Best Radiant Heaters 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
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When the temperatures dip low and your home heating system leaves you piling on extra layers and burrowing under several blankets, you may want to look into the quick warming ability of a radiant heater.
Unlike other traditional space heaters, radiant heaters use infrared technology to warm you directly, so you’ll notice an instant difference.
As radiant space heaters have gained in popularity, you’ll discover that there’s a wide variety on the market. We’ve saved you the time and effort of sorting through product after product by putting together informative reviews of the top 10 radiant heaters of the year, along with a quick checklist of each heater’s pros and cons.
Be sure to check out our buyer’s guide as well, to better prepare you to make the best purchase for your home.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Pelonis NY1507-14A |
|COSTWAY 5841734363 ||1 Year||4.2/5|
The 9 Best Radiant Heaters
1. Pelonis Electric Oil Radiator Heater – Best Overall
For best overall performance, we chose the Pelonis Electric Oil Filled Radiator Heater. You can decide between three heating wattages: 900 watt, 1,500 watt, and eco-mode. You’re also able to choose between five distinct temperature settings ranging in five-degree increments from 65 degrees to 85 degrees. However, if you’d like more variation in temperature, you’re limited to only these choices.
The Pelonis has many thoughtful features. The wattage level, temperature setting, and a 10-hour timer can be adjusted with either the included remote control or on the LCD screen, which includes a programmable thermostat. You’ll be able to easily move the Pelonis on its four swivel caster wheels and have peace of mind knowing this unit comes with safety elements, including over-heat protection and a tip-over shut-off switch. Plus, this radiant heater runs quietly. However, the remote does produce a loud beep when you change the heater’s temperature.
2. Homeleader Radiant Heater – Best Value
For the best radiant heater for the money, we chose the Homeleader portable radiant heater. This compact, lightweight steel heater warms effectively, is easy to carry, and comes with plenty of features considering the lower price. This Homeleader model has several safety precautions, including a safety tip-over cutoff switch, an automatic overheat protection system, cool-touch plastic housing, and an auto shut-off.
At a maximum setting of 1,500 watts, this radiant heater can warm a room quickly and then be lowered using the manual control to an efficient 1,250 watts. Also, a thermostat helps regulate your room temperature. while a max flow fan pushes heat out into the room.
A potentially faulty on-and-off switch may be the only potential issue with this radiant heater.
3. DeLonghi TRD40615E Radiant Heater – Premium Choice
Our premium choice, the DeLonghi Full Room radiant heater lives up to its name by efficiently heating your entire room up to 250 square feet. Made with high-quality materials, including a patented steel assembly, this radiant heater employs a patented thermal chimney design that maximizes the flow of heat while keeping the surface safe to touch.
The Delonghi employs 1,500 watts of warming comfort. You can choose between three heat settings or program the timer-adjustable thermostat. You can also run this radiant heater on eco function, which regulates the power settings for more efficient use while maintaining a comfortable room temperature. Safety features on this Delonghi include an overheating shutoff and an antifreeze setting.
While this radiant heater claims to run quietly, we discovered that it may produce steady clicking sounds, especially when it’s set on eco mode. It also may give off an odor of fumes.
4. COSTWAY Radiant Tower Heater
Two knobs situated on the top of the unit allow you to choose your heat level, between 600 watts and 1,200 watts, and to adjust the thermostat to your comfort level. This heater doesn’t have a fan, which allow it to run whisper quiet, though that means the heat doesn’t get projected into the room.
The Costway includes two safety features: overheating protection and overturning protection. Still, as a word of caution, we learned that the outside of this heater can get hot enough to cause damage to your flooring and should be kept a safe distance from children and pets. Also, when run on high, the front of this unit glows brightly, which may not make it suitable if you prefer a dark bedroom.
5. Aikoper NY1507 Space Heater
You can set the digital thermostat in one-degree intervals, from 40 degrees to a toasty 95 degrees, on this Aikoper oil-filled radiator heater. This heater has three heat settings: low at 600 watts, medium at 900 watts and high at 1,500 watts. It also includes a 24-hour on/off timer and an energy-saving setting that automatically adjusts the temperature and settings to run more efficiently.
The Aikoper has several helpful features. You can operate it with the large LED display or the remote, which comes with batteries. The castor wheels can help you move this heater from room to room, and it comes with overheat and tip-over shutoff safety features.
We found that this heater heats well and runs silently without an annoying fan noise. However, the thermostat is not always accurate, and the eco mode tends to operate at higher temperature than you may prefer for conserving energy.
6. Moonflor Ceramic Space Heater
The perfect size for your office or bedroom or to take camping, the Moonflor Ceramic Space Heater is as portable, with a built-in carrying handle, as it is powerful, with a high heat setting of 1,500 watts. Measuring 6.2 inches by 7 inches by 9.2 inches, this small space heater uses a ceramic element solution to produce a large amount of heat.
The Moonflor has an adjustable thermostat and three heat settings. You can decide between high or low heat or a cool blow fan. It comes with overheat protection and tip-over protection for your safety. However, the manufacturer does warn that damp locations like a bathroom may cause the heating element to corrode.
We placed the Moonflor lower on our list for its lack of durability. We discovered several instances of it completely breaking down after a short duration of use. Also, this heater runs rather loudly, and the outer components can heat up to an unsafe level.
7. Mr. Heater MH18CH Radiant Heater
If you’re looking for a radiant heater for outside use, consider the Mr. Heater radiant cabinet heater. There’s no electricity needed for this propane-fueled heater. You have to provide the 20-pound propane tank, which fits conveniently inside the unit for easy portability.
Equipped with an easy-start Piezo ignition, Mr. Heater can heat up to 450 square feet. You can choose between three heat settings of 6,000, 12,000 and 18,000 BTUs. This heater runs efficiently for a continuous 24 hours on high and a long-lasting 72 hours on low. This steel-constructed heater is CSA certified, intended for outdoor use only, and comes with an automatic low oxygen shutoff system for your safety.
We did discover a few issues with the pilot staying lit for continuous use or when switching heat options. Also, you may get frustrated with Mr. Heater’s customer service.
8. Air Choice Radiator Heater
If all you need is a compact heater to warm a very small space or to place nearby as you work at your desk or relax in a chair, then the Air Choice radiator heater should fulfill your needs. This petite and narrow heater is portable with a built-in handle. On the front panel, it has a manual on/off button and an adjustable thermostat ranging from low to high. Plus, the Air Choice comes an overheat shut-off safety feature. However, it does not have a tip-over shut-off.
We placed the Air Choice second to last on our list for its lack of power and higher price point. At 700 watts, you won’t be able to heat too large of a space. Considering the minimal heat output, the price seems too high for its level of performance.
9. AmazonBasics Portable Radiator Heater
The last product on our list goes to the AmazonBasics portable radiator heater. This radiant heater is well constructed, with seven oil-filled rust-resistant steel fins. You can choose between three heat settings with the highest setting of 1,500 watts. It’s also portable, with wheels that snap into place and a power cord storage, and comes with safety features, including enclosed heating elements, a nonslip base, anti-freeze mode, and over-heat shut-off.
The AmazonBasics falls to the bottom of our list for not including a tip-over shut-off safety feature and its overall lack of performance. We found that the heater itself becomes very hot, while not effectively meeting its claim to heat up a 144-square-foot room. Also, the selector knob is difficult to grip and turn, especially for people with arthritis.
After reading through our reviews and looking over our pros and cons lists, you may be closer to deciding on a radiant heater for your home. Before you make a purchase, be sure to read through this buyer’s guide to help you make a more informed choice. We’ll share the benefits of radiant heat and highlight tips to keep in mind when selecting a high-quality radiant heater for your home.
Benefits of a Radiant Heater
A radiant heater is an excellent choice to add extra warmth and comfort to a smaller room. They’re relatively low in cost, require little to no maintenance, and are energy efficient. Plus, radiant heaters are conveniently portable, as well as ideal if you suffer from airborne allergies.
Radiant heat works in much the same way as the sun. It doesn’t heat the air, but rather transfers energy directly to objects and people. For this reason, it can immediately heat up any space in a short amount of time, possibly within five minutes. Since radiant heaters don’t move air to provide warmth, they emit and stir up fewer allergens.
Tips for buying a radiant heater to meet your needs
When purchasing a radiant heater, make sure to look for a model that offers an energy-efficient setting. You’ll gain steady heating without temperature fluctuations and save on your electric bill. You may pay more initially for a radiant heater with an accurate thermostat and variable temperature settings, but you’ll gain savings and notice better overall performance.
Also, it’s equally important to take safety into consideration. Make sure your radiant heater comes with overheat shut-off and tip-over shut-off, especially if you plan to operate it around children and pets. Also, keep in mind that some exteriors of radiant heaters can heat up to an unsafe level. Only operate your heater when you’re home, and make sure to place it on a heatproof surface away from children, pets, and flammable substances.
The Pelonis NY1507-14A Electric Oil Filled Radiator Heater is our top pick for the best overall radiant heater. The Pelonis has many high-quality features, including three wattage options, five distinct temperature settings, a remote control, and an LCD screen with programmable thermostat. This heater operates quietly, is easy to transport, and has important safety precautions. Its only cons are that the temperature settings are limited to five choices, and the remote beeps loudly when selecting programming options.
The Homeleader ETL Portable Radiant Heater is our choice for the best value. This compact, lightweight and portable radiant heater comes with essential safety features, two wattage options, and a thermostat with variable flow fan for efficient use. The only issue is that the on/off button may break.
Finally, our premium choice is the DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater, which can heat a room up to 250 square feet. The DeLonghi is made of high-quality construction and has a patented thermal chimney design, along with adjustable heat settings, an eco-function, and a variety of safety features. However, it does not operate quietly and may produce steady clicking sounds. Also, we discovered that it may give off an oily odor.
We hope our detailed reviews, along with the pros and cons lists and informative buyer’s guide, have helped you to find a radiant heater to warm your space. With the right radiant heater, you can place those extra layers of clothing and bundles of blankets aside and enjoy cold weather days in comfortable, energy-efficient warmth.
Featured image credit: Pelonis Electric 1500W Oil Filled Radiator Heater with Safety Protection, Amazon