Buyers Guide & Information

Best Kerosene Heater For Indoor Use

We cover safe, portable models for inside houses and garages.

For Garages

Dyna-Glo KFA50DGD
Dyna-Glo KFA50DGD

Our Top Pick

Dura Heat DH2304S
Dura Heat DH2304S

For Small Areas

Sengoku HeatMate HMN-110
Sengoku HeatMate

Kerosene heaters are excellent to have as they offer temporary heat during power outages and also warm individual rooms without having to spend the money and energy of heating an entire home.

Kerosene heaters operate using a straightforward process, one that is actually similar to a kerosene lamp! You’ll find a circular wick that is built into the burner unit and placed on top of a tank filled with kerosene. Said wick then draws kerosene from the tank and once lit, it will heat the kerosene until it converts to a gas. This gas is burnt, heating air through convection and nearby objects through radiation. Many models even use electricity to power the fan in order to force heated air outward, which means rooms can be heated even quicker.

Advantages of Using Kerosene Heaters

  • Kerosene is incredibly budget-friendly. It’s less expensive than gas, so you don’t have to worry about it cleaning out your wallet.
  • It’s actually more eco-friendly than coal and wood! While it does emit some poisonous gases, it produces fewer fumes in its paraffin form and is not bad on the environment to produce. Moreover, if you use it in a well-ventilated area, said gases won’t be an issue.
  • Kerosene has a surprisingly long shelf life. You can contain it in plastic containers for a solid year, and up to a whopping ten years in metal containers!
  • Kerosene heaters don’t require electricity to work, so no matter where you are (stranded in the middle of nowhere, camping, in a power outage), you’ll be able to rely on them to heat you and your area.

Considerations Before Buying Kerosene Heaters

BTUs vs. Coverage Area

Every heater is going to come with a BTU rating, which advises you of the energy a model produces per hour. Those with higher BTU ratings are going to be capable of producing more heat. The goal here is to select a heater with a rating that’s neither too high nor too weak for the room/area in question.

So, how do you determine how much power you’re going to need? Measure the size of the room or indoor space your heater will be placed in. This is done by measuring the width and length, then multiplying them together to get the area in square feet. Also, take into account the ceiling height of the room and find the room’s volume to get a more accurate estimation. Here is a handy calculator to help you out!

Max Run Time

How long is your kerosene heater capable of running? Each model varies a bit, and one of the most significant factors is how large the tank is. The bigger the tank is, the more fuel you can fill it with at a time, the longer it can run. If the model you choose comes with a thermostat that is capable of changing the temperature, this can also affect the max run time. For example, if you have it running on a lower temperature, it’s going to last you longer than if you have it set on a higher one.

Fuel Gauge & Ease of Refueling

A good kerosene heater is one that’s easy to refuel. You always want to refill the unit outside to avoid any chance of spills, though if it comes with a tray to catch excess fuel, this may not be necessary. Regardless, it’s a smart idea to ensure it’s light enough so you can easily carry it indoors and outdoors, even when filled. Make sure to check the fuel gauge to see how full it is, and how much time it has left to run.

Fuel Storage & Tank Capacity

Make sure that when you’re storing your heater away, you empty all of the kerosene out of the tank. You must have enough room to store the heater as well as the containers of fuel you have.

The tank capacity is important, and many may have the initial urge to purchase a huge one to make runtime longer. This may be appropriate if you’re going to be using it daily, as you won’t have to keep filling it up regularly.

However, if you’re only going to be using it on the rare occasion the power goes out, then a large tank probably isn’t going to be ideal and is just going to take up valuable storage space. Not only that but larger fuel tanks, when full, are going to be much more difficult to transport.


As previously mentioned, it’s crucial to have proper ventilation while using a kerosene heater so that carbon monoxide can escape. Ensure that the size and type of heater you have your eye on will be able to be placed in a spot where this is possible. For example, if you only have a window in a room and you’re using a heater that requires an electrical outlet, make sure there’s an outlet by the window.

Safety Features

Safety is our number 1 concern here, but luckily many models include safety features that make it easy.

Overheat Protection

This feature automatically turns the heater off if temperatures become too hot. Not only will this keep you and your home safe, but it will also increase the longevity of the heater itself.

Anti-Tip Switch

The name is kind of self-explanatory, but still worth mentioning. Kerosene heaters can be accidentally knocked over, which can cause a fire if not addressed. These switches prevent leaking fuel from doing just that, turning off the heater automatically.

I highly recommend also installing a carbon monoxide monitor in your home or workspace to always make sure oxygen levels are at a healthy level. While kerosene heaters are safe to use, it’s always better to have too many safety measures in place than too few.

Price & Warranty

How much are you willing to spend on one of the best kerosene heaters for indoor use? It’s a good idea to figure this out before you start shopping. Just remember that when you go up in price, you’re going to typically get a longer life out of it, and better performance/ease of use.

Many kerosene heaters are going to come with a 1-year warranty, which isn’t bad at all. However, others come with 2-year warranties or longer. While it’s not an absolute rule, you can think of the warranty as the manufacturer’s way of attesting to how long they believe their product will operate well under normal circumstances.

7 Best Kerosene Heaters Reviewed for Safe Indoor Use

1. Dura Heat DH2304S Indoor Kerosene Heater

Best Kerosene Heater for Home Use
Fuel Tank Capacity2 gallons
Max Run Time12 hours
Coverage Area900-1,000 square feet
WarrantyYes, 1 year

“The Dura Heat 23,800 BTU portable kerosene heater can help you reduce your total home heating costs as well as provide warmth to those hard to heat areas up to 1,000 square feet,” says Home Depot.

Featuring a full 360-degree cage, it can simply be placed in a centric spot in your room or space, and you don’t have to worry about it not reaching a specific place as it distributes heat evenly.

While it may be relatively small, this doesn’t diminish its strength. In fact, it’s the perfect combination of power and portability, as you don’t have to worry about struggling to carry it, even with a full tank.

Just how much is a full tank with the DH2304S? 2 gallons. This makes it very cost-effective, providing up to 12 hours of runtime. Operating it with safety in mind isn’t difficult here, thanks to a round protective grill, along with a drip tray on the bottom to eliminate fuel from leaking over and on the floor underneath. In addition, it comes with an auto-shutoff feature in case it starts getting too hot, low on fuel, or tips over.

While there is a bit of odor when it’s just lit, overall, the operation is odorless. The clean burn has been proven to warm up a room of 900-1,000 square feet rapidly, so you also don’t have to stand there shivering to wait for it to heat up!


  • Easy to assemble
  • Even heat/no cold spots
  • 360-degree heat distribution
  • User-friendly operation


  • May not be ideal for rooms larger than 1,000 square feet
  • Some odor when just lit/being turned off

2. Dyna-Glo KFA50DGD Kerosene Forced Air Heater

Best Kerosene Torpedo Heater
Fuel Tank Capacity5 gallons
Max Run Time12 hours
BTU50,000 – 180,000
Coverage Area1,200 – 4,200 square feet
WarrantyYes, 1 year

A torpedo heater works to create heat from the combustion of kerosene, then utilizing a fan to move the heated air out and into the room or area you’re heating. While there are many excellent models on the market, the Dyna-Glo KFA50DGD is hands-down the best in many aspects.

An aspect of what makes kerosene heaters so in-demand today is their reliability. If your power goes out, it’s the perfect back-up option. However, not every kerosene heater is as reliable as the KFA180DGD.

Walmart says it’s “ideal for indoor/outdoor construction, as well as industrial and commercial applications, making it an excellent choice for your portable heating needs.”

The 50,000 BTU to 180,000 BTU per minute range makes this true, working well with space up to 1,200 square feet to up to 4,200 square feet depending on the size you select.

Due to the generous 5-gallon fuel tank, you’re able to run the heater up to a consistent 10 to 12 hours, so you’ll stay warm all night or all day while working away without having to refill. However, this time will vary depending on if you have it running on Low or High operation settings. This control system means you’ll always have your room at the right temperature for you, instead of it being either frigid or scalding hot. Adjusting pressure and performance is also quite simple, with the inclusion of a pump screw and air pressure gauge. There’s also a handy gauge on the heater, which displays just how much time and fuel the heater currently has left so you can plan accordingly.

If you’re always on a smart device, you’ll love the Dual Source Power Cord it comes with, which allows users to charge their devices, tools, smartphones, and more! That means that not only will you have heat but communication!

To transport this little powerhouse, hardly any effort is required. With the 10-inch, flat-free tires, all you have to do is use the ergonomically designed rear or front handle and drag it to where you need it. Keeping safety at the forefront, it uses a spark plug ignition, which has been proven to be more reliable and safer to use than glow plugs. However, it is a bit disappointing that it doesn’t come with a safety tip-over switch. Though it’s more stable than most kerosene heaters, this is still something most consumers would feel more secure having.


  • Comes in wide variety of sizes/BTU output
  • Offers AUX power source piggyback cord
  • Great operating time/tank size
  • Incredibly portable
  • Long-lasting


  • Doesn’t include a safety tip-over switch
  • A bit more expensive than many others on this guide
  • Requires power

3. Sengoku HeatMate HMN-110 Portable Kerosene Heater

Best 10000 BTU Kerosene Heater
Fuel Tank Capacity1.2 gallons
Max Run Time14 hours
Coverage Area380 square feet
WarrantyYes, 2 years

Sengoku isn’t the most widely known brand in the kerosene heater market. Still, they’ve been around for well over 6 decades, honing their craft and becoming known for producing only the highest quality. Their HeatMate 10,000-BTU portable indoor/outdoor heater is undoubtedly one of their best and most versatile.

“This heater is suitable for use inside the house, poorly insulated buildings, garages, and other hard-to-heat spaces,” says Sengoku, themselves.

Capable of heating a room of up to 380 square feet, it’s helpful for smaller areas or uses in emergencies. The large tank can hold up to 1.2 gallons of kerosene and lasts an impressive 14 hours straight (though many users have been able to get up to 20 hours out of it!).

Due to the front safety grills, you’ll be able to use it even if you have children and pets hanging around. The tip-over switch is also there to turn off the heater automatically in case it tips or if the kerosene levels are running low. It’s also a nice little inclusion to have them throw in some batteries and a manual siphon to fill up the tank without any spills or mess! With the cartridge tank design, you can easily carry it outdoors for refills, carrying the unit back inside without any trouble.

As it is a radiant heater, this type must be pointed in the direction you want the heat. It’s not going to radiate a full 360 degrees like many others. However, they’re known to deliver a more stable kind of heat.

The only minor peeve that seems to be common among consumers and my personal experience is that the wick is a bit of a hassle to change. Other than that, it’s very user-friendly and effective!


  • Very reputable and consistent
  • Good BTU output
  • Amazing operating time
  • Comes with batteries and siphon hose
  • Long-lasting


  • Changing the wick is a bit complicated

4. Dyna-Glo RMC-95C6B Indoor Kerosene Convection Heater

Best Convection Kerosene Heater
Fuel Tank Capacity1 gallon
Max Run Time11 hours
Coverage Area1,000 square feet
WarrantyYes, 1 year

What’s so wonderful about convection kerosene heaters is that they distribute heat evenly without any guesswork.

At first glance, you can see that it’s a good-looking heater, with a smooth matte center and a protective cage surrounding to protect fingers and anyone who may accidentally bump into it. You can choose from either Black or Ivory – both are sleek and as attractive as kerosene heaters get.

While those are all great applications for the heater, it’s also great for rooms/indoor areas up to 1,000 square feet. Producing 23,000 BTUs and burning with 99.9% efficiency, it’s also sure to help anyone out with lowering their electricity bill during the colder months! With a 1-gallon tank, it can run for up to 11 hours at a time. Weighing just 23 pounds, it’s one of the more portable options, and the handle on top makes it easy to carry.

When you’re freezing, and in a hurry to get warm, the last thing you want is to be struggling to ignite it with matches or open flames. Due to the convenient automatic ignition and one-touch shutoff, the operation is fast and straightforward. If you’d like, you can also set up an automatic shutoff, which is perfect if you wish to sleep with the heater on.

It’s a bit more expensive than many on this guide, but it’s more than worth it when you consider lower electricity bills, extra features, and overall versatility it offers.


  • Very reliable and consistent
  • Good BTU output
  • Even heat distribution
  • Can be used in a variety of settings/environments
  • Long-lasting
  • Includes various safety settings


  • Is a bit more expensive

5. Mr. Heater F270270 MH75KTR Forced-Air Heater

Best Forced Air Kerosene Heater
TypeForced Air
Fuel Tank Capacity6 gallons
Max Run Time11 hours
Coverage Area3,125 square feet
WarrantyYes, 1 year

Forced air kerosene heaters are perfect for heating large spaces, as they have the power behind them to blow heat out far distances. If you need to heat a large garage, room, or workspace, it’s hard to beat the Mr. Heater F270270 MH75KTR.

One of the main reasons it’s such a list-topper because it’s user-friendly, inexpensive to operate, and efficient. With smaller or weaker models, it can take quite a while to warm up a large garage or workspace. With the F270270, it seems to heat the space instantaneously, so you can get to work right away without any discomfort or wasting time.

Made of steel, the heater is easily one of the most durable on the market today, withstanding bumps, so it always looks and operates like new. The 6-gallon tank is made to run for up to 11 hours straight on when full, so you don’t have to keep going back and refilling. It also includes a safety auto-shutoff feature, so if it happens to get tipped over or low on kerosene, it will shut off to prevent any accidents. As it comes certified by CSA for safety, you can use it with confidence.

Although the carry handle on top was much appreciated, it does lack the wheels that similar models include. This could make it a challenge if the tank is completely full, and you need to move it.


  • Very reliable and consistent
  • Powerful BTU output
  • Far heat distribution
  • Can be used in a variety of settings/environments
  • Tough and durable
  • Includes various safety settings


  • Doesn’t have wheels – can be difficult to move if the tank is full

6. Mr. Heater F270320 MH125KTR Forced-Air Kerosene Heater

Best Kerosene Heater for Garage
TypeForced Air
Fuel Tank Capacity8.5 gallons
Max Run Time15 hours
Coverage Area3,125 square feet
WarrantyYes, 1 year

Also coming from Mr. Heater, the F270320 MH125KTR draws many similarities to our last model. However, there are some notable differences. Due to its incredible power, it’s not recommended for confined spaces, though it would do wonders in a large shop or garage.

Weighing a hefty 59.3 pounds, some may balk at the heft when thinking about how transportation would be possible. However, as it comes with all-terrain, pneumatic wheels, and a push bar, it’s actually proven to be easier to wheel around than many more lightweight alternatives!

The tank is one of the biggest out there, ranking in at a whopping 8.5 gallons! As you can imagine, this makes for an extended runtime – 15 hours at a time! Combine this with the 125,000 BTU output, and it’s no wonder why it works so well in large indoor areas just as well as outdoor spaces! An adjustable thermostat and high output fan allow you to adjust the level of heat precisely to your liking, taking into consideration the environment it’s located in.

The CSA-certified product is unarguably one of the most powerful but is also one of the safest. As no flame is produced, fire hazards are significantly reduced. On top of that, it comes with overheat sensors to engage an automatic shut off if it starts to get too hot. An illuminated on/off switch ensures you can always see it, and air pressure/fuel gauges will let you know just how much pressure is produced and how much kerosene is left in the heater.


  • Very reliable and consistent
  • Powerful BTU output
  • Far heat distribution
  • Can be used in a variety of settings/environments
  • Tough and durable
  • Includes various safety settings


  • May be too powerful for smaller rooms

7. Sengoku KeroHeat CV-23K Convection

Best Portable Kerosene Heater
Fuel Tank Capacity1.9 gallons
Max Run Time12 hours
Coverage Area900 square feet
WarrantyYes, 1 year

Perhaps you’re on the hunt for a kerosene heater that can be moved seamlessly from one room to another. If that’s the case, you’re going to need an extremely portable model, and the Sengoku KeroHeat fits right into that specification!

Perfect for small-to-medium rooms, I’d recommend these for garages, offices, and larger workshops up to 900-1,000 square feet. Anything larger than that probably isn’t going to heat how it should. While it does require power initially to start up, you just need to press the electronic ignition starter button to get it going! The control dial conveniently located on the side of the heater allows you full control over the temperature so you can adjust it just right, depending on where it is and outside weather conditions.

The external cage is there for everyone’s safety, preventing anyone from burning themselves on the actual hot parts of the model. Also, it will turn off automatically if tipped over or if it’s running low on kerosene. If you ever need to move it, the lightweight heater comes with a handle on top for easy carrying.

All in all, the KeroHeat is an excellent kerosene heater if you are heating only a small area, if you need something very light and easy to transport, and something that’s going to be easy to use.


  • Long runtime
  • Powerful BTU output
  • Temperature controls
  • Very portable
  • Durable yet lightweight construction
  • Includes various safety settings


  • Requires electrical power to start up

Types of Kerosene Heaters

There are 3 different types of kerosene heaters: forced air, radiant, and convection. But which one is right for you? I’m here to help figure that out. Let’s take a look at each, what situation they’re most appropriate for, and the differences among them.

Air Forced

These types require electricity, so they’re not going to be ideal if there’s a power outage. However, they have high BTUs and larger coverage, making them great for heating bigger garages, construction sites, warehouses, and so on. The Mr. Heater models we covered are both air forced.


Radiant heaters are generally going to be smaller in size and more portable than convection heaters as well as air forced heaters. Their designs work to focus on a specific section of a room or nearby objects; thus, they don’t cover as much area as the other two do. As it comes with a removable fuel tank, they’re very convenient to refill and relocate as you deem necessary.


These are typically heftier in size and weight, though will cover a much greater area and distribute heat evenly due to the 360-degree reach. Convection heaters work best in large areas, garages, shops, etc. Not only do they emit heat in all directions, but up and down, too. While they’re very powerful, they can also be a bit noisy, which may distract you at night while trying to sleep.

Kerosene Vs. Propane Heaters


Kerosene is usually less expensive than propane, which can significantly add up over time. Kerosene is also much easier to keep/store than propane is, and it’s much less flammable. You don’t require a special tank to store it in as you do with propane. It’s also around 50% more powerful than propane. As it comes in a liquid, you don’t have to worry about it leaking like propane can. However, it is worse for the environment than propane.


You’re going to find propane notably easier than you would kerosene. Propane is clean-burning and produces low emissions, which makes it even more environmentally friendly. Both produce dangerous carbon monoxide and dioxide as well.

How to Use Kerosene Heaters Safely

Kerosene heaters are incredibly useful tools that can not only provide comfort but save lives if used correctly. Unfortunately, it’s effortless to also operate it incorrectly. Let’s take a look at how to avoid any mishaps by reading through the next bit of tips and helpful information.


Always make sure that your heater is completely turned off, there’s no flame, and that it’s cooled down before you refuel. Only do so outdoors, ideally over a concrete surface as it will kill grass and other plants/life. Also, keep it away from combustible materials, do not overfill as fuel may expand, which could result in a fire, and pay attention to the fuel gauge.


First, place the heater on thick newspaper and away from any combustibles. If you can do so outside, then do this. Otherwise, make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area. Remove the fuel tank cover, place the funnel into the opening securely, and pour kerosene in slowly. Once filled (don’t overfill), replace the tank cap and wipe off any excess kerosene that may have escaped. Remove any newspapers that are covered in fuel.

Turn the control knob to the right, opening the access door in front. Lift the front of the wick ring up, moving it from side to side to let the fuel cover the wick. Click the electric ignition until you see a little flame right under the wick. If your heater doesn’t come with an electric start, lift the ring up and place a long, lighted match under the wick or the end of a butane lighter. Once you see the flame, close the access door and watch until the flame covers the wick. Finally, adjust the controls until you reach a setting that feels good.


Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every story of your home, but also install a carbon monoxide alarm to let you know if there is an excess amount in your home.

Where to Place Kerosene Heaters Indoors

Make sure that you keep your heater away from anything that can burn. I recommend at least 3 feet between your heater and any combustibles such as furniture, drapes, blankets, etc. Also, make sure you have enough fresh outside air coming in, so keep a window or door open. Also, keep the heater away from high traffic areas in your home to minimize the risk of it getting bumped or knocked over.

Keep children away from them as heaters can reach surface temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep your heater on a level surface to ensure it doesn’t wobble or fall over. Try do avoid keeping it in a drafty area as this can create uneven burning, along with other potential issues.

Common Kerosene Heater Issues

Uneven Flame

The most common motive for an uneven flame is the tar buildup on the wick. To fix this, you’ll have to remove the tar and resin deposits. Make sure to do this outside, as it will almost always create a lot of unpleasant-smelling and harmful gases. To do this, turn the wick up to the max height, right before it comes off. It may be that your wick is simply too old, and in these cases, you’ll just need to replace it.

Heater Won’t Turn Off

If you can’t turn it off or the wick won’t lower, you need to find a method to get rid of the flame safely. You can usually do this by simply blowing the flame out or using a wet cloth to smother it. After it’s out and the heater has cooled down, remove the burner unit and the wick with pliers. It the wick wasn’t lowering correctly, it’s most likely that it’s merely too dirty. Try burning it dry, removing it from the heater, and reinstalling it after you’re done. If it’s simply irreparable, you’ll need to replace it.

Won’t Light

If you’re having issues turning it on or is hard to ignite, there could be a few different causes:

  1. The igniter could be defective. In these cases, you’ll simply have to replace it with a new one.
  2. The batteries are run down. If this is the situation, replace it with new ones.
  3. The wick is dirty. Remove the wick and burn it try before reinserting it into the heater.
Slow to Warm Up

This is also usually caused by a dirty or old wick. Remove the wick from the heater and burn it dry, unless it’s too old. If it is, replace it with a new one.

Giving Off a Strong Odor
  1. The heater is in an under-ventilated room. This is extremely important, and you always need proper ventilation for the safety of you and your home.
  2. The bottom of the burner unit isn’t sealed correctly. Move the burner left or right to make sure it has a proper seal.
  3. The wick is either too high or low. Always keep it at half an inch height and make sure you’re checking the wick’s height at least once, hourly.
  4. The fuel you’re using is of low quality.

If you’ve followed these steps and are still encountering issues, then it’s time to call a professional to help troubleshoot or repair your heater.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are kerosene heaters environmentally friendly & energy efficient?

Yes, they are! Due to the lack of fumes it gives off, kerosene is known to be more eco-friendly than wood or coal. Moreover, it has an approximated efficiency level of 90% compared to 77% for gas and 31% for electricity!

How much time does a kerosene heater take to heat a room?

This will vary greatly depending on the model and the type of heater that you have. For example, a forced-air model may take a mere few minutes to heat the area, while others may take a good 20+ minutes!

Is it safe to leave them on overnight or when not at home?

No, it’s not. Always make sure when you’re using a kerosene heater, that it’s adequately supervised/attended.

Is it safe to sleep with a kerosene heater on?

While it can be done if proper safety measures are taken into account, and you have adequate ventilation along with a carbon monoxide detector that functions properly, it’s not recommended.

How do you change or replace a wick in a kerosene heater?

Check out this helpful video, which will take you through each step of the process of changing or replacing a wick in your kerosene heater.

How do you store a kerosene heater and kerosene fuel when not in use?

Storing a kerosene heater during the warmer months should be done in a garage, shed, basement, etc. As kerosene is flammable, you should do so, preferably on a concrete surface.

“A kerosene heater should never be stored with fuel remaining in the unit. According to the National Kerosene Heater Association, kerosene should not be kept more than six months for it tends to collect water,” says the New York Times.

If you do have leftover kerosene, make sure to store it in a closed metal container in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area.

Which is safer to use, a natural gas or kerosene heater?

Kerosene is definitely the safer option of the two. It also provides more heat, though natural gas is cleaner burning and much easier to find and purchase.

Are kerosene heaters safe to breathe?

No, they’re not, as they can produce potentially harmful fumes. This is why proper ventilation is crucial while using them, as well as regular maintenance.

Where is the best place to buy kerosene heaters?

Amazon is an incredibly convenient option as they offer great prices and will deliver it to you safely. However, Home Depot is just as good of an option in terms of price. Along with that, their customer service is impeccable, and their staff is incredibly knowledgeable about their products. If you can’t manage to purchase from either Amazon or Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Walmart also offer quality guarantees and warranties.


While there is a massive selection of excellent kerosene heaters, there’s only one that’s best for your situation. However, if you’re still not sure which would be the best kerosene heater for indoor use for you, I highly recommend giving the Dura Heat DH2304S a go. It offers even heat distribution, so they’re easy to place in just about any room.

They’re user-friendly, even if you’ve never operated a kerosene heater before, and offer up to 12 hours of runtime without having to refill. No matter which one you select, I’m sure you’ll be satisfied.