Holmes HFH131Review

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Think Twice

This compact space heater includes features such as automatic overheat protection, but some users report that it breaks quickly and beyond repair.

The Holmes HFH131 (starting at $20, Amazon) is a compact, highly portable model with cool-to-touch housing and an integrated carrying handle. It weighs in at only 2.2 pounds. However, Holmes HFH131 reviews express disappointment with its heating capability. Some users say it produces adequate heat if you’re very close to it, but many others find its performance lacking; it simply generates too little heat to be useful. This heater has only one setting (1,500 watts) while almost all other models have at least two heat settings plus a fan-only setting. It does have an adjustable thermostat to provide some control over the temperature.

This Holmes model has built-in overheat protection, a common safety feature that automatically shuts off the heater if it gets too hot. However, it doesn’t have tip-over protection, meaning it could be knocked over and still keep running, so it’s probably not a safe bet around kids or pets or in a high-traffic area. Several reviewers posting on Amazon note the small surface area on the bottom, which makes the heater prone to tipping over. For some less top-heavy models, a tilt switch isn’t vital, but in this case, we’re less willing to forgive that missing safety feature.

The Holmes HFH131 is one of the cheapest space heaters we examined closely, and the negative performance reviews trump the low price tag. Some also call into question this model’s durability, reporting that it breaks down within days or even hours (and space heaters are not built to be repaired). There are better options out there at a fractionally higher price point.

Gina Martinez

Gina Martinez is a freelance writer who teaches college-level composition and literature courses and has an M.A. in English. She lives on the cheap in New York City with her majestic lapdog.

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