Radiators are hardly the most attractive fittings in your home. Unless you’ve forked out for some stunning custom radiators, the ones you have in your home are more than likely the standard while panel models. While we enjoy feeling cosy, looking at them can be an eyesore, not to mention a burn risk for children and pets. The solution? A stylish radiator cover, of course!
Fitting your radiators with a cover will ensure your home stays warm while keeping little fingers and paws safe from the hot metal. They also offer a fabulous opportunity to display some extra personal items with their built-in shelves, and can offer storage in rooms with precious little floor space available for large furniture. It can be difficult deciding what style or colour to go for though, so read on to discover how you can match your radiator cover to your décor. Packed with a wealth of styling tips and ideas, this guide is sure to spark some interior inspiration.
Do radiator covers reduce heating efficiency?
Radiator covers have little effect on the actual efficiency of your radiator. Radiators work through the process of natural convection - warm air rising and cold air sinking. The radiator takes in the cold air and releases warmer, less dense air, which rises and circulates around the room. A radiator cover may slow down this air movement but it shouldn’t negatively impact the efficiency of your radiator altogether.
A great way to make doubly sure that your radiator covers are working at their maximum efficiency, you can place foil insulation behind the radiator itself. Doing so will help to prevent the heat from penetrating the wall by reflecting the heat back out into the room. This is especially beneficial on external walls where there’s a bigger risk of heat escaping.
How to fit a radiator cover
Each radiator cover is slightly different, so following the specific assembly and installation instructions included is important to get the best fit. Make sure you include all pipes, knobs, and other protruding parts in your measurements and compare them against the internal measurements on the product page.
Typically, you’ll need to fix the radiator cover to the wall using small brackets. This is so you can ensure your cover stays stable and won’t fall over, crushing toes, pets, and small children in the process. Fitting your radiator cover properly will also allow you to easily access the pipes and knobs in the event you need to alter the temperature or check that it’s working properly.
How to style a radiator cover
As with any new fitting or furnishing, learning how to style a radiator cover and make it look good can be a challenge. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered (quite literally!) with this handy guide. Armed with our styling tips and tricks, picking out the perfect radiator cover to suit your home décor theme needn't be a hard task - quite the opposite, in fact! From the colour of the cover itself to delightful decorations to put on top, there’s no end of ways you can incorporate your new favourite fitting into your home, giving it a touch of je ne sais quois to take it from drab to fab with ease. Let’s get started!
Pros: Chic and stylish, matches any kind of home décor, features a shelf for storage or decoration
Cons: White can show marks and dirt easily, horizontal grilles need to be dusted regularly to prevent build-up
Size: S (H82 x W78 x L19cm), M (H82 x W111 x L19cm), L (H82 x W152 x L19cm), XL (H82 x W172 x L19cm), Adjustable (H82 x W140-204 x L19cm)
If you need a radiator cover that fits into your small bedroom, match a cool décor theme, or need somewhere to display trinkets without the need for hanging shelves, a white radiator cover is for you. White is used a lot in interior decorating to help make small rooms feel more spacious, as light bounces off the surface to make the room feel brighter. It’s also used frequently in dull, dark spaces for the same reason, helping them appear more light and airy. When it comes to picking out the perfect white radiator cover, you really can’t go wrong with the Milton model from the homeware specialists at Home Discount.
No matter what size your radiators are, the Milton radiator cover is a fab choice. Not only is this style available in a huge range of preset sizes, but you can also opt for the adjustable size which, as the name suggests, can be extended to any size you need. Perfect for homes with unusual-sized or bespoke radiators, you can expand it to fit snugly without having to pay for an expensive custom-made model. Just like all of the other radiator covers featured on this list, there’s a handy little shelf on top for personal items and the horizontal slats enable the warm air to circulate freely.
Styling top tip: The shelf of this cover is perfect for using to display personal items. The plain colour won’t detract attention from all your trinkets and knick-knacks! Why not go with a monochromatic theme for an extra splash of style, or take accent colours from existing pieces of decoration to tie the whole room together?
Pros: An ideal alternative to the white version, grey is a trendy colour to have in your home
Cons: Limited range of sizes, may not be best-placed in darker rooms
Size: S (H82 x W78 x D19cm), M (H82 x W111 x D19cm), XL (H82 x W172 x D19cm)
Grey has become the go-to neutral colour for interior design in recent years. It’s a cool colour that complements wood tones and goes well with white, so it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular! As white comes in many different shades (cool, warm, brilliant, to name just a few), it can be hard to find the right colour fittings to match your existing décor. If you’re looking for a radiator cover that won’t clash with your walls, grey is a fantastic alternative.
As with the white version, the Milton radiator cover is a fantastic option for all rooms and hallways in your home. It offers that handy shelf for storage, great for use in narrow spaces where a shelf may not be suitable, and the horizontal slats offer unobstructed air circulation, keeping your home warm and cosy all winter long.
Styling top tip: Pair with pops of bright, rich colours (like burnt orange, mustard yellow, or lime green) for a really unique style!
Pros: Modern style complements your décor, dampens the sounds of noisy pipes
Cons: May not fit custom-made radiators, needs to be attached to the wall
Size: M (H83 x W111 x L19cm), L (H83 x W152 x L19), XL (H83 x W172 x L19cm)
If you love the rustic edge of shabby-chic and farmhouse styles of interior design, the Arlington radiator cover is the ultimate choice for you. Featuring white slats and legs with an oak wood shelf, this fantastic fitting is sure to complement your décor, regardless of whether you favour a more contemporary or traditional style. The natural wood surface offers a break in the monochrome if your walls are also painted white, warming up the room to create a more homely and inviting atmosphere. The vertical front slats and spaces beneath the shelf offer excellent air circulation and it comes in many different sizes, perfect for placing over every radiator in your home.
Styling top tip: If you need somewhere to store your keys and daily essentials, install this radiator cover in your hallway. As you come and go, you can pick up and drop off all the things you need to hand without having to worry about them getting lost among the rest of your belongings. Light, bright and warming, what better way to make your home feel inviting than placing this near the front door?
Pros: Won’t show scuffs or dirt, a striking addition to any room, horizontal slats allow air to circulate freely
Cons: Not ideal for small rooms if you’re trying to make them feel bigger, could be difficult to style
Size: H81 x W172 x D19cm
If you favour a monochromatic theme or you’re looking to match your black furniture and fittings together, this stunning MDF radiator cover is the perfect choice for you. Sleek, striking and oh-so stylish, this gorgeous addition will complete the look of any room with a luxurious finish. Black can be tough to style but, when done right, it can look really elegant and refined. It’s best to match it with other key pieces of furniture or décor items that are also in dark colours.
Black can get a bad rap in the interior design world. Some people think it makes a room look gloomy or dark but, when displayed with the right furniture and details, it can really add an edge to a room. Don’t shy away from this black radiator cover to add a little flair to your living room or bedroom.
Styling top tip: Pair with pops of colour, white, or metallics for an even more elegant look.
Pros: Easy to blend into your existing décor theme, easy to put together and introduce into your space
Cons: Requires self-assembly, only available in one size
Size: H81 x W172 x D19cm
Simple yet elegant, this wonderful wooden radiator cover is the perfect addition to each and every room in your home. Naturally warming (no pun intended!), the wood exterior will break up the cold, industrial feel of monochromatic rooms, creating a homely atmosphere to wind down in. As with all wooden furniture, the real beauty of this model is its versatility. Regardless of whether you favour a rustic, shabby-chic interior, a minimalistic, contemporary design, or a more classic, conservative aesthetic, this radiator cover will blend in seamlessly. This is only bolstered by its popular horizontal slat design, which won’t look out of place in even the most busy of décor themes. Crafted with hardy MDF and covered in a smooth lacquer finish, this radiator cover is built to last - yes, even with the inevitable bumps and bashes of busy family life!
Proof that less can certainly be more, you really can’t go wrong with this magnificent MDF radiator cover.
Styling top tip: The top shelf has plenty of space for nick-nacks and personal items of all kinds so personalise it with photos and other trinkets!
Pros: Adds a welcoming warmth to a room, perfect for the nature-lovers
Cons: Limited size range, requires sell-assembly
Size: S (H82 x W78 x D19cm), M (H82 x W111 x D19cm)
When you want to bring a little bit of nature inside, turn to a wooden radiator cover. The warm wood of the Oxford radiator cover helps your room to feel cosy and can complement a huge variety of décor styles, from farmhouse to shabby-chic. Additionally, the design on the front panel of the Oxford cover is pretty unique, sporting charming lattice-style cutouts to encourage air circulation and bringing a touch of class into your home. Pair with other warm oak-effect pieces of furniture for a put-together and cosy look.
Alternatively, why not go all out and decorate this fabulous fitting in any way you desire? The unfinished surface lends itself to painting, giving you full creative freedom over the design. Got some paint left over from your last decorating project and want to match your new addition to the walls? Sure. Looking to add a vibrant splash of colour to elevate your décor? You got it! In fact, you could even spray paint your own bespoke print onto its surface to create an eye-catching design that’s personal to you - the possibilities are endless! And, should you ever fancy a complete redecoration of the room, there’s no need to invest in a brand new cover: simply sand it down and repaint again to keep it in line with your new look.
Styling top tip: Artificial plants and flowers will feel right at home with the natural style of this radiator cover - go crazy with the plants! Or, if you plan to give it that personal touch, make sure you’re well stocked up on painting supplies before getting stuck in.
There’s no place like home
By adding a radiator cover to any room, you can completely change the vibe of your home and add a customisable finishing touch for an affordable price. Whether you top it off with items you collect, use it as a place to keep your keys, or decide to keep it clean and clear, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Looking for even more interior inspiration? We have an entire category of charming radiator covers for you to browse and choose from! Available in a whole variety of colours, designs and sizes, you’re sure to find the perfect finishing touch to your room among our superb selection. And, for an even closer exploration into these fabulous fittings, check out our ultimate guide to radiator covers, which will walk you through the benefits of installing these in your home before showcasing even more magnificent models to tempt you. We’ve got you (and your radiators) covered!
The information in this buyer’s guide is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.