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The best garage heaters you can buy in 2023

best garage heater

Transform your garage into a multi-use space with the best heaters

The humble garage isn’t just for parking the car under cover: it’s a great DIY workspace, too. However, come autumn – and especially winter – you can be sure that temperatures will plummet, making it far too cold and hostile an environment to do any work at all.

But there is a solution, which comes in the form of a dedicated garage heater. And no, we’re not talking about standard portable home heaters like oil-filled radiators and fan heaters. They won’t have any impact on the environment, even if they’re left on 24/7. This is because most garages weren’t designed to be fully insulated. Their walls are usually thinner and the doors are made of thin metal, which inconveniently transfers the cold from outside to the inside.

In this guide, we’re looking at electric garage heaters with blowers, since they’re the best option for short-term use, and can direct heat to where it’s needed. Simply place the heater a few metres away from where you’re working and your feet, hands and face will remain warm while you fettle with your classic car, fix the motorbike, or build a hutch for the rabbit – all without adding too much to the electricity bill.

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Best garage heaters: At a glance

How to choose the best garage heater for you

Most electric garage heaters are fan-driven. They are easily the most efficient means of quickly warming the immediate area since the heat they produce is instantaneous. However, most need to be placed fairly close to your work station, because they’re not designed to heat an entire garage in mid-winter unless left on for several hours.

Most electric heaters draw a lot of power, so should be plugged directly into a wall socket. However, some are equipped with short one- to two-metre cables, so you may need an extension lead if your work space is beyond reach of a plug socket. Be warned, though, that not all extension leads are the same, so, if you have no other choice, be sure to use an extension cable that’s RCD-protected and rated at 13 amps. If using a cable roll, unwind the entire cable to avoid it quickly overheating.

Most electricians would advise against using any extension cable with a garage heater, but if you really, really have to, at least make sure you have the correct type and never leave the heater on in your absence.

What about propane or diesel heaters?

There are many propane- and diesel-powered garage heaters on the market, but these are mostly designed for commercial and industrial use and should only be considered for domestic use in a heavily ventilated area. This is because they suck in valuable oxygen and replace it with dangerous carbon monoxide. Hence, if considering a propane or diesel model, make doubly sure the room has plenty of ventilation and, if possible, site the unit outside and use a hose to deliver the heat to the garage via a partly opened door or window.

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The best garage heaters you can buy in 2023

1. Dimplex 3kW Rugged Fan Heater: Best rugged heater

Price: £65 | Buy now from Argos

If you’re looking for a tough little heater that’s designed to be abused, give this titchy titan a whirl. Just 24.8cm tall and weighing 2.3kg, the 3kW Dimplex is one of the smallest models in this guide, yet it puts out more heat than many of its competitors. Clad in tough plastic with reinforced corners, the Dimplex features two heat settings (1.5kW and 3kW), a fan speed control knob and a simple fan function for warmer days. It also comes with a thermostat and a safety tilt switch that turns off the heat if it’s accidentally knocked over. However, it can’t be angled, so you may need to prop it up on a box or workbench if you want to feel the heat on your upper body.

Users rate this model very highly for its instant heat output and ability to warm up a relatively large area in about ten minutes. Granted, it’s more thirsty than most ceramic models – according to some sources it costs about 40p per hour to run – but as long as you don’t leave it running for hours on end, it won’t add too much to your already sky-high leccy bill.

Key specs – Type: Fan heater; Heat settings: 2; Power: 3kW

Buy now from Argos

2. Draper 63858 PTC Electric Space Heater 2000W: Best for energy efficiency

Price: £38 | Buy now from Amazon

This small ceramic fan heater from Draper Tools boasts 2.8kW of power. That’s not too shabby for a unit that’s just 33cm tall. It’s the perfect model for use in the garage, shed, or even the home – as long as you don’t mind its industrial looks. Moreover, it comes with a tubular stand with angle adjustment so you can aim it upwards if located on the floor.

This is a ceramic heater, so you can expect very good energy efficiency. No, it won’t heat up the whole garage unless it’s well insulated – it’s designed for enclosed spaces of up to 35 square metres – but it will most definitely keep the body warm if sited nearby.

Key specs – Type: Ceramic fan heater; Heat settings: 2; Power: 2.8kW

3. Erbauer BGP2108-25-1: The best low-energy heater

Price: £35 | Buy now from Screwfix

This keenly priced positive temperature coefficient (PTC) model comprises a number of ceramic heating discs that heat up quickly and provide a high heat-to-size ratio while being very energy-efficient. It also provides two heat settings and a fan-only function for warmer times.

The Erbauer is just 31cm tall and 27.5cm wide, so it’s a good option for smaller garages and close-proximity use. At 2,500 watts, this little heater kicks out a lot of warmth for its size. It has an adjustable thermostat, too, although chances are it will rarely kick in if the heater’s used in a large garage or in mid-winter when temperatures are in the minus region. After all, there’s only so much warmth a model of this size can generate. Nevertheless, for close-quarters use, the Erbauer is a veritable bargain.

Key specs – Type: Ceramic fan heater; Heat settings: 2; Power: 2.5kW

Buy now from Screwfix

4. Dimplex CFS30E 3kW Bluetooth Commercial Fan Heater: Best for all-round efficiency

Price: £271 | Buy now from Electric Point

If you spend a lot of time tinkering in the garage and are looking for a highly capable ceiling- or wall-mounted fan heater, the Dimplex CFS30E is a no-brainer. Yes, it costs more than most portable models and you will need to employ an electrician to install it, but you’ll quickly come to appreciate your purchase when you switch it on.

At 3kW, this model will heat a single garage to toasty temperatures in next to no time. Better still, it’s equipped with a seven-day timer and temperature control, with a Bluetooth remote. This is a great option for anyone who works in their garage on a daily basis, as you can set a seven-day timer and even have the space pre-warmed using its Adaptive Start technology. Just be sure to cancel the timer if you’re away from home for a day or more. It also comes with two heat settings and a fan option for summer months.

In the pantheon of garage heaters, a model like this is about as good as it gets. And, if you think 3kW isn’t powerful enough: there’s a 6kW version available, too.

Key specs – Type: Wall/ceiling fan heater; Heat settings: Multiple; Power: 3kW

Buy now from Electric Point

5. Benross 42440 2000W Industrial Fan Heater: best for budget-priced warmth

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

For close proximity use in garages, sheds and studios, the budget-priced 2kW Benross comes highly rated on Amazon for its rugged, all-metal build, and twin heat controls that are so simple even a dog could use them. True, it’s not the prettiest looking blow heater but it’s well-designed for the task in hand and even comes with a sturdy handle for easy manoeuvrability.

Buying this 24cm high heater to warm up a double garage is not a wise move since it’s ostensibly designed to heat the area immediately around it. Nevertheless, most users rate its ability to warm them up from a few metres away even though the one-metre cable is woefully short.

Key specs – Type: Fan heater; Heat settings: 2; Power: 2kW

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