LAST UPDATED: November 1, 2020
The Best Oil Heaters (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Get toasty with these efficient and inexpensive oil heaters
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PUBLISHED ON November 1, 2020
Oil heaters can be a great way to economically heat a room. A well-built oil heater can be up to 99 percent energy efficient because nearly all of the electricity consumed is converted to heat. These radiating heaters use electrical current to heat and circulate thermal oil, which heats up warming fins that radiate warmth into the room. As the air around the radiator is heated, the hot air rises to create a circulation that spreads the heat to the room. This process can be slow, but because there are no fans or heating coils, an oil heater uses less energy than an electric heater and is completely quiet.
Not only are they quiet and more energy-efficient, but oil heaters don’t dry out the air in your home the way other space heaters and forced-air heaters do. All of these factors make the oil heater a superior choice in space heaters. Here are some of the best oil heaters on the market.
This oil heater features comfort temp technology that reduces energy costs while automatically maintaining a comfortable temperature in whatever room you put it in. Heat settings range from 700 to 1,500 watts.
- Sleek and inconspicuous design automatically maintains optimal temperature and power settings
- Comes pre-assembled for use straight out of the box
- Can collect dust and be annoying to clean
- Takes up space when not in use
At a portion of the cost of other heaters on the market, you can get 1,500 watts of power that could heat a medium to large room. It’s equipped with several safety features to prevent accidental fires.
- Compact and unobtrusively designed to blend into the decor
- So quiet, you don’t even know it’s there
- Construction of the faceplate and caster wheels doesn’t seem to be as rugged as some other models
This unit’s three heating modes and five temperature settings maximize efficiency and control while the LCD screen, programmable thermostat, and remote control offer ease of use.
- Design fits in with a lot of home decors
- Features several safety precautions and a timer with automatic shut-off
- Heater and timer only work on preset temperature and time settings
- Not as customizable as some other models
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Benefits of Oil Heaters
- Energy efficiency. Oil heaters are among the most energy-saving space heaters since they don’t have fans that are required to push warm air out, but work simply on the principle of radiant heat.
- Heat retention. Because it takes time for the oil to cool once you turn off the unit, an oil heater continues to heat the room for a while after being shut down.
- Good air quality. Again, because a fan isn’t used to push heated air out into the room, oil heaters don’t dry out the ambient air in a room, and they make virtually no noise when in operation.
- Portable. Most oil-filled heaters are on caster wheels and are light enough to be moved easily from room to room to provide heat wherever you need it.
- Safety. With many portable heaters, the surface gets hot enough to burn anyone who may touch it, but not so with oil-filled heaters. They do get warm to the touch, but not hot enough to cause a burn.
Types of Oil Heaters
This is the typical portable oil heater that people use in most homes. It consists of oil-filled columns or coils through which heated oil flows by convection. This creates heat on the coils that radiates out into the room in order to provide ambient, moist heat for spots in your home that may not be heated by your built-in heating unit.
This is a central unit that provides heat throughout your entire home. The main unit is usually in a basement or other storage area in the home. Here, oil mixes with air and is burned. The flames heat a metal heat exchanger that is then mixed with air, forcing heat through your home’s internal ductwork to deliver it all over your house.
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The Honeywell Heating Specialty Co. was formed in 1906 by engineer Mark Honeywell. Honeywell has been a trailblazer in the home plumbing and heating industry ever since, and is known for producing high-quality products like the Honeywell 7 Day Programmable Thermostat and Honeywell portable air conditioners.
Founded in 1902, De’Longhiis a well-known small-appliance manufacturer based out of Treviso, Italy. Its espresso machines and coffee makers are some of the best in the industry, as is its large line of portable space heaters.
Pelonis has been in the portable heating and cooling business for more than 25 years. Based out of Exton, Pa., the company produces a reliable line of dehumidifiers, portable air conditioners, fans, and portable heaters.
NewAir is a compact-appliance manufacturer that was launched more than 15 years ago by Luke Peters, who sold portable air conditioners and evaporative coolers out of his garage. Today, the company has diversified greatly to offer all sorts of small home appliances, such as the NewAir Freestanding 27 Bottle Compressor Wine Fridge and the NewAir Countertop Clear Ice Maker.
Oil Heater Pricing
- Under $50: This price range will get you a limited selection of portable oil heaters. The very tiny and compact models that are suitable for heating smaller spaces, or the models without a lot of added features, are usually found in this price range.
- $50-$100: This price range offers a lot of options for oil heaters. Here, you’ll find accessory options like programmable timers, remote-control operation, and digital displays.
- Over $100: Here, you’ll have access to the most futuristic, sleekest designs of oil heaters that will be equipped with all the bells and whistles, like incremental digital temperature controls, energy-saving operation modes, and more.
When selecting a portable oil heater, make sure it’s equipped with safety shut-off features to minimize fire risk. Options should include overheat protection and tip-over protection. Some models also offer anti-freeze protection to ensure that the oil doesn’t freeze in the columns if it becomes too cold.
Multiple Heat Settings
A good oil heater will allow you the ability to customize the amount of heat that’s produced based on your needs or comfort level. Look for a heater that offers at least two or three heat settings ranging from low to high.
While all oil heaters come with adjustable thermostats, the ones that feature incremental changes are the most customizable, allowing you to increase or decrease the temperature of the heater by single degrees. Some oil heaters offer very limited temperature settings, making it more difficult to achieve the desired level of warmth in a room.
Be sure to look for an oil heater that’s backed by a solid warranty from a reputable company. There are a lot of heater manufacturers and sellers out there, and not all heaters are created to be super reliable and durable. You don’t want to invest money in a new heater only to have it break shortly after purchase and find out that you have no recourse for getting it replaced.
- Portability. If you plan to use your oil heater in different areas of your home or office, easy portability is key. Some oil heaters are bulkier and much heavier than other models. Does the unit have wheels for easy transportation?
- Heating Capacity. Consider the size of the space where you’ll be using the oil heater. Larger rooms require between 900 and 1,500 watts of heating capacity, whereas small offices, bathrooms, and bedrooms might be sufficiently heated by a 300- to 500-watt heater. If you’re going to heat a small space, then a larger, more expensive heater is unnecessary.
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Best Portable Oil Heater Reviews & Recommendations 2021
The De’Longhi Oil-Filled Heater tops our list as the best overall oil heater. This unit features comfort temp technology that reduces energy costs while automatically maintaining a comfortable temperature in whatever room you put it in.
The temperature is easy to control, thanks to the adjustable thermostat and multiple heat settings that range from 700 to 1,500 watts. The oil system is completely sealed for maintenance-free operation. Features like the included SmartSnap wheels and built-in power cord storage make this heater even easier to set up, use, and store during the summer months.
While the seven-fin radiator offers good oil-to-room heat transfer that’s safe enough to use in any room, the light-colored fins show all sorts of dust and dirt that collect on the unit, which can be difficult to clean off.
The Aigostar Pangpang 1,500-Watt Oil-Filled Radiator is one of the best values on the market. At a portion of the cost of other heaters, you get 1,500 watts of power that could heat a medium or large room.
It has a straightforward design, and the fully adjustable temperature knob offers complete comfort control. With a completely sealed, solid-steel construction, this oil heater should provide years of service. It’s worth noting that this oil heater also features several built-in safety devices that prevent the heater from starting a fire if it overheats or is accidentally tipped over.
While the price tag of this heater is very attractive, the main faceplate and caster wheels seem a little flimsy, so keep that in mind when moving it from room to room. Try not to be overly rough during transportation.
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Our premium pick is the Pelonis Oil-Filled Heater. This device is packed with high-end features that will not only keep you warm but also complement your modern lifestyle.
The three heating modes and five temperature settings maximize efficiency and control, while the LCD screen, programmable thermostat, and remote control offer ease of use. This heater also features a 10-hour timer for a more automated experience. The built-in tip-over safety switch and overheat protection combine to make this oil heater a super safe room-heating solution that can be used in conjunction with other heating systems or as a stand-alone heat source. With its black and gray design, it’s also one of the best-looking oil heaters on the market.
We do wish it had better user controls, however. Users can adjust the heat settings only in 5-degree increments between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
The NewAir oil-filled heater is a good option for the home and office thanks to its portable design. The small size allows this device to fit easily under a desk or next to a wall.
The adjustable thermostat is a nice feature that allows for a customizable comfort level. Despite its low-wattage design, it heats up rather quickly and efficiently while keeping energy costs down. While this heater may not be the best design to heat large spaces, it will effectively heat a 40-square-foot area and is great for smaller areas or to use in conjunction with central heating. It’s also very quiet, allowing you to work, talk on the phone, or watch TV without distraction.
It would be nice if this heater were more visually appealing, but if you’re going to keep it in a discreet, out-of-the-way location, its design won’t really matter.
The Aikoper oil-filled heater definitely deserves an honorable mention. Its features include three heat settings, an eco mode, and a large, easy-to-use LED screen.
Its unique design allows for the maximum amount of warm airflow without the use of a fan and offers a level of built-in safety that exceeds international safety standards. It’s also worth mentioning that this oil heater has a digital thermostat that allows you to set the room temperature in 1-degree intervals between 40 and 95 degrees, and remote control technology allows you to control it from across the room.
Thanks to the caster wheels, it can also be moved easily around the room or from room to room to optimize heating comfort. We do wish the caster wheels were a bit more substantial, as they seem like they may break easily if too much force is used when moving the heater.
The Honeywell HZ-789 EnergySmart Electric Oil-Filled Radiator deserves an honorable mention for being a reliable and well-built unit. It features a convenient two- to 12-hour timer, two heat settings, and a digital thermostat that allows you to easily modify your heat settings to the ideal temperature.
Tip-over protection and overheat protection are nice added safety features. With the capacity to put out up to 1,500 watts of energy, this unit is definitely strong enough to heat a larger area.
While the digital display of this heater is sleek and easy to read, the device isn’t as customizable as some other models. You can change the heat settings only between 65 and 80 degrees in 5-degree increments, and the timer selection has to be made in two-hour intervals between two and 12 hours.
With multiple heating modes, the Aireplus 1,500-Watt Oil-Filled Radiator will quickly and efficiently heat up almost any room in your home. This heater features a large digital display that’s easy to read and allows you to select from three heat options of 600, 900, or 1,500 watts.
You can also choose the smartly designed eco mode that offers a wide range of temperature settings between 40 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit that can be selected in 1-degree increments, making this one of the most customizable oil heaters on the market. It’s also equipped with a 24-hour timer and a convenient remote for operation from a distance. As an added bonus, this heater features a special childproof lock so that little fingers can’t accidentally change your heat settings.
The only thing we might modify on this heater would be the durability of the caster wheels, which seem a little flimsy. Other than that, this is an excellent heating option.
The Costway Oil Filled Radiator is a simple and easy-to-operate heater without a lot of bells and whistles. It offers a 1,500-watt capacity with a dial thermostat that allows for incremental temperature changes and three heat settings of low, medium, and high.
This oil-filled radiator is strong enough to heat a larger space, or you can dial the heat way down for smaller spaces if you want. It’s equipped with overheat protection and tip-over protection, so you’ll worry less about fire hazards than you would with some other portable heaters. An ergonomic luggage-style handle and caster wheels allow you to easily move this oil-filled radiator from room to room depending on where you need heat at the time.
While we really like the ease of use and simplicity of this heater, it would be great if it had a programmable timer for setting temperature changes while you’re sleeping or out of the house.
The Tangkula Electric Oil Heater is a great heat choice for rooms of almost any size. It features seven oil-filled radiant heat columns that will provide either 600, 900, or 1,500 watts of heat.
Its easy-to-use dial thermostat allows you to incrementally control the temperature of the unit. This heater provides silent and radiant heat that won’t dry your skin like forced air heaters, or annoy you with noisy operation. Like many other models, it’s equipped with overheat protection and tip-over protection that shuts the heater off as soon as it detects a problem.
The only thing missing from this heater is a programmable timer that lets you set the unit to shut off while you’re sleeping or out of the house. Otherwise, we like the simple design and the strength of this oil heater.
- Always shut your oil heater off whenever you leave your home in order to minimize the risk of fire.
- If you have small children, be sure to put your oil heater in a space that minimizes the risk of accidental tip-over or changing of the temperature settings by curious hands.
- Be sure to keep the heater in a well-ventilated space away from drapes, furniture, or clutter to avoid accidental overheating or burning.
- Always read online reviews before buying to see what other consumers have experienced with the particular model you’re interested in.
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Do oil heaters use a lot of electricity?
A: Oil heaters are much more energy efficient than other types of portable heaters. A typical 1,500-watt oil heater running for six or seven hours per day will cost less than $1.50 per day in electricity charges, versus a typical ceramic forced-air heater that costs over $3 to run for the same amount of time.
What oil-filled heater is the best?
A: The best oil-filled heater is one with automatic shut-off safety features, multiple heat settings, and a solid manufacturer’s warranty.
What type of oil heater is the cheapest to buy?
A: Usually, smaller means less expensive. Heaters with less capacity that are better suited for small spaces are the cheapest to purchase.
How efficient are oil heaters?
A: Portable oil heaters are almost twice as efficient as their forced-air ceramic counterparts.
If you have a room in your home that just can’t seem to get warm enough with your home’s central heater, or you want to cut your overall heating costs, portable oil heaters are an effective and efficient option. Whether you choose the De'Longhi Oil-Filled Heater, the Aigostar Pangpang 1,500-Watt Oil-Filled Radiator, or another option, there’s almost certainly an oil heater that will suit your needs.