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Which towel bar is best?

To keep your towels fresh, it’s best to hang them up to dry after a bath or shower. Towel bars keep your towels spread out, which helps them dry faster and keeps bacteria at bay. Plus, a bar keeps your bathroom looking neat and tidy.

You may want to buy multiple bars for your bathroom, such as a smaller one for a hand towel and a larger one for a bath towel. A 24-inch bar, such as Moen Preston Collection Bathroom Towel Bar, is the perfect size for a regular towel. 

What to know before you buy a towel bar 

Base material 

The majority of towel bars are made from metal, such as steel, zinc or brass. You want a rustproof and anti-corrosive base material for your bar, which is why stainless steel is used for so many. Wood and plastic towel bars are also available but not as popular as metal, which is a more durable material. 


Towel bars range in size from 9-36 inches long. The most common sizes are 18, 24 and 30 inches. 

  • 18-inch bars are perfect for a hand towel
  • 24-inch bars are suitable for a single bath towel folded in half lengthwise.
  • 30-inch bars will fit a bath sheet, one unfolded bath towel or two folded ones.  

Consider towel size, the number of towels and how much wall space you have when choosing a length. 


Before you buy a bar, check its installation requirements, which can vary.

  • Wall-mounted bars are common and should be easy to install. Mounting hardware is included but you’ll need an electric drill. Be sure the product also includes mounting instructions if you’ve never installed one before. 
  • Freestanding bars don’t require installation and they feature a base that rests on the ground. For some bathrooms, this may save space, but for others, this style has too big a footprint. However, no installation is required. 
  • Adhesive bars stick to the walls with sticky strips. They don’t require drilling or holes in your walls and are easy to install. The downside is that if the adhesive isn’t secure enough, the bar can come crashing down when you pull off your towel.
  • Over-the-door bars feature hooks that hang over a bathroom or shower door and are the ultimate space-savers. They don’t require installation. However, this isn’t the most sturdy design and can also pull down. 

What to look for in a quality towel bar


Metal bars come in a variety of finishes. You can choose a finish that matches your other bathroom finishes or your decor. Finishes include brushed nickel, polished chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, brushed steel, polished brass, brushed gold, vintage iron and matte black.


Bars are either cylindrical or flat. When choosing between a round or a square one, it’s a matter of personal preference, as neither shape affects the bar’s function.   


A double towel bar features two bars, with one bar in front and the other behind it, closer to the wall. This allows for two towels to be hung separately without touching each other or the wall, making it handy for a household of two. 


An adjustable bar features a retractable rod for you to customize its length to fit your bathroom space perfectly. These are typically adjustable from 15-28 inches and are wall-mounted. 

How much you can expect to spend on a towel bar

Towel bars range in price from $10-$40. Double towel bars can cost up to $100. 

Towel bar FAQ

What’s the difference between a towel bar and a towel rack? 

A. The difference is the number of bars each has. A towel bar only has one or two, whereas a rack has multiple bars to hold multiple towels separately without layering one over the other. Bars all have a horizontal orientation, while racks can be horizontal or vertical. 

Is a towel bar better than a towel hook? 

A. Towel hooks are better if you have limited wall space because they take up so little of it. However, a towel can easily grow mildew handing on a hook because it won’t dry as fast when it’s not spread out as it is on a bar. 

What’s the best towel bar to buy?

Top towel bar

 Moen Preston Collection 24-Inch Bathroom Single Towel Bar

Moen Preston Collection 24-Inch Bathroom Single Towel Bar

What you need to know: This versatile towel bar can be placed in the bathroom or kitchen. 

What you’ll love: The bar is narrow and doesn’t take up much space. The brushed nickel is a classic finish that goes with most decor. The mounting hardware securely fastens the bar to the wall. 

What you should consider: The rod is pretty thin and light and feels too flimsy to some. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top towel bar for the money

Kes 12-Inch Self-Adhesive Single Towel Bar

Kes 12-Inch Self-Adhesive Single Towel Bar

What you need to know: This modern-looking towel bar is simple to put up and comes in three attractive finishes. 

What you’ll love: The installation requires no tools; the self-adhesive backing sticks to the wall. It comes in two brushed metal finishes and a matte black finish as well as six sizes. As long as you clean your wall first, the bar will stick and won’t come down. 

What you should consider: The future-forward design won’t match all bathroom decor. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Symmons Identity 24-Inch Wall-Mounted Towel Bar

Symmons Identity 24-Inch Wall-Mounted Towel Bar 

What you need to know: For a no-frills towel bar, this 24-inch rod is a solid choice. 

What you’ll love: It comes in two classic finishes: polished chrome and satin nickel. The rod is sturdy and looks attractive in your bathroom. The price is good and so is the quality of this bar.

What you should consider: You may want to provide your own anchors and screws, as the installation hardware isn’t great.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 


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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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