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The Comprehensive Guide to Heated Towel Rails

The Mystical World of the Heated Towel Rail

There’s not much better on a frosty morning than a warm towel to greet you when you step out the shower. While we may be a little biased, we genuinely believe that a heated towel rail or radiator is a household essential - and we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about one of our favourite bathroom staples.

Modern designs of heated towel radiators don’t just heat your towels to that perfect temperature, they can also look great in your bathroom, adding a little extra something to the room. The world of heated towel rails can be a complicated one, but with our range of styles, sizes and designs, we think you’ll have got to grips with it in no time.

Dual Fuel, Central Heating & Electric Heated Towel Rails

First up we’ve got the types of heated towel rails; dual fuel, central heating or electric. If you’re going to be using your heated towel radiator all year round (which we would recommend) then a heated towel rail powered by electric or dual fuel is ideal. This means that even when your central heating is turned off, they can still be used to heat your towels.  

Central Heating Towel Radiators

Central heating towel radiators are powered by your central heating system. This means that when your heating is on, so is your towel rail, and when your heating is off, so is your towel rail! While this is an efficient and easy way of heating your towels at the same time you heat your house, it’s not ideal in the summer - where you still want warm towels without having to heat your entire home!

Electric Heated Towel Radiators

Electric radiators are powered by your mains electricity and are very safe due to their double insulation. These will work whether or not your central heating is on, making them perfect in the summer when you still need a warmer bathroom without heating the rest of your home! These will be controlled by a switch attached to the radiator which makes them very easy to use.

Dual Fuel Towel Radiators

The best of both worlds! Dual fuel towel radiators are powered by both central heating and electricity. This means that during the winter you can heat your bathroom and towels alongside the rest of your home, but in summer you’ll be able to heat your bathroom independently, using the switch attached to the towel rail.

Heated Towel Radiator Valves & Elements

While a section focused on heated towel rail valves and elements might not sound particularly interesting, they are vital parts that shouldn’t be ignored when it comes to finding that perfect heated towel rail (in other words, get through this and we can move onto the fun stuff).

Both valves and elements must be considered when buying a towel rail, and Only Radiators are here yet again to help you out - just check out our range of more in-depth articles for more information.


Radiator valves are a necessary component and they come in a range of designs. This makes them slightly less boring than what many people imagine, as you can find corner, straight or angled valves that, although small, can still look great with the right radiator and style of bathroom. Check out more about heated towel rail valves here, or take a look at our full range of valves.


A heating element allows you to power your radiator using electricity, making them an essential component for electric or dual fuel towel radiators. We have a range of heating elements on offer to minimise central heating use.

BTU Heat Output

We will be moving onto the various designs of heated towel rails soon, we promise. But first, a quick note on BTU heat output. To heat your bathroom, you’re going to need to know what BTU you require. Larger rooms will need a higher BTU, while smaller rooms will need a lower BTU. Overheating or under heating your bathroom is no fun for anyone and will cost you money in the long-run, so you’ll need to use a BTU calculator to work out what you need.

Bit confused? We’ve got a BTU calculator blog post to help you out…you can thank us later.

The Different Heated Towel Radiators Designs

Finally, we are onto the fun part - choosing the perfect heated towel radiator for your bathroom. The right design and style can transform an otherwise boring bathroom into something fit for the pages of a posh catalogue - so trust us when we say that this choice should not be taken lightly.

If you fancy a quick browse before we dive into the nitty gritty, check out our full range of heated towel rails. Let’s check out a few of our favourite designs.

Ladder Heated Towel Rails

When you picture a heated towel radiator, a ladder design is most likely what springs to mind. The ladder towel rail is a timeless classic that offers a sleek look whether your bathroom is minimalist and modern, or timeless and traditional.

Let's take a peek at some of our best sellers below.


If you fancy something a little more exciting than the traditional ladder towel radiators, there’s a range of curved towel rails on the market for a contemporary twist! From top of the range designer towel radiators to our lower-budget (but still extremely stylish!) options, we’re bound to have something to suit your bathroom. Check out our full range of curved towel rails here.

Traditional Heated Towel Rails

We also have a range of stunning traditional heated towel radiators available. While these may look slightly more old-fashioned in design, their functionality and efficiency is extremely modern.

Period bathrooms look stunning with a traditional heated towel rail, which can pack a punch both feature and design-wise. These towel rails are most commonly floor-standing, but traditional-inspired wall mounted radiators are also available. Let's take a peek at some of our greatest hits below.


Designer Heated Towel Rails

Our designer radiators are fun feature pieces, some of which look more like modern art than actual radiators! While these designer bathroom towel rails may seem like a big splurge, they can add a huge amount to any bathroom looks-wise, as well as keeping your towels snug all year round.

Designer heated towel radiators are specifically designed to make a statement, but they're not just for those interested in the weird and wacky! Paired with contemporary features or a monochrome colour scheme, a designer towel rail can add a little something to a minimalist inspired bathroom without being too out there. Let's have a look at some of our customer favourites.


Heated Towel Rail Materials

While the design of a heated towel rail is undoubtedly important (or perhaps even the most important part!), durability is also key. All of our radiators are made with high quality materials, and those made from better metals will be more responsive. This means they will be quicker to heat and have greater efficiency.


Chrome is one of the most popular materials for good reason. It’s clean, bright, efficient and cheap to run. It has a great BTU output meaning you’re getting a good amount of bang for your buck, and chrome radiators are generally affordable yet durable. We have a huge range of chrome heated towel rails just waiting to be snapped up - check them out here.

Stainless Steel

If you have a more humid bathroom, you may want to opt for a stainless steel radiator. These are resistant to corrosion, rust and staining which can be tricky to get rid of. Stainless steel radiators will generally stay in great condition for a very long time! These are also exceptionally sturdy and (yes, we know we’re biased) look absolutely fantastic.

Check out our stainless steel rails here, and prepare to marvel at their beauty!

Mild Steel

Finally, we’ve got mild steel, one of the most popular radiator materials. Mild steel heated towel rails are cheap to produce, making them excellent value. But the price is no reflection on the quality; mild steel radiators are as solid and sturdy as they come, making them a firm favourite in bathrooms all around the country. Check out our full range.

Heated Towel Rail Finishes

The finish is just as important as the material, with the right finish helping to beautifully complement your bathroom. We have some truly stunning finishes available, but knowing what to go for can be tricky. Let’s have a look at what we’ve got on offer.

Polished Heated Towel Rails

A polished finish is sleek and stylish. They work brilliantly in any bathroom but are especially at home in smaller bathrooms due to the reflective surface. This will help open up the space by brightening the area its in, as well as the rest of the room!

Polished towel rails are highly elegant and look more expensive than they are. They don’t dull, meaning they’ll look good as new and beautifully shiny for years to come. Have a look at some of our top picks below.


White Heated Towel Rails

White towel radiators are a firm favourite and can look beautiful in any style of bathroom. While traditional bathrooms often have white towel rails, they look equally brilliant in a more minimalist or monochrome inspired room.

A white finish will heat your towels well and brighten up the room. They’re also ideal if you have a smaller space and want to make your bathroom look bigger. 

Let's have a look.


Anthracite / Black Heated Towel Rails

If you’re after something a little more wacky, an anthracite or black towel radiator will be right up your street. These towel rails make a true style statement, and are the perfect addition to a minimalist or monochrome inspired room.

Anthracite towel rails look perfectly at home in modern bathrooms, and can help make the room feel a little extra cosy. They seriously up the style stakes when it comes to bathroom decor, and we can practically guarantee you’ll get some compliments from visitors! 

Here are some of our greatest hits below.


Bespoke Colour Finishes

If you’re a colour scheme queen (or king!), you might want to check our our bespoke colour finishes. Apparently bespoke is the new black, and we’ve got some colours that’ll look beautiful in your bathroom. While we wouldn’t recommend diving straight into a bespoke coloured towel radiator without a little planning, a unique finish done right will make your bathroom practically unbeatable style-wise.

bespoke colour radiators

Our RAL colours are in a semi-gloss finish making it easy to wipe away scuffs, and they are extremely resilient to dust and scratches. These are the perfect customisable option if you have a colour scheme in mind, or you want to add a specific colour to your home to make that style statement. We’ve got a range of radiators available that can be customised in this way; from traditional designed towel radiators to our stunning ladder-style models.

Any Questions?

While this guide has been, let’s face it, a bit of a long one, we know you might still have some questions. Our Only Radiators team are a helpful bunch and on hand to answer any questions you might have - radiator-wise or otherwise! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team if you are unsure about anything.

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