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7 Best Electric Bathroom Heaters For Any Style or Budget
Nothing is quite so startling as frigid tiles when you’re off to the bath or loo, but good electric bathroom heaters will work a treat to keep you comfy year-round. However, not just any radiator is appropriate for the wettest room in the house. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got waterproofing, plus components capable of withstanding the rigours of bathroom usage.
Today, we review the seven best bathroom-ready radiators you can buy. It’s a crowded marketplace, so our goal is to highlight standout models and features so you can shop smart. Towards this end, we’ve also got a short buyer’s guide for you, towards the end of the article. Read on to banish the cold from your bathroom forever!
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Top-rated electric bathroom heaters
Whether you’re searching for a wall-mounted radiator, a towel rail, or something a little more portable, our list of recommended products has you covered. We review each not only for its power output and utility, but for its maintenance requirements, warranty, and value for money.
Here are the seven best electric bathroom heaters right now:
The best bathroom heater–if money is no object–is the Adax Neo with Wifi capability.
Adax is a Norwegian company which has produced exceptional heating solutions since 1948. The all-European made Adax Neo is perhaps their magnum opus, and is the choice of building developers throughout the UK.
First off, the Neo is just gorgeous. It’s thoroughly Nordic in styling–elegant but unpretentious with its single-panel construction. It’s just a few cm thick, projects just 84mm off from the wall, and so is an exceptional pick for space-starved bathrooms. Indeed, Adax offers a wide variety of sizes and power ratings to suit bathrooms from 6m2 to 25m2.
Choose from a sleek white or sexy lava grey to best fit your aesthetic.
The Neo Wifi has a lot going on under that svelte façade, as well. Depending on the model you choose, there’s up to 2000W of power to produce ample convection heating. The aluminium heating element gets hot fast. Yet it has insulation such that you’ll never have to worry about dust and allergens burning off and into the air. Yes, the Adax Neo is perfect for asthma and allergy sufferers alike.
Further perks include full Lot 20 safety features, including open window detection, overheat protection, child lock, frost protection. The Neo Wifi is compatible with Adax’s iOS, Android, and Windows mobile apps. From the convenience of your phone, you have full control over the 24/7 programmable timer, digital thermostat, and adaptive start systems. What’s more, you can set a password to keep children and hackers out alike, and control multiple Adax units from one interface.
Finally, the Adax Neo Wifi features IP24 waterproofing, and is perfect for any bathroom. (You’ll want to hire an electrician to install it safely, of course).
No discussion of bathroom heaters would be complete without towel rail radiators. And the Bergen line from WärmeHaus is perhaps the best exemplar of its class. Bergen isn’t just a single product, but a healthy array of straight- and curved-rail models, with optional manual or full thermostatic control.
We love Bergen for its stylish design, sturdy construction, and 10-year warranty. You’ll need an electrician to fit this into your bathroom to ensure waterproofing of the plug. But once that’s handled, the Bergen will require little more from you in terms of maintenance.
Bergen comes pre-filled with a corrosion-resistant glycol solution, which warms up quick but retains heat for hours afterwards.
Aside from the electronics, installation is easy with the included mounting hardware. Be aware that the straight-railed version is ambidextrous, and can be mounted with the plug on the left or right.
The curved Bergen is limited to the right, but features superior aesthetics and heat production. Models range in power from 150W-800W, so no matter how large or small your bathroom is, you’ll never have to worry about a mismatch. Higher-powered units will have correspondingly larger frames, with between one and three towel slots.
Of course, the Bergen is purpose-built for the bathroom. In fact, it requires installation from an electrician to validate the warranty, so you never have to worry about shocks or fire from degraded electrical components. Bergen is highly sturdy and basically fool-proof, which is likely why WärmeHaus can so confidently offer such a long warranty. We’ll take it!
Looking for something built like a tank? The Eltron IW120 from Stiebel is a strong pick. Your first impressions upon unboxing will be of sturdiness and workmanship. Indeed, Steibel products are manufactured in Germany, and are designed as workhorse units.
Their documentation even states the Eltron IW120 is durable enough for use outside the house. With all-metal casing and IPX4 waterproofing, it will prove highly reliable in the bathroom, as well.
Complementing its robust design is equally admirable heating performance. At the heart of the Eltron IW120 are three infrared quartz heating elements, which produce true radiant heat.
Peak production rating is 1200W, though you can toggle between 800W and 400W as well with a simple pull of the cord. This is plenty of warmth for bathrooms up to 10m2, and you can direct the heat thanks to the 30° swivel-mounted, high-polish reflector.
Stiebel includes everything you need to mount this 1.55kg unit to your bathroom wall, and we found installation to be a breeze. However, the IW120 requires a permanent electrical connection, and thus the services of an electrician will be needed to complete installation safely.
Once you’re over that, however, you can look forward to years of instant heat from your Stiebel IW120. It does get quite hot, so we recommend you mount it well high enough to avoid accidental contact.
Another solid unit with a catchy name from Stiebel, the Eltron CNS 100-U is an exceptional electric bathroom heater. Many will prefer the less industrial aesthetic to the CNS 100-U as opposed to the IW120, but you nevertheless get the same robust German manufacturing.
Indeed, the CNS 100-U is the archetype of simplicity, with just two alpine white models in the line rated at 500W and 1000W.
The controls are straightforward and easy to understand, with a manual thermostat operational between 5-35°. Roll it all the way down to activate the anti-frost system when you’re leaving the house for extended periods. Nearby is a simple on/off toggle. There’s no fancy LCD screen, remote controls, or other advanced features; but sometimes all you want is a heater which just works.
The Stiebel Eltron CNS 100-U is convection heater, but it is extremely quiet and won’t cause a fuss from across the hall when you’re trying to sleep. It features IP24 waterproofing, and is purpose-built for the bathroom. If you’re short on space, rest easier knowing the projection from the wall is just 10cm.
The mounting bracket comes in the box and easy to use–just make sure you hire an electrician to handle the permanent plug installation. Buy in confidence with Stiebel’s 2-year warranty on parts and labour.
Winterwarm is a subsidiary of GlenDimplex, makers of exceptional heaters such that they are a household name in the UK. The WWDF20E in hardly the most glamourous model in their vast line up, but it might just be the best fit for your bathroom.
Indeed, when you picture the classic bathroom heater, this is probably what pops into mind. It’s a simple, 2000W fan-blown convector with pull cord. Pull the cord again to step down to 1000W heat production, and once again to turn it off. Alternatively, you can leave it running for up to 30 minutes, after which time the automatic shut-off will kick in for safety purposes.
You wouldn’t rely on the WWDF20E for long-term heating, but it is second to none for instant warmth to combat cold bathroom tiles. You’ll have to be somewhat judicious in your placement of this heater, as IP22 rating protects primarily against condensation droplets rather than splashes.
However, you’ll need to hire an electrician to install the permanent electrical connection anyway. Consult with them for the safest/most convenient positioning.
And that’s basically it for the Winterwarm WWDF20E; it really is just a simple little unit that does the job expected of it without fuss or complication. It features robust construction despite weighing just 1.1kg, guaranteed by a generous 2-year warranty from Dimplex.
Devola is no stranger to best-of heating reviews, and their Classic Electric Panel Heater confidently holds its position on our list.
First, we need to address an error with their product listing: the Classic Electric Panel Heater features IP24 construction, not IP20. This is an important distinction, as we would not otherwise recommend it for bathrooms.
But waterproofed it is, and more besides. Devola includes numerous safety features, including overheat protection, open window detection, a child lock for the controls, plus anti-frost functionality.
There’s an attractive backlit LCD display, where you can interface with the precision thermostat–accurate to within a half degree.
If you’d rather not fuss manually, just hit one of the four pre-set programmes: Comfort, Eco, and Frost Protection. The Eco mode operates 3.5° below the Comfort setting, and works a treat to lower your power bill. Did we mention that the 24/7 timer is programmable up to 4 weeks in advance?
You’ll never have to worry about the Classic taking up too much space in your bathroom either. Even the larger 2500W model protrudes just 116mm out from the wall. Both the 2500W and 1500W models include mounting hardware, and weigh no more than 8.6kg.
Yes, you’ll need an electrician to install this one as well, but you really wouldn’t want it any other way. Devola offers robust metal construction built to last, with a 2-year warranty to back it up. Overall, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better bathroom convector under 100 quid.
Last on our list is the Mini Ceramic Fan Heater from ProBreeze. This is an exceptional little heater that, while not purpose-built for the bathroom, nevertheless often comes up in comparison shopping.
Indeed, we rate this model highly on its own merits, though recommend it with reservation for the bathroom. The reason for this is the lack of waterproofing or permanent electrical connection. Water and electricity don’t play nicely together, and their coming together represents a distinct fire/shock hazard.
Despite it breaking the rules of our research, the ProBreeze Mini can’t be entirely discounted for bathroom use. As a fan-blown, ceramic disc heater, it has tremendous capability for directional heat projection. (And we do mean tremendous, as this tiny box blasts out 2000W-worth of warmth!)
We’d instead recommend placing the ProBreeze near the entrance of the bathroom–safely outside of the splash zone. It is well-suited to this positioning, too, as it features an optional 60° oscillation feature, so you can warm up your bathroom and hall at once.
So, it’s more fair to call this unit a “go-anywhere” heater rather than a dedicated bathroom heater. After all, it weighs just 1.75kg, and features a sturdy carry handle built right in. Safety features include overheat protection and a tip-over switch, so you won’t have to worry about tripping over the 1.5m cable to disastrous consequence.
Overall, the ProBreeze mini produces effective instant-on heating, and can be used in a pinch to combat cool spots anywhere in the house. Just don’t rely on it as your permanent bathroom heater.
Buyer’s guide – Finding the best electric bathroom heaters
If you’ve spent any time shopping around for bathroom heaters, you know the market’s saturated. While ample choice is great from an economic standpoint–as competition drives prices down across the board–it can be overwhelming as well. There are a lot of dud heaters out there, and unfortunately this isn’t just a matter of inconvenience.
Indeed, a poor heater can be quite dangerous, offering up the risk of electrocution and fire instead of comforting warmth.
So what to do? An overwhelming market can lead to confused and/or hasty purchases. That’s why we’ve compiled this short guide on the key points you need to understand about electric bathroom heaters. Once you’ve read through, you’ll have a much better educated perspective on what makes a great product–and a great purchase.
First and foremost, any given heater has no business inside the bathroom unless it has some waterproofing to guard the electronics. Otherwise, you risk the degradation of your heater at best, or the destruction of your property by fire at worst.
So, how can you gauge waterproofing?
Heaters use the Ingress Protection, or IP rating system. You’ll see numbers like IP22 and IPX4 thrown about to denote some level of waterproofing, but there’s some specific logic to it you need to understand.
There are two numerical digits after the IP:
- The first of these is the rating against physical intrusion by dust, debris, body parts, etc. A zero rating indicates no protection at all, while a 6 is impervious to even the finest particles.
- The second digit is moisture protection, and what you need to pay most attention to for bathroom heaters. Once again, a zero indicates no protection, while a 9 is good even against high-pressure water jets and full submersion. Heaters tend to possess ratings up to 4, which protects against splashes from any direction. 1-3 ratings denote resistance against droplets falling vertically from condensation, to splashes up to 60° off from vertical.
Additionally, an X rating (like IPX4) indicates the manufacturer hasn’t specifically tested for debris or moisture. For safety’s sake, you should assume this rating is 0.
Matching IP rating to your bathroom electrical zone
Bathroom zones may be mysterious to you, but no longer. Here’s a breakdown:
- Zone 0 – Think of this as “ground zero” for water production. If an area of your bathroom can hold water, like the tub, shower basin, or sink, it’s Zone 0. You’re not going to install a heater here under any condition!
- Zone 1 – Here be dragons–er, splashes. You can count on this area to get quite wet, and your heater will need an IPX4 minimum rating to operate safely here. The wall inside your shower stall or next to the tub’s faucet is Zone 1. While IPX4 is a safe rating, there are probably better places for your heater.
- Zone 2 – This is defined as 600mm away from the side of your bath or shower, and 2.25m above the floor. It won’t get soaked, but will still likely suffer some splashes. Once again, IPX4 is the minimum requirement for heaters positioned here.
- Zone 3 – This is anywhere outside the first three zones. No specific IP rating is required here, but we recommend at least IPX2 to guard against condensation and the odd tidal wave.
Permanent electrical fixtures vs. plug-ins
It might be tempting to choose a jack-of-all-trades heater that you could foreseeably unplug and deploy elsewhere in the house. However, this is not recommended. A bathroom heater must be just that–a purpose-built device with waterproofing and a permanent connection to the mains.
Permanence is the key word here; an electrician is required to create a permanent electrical connection, and while they’re doing that they’ll create waterproofed housing. There is no true DIY substitute for expertise (though many products are advertised otherwise).
An exposed electrical plug within Zone 2 of your bathroom is a disaster waiting to happen. Indeed, it may seem to suffice for some time, but this is merely lulling you into a false sense of security. Electrical components with repeated exposure to moisture will degrade and become unsafe–it’s just a matter of time.
Getting the right heater for your bathroom size
As a rule of thumb, you want 10W of power for every square foot of your bathroom. The average UK bathroom is about 48ft2, and typically requires a 500W radiator. However, smaller heaters with directional heat may go up to 2500W and be not just bearable, but optimal. Larger oil-filled radiators may similarly possess excessive power, but will usually feature a thermostat or power cut to adapt to smaller spaces.
Generally, you’d prefer to err on the side of too much power, which you can adjust down with the thermostat. Trying to run an underpowered heater will not only prove ineffective, but highly inefficient. Of course, it’s rather obvious that larger bathroom heaters will tend to be more expensive. So, you’ll want to search for that sweet spot where you’re not overpaying for power you don’t need; but not cheaping out on an ineffectual unit.
RELATED READING: The best baseboard heaters on the market
Properly assessing total costs
Most people shop with a budget in mind–as they should. Unfortunately, the final word on your heater’s cost is rarely just its price tag. You’ll need to budget for the heater itself, as well as shipping and installation. That last one is particularly important, as the safest bathroom-ready radiators require an electrician to secure the plug against moisture. This is, sadly, not something you can approximate or get around via DIY methods. Such solutions do exist, but they still cost money and don’t offer the peace of mind (or warranty verification) of a professional installation.
You’ll also want to consider maintenance. Generally, the more moving parts a thing has, the more that can go wrong. Oil-filled radiators and heaters with infrared quartz heating elements are mechanically simple, and you could expect a long, uneventful service life.
Fan-blown convectors, when run extensively, tend to see burnt-out motors at the very least. When selecting your heater, have a care for the aftermarket of replacement parts. If there’s a bustling scene, buy in confidence as future repairs won’t be terribly niche and thus expensive. Otherwise, you’ll want to buy a bathroom radiator with a good warranty to cover parts and labour.
If you’ve had it with cold bathroom floors, an electric radiator is the way to go. We’ve presented the seven best products for your money, each serving a distinct niche in the marketplace. I
If you wish to continue comparison shopping beyond our article, keep in mind the points we made in our electric bathroom heater buyer’s guide.
Which bathroom radiator best suits your needs? Do you have a recommendation for a product not listed here? Share your story with your fellow readers in a comment below.