Something as mundane as a space heater doesn’t have to look mundane: the Vornado Glide Vortex heater has a neat, stylish design that would fit in nicely with a modern home. It’s a pretty good heater too, with plenty of heating power and a relatively quiet fan.
The Vortex part of the name comes from the powerful fan, which creates a vortex of air that pushes the heat away from the heater and out into the room, ensuring that the heat is well circulated. It is quite effective, but it doesn’t have the kind of distribution that an oscillating heater has. You can tilt the heater up by about 20 degrees to aim the vortex, but you can’t rotate it around without moving the entire thing.
Vornado Glide Vortex Heater review: price and availability
The Vornado Glide was released in 2018 and has a list price of $89 in the US though can typically be found for $10 less online. This model isn’t available in the UK or Australia.
Vornado Glide Vortex Heater review: design
The Glide has a clean, attractive design that makes it look rather like an Ikea product. The heater is made of steel, but the legs are wood. It is quite a small unit, measuring 9.33 x 9.17 x 8.2 inches and weighing just 3.36lbs. So if you’re placing it on the floor, as it suggests, it can easily get lost.
On the back are a single big lever switch that turns the heater on and switches between high and low mode, plus a dial that sets the thermostat. This is a temperature-based thermostat, but you don’t get any indication of what temperature the heater is set to, just a dial that goes from low to high. When the room warms up, the heater and fan are both turned off. That means there is no way to just use this as a fan: the heater and fan are always activated together. It might have made the product more useful to also include a way to activate just the fan.
The fan itself is also a little nosier than some of the other fan heaters we tested, producing a dull roar from the large enclosed fan that is directed, like the warm air, out of the front of the heater. You’ll definitely notice when the thermostat turns itself on or off with this one.
The Glide also has a tip-over sensor, which means that it will turn itself off if the heater falls over or is pushed over. Most heaters have this because they can be a fire risk if the airflow is blocked. This isn’t likely to tip over, though: the short, wide design of the Glide Vortex makes it very stable.
Vornado Glide Vortex Heater review: performance
The Glide Vortex is a pretty effective heater for smaller spaces, producing a good gust of warmed air in front of it. Describing it as a vortex is perhaps overstating the case, though: it’s more of a stiff breeze. The speed of the fan is not changed with the power level: you get the same stiff breeze from both settings.
The high mode of this heater works well, producing air that is significantly warmer than the air it sucks in. The low mode doesn’t do much, though. I could barely feel a difference between the incoming and outgoing air. This low mode uses 750 Watts of power: most other heaters have a low mode that is over a thousand watts. That might make sense if it is just a bit chilly, but these heaters are generally used when you are actually cold, and the low mode here won’t do that much to warn you up.
Vornado Glide Vortex Heater review: verdict
The Vornado Glide Vortex Heater is a simple, nicely designed fan heater that does an effective job. It also looks rather cool, like a piece of Scandinavian furniture. It’s a pity there aren’t a couple more features that would make it more useful, though: a fan-only mode and a way to rotate the body of the fan around would make it useful in summer and make it easier to direct the flow of warm air. I’d also love to see a larger version that could stand on its own as a piece of art as much as a fan, and cope with larger spaces.