Best kerosene heater

How to Find the Best Kerosene Heater for Your Home

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A great alternative to electric heat, kerosene heaters offer a substantial amount of warmth and comfort at a fraction of the cost. Many people who own a kerosene heater use it as a backup if their electric heating system stops working, or if there happens to be an outage during cold months. Others, however, rely on these units as their primary source of heat. Read on as we go over the basics of these units and help you find the best kerosene heater for your home.

What is a Kerosene Heater? 

A kerosene heater is a safe and portable solution for those looking for an alternative heating source in their home. They can be used both indoors and outdoors and don’t need electricity to power up. In other words, they are a great option for when you need emergency heat and are ideal for cabins and remote areas.

Also known as paraffin heaters, units that run on kerosene are unvented and can produce anywhere from 11,000 up to 23,000 BTU per hour. Quite the healthy heat output. In countries such as Japan, kerosene heaters are often used as a home’s primary source of heat. In the United States, however, they are typically purchased to function as a supplemental heat source. That being said, some US households rely on kerosene heaters as their sole source of heat as well. 

There are two different types of kerosene heaters available on the market: convection and radiant. Here’s how each of them works. 

Convection Kerosene Heaters 

A convection kerosene heater features a round design and heats all areas of a room in different directions. They are the ideal if you want to heat a regular room, garage or any other type of ventilated space.

kerosene heater for room

For best results, it’s recommended that you place the convection heater in the center of the room. The best kerosene heaters currently available work very well and can even produce enough heat to keep a small house warm when necessary.

Radiant Kerosene Heaters 

A radiant heater is designed to heat a particular area. They have a tube-like shape and are available in various sizes to suit your needs. Instead of heating an entire room, a radiant heater distributes heat in a specific direction. That makes these units a great choice if you’re looking for a heating source you can use outside – for instance, when you go camping.

tube like heater

Looking for the Best Kerosene Heater in the Industry 

When it comes to buying something like a kerosene heater for indoor use, it is crucial that you look for one that is reliable, dependable, and rated highly among other users. Kerosene heaters are generally safe to use, but accidents can happen.

Plus, a poorly manufactured heater can malfunction at any time. Therefore, a clever way to decide on the best kerosene heater on the market is to read up heater reviews left by customers and pay close attention to each model’s specifications. That way, you can ensure that you will get years of use out of your new heating source without any issues.

There are many portable kerosene heaters available and each comes with its own set of pros and cons. Our choice for the best kerosene heater money can buy? The reliable Dura Heat Kerosene Heater.

The Dura Heat Convection Heater 

Dr.fasting|Electric Plug in Personal Heating Instant Wall Heater for...
  • Powerful 23,800 BTU design
  • Operates 9-12 hours on one tankful of kerosene; 1.9 gallon fuel tank
  • Projects heat in a 360 degree radius

A great choice for those who want an alternative to electric heat, these heaters have been around for years and continue to be leaders in the industry when it comes to ease of use and long-lasting durability. They can easily heat up a large space in a matter of minutes and they can be relied upon as a source of emergency heat.

While it may be small, the convection heater is capable of heating up areas that are up to 1,100 square feet. Because kerosene heaters do not use electricity, they rely on kerosene – and are pretty fuel efficient. This type of heater uses around 2 gallons of kerosene when operating for 12 hours, while offering great heat output at the same time.

The Dura Heat Kerosene Heater is one of the easiest to use units available. You simply fill up the tank with kerosene, light the wick, and press the lever to activate it. Features include a handy drip tray that prevents fuel from spilling on the floor and a safety shut-off feature that turns the unit off if it tips over.

Another benefit of the DH2304 heater is that it keeps the smell of kerosene contained, so you don’t have to worry about overwhelming fumes inside your home.

The heater also has a strong metal cage that surrounds it to keep children from getting hurt if they accidentally touch the heat source. However, the gate can still get fairly warm, so it is best to keep this heater out of the reach of children and pets.

Overall, the DH2304 Kerosene Heater gives you a whole lot of bang for your buck. It works great as an emergency heating source but can also warm up an entire home when required, helping you save some cash in the long run. Since a tank lasts up to 12 hours, there’s not a lot of maintenance involved either. Moreover, the heater is quiet and user-friendly, making it a wise pick if you haven’t used a kerosene heater before. All in all, if you’re looking for the best kerosene heater money can buy you can’t go wrong with this one. 

Top 5 Picks for Kerosene Heaters

The DH2304 Kerosene Heater may be our #1 choice for the best kerosene heater on the market, but there are plenty of other top-rated kerosene-fueled models you can consider if that one doesn’t satisfy your needs. We list the top five models below to give you a head start when shopping around.

Mr. Heater 175,000-BTU Forced-Air Kerosene Heater, F270370 MH175KTR
  • 175,000-BTU forced-air kerosene heater up to 4,375 square feet
  • 14-gallon fuel tank provides up to 10 hours of heat; adjustable thermostat
  • High-output fan; no-flame and over-heat safety sensors with auto shut-off

This kerosene heater is recommended for outdoor use – like to heat up a job site or a garage. Powerful and reliable, it can warm quickly up to 4,375 square feet. It also comes with wheels and glove-friendly controls for ease of use and transport. As a safety precaution, the unit is equipped with no-flame and over-heat safety sensors with an automatic shut-off.


  • Oversized pneumatic tires for smooth transport
  • Large, glove-friendly controls


  • Can burn through fuel quickly
Kero World KW-24G Indoor Kerosene Heater, White
  • 23,000-BTU indoor kerosene heater for up to 1000 square feet
  • Simple matchless ignition; 360-degree protective grill promotes safety
  • Built-in 1.9-gallon tank for up to 12 hours of heat; use clean kerosene only

This kerosene heater is similar in design to the DH2304 model. It can easily heat up areas up to 1,000 square feet. The heater includes a built-in 1.9-gallon fuel tank that provides warmth for up to 12 hours. It uses 2 C batteries for the ignition switch and comes with a two-year warranty.


  • Heats areas up to 1,000 square feet.
  • 2 batteries ignition switch


  • No wheels
Dyna-Glo Forced air Heater, 135,000 BTUs
  • 95,000 or 135,000 BTU
  • Heats up to 3,200 sq.ft.
  • Dual Heat Technology

The Dyna-Glo Delux Kerosene Heater is a reliable and powerful choice if you need to heat up a large area such as a garage or warehouse. It has an impressive 135,000 BTU output which allows it to heat a space up to 3,200 square feet. This heater comes with wheels, so you can easily transport it from one area to another.


  • Heats areas up to 3,200 square feet
  • Has built-in wheels


  • Expensive
Sengoku HeatMate 10,000-BTU Portable Indoor/Outdoor Omni-Radiant...
  • Perfect for emergency heating or zone heating of rooms up to 380 square feet
  • The large capacity 1.2 gallon/4.5 liter fuel tank will keep you warm for up to 14 hours on one fill
  • Features an automatic safety shut off, easy push button start (no matches or electricity required), EZ Flame adjuster,...

The Sengoku CTN-110 KeroHEat Portable Radiant Kerosene Heater may be small, but it has enough power to heat up a large room. It is a great option to use as a backup in an emergency or even as a main source of heat.

The heater is lightweight and easy to transport. It has a 1.2-gallon fuel tank which provides heat for up to 14 hours. This unit has an automatic shut off switch and automatic ignition for ease of use.


  • Automatic shut-off switch
  • Auto ignition


  • Small fuel tank capacity

The BE Pressure 7000 BTU Kerosene/Diesel Heater is a safe and easy to use alternative to electric heat. This powerful kerosene heater offers 7,000 BTU per hour and has a 5-gallon fuel tank. It also features a fuel gauge and an auto safety shut off system. You will need a power outlet to operate this heater.


  • Safe and easy to use
  • Heats areas up to 1700 square feet.


  • No wheels

 Product Comparison




Our Rating


Mr. Heater 175,000-BTU Forced-Air Kerosene Heater, F270370 MH175KTR

175,000-BTU forced-air kerosene heater up to 4,375 square feet

Kero World KW-24G Indoor Kerosene Heater, White

It can easily heat up areas up to 1,000 square feet.

Dyna-Glo Forced air Heater, 135,000 BTUs

This heater has attached wheels making it easy to transport from one area to another.

Sengoku HeatMate 10,000-BTU Portable Indoor/Outdoor Omni-Radiant...
Perfect for emergency heating or zone heating of rooms up to 380 square feet
BE Pressure HK070F 70000 BTU Kerosene/Diesel Forced Air Heater, 120V
This powerful heater offers 7,000 BTU per hour and has a 5-gallon fuel tank

 The Benefits of Using a Kerosene Heater

Why are so many people switching to portable kerosene heaters from traditional electric heat? Because kerosene heaters are incredibly reliable and can be more affordable than the alternative. They have been around for decades - in fact, in 1918 there were 3,000,000 kerosene heaters in use in residential and commercial settings.

Perhaps the main benefit of using kerosene heaters is that the majority of them do not need electricity to operate. This handy feature makes them a reliable source of emergency heat during a power outage. Kerosene fuel is easy to store, and it can remain in storage for a long time without fear of it becoming unusable.

Additionally, kerosene can produce more heat than a wheelbarrow full of wood, making it more convenient than wood heat

Safety Tips for Using a Kerosene Heater

safety tips image

A kerosene heater can help supply you with a good amount of heat in the event of an emergency. But there are certain dangers associated with using this type of heat in your home.

Based on statistics from the National AG Safety Database and the National Fire Protection Association, there is a much higher risk of a fatal fire erupting from use of a wood stove, a portable kerosene heater or an electric space heater when compared to modern alternatives such as central heating.

If you choose to use kerosene as your primary source of heat, it’s important to practice these safety rules to avoid any accidents or injuries:

  • To reduce the risk of indoor air pollution, you should use a kerosene heater only in a well-ventilated area.
  • It’s recommended that you purchase a kerosene heater with a built-in battery system, especially if you are new to using this alternative source of heat. The feature helps ignite the heater. As a result, you won’t have to use a lighter or matches to light the wick, making the ignition process much safer and easier.
  • Improper fuel could cause pollution and soot on the burner. Always use water clear No. 1-K Kerosene in your heater. Due to the risk of an explosion, never use gasoline in a kerosene heater.
  • Always store kerosene in its intended container. Do not store it in a gasoline can or one that contained gasoline in the past. To help avoid contaminating fuel, store gasoline in red containers and kerosene in blue containers.
  • When you purchase kerosene at the pump, use the kerosene pump and not the gas pump. There are some service stations that have their kerosene pumps located on a different island away from the gas pumps. This helps to minimize the contamination of kerosene fuel.
  • Only purchase your kerosene from a dealer who can certify that it is 1-K fuel. There are state-operated and private sector certification programs that guarantee the quality of 1-K kerosene in most states. Grades of kerosene that aren’t 1-K could result in the release of unwanted pollutants in your home.
  • Never add fuel to your heater inside your home. Fuel your tank outdoors, away from any combustible materials. Always wait until after your heater has been turned off and allowed to cool before you add fuel.
  • Do not fill the tank above the full mark. The space that is above the full mark is there to allow the fuel to expand without causing any leakage while the heater is in use.
  • You can reduce your exposure to indoor air pollutants by operating and maintaining your heater as directed by the manufacturer. Even exposure to low levels of these pollutants can be harmful.
  • To ensure that you and your family aren’t exposed to significant levels of these pollutants, always operate our heater in a well-ventilated room.
  • If you must use your heater in a closed room with the door shut, open a window to allow fresh air in. Keep the wick of your heater clean and in good condition by following the maintenance procedures in the instruction manual. Also, double check that the wick is set at the correct level when igniting it.

What You Should Know Before Purchasing a Kerosene Heater

what you need to know

Before you purchase a kerosene heater for indoor use, you should familiarize yourself with how the heater works and the hazards associated with kerosene fuel. While a well-maintained heater can be safely used indoors, it’s best to learn about possible risks so you can put on a strong effort to prevent them.

Start by considering the type of heater you want - either a convection or radiant heater. Then, decide on the size and the safety features. Those who are using a kerosene heater for the first time should look for a unit that is deemed as user-friendly and safe to use. You will also want to find one that is long-lasting and makes it easy for you to stay on top of the settings. Here are some features you should keep an eye out for:

  • Safety

These heaters run on kerosene, which is a fuel. As a result, the risks of a fire breaking out are higher than with an electric heater, for example. While the best kerosene heaters minimize the risk, it’s always recommended that you pay special attention to the safety features prior to making a purchase. Ideally, your heater should be equipped with a manual shut-off switch and an automatic shut-off system.

  • Tank capacity

A kerosene heater with a large-capacity fuel tank can keep the heat on for longer, but it will also cost more. Double check the specifications – a kerosene heater with a small tank can be sufficient to keep your home warm, but if you’re looking to heat a warehouse or larger space you will need a more generous budget.

  • Portability

Small kerosene heaters can be easy to fit in any space and portable. If you’re going for a bigger model, however, consider buying one with wheels. It will be less of a hassle to move from one area to the next.

Kerosene Heaters: FAQs

Can the emissions from a kerosene heater be harmful?

Yes, that’s why it’s recommended that you only use them in well-ventilated spaces. As long as you take the required safety precautions (as mentioned in the section above) you shouldn’t encounter any problems, but it’s essential to understand that a kerosene heater can be more high maintenance and dangerous than an electric one, for example.

Will a kerosene heater save me money?

It’s very likely. Given the cost of kerosene and the fact that one tank can last for over 10 hours, you will end up with more affordable heating bills in the long run.

Will I have to clean the kerosene heater?

Yes, it’s recommended that you do so regularly. Read the product’s manual carefully for detailed instructions. Generally, you should check the wick every week or two when the product is in daily use and clean it according to the manual if dirty. On the same note, you should remove dust and dirt at regular intervals and wipe up any kerosene spillage at once.

Where can I store the heater when not in use?

When not in use, store the convection or radiant heater in a cool and dry place. Never store your heater with fuel in the tank, as this can lead to water collection and mold growth.

Bottom Line

The best kerosene heater for you is one that suits your individual needs to a T, whether you want to use it as a backup for emergency heat or as an alternative to more costly alternatives. You can’t go wrong with picking a model from our list, but you should always take the time to do your research properly before placing your order and read heater reviews from other customers. After all, a kerosene heater is an investment – it’s supposed to last you for years.

Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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