Invest in the best oil-filled radiators and keep any room cosy for hours
Efficient, affordable to run and a great way to keep chills at bay, the best oil-filled radiator is a smart solution to have on hand through the winter and beyond. While central heating is usually the ideal option to heat your home, for rooms that don’t have a radiator or that need an extra boost, an oil-filled radiator is perfect for the job. What’s more, should your central heating go on strike, an oil-filled radiator can be a stopgap while you get it fixed.
That’s because oil-filled radiators convert nearly all of the energy they consume to heat, and even after you turn them off, they will carry on radiating warmth. They’re safer than some portable heaters, as there’s no element that could be a fire hazard, and don’t make any noise, so you can use them in a bedroom or office without being disturbed. We’ve selected the best oil-filled radiators you can buy – as well as what to look out for when purchasing.
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Below, you will find our buying guide with lots of helpful information to know before you buy or you can scroll on for our top picks.
Best oil-filled radiator: At a glance
|Best budget option
|Warmlite WL43002YW 650W (~£32)
|Check price at Amazon
|Best for medium-sized rooms
|Zanussi ZOFR5005B (~£80)
|Check price at Amazon
|Best for small rooms
|VonHaus 7 Fin 1,500W (~£70)
|Check price at VonHaus
|Best for style
|Mill Heat AB-H2000DN (£180)
|Check price at Amazon
How to choose the best oil-filled radiator for you
How do oil-filled radiators work?
While there’s oil in oil-filled radiators, none of it is burnt as fuel. Instead, they’re filled with a reservoir of oil or fluid, such as glycol, that has an element submerged within it. When the element heats up, the warmth is transferred to the fluid, which then circulates around the appliance. This is why oil-filled radiators heat up slowly and can keep on warming a room after they switch off, making them a good heating option over a prolonged period.
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What size do I need?
It’s a good idea to buy a radiator based on the size of the room you will mostly use it in. Due to the way that oil-filled radiators work, larger heaters will consume more energy to heat the oil inside, but will also be more effective at heating a large room because of the increased surface area. Compact oil radiators often won’t heat a large room as well, but many make up for their smaller size by including more technology to help them distribute heat around a space.
Wattage can be used as a guide to heat output. Roughly allow 100W per square metre (or 0.4kW per cubic metre) of the room in a well-insulated home.
How much should I spend on an oil-filled radiator?
Most oil-filled radiators are affordable to buy but pricey to run compared to a central heating system. More expensive oil-filled radiators tend to include advanced features, such as a remote control, timer, programmes or wireless control, which can help to save on your overall running costs.
Compact models can cost less than £30 with higher wattages costing £60-£100. Wall-mounted models (great if floor space is limited) cost on average £250-£350.
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The best oil-filled radiators you can buy in 2024
1. Warmlite WL43002YW 650W: Best budget oil-filled radiator
Price when reviewed: £32 | Check price at AmazonCompact, nimble and affordable, Warmite’s five-fin oil-filled radiator might be small but it’s perfectly formed, offering a welcome boost of heat wherever it’s needed. Its size means it’s a good choice for home offices, small bedrooms, and even caravans, as well as those on a tight budget. You could even pop it in your porch to take the chill off before stepping outside.
Unsurprisingly, it’s fairly basic in terms of features. There’s just one adjustable heat setting controlled by a dial that ranges from high to low (not Celcius), although its maximum output is a respectable 105 ℃. That said, it still has overheat protection, and a useful built-in carry handle, so it’s easy to roll from room to room.
Key specs – Size: 23 x 13 x 38cm (WDH); Wattage: 650W; Weight: 2.97kg; Programmes: No
2. Zanussi ZOFR5005B: Best oil-filled radiator for a medium-sized room
Price when reviewed: £80 | Check price at AmazonThis Zanussi oil-filled radiator offers the best of both worlds if you’re planning on moving it around the house. Not only is it a good size for most bedrooms or living rooms, but it also has a relatively small footprint and a top setting of 2300W. It’s on wheels with a handle and not too heavy, so should be easy to carry from room to room as well. Other beneficial features include a remote control, a 24-hour timer, touch control display and three heat settings – 1,000W, 1,300W, 2,300W. There’s also a good length of cable (1.8m), giving you flexibility about where it’s plugged in.
There are a couple of downsides. The 24-hour timer only allows you to set one switch-on and one switch-off a day and if you accidentally unplug it, it will lose your settings. This isn’t the end of the world, but something to bear in mind if features are important to you.
Key specs – Size: 65 x 25 x 43cm (WDH); Wattage: 2,300W; Weight: 10.2kg; Programmes: No
3. VonHaus 7 Fin 1,500W: Best oil-filled radiator for small rooms
Price when reviewed: £70 | Check price at VonHausIf you don’t have the storage space for a chunky oil-filled radiator, this slimline model should tick a lot of boxes. It’s on castors and lighter than many at just 6.5kg. What’s more, it has a neat cable tidy at one side with a socket for the plug pins to fit in – making it a good one to keep in a spare room or a loft when it’s not in use. There are three heat settings – 600W, 900W, 1,500W – as well as overheat protection, overheat cut off and a 1.5m long cable.
In terms of design, it’s fairly basic. It doesn’t have a handle to move it around, and there’s a rotary control to adjust each of the three heat settings. There’s no timer either, but if you’re looking for an oil-filled radiator to boost the heat in your home office, or stop a child’s bedroom growing too cold overnight, it’s great value for money.
Key specs – Size: 33 x 24 x 60cm (WDH); Wattage: 1,500W; Weight: 6.5kg; Programmes: No
4. Mill Heat AB-H2000DN: Best oil-filled radiator for the style-conscious
Price when reviewed: £180 | Check price at AmazonOil-filled radiators can look chunky and old-fashioned, which is why Mill Heat’s designs will be a breath of fresh air for anyone who’s been holding back on buying purely due to aesthetics. This sleek model is the perfect example – designed in Norway, it’s minimal and understated, with an angled aluminium base that gives it a floating feel. However, the design isn’t just something that’s easier on the eye, it actually impacts the efficiency too. Rather than consisting of exposed fins like most oil radiators, the closed structure forces hot air upwards through the fins, heating the room 29% faster and more evenly than traditional designs.
While it’s not loaded with features, those it does have are sure to come in handy. There’s a tip-over switch and overheat protection, so it will turn off if it gets knocked over or too hot. It also has three heat settings (800W, 1,200W and 2,000W), as well as a day/night programme, that will switch the radiator to a lower, energy-saving temperature when you’re not there or tucked up in bed. The only issue could be moving it around – there are no castors, so you will have to carry it to another room when required.
Key specs – Size: 42 x 15 x 65.6cm (WDH); Wattage: 2,000W; Weight: 13.1kg; Programmes: Yes
5. WarmeHaus Oil Filled Electric Radiator Wi-Fi: Best fixed oil-filled radiator
Price when reviewed: £200 | Check price at Amazon
For a more permanent heating solution, a wall-mounted oil-filled radiator can be incredibly handy. Not only do they not take up a similar amount of space as a portable design but they can often be used in places where a portable model wouldn’t be suitable, such as a bathroom. They’re also handy for spaces that don’t have plumbing, such as conservatories, garden rooms and insulated sheds.
This Wi-Fi operated model is more costly than others but offers plenty for the price. It can be either wall-mounted or freestanding, is IP24-rated, has a frost protection setting, child lock, open window detection and four heating modes. Best of all, you can turn it on and off with an app on your phone or manually, and set a seven-day timer. However, at only 1,200W, it might not provide quite enough heat in a larger space. In which case, you can opt for its more powerful and pricier models, the 1,500W, 1,800W or 2,000W.
Key specs – Size: 61.5 x 8 x 57.5cm (WDH); Wattage: 1,200W; Weight: 12.8kg; Programmes: Seven