The worst part of winter is not the snow, ice, or frostbite. It’s that during this very specific period, our homes’ centralized heating systems always find a way to shut off completely until spring. And it’s not just us; you’ve probably experienced difficulties in getting a repairman to fit you into his busy schedule due to an overwhelming number of orders. In this situation, you have two choices: freeze your fingers off as nature intended, or use a space heater. We prefer the latter.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the 500-watt Space Heater by AmazonBasics, and extremely inexpensive heating appliance that, according to its customers, does an excellent job at warming the air in small spaces. Let’s take a look at what makes this AmazonBasics space heater such a beloved heating solution.
The AmazonBasics 500-watt Space Heater is designed to be used in tiny spaces. It has an extremely small profile of only 6.3 x 6.3 inches while leaving only a 6.3 x 3-inch footprint. The compact space heater is great when placed on tables or desks to keep your fingers toasty during the cold, wintry months.
50-square-foot Coverage Area
We’re a little bit generous with this statement. The AmazonBasics is such a small space heater that it won’t adequately heat every corner of a 50-square-foot room. However, when used in close-quarters, or even when left in the average-sized bathroom, this 500-watt space heater can leave the air feeling drier and significantly warmer from wall-to-wall.
Space heaters are naturally dangerous appliances. The biggest risk of using any space heater is its tipping over and setting fire to carpeting, stacks of paper, or melting plastic. Thankfully, the AmazonBasics 500-watt Space Heater is designed with a sturdy base, despite its small footprint, and a tip-over safety switch as extra insurance. If the unit tips over in any direction, it’ll automatically shut off.
Simplicity at its Best
AmazonBasics products are not known for being equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Their simplicity is the main source of their extremely budget-friendly price tags.
This 500-watt space heater is no different; it does not come with a remote control, a thermostat, a built-in timer, oscillation, or overheat protection. This is a straightforward, plug-and-go space heater with a non-heating cord and an on/off switch.
Questionable Coil-to-Grill Distance
One thing that’s missing in the AmazonBasics 500-watt Space Heater is a cool-to-the-touch grill. This isn’t the most important feature in the world, especially if you know how to safely place and operate a space heater, but one thing that concerns us is the distance between the coils and outer metal grill.
What this means is that the metal grill will become almost as hot as the coils which can become a real fire hazard while standing on its base.
Available in 4 Colors
Aesthetics should be of no concern when shopping for a space heater unless you’re looking for a model to match the general color scheme of your home or a room. Granted, this space heater from AmazonBasics isn’t the most eye-pleasing model out there, but it is available in four color options (black, blue, red, and white) that probably won’t clash too horribly with whatever design scheme you have going on.
AmazonBasics vs. Honeywell HCE100B Heater
It’s not just the AmazonBasics 500-watt Space Heater that’s inexpensive and effective in small spaces and close quarters. The market is full of compact space heaters just waiting to thaw your digits in the wintry months. In the following sections, we’re going to compare the AmazonBasics to other personal space heaters, starting with the Honeywell HCE100B.
The Honeywell is a compact space heater that stands only 6.5 inches tall on a 5.7 x 4-inch oval base. At first glance, the Honeywell doesn’t have much appeal to it. Like the AmazonBasics, it’s available in four color options (sleek black, white, red, and a horrifyingly wicked turtle-green). But you know what they say: looks aren’t everything.
This is only a 250-watt model so it won’t heat as wide of an area as the AmazonBasics. However, you can’t realistically expect a personal space heater to do much more than heat the immediate area in front of the grill – something that both the AmazonBasics and Honeywell are extremely efficient in doing.
Similar to the AmazonBasics, this is a basic space heater without any features that add to the convenience. It does not use a remote control, it has a single fan speed, and there’s no oscillating feature. The lack of bells and whistles makes this, as well as the AmazonBasics, the ideal heater for less-than-well-off college students in dorms.
Overall, we can’t find any significant differences between the AmazonBasics and the Honeywell other than their different wattage ratings. So if you’d like to shave fractions of a cent off of your electricity bill every month, the 250-watt Honeywell would the heater for you.
AmazonBasics vs. Lasko 5409 Heater
Now, we’re entering into a realm of space heaters that is worlds apart from the AmazonBasics. The Lasko 5409 is a more sophisticated model with a wide range of features that put the AmazonBasics to shame.
It’s worth noting that the Lasko towers over the AmazonBasics by several inches. Its coils are housed in a black or silver 9.2-inch tower with a 7- x 4-inch base, so it fits great in tiny rooms and on top of desks or tables.
One might think of placing the Lasko underneath a table to warm their delicate toes, but the lack of a tip-over switch says otherwise. It’s best to keep the Lasko in view at all times since the only way this heater will automatically shut down is if it overheats.
The Lasko 5409 is a 1,500-watt model that can heat large rooms of up to 300 square feet. It has an adjustable thermostat that gives users the freedom to heat the room to their preferred toastiness. The 5409 does not have a digital or analog readout of heat output. Finding your optimal temperature requires a bit of testing.
The Lasko has three fan settings – fan only, low speed, and high speed – to improve the rate at which it heats an entire room. To distribute heat evenly, you can activate the optional oscillation feature with a push of a button.
The Lasko 5409 Space Heater is unlike the AmazonBasics in many ways. If you’re in the market for a personal space heater that is compact, easy to move, has a wider heating coverage capacity, and comes with a ton of different features, then ditch the AmazonBasics and opt for the Lasko 5409 instead.
AmazonBasics vs. Andily Space Heater
The final personal heater we’re going to put head-to-head against the AmazonBasics is the 1,500-watt Andily Space Heater. This can be considered the middle-ground model between the AmazonBasics and the Lasko in size and features.
The Andily stands at 8.3 inches with a compact 4.7- x 6.2-inch base. The small profile makes it ideal for placing in small rooms or on top or beneath desks. However, of all the models we’ve looked at, including the AmazonBasics, it’s the least appealing in terms of grill design and shape, but that’s just our opinion.
It’s a pretty sturdy personal space heater that comes with an auto-kill switch when it tips over or reaches an internal temperature of 167°F. This will come in handy if/when you accidentally forget to unplug the unit.
On top of the Andily, you’ll find two dials – one with three presets that control the fan (fan only, low speed, and high speed), and another a thermostat dial that gives you full control over how hot you like it. The Andily can heat rooms of up to 300 square feet in area, but without an oscillating feature, it’ll take quite a bit of time to do so. The auto-kill switch may activate before the farthest corner of the room heats up.
On the front-facing panel of the Andily is an indicator light which alerts owners whether the unit is plugged in or not. This is a simple yet underappreciated feature that’s not present in the AmazonBasics.