Can I Use a Space Heater in the Bathroom?

Using a space heater in the bathroom can be a convenient way to keep warm during winter showers, but it’s important to follow safety guidelines to prevent accidents. This comprehensive guide will provide you with the technical specifications, installation tips, and safety considerations to help you use a space heater in your bathroom safely and effectively.

Electrical Safety

The most crucial factor when using a space heater in the bathroom is electrical safety. Bathrooms are inherently damp environments, which increases the risk of electric shocks and fires. To mitigate these risks, your bathroom must have GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets installed. GFCI outlets are required in all bathrooms since 1975 and constantly monitor the current flowing through a circuit. If they detect even a small amount of stray current, they will automatically shut off the power, preventing fatal electric shocks.

When selecting a space heater for your bathroom, look for models that are specifically designed for use in damp environments and have the appropriate safety certifications, such as the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) mark, the ETL label from Intertek, or the CSA (Canadian Standards Association) certification.

Heater Placement

can i use a space heater in the bathroom

Proper placement of the space heater is essential for safety. The heater should be placed on a flat, stable surface, away from any water sources or other liquid heat sources. Avoid placing the heater near any electrical wiring, lights, or appliances, as this can pose a fire hazard. Additionally, keep the heater away from anything that might get too hot from being in close proximity, such as mirrors or towel racks.

It’s important to measure your bathroom carefully and determine the appropriate size and power output of the space heater needed to effectively heat the space. As a general rule, you’ll need approximately 10 watts of power per square foot of bathroom space. For example, a 100-square-foot bathroom would require a 1,000-watt space heater.

Heater Features

When selecting a space heater for your bathroom, look for models with the following features:

  1. Thermostat: A built-in thermostat allows you to set the desired temperature and maintain a comfortable environment without overheating the space.
  2. Adjustable Settings: Adjustable heat settings enable you to fine-tune the output to match your needs, conserving energy when the bathroom is not in use.
  3. Automatic Shut-Off: This safety feature will automatically turn off the heater if it overheats or is knocked over, reducing the risk of fire or injury.

Some advanced space heaters also come equipped with smart sensors that can detect when the heater is tipped over or when the surface temperature becomes too hot, triggering an automatic shut-off to prevent accidents.

Installation Considerations

When installing a space heater in your bathroom, it’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Ensure that the heater is only used for its intended purpose of heating the space and never for cooking or any other use that could lead to fires or explosions.

If you have any doubts or questions about the safe installation and use of your space heater, it’s best to consult with a licensed electrician. They can provide guidance on the appropriate electrical requirements, placement, and any necessary modifications to ensure the safe operation of the heater in your bathroom.

Humidity Concerns

One of the primary challenges of using a space heater in a bathroom is the high humidity levels. Bathrooms are inherently damp environments, with water constantly splashing and condensation forming on surfaces. Standard space heaters are not designed to handle these conditions, and the moisture can potentially damage the internal components or create a fire hazard.

If you plan to use a space heater in your bathroom, it’s essential to choose a model that is specifically rated for use in high-humidity environments. Alternatively, you can consider installing a dedicated bathroom heater or a steam shower generator, which are engineered to withstand the moisture and provide a more controlled, sauna-like environment.

DIY Tips

Here are some additional tips for safely and effectively using a space heater in your bathroom:

  1. Measure the Space: Accurately measure the square footage of your bathroom to ensure you select a space heater with the appropriate power output.
  2. Choose the Right Location: Carefully consider the layout of your bathroom and choose the most suitable location for the space heater, taking into account factors such as proximity to water sources, electrical wiring, and other potential hazards.
  3. Inspect for Safety Certifications: Look for space heaters that have been tested and certified by reputable organizations, such as UL, ETL, or CSA, to ensure they meet safety standards.
  4. Utilize Smart Features: Opt for space heaters with advanced safety features, such as automatic shut-off mechanisms and tip-over switches, to minimize the risk of accidents.
  5. Maintain and Clean: Regularly clean and maintain your space heater to keep it in good working condition and prevent any potential fire hazards.

By following these guidelines and technical specifications, you can safely and effectively use a space heater in your bathroom to stay warm and comfortable during the colder months.


  1. The Shower Company: Is it permissible to use a heater in the bathroom?
  2. Mylek: Can You Use an Electric Heater in the Bathroom?
  3. Reddit: Do any of you guys put heaters in your bathroom during cold winter showers?