Is It Safe To Leave Your Space Heater On The Carpet?

Keeping warm in the colder weather can be pretty challenging, especially if you live in an area with more inclement weather. Your choices are limited when finding ways to make it a bit more comfortable. Using a space heater can be a great addition to your heating needs, but is using it on the carpet a good idea?

It can be safe to leave your space heater on the carpet, depending on the type you own. You should only use a space heater with legs that keep the hot part off the carpet, and double-check the owner’s manual that your specific space heater is safe to use on the carpet too.

Knowing whether or not it is safe to leave your heater on carpet or other surfaces will depend on the type of heater you have and sometimes the carpet. Let’s look at the best places to leave your space heater to help keep you warm.

Where is the Best Place to Put a Space Heater?

Modern electric heater in room interior

Space heater’s like this one (on Amazon) are ingenious devices. But when figuring out where to put your space heater, it can get somewhat confusing with all of the differing advice out there. While some believe putting it on certain surfaces is dangerous, others say it is not as bad as it could be.

Most manufacturers advise that you put your space heater on a flat surface where there is no chance of it getting overturned. Although many space heaters now come equipped with shut-off capabilities when they get knocked down, you can never be too sure.

Unless specifically designed for a tabletop, most space heaters are intended to be put on the floor. This is because there is a danger of it getting knocked off the table and burning someone or something.

Is the Carpet a Safe Place for Your Space Heater?

While many people have said you should never put your space heater on the carpet, it is perfectly safe to do so. This is only the case if you follow the recommended safety precautions.

When looking on the internet, it is easy to be convinced that carpet is the worst place to place your heater. The reasons stated include that the heater can produce too much heat and lead to catching your carpet on fire.

In actuality, however, the bottom of the space heater is the only part that touches the carpet, and many with legs don’t even do that. So when this is the case, there is no risk of the carpet catching on fire at all.

In addition, heat tends to rise instead of going downwards, which means there is no risk of a fire starting on the carpet itself. This means there is not enough heat being produced at the bottom of the unit to ignite a fire.

Of course, there are certain precautions that you should take, especially if you have kids or pets in the house. While space heaters are okay on the carpet, you should still follow the manufacturer’s suggestions about how long to run them and other ways to use the heaters.

How to Efficiently Use Your Space Heater

Learning to use a space heater efficiently is not as hard as it seems when reading the various internet sites. If you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, you will be miles ahead of others who choose not to.

Using a space heater efficiently often means certain factors, including how long to leave them running, where to put them, where the cord should go, and how to heat your room. Space heaters can be a great way to warm your room, but only if they work correctly.

Running Time

Even though they have been manufactured more safely in recent years and can turn themselves off if they are overheating, space heaters are not designed to run for long periods without a break now and again. So once your room comes up to a decent temperature, you should turn it off so it will work efficiently.


Placing the space heater in the best possible position can mean the difference between heating the room efficiently and not. This means that when you put them angled towards one person or place, this can cause the rest of the room to remain cold.

Cord Safety

Additionally, it is important to never run the cord of a space heater under a rug or carpet to keep it out of the way. This could indeed be a recipe for disaster since it is hidden underneath the carpet and out of sight. 

If you choose to put the cord under the carpet, you could risk a fire that you may have been able to prevent. The cord could become frayed or even twisted to the point that it could cause it to compromise. 

How Long Can You Leave Your Space Heater Running?

Leaving your space heater running for long periods is never a good idea since they can overheat. There are some risks of fire if you choose to run it continuously to keep the heat going at all times.

It is never advisable to keep your space heater running overnight since the risk of fire can be increased. In most cases, while you are sleeping, anything could happen, such as the unit being knocked over or the cord could come partially unplugged and starting a fire.

Daytime Usage

During the day, it is perfectly fine to run the heater as long as you are in the room for certain periods. However, if you leave the room, even to go to the bathroom or grab a drink, you should remember to turn the space heater off until you return.

This is because leaving a space heater unattended can end up in disaster if it were to get knocked over. There is also a risk that a child or pet could come in and burn themselves or knock it down.

There have been many advances to more recent space heaters that have made them safer to use for extended periods. However, this does not mean you should take advantage of that and use them against expert suggestions.

Are Some Space Heaters Safer Than Others?

For the most part, almost all space heaters are relatively safe to be used, whether on carpet or other surfaces. If they are manufactured as household heating units, they are made to be used in the home.

While many ponder the different brands and types of space heaters, one question is how safe they are. If you are going to use them in the house, you need to understand that most are safely made.

When you are purchasing a new space heater, you will not go wrong as long as you do your research and know what you are getting. This means that most of the newer space heaters on the market are equipped with certain safety features designed to protect your family.

It is crucial, however, that you are not using space heaters that you have had for many years for many reasons. Using one of these heaters is the number one reason why space heaters cause fires. 

If you wonder if you are choosing the right space heater for your home, then you may want to take some time to look at your options. You can also speak to someone who has experience with space heaters and what dangers they have.

Choosing a space heater that will work for you and the space you are looking to heat can initially seem overwhelming. However, reading reviews and researching can help you feel more comfortable purchasing a heater you will use for years.

Safety Tips and Advice for Space Heaters This Winter

Modern electric halogen heater on floor in living room interior

Using a space heater can be a great way to keep your house warm without using your central heating unit all the time. This is especially true if you only need to heat a small space such as an office. 

Some risks and dangers come with using a space heater, especially for longer periods. When running them around your family and pets, these risks are important.

Some safety tips pertain to space heaters in general, and others are more important to adhere to when you are planning to use them on the carpet.

Here are some safety tips you should consider before using a space heater this winter:

  • If you see smoke or sparks coming from your space heater, you should unplug it immediately. This could mean a fault within the unit that may not be safe.
  • Be sure that the heater is in a place where there are no fabrics or other flammable materials that could become engulfed in flames. This could start a domino effect and cause a larger fire than you think.
  • Turn the space heater off even if you leave the room for only a few minutes to avoid it getting knocked over by kids or pets. In addition, a space heater that is left on could overheat, or something else could be knocked into it, starting a fire.
  • Ensure the space heater is kept away from children and pets since they may not understand their dangers. The last thing you want is for them to get burned or accidentally start a fire by getting too close.
  • Be careful when placing your space heater on surfaces other than the ground, such as a table or something. This is because if the surface is not steady, it could knock the heater over and cause it to ignite with other materials.
  • Also, when placing them on surfaces other than the floor, you should ensure that the heater will not come in contact with paper or other flammable materials. This will keep unexpected fires from breaking out. 
  • Never use an older space heater that either you or someone else gave you, especially if it looks like it is on its last legs. This could also be a fire hazard of epic proportions.

While this is not an exhaustive list of safety precautions, they are each important enough to consider when using a space heater. This is especially important if you are using one for the first time.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line regarding space heaters is that you can leave them on the carpet if you follow the manufacturer’s suggestions. This means that you are placing the heater on surfaces they are intended to be on and keeping flammable items away from them.