Best Space Heater for Basement: Keeping it Dry and Comfortable







Best Space Heater for Basement: Keeping it Dry and Comfortable 1


De’Longhi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater


Best Space Heater for Basement: Keeping it Dry and Comfortable 2

Aikoper Oil Space Heater


Best Space Heater for Basement: Keeping it Dry and Comfortable 3


Heat Storm HS Infrared Heater


Best Space Heater for Basement: Keeping it Dry and Comfortable 4

Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater


Best Space Heater for Basement: Keeping it Dry and Comfortable 5


Lasko Ceramic Space Heater

Your basement gets drafty and cold throughout the entire winter season. It’s the coldest point in your home.

If you want to finish it, or even use it as an extra bit of recreational space while leaving it unfinished, you have to make it hospitable and somewhat comfortable to be in.

That’s where space heaters come in. They’re not the hazardous traps that they used to be in the 80s and 90s – we’ve compiled a list of safe space heaters that won’t put you at fire risk. They’re effective, durable, and designed to last for years.

The best space heater for basement spaces is going to completely revamp the way you use your basement. Is it currently where you’re building a business? Is it your relaxation space?

Whatever it is, it’s going to get a lot comfier.

Best Overall: De’Longhi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater

De’Longhi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater

You may not have expected De’Longhi to top the charts on this list, but they absolutely have. Sticking to regulations and keeping the max wattage at 1,500, they’re able to provide excellent heating for up to 144 square feet of space.

Designed with thermal slots, this should give you the most outpour into your room without the heat energy being stuck in the metal of the radiator.

You have three adjustable heat settings, as well as a timer to keep it on a maximum amount of hours. This works well if you end up leaving the house and wonder if you turned the space heater off first.

When overheating is a concern, De’Longhi’s safety system kicks into high gear. The internal thermometer detects how high the heat is, and works to shut it off before you run the risk of the machine becoming a fire hazard.

This best space heater for basement review is mostly about safety, because De’Longhi knows the statistics. They want to keep you and your family protected while you use their space heater.

  • Type: Oil heat
  • Wattage: 1,500
  • Heated Space: 144 sq ft

Runner Up: Aikoper Oil Space Heater

Aikoper Oil Space Heater

Aikoper was a clear choice for the best electric space heater for basement use, primarily because it comes with a remote that you can use to turn it on from across the room.

This is entirely portable, so you can wheel it from room to room depending on what you need. If you’re not hanging out in the basement that day, bring it with you to keep the kitchen warm while you cook.

Apart from being portable and convenient, it’s also rocking the max 1,500 watt power, so you can heat up to 150 square feet worth of space at a time. While ambient heat will disperse throughout the room and heat everything up, it’s still rated for 150 square feet.

Overheat protection ensures that when this runs for too long, it shuts off automatically, even if you have timers set. This can happen if you leave the house and it wasn’t as cold as you initially thought it was going to be.

Utilize the 24-hour timer from the controller, and view the current outward temperature from the LED digital screen on the front of the unit. If you misplace the remote, you can change your settings or shut it down from the buttons underneath the screen.

There is an eco-friendly mode that tries to cut down on your costs by measuring the room temperature first, but for basements, this rarely kicks on due to the sheer size of the room that it has to heat up.

  • Type: Oil heat
  • Wattage: 1,500
  • Heated Space: 150 sq ft

Best Infrared: Heat Storm HS Infrared Heater

Heat Storm HS Infrared Heater

We’re done with the oil heaters now, and for some of us who just don’t feel easy having them, infrared is here to save the day. Heat Storm uses some excellent tech in this wall-mounted infrared heater.

Built for Wi-Fi connectivity, you can control this through your phone app, and with a little bit of ingenuity, you can even get it to work with Amazon Alexa. Most other smart hubs will also be able to control this through your smart home network.

What is the best space heater for a basement?

One that works, and infrared gets the job done as well as oil, but without having combustibles just sitting on the floor. Because this is wall-mounted, you don’t run the same risk of nearby items catching fire like you do with a heater in the middle of the room.

As far as safety goes, this doesn’t run a high fire risk. In fact, the grate on the front is so safe, you can put your hand on it while you’re heating up the room.

There are no feet included here, so this is wall mount only. Heat up to 150 square feet of space without having your nerves on edge with a standalone space heater.

  • Type: Infrared
  • Wattage: 1,500
  • Heated Space: 150 sq ft

Runner Up: Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater

Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater

Infrared is an excellent choice for home space heating, and it includes plenty of the same safety features that you get with gas and oil heaters as well.

Dr. Infrared wants you to feel as safe as possible, which is why they’ve enabled a twelve-hour shutoff timer. If this continually runs to that point, it shuts it down.

In terms of safety, this standalone unit also has tip-over protection. If the unit is thrown off of its equilibrium, it’s detected, and the infrared heat source shuts down immediately. Because of the way infrared works, this doesn’t take long at all for the heat to disperse from the unit, minimizing contact time with a warm grate.

It’s one of the reasons infrared is the best type of space heater for basement use when safety is your top concern. This still hits the peak 1,500 watts for maximum heating, allowing for a range of 50°F up to 86°F.

Keep in mind, while this is technically portable, it’s also a bit heavier than standard metal/oil space heaters. It weighs just over 24 lbs, so getting it up the stairs is going to be a bit more of a chore.

  • Type: Infrared
  • Wattage: 1,500
  • Heated Space: 150 sq ft

Best Fan Heater: Lasko Ceramic Space Heater

Lasko Ceramic Space Heater

Last on our list is Lasko, the company that probably made half the fans in your home. They know a thing or two about keeping things warm as well, and do so at a rock-bottom price compared to some of these other brands.

This is often revered as the best space heater for large basement settings by budget-friendly buyers, because you can purchase two, and stick one on each end of the room.

Apart from being inexpensive, these heaters are also whisper quiet. They still run at the peak 1,500 watts that we want, but without that loud air-cutting noise that we’re used to.

Overheat protection means that you’re not going to run a fire risk if this is left on for too long; it will automatically shut off to prevent further issues.

With that, there’s also a built-in timer function that you can access via the included remote control. If you just want, you can set it to turn on by itself thirty minutes before you get home, so you aren’t walking into a frigid basement.

Two two heat settings, a handle to carry this from room to room, and a compact design, Lasko makes a contender for the other heaters we’ve seen on this list.

  • Type: Ceramic
  • Wattage: 1,500
  • Heated Space: 150 sq ft

Best Space Heater for Basement Buying Guide and FAQ

Do All Heaters Heat Equally?


Yes and no. All electric heaters will output the same amount of heat, and all gas heaters will output the same amount of heat. The best oil filled space heater will perform as well as the best gas space heater, and so on.

Why is this?

There are maximum wattage allowances for electric heaters. They’re only going to use a certain amount, so you can pair that against another heater with the same wattage, and end up with the same results.

With oil and gas, it’s the same thing. If you put an oil heater on high, and a gas heater on high, they’re going to provide the same amount of heat. Why?

It’s all about energy transference.

Many of the benefits we talk about in the reviews above come down to safety more than anything else, and that’s because space heaters account for a staggeringly high number of house fires throughout December, January, and February, which is like the trifecta of the worst house fire months in the United States.

Output is only going to differ so much.

Maximum Allowed Wattage in the US for Heating?

Even if you have the best space heater for large drafty rooms, it’s not going to exceed the max wattage allowance, which is 1,500.

This means that just about any space heater you get, no matter how awesome it is, cannot run you more than 1.5 KWH per hour. Not unless you use multiple units, but that’s not advised.

1,500 watts is enough to provide a good amount of concentrated heat, which will slowly heat the rest of your roof. In basements, 1,500 watts doesn’t seem like a lot because of all the open space, but it still gets the job done.

How to Calculate How Many Heaters You Need Per Square Foot?

There’s a rule of thumb for this, because you have so many variables to take into account, from brand to efficiency, your home, insulation, etcetera. The list goes on and on.

Basically, you want ten watts of power for every single square foot of living space. This is basically one seven foot tall cube of space from the floor to the ceiling, if you really think about it.

Two-hundred watts heat a twenty square foot spot. Fifty watts heat a fifty square foot spot. You get the just of it.

If you’re heating a basement, then you obviously need a lot more firepower than just fifty square feet. You don’t have to heat every single corner of the room, but you want the general atmosphere to be warmer (especially if it’s unfinished).

Get the square footage of your room. If your basement has some walled-off sections and you only want to heat one area, that’s going to be better for your efficiency. Start with a total square footage, and try to get the most optimal heater for that space.

Insulation Can Save You a Lot of Money

If you want to get a space heater, I say all the more power to you. It can actually be more effective at heating individual rooms than full central heating systems, so why not?

However, there’s a way to spend money once, and save money for the next thirty years. It’s called insulation. That’s not meant to be a joke – do you know how many basements are uninsulated or under insulated?

Many basement remodels are just DIY folks that are trying their best, but they often don’t end up with up-to-code creations at the end of the day.

That means insulation that isn’t all too effective, allowing for heat leaks and generally bad coverage. Done right, insulation can save you even more money than what I’m about to tell you.

Insulation only changes so much over the years, get someone certified to do it for you if you don’t feel comfortable yourself, but some online tutorials should be all you need to install it.

This is something you can do during the remodeling process for the most effectiveness. Just be sure that if you’re going to be adding plumbing and wiring, that it’s approved by a housing inspector so there’s no risk of leaks/fire hazards when you use this insulation.

When done properly, solid insulation can save you up to 15% of your annual heating bill. Yes, we’re talking about space heaters here, but even then it’s going to cost you less to run. Insulating saves you about $190-$320 per year, and typically lasts for 30+ years.

How Much Electricity do They Consume?

This is my favorite part of explaining space heaters, because they do not use up anywhere near as much energy as people think they do.

Less Than the Cost of Central Heating

Do you have a central heating and cooling system throughout your home?

They work well, but you have to keep the thermostat set to the same temperature, otherwise it costs a lot of money (and time) to return your home to your ideal preferences. Introducing central heating into a newly finished basement is expensive, and can mess with the electrical values of your system as well.

A space heater consumes roughly 20% of the energy that your central system would have to utilize to heat your basement. You’re saving eighty cents on every dollar.

Average Space Heater Cost is $2.61 Per Day

If you run this for a straight 16 hours, it’s only going to cost you about $2.61 for a full day’s use.

Can you imagine running your central unit for that long? It would be chaos. Your bill would jump by a lot more than two bucks and some change.

A Fraction of Central Heating Kilowatt Hours

On your bill, you’re charged in kilowatt hours. That’s how many KWH you use, or 1,000 watt units are consumed by your electronics. With energy ratings on everything, we can tell how much something will cost just by the technical specs.

Most central heating units are four ton, which means they use about 4KWH per ton, per hour. In short, it means that you can run the heating element for 12 hours and end up spending 48 KWH.

Many space heaters will get by just fine on about 200-500 watts per hour, so that same 12 hours ends up looking like 6 KWH, or 1/8th the cost of what it would be to run your central unit.

Keep in mind that a space heater is combating the cold in a single room, whereas a central AC/heater unit is going through the whole house, as well as the ductwork.

We’re just trying to show you that electricity consumption is at an all-time low, if you use space heaters in efficient ways. With central, efficiency isn’t a choice past the point of installation and what unit you went with.

How Are Space Heaters Safer Than They Used to be?

Space heaters are still a risk, but now they’re calculated. You can set the right environment to ensure you aren’t going to run into any fire risks, even with a system malfunction. These are the safety features that exist, and the ones you should be looking for.

Tip-Over Protection

If your dog comes down in the basement while you’re asleep and knocks the heater over, it’s not going to cause a fire.

Tip-over protection is better suited on electric or infrared heaters, because an oil heater is still going to have a lot of heat on the outside of the grate from its heating process.

Infrared can cool down quickly, and the front grates are generally safe to touch even when this heater is on. Tip-over protection is believed to be the number one reason that we’ve seen a decrease in space heater-related house fires in recent years.

Overheat Protection

You set it to high, and walk out of the room. It’s going to keep utilizing that 1,500 watt peak because you’ve cranked it to the highest setting, and the heat is just going to keep pouring out.

If it gets too hot for any reason, the internal thermostat detects it, and shuts the entire unit down. This doesn’t have to tip over for this to work. Certain heats pose a higher fire risk or burn risk, especially if you have pets in the house while you’re out.

Most machines will not automatically turn back on after the heat levels come down, so if you come home to a chilly house despite setting a timer, it means your unit overheated.

Auto Shut Off/Timers

You can set your own timers for when these turn on and kick off. Do you just need the basement/streaming area to be warm from 7:00 PM until 2:00 AM when you’re done?

Set it to turn on at 6:30 PM before you get home from work or enter the basement, and turn back off at 2:00 AM.

This helps reduce energy waste, but it also means that when it’s super late (or early, depending on how you look at it), you won’t have to worry about turning it off before you leave the room. It takes some human error out of the equation.

Open Vent

This is something you only need to worry about with combustion heaters, because electric heaters don’t even have this as an option. Open vents help reduce the risk of fire and overheating.

Closed vents in a combustion heater can be the cause of a fire, which is why they’ve mostly migrated to commercial use.

I mention this here in case you decide to go with a Facebook marketplace second-hand heater instead of one off of this list, because getting a closed vent heater is a seriously bad idea for in-home use, and I want you to be safe more than anything else.

Heating the Coldest Corners of the Home

Your basement is typically the coldest point in your home, and a lot of that just has to do with being surrounded by the frigid ground during colder points in the day. When the sun is down, the ground chills, and the walls of your basement pay the price.

Winter, nighttime, or even those awkwardly cold summer nights – they don’t stand a chance against your new space heater. It’s time to get some use out of that basement again.

Best Space Heater for Basement: Keeping it Dry and Comfortable 6


Madison Briggs is an interior home designer and master carpenter. Over the years, she’s designed wedding venues and penthouses, and helped to create the next generation of DIY warriors that can handle renovation and home improvement tasks on their own. With over 15 years of experience, a keen eye for unique style, and a plethora of creative ideas, she’s here to give you the inspiration you need to take your home to the next level.