The Best Shed Heaters Are...
Read Our In-Depth Reviews
Bio Green 2KW Palma Heater Review
Finding a shed heater that’s powerful enough to make a real difference, without being so large that it becomes really expensive to run, isn’t always easy.
However, this Bio Green 2KW Palma Heater strikes a good balance between the two; it’s capable of raising the interior temperature of the shed, yet costs less than 37 p per hour to run (depending on the amount you pay per kWh, and the temperature you set it to).
Whilst it works effectively as a shed heater, it can also be used in greenhouses to keep plants warm as well; it’s very easy to carry around, weighing 5 kg and measuring a compact 28 x 19.5 x 31.5 cm, and has an ergonomic carry handle.
Additionally, it has a splash-proof rating of IPX4 which means that even if it gets lightly caught by the hose, or if the shed is a little bit damp, the mechanics of the heater won’t suffer.
The thermostat seems to work very accurately and is therefore a great way to achieve a consistent temperature, without pumping out too much heat unnecessarily. For this reason, it’s great for spaces where tools or plants are kept.
It’s also this thermostat feature that makes it one of the best shed heaters for anyone looking to keep running costs down; unlike some other heaters, it won’t continue to heat past your desired temperature. It can be set anywhere between – 50°C to + 99°C.
Despite operating with a fan, it isn’t excessively loud or disruptive when running which can be a drawback of this style of heater. Plus, the fan continues to run even when the thermostat switches off the heating element, so heat is still distributed around the room evenly, helping maintain a consistent temperature.
- Fan runs quite quietly so shouldn't be disturbing
- Accurate internal thermostat maintains temperature at the right level
- IPX4 splash-proof rating prevents mechanism from being affected if caught by a hose
- Easy to carry around between spaces as light weight and has ergonomic carry handle
- Fan continues to run when thermostat switches off heating element to ensure even temperature distribution
- Included instruction manual is not the easiest to follow
- Setting up the internal thermostat can be a slightly complicated process
Sunhouse Tubular Heater Review
This low-energy Sunhouse Tubular Heater is designed to be left on continuously, helping to keep the shed temperature above freezing over winter. It’s one of the best shed heaters featured here for creating ambient heat: offering frost protection, reducing damp, and clearing condensation.
There is a built-in thermostat that can be set to the desired temperature using the dial on the end of the heating tube. However, it’s not marked with numbers, so it’s hard to know exactly what temperature range it offers. Instead, you choose a position between the ‘minimum’ and ‘maximum’ markings.
Given that there is still a choice of temperatures, it can be left on a lower setting for the majority of the time, and turned up when more heat is needed (for example, when you’re working in the shed).
Also, thanks to the low 80 W power, this heater is very cheap to run – it costs approximately 1.48p per hour, and that’s not taking into account the moments when the thermostat turns it off.
Naturally though, with such a low wattage, it’s not as powerful as a lot of other heaters, and doesn’t emit heat in such a forceful way. However, it does deliver good results in keeping spaces like sheds and garages above freezing.
It simply fits into a wall bracket, which is easy to screw into the wall, so installation isn’t challenging. Measuring 71.3 cm in total, it isn’t too long either and should fit into most sheds without any problems.
Overall, this isn’t the most powerful heater on this list, but it’s cheap to run and keeps temperatures above 0°C which should help protect tools, plants and machinery from suffering over winter. It’s good for frost protection, and can feel warm if you’re right next to it, but isn’t suitable for heating larger spaces.
- Easy to mount on the wall using the supplied bracket
- Effective at preventing frost and keeping temperatures above 0°C in smaller spaces
- Very economical to run - costs just a few pence per day
- Built-in thermostat saves energy by turning off once desired temperature is reached, and back on when it drops
- Designed to be left on continuously to offer ongoing protection
- Only useful for keeping temperatures above freezing, not for heating a space to make it feel warm
- One heater is only powerful enough to heat a shed of approx. 6 x 6 ft - you may need to buy two for a larger area
- Thermostat dial has no temperature markings so you don't know exactly what temperature you're setting the heater to
Warmlite Three Bar Halogen Heater Review
If you want a heater that you can place by your side as you work, this Warmlite Three Bar Halogen Heater will transfer heat directly to you, providing warmth with its glowing halogen bulbs.
There are three heat settings to choose between, 400, 800 and 1200 W, which not only allows you to control how much heat you’re getting, but also gives the option to use the heater more economically if you wish. The lower wattage settings are cheaper to run.
The 400 W setting is sufficient if you’re looking to keep your feet warm under a desk – the higher settings are better for keeping the whole body warm. It’s best suited to being positioned down on the floor, because if you have the heater in front of you on a table, the bright halogen bulbs can be quite dazzling.
There is an oscillation function, which can be useful for keeping more than one person warm; however, once the heater isn’t facing you, you can’t feel the heat as much, so the oscillation may not always be worthwhile. It’s pretty stable overall, although it can wobble on its base a little, but not enough to fall over.
If there ever were a case of it falling or getting knocked, the heater has a built-in safety cut-out switch would shut off the heat. It’s also designed to switch off in the case of overheating.
One final thing, which helps make this heater better value for money, is the fact that it comes with a spare halogen bulb. The heater has three bulbs installed at all times, and the more bulbs that are lit, the more heat it produces. Having a spare bulb on hand makes it a lot less frustrating when one bulb stops working.
Overall, this is a lightweight unit that’s easy to reposition and carry to different locations. Whilst it doesn’t have a waterproof rating (so shouldn’t be left outside in damp conditions), it’s one of the best shed heaters for providing direct heat and will make a difference to how warm you feel when working in the shed.
- Offers almost instant heat, requiring very little time to warm up
- Portable and lightweight - easy to carry to different locations
- Choice of heat settings means you can keep the running costs down
- Compact size is suitable for sheds without a lot of space
- Lowest 400 W setting is sufficiently powerful for keeping feet and legs warm under a desk
- No thermostatic control so will need to be switched off manually
- As soon as the heater is turned off, a drop in temperature will be noticeable
- Halogen bulbs are very bright; it can be quite dazzling if the heater is on the desk in front of you
- Not very effective at increasing the temperature of a room, only transferring heat directly
Dimplex Oil Free Electric Heater Review
Offering the benefits of an oil-filled heater, without the potential hazards associated with oil, this Dimplex Oil Free Electric Heater is a reliable, economical and efficient option. Instead of oil, it uses oil-free technology to offer the same results.
The heat is transferred via convection, as opposed to radiant heat. Therefore, unlike halogen heaters, it will heat the air in the room instead of just transferring heat to surfaces.
It has two heat settings, and can be used on either 1 kW or 1.5 kW depending on the desired output. There is also a heat dial, to give more flexibility on temperature.
Operating with a thermostat, it will switch off once the desired temperature has been reached. This, combined with the choice of temperature and power output, means there are a few features that can help keep running costs down.
The effects of this heater can be tangibly felt in rooms where it has been on, although it needs a bit of time to work; it may take around half an hour to an hour to heat up the space. Regardless, it’s one of the best shed heaters here for increasing the room temperature, and can help make a warmer atmosphere to work in.
There is a small amount of self-assembly required, to attach the castor wheels to the body of the radiator, but this is minimal and quick. Once done, the radiator can be easily wheeled between spaces. It can be picked up too, but is heavier than the other heaters on this page.
Whilst there aren’t many downsides to this radiator, it does have a relatively short power cable at 1.5 m. This isn’t unusual for this type of heater, but it does make it a little more inconvenient to connect to the mains – especially depending on where the sockets are in your shed.
- Uses convection to heat up the air in a room and increase the temperature of the whole space
- Wheels make it possible to move between spaces without carrying it the whole time
- Powerful enough to greatly increase the temperature in small/medium rooms
- Thermostat allows you to maintain desired room temperature, not just heater temperature
- Cable is short at just 1.5 m which can be inconvenient depending on position of power socket
- May not make as much of a noticeable difference to the temperature in large rooms
- Heavier to lift than other styles of heater
HyLite Ecoheater Review
This slimline HyLite Ecoheater is one of the best shed heaters for small spaces. Whilst it’s not built for pumping out loads of heat, it does produce sufficient warmth to keep shed temperatures above freezing.
It’s also a relatively cheap option to buy and run, so it fulfils its purpose without breaking the bank. Just as well, as it’s intended to be left on all the time over winter.
The maximum power output is 120 w, which costs approximately 2.22p to run per hour. However, seeing as there is a thermostat, the heater isn’t on continuously, and switches off to save energy and money when it reaches the desired temperature.
There’s also a temperature dial, so there’s some choice in how much heat the heater will emit, but the dial isn’t marked with Celsius so it’s not possible to know exactly what temperature you’re setting it to.
The heater can be wall mounted, or stand on the floor using the wall mount for legs. It measures 100 cm long, and just 4 cm wide, fitting subtly into most sheds without taking up too much space. It can also be used in damp buildings such as greenhouses as well, as it has an IP44 rating, which means it’s splash proof.
Whilst this heater might not raise the temperature of the shed to make it comfortable to work in, it should be able to protect tools and plants from frost and freezing temperatures. If that’s your aim, and you have a small (approximately 2.4 x 1.8 m) shed, this heater should take the edge off. However, if you want to be kept noticeably warmer as well, consider buying an additional heater for the times when you’re working outside.
- Effective at keeping the temperature above freezing in small sheds - helps prevent frost, condensation and damp
- Low running cost
- Small and unobtrusive design that can be fixed to the walls of small sheds without encroaching on space
- Built in thermostat maintains your desired temperature
- Thermostat is a dial with no temperature markings - a bit hit or miss on what temperature you're setting
- Not powerful enough to stop medium and large sheds from dropping below 0°C
- 1.5 m power cable may not be long enough for some sheds depending on where the mains socket is
How to Choose The Best Shed Heater
Whether you use your shed as a home office, or want somewhere to warm up after a cold morning gardening, there are plenty of low-cost garden shed heaters that will keep out the chill. Heaters can also ensure that plants, tools and paint don’t freeze during winter.
They don’t have to be used exclusively in sheds either, and can be a valuable addition to garages, summerhouses, conservatories and greenhouses as well.
There are several types of heater to choose from, including: electric radiators, fan heaters, halogen heaters, tubular heaters and paraffin heaters. Many of these are very efficient and don’t cost too much to run. Paraffin heaters allow you to heat a shed or greenhouse to keep it above freezing even if you don’t have an electricity supply to the building.
Finding the best shed heater will depend what you need it for, so the following information should help you work out which one to choose:
In the list of ‘best shed heaters’ below. you will notice that there are several different types of heater featured. They all have different attributes and varying advantages and disadvantages. Here are the different styles of heater available and what they’re best used for:
Electric radiators look like classic radiators; however, they’re mounted on wheels and can be easily moved around.
In the past, these radiators always contained oil which would heat up and keep the radiator warm. Nowadays, there are oil-free versions available. These are often more economical to run and more environmentally friendly than oil-filled radiators.
Electric radiators are generally considered to be the most economical type of convection heater. Heaters that use convection warm up the air in a room, instead of just heating up surfaces via radiant heat whilst they’re on. As a result, when using an electric radiator, the overall temperature of the room will increase.
Even when the radiator is switched off, the room will remain warm for some time (depending on how draughty it is). This isn’t the case with heaters that use radiant heat.
Electric radiators are a safe, versatile and cost-effective way to provide heat in a variety of situations.
Fan heaters provide instant heat and can warm up a small room relatively quickly. They’re good at circulating air, and work continuously to heat cold air and create warm air.
However, they are more power hungry than a lot of other heat sources. The fan tends to use a lot of energy, and so does heating the air. This means they are more suitable for quick blasts of heat for short periods, rather than keeping a room warm all day.
If you buy a fan heater, you should be careful about power consumption – it can be tempting to leave them on for long periods which can wind up being quite expensive. Look for a fan heater with a thermostat to help keep costs down; these will save on power by turning off when the desired temperature is reached.
Halogen heaters use halogen bulbs to provide heat. These are the types of heating ‘lights’ often seen outdoor pub areas, but smaller versions are available for home heating.
They use radiant heat, which means they heat surfaces instead of the air. As a result, you will feel warm when sitting in the glow of the heater, but cooler as soon as it’s off.
Halogen heaters tend to be relatively cheap to run, and if they come with two or more bulbs, you can choose how many bulbs to have on, and therefore how much power to use. This gives you control over how much it will cost to run your halogen heater.
Often, halogen heaters come with some built-in safety features, so this is something to look out for. For example, many will cut out if they are tipped over or fall.
They can require some maintenance because the halogen bulbs will need to be replaced from time to time. However, the bulbs are generally long lasting.
Low-Energy Tube Heaters
If you simply want to keep a room or outbuilding frost free, then a low-energy tube heater is a good option to consider.
These are designed to provide steady heat and protect rooms from frost, condensation and damp. If you need to keep your greenhouse, shed or garage frost free then these are a simple, low-cost solution.
They are best used in relatively small sheds, no bigger than 2.4 x 1.8 m (8 x 6 ft); however, more than one tube heater can be used if you have a larger space.
They will not make the shed feel particularly warm, and probably won’t turn it into a comfortable environment to work in during winter, but they can protect plants from frost and stop tools from being damaged by freezing temperatures.
Paraffin heaters are the best shed heaters to buy if there is no electricity supply available.
They are cheap to buy, simple to use and reasonably cost-effective to run. Modern paraffin heaters are also relatively safe to use, though you should follow all instructions and safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer carefully. One drawback is that you will have to buy, store and safely dispose of paraffin, which can be an extra fuss for those who aren’t used to doing so.
Paying an electrician to install an outside mains power supply in the garden might be worth considering. This can make many aspects of gardening easier, not just heating. As well as giving you the option to use electric heating outside, an outdoor socket can be useful for running power tools and lighting as well.
Not all heaters go about heating in the same way.
Heaters that use ‘convection’ heat up the air around the heater. Once that air is warm, it rises pushes cooler air out of the way. This process creates a cycle of warm air moving through the space.
Heaters that heat via convection: electric radiators, fan heaters, tube heaters and paraffin heaters.
On the other hand, heaters that use ‘radiation’ do not focus on warming up the air. Instead, they directly pass heat to any objects in front of them.
Heaters that heat via radiation: halogen heaters.
As a result, convection heaters are generally better for heating a room, whereas radiation heaters are better at providing quick blasts of heat when you feel it’s needed.
Be aware that there are some health concerns connected with using a paraffin heater in an enclosed space. Mainly because, through their process of fuel burning, they release pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide. As a result, it is generally recommended to use these heaters with a window open.
Avoid leaving heaters switched on and unattended as much as possible. Although many of the best shed heaters have safety functions, generally meaning they will turn off if they start to overheat, you can never be too careful when it comes to a heating device.
Shed Heater FAQs
To keep an area frost free, low-energy tube heaters are a good option to consider. They cost very little to run and are capable of keeping small spaces, like garages, above 0°C. Depending on the size of your space, you may need to buy two. This is often the case in areas that are bigger than 2.4 x 1.8 m (8 x 6 ft). These tube heated can be wall mounted or floor standing, and you can also buy protective metal housings for them – this can be a good idea if there is a chance that children or pets will come near them.
There are a couple of options that will work in this situation. You should bring the rabbit hutch inside, into either a shed or garage and work on heating the space to keep the hutch warm.
Make sure that whichever option you choose is safe to use in an enclosed space. The first option to consider is a low energy tube heater that will keep the room frost free. These will keep the temperature inside a small shed above 0°C even when the temperature outside is below freezing. Metal housings can be bought for these to make sure pets and children can’t get too close to them – they get quite hot to the touch.
The other option is to use an oil-free radiator with a frost-free setting which will also be safe and economical to run.
Damp, freezing conditions can have an adverse effect on a range of items in your shed. Paints can freeze, metal tools can rust, and plastic parts can become brittle. In addition, the grease and other lubricants in power tools can freeze as well.
You only need to keep the shed just above freezing to prevent this damage, so should look for a heater that will protect the space from frost. A low-energy tube heater is normally the most cost-efficient and effective way to do this.
Before using any tools, you should allow them to warm up to room temperature.