Best Bath Towels
Best Budget Bath Towels
Best Luxury Bath Towels
Best Decorative Bath Towels
So, what’s in a bath towel?
Let’s talk towels. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to bath towels. What’s the difference between Turkish and Egyptian cotton? Why should you care about the construction of the cotton? What the heck is a GSM? Don’t worry—towel lingo can be a bit confusing but we’re breaking down the basics for you:
Yep, that’s right…the weight of your towel is actually super important! The weight affects the feel of the towel and determines the towel’s absorbency and how quickly it dries. Towel weight is measured in grams per square meter (GSM)—the higher the GSM the more dense the towel will be, meaning it will be more absorbent. Here’s a general key for defining GSMs:
- 400-500 GSM: This GSM range makes for the lightest weight towels. While the absorbency is low, they have a quicker dry time. Because of the low absorbency, this weight is mostly seen in hand towels, washcloths, or kitchen towels and is not ideal for a body or bath towel.
- 500-650 GSM: This range is medium weight, and is a typical weight for a bath towel. Its absorbency isn’t high but isn’t very low either, and it dries in a standard amount of time. Bath towels this weight are typically more budget-friendly, too.
- 750-950 GSM: This range is the heaviest, making it the most absorbent and the most luxurious. Think: the fluffiest, plushest, coziest bath towel of your dreams. However, given its weight and thickness, this means that it does have a longer dry time than the other two weights, but with the level of comfort provided, we think it’s well worth the wait (and weight ).
While of course hand towels and washcloths are smaller than bath towels, bath towels themselves come in different sizes, too! Depending on the type of coverage you’re looking for, there are a few standard sizes to choose from when picking your perfect bath towel:
- Bath towel: The standard size for a bath towel is approximately 27 in. x 52 in. This size is ideal for drying your body or wrapping up your wet hair after a shower or bath.
- Bath sheet: Bath sheets are larger and oversized to provide more coverage for wrapping around your body. Sheets typically size up at 35 in. x 60 in.
Just as not all bath towels are created the same, neither is cotton! There are a few different types of cotton bath towels are made from—each offers specific qualities that affect the bath towel’s feel, absorbency, price, and look.
- Turkish cotton: Turkish cotton is primarily sourced from—you guessed it—Turkey! This cotton is luxurious and thick thanks to its long fibers and dense loops of thread. Because of their density and level of comfort, Turkish cotton bath towels can often be found in hotels and spas. However, as we mentioned earlier because this towel weight is thicker and denser, it does take a while to dry than other types of cotton.
- Egyptian cotton: You’ve probably heard of Egyptian cotton sheets, but this luxurious and top-notch fabric is used for towels, too! Its longer high-quality fibers make it very absorbent and breathable.
- MicroCotton®: MicroCotton® is a trademarked type of cotton from India with longer loops for extra absorbency and a high-quality, plush feel without the expensive price tag.
- Supima cotton®: Supima® is a USA-based non-profit organization that uses U.S. grown American Pima cotton. Supima® is twice as strong as regular cotton, making for super resilient and durable bath towels. The extra-long fibers prevent pulling and tearing, increase softness, and even help retain the color of the towels through numerous washes.
- Bamboo cotton: Bamboo is not only softer and stronger than regular cotton, but this is the most sustainable option, too! Standard cotton, even those marked organic, can be processed with chemical pesticides, but bamboo is typically grown without the use of pesticides. Also, bamboo requires ⅓ amount of the water that it takes for cotton to grow and is a self-replenishing resource. On top of its sustainability, it makes for durable and soft fabric, making bath towels more absorbable and breathable.
- Combed: With combed cotton, the fabric is combed to remove shorter fibers and other debris. This combing process not only makes the fabric softer but also increases its durability and even prevents pilling.
- Ringspun: Ringspun cotton loops together long and short fibers for a smooth and strong feel and high absorbency.
- Twist: When a towel description mentions “twist,” it’s referring to how much of each thread loop is twisted. A higher twist can make a bath towel more durable, but a low twist (or sometimes called “zero-twist”), increases absorbency and has zero twists of yarn per square inch, making the bath towel super plush.
Regardless of the construction, be sure the towels you choose are stitched around the edges securely to avoid fraying!
Best Budget Bath Towels
These Wamsutta bath towels will make you feel like your bathroom is a spa every time you step out of the shower or bath. The best part? You can forget about the spa prices. Made with MicroCotton®, these bath towels are plush and absorbent and only $18! With Wamsutta’s color-lock technology, these colors won’t fade easily—and with colors like teal and coral, they’ll be sure to add a pop of fun to any bathroom.
Best Luxury Bath Towels
These Turkish cotton bath towels are not only durable and absorbent but are high-quality and luxurious, making for a hotel and spa-quality towel. These towels are 100% ringspun and ideal and durable enough for everyday use. The best part? They’ll only get fluffier and softer with every wash! Go ahead and treat yourself—you deserve it.
Best Decorative Bath Towels
Of course, you want your bath towel set to be durable, absorbent, and soft, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t want them to look pretty, too! Finding a bath towel that matches your standards AND your style isn’t an easy feat, but these bath towels from Great Bay Home’s Roselyn Collection are sure to do the trick. They’re simple and classic, and also come with the option to purchase matching floral hand towels! Comfort and style? Check and check. ✅
FAQs about Bath Towels
How should I properly care for and wash my bath towels?
Always follow the directions! Most towels are machine-washable but may come with certain washing instructions depending on the color and material (i.e. only wash on cold, wash separately, etc.). Try to keep skin care products like lotions or makeup away from your towels to avoid staining or bleaching, and avoid high heat like ironing, as it can damage the fibers of cotton. Also, while it may be tempting, do NOT use fabric softener! Most softeners contain silicone which can repel water and decrease absorbency.
How often should I wash my bath towels?
It’s best to ALWAYS wash your bath towels before first using them! This not only makes them more comfortable but helps retain color, increase absorbency, and reduce lint. After the initial wash, your bath towels should go for a spin in the laundry after three uses. This will not only remove any dirt and germs but will also help prevent any molding or mildew.
How often should I replace my bath towels?
There’s no best practice here, so it’s best to go off of what you feel! High-quality bath towels should last you years, but it may be time to replace them if you notice they lose their absorbency (about every 2 years), the color fades, or you just no longer find them suitable for your needs.
How can I prevent my bath towels from smelling?
Interestingly enough, vinegar! While vinegar itself doesn’t have the best smell, adding a cup of vinegar to your wash can help reduce and remove any mildew smells from your towels. To avoid any other smells, be sure to leave your bath towels out to dry before putting them away and move them from the washer to the dryer promptly. Of course, frequent washing helps, too!
What are some accessories I can purchase with my bath towels?
If you’re looking to display your bath towels (if you purchased the decorative towels above, you’re definitely going to want to display them!) towel racks or ladders that are either freestanding or built into your wall are great options. Our favorite bath towel accessory, however, is by far a towel warmer! There’s no better feeling than wrapping yourself in a warm towel. Our faves are this free-standing one from Target and this wall-mounted towel heater from Amazon.