Radiators vs. Infrared Heaters

When looking at the infrared heater vs. radiator debate, there are lots of considerations to take into account. Firstly, understanding the different types of heating options for your property and then what the differences are between the two of them will give you a better idea of how you can find the right solution for you. Here, we’re looking at infrared heaters vs. oil-filled radiators and electric radiators to give you a breakdown of the different options on the market.

What Is An Infrared Heater?

Infrared heaters are a form of heating solution which will convert electricity into heat. The heat that you will feel from an infrared heater is similar to the feeling of warm winter sun on a cold day and it is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This type of heat will transfer the warmth from the heater directly to you, without heating the air in between which is what a more traditional radiator will do.

Differences Between An Infrared Heater vs. Oil Filled Radiator

There are some key differences between an infrared heater and an oil-filled heater when comparing side by side, and the differences will determine what the right option for you and your home is.


Firstly, the size and weight of an infrared heater vs. oil radiator is a clear comparison. Infrared heaters are generally lighter and come in a range of sizes from small to large, whereas a radiator is heavier and bigger. That being said, an oil-filled radiator will generally be sturdier because of its size and weight and therefore has the potential to be more durable, particularly in the home.

Heat Output

While infrared heaters are quicker to heat up and oil radiators are slower, the type of heat output is very different. A radiator will heat up the air to help keep you warmer while an infrared heater will disperse heat directly to you rather than the air in between.


There is minimal evidence to say whether a radiator heater vs infrared is more efficient. Infrared heaters are eco-friendly, however, convection heaters using oil can be used as a heat reservoir and are powered by electricity. Both are efficient yet work very differently – typically oil radiators or electric radiators are better to heat larger rooms as they can stay warmer for longer and heat the surrounding air, whereas infrared heaters will only warm up the objects.


A key consideration in the infrared panel heater vs oil-filled radiator debate is the price. Infrared heaters are generally cheaper because they can come in smaller sizes than what an oil-filled radiator can do – however the larger infrared heaters will also be quite pricey.

Heat Retention

Another core consideration when looking at infrared heaters vs oil radiators is their heat retention. Generally, oil radiators are better at retaining heat as they act like a heat reservoir – they hold heat well even when switched off meaning you will feel the benefit of that heat for a long time after. Infrared heaters are efficient, but they will lose their heat almost as soon as they’re switched off.

Blocking Heat

If you are dealing with a space that has a lot of furniture or has people blocking the heater for a period of time regularly, then an infrared heater may not be the right choice for you. This is because an infrared heater will warm up that appliance and it uses only directional heat. An oil-filled heater however heats the air in the room and means that no matter how cluttered that room may be or how many people are in the room, you can feel warm and cosy regardless.

Infrared Heater vs. Electric Radiators

An electric radiator has a number of benefits that you can enjoy vs. an infrared heater. For example, they are highly responsive and maintain their warmth (unlike an infrared heater). They’re also lightweight and portable and can come in a variety of sizes like an infrared panel. There are even some options that you can choose which can connect with smart technology such as WiFi and voice control to give you even more benefits. If you’re unsure what the right type of heating appliance is for your home, speak to one of our experts.

As you can see, there is a range of both pros and cons when comparing an infrared heater vs an oil-filled radiator. No matter what type of heating appliance you opt for you should always consider the space that you are looking to heat up and the costs involved not just in purchasing and installing the heating solution but also in ongoing maintenance, to help you find the best choice for you. Call us today on 0800 876 6813 or browse our range of radiators online to find the right solution for you.

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