Best 12-volt car heaters Thrifter 2021

When you're late for work and need to get down the road in a hurry, the last thing you want to be dealing with is a frosted up windshield that will leave you sitting in your driveway for another 10 minutes. However, with a portable heater you can plug it right into your vehicle's cigarette lighter socket and quickly blast some warm air to help defrost or unfog your windshield. Car heaters can also be useful for warming up the inside of your vehicle more quickly. You'll be on your way in no time, though it's important to pick the right heater if you want to see the fastest results.

Tkong 12v Car Heater

Best car heater: 200W 2-in-1 Portable Car Fan and Heater

Staff Pick

This versatile 2-in-1 portable car heater lets you easily switch between cool and warm air with the flip of a switch. It can defrost your windshield in the winter and then can be swiveled around to keep you cool during the summer months.

$28 at Amazon
Jauto 12v Fast Heating Car Heater

Have it your way: JAuto Fast Heating Car Heater

Plug this portable car heater into your vehicle's cigarette lighter socket to help clear up fog, frost and snow on your windshield whenever necessary. It's capable of rotating 360 degrees and can stick right onto your dashboard for easy setup.

$25 at Amazon
Cheliya Portable 12v Car Heater

Defrost faster: Cheliya Portable 12V 200W 2-in-1 Auto Car Heater

Heat up or cool down with this 12V portable car heater that features a 200W max output. Plug it into your vehicle's cigarette lighter socket for continuous power.

$17 at Amazon
Leaflai Portable 12v Car Heater

Quick install: Portable Defogger 12V/150w Fast Heating Fan

This car heater is ready to defrost your windshield quickly and is able to blow either hot or cold air. It comes with a small stand that makes it extremely simple to stick onto your dashboard wherever it won't hinder your line of sight.

$25 at Amazon
Stalwart Electric Blanket 12v

Another option: Stalwart 12V Electric Heating Blanket for Vehicles

This option is a bit different than most on our list, and while it won't be worth your time trying to defrost your windows with it, this electric heating blanket is a great pick if you're looking to stay warmer in your vehicle. It plugs right into the cigarette lighter socket, comes in multiple colors, and has a long cord so the blanket can reach any seat.

$18 at Amazon

Getting warmer...

While most of the car heaters above work in a similar fashion, there are still a few features you'll want to keep an eye on depending on your vehicle. For instance, many of these heaters will not work properly if your vehicle has a cigarette lighter socket with an output under 150W. You can actually damage your vehicle by plugging in one of these heaters if your vehicle's output isn't strong enough, so you do need to confirm that before your purchase. For most modern vehicles there shouldn't be an issue.

This 2-in-1 Car Heater rose to the top of our list thanks to its versatility and high-quality materials. It can blow cold or warm air and is easy to adhere to your dashboard. Plus, it can swivel 360 degrees so you can aim it wherever you'd like. Then again, if you're more concerned with staying warm than defrosting your windows, an electric heating blanket that plugs into your vehicle's cigarette lighter socket could be a more useful pick.

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