Towel Warmers: How to Enjoy Your Hot Shower Longer
A relaxing hot shower has warmed you to the bones. Now you have to get out and dry off, but as soon as you step out of the shower, you start to lose that warmth. So how can we keep that warm and toasty feeling a little longer?
Fortunately, some smart person who had the desire to stay warmer after the shower invented a device to solve that problem—a towel warmer. Imagine stepping out of a shower and wrapping yourself in a toasty snuggly warm towel. Wouldn’t that make a hot shower even better?
A towel warmer not only heats your towel, but also dries your towel after a shower and works equally well to warm a bathrobe, warm underwear, or dry a wet bathing suit. A towel warmer works especially well in the summer when you take multiple showers. You always have a dry towel and your towels never smell musty. Towel warmers come in many sizes, configurations and prices. Here is what you need to know before buying a towel warmer.
Towel Warmer Styles
You can buy towel warmers as racks or cabinets/canisters and the starting price is under $100. Luxury towel warmers can cost thousands. The most popular finish for the less expensive models is chrome, but you can find many different finishes, including the popular oil rubbed bronze finish in more expensive units.
Towel warming racks are available as freestanding, wall mount, or floor mount units. The style you choose will depend on the space you have available and the location of the nearest electrical outlet. A freestanding towel warmer is the easiest to install. Just find a convenient location and plug it into a nearby electrical outlet. Electric towel warmers are also available as a small cabinet or canister. A canister can sit on the floor while a cabinet would be more convenient on a vanity top or stand. If you can’t locate them close to the shower, having to walk out of the shower to get the warm towel may be inconvenient—the closer to the shower the better.
Towel Warmer Heat Sources
Most towel warmers use electricity for heat. Towel warmers can either use a cord or they can be hardwired. Hardwired refers to an electric wire without a plug running directly into the unit. Hardwiring is most often used during new construction or an extensive remodel. The advantage of hardwiring is a cleaner look without exposed wires or cords, which could be a tripping hazard. Most manufacturers state that their electric towel warmers cost about the same as a light bulb to operate. Some people choose to run their warmers all the time because they do require some time to reach operating temperature. You can also install a timer so the warmer comes on before you need it and shuts off after your towel is dry.
Some towel warmer racks are heated hydronically or with hot water, which runs through coils in the towel warmer. You can use the hot water from your plumbing system, which would reduce your operating cost. The towel warmer itself is more expensive as is the installation. Hydronic systems are typically installed during new construction or an extensive remodel.
Towel Warmer Safety
Electric towel warmers have been around for a long time. Technology has improved safety and efficiency over time. Temperatures on the surfaces are not hot enough to cause pain or skin burn. Make sure the warmer you choose has been UL tested and approved. You can tell by the UL sticker. While warmers are tested to be splash proof, they are not designed for use in a shower. For added safety, connect your towel warmer to a GFI (ground fault interrupted) circuit. A GFI device will turn the circuit off if it detects a problem with the ground, protecting you from a potential electrical shock.
Towel Warmer Size
Size is an important consideration. Will your towel warmer by used by two or a family of four? Will you use the warmer for a bathrobe or underwear? You may want to choose the largest one that will fit in your space so you have plenty of room. So go ahead and treat yourself to a lot of luxury for potentially little money. Step out of the shower and feel the warmth of the sun. Your body will thank you.