The Ultimate Guide to Vertical Heated Towel Rails

There was a time not so long ago when towels were simply slung over the edge of the bath. Often they were not dry by the time it came around to using them again, defeating the entire purpose of a towel.

Heated towel rails are becoming a staple feature of most modern homes, with many older homes also choosing to install these handy appliances. In the past, they would have been considered an impressive design statement or an indulgence. Now they are seen as an essential part of a sleek and modern bathroom.

It is not surprising that they have become so popular. They are often non-intrusive in terms of bathroom features and come in a wide range of styles and designs.

This article will explore exactly what a vertical towel rail is and the main benefits they bring to your house and bathroom. It will also highlight some of the other key considerations you will need to make when choosing the right towel rail for you in terms of type, size, and materials.

It will end with a breakdown of the considerations you might need to take if you wish to fit and install the towel rail yourself rather than relying on professionals.

What are vertical heated towel rails?

As the name implies, vertical heated towel rails are structures made of metal bars attached to a bathroom wall. When connected to central heating, they provide a heat source for the bathroom. The vertical rails allow towels to be in direct contact with the hot metal, quickly heating and drying them, ready to be used again.

There is no one universal design for them. They can be fitted for any bathroom, no matter the size. You can choose how far apart the rails are spaced depending on what type of towels you use and how many. Most towel rails are made from mild-grade stainless steel, though there are numerous finishes to complement the overall aesthetic of your bathroom.

The benefits of heated towel rails

Aside from the obvious benefit of having warm towels to use after you've had a bath or shower, a heated towel rail can also provide the following benefits for your house:

  • Hygienic - cold bathrooms that take much longer to dry are at higher risk of dampness and mould if the moisture is allowed to linger. A warm bathroom will dry far more quickly, reducing the risk of germs and fungi developing.
  • Additional room warmth - it isn't much fun entering a cold bathroom and even less fun jumping out of a hot shower and instantly feeling the cold pinch as you dry. A vertical heated towel rail gives your bathroom a cozy and comfortable feel that extends beyond just drying your towels.
  • Storage - a heated towel rail provides additional space to place your towels. This can be particularly useful if you have guests over. It can also double up as an extra dryer for when you do your washing.
  • Decorative - many homeowners will not want their towel warmer to stick out. Instead, the vast range of finishes and styles can turn them into modern decorative features that enhance the overall appearance of your bathroom.
  • Energy-efficient - many heated towel rails can save homeowners money in the long term. Not only are they effective at drying towels and other pieces of clothing, but they can also lighten the load on dryers, meaning you will not need them as much.

What are the most popular materials for heated towel rails?

In terms of the materials used for the structure of the railing, there are three main options that most people will choose from.

Mild steel

Mild steel is often the most affordable option for those working with a slightly more modest budget. Towel rails made from this material will still do an excellent job of heating your bathroom. Many mild steel designs are often chrome-plated to give them added aesthetic appeal.

Polished stainless steel

Stainless steel is more expensive than mild steel but is more efficient in terms of heat transference, meaning that it might be the more cost-effective choice in the long term. It has a higher level of rust resistance leading to lower overall maintenance.

If you're looking for a high-quality, efficient, and elegant vertical towel rail, then our stainless steel gun metal grey option might be just what you're looking for.


Aluminium is another very popular option when it comes to heated towel rails. Its pliability means it can be manipulated into more complex designs for homeowners with bolder tastes. It gets up to temperature quickly thanks to its high level of conductivity, meaning reduced energy costs.

You will likely also pay less on installation costs as the metal is lighter and easier to transport.

What colours are available?

The most appropriate colour for your heated towel rail largely depends on your preference and the overall style you have chosen from your bathroom. There are several options for you to select from, with most being available from all leading manufacturers.

A white finish with a matte black towel rail is a popular combination as the contrast is often vivid and effective, particularly if you have chosen a more elaborate design for your rails. This combination can make your heated towel rail the statement centrepiece of your space.

For something a little bolder, then check out our heated towel rails that come in either brushed gold or brushed nickel. The brushed nickel option is also available as a five- or seven-bar horizontal structure, with the brushed gold also available with ten bars.

Anthracite and silver are also popular colour choices.

Accessorise your vertical towel rail

Although your heated towel rails will do a fine job exactly as they are, you may wish to purchase an optional towel hook or robe hook. Towel hooks are great if you do not wish for your towels to make direct contact with metal. Robe hooks are highly versatile and great for larger families with multiple towels on the go simultaneously.

Fitting your heated towel rail - things to consider

If you have experience in the DIY industry and are looking to install your heated towel rail yourself rather than rely on professionals, there are a few things you will need to check and be sure of before proceeding:

  • Central heating vs. electric - these are the two main types of towel rails. Both have benefits over the other, so make sure you do your research on which will be most suitable for your situation.
  • Dimensions - make sure you are certain of your measurements before ordering. The last thing you want is for towel rails to turn up that won't fit in your bathroom space.
  • Wiring position - if you are hard-wiring an electrically heated towel rail, you will need to ensure that any holes you drill are clear of any existing wiring.

Final thoughts

There is no doubt that a vertical heated towel rail is an essential part of all modern bathrooms. Not only are they efficient in terms of heating and keeping your towels warm, but they can also double up as versatile decorative features to give your bathroom space a truly great aesthetic appeal.

At Trade Warehouse, we have provided our customers with a vast range of trade and DIY supplies for over ten years. We work with dozens of Australian and international companies and brands to offer high-quality goods and products at fantastic low prices.

Visit our store today and if you have any questions or queries, feel free to contact us.