Panel heaters are cheaper than electric radiators. However, because they are less efficient, they are also more expensive to run. That means that the most economical choice for your home will depend on how often you intend to use the heater, and what you intend to use it for.
If you’re looking for a primary heating system for rooms you use frequently it is almost always better to choose an electric radiator. You will quickly notice the benefits of lower running costs and a comfortable mix of radiated and convected heat.
However, if you are looking for a heating system for a room you use less often, such as a spare room, home office or conservatory, you may be able to save money by economising with an electric panel heater. The higher running costs will make a less significant impact when your heaters are only used on an occasional basis. This also makes panel heaters suitable as high quality top-up heaters for existing heating systems.
Something else to consider when choosing between panel heaters and electric radiators is that panel heaters use unenclosed heating elements that can cause wall blackening if used continuously for long periods of time. The unenclosed elements make panel heaters easier to manufacture, but they can also burn any dust particles which may be carried in the air. Burnt dust particles can collect on the wall at the top of the heater grill, causing a blackening effect. However, this is only likely to be a problem if you use your panel heater regularly as a primary heating source; panel heaters used on an occasional basis will not cause wall blackening.