The best infrared heaters in 2024

Don’t be afraid to lose your cool and get excited about these heaters.

Best overall

Dr. Infrared Heater DR998 best overall infrared heater with a remote control

Dr. Infrared Heater DR998

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Best ceiling-mounted

Comfort Zone ceiling-mounted infrared heater with mounting bracket and cord

Comfort Zone CZQTV5M

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Best budget

BLACK+DECKER Quartz Tower budget infrared heater glowing yellow

BLACK+DECKER Infrared Quartz Tower Heater

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If you’ve had cold feet dealing with your cold feet, it may be time to get one of the many infrared heaters that are currently available. They use a slightly different technology—and are a ton quieter—than your standard space heater. Plus, they seem quite energy efficient and have a delightful radiant heat feel, similar to that of the sun. At the same time, “infrared” reminds us of radiation, which is scary. And they excel at spot heating. So what should we get and how should we use it? Our deep dive into the best infrared heaters and the science behind them will get you up to speed!

How we chose the best infrared heaters

We found what you wanted, and maybe a few things you didn’t know you wanted but will be delighted to learn about, in an infrared heater. Through our research, we’ve discovered a number of styles of infrared heater that people keep coming back to again and again. Fan (or fanless) favorites, so to speak. Then, we found smart tech, safety features, and extras that you might want if you knew about them and ensured we got a few products with those as well. Finally, we ensured we got the best infrared heaters for any location, inside and out, on your wall or at your deskside.

The best infrared heaters: Reviews & Recommendations

The following list of infrared heaters should get you started on your journey to finding the best option(s) for your home and patio. There’s one on this list for practically every location you could think of. So, wherever you need a heat source, you can look here to find something that will work for you and let you save the best heated socks and gloves for outdoors adventures.

Best overall: Dr. Infrared Heater DR998

Best overall

Dr. Infrared Heater DR998

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Why it made the cut: This is an infrared heater that packs a bit more than the rest, has a super stylish exterior, and gives you best-of-both-worlds heating.

Specs

  • Wattage: 1500W
  • Size: 16 x 11 x 16 inches
  • Placement: Floor, on wheels
  • Heating: Infrared + PTC

Pros

  • Extraordinarily stylish
  • UL certification and tip-over protection
  • Features humidifier
  • PTC heating with oscillation

Cons

  • Humidifier is fiddly, only good for a few hours

One of the premier infrared heaters for a number of reasons, the Dr. Infrared Heater DR998 takes into account a lot of issues the typical user might have and adds features that complement these systems well. It also comes in a highly stylish free-standing wood cabinet with wheels that you can position as you like.

The number one thing to know about the Dr. Infrared Heater DR998 is that it uses both infrared quartz heating and more traditional heating elements. These combined heating systems provide a best-of-both-worlds scenario. You get the boosted-by-being-close radiant heat you desire from infrared and ambient air warmth. For this reason, the DR998 was featured among the best space heaters and considered a choice for large rooms.

Further bonuses of the Dr. Infrared Heater DR98 include a 12-hour shut-off timer and the humidifier, which is supplied by a bottle tank and can work for several hours. This reduces the dryness often associated with heating homes and further improves the coziness of the space. 

Like most of the best infrared heaters, the Dr. Infrared Heater DR998 includes heat-related safety features. While the manual recommends keeping the heater at least three feet away from flammable objects (such as blankets) at all times, it does include overheating protection. While not unusual for infrared heaters in general, it is nice to see tip-over protection on an infrared heater of this size.

All in all, due to the combined heating methods, bonus features, and stylish looks of the Dr. Infrared Heater DR998, it was the best infrared heater we could find by a large margin. Unless the price or requirement of placing it on an indoor floor turns you away, this is the infrared heater to get.

Best panel: Wexstar Infrared Heater

Best panel

Wexstar Infrared Heater

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Why it made the cut: This panel mounts anywhere, stays 100% quiet, and has a modern white finish.

Specs

  • Wattage: 800W
  • Size: 23.5 x 47.3 x 1 inches
  • Placement: Wall or ceiling mounted
  • Heating: Wide panel

Pros

  • Large heating area
  • 100% quiet
  • Naturally quite safe
  • Multiple placement options

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Controls lacking

Another favorite type of infrared heater is the panel. Panels, which can be affixed to walls or the ceiling, provide a nice supply of consistent heat for multiple areas of your home. Of this type, the Wexstar Infrared Heater is particularly appealing due to its size, modern white appearance, thinness, and relatively simple installation.

Wexstar Infrared Heater panels release rays evenly and uniformly across the large panel, which does well to heat rooms evenly. The panels’ width, for example, reduces the phenomena of “cold spots” lurking behind objects produced by thinner infrared heaters. Use in rooms 250 sq. ft. or less for maximum effect.

The Wexstar Infrared Heater is best paired with the Wexstar Electric Wall Heater Thermostat Kit (scroll to ‘BETTER TOGETHER’ to add to cart) to give you more fine-tuned control of the system. Note, however, that this is an 800W system, so most people will feel fine without extra temperature fine-tuning.

Additionally, adding the thermostat will add to the cost, one of the few things to dislike about this system. Infrared panels are great in their safety. They can’t be touched easily if off the ground, the elements aren’t visible to stare at, and it is hard to get flammable objects too close to them if installed properly. They’re also completely quiet due to being purely infrared. But you pay for what you get. As a result, we’re also following up with specifically wall-mounted and ceiling-mounted options that have reduced flexibility in location but are somewhat more affordable.

Best wall-mounted: Dr. Infrared Heater HeatStyle

Best wall-mounted

Dr. Infrared Heater HeatStyle

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Why it made the cut: This Dr. Infrared provides ample heat, an above-average UI, and excellent safety.

Specs

  • Wattage: 1500W
  • Size: 11.33 x 6.33 x 15.07 inches
  • Placement: Wall mount (2-foot above floor) or freestanding
  • Heating: Infrared + PTC

Pros

  • Way above par LED control panel
  • Safe, cool exterior
  • Smart sensors detect overheating, tipping, blocked vents, and nighttime
  • UL safety certified

Cons

  • Freestanding rather flimsy

Dr. Infrared’s HeatStyle, aka the Dr. Infrared DR908, is the best wall-mounted infrared heater, though it technically “hangs” on the wall and has a freestanding mode. Much like the DR998, the DR908 has complementary PTC heating to ensure areas of the room not directly adjacent or visible to the infrared panels get their fair share of heating too. Once again, with this Dr. Infrared heater, you get the special warming of radiant heat alongside ambient air heat in a quite balanced way.

The Dr. Infrared Heater HeatStyle has advanced sensors that can detect a wide variety of situations. These include hazardous situations, such as tip-overs and blocked vents, that no doubt helped it earn a UL safety certification. It also detects nighttime, during which it will reduce noise.

Still, the Dr. Infrared Heater HeatStyle is not without flaws. While its exterior is made of cool materials that won’t burn if you knock into it, the freestanding mode is a bit flimsier than we would like. This is a wall-mount infrared heater that is best left on-wall when possible.

Best ceiling-mounted: Comfort Zone CZQTV5M

Best ceiling-mounted

Comfort Zone CZQTV5M

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Why it made the cut: Here’s an infrared heater for overhead spaces … and getting work done!

Specs

  • Wattage: 1500W
  • Size: 5.25 x 26.5 x 14.3 inches
  • Placement: Overhead, ceiling mount
  • Heating: Infrared

Pros

  • Bonus halogen lamp
  • Safety grill and overheat detection
  • 90-degree angle adjustment

Cons

  • Only two heating settings 750W and 1500W, no in between.

The Comfort Zone CZQTV5M combines a ceiling heater and halogen lamp to keep you warm while working away on projects. The perfect infrared heater for garages, work rooms, and workshops, the Comfort Zone CZQTV5M has a protective metal grill over the front to protect it even if you’re moving something (such as a piece of lumber) and happen to give it a tap.

With the ability to tilt it 90 degrees, you can angle yourself for great vision and heat in most parts of the used room. One area where it is less flexible is the heating, which is stuck to strictly 750 or 1500 watts. While this usually wouldn’t be as huge of a deal, if you do end up using this as a work lamp and heater, a bit more fine-tuning and control is always appreciated if you’re doing the kind of heavy work that will build up a sweat.

Best for large rooms: EdenPURE CopperSMART Infrared Heater

Best for large rooms

EdenPURE CopperSMART Infrared Heater

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Why it made the cut: This infrared + PTC heater has great power and great ratings.

Specs

  • Wattage: 1500W
  • Size: 17 x 13 x 16 inches
  • Placement: Freestanding
  • Heating: Infrared + Copper PTC

Pros

  • Reputation for longevity
  • A customer favorite
  • ETL safety listed with tilt protection and dual overheating sensors
  • Winning infrared and PTC combo

Cons

  • Expensive for the power

If there is an infrared heater to rival our top Dr. Infrared, it is the EdenPURE CopperSMART. It has the same PTC heater addition that makes it usable—especially as supplemental heat—for even large rooms, giving both radiant heat for those nearby and a bit of extra toast to the surrounding air. You’ll feel comfy and also very assured of your safety due to the EdenPURE CopperSMART’s ETL listing.

Contrasting with the Dr. Infrared DR998, the EdenPURE CopperSMART is jet black and could easily blend in with studio sound equipment if you weren’t looking too closely. Its front-facing UI interacts promptly with its simple remote to show you exactly what is going on with the heater. Otherwise, the EdenPURE CopperSMART has a very similar box-on-wheels form factor that, when compared with its cool exterior, is very convenient for moving about the room.

In many ways, the EdenPURE CopperSMART is a premium choice. Brand loyalty is abound from customers that love their EdenPURE heaters nearly a decade ago that are just now getting updated. According to EdenPURE, the CopperSMART should last for 80,000 hours of use, making it another part of that legacy for many. However, this premium flavor is also reflected in the price. And, at the end of the day, 1500W of heat is 1500W of heat, no matter the form it takes.

So, if you’re looking for the surety that comes with brand loyalty and longevity, the EdenPURE CopperSMART is a great choice. If balanced prices are still your mainstay, go with Dr. Infrared.

Best budget: BLACK+DECKER Infrared Quartz Tower Heater

Best budget

BLACK+DECKER Infrared Quartz Tower Heater

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Why it made the cut: Pure radiant goodness, best served to one.

Specs

  • Wattage: 1500W
  • Size: 12.2 x 8.5 x 23 inches
  • Placement: Freestanding
  • Heating: Infrared with air

Pros

  • Easily movable; only 5 pounds, has handle
  • ETL Certified
  • Tip-over and overheat protection
  • Great price for the power—inexpensive!

Cons

  • At its best when used for one person

BLACK+DECKER provides the perfect foil to complex infrared heaters. It’s the best purely infrared heater and a great budget pick. At nearly two-foot tall but still under five pounds, and with a handle, you’ll be able to take it with you as you move around. This will eliminate most of the positional disadvantages of infrared heaters that lack additional heating elements. Still, this form of heater does get hot, which “leaks” out into the air around it. In this way, the BLACK+DECKER, which also has a fan, can do okay with ambient heating in small rooms.

The BLACK+DECKER Infrared Quartz Tower Heater still functions at its best when serving one. That’s okay, however, considering its price. In fact, this arrangement can be quite convenient for a family that has a seemingly always-cold member that could stand a blast of radiance to warm them without overly affecting others.

What to consider before buying infrared heaters

Infrared heaters are a criminally under-discussed product category, which can often lead to disappointment when purchasing them. Understanding them fully, and what makes for the best infrared heaters is not simple, making it all too easy to rely solely on manufacturer claims.

In reality, the heating style of an infrared heater is quite special. Radiant heat acts—to simplify it greatly—more like a lamp than a traditional heater: it puts out rays. These rays are then absorbed by what they hit, warming it. If you’re hit by infrared, you’ll be warmed. Understanding this alone will put you ahead of most consumers and help you get radiant, sun-like heat that is actually quite satisfying.

To investigate further, we will look at the heating types used by infrared heaters and how that interplays with infrared heater placement. We also want to delve into safety a bit more, which is both more complicated than initially meets the eye and another perennially under-explained aspect of selecting the best infrared heaters.

Heating types

The best way to end up disappointed with an infrared heater is to not fully understand it. Too many manufacturers sell them as space heaters. There are infrared heating types that we’ll go into in a moment that can function like space heaters, but it is a fundamental error to conflate the two.

Instead, to truly grasp the beauty of the best infrared heaters, you must approach them as they really are. Infrared heaters use radiant—a word that can also be used to describe the sun’s heat—energy to heat you. It’s why many people describe the feel of an infrared heater as something special.

This radiant heat travels more like light than the air-burning heat of typical space heaters and patio heaters. While we cannot see infrared, it does help to visualize plain infrared heaters as light sources, but instead of giving off light, they give off heat. But, much like lightbulbs, small but pure sources of infrared heat can cast “light” but also leave “shadows,” which can leave the uninformed confused and dissatisfied.

To alleviate this issue, the best infrared heaters typically use one of two heating types. The first is pairing the infrared heater with a PTC heater. “Positive temperature coefficient” heating is a type of standard heating that self-regulates by getting colder when hot and warmer when cool. This heating complements infrared by providing a base layer of heat while still letting radiant heat shine.

Next, large panel infrared heating acts much in the same way that the lengthy fluorescent tubes of your high school worked. In a word, by being lengthy and large, rooms get better coverage. Using one or more large panels in a room reduces the chances of a “dark” cold spot.

Infrared heater placement

Infrared heaters should be placed in such a way that the rays of the infrared machine will be able to reach the user.

Again, PTC heating will help, but that is not why we like infrared heaters. We like infrared heaters for their efficiency. Translating as much energy into direct warmth on the skin as possible.

As a result, highly movable infrared heaters—especially lightweight ones that include handles and/or wheels—can be highly desirable. Don’t let this scare you from wall-hanging ones or large panel types that face the family. Infrared heaters that connect to the same wall the family TV abuts are likely to perform well. 

Infrared safety

Infrared from infrared heaters is safe. At least as far as heating elements go.

Some practitioners even advocate for infrared therapy. You’re certainly familiar with infrared saunas. Additionally, there are no emissions. Still, this isn’t the full story.

The short story, and the end for most guides to the best infrared heaters, will be that many (if not most) infrared heaters have some sort of UL or ETL certification. These two highly similar, and highly related, certifications indicate a product is capable of passing stringent safety regulations. They also indicate that a product is manufactured in a way that will provide a safe customer experience.

However, the long story is a bit more complex. This primer on infrared will declare that infrared comes in three styles: near, mid, and far. Far, it says, is of little or no practical concern in any condition. Yet glassblowers and welders must wear protection due to the intense near-infrared associated with their professions. Even near-infrared is thought to do more good than bad for our health when supplied at the right intensity.

In any event, the quartz filaments used in most infrared heaters put out almost pure far infrared. Panel types have the bonus of having no visible heating element. At the end of the day, however, that’s why we look to UL and ETL certifications and read instructions. The science is difficult.

Heater unit safety

A much more pressing, but infinitely less confusing, safety issue with infrared heaters is that they are quite hot. Naturally, this is a quite desirable feature for a heater, but nonetheless dangerous. While a nearly ubiquitous feature of the best infrared heaters is a cool-to-the-touch exterior, there are other features you may wish to look for that can boost the safety of your unit.

Tip-over protection: Also called “tilt protection,” this feature will shut off the unit if it is tilted or tipped over. When an infrared heater directly faces the floor, all of the heat intended to be “given” to you and other objects is provided to your flooring. That’s a fire hazard! This prevents it.

Overheating detection: Even heaters will start to break down when overheated. This feature cools off the device after a certain temperature threshold is achieved. As a fun fact, remember that PTC heating additions naturally self-regulate heat to some degree.

Blocked vent detection: Less common on infrared heaters as a whole, but still valuable on those that make the obvious combination with PTC heaters. Turns off the heater if a vent gets clogged.

Remember that not all heater styles will include each of these safety mechanisms. For example, panel heaters meant to be affixed to the wall won’t benefit from tip-over protection.

FAQs

Q: How much does an infrared heater cost?

An infrared heater can cost anywhere from around $50 to over $400. Be careful when selecting infrared heaters that cost under $50, even from similar review sites, as many popular budget models don’t seem to be true infrared heaters under closer inspection.

Q: What are the disadvantages of infrared heating?

The main disadvantage of infrared heating is that its uni-directional heating may produce “cold zones” in your home if placement of the heating unit isn’t thought through properly. Many of the best infrared heaters have supplemental PTC heaters to counteract this and provide better air-based ambient heating.

Q: Can I leave my infrared heater on all night?

You can leave your infrared heater on all night, much like other heaters. Many infrared heaters have programmable 12-hour heating times, thermostats, and night modes. For overnight safety, check for features like overheating detection.

Final thoughts on the best infrared heaters

Infrared and infrared heaters are confusing to analyze due to common misconceptions and scientific miscommunication related to the technology. If properly understood, infrared heaters can provide direct heat efficiently. Once again, for most customers, the Dr. Infrared Heater DR998 will be the infrared heater. But don’t entirely discount the others, as their form factors or styles can be appealing in the right circumstances, such as the Wexstar panel on a home looking for a modern look that also happens to have ample open wall space.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

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John Alexander

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John Alexander is a contributor at Popular Science, with a specialty in Buyer’s Guides. He was formerly a biologist, working as an assistant in laboratories before moving onto education and, finally, writing. In addition to Popular Science, his work has appeared in WIRED, DigitalTrends, and HeadPhonesty.