Tom's Guide Verdict
The Lasko FH500 is the best space heater for heating a whole room. Plus in the summer, it can be used for cooling.
Heats a room effectively and evenly
Useful eco setting with digital thermostat
Exterior stays cool to the touch
Remote control included
Can also cool
Controls are a bit confusing
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
Heat settings: 3 plus digital thermostat
Weight: 12.5 pounds
Dimensions: 12.5 X 12.5 X 41.9 inches
Heat element: Ceramic
Safety Features: Tip over protection, Automatic shut off if it overheats Warranty: 3 years
If finding the best space heater is your number one consideration, look no further than the Lasko FH500. In our tests, it bested every other heater when it came to warming up a room. It was the only one that was able to raise room temperature consistently by 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Lasko can be programmed directly on its control panel or with a remote that comes with it. When the weather’s warm, it can be pressed into action as a fan. You can get all the details in our Lasko FH500 review.
Lasko FH500 review: Price and availability
Lasko FH500 review: Design
Although it’s over three feet tall, the Lasko FH500 is slim and has a clean, uncluttered design. It’s available in black and white, so whatever the color scheme in your room, it should be able to blend in easily.
It weighs 12.5 pounds, which combined with its height doesn’t make it particularly easy to move around; there’s a grip on top, but it’s not easy to use when lifting and carrying the heater. With its slim shape, the heater will fit easily in a closet or corner when it’s not needed.
It has three heat and four fan settings as well as one that uses high heat with a low fan speed. The fan can be set to oscillate for even distribution of heat — it can reach about 45 degrees. In addition, there’s an eco mode which utilizes a thermostat on which you set the desired temperature. It cycles on and off to save energy once it reaches this temperature. You can also set a timer to shut the unit off after up to eight hours. It shuts off automatically if it is tipped over or if it overheats; safety features that are found on almost every heater.
Lasko FH500 review: Heating performance
In a 15 x 10 foot test room, at its highest setting, the Lasko FH500 bested every other heater we tested when it came to heating — raising the temperature perfectly evenly by 10 degrees Fahrenheit. It was also quick to heat up; we felt the effects of it within 12 seconds. In spite of its great heat output, it drew an average of 0.270 kWH of energy, which is average in relation to other heaters.
None of the surfaces on the Lasko itself warmed up in use; they all measured 73°F or 74°F after the heater had been on high for 30 minutes. So no burning hazards there. When it heats on high with the fan running, it reaches 48.9 decibels and sounds more or less like a dishwasher running in your kitchen; that is about average for the space heaters we tested.
With its long vent, the Lasko was good at moving air and would be able to cool off a room when used in fan mode. The thermostat can be set as low as 50°F.
Lasko FH500 review: Ease of use
The Lasko FH500 needs some assembly, which is easily accomplished in about 15 minutes and requires a screwdriver. To program the Lasko, you can use the panel directly on top of the appliance or the remote that comes with it. The settings are displayed on the top of the front of the heater. Initially, we didn’t find it intuitive to use the controls as we didn’t immediately understand what each icon represented. We needed to consult the manual and then quickly got the hang of it.
There’s a pocket on the back of the tower for storing the remote control to help prevent it from getting lost, which is useful. In the Lasko FH500, there’s also a permanent filter which needs to be popped in before first use and then vacuumed every two weeks. We found it easy to remove and reinstall the filter.
Lasko FH500 review: Verdict
The Lasko FH500 is better than any other space heater we tested for warming up a room. As it can also be used as a fan, it’s a versatile product to boot. It can be controlled with a remote, so you don’t need to leave the couch to adjust it, and you can program precise temperatures between 39 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the fact that it has many settings represented by icons makes it slightly more complicated to use — the controls aren’t as intuitive as they could be. We also like its streamlined look, but it is bigger and taller than many of the other space heaters we tested. If you’re looking for a more compact model, we’d recommend the Vornado VH200 Heater.
Although it costs more than many of the other heaters we tested, the Lasko FH500 isn't overly pricey. All in all, if what is most important to you is heating up a chilly room, we think this is the best space heater.
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.