Strip Heater vs. Space Heater: Which Heater is Best for You?

Buying Guide

Indoor heaters come in an array of types, some are portable mini-heaters called space heaters, which you can move around from room to room to warm up your living space or a strip heater (also known as radiant heater), which is a heating device with a strip of heating element that generates lasting warmth in the home. Although strip and space heaters work the same way, their design has their own pros and cons. To make sure you’re making the right decision, let’s get to know each product and find out which one suits your needs the best:

Space Heater

A space heater is a portable device designed to generate heat in an enclosed space directly. Unlike an HVAC system or a central heating furnace that generates heat using a system of pipes of electric systems, a space heater does not require hardwiring or complex installation. This device is ready to use as is and it resembles that of an ordinary fan or blower.

Portable, light, compact, and ready to use, a space heater is able to retain and generate heat effectively. It works even better if your home is properly insulated. One heavy-duty space heater can provide enough heat to warm up the entire living room or the master’s bedroom especially if it’s properly located. Because space heaters can be used from one room to another, it’s best to place it in areas of your home that gets a lot of traffic.

Pros of a Space Heater

  • Portable Design
  • Ease of Use
  • No installation required
  • Customizable Features

Cons of a Space Heater

  • Not as durable as strip heaters
  • Not ideal for large or multi-level homes
  • Safety Issues

There are three different types of space heaters, these are: Convection, Radiant, and Conductive heaters.

Convection Space Heater

A convection space heater generates heat by warming up the air that is exposed to the device’s one or two heating elements. The process of heating warm air using a convection space heater is a slow one but heat will last for a long time, saving you energy. Convection space heaters work quietly so they are perfect for the bedroom or nursery. Some convection heaters also come with a set of blowers that circulate warm air into the room, dispersing warm air evenly in the living space, preventing the dreaded cold spots.

Radiant Space Heater

A radiant space heater utilizes a type of heating liquid – usually diathermic oil – to generate heat within a living space. The device works by circulating the liquid into a network of pipes to trigger the heating element. Because these space heaters are powered by either natural or propane gas, they are perfect during electrical outages as or used outdoors in places that are prone to extreme weather conditions. They are also energy saving but you have to get a steady supply of fuel otherwise, these heaters won’t work.

Conductive Space Heater

Conductive space heater generates heat using a heating element made from either mica or a combination of nickel and chromium. The heating element effectively converts electricity into heat, effectively warming up your living space in no time at all. Because this is an electric-powered device, it will work steadily to achieve the optimum indoor air temperature. However, it is not the most energy-saving space heater there is but the setting can be adjusted so the device turns itself off once the room has warmed up considerably.


Strip Heaters

A strip heater is a versatile space warmer comprised of a heating element, a sleeve or sheath, and a mounting hardware. This device can be used in a variety of application, including as a cabinet warmer, dehydrator (for food preps) and as moisture eliminator. Generally, strip heaters are affordable, mountable, and easy to install. They work over a wider area and can be bolted on any solid surface indoors.

Pros of a Strip Heater

  • Adjustable controls
  • Standard off the self-lengths
  • Wide range of wattages
  • Affordable and economical
  • Easy to install
  • Versatile uses

Cons of a Strip Heater

  • Not as portable as a space heater
  • Utilitarian design
  • Strictly for indoor use

Because strip heaters have to be bolted onto a solid surface, it’s not as portable as a space heater. In addition, strip heaters can only be used indoors.


Factors to Consider When Choosing an Indoor Heater

Space heaters come in an array of designs, and features, how do you know which product is the right one for your needs? Keep these important factors in mind when shopping around:

Safety Features

Most space heaters come with a variety of safety features, which are things that you want in a space heater. We recommend opting for space heaters with automatic shut-off feature. This function turns the space heater off when the device is left unattended, reducing the risk of house fires. Some space heaters turn themselves off as soon as optimal room temperature has been reached.

Built-in Thermostat

A built-in thermostat allows you to adjust and set the temperature generated by the space heater conveniently. This way, you don’t have to keep monitoring the space heater during operation to achieve the right level of air temperature. Just set the thermostat to a specific temperature and the device will turn itself off once the ideal temp has been reached, it’s that easy.

Timer Option

The timer option is a standard in space heaters. It works by letting you adjust the operating hours with a touch of a button. Once the heater has reached operation at a specified time, it will shut itself off automatically. This is an excellent feature especially at night when you want to warm up the room while you sleep.

Adjustable Shutters or Louvers

Space heaters with adjustable shutters allow you to direct the warm air in specific areas of the home manually or automatically. This feature lets you concentrate the heat, which is useful during the winter season.


This secondary feature can improve your living space. Space heaters come in an array of designs, choose the one that complements your home design and furniture the best.


Strip Heater vs. Space Heater: Which Heater is Best for You?

With the winter season upon us, this is the perfect time to invest in a space heater. This device will turn your living space into a relaxing abode on chilly days!

To find out which indoor heater works for your needs, consider the size of the room, the type of functionality you want as well as the design of the heater. If you want an indoor heater that you can use from one room to the next, a space heater is the best product for you because it’s light, compact, and portable. On the other hand, if you prefer a mountable and versatile heater that can cover wider spaces, opt for a strip heater.

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