The Best Hand Towels, Vetted

Soft, durable, and decorative as well, the best hand towels add a bit of luxury to a daily routine.

Best Overall

The Best Hand Towels Option: Superior Solid Egyptian Cotton Hand Towel Set

Superior Solid Egyptian Cotton Hand Towel Set

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Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Hand Towels Option: White Classic Wealuxe Home Collection Hand Towels

White Classic Wealuxe Home Collection Hand Towels

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Best Turkish Cotton

The Best Hand Towels Option: Smyrna Turkish Cotton Original Series Hand Towels

Smyrna Turkish Cotton Original Series Hand Towels

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Hand towels are an essential item in any home. As their name suggests, they’re primarily used to dry hands, but they can be used to dry other surfaces or even clean up messes in a pinch.

Since hand towels are often used multiple times a day, it’s worthwhile to buy a set that is durable and feels comfortable to use. Options are available in a range of different materials and styles, ranging from budget-friendly polyester towels to luxurious decorative options. They also range in size; hand towel dimensions usually measure between 18 to 30 inches long by 15 to 25 inches wide. Whether you need to outfit a new home or to upgrade old towels, we’ve rounded up the best hand towels for bathroom use and other household tasks.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Superior Solid Egyptian Cotton Hand Towel Set
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: White Classic Wealuxe Home Collection Hand Towels
  3. BEST TURKISH COTTON: Smyrna Turkish Cotton Original Series Hand Towels
  4. BEST QUICK-DRYING: Everplush Diamond Jacquard Hand Towels
  5. BEST LUXURY: Brooklinen Super-Plush Hand Towels
  6. BEST DESIGNS: SKL Home Hand Towel Set
  7. BEST WAFFLE WEAVE: Onsen Waffle Hand Towel
  8. BEST SET: White Classic Luxury Hotel Collection Hand Towels
The Best Hand Towel option hanging on an over-the-toilet storage rack in a bathroom
Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Hand Towels

As such a high-usage item, quality hand towels are worth the investment. Since there are affordable options, they don’t need to break the bank either. To parse out the best towels from the rest, we considered the hand towel material, construction quality, and price. We also considered the towel’s softness, texture, absorbency, and how quickly it dries, based on both the towel type and shopper reviews.

We prioritized towels made from high-quality 100 percent cotton since it balances softness, affordability, and durability. We did also include some other materials if they had perks, like a faster drying time or a lighter weight. Hand towels can be a lovely decorative accent in a bathroom, so we made sure our top picks look nice as well.

Our Top Picks

A must-have accessory in any bathroom, the best hand towels ahead feel pleasant in hand and are long lasting to hold up to everyday use.

Best Overall

Superior Solid Egyptian Cotton Hand Towel Set

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Irresistibly plush is one way to describe the Superior Solid Egyptian cotton hand towel set. This set includes four thick hand towels made of 100 percent Egyptian cotton that is soft and pleasant to touch. Each towel measures 30 inches long by 20 inches wide and has a weight of 800 grams per square meter (GSM), putting them in the same league as fluffy spa-like towels. For more details on GSM, read the Texture section that appears below our product reviews.

These towels look as nice as they feel. A range of 23 colors is available, including a classic plain white as well as several solid colors. To add a decorative edge, the towels have a textured rope border. Though they feel luxurious, cleaning these towels is easy since they’re colorfast, machine washable, and dryer-safe on low.

Product Specs

  • Size: 30 inches long by 20 inches wide
  • Number of towels: 4
  • Material: Egyptian cotton

Pros

  • 800-GSM weight gives these towels a dense ultraplush and fluffy texture
  • Easy to clean since they’re colorfast, machine washable, and dryer-safe on low
  • Plush appearance with several solid color options and a textured rope border on each towel

Cons

  • Some reviewers found the towels left a lot of lint in the washer and dryer

Get the Superior hand towels at Amazon.

Best Bang For The Buck

White Classic Wealuxe Home Collection Hand Towels

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Affordable but still high quality, the White Classic Wealuxe hand towels are an excellent set for shoppers who need a bulk pack of hand towels. This set includes 12 white hand towels, ideal for use in the bathroom or as a gym or spa towel. Each towel measures 27 inches long by 16 inches wide and is made of 100 percent cotton that is both soft and durable.

Built to last for heavy uses, the towels are double stitched to prevent them from fraying. They’re machine washable for easy maintenance and are also processed to be lint-free and fast drying. These features make this bulk hand towel set excellent for both personal and professional use.

Product Specs

  • Size: 27 inches long by 16 inches wide
  • Number of towels: 12
  • Material: Cotton

Pros

  • Includes 12 towels for a reasonable price; ideal for bulk buyers
  • Double-stitched hems are constructed for long-lasting durability
  • Bright white color is classic; suitable for both personal and professional settings

Cons

  • Some users note that the texture is less fluffy and thinner than they appear in brand photos

Get the White Classic Wealuxe hand towels at Amazon.

Best Turkish Cotton

Smyrna Turkish Cotton Original Series Hand Towels

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The Smyrna Turkish Cotton Original Series hand towels are part of our top picks for the best Turkish towels because of their quality material and appealing design. Two hand towels are included in this set, each measuring 40 inches long by 16 inches wide and made of 100 percent Turkish cotton. This supple material gives the towels a soft and lightweight texture that’s also fast drying, perfect for heavy-traffic bathrooms.

These towels look as nice as they perform, with a decorative pattern and handmade tassels. They’re machine washable and prewashed so they won’t shrink after their first wash at home. A variety of colors is available to suit almost any bathroom decor.

What Our Team Says: Bob Vila Assistant Editor and product tester, Michelle Larson, says, “These are the softest hand towels I own. They’re my “fancy towels”, so I put them out when we have friends over. They’re much longer than a standard hand towel and super absorbent, so I especially love using them in the kitchen for big spills or hand-drying dishes.”Product Specs

  • Size: 40 inches long by 16 inches wide
  • Number of towels: 2
  • Material: Turkish cotton

Pros

  • Colorful pattern and handmade tassels add a decorative touch
  • Machine-washable construction that is prewashed to prevent shrinkage
  • Extra-long design means a larger surface area for hand drying and other uses

Cons

  • Some reviewers note the towels can leave lint on hands

Get the Smyrna hand towels at Amazon.

Best Quick-Drying

Everplush Diamond Jacquard Hand Towels

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A lot of hand towels claim to be fast drying, but the Everplush Diamond Jacquard hand towels have some distinctive qualities to back up such claims. Instead of just cotton, this towel set is made from cotton and microfiber. Cotton outer loops give this towel its soft feel, while microfiber inner loops soak up water and then dry quickly. This construction makes the towels lightweight and gives them a plush texture. It also gives the towels their quick-drying and absorbent capabilities—each one can absorb eight times its weight in water.

This set includes four towels measuring 30 inches long by 16 inches wide. They’re machine washable and dryer-safe on low heat for easy cleaning. They look nice too with a subtle tonal jacquard pattern.

Product Specs

  • Size: 30 inches long by 16 inches wide
  • Number of towels: 4
  • Material: Cotton, polyester, and polyamide

Pros

  • Cotton and microfiber construction makes these towels very quick drying
  • Feels like soft cotton but performs like microfiber
  • Very absorbent, absorbing up to 8 times its weight in water

Cons

  • Due to weave and microfiber material, the towels can trap debris such as lint and hair

Get the Everplush hand towels at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Everplush.

Best Luxury

Brooklinen Super-Plush Hand Towels

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Another high-quality hand towel set, the Brooklinen Super-Plush hand towels are an excellent choice for shoppers looking to bring the luxury of spa towels home. This set includes two white hand towels made from 100 percent Turkish cotton with a hefty weight of 820 GSM, so they’re ultraplush and soft. These long-staple cotton towels are constructed from a durable z-twist weave to help the towel fibers resist pilling and pulling.

Each towel measures 30 inches long by 20 inches wide and is suitable for use in the bathroom and beyond as a luxury spa or wellness towel. Other colors are also available for those who like to add a pop of brightness to the bathroom. To maintain these towels’ luxurious feel, they do require a bit of extra upkeep. They shouldn’t be bleached, and Brooklinen recommends machine washing these towels on cold and tumble drying on low.

Product Specs

  • Size: 30 inches long by 20 inches wide
  • Number of towels: 2
  • Material: Turkish cotton

Pros

  • Ultraplush, luxurious, and dense texture, with an 820 GSM weight
  • Uses long-staple Turkish cotton, which is soft but also durable
  • Constructed with a z-twist weave to improve longevity

Cons

  • More high maintenance than some other towels; can’t be bleached and requires cold-water washing

Get the Brooklinen hand towels at Amazon or Brooklinen.

Best Designs

SKL Home Hand Towel Set

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Give guest bathrooms (or any bathroom, really) an appealing finishing touch with this adorable hand towel set from SKL Home. Two towels are included, and each white hand towel is made from 100 percent cotton with a terry cloth texture. Absorbent and soft, they feel nice to the touch and look charming as well.

Each towel features a detailed embroidered pattern that makes them look right at home in any well-appointed cozy bathroom. The cute embroidered accents also make this small hand towel set a great one for gifting. To maintain their soft texture and embroidered detail, these towels should be machine washed in cold water.

Product Specs

  • Size: 25 inches long by 16 inches wide
  • Number of towels: 2
  • Material: Cotton

Pros

  • Cotton construction with a soft and absorbent terry cloth texture
  • Available in a variety of designs and colors to match most bathroom decor
  • Detailed embroidery adds an endearing decorative touch

Cons

  • Should be washed in cold water, so may not be suitable for washing with other towels

Get the SKL Home hand towels at Amazon, The Home Depot, Target, Tractor Supply Co., or SKL Home.

Best Waffle Weave

Onsen Waffle Hand Towel

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With an appealing waffle-weave texture and deep color, the Onsen hand towel performs beautifully and looks trendy. This hand towel is made from strong Supima cotton, which gives it excellent durability and absorbency. The waffle weave allows it to dry quickly as well, so this towel is excellent for busy bathrooms.

The Supima cotton material and open weave give this towel a luxurious look without the need for extra thickness and fluff. The towel measures 30 inches long by 16 inches wide and comes in a range of attractive neutral colors that are well suited for modern bathrooms. Onsen also sells bath towels and face cloths in this same material for shoppers who want to make a matching set.

Product Specs

  • Size: 30 inches long by 16 inches wide
  • Number of towels: 1
  • Material: Supima cotton

Pros

  • Waffle-weave pattern looks nice and is fast drying
  • Supima cotton material is soft, durable, and absorbent
  • Available in a range of trendy, deep neutral colors to suit modern decor

Cons

  • Does not feel plush or fluffy; some users may find the texture scratchy

Get the Onsen hand towels at Amazon or Onsen.

Best Set

White Classic Luxury Hotel Collection Hand Towels

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It’s hard to go wrong with this six-piece hand towel set from White Classic. These towels from the Hotel Collection look like they belong in a hotel or spa. They are available in a variety of colors, including a timeless white, and have a decorative textured stripe. Each hand towel is 30 inches long by 16 inches wide and made from 100 percent combed cotton. The combed texture gives the towels a soft and absorbent feel, and since they’re cotton, they’re also durable and reasonably quick drying. To hold up to heavy use, these towels have reinforced edges to prevent fraying.

Product Specs

  • Size: 30 inches long by 16 inches wide
  • Number of towels: 6
  • Material: Cotton

Pros

  • Hotel-quality look and feel with combed-cotton construction and a textured border
  • Reinforced edges make these towels durable enough for home and professional settings
  • White hand towels are bleach-safe; great for maintaining bright white color and sanitizing

Cons

  • Some users note that some colors aren’t true to their description

Get the White Classic Luxury Hotel hand towels at Amazon.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing Hand Towels

While a hand towel is generally a straightforward product, there are a lot of factors that can go into choosing the best hand towels for a home. Since they are handled every day (often multiple times a day) and can last up to 5 years, it’s worthwhile to put some thought into buying a good set. With personal preferences and budget in mind, consider the towel’s absorbency, drying time, material, texture, and washability, which we break down ahead.

Material 

Some shoppers like a plush extra-fluffy towel while others prefer a thinner moisture-wicking option. There’s no “perfect” towel for everyone, so shop according to your preferences, starting with the towel material.

  • Cotton: When it comes to material, cotton is a favorite for very good reason. Cotton is a natural material that balances a soft texture with performance and affordability. Long-staple or extra-long-staple is ideal. These terms refer to the length of the cotton fiber. Longer fibers are smoother and more flexible, which means they feel soft and are more durable. Egyptian, Pima, Supima, and Turkish cotton towels all have an excellent reputation (and the good-quality ones are at least long-staple). Also, look for combed or ring-spun cotton, which are refined to create a smoother texture.
  • Linen: Another natural material, linen is a thinner, lighter weight, absorbent, and durable alternative to cotton that also feels luxe.
  • Bamboo: Made from the bamboo plant, bamboo fabric is soft and absorbent, though it can tend to dry more slowly than other popular materials.
  • Microfiber: A synthetic material, microfiber is very lightweight and absorbent, plus it dries very quickly. It’s durable and thin, so it’s a great material for both everyday use and for travel.

Absorbency

Good hand towels are absorbent, wicking water away from surfaces to get them dry. Towel absorbency doesn’t always correlate with thickness, though generally higher GSM towels are more absorbent. Consider the towel’s material and texture as well when evaluating absorbency.

One hundred percent cotton hand towels have an excellent reputation for being absorbent, as do microfiber towels. Certain textures, like waffle weaves and terry cloth towels, also do well at absorbing water. When considering plush towels, a longer staple (long-staple or extra-long-staple) is better at absorbing water than shorter staples. For a lightweight towel, waffle weaves tend to be the most absorbent.

Drying Time 

To prevent mold, mildew, and bacteria growth, it’s important to consider how quickly the towels will dry. Drying time can be influenced by the environment as well, like the frequency of use and humidity in the room. Choose a towel that can dry quickly in your given environment.

As expected, thinner towels tend to dry faster, so that’s the first attribute to consider. Certain materials dry more quickly as well, such as thin cotton and microfiber towels. Also, consider towel texture; for example, waffle weaves are both absorbent but also fast drying because of their thinner weaved texture. Hanging hand towels on a bar instead of a hook can help improve drying time for all towels.

Texture

The ideal hand towel texture comes down to personal preference. Some people like a plush and fluffy towel, while others like a thinner, textured feel. Denser and thicker towels tend to have a softer and fluffier texture while thinner towels may feel scratchier or smoother, depending on the material. Most towels soften with continued use.

Some hand towel manufacturers also share the weight of the towel, measured in GSM. This metric describes the towel density, which often ranges between 300 and 900 GSM. The higher the number, the denser, heavier, and fluffier the towel. For that ultrafluffy feel, go for a high GSM hand towel—a luxurious spa-like towel will start at around 800 GSM, while medium-weight towels are around 400 to 600 GSM. Thicker towels tend to be more expensive. Thinner, lower GSM towels are lighter, not as fluffy, and tend to dry faster.

Washability 

Like kitchen towels, hand towels should be washed frequently. They should only be used for a couple of days before swapping out for a clean one. Almost all hand towels are machine washable. Ideally, hand towels should be washed in hot water, which is the most hygienic option, though some more delicate towels may require a different water temperature. Because hand towels need frequent washing, durability is a major factor to consider when shopping for them.

To hold up to the wash cycle, the towel should be well stitched. Look for reinforced stitching or double-stitched corners, and read user reviews to get an idea of durability. Keep in mind that decorative trims like tassels can be more fragile or may not hold up nicely to many washes. Also, thicker hand towels are larger, so they’ll take up more space in both the washing machine and storage closet.

FAQs  

It’s worth it to invest in good hand towels; they’re more eco-friendly than disposable bathroom napkins and look a lot nicer, too. Even with frequent usage, the best hand towels can hold up for many years with proper cleaning and care. If you’ve found a hand towel set you love (or you’ve found the perfect decorative hand towels for guest bathroom use), why not take the steps to make them last? The tips ahead can help keep hand towels performing and looking their best.

Q. Where should I dry my hand towels?

The towel’s care label explains how to best wash and dry it. After washing them, and if the care label indicates, place the hand towels in the dryer at the recommended setting. Another alternative is to hang dry the towels. Make sure hand towels are completely dry before storing them.

Q. How do I wash my hand towels?

Wash your hand towels according to the care label directions. Most hand towels are machine washable and dryer-safe. Wash and dry at the highest temperature the towel can tolerate to better remove dirt and germs. To prevent cross contamination, discoloration, or other damage, wash hand towels with other bath towels and facecloths of like colors.

Q. How do I keep hand towels soft all the time?

Want to revel in having the softest towels possible? Using distilled white vinegar in the wash can help keep hand towels nice and soft. Opt for vinegar instead of fabric softener; fabric softener can leave a residue on towels that can make them less absorbent and scratchier-feeling over time. Adding ½ to 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle helps break down buildup on the towels. Also, dry hand towels in the dryer (as opposed to hang drying) to fluff them up and make them feel more soft and supple.

Q. Do I need to add bleach when washing hand towels?

It’s not necessary to add bleach when washing hand towels, but it can come with some benefits (as long as the towels are safe to bleach). Chlorine bleach can help sanitize towels and make white hand towels whiter. Oxygen bleach can also help brighten towels without the risk of the towels discoloring, which can occur when using chlorine bleach on colored towels.

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Jasmine Harding

Contributing Writer

Jasmine Harding is a freelance writer specializing in home products. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2020 and covers a range of product-related topics, from the best household appliances and tools to the latest gadgets and tech for the home.

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