When your bathroom is cold, even a warm shower isn’t delightful. At the back of your head, you know that immediately you step out of the shower, you’ll be freezing – perhaps even shaking.
A bathroom ceiling heater can change all that instantly. The right heater will add sufficient warmth to your bathroom, boosting both the comfort and mood. As has been shown many times, it’s what you need to start enjoying your bathroom time more.
If you’ve been struggling to find one such heater, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we review some of the best bathroom ceiling heaters to consider, and after that, provide useful tips to help you identify a model that would be best for your needs.
Why You Beed a Bathroom Heater
The first step is to understand why you need a bathroom heater in the first place. You likely already have a central heating system? Why do you need to spend money on an extra space heater for the bathroom?
There are a couple of reasons;
- Reduce your heating costs: Having the central heating system running all the time or extended periods is one of the surest ways to increase your home heating costs. Investing in a dedicated bathroom heater means you can get enough warmth in the bathroom while keeping the central thermostat at a lower temperature.
- Prevents overworking of the central furnace: Aside from the higher heating costs, overworking the central heating system also impacts the unit’s life. Within no time, you may begin to experience frequent breakdowns (occasioned by faster wear and tear). An overworked central heater also has a shorter life.
- Reduce cold air backdraft: Many people forget that the air in your home is continuously moving through natural convection. Colder air will come in to take the place of warm air, and the cycle keeps going on that way. If the bathroom is too cold, the cold air from the toilet will eventually enter your warmer rooms as a backdraft.
Additionally, bathroom heaters help reduce fogging on mirrors, keep your bathroom fixtures dry and safe from rust, and reduce air leakage.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Ceiling Heater for Bathroom
Bathroom ceiling heaters are mostly compact electric heaters in the range of 250 watts to 4,000 watts. The following are some of the considerations to help you pick out the right one depending on your needs;
Type of Heater
There are two broad categories of bathroom ceiling heaters; ceramic and infrared. Ceramic heaters are convective heaters that use a unique fan mechanism to distribute heat throughout the room. They utilize a built-in ceramic disk to enhance user safety at high temperatures. Meanwhile, infrared heaters are radiant heaters that generate gentle, healthy heat by warming integrated tile plates.
The heater’s wattage is almost always indicated both on the heater itself and the product package. What you need to know is that the highest wattage doesn’t equate to the best heater. Assess your needs and determine the appropriate wattage for your needs. Experts recommend about 11 watts for every square foot of space.
Permanent or Not
It doesn’t make a lot of sense to have the wall heater permanently installed if you’re a tenant. Heck, maybe it’s not even allowed, in which case a temporary model is more practical. For homeowners, however, a permanently installed heater means you do the work once and for all.
Size of the Bathroom
As we’ve seen, the size of the bathroom will affect the wattage needed for heating. But, it doesn’t end there – it may also affect the physical size of the heater. A bathroom with a lower ceiling, for instance, would work better with a heating system that recesses into (rather than mounts onto) the ceiling. A smaller bathroom may also require a physically smaller heater for visual balance.
Your bathroom heaters shouldn’t just be about pumping heat into the bathroom. It must do so efficiently and allow convenient and comfortable control of heat settings.
To this end, extra features such as a thermostat, numerous temperature settings, a user-friendly control interface, a thermostat, remote control, a timer, and low noise levels are important considerations.
Bathroom Ceiling Heater Safety
Although ceiling heaters are inherently safer, it’s still important to keep safety considerations when shopping for bathroom ceiling heaters. We recommend the following;
- Look out for safety features: For a bathroom ceiling heater, such features might include automatic overheating shutoff, waterproofing, and how well the heater handles damp conditions.
- Check for safety certifications: A great ceiling heater is certified by a recognized standards agency such as UL, NTRL, or the CSA.
- Read and follow the user guide: The user guide will usually tell you almost everything you need to do to stay safe while prolonging your heater’s life.
7 Best Bathroom Ceiling Heater Reviews & Comparison Table
1. Broan-NuTone 157 Low-Profile Fan-Forced Ceiling Heater
- LOW PROFILE HEATER: Ceiling-mounted heater provides an energy-saving heating supplement to your home while operating at 1250W and 120VAC
- FUNCTIONAL DESIGN: Low profile housing and enclosed, metal sheath element ensure reliable use
- DURABLE: Made with a durable aluminum grille with a satin finish to match your existing decor
- TRUSTWORTHY: Includes a permanently lubricated motor, automatic overheat protection, and UL listing to ensure reliable, safe operation every use
- EASY INSTALLATION: Unit mounts easily to any standard 3-1/2” or 4” round or 4” octagonal ceiling electrical box, providing versatile choices for an easy setup
The NuTone 157 is a fan-forced or infrared heater constructed with a durable aluminum grille and finished in an attractive satin coating. It comes in a low-profile house that fits in any décor.
It mounts to any standard 3 ½ to 4-inch round or 4-inch octagonal ceiling electrical box. Once installed, the grille extends only about two inches from the ceiling.
The unit’s enclosed long-life metal sheath delivers up to 1,250 watts of instant heat. It’s recommended that the unit is controlled via a choice of Broan wall controls (sold separately). The complete heater assembly conveniently removes from the housing for cleaning.
The Broan is UL listed and comes with a permanently lubricated motor and overheat protection for safe operation. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.
- Radiant 1,250 watt heating
- Low profile housing with a satin finish
- Lightweight (at just 1.0lb)
- Easy installation
- One-year limited warranty
- 86W line-voltage thermostat sold separately
- Required minute timer sold separately
2. Broan-NuTone 9093WH Exhaust Fan, Heater, and Light Combo
- BATHROOM COMBO: Exhaust fan with heater and light combo powerful enough to heat rooms up to 65 sq. ft. Housing Dimensions- 13-1/4 x 13-1/4 x 7-1/2 inch
- EASY TO USE: Four-function wall switch included so you have the right switch to control all functions right out of the box
- QUICK INSTALLATION: Easy to install and/or replace an existing product for DIY'ers with included pieces
- STRONG PERFORMANCE: 1500W heating element and 70CFM ventilation fan provide optimum performance at 3. 5, so you can have a touch of heat just when you need it without disturbing the whole house
- DECORATIVE AND EFFECTIVE: Bright 100-Watt incandescent lighting provides clean, even light for pleasant surroundings and enough light to focus on the details. The 7-Watt nightlight provides a soft glow to light your bath during those nighttime visits. The white enamel grille is a suitable match for any decor, no matter how many times you change the paint color!
Another Broan NuTone on the list, the 9093WH, is a little more convincing at 1,500 watts, though it can deliver up to 1,717 watts at 120 volts. It’s ideal for bathrooms up to 100 square feet.
Additionally, unlike the NuTone 157, this unit features a 100-watt incandescent bulb that delivers a clean, even light. The bulb is sold separately.
The unit installs into any round 4-inch duct size. All the necessary installation pieces are included. A four-function wall switch is also included, so you have complete control over the heating in your bathroom.
Something else you’ll love about the 9093WH is the nightlight. The 7-watt nightlight provides a soft glow during nighttime bathroom visits, with a white enamel grille boosting the light.
The 9093WH comes in a galvanized steel housing, delivers heat at 70CFM, and is UL Listed. It extends just three inches from the ceiling.
- Incredible heater-light combo
- 1,500 watts of heating power
- Decorative and effective
- Soft glow night lighting
- UL Listed
- Requires professional installation
- Some parts (e.g. infrared bulb) sold separately
3. Delta BreezRadiance RAD80L 80 CFM Exhaust Bath Fan with Light and Heater
- Quiet operation at 1.5 sones
- Built-in thermostat regulates temperature. Energy efficiency at 7.6 CFM/Watt
- Precision engineered with DC brushless motor for extended reliability, this fan will outlast many household appliances
- Galvanized steel construction resists corrosion
- Duct: Detachable 4-inch Plastic Duct Adapter
- 15 A
A common issue with bathroom heaters is noise. Most heaters pump out heat in sufficient quantities, but the noise is too much, which can negate all the gains of bathroom heating. The DeltaBreeze RAD80L is one of the quietest heaters, delivering heat at just 1.5 sones.
Aside from the noiseless operation, the RAD80L features an inbuilt thermostat for temperature regulation. It’s also very efficient. The power consumption of 10.5 watts, with an efficiency rating of 7.6 CFM per watts, is the highest in the industry.
The unit is precision engineered with a galvanized steel construction and DC brushless motor for extended reliability. It is Energy Star Qualified and HVI Certified.
- Energy-saving DC motor technology
- Built-in thermostat
- Durable metal construction
- Thermal cutoff
- CFL lamp included
- Best for smaller bathrooms
4. Qmark CP371F RADIANT HEATERS
- Radiant heating is efficient, comfortable with no moving air
- Designed to surface mount on a flat ceiling, be recessed into a ceiling, or lay into a T-bar suspended ceiling
- Ceiling panels allows full use of wall and floor space
- Package Dimensions: 27.0" L x 27.0" W x 2.63" H
A single-phase radiant panel heater rated at 120 volts, the QMark CP371F features a galvanized/aluminized steel back construction and a 22-gauge galvanized steel front housing for long-lasting protection.
It’s rated at 3.1 Amp and 375 watts (equivalent to about 1,280 BTU) and measures roughly 24 x 24 x 1.5 inches.
This heater offers a clean, gentle, and comfortable warmth. An encapsulated cassette element delivers the heat uniformly across the entire panel surface. The crystalline nature of the surface is designed to enhance the radiant characteristics of the panel.
It’s also a light unit (weighing 0.01 ounces) that installs very easily. The unit is design tested and comes with overheat protection.
- Efficient radiant heating
- Attractive crystalline panel
- Recesses cleanly into the ceiling
- Panels allow for full use of floor and walls
- Thermostat sold separately
- Ideal for smaller bathrooms
5. Broan-NuTone 162 Type IC Infrared Single-Bulb Ceiling Heater with Fan
- HIGH-QUALITY HEATER AND FAN COMBO: Heater and fan combo provides instant comfort to your bathroom without turning up the central thermostat for money-saving warmth
- ENERGY-EFFICIENT: Heats using a 250-Watt R40 or BR40 Infrared bulb (not included)
- EFFICIENT: Ventilation fan operates at 70 CFM and 4.0 Sones for a high-quality, quiet performance
- DISCREET: Type IC (Insulation Contact) unit is installed into your ceiling so all but the bulbs and white grille shows in your room for a clean and cohesive appearance
- EASY INSTALLATION: Sturdy steel housing, adjustable mounting brackets with keyhole slots, plug-in permanently lubricated motor, and 4" round duct connector with tapered sleeves make installation logical and simple
- 70 CFM and 3.5-Sones
- Attractive white grille
- One bulb Heater and fan
Heater plus fan combos aren’t uncommon when shopping for a bathroom heater. They are all-season units that will also keep the bathroom cool during the hot weather. This Broan Nu-Tone is one of the better combos out there.
It’s a small (capacity-wise) unit rated at just 250 watts (you’ll need to buy the required infrared bulbs separately). The fan, meanwhile, operates at 70 CFM and 4.0 Sones. Both of these are industry standards. The unit recesses into your ceiling such that only the white grille and bulb show in your room.
You don’t have to worry about durability as the unit is made from sturdy steel. An adjustable mounting bracket with keyhole slots, a permanently lubricated motor, and a duct connector with tapered sleeves are included.
- Sturdy steel housing
- Efficient heating element
- Heating + fan operation
- 70 CFM, 4-Sones fan
- Low-priced (at under $50)
- Infrared bulbs not included
6. Aero Pure A515A W Quiet Bathroom Fan with Heat and Light
- Air volume- 80 CFM; Noise level- 1.0 sones
- Includes multi-function switch, 2 270W anti-blast heat lamps and a 60W incandescent bulb
- Fan, heater, and light may be wired separately
- UL/CUL Listed when used with GFCI branch circuit wire; do not install directly over tub/shower enclosure
- Grill Dimensions: 15.75" W x 9.06" D. Housing dimensions- 7.25 x 13.18 x 7.05 inches
Aero Pure’s A515A is another heater + fan combo that allows you to heat the bathroom in colder months and introduce air conditioning when the warmer months set it.
It also features a 60-watt incandescent bulb for lighting. The heater, fan, and light bulb can be wired and used separately.
The extra-wide anti-blast heat lamps (rated at 270 watts) keep your bathroom warm without cold spots. This model uses two such lamps, but some models accommodate up to four lamps.
The unit operates at 80 CFM (which is industry standard) and just 1.0 Sones (better than the industry average of 4 Sones).
This unit comes with standard mounting brackets, the necessary bulbs, and a switch. It’s backed by a 4-year warranty.
- Backdraft damper
- Easy maintenance grills
- Multi-function switch
- Rustproof steel housing
- 4-year warranty
- A dedicated circuit breaker may be needed
- Requires professional installation
7. Panasonic FV-11VHL2 WhisperWarm 110 CFM Ceiling Mounted Fan/Heat/Light-Night
- EXTREMELY QUIET: At .7 sones, this bathroom fan is so quiet you might not know it's on.
- LONG LIFE, GUARANTEED: Panasonic ventilation fans use less energy to move larger volumes of air. Less energy leads to less overheating and motor failure, saving you on repair costs. Included 3-year limited warranty.
- EASY-TO-INSTALL: Designed for use with 4" ducts, this ventilation fan comes with all needed mounting hardware.
- HEATED, CLEAN AIR: Increase your air quality as you eliminate chilly mornings in addition to humidity, mold, mildew, and other air pollutants from any room.
- CODE COMPLIANT: This product is ENERGY STAR certified and complies with ASHRAE 62.2, LEED, California Title 24, Washington VIAQ codes and standards.
- Panasonic WhisperWarm Ceiling Mounted Fan/Heat Combinations are smaller, quieter, warmer, and easier to install
- A tubular, stainless-steel-sheathed heating element features Nichrome wire with magnesium oxide for optimal heat transfer
- Blower Wheel Type Sirocco is designed to draw air in both sides allowing more area for air to enter the wheel
- Continuous, trouble-free operation for many years due to high-quality components and permanently lubricated motors
- Rated 110 cubic feet per minute
Panasonic heaters are some of the best at moving unhealthy air and moisture out of the home, and the Whisper Warm FV-11VHL2 lives up to this legacy.
The 110 CFM ceiling fan/heat/light/nightlight combo delivers gentle warmth to your bathroom via a tubular, stainless steel sheathed heating element. The element is made from chromium wire with magnesium oxide.
In addition to the heat, it also adds overhead lighting thanks to two 18-watt compact fluorescent lamps. A convenient 4-watt nightlight is the other addition included to helps you find your way around the bathroom at night. All the lights are included in the package.
The unit is easy to install and comes with all the necessary installation hardware. It’s backed by a 3-year warranty.
- Guaranteed long life
- Energy Star Certified
- All bulbs included
- 3-year warranty
- It’s a bit loud at 7 Sones
Now that we know some of the best products in this category, let’s turn to the shopping process. What do you need to know when shopping for a bathroom ceiling heater?
In the end, a bathroom ceiling heater is a very sensible addition to your home heating arsenal. The heaters are rarely expensive, but add much-needed warmth to the bathroom while helping out the central heating system.
Just make sure you find the best ceiling heater for bathroom in terms of wattage, physical size, working mechanism, and the extras you might desire, such as Wi-Fi control or aesthetics.