Bathroom Heater Guide: Types, Features, and Safety Tips (2022)

Who doesn’t like the comfort and warmth of a bathroom heater? We simply love it, especially when we’re getting ready for work or the children are rushing through their morning chores during winter.

And, you don’t even need to turn on the entire central heating system of your house, just install a bathroom heater and keep your space warm without wastefully heating up the rest of your home.

This is a double bonanza — your mornings will be more enjoyable and you will see a drop in your energy bills too.

While looking for a good bathroom heater for your home, there are a few things to keep in mind. In this article, we will look at the factors you should consider when selecting a bathroom heater. Not only that, but we will also talk about the different types of bathroom heaters available.

So, if you’re wondering about the benefits of a bathroom heater and which one is going to work best for your bathroom space, read on.

This bathroom heater guide will answer all your queries. But, first up is the most important question for first-time homeowners:

What is a bathroom heater?

A bathroom heater is a heating appliancewhose primary purpose is to keep you warm when temperatures are low. And, since bathrooms can get uncomfortably cold during the winter, a heater is an ideal choice here. Most bathroom heater fans use an infrared heat lamp to heat up the area quickly. Such a fixture is ideal for small spaces such as bathrooms.

Do you want to have all your facts straight for your upcoming renovation process? Take a look at our ultimate guide for bathroom remodel.

Benefits of bathroom heaters

Apart from helping you stay warm when you step out of the bath or shower, there are some other equally important benefits of installing a bathroom heater in your home. These include:

  • Controls steam

Working together with a bathroom ceiling fan, a bathroom heater helps in controlling steam accumulation on mirrors and bathroom appliances.

  • Controls moisture

With a bathroom heater, you don’t have to worry about moisture accumulation on walls, rugs, baseboards, faucets, light fixtures, or shower curtain. Also, drying out a bathroom is quicker and easier.

  • Improves health

Research supports the fact that a bathroom heater improves overall health through improved cardiovascular circulation. It’s especially a boon for those with sore muscles and joints.

What features should you look for in a bathroom heater?

Bathroom Heater Guide: Types, Features, and Safety Tips (1)
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When deciding on what kind of bathroom heater to buy, you should keep the following factors in mind:


You need a heater that’s durable and lasts a good amount of years. Go for a bathroom heater that is strong and requires minimal maintenance. Keep in mind that most durable models will be constructed from stronger materials and have fewer moving parts.

Heating efficiency

Since you only spend a few minutes in the bathroom, it’s important to have a heating system that heats the room effectively and quickly. You can measure the efficiency of your bathroom heaters by their wattage output and British Thermal Units aka BTUs. The higher the BTU, the more efficient will your heater be.

Safety features

Safety is of utmost importance, especially because a bathroom is both wet and humid. This environment increases the chances of short circuits and other electrical interference. A bathroom heater should be able to handle all kinds of safety hazards.

DON’T just pick any space heater; make sure the one you choose is designed with safety features and mechanisms that allow it to work safely in damp or wet environments.Choose a model that has an automatic overheat protection feature.

Heater technology

The next thing you have to decide is the technology you want your heater to work on — ranging from convection to infrared heating. As there are varying heater technologies or heating types available on the market, you’ll have to do some in-depth research to find the most appropriate one.


Want a heater that’s multipurpose? Look for versatility whereby you can use it in bathrooms or in other rooms if and when required. Also, a heater that can perform more than one function — such as removing humidity or heating the water as well as the air — will serve you well.


Opt for a heater that runs silently — especially since the bathroom is a small enclosed space. You don’t want a constant buzzing noise early in the morning or for that matter late at night.


If you’re planning to move your bathroom heater from one place to another, buying a portable system is a good idea. Opt for a small heater that runs on electricity. This will allow you to easily shift the electric heater as and when needed.

Right size

Selecting the appropriate bathroom heater size is one of the most important things to keep in mind. Heaters that are too small for a huge bathroom space or vice versa will never properly warm your bathroom. The wrong size can leave you feeling cold with a huge utility bill. A good rule of thumb is to keep 10 watts of power for every square foot.

Heater timers

If you’re the kind of person who loves to take comfort to the next level, go for a heater with a timer. Such an appliance is designed to kick on and off at designated times because of an integrated timer.

So, set the timer with the required heat setting and let your bathroom warm-up before you go in — all this while you sip a hot cuppa!


Any remodeling or installation will have to take into account your budget. If you’re thinking of renting or just need to warm up your small bathroom quickly, you can consider a portable space heater. If you have a big family or own the house, a wall-mountable or wall-recessed heater may work best.

Planning a remodeling for your bathroom? Try our free bathroomrenovation cost estimator; it’s easy and convenient to use!


Decide whether you want a hardwiring or a plug. If you’re considering the former option, make sure you select the correct voltage. Consult with a certified electrician if you’re in doubt. If you have a GFCI outlet, consider a portable bathroom heater with an ACLI safety plug.

(Video) Bathroom Fans: Guide, FAQs, Pros and Cons of Exhaust Fans

Thermostat placement

Bathroom Heater Guide: Types, Features, and Safety Tips (2)

If you’re installing an external thermostat in your bathroom, make sure it’s not placed close to the heater. Otherwise, the adjustable thermostat will fail to gauge the temperature of the room correctly. Anyway, an external thermostat works better in bigger, spacious bathrooms. Go for a built-in thermostat or mounted thermostat if you have a smallish space.

Right kind of bathroom heater

And, finally, we come to the most important decision — which bathroom heater to buy?

There are multiple options available and you need to choose the best one for your bathroom — in terms of features, efficiency, and comfort level.

Let’s explore the various types of heaters and their pros and cons in the next section.

Read more: Bathroom Exhaust Fan Installation: 13 Important Questions You Need To Ask

Types of bathroom heaters

Each type of heater has its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at the most popular ones and their features:

Portable heaters

Quite obviously, these heater units are small and easy to carry around. They are a good choice for renters and for people who want to heat up their bathroom only during the cold season. These heaters can be easily removed from the bathroom and used in other rooms. Most of them are electrically powered — having a heating element inside and using a fan to force the hot air around a space.

If you’re going for a portable bathroom space heater, decide on a safe spot for it, preferably a far corner.

  • Easy to move around
  • Effective for small bathrooms
  • Compact design
  • Tends to be noisy
  • Needs regular cleaning and maintenance

Ceiling heater

Most ceiling heaters are portable enough to be moved and reinstalled elsewhere. And, they last a long time.

If you already have a ceiling box ready to place the heater, a ceiling heater is ideal for you. You will minimize the electrical configuration costs.

  • Doesn’t take up much space
  • Long-lasting
  • Reliable
  • Portable
Slightly complicated installation

Wall heater

Wall heaters can be attached to the wall on a hook or via permanent screws. They are inexpensive, durable, efficient, and are ideal to heat small bathrooms.

  • Inexpensive
  • Efficient
  • Durable
Need more electrical wiring and setup

Baseboard heater

Such a heater is installed along the floor. It can provide a lot of heat in a short time.

  • Efficient
  • Takes less time to heat up a room
  • Requires a complicated installation
  • Higher set up costs

Read more: Hot water baseboard heaters

Heater with exhaust fan

If you opt for a fan heater, you won’t have to worry about both steam and humidity. And, it will keep your bathroom toasty while taking care of unwanted mildew or fungal growth. In summer, you can turn off the heater and just use it as an exhaust.

  • Keeps out humidity and steam
  • Checks the growth of mold and mildew
More expensive option
(Video) How to turn different radiator valves off

Combination heater

A combination heater uses a heat pump system to provide heat. It’s one of the most efficient HVAC systems. You can use it to heat water as well as provide heating or cooling to the house.

Moreover, this technology results in energy conservation of up to 10%.

  • Energy-saving option
  • Long-term cost savings
  • High upfront costs
  • Requires extensive installation

Tips for a safe bathroom heater installation: dos and don’ts

Now that you’ve probably zeroed in on the most suitable kind of heater for your bathroom, it’s time to take care of a few safety tips:

  1. Keep your bathroom heater at a safe distance from the tub edges, sinks, and showers.
  2. Don’t let your towels or other objects obstruct your heater’s airflow.
  3. Do not place your heater inside showers or where water can splash into the appliance.
  4. Do not cover your space heaters with a towel or cloth.
  5. Always read your owner’s manual thoroughly before installing a bathroom heater.
  6. Keep in mind that portable bathroom heaters (considered “water-proof”) can still pose a risk of electrical shock.
  7. Follow building codes regarding bathroom heaters.

Further info on How to Select A Quality Bathroom Heater? Take a look at our guide.


We understand that your bathroom can get uncomfortably cold during the winter season. And, you’re tempted to turn up the central heating. But, that’s not necessary. Rather than wasting electricity and energy to heat up the whole house, you can buy a bathroom heater to heat up the small space effectively.

Read more:Six Bathroom Heating Ideas for Your Next Renovation

Bathroom Heater Guide: Understanding the Benefits and Types was last modified: May 30th, 2022 by Ramona Sinha

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Bathroom Heater Guide: Types, Features, and Safety Tips (3)

Written by Ramona Sinha. December 23, 2019

Ramona is a content writer for Kukun. This experienced blogger uses simple and succinct words to decipher the complex phenomenon called life. An avid traveler, she’s a digital nomad at heart and an animal lover from the depths of her soul.

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What kind of heater is safe to use in bathroom? ›

Portable space heaters designed with ACLI safety plugs are deemed appropriate for bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. According to OSHA, ACLI safety plugs are designed to cut ground faults in as little as 1/40 of a second.

Is it safe to use heater in bathroom? ›

If electric heaters are used near water in the home, the appliance poses an electrocution hazard for all family members. CPSC said that most electric heaters do not have protection against electrocution should the appliance come in contact with water. For this reason, electric heaters should not be used in bathrooms.

How does a bathroom heater works? ›

A bathroom heater is a heating appliance whose primary purpose is to keep you warm when temperatures are low. And, since bathrooms can get uncomfortably cold during the winter, a heater is an ideal choice here. Most bathroom heater fans use an infrared heat lamp to heat up the area quickly.

How do I choose a bathroom heater? ›

When choosing the right one for your needs, consider these 4 important aspects:
  1. 1: Heating. ...
  2. 2: Lighting. ...
  3. 3: Exhaust Fan. ...
  4. 4: Colour, Size and Shape. ...
  5. 1: You Don't Need to Preheat! ...
  6. 2: Choose the Right Size! ...
  7. 3: Only Use Your 3-in-1 Heater When You are in the Bathroom!
21 Nov 2019

How do you use an electric hot water heater in a bathroom? ›

Point of Use Electric Water Heater - Money Saving Appliance - YouTube

How long can you leave bathroom heater on? ›

Experts agree that you should not leave your bathroom fan on all night. You should only run the fan for about 20 minutes during and after a bath or shower. You especially shouldn't leave it on at night. If it's run too long, it can cause serious problems and become a potential fire hazard.

How safe is a wall heater? ›

Since the unit is fixed to a permanent location, there is no risk of it being tipped over and causing a collateral fire. The risk of tripping over exposed electrical cords is also eliminated. In short, a wall mounted heater, especially the Envi Heater model, is a safe and reliable heating solution for your home.

What temperature should a bathroom be? ›

Studies show that the temperature in the bathroom should be at least 23 degrees to stop us shivering while we're drying off after a shower or bath. A range of heat sources are available to help us reach this recommended minimum.

Which water heater is best for me? ›

  • The 5 Best Water Heaters of 2022.
  • A.O. Smith EG12-50R55DV.
  • Rheem XG50T12DU38U2.
  • Rheem XE50T10H45U0.
  • Rheem XE50T12CS55U1.
  • Rheem MHD85245.
  • Summary: The 5 Best Water Heaters of 2022 Ratings.
  • How to Determine Which Water Heater is Best for You.
13 Sept 2022

What is the purpose of a heat lamp in bathroom? ›

Installing a heat lamp in your bathroom will help keep you warm all year round. Heat lamps are less expensive and require a lot less work to install than other bathroom heating methods, like in-floor radiant heat installation and wall heaters.

Why do bathrooms have heat fans? ›

Eliminates Moisture

Bathroom fans (also known as exhaust fans) are used as a ventilation system to eliminate the moisture created from taking a shower or washing hands. Wherever there is moisture present for a long time, there's a good chance that mold can grow in those conditions.

How does a heating element work? ›

A heating element converts electrical energy into heat through the process of resistance, otherwise known as Joule heating. The electric current passing through the element encounters resistance, which produces heat.

Can you use a ceramic heater in a bathroom? ›

Answer: Yes, you can use a space heater in a bathroom as long as you do it responsibly. Even though there's water vapor in the air, most space heaters are still able to run just fine. You can minimize the risk of an accident by sticking to the space-heater-bathroom safety tips below.

Are ceramic heaters good for bathrooms? ›

It should be noted that oil-filled and ceramic heaters are not mentioned, as they are generally not suitable to use in bathrooms. Different types of bathroom heaters include: Portable heaters. Wall-mounted heaters.

Can I use an oil filled radiator in a bathroom? ›

There is nothing electric about the radiator body, so just like a central heating radiator it can be safely installed anywhere in the bathroom.

Can you use an electric radiator in a bathroom? ›

It sinks deep into the walls, keeping them dry and preventing moisture from settling, making electric radiators a great choice for damp-prone spaces such as bathrooms.


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