The best cool-to-the-touch space heaters
Amazon / Romper

The 5 Best Cool To The Touch Space Heaters

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Space heaters are vital tools for warming a cold house, but it can be nerve-wracking for parents (and pet owners) when the heaters get hot. The best cool-to-the touch space heaters solve this dilemma, since these machines feature plastic exterior housings that don't get too warm. In many cases, it’s ideal for a heater to use ceramic plates to heat the space, as they tend to be better than other space heaters at keeping the outside of the unit cool. That said, some other types of heaters can stay cool to the touch, and some ceramic space heaters could get hot, so user reviews are a really important resource for finding out whether any space heater remains comfortable to touch.

While it can be a relief to know your space heater won’t burn anyone’s fingers, you’ll still want to keep other safety precautions in mind when choosing your unit. Ideally, you’ll want to establish a 3-foot kid-free zone around the heater and avoid using it in your child’s bedroom, so pick a heater that’s small enough to establish that zone. You’ll also want to make sure your child is supervised when using the space heater, since it can still get warm. And make sure you look for space heaters with safety features, such as the ability to automatically shut off if overheated or if the unit tips over. Avoid space heaters with exposed coils and metal grills, since these can get extremely hot. It’s also worth mentioning that some heaters are certified by independent testing labs like Intertek as compliant with national safety standards, so look for Intertek’s ETL certification label if you want that extra peace of mind.

Beyond safety, there are other considerations when purchasing a space heater. You’ll want it to make sure it can handle the size of the room that you wish to heat (some manufacturers list a maximum square footage, while others indicate a general room size) and that it fits nicely in the space (tower heaters can be great for smaller rooms). Also be on the lookout for helpful features, such as the ability to oscillate, multiple heat settings, a fan to help with circulation, a remote control, or even the option to connect to your phone.

These space heaters will quickly and effectively warm up your space. Amazon reviewers confirm they stay super cool to the touch, so you don’t have to worry about any burned fingers or noses.


A Popular Tower Heater With A Remote Control

With more than 20,000 reviews on Amazon and a solid 4.6-star rating overall, reviewers on the site are beyond pleased with how well this Lasko space heater warms up a room — all while staying relatively cool to the touch, thanks to its plastic exterior housing. The space heater features self-regulating ceramic heating.

In terms of features, this pick is loaded. The space heater has a programmable thermostat, allowing you to easily adjust the temperature as needed. The built-in timer (which can be set for 1, 2, or 4 hours) and oscillation setting are both super helpful. And the best part? The settings can easily be controlled from across the room with the included remote control.

The 1,500-watt, tower-style space heater can handle rooms up to 300 square feet. The only downside? It lacks tip-over protection, but it does have a sturdy base, automatic overheat protection, and is certified by Intertek to comply with national safety standards.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This has been a great product for the money. It does a wonderful job of heating and I like the fan and [oscillation]. Also the heater stays cool to the touch. I have had [a lot] of space heaters in the past but so far this has been the best."

  • Size: 7.25 x 8.38 x 22.5 inches (length x width x height)


A Budget-Friendly Personal-Size Space Heater

This space heater from Honeywell may be low in cost and small in size, but that doesn’t mean it's ineffective. In fact, the personal-size space heater features ceramic technology that provides fast, even heating, keeping you toasty on even the coldest of days. And most importantly, the plastic exterior housing of the unit stays cool to the touch.

The space heater has two heat settings that are simple to control. It also boasts tip-over protection and overheat protection — two safety features that are helpful for extra peace of mind when kiddos are around — and Honeywell claims it exceeds industry safety standards. You can even set it on a desk or table, out of the reach of little hands. The space heater weighs just over one pound, so it’s super easy to move it from room to room. That's important because the 250-watt heater is not intended to heat an entire room so much as it's intended to warm up a single person.

This pick comes with a limited 3-year warranty.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I bought this little heater one day while I was freezing in my office, and it is exactly what I needed to keep me warm. It is small enough to put on top of my desk to warm up my hands or under my desk to keep my whole body warm. The fan is very quiet. The unit is cool to the touch while it is on, and it has a switch on the bottom that turns it off if it falls over. If you are currently shivering in your office wondering what to do, I would recommend buying this heater."

  • Size: 5 x 4 x 7.75 inches (length x width x height)


A Fan-Favorite Compact Space Heater

With over 50,000 Amazon reviews and an overall rating of 4.4 stars, it’s clear that people are wild about this inexpensive ceramic heater. The 1,500-watt space heater can effectively rooms up to 200 square feet using ceramic technology. And the exterior housing that's made of plastic will stay relatively cool to the touch.

The space heater has two heat settings and an unheated fan setting. With a carrying handle and a weight of less than 4 pounds, this pick can easily be moved between rooms. It has both tip and overheat protection, and it’s ETL certified as compliant with national safety standards.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I did a lot of research about space heaters before buying one. I’m so glad I did and I chose this because it is really not necessary to spend a bunch of money or get a large heater for a room. My office is over the garage and poorly insulated and freezing in the winter even with the heat on. This little heater makes it warm in no time, and even heats up the adjacent den room. The safety features are great- I have kids who kick it and knock it over- it turns off immediately and is not hot to the touch."

  • Size: 7.2 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches (length x width x height)


A Smart Space Heater That Connects To Your Phone

For a great space heater that comes with all the bells and whistles, this oscillating one from Atomi Smart is an obvious choice. While the 1,500-watt ceramic heater has plastic housing that stays cool to the touch, it still gives off enough heat to warm up to 750 square feet, and the brand even claims it can heat the air surrounding it to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in just 2 seconds. You can use the control panel below the digital display to set a specific temperature, turn the heater on or off, adjust the heating mode between high, low, and eco, turn the oscillation on or off, or even set a timer. The heater also connects to your phone, which you can use to remotely make these adjustments, view the heater or room temperature, set a schedule, and more. The heater even allows you to use voice commands via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. The ETL-certified space heater also has overheat and tip-over protection (and will alert you via text if it tips over, making it a great choice for parents.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “We love this space heater! It is perfect for our baby's room, which is over our garage so the temperature of the room isn't always the same as the rest of the house. It keeps his room a steady temperature that we can always check through the app and the heater itself never gets hot. Customer service is five star as well.”

  • Size: 8.27 x 9.06 x 18.11 inches (length x width x height)


A Space Heater With A Child Lock

Designed specifically for your child’s nursery, this Vornadobaby heater effectively heats the space without getting too hot itself, thanks to its plastic housing. It also has overheat and tip-over protection, plus a child lock design that prevents your child from turning on the heater without supervision. Cord storage in the base means it’s easy to keep the cord out of the way in between uses. The 900-watt heater has two heat settings and two fan settings, plus an adjustable thermostat, so you can control the temperature and circulation. It doesn’t have any specific safety certifications, but it does have a 5-year warranty.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I researched so many different heater options. For the nursery this is absolutely the best option. You can lock the button so your toddler can’t turn it on and off. You can have it on fan only mode, or a heater mode, it does have a thermostat which means once the room temperature has reach the set temperature the heat option will turn off, but he will come back on automatically if the temperature drops. He has given me such a peace of mind at night since I know the room will never get too cold or too hot like with all the heaters he has an auto shut off in case of Overheating. I cannot recommend it enough”

  • Size: 7.5 x 10.1 x 10.9 inches (length x width x height)