The Best Nursery-Safe Space Heaters

Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on September 15th, 2021

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Okay, so you’re considering a space heater for your baby’s nursery. Well, you’ve come to the right place because we’ll give you some honest, helpful advice.

But first things first…

According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters account for 43% of fires in U.S. homes. Now, it’s true to say that some modern manufacturers now make them safer than ever, but you still need to exercise extreme caution.

Because safety is our first concern, in this review we’ll try to identify the safest space heaters available. Most importantly, we’ll help you find the best space heater for your baby’s nursery.

Space heaters have been around for more than a half-century. Remember those small, metal boxes that sat on the floor plugged into the nearest power point, not always a safe arrangement!

Heating coils blasted heat out, helped by the reflective shiny aluminum at the back of the box. The devices worked in keeping the room warmer but had their drawbacks.

Sometimes the device would be left on too long, overheating the coils. Other times, little fingers would explore those cherry-red coils, receiving nasty burns.

Worse still, the heating unit might be knocked over accidentally, land too close to a blanket or carpet, and begin a serious house fire.

Thankfully, today’s space heaters are far safer than those early efforts. They’re made of better materials and are well guarded against objects touching the heating element.

Types of space heaters

Portable heaters: There are more small space heater designs than you’d imagine. They can run on electricity, propane, natural gas, and kerosene. There are even wood and pellet stoves.

The heating capacity of most space heaters ranges from 10,000 BTU to 40,000 BTU. The heat generated by the heater has two methods of getting from the unit into the room.

The first is convection, the most common, which circulates on the air in the room. Radiant heaters, on the other hand, directly heat objects using infrared radiation.

Radiant space heaters: The convection space heater will warm the entire room, reaching everywhere there is air. This is a good choice for rooms where people are using the area for a long time and the room is particularly cold. This type of heater works like a whole-house forced-air furnace in a house.

If you’re only going to be in the room for a short while, and can stay in the line of the heater’s area of influence, this would be a good choice.

This type of heater will warm an occupant and the objects in the room within those boundaries. When the occupant leaves the room, the heater should be turned off.

Electric heaters: Electric heaters cost more to operate than combustion varieties, and are the only unvented heaters considered safe enough to operate inside a residence. The indoor air quality may be better with electric models, but they do present fire and burn hazards. Caution is always a daily concern.

Into the field of convection or non-radiant space heaters comes a relatively new type that offers good heating and better safety. In the best of these, a liquid that can transfer heat easily, usually oil, is sealed inside the heater.

Most of these resemble a portable version of the old steam radiator. The oil transfers heat to the room around it. The fluid stores some of the heat, so demands less cycling to maintain an even heat.

Safety first!

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns consumers to adhere to the following safety precautions to prevent both fires and burns.

More than 25,000 fires a year are started by space heaters, resulting in 300 deaths and many more injuries. For more information, refer to the CPSC booklet “What You Should Know About Space Heaters”, available online.

Once you’ve identified a few types of space heaters that might work for you, read this checklist and see how they stack up.

  • Look for the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label on the cord or heater label.
  • Automatic shut-off features are key. If the heater tips over, the unit should automatically shut down.
  • Make certain the electrical cord is sturdy and the appropriate length for your usage.
  • A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) plug is another valuable automatic shut-off feature.
  • The heater should be cool to the touch, even while operating, to prevent burns.
  • A sturdy base is essential.

A space heater should be safe for a newborn but never left on while the baby is sleeping or unsupervised. All manufacturers of space heaters caution against using them all night while everyone is asleep.

Our top picks for the best space heaters for nurseries

We look at eight of the most popular space heaters of several types. Use the listings and recommendations as a jumping-off point in your research for the best space heater for your little one. Follow the links (which go to Amazon) and take a good look at comments from other parents.

Editor’s choice

Our opinion

Product dimensions: 7.2 x 7.2 x 16.1 inches
Weight: 6.85 pounds
Wattage: 1500W

The Lasko Ceramic Heater (check price on Amazonuses oscillation to control the heat in a medium to large area. Has no remote control.

One owner used this unit in a large travel trailer and was able to completely replace his propane tank heat with the Lasko, saving 70% on heating costs each month. There is no odor reported.

This Lasko product has an adjustable thermostat with two settings and an automatic 7-hour shut-off controlled by a timer. Safety features include a self-regulating ceramic element and automatic overheat protection. There’s no automatic shut-off if the unit tips over. Has a 3-year limited warranty.

What we love
  • Significant energy savings
  • House does not overheat
  • Heats up quickly
Watch for
  • Loud clicking reported while unit heats or cools
  • No automatic shut-off if knocked over

Upgrade choice

Our opinion

Product dimensions: 8 x 6 x 23.4 inches
Weight: 5.91 pounds
Wattage: 2000W

This Dyson Hot/Cool Fan Heater (check price on Amazoncan be used all year round. There are heat settings for winter and a cool fan for the summer. Dyson uses a patented Air Multiplier technology to move cool or warm air into your room quickly and evenly.

An intelligent thermostat emits heat into the room without wasteful energy use. Extra features include a sleep timer, and a curved, magnetized remote that stores on the machine.

Temperature settings range from 33F to 99F degrees. There are two air generating modes. In the diffuse mode, the Hot + Cool projects air to both wide and long ranges. The focused option directs air in a jet for long-range personal use.

Safety features are outstanding. A toddler can’t reach heating elements or spinning blades. If knocked over, the heater will shut off automatically.

What we love
  • Has both heating and cooling options
  • Intelligent thermostat
  • Remote control
  • Automatic shut off if knocked over
  • Children can not reach heating elements
Watch for
  • Not designed to open and clean the filter
  • Three-foot cord seems a little short

Best budget buy

Our opinion

Product dimensions: 7.5 x 5.9 x 9.4 inches
Weight: 2.86 pounds
Wattage: 1500W

The Amazon Basics (check price on Amazon) is another ceramic space heater with an oscillating option. Comes with three heat output options; low, high, and fan only. Temperature is controlled by an adjustable thermostat. This heater sports a carrying handle, unlike most others. A light indicates when in operation.

Amazon warns against use in high-humidity rooms, such as bathrooms or laundries. Is available in either black or silver. Safety features include a tip-over switch with an automatic shut-off. There’s also overheat protection with auto shut-off. Heater is backed by a limited 1-year warranty.

What we love
  • Multiple heat setting options
  • Housing does not get hot
  • Carrying handle
  • Automatic shut off if tipped over
  • Automatic shut off if overheating
Watch for
  • Tip-over shut-off option very sensitive and badly designed, not recommended on carpeting
  • Doesn’t circulate air very efficiently

Our fourth choice

Our opinion

Product dimensions: 11.3 x 8.2 x 12.9 inches
Item weight: 5 pounds
Wattage: 1,500W

The Honeywell HZ-7300 (check price on Amazonis an electrical convection, non-radiant space heater. It oscillates and has a fan that circulates warm air into the room for even heating. Has a programmable thermostat with two heat settings.

Safety issues are taken very seriously by Honeywell. Their product exceeds the industry’s safety standards with a tip-over switch and overheating protection. The housing is cool to the touch.

A glance at the heater’s digital LED lights will inform you of both the current and desired temperature of the room. Energy use is maximized with Digital Energy Smart Technology that indicates energy consumption. This feature can save up to 35% on energy bills, in comparison with conventional heaters.

What we love
  • Great safety features
  • Good heat control options
  • Energy consumption control
  • Automatic shut-off feature if tipped over
  • Automatic shut-off if overheated
Watch for
  • Has no operation timer, only off, on, and settings
  • Some users find it loud
  • Does not have a grounded (3-pronged) plug

Our fifth choice

Our opinion

Product dimensions: 7.5 x 10.1 x 10.9 inches
Weight: 5.4 pounds
Wattage: 900 Watts / 120V

This product by Vornadobaby uses vortex air circulation to warm the baby’s room evenly and efficiently. It has two heat and fan settings, and you can choose auto or continuous circulation. This means you can place the heater anywhere in the room to achieve the same level of effective warming.

The Vornadobaby Tempa (check price on Amazon) also has a number of advanced safety features. The exterior is cool to the touch, has built-in tip-over protection, and an auto safety shut-off system.

There’s a child-lock switch on the on/off buttons. It does not, however, offer any protection against a child adjusting the temperature control from low to high. Uniquely, the cord is hidden in the base to prevent children from playing with it.

Another helpful feature is that the edges are all rounded to prevent pinches and cuts. Vornado backs up the product with a 5-year Happy Parent Guarantee.

What we love
  • Great safety features
  • Vortex heats the whole nursery
  • Hidden electric cord
Watch for
  • No thermostat guide for temperatures on heat switches
  • Safety switch too sensitive; may need adjustment
  • Loud clicking when cycling on and off

Our sixth choice

Our opinion

Product dimension: 13 x 11 x 16 inches
Weight: 23 pounds
Wattage: 1500W

This radiant heater by Dr. Infrared (check price on Amazon) heats big rooms without a problem. This newly engineered heater has an Advanced Dual Heating System: Infrared Quartz tube + PTC.

The 1500W unit allows for temperature range settings from 50 to 85 degrees using the high and low-temperature settings. Best of all, the heater has a built-in ultrasonic humidifier to help if a baby has a cold or just to make dry winter air more comfortable. Use of the humidifier is optional.

This galvanized steel heater is rated at 5200 BTU, offering plenty of strength with big-time power. The infrared heating feature heats the objects in the nursery, not the air. This eliminates drafts from hot air rising to the ceiling.

The controls allow setting to auto mode, high, and low. At the energy-saving auto setting, it cycles between high and low to maintain temperature control. There are no exposed heating elements.

What we love
  • Certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) USA and Canada
  • Vortex heats the whole nursery
  • Excellent engineering enables greater heat control and coverage
Watch for
  • The 500 ml water bottle which feeds the humidifier is rather small; you can substitute a 1-quart soda bottle for more than 8 hours coverage
  • Watch out for cord burning / melting on first use

Our seventh choice

Our opinion

Product dimensions: 5.9 x 13.8 x 24.9 inches
Weight: 23.1 pounds
Wattage: 1500W

This is a convection electric heater that’s filled with oil in a permanently sealed radiator. Oil never needs replacing. These heaters excel in the even distribution of non-obtrusive heating.

There’s no noise, moving air, or dangerous elements reachable by little ones. The unit comes with wheels and, though relatively heavy at more than 23 pounds, can be moved with ease.

This DeLonghi Heater (check price on eBay) saves energy costs by maintaining an even room temperature. The ComforTemp button controls access, leading to extra energy savings. The design allows you the most radiant heat while, at the same time, making sure the surface temperature remains low.

Has a control panel with an adjustable thermostat and three heat settings. The design is rounded and has a thermal cut-off for additional safety. The housing is made of durable metal and resistant to rust. There’s even an anti-freeze setting. If the temperature in the room drops to 44F degrees, the heater will switch on automatically.

What we love
  • Users report significant energy savings
  • Heater’s operation is quiet
  • Adjustable thermostat with constant temperatures
Watch for
  • In order to push the ComforTemp button, you must steady your hand on hot housing
  • Where you place your hand to move the unit is not hollow and difficult to grab

Our eight pick

Our opinion

Product dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 20 inches
Weight: 5.35 pounds
Wattage: 750W on low to 1500W on High

This Vornado Whole-Room Heater (check price on Home Depotis a tall, narrow tower with casters to move it into the perfect position in your room. It doesn’t have an oscillation feature as its V-flow heat circulation radiates warmth to every corner of the room.

The housing and handle are both cool to the touch. You simply need to set the desired temperature on the Automatic Climate Control. This Vornado has two modes; Auto Mode (A), which automatically adjusts the fan speed to maintain the set room temperature, and Continuous Mode (C), where the fan operates until shut off.

Vornado recommends setting up the ATH1 in a corner or area of a room that’s cooler than desired. There should be a minimum of six inches between the wall and the heater. The unit has an automatic shut-off feature if tipped over, as well as an automatic safety shut-off system. Has a five-year limited warranty.

What we love
  • Continuous or Auto heating mode with intelligent thermostat
  • No need for oscillation
  • Able to heat larger rooms
  • Automatic shut off if tipped over
Watch for
  • Parents report that the temperature gauge can switch off
  • Some report uneven heating

And the winner is…

The Dyson Hot + Cool Jet Focus AM09 Fan Heater (check price on Amazongives parents year-round climate control for their infant’s room. As much as we want to keep them warm when it’s snowy outside, we also don’t want them waking up drenched in sweat in July.

The Dyson model is more expensive than others, but ticks all the boxes. Above all, it takes the place of both a heater and an air conditioner. A safe, easy-to-operate heater and cooler with a sleek design and good warranty. We think there’s no more to be said…

Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on September 15th, 2021

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