Best Electric Towel Warmers

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

24 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
84 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best electric towel warmers

Last Updated September 2019

The worst part of taking a shower is, of course, getting out — especially when your bathroom is chilly. But fear the cold no more, because the next self-pampering amenity making its way into every home is the electric towel warmer. With this decadent device, you can live the opulent life every single day for less than it costs to stay one night at a fine hotel.

But in order to have the best experience, you must consider the size, shape, and décor of your bathroom to determine which style of electric towel warmer will meet all of your needs. You can get anything from a permanent wall-mounted rack-style towel warmer to a portable freestanding one. You can even choose a towel warmer cabinet if you prefer.

To learn more about electric towel warmers and how they can add luxury to your life, keep reading. If you're already set to buy and just want a highly rated recommendation, consider the electric towel warmers we've spotlighted in this article.

If you do not have a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet in your bathroom, you need a professional electrician to install one before using a plug-in electric towel warmer.

Key considerations

Hardwired vs. plug-in

Hardwired: There's no question a hardwired electric towel warmer has a sleeker design, because there's no cord that runs down the wall and plugs into an outlet. Once installed, it becomes a permanent part of your home. To install a hardwired unit, however, you will need to hire an electrician to do the work. Additionally, hardwired models tend to be a few dollars more than the plug-in models.

Plug-in: A plug-in electric towel warmer typically costs a little less than a hardwired model, and it doesn't require you to hire an electrician for the installation. Depending on your comfort with tools, you may want to hire a carpenter to hang the unit. Other than that, it is as simple to use as plugging in any other household appliance.

Four types of electric towel warmers

Wall-mounted: A wall-mounted electric towel warmer is ideal for a bathroom that has little to no floor space. The unit simply mounts to the wall, much like a set of shelves. Wall-mounted units can either be hardwired or plug-in.

Floor-mounted: If you have floor space in your bathroom, you may want to consider a floor-mounted unit. Picture a radiator and you'll get an idea of what a floor-mounted unit looks like. This type of electric towel warmer can also be either hardwired or plug-in.

Freestanding: The freestanding electric towel warmer is designed to be portable. You can plug it in the bathroom one day, then move it into your bedroom the next. Because of its mobility, these types of units are only available as plug-in models.

Countertop: A towel warmer cabinet is an appliance that resembles a microwave or a toaster oven. Typically, with this type of electric towel warmer, you roll or fold up your towels, place them on a wire grate, shut the door, and turn it on. A towel warmer usually sits on a countertop and is only available as a plug-in unit.

DID YOU KNOW?

In effect, an electric towel warmer functions as a radiator. Because of this, it can be used to help heat a small bathroom.

Other considerations

  • Heat-up time: This is the time it takes for your electric towel warmer to go from off to peak temperature. In some models, this may be as little as 10 to 20 minutes, but others may take as long as an hour.

  • Warming time: Be wary of any manufacturer who offers a specific drying or warming time, because this depends on many factors, such as the temperature, the humidity in your home, and how damp or wet the towel is.

  • Size: The larger your electric towel warmer is, the more towels you can warm at once. However, you have to remember not to purchase a model that is too big to fit in your bathroom.

  • Number of bars: The more bars you have and the closer together those bars are, the more effective your electric towel warmer will be, because the bars are the unit's heat source.

  • Shelf: Some electric towel warmers have a shelf located above the unit for your towels.

  • Controls: Most electric towel warmers have a basic on-and-off switch. It is possible to find a unit with high, medium, and low settings, if that is your preference. In the highest-end hardwired models, you may find more precise control, much like the thermostat that controls the temperature in your home.

  • Operation: Some electric towel warmers are designed to be continuously on. Others may feature a timer, so you can always have warm towels ready when you get your shower. Some models will simply need to be turned on and off as needed.

  • Safety features: Choose an electric towel warmer that has a high temperature limit and an automatic shut-off in case anything goes wrong. Other features, such as a light to alert you when the unit is hot, can also come in handy.

  • Style: You want your electric towel warmer to fit in with the décor of your home. With such a wide variety of styles, finishes, and designs, you will be able to find exactly what you want. Don't settle; get what works for your home.
CAUTION

Do not install your electric towel warmer on or behind a door. Both of these locations are dangerous and can cause overheating.

Electric towel warmer prices

Inexpensive: For under $100, you get the budget models. They may be more affordable and they may look the same as higher-priced models, but they may lack the features that would make the unit desirable to you.

Mid-range: At around $150, you can find the towel warmer cabinets. With these units, you fold up your towels and place them into a small storage area that keeps them warm. In the $200 to roughly $300 range, you'll find the largest variety of electric towel warmers. These may be wall-mounted, floor-mounted, freestanding, hardwired, or plug-in. This price range is the best place to start your search for a model.

Expensive: Above $400, the electric towel dryers are larger, many are hardwired for permanent installation, and they have safety features that prevent overheating.

Warming and drying tips

If you're like most people, once you get your electric towel warmer, you're just going to throw your towels on the rack, then wonder why the product isn't working right. To make sure you have the very best experience possible with your new electric towel warmer, here are a few tips:

  • Every electric towel warmer is different. Be sure that you understand how your particular model works and realize any time or temperature limitations it may have.

  • Every bathroom is different. If yours is larger or smaller than average, it can affect the efficiency of your electric towel warmer.

  • Taking long hot showers puts a great deal of moisture in the air. This can have an impact on the time it takes to dry your towel.

  • If your bathroom is typically cold or drafty, you may find your towels do not get warm enough for your liking. To combat this, place a second towel on top of the first. This will help insulate it and keep it much warmer.

  • A folded towel will retain more heat than an unfolded towel.

  • If you need to dry a towel, not just warm it up, then placing it unfolded on the rack, so the most surface area is directly exposed to the air, is the optimum drying technique.

  • If you do not leave your electric towel warmer on, be sure to turn it on at least an hour in advance of when you'd like a toasty towel to give it adequate time to heat up.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

If you want to hardwire an electric towel warmer into your house, it is essential that you hire a professional electrician.

Other products we considered

Electric towel warmers are available in numerous types and styles. Because of this, there is a wide variety of high-quality models available. In order to provide you with a slightly larger selection, here are three more electric towel warmers you may be interested in. Salon Sundry's Professional High Capacity Hot Towel Warmer Cabinet can warm up to 24 towels at once (depending on the towel size) at 176ºF. If you have a large family or a small business, this would be ideal. The Amba Curved Plug-In Towel Warmer has 10 bars and is comparable to the hardwired unit that we spotlighted elsewhere in this article. If a freestanding unit is more to your liking, Amba’s 10-Bar Plug-In Towel Warmer should do the trick. The stainless steel unit has a built-in on/off switch and only weighs about 10 pounds.

Be sure you do not install your electric towel warmer or timer in any location where it can be easily splashed.

FAQ

Q. How hot does an electric towel warmer get?
A.
An electric towel warmer is designed to warm up your towel safely. However, that doesn't mean they are cool to the touch. At the low end, you may find your electric towel warmer only gets to about 100ºF, which isn't too hot. However, the upper limits of some towel warmers can reach as high as 150ºF, which is hot enough to burn. If you have small children, be sure they are closely supervised whenever your electric towel warmer is turned on.

Q. How long does it take for an electric towel warmer to reach its maximum temperature?
A.
This can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model. Many electric towel warmers will reach their top temperature within 20 minutes. However, there are some models that may take as long as 45 minutes or an hour to heat up. If the heat-up time is important to you, check with the manufacturer to be sure the heat-up time suits your needs.

Q. Can I use my electric towel warmer outdoors by my hot tub?
A.
This is not advisable. Besides the many safety concerns for outdoor wiring, towel warmers are not designed to endure the elements.

Q. What else can I use an electric towel warmer for?
A.
Towel warmers require a relatively small amount of energy to function. Because of this, many people get creative with how they use their electric towel warmer. It can dry bathing suits, hang pressed clothes, warm socks, dry wet gloves, make your scarf toasty, or even help heat small rooms. You can even use it in your bedroom to warm up your clothing on those cold winter mornings.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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