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Dr. Infrared Heater DR-968 Review

If you're looking for an infrared space heater, this is an excellent choice
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-968
Credit: Laura Casner
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $130 List | $118.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Great remote, has wheels, elementary controls
Cons:  Bulky, no oscillation
Manufacturer:   Dr. Infrared Heater
By Ross Patton and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Mar 3, 2020
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56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Personal Heat - 40% 5
  • Convenience - 30% 7
  • Small Room - 20% 5
  • Power Consumption - 10% 5

Our Verdict

If you're in the market for a space heater but don't want a model that creates a lot of breeze and noise, the Dr. Infrared Heater is an excellent choice. The controls for this heater are very intuitive and simple to use, as are the buttons on the remote. We love that this type of heater doesn't heat the air — they emit infrared energy that radiates heat in the direct line of sight of the heating element. This means more warmth and less hot air blowing around and dropping the humidity.

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Price $130 List
$118.00 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Great remote, has wheels, elementary controlsRaises temperatures quickly, great remote, takes up very little floor spaceFantastic performance, convenient features, fall-over protectionSolid heating performance, affordable, oscillatesCompact, affordable, doubles as a fan
Cons Bulky, no oscillationNo fan-only setting, keeps running when knocked overNo fan-only option, mediocre efficiency, priceyNo remote control, no fan-only settingLacks features and settings, mediocre performance
Bottom Line If you're looking for an infrared space heater, this is an excellent choiceIf you need a device that cranks up the heat, has a variety of convenient features, and has a small footprint, this is a fantastic choicePerforms well and is a solid option if you're in the market for a space heaterFor those on a budget, this oscillating tower-style space heater provides solid performanceIf you need a small, bare-bones space heater on a budget, this is our recommendation
Rating Categories Dr. Infrared Heater... Lasko 755320 Comfort Zone CZ523RBK Lasko 5775 AmazonBasics 1500W
Personal Heat (40%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Convenience (30%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Small Room (20%)
5.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
Power Consumption (10%)
5.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
Specs Dr. Infrared Heater... Lasko 755320 Comfort Zone CZ523RBK Lasko 5775 AmazonBasics 1500W
Model DR-698 755320 CZ523RBK 5775 1500W
Measured Temperature Increase at 60 Minutes 8.6 10.8 9.9 9.9 10.1
Remote Yes Yes Yes No No
Fallover Protection Yes No Yes No Yes
Oscillator No Yes Yes Yes No
Fan-Only Setting No No No No Yes
Thermostat User Interface Digital Digital Digital Digital Dial
Watts 1500 1500 1500 1500 1500

Our Analysis and Test Results

Putting up a fantastic score, the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-968 is one of our favorite warming devices. The beauty of infrared space heaters is that they don't actually heat the air, instead they emit infrared radiation that warms objects in the direct line of sight of the heating element. This type creates a feel that is less dry and breezy than ceramic models.

Performance Comparison


Credit: Laura Casner

Personal Heat


We divided the personal heating metric into two parts — how well each heater fits and operates underneath a desk and how well they work in a living room setting.


Although this device does a good job of producing warmth, because of its large footprint it doesn't make a ton of sense to use the Dr. Infrared underneath a desk. In fact, it wouldn't comfortably fit underneath an average-sized desk.

The Dr. Infrared takes up a bit too much space to be used underneath...
The Dr. Infrared takes up a bit too much space to be used underneath a desk.
Credit: Laura Casner

However, this model does great in living room settings. We found that right around 5 feet away the Dr. has a sweet spot, making it perfect for use near couches and chairs. We also think that his model would make a great choice for a larger room or workshop.

The Dr. Infrared is the perfect choice for larger areas such as a...
The Dr. Infrared is the perfect choice for larger areas such as a family room or a workshop.
Credit: Laura Casner

Convenience


To measure convenience we looked at a multitude of settings and features — we noted if the heaters had remotes, if the controls were intuitive to use, and if there were any special elements that set any of the models apart from the others.


The Dr. Infrared Heater DR-968 is very strong when it comes to convenience. Regrettably, this style of heater doesn't offer any sort of oscillation, but the Dr. makes up for this shortcoming in other ways. The remote included with this model has the functions of each button spelled out in plain English rather than using often confusing symbols like many other models.

We found this model's remote to be especially easy to understand and...
We found this model's remote to be especially easy to understand and operate.
Credit: Laura Casner

Although the DR-968 is one of the bulkiest space heaters that we've tested, it does have wheels that aid in mobility, provided that the surface you are using the heater on is concrete, hardwood, tile, or thin carpet.

The small caster wheels alleviate some of the mobility issues of the...
The small caster wheels alleviate some of the mobility issues of the DR-968.
Credit: Laura Casner

The timer setting has 1-hour increments, and it goes all the way up to 12 hours. We find the option to set the timer for this length of time to be especially useful for long, cold nights or ensuring that you'll be coming home to a toasty room after a day of winter adventuring.

The digital user interface on the Dr. Infrared is easy to read from...
The digital user interface on the Dr. Infrared is easy to read from the other side of the room.
Credit: Laura Casner

Small Room


In order to gain some more objective data, we used a laboratory-grade thermometer to measure how much warmth each heater was able to add to a 161 square foot room in 20-minute increments over a total period of an hour. We made sure that the outside temperature, as well as the temps in adjacent rooms, were close to the same for each model's test.


During our small room assessment, the Dr. Infrared DR-968 did fairly well. Starting with a room temperature of 62.4 degrees this space heater was able to raise the temperature 8.6 degrees in one hour. The first 20 minutes of operation was especially impressive for the Dr. — it brought the room temperature up 5.2 degrees during this relatively short period.


Power Consumption


To determine energy costs we used a wattmeter to measure the amount of kilowatts each device consumes in an hour. We are then able to take this number and multiply it by the national average price of a kilowatt per hour to project costs for periods such as 10 hours, a month, 6 months, or a year.


The Dr. Infrared DR-968 is a moderately efficient space heater. At the time of this review, the average energy cost in kilowatts per hour in the United States was 13 cents. After 10 hours of heating on full blast, the Dr. used 13.3 kWh, which translates to $1.75 in costs for that period. Even running around the clock for 365 days, the going rate for running this model will be approximately $1500 — this is relatively cheap to operate considering that it's a 1500 watt device.

We used a wattmeter to measure kilowatts per hour of consumption for...
We used a wattmeter to measure kilowatts per hour of consumption for each space heater.
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


The Dr. Infrared DR-968 is a bit on the pricey side, but considering the functionality of this type of space heater and its great deal of efficiency it's a solid choice. That said, ceramic element heaters are generally cheaper than infrared models so if the price is a deciding factor for you, it might make sense to go with a cheaper model

Conclusion


We found the Dr. Infrared to be a phenomenal infrared space heater overall. Although it lacks oscillation, this model did a great job at heating a small room, is perfect for use in a living room, and we loved the controls on the remote and on the heater itself.

Ross Patton and Austin Palmer