Are unsightly radiators bringing your décor down? You aren’t the only one. Let’s be honest, panel radiators are rarely beautiful pieces of contemporary design nor do they have the rustic charm that traditional cast iron radiators or custom models can. Covering up your unsightly radiators can add a more personalised, homely touch and are a really affordable way of revamping your décor, especially if you rent or don’t have the funds to replace the radiators in your home. 

Not only do they look good, but they can also be extremely practical pieces of furniture too. They can help to protect children and pets from burning their little fingers and paws on the hot metal and some models even provide extra storage in the form of a shelf for everything from candles to keys! Whether you place one in the lounge and use the extra shelving for family photos and personal nick-nacks or need a place to put your keys in a narrow hallway, OnBuy has the ultimate selection of radiators covers for you. Check out our recommendations for the best models to keep your home warm and stylish.


What are the benefits of having a radiator cover?

white radiator cover

Apart from the appeal of covering up the ugly fittings in your home, there are plenty of benefits to installing radiator covers in your home.

If you have young children or pets, having the heating on can be a real concern. Small hands and paws can easily be burnt or scalded by the hot metal during winter and the sharp sides and edges can be perilous to toddlers charging around. By covering up the radiator, both children and animals can be kept safer without you having to sacrifice having the heating on. 

You might be worried that covering a radiator will make your heating less effective, but you rarely need to worry. Radiator covers are notoriously polarising, with some saying they make no difference to the warmth of a room and some saying they’ve noticed a change. Most models are designed to lose as little heat as possible and encourage a natural convection current but, if you’re concerned, you can always place a sheet of radiator foil between the wall and the radiator before installing the cover. That way, heat will reflect back into the room rather than the exterior walls. This means your home will still be cosy and warm even with the radiators hidden out of sight. 

Another benefit of a radiator cover is that it can offer extra storage. The top usually doubles as a little shelf and is the perfect spot to display trinkets or photos, keep your keys safe, or offer a cosy spot for the cat to sleep. Another perk to covering your radiators up is that you can dampen the whistling of noisy pipes - particularly good if your home is older or your plumbing is loud.

Apart from the appeal of covering up the ugly fittings in your home, there are plenty of benefits to installing radiator covers in your home.

If you have young children or pets, having the heating on can be a real concern. Small hands and paws can easily be burnt or scalded by the hot metal during winter and the sharp sides and edges can be perilous to toddlers charging around. By covering up the radiator, both children and animals can be kept safer without you having to sacrifice having the heating on. 

You might be worried that covering a radiator will make your heating less effective, but you rarely need to worry. Radiator covers are notoriously polarising, with some saying they make no difference to the warmth of a room and some saying they’ve noticed a change. Most models are designed to lose as little heat as possible and encourage a natural convection current but, if you’re concerned, you can always place a sheet of radiator foil between the wall and the radiator before installing the cover. That way, heat will reflect back into the room rather than the exterior walls. This means your home will still be cosy and warm even with the radiators hidden out of sight. 

Another benefit of a radiator cover is that it can offer extra storage. The top usually doubles as a little shelf and is the perfect spot to display trinkets or photos, keep your keys safe, or offer a cosy spot for the cat to sleep. Another perk to covering your radiators up is that you can dampen the whistling of noisy pipes - particularly good if your home is older or your plumbing is loud.


How to measure for a radiator cover

measuring radiator covers

In order to buy the right size radiator cover, you’ll need to make sure you take accurate measurements. Grab a measuring tape, follow these instructions, and compare the measurements to the internal sizes to ensure the best fit. 

First, measure the length of your radiator. You may be tempted to measure just the panel, but you’ll need to make sure you include any pipes and valves. Add a couple of centimetres to the length on each side to ensure enough clearance.

Next, measure the height of your radiator from the floor to the top of the panel. Add another couple of centimetres to allow proper air circulation.

Finally, measure the depth of the radiator. This is how far it protrudes from the wall to the furthest point at the front. Once again, add a couple of centimetres for circulation.

Most radiator covers account for skirting boards and have sections cut out so that the cover can sit flush against the wall. However, if your skirting boards are taller or deeper than usual, you may want to make sure they will fit in the cut-outs. Measure the height and the depth to ensure a nice, snug fit.

Top tip: If your main concern for getting a radiator cover is to protect your pets or children, make sure you secure your cover to the wall to ensure there isn’t a risk of it being pulled or knocked over!


How to choose a radiator cover

bedroom radiator cover

Once you’re all measured up, the next step is to decide on a design you like. Radiator covers usually feature a sturdy frame, a slightly deeper shelf on top, and front panels consisting of a mesh of latticework or slats. These open designs on the front allow the heat to circulate properly so’s not to diminish the effectiveness of your heating. 

Before you begin your hunt, make sure your radiators will be compatible with the covers. Space heaters and storage heaters will pose a fire hazard due to the very high temperatures they release. Radiator covers should only be used on your central heating radiators which are usually run on gas or oil.

When you’re looking for a radiator cover, it’s a good idea to consider the theme, build, or design of your home - you don’t want your covers to stand out for the wrong reasons, after all! Slats complement all kinds of modern, mid-century, and contemporary style homes, while a cover that features more of a decorative cut-out design might be best suited to a more shabby chic or Victorian style home with lots of decorative elements. 

Now you know what you’re on the lookout for, let’s get into our top recommendations for radiator covers.

The classic & stylish one | Arlington Radiator Cover

arlington radiator cover

Pros: Modern and stylish to complement your décor, dampens the sounds of noisy pipes

Cons: Universal sizing may not fit custom-made radiators, needs to be attached to the wall so not ideal for rented properties

If you’re looking for a modern and versatile design in your radiator cover, the Arlington radiator cover is a solid choice. Available in both white and grey with a natural oak wood top, these are the ideal radiator covers for most homes. The vertical slats and gaps beneath the shelf offer excellent air circulation and it comes in many different sizes, perfect for placing over every radiator in your home.

The inconspicuous one | MDF Radiator Cover

mdf radiator cover

Pros: The plain wood finish blends into all décor styles, offers great air circulation thanks to the horizontal slats

Cons: The wood colour is a bit dull if you prefer something brighter, only available in one size

On the hunt for a radiator cover that won’t stand out or can be easily disguised? This MDF radiator cover is the ideal choice as the plain wood finish adds a minimalistic and simple touch to a room. Alternatively, it lends itself to being painted in any colour you like - why not match it to the colour of your walls for a seamless blend? The handy shelf on top still offers you plenty of display space for your trinkets and the horizontal slats encourage great air circulation.

The snazzy one | White Oxford Radiator Cover

oxford radiator cover

Pros: Elegant design, provides excellent circulation for the heat

Cons: Limited choice of sizes, only available in white

Let’s face it, sometimes you just want something a bit fancier for your home. For radiators that are anything but mundane, pick up this white Oxford radiator cover. Featuring a gorgeous lattice pattern front, this radiator cover offers great circulation and a decorative touch to any room - perfect for displaying in your hallway or lounge. As with the other styles, if you have children, make sure you securely fasten it to the wall to prevent it from toppling over.

The classy one | Chelsea White Radiator Cover

chelsea radiator cover

Pros: The all-white design complements every home style, easy to keep clean with a swipe of a cloth

Cons: Only offered in one colour, the white might show scuffs easily

For a classy finishing touch to your redecorating project, the Chelsea radiator cover is a great option. Minimalistic in design, this all-white design will keep the heat flowing while offering you a lovely place to display your ornaments. The vertical stripes can make your space feel taller, lending an illusion of space to small rooms. This model is also super easy to keep clean, making it a really convenient addition to your home. Simply wipe down with a dry cloth and you’re done!


The versatile one | Milton White Radiator Cover

milton radiator cover

Pros: Available in many different sizes (including adjustable), a classy minimalistic design

Cons: Only available in white, requires self-assembly

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 pre-set 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 custom radiators, you can expand it to fit perfectly. Just like all of the other models, there’s a handy little shelf on top for personal items and the horizontal slats enable the warm air to circulate freely.


Stay cosy all winter long

cosy bedroom radiator cover

Whether you’re hiding an ugly radiator in your bedroom or need a shelf without taking up precious floor space in a narrow hallway, a radiator cover is a perfect addition to keep your house warm and cosy without sacrificing the appearance of your décor. 

Love the idea of a radiator cover but looking for something a bit more your speed? Check out OnBuy’s full range of radiator covers for even more choice! While you’re at it, why not refresh another area of the living room with some other details to make your house truly feel like a home?

The information in this buyer’s guide is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.