Getting out of bed in a comfortable room and entering a cold bathroom can be a shocking experience in the morning, and it can ruin your whole day right from its start.
Now, extending your central heating system into the bathroom can be expensive, and sometimes you don’t want to do it because you’re living in a rented apartment.
But here’s the thing,
There are easier, less expensive ways of getting your bathroom’s temperature up.
In this article, we present the top 6 of bathroom heater reviews in 2017, and their pros and cons.
We’re certain that after you finish reading our comprehensive buying guide you’ll be able to pick the best bathroom heater for your situation.
Find out which are the ideal spots to place your bathroom heater, and how to use them safely.
We will even explain briefly how to install a bathroom heater by yourself.
- Panasonic FV-11VH2
- Type: ceiling mounted
- Wattage: 1400
- Area heated: 110 sq ft
- Thermostat: no
- Amps: 12.2
- Noise level: 0.6 sones
- Safety features: Thermal fuse protection on motor and 3-level safety device for heater
- Dimensions: 8.7 x 18.11 x 13.25
- Other: 110 CFM, 1 minute warm-up, Built-in damper
- Broan 655
- Type: ceiling mounted
- Wattage: 1300
- Area heated: 65 sq ft
- Thermostat: no
- Amps: 12.8
- Noise level: 4 sones
- Safety features: -
- Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.6 x 8
- Other: HVI Certified, 70 CFM
- Stiebel Eltron CK 15E
- Type: wall mounted
- Wattage: 1500
- Area heated: 215 sq ft
- Thermostat: yes
- Amps: 12.5
- Noise level: 49.7 dB
- Safety features: ACLI Safety Plug, Anti-Freeze Setting, Automatic Shutoff
- Dimensions: 13.25 x 4.75 x 18.14
- Other: downdraft design, CSA and UL compliant
- Nikko 168
- Type: portable
- Wattage: 1500
- Area heated: 100 sq ft
- Thermostat: no
- Amps: 12.5
- Noise level: 52 dB
- Safety features: Overheat shut off protection, tip over protection
- Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 11
- Other: UL listed, removable dust filter
- Broan 174
- Type: wall mounted
- Wattage: 1500
- Area heated: 100 sq ft
- Thermostat: yes
- Amps: 12.5
- Noise level: 52 dB
- Safety features: thermal overload protector, auto shut off
- Dimensions: 9.25 x 12
- Other: 20-gauge steel, can be easily converted to 750-watts at 120-v-AC or 1500-watts at 240-v-AC
- Holmes HFH436WGL-UM
- Type: portable
- Wattage: 1500
- Area heated: 150 sq ft
- Thermostat: yes
- Amps: 12.5
- Noise level: 60 dB
- Safety features: ALCI plug, Overheat protection
- Dimensions: 12.83 x 10.35 x 8.19
- Other: digital clock and timer, wall mountable option
Top 6 Bathroom Heaters
Stiebel Eltron CK 15E Bathroom Wall Heater
This wall mounted heater is a great choice for your bathroom, but you can use it in hallways, laundry rooms, or basements as well. The heater has a good looking design and it’s made out of high-quality materials.
The surface mount design makes the heater easy to install because you don’t have to cut into your wall to do it. You can actually mount the unit over other heaters if you have any.
This heater produces 1,500 Watts of heat, and you will feel the warm air spreading as soon as you turn the unit on.
Note that this heater needs to be hard-wired into your electrical circuit, so some people will need help with the installation.
- Very Quiet – This unit produces a lot of heat quietly. This is a great feature because noisy units can be a nuisance in a small space like a bathroom.
- Powerful – The space heater produces a lot of heat quickly, so most people will have it running on the lowest setting and still keep their bathrooms warm.
- Poor Installing Instructions – The installing instructions provided by the manufacturer are sometimes unclear, and the images in the manual could be better.
- Gap On Top – This unit looks great, but you can notice a wide gap on its top if you get close to it. This gap is not necessary and it makes the heater look like it wasn’t mounted right, lowering the unit’s aspect overall.
Panasonic FV-11VH2 Bathroom Exhaust Fan With Heater
This ceiling mounted bathroom heater needs only one minute to warm up. The heater is capable of producing 1,400 Watts of heat, so you can rest assured that your bathroom will be warm at all times. This is one of the top bathroom heaters on the market right now.
This unit’s condenser motor is totally enclosed for an increased lifetime, and the heater can run for 30,000 hours continuously. The heated element is sheathed in stainless steel for the same reason.
The heater mounts directly on the ceiling so it’s a great addition to a small or crowded bathroom. Keep in mind that this heater can only be used in spaces of 2 x 8 or larger, so if your bathroom is smaller, look for another model.
- High-Quality Materials – This heater is made out of high-quality materials, so you should be able to use it for many years, despite the steam or moisture that usually accumulates in a bathroom.
- All Year Round Use – This heater has four different functions that are controlled individually. You can run use a normal light, a night light, the heater, or just the exhaust separately, so you can use this unit all year round.
- Difficult Installation – This unit is not easy to install because there is only a small space you can use to work with the heater circuit. Some people will need professional installation.
- Needs A Minute – The heater will start blowing cold air into the bathroom when you start it and will continue blowing cold air for a minute or sometimes even longer. After this period, the air becomes warm.
Broan 655 Heater and Heater Bath Fan
This heater has three different functions that can run together or separately. You can use the fan, the heater, and the light independently or together, depending on your needs.
This unit produces up to 1,300 Watts of heat and delivers that heat quickly. The white design will fit most decors, so most people won’t be able to tell anything’s changed in your bathroom.
The heater produces a lot of heat quickly, and the fan spreads the warmth around the bathroom, so the bathroom will reach an even temperature very quickly.
The light is very bright at 100 Watts, so it will illuminate a medium bathroom properly. If your bathroom is very large, you might need another light source. The light bulb is not included.
- Looks Great – The heater is well designed and the slim white grille are aesthetically pleasing. This is not a necessity for a bathroom heater, but it’s definitely a plus.
- Modular Construction – This unit benefits from a modular construction, so if you have an older model from the same manufacturer, you will be able to change the old parts with the new ones without having to remove the whole unit.
- Very Loud – This unit is very loud and this is a problem in small spaces like a bathroom, especially since the tiles can create an echo.
- Can Vibrate – Many people complained their units vibrate when they turn on the fan. This is not an installation issue, it’s a manufacturing one.
Nikko 168 Bathroom Heater
This small bathroom heater is capable of producing up to 1,500 Watts of heat, enough to warm up a medium or large bathroom, depending on the insulation.
Using a portable heater in your bathroom has many advantages, one of which is not having to install them. You just place them away from water, plug them into a wall socket, and let them heat the room.
This unit has three heat settings you can use and a large fan which pushes the warm air farther into the room.
The heater has multiple safety features. A tip-over safety cuts the heater’s power once the unit tips at an angle higher than 45 degrees. An overheat safety will turn the unit off in the case of a power outburst, or if the heater is covered by accident.
- Small – This unit doesn’t take up much space, so you’ll be able to find where to place it even in a crowded or small room.
- UL Listed – This unit has been tested at the Underwriter’s Laboratory independent testing facility, and it’s classified as safe.
- Trial And Error – This unit’s heat levels are not listed as temperature values, so you have to try different settings for the room to reach the temperature you would like.
- Bad Handle – This heater’s handle was not ergonomically designed and you risk dropping the unit if you use it. It’s better to grab the heater by its sides if you want to move it.
Broan 174 Bathroom Heater
This wall mounted space heater is great for bathrooms, hallways, laundry rooms, or small offices without other heating sources.
The heater is capable of producing up to 1,500 Watts of heat, and the alloy heating element warms up in a matter of seconds. You will be able to feel the warmth it produces seconds after you turn on the unit. The alloy heating element is 100% efficient, so all the energy that passes through it is converted to heat.
This unit has a built-in thermostat, so you’ll be able to keep a room’s temperature at a constant level just by turning a knob. The thermostat’s knob is color coordinated and has several increments, so you’ll always be able to choose the same temperature levels.
- No Footprint – This unit mounts directly on a wall, so it doesn’t take up any space. This is a great feature for small bathroom owners.
- Constant Thermostat – This heater has a built-in thermostat. Even though the thermostat’s values are not expressed in temperature increments, once you find the right temperature, it will always deliver the same amount of heat.
- Loud – This heater is loud, and this can be a nuisance, especially if you decide to mount it in a small bathroom.
- Not Very Powerful – This unit is not very powerful, so you won’t be able to heat up a large space using it. However, it produces enough heat to warm up a small or medium bathroom, if the bathroom is well insulated.
Holmes HFH436WGL-UM Bathroom Space Heater
This heater has a LED display and you use digital controls to change the settings. The unit can be placed on the floor, or you can mount it on the wall if that’s more convenient for you.
The heater produces up to 1,500 Watts of power and pushes the warm air around the room as soon as you start it.
This unit has a turn-on timer. This is a great way to make sure your bathroom will be warm when you wake up before going to work, without having to leave the heater running all night long.
The heater has a built-in thermostat you can use to keep the bathroom’s temperature at a constant level throughout the day.
- Quick Heat – This heater heats up a small or medium bathroom quickly. Even though it’s not powerful enough to warm up a large space unless the room is well insulated, it will have no problems heating a bathroom quickly.
- Easy To Control – The LCD display makes this heater very easy to control. You’ll be able to see all the modifications you’re doing and the unit’s current settings.
- No Memory – This unit doesn’t keep track of your options, so every time you want to use the timer, you have to introduce the value you want. Because the timer starts at 0:00 A.M. and the timer increases from five to five minutes, it gets boring to set the wake-up timer every night.
- No Tip-over Safety – The heater doesn’t benefit from a tip-over safety so you have to be careful where you place it, so it won’t fall and become a fire hazard.
Types of Bathroom Heaters
There are a lot of heater models you can use in a bathroom, but we can fit all of them in five categories.
Wall Mounted Heaters
Wall mounted heaters are one of the most popular bathroom heating options among shoppers because they don’t take up a lot of space, they look good in a bathroom, and they produce a lot of heat. This kind of heater needs installation because it has to be hard-wired into your electrical circuit, so you might need professional help. They come in different shapes and sizes, but most of them need a depth of 4 inches, so make sure you have the necessary space.
They produce a lot of heat, and you will be able to feel their warmth spreading around the room as soon as you turn them on. Even though they’re great at producing heat, they are not cheap to run because they use a lot of electricity.
This category includes some of the best rated bathroom heaters and it’s very popular because you can place and install them easily in your bathroom. Most people use these heaters to replace the existing exhaust fan, so they won’t take up additional space. You need to hard-wire these units into your electrical circuit, so some people will need a professional to help with the installation.
These heaters produce a large amount of heat as soon as you start them, and they spread the warmth by blowing the hot air around the room. They are very good at drawing the humid air in the bathroom and producing heat at the same time.
Ceiling heaters are a great way of providing warm air for your bathroom. If your bathroom is small or already crowded, a ceiling heater might be the wisest choice. They don’t have any footprint so they won’t take up any space, they are safer than other models because they’re placed away from water, and they produce a lot of heat. Some models also produce light.
These heaters also need to be hard-wired into your electrical circuit, so you might need to call a licensed electrician to help with the installation.
Portable heaters are good because they’re usually small, and they produce a lot of heat. The most popular models use infrared technology or ceramic heating elements to warm up the bathroom. They don’t need to be installed, so you can move them around the house.
You should keep in mind that some portable space heaters are not designed to work in a humid environment, so make sure you check with the manufacturer’s instructions before buying a model. Unless it’s clearly stated that the model you picked will work in a bathroom, look for another model.
Baseboard heaters are the most popular way of using radiant heat in a bathroom. These heaters are great because they have a very small footprint, so they won’t take up much space, and they produce a lot of heat without using too much electricity. They are a nice way of keeping your bathroom warm throughout the day.
Some baseboard heaters can be plugged into a wall outlet, while others need to be hard-wired into your system, so the installation varies with the model. They can take up to two hours to warm up a bathroom, but once they reach a certain temperature, they will maintain it without using too much electricity. They radiate warmth a long time after you turn them off.
Best Bathroom Heater Buying Guide
There are several factors you need to take into consideration when you’re thinking about looking for the best heater for bathroom. Where do you intend to place the heater, what features should the heater have, how much time do you intend to keep it running each day? These are just some of the things you need to consider.
Read the following buying guide to find out what you should look for in a bathroom heater.
Bathroom Heater Footprint
The bathroom heater’s footprint, or how much room does the heater take up is very important because bathrooms already have a limited space.
- No Footprint – Ceiling bathroom heaters and heater/fan combinations don’t have footprints. Ceiling fans are mounted directly onto your ceiling, so they stay well away from every water source. The heater/fan combinations are usually installed instead of the existing exhaust fans. They are placed high on a wall, not taking up any space.
- Very Small Footprint – Wall mounted and baseboard heaters have a very small footprint, and they won’t interfere with your usual activities.
- Small Footprint – When it comes to bathrooms, small portable heaters are actually the largest things you can use for heating. Even though they might be small, they will still take up some space, making them more difficult to use in a crowded bathroom.
Permanent Or Temporary?
Some people might need a permanent solution for heating their bathroom, while others only need a temporary solution.
- Permanent – If you’re a home or business owner and you need to find a heating solution for the bathroom, it’s better if you install a permanent heater. These heaters might cost more at first, but you can use them for many years. Most of these heaters are also covered by an extended warranty, so you can have them repaired free of charge.
- Temporary – If you’re a tenant, you don’t need to buy a permanent heater to raise the temperature in the bathroom because you never know when you want to change your location. Luckily, there are several temporary solutions which not only are cheaper than the permanent models, but they are sometimes more energy-efficient.
Bathroom Heater Energy-Efficiency
Electricity is one of the most expensive fuels for heating your house, so it’s essential for your bathroom space heaters to be energy-efficient.
- Wall Heaters – Unfortunately, not even a good electric bathroom wall heater won’t be very energy-efficient. They heat up fast and produce a lot of heat, but they use a lot of electricity to do so. The heat is usually blown straight in front of the unit, without any means of spreading it over a wider surface. As soon as you turn the heater off, the heat is no longer produced.
- Ceiling Heaters And Heater/Fan Combos – These units are not very energy-efficient. They use a lot of electricity to produce a lot of heat, but they’re better at spreading that heat around the room, warming it up faster than wall mounted units.
- Baseboard Heaters – Baseboard heaters are very energy-efficient. They use a lot of energy to heat up, but once they’re heated, they maintain that temperature using just a small amount of electricity. They are best suited to work over long periods and are ineffective for short ones. They radiate heat from their whole surface and continue doing so long after you turn the unit off.
- Portable Heaters – The energy-efficiency of portable heaters depends on the heating system they use. Some models work just the same as a wall heater and will have the same energy-efficiency.
- Ceramic space heaters are more energy-efficient because they require less electricity to keep the PTC heating element at the necessary values.
- Infrared space heaters are more energy-efficient than ceramic models because they heat up objects directly, and after accumulating a certain amount of heat, the object itself will radiate heat. This is especially good when using an infrared heater in a bathroom because tile plates are great at radiating the heat.
Some bathroom heaters are better when they’re used for short periods of time, while others are better when they’re used for longer.
- Short Time – If you want to heat up your bathroom quickly and use it for a short time, you should go for wall or ceiling mounted models, heater/fan combos, and all portable models, except those that use infrared technology.
- Long Time – If you feel fine about waiting for a longer period of time for your bathroom to get warm, but you intend to keep it warm for a longer time, you should choose between the baseboard heaters and the ones using infrared. From the two, baseboard heaters are better.
Where to Place or Install a Bathroom Heater?
Using a bathroom heater will make stepping out of the shower much more pleasant because the air in the room and the floor will be warm. But each type of bathroom heater needs to be placed differently to be effective. This section addresses the ideal location for the most common types of bathroom heaters.
- Wall Mounted Heaters – These are some of the most common models. Electric wall heaters for bathrooms give off a lot of heat, and their compact design makes them easy to place even in a small or crowded bathroom. The best place to mount a wall heater is under a window if your bathroom has one. This will create a warm air curtain which will reduce the amount of heat lost through the window. Other good locations are near the door, on the opposite wall to the one the door opens, or opposite the shower.
- Ceiling Mounted Heaters – Ceiling mounted heaters are also common in bathrooms. They are usually controlled by a switch and they’re very good at producing heat and circulating it around the room. Some models have an incorporated light. The most common place to mount a ceiling heater is right in front of the shower, so you will be able to feel the warmth right after you finish washing. Depending on your bathroom size, good locations to place a ceiling heater are over the sink, or near the toilet.
- Baseboard Bathroom Heaters – Some bathrooms are small and already seem crowded, so it might be better to go for a heater with a small footprint. Baseboard heaters are great because they blend into the wall, taking up very little space, so the bathroom’s size seems unchanged. Most baseboard heaters radiate heat, but bathroom models circulate the warm air instead. These units are controlled manually.
- Countertop Bathroom Heaters – If you don’t want to make permanent modifications to your bathroom, this is the easiest solution. Instead of installing a heater just for your bathroom, you can buy a portable heater and place it on the countertop. The most common portable models are ceramic heaters. They have the advantage of being small but produce a lot of heat. They have several temperature settings, thermostats, and timers. However, you should always check the manufacturer’s instructions before you buy a heater because some of them are not designed to work in a humid environment.
- Another great location for a portable bathroom heater is behind the door. Just place the heater behind the door, buy or improvise a door stopper to avoid damaging it whenever you open the door, and you’re good to go. Placing the heater behind the door allows you to keep using the countertop like you’re used to, and you can point the heater to pump the warm air directly towards the shower whenever you’re washing, so you won’t be cold when you get out of it.
How to Install a Bathroom Heater?
Many bathrooms lack a heater so when the cold season starts, they get cold as well. If you want to keep your bathroom at a comfortable temperature year round, you can replace the exhaust fan with a heater. Other ways of increasing the bathroom’s temperature include but are not limited to using a ceiling fan, baseboard heaters, or portable heaters.
In this section, we’re going to explain how to install a wall heater for your bathroom, as they are the most common models.
Find The Electrical Circuit
The first thing you need to do is identify the circuit branch that reaches your bathroom, and the short circuit breaker that controls it. If you have an existing exhaust fan, you’ll use the same electrical circuit, so you only have to make sure the breaker is large enough to compensate for the new heater. If you don’t have an existing electrical circuit in your bathroom other than the one providing the light, you need to bring a new circuit from the main electric panel to the bathroom. Make sure your electric panel has one empty circuit breaker, or two if you decide on installing a thermostat as well. If you don’t have an existing breaker, you’d better call a licensed electrician do take care of this step for you. We won’t explain how to change your main electrical panel, or how to connect the new circuit in the main panel because doing things wrong can lead to serious damage to your property, and it represents a considerable injury risk as well.
Turn Off The Electricity
Before you start connecting the electric heater to the new or existing circuit, you have to turn the circuit breaker that controls that branch off. This is an important safety step you need to follow to prevent electrocution. Use a circuit tester to make sure there’s no electricity on that circuit branch.
Find The Right Location
If you don’t have an exhaust fan, you need to find a new location for your heater. Keep in mind that most wall heaters require a depth of 4 inches, so you’ll need a wall cavity with a framing of at least 2×4. Make sure you stay away from plumbing fixtures, pipes, ducts, heat vents, and also leave at least 3 ft of unused space around the heater. Don’t place it near flammable objects, like towels, curtains, or other fabrics.
Step 4 – Hard-wire The Heater
Most wall heaters use 240-Volt electricity, so you’ll have to connect both the black and the white wire since both of them are hot feeds. Read the manufacturer’s instructions whenever you have doubts or questions. Wrap electrical tape around both wires to protect the connection, and mark the white wire as a hot wire.
Step 5 – Turn The Circuit Breaker On
Turn the circuit breaker back on and test the new heater. Your job here is done.
Bathroom Heater Safety Tips
Bathrooms are the most dangerous rooms in your house. There is a risk of slipping and falling, and when you add electricity in a humid environment, there is always a risk of accidents. Here is a list of safety tips you should keep in mind when installing a heater in your bathroom.
- Buy The Right Unit – Always make sure the heater you plan to use in your bathroom can work in a high-humidity environment. There are a lot of models, both fixed and portable that can work in such an environment, so make sure you choose one of them. This is especially important to check if you decide you’re going to use a portable heater for your bathroom.
- Don’t Soak It – Even if the manufacturer clearly states that the heater is waterproof, avoid getting it wet. Remember that the heater is connected to an electricity source, and accidents can happen.
- Place The Heater Right – Don’t place the heater somewhere it is likely to get wet or splashed. Don’t place the heater near pipes or drains because they can leak into the heater. Don’t place the heater next to towels, curtains, or other flammable objects in your bathroom.
- Keep It Away From Traffic – Avoid placing the heater in well-circulated areas of your bathroom. Keep in mind that people use the bathroom at night when they might not be very careful, so try placing the heater in a place nobody can trip over it.
- Don’t Use It For Drying – Don’t use the bathroom heater to try your clothes or the towels. Blocking the heater can lead to fires, so keep the heater clear at all times.
- Buy An Extinguisher – Keep in mind that electrical fires cannot be extinguished like regular fires, so it might be better to have an extinguisher ready just in case. Even if you never get to use it, it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.
Cost to Run a Bathroom Heater
Buying a bathroom heater is just the first step, and it’s usually the cheapest part if you consider using it for years to come. Whenever you consider buying a certain heater model, you need to think about how much it will cost you to run it.
Just like the rest of the space heaters, bathroom heaters produce heat differently, so running them will cost you less or more depending on the model you choose.
Baseboard Heaters take a long time to warm up, but once they get to the temperature you set, they hold that temperature constant without using too much electricity. They keep radiating heat for a long time after you turn them off. This is a great way to save money if you plan on keeping the bathroom warm at all times.
On the other hand, if you plan to warm up the bathroom just before you enter the shower, this is a terrible way to do it. Some baseboard heaters take up to two hours to make the room warm, so it’s an inefficient way of heating a bathroom you intend to use for half an hour.
Wall And Ceiling Mounted Heaters produce heat instantly after turning them on, but they use a lot of electricity to run. They suck the cold air in the room, warm it up using electricity and blow it around the room. This is a great way to get the room heated up fast, but the moment you turn them off they begin cooling, without producing any more heat.
Portable Bathroom Heaters use different technologies to warm up the room. Some use infrared light bulbs to produce infrared light and radiation, and they warm up the objects in your bathroom directly, without warming up the air. You will be able to feel their warmth instantly if you stay within their range, but they will take longer to warm the whole room. After they accumulate heat, the objects begin radiating it and warming up the surrounding air. This is a great way to warm up your bathroom because tile is great at radiating the heat.
Other models use a PTC ceramic element to produce heat. They will produce a lot of heat and blow it around the room. They work in the same way as wall or ceiling mounted heaters, but use less electricity to warm up the PTC heating element.
Bathroom heaters can increase the comfort in your life dramatically, and they can be really cheap.
However, using an electrical appliance in a room with high humidity and steam is always risky, so make sure you read our safety tips and respect them as best as you can.
We’re confident that after reading our article you were able to decide on the best bathroom heater model for you, and you learned what are the advantages and disadvantages of using it.
The bathroom heater reviews we prepared take on the best-selling models in 2017, but there are other units available on the market.
Now, after reading how a bathroom heater should be installed, you can decide whether you can handle the process by yourself, or you need a professional’s help.
Keep in mind that buying a space heater is only the first expense of many to follow, because running a bathroom heater can increase your heating bills.