If you're in the market for a space heater but don't want to empty your wallet to purchase one, the AmazonBasics 1500W Ceramic might be the way to go. While it isn't as effective as its high-performance rivals, it still does a decent job of raising the temperature in a workspace, small room, or living space to a comfortable level. It's lacking some bells & whistles, but for many applications added features are unnecessary.
AmazonBasics 1500W Review
Pros: Compact, affordable, doubles as a fan
Cons: Lacks features and settings, mediocre performance
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Where the AmazonBasics stands out is in its simplicity. While it may lack certain features that some may find desirable, for others the added advantages of bells & whistles are not proportionate to the added cost. This model also has an option to use it as a fan without the heating element being engaged making it useful in warm months as well whereas models that don't have this option will be useless unless it's cold.
We found that the AmazonBasics is great for personal heat, so long as you are close to the device. One thing we love about the AmazonBasics 1500W is that it heats up very rapidly — once turned on this model immediately cranks out hot air.
The rapid warm-up in combination with its compact design makes the AmazonBasics a spectacular choice if you're looking for a model to fit under your desk. Other than the warmth and a quiet humming of the fan motor, we could hardly notice that the unit was there.
The AmazonBasics has a setting to run the fan without the heating element which really makes it two products in one because it has a purpose in the summer for personal cooling or air circulation. While other space heaters may have fancy digital controls, the AmazonBasics model keeps it simple with two simple dials — one for adjusting the thermostat, the other for selecting between low, high, or the fan-only option.
The 1500W Ceramic has a small button on the bottom of the unit that will cut the power to the device unless it is depressed so that if the heater ever gets knocked over it automatically turns off. This is great for households with pets and children who don't understand the safety implications of a 1500 watt heating element running in an improper position.
We wanted to test how well each model could do at heating up a small room over a given period of time. To test this, we used a laboratory-grade temperature to track the temperature change every 20 minutes up to 60 minutes in a 161 square foot room. We were careful to be sure that the temps in adjacent rooms, as well as the outside temperatures, were close to the same for each model.
Starting with an ambient temperature of 63 degrees Fahrenheit, the AmazonBasics was able to raise the warmth of the room to 73.4 degrees for a total increase of 10.1 degrees over the course of an hour. This was about the middle of the road when compared to the other space heaters in our review.
While the AmazonBasics 1500W Ceramic performed decently well below a desk and in a small room, when we tried it out in a living room its performance was less than impressive. The design of this model only allows for the heat to be directed at one angle so if you're far enough away the heat simply rises to the top of the room before it you can feel it.
While the 1500W Ceramic may be very simple to operate, simplicity doesn't necessarily translate to convenience. We found that this model is lacking several features that would make it easier to use in most cases.
The AmazonBasics doesn't include a remote, so you'll be standing up or bending over to make any adjustments to the thermostat or power settings. This device is also lacking a timer — if you want it to have a shutoff time you're going to have to use an external timer plug or smart plug.
Nearly all of the space heaters in our review have an electronic user interface with a digital temperature readout — the 1500W Ceramic is lacking both. As far as setting this model to a set temperature it's just a guessing game.
Finally, when we used a wattmeter to measure the amount of kilowatts this model burns up in an hour we were a bit disappointed.
After an hour this heater used 1.39 kilowatts at its highest setting, so we can assume that it will use 13.9 kilowatts after 10 hours. Using the national average for the price of kilowatts per hour of 13.17 cents at the time of this review, we calculated that this model will cost $1.83 to run for 10 hours, which translates to $55 to run it 10 hours a day per month.
Even though the AmazonBasics 1500W Ceramic fell far short of the performance of the top models in our review in several ways, we still think it's a tremendous value given its ridiculously low price.
All in all, the AmazonBasics model is your run-of-the-mill, simplistic space heater. It's great that it doubles as a fan and it does a decent job of heating small areas. This device is lacking in fancy features, but for some, that may be a selling point. Although this wasn't our favorite heater during our assessment we would still recommend it to those looking for an uncomplicated product at a rock bottom price.
— Ross Patton and Austin Palmer