Best tankless water heaters
If you’re researching the best tankless water heaters, you probably know these tankless units save a lot of energy compared to traditional water heaters while supplying your home with plenty of hot water. That’s awesome.
Now that you’ve decided to buy a tankless water heater for your home, it’s important to choose the best model for your hot water needs. From picking out the right size for your family to investing in the best brand and type of tankless water heater, homeowners should consider several factors before buying.
That’s why we’ve done all the research necessary to develop this buying guide on the best tankless water heaters. We’re here to make the process easy for you.
Read on to learn what makes a great tankless water heater and why we’ve selected our eight picks below as the best tankless water heaters today. All heaters listed are available for purchase at Home Depot or Amazon, often with water heater installation by a professional plumber as an option.
Our list of the best tankless water heaters
So, what’s the best tankless water heater? We start our list with the best overall pick that is the most suitable for the average homeowner looking for a reliable, affordable product. Next, our list identifies the top tankless water heaters in other various categories so you can find the perfect unit for your specific hot water needs. These tankless water heaters rank high in durability, performance and price.
Here are the best tankless water heaters:
- Best overall: Rheem Performance Tankless Electric Water Heater
- Runner-up, best electric: Stiebel Eltron TempraTankless Water Heater
- Best natural gas: Rinnai Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater
- Best high-end: Takagi Condensing Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater
- Best outdoor: Rinnai Value Series Outdoor Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater
- Best for small homes: EcoSmart ECOElectric Tankless Water Heater
- Best point-of-use: Stiebel Eltron DHC-E Point-of-Use Electric Tankless Water Heater
- Best space-saver: Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater
If you’re unsure which of our top picks is right for you, consider the following three key factors:
- Power source (electric vs. gas)
- Application (whole-house vs. point-of-use)
- Demand and home size (number of showers and fixtures used at once)
If you’re replacing a natural-gas-powered traditional water heater inside a utility closet to supply your whole house (with two bathrooms), look at our picks for the best natural gas and high-end tankless water heaters.
On the other hand, if you want to invest in the best tankless water heater to install in your newly constructed house, we’ll point you straight to the top two options on our list.
Continue to our detailed reviews to discover why these tankless water heaters earned a place in our buying guide.
Rheem Performance Tankless Electric Water Heater
After studying every leading tankless water heater available, we decided that Rheem’s premium line of tankless electric water heaters takes the top spot on our list. Rheem Performance Tankless Electric Water Heater models (you can select the right size for you) all feature easy-to-use controls with a digital display, allowing you to adjust the temperature by one degree at a time. They’re energy-efficient and come at a reasonable price point.
The heater is powerful enough to heat water for up to five showers at once. With cutting-edge self-modulation, the heater automatically adjusts its energy consumption according to your household’s hot water consumption. If you need a propane tankless water heater instead of an electric, the Rheem Performance Plus line has those, too.
- Energy-efficient, whole-house electric heater supports up to five showers at once
- Reliable brand name with a five-year heat exchanger warranty and one-year parts warranty
- Self-modulating technology saves more energy with automatic adjustments
- Digital display and knob control allow temperature changes in one-degree increments
- Easy flex-hose installation option and no venting required
- Suitable for use as a whole-house solution or point-of-use heater
Best for: Midsize to large homes where the everyday family needs a continuous hot water source daily
This reliable, affordable water heater will let one family member shower while the laundry is washing on warm and you’re washing dishes under hot water. It’s a great family-friendly solution that offers significant energy savings to boot.
Stiebel Eltron Tempra Tankless Water Heater
The line of Stiebel Eltron Tempra Tankless Water Heaters is comparable to the Rheem Performance electric tankless water heaters but tends to be a bit pricier. For that extra cost, you get the Advanced Flow Control feature invented by Stiebel Eltron, which automatically maintains temperature by adjusting flow when multiple sources are demanding hot water.
The heater is a bit less powerful than the Rheem Performance, but can still supply water for up to four showers at once. Stiebel stands out, however, for its great warranty — a seven-year leakage warranty and three-year parts warranty.
- Whole-house water heater supports up to four showers at once
- Advanced Flow Control technology maintains water temperature to stop cold showers
- Reliable brand name with a seven-year leakage warranty and three-year parts warranty
- “Plus” models monitor energy cost savings and water flow, and include preset buttons
Best for: The family that wants a bit extra for their midsize to large home
If you have wiggle room in your budget, you might opt for a Stiebel tankless water heater over the Rheem Performance line. These units include features that make your hot water supply even more reliable and easy to control, like Advanced Flow Control and preset temperature buttons.
Rinnai Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater
We generally recommend electric water heaters over natural gas water heaters; however, if your home already has a gas line for a gas-powered water heater or you need gas to achieve higher gpm, the Rinnai Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater is our top pick for you. These non-condensing indoor tankless natural gas water heater models offer a whole-house solution that saves energy at a moderate price. Propane models are also available.
Rinnai tankless water heaters feature upgrade options that also put them high on our list. You can add recirculation technology by purchasing the pump kit and control module. This helps you save water and get hot water faster by returning unused water to the water heater. Anytime you use hot water and turn it off, the water still in the pipes will go through the recirculation pump instead of sitting in the pipes to get cold.
Another add-on option is the Wi-Fi control module. You can purchase this separately to enable Wi-Fi remote control for your Rinnai tankless water heater.
- Whole-house water heater supports up to three showers at once
- Recirculation technology returns unused water to the heater (requires add-on parts)
- Non-condensing models keep prices affordable while still offering energy efficiency
- Outstanding 12-year warranty on the heat exchanger and one-year parts warranty
Best for: Small to midsize homes with an existing natural gas line for the water heater, or homes in colder climates that need the higher gpm performance that gas-powered heaters can achieve compared to electric heaters
Quality natural gas tankless water heaters can get expensive fast, so we chose this Rinnai option as the best quality solution that doesn’t break the bank. Its optional upgrades are also awesome features for homeowners who want to improve their efficiency further — and the warranty is truly outstanding.
Takagi Condensing Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater
The Energy Star-certified Takagi Condensing Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater is one of the absolute best tankless heaters on the market. The unit is so robust that it meets requirements for light commercial applications (e.g., small restaurants, salons, etc.) and larger residential applications. And because it’s a condensing tankless water heater, it’s a high-efficiency unit that can deliver high energy savings while meeting your greatest hot water demands.
- Supports up to four showers in warm climates and three showers in cold climates
- 15-year heat exchanger warranty (residential use) and five-year parts warranty
- Includes dual heat exchangers, advanced safety features and multi-unit linking
- Certified for altitudes up to 10,100 feet (indoor installation only)
Best for: Homeowners looking to splurge on a high-end tankless water heater with premium heating components and safety features
Users can link these water heaters together to form a multi-unit system for any home, whether a one-bath cottage or an eight-bath mansion. Plus, this is the only unit on our list that is Energy Star-certified.
Rinnai Value Series Outdoor Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater
While many tankless water heaters are designed for installation in climate-controlled indoor spaces like utility closets or basements, the Rinnai Value Series Outdoor Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater is suitable for attics, garages and other unregulated areas with colder temperatures.
Due to a few outstanding factors, we chose the Rinnai Value Series Outdoor Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater as our top pick for outdoor installations. One is that the top model supports a whopping six showers at once. The second is that this brand offers a fantastic warranty. And finally, the unit has built-in freeze protection. You can’t go wrong with a Rinnai outdoor heater.
- Whole-house water heater supports up to six showers at once
- Automatic freeze protection with approval for high-altitude installation
- 10-year heat exchanger warranty and five-year parts warranty
Best for: Any home that requires outdoor installation
This Rinnai tankless water heater is a no-brainer for homeowners needing an outdoor solution. It’s reasonably priced with a great warranty, and built-in freeze protection makes it suitable for all climates.
EcoSmart ECO Electric Tankless Water Heater
Owned by Rheem, EcoSmart is a newer brand that offers electric tankless water heaters known for their durability and awesome lifetime warranty. The EcoSmart ECOElectric Tankless Water Heater is pricier than comparable Rheem-branded models. Still, EcoSmart heaters are stainless steel (unlike Rheem products), meaning they’re rust-resistant and longer-lasting.
The downside is that EcoSmart heaters are less powerful. That’s why we list them as the best option for smaller homes, like condos, townhouses, and one- to two-bedroom houses. Even the top-of-the-line EcoSmart tankless unit supplies hot water to only two showers at once. If that’s all you need, this may be the perfect solution for your home.
- Works well in cold climates with incoming water as low as 37 degrees Fahrenheit
- Lifetime warranty on electronics, heat exchanger and parts
- Digital display shows output temperature and adjusts in one-degree increments
- Rust-resistant copper and stainless-steel components maximize durability
- Can be upgraded to increase hot water output with the add-on SmartBoost
Best for: One- to two-bath homes, condos and townhouses with low-volume hot water needs
EcoSmart tankless water heaters are perfect for homeowners who don’t need to waste money on a larger, fancier unit when a simple solution will do. These units offer affordability and durability to homeowners across all climates. And if you want to add power for more hot water later on, the SmartBoost option makes that possible.
Stiebel Eltron DHC-E Point-of-Use Electric Tankless Water Heater
When you need a great tankless water heater that wires in near the water fixture it’s supplying, Stiebel Eltron can’t be beaten. Smaller models of the Stiebel Eltron DHC-E Point-of-UseElectric Tankless Water Heater can supply one or two sinks at a time, while larger models can supply a low-flow shower or laundry room.
Stiebel Eltron point-of-use heaters are designed to fit in small spaces and look nice unconcealed. For example, you can wall-mount one next to your shower while maintaining a comfortable, homey environment.
- Quiet operation, thanks to hydraulic controls that minimize noise at the water fixture
- Premium “E” models include self-modulation to balance temperature and flow
- Reliable brand name with a seven-year leakage warranty and three-year parts warranty
- Small size and attractive design look great in unconcealed installations
Best for: Higher-volume point-of-use hot water needs, such as a shower or laundry room that is far from your main water heater, or a remote outdoor shower or commercial sink that needs its own hot water source
There are plenty of point-of-use products out there that provide instant hot water to a nearby water fixture. This Stiebel solution is ideal for applications on the larger end, like buffering a shower, clothes washing machine or dishwasher. See our next pick if you need an instant water heater for a smaller application, like a single kitchen sink.
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater
When you need an itty-bitty point-of-use instant water heater that packs a powerful punch at the faucet, the Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater is your best bet. This plug-in tankless water heater (in-line wiring optional) measures less than 14-by-14 inches in size. It fits just about anywhere, like under a kitchen sink or on a shelf.
- Supplies on-demand hot water to one sink or low-flow water fixture (like a dishwasher)
- Can buffer an existing water heater with cold water gaps
- Long life span, with a six-year leakage warranty and two-year parts warranty
- Glass-lined storage tank helps maximize the life of the internal components
Best for: Low-volume instant hot water applications, such as a single kitchen sink or dishwasher
The Bosch Mini-Tank is the smallest tankless water heater on our list, making it great for small-space installations like under a sink or tucked away in an RV. Use it to get hot water on demand, rather than waiting for a distant water heater’s flow to go through pipe after pipe.
Skip expensive water heater repair bills with Cinch
It’s frustrating when your water heater malfunctions and you’re not prepared for the hefty bill that comes with a repair or replacement. You can eliminate that experience by signing up for a low-cost home warranty.
The Built-in Systems plan from Cinch Home Services covers the cost of repairing or replacing major built-in home systems due to normal wear and tear, including your water heater. Cinch even offers a Complete Home plan with expanded coverage, protecting many appliances, from your water heater to your refrigerator and clothes dryer.
Since the manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t always cover basic water heater repairs, you can save a lot of money and hassle with a more extensive home warranty.
Request an instant quote for a Cinch warranty today and find out how to protect all of your home’s critical systems.