What You Need To Know About Heated Towel Radiators

Heated towel radiators add a nice finishing touch to any bathroom. They not only keep your towels nice and dry, but they also look fantastic and can be used to heat your bathroom. But with so many different types of towel radiator available, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your bathroom.

So in this ultimate guide to heated towel radiators, we’ll show you how to go about choosing the right one for both your bathroom and heating system.

Choosing The Right Sized Towel Radiator

When choosing a towel radiator you don’t just need to think about heat output. You also need to think about how many towels you need to heat during the day. A large family bathroom, for example, will likely need space for three or four towels. While a small ensuite will only need space for one or two. So think about how many towels you need throughout the day and choose a radiator with enough space to store them.

View Our Range Of Designer Towel Radiators

We have many styles from top brands for Towel Radiators from Towelrads, Reina and Lux Heat.

The Different Types of Towel Radiator Available

Generally speaking, heated towel radiators fall into two categories, electric and gas-powered. The type of radiator you need will depend on the central heating system you already have installed.

Central Heating Towel Radiators

Homes with conventional gas fired central heating systems should look to install a traditional water-fed towel radiator. These are fed with hot water from the boiler in the same way as a normal radiator. The downside to this type of radiator is that it comes on with the rest of the heating system and can’t be controlled independently.


If you have an electric central heating system you will need to install an electrically heated towel radiator which is connected to your mains electricity supply. This type of radiator is usually fitted with a timer which can be used to turn it on and off each morning. The advantage of this type of system is that it can work independently of your central heating system.

Electrically Heated Radiators Come In Two Different Types:

Thermostatic Towel Radiators

Radiators such as the Reina Capo Electric Towel Radiator allow you to vary the temperature of the radiator which makes them more cost-effective to run.

Non-thermostatic Towel Radiators 

This type of radiator works at a constant temperature with no ability to control the heat output.

Dual Fuel Towel Radiators

Dual fuel systems give you the best of both worlds. They are connected to the hot water system as normal but also have a separate electricity mains connection. This allows you to turn the radiator on independently of the boiler.

Where To Place Your Towel Radiator

Ideally, you want to place a radiator against the coldest wall in the room. Usually, this is the outside wall. But this wall often contains a window which makes it difficult to install a vertical towel radiator.

If this is the case in your bathroom, look for a large bare wall which is within easy reach of the bath or shower. This will ensure you can easily reach for nice warm towels without having to get out of the bath.

You also need to think about where your pipe fittings are. Moving pipes can greatly increase the cost of installation. So whenever possible, look to mount the radiator where your existing pipes come out of the floor. If you do need to move pipework it's a good idea to combine this with a more comprehensive bathroom renovation.

Can A Towel Radiator Be Used To Heat Your Entire Bathroom?

This will depend on how large your bathroom is. Check out our BTU Calculator which will show you how big a radiator you need to heat your bathroom efficiently.

As a rough guide, a small heated towel radiator will provide enough heat to warm a small bathroom such as an ensuite or cloakroom. But a larger bathroom will most likely need a separate radiator.

This can be a challenge because wall space in bathrooms is often taken up by the toilet and sink. One way around this is to install an underfloor heating system which has the added benefit of keeping the floor nice and warm.

What Styles Are Available?

These days heated towel radiators are available in a wide range of styles and colours. Traditional chrome radiators such as the Ultraheat Chelmsford are the most popular. However sleek white radiators such as the Reina Diva are a good choice for contemporary bathrooms.

But you don’t have to limit yourself to white and chrome. We also have a range of coloured towel radiators to complement your bathroom. Alternatively, you can choose a contrasting colour to make a feature out of it.

And you don’t have to stick to the traditional ladder style towel rail either. The contemporary Eskimo Gordon Modern Electric radiator uses a unique vertical rail to keep towels dry. We also have several different curved towel radiators for you to view. We have a huge selection of towel radiator designs available.

Which Material To Choose?

Heated towel radiators are available in a range of materials such as steel, stainless steel and aluminium. Aluminium is regarded as the best material because it’s less corrosive and has higher thermal conductivity than steel.

But modern galvanized steel radiators, such as the DQ Metro offer a good low-cost alternative to aluminium. They also come in a range of colours and finishes so while you may have to compromise on the budget you won’t have to compromise on style.


How Much Do They Cost To Install?

The cost of installation will depend on several factors such as the location of existing pipework, the size of your bathroom, the ease of access and the type of central heating system you have.

As a general rule, for gas-powered central heating systems, you should budget between £200-£500 for installation. A radiator that can be fitted to existing pipework is the easiest to install and should cost between £200-£300 plus the cost of the radiator.

An installation which requires pipework to be installed or moved will increase installation costs to around £500. For an electrically heated radiator, you will need to budget around £200 for installation costs plus the cost of the radiator.

As usual, when getting quotes from tradesmen you should ensure they are properly qualified to do the job. For gas fitters, look for Gas Safe registered installers. For electric radiators, installation look for an electrician that is registered with the NICEIC.


Towel radiators are a great accessory for your bathroom. Once you have installed one you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. And with the range of options available today it’s easy to find a towel radiator to suit both your style and budget.

However, choosing the right size radiator can be difficult. That’s why our experts are on hand to provide the advice you need when you need it. So contact us or give us a call today on 01772 346933 and we’ll help you choose the right towel radiator for your home.