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Best bargain electric heaters under $100

These budget buys performed well in our tests and even beat some pricier models.

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Last updated: 05 June 2023

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 range

CHOICE 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.

Top rated heaters under $100

omega altise oafh2000w

Omega Altise OAFH2000W fan heater: Great price, great performance.

Omega Altise OAFH2000W fan heater

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 75% (Recommended)
  • Heating score: 76%
  • Price: $85

Recommended by our experts, this is one of the highest rating heaters in our test – and also one of the cheapest. That's a double win!

Not only is it a great price, it also has excellent comparative energy efficiency, so it won't burn a hole in your pocket. 

Our experts were impressed by the number of features it has for the price – it compares well even with more expensive heaters. All it's missing is a remote control and a timer, which you can probably excuse when it's so cheap. 

Read the full Omega Altise OAFH2000W review.

anko dl05l f

It just missed out on being recommended, but this Kmart panel heater is a good budget option.

Anko DL05L-F panel heater

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 70%
  • Heating score: 68%
  • Price: $69

While it didn't quite make the cut-off to be recommended by our experts, this Kmart heater still performs well for the price, so it's not a bad option if you're looking for a cheaper heater. 

It's also quite energy efficient, and will only add about $278 to your winter heating bill, which is welcome news if you're on a budget.

Our experts couldn't find anything negative to say about it, which speaks volumes about its performance – especially for the low price point. 

Read the full Anko DL05L-F heater review

dimplex dhcera20e

Dimplex DHCERA20E: Worth it if you have $145 to spend on a new heater.

If you've got a little extra to spend: Dimplex DHCERA20E ($145)

Got a bit more cash to spend on a heater? If your budget can stretch to $145, this tower ceramic heater is also recommended by our experts. 

It scored 70% overall, with a heating score of 72%, and its running costs over winter come in at just over $300. It also has plenty of features, including a remote, carry handle, cooling fan, light and oscillating movement. 

Read the full Dimplex DHCERA20E heater review

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.