James Elston

Published April 9, 2024

With the hundreds of radiators on the market, it can be daunting to select one that best fits your household heating needs.

The best radiator overall is the Milano Aruba Modern Horizontal Radiator. If you have a large space, the Elegant Modern Vertical Column Designer Radiator is ideal, while the Henrad 110960 Type 11 SC 1003 Compact Radiator is perfect for smaller rooms. 

Don’t fret – Eco Happy’s comprehensive guide takes an in-depth look at the best radiators in the UK to help you find the one that’s perfect for your home.

How We Chose The Best Radiators

Customer reviews 

The best way to determine whether a product and company is actually as good as it claims to be is to look at reviews from existing customers. That’s why we made use of review sites like Trustpilot to determine which are the best radiators and brands currently available in the UK. 

We looked for companies that were rated with four to five stars (out of five) for both the quality of their products and their overall customer service. These unbiased, honest reviews gave us a better understanding of each radiator brand to help us put together a list of the best. 

ISO and European Standard approval 

To ensure that the radiators we chose are the best, we paid special attention to the ones that are certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and European Standard BS-EN442. 

These certifications ensure that the radiators on our list comply with standard quality management requirements that include environmental, safety, and health protection standards. 

Additionally, these stamps of approval ensure that the radiators have been rigorously and independently tested to ensure they are up to quality and safety standards. 

The 5 Top Radiators In The UK In 2024

The best radiator in the UK in 2024 is the Milano Aruba Modern Horizontal Radiator, especially if you have medium-sized rooms that you want to heat without sacrificing aesthetics. 

Let’s look at the top radiator brands and specific models in the UK.

1. Elegant Modern Vertical Column Designer Radiator

This vertical radiator boasts a contemporary, sleek design and is perfect for adding style and character to your home. Its elevated surface area maximises heat output at lower water temperatures, helping to reduce energy bills.

  • Key features: With its vertical column configuration, this designer radiator is available in various sizes and finishes, including stainless steel and black.
  • Size options and suitability: With a height of 1,800 mm and width of 608 mm, this flat panel design radiator is ideal for bedrooms and living areas.
  • BTU rating and compatibility: Compatible with most central heating systems and boasts British Thermal Units (BTU) of 5,000+.
  • Material: Constructed from high-quality, low-carbon steel, it promises durability and efficient heat transfer.
  • Pricing & warranty: Starts at around £250 per panel and comes with a 15-year quality guarantee.
  • Best for: Living spaces and bedrooms with modern interiors.

2. Milano Aruba Modern Horizontal Radiator

With its sleek and minimalist horizontal design, this central heating radiator boasts flat panels and a polished finish. The square-shaped init promises to heat any small room in no time at all.

  • Key features: Available in various sizes and colours, this unit complements any space. However, it is slightly costlier than other radiator brands of the same size and does not come with radiator valves.
  • Size options and suitability: Available in various sizes and colours, the smallest version weighs about 5.7 kg. It is perfect for living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways.
  • BTU rating and compatibility: Compatible with most central heating systems and offers BTU outputs ranging from 1,500 to 4,500.
  • Material: Made from high-grade aluminium for easy cleaning, it boasts quick heat up and energy efficiency.
  • Pricing & warranty: Starts at £350 per panel and is backed by a 20-year warranty.
  • Best for: A small room with sufficient wall space for a medium-sized horizontal radiator.

3. DuraTherm Designer Horizontal Radiator

These double-panel design radiators offer loads of style and sophistication and provide maximum heat output and comfort. This radiator is made from high-quality, durable materials, although it does take up slightly more space than its competitors.

  • Key features: Its design offers a unique combination of carbon steel and classic cast iron. With its sleek, modern aesthetic, it’s available in various finishes, including matte black and antique nickel.
  • Size options and suitability: Ideal for medium-sized living rooms, hallways, and period homes. Choose your size based on the room’s dimensions and desired heat output.
  • BTU rating and compatibility: Compatible with all modern central heating systems and offers BTU outputs ranging from 2,000 to 6,000.
  • Material: Constructed from cast iron and steel to offer efficient heat retention.
  • Pricing & warranty: Starts at £330 per panel and is backed by a 15-year warranty and 10-year guarantee.
  • Best for: Adding a touch of vintage charm to living rooms, hallways, and period homes.

4. Henrad 110960 Type 11 SC 1003 Compact Radiator

This space-saver is ideal for smaller rooms and tight corners. The Henrad 110960 Type 11 SC 1003 offers style with excellent heat output and has pre-drilled holes for easy installation.

  • Key features: This space-saving horizontal radiator measures 600 mm x 300 mm and is available in various finishes, including white and anthracite.
  • Size options and suitability: Perfect for bathrooms, smaller bedrooms, and kitchens. Choose your size based on your available space and desired heat output.
  • BTU rating and compatibility: A BTU output ranging from 868 to 13,382. Compatible with most modern home heating systems.
  • Material: Made from durable, quick-heating steel, it offers long-lasting performance and efficient heat transfer.
  • Pricing and warranty: Starting at around £150, this budget-friendly radiator has a 10-year warranty.
  • Best for: Small to medium-sized rooms, such as bathrooms and kitchens, or smaller rooms with modern and contemporary interiors.

5. NGR Modern Vertical Radiator

With its sleek vertical design, this radiator has optimal heat output and offers easy installation and value for money.

  • Key features: With its striking bold lines and contemporary aesthetic, this radiator is available in various sizes and finishes, including brushed steel.
  • Size options and suitability: Offered in a selection of heights and widths; ideal for living areas, hallways, and modern interiors.
  • BTU rating and compatibility: A BTU rating of between 3,859 and 4,890; compatible with most central heating systems.
  • Material: Made from high-quality steel with a durable white finish, this radiator boasts efficient heat transfer and a sleek, modern look.
  • Pricing & warranty: Prices start at £350 with a 5-year warranty.
  • Best for: Modern and contemporary homes seeking a statement piece.

Niche Radiators

Homeowners can also select from a range of niche radiators.

Towel radiators for bathrooms

  • Key features: Designed to warm bathrooms and heat and dry towels, these gas and electric radiators are available in various sizes and styles, including ladder designs and curved options.
  • Ideal sizes and design options: Select your preferred towel radiator based on your bathroom’s dimensions and towel capacity needs. For a touch of elegance, opt for a curved design. If you’re looking to maximise drying space, pick a ladder design.
  • Popular models:
    • Bisque Zeta: This sleek and compact ladder towel radiator has a white finish and is perfect for smaller bathrooms.
    • VQ Towel Radiator: This curved chrome towel radiator offers ample drying space and a luxurious look.
    • Terma Mia Electric Towel Radiator: This electric towel radiator offers placement flexibility and comes in various sizes and colours.

Space-saving radiators

  • Key features: These units have a slim profile and are designed to maximise useability in small spaces. Other options include corner-friendly radiators that fit snugly into small spaces without compromising heat output.
  • Ideal size and design options: Available in a range of sizes and designs, choose your radiator based on your available space and warming needs.
  • Popular models:
    • Milano Windsor radiator: This L-shaped radiator fits easily into small corners and delivers maximum heat output.
    • Peonia corner radiator: Made from cast iron, this corner radiator adds a touch of vintage charm to small spaces.
    • Aeon Neo electric panel radiator: With its slim design, this electric panel radiator provides efficient heating without occupying valuable wall space.

Mirror radiators

  • Key features: These radiators have dual functionality – warming your home and serving as mirrors. Combining their heating capabilities and reflective surfaces, mirror radiators enhance space and light in any home.
  • Ideal size and design options: Choose from modern, frameless designs to ornate Victorian-inspired styles.
  • Popular models:
    • Radeco mirror radiator: Blending seamlessly into any home with contemporary decor, this sleek mirror radiator is always a great choice.
    • Vogue Milano mirror radiator: With its ornate design and black finish, this mirror radiator adds a touch of drama to traditional homes.
    • Hudson Reed Revive mirror vertical designer radiator: This vertical radiator has a centrally mounted mirror and fits perfectly in any bedroom or bathroom.

Cast iron radiators

  • Key features: Renowned for their durability, heat retention, and classic aesthetic, these central heating radiators add a touch of vintage charm to any space.
  • Ideal size and design options: Homeowners can choose from a range of classic or modern designs and sizes.
  • Popular models:
    • Cast Iron Charleston radiator: With its intricate detailing, this unit is perfect for homes with period-inspired interiors.
    • Trentino cast iron radiator: With its sleek design, this elegant cast iron radiator complements traditional and modern settings.
    • MaxHeat Heritage traditional cast iron column radiator: This 18th-century Georgian-era style radiator comes in various styles and is compatible with a range of central heating systems.

Types Of Radiators

Before we help you find the perfect radiator for your household heating needs, let’s look at the different types of radiators available.

Horizontal radiators

Ideal for maximum heat output in large rooms, these appliances are installed horizontally along your home’s walls. With their sleek design, they use their horizontal fins to disperse warmth along the length of a room.

Horizontal radiators hold the following advantages:

  • High heat output: Compared to vertical radiators, horizontal units cover a larger surface area, thus radiating more heat into a room.
  • Efficient heat distribution: Horizontal radiators provide more even and consistent warmth throughout the room, helping eliminate cold spots and draughts.
  • Versatility in placement: Can be mounted at various heights, catering to different preferences and space constraints.

When selecting a horizontal radiator, consider factors such as:

  • Space requirements: Horizontal radiators occupy more wall space than vertical models, which makes them less ideal for narrow rooms and hallways.
  • Installation complexity: Depending on your chosen model and placement, they might require modifications to existing plumbing, leading to slightly higher installation costs.
  • Cost: Horizontal radiators are more expensive than vertical models due to their larger size and potentially heavier construction materials.

Vertical radiators

Vertical radiators fit perfectly in rooms or areas with narrow walls and are known as the “space-savers” of the radiator world. With their slim profiles, they offer you a lot of placement flexibility.

Vertical radiators offer the following advantages:

  • Space-saving: Vertical radiators easily fit in tight spaces or narrow hallways.
  • Placement flexibility: They offer more placement options and can easily be positioned beside windows, behind doors, or corners.
  • Potentially lower cost: Vertical radiators are smaller and made from lighter construction materials, making them more affordable than horizontal models.

When selecting a vertical radiator, keep the following in mind:

  • Lower heat output: Vertical radiators have a smaller surface area for radiating heat, making them less suitable for large spaces or rooms with high heating requirements.
  • Uneven heat distribution: These radiators may not provide the consistent heat distribution that horizontal radiators offer.
  • Installation complexity: Installing a vertical radiator may require additional piping or modifications to your existing plumbing.

Column radiators

These classy radiators boast intricate details and Victorian-era exteriors. With their old-school feel, column radiators can add significant style to your home’s interior.

Installing a column radiator has the following benefits:

  • Exceptional heat retention: These radiators are generally made from high-quality cast iron. They excel at retaining heat and radiating it slowly and evenly over a long period, providing consistent warmth.
  • Durability and longevity: Column radiators are often more resistant to corrosion and damage, offering years of reliable warmth.
  • Versatility: Manufacturers offer column radiators in various finishes and styles, catering to diverse aesthetic preferences.

When shopping for a column radiator, remember the following:

  • Weight and installation: Column radiators are heavy and bulky and often require professional installation.
  • Higher upfront cost: Column radiators are made from premium materials and are more expensive than other models.
  • Slower heat up: Cast iron takes longer to reach its full warmth output when compared to lighter materials like aluminium or steel.

Heated towel radiators

Perfect to warm your towels and bathroom, these appliances combine style with practicality. Available in compact or larger designs, heated towel radiators blend seamlessly into any bathroom design.

Heated towel radiators offer the following advantages:

  • Warm and dry towels: The most important reason for installing a heated towel radiator is that you’ll always have access to warm, dry towels.
  • Enhance bathroom comfort: These radiators create a more comfortable and luxurious bathroom experience.
  • Reduce humidity and mould growth: Heated towel radiators reduce moisture and minimise mould and mildew growth.

When choosing a heated towel radiator, keep the following in mind:

  • Cost and installation: Heated towel radiators can be more expensive due to their specialised features and required wiring.
  • Energy consumption: Electric towel radiators can contribute to higher energy bills if used frequently.
  • Potential leakage risks: There’s a slight risk of leaks, especially with older models.

Designer radiators

As their names suggest, these radiators are custom-designed to fit your decor and heating needs. Available in a range of unique designs – think sleek curves or bold, geometric shapes – they enhance any interior while delivering optimal heat.

The benefits of installing a designer radiator include:

  • Unique and striking designs: They are available in a selection of designs to suit your liking.
  • Improve heat output efficiency: Designer radiators feature advanced technologies like hydronic fins or dual fuel options to increase heat transfer and efficiency.
  • Material choices and durability: Manufacturers often use high-quality materials like stainless steel or aluminium in their designs, which can improve heat conductivity and prevent corrosion.

If opting for a designer radiator, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Higher cost: Because of the unique designs and the craftsmanship required, these units tend to be more expensive.
  • Installation complexity: Intricate designs or specialised materials might require professional installation, adding to the overall cost of your radiator.
  • Space requirements: Some designer radiators might not fit in every space. Therefore, measure available wall areas and ensure your chosen model complements the room’s layout and proportions.

Choosing The Right Radiator For Your Home

Now that you know the best radiators available in 2024, let’s help you narrow your search to find the best radiator for your home heating requirements.

Considerations for different room sizes

When shopping for a radiator, consider the size and heating needs for each room in your home:

  • Living rooms: Choose a radiator with a high BTU output (around 3,500 BTU) to ensure adequate warmth across the entire room. Depending on your available space, select either a horizontal or vertical model.
  • Bedrooms: Choose a radiator with a moderate BTU output (around 2,500 BTU) for comfortable sleep without overheating the room. Vertical radiators are ideal for maximising wall space.
  • Bathrooms: To warm your bathroom and dry your towels quickly, opt for a towel radiator or a compact model with a heat output of around 1,500 BTU.

BTU ratings and efficiency

Next, let’s look at what a BTU rating means and why you should choose an energy-efficient radiator:

  • Your radiator’s BTU (British Thermal Unit) indicates its heat output. A higher BTU rating indicates greater heat output. Radiators with a high BTU rating are more suited for larger spaces. A radiator with a lower BTU rating has a lower heat output and is perfect for smaller rooms.
  • Go for a radiator with a high energy efficiency rating (ERP) to minimise energy consumption and reduce monthly heating bills.

To calculate your required BTU output, consider the following:

  • The room’s size
  • The number of external walls in the specific room
  • The type and quality of the area’s insulation
  • The number, size, and type of windows in the room

Speak to your installer to help find the BTU output that best fits your heating requirements.

Installation considerations

Always hire a Gas Safe Registered engineer to ensure all radiator components are properly and safely installed.

Plumbed vs electric radiators

When choosing between a plumbed or electric radiator, keep the following in mind:

  • Plumbed radiators are connected to your existing central heating system. They offer efficient and consistent heat and require professional installation. Plumbed radiators are more cost-effective in the long run. However, they can be challenging to install (increasing the installation costs), require more regular maintenance, and rely heavily on water supply to function.
  • Electric radiators offer homeowners flexibility in placement. They are ideal for rooms without central heating and can be used for supplemental warmth. Generally, electric radiators are more expensive to run than plumbed radiators.

Select your radiator based on your existing pipes and central heating system. Also, consider your budget and how much space is available to install your new unit.

Dual fuel options

Homeowners can also instal dual fuel radiators, which combine the benefits of plumbed and electric systems and hold the following advantages:

  • User flexibility: They give homeowners the choice of fuel source to use in any season. Use your radiator’s electric element during milder seasons to help reduce your overall energy consumption.
  • Zoned heating: Dual fuel radiators allow you to heat only occupied rooms instead of heating the entire house, helping save energy and money.
  • Precise temperature control: Using their built-in thermostats, you can control temperatures in individual rooms.

Dual fuel radiators are ideal for occasional use or in areas with inconsistent central heating, such as conservatories, outbuildings, or infrequently used rooms.

However, they require professional installation to ensure proper connection to your home’s central heating system and mains electricity supply.

Existing pipework and valves

Assess all of your existing pipework and valves to ensure your new radiator is compatible with your central heating system.

Consider hiring a certified and qualified plumber to make any necessary modifications.

Radiator covers and cabinets

Radiator covers and cabinets serve numerous purposes, including:

  • Improve aesthetics: They conceal radiators and provide a cleaner, more cohesive look.
  • Safety and comfort: Helps protect children and pets from accidental burns on hot radiators.
  • Noise reduction: It helps dampen the sounds emitted by your indoor radiator.

Homeowners can choose from various designs and materials, including metal and wood.

Materials for radiators

Radiators are made from various materials, each providing unique aesthetics and advantages:

  • Traditional materials
    • Examples: Cast iron and copper
    • Properties and benefits: Though slow to heat up, cast iron and copper radiators offer excellent heat retention.
    • Aesthetics and durability: These radiators are durable and fit perfectly in homes with a classic interior.
  • Modern materials
    • Examples: Aluminium and steel
    • Properties and benefits: Steel and aluminium radiators are lightweight, quick to heat up, and offer maximum energy efficiency. However, they may not retain heat as well as traditional materials.
  • Stainless steel radiators
    • Characteristics: Stainless steel radiators offer high heat output and efficient heat transfer.
    • Maintenance benefits and aesthetic options: Stainless steel radiators are easy to clean, corrosion-resistant, and offer a modern aesthetic.

FAQs

How do I know whether my radiator needs to be replaced?

Radiators build up sludge over time, reducing their efficiency and heat output. Check for the following signs to know when it’s time to replace your old radiator:

  • Excessive noise: Unusual, loud noises, like tapping noises, may indicate that your radiator needs repairs or replacement.
  • Long warm-up times: An ageing radiator generally takes longer to warm up.
  • Leaks: If the device leaks water from its radiator valve, replace the valve. If the leak comes from the radiator panel, it’s time for a replacement.
  • Higher energy bills: Increasing water or fuel bills may indicate an excessive sludge build-up in your ageing radiator. If it can’t be fixed by a power flush, service or repair, replace your old radiator.

What preparations should I make before installing a new radiator?

Most installers will do all of the necessary preparations when installing your new radiator. However, it’s advised that you check the following before the radiator gets delivered:

  • Wall placement: Decide where the radiator should be installed and if the wall is sound enough to hold the new device.
  • Plumbing and electrical wiring: Ensure the room has the required plumbing and electrical wiring to accommodate the new radiator.

How long does it take to install a new radiator?

On average, it takes around two hours to install a large radiator. However, the installation time will vary depending on the radiator’s type and size, existing plumbing and electrical wiring, and the installer’s skill level.

Conclusion

Choosing the correct radiator ensures your home is always warm and cosy during the chilly winter.

There are a myriad of different radiators to choose from, so always remember to consider the size of the space you want to heat, your desired heat output, your home decor, and your budget.

Consider your heating requirements and, with this guide as your compass, determine which radiator best fits your home’s heating needs.

Contact Eco Happy today for a free, no-obligation quote on a radiator to ensure you are warm and comfortable all year round!

James Elston

Boiler Expert


James Elston is the top boiler replacement and heating expert at Eco Happy. He has over 20 years of experience in the industry, focusing on Gas Safe boiler installations and offering home-heating and energy-saving solutions to homeowners across the UK. From sourcing the most energy-efficient combi boiler to providing specialist heating advice, James ensures that Eco Happy maintains the highest standards and best customer service.

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