Anyone seeking to update their bathroom with modern technology would certainly be impressed with the performance and sleek look of heated towel racks today. Although used for nearly twenty years, over the last five these convenient spa-like bathroom accessories are becoming more popular as the design becomes more stylish and less industrial. You no longer have to go to a spa or exotic hotel to get the pampering luxuries of a modern day bathroo
In addition to heating or drying your towels there are also added benefits to having a cloth warmer in the home. Some other great uses include drying clothing which is not suitable for the dryer, drying swim wear which may be used again soon (thus can not be washed), warming cloths and hand towels for facials or stress reducing, or even warming cloths to be used for medical or health reasons (swollen hands or feet, earaches, headaches, etc.).
What is a Heated Towel Rack?
Heated towel racks are luxury towel bars for the bathroom which warm-up to also warm the towels. This can be beneficial for many reasons including hygienic (the towels are dried quickly to lower mildew or allergens), and comfort (a warm towel after a warm shower is always better than a cold one).
Though it is typically used to improve your bathing experience by pampering yourself just it bit, it has also been recommended by doctors for numerous health reasons. It is said that using heated towels as opposed to room temperature towels can help increase circulation, reduce stress, and maintain warm and consistent body temperature.
Heated Towel Rack Styles and Designs
As with most electronic devices in the home, heated towel racks can be found in many styles, designs, and colors. It common that the towel rack look like traditional bathroom fixtures but many homeowners are becoming more and more impressed with the modern look and design opening doors to more modern towel rack designs.
The styles of heated towel racks include both wall-mounted designs and free-standing towel racks. Determining which style is best to your space will involve measuring floor space, wall space, and electrical specifications.
For those seeking a little less fuss you may also find portable racks which simply mount to your existing towel bar for a little added heat. These can be snapped on in less than five minutes and cost only about half the price of more permanent models.
How do Heated Towel Racks Work?
The style and design of your heated towel rack will dictate how it works. With many options on the market today, you may choose a cheaper version which simply heats the towels for a short time, and can be manually turned off or splurge on the item and have timers plus extra features built in. Most heated towel racks work about the same way and simply hold the towels while giving off small amounts of heat over time to warm them.
Plug-In: Most homeowners seek the plug-in heated towel racks. If choosing this style it is important that there be GFI plugs in the bathroom and proper precautions are taken to keep the environment safe.
Battery Operated: For homeowners without proper electrical setup in the bathroom there are battery operated versions of heated towel racks. These can be cheaper and lower quality or much more expensive but higher quality.
Electrical Installed: Some types of heated towel racks can be professionally installed in your bathroom. This requires the work of a licensed electrician and should not be done by homeowners without electrical knowledge and experience.
If possible, it is important to have a licensed electrician come into the bathroom to evaluate the best place and safest form of installation.
Battery operated, plug-in, and electrical installed heated towel racks are all monitored carefully and should be advertised as safe for your bathroom. If safety information is not found on the box or in the instructions it is safest to return the brand and purchase a safer product.
Heated towel racks should never be installed inside of a shower or directly above a bathtub. This can increase the chance of electrical shock.
How much do Heated Towel Racks Cost?
Depending on the brand and style of your towel rack, it can be found from $40 to well over $2,000 if purchasing a luxury brand. Another key factor in cost is the number of upgrades or features offered.
Here are a few common and luxury features in today’s towel racks that affect cost:
portable full-size towel racks: can dry or warm up to ten towels at a time
greater width between bars for warming night robes and bath robes
thermal fluid to add more warmth to the bars
programmable timer to control temperature and reduce fire hazard
safety mode which turns off rack when reaching a hazardous temperature
Where to Buy Heated Towel Racks
When purchasing any items for your home it is best to research your choices, costs, and options online before heading into stores. That said, you should do initial research online but then also go into a store to view the towel rack in person. (Remember, the photos taken to sell you an item online are often staged in the best possible lighting and situation.) Once selecting and viewing the model you prefer at a store you may find the best prices online.
Take a look at your local stores to find the right fit for your needs.
Home Decorating Stores
Home Improvement Stores
Department Stores – Home Goods
Tip When Buying a Heated Towel Rack
Consider Energy Costs – If purchasing a heated towel rack that is plugged in and does not have a timer be aware of the wattage and how this may affect your utility bill. There are energy saving options such as stainless steel which holds heat very well.
Understand if the model you are choosing has oil and check reviews to ensure that this heating oil does not have a problem leaking. The oil can ruin towels or clothing and present major problems on the bathroom floors.
Know that a hardwired installation will most likely need be done by a licensed technician thus adding to the cost of your towel rack. Check prices of electricians before deciding the budget for your purchase.
Learn the basics of heating elements in towel bars to fully understand what works best for you and get the most out of your heated towel rack. You can find towel racks that are about 80watts of power to over 200. The higher the watts the higher the temperature, thus the better job it will do.