A white cast iron radiator attached to a white wall.

Heating Your Home: Cast Iron Radiators and Other Options

Cast Iron Radiators and Alternative Heating Options

Home heating systems have developed significantly over the years, becoming modernized and eco-friendly. Cast iron radiators remain one of the best ways to heat up indoor spaces. Not only do they add aesthetic to any space but cast iron radiators are known to produce sufficient heat on cold days.

Our article provides an in-depth look at some of the best brands on the market in terms of features, price and what makes them stand out from the rest.

What Are Cast Iron Radiators?

Cast iron radiators are casted iron panels that use a steam system connected to a water boiler to heat up indoor spaces by storing hot water. It then converts the boiled water into steam, transferring heat to the surrounding air through radiation and convection. These radiators can be excellent sources of heat to warm up cold indoor spaces.

The Pros

  • Excellent heat conductors.
  • Longer heat retention.
  • Energy saving.
  • Space efficient.
  • Durable.

The Cons

  • Takes longer to heat up.
  • Heavy.

How Do Cast Iron Radiators Compare to a Furnace?

While cast iron radiators make use of a water boiler to generate and radiate heat, a furnace derives heat directly from natural gas, propane, oil or electricity. A furnace heats up indoor spaces through a process of forced, warm air distribution by blowing heated air throughout the room or house using air vents.

There are similarities and differences between cast iron radiators and furnaces, so let’s explore some of them.


  • Great central heating systems.
  • Require a heat source.


Cast Iron Radiators

  • Derives heat from a water boiler.
  • Uses steam to transfer heat.
  • Takes longer to heat up.
  • Lengthy heat retention.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Eco-friendly.
  • Energy efficient.


  • Derives heat from natural gas, propane, oil or electricity.
  • Heat is transferred in the form of air.
  • Heats up instantly.
  • Requires a constant supply of heat.
  • High maintenance, such as furnace filter changes.
  • Non-renewable energy source.
  • Requires gas.

Best Cast Iron Radiators

We have looked for the best cast iron radiators on the market to help you make an informed choice based on their features, price and unique qualities.

1. ELEGANT 300 x 1400 mm Traditional Column Cast Iron Style Radiator

ELEGANT is known for luxury, quality cast iron radiators. The ELEGANT 300 x 1400 mm Traditional Radiator Cast Iron Style is no different. This product has a great heat output and high thermal conductivity. It is equipped with 1.5 millimeter-thickened pipes, which deliver guaranteed anti-leakage performance. You can choose between chrome or thermostatic radiator valves at your own discretion.

Here’s a quick look at the product’s features and characteristics:

  • British thermal unit (BTU) rating: 3,800 to 4,300.
  • Eco-friendly.
  • High thermal conductivity.
  • Steady and rust proof.
  • Anti-leakage performance.

Price: $291.89 USD

2. Princess II 22in, 11 Sections Radiator

The Princess II 22in, 11 Sections radiator will not only give your home a luxurious facelift with its elegant and classic design, but it is guaranteed to warm up your space with its impressive heat output. Made of durable material, this cast iron radiator is built to last. Enjoy the option of customizing your radiator for up to 14 sections, as well as a variety of colors to complement your indoor space.

Here’s a glimpse into the product’s features:

  • 328 BTUs hot water heat output per section.
  • 526 BTUs steam heat output per section.
  • 10-year warranty.
  • Durable material.
  • Colors: bare metal, signature, farrow and ball.

Price: $1,598.10 USD

3. Vulcan III 23in, 12 Sections Radiator

The Vulcan III 23in, 12 Sections radiator boasts a modern twist to the traditional cast iron radiator with its clean, stylish design. This radiator can be mounted on the wall and will deliver excellent heat output to warm up your room. Vulcan gives you the option to customize your radiator to suit your individual taste. You can choose from three panel heights and add up to 18 sections for optimal heat.

This product has great features:

  • Hot water heat output per section: 295 BTUs.
  • Steam heat output per section: 473 BTUs.
  • Ability to wall mount.
  • 10-year warranty.
  • Delivered ready for installation.

Price: $1,214 USD

4. Grace 2 Column 19in, 7 Sections Radiator

The Grace 2 Column 19in, 7 Sections radiator boasts an impressive high output with a timeless, classic design. Made of durable steel, this radiator is guaranteed to last you a lifetime. This radiator requires no assembly since it comes ready for installation with the option for customization. You can choose from a variety of colors and sizes to complement your style.

Here’s a look at the product’s features:

  • Heat output: 1726 BTUs.
  • Steam output: 2746 BTUs.
  • 10-year warranty.
  • Variety of colors: little Greene, bare metal and signature.
  • Durable.

Price: $991.60 USD

5. Ribbon 30in, 8 Sections Radiator

The Ribbon 30in, 8 Sections radiator is a work of art with its vintage, classic design and floral details that are made with exceptional craftsmanship. This cast iron radiator will not only leave your guests green with envy, but it delivers great heat output. It can be customized with different colors and sizes to suit individual preferences and comes ready for installation.

The product’s prominent features include:

  • 3672 BTUs heat output.
  • 5875 BTUs steam output.
  • 10-year warranty.
  • Durable.
  • Available in up to 30 sections.

Price: $1,425.40 USD

How to Choose the Best Cast Iron Radiator

Similar to any other shopping experience, choosing the best cast iron radiator for your home can be a hassle. There are plenty of options on the market, so to make things a little easier, here’s a quick list of things to consider when deciding what to put in your basket:

  1. Heat output.
  2. Quality and durability.
  3. Affordability.
  4. Value for money.
  5. Energy efficiency.

Alternative Cooling and Heating Systems for Your Home

Are cast iron radiators not your style? There are plenty of alternative central cooling and heating systems available on the market. We have compiled a list of some of the best options to choose from.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are the best airflow-controlling systems because they provide cooling and heating options. Reversible heat pumps are the most common, specifically reverse-cycle air conditioners. Powered by electricity, air conditioners produce heat by transferring warm air from outside and blowing it indoors. They also work vice versa to cool indoor spaces on a hot day.

Space Heaters

Space heaters are portable devices that come in different sizes and produce heat using either gas or electricity. Space heaters do not retain heat; instead, they require a constant supply of gas or electricity to produce heat. There are no installation measures required or maintenance costs, which makes space heaters a pocket-friendly option.


You can never go wrong with a fireplace. This traditional method of indoor heating is simple, practical and cost-effective. Some firewood and a lighter are all you need for the traditional fireplace. However, there is also a gas version that is modern and offers convenience.

Heated Floors and Underfloor Heating

Heated flooring has gained popularity over recent years. Powered by electricity, this method entails the installation of heating wire underneath the floor to warm up the floor when switched on. The heated floor then produces radiant heat for indoor spaces.