR heating in a targeted manner. This helps you to save costs and thus keep energy consumption within limits.

Advantages
  • Cost saving
  • Energy saving
  • User friendly
  • Flexible retrofitting

How much does a thermostat cost?

Thermostats have a wide price range. This is due to the respective type of design, functionality and comfort. They differ in the features mentioned above. Many thermostats are programmable, while others can only be set by means of a plug-in wheel. Others can only be mounted directly on your heat wave heater, while others can be mounted anywhere in the room. This is why there are such price variations. You have to decide for yourself which feature or type of thermostat is important to you. Consequently, you can also decide what a thermostat should cost you.

Decision: What types of thermostats are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between four types of thermostats:

  • Analogue thermostats
  • Digital thermostats
  • Radio thermostats
  • Socket thermostats

As a rule, a heating system always works in the same way. The radiator thermostat consists of a lower part, in which a valve is located, and a so-called thermostat head. The heart is also located there: a temperature sensor filled with liquid or gas that controls the opening and closing of the valve.

If you want the room to cool down, you turn the heating down or off. This causes the liquid to expand, which closes the valve. In this way, less or no hot water flows through the radiator. This causes the liquid in the temperature sensor to contract and the valve to open.

Hot water thus flows into the radiator, which can now give off heat. The process is repeated until the set temperature is reached. The biggest difference between the different types of thermostats is the way in which the valve is opened or closed. Other important distinguishing features are the handling, the installation effort, the practicability and possible heating cost savings.

The following section briefly explains the differences between the individual types so that you can decide for yourself which thermostat is right for you. The advantages and disadvantages of each thermostat type are also described.

How does an analogue thermostat work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An analogue thermostat is characterised by its ease of use and practicality. Here, the heating is controlled according to one's own needs and thus completely by feel, without being influenced by temperature displays. However, this can lead you to subconscious heating and thus lure you into the cost trap. The valve should always be closed again manually with the rotary head.

This can, for example, be forgotten or cloud your own judgement, as without a temperature display you have no reference value for orientation. The analogue thermostats are usually pre-installed when you move in, so you don't have to do any installation or maintenance work yourself. There are also no technical failures to be expected.

The only additional work you might have to do is bleeding the heating system, which can be necessary. The desired temperature is set manually by turning the thermostat head. If you turn it to the right, the thermostat control is screwed closer to the valve, the opening of the valve is limited and the room air temperature is thus lowered.

Turning to the left opens the valve more. In this way, more heating water can flow through the radiator and the room temperature rises. As a rule, stage 1 means a room temperature of about twelve degrees and each additional stage heats the room up to three to four more degrees.

To be able to adjust your manual thermostat better, it is important to know the meaning of the numbers on the thermostat. In this table you will find your overview of this and the recommended season in which you should use this setting.

Number on thermostat temperature season
1 12 degrees spring/early summer
3 20 degrees autumn/winter
5 28 degrees winter
Snowflake frost protection any season

The special feature here is the snowflake, which symbolises the frost protection of the heating system so that the water in the pipes does not freeze.

Advantages
  • Easy to use
  • Fast and effective
  • No technical failures
  • No installation effort
Disadvantages
  • No temperature display
  • Control by feel
  • Unconscious heating
  • Can become a cost trap

How does a digital thermostat work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A digital thermostat has the particular advantage that it is very easy to operate due to the LCD display and the rotary wheel for temperature regulation and there are few additional functions that could lead to a lack of transparency with the device. The thermostat helps you to be able to control exactly how much heating is used and to get a uniform room temperature in the whole flat.

This could lead to savings in heating costs in the long run. However, it could also lead to misadjustments, as awareness of temperatures and one's own needs are in conflict. Most models are kept quite simple, only selected models have a programming option that can also be controlled via the smartphone. The digital thermostat works by means of a temperature sensor that is built into the thermostat head.

This measures the room temperature and sends the information to a mini-computer. The minicomputer sends a signal to the motor and thereby sets it in motion. In this way, it is possible for the thermostat to open or close the valve and accordingly regulate the room temperature. In most cases, the temperature must be set manually on the thermostat.

Advantages
  • Temperature display helps to heat consciously
  • Saves heating costs
  • Easy to operate without complicated functions
  • All rooms can be set to the same temperature
Disadvantages
  • Misjudgement of intensity
  • Installation effort
  • Only selected models are programmable
  • Creation of cold zones in the room

How does a radio thermostat work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A radio thermostat is the most advanced of all the types listed. It can be installed anywhere in the room and does not interfere with an additional cable. Due to the flexibility in the choice of location and fixation on the wall, the temperature information on the display is not distorted by the radiator heat or draught.

The thermostat is programmable and thus does the thinking for the consumer, which in turn translates into an increased feeling of comfort and efficiency. It is also possible to control and programme several radiators at the same time - in some cases even via app and Bluetooth.

For example, time phases can be set in which heating is to take place and how much and in which it is not to take place. However, one should not disregard the installation effort and possible technical failures or problems that could hinder heating. Radio thermostats work with the help of a temperature sensor and an electric motor.

The electric motor allows a time switch when a signal is sent from the radio thermostat at the appropriate time. This can either be set in advance on the device or, as in most cases, via an app while on the move. In this way, your home always has the desired temperature, regardless of where you are.

Advantages
  • Can be installed anywhere
  • Convenient and wireless
  • Does the thinking for the consumer
  • Can save heating costs
  • No falsification of the temperature
Disadvantages
  • Technical failures disrupt the automatic system
  • Installation effort
  • Technology is prone to errors and misadjustments

How does a socket thermostat work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Socket thermostats are flexible and can be used several times. The only prerequisite is that there is a power socket nearby. This also means that there is no installation effort whatsoever. This variant is mainly suitable for mobile infrared heaters and offers the advantage that the heating can be used easily and conveniently where it is needed at the moment.

In addition, it is easy to operate thanks to only a few selected functions. However, if you want to benefit from several functions, you should get a mixed form such as a radio plug-in thermostat to benefit from the best of both worlds. However, not all heaters are suitable for the socket thermostats and mixed forms, so it is essential to clarify whether your desired product is also compatible with your heater before buying.

The mobile infrared heater and the socket thermostat also have a cost-saving effect because they are only used specifically where they are needed. However, due to the flexibility and targeted use, it is likely that certain cold zones will be created within the room. The socket thermostat also makes use of the principle of the electric motor.

However, in terms of its mode of operation, it is more comparable to a digital thermostat than to a radio thermostat. It is usually controlled via a dial or a digital display. A change in temperature sends an electrical signal to the valve. In this way, the infrared heating is either heated or cooled. For further functions, such as control via an app or Bluetooth, radio sockets and other modifications are required.

Advantages
  • Can be installed anywhere
  • Simple operation
  • No installation effort
  • Temperature regulation via the socket
  • Infrared heaters counteract mould growth
Disadvantages
  • Short-term solution
  • Usually no additional functions
  • Not flexible and dependent on a socket
  • Cold zones can develop

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate thermostats

In the following section we show you which factors are important when comparing and evaluating thermostats for infrared heaters. This will make it easier for you to decide which thermostat is ideal for you. In principle, these are the following factors:

  • Type
  • Connection
  • Display
  • Thermostat dimensions
  • Adjustable temperature range
  • Protection class

The following paragraphs show you in more detail what the individual purchase criteria are all about.

Type

As we have already seen above, there are many different types of thermostats for infrared heaters. Nevertheless, the designs are based on at least one of the four basic types. Be it simply an analogue thermostat, a digital thermostat, a radio thermostat or even a socket thermostat.

We have already gone into more detail above, but we would still like to point out that the type, i.e. the type of design, is an important criterion when buying a thermostat. When buying a thermostat, you must first ask yourself how functional you want your thermostat to be.

Do you want it to fulfil its purpose in general or should the thermostat enable important detailed settings? If you only want to set the temperature to be heated, an analogue thermostat is certainly a good solution for you. If you want the thermostat to have several functions, the other three basic types would be a more ideal option for you.

Connection

With infrared heating thermostats, it is important to think about the connection. There are two ways to connect the thermostat to the mains. Either you plug the thermostat into a socket or the device is connected directly to the house electricity and mounted.

You must be aware that if you decide to connect the thermostat to the mains, you will no longer be able to mount it anywhere else in the room. With a mains plug, you cleverly avoid this problem. From a purely aesthetic point of view, thermostats with a mains plug are not as elegant and simple as those that are networked with the home electronics. But everyone should think about this criterion individually.

Steckerthermostat

A thermostat is not only user-friendly, but can also help you save costs and energy.

Display

For many people, a thermostat should also be modern. But a thermostat should not only be up to date visually, but also in terms of functionality. To meet these demands, many thermostats have a built-in display. A display not only allows you to better read the temperature setting, but also enables you to adjust it more precisely and to make further settings. With a thermostat without a display, this is difficult to do.

Dimensions of the thermostat

Compared to infrared heating, the dimensions of the thermostat are not an essential feature that should judge a purchase decision. Nevertheless, you should not ignore this. Most thermostats have a width of about five to 15 centimetres and a height of between about seven and 15 centimetres. Visually, however, the dimensions of the thermostat should not make much of a difference, as most products have the same dimensions anyway.

Adjustable temperature range

When buying a thermostat, you should also pay attention to the temperature you can set within the temperature range of the device. Most thermometers have a temperature range from +5 °C to 35 °C. If the thermometer has such a temperature range, you are on the safe side.

Elektrisches Thermostat

Electric thermostats in particular allow very precise temperature settings.

Protection class

As with infrared heating, there are also protection classes for thermometers. These are the same as those for heat wave heating. The protection class tells you how well the thermometers of your IR heater are protected against the ingress of water and foreign bodies. To give you an idea of the meaning of the abbreviations, you will find a list here to make them clearer. A distinction is made between the dust protection class and the water protection class.

Dust protection class:

  • Class 1: Protection against ingress of foreign bodies with a diameter of 50 mm or more
  • Class 2: Protection against ingress of foreign bodies with a diameter of 12.5 mm or more
  • Class 3: Protection against ingress of foreign bodies with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more
  • Class 4: Protection against ingress of foreign bodies with a diameter of 1.0 mm or more
  • Class 5: Dust-proof
  • Class 6: Dust-tight

Water protection class:

  • Class 1: Protection against vertically falling dripping water
  • Class 2: Protection against dripping water falling obliquely (up to 15°)
  • Class 3: Protection against water spray
  • Class 4: Protection against splashing water
  • Class 5: Protection against water jets
  • Class 6: Protection against strong jets of water
  • Class 7: Protection against the effects of temporary submersion
  • Class 8: Protection against the effects of prolonged immersion

Facts worth knowing on the subject of thermostats

Is thermostat control necessary?

A thermostat helps you to regulate your room temperature. If you were to use the infrared heater without a thermostat, it would constantly heat up the room to a temperature of 28 degrees (your perception of warmth is 31 degrees). In addition, the IR heating would not switch off and you would use unnecessary energy. If you want to cool down the room temperature, we recommend an air conditioner.

What is the optimum room temperature?

Depending on the season, many people find their homes too hot or too cold. That's why some people turn up the heating or cool down their homes. But what is the optimal room temperature for the human body? It is not easy to answer this question and it also depends a lot on personal feelings. 20-25 °C is often given as a guideline.

The Federal Environment Agency has chosen a different approach and divides the optimal temperature according to the respective room in one's own flat or house. The Federal Environment Agency recommends the following temperatures:

room temperature
living room 20-23 °C
bedroom 17-20 °C
kitchen 18-20 °C
bathroom 20-23 °C
WC 16-19 °C
hallway 15-18 °C

Picture source: pixabay.com / kadi1822

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