Need to know
- We reviewed more than 35 popular models from Dyson, DeLonghi, Arlec, Kmart Anko, Kambrook and more
- Our tests revealed cheaper heaters that outperformed $500+ models
- Our experts rate key factors like heating performance, safety, ease of use, running costs, noise and more
If you're looking for a cheap fix to fend off the winter chills, an electric heater is probably your best bet.
While they're not great for heating large spaces or energy efficiency, a decent unit can reliably turn the heat up in a room so you can at least feel your toes again.
The great news is our latest lab tests uncovered some impressive performers for under $100 that should do the trick. Some cheaper models even rated better than big-budget flops that cost well over $500.
The bad news is they also found plenty of cheapies that rated poorly. Kmart's Anko heaters, for example, have a terrible track record but happily we found one this year that’s worth considering (which we reveal below).
Some cheaper models even rated better than big-budget flops that cost well over $500
Of course, when you're shopping online or in store, it can be impossible to tell the hot from the not, which is why we've scientifically tested more than 30 popular heaters, including fan, convection, column, panel and tower types from leading brands.
What our heating expert says
"Sadly, there are some terrible heaters out there at all price points," says CHOICE heating expert Chris Barnes.
"Some don't have enough grunt to raise the temp in our test chamber by 10, or even five degrees. Others have failed our safety tests or suck up a lot of power, which means higher running costs."
"Quality can even vary dramatically within a brand's own range, which can make shopping even more confusing," he adds.
"We've seen some brands put out very good panel heaters but also release very ordinary oil heaters. That's why it's so important to do your research before buying one."
Quality can even vary dramatically within a brand's own rangeCHOICE heating expert Chris Barnes
Consider becoming a CHOICE member to see two great bargain buys under $100 (and one recommended model that costs just a little more) so you can bag a good quality heater than actually warms your home.
Members can access the list compiled by our experts and our full heater test results, plus reviews for over 200 other product categories.
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Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.