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 news is that they all cost less than $50.
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 oversized 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
- Dimensions: 6.2 x 7 x 9.2 inches
Heat up a room — up to 200 square feet — in seconds with this electric space heater. It's a favorite with over 5,000 Amazon reviews, and it'll keep you warm, for sure. This pick is powerful, utilizing1500 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: “Y’all this is the best small space heater I’ve ever had! When it came in the mail and I opened it was skeptical that it would be able to warm our bedroom since we have a sliding glass window and when it gets cold here in the desert it feels really cold! But not only was this super easy to set up, use and regulate but it kept us super warm. Now, I also have a cat that is notorious for knocking things over for fun and of course this heater was no different. I made sure to put her near it while i was there just in case it wouldn’t shut off. As promised the moment it wasn’t perfectly flat it instantly kicked off so I feel pretty confident it won’t light our house on fire! Such a handy heater!!!”
2. Try Insulated Curtains
- Dimensions: 63 x 42 inches (featured), and 5 other sizes
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 33,000 reviews. Choose from more than a dozen colors, including gray, white, and beige, and a half-dozen sizes to suit your space.
A helpful review: “These curtains are all throughout our home. We love them, and they definitely block out the sunlight. We used them to help keep our energy bills down in the summer, and they made a big difference in temperature in rooms with lots of sun. They are also thermal and help hold in the warm air from our cold windows in the winter. We love them and have ordered more to replace other curtains as we’ve renovated various rooms in our home. Overall, they are good quality curtains and add lots of color pop to our home while also helping to keep our energy bills down throughout the seasons.”
3. Apply Heat Under The Covers
- Dimensions: 7.6 x 9.6 inches (with 2 inch spout)
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 2,000 reviews, and for under $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: “Silicone is thick and sturdy. They are easy to fill with a small pitcher, no need for a funnel. We use these mainly to warm up our beds on cold nights! Just stick it down near you feet and - COZY TOWN!”
4. Consider A Heated Blanket
- Dimensions: Throw: 50 x 60 inches (shown here); Twin: 62 x 84 inches
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 1,300 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 four colorways, including beige and blue, and two sizes (throw and twin). It'll automatically shut off after four hours as an overheat protection measure.
A helpful review: “I’ve gone through so many heating blankets/pads; the basic ones, fancier ones with temp adjustments, some with auto-timers, etc, but they all pale in comparison to this one. It is the softest and silkiest blanket I’ve ever owned, which is lovely, but I was concerned that the material would make me feel sweaty when it gets really warm but to my surprise that was not the case! It just gets cozier and warmer. It’s magic. Absolutely worth it [...]”
5. Wrap Yourself In A Blanket Scarf
- Dimensions: 59 x 59 inches
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 oversized 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 more than a dozen colors and patterns, including grey and navy. With nearly 3,000 reviews, many shoppers report this blanket scarf manages to be lightweight and warm.
A helpful review: “If I could rate this scarf 100/10 I would. Bought my first one 3 years ago and it has held up in work, camping, and days of sun/rain/heat/snow and high winds in MT while on a trip to a ranch. Incredibly soft, warm, and a great look [...] Bought my second one a year ago and might buy two more. I’ve used it as a blanket as well and just threw it in my regular wash and air dried it. HIGHLY RECOMMEND”
6. Apply A Door Draft Stopper
- Dimensions: 39 x 2 inches
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: “Super easy to install. Sticks very well. I expect it to last. The best thing, though, is that creepy crawlies can't sneak in under my front door anymore. I bought this because the door's original weather stripping wore out. Not only were we losing heat and A/C, but spiders (ack!) were inviting themselves inside. This completely solved the problem. You just stick it on at the proper level, and you have a custom fit. Also, no more draft. [...]”
7. Cover Bare Floors With A Rug
- Dimensions: 5 x 7.6 feet (featured); multiple other sizes available
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 a variety of decor styles, including boho, classic, minimalist, farmhouse, and coastal. With over 3,000 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 18,000 reviews.
A helpful review: “Super pleased with this rug! Really well made & warms up our kitchen beautifully.”
8. Hang A Shelf Above A Radiator
- Dimensions: Large shelf: 16.5x 6 x 4.8 inches; Medium shelf: 14.2 x 6 x 4.8 inches; Small shelf: 11.4 x 6 x 4.8 inches
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 three modern shelves have over 7,000 reviews and come in five wood finishes in warm and cool tones to complement your decor.
A helpful review: “Super cheap, but hold their own. I’m pretty happy with them. They work well in a nursery with things that aren’t going to weigh them down so much. I actually have some pretty heavy things on mine and they haven’t even budged. They were easy to set up. All you need to do is screw the metal parts into the “wood”. It goes right in."
9. Try a Terra Cotta Heater
- Dimensions: 4.33 x 4.33 x 3.94 inches
Don't want to invest in a space heater? Try this creative approach to add heat to a room: make a terracotta heater by propping a 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: “While clay pots may seem a rather mundane item to discuss, they are actually quite important and Deroma makes some of the best. I have found fewer flaws in these pots and even though the cost a few cents extra, they are well worth the cost. [...]”
10. Free Up Your Radiator With A Clothesline
- Dimensions: 6.46 x 4.65 x 3.46 inches
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 got this to cut back on laundry costs of using dryers. It was super easy to install. Naturally humidifies my arid place while clothes are drying and the whole place smells like fresh laundry!”