Temperature: Electric models run about 145 degrees. Hydronic units run between 120 and 150 degrees.
Warm-up time: Electric models take 30 to 45 minutes. Hydronic units take less than 5 minutes. A 24-hour timer allows people to program them so they don't have to wait.
Safety: Because of the high temperatures, young children should be kept away from them.
Installation: Hard-wired electric heaters require an electrician. Hydronic units need a plumber.
Life span: About 10 years. Most come with a five-year warranty.
Cost to run: Between 25 to 60 cents per day if it's run continually.
Shapes: Most look like a series of towel bars. But they also come in funnel shapes that can heat more towel surface. They can be custom-built into the rails of a sink basin. Novelty shapes include hearts and guitars.
Accessories: Wesaunard makes metal monogram letters and musical notes that can be fastened as ornaments on the rails to personalize them.
Efficiency: Clothes dryers are the best way to warm or dry towels because they heat the entire surface area.
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Sources: Myson; Wesaunard