Best Heater for a Home Office (On a Budget)

When working from home, there is often a constant battle about how to keep warm, having the central heating on a heating the whole house just for you in one room seems silly.
But using an electric heater in can run away with the electric can’t it?

As someone who works from home with my partner, this is a discussion we have ALL the time!

I’ve spent some time researching the best heaters for a home office and have gathered all of the information in a concise article to help you figure out which heater is best for your home office.

1. Best Oil Filled Radiator:

VonHaus Oil Filled Radiator 2.5KW

Oil filled radiators are our favourite, we have three that we use occasionally around our house. We actually own this radiator so can vouch for its usefulness.
The last an incredibly long time and give off heat with an even distribution, just as the central heating would.

Unlike other heaters types, they do not focus heat on one spot only and for me they are the safest heaters as there are not heating elements visible or accessible from outside the unit.

The VonHaus Oil filled radiator.

Key Features of this radiator:

  • It has 3 power settings, this is very useful for more accurately controlling the room temperature and saving electricity by using the lowest power setting possible.

  • Has a 24 hour timer and automatic cut off if it overheats or tips up. The timer is especially useful for keeping a more tolerable temperature in your home during the winter without using using central heating.

  • Thermostatically controlled so you only use the power that you absolutely need to, making it cheaper to run.

  • Ideal for rooms up to 28m2 – so it is perfect for a home office space with the door ajar.

  • Heat is created by the oil inside the fins being heated, as a result, the radiator holds onto this heat and keeps dispersing heat even when the radiator thermostat has switched itself off. Making it more economical to run than fan heaters.

  • It is a little bit heavy, if you have weak wrists for example, but the castors make it very easy to move from room to room if needed.

  • 1.5m power cable, so you can position it in a central location in the room from a socket for maximum heat spread.

  • Because the heat is not fan driven, it is more like a conventional central heating radiator. The heat does not dry the air out in the room like other heaters do.
  • Will last a very long time, one of our oil radiators was bought over a decade ago and is still going strong.

Negatives about this oil radiator:

  • Quite large compared to some fan heaters, which are so small they could fit into a kitchen cupboard.

  • It gets quite dusty quite quickly and is a bit awkward to clean because of the tight spaces.

  • When the radiator is first switched on, it can make a bit of noise as the oil starts to move around. (Enough to maybe wake you up in the night but not enough to bother you in a home office.)

  • Oil filled radiators do not provide instant heat, they take a few minutes to warm up. Not an issue for me, but for some people this might be off-putting.

  • The heater is very hot to touch when it has been on for a while, lots of care should be taken where children and pets are able to get near to it.

2. Best Compact Ceramic Heater:

Pro Breeze Ceramic Mini Fan Heater 2KW

This tiny little heater is only 22cm tall, so will easily fit into a cupboard or under you desk when not in use.
It packs a punch at 2KW, or 1.2KW on the lower setting. The ceramic heating element heats up almost instantly, so will very quickly warm up your home office.

The Pro Breeze Ceramic fan heater.

Key Features of this radiator:

  • Compact size, ideal if you have a small home office.

  • Fan assisted heat, so you can blow it in the direction of your workspace for more concentrated heat.

  • Features anti tip and over heat auto cut off for reassurance.

  • Temperature is controlled by a thermostat, so the heater will switch itself off when your room reaches the desired temperature.

  • This heater is safe. Providing you use it correctly, it is very safe to use. The ceramic heating element is concealed within the unit so things can’t fall into the heat source becoming a potential fire hazard.

  • Quiet compared to some fan heaters. Some can be very noisy and annoying but this one is not too bad at all.

Negatives about this radiator:

  • Any heater with a fan motor to run will use slightly more power than a heater that does not use a fan.

  • Sitting in the direct line of heat from this heater will start to get very hot. You may feel like one side of your body is on fire whilst the other half is still freezing cold.

  • Beyond the area cover by the heated direction of this radiator, the air will feel cool and may even feel colder than before because of the draft being caused by the fan.

3. Best Budget Fan Heater:

Warmlite Thermo Fan Heater 2KW

The perfect budget buy in this article. At less than £20, this fan heater is perfect for quickly heating small rooms, like home offices.
Within minutes it takes the chill out of the air and makes a room more bearable, for when you don’t have the central heating on.

The Warmlite thermo fan heater.

Key Features of this radiator:

  • Very affordable, at under £20, this is the cheapest office heater in my list.

  • Costs about the same as a kettle to run, you should only use this fan heater for short bursts, just as you would use a kettle.

  • Can be used on a hot, warm and cool setting, so you can make use of it during the Summer months too.

  • Auto cut off function if the heater is tipped up or if it overheats. I am always super wary about fan heaters, so this function is reassuring.

  • Very small, can be kept in a cupboard when not in use.

  • 2KW means it have heat up your office in just a few minutes.

  • Adjustable thermostat, so as long as you don’t have this set too high, it won’t run any with your electricity bill.

Negatives about this radiator:

  • Whilst the heat is generated quickly, it soon dissipates and you are back to having a cold room. You will need lots of short bursts every hour to keep the office or room at a comfortable temperature, which eventually, would cost more than an oil filled radiator.
  • Not suitable for large rooms in the home, the heat does not travel a far enough distance to heat a huge room.

  • Is a little noisy, the constant whirring of the fan when it is in action can be a little annoying to some people.

  • Controls are quite basic, trial and error to find the right setting.

4. Best Convector Radiator:

Donyer Power Convector Heater 2KW

Convector heaters are particularly good at heating large rooms. The are relatively small, not as small as fan heaters but they do a good job of heating a big room in every direction.

Convector heaters can be stood on the floor or hung on the wall, especially useful if floor space is a problem.

Key Features of this radiator:

  • Available in white or black to blend in with your decor.

  • Has 3 output settings using the switches, 750W, 1250W or 2000W. This is very useful for keeping costs down, as this radiator has the lowest KW setting.

  • Very lightweight, made of thin metal, so it easy to move around.

  • There is no noise, fan heaters can become annoying with their whirring sounds. Convector heaters make no noise at all.

  • Automatic power off if the radiator overheats. Whilst there isn’t an immediate cut off if the radiator is knocked over, it will be shut off by the over heat cut off feature instead.

  • Very long lasting, convector heaters have long life span of use. And the cost of buying one is very low.

  • Heats the room in every direction, not just in a straight line like fan heaters.

Negatives about this radiator:

  • Not suitable to be used around children or where things could fall into the holes at the top.

I have personally used one of these radiators for a number of years.
Once when working with small scraps of fabric and fibres in an art project, I saw a small piece accidentally fall into one of the holes.
The hot wire element literally set the fabric piece alight inside the radiator.
I have avoided them ever since..

Note, this is not to say that they are unsafe, I would just avoid using one of these heaters in certain circumstances.

  • The metal walls of the radiator can get very hot to touch, I would say they are not suitable to use around pets and children.

  • The dust that falls into the holes in the radiator between uses can get burnt up when the heater is on, giving off a funny smell. This goes away after a little while.

  • If the heater gets knocked over, it will not automatically shut off power. Instead relying on the overheating device to kick in.

  • I have noticed that when using a convector heater in a small confined space with the door shut that it was start to feel stifling, like there was no air in the room which would start to make me feel sleepy. I would recommend only using one of these radiators in a well ventilated space.

5. Best Halogen Heater:

DAEWOO Portable Halogen 2 Bar Heater

This is a very affordable little heater, at under £20 it is perfect for occasional use in a home office, if you don’t want to spend much money.

It is extremely lightweight, can be lifted with one finger, so it is very easy to move around.

The DAEWOO halogen compact heater.

Key Features of this radiator:

  • Small, easy to move around and very lightweight.

  • 3 heat settings, you can switch either single bar on (alternate to prolong the life of the heater) or turn both on for maximum output.

  • Instant heat, will heat up your room much quicker than an oil filled radiator.

  • No noise, a massive positive to this type of heater is the lack of noise, there is not fan whirring around to give off annoying white noise.

  • Easy to use, one dial only, no buttons.

  • Lower Wattage means you won’t spend as much on the electric bill. (This heater is 900W max.)
  • Best suited to small rooms.

Negatives about this radiator:

  • The halogen bars are visible, through the metal mesh – not ideal to use around children or pets as they could easily get hurt.

  • Not good for large rooms, or open plan office spaces – relatively low heat compared to the 2KW heaters.

  • Heat does not travel very far with this heater, it is good for small and enclosed spaces.

  • Basic functionality – not thermostatically controlled, it is either on or off.

Best Heater that looks like a Real Fire:

Warmlite Stirling Stove Heater

I don’t know about you, but I would much prefer to look at a heater that looks like a real fire instead of a little plastic heater that can be quite ugly.

This Warmlite heater is very affordable and has a realistic log flame effect.

The heat is from a fan heater which blows out from below. So most of the actual fireplace is just for aesthetics but it adds a nice looking feature to your room and gives out a lot of heat as it is 2KW power.

The Warmlite compact, realistic looking heater.

Key Features of this radiator:

  • This heater looks realistic with glowing log and flame effect, a nice feature to have in your home office, it makes you feel warmer just by looking at it.

  • 2KW maximum power output, so it will heat up a large room no problem. It can also be used on lower power settings to conserve electricity!

  • Nice compact size, so will fit into most home offices.

  • Safety cut out feature.
  • Thermostatically controlled, so will only use power when the temperature drops.

  • Available in black (cast iron effect), grey, white and cream.

Negatives about this radiator:

  • Not the most economical heater to run, will cost about the same a boiling the kettle per hour to run.

  • The fan heater makes a whirring noise, which can be irritating. (All fan heaters do this, not just this one.)

  • More expensive than the little fan heaters I have talked about, but this is to be expected when you look at the additional design features you get.

Best Oscillating Tower Heater:

Amazon Basics Eco Tower Heater and Fan

I love a multi functioning, multi use product that really makes sense.
This oscillating fan and heater is a perfect example.

Use it as a heater in the winter and a cooling fan in the summer.
Its sleek modern design and eco mode make this a stand out item.

This fan is more expensive than any of the others in my list, but in its defence, it does offer the most features and has a remote control.

It is massively cheaper than the Dyson fan / heater which is similar sort of product.

You may be wondering why I didn’t include the Dyson Heater in this list..
The Dyson, in my opinion is the best on the market, and costs around £500. I have not included it in this list as it seems a little overkill for a home office if you’re on a budget.

Key Features of this radiator:

  • Contemporary minimalist style will look great in most modern homes.

  • Has a large base foot, to stop it toppling but the actual tower is slimline meaning it would work even in a tiny office.

  • It is able to oscillate 70 degrees, so you can heat up your whole room without having to get up and manually move the heater to a different spot.

  • Remote control included, after all, who wants to get up and walk to the heater to turn it up or down these days?

  • A built in dust filter, many fan heaters do not have this feature.

  • Has an ‘energy efficient eco’ mode, which is designed to give you maximum output for minimal cost and power consumption.

  • Thermostatically controlled and features a tip over switch for added safety.

  • 3 heat settings and 2 fan cool settings.

Negatives about this radiator:

  • Higher power usage, max output is 2200W, higher than all of the other radiators I have mentioned, you probably wouldn’t want to use this heater on full power for too long each day.

  • Controls are a little more confusing to get used to than a conventional fan heater.

  • If you have an inquisitive child or dog who likes to make it their mission to knock things over, this heater is quite heavy and could really hurt them.

  • Although the tower is slim, the whole thing is a bit of an awkward shape, especially with its base. Difficult to store when not in use.

  • More expensive than basic fan heaters.

I hope this list was useful to you, I tried to stick to more budget friendly heaters in this article.

Starting to work from home can be a tricky thing to manage and bring unexpected costs, like having to buy a new computer chair or mat to protect your carpet.

Working from home also brings other challenges like dealing with the cold, (and heat), without the reliable office thermostat to keep you comfortable that you may have been used to up until now.

Get yourself an inexpensive heater and add a little bit of comfort to your new life of working from home.