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The 5 Best Radiators for Efficiency, Style and Value for Money

Best radiators guide
(Image credit: Amazon)

Finding the best radiators for your home is definitely a design choice, but there's more to looking for new radiators than just browsing for eye-catching additions. 

A key factor to consider is efficiency. There can be a lot to learn about our radiators to keep them working efficiently, such as knowing how to bleed a radiator, and with new radiators you'll want to look at heat output to ensure you get a model best suited to your room of choice.

Whether you are self building and choosing radiators as part of your new heating system; renovating an old property with out of date heat sources; or you just fancy swapping your current models for something that will better suit your interior scheme, we're here to help. 

These are five of the best radiators available now so you can ensure you are choosing the right product at the best price.

The Best Radiators You Can Buy Now

NRG Modern Vertical Radiator

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. NRG Modern Vertical Radiator

Contemporary, stylish and durable

Specifications

Size: 1800 x 354mm (multiple sizes available)
BTU Rating: 4699-6888
Weight: 27kg
Valves included?: No

Reasons to buy

+
Durable construction
+
High heat output
+
Contemporary and elegant

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes a while to heat up

This stylish radiator from NRG boasts a contemporary style which enables it to fit with modern and minimalist home designs. 

Not only is it eye-catching, but it's efficient too. Made from 1.5mm premium mild steel and featuring a high quality white finish, it's extremely durable. It's no surprise therefore that this model comes with a 15-year manufacturer's guarantee. 

Given its 1800 x 354mm size (multiple size options are available), you certainly get bang for your buck, and it makes for a suitable option if you're planning a renovation or conversion on a budget. Brackets and fixings are included, but valves are not. 


Milano Aruba

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. Milano Aruba

The best radiator for smaller rooms

Specifications

Size: 400 x 415mm (multiple sizes available)
BTU Rating: 1638
Weight: 5.68kg
Valves included?: No

Reasons to buy

+
20-year guarantee
+
Impressive heat output for size
+
Contemporary design

Reasons to avoid

-
Costs more than some compact rads

The Milano Aruba comes in a variety of sizes, but we particularly love the 400 x 415 mm radiator, which is smart, compact and has an impressive heat output.

Despite its dinky dimensions it generates an impressive heat output of 1638 is impressive, making it ideal for small spaces, awkwardly-shaped rooms or for sneaking in underneath window cills.

Whilst it might cost a little more than some of the other compact radiators, it also offers a smart, contemporary appearance which makes up for the extra cost.

Made from extra thick low carbon steel, the manufacturers are so confident of its durability that they offer a 20-year guarantee.


Elegant Modern Vertical Column Designer Radiator

(Image credit: Elegant)

3. Elegant Modern Vertical Column Designer Radiator

A great heat output with a striking design

Specifications

Size: 1600 x 480mm (multiple sizes available)
BTU Rating: 6500-7000
Weight: 38.09kg
Valves included?: No

Reasons to buy

+
Handy in spaces with limited wall space
+
Plenty of sizes and colour options

Reasons to avoid

-
Some buyers found fitting a little tricky

As the name suggests, this vertical radiator really is an elegant way to heat a room. 

It's an ideal radiator for awkward spaces, which would look particularly stylish in a kitchen or hallway, both rooms in which wall space is often at a premium. It comes in single or double formats.

This is another radiator with a really high BTU; it's very efficient. Do ensure you get help lifting this one though as it's a little heavier than some in the line up, and its height and width could make it tricky to carry for one person. 

It comes with wall brackets, a plug and a vent, but valves need to be bought separately.


Henrad 110960 Type 11 SC 1003 Compact Radiator

(Image credit: Henrad)

4. Henrad 110960 Type 11 SC 1003 Compact Radiator

Plain, but lightweight and budget-friendly

Specifications

Size: 600 x 300mm
BTU Rating: 1003
Weight: 5.91kg
Valves included?: No

Reasons to buy

+
Perfect for small spaces
+
Lightweight
+
Inexpensive

Reasons to avoid

-
Plain design

Whilst this compact radiator from Henrad might not be shortlisted for its eye-catching good looks, there is certainly nothing wrong with it. In fact, many people will be drawn to its ability to simply sit, unnoticed within an interior scheme. 

This is a great little radiator for small spaces as it takes up very little room. It is lightweight too, meaning even fairly non-substantial walls will hold it easily.

In short, this is the ideal radiator for anyone on a budget, whether replacing old radiators as part of a heating system upgrade or building from scratch. 


Wärme Designer Panel Heater

(Image credit: Warme)

5. Wärme Designer Panel Heater

Electric wall heater with a wow factor

Specifications

Size: 470 x 820mm
BTU Rating: Operates at a 2KW output. One Wärme heater can heat a 22 metre square room
Weight: 9.3kg
Valves included?: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Does not need to be plumbed in
+
Fitted in minutes
+
Futuristic design

Reasons to avoid

-
Programming can be complicated
-
More expensive to run than traditional rads

Proving that electric radiators are anything but boring, the Wärme Designer Electric Wall Heater Low Energy Panel Heater Radiator will definitely make a statement in your home — it can even be used in bathrooms thanks to its waterproof casing. 

As well as looking pretty space age, its ability to heat the house is not to be sniffed at either. One heater can heat a 22 square metre room, whilst built-in heat sensors avoid overheating.

The heater features a digital thermostat too, allowing you to choose between an 'instant heat' mode or to programme it to work to a weekly cycle. 

Another benefit of this one is how easy it is to install — it is simply mounted on the wall brackets that are included and plugged in. You will need to ensure there is an electrical socket within reach and ensure there is a minimum of 30cm clearance space above and below the unit. 


How to Pick the Best Radiators for Your Home

Design and budget are foremost factors, but in order to choose the best radiator for your room, you will need to determine the heat requirements of the space. 

Room sizes, window dimensions and even the materials used in the walls will all be used to calculate the required outputs of the radiators you will need to heat the room properly.  

What is a BTU Rating?

You will notice that radiators have a 'BTU rating'. BTUs are ‘British Thermal Units’ and this is the unit in which radiator efficiency is measured. 

A heating engineer or plumber should be able to work this out for you, or you could use an online BTU calculator.

Our handy guide to to help you find a plumber for your project is a must-read.

Electric or Plumbed-in Radiators?

Before you begin your search, decide whether you will need electric radiators or those that are plumbed in. 

Electric radiators use mains electricity. Some are designed to be plugged into a socket, while others will need to be fitted by an electrician. You might also see infrared electric radiators for sale. These are good for small spaces as they have a high heat output with a slim profile. 

Plumbed-in radiators are connected to your boiler and use hot water as their heat source. They’re controlled as part of the central heating system.

Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. She has renovated a terrace and is at the end of the DIY renovation and extension of her Edwardian cottage. She is now looking for her next project.