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How to pick the best bathroom heater

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A bathroom heater can transform a terrible bathroom into a warm paradise, as long as you pick the right one.

Picture this: you step out of a steaming shower, into your glistening clean bathroom, and plant your feet into your soft, plush bathmat. You wrap yourself in your favourite fluffy bath towel and take your time making your way to the mirror, where, despite the steam, you can see your face perfectly, and begin to get ready for the day in absolute comfort.

All this can be achieved with the magic of a bathroom heater. No more cold tiles, freezing feet, or hanging around in the shower just a little too long. With the addition of a bathroom heater, cold shock is gone and your bathroom is a great place to be.

Choosing the right bathroom heater is important, and luckily, it’s easy to do. It’s simply a matter of knowing your options and understanding your needs. Canstar Blue has put together a handy guide to bathroom heaters and even thrown in some options, so you can spend less time searching and more time staying snug.

6 best bathroom heaters

Bathrooms come in all different shapes and sizes, so it’s important to pick a heater that suits your space. While the options can be endless, Canstar Blue has done the hard yards for you and picked the best bathroom heaters on offer, with units to suit everything from floor to ceiling.

Best wall-mounted heater

Nobo 1000W Slimline Wall Mount Panel Electric Heater – $489.95*

Nobo 1000W Slimline Wall Mount

A wall-mounted heater is a great space saver, ideal for those with small bathrooms. The Nobo 1000W slimline panel heater is especially well suited for those who want to bring the heat but don’t want their unit sticking out like a sore thumb. Built at only 5.5cm thick, this heater has concealed air vents to remove visual clutter and can slide in anywhere; it also features a 1000W power output, and operates at decimals quiet enough to be suitable for bathrooms, or living areas.

Key features of the Nobo 1000W Slimline Wall Mount Heater include:

  • Heating capacity: 1000W
  • Ultra-accurate thermostat (fluctuating only 0.1°C)
  • IP24 rated (protection against moisture ingress)
  • Conceals vents and blends into the wall
  • Quiet
  • Recommended room size: 10m²

Best portable heater

Olimpia Splendid 2200W Ceramic Heater − $189*

Olimpia Splendid 2200W Ceramic HeaterA portable heater is your best friend come winter. Whether you’re chilling out on the couch, working hard in the study, or primping in the bathroom, your warm little mate can go wherever you go. The Olimpia Splendid ceramic heater (CALDOSTILE DT) features a touch screen display, remote control, a tip-over switch, and an anti-ice function. It also has the bonus of coming with a high heat output, an oscillating design to encourage warm airflow, and a timer, so you can heat the bathroom before you even walk in.

Key features of the Olimpia Splendid Ceramic Heater include:

  • Heating capacity: 2200W
  • Thermostat & timer
  • Lightweight (2.6Kg)
  • Oscillating heat distribution

Best ceiling heater

Profile Plus 4 LED Bathroom Heater With Exhaust Fan − $284 – $304*

Profile Plus 4 LED Bathroom Heater With Exhaust Fan

Good light is critical in the bathroom, so if a ceiling heater is what you’re after, make sure you pick one that can light up your life. An exhaust fan is also on the higher end of the priority pick, as it not only allows you to keep your space fresh but also sucks moisture from the air, keeping mould at bay. The Profile Plus Bathroom Heater is a great example of a ceiling heater that brings together all these attributes while looking stylish enough to grace any bathroom space. Keep in mind that ceiling heaters require installation.

Key features of the Profile Plus Bathroom Heater include:

  • Four heat lamps & LED lights
  • Powerful air extraction (460m³/hr)
  • Ball bearing motor
  • 300cm aluminium ducting

Best heater for a large space

Ventair Sunset 1200W Recessed Radiant Bathroom Heater − $704*

Ventair Sunset 1200W Recessed Radiant Bathroom Heater

A large bathroom is a luxury – until it comes to winter when it’s suddenly the coldest place in the house! Luckily, there are plenty of options for heating those palatial washrooms. The Ventair Sunset radiant heater can bring a warm, ambient atmosphere to any large space. It has an ultra-slim design that allows it to sit flush with the ceiling, while it radiates up to 1200W of low glare heating from its ceramic glass.

Key features of the Ventair Sunset Radiant Heater include:

  • Heating capacity: 1200W
  • IP65 dust and moisture rating
  • Onyx ceramic glass for excellent heat transfer
  • Ultra-slim design
  • Ideal mounting height of three metres

Best multi-feature heater

Ventair Myka 4 Heater With Exhaust Fan − $209*

Ventair Myka 4 Heater With Exhaust Fan

A lot happens in the bathroom, which is why sometimes, you need more than a heater. The Ventair Myka 4 is a heater, a light and an exhaust all rolled into one appliance. Its slimline design means it can sit snug in your ceiling, while the four-gang switches mean you can choose when you want light, heat or exhaust. Like other heaters mentioned, it’s good for preventing moisture build-up and the radiant heat produces an ambient vibe for your bathroom.

Key features of the Ventair Myka 4 include:

  • 10W LED downlights
  • Side ducted exhaust fan
  • Thermal safety switch
  • Comes with everything you need to install the unit yourself

Best heater on a budget

Heller 2000W Wall Heater With Remote − $104.95*

Heller 2000W Wall Heater With Remote

Sometimes you just want to get warm without splashing the big cash – this is where budget-friendly heaters come in. The Heller 2000W wall heater promises to warm you up while staying out of sight. Its slimline design blends in well into the wall, while its 2000W heating capacity ensures you won’t be feeling that winter chill. This model also comes with a cool function, making it an all-season-friendly model.

Key features of the Heller 2000W Wall Heater include:

  • Two heat settings
  • Cool, warm, and hot fan functions
  • LED display
  • 12-hour timer
  • Overheat protection capabilities
  • Remote controlled

What’s the most energy-efficient heater?

Radiant heaters are the most energy-efficient heaters when used for shorter periods. These radiate heat to persons and objects within direct proximity, where heat can linger for longer. Convection heaters are the least energy-efficient as they blow heated air into a room which can be easily lost when doors are open or if windows aren’t sealed properly. They also take longer to heat up.

Is it safe to use a heater in the bathroom?

Most portable electric heaters aren’t suitable to use in rooms with high humidity (like bathrooms) because:

  1. electric heaters used near water pose an electrocution hazard for all family members
  2. moisture in the air could cause internal elements in the appliance to rust over time, leading to a shorter lifespan.

However, they are portable heaters (although very few) that are specifically designed to be used in a bathroom. Electricals and water are never a good mix, so any heater that goes in the bathroom needs to be properly waterproofed and water-resistant, to avoid electrocution and damage to your unit. When in doubt, turn off the heater at the wall before you run any water.

Read more: What’s the best way to heat your bathroom?

Bathroom heater buying guide

Bathroom heater

A bathroom heater is an investment in your comfort and happiness, so choosing the right one is important. We’ve put together a guide on bathroom heater types, price, pros and cons to look out for, to make sure you’re getting the hottest deal on your bathroom heater.

As you make your way through the guide try to keep in mind what sort of space you are looking to heat. Matching your bathroom size to the right heater is the best way to find the ideal appliance for your house. In addition, always remember whether it’s portable, wall-mounted, or ceiling-installed, it needs to be properly waterproofed to be safe to use.

Different types of bathroom heaters

Bathroom heater

Bathroom heaters are separated into installed heaters and portable heaters. An installed heater requires a technician to come to your house and put in the appliance for you, while a portable heater can be moved from room to room. Each type of heater has its pros and cons, and these are outlined for you below, along with a brief description of what each type can do. Portable, wall-mounted and ceiling heaters explain where the heaters are installed, while infrared, convection and fan-forced explain the type of heat these technologies produce. It should be noted that oil-filled and ceramic heaters are not mentioned, as they are generally not suitable to use in bathrooms.

Different types of bathroom heaters include:

  • Portable heaters
  • Wall-mounted heaters
  • Ceiling-installed heaters
  • Infrared heaters
  • Convection heaters
  • Panel heaters
  • Fan-forced heaters

Portable heaters

A portable heater refers to any heating unit that can be moved to different rooms around your house. They have an average power output above 1000W, and are small enough to move around by hand, which makes them highly convenient. They usually have a few different heat settings, a timer and a temperature display and can be operated by a control panel, or via remote control. You can pick up a portable heater from a hardware store, a department store, or even a supermarket.

Pros Cons
Can be moved to anywhere in the house Can be dangerous if it’s placed too close to fabrics or objects that block ventilation
Save on heating costs by only heating one space at a time Can be expensive to run if it’s left to run for a long time or to heat a large space
A budget-friendly option if you only need, or use the heater occasionally Some portable heaters may not be bathroom specific, and if they aren’t, you cannot use them in the bathroom. A bathroom heater must be waterproofed to be able to withstand not only the inevitable droplets but the moisture build that occurs in the bathroom
Cheap and easy to buy Portable heaters are not as powerful as other types of heaters, so won’t be effective in every climate or space
No installation required Have a shorter lifespan

Wall-mounted heaters

Wall-mounted heaters are heating units that are attached to the wall, usually via a mount, but they can also be installed into the wall with a vent. They are useful for heating smaller spaces like bathrooms, bedrooms and studios, as they save space by being off the floor, heat up quickly and generate enough warmth to easily keep a smaller room toasty.

You can purchase electric wall heaters, which are the mounted kind, or have a gas wall heater installed. An electric wall heater is usually cheaper, requires less installation, and is suitable for smaller rooms. A gas wall heater is usually more expensive, requires a more involved installation process but is better at heating larger spaces.

Pros Cons
Save floor space Not suitable for large spaces
Can be safely left unattended Require installation
Cheaper running costs Not ducted, which increases the time it takes to heat a room
Warm up quickly Can be an aesthetic disruption to a space

Ceiling-installed heaters

Ceiling heaters are, as the name suggests, heaters that are installed onto your ceiling. They can be nestled within the roof, or be suspended from it, and are operated via a switch on the wall or a pull cord. Ceiling heaters are a popular choice for bathrooms, as they usually come with lights and often extraction fans built into the same panel. They save space by combining these features, and their location is unintrusive to a space. Most ceiling heaters operate above 2000W and are good at heating larger spaces, including those with openings.

Pros Cons
Reduce clutter Require installation
Able to heat large spaces May not suit every space
Often come with additional features such as lights and extraction fans Fans can be noisy
Some come with reverse systems, allowing you to also cool a room in summer Cost more to buy upfront

Infrared heaters

Infrared heaters work by emitting heat rays that are then absorbed by other objects, similar to the sun. The cumulative heat of the heater and objects gradually increases the temperature in the room. This makes them an energy-efficient alternative to other types of heating. Many bathroom heaters work via infrared heating technology, as they heat up quickly, give off a warm glow and stop heating a space when off – everything you want when you’re dashing in and out of the shower. Most infrared heaters operate at 1500W, and can heat large and smaller spaces.

Pros Cons
Energy efficient Some can get quite hot, making them dangerous to touch
Provide an ambient atmosphere Emit a red glow that may not suit every space
Heat up quickly Only produce heat when they are on and don’t provide residual heat
Quiet & no pollutants Not suitable around pets & children

Convection heaters

Convection heaters warm up a room by drawing cool air in at the bottom, and producing warm air at the top, via a heated element. This makes them a good choice for rooms that can be closed off to avoid the heat escaping through windows, doors and floor gaps. This also makes them great at heating up smaller rooms in the house, like bathrooms. Panel heaters are usually pretty cheap to pick up, but they are not the most energy-efficient heater, which can make them more expensive to run. Panel heaters generally operate above 2000W.

Pros Cons
Cheap to buy Take up floor space
Warm-up a room nicely Not the most energy-efficient
Cost effective if you use them for a long time Take a while to heat up
Great for small rooms Expensive to run compared to their heat output

Fan forced heaters

Fan forced heaters warm up a room by heating an element inside the unit and using a fan to blow the hot air across the element and out through a vent. They can be quite small and compact, and are good at warming up small spaces quickly, making them a popular choice as a cheap bathroom heater. They can be sold on their own, or as an additional unit with lighting.

Pros Cons
Compact The fan(s) can be noisy
Heat up a space quickly Unable to emit the temperature of other heaters
Cheap to buy Not suitable for large areas

Benefits of a bathroom heater

If you’re still on the fence as to whether a heater is worth the investment, consider some of the additional benefits of a toasty bathroom.

Benefits of a bathroom heater include:

  • Doubles as a dehumidifier
  • Reduces steam – allowing you to use the mirror straight after a shower or, allowing someone else to use it while you’re soaping up in the steam – the holy grail of bathroom sharing.
  • Reduces the moisture in the air, which in turn prevents mould build-up on the bathroom fixtures, on the ceiling and walls.
  • Saves water and time – there’s no need to prolong jumping out of a hot shower if your bathroom is just as warm as the water.

How much do bathroom heaters cost?

Heaters sit on the more affordable end of bathroom accessories. They can range from $50 for a small wall-mount unit, right up to $900 for an installed unit with additional features. The price of your heater will fluctuate depending on whether it needs to be installed, how big it is and how much heat it can emit. Interestingly enough, a bigger price tag does not always equate to a better unit. In fact, you are better off considering exactly how and where you’re going to use your heater, and find a unit to match those needs, rather than going off the price.

What type of heater is cheapest to run?

In general, infrared heaters are the cheapest heaters to run because they use 100% of the heat they produce. Infrared heaters function by adding heat to objects, not the air. This means the heat is more easily retained, and can be more effectively generated to create a warmer environment.

The cost of running a heater depends on a variety of factors including:

  • How and when you use your heater
  • The size of the room you are heating
  • How well insulated your space is
  • How much you pay for connection to gas and electricity

What to look for in a bathroom heater

Heat is heat, right? When you’re freezing, grabbing any old heater can seem mighty tempting, but taking the time to choose the right unit can save you time, money, and cold toes in the long run. Listed below are some of the most important things to look for when buying a bathroom heater.

  • Waterproofing: Bathrooms are naturally humid places. Between the shower, the bath, the sink and the toilet, there’s enough water running through the place to warrant a lifejacket or two. When it comes to water and electrics, it’s a dangerous combo, so if you don’t want to battle a fire after your bubble bath, you need to look for a heater with a good safety rating.
  • Wattage: Every heater comes with a wattage reading. Before you jump to the highest one, consider your heating needs – a small room may require a lower heating capacity or you may live somewhere that only needs minimal heating at certain times throughout the year, or maybe you just want something to heat up fast. Choosing the right wattage will save you money in the long run.
  • Size: Choose a heater size that fits the room, but bear in mind that some types of heaters throw out more heat than others, regardless of the size. It’s more important to match the size of the room to heat output when selecting a unit.
  • Heating times: Don’t leave yourself out in the cold – look at how long a heater takes to warm up. If it’s too long, it probably isn’t worth putting in the bathroom, where you won’t spend hours of your time.
  • Controls: Controls allow you to get the most out of your unit. Here are some common ones to look out for.
    • A thermostat cuts down on power costs and gives you temperature control
    • A remote allows you to use the heater from anywhere in the room or even house
    • Multiple switches independently control fans, heat, and lights
    • Safety features such as automatic switch-off, tip-off sensors, drip protection, and waterproofing
    • A timer will set heating times, or even preheat a room before you enter it

Are bathroom heaters worth it?

A bathroom heater is (quite literally) a small price to pay for a greatly improved bathroom experience. For less than $60 you can transform your bathroom into a toasty oasis, and ban those winter chills for good.

Key things to remember before purchasing a heater

  • The size of the room you are heating
  • How often you use your heater
  • The capabilities of the heater

Check out our guides on portable, electric, and panel heaters if you’re looking for more information on how to heat your home.

Compare Portable Heaters

*Prices taken from respective retailers, correct as of July 2022.

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