Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

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Saving$
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Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Saving$ » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:01 pm

Do any Bogleheads have towel warmers in their baths? If so, does it work well? How long does it take to warm a towel? Do you use it or is it a useless gadget? Is it an electricity hog?

The prospect of a warm towel on a cold winter morning is an enticing low cost luxury; the towel warmers cost under $200, and I can get the wiring done at minimal cost while the entire bath is being rewired.

However, online reviews are disparate - some indicate they are great, others state they don't really warm the towels. Also it looks like you need to "thread" the towels between the rods, which I imagine would get old fast.

chevca
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by chevca » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:28 pm

DW and I love em. We have some around $200 ones from Home Depot and they work great. We just leave them on most all the time, so always warm. It isn't even noticeable on the power bill. I think once they warm up they stay there and draw little power, but just my guess.

It's very nice to wrap up in a warm towel getting out of the shower. And one is right by our closet door, so even walking by it you get a nice little warm feeling. We don't bother threading towels or anything, just throw em over the top. We have one in the kids bathroom also. Small luxury, but worth it, IMO.

Freefun
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Freefun » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:34 pm

Had them in other homes I had. Loved them. Took 5-10 minutes to warm towels but never timed it - towels were always toasty after my shower.
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motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:54 pm

20 (!) years ago when I lived in the UK, nicer hotels had an arrangement where the hot water feed to your shower or bath (I miss having a proper bathtub) ran through the towel rack, ingeniously heating your towels only when you needed them.
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Pajamas
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Pajamas » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:01 pm

I have never had a towel warmer but I have had an old-fashioned radiator in the bathroom which effectively functioned as a towel warmer. It was a pleasure to step out of a bath in the winter and into a huge, fluffy, warm towel, especially since the apartment was not particularly toasty. Not sure if I would buy a towel warmer, though, unless I lived in a cold climate and kept my apartment very cool during the winter. Probably would not bother with one in Southeast Florida, for instance. Definitely a luxury but a nice one to have under the right circumstances.

FraggleRock
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Towel Warmers are a worthwhile luxury

Post by FraggleRock » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:22 pm

Don't have one in the master bath yet, but am planning to install one.

We took a trip to Portugal last Fall and one of our AirBnBs had a towel warmer. Very nice.

I have done a bunch of research and concluded that we want:
1. Hardwired as it has a cleaner look and we have a modern house.
2. Timer.
3. Plenty of power to really warm the towels.
4. Large enough.

All of which led me to:https://runtalnorthamerica.com/towel_ra ... armer.html in white with timer.
Not cheap. And, I have to have "my" electrician install the power with GFI. Am saving up the money.

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livesoft
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by livesoft » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:30 pm

I have had them in hotels.

At home, if I want a warm towel, I put one in the clothes dryer before I get in the shower. Our clothes dryer heats by natural gas, so cheaper than electricity. Also I can set it to dry for specific time period.

I consider towel warmers useless.
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oxothuk
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by oxothuk » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:32 pm

We often find them when traveling in Europe. They work great to help dry clothes we have washed in the sink.

neilpilot
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by neilpilot » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:34 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:30 pm
I have had them in hotels.

At home, if I want a warm towel, I put one in the clothes dryer before I get in the shower.

I consider towel warmers useless.
Funny. We just spent a couple weeks in France, and the home we stayed in had a towel warmer (tied into the heating system; it served as the radiator in our suite's bath). The home had a washer, but not a cloths dryer (not uncommon in Europe). After doing a load of wash, we hung some of our wet cloths on the towel warmer to dry.

So maybe the French homeowner considered a cloths dryer useless?

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Pajamas
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Pajamas » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:42 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:30 pm
I have had them in hotels.

At home, if I want a warm towel, I put one in the clothes dryer before I get in the shower. Our clothes dryer heats by natural gas, so cheaper than electricity. Also I can set it to dry for specific time period.

I consider towel warmers useless.
Who brings the towel from the dryer to you in the bathroom on Sundays when your servants have the day off?

runner3081
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by runner3081 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:42 pm

We don't but live in the Southwest, these would be worthless most of the year.

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8foot7
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by 8foot7 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:49 pm

livesoft wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:30 pm
I have had them in hotels.

At home, if I want a warm towel, I put one in the clothes dryer before I get in the shower. Our clothes dryer heats by natural gas, so cheaper than electricity. Also I can set it to dry for specific time period.

I consider towel warmers useless.
But then you’re running wet and naked from the bath to the laundry, yeah?

MJS
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by MJS » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:32 pm

Worthwhile end:
Your bathroom is always humid
Your bathroom is always chilly
You have super thick towels that never quite dry out but absorb heat beautifully

Less valuable end:
Very low humidity
Usually warm
Thin hammam-style or linen towels, absorb water but not heat
Last edited by MJS on Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jminv
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by jminv » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:33 pm

I have them in my place and don't see much benefit to them outside the fact that they're my bathrooms heating during the winter (tied into the radiator system). If I had to pick, I'd say I probably prefer having room temperature towels. They're standard in parts of Europe and came with the place; if it hadn't, I wouldn't put any money into aquiring them. Although I live in Europe, I'm American enough that I have a dryer, otherwise they would come in handy, along with the radiators, to dry clothes quickly.

Dontwasteit
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Dontwasteit » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:44 pm

I don't care for mine. Maybe it's the brand but it :annoyed takes way too long to heat up and never really gets the towel "toasty".

mhalley
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by mhalley » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:55 pm

Here is another a small luxury for the bath: buy a lotion warmer and put shaving cream in it. Makes shaving a better experience.

Nyc10036
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Nyc10036 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:45 pm

chevca wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:28 pm
We have some around $200 ones from Home Depot and they work great.
Would you please provide brand and model # ?
I want one! :happy
Thank you.

123
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by 123 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:48 pm

I think the desire for warm towels might depend a lot on your location. The last thing I would want most of the time in Hawaii is a warm towel.
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Atilla
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Atilla » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:08 pm

My bathroom towel rod is directly over a heat vent. :sharebeer
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SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:13 pm

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:54 pm
20 (!) years ago when I lived in the UK, nicer hotels had an arrangement where the hot water feed to your shower or bath (I miss having a proper bathtub) ran through the towel rack, ingeniously heating your towels only when you needed them.
I remember heated towel racks in UK hotels many years ago too --- they were especially welcome in some hotels that were older converted stately houses (which despite their ambience could be slightly cold and drafty).

123
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by 123 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:19 pm

Atilla wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:08 pm
My bathroom towel rod is directly over a heat vent. :sharebeer
+1 Ours is set-up the same way. A towel warmer couldn't make them any toastier.
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killjoy2012
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by killjoy2012 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:27 pm

They make a ton of sense in colder climates where the home is heated by radiators, and the heated towel rack is dual purposed to also be the room radiator. I had them in a few hotels in Scotland and it was great. But I don't think I'd install an electric equivalent in my forced air house, even though I do live in northern USA. Sure, it'd nice... but at a price, both to install and operate. It's not the no-brainer as it is with radiator-based heating.

chevca
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by chevca » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:38 pm

Nyc10036 wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:45 pm
chevca wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:28 pm
We have some around $200 ones from Home Depot and they work great.
Would you please provide brand and model # ?
I want one! :happy
Thank you.
Sure can. We went with these...

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Amba-Radian ... /206023554

Had to order online and have delivered, the store didn't carry them on hand.

I should add, we had a new construction home being built at the time and optioned wiring and location in, so they could be hard wired in and just where we wanted them. There's a plug and cord style available too, I believe.

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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Fallible » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:58 pm

A warm towel versus a cold towel? Do towels ever get really cold? Or so cold that a warmer is worth the money?
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GratefulinNC
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by GratefulinNC » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:01 pm

If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

chevca
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by chevca » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:12 pm

Fallible wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:58 pm
A warm towel versus a cold towel? Do towels ever get really cold? Or so cold that a warmer is worth the money?
I did say it was a small luxury. :happy

We all spend on something that is worth it to us and not to someone else.

Location has been mentioned, and I can see the point there. I should say we're in the PNW and a warm towel or clothes out of the dryer is like heaven. :happy

JoeRetire
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by JoeRetire » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:20 pm

Worthwhile is a funny term.

To me these would be worth less than $0 - just something more to break. Your mileage may vary.

chevca
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by chevca » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:01 pm

How would you break them? What do you do with your towel racks? :happy

Colorado13
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Colorado13 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:17 pm

I think these are a fabulous idea, but have only experienced them in Europe. My master bath does not have a heat vent in it, so that room is typically cold. I think a towel warmer and heated floors would be nice.

DiamondplateDave
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by DiamondplateDave » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:34 pm

I have to confess I have no experience with towel warmers. Since my bathroom is in an uninsulated dormer, with only a small radiator, I would not rule out any additional source of heat. However, by total co-incidence, I was researching how much energy my Smart Devices draw-
https://www.esource.com/es-blog-2-17-17 ... xa-consume
-when I read an article on what the biggest power consumers are, on an annual basis. I was surprised to read:
"Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that a heated towel rack, which runs 24 hours a day to keep towels toasty, consumes 1,226 kWh a year—about $147 annually for the average American. Similarly, the whole-home security system included in our data was always in active mode, and thus used thousands of kWh annually, making it one of the biggest—and most expensive—residential plug loads we measured."
https://www.esource.com/tas-1700025-001 ... plug-loads
Figure 2 lists security system at #1, and towel warmer at #9. Disclaimer: I don't know who these people are, what their agenda might be, or how accurate their information is.
I might be willing to pay to run a warmer while I was in the shower, and grab a heated towel-a timer would work-but I wouldn't want to pay for running one 24/7 all year round, nor for the AC to remove the additional heat.

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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:20 pm

123 wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:19 pm
Atilla wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:08 pm
My bathroom towel rod is directly over a heat vent. :sharebeer
+1 Ours is set-up the same way. A towel warmer couldn't make them any toastier.
I've been at hotels with similar setups (heat vent is over or under the towel rack) and it is wonderful to get a warm towel on a cold day.

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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by neilpilot » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:46 am

Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:20 pm
123 wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:19 pm
Atilla wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:08 pm
My bathroom towel rod is directly over a heat vent. :sharebeer
+1 Ours is set-up the same way. A towel warmer couldn't make them any toastier.
I've been at hotels with similar setups (heat vent is over or under the towel rack) and it is wonderful to get a warm towel on a cold day.
Can't understand how a ceiling heat vent, i.e. over the towel rack, would result in warm towels unless the entire room was warm.

msk
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by msk » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:01 am

IMHO absolutely essential in the UK and humid countries like the Netherlands. One winter and you'll also get convinced. I bet most Americans aren't familiar with a linen cupboard that has the house water heater in it either :annoyed Another almost essential that many Americans might wonder about :confused LOL; of course it depends on your climate. E.g. during Canadian winters the air inside a house is so dry you would not seriously need a towel warmer. Ditto for a place like Denver. My kids even have to use lip salve because the air there is so dry...

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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Mudpuppy » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:40 am

neilpilot wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:46 am
Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:20 pm
I've been at hotels with similar setups (heat vent is over or under the towel rack) and it is wonderful to get a warm towel on a cold day.
Can't understand how a ceiling heat vent, i.e. over the towel rack, would result in warm towels unless the entire room was warm.
In that scenario (ceiling vent), the hotels had the towel rack mounted high so it was close to the vent. That way, the hot air hits the towels directly before being dispersed around the room in general. The air coming out of a properly maintained heater vent is very warm. Heat pumps and electric heaters can discharge air at 90F or above and gas heaters can discharge air at 100F or above. That's plenty warm enough to warm up a towel if the hot air hits the towel directly.

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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by neilpilot » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:43 am

Mudpuppy wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:40 am
neilpilot wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:46 am
Mudpuppy wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:20 pm
I've been at hotels with similar setups (heat vent is over or under the towel rack) and it is wonderful to get a warm towel on a cold day.
Can't understand how a ceiling heat vent, i.e. over the towel rack, would result in warm towels unless the entire room was warm.
In that scenario (ceiling vent), the hotels had the towel rack mounted high so it was close to the vent. That way, the hot air hits the towels directly before being dispersed around the room in general. The air coming out of a properly maintained heater vent is very warm. Heat pumps and electric heaters can discharge air at 90F or above and gas heaters can discharge air at 100F or above. That's plenty warm enough to warm up a towel if the hot air hits the towel directly.
OK, now I understand. The hot air exits the vent that's above the towel rack, and then drops down to heat the towel(s) below before rising into the room. :?

wrongfunds
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by wrongfunds » Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:09 pm

Who brings the towel from the dryer to you in the bathroom on Sundays when your servants have the day off?
silly you; he rotates his servants! How can anybody live an entire day without servants?

Getting back to the topic, don't you worry that electricity might just find its way in to your damp towel? Metal towel rods in wet bathroom with electricity going through them; what can go wrong???

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Pajamas
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Pajamas » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:01 pm

msk wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:01 am
IMHO absolutely essential in the UK and humid countries like the Netherlands. One winter and you'll also get convinced. I bet most Americans aren't familiar with a linen cupboard that has the house water heater in it either :annoyed Another almost essential that many Americans might wonder about :confused LOL; of course it depends on your climate. E.g. during Canadian winters the air inside a house is so dry you would not seriously need a towel warmer. Ditto for a place like Denver. My kids even have to use lip salve because the air there is so dry...
Towel warmers in the U.S. are generally for warming the towel so they are more pleasant to use and not for drying towels or preventing mold. People in the U.S. also tend to have large clothes dryers that work fairly quickly if they need to dry something rather than hang clothing to dry or have a small dryer or combo washer-dryer.

I do use heavier towels in the winter and less-dense towels that dry faster in the summer due to ambient humidity variations.

Nyc10036
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Nyc10036 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:12 pm

chevca wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:38 pm
Nyc10036 wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:45 pm
chevca wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:28 pm
We have some around $200 ones from Home Depot and they work great.
Would you please provide brand and model # ?
I want one! :happy
Thank you.
Sure can. We went with these...

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Amba-Radian ... /206023554

Had to order online and have delivered, the store didn't carry them on hand.

I should add, we had a new construction home being built at the time and optioned wiring and location in, so they could be hard wired in and just where we wanted them. There's a plug and cord style available too, I believe.
Thanks.
They seem to get better reviews than others.

Scrapr
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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Scrapr » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:33 am

Before I would do towel warmers I would have heated tile floors in thbe bath

but....I am a outlier. Mrs Scrapr likes big fluffy towels. I like what I call "scratchy" towels. Just a few years away from threadbare. Just what we grew up with. We weren't poor. But we shopped 2nd hand stores a bit

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Re: Towel Warmers - worthwhile luxury or useless?

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:40 am

Scrapr wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:33 am
but....I am a outlier. Mrs Scrapr likes big fluffy towels. I like what I call "scratchy" towels. Just a few years away from threadbare. Just what we grew up with. We weren't poor. But we shopped 2nd hand stores a bit
My parents call those "scratchy" towels the "exfoliation" towels. Makes it seem fancier that way, but really they just saved money by not putting in fabric softener in the laundry.

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