How do you know which the best oil filled heater is? It’s a common question many ask and there is a lot to consider before you buy. In this article, I give you the most important things to consider before you buy, along with my picks for the best oil filled heater. Whether you have little to zero knowledge and would like to know more, you just want a quick recommendation, this guide will help. Let’s get into it!
About Oil Filled Radiator Heaters
What exactly are oil-filled heaters?
Oil-filled heaters are an appliance that has metal columns and fins that contain oil inside which is subsequently heated to then emit heat into a room. They are electric-powered and are an efficient and convenient way to heat rooms and are a popular choice for many looking for a good oil space heater. They use convection heating and are powered by electricity and are a great choice as a room heater. Many are also portable oil heaters which makes them great for using all around the house. You can also get oil wall heaters which you can mount to your wall.
How do oil-filled heaters work?
It is important to know how oil heaters work and produce heat before buying as the METHOD of heating may determine whether it is the right heater for you.
Oil Filled Heater efficiency
Are oil filled radiator heaters efficient? The short answer is yes, oil-filled heaters convert over 99% of the electricity they use into energy with the other small percentage used often to power the control panel.
So how much can you expect to pay when using an oil-filled heater?
According to consumer reports using a 1500w heater for 16 hours a day would cost you would cost $2.82 based on the national average electricity rate. You can figure out how much you’ll spend using one 1,500-watt space heater, use this equation:
- Multiply 1500W by X hours of use = A.
- Multiply A by your electricity rate per kilowatt-hour = B.
- Divide B by 1000.
Convection heating vs radiant heating Most heaters heat via 2 methods: convection or radiant. A radiant heater works by heating objects in a room directly. For example, a sun is a form of radiant heat. If you are directly under in the sun you will heat up, as the sun heats up the surface of your body. Radiant heaters do not directly heat air. Which brings us to convection heaters, which is what oil-filled heaters are. Convection heaters heat the air directly by producing a warm surface which then heats up the air around it. Ultimately it means a convection heater heats the room, radiant heats heat objects in a room.
Are oil-filled heaters right for you?
There are a number of factors work considering when looking at buying an oil-filled heater. Below I will run through some things.
Oil-filled space heater safety
Oil-filled heaters are not without their risks and it is good to know what those risks are before you buy. We have created a detailed guide to oil heater safety which we think covers most of what you need to know. The main concern with oil-filled heaters is that the units themselves create a warm surface. This can be dangerous for small humans and pets.
Features to look for when buying an oil heater for home comfort
- Thermal cutoff – a safety feature that will automatically turn your heater off if it gets too hot.
- Antifreeze – some heaters will contain antifreeze in them in order to prevent the pipes from freezing. If the oil freezers, it can create a lot of issues and in some cases ruining your heater.
- Tip-Over switch – Another important safety feature which will automatically turn off your heater should it somehow get knocked over. Great for preventing those pesky house fires!
- Covered elements – a few oil heaters these days now contained covered elements which alleviates one of the biggest safety concerns with oil-filled radiator heaters. This feature is not common yet but hopefully catches on. Only a couple of brands currently seem to have adopted this feature.
- Timer – a convenience feature that every oil filled heater should have. It gives you the ability to set when your heater turns on. I always set mine to turn off at a certain time at night and a certain time in the morning and without this feature, the heater would be highly inconvenient.
- Remote control – another reasonably important convenience feature for a radiant oil heater is the remote control. If you are like me you don’t want to walk over the machine every time you want to change a setting. Particularly if you are nice and cosy in bed.
- Smart heater – everything is going smart these days, and it certainly has its benefits if the accompanying app is of high quality. Being able to set schedules, and control your heater away from home adds that extra layer of convenience. Although there is not a huge product pool to choose from in terms of wifi-enabled oil-filled heaters, there are some around.
- Adjustable thermostat – quite an important convenience and money-saving feature. This enables you to set and forget. Choose a comfortable temperature and let the heater do the work. It will automatically try and keep your room at that temperature and will turn on and off as needed in order to sustain the temperature.
How do you prefer to be kept warm?
Above I ran through the principals of convection and radiant heating. How do you know what kind of heater is more preferable for you? Here are some tips:
- Large spaces with high ceilings will take a bit longer to heat, as heat rises. Unless of course, you have a ceiling fan to help circulate the warm air.
- Despite the above point, they are still better at heating rooms than radiant heaters.
- They are quiet
- They take longer to heat up than radiant heaters
- Ultimately your whole room will be warm, not just you.
Do you have kids or pets?
Unless you have one of the oil-filled radiator models that have covered elements, then you will want to be extremely careful if you have kids or pets. The surface elements of oil-filled heaters get hot and your small loved ones could very well get burnt. Be sure to ensure the safety of your small ones.
How big of an area do you need to heat?
A small room or a large room? Oil-filled heaters are fantastic for smaller rooms.
What’s the best oil heater for a large room?
Well, for the most part, oil-filled heaters are around 1500w or less, so if you are looking for a large oil-filled radiator heater, they are a little harder to find. You might find smaller or larger but on average, this is often the case.
How much space does that heat?
According to Sylvance.com a general rule of thumbs is: You’ll need roughly 10 watts of heating power for every square foot of floor area in the room. This means that a 1,500-watt heater can be the primary heat source for an area measuring up to 150 square feet. Always take into account the size of the room you are primarily going to be heating. Chances are, if it is larger than 150 sqft then you may need either 2 heaters or another method of heating your room (optimally). Alternatively, if you have a smaller room you could always opt for a small oil filled heater.
Length of Warranty
The great thing about oil-filled heaters is that they generally last a long time. No planned obsolescence. We have had our one for a number of years and it is still going strong. With that said, pay attention to the length of the warranty. Different manufacturers offer different warranty periods. You want to be covered for as long as possible.
Oil Filled Heater Reviews
While we have run through all the products in this list extensively to bring you all the pros and cons of each heater and tried to make this as accurate and helpful as we can, be sure to read reviews. Whether it might be the heaters in this article or others, reviews can give you little tidbits about the model you are looking at. They also will indicate if the unit has inherent problems to avoid when numerous reviews mentioning a product has the same issues.
How much Electricity do oil-filled heaters use?
If we assume the price of electricity is 12 cents/kWh which is the average cost in the USA according to NPR. We assume that you are using a 1500w heater. This means you will be paying around 18 cents per hour of usage. Obviously, there are a number of variables involved in estimating what you might be paying a month. How often you use the heater, what settings, duration, price of electricity all contribute one way or another to the cost, but that should give you an indication of how much electricity an oil-filled heater uses.
Why buy an oil-filled heater?
Still unsure whether an oil heater is for you? Here are some of the benefits of an oil-filled radiator heater:
- They are silent
- Produce long-lasting heat
- Are energy-efficient
- Better at heating whole rooms
- Your room will stay warm after it is turned off
- Low maintenance
- Save money with eco modes and thermostats
- Even spread heat
Our choice for the best oil-filled heaters
NewAir AH-450B Oil Radiator Heater Review
- Slim Design is A Real Space Saver - This...
- Silently Does Its Job so You Can Do Yours -...
- Energy Efficient to Cut Down Costs - This...
- Smart Safety Features to Heat in Peace - The...
- Portable Features to Put in the Perfect Place...
I have a digital heater, not too dissimilar to this one. This particular oil filled radiant heater is different from the above heaters in that it has digital controls.
Personally, I prefer digital controls, but depending on the design, it can create an annoying problem for some. Probably the biggest factor that differentiates this from the above heaters is its remote control.
This gives you the ability to control the heater from afar. Great for the bedroom, when you are warm and cosy and don’t want to get up. And of course, it is a sealed oil heater, so no need to refill.
- Features First and foremost, it is important to know what size room this heater is going to warm up. A number of people don’t pay attention to this and it can often lead to disappointment when it is not heating up a larger room. This heater will heat a room up to a 150 sq ft. Anything larger will be less than optimal, and really, you would want a different, or another heater.
- Heat settings The NewAir AH-450B is a little bit different in the way it lets you choose the heat settings. You are not able to choose a specific temperature, but rather you can choose from 5 temperature settings: 65, 70, 75, 80 85 F. So while it does sit within what is considered a comfortable temperature range, it does make it a little more restrictive than other heaters. Out of the box, if you do not choose any settings within 2 minutes, it will default to 85F. The NewAir is a 1500 watt oil filled heater.
- The NewAir AH-450B has 3 heating options. This is great as it will suit the budget-conscious as well as those who are not as concerned as much. Plus It will suit those who have varying degrees of coldness with the ability to change the output of the heater to suit Those settings are high, low and eco. Eco is the feature for the budget-conscious in which the heater will attempt to use the least amount of power but trying to maximize heat output. A feature I use all the time on my oil filled heater is the timer.
- The AH-450B comes with a 10-hour timer, which gives you the ability to turn your heater on, or off in a set amount of time. The only minor niggle I have is that it is in only 2-hour increments, so 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 hour periods. Still, a timer for me is a must and this heater certainly gives you that option. Although I personally don’t use remote control, it is always nice to have the option and no doubt a number of people would find a remote control extremely useful.
- With the remote control on the AH-450b, you are able to control the function of the heater, including the timer.
- Safety Again, safety with these heaters is critical. There are a number of safety features included in this heater.
- Overheat protection which will turn the heater off if it becomes too hot.
- A tip-over switch in case your heater gets knocked over. If it does the heater should shut off automatically. An overlooked safety feature this heater has is a 3-pronged plug.
- Many older homes may not be compatible with this, but having a 3-pronged plug is important for your safety. To top it all off, this heater has been independently tested and ETL certified.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Timer & Remote control||Buttons beep and can be noisy when pressed|
|Great for rooms smaller than 150 sqft||The timer is in increments of 2 hours|
|Tip-over switch & Overheat protection||Not ideal for larger rooms|
|3 heating modes & 5 heating settings||The remote control is not the highest quality|
|1-year warranty & Eco-mode||A small amount of assembly required for the feet|
|ETL listed & Tip-over switch|
What’s to like
As previously mentioned, this is a lot like the heater I have. Having the timer is a huge plus in my books and the remote control separates this heater from the more analogue heaters above. It heats smaller rooms well and gives you a number of options when it comes to heat output and also how much power you want to use. It has a handle and is a very portable oil heater. Overall, a great heater with all the important features you need in an oil heater.
What’s not to like
I prefer complete control over the timers. Why not just make the increments for 1 hour? The noise that the heater makes when the buttons are pressed can be a bother to some people and for those who prefer silent heaters, this may be an issue. Especially at nights if someone is sleeping and you are using the remote control. Many who have larger rooms have mentioned the heater does not heat very well. Of course, this could be due to a number of factors, such as poor insulation, but the consensus seems to be that it is great for smaller rooms rather than larger. Find out why it’s one of the best radiator heater options of all time at Amazon.com.
Mill Oil 1500W Oil Heater Review
It may not have been around as long as some other heater models, but it certainly has, by far, the best features of these top heaters. There is a lot to like about this oil heater, and really, it should be the direction all oil heaters head and in many ways, this is the best oil filled around.
It has digital controls and a number of features that most of the other heaters here do not along with the features most of them DO have. Let’s run through them.
- Features It has 3 heat settings. 600/900/1500W. This is the greatest variation of W usage of any of the heater, although only by a little. Still, it gives you that option to use as much power as you need to depend on the temperature.
- There is also a really good range you can set the temperature to from between 41 – 95 F. The AB-H1500DN also has a far superior timer than all the other heaters.
- You are able to input settings for during the day, as well as different settings for at night. For example – the day time will likely be warmer, so you might choose 65F during the day, but 85F at night when it is much colder.
- To add to this, you can choose different settings on different days. Furthermore, you can define the length of the day. For example, you may have kids sporting events on a Monday, so you could choose to make the day time settings longer on a Monday so you don’t use as much power. Not much point wasting power if no one is in the house!
- This capability allows you to create a heating schedule that fits around your lifestyle. This is great for those that want something a bit smarter than a plug’n’play. It doesn’t stop there. The timer is able to to be set in increments of 1 hour. This was one thing I didn’t like about one of the above heaters that this heater does better. It really gives you full control.
- Safety Like all good oil-filled heaters, the AB-H1500DN comes with important safety features including a tip-over switch, which will turn the heater off if it is knocked down. It also has to overheat protection in which the heater will turn off if it gets too hot.
- Mill Heat Boost Technology: One of the great things about this heater is that the fins are not out in the open so it is a lot safer for kids and pets. That said, it doesn’t mean the exterior of the heater does not get hot. This enclosed casing is also a feature Mill says produces more heat than a regular oil heater. The way this works, in simplistic terms, is rather than dispersing the heat from everywhere on the heater, the enclosure concentrates the heat and pushes it all up through the top in a more concentrated wave.
- Other handy features A common issue many have with oil heaters is with the thermostat. Sometimes the heater’s thermostat is not accurate to the temperature of the room. Well, this heater allows you to adjust the thermostat, so if it might not be as accurate as you think it should be, you can manually set it. That is pretty handy. Another issue that happens often is after a power failure, most heaters will lose all their settings and reset to factory settings. The Mill AB-H1500DN however, will remember those settings.
- This is great especially if you have programmed in a weekly heating schedule. Last, be not least we cannot go past the 2-year warranty. This is more than most other companies offer for their products. If for whatever reason your heater is not up to standard you can make use of the warranty.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Timer & Tip-over switch||No remote control|
|Thermostat adjustments & Overheat protection||Heavy|
|Day/Night timer & Closed casing||Unit can still get hot|
|3 heating settings & Thermostat adjustments|
|2-year warranty & Remembers settings after power failure|
What is to like Features, features, features. It offers everything most oil heaters offer and more. Short of being a smart heater, it offers nearly all capabilities a smart heater might offer. Funnily enough, Mill also makes a smart heater version similar to this heater, however, the wifi on the heater seems like it leaves a lot to be desired at this stage. As far as oil-filled electrical heaters, this is a solid option.
What’s not to like
It doesn’t come with any remote control which is a bit of a shame and a number of people have found the heater quite heavy.
Simple, basic heat with no frills. That, in essence, sums up this little oil filled electric heater. It does not have bells and whistles and is not digital or have a digital display. That can work either way for people but many commented that it kept things very simple. One way it can help to be analogue, is that when there is a power surge, or the heater is turned off, it will turn back on to your original settings. In many digital appliances, if that happens, all your settings can be wiped and you will have to reprogram everything. Also, with the old school control panel, there really is very little room for confusion.
This unit has 3 heat settings of low, medium and high and it is a 1500 watt oil filled radiator heater. The 3 heat settings are 600, 900, or 1500 watts. This feature is great as it gives you the ability to control how much power you are using and also, how much the heater will use. An example of this feature in action would be if you use your heater in 2 different rooms. One might be considerably larger than the other, which would, therefore, require more heat. If you didn’t have these settings, you might move back to the smaller room, and get blasted with heat, using far more heat a power that is sufficient to heat your room.
Safety Features on the Costway Radiator heater
This oil filled heater has all the important safety features.
- Overheat protection
- Tip-over auto shut-off
- Along with that, the heater is UL listed, which means it has passed independent safety standards
Adjustable thermostat In my opinion, a thermostat is one of the most important features of an oil-filled heater. It means that a) you are able to set and forget and b) you can save money by not having the heater on constantly. Just turn the knob to a heat setting of your comfort and let the heater do the rest. You can obviously turn the knob up and down to adjust the temperature the thermostat will work too.
Portability Oil heaters are kind of heavy. Mine certainly is. Having a means to carry or move it is especially important if you plan to move the heater between rooms. I know my oil heater would be a nightmare to move without any wheels and a handle. Fortunately, this Costway oil filled heater also contains wheels and a handle for easy portability.
Will it burn the carpet? This is a question that gets asked a lot when it comes to oil-filled radiator heaters. The last thing anyone needs is charcoaled carpets! Well, to answer the question, your carpet will be fine. The heater is well high enough about the carpet to ensure it won’t get burnt. Hot? Maybe, but not burnt, so fear not!
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Analog for simple use & Tip-over shut off switch||Has been known to emit a smell|
|Ul listed & Overheat protection||The cord is at the front of the |
|3 heating settings & Adjustable thermostat||No remote control|
|Wheels and handle for easy manoeuvrability||No timer|
|Solid quality &Inbuilt cord storage & Free maintanance|
What is to like and what’s not
As we mentioned at the start this is a no-frills oil radiant heater. It does what it is meant to do with little fuss. You can be comforted by the fact it has numerous, fundamentally important safety features, such as tip-over auto-shutoff switch and overheat protection and is safety certified. It does have a thermostat but it would have been nice if this model had a timer also. One thing I would miss on my oil heater is the ability to set the heater to turn on/off. Unfortunately, this model does not have that ability. Overall, a good solid, basic oil heater that does the job well. Have a look for yourself. Find out why it’s one of the best oil space heaters at Amazon.com
DeLonghi Heater Comfort Temp Review
The DeLonghi comfort temp is another oil heater that aims to focus on the fewer frills approach. There are not really too many things about the heater that makes it stand out from others in terms of features, but it does do the job it is meant to do well.
Having said that, there is one feature that it promotes that is a little different to other oil heaters and that is its “comfort temp technology” We will detail what this feature is below. But let’s kick off the with the heat settings.
Heat settings Much like the Costway heater this DeLonghi heater is an analogue heater. No digital parts, just old school knobs and levers to control functions. This could be good for some and maybe not for others. In this case, it is good as there is little fuss and basically zero learning curve on how to use the heater. There are 6 heat settings from a low setting to high. BUT.
The problem is, there is no mentioned temperature or any way to gauge what temperature each setting is This means it will take a little trial and error to figure this out. Not quite a plug and play heater, but after a number of days/nights with the heater on you will quickly figure out which setting is going to be right for you.
Or alternatively, you can use the “comfort temp technology” feature which negates the use for setting your own temperature. More on that to come.
Safety is always important and is something that has been considered with this heater. You can rest easy knowing this heater has been ETL listed, so has undergone independent safety testing. One of the important safety features this heater has is the thermal shutoff, which turns the heater off it becomes too hot.
Moving oil-filled heaters can be a pain in the bum. My one certainly is. If it is hot, it becomes extremely difficult to move, as it has one handle on the front, but nothing on the back to support it. So I would have to be holding a hot element. I guess they expect me to move the heater before I use it.
It is not ideal, but luckily I’m not one to move the heater around a lot. How about the DeLonghi? It kind of has the same issue. It only has a handle and a small slot on the front of the heat which leaves you with the same problem I have with mine.
Nowhere to put your other hands to pick the heater up or support it. If you move your heater around when hot, this is not ideal. A number of users have commented on this.
Features The adjustable thermostat on this DeLonghi Oil heater works automatically. However, for an analogue heater, the buttons and knobs actually are quite confusing. A number of users have commented on the overly complicated nature of these.
Also, as mentioned above this issue is there is no number put on that temperature. And that brings us to the stand out feature this unit has that most other oil-filled radiator heaters do not.
The “comfort temp technology”. What this feature is, is effectively a push-button thermostat. Push the button and it will automatically try to keep the room temperature to between 68 to 70F, which is considered a comfortable temperature.
There isn’t really anything special about what this feature does, but it can save you fooling around with knobs and settings and gives you a fast easy way to get comfortable and a reason not to play around with the confusing temperature settings.
Antifreeze function One thing you want to avoid with oil-filled heaters is to have their pipes freeze. I enjoy the irony of a frozen heater, but you will not if you are unfortunate enough to have this happen. Effectively, this can ruin your oil filled heater. The DeLonghi has taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen with an ‘antifreeze’ feature, which will turn the heater on automatically when the temperature gets around 41F to ensure the pipes do not freeze.
|✅ Pros||❌ Cons|
|Quiet||Has leaked oil on a few occasion|
|Heats well||Unit gets quite hot|
|Proven quality||Confusing heat switches|
|Antifreeze feature||Difficult to move|
What is to like and what’s not.
I like this heater because it is one of the more proven models available. It has the usual safety features you should expect from an oil-filled heater and is extremely simple to use, with no maintenance or learning curve. The antifreeze feature is great if you leave in those extremely cold areas.
The “comfort temp technology” in my opinion is mostly gimmicky, but you cannot really complain about a unit that works adequately with only the press of a button. It is quiet, and it heats the room well.
Some issues that I wasn’t fussed with was the fact this model has leaked oil more than a couple of occasions. Though the likelihood of this happening is likely very low that does give me some cause to concern.
Moving the heater is not the easiest and the settings are more complicated than they need to be. Have a look for yourself. Find out why it’s one of the best electric radiator heater options at Amazon.com
This DeLonghi EW7707 heater is basically an older version as the above Delonghi heater we have already reviewed but with one less crucial safety feature – a tip over switch. Again, it takes a less-is-more approach.
Heat settings The EW7707 utilizes a ‘variable heat’ dial which can be good or can be bad depending on your outlook. It can be good if you want 100% control over what temperature output you have, as you can adjust it in tiny, or large increments, depending on your needs. The negative to that variable heat is it may take some time to get used to it. As there is no set temperature on the dial, you will have to find where on the dial is optimal for you. So it there is likely to be some experimentation involved initially.
Safety Features So, this heater has a number of safety features including being ETL listed. This means this heater has been ETL listed, so has undergone independent safety testing. Another important safety features this heater has is the thermal shutoff, which turns the heater off it it becomes too hot.
One safety feature it does not have is a tip-over switch, which will turn the heater off if it tips over. Portability Moving oil-filled heaters can be a pain in the bum. My one certainly is. If it is hot, it becomes extremely difficult to move, as it has one handle on the front, but nothing on the back to support it. So I would have to be holding a hot element. I guess they expect me to move the heater before I use it. It is not ideal, but luckily I’m not one to move the heater around a lot. How about the DeLonghi? It kind of has the same issue. It only has a handle and a small slot on the front of the heat which leaves you with the same problem I have with mine. Nowhere to put your other hands to pick the heater up or support it. If you move your heater around when hot, this is not ideal. A number of users have commented on this.
Features A couple of features of this heater are a little different to some other oil heaters. The first being the ability to change between 700, 800 and 1500 watt usage. Other heaters may have high, low and eco modes which is similar, but they often don’t specify what wattage you are using.
While I think there is little point in having both 700 and 800 options, given the difference is so little, at least you do have options. The other feature, which the previously reviewed Delonghi has, is the’ comfort temp’ feature, which effectively a push-button thermostat.
Push the button and it will automatically try to keep the room temperature to between 68 to 70F, which is considered a comfortable temperature.
There isn’t really anything special about what this feature does, but it can save you fooling around with knobs and settings and gives you a fast easy way to get comfortable and a reason not to play around with the confusing temperature settings.
DeLonghi has taken steps to ensure the pipes in your heater don’t freeze with an ‘antifreeze’ feature, which will turn the heater on automatically when the temperature gets around 41F. This will prevent your oil heater from getting damaged in cold winters.
|Quiet||Bright light is not dimmable|
|Heats well||Fins get very hot|
|1-year warranty||No tip over switch|
What is to like?
For the most part, this is a proven heater. It is solid in its heating abilities. The functionality is not too complicated, despite the silliness of the heat settings/wattage buttons. There is no assembly or maintenance required and it has a ‘1 press heat’ comfort temp feature. The antifreeze is a nice touch and the variable heat could be a good thing depending on your preference.
What’s not to like Probably the biggest safety issue is the absence of a tip-over switch. Many other oil heaters have this, and why wouldn’t you want it? The fins on this heater can also get very hot so you will want to be extra careful if you have small humans or pets around. Also, the comfort temp light can be an annoyance for some if the heater is used in a bedroom. Check it out! Find out why it’s one of the best-selling oil heaters for home comfort at Amazon.com
Oil Filled Electric Heaters – Additional reading
Obviously, there are many oil filled heater options to choose from. A popular option with great ratings, which we didn’t include was the Insignia htrfbk6 oil-filled radiator heater.
Why didn’t we include this heater? Well according to Insignia, this heater has been discontinued. At the time of writing, it was still available on Amazon.com but at some point its likely to disappear.
Honeywell oil filled radiator heater – is this any good?
I wanted to address this particular heater as Honeywell is a very popular brand, and a Honeywell heater is often sought out due to the companies reputation with heating and cooling products. To be brutally honest, it doesn’t seem Honeywell have got their oil filled heater right just yet.
For my liking, there have just been too many instances of the oil-filled heater breaking down or not working far earlier than it should. You can read about what others are saying about it here.
By now you probably have an idea of whether oil-filled heaters are for you and what the best oil filled space heater options are. As we have mentioned, each type of heater has its pros and cons. Be sure to check out our other useful guides related to oil-filled heaters:
Got questions or comments? We would love to hear from you, leave a comment below or get in touch!