Best Water Heaters – Buying Guide & Reviews (2021)

Replacing a water heater is not a fun task. It can be expensive and frustrating, especially when you aren’t sure what to look for.

Finding the best water heater is about more than just settling for the least expensive option. You need to find the water heater that will prevent leaks and also keep your home (and hot water!) running in tip-top shape.

Table of Contents

Best Water Heaters – Comparison

PictureProduct NameWeightVoltagePrice
Rinnai RUC98iN UltraRinnai RUC98iN Ultra82 pounds120 volts
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Bosch Tronic 3000Bosch Tronic 300029.5 pounds120 volts
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Rheem ndoor Direct VentRheem ndoor Direct Vent79 pounds110 volts
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InSinkErator InstantInSinkErator Instant7.28 pounds115 volts
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American Standard CE-12-ASAmerican Standard CE-12-AS60 pounds120 volts
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Eemax Electric TanklessEemax Electric Tankless13.75 pounds240 volts
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Westinghouse Electric WaterWestinghouse Electric Water118 pounds240 volts or 220 volts
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What to Look for in the Best Water Heater

Buying a new water heater shouldn’t be a rush snap decision. You need to do some careful planning before you buy it. There are many factors you need to consider when you begin shopping. Here are some things you should keep in mind.

Tank Type

More often than not, water heaters are sold in certain categories. You might find some marketed as tankless units while others are sold as traditional storage tank units, solar water heaters, condensing units, or heat pumps.

A storage water tank heater is the most common type. It consists of an insulated tank where water is heated and stored until you need it. When ready, the water will come out of the tank via a pipe at the top of the heater.

A tankless or on-demand heater uses a heating coil to heat up the water as needed. A more efficient product, it provides just a limited flow of hot water each minute. Usually, you’ll only get about 3.5 gallons each minute.

Another option is a heat pump water heater, also known as a hybrid unit. His kind of heater captures heat from the air before transferring it back to the water. It uses about 60% less energy than a standard electric water heater, but you need to keep in mind that it doesn’t work well in a very cold space.

Solar water heaters generally have roof-mounted cells that absorb the heat of the sun before transferring it to a fluid in a closed-loop system running to the tank. It is one of the best options for saving money in the summer, the perfect option for warm climates. However, you’ll have to have a backup for cold days.

Finally, a condensing water heater is a good option if you use gas for heat and need a tank with a capacity of 55 gallons or more. Like a conventional water heater, a condensing water heater has a tank that captures exhaust gases that normally would be wasted. The gases are blown through a coil where incoming cold water absorbs fresh what.

Peak Usage

When you buy your water heater, you will need to consider a few other factors, but the biggest consideration you need to make is the size of your tank. A tank that is too small will be frustrating to deal with, as it won’t provide your family members with the water that they need. A tank that is too large will be unnecessary, as it will require extra space and energy that is completely unneeded.

The peak usage will correspond directly to the capacity. A tank water heater usually holds 55 gallons or more worth of water. The ultimate size you select should be based on how many people live in your home and what your peak water usage is.

Usually, a standard family will use about 100 gallons of hot water or more. That doesn’t mean you need a 100-gallon storage tank but rather you need a heater that can deliver the desired amount of heat each hour.


Look at the materials used to build both the tank as well as the drainage system. A drain that is made out of brass tends to last longer and is easier to replace, but plastic drains are often found on less expensive units.

In addition, you should consider what the tank is made out of. One that is lined with glass will reduce buildup and corrosion.

Regardless of the material used to construct your tank, bear in mind that some tanks have features that reduce the buildup of mineral scale at the bottom of the tank. Scale can shorten the life of your water heater, so a thicker or longer element is ideal.

Display System

If your budget allows for it, consider purchasing a water heater that has a digital display. This way, you can keep an eye on the energy usage of your water heater. You will also be able to fine-tune the settings so that you enjoy peak performance at all times.

Fuel Source

One of the most significant considerations you need to make when deciding on the best water heater for your needs is related to the fuel source. The fuel source for your water heater will depend on the existing layout of your home. Generally, though, switching from electric to gas fueling is not expensive – you will need a licensed contractor to perform the switch, however.

Keep in mind that solar water heaters are excellent and a great way to save energy, but they often work better when used as secondary systems. Keeping the water hot can be more difficult with this kind of energy. That being said, using a solar water heater can reduce your energy costs significantly, and in some areas, a larger system can make use of a gas or electric system completely unnecessary.

No More Cold Showers With One of the Best Water Heaters Around

1. Rinnai RUC98iN Ultra Series Tankless Water Heater

Rinnai RUC98iN Ultra Series

If you’ve never used a tankless water heater before, switching to one can be a daunting choice. However, the RUC98iN by Rinnai makes it an easier transition to make. The tank has an unparalleled 9.8 gallons-per-minute flow rate and is great for large families with lots of people who need to shower.

In the mood for a long shower – but you’re 16 years old just spent thirty minutes taking a bath? Not to worry. This water heater will allow you to fill up a large soaker tub or shower for an extended period of time without having to worry about using up all the water.

This water heater has a unique electronic ignition, meeting emissions standards for many states. It is compatible with all Rinnai digital controllers, too. It has a thermal efficiency of 95%, helping you to reduce your gas bill even when you have a great deal of water use.

Set the temperature anywhere between 98 and 140 degrees – the choice is up to you. If you decide to purchase the commercial version of this model, you can set it all the way up to 185 degrees. It has an input rate of up to 199,000 BTUs and is even backed by a 12-year manufacturer’s warranty (on the heat exchanger).

What We Liked:

  • Allows you to run multiple appliances requiring hot water all at once
  • Uses less gas to run
  • Is quiet as a basic fan

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The high cost of installation

2. EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater

EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater

An electric tankless water heater is not only easy to install and relatively maintenance-free, but it can also save on some of your home heating costs.

The EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater has heating elements that are powered by electricity and heat your water up quickly as it enters the system. Since the unit does not incorporate a large tank that needs to increase the temperatures of large volumes of water all at once, it is much more efficient for small spaces. It is ideal for small spaces or for families who use minimal amounts of water.

This unit works rapidly while also giving you exceptional control over the water’s temperature. The EcoSmart has unique self-modulating technology that influences the energy output of the heater producing superior results each and every time. The unit will adjust its energy requirements based on how much hot water you need, not on a generalized calculation.

Plus, since this unit is tankless, you’ll notice the effects of the heating much more quickly. The EcoSmart water heater has easily replaceable elements so that most repairs can be done quickly and easily by the homeowner without requiring outside help.

The EcoSmart water heater is backed by a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty and allows you to save up to 60% on your water heating costs. You will not have to worry about running out of hot water, as this product comes with a patented design to eliminate unnecessary heating. Plus, this unit is 99.8% energy-efficiency.

What We Liked:

  • Several models available that you can customize to the region in which you live
  • Has a compact design for better storage
    Comes with digital temperature control

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not ideal for larger households

3. Bosch Tronic 3000 T 7-Gallon

Bosch Tronic 3000 T 7-Gallon

Need to take hot water with you on the go? This mini-tank water heater by Bosch will make that possible. An electric water heater, the Bosch Tronic takes things down a notch and is a great option for RVs.

Whether you need hot water for bathing, outdoor activities, or even cooking, this mini tank heater offers it all. It is available in a variety of sizes from 2.5 to 7 gallons, offering multiple purposes and uses as a water heater for tight spaces. It can be mounted on the wall, shelf, or even the floor.

Small but functional, this water heater will keep your water ice and toasty during the coldest nights of winter. It operates using 1440 watts of power and although it requires professional installation, si nonetheless easy to maintain. It can easily be wired to provide on-demand reliable water to your home or RV.

With the thermal efficiency of 98%, the efficacy of this water heater cannot be overlooked. It has a temperature range of 65 to 145 degrees and an operating pressure of 160 psi. With a sleek, attractive design, it can be mounted inside a cabinet or even on the wall in the room you need it – it is not unsightly in the least.

What We Liked:

  • Attractive unit
  • The compact model can be mounted anywhere
  • Perfect for travelers

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Requires professional installation

4. Rheem ndoor Direct Vent Natural Gas Water Heater

Rheem ndoor Direct Vent

The Rheem RTGH-95DVLN is a highly intuitive natural gas tankless water heater that is perfect for residential use. It has a 94% energy efficiency, intelligent electronic controls, and low emissions. With a flow rate of 9.5 gallons per minute, you’ll love how quickly this tankless water heater distributes hot water to your entire home.

It has a stainless-steel condensing heat exchanger, providing it with a much longer lifespan with an output of 199000 BTU per hour. It works well in most homes with minor modifications to plumbing and minimal need to alter the meter in any way.

An easy to install a water heater, this option can be installed by the homeowner himself, as long as he has a bit of experience with plumbing components. It has minimal noise and does not reduce your water temperature at all, even when you are operating multiple showers or hot water taps at once.

What We Liked:

  • Available from numerous retailers
  • Operates quietly and efficiently
  • Has a stainless steel heat condenser that offers a longer lifespan

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some complaints about Rheem’s customer service’

5. InSinkErator Instant Hot Water Tank

InSinkErator Instant Hot Water Tank

Most people feel limited by their tankless water heaters because they have a limited capacity. The InSinkErator eliminates those concerns as it is a point of use heater. What does this mean? It’s simple. Instead of heating up large amounts of water that you don’t actually need, this water heater supplies heat only to the exact spot where you actually need it.

A small yet mighty water heater, the InSinkerator offers one of the best heating and filtration systems. It can be used just about anywhere, heating water to your desired temperature no matter where you choose to use it.

A 750-watt heater, this hot water tank dispenses 200-degree water at its maximum setting. Yet if you don’t want water that hot, you don’t need to worry – the tank can also be adjusted so that it uses less energy and is situated at the ideal temperature. It consumes less energy than a 40 watt light bulb, in fact!

An easy to install a water heater, the InSinkErator requires no tools and comes with dry start protection. As a result, it’s easy to install. It even has a built-in filter system to ensure that the tank is protected from chlorine.

What We Liked:

  • Sits at the edge of the kitchen sink
  • Incredibly stylish and compact
  • Re-engineered for a longer lifespan and improved performance

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not always compatible with another faucet

6. American Standard CE-12-AS Electric Water Heater

American Standard CE-12-AS

The American Standard electric water heater is an economical option for people who wish to install one of the best water heaters around without having to compromise on the efficiency of space. This product consists of a heavy-gauge stainless steel tank that is lined with Inner Dura glass. It resists corrosion and even comes with a factory-installed brass drain valve on all models.

Certified at 300 psi test pressure and 150 psi working pressure, this tank is also 100% hydrostatically tested at the factory. You don’t have to worry about it failing you any time soon. With TU inputs from 71,600 to 512,000, this water heater is efficient and powerful for all applications.

What We Liked:

  • Has a quick recovery time
  • Reliable thermostat
  • Top and waterside connections for easy installation

What We Didn’t Like:

  • A small volume tank

7. Eemax Electric Tankless Water Heater

Eemax Electric Tankless Water Heater

Another tankless water heater, the Eemax Electric Tankless Water Heater provides a continuous supply of hot water exactly where and when you need it. It provides an instant, consistent flow and is equipped with some of the best and most advanced self-modulating technology.

This heater is able to adjust how much energy it needs to input based on how much hot water you actually need – you won’t be heating up water unnecessarily. Plus, it comes in a compact size to help save storage space.

This unit can provide enough hot water for up to four sinks or showers at the same time – in colder climates, however, that might be reduced. A 240 volt, 27-kilowatt unit, this electric tankless water heater is excellent for small families short on space.

What We Liked:
  • Has copper tubes for added durability
  • Easy to install
  • Compact and energy-efficient

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not ideal for large families

8. Westinghouse Electric Water Heater

Westinghouse Electric Water Heater

Westinghouse makes a superior product in this electric water heater. One of the best water heaters for people with large households to which hot water needs to be supplied, this water heater has an impressive capacity of 52 gallons. It’s perfect for supplying water to households with five or more people.

This tank is backed by a six-year manufacturer’s warranty and is excellent at providing hot water for large households. It has a laser-welded 316-liter stainless steel construction. It resists corrosion and can deliver up to 66 gallons of hot water in the first minute of operation alone!

With low standby heat losses and durable components, this stainless steel hot water heater is one of the best choices for electric water heating needs.

What We Liked:

  • Built out of durable components
  • The impressive volume of 52 gallons
  • Minimizes heat loss

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Very tall water heater

9. Camplux Outdoor Portable Propane Water Heater

If you like to spend time outside, then this outdoor portable water heater is the right choice for you. It offers instant heat with its compact, portable design. It’s tankless and allows you to easily connect it to a water tap or a hose for instance bathing, cooking, or other uses.

The best water heater for outdoor adventurers, this option has low pressure and operates just as an ordinary tankless option would. It heats the water quickly as it moves through the system and can be connected to other typical water supplies. It mounts to a wall or other flat surface with ease, heating up to 1.32 gallons of water each minute.

With a maximum temperature rating of 114.8, this unit has a flow rate of 1.32 gallons per minute of hot water. This energy-saving technology is ideal for the great outdoors and has a compact build with a folding handle. It will stay out of the way while also allowing you to enjoy a shower in the wilderness.

What We Liked:

  • Has anti-freezing protection
  • Comes with a flow rate of 1.32 gallons per minute
  • Compact and easy to carry

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Non-standard connections

10. Umiwe Tankless Instant Water Heater 110V 3000W

The Umiwe Mini Electric Tankless Instant Water Heater is another option that is easy to install. It can be placed in any bathroom or kitchen area, taking up minimal space with its compact size. It only stands at about 7.87 inches, in fact!

This water heater has a constant temperature control function that allows it to quickly and easily adjust the water temperature freely through the aster flower. It is easy to operate with the temperature displayed digitally for you to read easily.

It comes with leakage protection as well as dry heating protection. It even has an automatic power-off feature in case it has not been used in some time.

What We Liked:

  • Stainless steel housing
  • Comes in four different aesthetically pleasing colors
  • Easy to install

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Needs to be installed vertically for longevity

Consider Investing in One of the Best Water Heaters Today

…and do so before you actually need it! Going without hot water can certainly be done, but it’s definitely no fun. If you’ve ever suffered from a defunct water heater, you probably already know how frustrating this experience can be.

Don’t suffer through cold showers! Know what kind of water heater will be the best water heater for your budget and needs, and invest in one of these top products today – before your old one kicks the metaphorical bucket, that is.

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