Our review compares portable heaters on customer satisfaction, so you can find out what other Aussies think about the compared brands before you go ahead with a purchase. Think of it as like asking hundreds of your closest mates which portable heater they think is best!
Canstar Blue surveyed 696 Australians for their feedback on the portable heater(s) they’ve purchased and used in the last three years.
The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.
Find more detailed information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.
Dyson was rated five stars for performance, features & functionality, design and overall satisfaction, with four stars for ease of use and three stars for value for money.
You might be more familiar with Dyson’s range of vacuum cleaners, but it also offers a number of purifiers that also function as a fan and heater ─ the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Purifier, the Hot+Cool Jet Focus and the Hot+Cool Formaldehyde Purifying Fan Heater. Featuring a unique, blade-free design, these portable heaters can be used all year-round and placed either on the floor, on a table or work desk. Dyson’s fan heater is said to offer long-range heating, with the lack of blades and Air Multiplier technology also stated to ensure constant and even airflow throughout the room. The model is described as easy to clean and safe to use and automatically shuts off when tipped over. The brand additionally claims the heating elements never go beyond 200°C, making sure there’s no ‘burning smell’ that’s typically created by dust being burned by extreme heat.
De’Longhi was rated five stars for design, with four stars in all other categories, including performance, value for money, features & functionality and overall satisfaction.
De’Longhi is a home appliances specialist, mostly known for its popular range of coffee machines. Its line of portable heaters includes a wide selection of oil column heaters, sleek panel heaters and small ceramic personal heaters. A lot of them come in compact, ergonomic designs perfect for plonking in the corner of a room and carting around with you during a cold winter’s morning. Expect features like variable power settings, room thermostats and automatic switch-off systems for safety, with select models also featuring LED displays, quiet operating noise levels, cool-touch handles for easy carrying, while others come with a wheeled design to cut down on the lifting altogether.
Goldair was rated five stars for ease of use, features & functionality and performance, with four stars for design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
Goldair is another brand with a wide range of affordable portable heaters to choose from. These include fan, ceramic, convector, radiant, oil column, panel and even heaters with a flame effect. There are various indoor and outdoor models available, with various options to suit different size areas. Goldair portable heaters usually come with either 1000W, 1500W or 2000W of power, although there are some more powerful models for those who need to heat up a space quickly. Some of its panel heaters are additionally Wi-Fi enabled, so you can control them via your smartphone, while more traditional portable heater models feature auto-off timers, multiple heating settings, an overheat protection and safety tilt switch, with some also coming with a remote if you don’t have your phone handy.
Anko was rated five stars for value for money, with four stars for ease of use and overall satisfaction, and three stars for design, features & functionality and performance.
You can keep warm during winter with Kmart’s budget-friendly heater range, which features oil heaters, convection heaters and electric heaters. However, Kmart’s line-up can change from time to time and may not be available during certain times of the year (at least for online shopping), so if you’re hoping to get a bargain, you might have to keep an eye out. With Kmart’s entire range priced at under $100 at the time of writing, you can expect to find features such as multiple heat settings, an adjustable thermostat, safety tip-over switches and additional safety features, with some models also featuring an LED display and remote control to help you stay comfy.
Kambrook was rated four stars for all categories, including performance, value for money, features & functionality, design, ease of use and overall satisfaction.
Kambrook produces a large range of portable electric heaters to suit most needs and household sizes. It offers several ceramic and fan heaters, with some models offering an oscillating design to help spread the heat around the room. If you only need something to heat up a small space, the Kambrook Personal Ceramic Heater may be an ideal fit, featuring a power indicator light, variable thermostat, multiple heat settings, safety tip-over switch along with a carry handle at the back to help take it with you around the house.
ALDI was rated four stars for value for money, and three stars for ease of use, design, features & functionality, performance and overall satisfaction.
Well known for its Special Buys, ALDI typically offers a few heaters in its middle aisles just before the ‘cold snap’ hits every year. In recent years, it has offered a seven-fin oil heater, a 2000W tower ceramic fan heater, and a convection heater. Some features offered include various heat settings, a turbo fan function, an adjustable thermostat, plus a 24-hour timer so you can set and forget about your heater. Prices vary along with the heaters available, so be sure to keep an eye out for the next Special Buys if you’re after a cheaper heater for those cooler days.
Kogan was rated four stars for value for money and features & functionality, with three stars for performance, design, ease of use and overall satisfaction.
Kogan is an online-only superstore, selling everything from clothes to mobile phones and mobile phone plans, to cheap TVs and yes – cheap portable heaters. Aside from stocking a wide variety of other brands, Kogan also has its own branded heaters. It generally produces oil column, panel and fan heaters, although the full range does chop and change. Most Kogan portable heaters come in a white design, and feature the usual basics, such as multiple heat settings, timers and safety features, while some in the retailer’s SmarterHome range feature built-in Wi-Fi, allowing you to control the heater via your smartphone.
Arlec was rated four stars for ease of use, design and features & functionality, with three stars for value for money, performance and overall satisfaction.
Australian-owned company Arlec, has everything from lighting to cooling and heating, along with power boards and security products. When it comes to staying warm, it offers a variety of panel heaters, freestanding heaters, fireplace heaters as well as bathroom heating and heated towel rails. Its line of portable heaters includes a small list of ceramic, convection and micathermic heaters. The brand typically offers models that provide 2000W worth of heating power, although the panel heaters usually have a 4000W power output, with the brand available to purchase at Bunnings.
Not all brands in the market qualify for our ratings (based on minimum survey sample size), but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. Here are several more brands to check out before making a purchase decision.
If your room is feeling a little draughty, cut through the chill with a portable heater. Canstar Blue’s buying guide examines the different types, energy use, electricity and more so you have everything you need to get cosy.
When it gets chilly, we’ll do almost anything to keep warm, from lying in bed for a few extra minutes to wearing multiple layers if we have to go outside. But while it’s certainly more convenient to let a portable heater do all the hard work, what should you consider when buying a portable heater? Major factors to consider include:
There are three main types of electric portable heaters:
Personal ceramic heaters are perhaps the most portable of the lot, with many being less than 60cm tall and providing handles to help you easily move them to wherever you need to go. These can come in the form of a radiant or convection heater:
Ceramic heaters come with self-regulating temperatures, meaning the power supply decreases when an electric voltage is applied to the PTC ceramic material. This is why some people find ceramic heaters to be potentially one of the more energy-efficient heaters out there.
Plus, their compact size makes them one of the cheapest types of portable electric heaters. The trade-off with this is that ceramic heaters are usually better suited towards heating a single bedroom or study room, rather than an entire living room or large space. Fan heaters also fall into this category.
Panel heaters (also called convection heaters) spread convection currents throughout the body of the appliance to heat up and circulate the air. The warm air then rises to fill any cold spots around the room. These are typically ideal for small or well-insulated spaces. Otherwise, there’s a good chance the warm air will just escape.
The two main perks of using a panel heater are that it has a compact size and can keep the temperature in the room consistent. A downside is that panel heaters can use quite a bit of electricity, although there are now more energy-efficient alternatives appearing on the market.
Column heaters use electricity to heat the oil inside the columns (or fins), which then warms the outside of the metal column casings. Once the fins get toasty, the heat is distributed around the room via air convection and thermal radiation.
Column heaters have been praised for their efficiency since most of the energy consumed is turned into heat. Meanwhile, other types of heaters typically use a large portion of their energy to power a fan or motor that circulates the air around the room. Column heaters instead direct any leftover electricity, which hasn’t converted into heat, to operate different functions like timers or different heating modes.
Oil column heaters are generally recommended for people who prefer to heat a space for longer periods. However, these can be a potential fire risk if any materials are placed over the heater.
Flued and unflued gas heaters essentially burn gas fuel to make heat, but also produce air pollutants and water vapour. Flued gas heaters channel all the gas, air pollutants and water vapour from inside the room to outside via a flue (or sometimes a chimney for non-portable heaters). Meanwhile, unflued gas heaters circulate everything indoors.
It’s also worth noting that due to the usage of gas, there are a number of governing regulations and requirements in place, with some variation across states and territories. As a result, if you’re interested in purchasing a gas model, it’s worth investigating your state or territories’ requirements beforehand.
You may also be interested in:
As with all household appliances, it’s important to consider ongoing running costs, as well as the initial upfront cost. The problem for some consumers looking to buy a new portable heater is that not all types of heaters are regulated by the government’s energy ratings scheme (Energy Rating Label). Instead, natural gas appliances including space heaters, ducted heaters and water heaters come with an industry-led Gas Energy Rating Label.
Even though most portable heaters don’t come with a star rating, you can still find out how much electricity a model will use by making an estimate based on factors like:
Consider the wattage of any heaters you’re comparing – the greater the wattage, the more power the appliance will need to use. A general rule of thumb is that the harder an appliance needs to work to reach the set temperature, the more energy (and money) it will subsequently use. Keep this in mind when choosing your temperature!
Whichever type of heater you’re looking for, we hope you find this review helpful.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Site Editor, Dean Heckscher. He’s our resident expert on all things automotive, health & fitness, streaming and more. Dean is also one of Canstar Blue’s customer research report producers, helping to turn complicated subjects into easily-digestible information for our readers. He’s passionate about helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services.
Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.
Here are the past winners from Canstar Blue’s portable heater ratings:
Appliances - November 6th
Ducted air conditioning is indisputably the pinnacle of household heating and cooling. Unlike conventional air conditioners which can usually only cool one or two rooms, ducted air con uses vents (or ducts) in the walls …– Read more
Best-Rated Air Conditioners - November 3rd
What temperature should you set your air conditioner too? Does air con temperature affect running costs? Read more at Canstar Blue.– Read more
Appliances - September 30th
While they’re more commonly used in winter, the air-conditioning can also take its toll on your skin and immune system in summer. Follow our guide to find the right humidifier for you.– Read more
See our Ratings Methodology.
*Product availability and price range are current as of the stated date, may be subject to change.
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