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The 6 Best Tankless Water Heaters (2023 Review)

Tankless water heaters save energy, provide hot water on-demand, and take up less space when compared to traditional tank water heaters. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the six best tankless water heaters on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you and your home.

Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater and Rheem Tankless Electric Water Heater isolated on a white grid paper background with blue lines Courtesy Amazon

As opposed to tank-style water heaters that keep a reserve of warm water in their tanks, tankless water heaters heat water as it passes through the unit. If you’re interested in a small, energy-efficient water heater, read our review below on the best tankless water heaters on Amazon.


Compare Top Tankless Water Heaters

Product Temperature Range Wattage Warranty Weight Dimensions
Product Temperature Range Wattage Warranty Weight Dimensions
Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater 68° to 140°F 18,000 7-year (leakage) 20 pounds ‎4.6 x 16.6 x 14.5 inches
Rinnai Indoor Tankless Hot Water Heater 98° to 140°F Gas powered Not listed 46 pounds ‎17.5 x 30 x 13 inches
Rinnai Outdoor Tankless Hot Water Heater Not listed Gas powered 10-year for heat exchanger 33 pounds 10.5 x 30 x 13 inches
EcoSmart ECO 18 Electric Tankless Water Heater 80° to 140°F 18,000 Lifetime for residential use 9 pounds 14 x 3.5 x 17 inches
EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater Not listed 13,000 Lifetime for residential use 6.5 pounds 3.8 x 8 x 11.5 inches
Rheem Tankless Electric Water Heater Not listed 8,000 Not listed 6 pounds ‎12.6 x 8.3 x 3.6 inches

Top 6 Tankless Water Heaters


Best Electric Flow Rate: Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater

White Stiebel tankless water heater with screen

Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater

  • $698

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This tankless water heater has a high flow rate for an electric unit, delivering 1.5–4.5 gallons per minute (GPM) of water. Additionally, its intelligent self-modulating technology and compact size ensure ongoing energy savings with no venting required.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Outfitted with memory settings
✔ Provides silent operation
✔ Has an advanced flow control function that keeps water temperature consistent while it’s in use

✘ Has a hefty restocking fee
✘ Has a larger footprint than other electric models

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked the longevity and reliability of this hot water heater. They said it worked in their home for over 10 years. Unsatisfied customers said that the unit arrived defective and that they came across issues when they tried to return the product.


Best Indoor Gas Model: Rinnai Indoor Tankless Hot Water Heater

White Rinnai tankless water heater

Rinnai Indoor Tankless Hot Water Heater

  • $832
  • $925
  • 10% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This tankless water heater uses gas instead of electricity for a higher flow rate. It’s installed inside to prevent cold temperatures from affecting its heating efficiency. With its flow rate of 7.5 GPM, it’s ideal for medium- and large-sized homes.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Built with enhanced scale detection to minimize long-term damage to the unit
✔ Can provide hot water to several appliances at once
✔ Equipped with a temperature lock that prevents accidental changes to water temperature

✘ Some customers said that the unit was difficult to install
✘ Most expensive option in this guide

What Customers Are Saying

Customers who were pleased with their purchase said that the unit was easy to install, had a quiet operation, and helped save them money on their utility bills. Disappointed customers said that the item arrived damaged, with one customer noting that the unit was dented.



Best Outdoor Gas Model: Rinnai Outdoor Tankless Hot Water Heater

White vertical Rinnai tankless water heater

Rinnai Outdoor Tankless Hot Water Heater

  • $618

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This gas-powered water heater is installed outside, making it best for homes that don’t have the space for inside installation or homeowners who don’t want to install ventilation with the water heater. The unit is relatively lightweight at 33 pounds, making installation easy.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Lightweight for a gas model at 33 pounds
✔ Offers the option to use Wi-Fi technology for remote control
✔ Approved by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which is responsible for regulating air pollution in California

✘ May not work with certain products, such as high-flow shower heads
✘ Doesn’t include a recess box to protect the unit from outdoor elements

What Customers Are Saying

Satisfied customers liked this product’s efficiency, ease of operation, temperature control, and savings. The product had limited negative reviews, though one person said that they experienced issues with the flow switch.


Best Medium Capacity: EcoSmart ECO 18 Electric Tankless Water Heater

White upright EcoSmart tankless water heater with digital readout

EcoSmart ECO 18 Electric Tankless Water Heater

  • $413
  • $499
  • 18% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This tankless water heater has a medium capacity for electric units with a flow rate between 1.8 and 4.3 GPM. It also has a temperature control that allows you to adjust the temperature of the water it produces in one-degree increments between 80 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Can help you save 60% on water-heating costs
✔ Offers point-of-use installation to limit the amount of time it takes hot water to get to you
✔ Has a wall-mounted design to free up floor space

✘ Some customers experienced poor customer service
✘ Must hire a plumber or electrician to install it to validate the warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Customers who were pleased with their purchase said that the water heater was easy to install, reliable, and sold at a reasonable price. Unsatisfied customers were disappointed with the manufacturer’s customer service, noting issues with utilizing the warranty.


Best Small Capacity: EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater

White EcoSmart electric tankless water heater with digital temperature screen

EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater

  • $225
  • $299
  • 25% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This tankless water heater has a low flow rate of 1.3–3.1 GPM, which is enough water for a small household of one or two people. The unit is capable of providing consistent performance within just one degree of the temperature you select.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Provides endless on-demand hot water at controlled flow rates
✔ Has a size that’s 90% smaller than traditional tank heaters
✔ Includes advanced self-modulating technology that only uses the precise amount of energy needed to heat the water

✘ The warranty doesn’t cover labor or accidental damages
✘ Can’t heat enough water for larger homes

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked this water heater’s easy setup, consistent performance, and energy savings. Those who weren’t pleased with their purchase mentioned issues with the warranty not being honored and tech support not being helpful.


Best Temperature Readout: Rheem Tankless Electric Water Heater

Silver Rheem tankless electric water heater

Rheem Tankless Electric Water Heater

  • $242

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This small corded electric water heater has an attractive and easy-to-read temperature display. The control knob located underneath the display is also easy to use to select the desired water temperature. The compact heater can be installed underneath a sink.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Provides hot water on-demand
✔ Uses little electricity while saving homeowners on gas costs
✔ Doesn’t require any venting, allowing installation anywhere inside the home

✘ Some customers had longevity issues with their unit
✘ Has a limited capacity at only eight kilowatts

What Customers Are Saying

Overall, most customers said this tankless water heater was effective. They added that it quickly heated their water when they needed it, and saved electricity by turning off when hot water wasn’t needed. However, some users complained about using the tankless water heater in a portable scenario, stating that the power cord necessary for the water heater was overly large.


Buyer’s Guide

Read our buying guide below to learn about important factors, such as power source and flow rate, that’ll help you pick a tankless water heater.

Power Source

Tankless water heaters use electricity or gas for power.

  • Electric: Electric water heaters connect to your home’s electrical system. As water passes through the unit, a sensor in the heating element turns on the burner, and a thermostat starts working to get the water heated to your desired temperature. The cost of an electric water heater is more affordable than the cost of a gas-powered one, but the unit is less efficient at heating the water that passes through it.
  • Gas: Gas-powered water heaters are more efficient, allowing them to heat enough water to run several appliances at once. They can be split into non-condensing and condensing subcategories based on whether they have one or two heat exchangers.
  • Non-condensing: A non-condensing unit has one heat exchanger. The exhaust it produces is around 300 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning the unit wastes a lot of heat that could be used to warm more water. However, this type of gas heater is more affordable than its condensing counterpart. The unit and installation also cost less because you can use the same ventilation from your previous gas-powered tank-style water heater.
  • Condensing: Condensing water heaters have a second heating system that recirculates the hot exhaust produced by the first heating system to heat more water. While the initial cost of this water heater is more than a non-condensing unit, you end up saving money in the long run because of its energy efficiency.

Flow Rate (GPM)

Tankless water heaters are rated by the number of gallons of hot water they can produce per minute, also known as their GPM. Electric water heaters have a lower flow rate than non-condensing gas heaters, which have a lower flow rate than condensing gas heaters. When considering the flow rate you need, think about how many appliances you want to run at once and how much water those appliances require. For example, kitchen faucets require about 0.5 GPM, shower heads require 2.5 GPM, dishwashers require one GPM, and washing machines require 1.5 GPM. If you want to run your dishwasher while showering, your unit will need a flow rate of at least three GPM to keep up with your demand.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Outdoor water heaters work well if you don’t have the space for one in your home or if you can’t install the ventilation needed for a gas-powered one. However, they aren’t as efficient in the winter months because they’re directly exposed to cold temperatures, forcing them to work harder to heat the water running through them.

Installation

Electric water heaters are easier to install than gas ones. Because of their small size, they can be placed in more areas than gas-powered water heaters. Once you’ve chosen a spot, connect the water heater to your electrical system and water pipes. If you install a gas-powered water heater inside, know that it will require ventilation to ensure the by-products produced by the burning gas don’t remain in your home and poison your family. Not only does this increase the installation cost and time, but it also limits where you can put the unit because you have to have space for the unit, vents, and ducts.

Maintenance and Warranty

Depending on the model and type of tankless water heater you choose, it should be maintained by a professional once or twice a year. Due to the mineral content (“hard” water) in many local water supplies, a professional may need to descale or delime your tankless water heater. Additionally, you may need a professional technician to install your new tankless water heater to validate the manufacturer’s warranty.


Frequently Asked Questions

Will I save money with a tankless water heater?

Yes. The cost of a tankless unit is more expensive than the cost of a tank-style unit. However, you’ll save money in the long run because it’s more efficient at heating water.

How long will it take my tankless water heater to heat my water?

Most tankless water heaters heat your water within seconds. The short lag you may experience is likely due to how far away the heater is from the tap.

Will my tankless water heater still work if the power goes out?

Since gas water heaters aren’t connected to your electrical system, they’ll still work if you experience a power outage. Electric heaters will still allow water to flow through them, but their heating element won’t work unless you have a battery backup.

What are the drawbacks of a tankless water heater?

The drawbacks of tankless water heaters typically include a longer wait time for hot water, high upfront installation costs, and difficulty achieving a lukewarm temperature. Additionally, electric tankless water heaters may not work during a power outage.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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