How To Hang Hand Towels

Decorating a bathroom with functional accents that provide visual appeal can be a tricky balancing act. But hand towels present the perfect opportunity to marry form and function. Hand towels are a bathroom necessity that can be displayed creatively. With some thoughtful planning and stylish accessories, you can design a hand towel hanging system that is both practical for drying hands and beautiful to behold.

How To Hang Hand Towels

This article will explore the most popular techniques for creatively hanging hand towels. We’ll cover classic options like bars and rings, space-saving hooks and shelves, artistic ladders, and over-the-door racks. You’ll also find unique DIY ideas for repurposing household items into hand towel holders. Follow our tips to install your accessories properly and select ideal placements. With some know-how, you can install the perfect hand towel solution to match your tastes and bathroom style.

Fold Them Over A Towel Bar

Fold Them Over A Towel Bar

Hanging hand towels over a towel bar is one of the most common and practical ways to hang them in your bathroom. When you drape hand towels over a bar, they can dry quickly as they can be spread open. The bar also neatly displays the towels, making your bathroom tidy.

Folding the hand towels before hanging them is best when using a towel bar. Start by flatting the hand towel with the decorative side facing down to remove wrinkles. Fold the towel vertically into thirds so you have a long narrow rectangle. Then drape the folded towel over the bar with the decorative side facing outwards.

Aim to have about a third of the towel hanging over the back of the bar and the rest displayed at the front. This gives the hand towel stability on the bar. For a coordinated look, hang towels with matching colors or patterns. Layering a hand towel over a bath towel on the bar creates a polished hotel-style effect.

Consider placing the bar near the sink for convenient access when drying hands. Wall-mounted or freestanding towel bars are available in various lengths, materials, and finishes to suit your bathroom’s style. Upgrade old towel bars to give your space a fresh new look.

Use a Towel Ring

Use a Towel Ring

Towel rings present another classic option for neatly holding hand towels in your bathroom. The smaller size makes them ideal for hanging just hand towels without taking up too much wall space.

Towel rings can be placed right next to the sink for easy hand drying after washing up. Or situate them near the shower or bathtub to grab a hand towel once you step out. For a guest bathroom, a towel ring is a better alternative than using someone’s bath towel.

To hang a hand towel on a ring, fold the towel vertically into thirds. Create a narrow rectangle shape. Next, loop the folded towel through the ring halfway so equal portions hang over the front and back. The folded edges will be barely visible, creating a tidy appearance.

Consider grouping multiple towel rings on the wall for a collected look. Mixing up metal finishes like brass, black, or chrome makes for an eclectic style. Monogrammed hand towels also look particularly nice displayed on rings.

Use Hooks to Save Wall Space

Use Hooks to Save Wall Space

Towel hooks are versatile and great for small bathrooms with limited wall space. Hooks occupy less room than bars, so you can squeeze more hooks onto a small wall area. This allows each family member to have their hook despite the compact room size.

Situate hooks close to sinks or showers for easy access to hand towels. Mount them at a convenient height that doesn’t require stretching or squatting. Install hooks on the wall, cabinet sides, or back of the door – wherever you have available space.

The simplicity of hooks means no hand towel folding is required – just hang and go. However, the towels may take longer to dry as they are bunched up versus being spread out on a bar. If quick drying is important, drape towels over a shower rod before transferring to a hook once dry.

Towel hooks come in every style imaginable to complement your bathroom look – sleek modern hooks, charming vintage hooks, rustic hooks, and more. Get creative with unique shapes and materials like driftwood, rope, or ceramic.

Hang Them on a Shelf

Hang Them on a Shelf

Bathroom shelves present an excellent way to neatly store folded hand towels while freeing up floor space. Floating shelves can be installed on walls above toilets or countertops. Or place standing shelves inside the shower area.

Store rolled-up hand towels vertically in a decorative jar or bin on the shelf. Or neatly stack a pile of folded towels. This keeps them organized and readily available for bathroom guests. Add coordinating boxes and baskets on shelves to hold towel sets.

Shelves also allow you to display decorative folded washcloths as an accent piece. Place a few rolled-up towels inside a ceramic vase or metal pail for a unique look. Use shelves to store guest towel sets functionally and attractively.

Look for narrow wall-mounted shelves with integrated towel bars for a small bathroom. Or get creative repurposing an old bookshelf or ladder using it to hold rolled-up towels. This maximizes vertical storage and gives your space a charming feel.

Use a Freestanding Towel Rack

A freestanding towel rack is a space-saving choice for hanging hand towels, especially in a small bathroom. These upright racks provide vertical storage while taking up minimal floor space. Situate one near the sink, shower, or bathtub to keep towels handy.

Many freestanding racks feature open bars or rungs to neatly hang folded hand towels. The towels can be left draped freely or folded delicately over the rungs. Make sure the rack you choose is sturdy enough for holding hand towels.

Consider placing a freestanding rack on a bathroom wall with no space to hang towels. The rack can act as a focal display. Or situate it in a corner to make use of awkward dead space. Move it around as needed for convenience and flexibility.

A wooden or rattan freestanding rack adds natural flair. Metal finishes like black or brass provide modern appeal. You can even DIY your towel rack using plumbing pipes or dowel rods for a budget solution.

Consider a Towel Ladder

Consider a Towel Ladder

A towel ladder is an artistic way to keep hand towels organized while enhancing your bathroom’s style. Mounted towel ladders maximize vertical wall space, much like shelving. But they have an artistic, sculptural quality that makes a statement.

Use the ladder rungs to elegantly drape folded hand towels. Place washcloths or decorative towels along the top rungs. Reserve lower rungs for rolled-up towels or bathroom essential baskets. This keeps everything in one convenient spot.

Situate the ladder in an empty wall space or near the shower or sink for a practical yet beautiful hand towel display. Wooden ladders with white towels create a soothing spa-like ambiance. Or try a contemporary chrome ladder holding gray folded towels for a sleek look.

You can also hang bathrobes from the bottom rungs or adorn the ladder with greenery. Use it as a blank canvas to express your unique style. Lean into the artistic element by painting or staining a salvaged ladder to match your bathroom decor.

Get Creative With Alternatives

If you want an out-of-the-box hand towel solution, get creative with unique holders like cabinet knobs, tension rods, or wall hooks. Install two layers of tension rods – one for your shower curtain and one in front to hold towels.

Repurpose cabinet knobs as chic towel hooks floating on the wall. Use an over-the-door rack for towels when wall space is scarce. Hang a hand towel inside the shower or off the bathroom doorknob for quick convenience.

Maximize vertical storage with wall hooks, floating shelves, or a repurposed bookshelf. Store folded guest towels in woven baskets on the floor or in stylish bins. A garment rack can hold hampers, toiletries and provide towel hanging space.

Choose a solution that suits your hand towel usage and complements your bathroom motif. Focus on convenience, efficiency, and style expression as you design the ideal hand towel hanging system. With some creativity, your hand towels can be practical and beautiful.

How to Select the Right Hand Towel Holder

Choosing the right hand towel holder for your bathroom requires some consideration regarding size, mounting style, and material. Assess your needs, space, and decor to select the best option.

First, consider the size. Ensure the towel holder is large enough to adequately hold a hand towel when folded in half or thirds. Standard options range from 10-16 inches wide. Measure your folded hand towels to gauge the ideal width.

Next, decide on a mounting style. Wall-mounted holders take up minimal floor space. Freestanding options allow you to move the holder. Over-the-door styles save wall space in small bathrooms. Choose what best fits your room.

Finally, select a material that aligns with your bathroom look. Metal finishes like matte black or brass are modern. Wood brings rustic warmth. Glass, ceramic, or plastic provide a sleek contemporary vibe. Match or mix materials in your space.

With the right hand towel holder that complements your space and storage needs, you’ll have a beautiful form and handy function.

Where is the Ideal Place to Hang Hand Towels?

Determining the best placement for hand towels requires balancing convenience, reach, and decor. Follow some handy tips to identify that sweet spot in your bathroom.

First, situate hand towels close to the sink for convenient access after hand washing. But don’t place it too close where the towel obstructs sink access or gets soaked from water splashes.

Aim to install towel hooks or bars around chest level to keep towels within comfortable reach. Avoid too high or too low placements that cause straining or bending down.

Ensure the spot has open space around it so the towels aren’t crammed between clutter or cabinets. Allow them to drape freely.

Finally, choose a visually appealing spot that contributes to the bathroom aesthetic. Complement nearby wall art and decor with the towel placement.

With convenience, easy access, and attractiveness in mind, you’ll identify the ideal decorative yet practical hand towel spot in your bathroom.

How to Install a Wall-Mounted Hand Towel Bar

Installing a wall-mounted hand towel bar is a quick DIY project. With a few tools, hardware, and know-how, you’ll have a functional, decorative towel holder on your wall in no time.

First, determine placement. Situate it at a comfortable distance from your sink for handy access. Measure the desired height and mark it with a pencil. Use a level to ensure it’s straight.

Next, drill pilot holes using a bit slightly smaller than your screws. Drill into wall studs for durability. Disperse multiple holes for stability with long bars.

Now insert wall anchors if needed for drywall or tile. Push your screws into the anchors until they flush with the wall. Carefully hang the bar onto the screws.

Finally, add the end post caps and towel ring holders as needed onto the bar. Check it’s securely mounted. Then start neatly hanging your folded hand towels for a pulled-together look!

How to Mount a Hand Towel Ring

Hand towel rings provide a timeless spot to neatly hang and access towels. You can easily install a towel ring With simple tools, hardware, and focus.

Start by determining ring placement near your sink. Measure and mark the desired height with a pencil. Drill a pilot hole in that marked spot using a bit slightly smaller than the screws.

If needed, insert wall anchors into the pilot hole for extra stability. Gently tap anchors flush to the wall using a hammer. Take care not to damage tiles or drywall.

Now screw the towel ring base plate into the wall anchors or the pilot hole for stud walls. Tighten screws gradually to avoid stripping them. Ensure the base sits flush.

Finally, slide the ring portion onto the base and adjust it to your desired position. Hang your neatly folded hand towel onto the ring and enjoy your new bathroom accessory!

Hanging Towels on Hooks or Pegs

Hooks and pegs offer an alternative to bars and ring for conveniently hanging hand towels within reach. Here’s how to add these useful accessories to your bathroom walls.

First, browse hook and peg options in finishes and designs that match your bathroom decor. Seek durable materials like metal or sturdy plastic. Purchase screw-in hooks with mounting hardware included.

Determine placement near your sink or shower at a comfortable reaching height. Mark the spot and drill pilot holes into the mounting surface. Insert anchors for drywall.

Attach the hooks or pegs directly into your pilot holes or anchors. Turn the mounting screws gradually to avoid stripping. Continue until flush and secure. Add extra stability with multiple screws per hook if needed.

For double hooks, measure the space between them so towels hang without crowding. Stagger heights for visual interest and ergonomic use. Always ensure hooks are secure.

Over-the-Door Towel Hanging Options

Over-the-door hooks or racks allow you to hang hand towels without occupying prime wall space. Install one easily with these tips.

Measure the back of your door first. Seek an over-the-door rack about 2 inches shorter than that to allow room. Consider door edges blocking handles when choosing a placement.

Look for sturdy metal or plastic racks with secure door mounting brackets or straps. Protective door bumpers will prevent surface damage. Spring-loaded racks stay firmly in place.

Follow package instructions to install. Typically, you can slide racks over the top and hang them on the back of the door. Adjust placement as needed.

Use adhesive hooks with thick foam backings for individual hooks to prevent door damage. Stick them at comfortable heights spaced a few inches apart for visual balance.

Over-the-door storage expands your usable bathroom space. Keep towels handy but out of sight with these discrete holders.

Creative Hand Towel Hanging Alternatives

If standard towel bars and rings don’t fit your space or style, get creative with these unique hand towel hanging ideas:

  • Floating wall shelves or standing shelves provide neat folded towel storage and display.
  • Repurposed ladders, hung horizontally, double as pretty towel holders using the rungs.
  • Adhesive or screw-in hooks installed creatively on walls, cabinets, or doors expand hanging options.
  • Tension rods with spring clamps provide quick, removable towel-hanging rods on walls or in front of windows.
  • Hanging wall baskets of wood, metal, or woven materials neatly store rolled or folded hand towels.
  • Incorporate a towel hanging into your shower design. Use caddies, installed rods, or hooks inside the shower itself.
  • Multipurpose garment racks allow you to hang towels and additional items like bathrobes in one space.

With some creativity, you can find the ideal hand towel solution that expresses your style. Focus on convenience and practicality as you design an artistic towel-hanging system.

Suit your bathroom’s size and layout. Prioritize easy accessibility near sinks and showers. Ensure your hand towels are readily available for you and your guests. If quick drying is important, select bars and racks that allow towels to hang open instead of bunched on hooks.

Beyond practicality, let your unique personal style shine through. Complement your space by choosing accessories in finishes and designs that match your decor. Feel free to mix up metals, materials, and styles for an eclectic display. Go bold with colorful towels popping against neutral walls. Or keep it soothing and simple with coordinated solid towels. However, if you choose to creatively hang your hand towels, enjoy adding this personalized flair to your bathroom.


What are some unique DIY ways to hang hand towels?

Get creative repurposing items around your home into hand towel holders. Try using an old ladder hung horizontally to hold towels on the rungs. Or install floating shelves from reclaimed wood for folded towel storage. Screw multiple knobs into a wall creatively for artsy towel hooks. A tension rod with spring clamps can also create an instant towel-hanging bar.

Where is the best place to hang hand towels in a small bathroom?

In a small bathroom, look for discrete spots to hang hand towels without taking up space. Install hooks on the side of cabinets or under-sink doors. Place corner shelves or freestanding racks in unused areas. Situate hooks on the back of the bathroom door for grab-and-go convenience.

How do you neatly hang delicate decorative hand towels?

Special hand towels can add a decorative touch when hung creatively. Fold decorative towels vertically into thirds for stability. Hang them on their small ring or rack so they don’t get disturbed. Or place them alone on a floating shelf, folded elegantly.

What kind of hand towel holders match a modern bathroom style?

For contemporary bathrooms, seek out hand towel holders in glass, acrylic, or stainless steel. Metal finishes like matte black, brass, and chrome complement modern decor. Geometric or minimalist wall shelves and ladders also pair well with sleek modern spaces.

Can you hang hand towels in a shower stall or enclosure?

Yes, using hooks, tension rods, or corner shelves, you can incorporate a hand towel hanging directly inside your shower. Place hooks on the wall farthest from the water. Situate a tension rod near the top of the shower door opening. Or install corner shelves high up and away from the spray.


When designing your ideal hand towel hanging system, choose options that suit your bathroom’s size and layout. Prioritize easy accessibility near sinks and showers. Ensure your hand towels are readily available for you and your guests. If quick drying is important, select bars and racks that allow towels to hang open instead of bunched on hooks.

Beyond practicality, let your unique personal style shine through. Complement your space by choosing accessories in finishes and designs that match your decor. Feel free to mix up metals, materials, and styles for an eclectic display. Go bold with colorful towels popping against neutral walls. Or keep it soothing and simple with coordinated solid towels. However, if you choose to creatively hang your hand towels, enjoy adding this personalized flair to your bathroom.

Emma Kellam
Emma Kellam

I'm Emma, and I run Towels Edition, a website for fellow home goods enthusiasts who, like me, are passionate about textiles. After working in high-end retail, I was amazed by how little most people (myself included!) know about all the towel options out there.

I research and write all the content myself. Whether it's specialized towels like bar mops, Turkish cotton production methods, or comparing hair towel absorbency, I cover it. My goal is to share my knowledge and enthusiasm to help others.

Running Towels Edition allows me to constantly expand my own expertise too. I love learning about innovations in bamboo fabric or ideal bath towels. It's so rewarding to receive emails thanking me for recommendations that improved my readers' routines.

I want Towels Edition to be the ultimate online towel resource, making this overlooked necessity far more fascinating. My aim is to open people's eyes to how specialty towels can thoroughly enhance hygiene, cleaning, recreation and self-care.