If you live in a small space, say, a tiny double room, you will want to put every crevice and nook of space to full use.
But that may mean cramming your stuff on each other – your bed might end up right next to the radiator.
So, Is It OK to Have Your Bed Against a Radiator?
In three words – “It’s never OK.” Unless you keep the radiator turned off the entire time, any sizeable object next to it would be detrimental to its operation.
For all to be well (efficient heat distribution and minimal chances of accident), it is recommended you leave a clearance of about 1 meter above and around the radiator. That way, the machine will dissipate heat more efficiently, safely.
You Can Put Your Bed Next to The Bed, Provided It’s 3 Foot Off the Radiator
Whether you’ve just purchased a new bed and have realized it won’t fit or you’ve moved to a smaller living space, you are free to put your bed next to the radiator provided you keep between 1-foot clearance.
But that’s the recommended clearance for less-flammable materials like fire retarded-infused hardwood and metals.
For a bed made of, or with more flammable materials, say, bare softwood with fluffy overhung beddings, the safest clearance, according to the NFPA, would be at least 3 feet off the radiator:
Here is why you shouldn’t put your bed against the radiator:
It’s just obvious that anything placed against a running radiator will certainly interfere with the smooth dissipation of heat radiation to the rest of the room.
Such a situation would defeat the primary purpose of running a radiator in the first place.
2. Risk Of Fire
Please imagine the worst-case scenario when your bed (and those light flammable beddings) catches fire the sustained heat dissipated by the radiator.
It isn’t entirely unlikely – there’s a chance your wooden bed will get hot enough and catch fire to raze down your home and even expose your family to danger.
For a bed within less than 1 foot from the radiator, all it could take is a spark – after sustained exposure – to start a devastating home fire.
According to the NFPA, heating equipment (including radiators) are a top causative factor in home fires in the US. In the last half of the 2010/20 decade, heating equipment were responsible for 1 in 7 (or 14 percent) of home fires in the country. They also accounted for about a fifth (or 19 percent) of all home fire fatalities, a seventh (or 12 percent) of injuries, and about 15 percent of direct property destruction.
Whether you own a central heating radiator or electric radiator, the main worry is that it might get very hot with increasing hours of operation.
This is actually part of the main purpose, the machine should warm the room, but for those with a tendency to fall asleep next to a running radiator, this can be dangerous especially if you have sensitive skin.
More often than not, users set the thermostat way too high or slightly higher than what’s comfortable for their skin until it starts to hurts.
If by any chance you remove the body of the machine and remain with the piping, minus the much-needed insulation, you will be exposed to more severe radiation than you really need.
The fact that your bed is right next to the radiator means you might be exposed to the searing heat for the entire time you will stay asleep, perhaps until your skin can’t take it anymore.
4. Physical Injuries
As you groan and turn in bed, you risk overstretching and hitting the nearby radiator.
Radiators made from cast iron or those in classic designs usually come with sharp, hard edges. Hitting your body to these surfaces, even slightly, can inflict injuries.
Whether you own a vertical or horizontal radiator, with or without sharp edges, can still cause accidents if it is installed in the wrong spot, more so to your sleeping toddler.
So Basically…You Can’t Sleep Safely Near a Radiator?
No – if your home is overcrowded and you have no option, you can cut the risks by choosing the right kind of radiator.
Here’s how to choose a safer and better machine:
1. Stay Away From Electric And Vented Propane Radiators
These two are risky for overnight use.
Vented propane radiator releases the deadly carbon monoxide gas into the air while electric radiators are known to overheat and destroy the outlet switch if left to run for extended periods.
2. Add A Radiator Cover
You want a radiator cover if your bed is very close to the machine.
Radiator covers come in an array of colors and materials but the goal remains – to protect nearby items from the dissipated heat and also boost heating efficiency.
Wood-finished covers are the best for heat efficiency and protection against stray radiation.
3. Install Rounded Radiators
As aforementioned, radiators with sharp edges are a safety threat. Choose a radiator with rounded edges.
Where Would You Rather Place Your Radiator Then, Besides Next to Your Bed?
The answer to that question is simple – put your radiator anywhere 3 feet away from any closest object, preferably in the coldest region in your bedroom.
In order homes, or if you are old school when it comes to home organization, the best place would be under the window.
However, most of the modern homes you find in cities and suburbs are equipped with double-glazed windows.
It would be pointless to place your radiator under such windows as there are no pockets of cold air around them.
More precisely, if you want the best heating results, a rule of thumb is to install a single machine for every 4 m in the room.
Suppose you decided to replace your radiator with a new replacement that can safely work near a bed, what would be the price tag?
Whether the machine is beyond repair or you want to replace your radiator with a better version, the standard replacement cost staggers anywhere between $290 – $1190 for both the labor and all parts required in the process.
The average replacement price tag is in the region of $670.
Note that the cost may vary quite widely depending on the model of the radiator and the size of work involved in replacement.
So, is it OK to have your bed against a radiator?
No, unless you keep the radiator turned off the entire time, any sizeable object next to it would be detrimental to its operation.
For everything to work desired (efficient heat distribution and minimal chances of accident), it is recommended you leave a clearance of about 1 meter above and around the radiator.
That way, the machine will dissipate heat more efficiently, safely.