Included in this guide:
The best traditional radiators should really deliver in terms of style, complementing period style interior schemes perfectly without stealing the limelight.
Traditional homes are usually full of gorgeous original features, such as fireplaces and doors, and the last thing you want is for your new radiators to detract from these or to overwhelm the space.
Traditional radiators, such as column style models, are a great choice for classic interior schemes, offering bags of period charm. Developments in the industry also mean that they no longer all carry the hefty price tag they once did either.
Here is our round-up of the best traditional radiators, based on heat output, appearance and price.
(MORE: To work out the heat requirements of your room, check out our guide to choosing radiators)
Best Traditional Radiators
1. ELEGANT Traditional Cast Iron Style Triple Horizontal Column Radiator
Unfussy classic design
Size: 600 x 821mm (various available) | Heat output: 4500-5000 BTU | Colour: White
This is a really simple yet elegant column radiator — perfect for slotting quietly in with pretty much any interior scheme out there.
It has a great heat output and a reasonable price tag. Made from low carbon steel, the Elegant Traditional Radiator is powder coated three times and treated with an imitation porcelain coating that resists rust and offers a high gloss finish.
Finally, the style comes in a wide range of sizes and styles, including vertical models to fit awkward spaces.
2. Arroll Neo-Classic 4 Column Radiator
A stylish twist on a Victorian design
Size: 634 x 660mm (various available) | Heat output: 2661 BTU | Colours: Cream, Black, White, Pewter
Based on a Victorian design, the Neo Classic 4 Column from Arroll features a simple and stylish design that makes it well-suited for both modern and traditional home settings.
The matt cast iron construction makes this radiator highly efficient, as it will take longer to cool down, keeping you warm long after you turn off your central heating.
It also comes with a standard bleed valve, wall stays, air vent and touch-up paint, and has a 10-year manufacturer's guarantee.
3. WarmeHaus Traditional Cast Iron Style Double Column Horizontal Radiator
Classic column radiator with a contemporary twist
Size: 300 x 1190mm (various available) | Heat Output: 3371 BTU | Colour: Anthracite
This long, low model of column radiator would be perfect for those after a design to fit beneath a low window cill. Its chunky column design and classic looks mean it would sit effortlessly within a more traditional interior scheme — yet the anthracite finish gives it a contemporary twist.
Bear in mind that it is fairly hefty to carry and its long proportions make it a little awkward to manoeuvre so be sure to enlist a helper when getting it into position.
4. Milano Traditional Cast Iron Style Triple Column Horizontal Radiator
A high-quality, high-efficiency radiator
Size: 600 x 425mm (various available) | Heat output: 2504 BTU | Colours: Anthracite, White, Raw Metal Lacquered
Perfect for smaller spaces, the Milano Windsor Column Radiator is sturdy, attractive and has a really impressive heat output given its compact dimensions — plus it retains heat well even after the heating has gone off.
Whilst it might be a little more pricey than some similarly-sized steel column radiators, it is high-quality and has an expensive-looking anthracite finish, as well as a very reassuring 20 year guarantee.
5. Terma Rolo-Room Quartz Mocha Horizontal Designer Radiator
A glitzy take on a classic
Size: 500 x 865mm | Heat output: 2579.6 BTU | Colour: Quartz Mocha
Not your average traditional radiator — this one is a real attention grabber. The Terma Rolo-Room Quartz Mocha Horizontal Designer Radiator features straight 'tubes' in place of the more classic columns.
The 'Quartz Mocha' finish may be a step too far for some traditionalists but for those aiming to create contemporary interiors within a period renovation project this radiator could be just the ticket.
6. Milano Aruba - Modern Horizontal Double Panel Designer Radiator
A minimal style addition that is built to last
Size: 400 x 413mm (variety of sizes available) | Heat output: 1638 BTU | Colours: White, Anthracite
The Milano Aruba double panel designer radiator perfectly combines contemporary design with excellent functionality - and it's a great way to add minimal style to any room in your house.
It features a high-quality 1.5mm thick steel, making it very durable (it comes with a 20-year guarantee). And the hard-wearing white powder coated finish complements any décor in your bathroom, kitchen, bedroom or lounge.
Plus, it's available in a variety of widths and in single or double panel models.
What are BTUs?
BTU stands for British Thermal Units. The BTU rate of a radiator allows you to know how much heat it will emit. It is a useful way of working out whether or not a particular radiator is the right size for your room.
You should see a BTU featured on the product spec of any good radiator.
It is important that you choose a radiator or heated towel rail that offers the right heat output for your space so that you don't find it getting too hot or cold.
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.
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