10 stylish radiator cover ideas that will transform this essential item

Customise your heating sources with these fabulous methods

hallway with fabric radiator cover and shelf, candles, vase, framed poster
(Image credit: Future PLC)

We all have radiators to keep us cosy in the warmer months, and if we don't have the budget for a beautiful style design, radiator cover ideas are what we need to help us turn this practical part of our homes into something that's still nice look at. 

If you love a spot of DIY then our guide on you could always build your own radiator cover, if not, we have sourced our favourite radiator cover ideas to help you turn yours into something of beauty – we promise! 

From fabric curtains and bespoke designs to curved options and hiding a small radiator under a bench, we've got your central heating needs covered – literally!

Radiator cover ideas 

'Radiator covers offer some pretty nifty benefits, they help distribute warm air more evenly throughout the room and without one warm air tends to linger near the ceiling,' says Adriana Fuster, interiors consultant at Jali.

An essential part of our homes unless we live in a warmer climate, radiators tend to be practical over style, so it's a case of hiding them under something stylish whilst still allowing the heat to pass through. 

Read on to find out our top ideas that are easy on the eye for all rooms. 

1. Utilise the top of your radiator cover

grey panelled hallway with matching radiator cover

(Image credit: Future PLC)

The first radiator that might need covering is the one in your hall and it's an ideal opportunity for creating a cover that has a double use. There's never enough storage in a hall so even a small ledge for those essentials like keys, post and a few keepsakes will make a difference. 

Blend in your radiator cover by painting it in the same colour as the rest of your scheme, this will help it to flow visually and stop it from standing out.

2. Use a pretty design to create a display area

White radiator cover with patterned screen in living room with wooden floor

(Image credit: Future PLC)

It is possible to get a pretty grill design for your radiator cover, this means you can make a feature of it instead of trying to hide it behind a sofa or bed. 

Create a display area on the top with a selection of vases – a trio always works best – and add a mirror. If your room has a theme, like vintage for example, then use that as your starting point. 

3. Keep it low key with a coat of white

white dining room with open shelving, window seat and radiator cover

(Image credit: Jali/@zsdesignlondon)

For a simple, Scandi style dining room that's all white with a splash of colour, painting your radiator cover in white will keep it from standing out. Pop a wide top on it that you can use and add some white shelving above it to distract the eye.

'Our Made to Measure radiator cover painted in J1 White has grille option 7652,' says  Adriana, interiors consultant, Jali. 'While the grille and top overhanging follow a traditional trend, the uprights and square top features give it a touch of a contemporary look.'

Coloured cushions and accessories work as an accent if you want to introduce some print and pattern.  

expert headshot, Adriana Fuster
Adriana Fuster

In her role at Jali, Adriana has helped thousands of customers design and fit bespoke radiator covers to perfectly suit their home. Jali is an award winning, family-run furniture business based in Kent, UK. 


4. Love sewing? Make your own fabric cover

hallway with fabric radiator cover and shelf

(Image credit: Colours of Arley)

Decades ago, you wouldn't see a home without a fabric curtain. They were used in kitchens, pantries and bathrooms to hide the underneath of sinks and to cover up washing machines and such. They've made a comeback recently and we love the charm of a pretty fabric design. 

'Often considered as traditional or quaint, fabric skirts can be used in the kitchen, or in a hallway to hide an unsightly radiator,' agrees Louisa Tratalos, founder of Colours of Arley

'They are something we are seeing more and more in contemporary interiors, and they are anything but twee. Bringing a touch of cottage chic to modern living, fabric skirts are a great way to introduce a splash of pattern in a space that often lacks decorative details – and colour.'

'Timeless and versatile, stripes can be great way of introducing pattern without committing to a busy print. Generally, thinner stripes tend to give a more classic look, so for a contemporary update opt for a bold, thick stripe in a vibrant colourway to add a fresh new take on an old time trend.'

5. Hide it under a bench

kitchen with wooden floor, bistro chairs and window seat above radiator

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchen Design/Ellei Home Interior Design)

We love clever interior design tricks, and creating a window seat in a kitchen that hides your radiator is a fabulous one. 

Not only does it cover up your radiator, it gives you an extra seating space which is invaluable if you have a dining area in a small kitchen. Pop a few cushions on it and tuck up a small bistro sized table in so you can sit and enjoy breakfast by the window. 

6. Choose an adjustable design for flexibility

white panelled hallway with matching radiator cover

(Image credit: My Furniture)

The beauty of investing in a bespoke radiator cover is that it will fit perfectly, but if you do decide to move it to another radiator, a design that's adjustable will be your best friend. 

'When choosing a radiator cover first measure your radiator's dimensions, then pick a radiator cover that will fit without causing obstruction and one that will allow easy access for cleaning and ventilation,' explains Dimitri Pappas, managing director at My Furniture. 'Some radiator covers are adjustable and some are fixed so it is best to check the maximum size dimensions allowable.'

'When selecting a radiator cover select one that complements your décor, considering material, colour and pattern.  A simple white cover is a good choice for a clean look that is very versatile to suit any room in the home.'

7. Colour drench it

small radiator cover on landing, painted to match walls

(Image credit: Future PLC)

There's absolutely no reason why you can't colour drench your radiator cover, it's a trend that we love, and one that shows no signs of abating. So encompassing it in all areas is worth doing as a design feature right now. 

It's a perfect way to blend your radiator cover with your walls, so pull your your colour charts and pick a perfect colour for you scheme, and enjoy! 

8. Give it a curve

hallway with panelled walls and curved white radiator cover

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Create a flow in your hallway by choosing a radiator cover that curves. It's easy to bump into corners in a narrow space when you come home full of shopping bags, kids homework and a dog, so a design with no edges will be a huge bonus. 

A design with extra width in the middle gives you more space to display items on too – pair up your table lamps, add extra flowers and light up a candle or two to create a welcoming entrance.

9. Match it to your kitchen units

kitchen with white units, grey floor, open shelving and white radiator cover

(Image credit: Future PLC)

One way of incorporating your radiator cover into your kitchen scheme is to paint it the same colour. 

If your units are a plain then a cover with a check design will add an element of pattern to your space. A wall painted in a contrasting colour behind will make it standout, use this to your advantage if you love a bold look. 

10. Use it as a headboard

blue bedroom with patterned bedding and radiator cover used as a shelf

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Tight on space in your small bedroom? If you don't want your bed to butt up to the radiator then a cover will give you some adequate ventilation space and offer a decorative aspect. 

Make sure there's a space between the two or you won't feel the benefits of the heat. Use the top of your radiator cover to hold your favourite possessions – books, vases and artwork will all look great.


What can I use instead of a radiator cover?

If the idea of a completely covered radiator doesn't work for your aesthetics then there are a couple of other options. You can put a shelf on top of it which will partially cover it up, or, invest in a console table that's tall enough to be placed over the radiator. It will allow the heat to radiate out perfectly, but provides a design element that hides some of it. 

If budget's your consideration it could be worth your while looking into home decor discount codes to find a stylish design for less.

Is it a good idea to cover radiators?

As long as the radiator cover allows for ventilation then yes – you still want the radiator to give off heat after all.

We asked Adriana Fuster, interiors consultant at Jali for her expert advice on this subject. 

'Absolutely! It's  an energy-efficient solution as the optional skirting gap is like a breath of fresh air, drawing in the chilly stuff and then sending out warm air through the top vent and grille,' says interiors consultant Adriana. 'Plus, they're a safety win, especially if you have curious little ones around – no more accidental burns!'

'If your radiator is under a window, covering it with a radiator cover keeps the heat where it belongs, inside the room, instead of escaping out the window. And don't forget the style points – radiator covers can turn a basic radiator into a charming feature with some extra shelf space.'

What is the best material to cover a radiator?

'MDF is the practical choice when it comes to radiator covers,' says interiors expert Adriana. 'It holds onto heat even after the radiator's turned off, ensuring a cozy atmosphere. It's also durable and reliable, so your radiator cover will be a long-lasting addition to your home.'

'If you really have to cover your radiator with a cover, several factors should be considered, including aesthetics, heat transmission, safety, and durability,' advises Nick Duggan, managing director, The Radiator Centre.

'In terms of being highly efficient at radiating heat into the room, metal radiator covers, often made from materials like steel or aluminium are a better choice. Although they can be more expensive than other options, they are very durable and available in a range of modern and traditional designs.'

'Similarly, perforated metal radiator covers combine the durability and heat-conducting properties of metal with decorative perforations or patterns that allow heat to pass through,' continues Nick. 'These can be an excellent compromise between efficiency and aesthetics.'

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for modern weddings and events.