Best Water Heaters
Review and Buying Tips

Explore the best water heaters from gas, electric, tank-type, and tankless models for domestic hot water heating. See the features and specs that are making these top heaters the preferable choice, providing considerable savings, reliability, and longevity. The selected models come with the highest energy factor, commercial-grade components, and extended warranty.

This review covers the most reputable manufacturers of water heaters such as AO Smith, Rheem, Bradford White, Rinnai, Noritz, Takagi, Bosch, and others.

We have selected the best water heaters by comparing the model's features, specs, analyzing the user and expert reviews, and top sellers.

Our top categories

Is tankless something you would consider?

A review of the best condensing water heaters covers models with tankless technology only. These water heaters come with state-of-the-art technology, recirculation, commercial-grade features, and ultra-high energy efficiency, which guarantees the highest savings, enhanced comfort, and better environmental protection. 

The best tankless and condensing models come with the two heat exchangers - primary and secondary (condensing), where the condensing element is made of stainless steel, to provide better protection against corrosion.

Condensing technology is what allows them to pull much of the heat from the exhaust gases and use it to preheat the incoming water. For faster hot water delivery, some of them can work in recirculation mode. Due to its innovative design, they can connect to smartphones, allowing better remote monitoring and control, including convenient voice activation.

If condensing heaters are out of your budget, we recommend checking an article about the best tankless water heaters from the non-condensing category.

These models are also high-efficient, where the energy factor is in a range from 0.8 to 0.9. They have one heat exchanger made from copper, include smart features, an advanced diagnostics system, and a flexible venting system. The best models come in two versions: natural gas and propane, both utilizing two venting options (concentric or dual) - making installation versatile.

Thinking about the best tank-type water heaters?

The best tank-type water heaters come with a stainless steel or plastic storage tank to allow a lifetime warranty and extended lifetime.

The best gas models are condensing and equipped with a helical heat exchanger submerged in water.

The best electric models contain stainless steel or titanium elements.

Both types include one powered or two commercial-grade anodes, a self-cleaning system, diagnostics, and other innovative features.

Those models come with a high recovery rate and first-hour rating, making them ideal for high-demanding applications for larger houses.

Things to consider

Energy efficiency. To see how much energy gets transferred from the heat to water, look at the Energy efficiency or Uniform Energy Factor (UEF). Gas condensing models have an efficiency of over 90% or an energy factor up to 0.98. Higher efficiency means additional savings and less wasted energy.

Specs. When buying a tank-type water heater, look for high first-hour delivery and recovery rate or a high water flow rate in tankless. Another key factor to consider is how powerful the gas burner is (in BTU).

Features. Eco burner, brass drain valve, hot surface igniter, modulation, diagnostics, and self-cleaning system are highly recommended.

Smart technologies. Smart features allow Wi-Fi connectivity, voice activation, remote control and diagnostics, and more.

Multi-link capability. This is what allows users to connect more water heaters into one system so it can provide additional power and hot water volume.

Venting options. Power venting is a preferable option due to its flexibility and installation options.

Quality. Look for water heaters equipped with durable, heat and stress-resistant components. In some cases, for example, stainless steel is superior.

Lifespan. Tankless, for example, has over 20 years of lifetime. Stainless steel construction ensures durability.

Service. It is recommended to buy a water heater from a proven, reliable, and well-established manufacturer. Such manufacturers provide excellent customer service, technical support, and quite extensive service networks and warehouses with available parts.

Warranty. The best models have a limited lifetime warranty on conventional tank-type (most often is 12) and 15-years on tankless. Choose the heater with an extended warranty.

Tank vs. tankless

To decide if it is better to get a tank-type or tankless, check out the following advantages and disadvantages of both:



  • The favorite type with the well-known and proven technology
  • Excellent service network
  • Variety of models available
  • Condensing technology available
  • Affordable
  • Easy to fix
  • Reliable


  • Standby heat loss
  • Can run out of hot water when used extensively
  • Lower energy efficiency
  • Bulky
  • Shorter life expectancy
  • Prone to corrosion



  • Small and compact
  • On-demand water heating
  • Endless and continuous supply of hot water
  • Wall mount saves space
  • Flexible installation
  • High efficiency
  • Life expectancy over 20 years
  • Long warranty
  • Savings


  • Expensive
  • Costly installation
  • Venting requirements
  • Cold water sandwich effect

One of the factors that show which of the gas, electric, tank, and tankless water heaters is the best is undoubtedly the price. The most expensive models come with state-of-the-art technology, great features, long-lasting elements, a modern look, and have an effective operation. They can cost over $1500.

The fact that domestic water heating is the second largest energy expense in a house is more than enough to consider buying the best water heater with the highest efficiency and ultra-low NOx emission. Those innovative models save water, energy, and money and due to their robust and durable construction, guaranteeing prolonged and reliable operation.