Top 5 Space Heaters for Dorm Rooms [Comparison, Pros & Cons]

best space heater for dorm room

If you stay in a dorm room, chances are that your dorm has an inadequate heating system. If you wake up most winter mornings feeling cold and uncomfortable you can fix that by buying a space heater.

Yet, not all space heaters are suited for use in dorm rooms. Before making use of this guide, make sure that your dorm allows using a heater. Some colleges think that space heater is a risky device to allow.

However, luckily most colleges have realized that heaters are not a time bomb if used responsibly. We have compiled a list of the best heater for dorm rooms. Make sure to understand your college’s regulations about heaters before buying any heater from this list. 

Top 5 Recommended Space Heaters for Dorm Rooms

Guide to Select the Best Dorm Heater 

While the specific policies of Dorms regarding heaters differ, there are some general guidelines that you can follow. If you abide by these guidelines, you will be fine in most cases. We have chosen space heaters for dorm rooms based on the guidelines mentioned below. 

1. Protection

There have been many fire incidences in which a space heater was responsible. It is for this reason that all the college dorms that allow space heaters have guidelines about its safety measures. 

2. Tip-over protection 

Tip-over protection stops the heater if it is unstable or tips over. This saves it from fire hazards. It will be easy to convince your dorm management if your heater has tip-over protection.  

3. ETL Safety seal 

Colleges also look for a nationally recognized safety seal over the heater. The ETL safety seal is the most widely recognized. ETL stands for Electric testing laboratories.

A product that has ETL certification has been tested in the Intertek laboratories. Intertek is a nationally recognized laboratory that tests electric products for their safety. 

4. Power Usage

It is no secret that colleges operate dorms for a profit. So, these dorms work to minimize their operational costs. One of the reasons why college dorms do not have effective heating systems is because they save up on costs.

So, naturally, they have guidelines about the power usage of appliances. While the dorm might not be vocal about the power usage of low power consuming products such as your laptop, they surely have their say about the heaters.

Generally, a heater for a college dorm should not exceed a maximum power of 1500 watts. A 1500 watts heater will only be suitable for a 150 square feet space.

5. Extension wires 

Most dorms do not allow the use of extension cords with heaters. Operating a high-power appliance with an extension cord is potentially a fire hazard.

When coupled with the fact that you are not allowed a space that uses above 1500 watts, your ideal heater should have a long power cord. It will help make it easier for you to keep the heater near yourself and direct the heat towards you. 

6. Essential features of the best space heater for dorms

Now that we know the general guidelines of dorms regarding our space heater, we should look for a space heater that complies with all of this. The space heater should have the following essential features: 

  • Safety features such as tip-over protection and ETL certifications 
  • Power usage should be less than or equal to 1500 watts 
  • Should have a long power cord (preferably)

7. Fan Noise 

If you live in a shared dorm room, you do not want to end up with a heater that makes a lot of noise. So, pay close attention to the noise that the heater makes. All the heaters in this list make very little noise that can easily;y bury under your dorm room’s ambient noise. 

8. Portability

All of the heaters that fall under the 1500 watts category are also portable. Yet, some are more portable than others.

Some heaters are easy to move but they are wall-mounted. This means that while they are easy to carry, you can only use them in a single place.

So, if you will be using the heater more as a personal heater, you should keep in mind that it should not be wall-mounted. 

9. Coverage

Some heaters can only heat your personal space while others can heat the entire room. So, depending on your needs, you might want to consider this factor.

If you need a heater only for your personal space, it makes little sense to pay extra for more power that you do not need. 

Top 5 Space Heaters for Dorm Rooms

1. Amazon Basics 1500W Ceramic Personal Heater

Value for Money

The amazon basics 1500 watts ceramic heater is a portable option for your dorm room. It has the ETL safety certification that your dorm room management will like. It is the go-to choice for people looking to buy heaters for dorm rooms.

It is one of the tiniest heaters that you can get your hands on. Room space in most dorms is already limited. So, this heater becomes the perfect choice as it takes very little space.

Despite being very small, these make very little noise. So, if you live in a shared dorm, the heater will not annoy your roommates. 

The heater produces a maximum power output of 1500 watts. It is a ceramic space heater that comes with an adjustable thermostat. So, you can adjust the heating according to your requirements.

Since this is a personal heater, manufacturers do not provide information about its coverage. However, the user review tells us that it is suitable for a 100 square feet’s room.

It also comes with a carrying handle, so it is easy to transport from one place to the other. The heater comes with a one-year amazon basics warranty.  The amazon basics warranty and a good ceramic heating option make it the best value for money option.

So, you can always get it exchanged in case it does not function in the right way.  The only drawback of this heater is that it cannot be operated in damp areas such as bathrooms. 


  • Value for money 
  • Portable
  • Reliable warranty 


  • Not suitable for damp conditions 

2. Honeywell HCE100B Heat Bud Ceramic Heater

Best Price

A good personal space heater does not come cheaper than a Honeywell HCE100B Bud ceramic heater. The heater’s maximum power is 250 watts. It is considerably below the allowed 1500 watts power option for the dorm. 

The heater is great for dorm rooms because it comes with safety features such as tip over and overheating protection. It makes very little noise so your roommates will not be disturbed.

It does not come with an ETL safety certification but your dorm room management is not likely to make any fuss for a 250 watts heater. 

It is a personal heater, so the manufacturers provide no information about the coverage area. However, user reviews tell us that it is suitable for warning up the personal space.

We believe that it can heat your personal space of 25 square feet pretty well. The manufacturers themselves say that it does not heat up the entire room. The heater is not a good choice if you want to heat your entire room.

Go for this if you are looking for a heater for your personal space only. The heater is housed in plastic housing. So, it does not get hot to the touch even after hours of use. 


  • Best price 
  • Tip-over protection 
  • Overheating switch 


  • Less Coverage
  • Does not have ETL certification 

3. Air Choice Space Heater for Indoor Use

Fast Heating

The Air Choice Space heater is the fastest space heater you can get for your dorm room. The heater heats your personal space in 3 seconds. The maximum power output of the heater is 1500 watts.

The heater comes with tip over and overheating protection, so it is likely to be approved by your dorm room management. The fan of the heater also makes very little noise. So, your roommates are less likely to be disturbed. The heater has ETL certification.

The heater also comes with an oscillating feature. Although it is marketed as a personal heater, the oscillating feature makes it suitable for a 200 square feet room. The heater comes with an easy carry handle.

So it is also very easy to carry it around. The heater can be used in four modes from very low to very high heat.

The heater works on the new PTC heating technology. This technology offers faster heating and higher efficiency. So, while it heats up fast, it also saves electricity. 


  • Heats within 3 seconds 
  • easy to carry 
  • Oscillation
  • Tip-over protection 


  • No ETL certification

4. Minetom Portable Electric space heater

Best Coverage

The Minetom Portable electric space heater comes with an ETL certification. The maximum power of the heater is 1500 watts. So, you will have no issues getting this approved by your dorm management.

The heater can heat your entire dorm room because it has a maximum coverage area of 200 square feet. The heater also comes with safety features such as tip over and overheat protection. The fan makes very little noise so it is less likely to disturb your roommates. 

The heater is energy efficient. It heats 200 square feet areas within 3 seconds. So, it also saves electricity. It also features the PTC heating technology similar to the last heater we reviewed.

The build quality of the heater is very good. It looks and feels premium. Despite having a good built quality, the heater weighs around 3.2 pounds. It also comes with an easy-to-carry handle that enables it to be carried throughout the room. 


  • ETL safety certification 
  • 200 square feet coverage area 
  • Energy Efficient 
  • Easy to carry 


  • No major drawbacks

5. Minetom 350W Space Heater

Most Portable

The Minetom 350 watts space heater is the most portable space heater that you can buy for your dorm. The best thing about the heater is that it is ETL listed.

This will make it easy for you to convince your dorm room management to use this heater. The heater’s fans make very little noise. So, your roommates are less likely to be disturbed by it. 

The heater works best as a personal space heater but it can be used for the entire room. Although the manufacturers do not provide coverage information, we believe that it can keep a small 50 square feet space toasty.

It features a LED display and timer. It can also rotate 180 degrees to provide well-rounded heating for the entire space. Some users on amazon claim that it can heat a large room.

While we are skeptical about this claim, we believe that since it is energy efficient it will do an okay job of heating large spaces. For the safe side, but this is only if you want to heat a small room or your personal space. 


  • Extremely portable 
  • ETL listed
  • Tip-over protection
  • Overheating protection 
  • 180-degree rotation 
  • LED display 


  • Not the best coverage area. 

Comparison of Above Listed Space Heaters for Dorm Rooms

Power (watts)Coverage (sq ft)ETL CertificateTip-Over protectionOscillating feature Dimensions (inches)
Amazon Basics 1500W Personal1500100YesYesNo7.52 x 6.34 x 9.45 
Honeywell HCE100B Heat Bud Ceramic Heater25025NoYesNo5 x 4 x 7.75
Air Choice Space heater1000100NoYesYes15.15×11
Minetom Portable Electric space heater1500200YesYesNo6.2 x 7.0 x 9.2
Minetom 350W Space heater35050YesYesYes4.3 x 2.8 x 6.5

Final Comments:

Before making a decision about what space heater to buy for your dorm room, make sure to understand the requirements of your management. Chances are that they will allow the heater if you comply with their restrictions.

In very rare cases, you will not be allowed space heaters no matter what. So make sure that you understand your college’s requirements before looking for a space heater for your dorm room.

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