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Which hand towel bar is best?

If you want a bathroom that looks clean and organized, you’ll need a dedicated place to hang your full-size and hand towels. When it comes to the latter, there are two main types of bars to choose from: wall-mounted and freestanding. 

Both types have their pros and cons, but wall-mounted models like the Moen Align 9-Inch Modern Hand Towel Bar tend to give bathrooms a more finished look. Additionally, this particular model is part of a line of matching accessories, so you can outfit your entire bathroom with coordinating fixtures.

What to know before you buy a hand towel bar

Where you will use it

The majority of people buy hand towel bars for the bathroom, but there are also many models that work well in kitchens. Deciding where you will use a hand towel bar before purchasing it will help ensure you pick one that fits well in the intended spot and matches with your current aesthetic.


Hand towel bars are available in freestanding and wall-mounted models. Freestanding models are the most convenient to add to a home because they can be placed anywhere you have available counter space and don’t require any complicated assembly. Wall-mounted models require you to drill holes in your wall. However, they are sturdier than freestanding models, and you don’t have to worry about them tipping over when pulling a towel off. Additionally, wall-mounted models tend to blend into spaces better and won’t use up any of your valuable counter space.

What to look for in a quality hand towel bar


The majority of wall-mounted hand towel bars only accommodate a single towel. If you need something that can hold more towels than that, consider choosing a model with two or more swing-out arms. Alternatively, you can choose a freestanding model that has two bars or one that is 11 to 12 inches long.


If you are trying to make the most of your available space, you may want to purchase a hand towel bar with a shelf for toiletries, decorations or anything else you might want to keep handy or out on display. Just keep in mind that these types of towel bars will require a stronger wall anchor to accommodate the added weight.

Swing-out bars

If you need something that can hang more than one towel, and you don’t want to use a full-sized option, your best bet is to purchase a model with swing-out bars. These have two or more bars that pivot outward, allowing you to hang several towels without using up any additional wall space.


Like other bathroom fixtures, hand towel bars come in several finishes. The most common and most popular finishes are chrome, brushed nickel and black, but you can also find towel bars in gold, brass, oil-rubbed bronze and more. Most people choose to match their hand towel rack to the rest of the fixtures in their bathroom, but those with a keen eye for design may be able to mix finishes for a more striking aesthetic.


As with the finishes, hand towel bars come in a wide variety of styles ranging from antique to modern. This means you should have no trouble finding a model that will fit in well with whatever design aesthetic you are hoping to achieve.

How much you can expect to spend on a hand towel bar

Most people can expect to pay between $20-$70 for a quality hand towel bar with a style that fits their needs.

Hand towel bar FAQ

Can I use a full-size towel bar for hand towels?

A. You can certainly use a full-size towel bar for hand towels, but you should ask yourself a couple of questions first. Do you need the extra capacity that a full-size bar offers? Does the room have enough space to accommodate a full-size model without it looking out of place? If you answered no to either of these questions, then you are better off with a hand towel bar rather than a full-sized model.

How long should a hand towel bar be?

A. Most wall-mounted hand towel bars are 9 inches long. Freestanding hand towel bars are often longer and may measure 12 inches or more in length. If you only plan on hanging a single towel, then a 9-inch model is the perfect length. If you want to hang two towels, you’ll want to pick a longer model or one with multiple swing-out bars.

What’s the best hand towel bar to buy?

Top hand towel bar

Moen Align 9-Inch Modern Hand Towel Bar

Moen Align 9-Inch Modern Hand Towel Bar

What you need to know: This contemporary model is available in several finishes and comes with a template to help with installation.

What you’ll love: The hand towel bar is part of a coordinating set of fixtures, including faucets and lights, so you can decorate your whole bathroom with matching accessories. Additionally, it comes with a lifetime warranty.

What you should consider: Some users find the bars that stick out of the wall to be overly bulky and unsightly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top hand towel bar for the money

KES Kitchen Swivel Towel Bar

KES Kitchen Swivel Towel Bar

What you need to know: Don’t be fooled by the name. This swiveling hand towel bar is just as suitable for the bathroom as it is for the kitchen, and, conveniently, you will only have to deal with a single mounting point. 

What you’ll love: Though it holds two towels, it doesn’t take up any more room than single towel holders. Plus, the addition of large end caps eliminate the chances of a towel slipping off.

What you should consider: It only comes in a brushed stainless steel finish.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Gatco Modern Rectangle Base Countertop Hand Towel Bar

Gatco Modern Rectangle Base Countertop Hand Towel Bar

What you need to know: This freestanding model can accommodate two towels and doesn’t require any kind of complicated installation.

What you’ll love: It is heavily weighted to make it stable without requiring an overly large base that takes up a lot of space. In addition to being a towel holder, it also works well for holding jewelry and hair accessories.

What you should consider: It isn’t very tall, which can result in some hand towels draping on the counter top.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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

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