The Complete Guide to Infrared Wallpaper Written by Josh Jackman Updated on 20 December 2023 ✔ Infrared wallpaper heats people and objects, not the air✔ It’s typically 47% more efficient than a gas boiler✔ A three-bedroom household will typically pay £4,000 to buy and install itInfrared heating panel costs can price some households out of the market – but with infrared wallpaper now on the market, there’s a creative alternative to consider.By covering large parts of your walls and ceilings with this wallpaper, you’ll be able to quickly transform your home into one that’s heated entirely with electricity.In this guide, we’ll explain how this technology works, how much it costs, and whether it’s worth buying for your home.If you’d like to start your infrared journey by getting infrared panels, you can find the perfect set for your home by using our easy-to-navigate tool. All you have to do is provide a few details, and our expert installers will be in touch with free quotes. What’s on this page? 01 What is infrared wallpaper? 02 Is infrared wallpaper worth it? 03 Pros and cons of infrared wallpaper 04 How much does infrared wallpaper cost? 05 How much infrared wallpaper does a property need? 06 How much does infrared wallpaper cost to run? 07 How is infrared wallpaper installed? 08 Can you get infrared wallpaper in the UK? 09 Does infrared wallpaper require any maintenance? 10 Next steps 11 Infrared wallpaper: FAQs What is infrared wallpaper?Infrared wallpaper is any wallpaper that contains an infrared heating element.Like infrared panels, infrared wallpaper heats mass instead of the air – meaning it warms people and pets in your home, instead of the air around them.The wallpaper can be controlled with a thermostat or an app, and typically starts warming you up after just a few minutes.At around 0.4 millimetres, it’s the same level of thickness as standard wallpaper, meaning it won’t significantly reduce the space in a room – and it can be cut to avoid covering sockets or switches, just like all normal wallpaper.How does it work?Infrared wallpaper contains a coil that’s powered by electricity to produce electromagnetic waves that transfer radiant heat to objects in a room.The waves travel through the air without noticeably heating it up, before hitting an object like a person, a sofa, or the floor, which will instantly get warmer as a result.The infrared element is low-voltage and safe to touch, usually operating around 45°C. Is infrared wallpaper worth it?Infrared wallpaper isn’t usually worth it in financial terms, unfortunately.The technology has plenty of other advantages – it’s eco-friendly, takes up barely any space, and is typically 47% more efficient than a gas boiler – but it’s expensive to run.This is largely because electricity still costs about four times as much as gas.Infrared wallpaper would therefore have to be 400% more efficient than gas boilers to make it worth it.Currently, heat pumps are the only technology that meets that criteria. Pros and cons of infrared wallpaperProsConsQuick, non-invasive installationExpensive to runCan be controlled with a thermostat or appDoesn’t provide hot waterTakes up a negligible amount of spaceHeat stays in your home for longerRelatively energy efficientDoesn’t need to be replacedInfrared wallpaper is technologically superior to gas boilers, without doubt.You can control it with an app or smart thermostat, meaning you can decide which rooms to heat and when, and it heats objects rather than the air, so warmth leaves your home much more slowly than it does with a boiler.Infrared wallpaper uses around one-quarter less energy than a radiator-based system to achieve the same result, and if your property doesn’t have a heating system, it’s much less invasive than installing a boiler or heat pump – and it requires zero maintenance.However, it usually costs considerably more to run than its rivals, and it doesn’t provide hot water, meaning you’ll generally want to also install an immersion heater. How much does infrared wallpaper cost?Property sizeNumber of rollsCost1 bedroom house4£2,1292 bedroom house6£3,4303 bedroom house8£4,0004 bedroom house10£4,374Infrared wallpaper typically costs £4,000 to install across a three-bedroom household.You’ll pay around £200 per square metre for the actual wallpaper – though this price will come down if you buy a larger amount – with the rest going towards the installation.It’ll cost you more if you need the installer to remove an existing heating system, and if you want them to fit an immersion heater to supply your taps and showers with hot water. How much infrared wallpaper does a property need?How much infrared wallpaper your property needs depends on a number of factors, namely size, number of rooms, and how effectively it’s insulated.If your home is well insulated, you won’t need it to cover every inch of your surfaces – instead, you’ll want to put it on around a quarter of each room’s ceiling.However, most UK homes are poorly insulated and therefore leak heat easily, meaning the majority of people would want to cover more of their ceilings in infrared wallpaper.The average three-bedroom home will therefore typically need 28 square metres of infrared wallpaper.Of course, your home isn’t average, so your installer will measure the ceilings in every room and draw up an estimate. Make sure to get multiple quotes before you make a final decision. How much does infrared wallpaper cost to run?Infrared wallpaper costs the average three-bedroom household £2,242 per year to run.In comparison, the same home will typically pay £853 per year with a gas boiler, or £1,097 with an air source heat pump.On the plus side, you won’t have to replace it after 10-15 years, like a gas boiler, or after 20 years, like an air source heat pump. Instead, it should last as long as the house does.Combining infrared wallpaper with solar panels can lower your bills, but not by enough to make it worth it.Even with 25 solar panels, a three-bedroom property will still pay £1,107 per year for heating, at current prices.The good news is the price of electricity will soon fall as the government makes a bigger effort to turn electricity into the country’s main fuel source.The better news is the average three-bedroom home can get an air source heat pump and 10 solar panels now, and save £134 per year on its electricity and heating bills straight away.Is it cheaper to use than a radiator?It’s almost always more expensive to run than a radiator.Radiator-based systems that run on gas, oil, or electricity are all significantly cheaper than infrared wallpaper.It is at least less expensive than using wood burners, space heaters, or infrared panels to keep your entire property warm, but it’s far from the cheapest way to heat your home.Can infrared wallpaper fully replace radiators?Infrared wallpaper can completely replace radiators, in that it can heat your whole home if enough of it is installed in every room.However, unlike central heating systems that use radiators, it won’t supply your home with hot water.This means your taps and showers will need to use an alternative source, like an immersion heater. How is infrared wallpaper installed?Infrared wallpaper is installed just like regular wallpaper – except for the wiring.It’s therefore relatively easy to install, but you should hire a certified electrician to do the wiring, at least.And if you’re retrofitting the infrared wallpaper, you should also hire someone who can plaster, paint, or wallpaper over the installation, as it’s not particularly aesthetically pleasing otherwise.It’ll usually take two to three days to install infrared wallpaper across your entire home.Can you do it yourself?You can do it yourself, but we wouldn’t recommend doing so unless you’re a qualified electrician.If you’re a layperson, you may void your warranties by completing the installation by yourself.And in a worst-case scenario, you could injure yourself or damage your home. The potential risks vastly outweigh the benefits of trying to do it yourself. Can you get infrared wallpaper in the UK?You can get infrared wallpaper in the UK. Some households have already installed it, while construction company Barratt has trialled electric wallpaper in its show homes.However, the versions we have in the UK don’t use 100% infrared heat.The closest we have is a combination of infrared wallpaper and insulation that uses 50% radiant heat and 50% conductive heat to warm up a home.This produces a lower amount of warmth than high-heat infrared wallpaper would, but the insulation keeps it in your home for longer.As it stands, electricity is too expensive to make high-heat infrared wallpaper a profitable product – but that’s set to change in the near future.Who sells infrared wallpaper?NexGen Heating is the only company in the UK currently selling infrared wallpaper to domestic properties.NexGen offers a 15-year warranty with its electric wallpaper, which you can turn on in as many – or as few – rooms as you wish at any one time, allowing you to save money.A Hull-based company called iHelios also creates infrared heating products, though not wallpaper.When iHelios was named in a BBC News article as an infrared wallpaper producer, the company responded with a blog post that started: “Firstly, we do not manufacture infrared wallpaper.”It added: “We manufacture infrared heating products in two forms: film sheets that can be inserted above ceilings or under floors and infrared heating panels that can be placed on solid surfaces.”These offerings certainly aren’t wallpaper, but they’re worth considering before you make the final decision on your infrared heating system. Does infrared wallpaper require any maintenance?Infrared wallpaper doesn’t require any maintenance.The product typically comes with a 15-year warranty, but is expected to last as long as your property is standing.There are no moving parts, and the process doesn’t put any strain on the product – so it should run seamlessly, for as long as you live in your home. Next stepsYou now have all the information you need to decide whether or not you want infrared wallpaper for your home.It’s an excellent piece of eco-friendly technology – but it doesn’t provide you with hot water, and the current cost of electricity makes it expensive to run.Would you rather buy infrared heating panels? You can speed up the process by using our easy-to-navigate tool. Simply pop a few quick details in the form, and our specialist installers will contact you with free quotes. Infrared wallpaper: FAQs What is infrared wallpaper? Infrared wallpaper is any wallpaper that has an infrared heating element contained within it.The wallpaper can be placed on your walls or ceilings and wired into your electricity supply. It’s then usually painted over, for aesthetic reasons.When switched on, infrared wallpaper heats objects – like your housemates, pets, and sofa – rather than heating the air around them like radiators do. Is infrared wallpaper safe? Infrared wallpaper is completely safe.It usually operates around 45°C, meaning it’s entirely safe to touch, and the radiation it disperses isn’t even slightly harmful to humans.Infrared wallpaper usually comes with a warranty of around 15 years, but manufacturers expect it to last as long as your home exists, with no maintenance. What are the disadvantages of infrared heating? The main disadvantages of infrared heating are that it’s expensive to run, and doesn’t usually provide your household with hot water.That means you’ll need another way to get hot water for your taps and showers, like an immersion heater.In terms of running costs, the typical three-bedroom household will pay £2,242 per year when heating their home exclusively with infrared wallpaper – which is considerably more than they’d pay with a gas, oil, or electric boiler. Written by: Josh Jackman Lead Writer Josh has written about eco-friendly home improvements and climate change for the past four years. His work has been displayed on the front page of the Financial Times, he's been interviewed by BBC One's Rip-Off Britain, and he regularly features in The Telegraph and on BBC Radio.