electric towel rails

What to look for in a towel warmer and why going vertical may be the best decision you make this winter

Electric heated towel rail on nordic bathroom wall

With more heated towel warmers entering the market every year, It’s important to do your research before you jump in and buy one. There are many styles, sizes, prices and abilities out there. Vertical towel rails are proving themselves to be better than the traditional ladder rail in well, every way. In this blog we will cover 5 important factors to consider when looking for your perfect heated towel warmer, and why the vertical rail takes the cake.

Black gordon heated towel rail wall mounted in brick wall

Ability to dry your towels (duh!)

Different towel warmers have different drying times depending on size, style and power output. Ladder and horizontal heated towel rails are not as effective as vertical towel warmers, such as Gordon from Eskimo heat. Gordon requires only 43% of the energy as a standard ladder rail and dries towels three times as quick. If you have multiple towels on a ladder rail, they will overlap, meaning part of the towel won’t dry and may become mouldy. With a vertical towel warmer, the whole towel touches the warmer and a constant flow of warm air is provided to the whole towel.


There are a few factors to consider when thinking about safety and your towel warmer. One being whether to buy a plug in or hard-wired unit. While plug-in warmers are easy to install and can be used as soon as it arrives, there can be some safety issues and you need to ensure that the environment around the plug stays dry and safe. If you opt for the hard-wired option, this will need to be installed by a licensed electrician. In Australia, there are safety standards for where you can position electrical appliances and outlets in places close to water. Another factor to consider is the temperature that the heated rail reaches, especially if you have children. As vertical towel warmers are more effective at drying towels due to the entire towel touching the rail and receiving air, they generally don’t need to get a hot as other warmers. For example, the Gordon is designed to operate at a constant Low Surface Temperature standard of 43°C, and increases slightly once towels are added to the rail, keeping you and your family safe.

Style and colour

With more designer towel warmers entering the market, there are many options to choose from. From material, colour, size, and shape it can be difficult to choose. Most importantly, you want a towel rail that suits your bathroom. If the majority of your bathroom is white, a white towel warmer gives a crisp and subtle look. Black or darker warmers provide a bold and modern focal point to your bathroom. Silver towel rails have long been popular and suit some bathrooms, however they can be difficult to keep finger marks off, again, especially if you have children!

Different styles:

The ladder rail comes in many styles and sizes, meaning if you like this style, you will likely be able to find one that you like and will fit your bathroom.

The modular towel rail (individual rail) suits minimalist bathrooms and provides you with the flexibility to choose how may rails to buy, however this can become expensive

The vertical towel warmer is perfect for small spaces that still need multiple towels to be dried, and suits modern and minimalist bathrooms. Vertical rails are unique and stylish, as well as efficient.

Free standing rails are plug in, and allow you to move your rail around the bathroom. However they can get in the way and often do not look as neat.


While stainless steel used to be the dominant material for heated towel rails, aluminium, chrome and cooper are increasing in popularity. Steel has long been popular due to its affordability and ability to hold heat.

Aluminium is starting to take over the designer towel warmer market due to it being a strong yet light and flexible metal that can be made into more intricate designs. It also heats up 5 times quicker than steel making it more power efficient. Aluminium is also 100% recyclable making it an environmentally friendly option.


If you are tight for space, or have a lot of people using the bathroom, you need to find a towel rail that fits in your space and can dry all the towels that are used. Most towel warmers are taller than they are wide, meaning you can make the most of your space even if you do not have much width to play with. This is especially true for vertical towel warmers, as ladder rails still tend to be quite wide. If you are really lacking space and only need 1-2 towels dried, modular rails may be the way to go. If you need more than 2 towels dried, a vertical towel rail such as Gordon may be the perfect option.

So there you have it, 5 things to consider when browsing the towel warmer market. Good luck and happy shopping!

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