How to heat a nursery

How to heat a nursery

Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds

Guide written by:

Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds

107 guides

New parents are often worried about keeping their nursery at the right temperature. So how do you go about heating a baby room safely? Which heating appliances are best and which features are the most important? Read on for our tips on how best to heat a nursery for comfortable nights and nap times!

Important features

  • Temperature
  • Heating appliance
  • Humidity
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What is the ideal temperature for a nursery?


The ideal temperature for newborns and babies is generally said to be around 18 to 20°C. However, most homes are not kept this cool and you'll have to get used to keeping your nursery – and the rest of your home – slightly cooler.

If you have to delay putting the heating on to keep the temperature within the recommended limits, you can always use a baby sleeping bag. These bags come with or without sleeves and are much safer than a cover or blanket as they reduce the risk of suffocation as baby moves around.

Managing the temperature of a nursery goes hand in hand with ensuring good ventilation. In short, you will need to air out the room for at least ten minutes a day even in winter. Ideally, you should air out the room in the morning to improve the air quality for the day. A properly functioning whole-house ventilation system is another great way to ensure your baby is breathing healthy air!

Newborn and baby cots should never be placed too close to a radiator or any other source of heat. Of course, you should also keep the cot away from windows to avoid exposing your baby to draughts – even very slight ones!

The best heating appliances for a nursery


So, what type of heating appliance is best for newborns and babies and how can you ensure your baby is breathing as comfortably as possible?

The best option for babies will usually be an inertia heater. These low-temperature heating systems will warm up the room without overheating it. Most importantly, these heaters don't have any impact on the quality of the air and won't dry it out. Once your little one is able to move around a bit, the risk of them burning themselves (even if you are keeping an eye on them!) is reduced with a radiator that stays cool to the touch; this is not the case with a convector heater, for example, which usually features a hot grid.

A central heating system with cast iron radiators should not pose any particular problems. The most important thing with this type of system is to make sure you maintain a comfortable temperature rather than putting your radiators on full blast twice a day.

Be wary of space heaters which will dry out the air in a nursery or baby room. A bathroom heater is the only exception to this rule if you find that the bathroom is a little chilly when bath time is over.

It's worth noting that a well-covered baby will have a better night's sleep in a cooler room rather than one that is a bit on the hot side (i.e. over 20 degrees).

And if you tend to feel the cold, it's best to stock up on jumpers and cosy socks!

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Cast iron radiators

The ideal humidity level for a nursery


Babies don't cope well with dry air. Ideally, you should try to keep the humidity level at about 30 to 40% as dry air can lead to respiratory issues and dry mucus membranes, not to mention sleep problems. A humidifier can be an option well worth considering and can help to prevent coughs and keep young lungs healthy.

But be careful: you can't use just any type of humidifier and you should avoid using essential oils around very young babies That said, once your baby is over around three months of age, you can place a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the humidifier and this can help with breathing issues.

Quick tip: an air-purifying plant is a great way to clean the air in your nursery. And, of course, air-purifying plants also produce oxygen and absorb CO2 through photosynthesis. Consider purchasing a tropical plant like Chinese evergreen or a dragon tree (which looks a bit like a mini palm tree).

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Air purifying plants

Non-electric solutions for clean air


A radiator humidifier is a ceramic container designed to be hung on the side of your radiator. Water is released into the air as condensation to help avoid the effects of dry air. An inexpensive option, you will nonetheless need to make sure that your heating is suitable for this type of system. A central heating radiator is ideal for this system.

A bowl of water will produce a largely similar effect. However, you'll need to ensure that the bowl is kept well out of the way of footfall or sources of electricity.

Another option is to dry your laundry in the nursery so the evaporation produced works to increase humidity levels.

Electric humidifiers


Electric humidifiers can either be plugged in or equipped with batteries. You simply need to fill up the water tank and the humidifier will release a fine mist to help prevent any future respiratory issues.

The duration of use will depend on how the humidifier is powered and the size of its tank. Special baby room humidifiers will generally set you back around £30 to £80, depending on their design and the brand name

Some other factors to consider include:

  • Battery life.
  • Noise level.
  • Ease of cleaning (to avoid mould).
  • A drip-free model.

It's important to think about how you heat your nursery. But don't forget to pair your heating system this with good ventilation and to monitor humidity levels. To ensure your little one gets a good night's sleep and to avoid any respiratory issues down the line, remember to air out your home regularly. Finally, bear in mind that a low and constant temperature is really the best way to heat a nursery.

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Shop our electric heaters and radiators

Guide written by:

Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds, 107 guides

Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds

With a handyman-father, I grew up with the soft sound of the sander and hammer on weekends. I am both manual and cerebral (yes, it is possible.), I learned the basics of DIY and the customization of furniture because I was passionate. The salvage mentality is a true way of life that allowed me to know how to use all the tools and products needed to give something a second life, from sander to varnish. I have two favorite activities: the transformation of old furniture and decoration tips. I am always ready to lend a helping hand to revamp a table or to restore a mirror that was intended for the trash that will become a friend’s centerpiece. I’m convinced that it’s possible to reinvent an interior by small, regular modifications, I constantly research low-cost, test ideas.

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