One of life’s great joys is wrapping yourself with a toasty towel after hopping out of the shower. But this premium experience need not be limited to fancy hotels and spas if you pick up your own towel warmer.
Unlike using a dryer, which is a huge pain, or a radiator, which can be dirty and dangerous, a towel warmer is specifically designed to warm and dry towels. In addition to warm towels just feeling awesome, towel warmers can also help dry out your towels faster, which helps cut down on the growth and spread of smelly bacteria.
There are basically two different kinds of towel warmers out there: racks and buckets. Racks run the gamut in terms of size from smaller, standing racks better for hand towels to bigger racks that you mount on a wall for larger bath towels. Buckets tend to be more compact overall, but also vary in size a bit. You can expect to fit one to two large towels in a bucket towel warmer.
So you’ll want to make sure you either have enough floor space for a standing rack or a bucket or a good wall to mount the towel warmer on.
Those are the ultra basics, but here are a few other basic things to keep in mind when buying:
- Heat temperature: You want to make sure to check the heat-up temperature if available for whichever towel warmer you land on. Our picks all provide sufficient heat, but the temperature will affect just how warm your towel feels and how long the warmer will need to thoroughly heat it.
- Timers: An automatic on/off switch or timed settings aren’t must-haves, but they’re really convenient so you never have to remember to turn off the warmer. You don’t want to accidentally always leave it on, which is guaranteed to drive up your electric bill.
- Size and weight: If you’re leaning more toward the idea of a wall-mounted warmer, because they’re bigger and heftier, you’re going to need to know how to install it into the studs and possibly get the power through the wall if you don’t have a convenient outlet close by. Buckets take up less space on the floor, but they’re bigger than you imagine and do need some floor space, so you’ll want to make sure you have an outlet-friendly spot to put it.
- Price: Towel warmers are pretty expensive as a category and though it’s not a hard rule, generally the cheaper you go, the more likely your unit will fail over time.
- Towel warmers ≠ towel dryers: If you see a product also labeled as a towel dryer, be wary. Though a great towel warmer will also function as a great towel dryer, some products are marketed as both and oftentimes towel dryers won’t get warm enough to actually make the towel feel thoroughly warm.
One last thing to note before checking out some towel warmers. Brookstone used to make a great towel warmer, but it’s since been discontinued and was also known to short-out, which can start a fire. So if you’re looking for that, check out some of our great towel warmer picks below instead.
1. Heatgene Towel Warmer
The Heatgene Towel Warmer will make sure you never have to use cool towels ever again. This wall-mounted towel warmer has a large 12-bar curved design big enough for two large towels or bathrobes. As long as the towels don’t overlap, you can put as many on there as you can fit, like if you wish to warm hand towels.
It takes about 45 minutes to reach its optimum temperature of 149 degrees on 140 watts of power, but Heagene says it’ll start to warm towels 15 minutes after you turn it on. Just click it on five to 10 minutes before you hop in the shower and you’ll definitely have some warmth when you’re finished.
It ships with all the hardware and tools you’ll need to mount it and it can be hardwired for power through the wall or plugged into a wall outlet if you have one in a good spot. And if you’re worried about it shorting out or failing on you, you’ve got a two-year manufacturer’s warranty to rely on.
On the downsides, there’s no auto-shutoff feature and we should note that this option is expensive, though it’s actually just a bit above average for top-quality towel warmers.
You can pick up this excellent towel warmer in brush finish, mirror polish or a matte black option for additional money.
2. Brandon Basics Wall Mounted Towel Warmer
For another great wall-mounted towel warmer option, you could check out the Brandon Basics Wall Mounted Towel Warmer.
This stainless steel towel warmer has 12 bars for improved heat distribution, two movable garment hooks for bathrobes or other clothes and boasts up to 190 watts of power for quick heating and drying.
Thankfully it also features one-hour and two-hour timer buttons in addition to a straight-up on/off button, so you can run the warmer for as long as you need to dry out your towels or just get them nice and cozy warm.
Though it can be hardwired or plugged into the wall, you’re still going to have to mount it yourself, which, again, will take some know-how and effort.
3. Joy Luxury Spa Towel Warmer
For an excellent bucket-style towel warmer, you could turn to the Joy Luxury Spa Towel Warmer.
It occupies about a square foot and is 20 inches tall, so it’ll easily hold and warm one towel, a single bathrobe or multiple smaller towels. That size still might be a little too big for smaller bathrooms, especially those with limited outlets and places to place the warmer.
But, this towel warmer is simple to turn on and off, with just one power button, and a little indicator light to signal when the inside is hot so you don’t touch it.
Joy advises loosely stuffing the towel in for the fastest warming, which users suggested is only about 10 to 15 minutes because the lid helps keep the heat inside.
In a neat little addition, the towel warmer also features what Joy calls a Forever Fragrant disc, a scented disc tucked into the lid to add lovely smells, in this case lavender, to your towels.
There are really only three minor downsides. One thing to note is this warmer is only meant to heat dry towels, so don’t go throwing your wet things in there. It’s also compact but ultimately a bit large for smaller locations. And, the purple color is pretty but might not vibe with the rest of your bathroom decor.
Something else you should know: The warmer doesn’t seal all the way on purpose, a common feature of buckets. A full seal would capture far too much heat and create a serious safety hazard.
4. Conair ThermaLuxe Towel Warmer
The more niche the product, the less likely you are to find a name brand you can trust. Thankfully we discovered the reasonably priced ThermaLuxe Towel Warmer from Conair, a surprisingly compact, lightweight, large towel warmer.
The box-like shape can accommodate two large towels or an assortment of smaller towels and clothes.
It features a 20-minute timer, which is exactly the amount of time Conair says you need to warm your towels up. Some users suggested that wasn’t long enough for thorough heating, but said that 30 to 40 minutes resulted in warm towels through and through.
If you’re trying to get your towel heated up in as little time as possible, loosely stuff the towel into the warmer instead of rolling it for quicker results.
5. Tangkula Freestanding Towel Warmer
BEST FREESTANDING WARMER
There are wall-mounted towel warmers, bucket towel warmers and the somewhat less common freestanding towel warmer, like the Tangkula Freestanding Towel Warmer.
While it doesn’t boast that much power, 100 watts, it still heats up fairly quickly and offers moderate towel warmth, if not that fresh-out-the-dryer level of heat.
It’s lightweight at just over six pounds and stands three feet tall, which is tall enough to handle one large towel.
Conveniently, it ships with all the hardware and tools you would need to make it stand or mount it to a wall.
Best of all, this towel warmer is pretty inexpensive, but you get what you pay for. Though this towel warmer will stand tall and handle your towels, it won’t get them as warm or dry them as fast as a more powerful warmer.
6. Zadro Ultra Large Luxury Bucket-Style Towel Warmer
This Zadro Ultra Large Luxury Bucket-Style Towel Warmer is another great bucket-style warmer. It’s very classy and traditional looking, so it won’t be the eyesore of your bathroom, and the bucket itself holds up to two oversized towels.
It has nice bamboo accents on the feet and the lid of the bucket and also comes with four different timers, 15, 30, 45 and 60 minutes, so you can get your towels a little toasty or a lotta toasty.