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Radiators

Are heated towel rails as good as radiators?

Are heated towel rails as good as radiators? It’s an interesting question although like a lot of things in life, there’s no simple or single answer, partly because it depends what you are trying to achieve. 

But enough of us sitting on the fence, let’s take a closer look at the question and try to come up with an answer for you. 

Heated towel rails v radiators

Before we put our thinking caps on to find an answer, it’s a good idea that we first take a look at exactly what the differences are between a heated towel rail and a radiator. 

As we highlighted in a recent article on Are heated towel rails as efficient as radiators, while they can be viewed as different appliances, heated towel rails and radiators are very closely related. While there are different types you can purchase, with different heating methods, the majority are electric. When you turn them on, a heating element inside heats the air (or in some cases the liquid) inside and the appliance heats up and transfers this heat to the room and/or your towels.

The result? A warm room or beautifully dry and warm towels for when you next have a bath or shower. Luxurious! 

Of course there are key differences. Most notable is that a radiator is generally designed to heat a room while a heated towel rail is designed to dry and warm your towels. 

You may ask, why do two appliances that essentially work the same do two different things? 

The key is the surface area. Most radiators have a lot of surface area, so if we’re comparing a standard ladder-style heated towel rail and a radiator of the same dimensions and the same electric output, the radiator is going to radiate more heat and will therefore do a much better job of heating the room. 

heated towel rails v radiators

So, a radiator is better for heating a room?

You’re probably deducing from this that if you’re looking for an appliance to heat your room, the radiator is the way to go. Well, sorry to throw a spanner into your deduction abilities, but we have to say that it depends.

As we mentioned, it’s the surface area of the radiator that provides the key difference, so if we had a heated towel rail that also had a lot of surface area, it would also do a good job of heating a room.

It’s just this type of question that got us here at Eskimo thinking when we came up with the Gordon heated towel rail. To be fair, we were trying to find a better way of drying and warming towels, but in so doing we came up with an appliance that could essentially heat your room and dry towels at the same time.

The key is Gordon’s vertical rails, or more correctly fins. When compared with a standard horizontal heated towel rails, or even most vertical heated rails, the surface area of the Gordon is much larger. 

Is it fair to presume, therefore, that you can use a radiator to dry and warm your towels or other items? Unfortunately, while It might seem like a logical thing to do, in practice it’s not a good idea, as radiators are simply not designed to dry items. Not only can it be a fire hazard, but it will significantly reduce the output of your radiator and potentially be a health hazard due to mould production – yuk!

Which is better – a heated towel rail or a radiator?

So, to summarise, if you’re looking to heat a room, a radiator will be your best choice. If you’re looking to dry and warm towels in your bathroom, a heated towel rail will be your best choice. But if you’re wanting to do both – dry and warm towels, plus heat a room, you should definitely take a closer look at the Gordon vertical heated towel rail or The Holy Rail, another item in our range which is a towel and room warmer in one.

You may find you need to order the new Double Gordon.  With twice the surface area, Double Gordon is ideal to perform the dual task of warming and drying your towels as well as providing additional heat output.  There’s one for every bathroom in your home, plus one for the kitchen to dry tea towels and warm the area. Plus, you’ll need another in the laundry to quickly dry a few wet clothes…

double gordon heated towel rail

After all, you can never have too much warmth and luxury!

Note: The Holy Rail is available in a range of colours to suit your interior design. In fact, you can choose two colours to create a complimentary blend. It can be placed anywhere, but is perfect for a kitchen or laundry room. The Gordon is available in four colours – white, black, dark grey and sandstone. It’s designed primarily for bathrooms and can hold up to four large towels.


Penny Evans

My passion for interior design and architecture can be traced back to my pre-professional days. Always on the look out for new and innovative products which take the project to a whole new and unexpected level. I like getting people excited about things I'm excited about right now, and that's anything that brings some flair and colour to what may otherwise be a mundane solution.

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