10 Cheap Ways To Heat A Room

How to stay warm without breaking the bank.

by Ileana Morales Valentine
Originally Published: 
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Staying in a room that’s too cold can be uncomfortable, but luckily there are plenty of affordable ways to keep warm. You can always throw on a cozy sweater, but if that's not doing the trick, here are 10 cheap ways to heat a room that range from simple, affordable upgrades for your home to more creative, "outside the box" touches you can add to your space to make it toastier — and the best part is that most of them cost less than $50.

What To Consider When Heating Your Room

Look for effective items that help create a more energy-efficient space on cooler days. For rooms with a radiator, it’s important to keep items off of it so it can heat at its best, and something as simple as installing a shelf above the radiator aids in keeping the heat where you can feel it for longer.

I’ve also picked out a couple of blankets that stand out from just any old blanket, including an oversize pick that can also be used as a scarf, shawl, throw, or picnic blanket. A few simple tricks can add instant warmth to a room. You can create a clay pot heater by propping a terracotta pot upside down over tea light candles to heat up a room; on warmer days, you can repurpose the pot for a new plant. Or take a vintage approach by adding hot water to a highly-rated silicone bottle (covered in the cutest knit sweater) and slipping it under your sheets to make your bed nice and toasty.

Use one or (better yet) a few of these products simultaneously, and you’ll be warmed up in no time. This list features only affordable picks that will, in turn, help keep your heating bill lower, too. That's a win-win.

1. Use A Small Space Heater

Heat up a room — up to 200 square feet — in seconds with this electric space heater. It's a favorite with over 65,000 Amazon reviews, and it'll keep you warm, for sure. This pick is powerful, utilizing 1,500 watts while still being lightweight and quiet, and it has a convenient carrying handle. Choose from three heat settings up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit and know that it's built with safety in mind: if it tips over, the space heater automatically shuts off, and it's made of flame-retardant material.

A helpful review: “HVAC went out in my house and so I needed something to keep my room warm in the winter, this little thing is everything that I could have asked for and then some. It’s safe with the anti-tilt feature, it’s quiet and actually heats an entire medium sized room very well! I love it and if anything happens to this one I will definitely be purchasing another!”

Dimensions: 6.2 x 7 x 9.2 inches

2. Apply A Door Draft Stopper

Seal a draft coming through your door with this simple door draft stopper, and you'll soon feel more comfortably warm in your room. This self-adhesive stopper has three layers (others on the market only have two) for added durability and weatherproofing. Preventing the leaking of heating (and AC) with this $10 tool will help bring down your electricity bill in both summer and winter. Choose from white, black, brown, or gray to match your door, and know that this pick works on different door materials, including wood, glass, metal, and plastic.

A helpful review: “These things are pretty amazing, my kitchen usually be pretty cold winter time, since my storm door no longer there and there’s space in the bottom of my door.. since I installed this, my kitchen stays warm even with the heat off.. will be buying a few more.”

Dimensions: 39 x 2 inches | Colors: 4

3. Try Insulated Curtains

Update your window treatments with these triple-weave blackout curtains for a more balanced temperature inside. The insulation of these curtains protects against winter chill and summer heat, plus they keep out up to 99% of light and UV rays and work to reduce noise. And they're super affordable for a pair; it's no wonder they're highly rated with over 100,000 reviews. Choose from a bunch of colors, including gray, white, and beige, and more than a dozen sizes to suit your space.

A helpful review: “These curtains have been a gift! [...] My window is also not sealed very well so before getting these curtains I would wake up to a 50-degree room on cold nights. These curtains help keep my room a full 10-15 degrees warmer. Even on nights when it is below freezing outside I can run my heater for about 30 minutes and it will stay 70 degrees in my room for the rest of the evening.”

Sizes: 17, ranging from 29 x 45 inches to 55 x 96 inches | Colors: 50

4. Apply Heat Under The Covers

Heat up a water bottle and tuck it under the covers (or a blanket) to add warmth for hours. The wide mouth of this hot water bottle is convenient to fill up, and the transparent bottle comes with a knit sweater to add cozy, warm vibes, but it also works to insulate the bottle. Choose from more than a dozen colors. This pick has over 9,000 reviews, and for just $10, it's an affordable solution you can stock up on: Get one for everyone in your household or keep them in a couple of different rooms.

A helpful review: “This bag is awesome! It felt like I was holding a warm animal or a baby in my lap. [...] It's easy to fall asleep with, and the bag stayed warm until about 7AM, so it lasted about 8hrs with warmth. [...] I'm using it every night and so far so good! There is no water leakage from the top, nor any ruptures in the bag. The size is ideal and there is no over-heating. Great for sleeping and warming up the body!”

Sizes: 1 liter, 2 liters (featured) Dimensions: 7.6 x 12 inches | Colors: 10

5. Consider A Heated Blanket

Prepare to warm up quickly with a soft heated blanket. With three heat settings between 95 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit, this pick warms up at the touch of a button. It's a much-loved blanket with over 8,000 reviews, and shoppers commented it's "super soft" and warm. Plus, it's conveniently machine-washable and dryer-safe once the controller and 10-foot cable are detached. This flannel blanket is available in six colors, including chocolate brown and blue, and two sizes (throw and twin). It'll automatically shut off after four hours as an overheating protection measure.

A helpful review: “Bought this to use at work because it always feels like an ice box in our office and it has changed my life. Finally I can stay warm and comfortable at my desk despite the extreme cool temperature in the room. There are three heat settings, I usually just use low. It heats up quick and it has an automatic shutoff which makes is safe to use. It's also one of the softest blankets I have too.”

Sizes: Throw (50 x 60 inches, featured), Twin (62 x 84 inches) | Colors: 6

6. Wrap Yourself In A Blanket Scarf

Though it doesn't have the electric heating power of the previous pick, let me tell you that blanket scarves changed my whole mind about scarves. This oversize blanket scarf is extremely cozy, warm, and versatile. This soft cashmere-like acrylic scarf will bring you warmth in any room, and you can also use it as a shawl, blanket, picnic mat, or throw blanket. I love the autumnal vibes of this highly rated scarf, but it's also available in two dozen colors and patterns, including light grey and navy. With nearly 10,000 reviews, many shoppers report this blanket scarf manages to be lightweight and warm.

A helpful review: “The scarf that I got was pretty close to what was pictured, and is SUPER SUPER WARM! I wear it out in the city all the time, and wore it to Chicago recently during the colder season. It kept all the wind out, and I was perfectly warm while some of my friends were freezing through the breeze. Would definitely recommend!”

Dimensions: 59 x 59 inches | Colors: 24

7. Cover Bare Floors With A Rug

Did you know adding a cute woven rug could help heat up your room? Bare floors aren’t as energy-efficient, so layering a rug helps maintain a more comfortable and warm temperature on colder days while also giving your feet somewhere cozy to land. This large jute rug has enough coverage to help your heater work more efficiently, and its neutral texture fits in with various decor styles, including vintage, classic, minimalist, farmhouse, and coastal. With over 8,000 reviews, shoppers commented they also loved the visual warmth this natural fiber added to any space. For a high-pile, plusher option, also consider this unique loom shag area rug, which boasts more than 40,000 reviews.

A helpful review: “Looooove this jute rug in my house! We have hardwood floors so the floors can be a little cold. We put this rug in the kitchen by the sink, so it's nice to stand on when doing the dishes! I love the natural and organic look it gives to your home.”

Sizes: 42 (37.5 square feet featured) | Colors: 9

8. Hang A Shelf Above A Radiator

Install this cute set of shelves above a radiator, and you'll decorate your space while adding heat to your room. Adding a shelf above a radiator keeps the hot air from releasing as quickly, which helps the room feel warmer. These modern shelves have over 22,000 reviews and come in five wood finishes in warm and cool tones to complement your decor. Each set includes three shelves in small, medium, and large sizes.

A helpful review: “I’m in LOVE with these floating shelves!! I bought for myself for Christmas & just had a chance to install them—which was SUPER easy to do! I also like that they can be hung two different ways as the photo shows. I chose to do the way with the brackets on the top, not underneath and they look awesome! I’m not very good at installing things, so it’s important for me to have something that’s easy—and I was able to do these in 10 minutes!!"

Included Sizes: 11.4 x 5.5 x 4.6 inches (small); 14.2 x 5.5 x 4.6 inches (medium); 16.5 x 5.5 x 4.6 inches (large) | Colors: 8

9. Try a Terra Cotta Heater

Don't want to invest in a space heater? Try this creative approach to add heat to a room: make terracotta heaters by propping a clay pot upside down over tealight candles to add warmth to a room. When warmer days roll around, you can repurpose the items by using the candles elsewhere and adding a plant to the pot.

A helpful review: “Loved the pots and saucers. Packaging was great none were broken. They are sturdy and work great for crafts. I will be ordering more as great value for my money.”

Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 4.2 inches

10. Free Up Your Radiator With A Clothesline

If you sometimes dry clothes on your radiator, move them to this retractable clothesline and let your radiator work more efficiently to heat your space. You'll love that this installs easily (no drilling necessary!) and has a stainless steel line that's sturdier than other clotheslines that just use a rope. This one holds up to 44 pounds. Pull out the line, which extends over 13 feet, to hang your laundry, and then retract it into the holder when no longer needed. This inconspicuous laundry helper comes in five colors, including white, gold, and black.

A helpful review: “I love this clothesline! I've been using it for several months now. I use it indoors, everyday, to dry my baby's cloth diapers and our random clothes that can't go through the dryer. I was retracting it daily and the retractable mechanism works great. I started just leaving it extended with the clothes pins on it because I use it so much and it never sags or needs to be readjusted! I'm really impressed.”

Unit Dimensions: 3.4 x 2.4 x 4.7 inches | Colors: 5

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