Picture this: it’s December and you just got home after a long day of work. You jump into the shower/bathtub with every part of your body freezing and you can sense every muscle relaxing because of the hot water that just makes you forget about freezing on your way back home. You’re not prepared to leave the shower because the temperature is ideal, yet there’s other stuff that you have to do before going to bed. You turn off the water, step out of your shower/bathtub with your body still feeling that perfect temperature, and you grab a cold towel, wrap it around your body, and all that thermal comfort just goes away.
What if there was a way for your towel to stay nice and warm while you’re taking a shower? What if it stayed warm the entire day, just waiting for you to use it? There is a way to make that happen, and that wonder product is called a towel warmer rack. Let’s see what towel warmer racks are, what you need to know before buying them, and what are some good racks to get your hands on ASAP.
How to Choose a Towel Warmer Rack
Towel warmer racks are basically bathroom heaters that can keep both the room and the towels at a nice and toasty temperature. Naturally, if you’ve never bought one of these before, it’s confusing to browse all the different types of towel warmer racks, so here are some need-to-know bits of information that you turn you into a properly-informed buyer:
Towel warmer racks can be divided into categories based on where you can install them. That means that you have your freestanding, floor-mounted, or wall-mounted units. Freestanding units are a great choice because their positioning allows for a lot of flexibility. You can move them across the bathroom wherever you see fit. Wall-mounted units are great for saving space. Floor-mounted units are good if you have uneven walls or freestanding tubs.
Next, you will have to consider what style and size of towel warmer rack you want. There are plenty of traditional and modern-looking choices, so this one really is up to your own personal taste and your current bathroom décor. The size of the warmer should be chosen to match the size of the room, but also the number of towel that you plant to hang on it. A smaller model is suitable for a single towel but there are larger models available for family bathrooms.
The towel warmer racks are available with plenty of extra features that add more functionality to the product but also make these models more expensive. For instance, some racks are equipped with timers, which means you can set the rack to heat up your towel right before bath time to have it nice and toasty whenever you need it. Other models are equipped with thermostats which can prevent the rack from getting so hot that you can’t even touch it.
Hydronic vs. Electric Racks
If we were to label towel warmer racks based on how they are installed and how they function, the two main categories would be hydronic and electric.
Hydronic racks use hot water to heat themselves, much like a radiator. They are connected to your home’s plumbing system and, as hot water runs through the rack, it heats it up and radiates heat across the room. They are extremely energy efficient and come with plenty of perks that electric racks don’t have: they don’t require installing next to a power outlet, there are no visible wires that are usually unaesthetic, and they connect to the existing plumbing in your house.
However, hydronic racks also have a series of downsides. They require calling in a specialist, as a plumber is the one certified to connect them to your existing plumbing system. In some cases, plumbing may require rerouting, depending on where you want to position the towel warmer rack. Unlike electric racks, these take longer to heat up and you can’t move them once they’ve been installed.
On the other hand, you have electric towel warmers which, as you may have guessed, use the power of electricity to heat up. These types of warmer racks either require a power outlet to draw energy from or they can be hardwired. They are easier to install because all you really need to do is plug them in and turn them on. They are portable (unless you opt for a floor-mounted or wall-mounted unit), they heat up really fast, and they don’t consume that much electricity.
That doesn’t mean they don’t have any drawbacks. One particularly annoying thing is the fact that plug-in models have wires that are visible all the time. Hardwires models have concealed wires, but you have to call an electrician to come over and set them up. And, sadly, in case a heating element is damaged, you have to replace the entire warmer rack.
Towel Warmer Rack FAQ
Are heated towel rails as good as radiators?
Yes, heated towel racks can be just as efficient as a radiator, but they are also more stylish and occupy less space (depending, of course, on which type of rack you choose). However, if you have a really large bathroom, one towel warmer rack might not suffice and you will need an additional heating source (you could opt for a second rack, a radiator, or maybe a portable heater).
Is a towel warmer worth it?
The answer to this question is affirmative, no matter how you look at it. Even if you’re not a huge fan of wrapping a hot towel around you when you exit the shower, a towel warmer rack is very efficient in drying up towels that have just been used, reducing mildew and eliminating the chances of a towel staying to moist for too long and catching a bad smell.
Top 8 Best Electric Towel Warmers
Our first item on the list is an electric towel warmer rack designed to be a wall-mounted unit. It measures 31.88” H x 23.63” W x 4.75” D and requires hardwiring to function. That means that you can conceal the wires (which is safer and more aesthetically-appealing) but it also means that you will need the assistance of an electrician to install it. It is made from durable stainless steel and features a number of 10 bars for you to hang your towels on. It has a maximum temperature of 149 degrees Fahrenheit and 150 Watts consumption.
Out next item on the list is another electric towel warmer rack, this time a unit which can be both plugged in or hardwired, depending on what setup you prefer to have in your bathroom. The rack measures 40” H x 24” W x 4.4” D overall and comes with 12 bars that are able to provide enough heat for an average-sized bathroom. It operates a 140 W and has a maximum temperature of 149 degrees Fahrenheit. The wall-mounted design helps maximize floor space and if you opt for the plug-in power supply method, you won’t need an electrician to do the hardwiring. Even so, it means that you have to be really careful with where you plug this is due to the high level of humidity and splash chances inside your bathroom.
If you like what the previous Heatgene warmer rack had to offer but you’re looking for something more suitable for a smaller bathroom, maybe this option is more up your alley. Measuring 31.49” H x 23.62” W x 4” D and equipped with only 8 bars, this is a great option for small bathrooms or for people who want multiple smaller towel warmer racks scattered across a larger space. It is a unit that can be plugged in or hardwires to your home’s electricity system. Being wall-mounted, it helps save floor space as well. It can warm up a towel within 15 minutes of being turned on and it can reach a maximum temperature of 149 degrees Fahrenheit.
Measuring a solid 40” H x 18” W x 3.1” D and being equipped with 12 horizontal bars, this towel warmer rack is great for families where multiple towels need to be ready for a comfortable post-bathing experience. This wall-mounted rack requires a hardwired setup, meaning that you’ll have to call a specialist for installation. It is equipped with a timer that, used correctly, can help you save energy whenever nobody requires using it. It is made from quality stainless steel and has a 150 wattage.
If you’re looking for a smaller version of the product we’ve shown you before, here is the 7-bar Ancona model, perfect for small bathrooms. Much like the aforementioned heater, this one is also a hardwired unit that can be mounted on the wall, thus saving you floor space (another feature that recommends this product for use in small spaces). It has a durable stainless steel construction and measures 31” H x 22” W x 4” D overall. It can reach a maximum temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit and operates at 110 W.
It’s time to shift things around a little bit and how you one of the best freestanding towel warmer racks that money can buy. Measuring 38” H x 32.5” W x 15” D and being equipped with 10 bars, this is a perfect addition to any small to medium-sized bathroom. It’s an electric plug-in unit that is versatile enough to be used in a variety of situations. Because of its portability, it can also serve as a bedroom heating source, and could make a great purchase for students who want to heat up their dorm rooms. It is made from stainless steel and can reach temperatures of up to 149 degrees Fahrenheit.
To kick things up a notch, how about looking at a foldable freestanding towel warmer rack? Yes, it is possible, and this baby is here to show you just how much use you can get from such a product. It is a perfect purchase not just for those looking for a bathroom heating source or a way to heat up their towel, but also for people who often find themselves in a situation where they need to dry their clothes really fast. Can’t tell me you never washed a T-shirt hoping to wear it the next day only to discover it wasn’t dry yet. This electrical plug-in unit measures 42.5” H x 26” W x 28.5” D and it’s made from quality stainless steel. The racks can be folded and the fact that the entire unit is freestanding makes it really easy to move the heater around just where you need it to be.
To end our list of best towel warmer rack with a bang, we’ve chosen one of our favorite products yet. This electric towel warmer is designed with 8 heated bars as well as a top shelf, providing you with additional space to place your towels and have them at the right temperature, just waiting to be wrapped around your body. The warmer rack can be plugged in or hardwired, depending on what’s more convenient for you. It measures 46” H x 23.6” W x 9.9” D and can reach a maximum temperature of 131 degrees Fahrenheit. It comes with a bunch of features that you are going to love, such as a humidity protected power switch and an on-board timer.
As you can see, towel warmer racks have come a long way and are now available in pretty much any configuration you want. If you have a central heating system connected to radiators that are located in every room of the house, you can find a hydraulic tower warmer to connect to the existing plumbing. Alternatively, you can opt for one of these amazing electric racks, each one designed to be safe, easy to use, and very efficient in terms of heat radiation.