The 7 Best Portable Electric Car Heaters to Buy in 2018

Defrost quickly and be on your way

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The Rundown

  • Best Overall: 12V Tvird at Amazon, “Offering 180 degrees of rotation, hot air quickly flows up, down and all around.”
  • Best 360-Degree: STYCC at Amazon, “Composed of high-quality materials — like a premium copper cable — this heater has plenty to like.”
  • Best Multipurpose: Ixaer at Amazon, “Begins warming up a car within 30 seconds of being plugged into any 12V input.”
  • Best Budget: Schumacher 12V at Amazon, “The unit promises to heat up in minutes and runs power directly from your cigarette lighter.”
  • Best Reach: niceEshop at Amazon, “Takes it up a notch with a 47-inch cable that can stretch to the backseat of most cars for rapid warming.”
  • Best Design: Universal 12V at Amazon, “The user-friendly design jumps out right away with a swinging handle.”
  • Best Universal: Nuzamas 12V DC at Amazon, “A dashboard-friendly option that's lightweight and easy to use.”


Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Tvird 12V Car Heater

The 12V Tvird Car Heater is a standout choice for warming up a vehicle fast. Offering 180 degrees of rotation, hot air quickly flows up, down and all around. With three separate output ports, hot air can rapidly spread heat throughout the car before or during driving. Two different power level options provide additional control depending on the temperature outside. Beyond heating up the vehicle, the Tvird car heater doubles as a window defroster if pointed directly at the rear or front windshields.

Best 360-Degree: STYCC Portable Car Heater

When you need to defrost your auto quickly, the STYCC portable car heater gets the job done in sixty seconds. Composed of high-quality materials — like a premium copper cable — this heater has plenty to like. A 47-inch long cable is among the longest in the category allowing the heater to be moved around as needed. The cable can connect to any 12V car adapter. The heater doesn’t wait for a car to warm up as it starts instantly.

Once it’s in place with the included adhesive, 360-degree rotation takes over pumping out hot air. Every nook and corner of a vehicle is reached to defrost the windows. Measuring 6.3" x 3.74", the STYCC is out of the way even if it's attached to the center of your dashboard. As an added bonus, the STYCC can pump out cool air during warmer months.

Best Multipurpose: Ixaer Car Heater Fan

The Ixaer portable car heater begins warming up a car within 30 seconds of being plugged into any 12V input. Powered by three different air outlets and a 360-degree rotating base for evenly warming up the inside of a vehicle, the Ixaer can quickly make you comfortable when you're waiting for the engine to heat up and start blowing its own hot air. Doubling as a window defroster, thanks to its warm-air mode, the Ixaer will rapidly reduce time spent waiting for windows to defrost before placing the car into drive. And it can quickly switch into cold-air fan mode during the summer to cool down the car. The Ixaer is compact enough to sit directly on a dashboard without impairing vision or vehicle operation.

Best Budget: Schumacher 12V Ceramic Heater

When you’re talking about products with an average price point between $15 and $30, the budget option had better be cheap. The Schumacher 12V heater comes in well under the competition, which is pretty amazing as the unit promises to heat up in minutes and runs power directly from your cigarette lighter. Of course, there are some shortcomings, including a finicky power current optimization and some mixed Amazon reviews, but these heaters are a last-ditch effort that aren't meant to replace the work of a full-car heating system. All in all, you can overlook some of the poor reviews for the price point, but it is important to check what wattage your car can put out through the cigarette lighter (this unit takes 150W) because for the device to even put out any heat it has to be rated correctly for your vehicle. 

Best Reach: niceEshop Portable Car Heater

While most 12V portable car heaters can reach to the dashboard, the niceEshop takes it up a notch with a 47-inch cable that can stretch to the backseat of most cars for rapid warming. Designed for both heat and defrosting windows, the niceEshop includes three outputs, each with its own powerful airflow that can both heat up and cool down in a flash. Capable of fitting any vehicle with a 12V power input, the unit includes premium materials like a copper cable for increased longevity and lifespan. The base can be mounted using double-sided adhesive tape (not included). Once attached, the niceEshop rotates 180-degrees for sending airflow in a variety of directions.

Best Design: Universal 12V Car Heater

Capable of pumping out 80 degrees of heat during those chilly winter days, this portable auto heater with swing-out handle comes in handy. The user-friendly design jumps out right away with a swinging handle. Owners can use the handle to specifically direct heat against a window. Air is blown through its ten-slot “grid” that allows for maximum airflow. This leads to faster defrosting of the most important windows. If you’d prefer to remain hands-off, the double-sided adhesive base sticks to any dashboard. Once attached, there’s a 360-degree axis base that hits on every window in small to medium size autos.  

Reaching its peak temperature in about thirty seconds, the heater attaches via a 12V adapter. The built-in fuse adds an extra layer of safety preventing overheating. While blowing out air, there’s minimal noise so it can be used during travel where the sound of a radio can drown out whatever noise is produced. 

Best Universal: Nuzamas 12V DC Car Heater Fan

NUZAMAS 12V DC Car Demister Heater Fan for Front Windscreen Window 150W Winter / Cold Weather Foggy Screen Removal
Courtesy of Amazon

Built to last with a strong ABS plastic exterior, the Nuzamas car heater fan is a dashboard-friendly option that's lightweight and easy to use. The included 4.5-foot cable allows the heater to move all around the car. With a maximum power of 150 watts, the Nuzamas heats up faster than the car's own built-in heating system, so you can get on the road quicker. Whether you're a car or truck owner, the Nuzamas plugs directly into any 12V DC input or cigarette lighter whether they're in the rear or front seats. The 180-degree base mounts directly onto a dashboard with included double-sided adhesive tape.