Top 5 Best Oil Filled Space Heaters 2020 – Detailed and Unbiased Reviews

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Are you a light sleeper or easily distracted by noise while working? Does the constant hum of a fan-forced heater keep you up all night? If these sound familiar then you should definitely check out an oil filled space heaters! 

Oil filled radiators are space heaters that excel at heating up a room evenly and silently. They make virtually no sound at all and would be a perfect addition to your bedroom or study room. However, there are so many models with so many different features that it can be confusing for the homeowner. Therefore, we did our research and drilled down to the core of the subject to give you a hand in your decision. 

Below you will find a list of five space heaters from reputable international brands, all geared towards oil filled radiators with their pros and cons clearly listed.

Comparison of the best oil filled space heaters

HeatersPowerPortabilitySafety
Rating
Thermostat
range
Honeywell HZ-1891500WGood 4/565℉ to 80℉
Aikoper1500W Moderate4.5/540℉ to 95℉
Pelonis1500W Good4/565℉ to 85℉
Costway700WGood3.5/5Not applicable (knob)
Delonghi 1500WModerate4/5Not applicable (knob)
Comparison of the best oil filled space heaters

You’ll also find a buyers’ guide where you can read our rationale when deciding how to rate these products, and hopefully you can use it yourself when making future purchases.

In a Hurry? This Is Our Winner!

Honeywell HZ-789 EnergySmart Oil Filled Radiator

Best Overall Oil Filled Space Heater

The Honeywell HZ-789 EnergySmart Oil Filled Radiator measures 13.7” x 9” x 24.4” and weighs 19.7 lb. It has a 1500W wattage and comes with a 3 year limited warranty. This oil filled space heater is constructed with solid, heavy gauge steel for increased strength and durability and a rust free enamel finish on the exterior to improve the longevity of the heater.

For functionality, there are two heat settings; High (1500W) and Low (900W) to suit your heating needs. It also comes with a programmable thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature between 65℉ to 80℉. For homeowners who might not want to run the heater the whole night, there is a 1-12 hour auto-off timer. However, the timer only works in intervals of 2 hours i.e. 2,4,6,8,10,12. For those who value convenience, you will be pleased to know it comes with a remote control that has a digital temperature display which enables easy control.

In terms of safety, this oil filled space heater comes with the usual 360° Tip-Over protection and overheating protection. Besides that, it also features thermal insulated wiring with reinforced wire connection for improved electrical wiring safety. Despite its tall height, the base of the heater is very stable and does not tip over easily when knocked.

When judging the portability, this heater does not disappoint. It comes with easy glide wheels and a luggage style handle that makes transferring this heater between rooms a breeze. 

What is unique about this heater is the patented EnergySmart technology which automatically regulates power consumption and the energy usage indicator displays the amount of energy used in operation. For those big on energy efficiency, this is a major selling point as this heater can help you to cut energy and heating costs with this feature.

Pros

  • Easy portability with wheels and luggage handle
  • High and Low setting allows for customizable heating
  • Great all rounded safety features 
  • EnergySmart technology
  • Has a remote control 
  • Cord wrap for off season storage

Cons

  • Programmable timer can only be programmed at intervals of 2 hours
  • Wheels does not run smoothly on carpets

What their fans love: “My favorite features of this product are that it’s silent and self-regulates temperature. I currently live in an apartment complex without a thermostat, so this product is perfect for me.”


Best Oil Filled Radiator heaters Buyers’ Guide

How does oil filled space heaters work?

Oil filled radiators work by using electricity to heat up a reservoir of thermal oil inside the appliance. The heating element submerged in the oil transfers the heat to the oil when the appliance is switched on. The oil then transfers the heat to the exterior of the heater which in turns warms up the air around the heater.

The warmed air rises up and pushes the cooler air down to the level of the oil filled radiator to be warmed. The natural circulation of air following the temperature gradient is known as convection and forms the basis of how an oil filled radiator works.

Hence, contrary to how it is named, oil filled radiators do not radiate anything but use convection instead. I prefer to call them oil filled heaters to prevent confusion but that is just me.

Advantages of Oil Filled space heaters

Virtually silent

Unlike most other types of electric space heaters which use fans to drive warm air to the use, an oil filled radiator heater utilizes only natural convection currents of the room air. Therefore, they do not come equipped with fans. The noise from most other heaters come from the spinning of the fan blades and can reach up to 60 dB in some noisier models. On the other hand, oil filled radiators are virtually silent during operation. 

This makes oil filled radiator heaters the perfect choice in rooms where silence is favored. Places that come to mind are bedroom, baby rooms and study rooms.With an oil filled radiator, you can sleep soundly in peace or do your work without any disturbances.

Long Lasting Heat

After the heater is switched off, the heating element stops supplying heat to the oil but the oil can actually retain the remnant heat very well due to its heat capacity. With such good heat retention, it can continue to conduct heat to the heater exterior and in turn the ambient air.

With such long lasting heat, you will be able to switch off the heater earlier but still enjoy a period of comfortable warmth. If planned and timed properly, this can save you lots of energy and money when it comes to your heating bills. Therefore, oil filled heaters are one of the most energy efficient space heaters on the market.

Safe

Besides the usual safety features that comes with most heaters (tip-over protection, overheating protection), oil filled radiators also boast other features that make them safer than other kinds of heaters on the market. 

Firstly, there is no fan so wandering children will not be able to stick in their finger through a grille and injure their fingers. Also, the heating elements are not exposed at all so curious pets and children have a much reduced risk of burning themselves if they go too near.

Homeowners who are unfamiliar with oil filled radiators might think that the exterior of the heater might be hot to touch and potentially cause burn injuries. However, the exterior actually does not reach such high temperatures because the heater usually has a large surface area for the heat to be transferred to the air. The surface might be warm to touch but never hot enough to cause injury.

A misconception about oil filled heaters is that the oil is burned to get heat but actually the oil is just heated up by electricity and not burnt. Hence, there is no fumes or toxic gases released by oil filled heaters. They are completely safe and not hazardous to humans.

If you are a pet owner as well, oil filled radiators may be your best bet. Check out our guide on the best space heaters for pet owners to find out why!

Maintain Humidity

As mentioned above, oil filled radiators do not come attached with fans and hence they do not dry out the air like other fan-forced heaters. This helps to maintain the humidity in the room and keep it at a comfortable level for people in the room. This gradually becomes more important as the weather gets colder and the air gets drier naturally.

Having the ability to maintain a good humidity level makes this a perfect gift for asthmatics.

Beside maintenance of humidity, an oil filled radiator is also great for people with allergies as there is no fan to stir up dust that is on the floor.

In terms of health benefits, an oil filled radiator definitely has much to offer to homeowners with asthma and allergies. For more information, be sure to visit our guide on the best heater for asthmatics and allergies.

Can warm a large room

Using the principle of convection where hot air rises and cold air sinks, an oil filled radiator will be able to warm up all the air in the room if certain conditions are met. Firstly, it needs time to work because convection is a slow process. Secondly, the room needs to be enclosed to eliminate cold drafts that might remove the warmed air. Hence, air filled radiators will not work in outdoor places. 

Reasons why Oil Filled space heaters Are not suitable for you 

Takes a long time to heat up a room

An oil filled radiator uses convection to deliver warm air to all parts of the room. However, this process is slow and cannot be rushed. Therefore, it is going to take a long time for all the air in the room to be warmed up. If you are expecting immediate warmth from an oil filled radiator, you will be disappointed. 

Depending on the insulation of a room, an oil filled radiator can take between 15 to 30 minutes to heat up a moderately sized room. 

Not suitable for rooms with high ceilings or drafty rooms

As mentioned, warm air rises while cold air sinks. In a room with high ceilings, the warm air will consistently be high up in the ceiling and the living space below will always be cold or take an agonizingly long time to heat up. Therefore, an oil filled radiator that utilizes natural convection is poorly suited for rooms with high ceilings.

In rooms that have cold drafts, the warmed air also has no chance to circulate properly before it gets removed from the room. An oil filled radiator will never be able to heat these rooms efficiently. They are suited for enclosed spaces without drafts.

If you have a large room with high ceilings, you may check out our guide on the best heater for large rooms with high ceilings.

Heavy and bulky

Most oil filled radiators are quite heavy and bulky because they need to be so in order to increase the surface area for heat dissipation. Most of them are also quite tall as well with a high centre of gravity. You can imagine that these heaters have a higher chance of toppling over when knocked by a wandering pet or child. Fortunately, most heaters these days have tip over protection which turns them off immediately when toppled. However, the weight of these heaters might still injure someone if it lands on them. 

In view of this, I would advise not placing these heaters in areas with high human traffic such as the middle of a room. Place them near a corner where people are unlikely to walk by and they will be perfect.

Sharp Fins

Another minor safety issue to be wary of for oil filled heaters are the fins. Most oil filled heaters come with these metal projections on its exterior known as fins. The function of these fins is to increase the surface area so that more heat can be released into the surrounding while also ensuring the exterior does not become excessively hot. However, the edges of these fins can be quite sharp and may injure someone if the heater lands on you.

As with the previous point, keep the heater in a corner where it is unlikely to topple and keep it out of reach of children. This will ensure these fins have no chance to cause any injury.

Considerations When Choosing Oil Filled space heaters

Type of heating required

Working on natural convection, oil filled radiators excel at heating up enclosed rooms evenly and rooms usually stay warm for an hour even after the oil filled radiator is switched off. The limitation is that it takes 15 to 30mins before the room can be heated up. 

Therefore, if you are looking for immediate heating or you are in an open space, you should avoid oil filled radiators and go for infrared heaters instead.

Get oil filled radiators if you want a room heated evenly and if you don’t mind waiting for 30 minutes. 

Size of room

The most important criteria to look at here is the power of the heater. As a general rule of thumb, the ratio to consider is 10 Watts to 1 square foot of space. In theory, a 1500 Watts heater will be sufficient to heat up a room size of about 150 sq feet. When choosing your heater, do have a rough estimate of the room size you are heating up.

The insulation of the room and ceiling height also comes into play when deciding the size and power of the heater needed.

You can check out our guide on the best heaters for large rooms to understand how to calculate the size of the heater or use our space heating calculator to help you!

Fins

Oil filled heaters have a characteristic design made up of fins. These are actually long curved columns with cavities. This feature provides a large surface area which enables more air to come into contact with the heater for optimal heat transfer and thermal power.

Having more fins and longer fins will give you a larger surface area which maximizes the heating powers of the heater. However, this will translate into heavier and bulkier models. Therefore it is best to achieve a balance or get one that suits your needs. If you need a model that can provide greeting heating and does not need to be portable, then you can go crazy with the number of fins.

Portability

Space heaters are usually used as supplemental heating and the ability to transfer them between rooms is their main selling point. Oil filled heaters are the same and portability is a crucial factor to consider when choosing them. Most oil filled heaters are heavy and bulky and may be difficult to move. Moreover, the difficulty is increased if their exterior is hot. Therefore, always look for models with castor wheels and a carrying handle. This allows you to transfer them safely and efficiently.

Safety

Safety is always one of the considerations when choosing space heaters. When choosing your oil filled heater, ensure it has tip over and overheating protection. Fortunately, most respectable brands now all have these features. 

It is a common misconception that oil filled heaters are unsafe because the exterior can turn very hot during use. However, that is usually not the case. As mentioned above, the fins of an oil filled heater increases the surface area to allow for optimal heat transfer. Therefore, in heaters that have tall and long fins, the exterior dissipates the heat away rapidly and the surface never gets excessively hot. It may get warm to touch but never hot. Therefore, oil filled radiators are suitable around children and pets. Additionally, they do not have fan blades which may actually cause injuries if a finger is placed inside.

The only safety concern is actually toppling of the heater because they are usually tall and have a high centre of gravity. Place it near a wall or out of human traffic and you will be fine.


Best Oil Filled space heaters Product review

Aikoper Oil filled radiator

Best Oil Filled Space Heater For Baby Room

The Aikoper oil filled radiator measures 15.4” x 6.4” x 26.1” and weighs 19.81 lbs. It has three different heatings; 600W, 900W and 1500W to suit your heating needs. For those keen on sustainable living, the heater also comes with an ECO mode for increased energy savings. There is a 1 year warranty that comes with this heater.

For functionality, this heater has a programmable digital thermostat that allows adjustments between 40-95℉ in 1℉ interval. With such a highly customizable thermostat, this heater can cater to the needs of any homeowners.  Other features include a 24 hours timer that can automatically switch on or switch off the heater. You never have to worry about forgetting to turn off the heater before leaving the room.

In terms of safety, this heater contains the usual tip-over and overheating protection that will automatically turn off the heater when it is knocked down or when it has overheated. For the parents, you will be glad to know that there is a child lock function on this heater that prevents wandering children from meddling with the heater and potentially injuring themselves. 

This heater also comes with caster wheels and remote control, which allows you to control the heater from the comfort of your couch. Although this heater is somewhat heavy at almost 20 lbs, the presence of the caster wheels enables this heater to be mostly portable as long as there are no stairs.  However, it does not come with a carrying handle so homeowners will need to be wary when transporting this heater when it is hot. 

Pros

  • Has caster wheels
  • High Medium and Low setting allows for customizable heating
  • ECO mode
  • Great all rounded safety features 
  • Has a remote control 
  • Highly customizable thermostat
  • Child lock

Cons

  • No carrying handle

What their fans love: “I love the digital thermostat best, which allows me to set a temperature, then it will stop heating if the room temperature arise above the set temperature, and when the room temperature cool below the set temperature, it will re-working automatically , this helps save my energy a lot.”


Pelonis Oil Filled Radiator

Best Energy Efficient Oil Filled Space Heater

The Pelonis Oil Filled Radiator measures 15.2” x 6.4” x 26.1” and weighs 16.1 lb. It has a 1500W wattage and comes with a 3 year limited warranty.

There are three heat settings; High (1500W),  Low (900W) and ECO mode to cater to all sorts of heating needs. It also comes with a programmable digital thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature between 65℉ to 85℉ in intervals of 5℉. For homeowners who might not want to run the heater the whole night, there is a 1-10 hour auto-off timer. However, the timer only works in intervals of 2 hours i.e. 2,4,6,8,10. For those who value convenience, you will be pleased to know it comes with a remote control that has a digital temperature display which enables easy control.

In terms of safety, this heater comes with the usual Tip-Over protection and overheating protection which is sufficient for most heaters. Designed to be quiet, the oil filled radiators make virtually no sound during the operation of the heater. The only sound it makes is when the oil is heated up initially.

If you intend to bring this heater along, there are caster wheels that can rotate 360 degrees and run smoothly across all surfaces. The handle on the Allergen-Free radiator heater also makes transportation much easier and smoother.

Pros

  • Easy portability with wheels and luggage handle
  • High, Low and ECO setting allows for customizable heating
  • Great all rounded safety features 
  • Has a remote control 
  • Cord wrap for off season storage

Cons

  • Programmable timer can only be programmed at intervals of 2 hours

What their fans love: “This heater has been a godsend. We love how it takes the chill off the air until our main heater is fixed. This is not designed for large spaces, but in our small home with low ceilings it has taken the chill off of a few small rooms perfectly until our heater is fixed. It is a great backup heater..”


Costway Oil Filled Radiator

Best Portable Oil Filled Space Heater

The COSTWAY Oil Filled Radiator Heater measures 5.5” x 12” x 14” and weighs 8.6 lbs. It runs on 700 watts and comes with a 3 years warranty. What sets this apart from the rest of the heater in this review is the portability of this heater. It is meant as a personal heater where you can bring along to different rooms or even to your office. It is extremely lightweight and comes with a built in carrying handle for easy handling. It can be slotted easily under the desk to provide warmth to your legs as required.

In terms of safety, this heater does quite well and comes with overheating protection and tip over protection.

However, because of the smaller size of this heater, the surface area for heat transfer is smaller and the exterior may get hotter than other models while taking a longer time to heat up a room. We would suggest keeping this heater away from your pets and children due to the chance of burn injuries from the exterior.

Nonetheless, I would still recommend this heater if you are looking for something to use under your office desk or just a heater that you need to transport around.

Pros

  • All rounded safety features
  • Compact and lightweight 
  • Space efficient 
  • Has ECO mode for energy savings

Cons

  • Not meant for room heating, would do best for personal heating
  • Exterior can get quite hot due to reduced surface area

What their fans love: “I get cold very easily, and so far, this works perfectly for the relatively small room I’m using it in. It definitely makes the room warmer, and I love that it does it without all the noise and blowing air of other heaters.”


DeLonghi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater

The DeLonghi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater measures 27.7 x 18.6 x 7.2” and weighs 27 lbs. There is a 3 year warranty associated with this heater. It operates via convection heating and comes in 3 different heating power; 700W, 800W and 1500W. This provides the user with some flexibility in different weather conditions. However, the thermostat is a knob design and hence not fully customizable.

In terms of portability, this heater comes with snap on wheels that are easy to install and makes moving this heater around a breeze. However, there is no carrying handle so homeowners have to be careful when the heater is still warm and has not cooled down yet.

With regards to safety, this heater does pretty well and comes with tip over protection as well as overheating protection. As explained earlier in the buyers’ guide, the surface of an oil filled radiator is typically cooler than a fan-forced heater as the surface area of an oil filled radiator is so large. The heat dissipates rapidly and the surface is never hot enough to burn anyone. It may be warm to touch but it will not hurt your child.

The limitation about oil filled radiator is the weight. It is usually bulky and heavy and therefore it can topple over easily when knocked against by your child. Because it is so heavy, I would worry about it landing on my child and causing some injury.

Pros

  • 3 power settings
  • Contains overheat protection safety feature
  • Wheels can be snapped on easily.
  • No assembly required. Just unpack and use
  • Makes little to no sound

Cons

  • May have an oily smell when using it initially
  • Is quite bulky in terms of size

What their fans love: “This is a well designed, well made product. As with all oil-filled heaters, it takes awhile to heat up, but once it does it silently radiates warmth. We use it in the evenings in a large high ceilinged room, and it makes the room comfortable.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Do I need to refill the oil filled heater with oil?

A: No. The oil in an oil filled heater is sealed permanently and should not leak out or evaporate. Therefore, it never needs refilling. If there is leakage of oil then the heater needs to be replaced rather than refilled.

Q: How much time does it take for oil filled radiators to heat up the room?

A: There are numerous conditions that may affect this; size of the room, insulation of the room, presence of drafts etc. In general, in a medium sized room with the windows closed, it should take about 15 to 30 minutes to warm up the room.

Q: Do oil heaters use a lot of electricity?

A: How much electricity a heater uses depends on the wattage. For example, a 1500W oil filled radiator will use the same amount of electricity as a 1500W ceramic heater. However, the advantage of an oil heater is that it can remain hot for some time even after it is turned off as the heated oil takes time to cool down. In this manner, they are considered more energy efficient.

Q: Are oil filled heaters safe to leave on overnight?

A: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that a heater should never be left unattended so it should be turned off when going to sleep. However, we know that totally defeats the purpose of the heater then! Therefore, we advise that homeowners apply some safety precautions if intending to leave it turned on overnight.

  • The heater should be kept 3 ft. clear of any flammable objects
  • Do not hang any cloth over the heater
  • Ensure heater comes with overheating and tip-over protection
  • Plug portable space heaters directly into an outlet; do not use an extension cord

Q: Are oil filled radiators cheaper to run?

A: A: How much electricity a heater uses depends on the wattage. For example, a 1500W oil filled radiator will use the same amount of electricity as a 1500W ceramic heater. However, the advantage of an oil heater is that it can remain hot for some time even after it is turned off as the heated oil takes time to cool down. In this manner, they can provide heat with lesser electricity and hence cheaper to run.

Q: Do oil filled radiators produce carbon monoxide?

A: Absolutely no. The oil in an oil filled radiator does not undergo combustion at all and hence there is no release of any gaseous by-product.

Q: Which is better? Ceramic heaters or oil filled radiators?

A: This really depends on what you are looking for. If you want fast even heating and don’t mind some noise and dryness then ceramic heater is for you. If you want even silent heating and don’t mind waiting for it then oil filled radiators are for you. For more information, read our guide on the best ceramic heater to find out the advantages of a ceramic heater.

Recap of the best oil filled space heaters

HeatersPowerPortabilitySafety
Rating
Thermostat
range
Honeywell HZ-1891500WGood 4/565℉ to 80℉
Aikoper1500W Moderate4.5/540℉ to 95℉
Pelonis1500W Good4/565℉ to 85℉
Costway700WGood3.5/5Not applicable (knob)
Delonghi 1500WModerate4/5Not applicable (knob)
Comparison of the best oil filled space heaters

Wrapping it up

Of the 5 products we reviewed, the Honeywell HZ-189 was our favorite oil filled space heaters. This radiator has a good balance of heating efficiency, safety features and portability. The price point is also reasonable considering the functionalities it provides. All in all, we believe that this is a great heater that you not miss if you are in for an oil filled radiator.

Click here to get one now!

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