What should be my expectations of a Heated Towel Rail?

Heated Towel rails are an affordable bathroom accessory that gives you the luxury of a dry, warm towel. So if you are considering a Heated Towel Rail for your home you might have some questions about what to expect. In this article we will seek to give you a good understanding of what your expectations should be by addressing the below seven “How” questions:

All answers to these questions are based on dry-element Electric Heated Towel Rails so this would be different from liquid-filled or hydronic Heated Towel Rails. We trust this gives you a comprehensive guide for your expectations.

How long does a Heated Towel Rail take to heat up & cool down?

A Heated Towel Rail has a fast heat-up time, typically between 10-15 minutes. However, depending on the ambient temperature of the room it may take slightly longer to reach full temperature.

The rail heats by an electric element that runs through the rail heating the air inside the bar which heats the stainless steel of the rail. Stainless steel rails, as opposed to chrome-plated rails, will provide a much better heat performance as stainless steel is a better conductor of heat.

A Heated Towel Rail will only take a couple of minutes to cool down and return to room temperature.

How long does a Heated Towel Rail take to dry towels?

The length of time taken will vary based on several factors, such as the dampness of the towel, the ambient temperature in the room and the number of towels on the rail. Typically it will take between 1 ½ to 3 hours to dry your towels. A heated towel rail is designed to dry a damp towel (that has been used after a shower) not a wet towel that has just been removed from a washing machine.

Take note of the answers below as to controlling your Heated Towel Rail & folding your towel to achieve maximum efficiency when drying your towels.

How hot should my Heated Towel Rail get?

An electric rail is designed to reach around 30-35°C when the bar is exposed, this is warm but not super hot to the touch. Once a towel is hung over the towel rail it insulates the bar increasing the temperature to around 50-55°C. This is going to be very hot to the touch, it won’t burn you unless you were to hold it for long periods of time.

This is why it is recommended to install the rails at a height where the lowest rung is a minimum of 600mm off the ground so that it is out of reach of small children.

How much will it cost to purchase a Heated Towel Rail?

This is very open-ended, it depends on your desired design, colour, style, size etc. An electric rail however is very affordable and we can give some indications. For instance, a 600×800 ladder in stainless steel would be around $475-$550, and for a black finish, it would be around $600-$700 and this could increase based on more custom finishes. A single vertical Heated Towel Rail in polished costs around $300-$400 and you would need to allow one per towel.

This makes Heated Towel Rails an affordable bathroom luxury item, bearing in mind the saving from the fact with your towels being dried after each shower you won’t need to wash your towels as frequently, thereby increasing the lifespan of your towels.

How much will it cost to run a Heated Towel Rail?

Heated Towel Rails are extremely affordable to run, a typical 600x800mm rail draws around 80 watts an hour, that’s equivalent to around two downlights.

If your rail was running twice a day for 4 hours (i.e. morning and evening), total of 8 hours, it would be drawing a total of 640Watts a day or 0.64kW. Based on an electricity tariff of 34c/kWh it would cost 22c per day or $1.50 a week. That’s less than half of an average takeaway coffee.

An extremely affordable luxury.

How should I fold my towels for maximum drying?

Contrary to common belief, the best way is not to spread the towel out across the rail. The electric heated towel rails work on being insulated by the towel which increases the heat below the towel, causing the heat to pass through the towel thereby effectively drying and warming the towel.

For efficient drying of the towel it is recommended to fold it twice before hanging it over the towel rail as the thickness of a folded towel will help to insulate and trap the heat to ensure efficient drying of your towels.

How do I control my Heated Towel Rail?

Heated Towel Rails can be controlled simply via an on/off switch in the room. However, we recommend that they are installed and controlled via a timer which allows you to set when the rails are on or off. For more information on this check out our detailed article on How to control my heated towel rail.