I’m convinced there’s nothing worse than stepping out of the shower onto an icy cold floor. Sure, you can snag a bath mat or put a towel over the tile, but only a good bathroom heater can make the space feel toasty warm. And the best bathroom heaters fit your space while boasting the important safety features you need to feel comfortable.
Before you invest in a new heater, you have to be honest with yourself about the amount of space you’re willing to give up for comfort. Here are some options to consider:
Portable floor heaters: There is no need to mount these heaters to a wall and they usually heat up spaces in a flash. The downside is that you can’t hook them up to your thermostat, which means you won’t have precise control over the temperature — and, of course, they can pose a safety hazard if they’re positioned close to flammable objects like paper. Look for a unit with auto-shutoff in case you forget to turn it off when you leave your bathroom.
Wall heaters: For more a more permanent heating solution, you can install a wall heater that is convenient, space-saving, and efficient — but that will often require more DIY installation. This option does require DIY work and includes a visible electrical wire that needs to be carefully positioned away from water sources. Installing a bathroom wall heater may require you to cut into drywall, so only invest in one if you have gotten the okay from your landlord or feel confident adding this upgrade to a home you own.
Ceiling heaters: This is a great option for smaller bathrooms, as it won’t take up valuable wall or floor space. These more compact heaters mount to standard electrical boxes and but require installation, and they can be a bit slower to warm up your space.
Once you’ve decided on the type of heater you want, it’s time to think about safety features. It’s important that wires and cables are installed in a way that prevent them from coming into contact with water from your shower or sink. To ensure you’re buying a safe unit, look for a UL mark — an indication that it has been approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (a gold standard); a heater with a UL mark will also mean it’s passed the tip-over test (aka it won’t start a fire if tipped over). Another certification to look for is an ETL mark, which is proof that it has been independently tested for safety.
Ready to warm up but aren’t sure which option to go with? Here are a few excellent bathroom heaters to help you narrow it down.