Oil-Filled Radiator vs Infrared Heater

While looking for the best space heater to buy it is advised to be well informed about the separate heater type-differences and is important being able to decide which kind of electric heater will be the best to live up to the expectations and demands set by you.

On this page we are going to compare the two most popular kinds of electric space heaters, infrared heaters and oil-filled radiators.

About oil-filled radiator heaters

Although filled with oil, the heating mechanism of oil radiators doesn’t involve burning oil as a fuel. The appliance is heated electrically and the oil is acting more like a heat reservoir. Thanks to its high boiling point the oil’s great properties to store thermal energy it is possible to achieve good results in heating efficiency.

The oil is heated up at the bottom of the radiator and is circulated along the metal columns with relatively large surface area which allows more air to be in contact with the oil-filled radiator. This way the heat is transferred more rapidly from the electric convection heater to the room while still maintaining a safe surface temperature not hot enough to cause burning wounds and fires.

Oil-filled radiators are considered to be the safest choices for heating living spaces and operate really quiet.

If you are looking for an oil-filled heater start by reading the reviews of the most popular models on our oil-filled radiators category page or start with my personal recommendation which would be the DeLonghi dragon model. The name comes from the fact it is blowing hot air.

About infrared Heaters

Infrared heaters mechanism works by transferring the thermal energy through electromagnetic radiation. Most infrared space heaters are fitted with heating elements belonging to medium range infrared wavelength and the filament gets as hot as 1,000 °C sometimes even more.

While operating most of the near infrared radiation is absorbed by the quartz glass tube causing it to heat up and highly polished reflectors are used to direct the heat rays into the desired direction.

Electric infrared heaters aren’t effective in heating the air in the room, using them won’t fry dust causing burnt smell in the room which can be helpful for some people with allergies. On the other hand the skin and flesh is absorbing the infrared waves which is the reason the infrared heater won’t heat the whole room well, but the person will feel warm on whom the heater is directed at the room temperature won’t change a lot. This is especially true for space heaters fitted with far-infrared panels which can even cause indirect burn injuries when not being careful and operating them in tight spaces for excessive amounts of time.

If you are looking for an infrared heater start by reading our reviews on the most popular units on the market by visiting the infrared heaters page or straight by visiting the review page of the product which we think is the best infrared heater on the market today: The EdenPURE GEN4 Quartz Infrared Heater.

Infrared heater vs Oil-Filled radiator

Oil-filled Radiator


  • Safe choice – surface temperature not high enough to cause fire or burn injuries.
  • Great for heating the air in the whole room.
  • Noiseless.
  • Oil cools down slowly, the oil heater will work more efficiently and thermostat can turn the heater off for longer periods of time.
  • In modern oil-filled radiators the oil never needs refilling or changing.


  • Bit larger appliance size compared to other portable space heaters.
  • Takes longer to heat up.

Infrared Heater


  • Fast to heat up.
  • Usually noiseless.


  • Heating element gets really hot, if not housed or caged correctly can induce burn wounds and fire.
  • Intense long-lasting infrared radiation can cause indirect burn injuries.
  • Some low quality quartz heating element have long short expectancy.

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