Last updated: August 10, 2021

Welcome to our big oil radiator test 2022. Here we present all the oil radiators we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best oil radiator for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy an oil radiator.




Summary

  • Oil radiators are electrically operated heaters that are filled with thermal oil. The oil and thus the heating fins are heated electrically and emit a pleasant radiant heat.
  • Models are available with different power ratings (600 - 3000 watts) and different numbers of fins (5 - 13).
  • Although oil radiators are cheap to buy, they are much more expensive to run on electricity than on gas or oil and are therefore not suitable for continuous operation.

The Best Oil Radiator: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an oil radiator

What is an oil radiator?

Contrary to what you might think, an oil radiator is an electric heater. It can be used in addition to a permanently installed heating system, but can also replace it. As a rule, oil radiators are used for rooms that are rarely used, as the installation of a stationary heating system is not worthwhile there.

The fins of an oil radiator can reach maximum temperatures and thus also become dangerous. (Image source: pixabay.com / Henryk Niestrój)

How does an oil radiator work?

The common oil radiator comes in the form of a ribbed body. This is filled with thermal oil, which optimally stores and transfers heat.

The heat is generated by electric current and heat is radiated to the surroundings via the fins.

Unlike fan heaters, this creates radiant heat, which is particularly pleasant, but it also needs a certain warm-up time to show its full performance.

When is it worth using an oil radiator?

Using an oil radiator is normally worthwhile when it is not worthwhile to install a heating system for certain rooms (e.g. garage). If you have rooms that you use infrequently and want to heat them up when needed, then it makes sense to use an oil radiator. These usually have castors and can therefore be used flexibly.

If the heating is defective, you can contact your landlord, as he or she must guarantee you a room temperature of 21°C. (Image source: pixabay.com / Free-Photos)

Another reason could be reduced performance of your central heating. In this case, the oil radiator could provide temporary warmth. Having an oil radiator at home just in case can be worthwhile!

Keep in mind, however, that heating with an electrically operated radiator can be comparatively more cost-intensive.

How high is the electricity consumption or how high are the operating costs of an oil radiator?

The amount of electricity consumed depends on the output of the radiator and the operating time. The following applies: The higher the output and the operating time, the higher the consumption and the costs. You can calculate the consumption with a simple formula: Power (in kW) - heating time (in hours) - electricity price (in euros per kW/h)

If you want to check the electricity consumption of your radiator, you can use an electricity meter. (Picture source: pixabay.com / Alexander Stein)

Are oil radiators dangerous?

If you have an old oil radiator without safety features, it could be dangerous. An oil radiator without overheating protection poses a risk. For example, if you forget to unplug or switch off your radiator, it can overheat.

In the worst case, there is a risk of fire! However, modern oil radiators are all equipped with overheating protection and other safety functions, so there should be no major danger with today's popular models.

There is a risk of burns, however, because the heating fins can heat up very strongly during operation. Accordingly, contact with the skin can result in minor burns.

What should I look for when buying an oil radiator?

When buying an oil radiator, you should consider several aspects:

  • Before you buy an oil radiator, you should know the size of the room you want to heat. Manufacturers specify the heating capacity of their product in cubic metres.
  • Pay attention to the product details! An oil radiator should definitely have certain safety features. Oil radiators can reach temperatures of over 100 °C, so overheating protection is indispensable.
  • Save energy! To be able to heat energy-efficiently, manufacturers integrate functions into their products. Nowadays, however, these are standard.

How much does an oil radiator cost?

The price range for oil radiators is quite wide. You can buy a radiator for as little as 20 EUR, but a top-class oil radiator can cost up to 850 EUR. Most models are priced between 45 - 150 €. The prices for oil radiators vary depending on the performance and functions.

As a general rule, the higher the output and the more functions and fins the oil radiator has, the more expensive it will be.

You should find out exactly what functions and heating power you need.

What alternatives are there to oil radiators?

Mobile heating systems are no longer a rarity these days. Accordingly, there are also plenty of alternatives to the oil radiator. In the following we will show you all alternatives with their advantages and disadvantages:

Fan heater

The most popular alternative is the fan heater. It is small, handy and requires no warm-up time. When the fan heater is switched on, hot air is immediately produced and released by the fan. Because of their compact size, fan heaters are available at comparatively low prices.

Advantages
  • Compact and handy
  • No warm-up time
  • Optimal for small rooms
Disadvantages
  • No heat storage
  • Noise level
  • Rapid overheating

Due to its size, the fan heater is only suitable for small rooms such as the bathroom. In addition, there is the noise level, which can be annoying during operation.

Convector

Convectors are direct heaters just like fan heaters. Accordingly, they function exactly like a fan heater. Cold air is drawn in and heated by means of glowing heating wires and then emitted by a fan.

Advantages
  • Rapid heat output
  • Flexible use
  • Inexpensive purchase
Disadvantages
  • High operating costs
  • Noise level
  • Convection heat can be unpleasant

Convectors are available in several forms, but they are mostly available in flat designs, as these are often installed in front of large window surfaces.

The heat produced by a convector is usually not perceived as very pleasant and the heat cannot be stored.

Infrared heating

Of all the alternatives, infrared heating is most similar to the oil radiator. Just like the oil radiator, infrared heating produces radiant heat. This is much more pleasant than convection heat. The decisive difference is that not the air, but the wall, ceiling and floor are heated evenly.

This creates a particularly pleasant and healthy climate or thermal comfort. Due to the evenly distributed heat on all walls, mould formation is prevented.

Advantages
  • Thermal comfort
  • High efficiency in well-insulated rooms
  • Prevention of mould
Disadvantages
  • No effect in old buildings
  • Electrosensitive people are susceptible

In old buildings, infrared heating is less efficient because old houses are usually poorly insulated and all the heat would escape. Electrosensitive people may also react incompatibly to infrared heating.

Decision: What types of oil radiators are there and which one is right for you?

Manufacturers offer oil radiators with more and less functions and fins. However, one cannot speak of different types here. Two "oil radiator types" can be identified, however, as they bring special functions with them.

What distinguishes an oil radiator with fan and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An oil radiator with fan is a combination of a fan heater and an oil radiator. This feature distinguishes it from conventional radiators. The fan heater makes it possible to compensate for the warm-up time. While the oil radiator is still heating up, the fan can already be used. Likewise, only the fan heater can be used if you only need heat for a short time.

Advantages
  • Warm-up time is compensated
  • Short usage time possible
Disadvantages
  • Noise level
  • Convection heat

However, this generates a noise level that can be perceived as annoying in the long run. In addition, there is the uncomfortable convection heat.

What distinguishes an oil radiator with chimney effect and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An oil radiator with chimney effect is an efficient heater. It can draw in air like a chimney to improve the heating efficiency of the oil radiator. As with the fan-assisted oil radiator, a fan is required. However, this does not explicitly produce heat, but accelerates the heating process and ensures even heat distribution.

Advantages
  • Accelerated warm-up time
  • Even heat distribution
  • Efficient heating
  • Cost saving
Disadvantages
  • Noise level
  • Rarely available
  • Early stage

Here too, however, there is a certain noise level, not in the same way as with the fan heater, but still perceptible. In addition, this function is offered by only a few manufacturers and is not yet fully developed.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate oil radiators on the basis of these factors

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate oil radiators. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular oil radiator is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Output in watts
  • Consumption
  • Warm-up time
  • Overheating and tilt protection
  • Thermostat control

Power in watts

The power of an oil radiator is a decisive factor for the room size. The larger the room, the more power is needed. Models are offered with 600 up to 2500 watts.

Consumption

If you have a large room, you need an oil radiator with a high output. This means higher consumption and higher costs. Many manufacturers therefore offer functions that make operation more efficient through additional functions such as a chimney effect.

Warm-up time

Oil radiators usually need at least 10 minutes to heat up. Manufacturers and comparison portals show you the required warm-up time. There is no such thing as an oil radiator that requires no warm-up time at all.

Overheating and tilt protection

An oil radiator can become extremely hot and therefore dangerous! Therefore, overheating and tilt protection is necessary. If the radiator gets too hot, a fire cannot be ruled out.

The overheating protection switches it off automatically. The tilt protection ensures that the radiator switches off if it tips over. Without anti-tilt protection, there is also a risk of fire, especially if the floor is wooden.

Thermostat regulator

With the help of a thermostat you can regulate the temperature and save electricity at the same time. You can control the temperature with the help of a stepless regulator.

Facts worth knowing about oil radiators

My oil radiator gives off an unpleasant smell. What could be the reason for this?

If the smell is diesel-like, your oil radiator could be leaking. Do not try to repair it yourself. It is recommended to dispose of it if necessary, but you can also consult a specialist.

Can I refill my oil radiator with oil?

Oil radiators are closed heating systems. Refilling is therefore not possible. However, this is not necessary with high-quality models, as they have a shelf life of several years. Reliable manufacturers also offer a guarantee. They can replace your device if necessary.

What is the oil radiator meeting about?

The first oil radiator meeting took place in 2015. All lovers and fans of oil radiators meet here. Since 2015, the curious oil radiator meeting has been organised every year and fans can reveal their self-designed oil radiators. The oil radiators presented are judged by an expert jury according to certain criteria.

There will also be a world championship in the "oil radiator long throw". Afterwards, there will be a party to good music with DJ and co.

Photo source: flickr.com / Michael Turner

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