A space heater can make the difference between a comfortable living space in your basement and one that is unbearably cold. Basement apartments and rooms can stubbornly resist the ability of the central heat in a house or a business building to heat them effectively.
Sometimes, a basement room can need a little extra help to stay warm and comfortable and to be truly useful to those that live in the house. Whether you use your basement for storage or for activities or for a living space, having the right space heater to heat it can make all the difference.
How to Choose a Space Heater for a Basement
One of the major factors in deciding what space heater to buy is what your intent is for the space it will be heating. If you are using the space for a home gym, you will need a different type of space heater than if you are using the space for bedrooms or for storage. If your goal is to heat the room thoroughly and hold it at a consistent temperature, you will need to pick a quality heater with the right features for the right size room.
If you are using your basement space only intermittently but need it to heat up quickly, you will need high-quality portable heater. If you are using the space for a home gym, you will probably be happier with an oscillating heater. If you are using the space for storage, you will likely be very happy with an oil-type heater or a smaller electric heater.
Once you know what you are planning to use your basement space for, you will be able to choose the right heater for your needs.
The Top 5 Heater for a Basement 2020
Lasko Ceramic Tower Space Heater
Best for Large
DeLonghi Radiant Heatere
Best For Storage or Gym Use
Honeywell 360 Degree Digital
Best for Small Space
LifeSmart 6 Element Infrared Heater
Best Overall Value
1500 Watts, 750 Watts, 500 Watts
1. Lasko Ceramic Tower Space Heater – Best for Large
This is the best space heater of 2020 for a large basement. It oscillates, which makes it easy to evenly heat even the largest basement. Oscillating styles offer the happy medium of heating up quickly without baking people or things that are directly in front of the heater. This heater also comes with a remote control, which makes it convenient to change the temperature or any of the other settings without having to get up and walk across a large basement space just to adjust the heater.
This is a sleek, attractive model that will look nice in any location. It runs quietly and won’t distract you if you are working in the basement, living in the basement, or even using it for a gym space. This unit also has an automatic shut off if it should be knocked over or bumped hard.
This space heater works perfectly for years and holds up well to daily use.
- Runs quietly
- Effectively heats via oscillating technology
- Included remote control
- Multiple heat settings
- Safety shut off if knocked over
- Heats quickly and is efficient
- Oscillation of air can blow things off desks or tables
- Can sometimes smell like plastic for the first few uses
- Might warm a small room too quickly
2. DeLonghi Radiant Heater – Best For Storage or Gym Use
This is the perfect basement heater for a space that needs to be heated at a set temperature for a long duration of time. This is the right heater to choose for a basement that is being used for storage or for a function such a gym use, where the heat output needs to heat to a comfortable temperature but not get warm enough for living space use.
This heater is safe for use in a room where it will not be watched all the time because its design maximizes heat output without creating hot surfaces on the outside of the heater. The heater has three heat settings and the best thermostat on the market for consistent and efficient heating. Oil heaters heat more slowly than other styles of heater but provide the safest and most consistent heat of any time of heater.
Another added benefit of this unit is an emergency shut off and the knowledge that it will silently heat your basement with the most minimal risk of fire or heat damage. While it may not be the most beautiful heater on our list, it is the safest and the quietest.
- Safe, consistent heat
- Can heat a large room and maintain a steady temperature
- Heater is never hot to the touch
- Thermostat temperature selection
- Very durable
- Almost totally silent
- Oil reservoir never needs to be refilled
- Slower to heat up than other models
- Does not oscillate
- Cannot set to heat during specific hours or times of day
- Bulky and not super attractive
3. Comfort Zone Electric Oscillating Radiant Heater – Quickest to Heat Up
This is the best basement heater of 2020 if you are planning to use your basement for short durations of time and need it to heat up quickly. This space heater is very energy efficient and heats up a small to medium-sized room in a snap!
The housing on this heater will never get hot and it has an emergency shut-off switch in case it gets tipped over. It also has an emergency cut off switch in case the heater’s internal parts get too hot. It promises sun-like warmth immediately.
Variable heat settings and an oscillating design make this heater maximally effective. The heater can also be tilted so that the unit can be placed on a shelf or another surface and the heat can be directed downwards. This is a great, smaller unit that is lightweight and barely noticeable other than the sound of its fan.
- Heats up almost instantly
- Great price point
- Small and unobtrusive
- Not noisy
- Oscillates to disperse heat
- Doubly protected for overheating/tip over
- May heat too intensely for a small room
- Does not have super low heat setting
- Should not be left alone in the room for long periods of time
- On the highest setting, could pose fire risk if clothe or other flammable item touched the front of the dish.
4. Honeywell 360 Degree Digital – Best for Small Space
This little heater offers a lot of power for its diminutive size. It is super-efficient and can heat a small to medium sized room quickly and effectively. It comes with a variable settings for time and temperature and has a remote.
This clever little heater has a cool touch carrying handle and is slim and unobtrusive. It can be set to maintain a consistent temperature and will cycle on and off depending on the program that you have used to set it. It has a cool touch housing and tip-over protection.
If you have a small basement where space is at a premium, this is one of the best space heaters of 2020 for your needs. An added plus to this design is the 360-degree heat output which makes it possible to place the heater almost anywhere in the room and still be able to experience efficient heating. This is the right heater to choose if your basement space is a play area or a bedroom as it offers safe, effective heating for max comfort.
- Small and sleek
- Can be set via thermostat to maintain consistent temp
- Offers maximum heat with 360-degree technology
- Can be programmed to run on a schedule or per thermostat
- Safety shut off
- Cool touch handle and cool touch housing
- Likely not large enough to heat a large space
- Louder than some other models
- Sometimes can smell like plastic during first few uses
5. LifeSmart 6 Element Infrared Heater – Best Overall Value
If you are looking for some bang for your buck, this is the best space heater of 2020. This heater comes with an eco-setting and is designed for all day use. Durable, high-quality materials are attractive as well as safety-conscious. Infrared heat is ultra-safe and heats up quickly.
No matter what the size space you are trying to heat, this unit will work for you. It can be set to hold a steady temperature with the internal thermostat but can also be set to run for certain hours on a program. This is a unit that can be used to keep basement pipes from freezing, in your home gym to keep the chill away or in your bedroom.
The internal fan is ultra-quiet and it comes with a remote. To prevent the unit from smelling hot or burning off dust, there is an internal air filter with a lifetime warranty. If you are tired of excruciating wintertime heating bills, or if you are sick of worrying about the space heater in your basement that is keeping your pipes from freezing, this space heater is the perfect choice for your needs.
- Great value
- Many programs and heat settings
- Safe heat from infrared technology
- Runs quietly
- Included remote
- Can heat any size space
- Easy to move around
- Saves money over other styles of heater
- Not very sleek
- Not as effective in rooms with high ceilings
- Some inconsistency in reported noise output
Space Heaters for Basement FAQs
Q: Can I safely maintain room temperature with a space heater?
Space heaters can be very effective at maintaining a consistent temperature in a room. The key to success with using them in this capacity is to make sure that you check the room size that your heater is rated for. The other factors to consider are the likelihood that it might be knocked over and its proximity to anything flammable.
The best and safest heaters to keep a steady temperature in a room are space heaters with internal thermostats and also infrared or oil heaters. An added benefit to these space heaters is that they are less likely to be noisy and often offer cool housing so that pets and children cannot be hurt by them if they are on throughout the day.
Q: What are the downsides to use of a space heater over centralized heat?
No matter how efficient the space heater, all space heaters use electricity. Any space heater without an internal thermostat will automatically use more energy while it is running and will also have the added risk of being hot to the touch or possibly being able to catch things on fire that are placed too closely to it.
If you are using a heater that is only rated for quick heating, you will experience large fluctuations in the temperature of the room based on whether the heater is running or not. Lastly, if you are needing a space heater that can be mostly ignored while it is running, you are more limited in the types of heater that you can choose from.
Q: Does price point matter when choosing a space heater?
As with anything, you often get what you pay for. Many cheap space heaters will not offer the perks of remotes, internal thermostats and the quietness of high-quality fans. Additionally, many low-quality space heaters will only offer one type of emergency shut-off, increasing the risk of fire if the heater is tipped over.
You would not choose to buy the cheapest furnace on the market and it is equally unwise to choose the cheapest option when picking a space heater as well. Your comfort and safety are worth more than saving a few dollars.
Space heaters are an excellent solution to the problem of a basement that just won’t stay warm enough.
Even if you are using your basement for storage, you will not want to risk the items that are stored in your basement from becoming damaged due to cold or wet conditions. Likewise, it is a shame to waste a large basement space because it is too cold for comfort most of the year.
Buying the right space heater for your needs can make it possible to use your basement for many functions and to increase the useable square footage of your house in one easy purchase!