Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

April 12, 2016

Bathroom Update: Shopping for a Towel Warmer

Although I have spent my entire life living in modestly sized spaces, with each subsequent move I've found myself in possession of an increasingly spacious bathroom...

My childhood home:  A bathroom so small, that you can rest your head on the sink and wash your feet in the tub while you sit on the toilet (for the record, I've never done this but I know it's possible).  It is the tiniest bathroom imaginable - my Mom is planning to renovate, but she has to be careful about what toilet she buys because some of the newer models are literally too long.  In addition to the small size, my parents only installed an outlet in there after I moved out, so it was pretty brutal getting ready in the mornings when I lived at home.  I was so routinely late for a morning philosophy class that the professor got in the habit of opening the door for me 10 minutes after class started, with such impeccable timing that I'd reach for the knob and the door would open, as if by magic (as an adult, I am now deeply embarrassed by this, but still fully committed to blaming that minuscule bathroom). 

My first apartment:  An absolutely HUGE bathroom because the toilet was between the sink and shower.  To me, it was insane.  Mind, blown.  If we squeezed in, Hubby and I could actually stand in the bathroom at the same time.

My first houseRoom for a VANITY.  With drawers!!  A whole gaggle of people could fit in there while it was being tiled.  At one point one of the tilers dismissively referred to the bathroom as small and I scoffed, "uh, excuse you, this is NOT small; this is huge because there are four of chatting in here right now."

This lakehouse:  Insanely large.  We now have two sinks and a linen tower.  And there's room for hampers IN the bathroom - two of them!  In the bathroom!!  I could totally host a cocktail party in here.

I have finally made it in this world: I have a large bathroom.

Now that we have a bathroom clearly fit for royalty, we decided to add a little more luxury.  Heated floors don't really thrill us, but we decided that a towel warmer would be just dreamy on cold winter nights.

I started looking for the perfect towel warmer a little late in the game and was quickly overwhelmed - and disappointed!  So many shops only had tiny photos in catalogs and, for some weird reason, towel warmers are a special order in this city (where it's cold all the time) and we were getting ready to drywall so I needed to find a towel warmer quickly.  It was a frustrating shopping experience, so I expanded my search online and quickly found a shop with tons of inventory and a really great selection - appropriately named Only Towel Warmers.  I reached out to them about partnering with me for our bathroom makeover and the owner was generous enough to send a towel warmer for review.

Where to buy towel warmers online

I chose a modestly priced model - the Amba Radiant Straight Hardwired Wall Mounted Towel Warmer -  because that's what we would have purchased ourselves.  It was $330 at the time, but now it's reduced to $264.95 - which is such a good deal!  This is also one of their best selling towel warmers, and I can see why: it's stylish and contemporary, with a perfect size for a small space and a reasonable price tag to match!

Amba Radiant Straight Hardwired Wall Mounted Towel Warmer Review

Things to Consider When Shopping for a Towel Warmer:

There were some criteria we had in mind while shopping for a towel warmer, which I thought I would share for anyone else who might be earmarking towel warmers for a bathroom reno or update.  These are the questions we asked ourselves:

Wall mounted or hard wired?
We don't have a lot of floor space in our bathroom, so wall mounted was definitely the better fit for us.  Easy!

Style & finish? 
Wow.  There are so many different styles available - there is literally something for everyone, but we had our hearts set on a modern, streamlined towel warmer that would look like it was part of the same Kohler Purist line our faucets and sconces belong to.  We also wanted brushed nickel (matchy-matchy!) and this model fit the bill!  The brushed nickel finish matches the Kohler fixtures perfectly and with similar styling, you'd never guess that it's not part of the same line - which is exactly what I wanted.

Reading through the glowing reviews from Only Towel Warmers, it looks like the owner, Michael, has tracked down specific styles/finishes for customers - so I think that whatever you're in the market for, he can find.  Seriously - some of them are designed so beautifully, you might not even know at first glance what it is, like the Amba Elory.  You can even get fun colors!  Or, if you can't find the right look, you can design your own towel warmer!

Hang towels on hooks or drape on a bar?
Some of the towel warmers we considered have handy hooks, while others only have bars, so we could have found a model to suit whatever our preference is for hanging towels.  What I love about this model is that we can drape towels, robes, PJs, on the top of the vertical bars (makeshift hooks!) or drape them on the bars as designed.  It's a versatile design, despite its small size. 

How many towels will the towel warmer need to hold?
This was an easy answer for us, but for larger families or home with lots of guests, this is something to think about!  There are really large models available - and some clever, super long ones for compact bathrooms with lots of occupants.  We picked a style that had just enough room for two folded towels, side by side, and we mounted it high enough that we could still fit two generous clothes hampers below.

We didn't realize towel warmers came in so many different widths and heights!   We paid particular attention to measurements, making sure not only that two towels could fit side by side, but that we were maximizing the wall space we devoted to the warmer.  

Hardwired or plug-in?
Because we had walls open during the reno, hardwired was ideal for us, but I love that you can add a plug-in towel warmer to any bathroom without having to renovate!  My Dad has a plug in one in his damp, basement bathroom to help his towel dry in less than ideal conditions.   

Is a timer necessary?
Ours came with an optional timer that has a schedule - so handy if you bathe or shower at the same time every day!  We don't, so Hubby is thinking of replacing it with one that will count down but I don't mind this model of timer at all.  It's a handy to feature to add on.

The price range for towel warmers really varies, but you can easily find one to fit almost every budget.  For modest bathroom renovations, it's a nice treat if you couldn't afford more luxurious updates like heated floors or stone counters.  It really does lend a spa-like quality to even the most humble bathroom!

Once we had these questions answered, it was easy to pick the best towel warmer - especially because Only Towel Warmers is set up so you can shop by brand, price, or sort by hardwired/plug-in.  Here are some helpful towel warmer shopping FAQs for anyone who might be shopping for a towel warmer in the future.

Only Towel Warmers Review

Why I Love a Towel Warmer in the Bathroom

I am so thrilled we decided to add a towel warmer to our bathroom plans!  It heats up quickly and it's such a treat to dry off with a warm towel - especially on chilly nights.  I sometimes squeeze Hubby's towel over and drape my pajamas on the towel warmer too.  The bathroom get pretty warm and steamy with the shower portal gone, but it's still nice to dry off with a toasty towel!  Plus the towels dry much faster afterward, which is a plus!

It works so efficiently, I don't even really need to weave the towels in and out - they get toasty no matter how they're draped on the towel warmer, which is a relief because my enthusiasm for doing this waned after a week:

Guide for purchasing a towel warmer - what questions to ask

How to Install a Hardwired Towel Warmer

We were able to install our hardwired towel warmer really easily because we had walls open and wiring was being done anyway, so it's an idea to flag if you have a bath reno on the horizon.  If you don't, Only Towel Warmers sells a ton of plug-in models - even a plug in of this exact version

Installation for us was fairly straight forward.  Because we had removed all the drywall it was easy to put wood cross pieces between the wall studs where the bar was going to be mounted.  Hubby loved this extra security for install!  If you don't do this step, don't worry, because you can just drill holes and use anchors in the drywall.  Hubby also installed the electrical box and ran the wires straight down to the basement at this time (our basement is unfinished, making access easy).  Once the drywall went up again, he simply installed the bar and connected the wires as per the included instructions.  We worked together so I could hold the bar as he connected the wires on the bar to those in the wall.  It was super simple to install.

How to add a spa-like feel to a bathroom on a budget

I am so enamored with this luxurious little touch!

Shopping with Only Towel Warmers was so straightforward and easy.  They have outstanding customer testimonials on their website and I can say from my experience, the customer service was top notch.  The company is a family-owned business, located in the States, and I'm honored to be able to partner with and promote family businesses when I can.

Disclosure: I was provided my towel warmer for review, but was not prompted, encouraged or ask to include any particular information in my review.  I'm completely happy with the product and the customer service, which seems to be the general consensus among customers.  If you're shopping for a towel warmer, chat with the experts at Only Towel Warmers.  You won't be disappointed, I promise!


  1. I rarely comment on blogs, but I feel like I've got to say something about this review. I don't have this particular warmer, but I have one that's almost identical in looks and setup (mine is chrome, but otherwise they could be twins). The previous owners of our house installed the towel warmer and it definitely gets warm ... but the amount of time it takes to actually warm a towel is huge. There is no way you have warm towels if you get up, turn it on, and then shower shortly after. So either get a timer or don't get one, because otherwise it is not worth the money or hassle to install (and we live in Wisconsin, so I would have been more than happy to have it work).

    1. I'm so happy you took the time the leave a comment! Thank you! It's always nice to hear from folks who have the same, or similar products, and hear their feedback because it's helpful for people who might be shopping right now for the item in question. Reading your comment, I'm inclined to agree that the timer is worth the extra cost (which is usually pretty minimal). It saves the hassle of having to remember to turn it on, too!

  2. How does the free shipping and no taxes from this company work for Canadians who are having something shipped from the US? I always worry about things like that, ordering from the US, because I've been dinged with duty etc. before for far smaller items. And then there's the exchange rate -- even the sale price ($264.95 US) works out to $341 Canadian.

    I'm especially interested in this because we're building a new house and, with fond memories from our recent trip to France, we thought towel warmers would be a nice and practical touch, especially in our climate! I found good reviews online at Gardenweb of Warmly Yours and their Infinity line, and then found them at (where you can buy without a membership, thank goodness) for $330 Canadian for the hardwired version (plug-in is $270 Canadian), and free shipping from Canada. Just another option for Canadians!


    1. Hi Rebecca, Canadian do get short-changed a lot buying from the States - especially because now our dollar is so sad! It's always best to chat with a US company before ordering to get a sense of shipping and duty. I cheated and had mine sent to the border. Although I live in the middle of nowhere, it's a border town and that's how so many of us do shopping here. Canadian shipping is SO high right now. I feel guilty sending money out of Canada, but then I feel good about supporting a family business.

      Thanks for sharing tips for Canadian shoppers!

      I first started to love towel warmers when we went to France too! I'd wash a couple of clothing items every few days in the sink and dry them on the warmers - it was SO handy.

  3. So luxurious! I can't imagine having one in my bathroom but I can only assume in cold climates this is a MUST. Does your lakehouse have forced air heat? I can picture people with radiators putting their towels and pajamas on them.

    1. It feels super luxurious - like I'm in a European hotel! Yes, we have forced air heat. It's lovely and convenient, but I do get jealous of people with older homes and their beautiful radiators. I also imagine people warming up their clothes on them. Maybe that's why I've romanticized towel warmers so much, lol.

  4. For some reason, I always thought a towel warmer looked like a toaster oven. This looks amazing and such a fun luxury.

    1. That's a funny comparison! I immediately wondered if I could warm up bread on this contraption in a pinch.

  5. I've never considered getting a towel warmer before - it seems so luxurious! But I do relate to your tiny bathroom tales as the washroom in my childhood home was quite small and we only had the one. My parents are only finally putting in a second bathroom now... many many years later. I love vicariously living through your bathroom reno and all that teal is stunning! Have you considered adding in some orange accessories? Teal and orange is one of my favourite colour combos...

    1. Hi Larissa, our parents must be so similar! Make the bathroom situation better after the nest is empty, lol. We had two bathrooms, technically, but one was the "main bathroom" and the other was a dungeon basement bathroom only my Dad was allowed to use. I'm just grateful our bathroom was for guests and gals only - that is the one good thing, lol.

      I have added some peach and green art... does that count? I DO love teal and orange (and teal and yellow - drool!) but for some reason, in my home, I just really favor a cooler palette. It might be the light, or the water view, but I try adding splashes of warm colors and it just doesn't feel right! Even though my Pinterest boards are filled with sunny hues paired with cool aquas. We'll see when it's all done and decorated. Maybe a tiny touch here or there will feel right :)

  6. We installed one of these (or a very similar Australian brand!) as part of our bathroom renovation and it was the best decision we made. It also worked out to be a similar price to installing 2 long bars, except the one large one is much tidier and the added bonus that you can plug it in and dry your towels :)


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