Whether you’re taking a steaming hot shower or nice bubble bath, few things are more relaxing than letting the heat take all your troubles away. Unfortunately, a good thing doesn’t last forever, and you’ll have to get out of paradise at some point and face dreaded cold bathroom floor.
Fear not though, as with the help of a handy towel warmer you can continue the serenity for a little while longer without emptying your hot water tank.
If you’ve ever pulled the laundry out of the dryer and felt the need to press the nice warm towels to your face firmly into it, you’ll definitely appreciate a towel warmer. With the right towel warmer, you can have a steaming hot towel ready for you the second you get out of the bath or shower.
It may not sound like much right now, but when you take that first step out and feel the nippy chill from the room temperature, air conditioner, or window on your steaming-hot skin, you’ll wish you never left!
Towel Warmer Comparison Table
In a hurry and just want the raw data? Use the comparison table below to help you make a quick choice.
If you want more in depth info then keep on reading!
Our Top Picks
When it comes to picking out the best towel warmer for your bathroom or spa, your choices primarily come down to three features:
Price – Do you get value for money? (cheaper isn’t always better)
Capacity – How many towels does it hold?
Style – What style of towel warmer is it and does it require installation?
Keep in mind that you will need to pick a model that suits your unique requirements, don’t just buy one because someone says it is the best.
The following models offer good features for a good price – these models are what we would buy:
At an upper-mid-tier price but one of the highest storage capacities, we felt that the Amba Curved Towel Warmer was the best choice in terms of pure functionality.
It is wall mounted, so it won’t take up floor space and will look great in a modern bathroom, matching your beautiful shower wall options & decor.
It also comes with a great 2-year warranty & more than 4 stars on Amazon.
At the top of the storage-per-dollar range is the value-priced Brookstone Bucket Towel Warmer.
It’s got a large capacity that can hold 2 extra-large towels or blankets, robes, and other pieces, making it a versatile option for those with greater aspirations than just towels.
If you want a standalone option that has the best bang for your buck, this is it.
The Top 5 Best Towel Warmers Reviews
WarmlyYours Riviera Towel Warmer
Coming in as the most expensive option of our reviews is the WarmlyYours 9-Bar Towel Warmer.
- 9 bar design
- Programmable timer or on/off switch
- 2 year warranty
User/Installation Manual: Download here.
Dimensions: 24″ W x 32″ H x 5″ D
Manufacturers Website: https://www.warmlyyours.com/
This stainless-steel wall-mounted towel warmer has 9 hardwire-heated bars that you can hang towels and other items on to slowly warm them. The bars are separated into 3 groups of 3 with a few inches between the sets. This allows you to use more of the bars for heating because they will be more spread out rather than on top of each other, increasing its capacity.
The intelligent design also reduces the risk of mildew and improves heating time because it allows for ample air flow throughout the towels.
On average, customers have reported that their towels are perfectly warmed in about 20 minutes, and totally dried in about an hour.
In terms of extras, comes with a programmable timer so that you can have it heat your towel every morning, or you can turn it on before you hop in the shower and have it ready when you get out.
If it’s more of an impromptu shower and you’re unsure how long you’ll be, you can toggle the on/off switch instead. It also has a 2-year warranty, which is great for giving you peace of mind in case something goes wrong.
The Bottom Line
This product would be a solid choice for anyone with a modern bathroom who’s looking to be able to effectively heat 3 full-sized towels, prefers a wall-mounted warmer, and has a significant budget.
Elite Hot Towel Cabinet Mini
For those who don’t need to heat a lot of towels and other larger items, the Elite Hot Towel Cabinet is a unique mid-low-tier-priced option to consider.
- Holds 1 full sized towel or 12 facial sized towels
- Internal temperature control – won’t overheat
- Small enough to sit on a dresser
Interior dimensions: 10.5″w x 7 1/4″ d x 5 3/8″ h
Exterior dimensions: 13 3/4″ w x 11″ d x 10″ h
While it does look a bit like a mix between a microwave and an old-fashioned refrigerator, it still is a formidable internal heater that can reach up to 150°F.
It’s capacity is about 1 full-sized towel, or a dozen hand-towels at a time (hence the mini) and boasts a solid heating time of around 20-30 minutes for warm towels, and 90 minutes for totally-dried warm towels. The heat time is variable based on how many items are in the heater though, as it is powered by a heating element that surrounds the interior, heating from the outside in.
Perhaps the biggest perk of this heater is that it can fit on a shelf, counter, or other small space instead of requiring a wall or floor space like bucket or wall-mounted models use. It is also lightweight and portable, allowing you to bring it with you anywhere you may be faced with a chill.
The Bottom Line
This model is best for personal use where convenience trumps capacity. It has a high maximum temperature and quick heating time, so if you plan to use it just for small towels, it can definitely work.
Brookstone Towel Warmer
If you’re looking for significant capacity at a budget-option price, the Brookstone Towel Warmer is for you.
This model is the only standing “bucket-style” heater on our list, and also the cheapest model on our list. It heats using an electric heating element that surrounds the towels, robes, blankets, and more in the machine for a deep-heat that affects the whole item, not just certain parts that touch the heater. This is particularly handy when you max it out with 2 full-sized towels and need the heat to penetrate the middle of the pile.
One of our favorite features is the 4 timer options, allowing you to set the heater to warm towels to the perfect temperature until you’re ready for them.
We also appreciated the fast heating times, generally warming the towels sufficiently in less than 30 minutes – the perfect amount of time for a morning routine or long bath.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to capacity, this model falls into the middle of the pack with enough room for 2 towels. However, when you take the pricing into account it becomes the de facto best value on this list. If you don’t mind a standalone heater, this is a great option.
Amba RWH-CP Curved Towel Warmer
I heard you like bars on your towel warmer. How does 10 bars sound? With the Amba RWH-CP Towel Warmer, you can have 10 bars to drape your towels, blankets, and robes onto to warm them up for movie night or your morning shower.
As the second most expensive option on our list, you’ll be happy to know it also has the 2nd highest towel capacity, at a whopping 2-3 towels (depending on size and configuration).
The bars are powered by electricity, producing heat inside with resistors and allowing the heat to emanate through the bars to your towels. This way you get near-direct, even heat distribution on all parts of the towel near the bars.
To maximize the heating/drying speed, draping multiple sections of the same towel on multiple bars allows for more area to be heated simultaneously, and thankfully you’ve got 10 bars. Drape away!
A perk of this wall-mounted model is that not only are the horizontal bars heated, but the vertical bars are as well. This gives you additional space to warm something – a wool hat, some gloves, or other winter wear would likely fit perfectly on the peak of the vertical bars.
You’re also getting a solid 2-year warranty in case something breaks down, making it a bit easier to pay the extra money for this model.
The Bottom Line
For the price, this is likely the best wall-mounted option we’ve reviewed. The additional bars allow for more creative towel configurations, allowing you to maximize your space. With tons of 5-star reviews on Amazon, you can trust this choice.
Ancona AN-5327 Electric Towel Warmer
Priced slightly below the Amba model is the AN-5327 Electric Towel Warmer. This warmer seriously delivers with 7 electrically-heated bars that distribute heat evenly between the uniformly-spaced bars. Despite having less bars than some of the other options, this model’s bars are slightly larger and have more space between each, allowing you cover more of the towel being heated and fit a similar number of towels to models with more bars.
It should be able to comfortably hold 2 full-sized towels, and more if you get creative or have smaller towels. Just remember that the more of the item is touching the bars, the faster it’ll warm up!
This model does not include a timer or many additional features aside from an on/off switch. However, it is also incredibly energy-efficient thanks to the design of their heating element. This allows it to stay on constantly without draining your electric bill and ensuring you always have a towel on hand.
Being able to reach nearly 160° also means that it will be able to heat the room slightly if left on, making it cozier to dry off in (especially if you add a bathroom heater).
The Bottom Line
Despite having a less bars than the other mounted models, this option is still in the running due to thicker bars and low energy pull, allowing it to be always ready. If you can find a good deal, chances are you’ll be more than happy choosing this model.
Buyer’s Guide – What to Look For
When you’re browsing through different towel warmers online, you’re going to see a lot of information to consider before making your choice. The right model for you depends on what you’re looking for out of the heater. Is it just for you, or your whole family? Do you have the space for a wall-mounted model? These things – and more – are necessary to ask yourself before you make a final decision.
Below we will outline some of the finer details to help you decide on the best towel warmer, so you can choose the right model for you.
Maybe the most important distinguishing factor, the capacity is how many towels, blankets, robes, washcloths, and other objects you can heat at one time. As long as you have the space for it, a larger capacity it usually better. However, you will find that increasing the capacity often increases the price.
The source of your towel warmer’s heat can either come from an electric heating element or a hydronic heater. Choosing between the 2 really depends on the layout of your home, as they can be as easy as plugging into an outlet, or as complex as integrating a hydronic system into your plumbing. Therefore, unless you’re planning a bathroom remodel, you’ll probably end up going electric!
An electric heater uses electricity and passes it through a resistor to convert it into heat, which then radiates out from the heating element. This usually applies to hardwired (attached to your electrical system) and plug-in models (either mounted or standing).
A hydronic system uses hot water to heat the towels, transferring the thermal energy from the water into the bars, cabinet, or bucket holding the towels. These are primarily mounted models and are very expensive!
There are 3 primary warmer types – bars, buckets, and cabinet heaters.
A bar heater is usually made of a metal material like stainless-steel, with a heating mechanism running through the bars to provide the heat for the towel warmer. In general, the parts of the item that are touching the bars themselves will dry the fastest, though the heat will spread between nearby lateral bars for even heating. Their capacity often depends on the number of bars, their distance apart, and their size.
Bucket heaters are what you expect – heaters that look like buckets. They take the towels and other items and hold them like water in a bucket; the opening is on top, and after you fill it, you place the lid on and let it work. The interior heating element heats from all sides, allowing it to penetrate into the middle of the pile. You’ll find that many bucket heaters have solid capacity, but not as much as a carefully-crafted bar heating configuration will.
Cabinet heaters are similar to a microwave, closet, or cabinet. Like a bucket heater, the towels are warmed by a heating mechanism on the inside the surrounds the items. Once they are done, you can simply open it and grab your towel. They come in a wide array of sizes and are often the most portable.
Size & Location
Before you pick a model, be sure to measure your bathroom to make sure it fits! Wall-mounted models take up a significant amount of wall space, so if your bathroom is a little snug, it may be best to get a more portable model like a bucket or cabinet towel warmer.
You’ll also want to keep your electrical heater away from any source of water to avoid damage, and preferably out of reach or “bumping into” range because they can get very hot. You may lose some skin if you bump into a wall-mounted model at the wrong time!
Depending on how much space you have and where it is, you’ll want to decide between mounted and standalone models. Wall-mounted models take up less floor space, but much more wall space. Standalone models can get in the way, but you’re able to move them as you need to. Consider what your bathroom looks like and check your walls for studs to mount it into – otherwise you’ll risk it pulling out a chunk of your wall!
If you don’t plan to leave your towel heater on all the time, you can take advantage of a timer. Some models have a timer that lets you choose a specific amount of time to heat for before it turns off automatically. With more advanced models, you’re able to set your towel heater on a schedule to be ready for you when you wake up. Talk about convenient!
How Long Does It Take to Dry a Towel?
The time it takes to fully dry or warm a towel depends on a few factors. The first would be the wattage of your warmer, as that controls how quickly it can heat up and how warm it can get. It also depends on the type of towel warmer you’re using. Even the best towel warmer won’t work quickly if it’s overfilled or the items are not positioned correctly on the bars.
In general, you can expect a warm towel in 30 minutes, a hot towel in 60 minutes, and a completely dry and warm towel in about 90 under standard circumstances.
Should I Leave It on or Turn It Off?
Depending on the type of heater you use, you may have the option of leaving it on all the time. This is usually common on wall-mounted bar heaters, as they are out of the way for the most part and it is more energy efficient to maintain their temperature than go from cold to hot again. Leaving your heater on can also heat the room, so the electricity or hot water don’t go to waste. However, if you don’t plan to use it for a while, definitely turn it off!
What Else Can You Use It For?
Just because it’s a towel warmer doesn’t mean you can’t use it for other things! Other potential uses include:
- Winter Wear
- Wet Clothes
- Heating the Room
Is It Safe to Use?
When it comes to dealing with extremely hot temperatures – especially on exposed bars – there is always a danger. These towel warmers get incredibly hot, and if you forget they’re on or brush up against them, you could be in for some serious pain!
Additionally, electric models are at risk of shorting out with the introduction of water, so be careful about placing them too closely to the shower or sink. Fortunately, outside of the plug most models do a good job of hiding delicate electronics, so you should be safe!
Finally, if you’re concerned about putting your flammable items directly into something scalding hot, don’t worry too much. These models operate at a low enough temperature that they are not at a high-risk for fire unless there is immediate contact made with the heating source. Fortunately, the bars and insulated heating mechanisms block them, so you should be safe!
A towel warmer is an incredibly convenient machine that helps take the sting out of leaving the shower or bath. By the time your shower is done, you can have a hot towel ready to hug you with heat until you can dry off and get dressed.
Some can even heat the room for you to make it an even more pleasant experience.
Now that you’ve learned just about everything you need to know about choosing the best towel warmer, you’re ready to compare options and choose the right one for you.
If you’re on a budget or looking for a standalone model, our recommendation is the Brookstone Towel Warmer. It offers the best value and solid capacity in a stylish design.
If you’re looking for a wall-mounted model, consider the Amba RWH-CP for its good price, 10-bar heating system, and sold 2-year warranty.
What are you waiting for? The best cure for cold feet are some warmed socks!
Pricing last updated on 2019-01-20 at 13:44 / affiliate links - Details