Radiant Heater Reviews
Radiant heaters (what we used to call bar heaters) range in price from under £20 for low-powered halogen tube models to £400+ for sturdy high-power commercial models.
Cheap halogen tube radiant heaters have a very limited life span. The heating elements damage easily and burn out quickly. If you pay under £20 for one and it lasts the winter, you've done well!
A good quality halogen radiant heater is ruggedly built with anti-vibration and anti-shock fittings to protect the tubes. The very best have gold-lined quartz glass tubes, expect to pay £100+ for a good quality one.
A radiant heater heats the objects (people, furniture etc...) in front of it, not the air in the room so most have no thermostat to control the temperature.
Radiant heaters are virtually silent, some make a slight humming noise when in use, this is normal and caused by the magnetic field generated by the elements. Crackling, popping and hissing noises are not normal and indicate a fault.
We advise using a radiant heater for short periods of time to provide quick heat and having a thermostatically controlled convector, or oil-filled radiator to maintain the room temperature as a long-term solution.
All our Recommended models have been tested for usability, safety, longevity, and ease of use. We have included the best budget buy and also what we consider to be the 'best radiant heaters on the market'.
Note: When in use Halogen and quartz radiant heaters give off a bright light, ceramic is much dimmer.
- Marking: Our marks are from 1 (poorest) up to 10 (best) for each of the areas we monitor. For noise 1 is the quietest and 10 is the loudest. for more details about our testing /marking please see our article on How we test our heaters.
Radiant Heater Best Budget Buy
If you need a cheap Halogen Heater then buy a Warmlite, register online and get a free extended 2yr Guarantee.
Scoring: Value for money 5: Safety 7: Build quality 5: Ease of use 8: Noise 2: Styling 7. Customer Satisfaction rating 83%
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We do not recommend cheap halogen heaters as the tubes break easily and the elements burn out. Decent ones cost over £100, see the ones we review later on this page.
Despite this, we have had many inquiries from visitors asking us to find a decent budget halogen heater.
We've tried and the best we can recommend is this, while not the cheapest Warmlite will extend the statutory guarantee by another 1-year (you must register your product online). So if the heater fails due to poor build quality they will replace it.
"During the guarantee period, we will replace or repair your items free of charge if there is any defect due to faulty material or workmanship, provided you have followed the care instructions and the product has not been misused.Guarantees do not cover damage caused by deterioration, accidents, misuse or commercial use. Scratches, stains or discolouration are also not covered."This does not affect your statutory rights.1.2kW max output with three heat settings; 400W, 800W or 1.2kWEasy to use top-mounted push button controls, automatic oscillation, anti-tilt safety cut out, overheat protection, wide stable base and a carry handle.
Our Recommended Radiant Fires
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Cheap Halogen radiant heaters are poorly made and have a limited lifespan.
Sometimes the old solution is the best and we find that the traditional 2-bar wire wound ceramic element heater still remains the most popular and reliable form of radiant heater, expect one to give you at least 10 years of service.
This Warmlite 2-Bar Radiant Heater is built along traditional lines with a switch for one bar (600W) or two bars (1.2kW) with a reflector behind the heating elements to direct the heat forwards and a wire guard to prevent contact with the hot elements.
There is an anti-tilt switch which shuts down the heater if it should be knocked over. Great for a quick burst of heat, or for use while waiting for your main heating to warm the room up.
Dimensions: Length 36.5cm, Height 27cm, Width 27cm, weight 1.8 kg
Warmlite will extend the statutory guarantee by another 1-year (you must register your product online).
Please note: Because of the anti-tilt device this heater will not operate on uneven carpets or rugs, to solve this put a large ceramic tile or other hard flat non-flammable surface, under it so it sits on an even surface.
Dimplex Yeominster 1.2kW Freestanding Bar Heater
Scoring: Value for money 10: Safety 7: Build quality 9: Ease of use 10: Noise 2: Styling 8. Customer Satisfaction rating 97%
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Dimplex is a British company who have been making heaters for over 60 years and is the world's largest heating appliance manufacturer.
This popular, classically designed, robustly built and reliable heater has been in continuous production since 2002 and still has a high satisfaction rate with 97% of users giving it 3 to 5 stars and 77% of all users giving it a top 5-star rating.
This 1.2 kW radiant heater has been designed to look like much more than a basic piece of kit.
By using a fire-basket with a sturdy black cast iron effect frame and brass-coloured detail, topped off with a burning log effect. This heater is designed to be pleasant to look at by mimicking an open fire and makes an interesting room feature.
Originally designed to put in a fireplace, it is freestanding and can be located anywhere.
This is a simple turn-on, turn-off heater with 2 heat settings 600W and 1.2 kW, it has no timer or thermostat, and there is a safety thermal cut out to prevent it from overheating.
The pleasing retro flame effect with flickering logs uses Dimplex's patented Optiflame technology using cost-effective LEDs and can be used independently.
Dimensions: Width 21.4cm, Height 39.5cm, depth 21.4cm Weight 5.33Kg
Birchwood Rhino 2.8k Thermo - Quartz Radiant Heater
Scoring: Value for money 10: Safety 10: Build quality 10: Ease of use 8: Noise 2: Styling 4. Customer Satisfaction rating 100%
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Infra-red Quartz heaters, like this one, with elements heating to about 1000ºC, are far superior to standard halogen heaters and are usually reserved for patio or commercial use.From Birchwood, a UK company based in Nottingham comes The Rhino, a high-performance infra-red radiant heater originally designed for commercial use.I saw them in use in a large clothing shop and realised that they were suitable for home use.Because it plugs into a standard 13 amp wall socket, is nicely styled and at 1 metre high, 50cm wide and 460cm deep it's about the same size and better looking than most Calor Gas heaters.I spoke to the staff and they were all very pleased with the performance and had been using them for 5 years with no problems.
The Rhino is designed for industrial use so it is robust, durable and long-lasting. With 2 x 1.4 kW infra-red elements it can be used on either one (1..4 kW) or two bars (2.8 kW). It also comes with a 3-metre power cord fitted.
It will radiate heat across 12 square meters of floor space so is suitable for larger rooms. It has a large handle and wheels for easy movement.
It does not have an anti-tilt cutout but is very difficult to overturn due to the large base and low centre of gravity (which is one reason they had them in the shop).Note: This is hotter than traditional domestic radiant heaters so a greater safety distance is needed between the rhino and objects (Furniture, people etc...).
With extra width guard for public use
In use in a clothes shop
Clarke Devil 370p 3kW Quartz Heater
Scoring Value for money 8: Safety 7: Build quality 10: Ease of use 10: Noise 2: Styling 4 Customer Satisfaction rating 100%
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Clarke Devils are a range of heaters aimed at the commercial market, this is a crossover radiant model designed for both domestic and commercial applications. An Ideal choice if you're looking for a robust radiant heater delivering serious heat and not concerned with appearance.Ruggedly constructed with an industrial standard steel case, it's solid enough to deal with knocks and bumps.
The 370P has an easy grab handle and is on castors for easy mobility, once positioned the castors can lock to prevent it from moving.This model also features an LCD panel to show ambient temperature, 24 hour programmable timer, remote control and eco mode. It also features a tilt switch to ensure automatic switch off if it tipped over for added safety.
It has 2 x 1.4kW infrared tubes and can operate at 1.4 kW or 2.8 kW. On the high power 2.8 kW output, it radiates over a large floor area quickly heating up anything in front of it.
The one drawback is it is only available in bright red, if you don't mind the colour then it is a solid, reliable, powerful radiant heater at a decent price.
These heaters are not small and are about 3 feet high x 2 feet wide x 1.5 feet deep (88.7cm x 56.3cm x 49cm]. Suitable for the larger room.
Available from Machine Mart. £202.80 + delivery (Jan 2023 price) this is a limited-stock sale item.
Comfort Glow Quartz Compact FurnacesScoring: Value for money 10: Safety 10: Build quality 10: Ease of use 8: Noise 3: Styling 4. Customer U.S. Satisfaction rating 87.5%
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We discovered the Comfort Glow range of fan-assisted Quartz infra-red heaters in America (they call them portable furnaces) and were very impressed with their high build quality, great finish, good design and noticed that even on full blast the casing is cool to touch.Delsa LLC the manufacturer of Comfort Glow products ceased trading in 2009, the brand is now with World Marketing (est 1982) who provide technical support and spare parts for Comfort Glow heaters.
These heaters are sturdily built with metal frames, as well as having safety overheat and tip-over protection they have the following functions as standard: -
- Electronic Thermostat;
- 12 hr Programmable Timer;
- Digital Display
- Washable Fan Filters
- Full remote controls.
Plus they have technological innovations such as preheating, cool-down cycling and monitored airflow which extends the life of and increases the efficiency of these heaters.
You can see full specs on the World Marketing website Comfort Glow Furnaces
We know how fussy and demanding Americans are and they seem to love these portable heaters. Based on our American experiences we cannot recommend this range too highly.
Reasonably priced in the US they tend to be quite rare and more expensive here, if you fancy one your best option is to do an online search. As there doesn't seem to be a UK stockist. They do other heating appliances so check that it is a 'furnace' and not a stove or standard Quartz heater.
The Best Radiant Heaters on the Market
Veito 1.8 Kw Free-Standing Carbon Infrared Heater.
Scoring: Value for money 10: Safety 10: Build quality 10: Ease of use 8: Noise 2: Styling 10. Customer Satisfaction rating 90%
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Veito are an innovative company, in business since 1979, they launched their first Carbon element Infrared radiant heater in 2007, and are now the world's leading manufacturers of carbon infrared and patio heaters.
Veito Heaters are made using the latest carbon fibre technology, they are robust, hard-wearing and have long-lasting heating elements.Veito heaters are used in Antarctica to heat the white desert pods. The luxury South Pole campsite costs over £80,000 for an 8-day stay.
The CH1800RE has an adjustable height stand (820mm-1350mm) and a choice of 4 different power settings 900W / 1200W / 1500W and 1800W, automatic temperature control and a timer.
Its control panel has a display which indicates the temperature, power and timer settings.
The heater also has a remote control which manages all its functions and settings, regulating heating levels, activating and setting the timer and the automatic temperature control.
All CH1800RE remote circuits use the same frequency, so it is possible to control several of them using a single remote control.
The heater has a safety tilt cut out which prevents it from operating unless it is in an upright position, it also has thermal protection which shuts it off if it overheats.The Veito range includes a compact upright radiant heater the Veito CH1200LT IPX4 in Black/ Silver also available in White is rated at 1200 watts (This does not have a remote control) and several wall-mounted models. Including fully remote-controlled models and waterproof bathroom models. Veito is our featured radiant heater manufacturer, you can view the range here.
Need a budget heater for that cold spot? Visit our Budget Heater Page.
Have you sorted out your emergency back up heating yet? Take a look at our Calor Gas Heater Reviews.
Visit our Surviving The Winter Page to see how to stay warm in case of power cuts this winter.