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Should electric heaters be used in bathrooms?

Should electric heaters be used in bathrooms?


Electric heaters are known to provide heat quickly and effectively. They are a great heating solution for a wide variety of rooms, both as full heating and temporary heating. However, they are not always the ideal choice for your bathroom.

Is it safe to use a standard electric heater in the bathroom?

The short answer is no. Although in some cases you can use electric heating in damp rooms, this is generally not recommended. There are three main reasons for this:

Incompatible IP ratings

The IP protection class indicates the level of ingress protection that is offered with a device and describes the housing protection of a device against the ingress of foreign bodies and water. Most electric heaters have an IP20 degree of protection. The "2" means a certain protection against solid objects, the "0" however no protection against liquids. Many electric heaters are often not protected against the ingress of water due to their design. They are open devices through which air must flow to generate heat and distribute it around the room. Therefore, installing these heaters in a bathroom is not safe. Water can seep in, damage the device and corrode the internal components, which breaks the heater.

Overview of protection classes

Two code numbers are appended to the IP code for the protection type designation. The first digit describes the protection against contact and against foreign bodies. The second digit describes the protection against water.

1. Digit

Protection against foreign bodies and contact

2. Digit

Protection against water




no protection


Protected against solid foreign bodies [> 50mm] and against contact with the back of the hand


protected against dripping water


protected against solid foreign bodies [> 12mm] and against contact with fingers


protected against dripping water below 15 °


protected against solid foreign bodies [> 2.5mm] and against contact with tools


protected against spray water


protected against solid foreign bodies > 1mm and against contact with wire


protected against splash water


protected against dust and contact


protected against water jets


sealed against dust, protected against contact


protected against heavy jets of water



protected against temporary immersion



protected against permanent immersion


You should therefore always check the IP rating of your heating system, as this indicates where it can be safely installed. In damp rooms the second digit must be at least a 4.

Fire hazard

The bathroom heater is often used for two functions: as a source of heat and for drying towels. When it comes to normal electric heaters, use for drying is prohibited. As a general rule, you should never cover an electric heater as this will block the thermostat and cause the device to overheat, creating a significant fire hazard.

Electrical hazard

Electric heaters are often used as a portable heating solution that is ideal for mobile use, e.g. in the home office or wherever additional heat is required. In the bathroom, however, mobile electric heating is a very bad idea. In fact, there aren't many electrical appliances that can be used in a bathroom. There are even regulations that specifically state that sockets in bathrooms or shower rooms must be a minimum distance away from the shower or bathtub. This is a safety standard that was put in place to prevent potential hazards such as electric shock. It doesn't always have to be the hairdryer that falls into the bathtub. Other electrical devices connected to the power grid can also pose an electrical hazard.


But now for the good news. Of course, there are also safer options for using electric heating in the bathroom.


The right electric heaters for damp rooms

Electric towel rail

Electric towel rails are specially made for efficient and safe heating of the bathroom. They are great for keeping you warm while also drying your towels. They have a familiar appearance in the classic ladder design, so you can hang multiple towels at once when you need them. Unlike standard electric heaters, all of our towel rails have a splash protection rating of IPX4 or higher, making them more than suitable for installation in your bathroom.

HR im Badezimmer

Convection bathroom radiator

Another alternative is an electric convector or rapid heater for damp rooms. This effective heating solution is a great option for larger bathrooms that may need more power to keep the entire room warm. These devices have a number of energy-saving features such as intelligent programmability and high-precision thermostat control as well as adaptive start control. Just like electric towel rails, these radiators also have an IP rating that is high enough for bathrooms.

HR Dream schwarz an Wand

Partial storage bathroom radiator

The partial storage heaters, which are popular in the rest of the living space and offer an optimal mix between convection and radiant heat, are also offered as IPX4 versions. Here you get the usual comfort in the bathroom and can comfortably and safely warm and dry your towels with the expandable towel rails.

HR Badheizkörper an Wand

Infrared heaters

We also have infrared heaters in our range, which are currently a very popular bathroom heating solution. The gentle radiant heat that directly heats people and objects makes it ideal for heating your bathroom. In the form of mirror panels, they provide warmth and also act as mirrors, with the advantage that the surface remains clear even in the steamiest of bathrooms. By keeping surfaces and walls warm, infrared heaters also greatly reduce the risk of moisture and mold. The very slim panels are also suitable for smaller bathrooms, as they hardly take up any space and can even be mounted on the ceiling.

Infrarotheizung im Bad

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