10 electric space heaters for a garage gym

What’s the Best Electric Space Heater For Your Home Gym? 10 Heaters Thoroughly Tested

In Equip Your Gym, Plan Your Gym by Tim Steward

Best Overall
Lasko AW300
Lasko AW300
  • Heats fastest of all units tested
  • Oscillates
  • Thermostat
  • Excellent airflow
  • Cleanable filter
  • 3-year warranty
Budget Pick
Vornado VH200
Vornado VH200
  • Heats up quickly
  • Small footprint
  • Vortex function warms the entire room
  • Tip-over protection
  • 5-year warranty
Premium Pick
Heat Storm HS1500 wifi
Heat Storm HS1500 wifi
  • Heats efficiently
  • Wall mountable (floor version available - see below)
  • Wifi and Smart enabled
  • Programmable timer
  • Works via an app, Alexa, or Google

This is my review of the best electric space heaters for a garage gym.

Having the discipline to train regularly is hard. The cold temps that many garage gyms see in the winter make that discipline even harder! I’ve been training in my garage here near Chicago for years. As I’m writing this article, it’s -2℉ outside and a brisk 30℉ in my garage gym.

I wrote an extensive article covering seven critical steps to keeping your garage gym warm in the winter that you can read here. One of those steps is adding a heater to your garage. But which one?

To answer that question, I bought and tested ten of the most popular electric space heaters on the market. After over 40 hours of testing, I’ve found the best options for your garage gym.

10 electric space heaters in a garage gym
Every model was tested extensively here in my cold garage gym.

The perfect electric space heater for a garage gym should not only heat up quickly and warm your entire training space, but it should be safe, easy to use, and not cost an arm and a leg.

Below I cover all ten heaters I bought and used and share the testing with you. Let’s get started.

Best Electric Space Heaters For Garage Gyms

  1. Lasko AW300 Bladeless (best overall pick)
  2. Vornado VH200 (best budget pick)
  3. Heat Storm HS1500-Wifi (best premium pick)
  4. Vornado Velocity 5 (best for a small garage)

Ten Electric Space Heaters For Garage Gyms Reviewed

Following are ten brief reviews of all the units I tested for this article. When I chose which models to test and review, I made an effort to include several different types of heaters. More detailed reviews are linked with each unit below.

I tested tower, cabinet, forced air, ceramic, infrared, and mechanical oil-filled models to help give you an idea of which ones work best in a cold garage.

Here’s what I did to test each model (all testing done in January with outdoor temps in the teens℉):

  1. I opened my garage door for 1-2 hours until everything in the garage was thoroughly cold.
  2. I closed the door and let the interior temp settle to 35-40℉.
  3. I positioned each heater in the center of the garage, pointing towards the training area.
  4. I turned each heater on the highest setting it had.
  5. I measured how quickly each unit reached maximum heat output.
  6. I measured the air temps at 5, 10, 15, 30, 60, and 90 minutes.
  7. I measured the surface temp of a barbell at the same intervals.
  8. I measured the decibel output of each unit.
  9. I checked to see how hot each heater got to the touch.
  10. “Heat Change” was determined by ranking each heater in order based on how many degrees it raised the air temperature in the listed time.

You can see the full results table at the end of this review section. 


Lasko AW300

Lasko AW300 - the best electric space heater for a garage gym
  • Watts – 1500
  • Type – Infrared
  • Style – Bladeless Tower
  • Remote – Yes
  • Wifi – No
  • Filter – Washable
  • Warranty – 3 Years
  • 15 Min Heat Change – 8.3℉ (1st out of 10 units tested)
  • 30 Min Heat Change – 9.5℉ (1st out of 10 units tested)

The Lasko AW300 was the overall winner in my testing. It ranked first out of ten when it came to the important task of warming up my garage gym quickly. You will not have to wait long between turning the heater on and starting your workout!

The AW300 has a “bladeless” design similar to the fans and heaters made by Dyson (with Dyson coming it at several hundred $$$ more expensive and not any more effective). It has the option to oscillate or be stationary.

This meant that I could really feel the hot air coming out of this unit. Most of the other units tested had a very weak fan, and I didn’t feel like they were projecting the heat out into the room. The AW300 did not have this problem at all.

Even with its better airflow, it was not the loudest heater I tested and came in the middle of the pack when measured for sound. It reached full heat in about a minute and comes with a remote and a 12-hour timer.

The only downside to this unit was that it did not have wifi (only one of the tested models had this feature). If you don’t need your heater to be a smart device with wifi, then the AW300 is the ideal electric space heater for your garage gym.


Vornado VH200

Vornado VH200 electric space heater
  • Watts – 1500
  • Type – Forced Air
  • Style – Vortex Fan
  • Remote – No
  • Wifi – No
  • Filter – No
  • Warranty – 5 Years
  • 15 Min Heat Change – 7.9℉ (2nd out of 10 units tested)
  • 30 Min Heat Change – 8.3℉ (2nd out of 10 units tested)

The Vornado models were the surprises of all of my testing. An even bigger surprise was that the less expensive VH200 model came in a close second overall when testing how fast the units heated my garage gym.

The VH200 was the second quietest model tested. It’s the quietest model I tested with a fan, and you can barely hear it running even when standing right next to it.

The VH200 is a no-frills space heater, and it does not have a filter, remote, or timer. Its basic options are “low,” “high,” and “fan only,” and the thermostat goes from 1-7 with no specific temperature settings.

If you are on a budget, want something with a minimal footprint, and don’t need any bells or whistles, the VH200 is an excellent choice to heat your garage gym. It even carries a 5-year warranty, the longest of any heater I tested!


Heat Storm HS-1500-PHX-Wifi

Heat Storm wifi electric space heater
  • Watts – 1500
  • Type – Infrared
  • Style – Wall Mounted
  • Remote – Yes
  • Wifi – Yes
  • Filter – 2 Washable
  • Warranty – 1 Year
  • 15 Min Heat Change – 7.8℉ (3rd out of 10 units tested)
  • 30 Min Heat Change – 8/2℉ (3rd out of 10 units tested)

If you need a wall-mounted unit or built-in wifi and smart features, the Heat Storm HS-1500 wifi model is for you.

This model came in a respectable third place when it came to the speed of heating my gym. It does an excellent job of heating quickly.

It’s low profile and very easy to mount. It comes with a template, level, and mounting hardware, as well as a recessed power cord option that lets you mount it directly over an outlet if needed.

This model can be operated on the front panel, via remote, or an app on your phone.

This Heat Storm HS-1500 space heater shines brightest when using the app. You can set it to go on at a specific time (something you can’t do with any of the other models tested) as well as shut off at a programmed time.

With this in mind, it doesn’t matter how quickly it heats, as you can program it to go on an hour or two before you plan to work out. That means your gym will be nice and toasty when you are ready to train!

I also really liked being able to see its status on my phone. I forget things a lot, and it was nice to be able to shut the heater off if I’d forgotten and left the house.

If you don’t want to wall mount this unit, you don’t have to. I contacted Heat Storm, and they recommended setting the unit on something that was at least 2-3 inches off the ground if not wall mounting.

*One last note on this model is that it’s the only model I tested requiring a 15 amp circuit. Check your fuse box or with an electrician to ensure your outlet will support this model.


Lasko Ceramic Tower 751320

Lasko tower electric space heater
  • Watts – 1500
  • Type – Ceramic
  • Style – Tower
  • Remote – Yes
  • Wifi – No
  • Filter – No
  • Warranty – 3 Years
  • 15 Min Heat Change – 7.4℉ (4th out of 10 units tested)
  • 30 Min Heat Change – 8.1℉ (4th out of 10 units tested)

Coming in at a lower price point than many of the other heaters tested, this Lasko tower heater was the fourth-best when it came to quickly heating my garage gym.

This unit is not designed with a filter or wifi (part of the cost savings, I’m sure), but it does come with a remote and a 3-year warranty.

One drawback of this unit is that it did get hot to the touch when in use. If you have kids or pets, this may be a concern for you. The Lasko AW300 (my top pick) did not get hot to the touch.

If you are looking for a lower-priced tower-style heater, this one is a good choice. It works better than the Honeywell model I tested by quite a bit, and Lasko is a reliable company that designs its own products (unlike Honeywell, which puts its brand name on someone else’s product).

If it’s in the budget, though, I would recommend the Lasko AW300 recommended above as a better option.


Vornado Velocity 5

Vornado Velocity 5 electric space heater
  • Watts – 1500
  • Type – Forced Air
  • Style – Vortex Fan
  • Remote – No
  • Wifi – No
  • Filter – No
  • Warranty – 5 Years
  • 15 Min Heat Change – 7℉ (5th out of 10 units tested)
  • 30 Min Heat Change – 7.5℉ (5th out of 10 units tested)

The Vornado Velocity 5 electric space heater is my top choice for small gyms. I loved the way it circulated the warm air across the entirety of my gym. 

While the Velocity 5 didn’t score quite as well in the heat rankings as the less expensive VH200, it includes some very nice options to have as a home gym owner.

The Velocity 5 has an actual thermostat to set a discreet temperature and a touch-sensitive control panel. This makes it easier to use and set for a comfortable gym.

If your gym is a one-car garage or a similarly small space, the Velocity 5 by Vornado would be an excellent choice for you.


LifeSmart LF-W6-WI-QHM

LifeSmart Infrared space heater
  • Watts – 1500
  • Type – Infrared
  • Style – Cabinet
  • Remote – Yes
  • Wifi – No
  • Filter – Fixed
  • Warranty – 1 Year
  • 15 Min Heat Change – 5.6℉ (6th out of 10 units tested)
  • 30 Min Heat Change – 6.5℉ (6th out of 10 units tested)

This Life Smart infrared heater is a large footprint heater listed to heat spaces up to 1000 square feet. 

I would disagree with that. It didn’t even do a great job in my garage gym, which is considerably smaller than that.

Going into this testing, I expected this type of heater to perform best. I’d been using a similar style heater by Dr. Infrared (reviewed below) for several years and had always been happy.

With most of the models I tested heating my gym more and faster than this one, I don’t recommend this model as an option.

The only thing it does better than the other models tested is it looks a little “nicer.” 


Dr. Infrared

Dr. Infrared electric space heater
  • Watts – 1500
  • Type – Infrared
  • Style – Cabinet
  • Remote – Yes
  • Wifi – No
  • Filter – Washable
  • Warranty – 3 Years
  • 15 Min Heat Change – 4.3℉ (7th out of 10 units tested)
  • 30 Min Heat Change – 4.6℉ (7th out of 10 units tested)

This Dr. Infrared heater is the heater I’ve used and recommended for the last several years. I used to think it was the best electric space heater for my home gym… Not any more.

While it doesn’t do a “bad” job (I was happy with it for years, as I mentioned), it’s just not even close to as effective as the models recommended above.

In fact, the AW300, my top recommended model after extensive testing, heats my garage gym twice as fast as this Dr. Infrared model.

I’ll still put a link to this heater below as it does get great user reviews, but again, it’s not one I recommend with so many other better options available.


Honeywell HZ-385-BP

Honeywell tower electric space heater
  • Watts – 1500
  • Type – Ceramic
  • Style – Tower
  • Remote – No
  • Wifi – No
  • Filter – None
  • Warranty – 1 Year
  • 15 Min Heat Change – 2.2℉ (8th out of 10 units tested)
  • 30 Min Heat Change – 3.7℉ (8th out of 10 units tested)

This heater by Honeywell is an excellent example of the difference between going with a company like Vornado or Lasko and going with a company that doesn’t actually design or make the products it’s selling.

While all the heaters tested for this article are made in China, Vornado and Lasko are US-based companies that design their own products. Pelonis and Honeywell do not.

Honeywell has taken a low-priced, designed, and made-in-China model and put its name on it. The same is true for the two Peloins models listed below.

I point this out because Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Amazon all list quite a few electric space heaters online. Many of them are “made” by companies you haven’t heard of before. They all have 100% 5-star reviews (a big red flag that the reviews are fake), and they are all listed at low prices.

Stay away from these models! They simply don’t heat well at all. This model only heated my garage 4.9 degrees in 90 minutes of run time. That’s less than the top models did in 15 minutes!!!

Regardless of the specific model you buy, stick with companies who actually design their own products like Lasko, Heat Storm, and Vortex.


Pelonis PF-1212-B2-GR

Pelonis ceramic disc space heater
  • Watts – 1500
  • Type – Ceramic
  • Style – Disc/Fan
  • Remote – No
  • Wifi – No
  • Filter – Washable
  • Warranty – 1 Year
  • 15 Min Heat Change – 2℉ (9th out of 10 units tested)
  • 30 Min Heat Change – 2.8℉ (9th out of 10 units tested)

Basically, I have the same things to say about this heater as I do the Honeywell model above.

I don’t recommend it, and I don’t recommend this brand.


Pelonis HO-0279

Pelonis mechanical oil filled space heater
  • Watts – 1500
  • Type – Mechanical Oil Filled
  • Style – Radiant
  • Remote – No
  • Wifi – No
  • Filter – No
  • Warranty – 1 Year
  • 15 Min Heat Change – 0℉ (Last out of 10 units tested)
  • 30 Min Heat Change – 0.7℉ (Last out of 10 units tested)

This Pelonis radiant heater was by far the worst-performing model I tested.

In fairness to this heater, it is not designed to heat anything quickly. This heater is designed to always be on in an interior room that doesn’t need all that much additional heat.

It’s slow, has no convenience features, no thermostat, no remote, and gets very hot to the touch, so it is not an ideal choice for a house with kids.

I don’t recommend this heater for your garage gym.


Complete Comparison Table

BrandModelTypeStyleMade inMSRPWattsFanFilterDimensionsSettingsThermostatRemoteTimerWifiChild LockTip Over Shut OffWarrantySoundTime to Heat Up15 Min Temp Change30 Min Temp Change60 Min Temp Change90 Min Temp ChangeHot to Touch?
LaskoAW300InfraredBladeless TowerChina*$125.991500Yes – OscillatingClean biweekly9″x11″x27″High, Low, AutoYes up to 90Yes1-8 hoursNoNoYes3 Year59db45-60 seconds8.39.511.511.5Warm
VornadoVH200Forced AirFanChina*$79.991500Yes – VortexNone11″x10″x9″Low, high, fanNo – Dial 1-7NoNoNoNoYes5 Year46db45-60 seconds7.98.39.89.7Cool to touch, can put hand directly in front no problem
Heat StormHS-1500-PHX-WIFIInfraredWall Mounted (avail floor w/ no wifi)China*$169.99750/1500Yes – FixedClean biweekly19″x4″x16″High, Low, AutoYesYes plus Wifi on phoneProgrammableYesYes via appNo – wall mount only1 Year75db90 seconds7.88.21011.7Warm on grill, cool elsewhere.
Lasko751320CeramicOscillating TowerChina*$69.991500Yes – OscillatingNone7.25″x7.4″x23″High, Low, AutoYes up to 90Yes7 hourNoNoNo3 Year69db30 seconds7.48.110.411.3Moderately warm on front, cool elsewhere.
VornadoVelocity5Forced AirFanChina*$99.971500Yes – VortexNone12″x8″x9″Low (750 watts), high (1500 watts), fan onlyYes up to 90No1-12 hourNoYesYes5 Year66db45-60 seconds77.511.511.5Cool to touch, can put hand directly in front no problem
LifesmartLF-W6-WI-QHMInfraredCabinetChina$129.00500/1500Yes – FixedLifetime14″x13″x18″High, Low, AutoYesYesDual 12 hour on/offNoYes1 Year55db1 min5.66.58.98.6Grill is warm, rest is cool.
Dr. InfraredDR-968InfraredCabinetChina$129.991500Yes – FixedClean biweekly15″x13″x12″High, Low, AutoYes up to 85YesNoNoNoYes3 Year55db60-90 seconds4.34.66.66.3Grill is hot, nothing else is
HoneywellHZ-385-BPCeramicOscillating TowerChina$64.991500Yes – OscillatingNone22″x9″x7″High, lowYes up to 79No1, 2, 4, 8 hrs.NoNoYes1 Year59db1 min2.23.75.14.9Grill is hot, cabinet is cool.
PelonisPF-1212-B2-GRCeramicFanChina$29.991500Yes – FixedClean biweekly6″x5″x7″Variable low to highNoNoNoNoNoYes1 Year70db30 seconds22.85.16.5Grill is hot, rest is cool
PelonisHO-0279Oil-FilledRadiantChina$49.97600/900/1500NoNA25″x14″x11″High, Low, AutoNo – Dial cold to hotNoNoNoNoYes1 Year40db3 min00.724Yes

Why an Electric Space Heater Instead of Other Options?

I want to address why I chose electric space heaters instead of LP, natural gas, or permanently installed 220v electric heaters. Especially since all 3 of those types of heaters are more effective at heating your garage gym than an electric space heater.

If you have the room and the budget, a permanently installed 220v ceiling-mounted heater will be the most effective way to warm up your garage gym. This one by Farenheat sold on Amazon would be an ideal choice for this type of heater.

If you have natural gas run to your garage, the same can be said of a permanently installed natural gas model like this one by Mr. Heater.

While I love the idea of both of those options, I don’t have the connections, budget, or room for installation. In my garage, a space heater is the only viable choice.

With that said, many people have asked me why not an LP space heater? They put out a lot more heat than electric models, are more efficient, and work even when the power is out.

There are several reasons I don’t use or recommend LP space heaters for a garage gym.

First, they emit carbon monoxide. Most garage gyms don’t have a good way of letting in fresh air, and those that do won’t want to on the coldest days of winter.

Second, they use an open flame to heat the garage, and this isn’t ideal if you have kids or pets.

Third, you need LP tanks. If my track record with my gas grill is any indication, that means that my tank will run out of LP gas on the coldest day of the year.

Because of those things, a 110v electric space heater is the best possible solution for most garage gyms, including my own.

5 Things to Consider When Buying an Electric Space Heater For Your Garage Gym

If you want to train in your garage in the winter and you live in a cold climate, you’re going to have to do something about the temperature. Insulation and weatherproofing are a good first step (see my video here on how to insulate your garage door). But in the end, you’re gonna need a heater too.

Here are five things you should consider when adding a space heater to your garage gym.

What Size is Your Garage?

I have a standard two-car garage, and my gym takes up half of it. This is about as large a space as I’d try to heat with a 110v electric space heater. 

If you are dealing with a 2.5 car garage or larger, you may want multiple heaters. You also might be better off with one of the permanently installed options I mentioned above.

Is Your Garage Attached or Freestanding?

I live in a townhome with units on both sides of me. That means that only one side of my garage is exposed to the elements. Even on the coldest days where it is below zero F outside, my garage rarely goes below 30℉.

If you have a freestanding garage where all four walls and the roof are exposed directly to the outside, you won’t be as lucky as I am. Here insulation will be a high priority.

You may also find that a space heater just isn’t enough. A detached garage in northern Minnesota will get far too cold in the winter for a space heater to do anything of note.

Keep this in mind when setting your expectations for how much a space heater may or may not help the temps in your garage.

What’s Your Electrical Situation?

I cannot run my treadmill and a space heater at the same time without blowing a fuse. Opening the garage door opener will also blow a fuse if the space heater is running.

If you like to have your stereo pumping, cardio machines going, TV on, lights on, and your space heater, you’re going to need to make sure the wiring run to your garage can handle it.

Many garages are limited in outlet placement too. Where are you going to plug your heater in? Will you need an extension cord? Or will you need an electrician to come out to check your circuits and possibly install a new outlet?

When Do You Train?

I train first thing in the morning. After a whole night cooling down, my garage is at its coldest right when I am heading out there to work out.

This means that I have to give my space heater more time than if training later in the day. I typically turn on my space heater at least 30 minutes before I want to work out, and many times, it’s 60 minutes prior.

If you train later in the day, you may be able to get away with a smaller heater. If you train early, as I do, you may want to err on the side of a larger one.

What Else Do You Use Your Garage For?

The only time I ever turn on my space heater is if I’m going to work out. I don’t use my garage for anything else (other than filming YouTube videos). That means I want a heater that heats up fast, warms my training space, and is small, so it’s not in the way.

You may spend a lot more time in your garage. If you need something that heats your garage and then keeps it warm all day long, you may opt for a different heater set up.

The Verdict

For 95% of the people reading this article, the right heater for you is the Lasko AW300. It has almost all the convenience features you could want, and it heats faster than any other model tested.

For the other 5% of you, stick with either the Vornado VH200 (for small gyms or folks on a budget) or the Heat Storm model with wifi (for people who want the control that a smart/wifi capable heater can give them).

Whatever you do, don’t just stop training in the winter! I know it’s cold out there, but summer will be here before you know it and the best way to be ready for summer is to make sure you keep training all winter long!

FAQ

What temp should your garage be to work out?

Experts like the International Fitness Association recommend that your gym be no warmer than 68℉ for both aerobic and resistance training. It is not unsafe to train above or below that temperature, and as long as you are adequately warmed up, let your comfort level guide you more than anything.

Are electric space heaters safe?

All models I tested for this article have tip-over protection, overheating protection, or both. They are also all either UL or ETL certified, which means that a third party has tested them and certified them as safe.

That said, always take care to place space heaters away from flammable material. Ensure there is no build-up of fumes or flammable gasses in your garage.
It’s also a good idea to never leave a running space heater unattended.

Do I need a special outlet for an electric space heater?

All of the heaters tested in this article use a standard 110v outlet. Nine of the ten models are 12.5 amps which means any standard household outlet will support the heater. 

The Heat Storm model tested above requires a 110v 15 amp outlet. I had no issues in my garage, but you may want to check with an electrician if you aren’t sure whether or not your outlet will support this unit.

Any heater calling for 220v or 230v power will require a dedicated outlet of that type. This is different than a standard household outlet. Contact a qualified electrician to install a 220v or 230v outlet in your garage.

How much does it cost to run an electric space heater?

The average 1500 watt space heater costs about .20 per hour to run. For comparison, your fridge uses about 1/7 of a space heater’s electricity, and your TV uses about 1/20.

Outside of your HVAC system, a space heater uses more electricity than just about anything else in your house.

Why does my new space heater smell bad?

When brand new, the internal parts of your heater will have a very light coating of oil. The first time you run the heater, it will “burn off” that oil and cause a smell. There is no danger of fire, and this is normal for all electric heaters.

Do I still need an air purifier if the heater has a filter?

Yes! See my full article for complete guidance on air filters and purifiers for your home.

The filters you find on some heaters keep dust and dirt particles from entering the heater and causing smells or damage to the unit. They are for very large particles only and aren’t effectively filtering or cleaning the air in your gym.

close

DON'T MISS OUT, GET THE GYMCRAFTER NEWSLETTER!!!

Be the first to get exclusive content, free resources, and ninja level tips on building and making the most of your home gym!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

DID YOU LIKE THIS? GET MORE!

Be the first to get exclusive content, free resources, and ninja level tips on building and making the most of your home gym!

We promise we’ll never spam! Take a look at our Privacy Policy for more info.