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The 6 Best Traditional Radiators That Will Look Great in Your Home

Best traditional radiators guide
(Image credit: Amazon)

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 when choosing radiators is for them to detract from these features 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.

The Best Traditional Radiators

ELEGANT Traditional Cast Iron Style Triple Horizontal Column Radiator

(Image credit: Elegant)

1. ELEGANT Traditional Cast Iron Style Triple Horizontal Column Radiator

Unfussy classic design with great heat output

Specifications

Size: 600 x 821mm (various available)
Heat output: 4500-5000 BTU
Colour: White

Reasons to buy

+
Subtle design to suit any scheme
+
Very high heat output
+
Can be floor or wall mounted
+
Many sizes and shapes to match available

Reasons to avoid

-
Only available in 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 in awkward spaces. 

Buy the ELEGANT Traditional Radiator Cast Iron Style Horizontal Radiator


Arroll Neo-Classic 4 Column Radiator

(Image credit: B&Q)

2. Arroll Neo-Classic 4 Column Radiator

A stylish twist on a Victorian design

Specifications

Size: 634 x 660mm (various available)
Heat output: 2661 BTU
Colours: Cream, Black, White, Pewter

Reasons to buy

+
Available in a range of colours
+
Comes with valves and wall stays

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy and may need two to carry

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 - this is because it takes 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. 

Buy the Arroll Neo-Classic 4 Column Radiator


WarmeHaus Traditional Cast Iron Style Double Column Horizontal Radiator

(Image credit: Warmehaus)

3. WarmeHaus Traditional Cast Iron Style Double Column Horizontal Radiator

Classic column radiator with a contemporary twist

Specifications

Size: 300 x 1190mm (various available)
Heat Output: 3371 BTU
Colour: Anthracite

Reasons to buy

+
Looks expensive
+
Good heat output
+
Solid construction
+
Perfect shape for beneath low window cills

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy and may need two to carry

This long, low model of column radiator is 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. 

Buy the WarmeHaus Traditional Cast Iron Style Double Column Horizontal Radiator


Milano Traditional Cast Iron Style Triple Column Horizontal Radiator

(Image credit: Milano)

4. Milano Traditional Cast Iron Style Triple Column Horizontal Radiator

A high-quality, high-efficiency radiator

Specifications

Size: 600 x 425mm (various available)
Heat output: 2504 BTU
Colours: Anthracite, White, Raw Metal Lacquered

Reasons to buy

+
Compact size
+
Suits traditional and contemporary schemes

Reasons to avoid

-
A little more expensive than some similarly sized rads but quality reflects this

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. 

Buy the Milano Windsor Column Radiator Horizontal Cast Iron Style Radiator


Terma Rolo-Room Quartz Mocha Horizontal Designer Radiator

(Image credit: Terma)

5. Terma Rolo-Room Quartz Mocha Horizontal Designer Radiator

A glitzy take on a classic

Specifications

Size: 500 x 865mm
Heat output: 2579.6 BTU
Colour: Quartz Mocha

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal for contemporary renovation schemes
+
Quick heat-up time

Reasons to avoid

-
Short 8-year guarantee
-
Doesn't come with valves

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.

A design benefit is that it features large internal holes which enable quick internal distribution of the water, therefore it heats up very quickly.

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. 

Buy the Terma Rolo-Room Quartz Mocha Horizontal Designer Radiator


Milano Aruba - Modern Horizontal Double Panel Designer Radiator

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Milano Aruba

A minimal style addition that is built to last

Specifications

Size: 400 x 413mm (variety of sizes available)
Heat output: 1638 BTU
Colours: White, Anthracite

Reasons to buy

+
High quality finish
+
Build to last construction
+
Budget friendly

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't come with valves

Ok, so this is more of a contemporary design rather than traditional, but it's such a good radiator we simply have to talk about it. 

The Milano Aruba double panel designer radiator perfectly combines sleek 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. 

Buy the Milano Aruba

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. 

Are Traditional Radiators Efficient?

Cast iron and steel radiators generally aren't too different when it comes to heating efficiency, and both provide a similar heat output. 

One advantage of cast iron radiators is that they retain heat very well, meaning you can turn them off once your room is warm enough and still enjoy the heat for hours after. This can help you save on energy costs too.

However, cast iron radiators can also take longer to heat up, meaning you'll need to switch them on earlier for when you want the room to be heated up later in the day. 

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.