Keep Warm This Winter Without Blowing Your Energy Budget; 5 Best Infrared Heating Systems

best infrared heatersThere’s nothing worse than waking up in a freezing cold bedroom. It’s enough to keep you in bed fifteen minutes longer than you planned: suddenly you’re already running late for the day.

That’s why I like to think a comprehensive heating system can change your life in more ways than keeping you warm. Unfortunately, until relatively recently, it seemed the only way to do this was by spending a mountain of cash on your energy bills.

Infrared heating systems are an energy-efficient way to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. They aren’t as powerful convection heaters, but they are faster, quieter and unquestionably cheaper in the long-run.

As this technology continues to grow in popularity, I’ve done my research to find the best models on the current market.

Take a look through my best infrared heater reviews and see if any of these would do well in your home. For some more detail on infrared heating systems, how they work, how they compare to traditional heating systems, and what to look out for when choosing your own, take a look at my Buyer’s Guide and FAQ.

Let the best infrared reviews begin.

  NameHeating SpaceThermostatRating 
Best Overall
EdenPURE Gen 2 Review1000 square feetElectric5.0/5Check Price
Best Budget
Dr. Infrared Portable Space HeaterSmaller living spacesDigital4.2/5Check Price
Best Fireplace
Duraflame Infrared Fireplace Review (DFI-5010-01)1000 square feetDigital4.8/5Check Price
Best Compact
Ivation 6-Element Portable ReviewSuited for smaller heating spaces, or to be used as a supplementary heater.Digital4.4/5Check Price
Best Garage
Optimus H-9010 Garage Infrared HeaterGarage and underground workshopsNone (on/off pull cord)4.0/5Check Price

Best Infrared Heater<br /> <menuorder>1</menuorder><br /> <intro><br /> My best overall pick takes the best that infrared heating systems have to offer and puts them all together. Portable. Energy efficient. Stylish and flexible. The EdenPURE Gen 2 is my favorite option on the list and will save you serious cash on energy costs.<br /> </intro><br /> <product><br /> <asin>B0095Z0UYC</asin><br /><title>EdenPURE Gen 2 Review

My best overall pick takes the best that infrared heating systems have to offer and puts them all together. Portable. Energy efficient. Stylish and flexible. The EdenPURE Gen 2 is my favorite option on the list and will save you serious cash on energy costs.

Best Overall!

EdenPURE Gen 2 Review

edenpure front

Recommendation

The EdenPURE Gen 2 has a great range and gives the user a good deal of flexibility and control. With plenty of heat and energy settings, you can control how warm you want to be–it also has a neat fan feature which can circulate hot air during the warmer months.

Our Rating: 5.0/5

TECH SPECS

Heating Space
1000 square feet
Thermostat
Electric
Remote
Yes
Special Feature
Noise intensity settings

Who Should Buy

This is an ideal all-around product for anyone looking at getting into infrared heating. Simple to set-up and use, it’s a great introduction to infrared heating–one that you will probably end up sticking with all winter.Click here for the EdenPURE Gen 2 Review

Review

The EdenPURE Gen 2 really is an aesthetically beautiful design. A combination of wooden panels, black casing and a grate which almost has you thinking there’s a live fire inside, it fits into any living space comfortably.

As for heat, the Gen 2 is capable of heating up to 1000 square feet. While it won’t give you the same powerful heat as a convection heater, it certainly gets the job done. For the money, this is about the best infrared heater you can find. I personally enjoy the remote feature which lets me control heat settings from within bed. The Gen 2 also comes with a variety of sound setting–so that you can run it more quietly in sleeping areas, while letting it buzz a little a louder when you have the TV running.

The only complaints I’ve read have had to do with heating basements. This is a tough task to begin with, and it’s worth understanding a little more about how infrared heaters work before letting this worry you too much. If you leave your infrared heater running in a cold basement, it probably won’t hit you with that hot air feeling; rather, it’s going to warm you up while you’re in there. That being said, the Gen 2 from EdenPURE wins my overall best choice for its practicality, affordability and low energy costs.

Here is a great EdenPURE heater review:

Here is the company marketing video of EdenPURE:

Pros
  • Heats up large spaces relatively quickly
  • Direct, comfortable warmth in minutes
  • Electric thermostat
  • Automatic on/off timer
  • Circulating fan for all-year usage
  • Optional air purifier kit
Cons
  • Will struggle to heat up a cold basement on its own
edenpure front
edenpure heater front

Best Fireplace Infrared Heater

The fireplace is one of our deepest symbols of warmth and security. As we know, however, natural flames come with their list of risks. The beauty of this age is that we can manipulate the world to our desires: enter flame technology. The Duraflame DFI-5010-01 is a seriously impressive example of this technology. Fireplace alternatives can give you home that same comfortable feeling, without the obvious hazards of a live fire.

Best Fireplace!

Duraflame Infrared Fireplace Review (DFI-5010-01)

duraflame

Recommendation

The Duraflame is my favorite fireplace option. A beautifully encased system with the most life-like flames I’ve found on the infrared heating market.

Our Rating: 4.8/5

TECH SPECS

Heating Space
1000 square feet
Thermostat
Digital
Remote
Yes
Special Feature
3D Realistic Flame Effect

Who Should Buy

Ideal for families with younger children who do not want to deal with the hazards of a live flame. Realistic enough for guests and family members to be intrigued by the flames without hurting them.Click here for the Duraflame Infrared Fireplace Review (DFI-5010-01)

Review

If you’re a traditional fireplace fan, you’re going to love this. The Duraflame uses the most realistic 3D flame technology I’ve come across. If you were to add some live crackling sounds, it would honestly be difficult to tell the difference. So much so that reviewers have noted their guests have been careful to avoid touching the heating unit, from fear of burning themselves!

Of course, the flames are not real and the Duraflame doesn’t overheat. While the black outer casing may look like traditional iron, it is not (which is a relief for moving it around your house!). That being said, it is a solid metal structure, and the glass separating the flames is also a nice touch.

Functionally, this heater is great for warming up medium-sized living spaces. It isn’t powerful enough to warm up your entire house, but that’s not what it is intended to do. This is a great energy-saving heating system, which relies upon zone heating for direct warmth. One complaint was that the remote controls are not backlit on the unit, which can make it difficult to read at night.

Here you can see it working:

Pros
  • Remarkable 3D flame technology
  • Solid warmth for family living spaces
  • Energy saving heating system
  • Digital thermostat and settings
Cons
  • Remote setting aren’t backlit and can be difficult to gauge at night.
duraflame
duraflame front
duraflame in home
duraflame other side

Best Compact Infrared Heater

The Infrared heater best suited for smaller heating spaces, or to be used as a supplementary heater.

Best Compact!

Ivation 6-Element Portable Review

ivation

Recommendation

Ivation’s 6-Element infrared heater is the ideal supplementary heater; portable, lightweight and energy efficient.

Our Rating: 4.4/5

TECH SPECS

Heating Space
Suited for smaller heating spaces, or to be used as a supplementary heater.
Thermostat
Digital
Remote
Yes
Special Feature
Lightweight, compact and roller-wheels for perfect portability

Who Should Buy

Ideal for people looking to warm up a small space (like a bedroom or bathroom) in cooler months, or looking for a supplementary heating system that won’t eat up much energy.Click here for the Ivation 6-Element Portable Review

Review

The Ivation 6-Element infrared heating system is a perfectly portable heating system. It’s designed for heating efficiency and practicality–weighing just 21 pounds and with roller wheels attached to the base, it really is easy to move this heater with you around the house.

For heating efficiency, Ivation have included a few preset heating options. One of these is an ECO energy option; set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit and using minimum energy to heat your living space. Otherwise, the digital display allows you to set the temperature anywhere between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (it also offers an option to display temperatures in Celsius, if you’re more familiar with those readings).

As a compact and eco-friendly heater, I would recommend using this as a supplementary heater. In the mild months, it may enough to heat up your entire living space, but it won’t be any match for a biting winter. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend it for underground or damp spaces either. While it is still a relatively powerful infrared heater (1,500W on the highest setting), it’s more suited to working in sync with a larger household heating system.

Pros
  • Energy efficient
  • Affordable
  • Lovely clean wooden finish
  • Safety features like heating timer, safety lock (so that children cannot change the temperature) and anti-tip mechanism
Cons
  • Insufficient for heating larger living spaces
  • Somewhat noisier than other infrared heating systems
ivation
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Best Garage Infrared Heater

Most infrared heating systems earn their popularity in energy efficiency and portability. Unfortunately, this also means they are relatively weaker than other traditional convection heating systems, and struggle to provide heat in persistently cold or damp living spaces. Underground rooms like basements are the toughest, but even garage and workshop spaces are exposed to the winter elements. Fortunately, the Optimus H-9010 has come up with a powerful infrared solution to this dilemma; for comfortable, persistent sun-like heat in your garage during winter.

Best Garage!

Optimus H-9010 Garage Infrared Heater

optimus

Recommendation

The Optimus H-9010 is the ideal garage and underground infrared heater.

Our Rating: 4.0/5

TECH SPECS

Heating Space
Garage and underground workshops
Thermostat
None (on/off pull cord)
Remote
No
Special Feature
Halogen lights to brighten workspace while on.

Who Should Buy

The best infrared heater system on my list for heating up underground work spaces and garages. If you are looking to keep your workshop warm in the winter months with an evenly spread infrared heat, this system is a prime choice.Click here for the Optimus H-9010 Garage Infrared Heater

Review

Heating your garage, workshop or basement can be the true test of any heating system. Persistent cold, leaky insulation and a draft that seemingly never ends: it takes an incredibly powerful convection heater to maintain a decently warm airflow when the hot air is able to escape so easily. The advantage of heavy-duty infrared systems like the Optimus H-9010 is that its heat energy doesn’t escape in the same way as traditional convection heaters.

Optimus’ H-9010 model uses a larger heating surface, which is ideal for infrared heating systems since they can project more heat energy than smaller quartz designs. Standing beneath this infrared heater is honestly like standing out in direct sunlight–you may even feel like you’re getting a tan. This heat energy bounces around your workshop comfortably and evenly.

Unlike other infrared heating systems, the Optimus H-9010 does not offer as many energy efficient features. It’s incredibly affordable at purchase, and has the added advantage of being a wall-mounted heater (to save floor space in your workshop or garage); but it won’t be earning you those major annual savings on the energy bill like some other infrared heating systems.

Final point: this system really is meant for garage and underground (out of sight) spaces. I emphasize this because it really wouldn’t look very nice hanging in your living room kitchen. The metal grate is perfect for extending the system’s lifespan, but it isn’t going to win any beauty contests!

Here is a great idea how to mount this heater:

Pros
  • Most powerful heater on my list
  • Durable and simple design with metallic grate
  • Even and comfortable warmth in all months of the year
  • Affordable at purchase
Cons
  • Less energy efficient than other infrared heaters reviewed
  • Only comes as an on/off option
optimus
optimus 2

Best Budget

When it comes to heating systems, ‘budget’ choices go a lot further than what you pay at check-out. You might find a great deal on a heating system that will eat away at your power for the same output. It only takes a moment to consider the long-term, and that’s what I’ve done with my Budget Choice: The Dr. Infrared Portable Space Heater.

Best Budget!

Dr. Infrared Portable Space Heater

dr infrared

Recommendation

This is another great energy efficient portable heater. It wins my budget choice not only for the affordability at purchase, but on its long-term savings to your utility bills.

Our Rating: 4.2/5

TECH SPECS

Heating Space
Smaller living spaces
Thermostat
Digital
Remote
Yes
Special Feature
12hr automatic shut-off feature

Who Should Buy

Households with a decent heating system already in place, or who don’t experience particularly biting winters. Great for energy savings, but not powerful enough to heat up larger living spaces consistently.Click here for the Dr. Infrared Portable Space Heater

Review

Dr. Infrared claims to heat up rooms 60% more efficiently than other heating systems. It’s a small, lightweight and easily portable infrared heater, and it’s also pretty stylish–something you wouldn’t mind having on show in the living room if needed.

Generally speaking, this is a great portable space heater. Very compact and able to heat up a small living space quickly. It also has great energy saving settings and an easy-to-use digital display (from 50-86 degrees).

However, there’s a reason it is my Budget Choice, and not my best infrared heaters pick. For all the hype and great reviews, it really isn’t able to perform the same as a larger, heavy-weight heating system. This is fine, I just don’t understand why they would try to market themselves at this angle. The truth is: this is a great budget option heater. As a supplementary heater it will be more than enough, and it may even be enough on its own to heat smaller living spaces with a very low energy bill. My only issue is that its claims seem to suggest it would suffice as your primary heating system: if you’re looking for a primary heating system, Dr. Infrared will likely disappoint.

Pros
  • Energy efficient and plenty of temperature settings
  • Simple, pleasing design
  • Lightweight and very portable
Cons
  • Reviewer complaints about circuit board issues within the first 6-12 months of use.
  • Insufficient to heat larger living spaces
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How to choose an infrared heater

The Definitive Buyer’s Guide

infrared heaters buyers guide

How To Choose An Infrared Heater

Infrared heaters use a different mechanism to heat you and your home. This comes with both advantages and disadvantages; different priorities. It’s worth knowing what you are looking for before walking into store. For example, many people may expect smaller, portable infrared heating models to serve as comprehensive heating systems. That’s not what they are intended for, and they simply don’t have the power to make it happen.

There are two major advantages to infrared heating systems over traditional convection heaters:
1) Energy efficiency; and
2) Speed of heating.

With these in mind, remember that it is almost always a matter of priority. If you need something a little more heavy-duty, you may have to sacrifice on portability. The good news is, generally speaking, infrared heaters use less energy to create the same amount of heat energy as a traditional convection and electric heaters.

How Do They Work?

Infrared heaters can be thought of as miniature suns in your home. Unlike convection heaters which rely upon warming up the air, which then rises and creates airflow over a period of time, infrared heaters work immediately. They heat objects directly by sending out infrared rays. Objects (like your body) absorb these rays as heat energy and become warm–like when we are standing in direct sunlight.

Since infrared systems heat objects directly, they not only take less time; they save on energy costs. It also allows you to be more specific with your heating system. Say you know you’ll be sitting on the couch for the next few hours. Many infrared heaters offer intensity settings. This means you can turn down the energy, and instead direct the heat straight at where you’re sitting. This way you don’t waste energy heating up the whole room (or house!) and you can feel the warmth right away.

Another advantage yet to be mentioned is noise. Many traditional and even electric heaters can be quite noisy. While you may not be disturbed by a loud heater when you’re watching TV, for spaces like the bedroom and bathroom, an infrared heater can be the perfect soundless option.

Are Infrared Heaters Safe?

A common concern is that infrared heaters pose some unnatural threat to your body and health. Let’s clear this up from the get-go: we’re not dealing with radioactive energy here. It isn’t even microwave energy (and we seem perfectly fine having these in our homes). Infrared rays are totally safe for everyday use. You won’t grow an extra head, nor will you be given any radioactive superpowers (a shame, I know!). The truth is, infrared heating is a pretty natural and normal way of heating objects–it’s only that we aren’t so used to talking about infrared heat, as opposed to traditional combustible heat sources.

Now that’s cleared up, we can actually talk about the safety concerns which go along with all heating systems. More importantly, we come to realize that infrared heaters actually offer some significant advantages to convection and electric heaters.

Since infrared heaters do not use up nearly as much energy, they don’t heat up as quickly or as much as other heating systems. The casings remain relatively cool and stable, even on the highest intensities. They also have a lower risk of overheating–which in turn leads to higher maintenance costs and safety issues of its own. According to the Infrared Heating website, ‘infrared heaters are one of the safest forms of heating sources.’ Convection heaters also require inflammable outer casings, since they do get quite hot. Infrared heaters have the added advantage of coming in many original wooden designs and casings–an aesthetic advantage for most homes over those chunky plastic heater casings.

This isn’t to say that infrared heaters don’t pose any safety dangers. As with any heating system, it’s not a good idea to leave it running on high while you’re out of the house. We’re still dealing with a mechanism that is designed to produce heat, and that means you’ll always be running some risk of fire–electrical, infrared, or otherwise.

Energy Costs

I’ve already mentioned that infrared heaters use less energy to heat you and your home, but I haven’t totally explained how they do this. There are three main means by which they achieve this:
1) By heating up objects directly, rather than the air in the room;
2) Infrared heat doesn’t escape through ventilation ducts or open doors; and
3) There are many entirely portable options, so that you can heat up your home room by room (without wasting energy on empty rooms).

The last point might be challenged by some modern electric heaters which are also impressively portable, but I will add to this the fact that infrared heaters are able to direct heat more efficiently. This also acts as a means of portability. You might be able to take an electric heater into your bedroom, but infrared heat can literally be directed at you in your bed. This is the main advantage of the infrared ray heating method–you can direct the heat with incredible accuracy.

All of these factors begin to add up over time. The great claim for infrared heating systems is that they can achieve the same level of heated comfort as traditional heaters for a fraction of the energy output. That means that 1kW convection heater will produce the same level of comfort as a 400W infrared heating panel. That’s a 60% saving on your energy bill—which can add up to make a serious difference over the winter months.

How Do Infrared Heaters Work?

Infrared heaters rely upon heating objects by waves of approximately 9 to 14 micron meters. These waves heat up particles in the atmosphere, along with any objects that they come into contact with directly: this heating up of particles in turn makes them move faster, surrounding your body with more energy and giving a nice comfortable warmth. Don’t worry: you don’t need to understand too much of the science. Just know that infrared heaters will heat you up quicker than convection heaters, and that they will save you energy while doing so. For more information on the mechanics of infrared heating, check this out: How Heaters Work and Are infrared heaters worth it

Are Infrared Heaters Safe To Leave Unattended?

Many infrared heaters come with useful in-built safety features that might have you thinking you can leave it on all day–whether you’re home or not. An example of this is the anti-tip safety feature. This will automatically turn your infrared heater off, if it tips past a certain angle. For carpet surfaces and other potentially hazardous floorings, this is a real lifesaver. Also for families with small children who are prone to bumping into things–the anti-tip feature is a worthwhile find. Add to that an electric timer (so that you can tell your heater to turn on or off during certain hours of the day) and it might be safe enough to leave your infrared heater unattended.
That being said, I like to err on the side of safety. Leaving any heating system on a high intensity while you are away from the house is a risk, in my mind, and I would generally advise against it.

Are Infrared Heaters Safe To Leave On Overnight?

I know how important this can be: those biting cold mornings are the hardest part of the day, and a heating system that can safely run overnight is a major advantage.
This is a somewhat different case to leaving them unattended in your home while you are out. What’s more, many infrared heating systems have automatic timers and safety features which don’t let the system run for longer than 12 hours at a time. So, if you were to turn it on a mild setting before bed, that would be perfectly fine–and that way you don’t need to wake up with freezing toes.

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