Towel warmer buying guide
Keep your bathroom towels warm with a towel warmer
Stepping out of the shower or bath into a warm towel or robe is one of life’s little luxuries. Not only does a towel radiator make this a reality in your home, but they’re also a great multi-functional addition to your bathroom. They’re ideal for drying towels – perfect if you’ve a large family – and add extra warmth to your bathroom helping to create a comfortable bathroom. Contemporary and space-saving designs can also help create an attractive feature and make use of small spaces if you’re looking for a warmer that fits your design and space needs.
Towel radiators can also be called towel warmers, but it's worth knowing that they work in a slightly different way to conventional radiators. Whilst they can efficiently heat a small en-suite bathroom or cloakroom, you’ll want to place an additional radiator as your main source of heat in a larger room. Steel panel radiators are an ideal choice for bathrooms as they have a high heat output to keep you warm when stepping in and out of the shower.
All B&Q towel warmers are pressure tested and meet the CE Standards (EN 442), so you can be confident you’re making the right choice.
Plumbed or electric?
Your home probably already has a hot water or electric heating system installed. However you aren’t limited to using your existing system when installing a new towel warmer.
The easiest way to replace a small radiator or a towel warmer is to choose one with identical pipe centres and similar sizes.
Turning off the central heating system will stop the flow of water to the towel warmer so you won't need to remember to switch it on.
Dual fuel offers the best of both worlds. These are plumbed towel warmers with an electric heating element installed, making it ‘dual fuel’. This means that the towel warmer will heat up when your central heating is on in the winter, and also give you the option to use the heating element independently when the central heating is off. The electric element is controlled with a switch and a thermostat so you can turn it on and off to give a boost of extra warmth when needed - ideal for use during the summer months. Look for heating elements with timer functions so that you can set your towel warmer to run at times when the central heating is not on. Bear in mind that while dual fuel options offer great flexibility you’ll require both plumbing and a mains electricity supply where you plan to install your towel warmer.
Electric options are a good solution if you don’t want to extend your existing hot water heating system or worry about moving pipework. Electric towel warmers work with your existing mains electric system and are double insulated for safety. They also come pre-filled with a water treatment to protect against corrosion and limescale. Just like a plumbed radiator, they’re mounted onto the wall but will need to be installed by a qualified electrician.
Some electric towel radiators come with thermostatic controls, rather than standard on/off controls. These allow you to set the temperature of your radiator to suit your needs, or pre-set the temperature you would like your room to be heated to. The radiator intelligently controls its heat output to maintain your desired room temperature by cycling on and off, helping to reduce energy usage. Premium options also offer the ability to set a time schedule, so that the radiator comes on a preferred times of day, similar to your central heating system. Thermostatically controlled electric towel radiators also offer anti-freeze functions which will automatically turn on if the temperature in the room drops low enough for the pipes to potentially freeze (usually around 7ºC) helping to prevent damage from frozen pipes. You’ll need to leave the radiator switched on, but it won’t generate any heat until it becomes very cold. It’s ideal for when you’re away from home.
Take some time to consider the wall where you would like to mount your towel warmer. If you’re redecorating or refitting your bathroom, paint or tile behind your towel warmer before you fit it, as you’ll find this easier. For plumbed towel warmers, think about the existing pipework. If you’re replacing an existing radiator, measure your space and current towel warmer dimensions to keep plumbing changes to a minimum. A narrower towel warmer may require more changes to the existing plumbing, particularly if the pipes rise out of the floor rather than run along the wall. Changes to existing underfloor plumbing will require the floorboards to be lifted so you may want to check with a plumber first.
British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour are a unit of measurement for the amount of heat a radiator /towel warmer produces. A BTU rating is assigned to all radiators and towel warmers, to help you select the right one for your needs.
Use our BTU calculator to work out the heat output needed for your bathroom, so you know how many towel warmers to buy. Please note: to heat up your room efficiently, you may want to place two or more radiators for bigger rooms. For example, if your BTU output is 2500, consider getting two 1250 BTU radiators.
Yes, you’ll need a pair of radiator valves to control the heat output of your towel warmer, you can find a range of valves available separately. Choose a manual valve and lockshield to control the heat of your bathroom.
If you have a bigger bathroom and want to regulate the heat more efficiently, we recommend using a thermostatic radiator valve (TRV). Both our range of TRVs and manual valves come in different shapes and finishes to ensure they match your towel warmers and the character and style of your bathroom.
Standard ladder style
As the name suggests, ladder towel warmers are based on a ladder shape with the rungs of the ladder allowing you to hang multiple towels. They’re mounted to the wall and have either a flat or curved profile.
Ladder towel warmers are available in a wide range of sizes to suit many bathrooms and come with either a white or chrome-effect finish. Opt for white to blend in with existing décor, or chrome to make a stylish statement. It’s worth considering that white radiators have a slightly greater heat output and can be lower maintenance as metallic finishes can get dirty quickly and are harder to clean.
Traditional towel warmers
Traditional-style towel warmers can be a beautiful feature in your bathroom, capturing all the charm of old-fashioned column radiators but with all the benefits of modern technology. They’re ideal for period homes, with a ball-joint design that complements traditional heating systems and adds character to your home.
Choose from a traditional style column radiator with metal bars to the side and top that can be used as towel rails. The white finish of the radiator optimises heat output whilst the chrome finish rails above and to the side add classic style.
Statement towel warmers
Statement towel warmers are as the name suggests, the ideal option if you’re looking to make your radiator a standout feature of your bathroom. These are unique statement pieces available in different shapes and colours to ensure your bathroom is stylish.
Designer towel warmers
Designer towel warmers are perfect if you want a radiator which’ll blend into the décor of your room. They’re available in a greater range of colours, shapes and sizes than most other towel warmers.
Consider a flat profile if you’d like to use as little space as possible – square rungs and rails give a bold, contemporary look, or choose circular rails and rungs for a more traditional and streamlined finish. If you’ve got a bigger space, a curved rail can be a good choice as they’re easier to hang towels on – great if you’ve got a large family. Alongside white and chrome finishes, our designer towel radiators are also available in on-trend grey and stainless-steel finishes which look stunning in modern settings. Here are a few styles available in our range.