Cheap heaters under $50 and if they’re worth buying

Anula Wiwatowska
Jun 12, 2024
Icon Time To Read6 min read
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On a budget but still don't want to lose your toes to frostbite? A cheap heater is probably a good place to start. There is no shortage of cheap heaters available across Australia, but it can be hard to pick one that won't send your winter bills soaring.

In this guide we look at key retailers slogging affordable heaters this season, the best deals on the pricier brands, and what to look out for to keep your heating bill under control.

Cheap heaters compared

Below we're comparing cheap heaters starting under $50 from Kmart, Bunnings, Big W, and the leading supermarket chains.
Brand
Heater type
Price range
Rating
Retailers
kmart fan heater Large
  • Fan heater
  • Electric
  • From
    $17
    3.8 out of 5 stars
    3.75
    kmart oscillating fan
  • Fan heater
  • Electric
  • From
    $27
    3.3 out of 5 stars
    3.25
    kmart oil heater 5 fins
  • Oil heater
  • Electric
  • From
    $39
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    3.5
    Arlec 400W Black 360° Table Heater
  • Radiant heater
  • Electric
  • From
    $42
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    2.5
    Jumbuck 2000W Black Wall Mount Radiant Patio Heater
  • Radiant heater
  • Electric
  • From
    $49
    3 out of 5 stars
    3
    Jumbuck 2000W Black Matte Radiant Patio Heater
  • Radiant heater
  • Electric
  • From
    $89
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    2.5
    Goldair Select 2000W Upright Fan Heater
  • Fan heater
  • Electric
  • From
    $24
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    3.5
    Goldair 2400W Fan Heater with Oscillation
  • Fan heater
  • Electric
  • From
    $49
    3.3 out of 5 stars
    3.25
    Heller 2000W Portable Fan Assisted Upright Heater
  • Fan heater
  • Electric
  • From
    $39.95
    3.3 out of 5 stars
    3.25
    Goldair Select 800W 2 Bar Radiant Heater
  • Radiant heater
  • Electric
  • From
    $49
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    3.5
    Devanti electric fan heater
  • Fan heater
  • Electric
  • From
    $27.95
    3 out of 5 stars
    3
    HOFF 2000W Upright Portable Fan Heater For Home & Office w/ Overheat Protection/ AU PLUG
  • Fan heater
  • Electric
  • From
    $38.95
    3.3 out of 5 stars
    3.25

    What heater is cheapest to run?

    Icon Search  Light
    Types of heaters
    • Electric fan heaters
    • Oil heaters
    • Convection heaters
    • Radiant heaters
    • Hard fuel heaters

    Split cycle air conditioners are the most energy efficient solution, and will cost you the least to run over winter under most circumstances. These are a bit out of grasp for some so generally electric fan heaters are the most accessible, and the cheapest heaters you can buy, although their running costs can get high.

    To balance the outright cost and the running costs look for heaters with a lower power source wattage. This number indicates how much power the heater needs, and you can do some smart calculations to figure out how much it will cost you to run over the season.

    To give you some indication, we've done some math for you already. During the previous financial year, the average kWh cost was $0.14 across Australia. Running a 2000W heater would therefore cost around $0.28 per hour. As a point of comparison, a 60W air purifier costs less than $0.01 per hour at this same price. If you run your heater for eight hours per day, over the course of our 92 Winter days that comes to an extra $206 tacked onto your bill.

    Using this same data we calculated how much you can expect to pay over Winter depending on the heater's wattage. These are estimates based on averages, but it should give you an idea as to the cheapest heater to run in Australia.

    How much it costs to run a heater over Winter in Australia

    Heater wattage
    Cost per hour
    Cost over Winter
    800W$0.11$82.43
    1000W$0.14$103.04
    1200W$0.17$123.65
    1500W$0.21$154.56
    1800W$0.25$185.47
    2000W$0.28$206.08
    2400W$0.34$247.30

    Cheap Kmart Heaters

    When you think cheap homewares you probably think about Kmart first. The budget big-box store has made a name for itself by selling affordable and practical home essentials (among other things), and heaters are a big part of its Winter range.

    Right now the Kmart heater range has three electric heaters under $50; two fan, and one oil. The fan heaters are cheaper to buy, but more expensive to run and none of these budget options have any exciting features to write home about. They all do have tip safety features, multiple heat settings, and will undoubtedly warm up a room, and sometimes that is all you need.

    When choosing a heater, keep in mind that fan heaters generally heat a room more quicker than oil options, but they don't retain warmth for as long. Here's how the three heaters compare.

    Kmart: Fan Heater - Black and White
    kmart fan heater Large
    3.8 out of 5 stars
    3.75
    RRP
    $17
    • pro
      Power source: 1800-2000W
    • pro
      Heat settings: 2
    Kmart: Oscillating Fan Heater
    kmart oscillating fan
    3.3 out of 5 stars
    3.25
    RRP
    $27
    • pro
      Power source: 1800-2000W
    • pro
      Heat settings: 2 + fan
    Kmart: 5 Fin Oil Heater
    kmart oil heater 5 fins
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    3.5
    RRP
    $39
    • pro
      Power source: 850-1000W
    • pro
      Heat settings: 3

    Cheap Bunnings Heaters

    While Bunnings has a huge range of heating products like firepits, when it comes to cheap heaters it is a bit lacklustre. At the time of writing Bunnings only had two heaters under $50, and one more under $100. Since two are ultimately the same thing but one has a stand, we've included both.

    First up is the Arlec 400W Table Heater, a radiant heater designed to emit warmth around a table. While it does tick the 'cheap' box, buyer reviews warn that it probably isn't worth even the small amount of money. Here is a snippet of Eddie from Perth's review;

    "Have to be touching the heater to feel any effect. Not slay. This product is not slay."

    Eddie
    Perth

    Review snippet from Bunnings

    1 out of 5 stars
    1

    The other two cheap heaters from Bunnings are variations of the same Jumbuck 2000W Radiant Heater. One is a wall mounted strip heater while the other comes with a stand making it more portable, but you'll pay an extra $40 to get that stand. Each have 3 heat settings ranging from 650W-2000W, splash water protect, and can be used both indoors and outdoors. The lowest heat setting is relatively energy efficient, so it could be a good option for long term use.

    Bunnings: Arlec 400W Black 360 Table Heater
    Arlec 400W Black 360° Table Heater
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    2.5
    RRP
    $42
    • pro
      Power source: 400W
    • pro
      Heat settings: 1
    Bunnings: Jumbuck 2000W Black Wall Mount Radiant Patio Heater
    Jumbuck 2000W Black Wall Mount Radiant Patio Heater
    3 out of 5 stars
    3
    RRP
    $49
    • pro
      Power source: 650-2000W
    • pro
      Heat settings: 3
    Bunnings: Jumbuck 2000W Black Matte Radiant Patio Heater
    Jumbuck 2000W Black Matte Radiant Patio Heater
    2.5 out of 5 stars
    2.5
    RRP
    $89
    • pro
      Power source: 650-2000W
    • pro
      Heat settings: 3

    Heaters on sale

    Today's smokin' hot heater deals
    Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link™ (White/Silver)
    Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link
    was $799
    now $599
    Sale price valid until withdrawn by Dyson
    De'Longhi Capsule Fan Heater, Self-Regulating Ceramic Heater, Mini Fan Heater, Portable Heater with Handles, Anti Frost Technology, Ideal as Desk Heater, 1800W, HFX30C18.IW, Ivory White
    De'Longhi Capsule Fan Heater
    was $99
    now from $89
    Sale price valid until withdrawn by Amazon
    Heller 2000W Electric Indoor Fireplace Heater w/ Flame Effect HFH20
    Heller 2000W Electric Indoor Fireplace Heater
    was $139.95
    now $95
    Sale price valid until withdrawn by Catch
    We do our best to find you the best heaters on sale each day, but some deals may expire before we get a chance to switch them out. Deal prices are valid as of the publish date on this article.

    Cheap Big W Heaters

    Through it's online store, Big W has six electric heaters under $50 but only three are available in store. The rest are online-only specials purchased through the Big W Marketplace. Out of the six, five are fan heaters, and one ia a radiant heater, but all are portable and for indoor use only. 

    There isn't much difference between the five fan heaters. Apart from the Goldair Oscillating version they all cap out at 2000W, and have two heat settings. Price is the only real point of difference so unless you're taken by the design of any of them you're probably better off going for the cheapest option. 

    The Radiant Bar Heater is likely the best deal long term- it has the lowest starting watts meaning it will be cheapest to run over the season. Plus in the sea of white fans with a grid on the front, it does stand out.

    Here are how all the Big W heaters compare.

    Big W: Goldair Select 2000W Upright Fan Heater
    Goldair Select 2000W Upright Fan Heater
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    3.5
    RRP
    $24
    • pro
      Power source: 2000W
    • pro
      Heat settings: 2 + fan
    Big W: Goldair 2400W Fan Heater with Oscillation
    Goldair 2400W Fan Heater with Oscillation
    3.3 out of 5 stars
    3.25
    RRP
    $49
    • pro
      Power source: 2400W
    • pro
      Heat settings: 2 + fan
    Big W: Heller 2000W Portable Fan Assisted Upright Heater
    Heller 2000W Portable Fan Assisted Upright Heater
    3.3 out of 5 stars
    3.25
    RRP
    $39.95
    • pro
      Power source: 1000-2000W
    • pro
      Heat settings: 2 + fan
    Big W: Goldair Select 800W 2 Bar Radiant Heater
    Goldair Select 800W 2 Bar Radiant Heater
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    3.5
    RRP
    $49
    • pro
      Power source: 800W
    • pro
      Heat settings: 2
    Big W: Devanti Electric Fan Heater 2000W
    Devanti electric fan heater
    3 out of 5 stars
    3
    RRP
    $27.95
    • pro
      Power source: 2000W
    • pro
      Heat settings: 2
    Big W: HOFF 2000W Upright Portable Fan Heater
    HOFF 2000W Upright Portable Fan Heater For Home & Office w/ Overheat Protection/ AU PLUG
    3.3 out of 5 stars
    3.25
    RRP
    $38.95
    • pro
      Power source: 1000-2000W
    • pro
      Heat settings: 2

    Supermarket Heaters

    Seemingly every supermarket has taken a line out of Aldi's book and has started selling their version of Special Buys. As Winter rolls around we are bound to see plenty of cheap heaters litter the aisle of Woolworths, Coles, and of course Aldi.

    Since these are seasonal products we won't really know how the heaters stack up until details of their stock are released. We'll keep an ear to the ground, and add the stock to this page as they trickle in.

    Skip to:

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    Woolworths Heaters

    Woolworths has a slew of online-only products available to buy through it's Everyday Market, but for now most of the retailer's budget heaters are out of stock. These include a $20 Adesso Ceramic Heater, and a $30 Adesso Oscillating Ceramic Heater.

    The remaining listings- likely held over from last year- detail a range of fan, oil, convection, and radiant heaters but most of these are well above $100.

    Coles Heaters

    Coles has a range of Seiki heaters available to purchase both in store and online, and while they are relatively cheap they're not great value. Each heater has bare bones functionality, similar to what you can pick up from Kmart, but the prices are about 30% higher.

    With primarily black and silver finishings, they do look a bit nicer than the Kmart counterparts.

    Here are how Coles' heaters stack up in 2024;

    Heater
    Wattage
    Heat settings
    Remote control
    Price
    Seiki 1500 Watt Personal Ceramic Heater750-1500W2No
    $45
    Seiki 2000 Watt Upright Fan Heater2000W2No
    $25
    Seiki 500 Watt Space Heater500W1No
    $35
    Seiki 1500 Watt 360 Degree Ceramic Heater1500W2No
    $59
    Seiki 1000 Watt Quartz Heater500-1000W2No
    $45
    Seiki 1800 Watt Round Ceramic Heater1800W2No
    $55

    Aldi Heaters

    Aldi has had a few winter Special Buy drops, complete with De'Longhi heaters and a range of no-name heaters as well. All but one of these heaters are over $50, but they are still cheaper than buying directly from De'Longhi (and a whole heap of other retailers). The one Aldi heater that is under that $50 mark is it's generic Compact Fan Heater which is also one of the most powerful devices from the supermarket.

    Here are how Aldi heaters compare this year;

    Heater
    Wattage
    Heat settings
    Remote control
    Price
    De'Longhi Ceramic Capsule Heater1800W2No
    $64.99
    De'Longhi Ceramic Tower Heater1500WDegree-level controlYes
    $139
    Compact Fan Heater2000W2No
    $39.99
    De’Longhi Panel Heater2000W3No
    $149
    Digital Alfresco Strip Heater1800WDegree-level temperature controlYes
    $229
    De'Longhi Vento Oil Column Heater2000W3No
    $149
    Ceramic Tower Heater2000WDegree-level temperature controlYes
    $69.99
    Convection Heater with Remote2300WDegree-level temperature controlYes
    $59.99
    Flame Effect HeaterUnknown2No
    $59.99

    Are cheap heaters worth buying?

    No matter the cost, a heater is a good investment to keep your home livable as the cool weather arrives. Australian homes are glorified tents; we swelter in the Summer and freeze in the Winter.

    If you're on a budget then a cheap heater is undoubtedly worth buying, but make sure you pick the right heater for your home. Fan and radiant heaters will likely suit any household while convection and oil heaters aren't as one-size-fits all. Keep an eye on the maximum wattage as it is a good indication of how much the heater will cost to run. Lower wattage means less heat but it also means lower prices when your electricity bill comes.

    To get the most out of your cheap heater, block gaps in doors and windows to keep the cold air out, and the warm air in.

    Anula Wiwatowska
    Written by
    Anula Wiwatowska
    Anula is the Content and Social Media Editor within the Reviews.org extended universe. Working in the tech space since 2020, she covers phone and internet plans, gadgets, smart devices, and the intersection of technology and culture. Anula was a finalist for Best Feature Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards, and an eight time finalist across categories at the IT Journalism Awards. Her work contributed to WhistleOut's Best Consumer Coverage win in 2023.

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