The phrase “space heater” tends to evoke a few unwanted thoughts, ugly and dangerous among them — two things you definitely want to avoid around the house. But the Dyson AM 05 Hot + Cool quickly banishes both those notions.
Like the design-centric British companies’ vacuums and fans, this redesigned appliance is the perfect union of form and function. While space heaters tend to be metal boxes that warm up to something akin to the surface of the sun and then attempt to radiate enough of that heat to make a room comfortable, the Hot + Cool is a large oval that blows warm air (without traditional fan blades). The technology is frankly too complicated to go into here, but the basic idea is that cool air from a room is sucked into the base, channeled through the heated oval, and then blown back into the room. Because of this unique design, the hot part of the unit is not exposed to the small fingers of unsuspecting children or the paws of a passing pet. Plus, if the Hot + Cool were to accidentally topple over, an emergency shut-off prevents any further danger.
We tried it in a small bedroom, and the very cold space was toasty in about five minutes. There’s also a built-in thermostat, so the unit only runs when the room is less than the desired temperature. And, as a late night TV pitchman would say, that’s not all: Like the name implies, the Hot + Cool also functions as a fan, meaning it’s the one heater you won’t have to lug back to the basement in March. As if lugging would ever be an issue: The 22.8-inch tall appliance is quite portable, although the 80-degree oscillation and 10-degree tilt mean it can stay in one spot and direct the heat in pretty much any direction. (It’s worth noting that while we didn’t find the Hot + Cool to be particularly loud, it does make a noise on par with the average window AC unit.) Like most Dyson products we’ve tested, the only possible impediment is the price tag. But if you’ve ever shopped for a space heater and been either scared off by questions of safety or looks, $399 might feel like a bargain. [$399; dyson.com]