Best Space Heaters Not Made in China

Best Space Heaters Not Made in China

Original post date 1/10/24. Last updated 5/10/24.

Here’s what you might call a cautionary tale about made in China crap.

Back in 2018, I didn’t think to check country of origin. If it was sold on an American marketplace, I figured, then someone probably did the vetting to make sure a product was safe and responsibly made.

Living in an apartment, one of the silly purchases I always wanted to make was one of those portable heaters that looks like a fireplace. Imagine the thrill I got when I saw a nice unit for sale for $45, which was easily the cheapest price for this kind of thing I could find anywhere. I jumped at it.

I used it sporadically over the years, maybe 2-3 a year at most, and I was reasonably happy with it. I was a bit surprised at how cheaply it was made (the “fire” is just a rolling cellophane wrapper lit up by an LED light, but it looked reasonably real.

Fast forward to this morning. It was an oddly chilly May morning so I put the heater in my daughter’s room. She went to flip the switch on, and it blew a fuse, turning all the power in the house off. I went and turned the fuse back on.

To my horror, I walked into her room to see that the on switch had broken completely off and there were parts of the on switch lying on the floor. I asked her what happened, and she said she just flipped the switch on as normal and it came apart.

I plugged in the unit again to test it out and a big spark came from the outlet and the lights went off again. I realized that there was a short in the unit. This is the sort of thing that could easily cause a deadly electric shock or an electrical fire, but thank God everyone was fine.

For the first time since I bought it I looked at the label, and sure enough here’s what it said.

I bought the unit from a place called “Factory Direct Wholesale” via Rakuten which appears to be out of business as of this writing. Doing a Google reverse image search on the product image, I can see that over the years the China manufacturer has sold this thing under numerous names, including “Kismile”, “Auseo”, “Lenoxx”, “RWFLAME”, “COWSAR”. The pattern is similar. The product listing starts with rave reviews, there’s one horrible review recounting a story similar to the one I had, and then the product goes out of stock and shows up again under a different listing.

Had, heaven forbid, my daughter been injured or my apartment burned down, there would be no one to hold accountable for it. The statute of limitations is probably long past and the China manufacturer and its American enablers has done a masterful job of hiding its tracks.

At one time in history, you could count on merchandisers and buyers at retail stores to vet products for you, and you could rely on the UL seal of approval. Today, those companies and organizations see electrocution and arson as simply “the cost of doing business”. We consumers are on their own. As direct-to-consumer marketplaces like Temu and Shein become popular, expect this to happen more and more.

Even the highest rated unit on Amazon, the Duraflame Electric Infared Quartz Fireplace Stove, has multiple reviewers warning that this is a fire hazard (to Amazon’s credit, they don’t censor these reviews). That’s because Duraflame doesn’t actually make these—they too are made by a Chinese company who licenses Duraflame’s name.

Here’s the sad thing. I can’t afford a MagikFlame, which costs about $4000. And so I’m stuck with a question. Do I buy a cheap unit made in China and continue to reward China manufacturers for ensuring their products are made with the least possible quality to pass inspection (from greedy Americans it likely bribed, directly or indirectly?) Or do I pay a little extra and reward brands that continue to pursue and stand behind quality and customer safety?

Original post follows.

I lost count of how many other made in China space heaters I’ve bought that have ended up in a landfill. It’s the same pattern every time. Winter comes and it gets really cold. I see a well known brand on sale. I buy it. Within two winters, the heating element or the fan motor has burned out.

Of course, brands making things in China get away with a huge scam. The heater will seem to work for one winter, but by the next winter the unit will fail outside of the one-year manufacturer warranty.

There are a handful of companies that are keeping at least some of their products made in the USA. Okay, the probable explanation is that keeping these production lines in the USA open so they can bid on government contracts. But it’s cool of them to allow the rest of us to purchase these made in USA models. If you buy from a brand like this, send a CLEAR message by opting for the Made in USA one, NOT the Made in China one (and be assured that your model will last years longer than the schleps who didn’t read the label).

Best Space Heaters Not Made in China

1. Vornado VH2 Whole Room Heater and AVH2 Advanced Whole Room Heater

One thing I love about Vornado is that while many of their units are made in China, they make sure to keep some of their air circulators, space heaters, and humidifiers made in the USA.

Both of these units are fantastic. Vornado, of course, invented whole room air circulation technology back in 1945, and to this day nobody does it better. By adding a heating element into their air circulators, they ensure that heated air can get to every corner of your room.

I love that they back their product with a 5 year warranty. Something as simple as this shows their confidence in their quality and their understanding that a heater is meant to last for years, not for half of one winter.

You can buy these at Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart, or Lowes.

2. Envi Plug-in Electric Panel Wall Heater

I appreciate that EHeat, makers of the Envi Heater, explain on their site that they can’t use the phrase “Made in the USA” because their parts are manufactured overseas. But they go on to say that they assemble all of their products here in the US.

If you’ve read my other reviews, you’ll know my philosophy that this is better than nothing—the reality is that small companies can’t afford to get certain components outside of China because big companies have allowed China to monopolize their production. But at least they’re keeping SOME jobs here.

Honestly, while I appreciate the sentiment behind the FTC’s crackdown on sites that say “Made in the USA” I hate that they focus on punishing small businesses that are at least trying—and completely ignoring retailers like Amazon, Google, and Wayfair who continue to misrepresent, mislead, and obfuscate country of origin.

In any case, they’re absolutely worthy of your purchase. This is NOT one of those annoying companies that says “Designed in the USA”. There are actual Americans putting these units together, so you can be sure of their quality and safety—not to mention more of your money going to help your fellow citizens and not a dictatorship.

The Envi heater is a wall-mounted electric heater that plugs right into your wall outlet. It heats a whole room of 130-150 square feet using natural convection heating which uses much less power (only 500 watts) than conventional heaters. Watch your heating bill go down by 50% of more. It’s also completely silent, as there are no fans blowing air.

It’s safe to have around children and pets (the most it’ll get is 90°F; human skin doesn’t begin to feel pain until 111° which is the temperature of hot bathwater).

Reviews are mostly overwhelmingly positive. One clever reviewer talked about how he put a tiny fan under the unit to boost the heat output, but most reviewers seem happy to use it as is.

3. Lasko Electric Cyclonic Ceramic Console Heater

If you’re read my article on the best air filters, I have a box fan from Lasko that’s made in the USA that I used to make a DIY air filtration / purification device. That thing is a workhorse.

I was disappointed for years to hear that Lasko had offshored most of their heater manufacturing to China, but I was happy to learn that there are certain models they make in the USA.

Specifically, the CC24910 is available at Home Depot, while the CC24920 is available at Walmart. They come with loads of features like two quiet heat settings, and 8-hour auto-off timer, and an adjustable thermostat.

Make sure you pick the right model number, as the made in China models look identical and their model numbers look very similar. Be sure to check the box to make doubly sure.

I notice that these fall in and out of stock a lot, so I hope this wasn’t just a publicity stunt by Lasko. If you see a made in USA one, grab it.

4. Sunheat Electric Infared Heater

This Sunheat Infared Heater isn’t cheap, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful one, with its cabinet assembled in the USA by a Amish father and son team in Ohio. It comes with a built-in thermostat for you to control.

It’ll heat up to 1,000 square feet with safe, comfortable heat, although as with all infared heaters the larger the room the more you’ll need to use it as a supplemental heat source vs. a primary one.

They’re refreshingly transparent when answering questions from customers on their Home Depot page; they acknowledge that the infared heating elements are “manufactured overseas at a proprietary factory” (and we all know what that means). But they do say that over 90% of the product is made in the USA (and they couldn’t say that unless it was).

5. Dyson Hot+Cool HP07 Air Purifier, Heater, and Fan

Another heater in the “not cheap but absurdly good” category is the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Air Purifier, Heater, and Fan. If you’ve read my post on best NMIC air purifiers this one should be pretty familiar to you.

Essentally, Dyson used technology it perfected with vacuum cleaners and hair dryers to make this whole room heater that doesn’t just heat the room, it cleans the air too.

If the price tag for the latest generation model is a bit steep for you, they do sell a model based on previous generation technology, often at a nice discount.

6. Infratech Heaters

These heaters aren’t going to be for everyone, but I include them here because I love to highlight companies that are unabashedly made in the USA.

These heaters are mainly for use in outdoor applications like outdoor patios, backyards, and solariums. They generally do need to be installed by a professional.

7. MagikFlame Electric Fireplace

At $3795 these are decidedly not for most people. but if you’ve got a nice house and some disposable income, they are the most realistic looking electric fireplace you can buy. These aren’t your usual made-in-China fake fireplaces that shine an LED light on a spinning refractor with 3D patterns. They feature holographic flames with 30 flame settings to choose from, as well as natural sound effects like crackling logs. You can even control it with a remote control.

According to their Web site, they’re a small family business who fabricates their products in Nashville, Tennessee.


I was bracing for the worst, but I was pretty happy to see a nice selection of space heaters not made in China. Be sure to support vendors like Lasko and Vornado that still made some units in the USA.

Do you know of other heaters that are not made in China? Let us know in the comments!

1 Comment

  1. What you see a lot in Europe these days are infrared panels. You can attach this to the wall or ceiling and radiate heat. These panels are produced in various European countries. I have seen panels produced in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic. I have also seen some from South Korea. But beware, of course the Chinese have also discovered this and they also produce these infrared panels.

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