Most people spend at least an hour in their bathrooms every day. They might be showering, soaking in the tub, shaving, brushing their teeth, or relieving themselves. All those activities involve water, and many consumers prefer their bathroom water hot and steamy.
So a bathroom heater isn’t just for warming chilly tubs and toilet seats. It also helps some of that moisture dissipate. But because it’s an electrical device, it needs special features to avoid risky accidents. Let’s look at our top seven picks as we hunt for the best bathroom heaters.
Everyone knows Germans are the best at engineering, so their products are always superior. The Stiebel CK Wall Heater is no different. Its clean, minimalist design and sweet curves make it pleasing to the eye, but its features are even more impressive than its looks.
Stiebel CK wall heaters have a built-in thermostat, so they can regulate your bathroom temperature without your intervention or interference. Their temperature range is 41°F to 86°F, and it also has anti-frost protection, ensuring your heater will never freeze over.
The thermostat and anti-frost work even in the chilliest winter, so both the heater and bathroom itself will stay safely above freezing point. One downside is the CK doesn’t have an off-switch, so it runs throughout. This could be a drain on your power bill, as it’s constantly using power.
You might see this as an advantage though. Maybe you forget to turn on the fan after your bath. And after a while, your bathroom starts to get this dank, damp smell, and your cabinets start to develop mold. So you’d rather have a heater that’s always on, even if the power bill is higher.
This heater works by sucking cold air into the top of the unit. It warms the air, then releases it from the bottom of the unit as a down-draft. Warm air then floats upward, filling the bathroom and maintaining even warmth. The down-draft system prevents cold pockets.
Once the whole room has warmed up, the thermostat kicks in. The room will never get too hot or too cold because the thermostat maintains an even temperature. Luckily, the heater doesn’t make much noise. Plus, the heater remains waterproof because of how it’s built.
Its blowers have squirrel-cage styling made of galvanized steel. The outer casing is plastic, so it’s easy to maintain. Avoid touching it with smudgy hands though. It’s a white device after all, so it shows dirt easily. If you’re not careful, you might spend all day wiping off phantom stains.
All in all, it’s a convenient heater. It warms the room evenly, and it’s a good choice for smaller bathrooms. It makes utility bills a little higher than expected, but it’s worth the extra cost.
It protrudes less than 5 inches from the wall, so it fits even in the tiniest bathroom.
It’s made of steel and plastic, so it’s easy to wipe it clean.
It comes with a limited warranty of 3 years, which is longer than most heaters.
It’s not recommended to use an extension cord, so you need an electrician to wire it directly into the wall. This could be an added expense on top of the purchase cost.
The Lasko ceramic heater has a squat, almost cubic design that makes it sturdy and stable. At 6 by 6 by 7.7 inches, there’s less chance of it falling over. This is because the nearly equal height and base area lower its center of gravity and provide additional equilibrium.
This is a particularly helpful feature if you’re clumsy. You might be the kind of person who accidentally drops appliances and smashes them. Luckily for you, this heater can withstand butterfingers. It does have one issue though. The front mesh gets hot while it’s on.
Its packaging says it ‘stays cool to the touch’, but that’s mostly the back and sides. The front does heat up. And because the Lasko Ceramic has no handles, you might burn yourself a few times carrying it around. We like that it’s light though – barely 4 pounds. You’ll love this feature too.
Despite its tiny size, it can heat areas of up to 225 square feet. So you can move it from room to room. It’s small enough to fit on the counter, or at your desk. Or even under the desk to warm your feet. It only runs for an hour at a time though, so you may have to keep restarting it.
The heater needs 1,500 watts to light up, just like much bigger units. It has a single ‘Simple Heat’ button at the top that you can set to high or low. It has no other temperature setting though, and there’s no thermostat built-in. But its plug is waterproofed for safe bathroom use.
Also, the heater’s air vent is positioned at the back, so you can’t place the heater against a wall. It needs clearance all round if you want it to work effectively. If your feet get really cold, you can turn it on while you bathe or shower. That way, you’ll step out of the bath and onto a warm floor.
Because it’s small and portable, you can easily take it into the bathroom. But sometimes, you might forget to take it back out. The one-hour timer helps here because if you do leave it running in the bathroom, it will switch itself off an hour later. This prevents electrical fires.
We like the Lasko, and we recommend it. When you’re home alone, you can turn off the main AC and just carry your Lasko everywhere. But wait until it cools before moving it, or you may scald your fingers.
The control panel has a single push-button, so it’s really easy to use.
It’s specially designed for bathrooms, but you can use it in other parts of the house.
It has a wide, square base that’s only an inch shorter than its height, so it’s unlikely to tip.
It doesn’t have a handle, so it can be difficult to move around.
If you’re looking for an affordable heater for a crowded bathroom, the Broan 157 is a good idea. Perhaps you’ve moved into a new apartment with low ceilings. Everything feels crowded and claustrophobic. The bathroom gets particularly steamy and stuffy, which can be frustrating.
But the Broan 157 barely hangs 3 inches down, so it takes up very little space. And it provides instant radiant heat, so your bathroom feels much airier. The heater uses an infrared heating element accompanied by a fan. The fan is enclosed, to keep it safe from moisture.
The satin finish also helps in preventing corrosion, especially in a constantly humid bathroom. Most heaters power up at 1,500 watts, but this one only needs 1,250 watts. That small difference can put a large, desirable dent in your power bill. It needs a circuit of at least 15 amps.
It’s so high up you can’t run it by hand, so you need a wall-mounted controller. Be sure to factor that into your budget. If you don’t have one, you can use the heater’s built-in thermostat, but a controller lets you time the heater in 15-minute or 60-minute intervals.
It helps that the Broan 157 warms up the room instantly, so you don’t have to run it as long as other fans. Also, aluminum is a powerful conductor, so the Broan 157 has overheating protection as an added safety measure. It has an automatic off-switch and is relatively quiet.
Your fan doesn’t need a lot of fuss or maintenance, because all its moving parts are enclosed. But when you do want to clean it, the aluminum grill can be slipped off, dusted, and returned. And while most buyers prefer their heater on the ceiling, you choose to mount it on the wall instead.
The Broan 157 is a good option when you want a low-cost, no-frills heater. It’s resistant to moisture and is a proven energy saver. But for best results, buy the wall controller as well.
The motor is constantly lubricated so it won’t rust or be affected by bathroom moisture.
It extends less than 3 inches from the ceiling, so it’s unobtrusive.
The satin finish on the heater’s aluminum grill helps it resist bathroom stains.
It needs a separately sold wall controller, so that’s an extra expense.
Broan-NuTone officially became a couple in the year 2000, merging their historical brilliance. So while the previous bathroom heater we looked at focused on lightweight simplicity, this NuTone is heavier on features. And it solves many of the issues presented by the Broan 157.
For one thing, its wall switch comes with the unit and has four buttons for daylight, nightlight, heater, and fan. The fan runs at 70CFM and is described as producing 3.5 sones, which is roughly 45 decibels. Sones are a tricky form of measurement because they’re psychological.
So while 45 decibels are described as ‘soft music and rustling leaves’, this fan to be quite loud. It’s effective though. Maybe you’re not a morning person. You look for any excuse to snuggle deeper into the covers. You might even sniffle every morning from that pre-dawn draft.
Get your spouse to wake up five minutes earlier and turn on the bathroom fan in nightlight mode (7 watts). The bulb is dim enough that it won’t disrupt your last few moments of sleep. Keeps the en-suite door closed – the fan noise can be jarring when your mind is half asleep.
By the time they nudge you awake, the bathroom is pleasantly warm, so you can have a soothing steamy shower. In addition to the nightlight, you can buy a 100-watt ‘daylight’ bulb that’s great for illuminating windowless bathrooms. The NuTone operates on 120 volts.
The top (or rather bottom) surface is made of glass, while the body of the heater is galvanized steel, making this heater heavier than average. It’s nearly 20 pounds! But it can heat up to 65 square feet and ventilate up to 100 square feet, so it’s sufficiently functional for its heft.
If you’re a neat-freak, you won’t like looking directly at your NuTone. The wiring is visible through the grills. But it heats the bathroom in seconds and makes mornings bearable.
In addition to a heater and a fan, the NuTone 9093 also provides lighting.
It warms up your bathroom instantly, leaving you warm and toasty.
It has two distinct bulbs for daytime and night-time use.
It’s a bit pricy compared to other bathroom fans, and you have to buy bulbs separately.
The Delta Breez is a bathroom heater with a built-in light source. It has two major advantages over the NuTone 9093. One, the 26-watt bulb is included when you buy it. Two, it’s half as quiet. To ensure it’s waterproof and bathroom-safe, the wiring is safely tucked inside a metal guard.
And unlike most heaters that need 1,500 watts, this one runs on 1,300. During use though, it only soaks up 10.5 watts, which is well below average. Its fan spins at 80CFM, which is a faster flow than the NuTone. It’s a lightweight unit – about 5.5 pounds and has its own thermostat.
If you want a wall switch for this unit, you’ll have to buy it separately. DIY enthusiasts might be sure they can install it themselves, but they’d lose that bet. The instructions claim it’s easy to set up. But it’s far more complicated than other heating fans on the market.
The company says it can run for 70,000 hours continuously. We sometimes think that’s because they forgot to install an ‘off’ switch. You can wire your heater to an external switch, though it’s an extra cost. And it produces consistent heat thanks to its built-in thermostat.
It has thermal protection against over-heating, which will set your mind at ease. You’ll love its simple design and energy efficiency. And it’s quiet too. It won’t wake the kids when you need a soothing soak.
It runs at 7.6CFM per watt, so it conserves energy.
Its fan has a brushless motor for extra longevity.
It’s ‘whisper quiet’ at just 1.5 sones (a little of 30DB)
You have to buy a separate switch and do the wiring yourself.
Many heaters have an auto-off function to prevent them from over-heating. But when you’ve had a long day and it’s wet and chilly outside, you want to come home to a warm, cozy shower. Trustech Comfort Glow heater lets you do that. It has an auto-on switch as well as an auto-off.
You can pre-set it to start up 5 to 10 minutes before you’re due home. Then when you walk into the bathroom, it’s warm and welcoming as you shed your stress and wash off all the drama. It has a remote controller, so you can either operate it from the bath or use the LED panel.
The way you mount your heater depends on how you intend to use it. It has a wall bracket and free-standing feet. If your house has multiple bathrooms, it can be handy to just carry it to whichever one is in use. The timer and thermostat can help you keep your bills low.
This powerful heater can warm spaces up to 800 square feet. The heat source is a quartz tube, and heat is distributed by a turbofan. The heater can run on high, low, or energy-saving modes. The fan is useful for cross-convection on colder nights and wintry months.
The LED panel is waterproof, so bathroom steam won’t disturb it. You can safely touch it with wet hands and not worry about getting a shock. But those bright lights and numbers do attract little hands, so don’t forget to engage the child lock for your screen.
And while you can turn it on via touch panel remote, you can go old-school and just flip the red manual waterproof switch. This heater is on the larger side though, standing 2o inches high and weighing 14 pounds. So it’s bulky to carry around. It occupies a lot of wall space when mounted.
This bathroom heater is ideal for portable usage. Yes, it’s cumbersome to carry, but its power cord is 80 feet long. Meaning you have more options of where to place in the bathroom.
It has a remote controller for easier heat management.
You can mount it on the wall or use it as a free-standing portable heating unit.
It’s safe for the bathroom, but can be installed anywhere in the house.
This cylindrical 10-inch heater is both convenient and portable. Simply hook your fingers into the handle at the back and take it anywhere you need, from bathroom to bedroom. It has two heat settings – high at 1,500W and low at 750W. Both settings can run with or without fans.
For those moments when you want a gentle breeze to cool your face or feet, you can turn on the fan alone with no heat. This can also be helpful when you want to defog the bathroom in seconds. This feature is useful when you have house guests over the holidays.
At times like that, people are literally lining up to use the bathroom. Try taping a little note to the door, reminding them to run the fan after they’re done. It defogs mirrors instantly, blows away condensation, and eases those ‘bathroom smells’. Its manual dial is intuitive to use.
This ceramic heater is especially safe if you have boisterous toddlers and small pets. The kind that constantly drop things while they play. The FFDDDY heater has an anti-tipping feature, so if they push it and it falls, it will automatically switch off and stay undamaged.
Noise level meters say 60DB is the sound of people having a normal discussion. This heater runs at 50DB, so if you want to talk, you’ll have to shout over it. Luckily, few conversations are held in the bathroom, so no harm done. You can always drown it out with mood music while you bathe.
It does have a sleep mode option, but that only cuts down the noise by 10DB, so it’s not a drastic difference. This is described as muting. The ceramic body stays cool while the heater is on, which is helpful in case your kids paw it. And it switches itself off in case of overheating.
This heater is pretty and portable, with a flame-resistance ranking of V-O. It heats the room quickly and can handle pushy kids. So it’s a safe choice for young families.
It has a convenient handle for easy transport and weighs just 3 pounds.
You can run the fan with or without heat.
It oscillates 90° to 120° and takes 2 seconds to warm the room.
Walking into a store with a list of must-haves is the smartest way to shop. It stops you from being distracted by the ‘SALE’ sign or persuaded by that salesman. But what should be on your list? The tips below will help you buy the best bathroom heaters for your home.
Auto-on and auto-off
Water is a good conductor of electricity, so you want to keep it far away from your wiring. But steam is good at getting into crevices. In case that happens, you want ‘safety mode’ to kick in. Buy a heater that automatically shuts off if it senses a power surge or its wiring gets wet.
This auto-shut-off needs to be an internal feature because the bathroom is almost always moist. So if it just responds to water, the heater will never turn on! Instead, it should have a water sensor that shows you when the wires and inner parts are compromised.
You can also buy a model that switches off when the heater gets too hot. For portable models, the auto-off can also be triggered by tipping or dropping the heater. As for the auto-on switch, it’s helpful for pre-heating your walls, floors, and tub before you step into the bath.
As we’ve mentioned, keeping your wiring safe is crucial. So check that the switches and cables on your heater are completely covered with a waterproof casing. Sometimes, power and water do mix, giving you a small jolt. So you should avoid touching your plugs with wet hands.
The problem is … once the circuit starts, it can be hard to break it. Especially when you’re alone in the bathroom. Buy the kind of plug than can cut off in 0.025 of a second when it senses a power problem. That’s enough to protect you before you fry. Or buy a remote-controlled unit.
That way, you don’t have to risk exposing your wet hands and body to live current. And you don’t have to get out of the bathtub mid soak. You can use the remote to turn on the heat before you step out of the water. Then your bare skin can get a nice warm embrace as you towel dry.
If you’re unsure, use a tape measure to confirm the square footage of your bathroom. You can also glance around to pick an ideal spot for your heater. Take photos on your phone camera to show the store attendants. This will help you pick the right size heater for your bathroom.
There are two aspects here. One is a heating capacity that can fill the entire room. The second is physical dimensions proportionate to the room. You don’t want a heater so big it seems to crowd your bathroom. Or one so small it disappears in your bathroom décor – especially if it’s pretty.
On the other hand, if your bathroom is tiny, you can buy a portable unit. That way, you can put it away when you’re not bathing. This leaves the bathroom looking larger and airier. The size of your heater also influences the amount of electricity it consumes.
This seems like an obvious factor, but many people forget it. If you buy a heater that must be mounted on the ceiling or wall, you need permission from your landlord. They’ll probably agree because it raises the value of their home. But they won’t let you take it when you move out.
So if you’re a renter, get something portable instead. Then you can carry it with you when you leave. It’s also a better solution for your pocket. Portable heaters are often cheaper than stationary ones, and you won’t need to pay a plumber, handyman, or electrician.
Whether your heater is portable or permanent, check the BTU. You want a heater that emits 10 watts per square foot. So to verify the heating power you need, measure your bathroom area then multiply it by 10. Many heaters run at 1,500 watts, but you can get a more accurate figure.
In terms of BTU, you want to divide your wattage by 3 to get a general estimate. (3.41 is the exact calculation.) You’re aiming for about 3.5 BTUs per watt. If you own the house and are renovating your bathroom, then you have more control over square footage versus watts.
Clean and toasty
To get the perfect bathroom temperature, we recommend the NuTone 9093. It eliminates the need for separate bathroom lights. Its nightlight function is great for early showers and midnight bathroom trips. It lets you see all your relevant bits without bothering your partner.
The glass outer case is easy to clean in steamy bathroom spaces. You can use the brighter ‘daylight’ bulb for shaving and make-up. And its contemporary design matches any interior design theme. Just be sure to buy the wall switch for your comfort and convenience.
Hi, I’m Emma, Editor of Sunrise Specialty. Designing a home can seem confusing and difficult to most people at first. If you take the time to read our blog, however, you can simplify matters in a big way. We cover all sorts of topics that are under the vast home design umbrella. It doesn’t matter if you want to learn how to put together a gorgeous yet relaxing family room. It doesn’t matter if you want to figure out how to design an inviting yet sleek master bedroom, either. Our insight can guide the way for you.
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