Electric radiators are becoming more and more popular, with an increasing number of households no longer relying on the traditional gas heating.
Whether you’re looking for a small, portable electric radiator to heat or supplement the heating in a single room or wall mounted radiators to upgrade your whole system, there are quite a few options available.
They come in different shapes and sizes but they have something in common: they all claim to be the winner in terms of the most efficient and most economical electric radiator.
Is that really true? Probably not, just false marketing at its best.
Our comparison table below will reveal a few of what we think are one of the best electric radiators that you can currently buy online in the UK. Further down this article you can read each individual electric radiator review – we’ll thoroughly analyse each product.
|Name||Dimplex Cadiz Eco||De’Longhi Dragon 4 TRD40820T||Jack Stonehouse||Futura Eco 1200W||Futura Eco 2000W|
|Height/Width/Depth||77 x 60.5 x 25 cm||65 x 52 x 15 cm||H65 x W59 x D24 cm||55 x 76.1 x 7.6 cm||58 x 104 x 10 cm|
|Mount||free||free||free||wall mounted||wall mounted|
|Warranty||5 years||10 years||1 year||2 years||2 years|
Why use electric radiators at all?
Electric heating is generally used when central heating is too costly to install and operate or it’s simply not an option.
Plus, electricity is a cleaner fuel, generated increasingly via renewable energy sources. Therefore, electric heat systems are seen as more future-proof.
You don’t have a boiler and you don’t have paperwork. There’s no maintenance required and you end up with targeted, controllable heat when and where you need it, so you reduce your energy consumption.
Also, they’re a lot easier to move.
Electric radiators running cost
Are electric radiators cheap to run? Compared to other forms of central heating, the running cost of an electric radiator is a mystery to most people.
Let’s try to simplify things: if you have a 1000 Watts or 1kW electric radiator, you need to look at the tariff your energy provider charges you. If you have the radiator on, constantly, for an hour, they’ll charge you 1kWh/hour. The average electricity cost in the UK is 12-13 pence/kWh used. Therefore, to run a 1kWh electric radiator continuously on full power for 8 hours it would cost you roughly £1.
But you’re not going to run it non-stop on full power, right? This is where the thermostat plays a very important role and it’s a much-needed feature. Plus, this £1 if very, very variable, and the running cost differs a lot.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide an exact answer in regards to how much it costs to run an electric radiator because there are many variables to consider:
- what type of electric heating you installed
- the electric tariff you have and how long will the radiator be on for
- what setting the thermostat is on
- has to correct heat output for the space been calculated?
So please consider all these factors to keep your overall energy bills to a minimum.
One major key to reducing your energy cost is via controllability. One of the best electric radiators on the market are equipped with digital displays that allows you to maximise efficiency and minimise energy wastage. You can select the exact temperature, how long to run for or even exact time cycles in which it should run. You’re in full control, and you can even set these values using your computer, tablet or smartphone on a few models.
Oil-filled radiators vs. Oil-free
Both oil-filled and oil-free radiators require no maintenance and are efficient to run.
The oil contained in the oil-filled radiators never burns and doesn’t need to be changed or refilled. Oil-filled radiators take longer to get warm but, at the same time, they retain the heat for longer once you’ve switched them off.
The oil-free radiators warm up quick, are usually lighter and more silent (you can sometimes hear the oil dripping in the oil-filled ones). They’re easier to be moved around the house but, overall, there’s no clear advantage or disadvantage between these two.
They are both pretty much the same in terms of efficiency and energy costs.
Best oil-free portable electric radiator: Dimplex Cadiz Eco Review
This Dimplex Cadiz Eco is our overall pick as the best electric radiator. You can choose between two different heat outputs: 2 and 3kWh.
The electronic climate control is a big plus. It features a digital thermostat that allows you to manage the temperature of the room, minimising wasted energy and maximising efficiency. It also comes equipped with a remote control that allows you to do just that from the comfort of your sofa. Being oil-free, it will reach the desired temperature in no-time.
It features a Twin Panel Technology, that can be operated together or independently. It means that you can even choose which side of the radiator you want to emit the heat, maximising efficiency.
Being quite lightweight, you can easily move it around your house. Plus, the integrated carry handles and glide castors are going to help. Its dimensions are: 77 x 60.5 x 25 cm.
The integral cable tidy is also convenient as you can easily hide its cable while not in use.
With a five years warranty in place, the Dimplex Cadiz Eco offers quality and peace of mind. Great value for money, one of the most efficient portable electric radiators!
Best oil-filled portable electric radiator: De’Longhi Dragon 4 TRD40820T Review
This De’Longhi electric radiator has two different buying options available: the 1.5 or 2kWh. It’s less powerful than the Cadiz Eco but we were simply blown away by the ten years guarantee that De’Longhi offers. They do have complete confidence in their products when it comes to quality.
This specific model features a mechanical timer and a thermostat. It also has an anti-frost function, an overheat safety cut-out mechanism and cable storage. Yet again, it’s a portable electric radiator equipped with wheels and carry handle.
Dimensions: 65 x 52 x 15 cm. Featuring three heat settings, this De’Longhi electric radiator is quite smart looking. The extension cable is quite short, pretty much similar to the rest of the electric radiators we review in this article. This specific cable is 1,4m long – you can, however, use an extension lead.
Another good value for money product!Click here to see latest prices.
Best Cheap Portable Electric Radiator: Jack Stonehouse 2.5kWh Oil Filled Radiator Review
You could probably find some cheaper electric radiators out there, but this Jack Stonehouse radiator still have some features that are much-needed when looking to get some warmth into your house.
One of them is the 24 hours timer, which means you can set it to come on at any desired hour in any day of the week.
The product dimensions are: H65 x W59 x D24cm and it consumes 2.5kWh on full power. It is equipped with three different heat settings and features a nice, stylish LED display with an adjustable thermostat.
And again, just like the rest of portable electric radiators, it features overheat protection function and the safety tip-over, which means that if your oil-filled radiator is knocked or falls over, it will turn itself down to minimise the possible damage to your floor or carpet.
One thing we didin’t like about this electric radiator is the instruction manual. You can’t find any detailed information as to how to set the timer properly so that will require a bit of practice.
Best cheap wall mounted electric radiator: Futura Eco 1200W Electric Radiator Review
Using lower energy, this Futura Eco 1.2kW radiator is more economical than the previous two.
It comes equipped with wall mounting brackets and an accurate digital thermostat.
Its dimensions are as following: width 76.1cm, height 55cm and a depth of just 7.6cm. It has a keypad lock that makes it safe to use around children.
It features 6 operation modes – timer, manual comfort mode, automatic, eco, frost protection and program mode. You can choose any temperature between 0°C to 40°C.
A great plus of this wall mounted electric radiator is its power consumption meter that shows you the exact amount of power you’re using. With a 24/7 timer, you can just set the desired programme and the radiator will keep doing its work without the need of being reset.
You get two years guarantee, less than the De’Longhi radiator but there are not many brands that can compete with them in regards to that. A stylish product and one of the best wall mounted electric radiators.
Best wall mounted electric radiator for large rooms: Futura Eco 2000W Review
Compared to the Futura Eco 1200, this efficient wall mounted electric radiator is a lot more powerful (2 kWh) and comes in bigger sizes: 104.5cm x 58cm x 10cm.
It is suitable for bigger rooms, and if the previous model was suitable for rooms up to 14m2, this specific model can provide enough heat for a room up to 23m2.
In terms of features and specifications, they are pretty much the same. It features an LCD display and the same power consumption meter.
However, there’s quite a difference when it comes to the price. This product doesn’t come cheap, so you’ll have to dig quite deep for this one.
The wall mounted oil-filled electric radiators generally don’t come cheap, but they can prove to be quite effective.
You get two years guarantee, just like the Futura Eco 1.2Kw.Click here to see latest prices.
Are electric radiators safe?
We’ve heard this question many times: ‘is it safe to leave my electric radiator on overnight?’.
And it’s not about being paranoid or conscientious, it’s natural to be concerned about your safety.
But, at the end of the day, electric radiators are much safer than most other portable heating options. You may get a slight blister if you lean on it for a while, but that’s self-correcting behavior.
It’s important to check that they’re equipped with safety features, so if they do fall over – it should automatically stop. Remember to never leave them unattended around children.
For your peace of mind, you can always get a smoke alarm and put it above the powerpoint where the radiator would plug-in. If you rent, use double-sided tape to stick the alarm to the ceiling.
Considering the heating elements are inside the case, whether we’re talking about oil-filled or oil-free radiators, they’re almost impossible to start a fire with. So the things you should worry about are the same things that should concern you with any appliance.
Here are a few Portable Heater Safety Tips as listed by Electrical Safety First :
- Put your heater on a level surface, well away from anything that could knock it over
- Make sure your heater is at least a metre away from combustible materials, such as paper, furniture or curtains. Never use it to dry your clothes!
- Never leave your heater unattended whilst in use or while you are asleep
- Never power a heater from an extension lead – they can easily be overloaded and cause fires
- Regularly inspect your heater for damage and deterioration. If it isn’t in good condition, don’t use it!
- Avoid second hand heaters. Make sure you buy from recognised manufacturers and retailers.
Hope you found these electric radiators reviews useful. As you can see, there are many options available online but it’s quite difficult to decide which electric radiator is the best. It all comes down to your specific needs and requirement, therefore it’s best to do your own research before making such an important purchase.