Which Towel Warmer is Best for My Bathroom?
Homeowners today are no longer asking themselves whether or not they should add a towel warmer to their bathrooms - the opinion is nearly unanimous that a towel warmer adds value, warmth and elegance to any room in the home. The decision now faced is which towel warmer to choose. As towel warmer technology has evolved and the fertile imaginations of designers and engineers have introduced a plethora of innovative and inspired looks, there are more options than ever before. When choosing a towel warmer, you'll need to consider the following options:
- Electric or hydronic?
- Hardwired or plug in?
- Budget or designer?
- Contemporary or traditional?
- What kind of finish?
- Timer or no timer?
- Freestanding or wall mounted?
- Curved or straight?
While this buyer's guide to towel warmers can't answer all of these questions for you definitively, these few tips should help you make an informed decision that meets your vision.
The most fundamental difference between towel warmers is the installation type. Both options are very energy efficient. Electric towel warmers typically consume about as much energy as one or two ordinary light bulbs and hydronic towel warmers simply utilize your existing hot water plumbing. Modern towel warmers also have integrated safety features with thermostats and automatic shut off capabilities that make safety a non-issue when choosing between the two.
Amba Electric Hardwired Towel Warmer
What you'll want to focus on as a homeowner is the ease of installation. For hardwired and hydronic installations, you will need the assistance of a professional electrician or plumber to ensure that it is properly installed. In most cases, installation is a simple job- but depending on your bathroom's plumbing layout, it may be more intensive. However, the beauty of a hardwired or hydronic installation is that there are no visible wires.
Plug in installations are an absolute breeze to install. Most plug in electric towel warmers use standard 120V plugs and be plugged in like any other appliance. This is great for portable towel warmers and are very DIY-friendly.
Read more about electric and hydronic towel warmers
The next consideration you'll want to make is how you'll attach your towel warmer. There are three main types: floor mounted, wall mounted and free standing. Free standing towel warmers are excellent for their portability and ease of installation. But wall mounted towel warmers triumph in areas with little floor space.
Floor mounted towel warmers are a compromise between permanence and flexibility.
One important thing to consider is your bathroom walls. If you have a bathroom with tile on the bottom half and flat wall on the top half, you'll have to make a decision: place the towel warmer above the tile or look for a towel warmer that is designed to lay flat on uneven walls. For example, Amba towel warmers can be made level by adding standard washers as spacers to the bracket.
Read more about wall mounted and free standing
Towel warmers, like all luxury bathroom amenities, range widely in price. Many towel warmer brand names offer separate lines - one for those seeking the utmost in elegance and another looking for functionality at a great price. For example, Myson's budget line of towel warmers are available for under $200. But Myson also offers designer towel warmers that exceed $3,000. Knowing how much you want to spend up front can help you quickly narrow down the choices.
Towel warmers come in a vast array of styles. Essentially, there is a towel warmer style for any bathroom decor. You can find period-style towel warmers, antique-style towel warmers, classic towel warmers, traditional towel warmers, contemporary towel warmers, arched towel warmers and eccentric towel warmers. The key is to look at many different options and choose a type that resonates with you. After that, compare towel warmers within a particular style.
What is equally as important as decorative style is finish and design type. Most towel warmers come in a variety of finishes, such as satin nickel, polished chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, antique gold and others. You may want to match the rest of your bathroom hardware for a more consistent look.
Other decisions can also affect the functionality of your towel warmer. For example, a straight towel warmer and curved towel warmer are subtly different - but a curved towel warmer allows you to weave towels through the bars for faster towel warming and drying. You can also opt for a towel warmer with a shelf for storage or a robe hook. Consider how you will use your towel warmer to decide if you'd like any of these features.
Read more about towel warmer styles
Timers and Switches
Towel warmers also vary in the way they are operated. Many manufacturers recommend that you let you towel warmers run around the clock. But for vacation homes or guest bathrooms, you may want the ability to turn it on or off. A 24 hour, 7 day timer lets you automatically control the towel warmer. For example, you could have it turn on an hour before your shower so that your towel is nice and warm when you get out. Or you could have a towel warmer installed in your vacation home shut off during weekdays so it won't waste energy.
Some towel warmers, like the Amba Elory Model E-2113,have built-in switches directly on the unit. Other manufacturers do not place integrated switches on their towel warmers and instead recommend that you hardwire the towel warmer through a light switch. Some argue that if a switch fails, it is much easier to replace an external switch than send in an entire unit for service. However, since there are no moving parts in towel warmers, they have a very low failure rate. In the end, it comes down to aesthetics and convenience. Do you mind a lighted switch on your towel warmer? Or would you rather be able to turn your bathroom towel warmer on from a separate room? Consider this carefully.
There is no one size fits all towel warmer. There are dozens of choices to make which are neither good nor bad. On the one hand, you'll be able to find a specific installation and style of towel warmer that fits your bathroom perfectly. On the other hand, deciding what exactly it is you want and need is sometimes a challenge. Browse through our selection of towel warmers to get an idea of the features that are available - and if you still have questions, don't hesitate to call our customer support line and draw on our years of experience to help you make a decision.