The Best Bath Towels to Stock in the Bathroom

Soft, absorbent towels are a small indulgence that make a big difference after a shower.

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The Best Bath Towel Options for You and Your Guests

Photo: istockphoto.com

Few things feel as good as swathing yourself in a cozy towel when you step out of the tub or shower. If your old bath towels are feeling rough or aren’t drying you off as fast as they used to, it may be time for new ones.

There are many bath towels to choose from in a range of colors, thicknesses, sizes, and fibers.  Choosing the best bath towels takes some savvy shopping, but, generally, the best bath towels are the ones that stay soft, thick, and absorbent for a long time. Ahead, see recommendations for some of the best bath towels reviewed.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Hammam Linen 100% Cotton 4 Piece Set Bath Towels
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: AmazonBasics Quick-Dry 100% Cotton Towels
  3. BEST LUXURY: Chakir Turkish Linens Hotel & Spa Quality Towel Set
  4. BEST QUICK-DRYING: Polyte Microfiber Quick Dry Lint Free Bath Towel
  5. BEST MICROFIBER: JML Microfiber Bath Towel 2 Pack
  6. BEST ABSORBENT: White Classic Luxury Bath Towels – 700 GSM
  7. BEST EGYPTIAN COTTON: eLuxurySupply 900 GSM 100% Egyptian Cotton Towel Set
  8. BEST TURKISH COTTON: Towel Bazaar Premium Turkish Cotton Towels
  9. BEST ORGANIC: Pinzon Organic Cotton Bath Towel
  10. BEST BAMBOO: Ariv Collection Premium Bamboo Cotton Bath Towels
The Best Bath Towels for You and Your Guests

Photo: istockphoto.com

Types of Bath Towels

The following are popular types of fibers often found in bath towels.

Egyptian Cotton

Egyptian cotton is considered the highest quality of cotton. Native to the Nile region of Egypt, this variety’s cotton fibers are extra-long, so the fabric woven from it is super soft, strong, and very absorbent. Egyptian cotton towels get softer with use. Egyptian cotton towels are often the most expensive on the market because they are so luxurious. However, they stay thick and absorbent longer than lower priced towels, so Egyptian cotton may be worth the investment if you want the best bath towel you can buy.

Turkish Cotton

Turkish cotton is native to the Aegean Region of Turkey and has long fibers, like Egyptian cotton. Towels made from Turkish cotton are slightly less absorbent, due to how the fabric is spun in a flat weave. This means Turkish cotton towels dry faster than Egyptian cotton, which is a plus in humid climates. Turkish cotton towels are as thick and luxurious as Egyptian cotton towels and, like Egyptian cotton, get softer with use. Best of all, they are a bit more affordable than Egyptian cotton towels.

Bamboo

Bamboo is absorbent and an excellent alternative to cotton for bath towels. Most bamboo towels are a blend of cotton and bamboo. Bamboo has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, so bamboo towels are less likely to harbor bacterial growth while wet. Bamboo towels are absorbent and fast-drying, and bamboo is more sustainable than cotton. Bamboo towels are not as plush or soft as an Egyptian or Turkish cotton towel, but they are more affordable. They’re also kinder to the planet.

Microfiber

Microfiber is made from polyester or nylon. Its fibers are super thin—thinner than human hair and silk. The microfiber fabric used for bath towels is woven to create thousands of tiny loops, increasing the fiber’s surface area and making it super absorbent. Microfiber towels are compact, lightweight, quick drying, and less expensive than cotton towels. However, they are not as plush or soft as cotton or bamboo. They also don’t last as long as cotton towels, getting thin, rough, and less absorbent over time.

Organic

Organic fabrics used in bath towels may be made of cotton or bamboo and are produced with materials and processes that are kinder to the earth. Some fabrics are certified organic, meaning they are at least 95 percent free of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes as well as being manufactured without industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic engineering. Others are sustainable, meaning they use resources wisely and without damaging the environment. The quality of organic and sustainably produced towels is on par with cotton and bamboo produced with conventional methods, but they tend to cost more.

What to Consider When Buying a Bath Towel

Here’s a list of the most common characteristics to consider when choosing the best bath towels.

Absorbency

A towel’s absorbency is determined by several factors, including fiber material and grams per square meter (GSM), which measures weave density. The higher the GSM, the more absorbent the material. Highly absorbent towels will have a GSM of 600 to 900. And, generally, the thicker the towel, the more absorbent it is. The type of fabric also affects absorbency. Egyptian cotton towels are highly absorbent, as are microfiber ones.

Size

Bath towels come in a range of sizes:

  • Bath Towels are the most common size towels used for drying off after a bath or shower. They range in size, measuring between 27 to 30 inches wide and 52 to 58 inches long. The standard bath towels measure around 30 inches by 56 inches.
  • Bath Sheets are the largest size available for bath towels. They’re big enough to swathe your entire body after a shower. Bath sheets measure 35 to 40 inches wide and 60 to 70 inches long. The average dimension is 40 inches by 70 inches. They tend to be more expensive than standard bath towels.

Drying Time

The thicker and heavier a towel, the longer it will take to dry. That’s because thicker towels soak up more water. Thick towels will need longer to air-dry and may need an extra-long run in the dryer. Thinner towels soak up less water and will dry a whole lot faster. Microfiber towels dry much faster than cotton ones. If fast drying is a priority for you, look for a towel with a GSM between 300 to 600. Higher GSM towels will dry more slowly.

Our Top Picks

With those shopping considerations in mind, some of the best bath towels were selected to suit a variety of preferences. Find a set of bath linen for your household and guests from the recommendations below.

Best Overall

Best Bath Towels Options: Hammam Linen 100% Cotton 27x54 4 Piece Set Bath Towels
Photo: amazon.com

Hammam Linen has been making bath linens for the hotel industry for nearly 50 years. These towels, made from 100 percent Turkish cotton, are super absorbent and super soft. At 27 inches by 54 inches, each towel is standard bath towel size and features double stitching on the edges to keep the towel from fraying and losing its fibers over time. The towels are 600 GSM, so they are thick but fast drying. They’ll need less time in the dryer and can air-dry quickly, post-shower, too.

Best Bang For the Buck

Best Bath Towels Options: AmazonBasics Quick-Dry, Luxurious, Soft
Photo: amazon.com

AmazonBasics brings you a pair of soft, absorbent cotton towels at a price that won’t soak you. These two towels cost less than a single low-end Turkish cotton bath towel. They’re perfect for college students, second homes, or any place where spending a fortune for towels isn’t in your budget. The towels are 30 inches by 54 inches and rated at 400 GSM, which puts them in the lightweight category. They dry quickly without sacrificing absorbency and softness. They are 100 percent cotton and available in eight colors.

Best Luxury

Best Bath Towels Options: Chakir Turkish Linens Hotel & Spa Quality
Photo: amazon.com

Wrap yourself in spa-style luxury with one of these Chakir towels. They’re made of high-end, 100 percent Turkish cotton with a 700 GSM, so they’re thick, fluffy, and super absorbent. While frequent washings turn cheaper towels to sandpaper, these towels get softer after each wash. They have a double-stitched hem that increases durability and strength. No harmful chemicals were used in their manufacture, so they’re safe for you and the environment. Each towel measures 27 inches by 54 inches. They come in a set of four and are available in 13 colors, ranging from white to cranberry to pink.

Best Quick-Drying

Best Bath Towels Options: Polyte Microfiber Quick Dry Lint Free Bath Towel
Photo: amazon.com

Microfiber has the fantastic ability to soak up moisture as effectively cotton but without cotton’s heft and bulk. Sometimes microfiber trades softness for absorbency, though. That’s not the case with these towels by Polyte. They have dual pile microfiber, with long fibers on one side and short fibers on the other. The result is a combo weave towel that thoroughly dries your skin without clinging or feeling rough. Their GSM is listed as below 400, so they’re thin, lightweight towels. This set includes four bath towels, 30 inches by 57 inches, and comes in five colors.

Best Microfiber

Best Bath Towels Options: JML Microfiber Bath Towel 2 Pack
Photo: amazon.com

JML Microfiber towels are soft, durable and feel as soft on your skin as cotton, but they pack microfiber’s super absorbent properties, enabling them to absorb seven times their weight in water. These towels are 400 GSM, making them fairly lightweight. They are sold in a pack of two and measure a generous 30 inches by 60 inches. Each towel has a sewn-in loop that makes it easy to hang on a hook and a stitched hem that adds to the towel’s durability. They are available in 19 colors and can be used as a bath, beach, or gym towel.

Best Absorbent

Best Bath Towels Options: Luxury White Bath Towels Large
Photo: amazon.com

White Classic Store’s Luxury Bath Towels are made of combed, ring-spun Egyptian cotton that’s a whopping 700 GSM, so they’re soft, durable, lightweight, and super absorbent. Thanks to those long cotton fibers that make Egyptian cotton so desirable, these towels quickly absorb moisture. They are long lasting and will stay soft and absorbent for the long haul. They come in a set of four and are available in seven colors. The edges are reinforced with double-needle stitching that keeps the towel from fraying.

Best Egyptian Cotton

Best Bath Towels Options: eLuxurySupply 900 GSM 100% Egyptian Cotton Towel Set
Photo: amazon.com

Egyptian cotton, known for its durability and tendency to soften with use, is the highest quality cotton available. That’s why this set of two towels, made from Egyptian cotton grown in the Nile River Basin, is a top pick for those who crave comfort. Each towel is super luxurious, super thick, and features a generous 900 GSM, which puts them in the heavyweight, high quality category for towels. The towels are fade- and shrink-resistant and available in 16 colors. They’re soft, absorbent, long-lasting, and will add a touch of spa luxury to your life.

Best Turkish Cotton

Best Bath Towels Options: Towel Bazaar Premium Turkish Cotton Super Soft and Absorbent Towels
Photo: amazon.com

Towel Bazaar’s bath towels are soft, absorbent, and durable, thanks to those long fiber strands that make Turkish cotton so desirable. But these towels are not just made of Turkish cotton. They’re also made without chemicals and are tinted with natural dyes that are safe for the environment, so you get a plush, high-quality towel that’s also kind to the planet. Like Egyptian cotton towels, Turkish cotton becomes softer with use and does not lose its loft once laundered.

The towels are available in 13 colors and feature a double-stitched hem for maximum durability.

Best Organic

Best Bath Towels Options: Pinzon Organic Cotton Bath Towel
Photo: amazon.com

These 100 percent organic cotton towels are made with Global Organic Textile Standard-certified cotton, which is deemed responsibly grown. The 700 GSM towels offer durability and absorbance as well as luxurious loft and softness. The towels dry fast and feel soft against your skin. Each towel in this four-pack measures 30 inches by 56 inches and is available in 14 colors. Pinzon’s organic bath towel is a good choice for those with sensitive skin or anyone looking for a natural, sustainable option in bath linens.

Best Bamboo

Best Bath Towels Options: Ariv Collection Premium Bamboo Cotton Bath Towels
Photo: amazon.com

Ariv’s bath towels are made of a blend of bamboo and cotton, so you get the strength, durability, and softness of cotton along with the sustainability and natural antimicrobial properties of bamboo. These towels are lightweight, soft, and absorbent but aren’t as likely to mildew before they dry. Bamboo fiber is an eco-friendly renewable resource and leaves a smaller carbon footprint than cotton, so it’s a popular choice for shoppers who want the best bath towels that are sustainable. Ariv’s bath towels measure 30 inches by 53 inches, feature double-stitched edges for added durability, and come in five colors.

FAQs About Your New Bath Towels

Still have questions about bath towels? Read on for answers.

Q. How do you fold bath towels?

The easiest way to fold towels is to:

  • Lay them out on a flat surface.
  • Fold in half lengthwise.
  • Fold in half widthwise.
  • Fold once more lengthwise.

Q. How do you wash bath towels?

Wash towels in hot water with detergent and non-chlorine bleach or a natural fabric brightener. Dry on medium to low heat without dryer sheets. Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets, as they coat the towel fibers with a slick residue and inhibit absorption.

Q. How often should you wash your bath towels?

You should wash your towels every two to three uses.

Q. How do you soften bath towels?

Body oils and detergent residue can build up on towels and make them less soft. To remove the residue, about once a month, add 2 cups of white vinegar to the washer when you launder your towels.