A heated greenhouse brings joy to every gardener and that’s why we want to help you find the best greenhouse heaters for vegetable gardeners.
Because in a heated greenhouse, you can keep your greenhouse plants safe from frosts and potentially even grow crops all year round. It also allows you to grow plants that would not normally grow in the UK. That’s why our experts have put together a list of the 5 best greenhouse heaters available at the moment.
When it comes to knowing what are the best greenhouse heaters, it can become difficult. Because there is a lot of choice out there, and it can feel a bit overwhelming to choose a greenhouse heater. Especially, if you are new to greenhouse growing.
But don’t worry, our experts have you covered. They have picked the 5 best greenhouse heaters you can buy at the moment to help you decide.
#1: Dimplex ECOT2FT Tubular Heater
- tubular electric heater
- size: 61cm (2ft)
- voltage: 80 Watts
- accessories: cable, mounting brackets
- safety features: auto-reset thermal overload cut-out, fully splash-proof (IPX4 rated)
- top pick on our list of the best greenhouse heaters
- great customer reviews
- good value for money
- built-in thermostat
- lightweight (920g)
This tubular heater is ideal to keep your greenhouse frost free in the winter months. It comes with a built-in thermostat, so it won’t just be on all the time. Not only will this save energy and money, but also make sure your greenhouse stays at the temperature you choose.
- Ideal for background heat and frost protection
- Thermostatic control for energy efficiency
- Discreet wall mounting brackets with reversible cable entry
#2: LightHouse Eco Greenhouse Heater
- corded tubular electric greenhouse heater
- size: 30.5cm (1ft)
- voltage: 80 Watts
- security features: splash-proof (IP55 rated)
- ideal for small greenhouses (heats area up to 1.8mx1.8m or 6ftx6ft)
- accessories: power cable
- runner-up on our list of the best greenhouse heaters
- excellent customer reviews
- affordable price
- available in different voltages
- lightweight (739g)
- energy efficient – only uses 50 Watts per foot
This eco-friendly electric tubular heater will keep frost away from your plants in your greenhouse. It also uses 25% less energy than other tubular heaters, so heating your greenhouse won’t break the bank. It’s also available in different sizes and voltages, so you will find the right heater for your needs.
- Protects plants against sudden temperature and humidity fluctuations
- Uses less than 50w per foot which is similar to an ordinary light bulb and 25% less than most similar tube heaters
- Provides a stable environment
#3: LightHouse 2kw Electric Greenhouse Heater
- corded electric fan heater
- voltage: 2kw
- heating area: 20m²
- 3 different speed settings
- third spot on our list of the best greenhouse heaters
- great reviews
- built-in thermostat
- available in 1kw voltage
This electric fan heater is ideal for extending the growing season and grow vegetables all year round, as it has enough power to heat the greenhouse, rather than just keep it frost free. It is also suitable for larger greenhouses or even polytunnels.
- Dimensions: 230 x 198 x 320mm (l x w x h)
- Heating Area: 20m²
- Robust, reliable and easy to use these heaters are thermostatically controlled. The inbuilt fan has 3 different speed settings.
#4: Elixir Gardens TH03 Tube Heater
- corded electric tubular heater
- size: 1m (3.3ft)
- voltage: 135 Watts
- security features: splash-proof (IP44 rated), thermal cut-off
- accessories: 2x wall brackets, 4x wall plugs, 4 wall screws, 4x fitting screws
- great customer reviews
- built-in thermostat – adjustable temperature control
- available in different sizes
- low energy consumption
- good price
- easy assembly
- durable – made of powder coated steel
The Elixir Garden Tubular Heater will keep your greenhouse at the right temperature, as it has an in-built thermometer. So you can have peace of mind. The security features also make it safe to use, even with water splashes from watering. This heater comes in different sizes too, so you can find the right one for you.
- SUPER ECONOMICAL - Our Tubes are a very low cost heating solution, running as low as fractions of pennies per hour. With a convenient On / Off power switch including indicator light and built in Temperature Control to help you save even more money and lower your carbon footprint. EASY TO ASSEMBLE, with minimal effort (All parts included) Available in a range of sizes to fit your purpose! (Standard Phillips screwdriver required for initial construction).
- · ELIXIR TUBULAR HEATERS ARE IP44 RATED, meaning they are fully equipped to withstand water splashes from all angles. Making sure the product has long-lasting benefits and reduces damage risks over time. Our tubes are sturdily constructed from steel and then powder coated in white for extra durability and a sustained shelf-life.
- A GREAT PRODUCT TO SERVE YOUR MOBILE HEATING NEEDS, be it for; airing cupboards, to help with condensation build up on windows and walls, in caravans, boats, kennels, out buildings, toilets and so on.
#5: Hausen Electric Tubular Greenhouse Heater
- corded electric tubular heater
- voltage: 180 Watts
- size: 91.44cm (3ft)
- safety features: splash- and dust-proof (IP55 rated), thermal protector
- great customer reviews
- easy to install
- available in different sizes and voltages
- can only be installed horizontally
The Hausen tubular heater has great safety features, so you don’t need to worry. You can choose from 4 different sizes and voltages, so will work for your greenhouse no matter what the size. I’t also cost-effective, so it won’t cost you the earth to heat your greenhouse.
- LOW COST-EFFECTIVE HEATING – Perfect for use in a greenhouse, garages or sheds, designed to prevent damp, condensation and freezing. Using a very low power consumption.
- EASY TO INSTALL – All fixings and mounting brackets are included. PLEASE NOTE – this item can only be mounted horizontally.
- 4 SIZES – 1ft (60W) 2ft (120W) 3ft (180W) 4ft (240W) all with a 130°c thermal protector. Made from White Plastic and Metal.
What Temperature Should I heat My Greenhouse?
The answer will depend on what you want to achieve. If you want to keep frost at bay in your greenhouse over winter, then a temperature of 3°C will suffice. At this greenhouse temperature, hardy plants such as broccoli, spinach, Christmas potatoes and brussels sprouts will easily survive.
If you are using your heated greenhouse to start your growing season earlier, and you want to protect seedlings or young plants, then a minimum of 7°C is necessary, even better, 10°C. This is also a good temperature to overwinter precious tender plants that you don’t want to lose.
The best greenhouse heaters will have a built-in thermostat, which will make it easy for you to keep your greenhouse at the right temperature.
To keep your heating cots down, look at insulating your greenhouse.
What Kind Of Heater Is Best For A Greenhouse?
There are three types of heaters available to you if you want to buy a greenhouse heater: paraffin heater, propane heaters and electric heaters. All three have their advantages and disadvantages.
An electric heater is the most energy efficient of all three types and the best option for the environment. Most of them have a low energy consumption, similar to that of a light bulb. This means they are cheaper to run.
You also have much better temperature control with an electric heater, as the best greenhouse heaters of this type will have a built-in thermostat. This means you don’t need to worry about constantly checking what temperature the greenhouse has, and you can ensure a steady temperature. The heater will switch on when the temperature drops below what you set and switches off when the right temperature has been reached.
The only disadvantage is that you will need electricity in your greenhouse. But this can easily be resolved by running an outdoor extension cable from your house to the greenhouse. Just make sure it doesn’t become a trip hazard.
A paraffin heater is not cheap, because it is not cheap to get paraffin. And like with any gas heater, you have to constantly refuel. This will mean you could have high heating costs.
And you have to keep in mind that the gas will be flammable, so needs to be stored correctly to avoid any issues.
More importantly, burning paraffin will produce harmful fumes, which means you have to open the windows, doors or vents. And this is the last thing you want in the winter months, because it is counterproductive, because it will cool down the greenhouse, which means you need more fuel to heat it up.
At the same time, the paraffin heater will produce moisture. Again, this means you have to ventilate the greenhouse to prevent diseases and other problems.
On the other side, you don’t to worry about getting electricity to your greenhouse.
Propane Heaters have the same issues as paraffin heaters, although it is much easier and cheaper to get propane. You can even get it from supermarkets.
But you still have the problem of storage, moisture and fumes.
With both paraffin and propane heaters you will have a burning flame and flammable gas interacting with each other. This is never a good thing when not supervised.
So, if you want peace of mind, I would recommend an electric greenhouse heater every time. Also, because it’s better for the environment and the budget. This is why, on our list of the best greenhouse heaters, our experts have only picked electric heaters.
Are Greenhouse Heaters Worth It?
The answer to this depends on what you want to achieve. There are situations where heating a greenhouse is inevitable. These are:
- overwintering tender plants that need a frost-free environment, with daytime temperatures of between 5°C and 10°C – if you only have a few plants, you can use sheets of bubble wrap to create a small area, which won’t take as long to heat up and will also cost less to heat.
- growing vegetables and seedlings that will need planting out in spring, where you will need a daytime temperature of 10°C-13°C.
- growing fruits and vegetables that will need a daytime temperature of between 13°C and 18°C, such as lemon trees. While they can stand temperatures down to freezing, they will stop growing when it gets colder than 10°C. So, having a warm greenhouse above this, will ensure that you can enjoy lemons in winter. You might also need artificial lighting though, as these plants will not only need warmth but also light to grow.
If you want to do any of the above, a greenhouse heater will be necessary. Any of the ones on our list of the best greenhouse heaters will work for these purposes, as long as you get the right voltage for the space you have.
An unheated greenhouse is still useful, as it can extend the growing season for hardy vegetables. You will need to keep in mind, though, that if the outside temperatures get really low, then there might be frost damage in an unheated greenhouse.
To make sure that your greenhouse can provide a frost free environment all winter, a greenhouse heater is the most reliable option.
Can Greenhouse Heaters Be Used In Polytunnels?
The short answer is yes. A polytunnel serves the same purpose as a greenhouse, so a greenhouse heater will be just as effective. However, you will need a power source in your polytunnel, which is probably something most gardeners won’t have.
Also, because polytunnels are cheaper to buy than greenhouses, most people will be able to afford a bigger one, than they would with a greenhouse. The bigger the space, the more difficult and expensive it will be to heat it.
If you don’t have access to electricity a gas or paraffin heater will be your only option. But keep in mind the disadvantages we have mentioned above. And you should consider that you will have a burning fire and flammable gas in your polytunnel. So make sure it is positioned in a way it can not set the polytunnel on fire, if you are using this type of greenhouse heater.
Can I Heat My Greenhouse Without A Heater?
If you want to avoid using a heater, there are other options, but none of them will be as effective as using a heater. For example, it will not be possible to warm up a greenhouse to 7°C without greenhouse heating in the midst of the UK winter.
One way to keep your greenhouse warmer without using any type of heater is by insulating your greenhouse. This can be done with horticultural bubble wrap, which you can get in a garden centre or online.
By keeping the heat in, your greenhouse will be warmer without you having to use a heater. You can also use it around doors to stop cold air from coming in that way.
Just keep in mind that the bubble wrap will also block out some of the sunlight. By looking for bubble wrap with big bubbles, you can counteract this issue a bit. Also, make sure that you clean the windows before putting it up to maximise the light that passes through. This is important because the sunlight will help to warm up the greenhouse during the day.
Some people say that by placing a rabbit hutch (and rabbit) into the greenhouse will increase the temperature of the greenhouse. However, not everyone has a rabbit, so this option will not work for everyone. And we don’t recommend to get a rabbit just for this purpose.
Another way to add heat to a greenhouse without using a heater is by getting decomposing organic matter in your greenhouse. When organic matter, such as grass clippings or leaves, decompose, it gives up heat. So you could put a big container full of leaves you picked in the autumn and grass clippings from your last few cuts in your greenhouse.
You can also use the decomposed organic matter as mulch in the following spring.
Another way to raise the temperature in your greenhouse without using a heater is by adding wood, bricks or stone, such as a stone floor or wooden raised beds.
The wood or stones will warm up during the day with the help of the sun. Then will give up this heat slowly during the night.
While all these methods are useful and can help to increase the temperatures in your greenhouse, if you want to achieve optimum temperatures for certain aims, such as growing vegetables all winter, you will struggle with these methods.
This is because the temperatures inside the greenhouse will depend on the number of hours of sunlight during the day and the outside temperature. So you won’t have any control over how warm or cold it will be in your greenhouse.
So, if you want to ensure your greenhouse stays at a certain temperature during winter, a greenhouse heater is essential. Our list of the best greenhouse heaters will make it easy for you to decide which one works best for your needs.