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A towel warmer is most commonly used in a bathroom. It is similar to a towel rack, functioning as a place where towels are hung to dry, but also heats the towels. Damp towels hung on a warmer dry faster than those left to air dry on a standard rack.
The more rapid drying process, afforded by a towel warmer, reduces the chances of a damp towel producing mildew. Keeping towels thoroughly dry also helps them stay fresher in between uses. The real luxury of a towel warmer is that a towel left on it will be warm to the touch. Stepping out of a shower and into a warm towel is considered by many to be a wonderful indulgence. This is especially true in colder climates.
Sometimes called drying rails, towel warmers come in a variety of designs. They can be built to hold one towel or many. Most are electric and are plugged into a standard electrical wall outlet. When switched on, the racks holding the towels heat up and warm the towel hanging on them.
Some towel warmers are hardwired into a house’s electrical system. They do not need to be plugged in and operate by a switch allowing them to be turned on or off. Various noise levels are associated with a towel warmer. Most are relatively quiet, but many do produce some level of sound. A towel warmer can be mounted on a wall or free-standing.
Models of are available for both bathroom and kitchen use, and towel warmers can be used for purposes other than heating towels. They are quiet and efficient at drying delicate, hand washable items. Damp winter coats, gloves, and shoes can also be dried on a towel warmer.
Although most towel warmers use electricity, some are powered by a hydronic system. This type of system employs hot water, or steam, to heat the arms of the rack. The hot water, or steam, is circulated through the towel warmer, delivering heat to whatever is hanging on it. Hydronic systems operate in a way similar to an old-fashioned radiator.
Originally a luxury in fine hotels and spas, heated towels are becoming more common in personal residences. A towel warmer can be purchased in a variety of price ranges, making them accessible to a wider consumer base. They can be installed during the construction of a home or added later as desired by the homeowner.