6 Best Portable Car Heaters For This Winter

Dominic Mitton
By Dominic  • Reviewed by Ben  • Updated:   October 26, 2023
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Do you think your car heating system is just not enough and you’re looking for the most affordable alternative?

Your car might have a poor heating system and it wouldn’t be cheap if you were looking to fix it or improve it – no worries, that’s where portable car heaters come in help.

Portable car heaters are very efficient, they’ll keep you warm and cozy during the coldest winter days, and they’re affordable.

Before revealing the best 6 portable car heaters on the market, let’s talk about some things that will help you make a smart purchase.

Things To Consider Before Buying Portable Car Heater

  • Power: Although portable car heaters use the energy from your car, you should still consider the power you think you need. The best example is that RVs and sports cars shouldn’t be using the same portable heater.
  • Type: There are different types of these heaters, but the safest option is a 12V car heater as it prevents any serious risk that can cause a fire.
  • Positioning: Some heaters require different positioning, so always check which one fits your vehicle the most.
  • Easy installation: The last thing you’d want is a heater that requires constant installation and care, you should go with something that just needs to be plugged in to start working.

6 Best Portable Car Heaters That Won’t Disappoint You

1. Best overall: Here Due 12V Portable Car Heater

Our Pick
12V Portable Car Heater That Plugs into Cigarette Lighter
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This is currently the most efficient and effective portable car heater.

The best thing about it is that it can heat in the winter and cool in the summer – so you’re not just buying a heater, you’re buying a helpful device that you can use all year round.

All you have to do is plug it into a 12V cigarette outlet, turn your car heating on, and it will start doing its job.

Another thing worth mentioning is a 360° rotating base which allows you to easily turn it on to defrost the windshield. I believe this keeps you safer on the road.

No matter the size of your car – you’ll find this heater helpful.

It’s very quiet, so you can still listen to your favorite radio while this heater is on.

2. With Fast Heating: Urbesty Air Purification Heater

Our Pick
Portable Car Heater with Air Purification

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This heater also provides a heating and cooling option, so you can use it in both summer and winter.

What’s impressive about this heater is the 3 outlet design that can heat the whole car in just under a minute.

So, on cold winter days, you won’t have to wait a couple of minutes to defrost the windshield and to keep your vision clear while driving. I believe this is super helpful.

You can use this heater in all types of vehicles – no matter if it’s an RV, jeep, truck, or a normal car.

It’s durable, so expect it to be a bit heavier than other portable car heaters.

3. Best for RVs: Zerostart 2600900

Our Pick
Interior Car Warmer Compact Plug-in Electric Portable Heater
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05/17/2024 10:44 am GMT

This car heater has 3,000 BTU, so expect it to be four times more powerful than the average car heater.

Because of the power and size – you should only use it for RVs.

What makes this heater also unique is the overheating protection meaning that the device will automatically turn off if the temperature reaches 158° F (70° C). This eliminates any chance of causing a fire.

Even better – it will automatically turn on after half an hour.

The installation is the same as with other car heaters, just make sure to position it properly so it doesn’t move around.

4. Best Defrosting: Hxeredue Defroster Demister

Our Pick
Car Heater Windshield Defroster Demister
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Another quality heater coming from the same brand, it’s very similar to our top choice, but it has some drawbacks compared to it.

It’s made from ABS material and polymer heat-resistant plastic, so durability isn’t questionable. Due to high-quality pure copper cable, it does no harm to a car battery.

The installation is easy, simply plug it in the cigarette outlet and you’re perfectly fine.

A thing worth mentioning is the 360° rotating holder that makes everything a lot easier and more convenient.

You just have to know that this heater is mostly suitable for US-made cars because of the outlet.

5. Best Seat Cushion Heater: Comfier Massage Seat Cushion

Our Pick
Comfier Massage Seat Cushion with Heat
$59.96 ($59.96 / Count)
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05/17/2024 10:48 am GMT

This is a completely different type of heater that will heat you instead of the windshield.

Besides fast heating options, it has vibration massage to make your driving experience even better.

You can adjust massaging to the neck, upper and lower back which really relaxes all of your muscles that get stressed while driving.

You can switch between 2 heat levels.

The lower heat level will usually heat faster, so I recommend using it in the beginning and then changing it to a higher heat level if needed.

There’s no risk on your side buying this seat cushion heater as they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6. Budget-Friendly: Amazon Basics 500-Watt

Our Pick
Amazon Basics 500-Watt Ceramic Small Space Personal Mini Heater
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05/17/2024 09:18 am GMT

This is a small ceramic personal heater that’s small enough to fit in the car.

What I like about it besides being budget-friendly is that it has tip-over protection which makes it perfectly safe for the car.

You can even carry it with you in the office and not only use it in the car.

The biggest drawback is that you’ll need a power bank for it to heat inside of your car (different plug outlets), but once you start using it – you’ll be surprised how powerful it is.

This would be a great alternative for space heaters as well.

It has fast heating due to efficient ceramic coils which are known to be heated quickly.

What to Look For In A Portable Car Heater?


Depending on your needs, you should buy different types of heaters.

If you’re looking for a windshield heater, look for something with fast heating and a 360° stand.

On the other side, if you’re looking to heat the whole car, look for something more powerful.


Portable car heaters usually use a 12V power outlet and they can be plugged into the cigarette outlet – but what if your car doesn’t have a cigarette outlet?

It’s similar to USB heaters that require a USB port to be functional.

Always look for a portable car heater that’s actually compatible with your own car.

Heating & Cooling

Some heaters also have cooling functions that allow you to use them both during the summer and winter.

I bought a portable car heater because I needed fast windshield heating, but I’m now using it more on warm summer days.

Try to always choose a heater with both options.


A heavy heater is usually more powerful, but if you’re not seeking power, always go with lightweight models.

Even lightweight models can stand still inside your car and they’re much more practical when they’re not heavy.

Is It Safe To Place Portable Heater In The Car

Portable car heaters are generally safer than most other types of heaters.

A lot of 12V car heaters have overheating protection or inline fuse that prevents any risk of causing fire or damage.

Same as battery-operated heaters, they’re not powerful enough to even be able to cause a fire.

However, some more powerful portable heaters (meant for home use) might be too powerful for small interiors such as your car. I’d stay away from those because of safety reasons.

Hey there! I am Benas, the founder and content editor at Home Caprice. Thanks for reading the article. I hope you were able to find what you were looking for. I and my team are here to simplify heating and cooling for everyone. Please have a look at the About page for more details about our website and feel free to check out our editorial process.