How to choose the best radiator

The advent of autumn is a great time to think about your home’s heating requirements. Revamping your heating before the wintry weather arrives in earnest makes perfect sense. But with so many factors to take into consideration, choosing the best radiator might be more difficult than you’d expect. In the old days, it was easy: radiators were white, rectangular and wholly unremarkable. How times have changed!

Now there’s a huge range of colours, shapes, styles and materials to choose from. And on every level, one size doesn’t fit all. The best radiator option for your living room, for example, might be completely different from the perfect choice for your bedroom. So it’s important to consider reach room individually, before you make your final decision.

Need help choosing the best radiator for your home? Don’t be afraid to be bold with colour, shape and style. We love this bright yellow version of our Cube horizontal model – it really makes the room pop!

Location, location, location

Whichever room you need a new radiator for, space and location are key. Think hard about the size of the room in question, and how much heat it really needs. Will one model be enough? Measure the room carefully, but don’t forget to take other factors into consideration too. What is the insulation like? How many windows are there? Are they double glazed? Next, think hard about where you want to position your model. For maximum efficiency, its heat flow shouldn’t be obstructed. So choose a location, size and shape that won’t be hampered by furniture or fabric.

Suitable for both horizontal and vertical installations – and available in a wide range of sizes and fixings – our Modus column radiator offers maximum versatility for virtually any setting within your home

If your room is small, or an unusual shape, the best radiator for the space could be a vertical model. Sometimes known as upright models, these are ideal for narrow areas or ‘dead’ space that isn’t suitable for anything else. Vertical radiators are also a great option if your room has lots of large windows. Consider placing two upright models either side, rather than squeezing a small horizontal one underneath.

Be aware of BTUs

To help you choose the best radiator for your needs, always assess the BTUs (British thermal units). In basic terms, these are units of energy that are used to calculate a radiator’s heat output and efficiency. Different materials have different heat output capacities. But as a general rule, the larger the model, the higher the BTU rating. However, it’s worth remembering that two smaller ones might be a better option than one large one, depending on the layout of your room. Ask a reputable heating engineer for advice, or click here for our handy Heat Calculator guide.

Our eye-catching Ruvo vertical radiator is made from 100% recycled aluminium. It heats up quickly, offers a high heat output and a low water content, delivering sustainability without compromising on style

Best radiator materials

When selecting the best radiators for your home, it’s important to consider the different materials available. The most common are cast iron, aluminium, mild steel and stainless steel. These materials vary in terms of heat output, energy efficiency, maintenance and price – so think hard about your personal priorities.

Cast iron models take longer to heat up in comparison to their steel counterparts, but they retain heat very efficiently. This means that they take longer to cool down, and therefore keep your room warmer for longer. Like the idea of minimum upkeep? Stainless steel radiators are resistant to rust and corrosion, and they’re easy to keep clean too. Aluminium ones are lightweight, excellent heat conductors, and are generally made of recycled materials. It’s likely that different rooms in your house would benefit from models made of different materials. So don’t be afraid to mix and match, as required.

Make a serious style statement with our NEW Denali stainless steel vertical radiator, available in copper and black nickel lacquer finishes

Bathroom beauties

If you’re wondering what the best radiator for your bathroom might be, make sure you take heated towel rails into consideration too. They’re an excellent option for small spaces, en-suites and cloakrooms. There are plenty of different styles to choose from, whether you’re a fan of classic or contemporary models. So the right option won’t just heat your room – it’ll keep your towels warm and fluffy, while looking absolutely amazing.

The best heating option for your bathroom could well be a heated towel rail, like our super-stylish Mahana, which combines stainless steel with wood for a modern finish

Best radiator tints and tones

That brings us nicely onto another element to consider when choosing the best radiator for your home: the alternatives to white. Contemporary coloured radiators aren’t just functional, they can play an integral role in your room’s décor too. A bright, bold shade can totally transform the look and feel of a space. Introduce a contrasting colour to add interest, or coordinate with other accessories, or even a statement wall.

How amazing does our Cube vertical radiator look in this home office area? The u-shaped tubes offer exceptional build quality and performance, while helping to create a stunning study setting

If you’d like to browse our full collection, click here to view our online brochure, or to order your own hard copy. DQ Heating is a member of MARC (the Manufacturers’ Association of Radiators and Convectors), so you can enjoy complete peace of mind with regard to all your purchases. MARC is committed to product satisfaction and consumer assurance. Its members pledge to uphold standards, and ensure industry-wide compliance with the Construction Products Regulations.