Best oil filled radiators – tried and tested for warmth, ease of use, and value for money

The best oil filled radiators for staying cosy when temperatures drop. We've tested portable heaters from De'Longhi, Pro Breeze and more to find the best-in-class

The best oil filled radiator as tested by the Ideal Home team
(Image credit: Future)

The best oil filled radiators will keep you and your home warm as temperatures drop, allowing you to add extra warmth to rooms without adequate heating.

An oil filled radiator may be slower to produce heat than one of the best electric heaters on the market – especially if you opt for a fan-powered electric heater whereby warm air is created almost instantly – however, they make some of the best portable heaters for thermal retention. 

That means that once the oil inside the radiator has been heated by the electrical element, the oil holds onto that heat for a long time, emitting a steady warmth that gradually reaches all corners of a room, unlike the gust of localised hot air a fan heater creates. Plus, they're virtually silent compared to a fan heater, and, depending on the model you opt for, an oil filled radiator can also be economical to run.

To help you find the best oil filled radiator for your space, the Ideal Home team has put bestselling models from De'Longhi, Pro Breeze, and other leading brand names to the test to see how they perform. We compared cost to run, ease of use, design, and, of course, heating performance to crown an overall winner, as well as finding the best oil filled radiator for large spaces, small spaces, and if you're shopping on a budget.

The quick list

Short on time? This quick list is an overview of the very best oil filled radiators. You'll find more information on each indoor heater and why our testers recommend it if you keep on scrolling

Best oil filled radiators 2024

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best oil filled radiator overall

The white Pro Breeze 2500W Oil Filled Radiator with 11 Finsproduct badge

(Image credit: Pro Breeze)

1. Pro Breeze 2500W Oil Filled Radiator with 11 Fins

Best oil filled radiator overall

Specifications

Energy use: 2500W
Temperature settings: 3 (1000W, 1500W, 2500W)
Dimensions: H62 x W47 x D28cm
Weight: 8.3kg
Thermostat: Yes
Timer: Yes
Auto tip over shut off: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
A great price for powerful performance
+
Three temperature settings, thermostat and timer

Reasons to avoid

-
Timer control is fiddly
-
Some assembly required

Design: As portable heaters go, the Pro Breeze 2500W is probably tied with the Pro Breeze 2000W Digital Oil-Free Radiator and De’Longhi 2500W for most stylish design. Unlike the VonHaus 2500W which is a rather dated looking cream colour, the body of the Pro Breeze 2500W is white, which feels more modern. The black and silver control panel is also smart and looks much more contemporary than most.

Assembly: There is some assembly to do with this radiator, but it's minimal. You just need to turn it upside down to attach the castor wheels using metal arc-shaped brackets and four wing nuts which need to be screwed into place. It took me under five minutes, although at 8.3kg in weight you do need a little strength and dexterity.

Ease of use: The large stainless steel-effect control knobs, which operate the temperature and thermostat, are straightforward and very easy to use. However, programming the timer function is considerably more complicated. The timer dial has 96 segments, each representing a 15-minute period. You have to push the segments in for the time period you want the heater turned on which requires good eyesight and decent finger dexterity.

Performance: During testing I found the Pro Breeze 2500W 11 Fins Oil Filled Radiator with Thermostat Control heated up very quickly. Sitting next to it in my office I could feel the heat radiating onto my legs within minutes, and in less than ten minutes my office (which measures approximately 2m x 3m) felt warm and cozy. It had a real warmth impact on larger rooms too, such as our bedroom measuring 4.5 x 3.5 metres.

Energy use: That powerful performance is perhaps unsurprising given that this is one of highest wattage radiators in our round-up using 2500W of power on its highest of three temperature settings. Although you can switch down to the 1500W or 1000W settings to save on energy if you need less heat. At current average electricity costs of 29p per unit, that means on its highest temperature setting this model costs roughly 73p per hour to run.

Overall: An attractive design, generally easy-to-use controls, minimal assembly, and powerful performance combined with a relatively affordable price point means we rate the Pro Breeze 2500W with 11 Fins the best oil filled radiator you can buy for heating a large space. The De’Longhi 2500W might just pip it to the post on performance, but its nearly twice the investment of the Pro Breeze. That said, if you only have a small area to heat, you could save even more cash by opting for the lower powered VonHaus 6 Fin 800W Oil Filled Radiator or De'Longhi TRNS0505M 500W Oil Filled Radiator further down in this round-up.

Most powerful

The white De’Longhi 2500W Dragon 4 Oil Filled Radiator 2.5KW with Mechanical Timerproduct badge

(Image credit: De’Longhi)

2. De’Longhi 2500W Dragon 4 Oil Filled Radiator

Most powerful oil filled radiator

Specifications

Energy use: 2500W
Temperature settings: 3 (1000W, 1400W, 2500W)
Dimensions: H65 x W52 x D16cm
Weight: 17.52kg
Thermostat: Yes
Timer: Yes
Auto tip over shut off: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful performance
+
Minimal assembly

Reasons to avoid

-
An investment
-
Large and heavy

Design: This radiator is large, and heavy, weighing in at a whopping 17.52kg, although it immediately felt extremely solid and durable on unboxing. Unlike most of the oil filled radiators on the market, the De’Longhi Dragon 4 has an encased body rather than open fins, which gives it a much more contemporary appearance. And apparently, there’s science behind that design. The manufacturers refer to it as a ‘chimney design’ stating the special coil fins provide rapid hot air flow that quickly warms up a room for even and consistent heat distribution.  

Assembly: This was by far the easiest large oil filled radiator of the bunch to assemble because it only needs turning upside down so the wheels can be pulled out. No screwing required. However, at 17.52kg inverting it isn't for the faint-hearted. Turning it over on my own was a challenge and definitely more of a two-person job.  

Ease of use: Like the Pro Breeze 2500W, the main control dials on the De’Longhi are large and easy to twist clockwise or anti-clockwise. However, again, the timer dial has toothed segments, each representing a 15-minute period, that need pushing in and require good eyesight and dexterity. However, what the De’Longhi does have is the ability to overide the timer whenever you wish to, which means you don't need to  reset the fiddly timer very frequently.

Performance: Similar to the Pro Breeze 2500W, the De’Longhi Dragon 4 offers three temperature settings, 1000W, 1400W, and 2500W, and on its highest setting its powerful performance made short work of heating my 2m x 3m office, and likewise our draughty bedroom which measures 3.5m x 4.5m. Overall I would say this felt like the most powerful oil filled radiator I tested, so it would seem like that ‘chimney-style’ build really does work.

Energy use: Like the Pro Breeze 2500W at the top of our round-up, at maximum heat output the De’Longhi Dragon 4 costs roughly 73p per hour to run at current energy prices.

Overall: I couldn't fault the De’Longhi Dragon 4 on performance, its powerful 2500W heat output making short work of warming the largest and most draughty rooms in our home. However, it is large, heavy, and a significant investment, coming in at nearly twice the price of the Pro Breeze 2500W at full RRP. However, in its favour, it does feel very solidly built, and comes with a 10-year manufacturer warranty which could mean it represents the better longterm value if you can afford its initial investment.

Best budget buy

The black VonHaus 6 Fin 800W Oil Filled RadiatorBudget buy badge

(Image credit: VonHaus)

3. VonHaus 6 Fin 800W Oil Filled Radiator

Best budget buy

Specifications

Energy use: 800W
Temperature settings: 1 (800W)
Dimensions: H38 x W27 x D13cm
Weight: 3kg
Thermostat: Yes
Timer: No
Auto tip over shut off: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Small, lightweight and portable

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most powerful
-
Only one temperature setting
-
No timer

Design: The 6 Fin VonHaus Oil Filled Radiator is one of the smallest in our round-up, meaning its compact, lightweight, and easily portable. That does mean you sacrifice some power, with this radiator offering just one 800W heat setting, but makes the mini heater perfect for smaller spaces. Like most of VonHaus' oil filled radiators, it comes in two colour options; a smart black build and a classic off-white.

Assembly: Assembly of this small radiator took less than a minute and simply involved sliding the two feet into place, one at each end of the radiator. This was considerably easier than some of the other radiators tested which require dexterity of fingers and a good eye in order to screw wing nuts and bolts into place.

Ease of use: There is no timer with this radiator, and only one temperature setting, but that does make it incredibly easy to use. The red on/off button is easy to see and operate and the thermostat dial is large and straightforward, with ‘min’ and ‘max’ clearly indicated – perfect for anyone with less than 20/20 vision or who doesn't want to be overwhelmed by multiple controls. 

Performance: This is a small oil filled radiator with a maximum 800W power output, so it can't compete with the 2500W models in terms of the heat it can dish out. However, if you only have a small room to heat then it does the job.

Energy use: Of course, the plus side of that lower 800W power usage is lower running costs of around 23p per hour. If you don't have a large space to heat, that makes the VonHaus 800W one of the most economical heaters to operate in our round-up.

Overall: The VonHaus 800W Oil Filled Radiator lacks power and functionality compared to the larger heaters in this round up, but it is one of the easiest to assemble, and definitely the easiest to use of all the oil filled radiators I've tested making it great for less dextrous users. It's also the cheapest oil filled radiator in our round-up making it a great budget buy, and if you don't need to heat a large space, then its 800W power usage means it's more energy efficient than larger models too.

Remote controlled

The black Pro Breeze 2000W Digital Oil-Free Radiator with Eco Modeproduct badge

(Image credit: Pro Breeze)

4. Pro Breeze 2000W Digital Oil-Free Radiator with Eco Mode

An oil-free radiator with remote control

Specifications

Energy use: 2000W
Temperature settings: 3 (666W, 1333W, 2000W)
Dimensions: H65 x W55 x D25.5cm
Weight: 11.8kg
Thermostat: Yes
Timer: Yes
Auto tip over shut off: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Oil-free
+
Remote control operation

Reasons to avoid

-
Large and heavy
-
Fiddly to assemble

Design: Sleek and modern, with a digital control panel, this is a very contemporary take on the traditional oil-filled radiator. The matt black finish is a more stylish update to the classic white portable heater, although, as this radiator is one of the largest in our round-up, it does mean the heater certainly doesn’t blend into its surroundings! A handy built-in holder that houses the remote control is a nice touch.

Assembly: Like most of the radiators I've tested, assembly involves turning the unit upside down to attach the castors. Beyond its hefty size and 11.8kg weight, what made that job much trickier with this model was the fact that operation required a screwdriver, and navigating some very small and fiddly screws and holes. I’ve got reasonably small and dexterous fingers and still found this challenging.

Ease of use: Unlike all of the other oil-filled radiators in our round-up, this heater is digital. You can either operate it using the digital display panel on one end of the unit, or by using the remote control. That means you don't have to get up from your chair to operate it, and there's no kneeling in front of the heater to set fiddly manual timers. One thing to note is this heater's weight. It's not quite as heavy as the 17.2kg De’Longhi Dragon 4, but its 11.8kg weight does make it a challenge to lift up and down stairs. Although its castors and built-in handles make it easy to manouevre on the flat.

Performance: This heater is also unique in the fact that it's the only oil-filled radiator in our round-up not to actually contain oil! Instead it uses an oil-free heating tube to create warmth which Pro Breeze says heats up faster than oil. It offers three heat settings – 666W, 1333W and 2000W – as well as an 'eco' mode that means the heater’s output will automatically adjust to keep the room at the temperature that has been set on the thermostat (between 10-30°C). In practice, I found this heater was quick to heat up my small office and did a decent job on a larger bedroom too, however, it wasn't as effective as the more powerful 2500W Pro Breeze and De'Longhi oil-filled radiators.

Energy use: This 2000W heater costs roughly 58p per hour to run at current average energy prices.

Overall: If you want the best of both worlds – quick heat-up times and steady heat that isn't reliant on noisy fan operation then the Pro Breeze 2000W Digital Oil-Free Radiator could be for you. It was a little faster to get warm than the oil-filled radiators I tested, however, it didn't retain its warmth for as long as the oil-filled models either.

Low running costs

The De'Longhi TRNS0505M Oil Filled Radiatorproduct badge

(Image credit: De'Longhi)

5. De'Longhi TRNS0505M 500W Oil Filled Radiator

A small oil filled radiator with low running costs

Specifications

Energy use: 500W
Temperature settings: 3 (1000W, 1500W, 2500W)
Dimensions: H38.5 x W34 x D17cm
Weight: 5kg
Thermostat: Yes
Timer: No
Auto tip over shut off: Not specified

Reasons to buy

+
Low running costs
+
Small, lightweight and portable
+
No assembly required 

Reasons to avoid

-
No timer

Design: Just like the VonHaus 6 Fin 800W radiator, the De'Longhi TRNS0505M is super compact. And like the other De'Longhi model in our round-up, it instantly feels sturdy and well-made on unboxing. It may not be the most stylish to look at, but its small build does make it unobtrusive and easy to hide, and although this is the only portable heater on our list that doesn't have wheels, its 5kg body is lightweight and easy to pick up and move around the house.

Assembly: Another plus point of those lack of castor wheels is the fact that this means there's no assembly to do on the De'Longhi TRNS0505M. You can simply get it out of the box, plug it in, and turn it on. This made it a total dream for anyone who is strapped for time or has mobility issues which may make assembly of the other radiators difficult.  

Ease of use: Operation is also super straightforward. This heater may lack functionality compared to the competition, but that does mean that it's super simple to use. Simply flick the switch to turn the radiator on and then use the thermostat control knob to scroll through the 6 heat settings. A red light clearly indicates if the unit is on or off.

Performance: The downside of the De'Longhi TRNS0505M's compact size and simple functionality is its heat output. At 500W this small oil-filled radiator offers the lowest heat output of all the radiators I've tested. Whilst you wouldn’t select this radiator for heating a large room, it did a good job of heating my small office (which measures approximately 2m x 3m)  and kept it warm whilst I was working. However, in our larger bedroom (measuring 3.5m x 4.5m) it didn’t really make enough of an impact to warm it up or keep it warm.

Energy use: The De’Longhi 500W Nano Oil filled radiator has a wattage of just 500W which means that it costs approximately 15p an hour to run, depending on the cost of your electricity supplier. That makes it by far the cheapest oil filled radiator in our round-up to run, which is obviously a big draw. However, those low running costs obviously need to be weighed up against the lower heat output which means it’s less powerful and not as effective in larger rooms as the other radiators. 

Overall: If you only have a small room to heat then the De’Longhi TRNS0505M could be just the ticket. It's more expensive upfront than the comparable VonHaus 6 Fin 800W radiator, but with its 500W energy usage offers the lowest running costs of all the oil filled radiators in our round-up.

Bestselling alternative

The white VonHaus 11 Fin 2500W Oil Filled Radiatorproduct badge

(Image credit: VonHaus)

6. VonHaus 11 Fin 2500W Oil Filled Radiator

A powerful bestseller at a mid-range price point

Specifications

Energy use: 2500W
Temperature settings: 3 (1000W, 1500W, 2500W)
Dimensions: H59.5 x W48 x D23cm
Weight: 9.2kg
Thermostat: Yes
Timer: Yes
Auto tip over shut off: Yes

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most stylish

Design: The gloss finish of the VonHaus 11 Fin 2500W Oil Filled Radiator combined with the plastic-looking control panel and black plastic-looking castors means that this product doesn’t look particularly stylish. It's by far the most dated-looking of all the heaters in this round-up, and those plasticky controls don't feel particularly nice to interact with. However, it does feature a handy cable holder to keep the cable tidy. 

Assembly: Assembly took me approximately ten minutes and required the most time and effort out of all of the oil-filled radiators I've tested. Unlike many models which have the castors already attached to a metal plate, and then just require four wing nuts to be screwed into place, this one required me to assemble the plate to attach all four of the wheels too. It was quite fiddly to do and required good pincer control and vision, and so some people may find this challenging. 

Ease of use: The power button on the VonHaus 11 Fin 2500W Oil Filled Radiator consists of a circle, about the size of a ten pence piece, which is divided into two halves. Pressing in the left half of the button activates minimum heating, pressing in the right half of the circle is medium heating, and both together equal maximum heating. These buttons felt a bit flimsy and whilst I had no trouble operating them, I didn't find them particularly easy to use. The heater also has a thermostatic control you simply twist, and a timer that has rather fiddly segments that you need to push in to control when the heater turns on and off.

Performance: Like the Pro Breeze 2500W Oil Filled Radiator with 11 Fins and De’Longhi 2500W Dragon 4 Oil Filled Radiator, the VonHaus 11 Fin 2500W is powerful, delivering the maximum heat output of all the oil filled radiators in the VonHaus range. Like the other 2500W models in our round-up, it made quick work of heating our large high-ceilinged bedroom measuring 3.5m x 4.5m.

Energy use: The VonHaus 11 Fin 2500W Oil Filled Radiator has a wattage of 2500 which equates to approximately 73p per hour running costs, depending on the cost of your energy supplier. Whilst this radiator is considerably more expensive to run than smaller alternatives, it’s worth remembering that its ability to heat a larger room is extremely good.  

Overall: The heat output on this 2500W radiator is impressive, and it certainly did the job of warming up my large and draughty bedroom quickly. However, its performance was on a par with the similarly priced Pro Breeze 2500W Oil Filled Radiator, and I found the Pro Breeze model more attractive to look at, easier to assemble, and easier to use. However, if you find this VonHaus model available at a cheaper price point (and don't mind its not-so-stylish looks or slightly more flimsy build quality), then it's a powerful heater at a reasonable RRP.

How to choose the best oil filled radiator

When shopping for an oil filled radiator then you'll firstly want to consider the size of the room you’re looking to heat. This will help you to decide if you can manage with a smaller oil filled radiator which costs less to purchase and is more economical to run, or if you will need to spend more on a more powerful heater in order to adequately warm up the room. 

The lowest-powered oil filled radiator in our round-up is the De'Longhi TRNS0505M at just 500W which offers limited heat output, but can be very economical to run in a small space, whilst the most powerful models, like the Pro Breeze 2500W Oil Filled Radiator with 11 Fins, De’Longhi 2500W Dragon 4 Oil Filled Radiator and VonHaus 11 Fin 2500W Oil Filled Radiator use 2500W and can dish out far more heat to warm up a much larger space.

It’s also worth considering the weight and size of the oil filled radiator you choose. For a person living on their own or with mobility issues this is a big consideration, especially if you'll be moving the radiator from one floor to another, in which case you may need to be able to lift and manoeuvre the heater upstairs comfortably. 

Another key consideration is how easy the heater it is to use. If you’re someone who struggles with technology then one with a digital control panel may not be ideal, or indeed if vision or mobility is an issue then the size, visibility and ease of use of the control panel is an important factor.

You'll also want to consider whether a timer function would be useful for you, and whether you want the option to operate the unit via remote control.

Opting for an oil-filled radiator with different heat settings will allow you more control of the warmth, and a thermostat will ensure that you're not wasting energy. If your heater offers a thermostat then you can set a preferred temperature, and the thermostat works to keep your room at this desired temperature level. If the room starts to drop in temperature then the thermostat switches the heater into action to maintain the desired temperature, and kicks it off again once the target temperature is reached.

The De'Longhi TRNS0505M Oil Filled Radiator in an office with wood flooring

(Image credit: De'Longhi)

FAQs

What are the benefits of an oil filled radiator over an electric heater?

 

The main beneift of an oil filled radiator over an electric heater is that whilst oil can take longer to heat up than an electric heater, it will retain that heat for longer periods. 

Oil filled radiators rely on diathermic oil to produce heat. The heating element converts electricity into heat, which is transferred into the oil which circulates around the radiator. That means that you’re using electricity to heat up the oil rather than the entire room. This can make an oil filled radiator more energy efficient, as they require less energy to keep emitting warmth.

Find out more in our guide to oil-filled radiators vs fan heaters.

Do oil filled radiators use a lot of electricity?

Whilst the amount of electricity an oil filled radiator uses will depend on its wattage, oil filled radiators do not typically use a lot of electricity compared to electric heaters. 

This is because in an oil-filled radiator the electricity is used to heat up the heat-retaining oil inside the radiator rather than directly heating the air in the room. An oil-filled radiator also retains heat for longer than other oil-free alternatives. 

Our explainer on how much it costs to run an oil filled radiator has the full lowdown to help you work out the potential energy usage of your heater before you buy.

What does ‘fin’ mean on an oil filled radiator?

The ‘fins’ on an oil-filled radiator are the metal sections that are attached to the body of the unit. They play an important part in heating the room so the more fins the radiator has, the larger the surface area of the dispersal of heat. 

How we test

I tested a host of bestselling oil filled radiators to compile this guide. You'll find full details of the Ideal Home review process on our how we test page. However, in order to compile this specific guide to the best oil filled radiators on the market, I assessed how each one performed in both my 2 metre x 3 metre home office, and our draughty 4.5 x 3.5 metre bedroom.

A group of six oil filled radiators being tested in a home with a black and white geometric tiled floor

(Image credit: Future / Rachel Tompkins)

I tested each radiator over the course of a few days, rating its overall performance, including design, ease of assembly, ease of use, how quickly each portable heater could warm the space and the overall heat distribution, along with any added functionality.

I also compared the cost to purchase and cost to run each radiator to compile my recommendations for the best oil filled radiator to buy.