by Vivian Garzon

Heated Towel Rail Buying Guide (2024)

Heated Towel Rail Buying Guide (2024)

Stepping out of the shower into a warm towel is a small luxury that makes a big difference in your daily routine. A heated towel rail not only keeps your towels toasty but also adds a touch of style and efficiency to your bathroom. When shopping for a heated towel rail, there are 5 key things to consider: construction material, heat type, style & size, energy efficiency and cost. In this buying guide, we’ll take you through each of these considerations to help you find the perfect heated towel rail for your bathroom.

5 Key Heated Towel Rail Buying Considerations

  • Construction material (304 grade stainless steel is best)
  • Heat type (look for Dry Element Technology or DET)
  • Style & size (horizontal and vertical towel rails are both solid choices)
  • Energy efficiency (find a heated towel rail with a timer switch)
  • Cost (can range anywhere from $200-$900+)
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1. Construction: The Different Heated Towel Rail Materials

When it comes to choosing a heated towel rail, the material matters. It affects not just how the rail looks, but also how well it performs and how long it lasts. Here are some of the most common materials you’ll find on the market:

Stainless Steel

  • Built to Last: Stainless steel (304 grade) is incredibly durable and resistant to rust, perfect for the steamy environment of a bathroom
  • Sleek and Modern: With its shiny finish, it’s a great match for contemporary designs.
  • Low Maintenance: It’s easy to clean and keeps its look for years without much effort.

Mild Steel

  • Budget-Friendly: If you’re looking to save some money, mild steel is a solid choice.
  • Versatile Designs: Comes in a variety of styles and finishes, so you have plenty of options to match your décor.
  • Requires Maintenance: It can rust over time, so you’ll need to keep an eye on it and do some regular maintenance.


  • Lightweight: Aluminium rails are easy to install because they’re so light.
  • Quick and Even Heating: They warm up fast and spread the heat evenly, making sure your towels are toasty.
  • Stylish Choices: Available in many designs, fitting both modern and classic bathrooms.


  • Luxurious Look: Brass adds a touch of elegance and classic style to any bathroom.
  • Great Heat Retention: Brass holds heat well, keeping your towels warmer for longer.
  • Regular Upkeep: It needs regular polishing to keep it looking its best and to prevent tarnishing.

Each material has its benefits, so think about what matters most to you—be it budget, style, or ease of maintenance.We always recommend 304 grade stainless steel thanks to its durability and reliability.

2. Heat Types: Dry Vs Liquid

Dry Electric Heated Towel Rails (DET)

Dry electric heated towel rails use electric heating elements to warm up. They’re straightforward to install—just mount them on the wall and either plug them in or have them hardwired in by a professional. These rails heat up quickly, making them perfect for those chilly mornings when you need a warm towel fast. They’re efficient and easy to use, but keep in mind that they might be a bit pricier to run depending on your electricity rates.

Liquid Filled Heated Towel Rails

Liquid-filled heated towel rails, also known as hydronic rails, are filled with a special liquid, like water or oil, that gets heated. These rails can be connected to your central heating system or operate independently with an electric element. They take a bit longer to heat up but retain heat well, providing a consistent warmth. If you’re already planning plumbing work or have a central heating system, these can be a very efficient option. They’re generally more energy-efficient in the long run and give a more traditional heating feel.

Overall, DET heated towel rails are lighter, much easier to install, heat up faster and are generally inexpensive to run, making them a more popular choice.

2. Style & Size: Horizontal vs Vertical Heated Towel Rails

Horizontal Heated Towel Rails (For Big Families)

Horizontal heated towel rails are the go-to choice if you’ve got the wall space. They look like traditional towel racks but with the added bonus of warmth. Perfect for bigger bathrooms, these rails can handle multiple towels at once, making them ideal for families. They heat evenly, making sure every towel is toasty. If you love the idea of a classic look with plenty of room for all your towels, a horizontal rail is the way to go.

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Vertical Heated Towel Rails (For Compact Spaces)

Vertical heated towel rails are a game-changer for smaller bathrooms or tight spaces. They stand tall and sleek, adding a modern vibe to your bathroom. These rails are designed to maximise space, letting you hang towels without taking up too much wall area. Plus, they heat up quickly and efficiently. If you’re after a stylish, space-saving solution that still keeps your towels warm and dry, vertical rails are the perfect fit.

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4. Energy Efficiency: The Benefit of a Timer Switch

When it comes to heated towel rails, energy efficiency is key. You want to keep your towels warm without seeing a huge spike in your energy bill.

  • Look for rails with built-in timers and thermostats. These features let you control when and how long your rail is on, making sure it’s not using energy when you don’t need it.
  • Electric models can be efficient, especially those with quick heating elements, but it’s good to check their wattage to get an idea of energy use.

Ultimately, the most efficient option depends on your usage patterns and heating needs. By choosing a model with the right features and managing its use, you can enjoy warm towels without worrying about wasting energy.

5. Heated Towel Rail Cost

Heated towel rail costs in Australia can vary quite a bit depending on what you’re looking for. For a basic single bar heated towel rail, you might spend around $200, which is great for small bathrooms or if you don’t need to warm many towels. For something more substantial, like a multi-bar heated towel rail, prices range from about $369 to $900 or more.

For example, you could get a polished stainless steel vertical rail for around $370 or a brushed gunmetal round ladder rail for $850. These are perfect for families or larger bathrooms.

If you’re looking for top-of-the-line options, high-end models like the Radii heated towel ladder in brushed gold can cost between $861 and $927. These kinds of heated towel rails come with premium materials and advanced features, ideal for adding a touch of luxury to your bathroom.

You’ll also need to consider running costs. Running costs for electric models generally range from $8 to $20 per month, depending on how much you use them.

Shop Buildmat’s Premium Heated Towel Rails Today

Ready to add a touch of luxury and comfort to your bathroom? Shop Buildmat’s premium heated towel rails range today! We offer a wide range of options to suit every budget, all made with high-quality, long-lasting materials. Explore our top-quality selections from renowned brands like Nero, Phoenix, and Thermogroup. Find the perfect style and fit for your home and enjoy warm, cosy towels every day.

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Heated Towel Rail FAQs

What type of heated towel rail is best?

The best type of heated towel rail really depends on your needs and bathroom setup. If you want quick and easy installation, an electric heated towel rail might be your best bet. You also have the option between a vertical towel rail (ideal for small bathrooms) and horizontal towel rail (good for families).

Are heated towel racks worth it?

Absolutely! Heated towel racks are a great investment. They keep your towels warm and dry, adding a touch of luxury to your daily routine. Plus, they help reduce dampness in your bathroom, which can prevent mould and mildew.

Does a heated towel rail use a lot of electricity?

Not really. Most heated towel rails are designed to be energy-efficient. The running cost can be as low as $8 per month, depending on how often you use it. Features like timers and thermostats can help you save even more by only heating when you need it.

Can I install a heated towel rail myself?

If it’s a plug-in model, you can install it yourself. However, for hardwired or hydronic systems, it’s best to hire a professional electrician to make sure it’s done safely and correctly. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before starting the installation.