Best Towel Racks

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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.Read more 
How we decided

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

50 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
113 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Buying guide for best towel racks

Last Updated December 2019

Even though the kitchen is often thought to be the most popular room in the house, we frequent our bathrooms multiple times per day. To get the most out of the time spent there, the ability to effortlessly reach the items you need is important. That’s why it’s time to outfit your bathroom with the right accessories to optimize space and get organized — and a towel rack is essential.

Towel racks are multi-purpose accessories that save space, store extra towels, and hold onto wet towels while they dry. While they’re mostly functional, you can find models that match your bathroom décor or add some flair to an otherwise undecorated space. In fact, some towel racks are part of accessory collections. With these products, you have the option to fully coordinate your bathroom.

If you’re ready to add an extra arm, hook, or shelf of storage to your bathroom, take a look at our buying guide and the towel racks we’re spotlighting. We’re sure you can find the right one to suit all your bathroom storage needs.

If you have a Jack and Jill bathroom with two separate sinks, you may opt to purchase two towel racks so your bathroom achieves a symmetrical look.

Key considerations

Tools for assembly and installation

It’s pretty easy to assemble and install a towel rack. The kits usually come with the screws, washers, and bolts, though some pieces need to be purchased separately. Some people purchase longer screws for a more secure installation. As far as tools go, what you’ll need depends on the type of mounting the towel rack has. If you have a basic home tool set with a screwdriver, wrench, and hammer, you probably have everything you need.

Bathroom size

Take your bathroom size into consideration when purchasing a towel rack, since various styles take up space in various ways. A bathroom may be small enough to only have a toilet and sink or large enough to house a vanity, hot tub, and bidet. Size is important because it affects how doors, cabinets, and drawers open in the area around the towel rack.

For small bathrooms, compact towel racks are ideal — over-the-door models or single-bar mounted models work best. Medium-size bathrooms can accommodate towel racks that stick out more, so they generally have more arms and deeper shelves. If space isn’t a concern, you may opt for a larger freestanding model that provides several arms and shelves.

Towel capacity

Basic towel racks feature a single arm or loop to hold one or two towels, whereas larger racks house several towels through hooks, arms, and shelves. Are you looking to hold more towels? If so, you need a model that holds several towels with ease. If your bathroom is shared by multiple people, you may require a rack with plenty of hooks or arms so everyone has a place for their towels. For individual towels, a single-purpose rack for hand towels may be adequate, and it can save on space.

Mounting style

There’s more than one way to mount a towel rack, including screws, over-the-door brackets, or suction cups. Screws are most common method; these racks require the most amount of effort with installation, but they can hold a great deal of weight if properly secured.

Over-the-door brackets are more common with hook or organizer towel racks and simply slide over the door. They don’t need to be bolted or secured, so you can remove the rack and use it elsewhere at any time.

Towel racks secured with suction cups support the least amount of weight, so they’re usually found only on single-purpose racks. The perk of suction cup racks: they cause the least amount of damage to bathroom surfaces.

It’s recommended to wash towels every two to three days. Some people wash them after daily use.

Staff
BestReviews

Features

Materials

Towel racks are usually made of a metal such as chrome, stainless steel, or alloy. Because they often need to support the weight of towels wet and dry, a metal model offers the strongest and most durable frame. There are also some towel racks made of wood or bamboo. These racks are often eco-friendly and may be made from recycled wood.

Color and finish

Metal towel racks come in a variety of colors including silver, gunmetal, bronze, gold, black, and white. If you’re looking for a stylish take on the color, you can select from finishes such as shiny, brushed, or matte. Towel racks that come in different colors and finishes tend to be at the higher end of the price range, so be prepared to spend a little more if you like these design details.

Shelves

Some towel racks feature additional storage options in addition to arms or hooks. Shelves are the most popular and are located either on top of mounted racks or below freestanding racks. They’re convenient for storing extra towels, tissue boxes, or toilet paper, though not every shelf is sturdy enough to support bottles or other heavy items.

Towel rack prices

Inexpensive: Between $10 and $20, you can expect to find plain towel racks that only accommodate a few towels. They get the job done without being flashy.

Mid-range: Between $20 and $40, you will find stylish towel racks that are sturdier with a variety of color and finish options. Some of these models may only hold a few towels, but you can expect a higher quality of construction than the lowest price tier.

Expensive: At the high end of the price range, towel racks cost between $40 and $60. These are well-made and often part of a collection, so you could purchase additional matching pieces if you wanted to.

EXPERT TIP

Avoid abrasive surfaces and products when cleaning your towel rack. If it’s painted or has a brushed finish, it will strip the rack’s paint. Wiping a towel rack with a damp cloth is generally safe, but you should always defer to the manufacturer for recommended care instructions.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If you keep your bathrobe in the bathroom, choose a towel rack with hooks. Make sure it’s mounted high enough so the bottom of the robe doesn’t touch the floor.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Tighten your towel rack components. Some towel racks require assembly. Check the components often to make sure nothing is loose or could cause the rack to fall.

  • Measure the required rack space. Depending on how far your towel rack sticks out, you may be limited to installing it in select spaces. Figure out exactly how much room you need so you can choose a model that optimizes your space.

  • Consider a brushed finish. A brushed finish is better if you want your towel rack to stay looking pristine and clean. Shiny finishes look great, but dirt may be more noticeable on them.

  • Upcycle an unused freestanding towel rack. If you no longer have a need for a freestanding towel rack, bring it outside to hang bathing suits and beach towels. You could even paint it with waterproof paint to make sure it doesn’t rust or discolor outside.

  • Purchase after you choose your décor. It’s great to find a towel rack you love, but wait to buy it until you’ve chosen the rest of your bathroom décor. That way, you’re making an investment in a fixture that matches the rest of the room.

Other products we considered

If you have a large bathroom and are looking for a stylish towel rack, mDesign Large Freestanding Towel Rack Holder is a good choice. It comes in five colors and finishes to match the rest of your bathroom hardware. This model has three arms of varying heights to fit towels of any size, from oversized bath sheets to hand towels. There’s also a sturdy wire storage shelf at the bottom to keep frequently used items within reach. When it comes to care, this towel rack is a low-maintenance, rust-resistant model that only requires wiping with a damp cloth.

We also like the minimalist look of Organize It All Mounted Chrome Shelf. It has a space-saving and modern look with a budget-friendly price. Made with sturdy high-grade steel, this towel rack is designed to hold two rows of bath towels. There’s even an upper shelf that accommodates up to six additional towels, so you can optimize your storage options in a single space. Enjoy easy assembly and installation with this model, too.

For children who share a bathroom, select a towel rack that’s easy to reach at any height. Towel racks that are mounted too high could discourage children from hanging their wet towels if they’re too hard to reach.

FAQ

Q. I have to share a bathroom in my dorm. Which type of rack is best to keep my towels separate from my roommate’s?

A. Dorm bathrooms can be short on space, so get a compact towel rack. Over-the-door racks typically come with a series of hooks or arms with plenty of space to separate the towels. If your dorm room is large enough, you could opt for a small freestanding rack to hang your own towels.

Q. My bathroom has a tile towel rack that matches the rest of my bathroom. Will adding another towel rack of a different style clash?

A. No, especially since the tile towel rack blends right into the wall. These towel racks often have a metal arm, so you can match the metal of the new rack to that. If you have other colors and metal details from other accessories in your bathroom, you can coordinate the towel rack to match those instead.

Q. Can I install a wall-mounted towel rack behind my bathroom door?

A. It depends on how far the rack sticks out from the door, as it could obstruct opening it or damage the wall or tile behind it. A narrow, compact rack may work better, though if you have a lightweight door, it could cause a lot of damage with the screws and fixtures. If you only have space to hang towels behind your door, go for an over-the-door model.

The team that worked on this review
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

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