Radiant heat is the most comfortable form of heat available. Both convection and radiant heat can warm a room. Convective heat warms the air, which then warms objects in the room. It is drying and will crack furniture.
Radiant heat warms objects in the room directly. Radiant energy transfers evenly through the air in all directions and converts to heat energy when it contacts objects such as walls, furniture or people. Sitting in the sunshine on an early spring day is a good example of radiant heat. The sun warms the body though the air is cool.
A masonry heater or tile stove (kachelofen) warms the home or any interior space by capturing heat from periodic burning of wood once or twice a day. It then radiates that heat over a long period (15 hours) at a fairly constant temperature. The fuel is burned quickly and efficiently at 1100+ degrees F, leaving no remaining combustible gases. Since a masonry heater does not dry the air, it keeps the body warm wihtout shocking the lungs. This means, unlike some wood burning products which spew ash throughout the home, the air in the room stays clean. Radiant heat from a masonry heater reduces stress in the circulatory system.