Considering an oil filled space heater to keep warm without racking up electricity bills? You’re in the right place!
Keep on reading to learn about the best oil filled space heaters on the market.
In this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll learn:
- What are oil filled space heaters? (some common misconceptions)
- What are the different types of oil filled space heater? (are they any different?)
- How do oil filled space heaters work?
- What do you look for in the best oil filled space heaters (don’t forget these 4 things!)
And much more!
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
January 2, 2022
De'Longhi Oil Filled Space HeaterCheck on Amazon
Talk about a tough decision!--break--We had 5 extremely strong contenders in this guide to the best oil filled space heaters, but in the end, we just had to go with the De’Longhi (model code EW7707CM).--break--Why?--break--The most obvious factor is brand recognition. De’Longhi are a real household name when it comes to small appliances, so it’s coming from a brand you can trust.--break--It’s absolutely packed with features, both for your comfort, and safety.--break--On top of everything else, it barely sips at the electricity, so you can expect to lower your energy bills by a not-insignificant amount.
Below is a quick list of our top recommendations. Keep scrolling to read our buying guide and choose the best oil filled space heater for you!
Our Top Pick
Our Top Pick
De’Longhi Radiator Heater (EW7707CM)
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De’Longhi Radiator Heater (TRD40615E)
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Best Budget Pick
Best Budget Pick
Costway Radiator Heater
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Pelonis Radiator Heater
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TaoTronics Space Heater
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What Are Oil Filled Space Heaters?
Oil filled space heaters, believe it or not, run on electricity, not oil!
You may even know them by one of their other common names, for example column heaters, or oil filled radiators.
They are domestic heating appliances that run from mains electricity, and are typically used to heat a single room.
We’ll stop here to reiterate this point and clear up a few common misconceptions about oil filled heaters.
These units are powered by electricity, and do not burn oil.
What’s more, the oil that the unit does use is included with the unit and for most modern heaters you should never need to refill the oil.
They are popular because they provide such effective warmth that it’s possible to turn off your home’s central heating and enjoy whole room heat – ideal for money saving!
These heaters make great choices for students living in college dorms, as other types of electric heater with exposed elements are often prohibited.
Oil Filled Heaters vs. Other Heaters
Oil Filled Space Heaters vs. Ceramic Space Heaters
Both oil filled heaters and ceramic space heaters are powered by electricity, and neither require any significant maintenance.
Oil filled heaters work by process of thermal convection, where hot air rises up from the fins, and draws cooler air down, where it gets warmed by the heater.
Ceramic heaters work by using heating elements to warm up a ceramic plate, and the plate radiates warmth into the room, a process that is often sped up with a fan.
Oil Filled Space Heaters vs. Fan Space Heaters
Fan space heaters are amongst the simplest you will find.
Again, like oil filled, they are electrically powered, but the electricity is used in a different way. In a fan heater, the electricity is run through a coil, and the coil becomes hot.
This hot coil warms the air immediately around it and that hot air is blown into the room with a fan.
Oil filled heaters use their electric power to warm the diathermic oil that flows through the fins.
Oil Filled Space Heaters vs. Infrared Space Heaters
Infrared space heaters use an entirely different principle of heating compared to oil filled space heaters.
Infrared heaters use a special bulb that emits infrared radiation, an invisible light that has the effect of heating whatever it contacts (much like the sun).
They don’t actually warm the air, unlike oil filled heaters, which work specifically by heating the ambient air in the room.
How Do Oil Filled Space Heaters Work?
Oil filled space heaters are one of the oldest designs, and yet, they have stood the test of time. Their extraordinary performance makes them the ideal single zone heating solution.
The process of their operation is as follows:
Within the internal electronics of the heater, a resistor converts the mains electricity into heat.
This heat then begins to warm the diathermic oil, which in turn begins to expand, completely filling the columns, also known as fins.
The oil used is specially selected for its high heat resistance – this ensures that it never reaches its flashpoint, and it doesn’t begin to evaporate, and therefore never needs to be refilled.
The purpose of the diathermic oil is to retain the heat that is created by the resistor, and this is what drives the efficiency of these heaters.
Once the oil is up to temperature, it starts circulating around the fins. As the fins heat up, they begin to warm the air around them.
This has the effect of drawing cool ambient air down towards the fins, while the warm air starts rising up.
The cool air becomes warmer and the cycle continues – this process is known as thermal convection.
What Do You Look For In The Best Oil Filled Space Heaters?
When it comes to picking the best oil filled space heater there are a few key areas that help some models stand out above others.
There are literally hundreds on the market, so by following these shopping tips, you’ll avoid picking lower quality units.
Check the performance of the heater you are interested in by learning about its BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating.
Obviously the greater the number, the more powerful the heater. It’s best to go for one that has the appropriate heating power for the room you intend to use it in, rather than going under or over power.
Too little power and it won’t heat the room the way you want it too, too much power and it will use more energy than necessary and won’t run efficiently.
It’s best to avoid one setting heaters.
Good oil filled space heaters will have at the bare minimum preset heat settings for you to choose from.
At the better end, they will be equipped with a dial type thermostat for even more control over heat output.
The best models will have digital control over the thermostat, allowing you to select the exact room temperature you want, and the heater will maintain the temperature there for you.
There is no sense in investing in an oil filled heater if it’s going to rack up crazy electric bills. Look for a space heater with Energy Star certification.
The less power a heater uses to generate warmth, the more efficient it is.
Be on the lookout for lightweight models, and units with casters, or wheels.
This will allow you to conveniently move your space heater from place to place with ease, getting the warmth top where it’s needed most.
Our Reviews Of The Best Oil Filled Space Heaters
De'Longhi Radiator Heater (EW7707CM) (Our Top Pick)Check on Amazon
Our best overall winner was the De’Longhii EW7707CM, and here’s why it won!--break--First and foremost, the volume, or lack thereof - this heater is virtually silent in its operation, making it ideal for bedroom heating during the night.--break--It’s constructed from durable steel, and has a leakproof reservoir, so you know it is built to last.--break--De’Longhi’s ComforTemp technology acts like a climate control thermostat, letting you “set it and forget it”.--break--Just set the heater to your desired temperature, and the machine will take care of the rest.--break--This prevents overheating, and ensures energy efficiency at all times.
- Smooth rolling casters--break--Anti-Freeze Piping--break--Handy cord storage
- Limited heat settings--break--No remote control
De’Longhi Radiator Heater (TRD40615E) (High End Pick)Check on Amazon
If you’re looking for something a little more high end, allow us to introduce you to the De’Longhi Rapido.--break--This is one of the most powerful units on test, with a massive 1500 watts of energy pumping comforting warmth into even large rooms.--break--The unique thermal slot design works to ensure maximum heat flow while keeping surface temperature at safe levels.--break--The oil reservoir on this unit is permanently sealed, making it maintenance free, something most homeowners will be looking for.--break--It boasts an easy to read digital display, and features three heat settings and an adjustable thermostat for complete control over the temperature in the room.
- 25% more radiant surface (for faster heating) compared to similar models--break--Design ensures low surface temperature--break--Automatically turns on in cold temperatures
- Price--break--Some users noticed a clicking sound in eco mode, which bothered some (others did not have this problem)
Costway Radiator Heater (Best Budget Pick)Check on Amazon
Those looking for effective and efficient heat on a tighter budget should seriously consider this excellent compact oil filled space heater from Costway.--break--It is by far the most compact and portable of all the heaters we tested, and measures just 14 inches tall.--break--For a budget heater it is very well equipped. It features carry handles, and a thermostat for precision temperature control.--break--Power measures in at a respectable 700 watts, making this a good choice for bedroom applications or small to medium size living rooms.--break--As with more expensive models, it does feature an excess temperature auto shut off, and it comes with a permanently sealed oil unit.
- Quality fit and finish--break--Convenient carry handles--break--Great price
- No wheels--break--Slow to heat up--break--Surface can get hot to the touch
Pelonis Radiator HeaterCheck on Amazon
The dark horse in this test lineup was the Pelonis Quiet Digital. It, in fact, came close to clinching the best overall title.--break--It runs in virtual silence, and is packed with safety features such as power indication lights, overheat shut down, and even tip over shut down.--break--This model features a remote control, a big plus in our eyes.--break--The remote control covers all the major functions of the unit, letting you make adjustments from anywhere in the room. It has 3 power settings - 1500W, 900W, and eco mode.--break--There is no graduated thermostat control on this model, but there is still incremented temperature adjustment in 5 degree intervals from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Convenient cord storage--break--Attractive black finish--break--Easy to move even while running
- No timer function--break--Remote requires direct line of sight
TaoTronics Radiator HeaterCheck on Amazon
Last but not least, the TaoTronics Large Oil Filled Space Heater.--break--This is a great model that provides even, reliable heat for large rooms thanks to its 1500 watts of power.--break--It has the usual array of safety features (overheat and tip over shut offs), and also boasts a 24 hour timer for easy control.--break--This model comes with a simple to use remote control, and an easy read digital readout.--break--It is energy efficient, especially while in ECO mode, and it is mounted on casters for easy transportation between rooms.
- Energy efficient--break--Auto timer function--break--Wide range of temperature settings
- Loud beep with every button push--break--Poor customer service
Final Thoughts On The Best Oil Filled Space Heaters
Oil filled space heaters are a fantastic option for anybody looking to save a few bucks by only heating the room they are using.
Note that this tactic is really only advised for ‘chilly weather’ – if temperatures are below freezing, you should really keep your whole house heated to prevent freezing, in which case these radiators make excellent supplemental heaters
Not only is using one of these heaters a money saver, it’s better for the environment as you aren’t wasting gas or electricity heating rooms that aren’t being used and don’t need to be heated.
They are simple machines, but when you absolutely need reliable heating, there is no better option.