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6 Tips for Choosing the Best Radiators for your Home

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Radiators for your Home

Heat Output

While aesthetics are important when choosing the best radiator for your home, radiators are there to heat your home efficiently, so heat output should be your first consideration (even if you’re the most particular of interior designers). The best radiators for heat output are ones that are the correct size for your space, layout, and level of insulation. By using our online British Thermal Unit (BTU) calculator, you can determine how much heat output is needed to warm your room, which will give you the information you need to choose the right radiators.

Rising energy prices and environmental impact are issues that we all are facing, so energy efficiency is something that we should all be concerned with. With that in mind, whether you’re looking to save the environment or save some money, choosing appliances that maximise their energy efficiency is a sensible option by any standard.

Radiator Type

There are three main types of radiators: central heating, electric, and duel fuel.
  • Central heating radiators are connected to your home’s central heating system, the central heating system flushes water through the radiator to heat it up.
  • Electric radiators, on the other hand, can be controlled independently of your home’s central heating system and use an electric element to heat up.
  • Dual fuel radiators use both your central heating system and electricity - meaning you can use them individually or as part of your whole home heating system. (These radiators can make a great choice for your bathroom or kitchen radiator, as these rooms have different heating needs to other rooms of the house, especially in the summer.)
There are many types of central heating radiators and electric radiators, mainly categorised by material, size and style, which we’ll get into later. For bathrooms and kitchens alike, electric radiators such as a heated towel rail could be the perfect solution to your heating needs, providing a unique dual purpose of being a radiator and safe place to store, dry and warm your towels. (And we all know that nothing beats a warm cozy towel when you step out of the shower.)

Radiator Size

Generally, the larger the radiator size, the greater the heat output, but you don’t need to take up all your wall space to accommodate a radiator.  

Choosing the best radiators for your home - radiator size

At its simplest, the larger the surface area, the more heat your radiator will generate. However, it’s not a simple case of length multiplied by width, as we’re talking about the entire surface area of the rad, including convectors, fins, and multiple panels.

double panel radiator, for instance, will generate considerably more heat for its size, and for the amount of water it holds, than a single panel radiator of the same length and width. However, a double panel radiator will also stick out further from the wall, as it has more depth, which will take up additional space, too.

Colour & Style

Traditionally, the radiator is an appliance of function, not form, so most radiators were (and still are) made in standard white, or subsequently painted over to match the room’s decor. However, times have definitely moved on, and modern radiators now come in a range of colours, from the gleam of stainless steel, chrome, and silver to more contemporary finishes like black, blue, red, anthracite, and even oxidised aluminium. (We still have a soft spot for the run-of-the-mill radiators though.) If you want to play with colour and style, get creative with your radiator choice and use it as a statement piece for any room. From a funky blue radiator such as the Angus Azure Blue Vertical rad, to an ultra-modern Mocha shade like the Rolo single panel radiator - don’t be afraid to express yourself!

In terms of how colour can determine the best radiator for heat output, a dark, matt finish can help to increase the heat efficiency of your radiator by improving heat output, but only be a miniscule amount (less than 1%).

If you’re after maximum efficiency, go for an aluminium radiator, which will reflect all the colours of your room’s decor while using less energy to heat it!


When it comes to radiator types, you really are spoilt for choice. Whatever your tastes, you’re sure to find a radiator that complements your space. Our collection features them all, from vertical, horizontal, column, and panel - you can check them out here. For those of you who are more daring with your interior choices, we carry a lot of designer radiators and heated towel rails that boast exciting contemporary shapes. Choosing an unusual modern design for your radiator can give your room a distinct focal point, something both practical and aesthetically pleasing - a great alternative to covering your radiator with a heat-stifling radiator cover!


Our most modern and efficient radiators come in aluminium, which heat up a room very quickly, and cools down quickly, too. These radiators use very little water, so they’ll play a big part in bringing down your heating bill in the winter months (and good for those of us concerned with lowering our carbon footprint). In addition, many aluminium radiators are made from recycled materials, so they’re good for the planet in more ways than one! Aluminium radiators behave very differently to traditional cast-iron radiators, which, while looking beautifully vintage, take a long time to heat up, and stay warm for a long time once they have been turned off. Steel radiators are the standard in most houses using central heating in the UK, so if you want to stick with what you know, consider opting for a reliable steel radiator for your home. Steel radiators combine the best of both worlds - they’re quick to heat up a room, but retain heat longer than the aluminium equivalent – ideal in winter months when you want your rooms to stay warmer for longer.  
  We'd like to thank our customers Tim and Kellie for submitting their fantastic photos of how their radiators from UK Radiators have fit in beautifully with their décor. If you'd like to submit a photo of your radiators, email them to sales@ukradiators.com and we'll feature your home on our website and instagram feed! We have an extensive range of designer radiators available in all colours, materials, and sizes, so finding the one that matches your energy efficiency requirements, space and tastes won’t be a problem. For more advice, feel free to get in touch, a member of our team will be happy to discuss your options.

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