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9 best radiant heaters for chilly winter months

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Which are the best radiant heaters?

When the days get colder and your utility bills soar, it's a good idea to have extra heating help on hand. Radiant heating is a great solution for times when you need more warmth but don't want to turn up the thermostat.

This electric heating method warms up a space more quickly and is the perfect option for people who don't want the noise (and dust) of a fan. And because an electric radiant heater won't dry out a room like other heating options, it can help maintain good respiratory health during the colder months.

Shop this  article: De'Longhi Full-Room Radiant HeaterAmazon Basics Indoor Portable Heater and Tangkula Electric Oil Heater

Radiant heater considerations

Stationary vs. portable heaters

Radiant heaters are available in stationary or portable styles:

  • Stationary: These electric heaters are larger and heavier. This makes them capable of warming larger rooms, but they are not easy to move around.
  • Portable: Lightweight and compact, these are best for heating a concentrated space (i.e., underneath a desk or right next to an easy chair). 

Power source 

  • Electricity: Most indoor radiant heaters are powered by electricity. This means you need an outlet and are restricted in where you can place the heater because of that.
  • Propane: Radiant heaters powered by propane are generally used outside only.
  • Natural gas: Natural gas radiant heaters require professional installation, as these are connected to a natural gas line. These are typically less portable.

Heater size

Heater size has to do with the physical size of the heater plus its heating capacity. The size of the heater you select depends on where you'll use it and how much square footage you want to heat. The smaller the heater, the less area it will warm, regardless of British thermal units (Btu) or wattage. 

Radiant heater features

Adjustable temperature

While it's difficult to get a precise temperature (even with a built-in thermostat), you should be able to adjust the temperature of your heater. Look for at least three temperature settings.

Energy efficiency

Radiant heaters are among the most energy-efficient heaters, so they typically cost less to run compared to other types. Some radiant heaters include an energy-saving mode, and oil-filled units are especially energy-efficient; they consume less energy and generate more heat for longer.

Digital controls with remote

Digital controls are easy to read and eliminate the guesswork of setting a specific temperature. These should be located on the front of your heater.

If you select a radiant heater for a larger room, a remote control comes in handy. This feature is not strictly necessary but is nice to have.

Programmable timer

If you like to sleep in a chilly room or worry about leaving the radiant heater on all day while you're at work, a programmable timer is the answer. It automatically turns the heater on or off after a set period.

Safety features

At a minimum, your radiant heater should have an automatic shut-off that kicks in when the heater is tipped or falls over. Other safety features might include:

  • Overheating protection
  • Antifreeze features
  • Stay-cool exterior
  • Sealed fuel compartments

Easily portable

It's hard to call something portable if it lacks wheels or handles. Look for a portable heater with built-in wheels and large handles for a sturdy grip.

Best radiant heaters

De'Longhi Full-Room Radiant Heater

This heater is particularly energy-efficient and low-maintenance, thanks to its oil-filled design and optional energy-saving mode. It features a 24-hour programmable timer, durable and rust-resistant metal components and auto-shutoff. It's a portable space heater, with caster wheels and a handle built into the digital display panel. Along with a digital thermostat, an antifreeze setting turns the heater on when the temperature drops below 41 degrees. This 1,500-watt heater is ideal for spaces up to 144 square feet.


Amazon Basics Indoor Portable Heater

This 1,500-watt heater warms up a 144-square-foot room with very little maintenance. The steel body does not rust, and the oil-filled fins are sealed. There is no need to refill. The included wheels are easy to attach, and it comes with built-in cord storage. The heater shuts off if overheating occurs. On the other end of the thermostat, antifreeze measures kick in when the temperature drops too low.

Tangkula Electric Oil Heater

This oil-filled radiant heater is exceptionally safe with its tip-over shut-off and overheating protection. It is portable on sturdy wheels. It heats medium-sized rooms to temperatures up to 95 degrees. Power is adjustable and ranges from 600 to 1,500 watts. 

Pelonis Electric Radiator Heater

Oil is sealed inside this efficient oil-filled heater. It has three heat settings and five temperature options that range from 65 to 85 degrees. The LCD screen, programmable thermostat, remote control and 10-hour timer are added features that make it exceptionally easy to customize. As with other heaters on this list, the Pelonis space heater has an automatic shut-off for safety. 

Mr. Heater Indoor-Safe Radiant Heater

This model offers a 4,000 to 9,000 Btu heat output for clean, fuel-efficient heating of rooms up to 225 square feet. The auto shut-off is triggered if this electric space heater tips over, if the pilot light goes out or if the heater registers lowered oxygen levels. It has two heat options and uses a 1-pound propane canister as a power source. 

Comfort Zone CZQTV5M Ceiling-Mounted Quartz Radiant Heater

This Comfort Zone heater mounts on the ceiling, with dual 700- and 1,500-watt heat settings and 90-degree adjustable tilt. It's the ideal garage space heater, with a helpful halogen light that illuminates the projects you're working on. The garage heater has a cool-touch exterior, safety grill and auto shut-off. 


Antarctic Star Space Heater

This oscillating radiant heater pumps out 800 watts of warm air. Adjust heating with the power knob between 400- and 800-watt settings. It shuts off automatically when tipped over and when overheating is detected. This small space heater is perfect for heating compact spaces or preventing pipes in garages from freezing. 

DeLonghi Mica Thermic Panel Heater

You can heat an entire 300-square-foot room with this wall-mounted radiant heat panel. It's lightweight and compact, and it comes with wheels to move it from room to room. It is fully electric and has a three-year warranty. When used on the floor, it automatically shuts off when tipped over and to prevent overheating. 

NUMIFUN Infrared Radiant Quartz Space Heater

This 600-watt infrared space heater is perfect for adding a burst of warmth in a small space. It is small and light (about the weight of a sleek laptop). Toggle between low power at 300 watts and high power at 600 watts with the turn of a dial. This infrared heater comes with tip-over and overheating shut-off safety features and operates at zero decibels. 

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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