Towel Warmers: How to Choose the Best Options

Published: December 4, 2023

There’s almost nothing better than stepping out of the shower and wrapping yourself in a warm and toasty towel. As an experience, it’s the definition of luxury. If you are wondering which is the best towel warmer for your clients – from both form and functional perspectives –this article will give you a well-rounded understanding of the options.

Freestanding vs Wall-Mounted Towel Warmers

Perhaps the first thing you need to decide is where the towel warmer will be used. Most towel racks are mounted on walls, and most towel warmers are mounted on walls as well – but not all. There are some very high quality towel warmers that are freestanding. These freestanding towel warmers make the most sense for larger bathrooms where you may need to move the towel warmer to different outlets from time to time. Maybe you have a certain decor that you want the towel warmer to fit into. Or perhaps your wall space is limited. Whatever the reason, there is always the option of having a freestanding towel warmer and, while they represent the minority of towel warmers on the market, they are definitely perfect options for some people.

freestanding towel warmer

As previously mentioned, wall-mounted towel warmers are the most popular option on the market so there’s a wider range of options in terms of models and finishes. This can be particularly important if you’re trying to match the decor of an existing bathroom. Another advantage of wall-mounted towel warmers is that they don’t take up any floor space, which can be very important in smaller bathrooms.

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Electrical Connection

Next you’ll want to know if you want your towel warmer to be hardwired, plug-in or dual connection (these are towel warmers that come with a plug-in connection but can be modified for a hardwired connection). There is no right or wrong answer here, although there are reasons one option might be better suited to your needs.

A plug-in towel rack is the easiest to set up as it doesn’t require an electrician to install it, but can simply be mounted (this step can be skipped for freestanding models) on the wall and then plugged right in. This is very DIY-friendly and is a good option if you don’t have a power line in the wall where you want to install the towel warmer.

On the other hand, many people don’t like the look of a cord trailing from their towel warmer in a bathroom that has been carefully designed to look perfect. Another upside to hardwired electrical connections is that it frees up an outlet in the bathroom. One downside is that it is obviously much harder to move the towel warmer once it’s installed because you’d have to find another electrical line behind the wall and then patch the area where it was previously connected. It is also recommended that the electrical connection for a hardwired towel warmer be performed by a licensed electrician which is another expense to keep in mind.

wiring towel warmer

Dual connection towel warmers (above) provide the greatest degree of flexibility because you’re able to either use the towel warmer as is with its provided plug-in connection, or you can have an electrician modify the device so that it can have a hardwired connection.


The width of your towel warmer is important mainly just so you can know the size of the towels you can spread across it to warm up. Most towel warmers range in width from 17 to 30 inches across. The choice here is not merely functional but also aesthetic because it will help determine how you want the bathroom to look. Choosing the perfect wall for a towel warmer is an important decision from a design point of view, so selecting the right width to fit in the right place on the wall is essential.


Height is also about function and form. From a form point of view, towel warmers can range from just a few bars no more than 19 inches tall to models with dozens of bars that are nearly five feet in height. Each offers a unique look – a short towel warmer might fit snugly on a wall next to the vanity, while a much larger towel warmer will look great on a wide marble wall next to the tub.

But from a functional perspective, a tall towel warmer serves an important role. You see, each rung of the towel warmer emanates heat, and if you have a short towel warmer, where the heat is only in contact with the rung on which it is hanging, then a smaller portion of the towel will be warmed. On the other hand, if you have a longer towel warmer, then you can hang a towel on the top run and every single rung below it that is in contact with it will heat the towel and make the entire towel a warm delight.

So, while a shorter towel warmer may make good design sense by fitting into just the right space, you might find that a taller towel warmer will provide your clients with a more luxuriant experience.

Towel Warmer Controls

Finally, you should consider how you want to operate your towel warmer. Nearly all heated towel racks come with some form of an integrated switch. Some come with built-in control buttons that offer several options such as “on/off,” “on for 2 hours,” or “on for 4 hours.” These integrated control options are usually more than enough for most users but you can also consider pairing a towel warmer with a separate control.

WarmlyYours offers three different primary models: the Hardwired 4-Setting Countdown Timer, Hardwired Programmable Timer and the Hardwired WiFi Timer.

The Hardwired 4-Setting Countdown Timer comes with four different countdown settings including on for two hours, on for one hour, on for 30 minutes, on for 15 minutes, and an on/off button.

The Hardwired Programmable Timer offers more options; it can be programmed with up to 50 on/off events and has a built-in astronomical clock.

The Hardwired WiFi Switch is extremely intuitive to operate. It can be used with voice control by using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and it works with Nest & IFTTT. Additionally it allows you to control your towel warmer remotely with a smart device.

—By Julia Billen, owner and president, WarmlyYours

Photo credits: WarmlyYours


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