How to buy a heated towel rail

Looking for stylish bathroom heating? Check out our buyer's guide before you head to the shops

towel rail with towel and dark grey
(Image credit: TBC)

Heated towel rails are ideal for cold winter mornings. Not only will they keep your towels nice and warm, they look stylish, too.

Follow our top tips to buying the perfect heated towel rail for your bathroom:


1) Calculate the power

Will the towel rail be your bathroom's only heat source? If so, you'll need a rail that's powerful enough to warm the room as well as your towels. To calculate the power output your rail will need to have, visit If your bathroom has a radiator or underfloor heating, you can go for a lower-output rail.

2) Work out when you'll use it

Do you want to have warm towels in summer as well as the colder months? If so, choose an electric or dual-fuel model, or look for a hydronic rail that can be heated from the hot-water system without the heating being on.

3) Assess your wall space

How much wall or floor space is available for the rail? A full-size towel radiator that's capable of heating a large bathroom will probably take up most of a wall, so make sure you don't need that space for anything else. Smaller rails can be wall-mounted at waist height, leaving space below for storage, or narrow rails can be installed behind a door in space that would otherwise be wasted.

4) Think about hanging space

How many towels will you need to hang up every day? A towel rail in an ensuite won't need as much hanging space as one in a family bathroom. Check there's enough space between each rail to drape a large bath sheet.

5) Find the right style

There's a huge selection of designs out there. If you want your rail to be a feature or focal point, be bold and go for an unusual curved or spiral design. If you have a small room and want the rail to blend in, a white rail against white tiles will be an unobtrusive option.

6) Choose the best finish

These vary from matt and polished metal to eye-catching coloured styles. Shiny chrome or stainless-steel rails suit most contemporary bathrooms; simple white towel rails work well in both traditional and modern schemes.

Check out the best heated towel rails and be inspired by more bathroom storage ideas.