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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson
Emily Edited Bathroom Towel Bar1

Towel bars are bad for marriages. Brian is constantly, after turning off the shower, asking me if he can use one of the perfectly styled towels that took me 3-5 minutes to hang (see above). And while I want to be super cool and say ‘yah, of course’ inside I’m screaming ‘ugh, can’t you dry-off with something else that doesn’t look quite so perfect. Both of us are slightly annoyed and the bathroom always looks a mess. Now because we put ours into wallpaper I probably won’t change it but if I could go back in time I would use wall mounted hooks. That is today’s styling PSA – rethink the towel bar and opt for hooks for a prettier, easy to keep clean bathroom (and a better marriage).

*SUPER IMPORTANT UPDATE: Apparently in many more humid climates towels don’t dry on hooks unless they have a lot of space. We don’t have that problem here, so I was literally blown away when you all commented about it. GAH! I’m sorry!! I told Brian about all the comments and he was like ‘yah, of course towels don’t dry fast on hooks, everybody knows this’. Anyway, I guess make sure you climate can handle it. I had no idea I could be wrong about something so innocuous but  apparently i’ve been kept in the dark about this towel-drying conspiracy.

Here are some examples of this genius tool:

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Now these hooks definitely make it less formal so if you like a formal looking bathroom then this might not be for you. Perhaps in a guest bathroom you can still utilize the bar, but if you actually use your shower and dry yourself off with a towel every day, then hooks might be a better option for you.

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And while yes, this isn’t the cure for cancer or a the new weight loss secret, it is something that not only can instantly add some style to your home but can make your morning routine a little bit easier.

After designing and styling so many bathrooms over the years, I’m proud to say that I’m very pro-hook, and anti-bar. Join the movement.

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And no, these lovely hooks aren’t just for the bathroom, they can also be used to corral your hats, purses, scarves in a lonely hallway or entry area, and even in a little kids room to hold capes, flower crowns, or tutus. The trick with this, don’t overcrowd them and leave a few hooks open to visually have it look less like clutter and more like a styled piece.

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So in the name of convenience, style, and simplifying your life, here are a few of our favorites online. Brady recently used #6 in his bedroom renovation, I have #11 in our pantry area, and I love the thought of using #4 with the S hooks to hang up a bunch of towels in a bathroom.

1. Brendon Farrell 6 Fin Hook Rack | 2. Protected Teak Shaker Pegs | 3. Oak Triple Coat Rack | 4. Brass Towel Bar & S Hooks | 5. Occordian Coat Rack | 6. Crosscut Coat Rack | 7. Beckett Multi Robe Rack | 8. Jodi Towel Rack | 9. Iron Double Hook Rack | 10. Chandler Rack | 11. Brass Row of Hooks | 12. 7 Peg Wall Mounted Coat Rack | 13. Mid Century Multi Hook | 14. Simple Iron Hook Rack | 15. Walli Coat Rack | 16. Alva Metal Multi Wall Hook | 17. Brushed Brass Towel Rack | 18. Svartsjon Hook Rack | 19. Mid Century Modern Wall Hook | 20. Afternoon Coat Rack | 21. Wardrobe Rack of Metal | 22. Old Metal Hook Bar | 23. Newton Wall Mounted Coat Rack | 24. Bamboo Coat Hanger | 25. Iron Wall Bar & S Hooks | 26. Weathered Oak Wall Mounted Coat Rack | 27. Zinc Accordion Rack | 28. Enos Coat Rack | 29. Wood Retractable Wall Mounted Coat Rack | 30. Black Iron Coat Rack

Now, some of those are quite big if you have a small bathroom, so if you don’t have much space then opt for individual hooks, 2-3 of them next to each other or staggered.

Also as you know I like me a hat so I have wall-mounted hooks for those in my pantry/mudroom, laundry room and my closet. Everything looks better on a hook 🙂

Take the pressure off your guests and your marriage and opt for hooks instead of bars. I’d like to apologize to the National Towel Bar Association for ruining your business, but someone had to say it.

Do you guys think that I’m being super lazy? Or has this been a secret insidious problem riddling America that just needed a voice?

  1. We have one towel bar and put towels overlap and it drives us nuts. This is the solution! I love the options you posted too, so many good ones.

  2. Yes!!! I put hooks on our bathroom wall when we moved in five years ago — it was the only way I could get more than two towels on the wall. NO REGRETS. Also, IKEA is the only retailer I’ve found that sells towels with a loop in the middle for a hook. Does anyone know of others?

    1. I got some great towels from Macy’s by Kasatex I think? and they each have a loop for hanging which is awesome!

      1. Yes! love the H & M towels–good price, good size and weight. I have hooks mounted in my shower but i tend to drape the towel over the hook rather than using the loop.

        One of the best moves i made with my new bathroom was installing hooks in my walk in shower (mounted to the glass tile). No more mildewy yuck from hanging on the door or wall!

    2. And Zara Home.

    3. I have some from CB2 that are great! the striped linen/cotton ones – they have a loop.

  3. Yep, hooks in the bathroom are great! Especially in the kids bathroom. Four kids and they each have there own hook making it easy for them to keep their towel off the floor. Win! We used to use them in the garage too for backpacks and jackets.

  4. I have to disagree! Towels don’t dry out properly on hooks. We just moved into a rental house without towel rails and really miss them.

    1. I have had this problem as well. They get musty smelling quickly. However, I do intend to put hooks in my toddler’s bathroom so he can learn to hang his own towel from the little hood 🙂 Hooks elsewhere in the home are a trend I’ve been intending to try, so thanks for a good roundup of options.

    2. This was the first thing I thought of too. I love the look and convenience, but I’ve never found that a towel gets dry on a hook.

    3. I also found that towels did not dry on hooks. I live in Southern California, a dry climate, and towels on hooks never dried completely. We could not replace the hooks fast enough.

      1. Also my first thought when I read this! I am in a humid climate and my towels DEFINITELY would not dry on a hook. Though I can see how this is a good solution for messy-looking towels just tossed on a rod. To me, a dry towel is way more important.

        1. REALLY??? You guys. this is BLOWING MY MIND. I must do a scientific experiment because I literally had no idea this was possible or a problem. Whoops, sorry Americans 😉

          1. Word. Towels do not dry properly on hooks…at least not if you have a regular person-sized bathroom? Maybe it’s different for those, like, gigantic all-glass paradise bathrooms on Dwell.

      2. That’s odd–we are on the Big Island of Hawaii, so very, very humid, and our towels do okay on the hooks. (I’m a before bed shower-er and find by the morning the towels are pretty dry.) But I can see that would be really disappointing to go find your towel still damp ….

        Our primary residence is in the CO Rocky Mountains where the air is really really dry (get your lip balm and be prepared for nosebleeds), like SoCal is humid (my hair!) in comparison when we’ve been there, and in CO we have bars and hooks in all bathrooms. The towel is dry before you even hang it! My husband and eldest prefer hooks. Maybe I prefer a bar because all our towels are monogrammed.

        I do love bars in a bathroom, but we have tons of fun hooks throughout for everything else. I love collecting them at antique stores or markets when we travel. My very favorite is one I purchased in France when an undergrad: it’s an Algerian wall plaque with small hooks, painted with a monkey advertising a banana drink. We hang our keys on it and it gives me so much joy every day I hang up or retrieve my key. In my child’s personal care room, we have tons of old, chippy tole hooks: flowers, birds, fruit.

    4. This is interesting – I have hooks in both bathrooms in my house and have never had a problem with them not drying completely.

    5. This is the same reason I actually swapped out the bathroom hooks in my rental for a bar…I found that the towels got musty and didn’t dry completely. However, I do hate the styling issue that comes with the bar. Problem somewhat solved….I bought a towel bar from Lowes that has a hook on each end! I would link it, but I don’t see it online.

      1. This is so interesting– I find a folded towel on a bar never dries in the middle! Hooks seem like more air can circulate…

        1. Right?! My thoughts exactly… like a folded towel on a bar doesn’t dry for me 🤷🏼‍♀️

    6. Ditto! I love hooks, but towels don’t dry unless they are laid out exactly straight. Maybe in the summer, but definitely not the other 10 months out of the year in Seattle.

      1. Emily, could you install a hook somewhere else? I have two hooks right next to our shower for towels but then also a pretty towel bar that is more decorative. Maybe have both?

        Also, FWIW, we have big hooks designed to hang towels in a bathroom (ours are RH but I am sure many brands make them) seem to spread the towel/hang it away from the wall so we don’t have any drying issues. I put up smaller hooks in my kids’ baths and the towels sometimes aren’t dry as quickly. I wonder if the hook itself makes a difference? We live in the Mid-Atlantic, and it is pretty humid.

        1. Yah, we did put a hook for bathrobes right next to the shower and then we put EVERY SINGLE TOWEL onto it so it looks like a total monster because nobody wants to use the bar, which was the impetus for this post!! Shoot, I really hope i’m not wrong and America isn’t going to have musty towels because of me 🙂

          1. Emily you hang towels like a ten year old ❤️ I’ve got mounted bars and over the door hooks and I side with the bar people on ease of drying and the hook people on appearance – ours are haplessly flung over the two bars and then quickly moved to hooks if people are coming over! My husband also loves to hang his shirts on the hooks to ‘steam the wrinkles out’ …which is a different level of annoying entirely.

          2. I live in MN where it is super humid in the summer (83% as I type this) and dry in the winter. We have a mix of hooks and bars. They dry fine on a hook year round, certainly better than they would *folded* on a towel bar. And if you have kids, they definitely dry better on a hook than piled on a wet floor. 😉

    7. I think it’s dependent on how you hang the towel itself – on our hooks, I am always sure to use a flat part of the middle edge and they dry no problem (bonus if you use Turkish towels). My hubby puts his on in an overlapped lump and it never dries. His looks like it’s wrapped on the neck of a boxer after a sweaty round; I find myself fixing his most days (partially because I’m a nice wife, partially because it saves me from extra laundry). We’re in Florida so it’s pretty humid and musty. But it probably also depends on where you live.

    8. I agree with this, large towels never seem to dry out properly on hooks. I only use hooks for hand towels, and that has its own annoyances because most towels don’t have a loop or the loop is in the corner. Hand towels with middle loops are much more convenient, when you can find them!

      1. Agreed. Towels don’t dry completely on hooks! I have to spread mine out on a bar. Hooks are cute, though.

      2. I agree with the doesn’t-dry fraction. To me the only solution that ever really worked well for many towels is the pull out aluminium drying rack from manufactum. Hooks really didn’t work for us, especially if you want to hang more than a couple of towels, in addition to the being folded part, they are just way to close together on hooks.

    9. I think doing a hook bar is a bad idea for this reason. However, I got single hooks and spaced them about 8 inches apart on our wall – the towels don’t touch, and they seem to dry completely and haven’t been musty. We live in a humid area (SC) but do have a vent fan in the bathroom to keep moisture down.

    10. I feel like towels don’t dry properly on either bars or hooks. I always hang my bath towel over the shower rod and then transfer it to the bar after it’s dry. I guess the solution is to get one of those bars that kind of swivels out so that both sides of the towel is exposed to the air? Do those exist or am I making that up?

      1. I had one of my greatest homekeeping/marriage easing successes with this topic! We had towel hooks. Came with the house. We had TONS of towels. Due to 5 people using towels and towels not being fully dry or for whatever reason suspect. we were going thru many loads of towels each week. So new system: each person gets one Turkish color coded towel. They’re thin and dry fast. Color is yours so no worries a kid did who knows what with it. Girls get two towels (one each for our hair). In the wash they all go and right back on the hooks they go every couple days. No more folding washing and storing heaps of towels and you’ve got a clean and super dry towel all the time. Plus the soft array of colors look pretty in our bathroom. For our new house I’m looking for new hooks so thanks for this timely post of suggestions!!

        1. I think every family should do this. YES. maybe this is why they start monogramming towels?? but color coded turkish sounds so great. I’m terrified how many times i shower/dry with the same towel …. its A LOT.

        2. Excuse my ignorance: What are Turkish towels, and where do I find them?

          1. Other Emily ;), hammam towels is another name for them – they are thin, woven, cotton I think?, beautiful towels that you can find on etsy. I’m trying to convert my family to them. They aren’t cushy and absorbent in the same way, but they feel lovely, look pretty, dry faster, fold up tiny, and can double as beach and picnic blankets.

          2. I got ours by searching Turkish towels on Etsy. They’re still going strong after 7 years and we even use them at the pool because they take up so little space in a beach bag and dry fast in the sun.

        3. Growing up there were 4 kids and 2 parents and my mom had 3 sets of different colored towels, everyone had their name neatly written with sharpie on the seamed edge where the towel indented so no one fought over who’s towel was who’s. Each week they all went in the laundry (it was one of many of the kids chores to do) and then a new color got swapped out while those were in the wash. My mom ran a fun but tight ship and our house was always no more than 5 minutes from ever being ready for a guest to drop by. As an adult I appreciate the “adulting” lessons she taught us all but it’s funny to see which siblings rejected it and which adopted it!

        4. I can HIGHLY endorse this type of approach. We’re in a humid climate and the thin cotton “turkish” towels dry easily on hooks within a couple of hours. Each family member gets a designated hook. I’ll never go back to regular towels or bars… unless someone gifts me one of those beautiful heated, european wall racks/radiators 🙂

        5. I love this idea so much!! Might need to copy you 🙂

        6. We do this as well because the linen storage in our house is basically zero. Everyone has a towel, uses it twice before putting it in the laundry, and I do much less towel laundry now. It’s heaven! So, we have 3 girls and adding in me that’s 4 ladies with haaaaaair. So, I swapped out the “hair towels” for those turbie twistie towels from TV. They work really well, and they are small so they don’t take up as much space on the wall (which can start to look like we mounted the fleece of Snuffalupagus on it), in the laundry bin, or the w/d. It’s been a GREAT change. You may want to try it.

      2. I have one. IKEA. Don’t know how to link, but widely available.

    11. I think it depends on the type of towel, as well as how you hang that towel.
      I see that a lot of people have bath towels that are extremely thick, fuzzy, and almost as large as beach towels. My bath towels aren’t like that, so drying them on a hook is not a problem. I have a couple bath towels that are thin and almost *scratchy*–they are great for drying yourself off! I know thin and scratchy sounds terrible, but I love them.
      I have an additional trick: I bought some clip on curtain rings (like you’d use for cafe curtains). On one end is a ring. On the other end is a little clamp. I clamp a corner of the towel and hang the ring on the hook. Towels are much more likely to get air and not fall from the hook.
      One more trick: I have hooks that look almost exactly like #8. Mine are from Ikea and are meant to be used in the bathroom. I hung these hooks next to the door in my apt (because the wall space there was very narrow) and use them for bags, etc. However, because the hooks are wooden and blocky, my keys were always falling off. My husband took 2 cup hooks and screwed them on the front of 2 of the wooden blocks. Now, we can hang our keys up perfectly.

    12. I completely agree! We have huge towels and they don’t dry properly on hooks….but I love the look of towel hooks. Lots of other great ideas shown here for hooks.

    13. I’m so shocked that so many people are having this drying issue. I used to live in CA where there was no humidity really but we have since moved to super humid south Texas (on the gulf coast by the ocean) and we have never really had this issue. I use an over the door hook (it’s not pretty but there is too much tile and not enough wall-space for a proper hook). As long as we leave the bathroom door open when we are done and turn on the ceiling vent during showers there really isn’t any more moisture in the air in comparison to the rest of the house.

      I’ve got pretty fluffy bath sheets too and while they might not be totally dry if you wanted to shower again in under 12 hours, they are almost always dry by the next morning.

  5. YES! I’m actually forever annoyed by perfectly styled “no-touch” towels on a towel bar. Why have towels hanging that you cannot use?! Thank you for the prescription to this malady!

    1. My grandmother used to have embroidered towels in a hall bath with a note pinned saying “do not use” haha! I never understood.

      1. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this! If it’s your own relative, I guess the answer is: both.

  6. YES! I’m all about the hooks for bathrooms. And you don’t have to worry about people hanging the towels straight. 🙂

  7. Unrelated question, I see you have a painting in your bathroom, is this an issue with steam? I want to do the same, but I am concerned it might ruin a good painting.

  8. We’re getting started renovating our guest bath and I can’t wait to take down the towel bar. It’s right over the toilet which is pointless and a little gross. We’ll be using hooks next to the shower and I think I spotted one I like on this roundup. Thanks!!

  9. Holy crap. I don’t know why this has never occurred to me. You’re not only saving marriages, but the corner of our (only) bathroom door, which has suffered at the hand of countless wet towels being hung up to dry. THANK YOU.

  10. I don’t think you’re being lazy, but I do think this shows LA climate bias! 🙂 Here in Seattle, I can’t get away with hooks—they’d never dry fast enough. Plus I find stuff falls off a hook more easily (am I just bad at hook hanging?) I love the look and the space saving (and the ease of installation compared to bars) but I can’t get on board for towels, only coats and purses and hats and such.

    1. Virginia, I live here in Seattle and I have only used hooks in my bathroom for 15+ years. We have not had trouble with towels drying. I will agree – I’m not sure these options above are the best option for our climate. I use single, wall-mounted hooks. This allows the towels to be spaced out from each other. I love the ease of hooks and have found it can work in the PNW.

      1. Fellow Seattlite here. I’m a hooker, too. (winky face.) My issue with bars is that I would have to have one bar for each towel and spread each towel unfolded on the bar in order for them to dry. That’s a lot of wall real estate. With well-spaced single hooks, like Virginia said, no problems. In one bathroom I was able to install the hooks right over the forced-air floor vent which helped the towels dry crazy fast.

  11. I love the towel hook idea too! We have a towel bar next to the toliet (I’m not sure why that bothers me) but neither of us use it. There is a closer closet door next to the shower that we just sort of drape our towels over as if the door is a hook. So yes this sounds like the better way to go!

    We live in AZ and we never have a problem with towels drying out by the next time we need them. However I’ve noticed when we travel to more humid areas they are always damp. Does the towel hook solution work for people in other climates? I’m just curious. I know when I’m in North Dakota in the winter time, I think the best invention on earth is the heated towel rack!

  12. No!! Nothing lazy about it!! Just that how many of us have installed a towel bar to only to have to remove it bc it’s been yanked out of the wall! And then you have a sad place that leads to patching and eventually re-painting said wall!! And in our case we can’t even reach towel bar so we put towel over shower door (hoping it doesn’t get wet!). I’m looking for the “button” style hook I thought I saw as I looked through your other posts. That would be the ticket for us because we only have a 4″ wall space that we can put a hook of some kind!

    Loved finding this post though on towel bars because me and my decorator friend were having this very discussion this week and I said I don’t want another towel bar installed on my walls!! Hooks are the solution!! She said we were trendsetters!! Thanks for the help and the links to ALL the hooks available out there. Btw we installed 3 hooks in our bedroom for a hat, a bag and a robe. It was a Pottery Barn find. New product just added to their catalog & website. They’re cast iron hooks called “Overscaled Hook” for $29.50 each! Here’s a link. https://www.potterybarn.com/products/overscaled-double-hooks/?pkey=e%7CCast%2BIron%2Bhooks%7C61%7Cbest%7C0%7C1

    We also use a towel ladder now for hanging our towels on after the shower. They hang there prior to showering too and look pretty. The ladder isn’t anchored to the wall. Got it at Magnolia Market. Love Love Love it!

  13. I love the towel hook idea too! We have a towel bar next to the toliet (I’m not sure why that bothers me) but neither of us use it. There is a closer closet door next to the shower that we just sort of drape our towels over as if the door is a hook. So yes this sounds like the better way to go!

    Althougth I know when I’m in North Dakota in the winter time, I think the best invention on earth is the heated towel rack!

    1. I agree about the heated towel rack! Love them when we were in Europe!

  14. Thank you! I love this idea. I just removed my towel bars, but have yet to replace them because I wasn’t sure what to get. Love #1 from Rejuvenation. So cool!

  15. I definitely like the simplicity and casual vibe. I have a couple questions/ concerns.
    1. Does the towel dry as well? Seems like it’s kind of bunched up.
    2. How do you keep things from slipping off? That’s always been my problem with hooks.

  16. I love this! (More than I should!!!)

  17. I love the look, but I’ve always had wet towels dry kinda musty/funky when hung this way? Nobody else? Thrilling point, I know…

    1. I switched to hooks more than a year ago and I think they keep my towels fresher for a longer period of time. Although I live in the middle of a desert were things dry out fast.

  18. I have found that the towels don’t dry out as well on hooks and as someone who really hates drying with a damp towel, I may have to put up with the towel bar, however annoying it may be. I totally love the idea of having hooks in an entry though! So fun to style.

  19. We have them in our mudroom for coats and hats, etc. – high AND low so the kids have a set and they are brilliant. I never would have thought about putting them in the bathroom, but I’m over here looking at the pictures going, “ohhhhh……yessssss…..that makes so much sense!” Next house!

  20. The only problem with towel hooks is that the towels really don’t dry as well. And there is nothing worse than getting out of the shower and being greeted by a slightly damp towel! I had to use hooks in my current bathroom because it’s small and we didn’t have room for a towel bar. Yes, it’s convenient. But I miss a bar!

  21. Emily- although I love he look of hooks, that’s what we currently have in our master bath. The problem switch hooks vs bars is that the towels can not be spread out to dry. If you’re someone like me that barely dries off after a shower, it works fine. But if you are like my husband who dries off completely with his towel, the hooks just don’t allow his towel to dry out – and all of his towels look pretty bad after a couple of uses. I’m not saying don’t go for hooks because they are pretty, but just know If your towels are really wet after a shower, it will take them much longer to dry thoroughly!

  22. This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me as we are about to paint our bathroom and wanting to change from the current cheap towel bar to some nice hooks. And there you are to guide me, thank you! Love this roundup!

  23. Find these roundups of functional pieces so helpful. Where is the hand towel in the first photo from? I think the bath towels are target? Going for similar linen look in my bathroom.

  24. I find these roundups of functional items so helpful–thank you! Wanted to know where the hand towel in the first picture is from? I believe bath towels might be from Target? Redoing our bathroom and going for similar look but can’t seem to find the right hand towel.

  25. We have a towel bar for the perfect folded towel and a hook on the back of the door for usuable towels. I use the same Turkish towels for both, and I love the layered look. Now the only fight in our house is that I refuse to buy the huge, overly plush, Walmart towel eyesores my husband prefers. Ugh…

    1. Ahhhh, get your hubby some towels that he likes, just for him. He’s worth it :))

    2. I tried the turkish towels but found they don’t soak up water! I went back to my ugly walmart towels :/

  26. Great round up! Always looking for wall hook options!

    On another unrelated note…..do we get to see the master bathroom reveal soon? I’m dying over here!

  27. DUDE!

    Such a good post. I have been meaning to research some good wall hook options for a few spots around my house. NOW I DON’T HAVE TO! *High Five*

    Thanks Emily + team!

    1. Side note: Link 22 is bad/broken. Just FYI!

      1. All fixed! Thanks! xx

  28. To the damp towel concerns, I’d recommend thinner towels. I live on the humid east coast and have a tiny bathroom that gets really steamy, and switching to Japanese style towels solved our dampness issue. Turkish style towels work too. They also are less likely to fall off hooks.

  29. I’ve always been all about the hooks. Every bedroom needs to have one on its door. After a shower, upon dressing, the towel can be hung up so as to be used again tomorrow.
    I recently bought a very cool condo and it didn’t feel finished until there were hooks on the bathroom and bedroom door. After every shower I was like “Where the heck am I supposed to put this thing?”

  30. This post is so timely. I just said to my boyfriend, “Don’t use the hand towels, they’re just for show.” Cause it DRIVES me batty to see a hand towel hanging all wonky in its ring. Perhaps we should talk hooks for hand towels as well as larger towels????

  31. Hooks forever! We have them on the backs of bathroom doors and by the sinks in all the baths! Yours not drying fast enough? You might have to launder more often OR do what we did and switch to some swank thin but thirsty striped Turkish towels that are great for the bath, the pool, as a picnic blanket or as an emergency wrap! Try the Linum line from Nordstrom (on sale) or even cheaper from Overstock! They are thin and dry fast. Might take a bit of getting used too — they are not fluffy and looped so a bit of a different drying off experience. Works and looks great!

  32. yep, we should have hung hooks instead of a towel bar which doesn’t fit our oversized towels. It makes our bathroom look like crapola. I needed this post 8 years ago! Next home…..

  33. Hooks are so good!! We redid our very small vintage bathroom and I had a hard time finding a place for bars that wouldn’t cramp it’s new style. I settled on hooks on the back of the door and they are so good! Functional and you only know they’re there if you’re in the room with the door shut.

  34. I joined the bathroom hook club this past winter and I am so glad I did! It makes it easier for my husband and my 9 year old daughter to hang it on a hook versus them just throwing it on a towel rack and me constantly fixing it so it saves my sanity too. I bought my hooks from Ikea and we love them!

  35. We do both! Two towel bars for display towels only, and hooks for the towels we use everyday. 🙂 We stumbled upon it with our new house, and I love how neat and clean it looks! Best of both worlds… convenient and pretty. 🙂

  36. I agree……I’m in the mood to hang one.

    the ~hand towel~, will have to be the show stopper.

  37. Yes to the hook for towels, hats etc.

  38. Possibly this is not a problem in a dry climate like southern California, but here, using hooks leaves you with damp manky smelling towels. We prefer the bars so that the towels can be spread out and dry better. We even put in a shower curtain rod with an extra towel bar as part of it. We have 4 people sharing one small bathroom, so we ran out of wall space for towel bars. We also hung one at kid height so they can learn to rehang their towels.

  39. We did this! We took down our towel bar & did 3 large individual hooks, reusing the old holes from the towel bar for the end hooks, we just added one set of holes for the center hook, and it gives the towels extra space to dry, none of them are touching so it’s perfect. My husband and I love it so much more & we’ve never had a mildew issue so far! Emily, you could still totally do this, using this method & you wouldn’t have to ruin your wallpaper!

  40. Agreed!! I live in London where heating drying racks are popular and my husband also has trouble putting the towels nicely back 😂 He swears by the heated towels but then it always looks a mess

  41. Omg this is so simple and genius!! When my husband actually hangs his towel back up it’s usually in a crumpled up mess that not only looks terrible, but WON’T ALLOW THE TOWEL TO DRY!! Grrr, can you tell this is an issue at our house. Thank you for saving our marriage!

  42. Hi there Emily + Team,

    Recommendation about product posts. By the way, these are some of my absolute favorite posts. I think it would be so helpful if you could click on the image of lets say ‘hook 6’ and when clicking on said image the webpage to that hook would open as a new tap/window. This would save you from having to memorize all of the numbers for each hook you want to view. I just love so many of the options and at times it can be hard time remembering which numbers to click once I have scrolled to the bottom of the spread. Just a small detail and totally not necessary but would be exceedingly helpful! What are you thoughts on this?

  43. When I redid my 2 sons’ bathroom years ago, I put hooks on the wall for their towels. What are the odds of boys under the age of 12 (or 23 for that matter) hanging their towels back on a towel rack. Zilch!

  44. Thanks for sharing this practical idea!!! Can you please do a wood flooring round up? I’m looking for the perfect wood flooring for my new house and need help!

  45. I’m already on team hook, and can confirm that this concept saves relationships. Now searching for a solution to shoes all over the entrance that keep the door from opening. Thoughts!?

    1. Ohh I know this one! Depending on the house we were at and how much storage space was by the door we’ve used a few options..

      We’ve used this and cut a nice wood stained top for our keys, mail etc… http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10031987/

      We’ve done just big and small baskets by the door to keep shoes wrangled…and my favorite that we still use today is this one that I instantly made my husband make after reading it here on EHB ages ago…we left ours bare wood and it still looks brand new even though we live in an area with many seasons that contain mud! Thanks Emily for the stylish DIY’s you used to do!


  46. I am a huge fan of peg rails (as I, and the Shakers, call them). I did a DIY continuous peg rail in my master bathroom, so there are pegs literally all around the room to hang things on. It’s amazing. I’m planning on doing the same in my guest bath, only with Ikea pegrails (which I didn’t see on your round-up – the Kubbis, http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10289576/). We did that in my mom’s guest bath and it looks adorable. We have Ikea towels, too, which all have the little loop for hanging, so it’s perfect! I’m even thinking about putting these in my (future) nursery – at about 2/3 height, all the way around the room, as the upper trim for wainscoting or board and batten below (painted to match) and paint above. I feel like the pegs will be all kinds of helpful for baby and kid things – bags, hangers, towels, etc. Hooks 4 ever!

  47. I’m shocked (SHOCKED!) Eames hang it all didn’t make the list.

    Great options all-round though 🙂

  48. I wish for pretty hooks like these in my bathroom so bad! Our typical pretty expensive but pretty crappy LA rental apartment- one bathroom has FOUR ugly towel bars, and the other has SIX ugly towel bars. Who needs that many towel bars??? None of them match, some of them are crooked and it’s just the worst. I removed one, but it (like all its other towel bar friends) was never removed for routine painting, so taking it off left these huge gaping paint chippy holes that were impossible to patch and so I sadly put the towel bar back up.

  49. We just moved in to a house with bars & hooks in the master bath and hubby still prefers the bar, lol. I gave up a while ago on having pretty folded towels in the bathrooms as we live here and it’s not worth obsessing over. The guest bath has a hand towel in the ring by the sink but I don’t worry about displaying towels on the bar as it’s just something extra to be cleaned if we don’t have company for a while. Guests are more than welcome to pull out a set from under the sink if they stay long enough to shower.

  50. We did this in our master, which is also very dinky. Genius level marriage saver!

  51. Yes to this! I only use hooks in my bathrooms. What I’d like is advice on how/where to hang kitchen towels. I have nowhere to hang dish towels in my kitchen, and I’m guessing I’m not alone!

    1. Agree! I tend to just fold my towel and drape it across the sink after my husband leaves it crumpled on the counter :/
      dishcloths too are always a bother and an eyesore.

  52. My husband insists that we have separate bathrooms. Solves this problem for sure!

  53. my bathroom doesn’t really have any good spot to put hooks, or a bar. We have an over the door rack of hooks, but there isn’t enough air circulating back there so the towels never seem to dry. We’re stumped!

  54. Honestly, we did this in our bathroom last year and it was a game changer. Especially living in a humid area because the towels also dry more quickly! Win win…

  55. Several other commenters have already said this but..towels won’t dry as fast on a hook. I have a bar for my bath towel. And only use a hook for my dog’s towel, which isn’t used on a daily basis. I just keep a towel on a hook ready to wipe off his paws after rainy walks.

  56. In my house….towel bars are for show / for guests to distinguish from ours….on hooks.

  57. Team Hook! We installed them in our bath when we did the remodel and we are so happy – towels dry faster and the look works with our style. Team Hook 4Evah!

  58. Absolutely pro-hook too! Thanks Emily! UK climate makes drying towels hard, but I love a good peg rail like nothing else. I get a bit Polly prissypants about my towels looking neat on a rail so this helps 🙂 glad it’s not just me! Guests love to sling towels over doors, or worse – the shutters! Hooks are brilliant!

  59. We have wall hooks in our entry way and master bath and I agree, they are the best! Easy breezy!

  60. I love your bathroom as is… I’m not sure I totally agree with towel hooks, instead of a bar. When I use the bar, my towels stay wet for longer and have a better chance of getting stinky and moldy. At least with a bar, there is the chance they can dry properly and I can reuse.

  61. So much truth to this post! I just said to my husband (also named Brian) that I refuse to put a towel bar in the bathroom we are currently renovating for the kids because the towels will look messy if they’re not on hooks. The struggle is real.


  62. I was blissfully unaware of how controversial the towel rack was until I moved in with my now-husband. He is a competent and put together human, until he gets out of the shower, at which point he rams the towel over the bar as if he is Godzilla. It is very perplexing. In my next bathroom, it will be hooks all the way.

  63. I’ve always felt like towel bars with “show towels” seemed dated. One of the best lessons I’ve learned from you is that form should follow function – smart design but in a pretty way!

  64. We have hooks for daily towel use and bars for the styled, monogrammed towels. I have 3 pairs of towels. Two are rotated for regular use and one set stays clean on the rod. When we fall behind on the laundry, there’s always a clean back up!

  65. i can’t use hooks in the bathroom because the towels never seem to get dry, and musty towels are my kryptonite. i love wall hooks elsewhere, though, and need some, so thanks for the links!

  66. I have a towel bar (big sigh) and would replace it but I’m petrified of tearing the whole wall down to get the bar off…..it is ON there. I suppose the only good thing is, it’s a small bathroom, so, while it is beside the shower, it’s also across from the sink, so I use it for hand towels.
    I also feel like bath towels are a pretty standard size and whyohwhy are towel bars never quite long enough? I don’t have a husband or kids and I still don’t want to trifold something just to get it on there.

  67. We are for hooks all the way. Never had an issue with drying.

  68. Don’t do hooks! The increased amount of laundry from musty towels, which for some reason doesn’t bother your husband, who will also use them to dry off your children, is also bad for a marriage!

  69. Lol! I don’t think you’re being lazy, but I wouldn’t recommend it! I’ve found towels on hooks don’t dry very quickly because the fabric is bunched together. Maybe it’s not a big deal in low-humidity California but in Virginia, my towels don’t dry unless hung on a bar and recently at a South Carolina beach, they were straight up still damp on hooks unless you stress it over two hooks but that just looks stupid! I’m towel bar all the way 🙂

  70. Em, you could always get hooks like the Schoolhouse ones and hang them on your towel bar and boom, you solved your problem! Xo

  71. My boyfriend’s “styling” solution is to throw the wet towel on the bed, but hey, at least our towel bar looks neat and uncluttered?! (Don’t get me started on the 9,000 winter coats clumped on to our hallway hooks like a big fungus.) I like a giant bath sheet rather than a towel so I can feel like a tiny cocooned kitten, but they’re too big really to fold neatly on our tiny rail *or* not slide right off a hook.

    1. Big fungus! Ha! I feel your pain.

  72. Yes! I jumped on board the hook bandwagon a few years ago. Hooks everywhere – both bathrooms, in the hallway (which serves as a “mudroom”), and I even took out the hanging rod in the coat closet and did hooks all the way around. I find towels dry better on the hooks, and I will fully admit that I’m horrible about hanging my coats on hangers. But with hooks, it all stays off the floor. And I don’t annoy my husband 😉

  73. Have to agree with the towels not drying properly camp! We still use hooks for lack of space, but after a shower I have to spread my towel and the kids towels elsewhere to dry and then move it back to the hook. My husband would never bother to do that so he gets the towel bar, for my sanity sake. We have another small bar on the other side for the styled/guest towels! Kind of ridiculous but works for now!

  74. What about single hooks? More versatile than large “hook racks”, no?

  75. Love this! I could not agree more. And I LOOOOOVE your newest stand against the negativity. It’s perfect. I just started reading your blog recently (clearly I am late to the game, as usual), and I adore it all. Your perspective and design style are the best! I’m so glad I found ya! xoxo, m

  76. Styled towels!!!! We have an ongoing struggle with them in my house, but not because my husband wants to dry off with them, but because he seems to have an impulse to find the prettiest, purest, whitest towel whenever an unknown sludge starts pouring out of an appliance. I do like these hooks though!

  77. I have a bathroom with both a single bar and hooks (I live in the PNW) and I find that I use the hooks for a few reasons:

    1. My toddler plays hide and seek in the towel while it’s on the bar which prolongs the amount of time with me on the bathroom floor wrangling a poopy butt while doing a standing diaper change. While he’s really being cute and adorable, it gets old and frankly I don’t love hanging out on the bathroom floor anyway. I choose to play hide and seek elsewhere and when less dirty butts are involved.
    2. I find my large bath sheets dry out better on the hooks than on the bar – not sure why since others have the opposite in the PNW – mine just do.
    3. I don’t have to refold my husband and toddler’s towels after they use them. Yep I’m that sort of person. I’ll even refold the towels/sheets or clothes in the husband’s side of the closet if I see they are a mess. Something about it just bothers me…lol
    4. With hooks we can fit all our towels in the bathroom not just one on a bar (or two cramped on a bar) and one draped over the shower curtain which is never pretty.

  78. Side note I have two sets of hooks that look EXACTLY like #8 in my mudroom where my toddler hangs his backpack and coat up. Got them ages ago from Ikea for a few bucks, not sure if they still carry them but seriously they look exactly the same!

  79. My husband keeps nagging at ME for not hanging the towel properly on the bar… we need hooks or I might ask for a divorce soon! Trust me, nothing worse than someone constantly nagging about pointless (and how towels hang… is pretty pointless) things. I like my house looking beautiful and neat, too, but who always has time to hang/tidy/etc all the time? Especially with kids. It’s like my brain just doesn’t have capacity to always remember/notice. Give your husbands a break 😉

    1. I love this comment, Laura, because I’m usually the nagger. Thanks for the perspective check 🙂

  80. I had this same idea last year when I remodeled my bathroom. I hung hooks (over-sized black Ikea ones) in sets of two spaced about eighteen inches apart so that I could spread a wet towel out over two hooks to dry. Once it’s dry, I just move it back to one hook. It works so well that when we remodeled my husband’s bath (yes, we have separate baths and bedrooms!) he did a similar hook system that he mounted on a piece of wood. The hooks are smaller and closer together so he just spreads his towel over several hooks until it’s dry.

    I love the idea of a leaning ladder, it would be further away from the wall than towel rods and would accommodate several towels while looking very pretty.

    I’ve had two oil paintings in my bathroom for over a year and they seem fine. Although I do have a strong heater/fan combo that I always use when showering so there’s very little condensation.

  81. I love the look of hooks and bars both but prefer hooks for a multi person bathroom. Or – the not as stylish option but very practical…heated towel bars! I have this and use in the winter to warm my towels up and it dries them very quickly after being used as well.


  82. Not a fan of the hook for towels. Our towels never dry out completely & turn super musty! Now i spend more time doiing laundry. Boo. Thought it was just us but glad to see others have experienced the same.

  83. I’ve used a row of individual hooks before and it made me so happy. If you have the room to space them as far apart as you need so that the towels don’t touch, that’s the best. They look just as good drying as they do fresh. So easy.

  84. Amen to towel hooks! But, you really need towel hooks + turkish towels. Super absorbent and soft, but dries much more quickly and easily if you go the hook route.

  85. I found this review of a towel bar I saved because it is funny but also so true:
    Inquiry: “Bath towels are 30″. Nearly every towel bar I’ve seen for sale locally is only 24″. What the hell? I do not want to fold a damp towel in half when I hang it up. Nor will a 24″ bar hold two folded 30″ towels. How did this stupidity get standardized?”
    Answer:Thirty-inch towel bars were probably outlawed by our government
    for public safety reasons….

  86. Have to admit, while I love the look, and have hooks in many other places in my house ( especially kids bedrooms 😊), here in New Zealand almost everyone has heated towel rails – warm dry towels! I have spent quite a lot of my life in North America and could never understand stand why no one has them ? Especially in places where it snows?! Maybe it’s because your houses tend to be better insulated and heated than ours?

    1. Yes – I was looking for the first post that mentioned radiator towel rails – completely standard in the UK in our damp climate. Especially snuggly in winter when there’s been non-stop rain for months.

      Having said that – in our tiny bathroom – I have put hooks on the back of the door and the bath towels dry well there. The bath rail (there’s only one) only allows for one towel to dry out which is useless when you have several damp towels that need drying out.

  87. Love this post and will be applying it as my husband and I are either going to build a home or renovate an existing home. So can relate to this in our current condo bathroom!

  88. I vote for hooks and thinner towels! Also no one has mentioned hanging one towel over two hooks to help with the bunching/ drying issue

  89. Hooks all the way! Down with bars!

  90. After just renovating I did just that, no towel bars and used hooks. I do have one hand towel ring in the guest bath, but our bath towels hang on hooks. I found great ones at Home Goods and pretty polished nickel ones at Target online.

  91. I’m totally part of the anti-towel bar movement! One of the first things I did in our new house was take down all of the awkwardly placed towel-bars and have never looked back – not just good for marriages, but also good for young kids!

  92. Oh my god, how do you always know what I need?!?! I have been debating removing the dumb towel bars that keep falling from my tiny bathroom and instead installing hooks for the towels because a. no more falling bars, b. I feel like the towels will dry faster, and c. I can move them to a better location. Another super useful post!

  93. NOPE – far too ‘public pool changing room’ for me! Every so often I’m shocked by the cultural divide and this is one of those times. Does no one in America have heated towel rails?? What are you doing over there, with your lack of laundry tubs, electric kettles, outdoor clothes lines, hot water bottles and heated towel rails? Why isn’t Ginny sorting you all out?
    And I hope Brian doesn’t really have to ask every morning what towels he’s allowed to use …

    1. Heated towel rails are essentially a type of radiator. In the US, most modern houses (which is most US houses) use forced air heating and are not plumbed for radiators, so it’s a much bigger deal to put in a heated towel rail. Our furnace-heated houses are generally warmer in the winter than British houses (wasteful, perhaps, though usually better insulated), so we don’t really have a need for hot water bottles. This also makes warm towels not as exciting in the winter. We drink coffee not tea, so we use coffee makers, not electric kettles. We dry our clothes in dryers rather than on the line (wasteful, I know), and clothes lines are most likely to be seen in rural or poor areas. As for laundry tubs, I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I don’t remember seeing anything when I lived in Scotland that wasn’t common in the US. Google seems to think this is the same thing we call a “utility sink” in the US.

  94. I’m a hooker all the way and my husband prefers bars. His argument is that it won’t dry. Interesting, b/c despite our high humidity in Ohio, mine is dry every time I go to reuse it the next morning. In Eastern WA when we lived there, my towel was dry within a few hours. I think his argument against is more based on what he *thinks versus reality. (And our AC is set at 70freaking8degrees so it isn’t b/c our house is cool that my towel dries. Soooo, we built our home and I have a hook and I put up an ugly towel wrack just for him on the other side of the shower in the name of marital peace. 20 years is just around the corner so I have learned to pick my battles!

  95. I’m in the “hooks don’t dry most American towels” camp and I love in San diego. My thinner Turkish towels are fine, but I don’t want to replace all my towels. I’m changing my hooks for bars when I remodel my son’s bathroom.

    My marriage saver was a double towel bar. His towel no loner overlaps with mine, they both dry, and my nicely hung towel covers his messy one!

  96. Thank you for this! I was just searching for hooks online yesterday—how did you know??? In our loft we have one bathroom with one towel bar and frequent guests. Ours towels get folded into thirds to fit together on the bar, but there is absolutely nowhere for guests to hang theirs. My temporary solution has been a laundry drying rack (so elegant) and I’ve about had enough.

  97. Oh my gosh, this is so simple, but genious!! Oh, how I wish you had posted this about 30 days ago! I just purchased a new home and had nowhere to hang towels that were remotely close to the tub or shower. Odd, right?! Anyhow, I ended up putting up one of those not so cute metal hooks from Lowe’s when one of these gorgeous things would have been so much cuter, and taken up the blank wall space that I’m now trying to fill. Ugh. Oh well, genius as alwasys, Emily!

  98. I love the tub/shower faucet with the exposed pipe in pic #1. Anyone no the source?

  99. Great roundup! I’ve been wanting to put hooks on a wall in our bedroom, and I didn’t want to do the work of researching options. Now I don’t need to!

  100. I’m ALL about the hooks, but my husband thinks and says that the towels don’t dry as well. I don’t care, because as soon as a used towel is dry, it goes in the wash. Do you have any “facts” that an support the drying factor of hooks vrs rods?

  101. I love hooks in the bathroom!! BIG QUESTION What do you do with a skinny hallway? My husband wants to do hooks but I just can’t because the hallway is super skinny (70’s built house)! Any style suggestions for a long skinny hallway for the walls?

  102. Hooks all the way! I used big oversized galvanized hooks from Home Depot for the kids bathroom. They are like a giant “U” shape, I think they are really for garages and hanging bikes on them. Inexpensive, durable and industrial looking and the towels always stay put.

  103. YES! THIS! THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    My husband never, literally never, puts the hand towel back properly. He just throws it over the rack in a big heap, and it bothers me every time. We are about to go through a big home reno that will involve 2 bathrooms, and I am so grateful you posted this. I honestly don’t know if I’d have really thought about it, but this is such a simple, genius solution.

  104. I think the type of towel you have is key to whether or not using a hook will leave you with the dreaded musty towel. I have a whole set of Dri-soft bath sheets from Bed Bath and Beyond, which are thinner and lighter than most other towels I encounter. I’ve never had a problem with them drying on a hook or on a bar (and I have lived in the midwest and now Switzerland, neither of which can brag about a dry climate).

    One day (when I can justify new towels and when they are the most important thing in my house to spend some cash on) I hope to have a set of turkish towels. I imagine that they would be excellent on hooks!

  105. To be honest, I also don’t like towel overlaps. So, I recommend a combo of bars and hooks. Bars for bath towels and hooks for hand and face towels. I also recommend a couple of hooks at the bathroom door as a bonus! It works like a charm… 😀

  106. Gosh I hope you are kidding about Brian asking you for permission to use a towel in his own bathroom! While I agree that they usually don’t get hung up the exact way I want, it isn’t that big of a deal to me – a very easy fix!

    I do love having a couple of hooks but I put them behind the door so that they don’t show. Even in the lovely pictures you have posted I think the towels on hooks look as messy and unappealing as a poorly hung towel on a bar.

  107. Please do a roundup of individual hooks! I only need 2 to make my bathroom functional, and indibidual ones can really be cool-looking.

  108. Emily, you’re so right. This is the answer I’ve been looking for. I think I’m going to replace the bar in my bathroom with hooks. Thank you.

  109. We have a combination of both. The girls have hooks in their bathroom and they each have their own color towel. They have two a piece. They seem to dry out ok, but the hooks they have are kind of staggered. I think that helps. The hubs and I have towel bars, but we hung them on the back of the bathroom door. They dry out great and they aren’t an immediate eyesore when looking into the room if they aren’t folded and hanging nicely and no pulling out of the wall! All the towels get thrown in the washer every three to four days and it seems to work great.

  110. I did this in our guest bath and it works great. I got more for our master and our girls’ bathroom. Arranging a towel on the bar always takes longer than it should and gets messed up immediately. I went with three of these four our bathroom: https://www.anthropologie.com/shop/bw-wall-hook?category=SEARCHRESULTS&color=one and I love them.

  111. IKEA has a line of towels (not sure of the name) that have sewn-on loops so you can hang your towels just so. Love ’em!

  112. There’s nothing more glorious than a warm, dry towel especially in the winter. Consequently I would have to pass on the hooks and go a heated towel rail.

  113. This post had me dashing to my rental’s bathroom to check the towel bar hardware, as my towels are never neat (right now everything shares one small bar because the bigger, presumably bath towel bar is inside the shower itself… Pre-wet for my convenience!)

    My bar is like… glued on. But now I’m thinking of installing one hook for the shower towel and just using the bar for hand towels. Thank you!!

  114. Hello Emily! Go for the hooks! I mounted cabinet knobs using a hanger bolt (threads into the knob and screws into the drywall) to hang out towels. And sewed a cotton twill loop on our towels. Super happy with them and no drying issues 🙂

  115. True about the not-drying-properly thing. hooks are easier, save space and help the bathroom look tidy, but you get smelly towls faster too. Hooks on other places and for hats, bags, coats, etc, I love!

  116. Not sure about all these comments saying the towels don’t dry properly, maybe it’s your towels??? Lol jk. But seriously, I had towel hooks in my old bathroom and the towels dried just fine. No problems. I really hate towel bars and I am chomping at the bit to install some hooks in the bathroom of my current apartment so that I don’t have to nicely rearrange the towels every time my boyfriend takes a shower. So thanks for all the hook suggestions!

  117. Shocked to read about people not liking the hooks. We use hooks in our bathroom and don’t have this problem of the towels not drying. You can’t hang more than one towel on a hook and make sure that the towel material is hanging down and not bunched up. They’re always dry by the next time we shower. 🙂

  118. Turkish towels are the way to go. Light weight, dry fast, smaller footprint, hang well on a hook, and don’t smell mildewy 🙂 I bought one on Etsy from Turkey and an never going back to “regular” towels!!

  119. We have the musty towel on hook problem too 😕. I am really wanting to try the thinner towels now though.

  120. I much prefer hooks, too! I have a row of several, and I spread damp towels over two or three hooks (so they’re a bit more spread out). When they’re dry, I’ll often just hang them on one hook.

  121. I’m team towels don’t dry on hooks. But it’s totally regional! It depends on the humidity where you live. I’m in the Fl Keys and it is 100% humidity year round. A towel will never properly dry on a hook, not even if they’re slightly bunched on a bar. I hate to say it, but your experiment will be flawed if you only perform it in Cali bc you are not nearly as humid. I’m sad about it bc I love hooks so much more aesthetically. I’ve read a giant discussion with hundreds of comments about this before and that seemed to be the conclusion. Such a hot topic LOL

  122. I live in Florida, where days with 90% humidity are common (it’s honestly why Florida is so damn weird) and we use hooks without any issues.

    I happen to be in the market as I am remodeling our bathroom and will definitely be purchasing something from this list. Thank you for somehow reading my mind, Emily and crew.

  123. This is awesome some. The best thing i read today. Thanks for sharing.

  124. I use hooks and towels DO dry on them! I love them. If I do have a really wet towel I will throw it over my shower rod for a bit. 90% of the time they go directly on the hooks. Don’t put more than one towel on a hook, and spread the hooks far enough apart so there is some air circulation. Also, I suggest putting hooks in a spot where air moves, not behind the bathroom door.

  125. I have one towel bar and constantly rearranging the towel that never looks as perfect as I would like to … wich my husband doesn’t understand, obviously. Wish I had read this post months ago!

  126. More due to lack of wall space than anything else, I use hooks and at first was so annoyed that my towels were always damp. 2 things I’ve found that help 1.) make the switch over to turkish towels (like this http://www.loomed.co/shop-2/triple-stripe-black). They dry SO much faster than a regular plush towel and actually wick the water off of your body more effectively, though it does take some time to get used to drying yourself off with such a thin towel. 2.) buy two pronged hooks or hang each towel over more than one hook to spread it out a bit. This helps a lot with drying time.

  127. Team Hooks all the way! When we redid our bathroom a. There wasn’t enough room for two towel bars and b. For my own sanity I know I am so much more likely to make my towel look nice on a hook (in 2 seconds!) than bunched over a bar!

  128. I am totally into hooks versus bars and have found that my towels dry better on the hooks – the bars are never large enough for more than one damp towel at a time. Love the inspriration photos in the post.

  129. I use hooks! I live just down the street from you… in temecula ca. My towels dry fine. I prefer the hooks!

  130. Heya Emily,

    How do you live with a non-designer and not go crazy, keeping things aesthetically pleasing?

    It’s hard to explain to your man, “babe no, that is just ugly, we can’t have that chair in here.” Or buying huge cat condos and putting them in the middle of the living room. Cause the cat want to watch TV too?

    An up hill battle every day. Maybe you could talk more about this, give ideas. Thanks love!

  131. Whether hooks or bars – I have both – another annoying problem: one corner of the towel that gets used to dry hands (especially male hands it seems) gets grossly dirty while the rest of the towel is clean, clean, clean. I don’t understand how the towel gets dirty when someone is drying their freshly washed hands.

    1. Sounds like you need to teach some of your family members to wash their hands better.

  132. I’m in Southern California and find that towels get that musty sour smell regardless of a hook or a bar. (Maybe it’s our bathroom’s lack of good ventilation). I switched recently to those thin turkish towels and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!! They absorb well but dry fast on my hooks so there is no more smell. Plus they look so cute in my bathroom!

  133. living in the forest where is is fresher may I suggest using two hooks rather than one while drying the towels … 🙂
    I use hooks with succion cups on my glass shower walls …

  134. I live in Miami, THE most hot and humid environment in the country, and I have hooks. I am 100% pro hoom. It looks casual, effortless and I don’t mind washing the towels a bit more often because it takes a half a nano-second to hang them back up when I’m done with the load. Love them.

  135. I am so confused! I live in the midwest – it is plenty humid here in summer – and I always use hooks! i don’t understand how towel bar helps dry better – unless you open towel to full width – which imo doesn’t look nice and would take up a ton of room! my hook situation has always worked out on the drying front. though, maybe we take fewer showers than most??? totally possible.

    i get custom sized shaker peg racks from Peg and Rail and put everywhere…esp in Kids bathroom. Between wet bathing suits and towels after swim lessons, bath towels, clothes that got wet in the puddle splashing incident and can’t yet be thrown in laundry, the underwear that the baby threw in the toilet….there are always so. many. wet. things.

  136. I live in Seattle and hang my thick bath mat and hair towel on hooks because I don’t have enough room for more than one short [18″ rod]. I think the bath mat dries better than the bath town which I have on a bar but have to fold some. As someone else mentioned, the key is taking the middle of the long edge and hanging from there on a really large hook. The thing spreads out and there is circulation all around it. If I lived someplace hot and humid [like New England in the summer] I would switch to lighter Turkish towels in the summer.

  137. A first I was totally turned off by this idea but as I’ve been thinking about it I think it might be just the thing. My husband seems incapable of actually using a towel bar so a hook might get us over the towel on the floor issue….We’re redoing our bathroom right now and I wonder about doing this. The style is pretty traditional/formal however (polished chrome) so I wonder if you have any ideas for a more formal hook ?

  138. I love hooks! I haven’t had the drying problem, but it is pretty dry where I live. Switching the bar in our master for hooks next.

  139. From Queensland Australia…when I gather the washing up to take to the laundry each day, I collect the towels too. If they’re not due to be washed, they are always hung out on the line to dry.

  140. I would love to incorporate hooks for styling throughout the house- but I know this would damage my mariage. My husband would clutter them with clothes, it would look ugly and I would be frustrated or constantly removing said clothes from the hooks.

  141. We have a bar and my husband takes the towels of it and then puts his clothes over it! So annoying. I live I. England and towels just don’t dry on hooks here, it’s not warm enough, but they look great though.

  142. My landlord installed a towel bar over the toilet so that if one were actually to use it the towel would puddle on the toilet tank. 🙁 I removed it the day I moved in. There’s no place to install towel bars that wouldn’t have them touching the toilet, sink, bath tub, etc.

    We hang our bath sheets using Ikea pants hangers to maximize airflow otherwise in the windowless 🙁 bathroom they would never dry. Sometimes if we’ve been in the pool and there’s lots of towels we hang them from the coat tree (using the pants hangers) and even though they overlap somewhat there’s enough gaps to circulate air.

    1. Have you tried over-the door hooks? That should help you avoid puddling on any fixtures.

  143. wall hook goals. mounting stuff to the walls makes everything look so much cleaner!

  144. Loving the mix of content lately, as always. Apropos of precisely nothing: I’d love it if you guys could put together an affordable showerhead/fixture roundup, preferably with some advice/info on everything that must go into the decision to replace – – drain/valve/etc. The choices are intimidatingly vast. I’ve noticed a strong trend toward the handshower slidebar too, which….why? Are they that lifechanging that I should be installing a slidebar when I tear out my old showerhead/faucet/drain?

  145. An innovative way to upgrade your bathroom with beautiful angel bathtubs.

  146. I always felt that towels dry better on hooks than on towel bars because they aren’t folded in half – I’ve used only hooks for years with no problems. In the past few years I’ve switched to Turkish towels and they dry even more quickly. I also have no problems with dust on the open shelving in my kitchen, and yet that seems to be the number one complaint of the anti-open shelving people. 😉

  147. I’ve had towel bars and hooks, and I find neither one dries a towel particularly well. But hooks are far easier for most people (especially kids) to hang towels on, therefore we use hooks. And I have a guest bath that has a long wall and I could fit way more hooks for drying beach towels (we have a pool and this is the closest bathroom to it). Plus we have a family of five stay with us occasionally. They are used to sharing one large bathroom at their own home, and I could fit in enough hooks for them, since they still insist on sharing that one guest bathroom at my house. The caveat is that I use individual hooks that I can space farther apart than a hook rack, so I think they dry better even though I live in very tropical SW Florida.

    If you have hooks and hate how long the drying time is, I read a tip from Peter Walsh, the organization guy Oprah loves. He recommends using vintage suit hangers for towels. Everyone gets a cool unique hanger, you fold the towel and hang it on the pant bar, then hang the hanger on hooks or bars. It helps keep the towels from overlapping and you know which towel belongs to each person. You could even personalize the hanger with initials, stickers, stripes, or just buy new hangers that look great.

  148. I realize you don’t need another comment on this now, but still, I just have to wheigh in: towel bars are the only good choice if you want your towels to dry in time for your next shower 😉 That said: I love hooks and can never get enough of them. I put up hooks everywhere I can, to keep a room look tidy. In the bedrooms for clothes that can be worn one more day, in the kitchen for, well, just about anything, in the hallway for the kids backpacks, my purses and all the jackets and coats, in the guest room to help them keep the floor tidy….and hooks can be so pretty and really add some pretty or fun to a room! Thank you for rounding up all of these. I think some of our rooms might need some new hooks now… 😉

  149. Love the hooks idea! Was waiting to buy the whole hardware set for our 2 bathrooms and was having trouble finding the hooks – with your round up it’s going to be easy peasy!!! Thank you!
    Any good online resources for all the hardware for the restroom/bathroom?!
    (towel bar, hand towel ring/hook, tp hanger etc.) Would appreciate it. A lot 🙂

  150. I think a big issue with towel drying is that a lot of people have big fluffy towels that really hold in moisture. Ours always seemed to stink! We switched to a turkish style, and we LOVE THEM. You wouldn’t think they’d be so much softer than the fluffy ones, but they’re amazing, and they dry SO FAST. Plus, they look super cute draped on hooks.

    PSA: Towel hooks and turkish towels, people. DO IT.

  151. Yes!!! I put hooks on our bathroom wall when we moved in five years ago — it was the only way I could get more than two towels on the wall. NO REGRETS. Also, IKEA is the only retailer I’ve found that sells towels with a loop in the middle for a hook. Does anyone know of others

  152. I grew up in a humid climate (Atlanta), and I don’t see that towel bars allow them to dry any faster since you usually fold the towels to fit multiple ones on the bar anyway. You want hooks that are spaced apart, sure, but I don’t think they work less well in humid climates than bars.

    Also, to anyone who is having trouble with their towels drying, quit it with the extra fluffy towels. They just trap moisture and become mildewy. Instead, opt for flat-weave Turkish (Peshtemal) towels. They soak up water just as well as terrycloth towels, but they dry out fast. They’re also great at the beach because they don’t trap sand.

  153. I live in Savannah where the humidity is about 190% this time of year… the inside of my incredibly old apartment with just a window A/C units isn’t humid. So unless you’re hanging your towels up outside it is just the same as my house in Oregon was.

    Also, if you are using the turkish towels or they have a fast drying option at Target that dry almost instantly anywhere. I bought them for the gym so they don’t get smelly in my bag, but honestly I use crazy thick towels at home and it’s not a problem.

  154. Haha! That’s the exact reason we have hooks. Still looks pretty and I’m not annoyed every time anyone touches the towel!

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