Workings of Various Types of Towel Warmers Explained

Towel warmers are heated towel rails used to dry towels, wet swimsuits and other types of wet clothing. Presence of a towel warmer means warm and dry towels are available as soon as you step out of shower or bathtub. Swift drying of towels prevents the growth of mildew on them which is especially beneficial in damp places. Towel warmers also provide supplemental heat in the cold bathrooms. Apart from bathrooms, towel warmers can also be installed in laundry rooms, poolside and mudrooms.

The various types of towel warmers and their workings have been explained here.

Workings of various types of towel warmers explained

Electric Towel Warmer

Electric towel warmer comes with an electric cable which heats up the rails. This type of towel warmer does not connect with the heating system of the house. The electric towel warmer can be equipped with either a dry or wet heating element. The dry heating element is the wires inside the rails which gets heated up by electricity. The wet heating element is oil or water present inside the rails which is heated up.

Electric towel warmer can be of plug-in or hardwired variety. Plug-in electrical model does not require installation as the three-pronged plug requires an electrical socket. The warmer can either be freestanding like any other appliance or can be mounted on a wall near an electric outlet using wall studs. Hardwired model, on the other hand, requires installation because it needs to be connected to the junction box of the house. It is clean and sleek in appearance because the wires are buried inside the wall. A licensed electrician is needed to install a hardwired model of electric towel warmer.

The rails of an electric towel warmer start heating up within 5 minutes and then reach the optimum temperature within 30 minutes. The rails are heated up to 35 degrees and reach even 55 degrees when towels are kept over them which results in insulation. Modern electric towel warmers come equipped with a timer, thermostat and auto shut-off feature.

Hydronic Towel Warmer

Hydronic towel warmer uses hot water to warm the rails. The hot water circulated through the rails heats them up. This type of towel warmer must be connected to the hot water plumbing system of the house. This option is suitable if the house already has a hot water system. Otherwise, a whole hot water plumbing system needs to be installed. Hydronic towel warmer can also replace an old radiator. Like a radiator, a hydronic towel warmer is connected to the hot water piping, and all you need to do is remove the radiator and connect the hydronic towel warmer to the hot water piping. Hydronic towel warmer also provides heat to the room, thereby fulfilling the function of a radiator as well.

Liquid Filled Towel Warmer

Liquid filled towel warmer has anti-corrosion fluid in its rails which is heated up. Thus, it is like a hydronic towel warmer. But the difference is that in this type of towel warmer, the fluid is heated by an electric element. It can be either of the plugin or hardwired variety.


Apart from the method of heating, size, capacity, and style are some of the essential considerations while purchasing a towel warmer.