The 10 Best Towel Warmers of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

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The 10 Best Towel Warmers of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Whether you're taking a quick shower or a relaxing self-care bath, being greeted by a warm towel after you’ve gotten out is an amazing feeling. And while the idea of investing in a towel warmer might seem like a luxury saved for a hotel or resort, there are tons of high-quality and affordable models designed for use right at home.

Plus, as if being wrapped up in a warm towel isn’t luxurious enough, towel warmers are also cleaning tools that use either electricity or hot water to trap the heat inside the towel, which “eliminates the breeding ground from bacteria,” explains Craig Maclaren-Taylor of Bathroom Butler. Home improvement and towel expert Dan Akkins of Tauwel adds that towel warmers “can also help dry towels faster, reducing the need for frequent washing.”

To find the best towel warmers on the market, we tested 29 towel warmers, evaluating each on setup, design, performance, features, and overall value. We also spoke to Maclaren-Taylor and Akkins to get their expert insight on what to look for while shopping for towel warmers and how to use them safely.

The sturdy wide base ensures it’ll stay upright.

It can only fit one large towel at a time, and the heating may be a bit uneven.

The Zadro Medium Towel Warmer Bucket comes fully assembled with no additional setup required—just take it out of the box and set the timer to start warming your towels. You can pick from one of four time settings, ranging from 15 to 60 minutes, and the warmer features a light that indicates when it’s fully heated up. It’ll automatically shut off once it’s hit the time limit, too, so you don’t have to worry about doing that yourself.

Since this pick is fairly small, we found the heating to be a bit uneven. Despite its compact size, this towel warmer’s wide base allows you to easily and safely grab the heated towel (or bathrobe or blanket, if you prefer) without knocking it over. The size is also ideal for those with limited space, as you can store it easily in a cupboard or closet when not in use. During testing, we found that towels were warmed up at the lowest 15-minute mark. Even at higher timer settings, the towel wasn’t too hot to handle. And after six months of use, the unit has maintained consistent quality.

Though this warmer can hold only up to one bath sheet sizes up to 40 inches by 70 inches (or two smaller towels), it’s a great choice for those looking for a small yet efficient towel warmer with a sleek look and low price.

Type: Freestanding | Dimensions: 12 by 12 by 13.5 inches | Timer Settings: 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes | Towel Capacity: 1

It has a hot surface indicator to distinguish when towels are ready to be taken out.

It can leave some cold spots when heating two towels at once.

Save on costs without compromising on quality with the Live Fine Towel Warmer. Available in a neutral gray tone, the small, bucket-shaped device can fit two towels if folded side by side and is extremely easy to set up and use. 

When we tested out this warmer for ourselves, we found that it’s very simple to move thanks to its handle, and the stabilizing feet keep it sturdy on the floor or countertop. Both the lid and top edge of the bucket are insulated, so you don’t have to worry about getting burned when reaching in either. The device also helpfully features an LCD display that shows its timer settings of 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes, and it’ll automatically shut off after the chosen time period.

After six months of use, this towel warmer is still working as well as it did on day one. Although this warmer can fit two towels, we did find that it left some cold spots in the areas where the two towels touched. For the most uniform warming, you may want to limit warming to one towel at a time. Still, all in all, this is a solid and compact towel warmer for a comparatively low price.

Type: Bucket | Dimensions: 12.6 by 12.6 by 13.4 inches | Timer Settings: 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes | Towel Capacity: 2

The stainless steel frame comes in three finishes that will look good in any home.

The close space between the rack and wall makes it hard to fit more than two towels.

This impressive towel warmer from Pottery Barn features a modern design and is available in three beautiful finishes (chrome, brushed nickel, or matte black). It comes in four sizes, the smallest being 18 inches by 40 inches and the largest being 24 inches by 60 inches. It’s also moisture resistant, so you can put your towels right back on the rack to dry after you’ve showered or bathed. You can even use it to dry your delicates too. 

When we tried out the warmer, we found that it heats up towels extremely quickly within just 10 minutes. Though there is only one setting and no timer, the temperature remained consistent after the initial warm up—never uncomfortably hot. Due to the limited space between the wall and the rack itself, it can be tricky to fit more than two towels on the warmer (and take them on and off). But if you live alone, two would be just enough. 

This stylish towel warmer has held up well after six months of daily use, continuing to dry and warm our towels with ease. Because this towel warmer is wall-mounted, it requires an electrician (or a handyman) and will take an hour or so to set up. Pottery Barn, however, does provide all the brackets and hardware for installation. And in our opinion, the hassle is worth it; being wall-mounted means fewer pesky cords and extra space in your bathroom. 

Type: Wall-mounted | Dimensions: Four sizes ranging from 18 by 40 inches to 24 by 60 inches | Timer Settings: None | Towel Capacity: 2

It warms towels in just 10 minutes’ time.

It’s not super sturdy and can slip on the floor.

Suitable for families or frequent towel users, this larger-than-average TMWings towel warmer can handle the supply and demand of your many towels. It can fit two big bath towels, blankets, or multiple smaller towels with its 20-liter capacity.

During testing, we found that it’s very easy to both load in and take out the towels, thanks to that wide berth. We also really liked the lightweight device’s removable lid and the carrying handle that makes it portable to use outside of just your bathroom. Most importantly, though, we were impressed by how quickly it warms towels, taking just one minute to warm up itself and 10 minutes to provide plenty of heat throughout the towels placed inside. We also appreciated that it also has four timer settings (15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes) to choose from.

We've found that the warmer does take a bit of time to heat our towels to the desirable temperature, sometimes resulting in more of a "wet warm" than a "cozy warm." Still, after six months of use, there have been no significant changes in quality. This warmer comes in two color options (a white base with either gray handles or light wood handles) and conveniently features an indicator light to tell you when the towels are warm. Keep in mind, though, that the plastic legs can slip on the floor, and the tag of your towel can become quite hot during the warming process. 

Type: Bucket | Dimensions: 13.2 by 13.2 by 20.5 inches | Timer Settings: 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes | Towel Capacity: 2

The ample space between bars makes adding and removing towels easy.

The long power cord is a bit unsightly.

If you want a towel warmer that won’t take up too much space in your home, go for a wall-mounted option like this one from KEG. The stainless steel device may take some time to set up, but once you have it installed, you’ll be glad you added such a useful device to your bathroom wall.

It comes in various sizes with multiple bars and also an “S” shape design. You can opt for black, chrome, brushed nickel, white, and silver finishes. The smallest size option, which we tested, features four bars (enough for one large towel or several small ones). The ample space between the bars made it quite easy to add and remove towels as needed and sturdy enough to hang multiple on the various racks at once. Since it has one heat setting, we think it's ideal for those seeking a more basic option. The warmer also stands out for offering two- and four-hour timer settings, visible through the LED indicator, and an auto shut-off feature.

This towel warmer has maintained its high-quality performance after six months of use, though we did encounter issues with the included dry wall anchors. The brackets came out of our wall around the five-month mark, leading us to reinstall the unit, so we recommend using a stronger dry wall anchor than what's included. It’s also worth noting that the warmer does have a long power cord, which makes for easy installation, but some might find it unsightly. But given that the warmer heats up towels quickly, keeps them warm for longer time increments, and comes in so many colors, we think that these positives outweigh the negatives.

Type: Wall-mounted | Dimensions: Five sizes ranging from 20.9 by 16.1 inches to 20.9 by 45.4 inches | Timer Settings: 2 or 4 hours | Towel Capacity: 1

It's designed to run all day, so the heat stays low and steady—and never too hot.

There is no on/off or timer feature.

Another great wall-mounted option, this hardwired towel warmer from Amba runs 24/7 to ensure that you have warm towels at all times. This way, you’ll never have to worry about remembering to turn on your towel warmer before your shower or bath.

When we tested out this towel warmer, we found that it heats up towels (two at a time!) very quickly, and it’s also very easy to add and remove towels as needed due to the large amount of space between the warmer and the wall. There are no timer settings, since it’s designed to be on all day, but you can use the on/off button if you don’t want it to run continuously. If you’re concerned about energy used, the warmer’s energy consumption is similar to one to two light bulbs. Additionally, the temperature is just right, providing an even warming that never gets too hot to touch. After six months of using the heater, we have no complaints.

The Amba warmer is quite stylish, coming in three finish options: brushed silver, matte black, or polished silver. In fact, this unit is so sleek that it looks like it's part of our bathroom design. It won’t take up too much space, either, with hit’s longest side being just over 31 inches. Installation, though, will require a dedicated circuit in your electrical panel in order for it to work, so you may need to call in for professional help. But once installed, get ready for a luxurious, cozy experience every time you step out of the shower. 

Type: Wall-mounted | Dimensions: 23.75 by 4.75 by 31.5 inches | Timer Settings: None | Towel Capacity: 2

The 10 bars are big enough for numerous small towels.

The bars don’t always heat up evenly.

For those who want a sizable towel warmer without having to hire an electrician for installation, consider a freestanding option like this one from Amba. The device features 10 bars, enough to hold two large towels or several smaller ones, and is made from sturdy, durable stainless steel that won’t fall over or slip on the floor. It would also make a good addition to laundry rooms to dry delicates and even rain jackets. 

You can choose from two finish options for this elegant towel rack: matte black or brushed stainless steel. That’s where the choices end, though, as there are no timer settings; you can either power the towel warmer to keep it on at all times or turn it off when not in use. Since there are no temperature settings, the heating also stays relatively low. After six months of use, we've noticed no changes in quality or performance—the warmer has continued to give our towels a that fresh, post-dryer feel without requiring the effort of actually having to do a load of laundry.

As for cons, we do wish that this device’s power button was easier to push, although it does make it so that it’s hard to turn on accidentally. We also found that the bottom bar was significantly warmer than the top bar. To ensure the most even heating, you’ll want to interlace one large towel between the bars.

Type: Freestanding | Dimensions: 24 by 12 by 38 inches | Timer Settings: None | Towel Capacity: 2

It’s very stylish, with an ivory base and a bamboo handle.

There are no temperature adjustment settings.

Improve your mood, reduce stress, and spoil yourself with a true spa-like experience with the Zadro Towel Warmer, which comes with an aromatherapy diffuser. The ivory-colored, bucket-shaped warmer comes with a bottle of lovely-smelling lavender essential oil, which you can add into the diffuser under the lid.

Not only does this Zadro warmer look good, but it functions great as well. It’s big enough to fit two large towels and features four timer options (15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes), as well as a helpful automatic shut-off. Towels placed into the warmer took just 15 minutes to heat up, with the heat evenly distributed throughout the towels. We did notice, though, that towels at the bottom were a smidge cooler than the ones placed on the top. In terms of the design, the wooden legs at the base kept the warmer sturdy on the ground. The power cord can also be discreetly coiled under the base for easy storage. 

After six months of use, this towel warmer still performs as it did when we first opened it. It would be ideal if the device came with temperature adjustment settings, since that would certainly enhance the luxurious feeling created by the aromatherapy. Even still, this is a worthwhile purchase for anyone who wants to feel relaxed and cozy after the shower.

Type: Bucket | Dimensions: 12 by 12 by 21.25 inches | Timer Settings: 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes | Towel Capacity: 2

It comes with a drip tray to catch any remaining moisture.

It doesn’t always warm all 12 towels evenly.

For a seriously compact towel warmer meant to be used to heat up washcloths rather than bath towels, check out this tiny, lightweight model made by Elite. The small, white device can hold 12 washcloths at once and quickly heat them up to 160 degrees within its insulated area. Plus, after six months of use, we've noticed no changes in performance.

One of the things we liked best about this plastic towel warmer is how safe it is to use. The door opens very wide to prevent any accidental burns, and the included racks easily slide in and out of the cabinet for when you put your towels in. The warmer itself is controlled with a simple on/off button and also comes with a drip tray that goes under the rack to catch any moisture. Still, we recommend keeping items on the warmer's shelf rather than on the bottom of the cabinet—some of our washcloths were burnt after being left unattended on the bottom for a while.

That said, if you do fill the device up with 12 towels, you’ll find some cool spots in the towels. To get the most even heat, we recommend filling it with fewer towels. Given its small size, it would be ideal for small spaces too. 

Type: Cabinet | Dimensions: 17.75 by 10.5 by 14 inches | Timer Settings: None | Towel Capacity: 12 washcloths

Includes eight mini towels with the warmer.

It’s not the most sturdy or durable towel warmer.

Looking to heat up many hand towels at once for use at home or in a salon? This tiny yet efficient warmer from State River may be the best choice for you. The compact and highly portable unit can heat up to eight mini towels (or two or three slightly larger towels) in one go, and it even comes with eight of those mini towels.

Available in black or white, this compact warmer makes for a stylish addition to any space. Though there are four timer settings (15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes), you can’t control the temperature itself. But when we tested the device, we found that it evenly distributed heat throughout the towels at a comfortable, safe temperature in just 10 to 15 minutes. Though the towels aren’t too hot to touch, the set also comes with small wooden tongs to help you take each towel in and out.

As it is made of plastic, this isn’t the sturdiest or most durable warmer out there. The lid also doesn’t fit snugly on the bucket, making it possible for the hot water to escape and ultimately lowering the temperature. Still, after six months of use, the warmer maintained its quality, leaving our towels as soft and plush as they had been at the start of testing. If your main goal is to heat or steam a handful of small towels in one go—and keep your expenses low—this will absolutely do the trick.

Type: Bucket | Dimensions: 9 by 4.5 by 7.8 inches | Timer Settings: None | Towel Capacity: 8 mini towels

For a top-rated towel warmer that’s efficient, reliable, and safe, we recommend the Medium Towel Warmer Bucket from Zadro. It’s a great middle ground between quality and cost and is easy to use. The compact size also ensures that it could fit in almost any size room or bathroom without taking up too much space.

We tested 29 towel warmers, including nine mounted and 20 freestanding options. To start, we timed how long it took to set up each towel warmer, and took note of any issues or challenges we encountered in the process. Next, we focused on performance. We placed towels on each rack to see how many could fit (for freestanding bucket towels we used the max number recommended by the manufacturer), and then turned the warmers on. We noted how quickly each warmer heated up, and how hot each one got during the entire process.

We then used the towel warmers regularly over a weeks-long period. Throughout the testing period, we evaluated heating time and power, ease of operation, and range of features, plus took note of any technical difficulties that occurred. We also tried warming up blankets and robes using the towel warmer to measure versatility. For freestanding warmers, we tried gently knocking into each towel warmer to see if any tipping occurred. When the testing period was over, we evaluated the overall value of each warmer based on performance and cost.

For long-term insights, we tested the towel warmers in our own homes, evaluating their performance after two and six months of use.

The most common towel warmers are wall-mounted racks, freestanding racks, and buckets. The type you choose will depend on what type and size of towels you want to warm, the space you have to accommodate a warmer, and features you might want.  

Wall-mounted: This type of towel warmer comes with hardware to attach it directly to the wall, which can be helpful for freeing up space in your bathroom. Some wall-mounted towel warmers are hydronic, which Akkins says can “[connect] to your home's hot water system and are more energy-efficient, but require professional installation." They also often take up to two hours to fully heat up, adds Maclaren-Taylor. Other wall-mounted towel warmers are dry element (or electric) and get their heat from a wire that “runs throughout the unit and heats up when turned on,” according to Maclaren-Taylor. These only take 10 to 15 minutes to heat up, he explains. 

Freestanding racks: Freestanding racks “are great for rental homes,” says Maclaren-Taylor, since they don’t require installation. You can easily place them anywhere in a bathroom, or even opt to place them in laundry rooms or mud rooms. Akkins adds that even though they’re quite versatile, they can take up a lot of floor space. These would work best for more spacious areas. 

Bucket: Bucket towel warmers are shaped like a bucket (hence the name) and can “warm and dry multiple towels simultaneously,” says Akkins. They’re often fairly lightweight and compact, too, making them ideal for smaller spaces or countertops. 

If you hope to use the warmer to heat up numerous towels at once, you should opt for a freestanding rack or large wall-mounted unit. Depending on their size, these devices can usually heat up a couple bath sheets at once—although the heat might vary on each. If you only want to heat one large towel (or a handful of small towels) at a time, a bucket, cabinet, or small freestanding towel warmer should suffice. 

Some towel warmers come with settings that let you determine how long you want the towel to heat up for. Many models offer timers ranging from 15 minutes to an hour, allowing you to customize the experience and ensure a perfectly heated towel when you step out of the shower.

As mentioned above, many towel warmers helpfully come with timer settings, and in some cases, they also have settings that let you set the warmer “to your preferred temperature,” says Maclaren-Taylor. Additionally, some towel warmers (typically more expensive options) feature aromatherapy, which can create an even more luxurious, spa-like experience. Some will also offer energy efficiency settings to minimize electricity use.

Rejuvenation Traditional Wall-Mounted Towel Warmer: This beautiful towel warmer can fit two large towels and adds a sophisticated look to any bathroom. It performed very well in testing, but the very high price tag is hard to justify for most buyers.

Costway Bucket Towel Warmer: With a simple design, this warmer comes in two sizes and two colors. It is very easy to use, as there is just one option to turn it on and off, and it has an auto shut-off button set for 60 minutes. However, the heating performance wasn’t great; towels initially felt warm after being taken out, but the heat quickly dissipated.

Both experts agree that a towel warmer is absolutely worth it. If you “enjoy the comfort of stepping out of a shower or bath and wrapping yourself in a warm, cozy, towel,” then Akkins says you’ll love having a towel warmer. But they’re not just for luxury—towel warmers are actually quite useful. In addition to providing a place to hang your towels, “their practical uses include eliminating the breeding ground for bacteria by drying the towel rapidly, and keeping it smelling fresher for longer,” Maclaren-Taylor explains. “It’s kind of like that new feature on a car that you thought you didn’t need but now becomes a necessity on every car after that.”

In most cases, no. "Most heated towel racks cost about $7 to $14 per month to run if left on 24 hours,” says Maclaren-Taylor. “To put that in perspective, they use the same energy as the incandescent light bulb.”

While Maclaren-Taylor says leaving the towel warmer on is safe, he notes that, if you’re concerned, you can “link it to a Wi-Fi light switch to program…a routine” and control the power. Akkins adds that towel warmers’ safety settings (like temperature controls and timers) minimize the chance of danger.

Although some warmers can contribute heat to a small bathroom, heating a larger bathroom would require “a dedicated space heater or a bathroom heating system,” says Akkins.

This article was written by Rachel Simon, a writer for Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, The New York Times, and many other publications, and updated by Jamie Fischer, a commerce writer for Real Simple. We tested many towel warmers in our Lab and evaluated them on design, features, value and more. For expert insight, we spoke to both Craig Maclaren-Taylor of Bathroom Butler and Dan Akkins of Tauwel.

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn’t an option. All products go through the same rigorous process, whether they are purchased or sent by the company.

The 10 Best Towel Warmers of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

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