Tom's Guide Verdict
The Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 is a well-designed, versatile unit that heats as well as humidifies the air.
Eco setting to save energy
Remote control included
Can be used as a fan and/or humidifier
Wheeled for maneuverability
Heating performance could be stronger
Heavy at over 25 pounds
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
Wattage: 1500 watts
Heat Settings: 2 plus digital thermostat
Size: 12.75 X 1 X 15.25 inches
Weight: 25.4 pounds
Heat Element: Infrared
Safety Features: Tip-over protection, automatic shut off if it overheats
Warranty: 3 years
The Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 is a sturdy space heater with a wooden casing that resembles a speaker or small piece of furniture. It does a good job of taking the chill out of a small room — raising the temperature by four degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 20 minutes.
Large buttons on the front make it very easy to program, but it also comes with a remote if you prefer to control it without leaving the couch. In addition to heating, this model can also be used to humidify the air, which makes it quite unique. As you will see in our Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 review, this appliance has quite a few reasons to rank it as one of the best space heaters.
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 review: Price and availability
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 review: Design
With its wooden casing and rectangular shape, The Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 strongly resembles a subwoofer speaker. It’s solidly constructed and at roughly 12 x 12 x 15 inches, it’s quite sizable so it will be noticeable in a room. It has a classic, but not necessarily contemporary look that would blend in well with wood furniture. However, it might seem out of place in a room with a pale color scheme that’s so popular right now.
On its front, the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 has large well-marked control buttons and an LED display that shows the settings with easy-to-read numbers. It has high and low heat settings, plus an eco mode which uses a thermostat to automatically maintain whatever temperature you select. This heater can also be used in fan-only mode and can be set to oscillate up to 360 degrees for more even heat distribution. A timer allows you to set the heater to automatically turn off up to 12 hours later.
To control it from across the room, a remote is included with the unit — ideal if you don’t want to get up every time to change the settings. At about 25 pounds, this is a heavy and hard-to-lift space heater. However, it has wheels that make it easy to roll across the floor or into a closet for storage. Like virtually all space heaters, it has tip over protection and automatic shut off if it overheats.
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 review: Heating performance
When running on a high heat setting in our 15 x 10 foot test room, the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 was able to increase the temperature by about 4°F and did so fairly evenly. When placed close to where we were sitting, it was able to warm us up in under 30 seconds. It uses an average amount of energy in relation to the other space heaters we tested, at 0.278 kWh, and the exterior surfaces measure 72°F to 74°F when the heater is operating, so no burning hazards there. When it’s on the highest setting, it sounds as noisy as a running dishwasher at about 51.7 decibels, which we found was about average for the space heaters we tested.
When we turned the thermostat down to 50°F, which is the lowest temperature setting, the room grew noticeably cooler. The grill is relatively small so we didn’t feel a tremendous amount of air movement though.
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 review: Ease of use
You will want to read the manual before you use the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 for the first time — but once you do, you’ll find this heater easy to program with either the panel or the remote control. This heater can also serve as a humidifier, although there is a bit of assembly required to set up this function. Plus, you have to keep the water bottle filled with distilled water for it to run.
About once a month, you need to remove the filter and clean it with a vacuum, which is easy. You also have to wash out the humidifier, but the tank is simple to remove and refit.
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 review: Verdict
The Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 is a solid, well-built heater that can effectively warm up a room by about 4°F — so it might not be the best choice for a large or very chilly area. It is the only space heater we tested that can also be used as a humidifier though, which makes it a versatile design. With its large buttons and digital readout, the control panel is easy to program and you also get a remote so you can operate it from your lounge chair.
Because of its wooden housing, the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-998 looks more like a piece of furniture than an appliance and comes with a higher price than most plastic models. If you like its look and also need a humidifier, this model’s solid construction and versatility will justify the cost. However, you can get better heating performance from our top choice, the Lasko 500, which heated the same room in the same time by 10°F.
Sharon Franke is a journalist who specializes in testing and writing about kitchen equipment. A thirty-year veteran of the Good Housekeeping Institute, Sharon also worked as a professional chef in New York City restaurants for seven years. In her free time, she is an avid home cook who is in the process of mastering the art of baking sour dough bread.