Where To Hang Bath Towels

Hanging your bath towels properly after showering is an important part of keeping your bathroom fresh, clean, and free of mold and mildew.

Where To Hang Bath Towels

With some smart planning and strategic placement, you can maximize drying potential and keep those towels ready for the next use.

Let us walk you through the ideal locations, positions, and accessories to keep your towels neat, tidy, and dry.

Factors That Cause Towels to Smell

Before deciding where to hang towels, it’s helpful to understand what causes them to smell in the first place. Here are the main culprits:

Lingering Bodily Residues

Even after scrubbing thoroughly in the shower, skin cells, oils, and other residues remain on your body. When you dry off, these substances transfer to the towel. Over time, they build up and cause odors.

Improper Drying

If towels are left bunched up or piled after use, moisture gets trapped. This damp environment allows mold and bacteria to thrive, creating a foul, musty stench.

Forgotten Laundry

Leaving wet towels sitting for extended periods in the washer provides optimal conditions for microbial growth. Always transfer towels to the dryer promptly after washing.

Positioning Towels for Maximum Airflow

To prevent towels from smelling, the key is allowing them to dry fully between uses. Follow these guidelines:

Spread Towels Out Completely

After showering, hang towels over bars and spread them out flat. This exposes the maximum surface area to circulating air, expediting drying.

Flip Towels Periodically

Rotate towels front to back every few hours. This ensures both sides receive equal air exposure.

Use the Exhaust Fan

Turn on the bathroom vent fan while showering and for a period afterward. Removing lingering moisture aids drying.

Limit Layers

When using hooks, drape just one towel per hook. Layering damp towels traps moisture and slows drying.

Prime Locations for Hanging Towels

Prime Locations for Hanging Towels

Consider these prime spots to hang towels for optimal convenience and drying:

Beside the Shower

Mount bars or hooks within arm’s reach of the shower. This allows easy accessibility when exiting while keeping towels handy.

On Shower Doors

Many shower doors include built-in horizontal bars for hanging towels. This provides drying and storage without taking up wall space.

Inside Large Showers

In spacious showers, install bars on the wall opposite the showerhead to prevent wetting. Keep them near the exit for easy access.

Above the Toilet

Wall space above toilets is often underutilized. Install shelves or bars here for discrete storage. Keep towels away from direct toilet spray.

On Backs of Doors

Use over-the-door hooks or bars for quick-grab towel access. Hang just one towel per-hook to prevent dampness.

Under Vanities

Mount bars across open vanity frames to neatly tuck away towels. This also hides unsightly plumbing.

Solutions for Small Bathrooms

Limited space presents unique challenges for hanging towels. Try these ideas:

Ladder Towel Racks

Ladders maximize vertical storage. Lean against walls, using rungs to hang towels. Lower bars can hold accessories.

Over-the-Shower Racks

Dual-purpose caddies have storage on one end, and hooks on the other. Hang towels conveniently from shower rods.

Wall-Mounted Baskets

Install woven baskets vertically on walls to hold rolled towels. Use them horizontally above toilets for toiletries.

Under-Sink Baskets

Tuck large baskets beneath a pedestal or floating sinks to neatly corral towels. Easy to access and helps declutter.

Accordion Wall Hooks

Expandable accordion hooks mounted in narrow spots. Use designated hooks to assign towels to each family member.

Towel Bar vs. Ring vs. Hook

Debating between basic hanging options? Consider these pros and cons:


  • Allow towels to dry faster when spread open
  • Come in various lengths to fit your space
  • Can install heating bars for extra drying power



  • Enable discreet storage by hanging towels behind doors
  • Perfect for narrow walls lacking bar space
  • Hooks can bunch towels, slowing drying time

Displaying Towels with Style

Beyond the utilitarian basics, you can incorporate towels into your decor with these ideas:


Lean vintage or rustic wood ladders against walls. The elongated shape provides ample bar space for neatly folded towels.


Woven baskets in stylish textures corral towels and bring an organic look. Use wall-mounted or freestanding versions.

Tower Storage

Repurpose narrow cabinets or shelving between studs for neatly storing and displaying rolled towels by the tub.

Floating Shelves

Show off colorful stacks of neatly folded towels on sleek floating shelves. Coordinate with wall colors.

Towel Bowls

Roll hand towels and display them in ceramic planters, metal buckets, or woven baskets for a spa vibe.

Convenient Add-Ons for Towel Storage

Supplement your basic bars and hooks with these accessories:

  • Tension corner shower caddies
  • Over-the-cabinet bars
  • Wall-mounted cabinet racks
  • Under-sink pull-out towel rods
  • Freestanding towel racks
  • Laundry sorter carts for inside closets

Keeping Things Tidy

Follow these extra tips for neat, fresh towels between washes:

  • Fold hand towels in thirds before hanging
  • Roll bath towels lengthwise for compact storage
  • Wash towels twice weekly for optimal freshness
  • Replace towels every 1-2 years as they wear out
  • Consider faster-drying waffles or Turkish cotton towels

Frequently Asked Questions

How high should towel bars be installed?

The standard height is 48 inches. This allows easy access for most adults. Adjust up or down based on users’ heights.

How far from the shower should the towel bars be?

Install within arm’s reach of the shower, approximately 16-24 inches away. Close proximity makes access convenient.

How many towel bars are needed per bathroom?

Most bathrooms only need one bar, around 24-30 inches wide. Larger master baths can incorporate two bars for his/hers.

Should towel bars match other hardware?

Coordinating accessories creates a polished, upscale look. However, mixing metals and styles is on trend for a more collected aesthetic.


Strategically locating your towel bars, hooks, and racks makes a big difference in creating a functional, odor-free bathroom.

Evaluate your available space, drying needs, and style preferences to determine the ideal solutions.

Properly hanging and allowing towels to dry fully between uses will keep them fresh and ready for bath time.

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.