Are there any space heaters you can leave unattended? And if yes, how can you find the safest ones?
Don’t worry, I’ve done the work for you and found the safest space heaters you can get! These space heaters are the best choices for long heating periods and for leaving them unattended.
These are suited, for example, if you’re cooking something in the kitchen but you want to pre-heat your living room for a cozy movie night.
To find the safest space heaters, I’ve looked for certain security features:
- As little exposed heating elements as possible (preferably no red glowing parts)
- Timers you can set so the heater automatically turns off
- Tip-over & overheat protection
Generally, you should never leave a space heater unattended if you’re not at home. But in certain situations, this might be necessary:
For example in an emergency, where your house heating doesn’t work, so you need a space heater to prevent your pipes from freezing. In such a case, leaving a space heater unattended would make sense.
But never do it for no reason.
Later on in this list, I’ll show you a space heater that actually has an anti-freeze protection: It automatically heats the room just enough to keep your pipes from freezing.
In this article, I’m going to show you the safest space heaters you can get. That doesn’t mean you can leave them running 24/7. Handle your space heater responsibly and follow the safety guidelines at the end of this post.
1. Free Standing Electric Fireplace Stove by e-Flame
The e-Flame freestanding electric fireplace stove (click here to check the price on amazon) looks like (as the name suggests) an actual stove!
I decided to put it on this list mainly because of two reasons:
It has legs that keep it on a safe distance from the floor. This reduces the heat that can accumulate below it.
That’s why it’s safe for all flooring types and definitely worth considering if you have a special floor that you want to be absolutely safe about.
The freestanding electric stove by e-Flame is therefore good for carpet floors, which are easily inflammable.
The second reason I like this type of heater is that it is cool to the touch.
Even though it looks like a stove (that would indeed get hot on the surface) it works in a completely different way, which makes it safe to touch and therefore a good option if you have pets or kids at home.
It also has tip-over protection that automatically shuts it off in case it falls over.
Sadly, it has no built-in timer (as the other candidates in the list below) where you can decide when it shuts off automatically. So, I suggest to only leave this space heater running unattended when you’re at home, but just in another room.
2. Dyson Hot + Cool Jet Focus AM09 Fan Heater
The Dyson Hot + Cool fan heater (click here to check the price on amazon) looks comparably modern and suits you if you want your space heater to look good.
What I like about it is that it can heat and cool with the built-in fan. You can use it year-round!
In summer you can choose to just use the fan function, and in winter you can add heat as you wish.
Additionally, this space heater has no exposed heating elements (which I love)! It blows hot air, but it’s impossible to burn yourself.
Even though it’s blowing air, there are no fast-spinning blades.
Because of the protective design, it doesn’t get hot to the touch.
You can leave this thing unattended safely (for example while you sleep) because it has an automatic shut-off timer. Just set the hours after which you want it to stop heating and it will automatically do so.
Also, it has tip-over protection that instantly turns your heater off if someone accidentally falls over it.
3. Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater
Here’s the best-rated heater in this list: The Dr Infrared Heater Portable (click here to check the price on amazon).
I chose to include it in this list because it comes very handy if you want to place it somewhere in your room, where there’s no wall outlet.
This space heater comes with a 72-inch long electric cord. For space heaters, that’s really practical, because you should never use an extension cord with them.
The 72-inch long cord allows you to freely place it in any (safe) spot you like.
Additionally, it has a tip-over & overheat-protection.
And it comes with a built-in timer that you can set up to 12 hours before it shuts off.
It’s cool to the touch and has a thermostat you can set the temperature with.
Thermostats make sure that space heaters don’t overheat and they help with heating efficiently.
The Dr Infrared Heater Portable is certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) USA and Canada.
UL certifies only space heaters that fulfill strict safety conditions. For example, they say that they do “abnormal operation tests” (source), where they test space heaters for proper functionality and safety.
Of course, this space heater is cool to the touch as well.
4. DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater
The DeLonghi radiant heater (click here to check the price on amazon) comes with a handy digital thermostat to control the temperature.
Of course, it also has an automatic shut-off function to prevent overheating.
That’s not why I included it in this list.
I included the DeLonghi radiant heater because it’s, in my opinion, the ultimate emergency heater!
It has an antifreeze setting that automatically warms up the heater to prevent the room from freezing. This way you can protect pipes from freezing (which is incredibly expensive to repair).
When you have a room that has no heating system, I’d get this one, simply because of the antifreeze setting.
This heater is, in fact, designed so you can leave it unattended.
Additionally, it has a built-in timer so you can decide when you want it to shut off.
5. Pelonis Oil Filled Radiator
Here’s our most affordable candidate: The Pelonis oil-filled radiator (click here to check the price on amazon).
I am totally convinced this space heater will do the job for most people. I love that you can get it below 100 bucks.
It has everything you need:
The Pelonis oil-filled radiator has a built-in thermostat that regulates the temperature in your room, a 10-hour shut-off timer, a remote control so you can control it from your bed without standing up, automatic tip-over protection and overheating protection.
And on top of that, it’s ETL certified.
“Both UL and ETL are reputable testing companies and they both test to the identical standard”
ETL uses the same standards like UL, so there’s no difference in the certifications.
This makes the Pelonis oil-filled radiator a perfect choice for you if you look to keep your room warm and safe without spending too much money.
It actually comes with more features than all the other space heaters in this list.
And it has a great rating on amazon. It seems to be a very good choice.
Requirements for space heaters you can leave unattended
For this list of space heaters, you can leave unattended, I have set standards for my research. I included only space heaters that come with the following features:
- tip-over protection
- overheat protection
- timer (you don’t need to heat throughout your absence)
- no exposed heating elements
- you can touch them without burning your fingers
Additionally, I preferred heaters with certifications. Other security features are a bonus, but not required, such as the antifreeze protection of the DeLonghi space heater.
Space heater safety guidelines
Even though you can consider all of the space heaters I just listed as safe, the main reason of fault is not the space heater itself, but human failure:
More than 80% of space heater accidents are caused by misuse and not due to technical failure.
Therefore, you should always keep the following guidelines in mind. Use your space heater responsibly.
A space heater should be placed in a safe distance from inflammable objects.
The leading factor contributing to ignition for home heating fire deaths (54%) was heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding.National Fire Protection Association – Home fires involving heating equipment
Run your space heater only if you really need to. And think twice about leaving it unattended:
Which benefit do you get? Is it an emergency to keep your pipes from freezing? Or is it just for luxury purposes (having a warm room when you come home)?
Generally, space heaters can heat rooms very quickly. So you don’t need to leave them on continuously. Minimize the risk.
Never leave children or pets unattended with a space heater
Never ever leave children or pets unattended with a space heater! Children and pets are too unpredictable to cover the risks of something happening. According to the famous Moore’s law: “What can go wrong, will go wrong”.
Keep this law in mind and avoid even the slightest possible point of failure.
Never use an extension cord with your space heater. Extension cords (especially cheap ones) heat up quickly and can increase the power usage of your space heater. This makes it more likely that something overheats.
I’ve already written an article on this that you can check out.
Conclusion – Space heaters you can leave unattended
The safest types of space heaters you can leave unattended are big space heaters that don’t get overly hot on their surface and that are equipped with many safety features.
As long as you treat them carefully, you can leave the room for a few minutes and leave them unattended to do something else quickly.
But never leave your house with a space heater running. It’s just too risky.
Attributions: title image by Tony Webster