Close this search box.


Infrared vs Ceramic Heater

Got stuck between the debate of infrared and ceramic heaters? Well, you’re not going anywhere if you are indulging in the opinion of the people. 

Deciding on an ideal heater for the upcoming winters depends on many factors. And ignoring them might make you regret your buying decision as well. This is why we are here.

To help you make the right purchase, we’ve compared both the infrared heaters and ceramic heaters toe to toe. Understanding working and their relevance in different scenarios will give you a better comparison. 

Let’s hop down and begin this battle.

Working of Infrared Heaters

Infrared HeaterThe first person to discover infrared rays was the German astronomer, Sir William Herschel. In late 1980, he conducted an experiment to observe different waves and their wavelengths. 

Knowing a bit about the conclusion he drew from the experiment will make us familiar with infrared heating

The infrared heaters we use for domestic purposes are mostly powered by house electricity and then converted into radiant heat via infrared rays. The heaters throw these infrared waves to every corner of the room. This is more similar to lighting an LED in the darkroom (the light scatters to every corner of the room). Thus, the objects available in the nearby area including us start getting warm within a few seconds. 

1. Long Wave Infrared

When Sir William Herschel experimented to study the radiant heat waves, more things were discovered to infrared rays as well. He found that many infrared rays differ adversely on the wavelength and the temperature of heat they emit. To simplify the concept of infrared rays, he further classified them into three subcategories. This categorization was primarily based on their wavelengths.

Okay, but does this make any difference to me? This is how you can compare a quality infrared heater from other average competitors in the market.,

2. Near-Infrared or IR-A

Near-Infrared or IR-A are harmful to most living organisms. And we humans are no exception. They’re the main reason why we complain about the heat of the bright sun. As a defence, our body also does many attempts such as trying not to absorb as much as possible. 

The rays in the spectrum are denoted by bright orange and red colours for indicating high-intensity heat. Many hot lamps and patio heaters tend to heat the environment by emitting short waves. Thus, you’ll experience discomforting heat and a suffocating environment.

3. Medium Infrared or IR-B

The Medium Infrared or IR-B are the waves that travel just beneath the short waves. Their wavelength is a bit long and varies from 1.5 microns to 3 microns. The intensity of heat they hold are moderated and these waves are denoted with dark red colour in the spectrum. 

The Middle wave is the entry range for human-friendly heat. However, still, the best range is about to come. These waves are favourable for public areas, saunas, and factory uses (mostly in drying processes). 

4. Far infrared or IR-C

Longwave infrared IR-C is the heat our body is meant for. The wavelength of these waves is notably long as compared to the other categories. Their length varies from 3 microns to 1000 micros. The colour IR-C is represented by light yellow.

A quality infrared heater will provide you with maximum IR-C waves. In this way, you’re getting the complete benefits of sunlight without getting any cons of it.

Advantages of Infrared heaters

a. Instant Heat 

The infrared space heater is one of the quickest heat providing heaters among different types of heaters. The reason behind this is its key element infrared rays. The foremost benefit of these rays are they use radiation instead of the convection method to provide us with comfortable heat. 

As explained in the above section, every object in front of the heater will start absorbing heat, the moment you turn the power on.

b. Savings on Electric Bills 

The working of the infrared heaters makes it obvious why they consume less electricity as compared to the ceramic heaters. The heat in this situation doesn’t get wasted in the medium but directly hits us. Thus, saving a ton of electricity in the long run.

Let me validate this point with some numbers. Even the most energy-friendly ceramic heaters consume over 40 Watts of electricity to cover each cubic metre. Whereas on the flip side, the infrared heaters will consume up to 25 Watts per cubic metre only. 

The difference between this consumption keeps on increasing over the years. Therefore, you should seriously consider picking infrared if already dealing with high electric bills.

c. Ideal for any Room sizes

The heating of the infrared rays is not dependent on the size of the room but on the number of objects, it throws heat to. This makes them a perfect option to heat any area of your house. Whether it’s a large dining area or a compact bedroom, you’ll always get comfortable heat.

d. Safe to Touch and Aesthetic look

It wouldn’t make much sense if this smart heater isn’t safe for your young or elder members of the family. The working of infrared rays doesn’t require heating the element of heaters. Thus, there’s no chance of getting hurt by touching it, even when power is on.

On top of that, the appearance of these heaters will easily grab anyone’s attention. They’re mostly wall mountable and come in a shape similar to an LED tv or cylindrical tube. 

Disadvantages of Infrared Heaters

a. No heat after power is turned off

As every coin has two sides, infrared rays also come with some flaws. The working of these heaters is based on radiation. Thus, no element takes part in heat generation as it was ceramic in ceramic heaters.

However, the heat in the environment after switching off also depends on the numbers and types of objects available in the room. Every object constantly emits heat after absorbing up to a decent limit. Although, the intensity of this heat will not be anywhere around the actual heating.

b. Not ideal for Some People

You need to understand the whole picture before coming to a firm decision. In general, infrared heaters are completely safe to use. The infrared rays are just like getting heat from the sun. 

But here’s the main issue that arises, these infrared heaters are a minor replica of the actual sun. If you’re someone who experiences the sensitive issue of roaming under the sun, then infrared is not for you. Many people experience skin allergies or excessive heat when exposed to sunlight. This sensitivity can even turn out to be a major issue in some cases.

Working of Ceramic Heaters

Ceramic Space Heaters

It’s time to talk about the working of the most widely acceptable heaters, ceramic type. 

The ceramic heaters are based on the convection method of heating over radiation. Here the basic idea to produce heat is, running electricity on an object and converting it into heat for further emission. 

By turning on the power supply, the electric current is travelled through multiple metal coils. Mostly high-grade aluminium or a combination of silicon are used for this purpose. These electrically driven metal coils are attached to the PTC elements that further, emit heat.  

The PTC is an acronym of Positive Temperature Coefficient and is known as the partial conductor of electricity. Their high resistivity and heat emission characteristics are what makes them perfect for space heaters

Here, the PTC material used is ceramic. This well-known player converts electricity into heat and then emits it all around the environment.

Manufacturers observed that the ceramic heaters are taking some time to provide warmth to the people sitting near them. The time taken wasn’t very dissatisfying to us as a consumer but there was a clear room for improvement. 

To make the heater more efficient, many models are now equipped with a fan. The simple fan starts rotating and circulates the heat of the ceramic all around the room within a few seconds. Thus, while considering a ceramic heater you’ve got an option to pick a fan equipped heater or normal heater. Although, you might’ve to pay some extra money for the models equipped with a fan.

Advantages of Ceramic Heaters

a. You start feeling warmth instantly

This single reason is one of the main reasons behind their wide acceptance all around the world. Within the first minute, you’ll start noticing that the environment of the room has turned warm. 

The quick emission of heat is due to the key element here, ceramics. It quickly draws too much heat from the metal or nichrome coil and starts emitting heat in the air.

b. Easy to Carry Around

With a ceramic heater, you will never face the trouble of the difficult carrying process. This is because of their handy size, which is even less than the size of the bucket. Also concerning the small size, the weight of this heater is easily acceptable. 

Many ceramic heaters come with an additional handle on the top for an easy carrying process. You can carry them in different rooms according to your comfortable location. 

c. Oscillated Heat

This one is not found on every model. Although, the majority of the ceramic models are now equipped with a fan for faster heat emission. You might observe a bit of price hike on these types of heaters but it’ll be worth it. 

The fanless model might not satisfy you on a cold winter night if the room you’re staying in is medium-sized.  

d. You get heat even after turning the heater off

Again, this is where the ceramic plays a vital role. Thanks to the ceramic’s high heat resistance nature, it starts emitting heat after absorbing to the full capacity. Thus, when you’ll cut the power supply, the ceramic will still emit heat it has absorbed in the beginning.  

You can easily expect this heating process for up to 5 to 6 minutes after switching off. The red will start fading with the emission of limited heat, ceramic will have. Nevertheless, the heat in the environment will remain the same for long hours if you have got a closed small size room.

e. Safe to Touch

The manufacturers understand the safety of their customers. This is why these heaters are equipped with cool to touch housing. There’s no need to worry if children try to touch the heater even if the electric supply is still on.

Disadvantages of Ceramic Heaters

a. Not suitable for Big-sized rooms

This is the foremost thing to understand about ceramic heaters. You’ll only get comfortable warmth in a small to medium-sized close room. The reason behind this is simple, ceramic heaters use a convection method of heating.

It blindly starts emitting heat to the air around it. And when this air molecule reaches you, a sense of warmth can be experienced. Imagine the process in big areas. How much heat the ceramic has to throw to cover up the whole area.

b. Consumes much energy

All the convection space heaters fall under this category. You’ll always have to bear the extra charge for how they provide you with comfortable warmth. 

The convection method of heating is done by constantly emitting heat to the whole environment. This process becomes more difficult in medium to large-sized rooms. Thus, the whole time, the metal coil will keep drawing electricity and pass it to ceramic as heat energy.

c. Humming Sound

In earlier days, the only choice you had was to compromise complete silence for the sake of a warm environment. And this is how you’ll feel after purchasing a ceramic heater with a fan.

The fan rotation might distract you from getting a peaceful sleep. However, you’ll get used to it after some time, a small price to get better heat emission.  

Who’s the Winner?

It’s time to decide the winner. We’ll look at certain factors and choose the winner accordingly. However, the winner solely depends on you and your needs.

1. Area Coverage

There’s a clear winner when it comes to area coverage. The infrared heaters would provide you with utmost heat regardless of where you’re. If you’re considering a heater for a large garage or living room, the infrared rays will work just fine.

On the other hand, if you only want to heat the small area, ceramic will be your perfect partner.

2. Portability

No other heater is more portable than the fan and ceramic space heaters. They’re mostly in the size of a bucket and come with a carrying handle as well.

Whereas the infrared are mostly wall mountable. Thus, transferring to a different room becomes a hectic process.

3. Safety

In general, both of the heater types are safely manufactured to prevent any possible accidents on touching. Almost every space heater in the market is equipped with cool to touch housings. Thus, you’ll not have to worry about children or pets on an accidental touch of the heater.

However, if we compare the safety measures with each other, the game is completely one-sided. 

Starting with the wall-mountable design of the infrared heaters, there are fewer chances to reach over there accidentally. On top of that, infrared heaters provide several other benefits.

It will not bring any additional dust along with it, as the heating here doesn’t need any circulation of wind. 

Also, infrared heating is similar to getting heat from sunlight. Thus, you’ll receive the real benefits of the sun as well. For instance- the infrared will help your body in better blood circulation.

4. Noise Pollution

It can be hectic to live around a continuous humming noise. Especially if you’re someone having trouble getting proper sleep, try to ignore any kind of distracting noise.

The ceramic heaters equipped with a fan have no other choice but to produce some noise. If it’s bothering you, switching your decision to the infrared heaters will provide you with peaceful nights.

5. Cost

There’s no doubt that you’ll have to pay a bit higher to bring advanced technology to your home. However, in the space heater debate, there’s a lot more than the upfront cost. The main question arises, which turn out to be an economical product in the long run?

Intriguing, again infrared heaters snatches the win from ceramic heaters. The number of facts provided above related to energy consumption is no joke. Your single decision will impact a lot of money in the long run.


I hope the above information will help you to make a firm and satisfying decision. The battle of choosing the best space heater is an age-old debate. However, with the arrival of advanced technology, this debate has become hotter.

So, which one are you going with? Comment below.                              

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *