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Best fan heaters 2023: Turn up the heat when the temperature drops

Take the edge off the colder months with our pick of the best fan heaters - they'll keep you cosy and warm while saving you money too

Feeling a bit chilly? Want to feel warm, but without having to turn on the central heating in your home? Look no further: the best electric fan heaters deliver heat quickly and easily, with a range of models available, from affordable options all the way up to top-of-the-range Dyson units with built-in air purification.

Whether you want to heat a chilly home office or just take the edge off when the temperatures plummet, a fan heater is a great option for short-term use. Rather than heat your entire home, electric fan heaters can be placed in your immediate vicinity, directing heat to where it’s needed most. Simply place the heater a few metres away from where you’re sitting and your feet, hands and face will remain warm while you watch TV, read a book, cook or work at your desktop.

We’ve scoured around for the best fan heaters currently available, and our list below includes both basic models and those with added features, covering a spectrum of prices. But first, we run through the things you should consider when picking the best fan heater for your home.

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Best fan heaters: At a glance

How to choose the best fan heater for you

Why buy a fan heater?

Chances are your home will already have some form of household heating fitted – gas, oil, air source heat-pump or electricity-powered central heating, for example. You may even be lucky enough to have access to a wood burner for extra warmth when the temperatures plummet.

However, there will be times during the day or night that you’ll have decided to keep your main central heating turned off to save money – and it’s during these times that a little fan heater can really save the day. Simply place it a few feet from where you’re sitting or working and you’ll remain nice and warm, even if the rest of the home feels like an igloo.

Put simply, every home should have at least one small fan heater for those emergency situations when it’s more economically viable or practical to heat a single, small area than it is to heat a whole home.

How expensive are fan heaters to run?

These days, many fan heaters are of the ceramic PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) variety, which means they’re more energy-efficient than the standard blow-heaters of old. Ceramic has excellent thermal conductivity and a greater resistance to electrical currents, which means more heat is created while using less energy. Ceramic fan heaters also heat up very quickly, making them a great choice for instantaneous warmth.

While today’s fan heaters are pretty energy-efficient, they’re not suitable for leaving on for hours on end; they still consume a lot of electricity compared to, say, standalone oil-filled heaters. In fact, most of the models in this guide will cost between 35p and 70p per hour to run, possibly more given the current high electricity prices.

That said, most fan heaters are equipped with thermostats that will kick in once a predetermined room temperature has been reached. Some models that feature in our guide to the best conservatory heaters, such as the extremely popular and consequently hard-to-find MeacoHeat Motion Eye, for example, come with a motion sensor for extra convenience and improved running costs.

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The best fan heaters you can buy in 2023

1. Russell Hobbs 1500W Scandi Black Retro Ceramic Heater: Best budget fan heater

Price: £34 | Buy now from Amazon

This petite 1,500W ceramic heater packs a very decent punch for its diminutive size. In fact, at H21.5 x W27 x D16.5cm, it’s small enough to put on a bedside table.

For such a small and keenly priced unit, the Russell Hobbs comes with a variable temperature thermostat and two heat settings – 750W and 1,500W. Granted, the thermostat control is a simple dial, so it isn’t possible to set an actual room temperature, but that’s par for the course with a heater at this price.

Safety features include overheat and tip-over protection. You’ll become aware of the latter the minute you take the heater out the box, because it feels like something is loose inside. Don’t panic, it’s part of the design.

This model looks wonderfully retro with its Scandinavian wood-effect details and old-fashioned FM radio-style shell. In fact, it looks better in the flesh than it does in photos.

If you’re in the market for a saviour against the cold that’s easy to store away when not in use, then this dinky unit is most definitely worth the small outlay.

Key specs – Heat output: 750-1,500W; Controls: Thermostat dial, 2 heat settings, 1 fan speed; Extra features: Tip-over protection; Dimensions: H21.5 x W27 x D16.5cm

2. Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde purifying fan heater: Best fan heater-cum-air purifier for discerning stylistas

Price: £650 | Buy now from John Lewis

If you can afford it, the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde is a sterling choice for winter warmth and air purification. What’s more, when the summer months arrive, you can turn off the heater element and enjoy a cooling breeze instead.

At 76.4cm in height, the Hot+Cool Formaldehyde is quite a lot shorter than Dyson’s standard tower fans. Nevertheless, it still enjoys the attractive design for which Dyson products are well known.

Using Dyson’s unique Air Multiplier technology combined with variable oscillation up to an impressive 350 degrees, the Hot+Cool delivers a good wallop of warmth. According to the company, this heater will provide full coverage in rooms up to 81m³. As well as a built-in thermostat, air flow can be altered using the included magnetic remote control or, if you prefer, via Dyson’s excellent app.

When it comes to air purification, this Dyson can filter down to 0.1 microns, which includes pollen, pet dander, bacteria, smoke, benzene, nitrogen dioxide and, in the case of this specific model, formaldehyde – a poisonous gas emitted by cigarette smoke, many household products and wooden flooring. In other words, this model doesn’t just heat – or cool – the air in your room, it cleans it too at a rate of up to 290 litres per second.

There’s no doubt the Dyson Hot+Cool is expensive, but for your spend you’re getting the best of three worlds: heating in the winter, cooling in the summer and arguably the best air filtration system in the business.

Key specs – Heat output: 2,000W variable; Controls: 10 heat settings, 10 fan speeds, thermostat; Extra features: Complete air filtration, 350-degree oscillation, remote controllable; Dimensions: H76.4 x W24cm

3. VonHaus 2000W Oscillating PTC Heater: Best budget tower fan heater

Price: £75 | Buy now from Amazon

If you need a fan heater that offers Dyson Hot+Cool Formaldehyde-like performance but for a fraction of the price, this 2kW ceramic tower heater may do the trick. No, it isn’t the most attractive of fans, but put it in the corner of a room and you’ll hardly notice it – it’s only 16cm wide.

The VonHaus’s heating element is an impressive 23cm in length, so you can be sure it will deliver a decent cockle-warming level of heat. And since it offers 70-degree oscillation, you can be sure that hot air will spread evenly around the room, making it a great choice for larger areas.

This model comes with a basic remote control that allows you to adjust oscillation, power settings and room temperature and set an eight-hour timer. You can also control its most basic settings using the large digital display. The VonHaus comes with two power outputs (1kW and 2kW), a single fan speed and a digitally controlled room temperature thermostat for accurate operation.

Despite the lower-quality build, we were impressed by this heater’s performance. It’s very keenly priced, too.

Key specs – Heat output: 1,000-2,000W; Controls: 2 heat settings, 1 fan speed, digital thermostat; Extra features: 70-degree oscillation, remote control; Dimensions: H77 x W23cm x D22cm

4. DeLonghi Capsule Fit: Best fan heater for versatility

Price: £60 | Buy now from Argos

This attractive Italian-designed model from DeLonghi arrives with a high-quality, cool-to-the-touch metal casing with legs attached. And with its maximum sound pressure of 48dB, it’s one of the quietest fan heaters you can buy.

Uniquely, the Capsule Fit can be used in two positions – horizontal or vertical. However, it’s paramount when using it horizontally that it isn’t placed upside down, with the air-intake fan facing downwards. In this position it will overheat, the thermal cut-out will kick in and you’ll have to unplug it and wait five minutes for it to cool down. Pet owners may also become annoyed by the amount of hair that its rubber legs and sides attract.

Aside from these minor design foibles, the Capsule Fit heater performs exceptionally well. It comes with two simple controls: a thermostat dial and another for its three heat settings (up to an impressive 2.4kW). The highest heat setting also increases the fan’s speed for extra reach.

Build quality is excellent, it looks attractive and its compact size (it’s just 28.5cm wide and 16cm in height) means it won’t get in the way. It’s just the job for heating up a space without fuss.

Key specs – Heat output: 1,000-2,400W; Controls: 3 heat settings, 2 fan speeds, thermostat; Extra features: Dual positioning, cool-touch metal case; Dimensions: H16 x W28.5 x D29.5cm

5. Duux Threesixty 2 Ceramic Fan Heater: Best fan heater for tech-loving minimalists

Price: £100 | Buy now from Currys

You don’t get many onboard controls on this sleek cylindrical ceramic heater; but, then again, it’s designed to work via an Apple or Android app, which lets you set your preferred room temperature and even set a schedule to turn it on and off over the course of a week.

Unlike most fan heaters that blow out hot air from a front grill, here it is blasted out through the top of the unit in a 360-degree pattern. At just 30cm in height and 22cm wide, the Duux Threesixty 2 is unobtrusive – in fact, some may mistake it for a small waste paper bin.

While its heat output isn’t as immediately noticeable as most front-facing heaters, it’s still very effective. It offers three heat settings (600W to an impressive 1,800W) and two fan speeds (Eco and Boost), so there are plenty of options to choose from, as long as you stick mostly to using the accompanying Wi-Fi enabled Duux app.

Key specs – Heat output: 600-1,800W; Controls: 3 heat settings, 2 fan speeds; Extra features: App controllable; Dimensions: H30 x W22cm

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