car heater plug in

Top 5 Plug-in Car Heaters for Fast Windshield Defrosting (2022 Update)

What is worse than when you’re rushing somewhere, trying to get in the car, the lock is frozen, and the rest of the vehicle is completely covered with snow or ice. Somehow, you manage to get in, and then the ice inside is like in the North Pole. Of course, you don’t see anything through the windshield because it’s covered in ice and snow, and you are about to cry.

The cold can be a big problem when the temperature drops below zero degrees, so we need about ten minutes to warm up the car. We do not have time to prepare the temperature if we hurry, but we automatically jump in the car and set off. That is why this article will deal with plug-in car heaters (drivers love to call them – 12V heaters or auxiliary car heaters), and we will mention some that are great for trucks as well.

We hope this article will help you discover the types of plug-in car heaters and that you find the best plug-in heater for your beloved car. For more models of these helpful devices, visit Amazon and find something out of this list!

Types and Car Heater Buying Guide

Plug-in car heaters inhabit a strange kind of space where they will never be the same as the heating systems you want to replace, but they can still provide a useful function. This type of heat has the inherent limitations of plug-in car heaters.

For this reason, there are two types of plug-in automatic car heaters, and they are quite unequal. One type of them can use a huge amount of heat, but many heaters in this category are not safe for use indoors, and none of them are portable. The other is highly efficient and can work both in cars and trucks, but the heat output will never match the heating system in the factory.

And here’s how we differentiate these types of heaters:

12V Portable Car Heater

Unlike 120V heaters, 12V portable car heaters are specifically designed for cars. This means they are safe for indoor use and can be connected directly to the vehicle’s electrical system without needing a converter. Of course, those are car heaters that plug into lighter, which means they are limited in power by nature. Most of these units can only put a limited amount of heat.

When more heat is preferred, it is necessary to use either a 120V plug-in heater or connect a powerful 12V heater directly to the vehicle battery. Since battery-powered 12V heaters are not limited due to the low amperage, cigarette lighters and auxiliary car heaters produce larger fires.

120V Car Heaters

The largest category of heaters consists of residential space heaters that are small enough and safe enough for use indoors and in vehicles.

The two basic options for using a 120 V car heater are installing a converter or using an extension cord. The first option allows using a 120V heater when the engine is running. The second option allows using one of these heaters when the vehicle is parked.

One more thing, keep in mind that if you want to warm up the car before driving, the best solution is to run an extension cord to the vehicle from a convenient outlet.

Other Car Heater Types

Not surprisingly, there are other subtypes of heaters besides these two, like:

  • Radioactive Heaters – Shortwave sunlight is absorbed by surfaces inside the car, such as upholstery, dashboard, and steering wheel. These surfaces re-radiate energy as a long-wave (infrared) radiation. This warms the car’s air.
  • Halogen Heaters – The halogen heater is a lightweight and portable device connected to an electric source and provides heat indoors. This type of heater is characterized by halogen elements, not electrical windings to provide heat sources. Current halogen heater models can be used in different environments and have several safety features.
  • Ceramic Infrared Heaters – Infrared heaters work via infrared radiation, while ceramic heaters work on convection heating. Infrared rays of an infrared heater affect our skin just like the sun. The skin absorbs radiation and warms the body in cold weather.
  • Connective Heaters – The convection heater works all the way through, allowing air to pass through the heater. It will rise and travel on air or water molecules from hot to cold as it heats up. The air through the convection heater can be natural or forced with a fan.
  • Oil Heaters – They consist of metal pillars with cavities inside which the heat transfer oil flows freely around the heater. The heating element at the bottom of the heater heats the oil. Then, the oil flows around the cavities of the heater by convection. Oil has a relatively high specific heat capacity and a high boiling point.
  • Wire Element Heaters – They contain electricity, which flows through a coil, strip, or wire and becomes very hot. The element converts the electrical energy that passes through it into heat, spreading outwards in all directions. Only some are suitable for automobiles because they can easily consume or displace available oxygen near flammable materials.

Price and Buyer’s Protection

Price is important when buying any device, so does when the car device is in question. Howbeit, don’t rush and buy the cheapest options. Ensure you buy from authorized dealers and be adequately informed before making a payment.

When you buy from unreliable sellers, your guarantee will not pay off. If something bad happens to your car heater, you have two options – throw the device in the trash or pay for the repair. And in both cases, you must pay some extra money.


Also, be careful when installing a heater in your car. If you are unsure how to deal with the electricity and cables, avoid experimenting and hire a technician to ensure everything is in order. Otherwise, you risk both your life and your money.

In-Car Heater 12v Reviews

1. AIATE 2 in1 Fast Car Heater Defroster – 12V/150W

AIATE 2 in1 Fast Car Heater Defroster

This one is an amazing car heater that can heat your car as quickly as possible: in a minute! When frost and fog cover a car’s windshield, you can easily switch one of two buttons and solve the problem. There are buttons for hot and natural air.

To use this AITE car heater, you need to connect it to a cigarette lighter socket. Please check the voltage of your car, as it needs to be 12 Volts.

This amazing car heater is perfect for cars, SUVs, taxis, and trucks. It is suitable for defogging or defrosting all 12V vehicles for camping and traveling.


  • Brand: AIATE
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Wattage: 150 watts
  • Cooling Method: Air
  • Material: ABS
  • Item Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Dimensions: ‎6.5 x 4.33 x 2.83 inches

WHAT WE LIKED// It heats a car in a minute. All kinds of vehicles can use it (cars, trucks, large SUVs.)

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE// It is only usable for vehicles with 12V cigarette lighters. Also, it is suitable for heating only small spaces.

2. Mekomy Portable USB Car Heater That Plugs into Cigarette Lighter – 12V

Mekomy Portable USB Car Heater

This great heater has functions of refrigeration, humidification, and air purification. It has sockets with a strong output design that provides a quick heating or cooling effect. When putting some ice water into the water tank, turn on the portable ac air conditioner, and it will cool the hot air around you in a minute. You can also choose the wind speed: strong wind, stroke, and weak wind.

Mekomy USB plug-in car heater is suitable for all 12V vehicles, including trucks, vans and home use. It can be used with adapters, computers, and car USBs.

Perchance the most interesting thing is that this plug-in heater is an energy saver. It will save you unnecessary costs and, at the same time, protect the environment.


  • Brand: Mekomy
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Wattage: 150 watts
  • Cooling Method: Air
  • Material: Ceramic, Plastic
  • Item Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Dimensions: 7 x 6 x 7 inches

WHAT WE LIKED// Heats a car extremely quickly and is easy to use. It is both budget-friendly and environment-friendly, doesn’t make a lot of noise, and has an upgraded filter and water tank, making it convenient for usage in every place.

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE// It is too small and only fits 12V vehicles. Do not exceed the maximum water level because otherwise, you can make a breakdown in the house or car.

3. Rotating 12V Car Heater with Adjustable Fan – 150 W

Rotating 12V Car Heater

This fantastic device is a fan and a heater in one, which is great. It is very easy to use, so you only need to connect it to the cigarette lighter and press the button you want for cooling or heating. The windshield will soon defrost, and you are ready to start driving unhindered.

The body of the Royadvs car heater is made of solid ABS material, and the interior uses high-quality heating tubes, which can last approximately 3-5 years.

As with all devices of this type, be sure to check if the car has a 12V lighter port before use!


  • Brand: ROYADVS
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Wattage: 150 watts
  • Cooling Method: Air
  • Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
  • Item Weight: 1.04 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6.89 x 5.28 x 3.5 inches

WHAT WE LIKED// It is a fan and heater in one. Very easy to use, and it quickly defrosts the windshield.

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE// Unfortunately, this device is not suitable for big trucks because of its small size

4. XCVBNM Car Heating Fan/Cooling Fan Defogger

XCVBNM Car Heating Fan

Like the previous device from the list, this one has two methods: a fan and a heater. This type of XCVBNM heater is a user-friendly and energy-friendly and makes low noise.

It is very easy to use, so you only need to connect it to the cigarette lighter socket and press the heating or cooling button. It only takes one minute for the car to reach the desired temperature.

In addition, the device is very safe to use and does not damage the battery. It also features automatic power-off protection.

Apart from cars, it is also great for camping vehicles, as well as for trucks.


  • Brand: XCVBNM
  • Voltage: 24 Volts, 12 Volts
  • Wattage: 150 watts
  • Cooling Method: Air
  • Material: Aluminum, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
  • Item Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Dimensions: 6.34 x 4.45 x 3.31 inches

WHAT WE LIKED// This heater makes low noise. It is an energy-saver, user-friendly, budget-friendly, suitable for campers, trucks, etc.

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE// This device works only for a 12V car plug-in cigarette lighter.

5. HealthMate IN9438 Velour 12V Seat Cushion with Lumbar Support

HealthMate IN9438 Velour

Here is another fantastic solution for all those frozen souls to warm up as soon as possible: HEALTHMATE Seat Cushion with Lumbar Support.

This cushion is set onto the car seat with built-in heaters, plugs into the 12V cigarette lighter socket, and heats up. It has a high, low, and off control button.

So, if your car is not equipped with heated seats, this is a great thing for winter days and temperatures. In addition, this cushion is upholstered and looks decorative, and protects the seats from wear, tear, and dirt. The heaters are invisible inside the upholstery that covers the seat and back of the car seat. Also, it is secured with elastic bands in several places not to slip, and ”run away”.

The electricity is cut off when the ignition is turned off, so there is no danger of draining the battery.

And the best part about this heater is that it also works as a heated massage!


  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Wattage: 150 watts
  • Cooling Method: Air
  • Material: Foam – Polyurethane
  • Item Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 18 x 21 inches ‎

WHAT WE LIKED// These types of heaters in the car are good if you want to warm your body and protect the seat from dirt and wear. You can use them in cars, trucks, ships, RVs.

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE// Unfortunately, this type of car heating is only good if you just want to warm up your body. It doesn’t work on the entire car as the previous plug-in heaters listed. For example, suppose you are a family of five. In that case, it might be more budget-friendly to buy some other heater for the same money, with which you will all be able to warm up at once.

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