Infrared vs Oil Heater – Which Should You Choose?

There are many space heaters on the market that can you can purchase. In this post we will only talk about two of the more popular options. In particular, namely the infrared and oil heaters. Both of these heaters are excellent to use in the house for the purpose of heating a particular space for use during those cold winter months. We’ll go over the specs of an infrared vs oil heater so you can choose the best option for you!

Why choose a space heater to begin with?

Space heaters are a good way to save money when used in a controlled manner. If you know that you spend most of your time in a particular room then what’s the advantage of heating the whole house to your comfort level? It’s much more practical to use a space heater for that purpose and turn the thermostat down. This saves more money in the long run.

What is an Infrared Heater?

infrared heater

Infrared heaters use coils that heat up with a bulb and use infrared radiation to heat up objects or surfaces in the area. This heat does not take long to heat up space and the energy is described similar to way sunlight heats up objects that it hits. It heats up fast and when the heater is turned off the heat cools off fast as well. It provides quick heat up in a zone if that is what you prefer.

>>> Check out our Top Infrared Heater Reviews Here <<<

What is an Oil Filled Heater?

oil filled heater

The oil filled heaters are longer units that look like radiators. The heaters are completely closed and have fins or columns on them. These fins heat up because there is an oil reservoir in the unit which circulates around the unit. The oil takes a little longer to heat up but its a more consistent heat. It also slowly cools down since it takes longer for the oil to cool itself once it’s turned off. This unit warms the air around it giving it a warm environment to the area it is heating. The fins are warm to the touch but should not be hot or burn they are small, portable, use electricity and the oil does not need any replenishment. They are also one of the quietest units to have.

>>> Check out our Top Oil Filled Heater Reviews Here <<<

Infrared vs Oil Heater

The major difference is in the way they heat the surrounding space. Infrared heaters heat surfaces and objects around them they provide quick heat to surfaces near them. In contrast, oil filled heaters heat the air around them. They take time to heat the space and give more constant heat. They also stay warmer longer after they have been turned off since it takes longer for the oil to cool down.


The oil filled heater is standalone with wheels and looks like a radiator but space efficient and the infrared is more boxed shaped it also comes in standalone for the fireplace. They can be bought with wheels attached for easy portability. Both are good for space efficiency.


Both of the heaters are safe but it’s best to purchase one that has the UL label on it. Make sure your choice has advanced features like thermostat control and automatic shut down.

Heating capacity

The infrared is used as heaters that have the capacity to heat up a particular space or room. They can generally heat up a family room or a living space.

The oil filled heaters heat the air around the heater so they can work well for a small study or bedroom. Check the box for how large of space they can heat. Both units are comparable to room size.

General price

The average infrared heater with temperature control usually ranges between $100-$200. The average oil filled heaters range between $50-$100.


The infrared and oil filled heaters are good choices for creating a comfortable environment in the home. Both have excellent features and should always be bought with a warranty or a guarantee by the manufacturer.


image from flickr