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6 Best Designer Bathroom Radiators on the Market (Reviews) in 2021
A designer radiator is the perfect way to elevate the comfort and décor of your bathroom. They come in many different forms, each suited to a specific use-case; so if comparison shopping has you overwhelmed, you’ve landed on the right page.
Today, we’re reviewing six of the best designer bathroom radiators, selected for their form, function, and overall value for money. Whether you’re in the market for the elegance of a vertical column rad, the convenience of an electric panel heater, or the sheer utility of a towel rail radiator, we’ve got options to tantalise you below.
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Top 6 Designer Bathroom Radiators for Any Taste or Budget
If you know you need a bathroom radiator, but are still in the shopping-around phase, allow us to help make your life a little easier. We’ve scoured the market for the best designer towel rail, column, and electric radiators, and collated our findings into this list. While each model has unique benefits for specific applications, you can count on every recommendation to add a distinct air of luxury and style to your bathroom while keeping it comfortably warm.
Without further ado, here are the six best designer radiators for any bathroom:
VERDICT: Best overall towel rad
In this day and age, “designer” no longer necessarily equates to “expensive”. And, Requena are here to prove it with their gorgeous yet affordable towel rail radiator.
The most immediately noticeable thing about the Requena is its striking chrome finish. The lustre possesses a depth of character that radiates luxury as well as it does heat. And there’s more to it than meets the eye as well; Requena use a special 6-layered plating process which ensures that it is deeply resistant to corrosion. Moreover, the finish is durable and designed for everyday usage–no need to baby your beautiful new radiator!
You’ll also admire the construction of the Requena. With hidden weld joints and an elegant bevel along the piping, it almost looks as though it was all poured into a mould as a single piece. There’s a sort of tactility to it as well, enabling your towels to easily slide through the bars without bunching up.
Requena provide seven sizes of designer towel radiator to choose from. These range from 10-rail models at 800 x 500mm, all the way up to massive 22-railers at 1600 x 600mm. Whichever you choose, rest easy knowing your radiator won’t take over the room, as it is just 30mm thick.
On paper, the Requena might seem a bit underpowered. Typically, you want to account for 50 BTU per sq. ft., and the average UK bathroom is around 45 sq. ft. This works out to around 2250 BTU, which is more than even the largest Requena can produce.
However, bathrooms have slightly different requirements to the rest of the house. They are usually rather small, tend to be centrally located, and altogether not all that separated from the benefits of the central heating system.
Thus, Requena’s towel rads (running between 680 BTU and 1651 BTU) fall into the sweet spot for supplementary heat. Moreover, it doesn’t take exceptional amounts of thermal energy to dry out and warm up your towels.
With steel construction, the Requena offers excellent performance. These designer towel rads heat up quickly, and their smaller size demands relatively little input from your central heating. Even if you use it as a space heater and run it all the time, you’ll find your power consumption amounts to mere pennies per week.
Overall, Requena packs a lot of value for money into each towel radiator they sell. There’s a definite luxury styling, but the quality isn’t just superficial. You can tell that great care went into the design, and it’s all backed by an effective manufacturing process. Even Requena’s shipping is outstanding; your radiator will arrive in a safely-packed box bearing their branding to guarantee authenticity.
Just keep in mind that this radiator doesn’t ship with the valves needed to operate. You’ll need to shop around for a good thermostatic valve, but luckily there are many which offer matching chrome finishes. And if you want to enjoy heated towels in the Spring or Summer, the Requena is compatible with electrical heating elements made for towel rads.
Considering the largest Requena towel rad can be had for well under a hundred pounds, it’s hard to argue that they offer anything but the best value for money on the market.
VERDICT: Best value for money
Manchester-based WarmeHaus are no strangers to our “best-of” lists, and their Juva designer flat panel towel radiator makes it easy to see why. Featuring superior aesthetics with performance specs to match, you might assume Juva is hideously expensive–but you’d be pleasantly surprised! Indeed, they produce some of the best value for money among designer bathroom rads on the market.
Juva is an exceptionally handsome radiator which uses minimalism to make its statement. You can look all you want, but you’ll never find weld marks or nuts and bolts. WarmeHaus offer truly seamless construction to match their modern design–it might not have bothered you elsewise, but we’re sure you’ll never go back to more rustic builds after owning Juva.
With its series of flat panels, the Juva is considered a ladder style towel rad. While this does offer some practical advantages to heating, it’s the visual flair that has propelled it to become one of the best sellers of any brand or style. It’s definitely modern, but not avant-garde, and fits nicely into virtually any bathroom.
To further elevate the décor of your bathroom, WarmeHaus offers your choice of semi-gloss white, matte anthracite, and polished-chrome finishes. We are particularly fond of the chrome, though it is the most expensive of the three by a fair margin. Whichever you choose, rest easier knowing that their finishing process is extremely durable, and will remain in good nick throughout many years of daily usage with nary a blemish.
While it’s easy to gush over a pretty exterior, it’s really the inner workings that count the most when selecting a bathroom radiator. (After all, who wants to combat chilly tile floors with willpower alone?)
Even the smallest Juva puts out a respectable amount of heat–at 1005 BTU, it’s more than enough to warm up smaller bathrooms and your towels, besides. Of course, you can opt for larger sizes (13 total, in a variety of heights and widths), which put out progressively more heat up to an impressive 3754 BTU.
The smallest Juva measures 650 x 400mm, and offers two towel slots between seven radiator panels. The 1800 x 600mm mammoth, on the other hand, can easily accommodate your whole family’s towels with four slots (five, if you include the top) across 19 bars.
While aesthetics is almost always up to personal taste, there are certain advantages to flat panel towel radiators like the WarmeHaus Juva. Namely, panels offer a lot more radiant surface area when compared to cylindrical bars. So, if you need a lot of heat but don’t have a tonne of space to spare, you’ll likely be best served by the Juva.
As far as interior design goes, the bold flat panels are perhaps a bit less flexible than their rounded counterparts. But, Juva is anything but ostentatious, and can work as a tasteful focal point in most bathrooms.
When mounting the Juva, you’ll be glad of WarmeHaus’s decision NOT to cheap out on hardware. It’s all very sturdy, yet adjustable so you can truly get the best fit. After all, a good installation will optimise the service life of your luxurious new designer rad. But you don’t have to rely on handiwork alone; WarmeHaus ships the Juva with an impressive 10-year “fit and forget” warranty to guarantee your purchase.
VERDICT: Most BTU per pound
It’s honestly amazing how often we find ourselves recommending NRG products. Seemingly, they’ve got a line of designer radiators for every application, and this includes a flat panel towel radiator for the bathroom. But their inclusion on this list is well-earned, offering a staggering array of options to fit any bathroom with an efficient, attractive heating solution at an affordable price.
If there’s one thing NRG truly excel at, it’s offering the consumer numerous options. In the case of their flat panel towel radiator, there are a whopping four total colours to choose from, including gloss white and black, matte anthracite, and a brilliant polished chrome. No matter the décor of your bathroom, you will be able to match your NRG radiator.
This also extends to the sheer variety of sizes on offer as well–ten in all. Widths range from 400mm to 600mm; heights from 650mm to 1600mm. While this does have a direct impact on overall heat production, it also determines how many towels your NRG can accommodate. The smallest has two spots to hold towels, washcloths, and clothing, while the largest has an impressive five slots.
And whilst NRG have refined their manufacturing process to accommodate such a wide range of heaters inexpensively, they clearly haven’t cut corners on design. As a rule, their designer radiators feature seamless construction with no nuts, bolts, or welds visible; high-quality finishes that last; and just a pleasing overall tactility to them. NRG rads feel solid, and stand up admirably to heavy usage day-in and day-out.
NRG typically uses steel with a low carbon content for their heaters, called mild steel. Not only is this easy to shape and work with, it offers exceptional thermal properties similar to cast iron. That is to say your NRG towel rad will heat up somewhat slowly, but retain that heat for a long time–minimising the amount of energy required to maintain the desired temperature.
Moreover, the quality of the heat is gentle and consistent, dispersing evenly from top to bottom thanks to those wide radiator panels. This is not only ideal for creating a comfortable, allergy-friendly environment, but for warming and drying clothing and towels as well. The amount of heat varies, but the largest model can really belch some degrees with around 6500 BTU output.
As with most any hydronic radiator, the NRG is readily compatible with any standard combination boiler or tank-fed systems. However, you can also purchase a separate electrical heating element made for towel rads. This makes it so that you can enjoy comforting warmth even when you’re not running the central heating.
Of the three towel rail rads we’ve covered thus far, the NRG designer bathroom radiator offers perhaps the most BTU per buck. This is largely due to the lower price point, which we’re certain NRG have subscribed to some sort of industrial black magic to produce. Regardless, with a 15-year warranty, it’s hard to argue with their value proposition.
The only nit we’ll pick is with the fittings. They’ve got a heavy gauge and are doubtlessly solid, but they lack the adjustability that makes for flexible real-world installations. This won’t be a problem for an experience plumber, but it might prove troublesome for intrepid DIYers.
VERDICT: Best column rad for bathrooms with limited space
Going in a different direction, we arrive at NRG’s designer line of vertical column radiators. Featuring elegant flat panels, exceptional build quality, plus superior heating and energy efficiency, there’s a lot to love at this price point.
Occupying much the same space as a towel radiator, it’s easy to argue that NRG’s vertical flat panel column radiator boasts the choice aesthetics. If you don’t have a need for extra towel racks, this is perhaps the best way to go to elevate the décor of your bathroom without sacrificing much in the way of space.
Indeed, with 16 size/row configurations to choose from, there’s truly a perfect-fit NRG radiator for any space. Visually, the radiator is at once striking yet understated; it makes great use of otherwise-wasted vertical wall space but never imposes itself as something overly bulky to behold. The styling certainly skews modern or mid-mod, but then so does the average bathroom in the UK.
Available in anthracite or white, you can choose the colour which provides the most satisfying accent to your existing bathroom scheme. Alternatively, these are highly flexible options to base future bathroom renovations around, as well.
As we’ve said, NRG’s line of vertical designer panel rads comes in 16 functional flavours. These include both single-column and double-column configurations, with as few as four bars per row or as many as 10. Sadly, we don’t have precise figures on heat output from NRG on any of their radiators; but we do know the smallest tends to provide north of 2000 BTU while the largest pushes closer to 12000 BTU.
What we do know is that regardless of the model you choose, NRG radiators are exceptionally energy efficient. This comes as a combination of smart bar design for even dispersal of heat from top to bottom, as well as their material composition. NRG uses a premium 1.5mm-thick mild steel–which offers exceptional heat retention comparable to (but definitely less than) cast iron without the bulk or cost.
NRG’s triple-layer finishing process yields an impressively durable protective layer. Indeed, their powder coating is perfect for the humid bathroom environment, having been tested to withstand 200 continuous hours of neutral acid salt spray testing–a fancy way of saying it won’t corrode away with rust or discolour with time and use.
NRG means value for money, and this is readily apparent in their line of designer vertical flat panel column radiators. These offer an impressive balance of performance and aesthetics, at a highly reasonable price point.
We like that there are multiple models to choose from, but wish NRG published their exact performance figures rather than making us estimate. Considering their good return policy and outstanding 15-year satisfaction guarantee, however, we’re willing to overlook this inconvenience and give them the nod as an excellent pick for virtually any bathroom.
VERDICT: Most efficient bathroom column rad
If your space or aesthetics won’t allow for a vertical radiator, then smile knowing you still have access to market-leading NRG quality via their outstanding line of designer horizontal column radiators. While it’s unlikely you’ll be able to make use of the largest of these in your bathroom, the smaller models slot nicely underneath a window or towel rack for a gentle, efficient warmth.
It must be said, NRG know how to make a smart-looking radiator. On display are the same refined aesthetics as found on their vertical rads, but laid out horizontally. There are eight total configurations to choose from, with both single and double column models sharing identical area dimensions.
The smallest is just 600 x 413mm, while the largest expands way out to 600 x 1593mm. Considering the average window sill height in the UK is a little under 800mm, you’ll find the NRG fits neatly on virtually any wall without wasting vertical space. Even better, you’re free to install it directly onto the wall, or sit it upon the floor with the proper brackets (included).
While the NRG horizontal column radiator only comes in titanium white finish, white is overwhelmingly the colour of choice for most bathrooms. It bears a slightly matte texture, lending it a distinctly modern air. As far as designer radiators go, NRG are fairly conservative in their styling, allowing for maximum flexibility to complement most any décor.
Compared to a vertical heater of identical surface area, horizontal column radiators are actually more efficient. Even though the columns are shorter, there are more of them and the sum of their mass exceeds that of their vertical equivalent.
Mass is important because the more of it there is, the more heat your radiator columns will retain. And, considering NRG uses the same premium 1.5mm mild steel, this converts to even higher energy savings. You could turn your central heating system completely off, and your NRG horizontal radiator would still emit a gentle radiant warmth sometimes for hours afterward, depending on how cold the ambient temperature is to start.
And while we’ve made our comparison assuming both vertical and horizontal heaters have the same area, this is slightly misleading; the horizontal radiator’s increased number of columns will actually have more radiant surface area, leading to even more consistent heat dispersal.
Overall, it’s a tossup over whether you should opt for a horizontal or vertical NRG oval column radiator. If your bathroom can accommodate the horizontal space, you’ll be better served efficiency and comfort-wise with our current recommendation. But of course, while both share a similar aesthetic, there’s something special about a vertical radiator.
Whichever direction you take, rest easier knowing NRG ship all of their designer bathroom rads with a sterling 15-year warranty. Taken into consideration with the low price point and excellent build quality, you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth.
VERDICT: Most stylish waterproof electric bathroom rad
What may seem out of place on a list full of hydronic heaters, the Neo Smart is a truly exceptional electric bathroom radiator. Norwegian designer Adax have brought their nearly 80 years’ industry experience to bear on this model, offering unparalleled efficiency and superior build quality at an affordable price.
All the Neo series of designer radiators bear the same monolithic façade, with clean lines and a soft metallic sheen. You might think that a large, flat panel might dominate any room it’s in, but in fact the Neo is more of an attractive wallflower; a stylish accent that doesn’t scream for your attention yet elevates your bathroom décor with panache.
The only deviation what otherwise appears a platonic shape is a minimalist LCD screen in the top-right corner. Otherwise, there are no bright flashing lights, oversized dials or buttons, nor conspicuous branding to interrupt the aesthetic. All the controls are neatly tucked in behind the LCD, out of sight but easily accessible when you need to adjust the thermostat.
If there’s one word to describe the general look and feel of the Neo, Adax have already used it: Smart. After all, if anyone knows how to stave off the cold and look good doing it, it’s the Norwegians.
The Adax Neo Smart is so chock-full of features; you might think it requires a degree to operate. In fact, all you’ll need is a smartphone (Android, iOS, or Windows) and the ability to download Adax’s app. From here, you have full remote control over the 24/7 programmable thermostat, plus the ability to monitor performance even when you’re away from home.
But most electric radiators have some form of remote control. What makes the Neo Smart stand out is its array of efficiency provisions. The cleverest of these is the adaptive start timer, which “learns” the most appropriate time to begin heating up in order to reach its temperature settings exactly when you’ve programmed them. This isn’t just a convenience or conversation starter; it’s actually a great way to reduce wasted energy while increasing comfort.
Moreover, there’s the handy open window detector, which promptly shuts the Neo down whenever it senses a window or door open. This prevents your thermostat from kicking into overdrive in an attempt to compensate for the sudden drop in temperature. Yes, this is primarily designed to boost efficiency as well, but it’s also a safety feature as it prevents overheating.
Of course, sometimes things can go wrong, so Adax have outfitted the Neo Smart with automatic cutout if it ever does overheat. And, to prevent curious little fingers from exploring unsafe settings, there’s a child-proof, password-protected lock on the unit’s manual control interface. The surface never exceeds 75°C, so no need to worry about contact burns, either.
There are seven models on offer, ranging from 400W to 2000W. They’re all 33cm high, 8.4cm deep, and vary in length from 49cm to 140cm. Unlike most electric radiators (and indeed, most other models of Neo), the Smart features IP24 waterproofing–and is thus bathroom safe.
It’s hard to fault a designer radiator with as much thought put into it as Adax’s Neo Smart. The base Neo is already an exceptional electric panel heater, but the Smart’s waterproofing, energy efficiency provisions, and Wi-Fi connectivity bring the formula fully into the 21st century.
The Neo Smart is a great choice for bathrooms which don’t have easy access to the central heating (or for anyone who doesn’t want to hire a plumber to make room for a hydronic system). It features a standard 3-pin cable at 1.2m long, and ships with easy-install mounting brackets. The only real restrictions you face are clearance requirements (5cm below and 15cm above), plus the fact that you cannot install it vertically.
Oh, did we mention it’s made in the EU, and features a 5-year warranty? Talk about a guilt-free investment!
Designer Bathroom Radiator FAQ
It’s natural to have many questions about radiators. After all, they’re a significant investment of money and wall space, and you’re likely to live with your chosen model for years to come. Shouldn’t you feel you’ve made an informed decision?
Towards that end, we’ve compiled a short FAQ section to set your concerns to rest.
Won’t my radiator rust in the bathroom?
There’s good reason to worry about metallic devices rusting in the bathroom. After all, there’s a tonne of humidity from steamy showers, splashing sinks, and even the open lid of your loo. And doesn’t water speed along the rusting process?
Truthfully, you haven’t got much to worry about so long as you pick a quality bathroom radiator. Metal only really rusts when it’s directly exposed to air, so a durable finish should go a long way towards preserving its integrity for many years.
Powder coating and chrome plating are effective shielding versus oxidation. If applied correctly by the manufacturer, it should also prove resilient against scratches and wear that might expose the metal beneath. If you do scratch your finish, apply a dab of nail polish to re-seal the gash.
How can I prevent corrosion from occurring within the radiator?
While you have little control over the quality of water in your locale short of moving house elsewhere, you can mitigate the damage done to your bathroom radiator. In fact, the best way to care for hydronic radiators is the same way you’d protect your central heating system itself–after all, your radiator is just an extension of this system.
The silver bullet is a substance known as inhibitor, a liquid which coats the inside of your piping and prevents the build of sludge and scale over time. Typically, you should add inhibitor to your system once per year, either through the bleed plug in your combi boiler, or via the filling loop in a sealed system. You can do this yourself, but keep in mind that plumbers or gas engineers will typically add inhibitor whenever they service your central heating system.
Additionally, you should plan to flush your radiators every 5 years or so. Again, this is a service commonly offered by plumbing and heating professionals, though you can do it yourself as well. Just be sure to add more inhibitor after you’ve done the flush.
Finally, ensure your boiler has a magnetic filter installed and in good shape. These go a long way towards trapping metal particles and sludge before they reach your radiator.
Do towel rail radiators heat the whole bathroom?
Typically speaking, towel rads are lower-output devices than column or electric radiators. They’re primarily meant to warm up and dry out your towels and clothes which lay directly on their heating rails, and thus don’t need a massive BTU output.
However, towel rads are a great source of supplemental heat, complementing and augmenting your central heating. If your towel rail is going to be the only source of heat in or near the bathroom, however, we recommend you opt for a larger unit than you think you’ll need for towels alone. The physics of a towel rail are exactly the same as a column radiator, after all; it’s all a matter of scale.
How many BTUs do I need to warm my bathroom?
Assuming your designer radiator is the only source of heat in or near your bathroom, you’ll want to plan for 50 BTU per square foot. So if you had a 40 sq. ft. bathroom, you’d need 2000 BTU to comfortably fill the room with a single radiator. This is only a rough estimate, however, as the position of your bathroom within the house, the level of insulation, and the power of your central heating all factor in.
Generally speaking though, it’s good to overestimate your need. You can always install a thermostatic valve to lower the heat output, after all.
Can I use an electric space heater in the bathroom instead?
The answer is generally no, as electrical devices tend to be unsafe in close proximity to high humidity. However, there are certainly electric radiators and heaters which are designed to withstand wet, and can thus perform admirably (and safely) in the bathroom.
Look for a radiator’s IP rating, specifically the second numerical digit which denotes water tightness. If you’re installing the heater in a zone that gets direct splashes, you need at least IPX4. Otherwise, IPX2 can suffice if you’re absolutely sure there will be no direct contact with splashes (shower steam is okay).
If you’re still reading this far down the page, good on you! You’ve now got a clear picture of what sorts of designer bathroom radiators are on the market, and which might be best for you.
We’ve reviewed six of what our market research revealed as the top radiators across a variety of styles and configurations. You’ve also gotten the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bathroom radiators. Hopefully, you’ve settled on the right model for your home, or at least have a much better idea of how to continue your own comparison shopping.
Which style of designer bathroom rad best fits with your lifestyle and budget? Do you have any recommendations that really ought to be on our list? Leave us a comment below!