9 Best Electric Baseboard Heaters
Looking for an electric baseboard heater but can't decide which is best for you? Discover the best baseboard heaters in multiple categories.
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Choosing a Baseboard Heater
If you’re in the market for a baseboard heater, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the options on the market. One of the greatest advantages of baseboard heaters is their versatility. But that also means their sizes, heat outputs, additional features and cost varies considerably.
Convection vs. Hydronic
To start with, there are two types. Convection baseboard heaters use electrically heated metal fins to transform cool air into warm air through the heat-transfer process of convection. They’re usually hardwired into a home’s electrical system, but some portable options plug into a standard electrical outlet.
Hydronic baseboard heaters use an internal reservoir of heated liquid to produce mostly radiant heat. Like a convection baseboard heater, metal heating fins surround the liquid reservoir to promote heat production through a secondary convection process, supplementing the radiant heat. An electric element usually heats the liquid reservoir, but some models can be tied into a home’s central heating boiler system to operate without electricity. Electric hydronic baseboard heaters usually must be hardwired into a home’s electrical system.
Convection baseboard heaters are affordable and heat up rapidly, but they’re not particularly energy-efficient. Hydronic baseboard heaters are more expensive and take longer to heat up, but are more energy-efficient and stay cool to the touch.
Some features are common to practically every baseboard heater — a powder-coated exterior that resists scratches and corrosion, and an automatic overheat shutoff to ensure safe operation. Many are certified by an independent safety inspection agency, like Underwriter Laboratories (UL) or Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL). That means the heater satisfies certain safety standards.
To help you make sense of all the options and determine the best baseboard heater for your home, consider the following top-rated products.
Best Convection Baseboard Heater for Small Rooms
For zoned heating in smaller rooms, King’s 3K1207BW Baseboard Heater delivers 750 watts of heat in a compact, 36-in.-long unit. The housing is made of a dent-resistant material, matched by a crush-resistant heating element that’s built to last. King designed this for easy installation by incorporating a universal wiring harness for hard-wired connection on either side of the heater.
Best Hydronic Baseboard Heater for Small Rooms
If you’re looking for a baseboard heater requiring the least amount of electricity, look no further than Fahrenheat’s PLF504 Hydronic Baseboard Heater. It takes just 500 watts to produce a respectable amount of radiant heat, making it considerably more energy-efficient than convection units with similar power ratings.
Although it may not be powerful enough to heat larger spaces, its compact 28-in. length makes it an effective and efficient heat source for smaller rooms with minimal wall space. It can also offer supplemental heat to larger rooms.
Best Convection Baseboard Heater for Large Rooms
Cadet’s 09956 Convection Baseboard Heater offers 1,500-watts of heat, bringing rapid warmth to larger rooms. Its low profile and attractive white housing make it relatively unobtrusive even though it’s 72 inches long. It’s easy to install, too, with a “universal wiring” harness for installation at either end of the heater, and pre-punched screw holes along the back for fastening to the wall.
Best Hydronic Baseboard Heater for Large Rooms
Fahrenheat’s 1,500-watt Baseboard Heater is an ultra-efficient hydronic heater. It pairs strong heat output with a steel exterior that stays cool to the touch, minimizing the risk of burns and fires. Sure, it’s more expensive than convection units with comparable heat output, but its greater energy efficiency means it will pay for itself over time.
Best Affordable Portable Baseboard Heater
Looking for a baseboard heater that’s as portable as it is powerful? Heat-Wave’s Portable Convection Baseboard Heater weighs five pounds and is just 25 inches long, yet delivers 1,000 watts of power. That makes it ideal for zoned or supplemental heat wherever you need it.
Regulate the temperature output between high (1,000 watts) and low (500 watts), or use the built-in thermostat for greater customization. Bonus: Automatic tip-over and overheat shutoffs, for enhanced safety. All for less than $60.
Best Splurge Portable Baseboard Heater
If you’re willing to spend a little extra for a heater with more robust functions and features, consider King’s KP1215-Eco Dual-Wattage Portable Baseboard Heater.
Its integrated thermostat maximizes energy efficiency by using the minimum amount of electricity to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. In the end, that might make it more affordable to operate than other convection heaters with similar heat outputs.
For greater customization, this heater also offers low (750 watt) and high (1,500-watt) temperature settings. And because it plugs into a standard wall outlet, you can carry it from room to room with the attached handle.
Best Budget-Friendly Baseboard Heater
Cadet’s 2F500-1W Convection Baseboard Heater provides 500 watts of heat for $40. At 30 inches long, it’s the perfect size for smaller rooms, and its white powder-coated finish is attractive and durable. It’s not powerful enough to heat large spaces by itself, but can offer supplemental heat to larger rooms. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Best All-Around Hydronic Baseboard Heater
It features attractive steel housing and high-impact end-caps that resist scratches, dents and corrosion. Fahrenheat also incorporated a large wiring compartment with dual knockouts and built-in cable clamps to assist with installation.
Best All-Around Convection Baseboard Heater
King’s 4K1210BW Series Baseboard Heater brings rapid and effective warmth to any room. At four feet long, it can be discretely installed in practically any space to deliver 1,000 watts of heat.
It features dent-proof exterior housing with a crush-proof heating element to prevent internal damage. Plus, this electric baseboard heater was made with ease of installation in mind. Universal wiring allows it to be hardwired at either end.