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If you’re already looking into tankless water heaters, you’ve probably heard about many of the benefits. You know these units will save you a significant amount of money on your utility bills over the long term -saving most buyers an average of 1/3 their fuel costs! You also know that they have the potential to provide unlimited, continuous hot water. They’re not limited by their tank size, which means you won’t have any limits on the amount of hot water you can access! If any of these benefits are new to you, you can read more on the pros and cons of tankless water heaters here! To make a long story short, they’re one of the best investments a homeowner can make right now.

The downside of having such an exciting new product is that many companies jump on the bandwagon. Tankless water heaters are incredibly popular, and many companies have cranked out their own versions without taking the time to engineer or build them properly. That can make it hard to figure out which ones are actually worth your money. Plus, given their high price tags, the stakes are high for you to pick the right one for your home.

Well you’re in the right place! We’ve done the research, and have four water heaters to recommend, including best sellers, best value, and best for medium and high demand. We’ll help you figure out the best option for your specific needs, so you can spend your money wisely. Whether you live alone or in a big house with a lot of folks, one of these heaters will be the right one for you.

PictureBrand & ModelAvaliable SizesFoam TypeOur RatingCheck Price
Bamboo Gel 13 Mattress by Brentwood HomeTwin Xl
California King
Full
King
QueenKing
Gel9.5Check Price
DynastyMattress Cool Breeze Gel Memory FoamTwin Xl
California King
Full
King
Queen
Sleep Cool Technology Foam9.5Check Price
DreamFoam Mattress Ultimate DreamsTwin Xl
California King
Full
King
Queen
Gel Memory Foam9.5Check Price
LUCID 14-Inch Plush Memory Foam MattressTwin Xl
California King
Full
King
Queen
Plant9.7Check Price
Resort Sleep 10-inch Cool Memory Foam MattressTwin Xl
California King
Full
King
Queen
Gel Memory Foam10Check Price
Signature Sleep Memoir 12-Inch Memory FoamFull
King
Queen
Twin
Gel9.5Check Price
Zinus Memory Foam Green Tea MattressTwin Xl
California King
Full
King
Queen
Gel9.5Check Price

EcoSmart

Eco 27

The Ecosmart ECO 27 is Ecosmart’s most powerful heater, designed to handle on-demand water heating in even the coldest climates. In warm climates it can run several fixtures at once in a larger household. We think it’s an excellent choice for single-shower setups in cold spots, or for larger households in moderate climes.

It excels in the cold. The ECO 27 is a heater that can hang tough in the cold of winter, possessing a 3 GPM flow rate even at 37-degree inlet water temps, which is just about as cold as you can get without your inlet pipes freezing.

That power comes in handy in warmer applications, too. The Eco 27 can provide up to 6 GPM with more temperate weather! That’s easily enough to run two showers at once, especially if you’re using low-flow fixtures.

It’s still relatively affordable. Plus, it’s more efficient than the Rheem. The ECO 27 self modulates to accurately use energy only when called to do so, which means increased efficiency and increased energy savings.

Best of all, it has a lifetime warranty on the unit itself. That’s as good as it gets for coverage. The warranty even transfers between owners, if you sell your house. Installing this unit will make it easier to sell your house, too, since it raises the market value! And the price is, comparatively, quite reasonable.

A couple of reviewers note that the effective flow rate performed significantly below expectations, with colder water than they desired in cold climates. And, unless you live in a southern climate, the flow rate might not be high enough to ensure seamless, unlimited, piping hot water throughout a larger household (5+ people). It’s not quite as powerful as the Takagi we’ve recommended as the best of the best.

The lifetime warranty has a lot of fine print, and some reviewers were disappointed by the level of customer service they received when they ran into problems with their units.

Overall

With a reasonable price tag and the ability to power through colder temperatures, the ECO 27 could be a great mid-sized household option (3-5 people). The effective flow rate in the winter will be lower in cold climates, but you might be able to adjust to a slightly differentiated hot water schedule in the cold parts of the year, with increased performance the rest of the time.
This one is a good choice if you want a bit more power and flow than the Rheem RTEX 13 above, without spending a tremendous amount more.

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Rheem

RTEX-13

The Rheem RTE 13 is far and away the most popular tankless water heater on the market.  The brand-new RTEX-13 is the updated version, and it’s even better! This model has only been out a short while, but it’s already proving to be a more reliable, user-friendly unit than the previous one.

The Rheem is an ideal choice for a one-shower household, or for two showers if they’re equipped with 1.5 GPM low flow showerheads. This one is a terrific choice if you live alone, and should similarly work well for couples/roommates in one bathroom apartments.

The obvious advantage for this heater is the price, which is pretty unbeatable. As the reviewer noted above, it’s extremely small, which again would be an advantage for people living alone or in single-bathroom households. Since it is an electric heater, it will cost less upfront to install, and if it lasts even only a year and a half, it will pay for itself. Previous buyers reported that this one easily paid for itself in less than two years!

It has a maximum flow rate of up to 4 gallons per minute (GPM), which is very impressive at this price. Such a high flow rate means you can be taking a shower while someone in the next room washes their hands.

Even with such a high flow rate, it’s super compact and convenient, so you can install it in cabinetry, or hidden under the sink!

This latest version adds a user-friendly digital thermostat. It has a simple dial and very accurate temperature readout, accurate to within a degree.

At 99.8% efficient, you don’t get more intelligent design than this!

The older version wasn’t perfect in terms of reliability, especially when you compared it to the larger Rheem’s. This one gets back to the company’s reputation for spotless durability records. It has improved copper immersion heating elements and

The flipside of being a small unit means that it is not the most powerful. Without low flow showerheads, two simultaneous showers is out of the question, and given that the 4 GPM flow rate is a maximum, you shouldn’t expect to use dual 2.0 GPM fixtures at once.

The Rheem isn’t the best unit for larger households (more than, say, three people). We recommend it for apartments, or for single bathrooms in larger homes where it’s more convenient to add an additional tankless unit than to try and make distant suites run off a central heater.

Reviewers say that the flow rating might not live up to expectations in cold climates, especially in larger households. Most agreed that it’s  not a unit for the coldest climates.

Overall

By far the cheapest unit here, with a large flow rate for the price, the RTEX 13 is a great choice for small households and apartments. It could also be made to work in larger households, as long as you are conscientious about hot water usage. Just don’t expect it to thrive if you push it to the limit (i.e., simultaneous showers, particularly cold climates). It’s probably worth taking the 4 GPM claim with a grain of salt, and it’s always good to err on the safe side with your flow rate  requirements to ensure proper performance. With all that said, this unit is popular for a reason. It provides a lot of output for the price, and it’s very easy to make work from a space perspective.

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Takagi

T-KJr2-IN-NG

This Takagi is an extremely well-reviewed water heater that should be perfect for most households of up to 5 people, even in cold climates.  It also has a great price, considering all of its capabilities!  If you have a house with lots of people who need showers, this may be the best choice for you! It’s also a good choice for people who want to hook multiple showers up to the same unit.

This one is similar in energy usage to the ECO 27, but will be more reliable and allow significantly higher flow rates in the winter/cold climates.

The Takagi is extremely well-liked. Out of 80 reviews, there is only one 1-star review! That person warned about installation costs, which are common to all tankless gas water heaters. And, since it is a tankless gas heater, you will save much more than the installation money over the long term. That’s especially with a reliable model like this. Overall, this model is much better over the long term than our other recommendations.

Unlike the ECO 27 above, its 6.6 GPM flow rate should perform similarly in the winter and the summer. This one performs consistently no matter your climate or season. Two showers at once also won’t be a problem for the Takagi, especially for households with at least one low-flow showerhead.

There’s a digital remote for precise control available separately.

It costs a lot more than the ECO 27. The Takagi outperforms the ECO in colder climes, but in warmer climates they have similar flow rates, so medium-sized households (3-5 people) in warmer places can get away with the cheaper option.

It’s not quite the most powerful unit we’ve reviewed. This one’s fine for anything up to medium demand, but it’s not appropriate for the largest households. If you are looking for absolute, assured supply of  hot water through several fixtures and in colder climates, a higher demand option might be more up your alley.

Since this is a gas-powered unit, significantly higher upfront costs are required to vent the gas to the outside. That’s why this costs a bit more to install than our cheaper recommendations, which are electric.

Overall

The Takagi is a great mid-sized option if you are sure you want a gas heater and want to be assured of performance in cold and hot weather. But if you live in a warmer spot, you might be able to get away with the ECO 27 above and have a similar experience for less money. Having said that, the Takagi is definitely a more reliable choice for the long haul.

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To make an informed, considered choice of a tankless hot water heater, you need to think about a lot of variables: gas vs. electric, hot water demand, the climate you live in, installation costs, and of course, how much you have to pay. Not every household needs the big behemoth heater, and not every household can get away with the smaller one. There is a lot of technical information worth considering before your purchase.

To make an informed, considered choice of a tankless hot water heater, you need to think about a lot of variables: gas vs. electric, hot water demand, the climate you live in, installation costs, and of course, how much you have to pay. Not every household needs the big behemoth heater, and not every household can get away with the smaller one. There is a lot of technical information worth considering before your purchase.

To make an informed, considered choice of a tankless hot water heater, you need to think about a lot of variables: gas vs. electric, hot water demand, the climate you live in, installation costs, and of course, how much you have to pay. Not every household needs the big behemoth heater, and not every household can get away with the smaller one. There is a lot of technical information worth considering before your purchase.

To make an informed, considered choice of a tankless hot water heater, you need to think about a lot of variables: gas vs. electric, hot water demand, the climate you live in, installation costs, and of course, how much you have to pay. Not every household needs the big behemoth heater, and not every household can get away with the smaller one. There is a lot of technical information worth considering before your purchase.

To make an informed, considered choice of a tankless hot water heater, you need to think about a lot of variables: gas vs. electric, hot water demand, the climate you live in, installation costs, and of course, how much you have to pay. Not every household needs the big behemoth heater, and not every household can get away with the smaller one. There is a lot of technical information worth considering before your purchase.

To make an informed, considered choice of a tankless hot water heater, you need to think about a lot of variables: gas vs. electric, hot water demand, the climate you live in, installation costs, and of course, how much you have to pay. Not every household needs the big behemoth heater, and not every household can get away with the smaller one. There is a lot of technical information worth considering before your purchase.

Conclusion

We hope this list has helped you narrow down the type of water heater you are looking for, or even pointed you to a model that suits your specific needs. Your success with any of these options will depend on the needs of the individual household, and is a matter of balancing lots of different specs and factors, as we’ve discussed.

Many people choose the Rheem RTEX 13 (option #1) because of low upfront costs, and for smaller households (1-2 people) it is a terrific option.

The ECO 27 (option #2) and the Takagi T-KJr2 (option #3) are both good choices for medium-demand households (3-5 people). The ECO 27 is best for medium-demand folks on a budget, while the Takagi offers more consistent performance and better long-term reliability.

And if you want to be assured of hot water in your heart of hearts, no matter the circumstances, the Rheem RTGH-95 (option #4) bulldozes the competition. However, it’s pretty pricey, and most households probably don’t need a high-demand unit like this.

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Abby Larson

Abby Larson

Abby is the editor in chief of WifeKnows, sharing the writing and brainstorming of new guides and reviews with a special team of colleagues.
Abby Larson

Latest posts by Abby Larson (see all)

Abby Larson

Author Abby Larson

Abby is the editor in chief of WifeKnows, sharing the writing and brainstorming of new guides and reviews with a special team of colleagues.

More posts by Abby Larson

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