Bath towels are everyday necessities that you’re likely to have in your bathroom rotation for years to come, so why skimp on quality?If you’re looking for the softest towels that’ll rival the plush feeling of your favorite bathrobe, you’ve come to the right place.
A good bath towel needs to be many things: absorbent, soft to the touch, quick-drying and long-lasting, standing up to machine washing and everyday wear and tear. The options can seem endless (standard, Turkish, monogrammed, waffle-weave) and tricky to assess when shopping online versus having them in hand.
The 7 Best Bath Towels of 2023：we recommend
- BEST OVERALL：Pinzon Organic Cotton Bath Towel
- BEST QUICK-DRYING：Cloud Loom Organic Bath Towel
- MOST ABSORBENT：Hotel Collection 30″ X 54″ 100%
Shopping for the best bath towels can get confusing, yet these essential linens are important household staples. We rounded up some of the most popular bath towels made from all types of cotton and subjected them to extensive testing.
1.Pinzon Organic Cotton Bath Towel
- 100% organic cotton
- None we can find
These bath towels are made from 100 percent organic cotton, and while many organic fabrics can be scratchy, I thought the towels were plush, soft, and comfortable. Their medium weight is perfect for everyday use and dries faster than some of the other towels we tested.
They’re an average size at 30 by 56 inches—big enough that they cover your whole body, but not so big that you’re swallowed up. They were also one of the top performers in the spill test, absorbing the water quickly and leaving only a few small drops of liquid behind, and stains came out of the fabric completely with no pre-treating.
I would definitely consider buying these towels for myself; they balance performance and value extremely well. You can purchase a four-pack for under $50, and they even come in a wide range of colors to match any decor.
2.Cloud Loom Organic Bath Towel
- These eco-friendly towels are surprisingly quick-drying for how fluffy and absorbent they are, plus they come in a gorgeous color range.
- They’re a splurge.
Coyuchi’s cloud loom towels are the perfect everyday luxury: they’ve got a lusciously soft pile without being overly plush, and they’re thick without being heavy. Their unique cloud loom technology means that in addition to being super absorbent, they dry faster than the average fluffy Turkish towel. Aesthetically, they come in a range of earthy hues, including an undyed cotton and the Coyuchi cotton, which sits at a slightly higher price point as the material is a rare, naturally-colored brown cotton yarn. Notably, they’re also Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified, which promises that not only has the end-product passed safety standards (like OEKO-TEX certifications), but that the entire production line has been made transparent and is organic from start to finish.
3.Hotel Collection 30″ X 54″ 100%
Because of that thickness, this towel takes up more space when folded (though not so much that it’s obtrusive) and takes longer to dry than other options. Still, it’s a solid towel that’s absorbent and comfortable.
If you like your towels on the thicker, warmer side, you might enjoy this product, which comes in about a dozen colors.
4.American Soft Linen 4 Piece Bath Towel Set
- These best-selling towels are excellently priced for a set of four.
- These best-selling towels are excellently priced for At 27 x 54 inches, they run on the smaller side.a set of four.
When it comes to striking the right balance of quality and quantity, this fluffy four-piece bath towel set is a no-brainer. With the entire best-selling set priced at the cost of some individual towels, it’s an easy way to fill your bathrooms with a reliable roster. Their four-rib design adds a bit of flair and is available in 16 colors. Be sure to wash these once or twice pre-use, as they can generate a good amount of lint on the first few washes.
Also read:The Best Baby Bath Towels 2023
5.Standard Textile Hotel Luxury Lynova 100% Cotton Bath Towels
- So-so texture
We liked the plush feel and oversized form of their Lynova Plush towels, which measure 30 by 60 inches.
These towels are extremely absorbent thanks to their zero-twist cotton construction, which increases water intake by increasing the exposed fiber surface area. They aced our spill test, soaking up all the water off the floor, and came out of the wash stain-free. In addition to our usual soda stain, these towels also got stained with makeup, which also came out easily.
While these are by no means bad towels, they didn’t rank higher simply because their texture was so-so. Overall, they just didn’t stand out, especially for their high price tag.
6.Brooklinen Luxury Super-Plush
- This pair of towels is ultra thick and heavy enough to give you that snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug feeling.
- Their weight makes them less absorbent and slower to dry.
Extravagantly soft to the touch, these towels offer a noticeable heft, weighing in at 820 grams per square meter. They’re available in five essential colors, with neutrals like white, cream, and graphite and vibrant limited-edition shades including ocean and goldenrod. For those who enjoy the ultra-downy, cloud-like feeling of wrapping themselves in a thick and fluffy towel, this is it — and it gets plumper with every wash. For those seeking a quick drying option, keep scrolling — the heft of these towels keeps them from drying out quickly, but they don’t retain any mildewy scent once they do finally air out. Of note: Brooklinen has some of the best customer service in the game and a flexible return policy, which takes some of the pressure off trying and buying.
7.Utopia Towels – Luxurious Jumbo Bath Sheet
Because of its size, the Utopia Towels Extra Large Bath Towel might be a good option for taller or larger individuals, as it covers more area.
- Good option for taller people
- Rough texture
Beyond that, this towel isn’t anything special. Its texture is fairly rough, reminding me of cheap towels I’ve bought in the past, and it’s quite thin. It left behind some water during the spill test, and got a little bit musty, as well.
It’s not a towel I would reach for again, even as a budget option. If you’re looking for a bigger towel, consider buying a “bath sheet” from one of the brands above; they’re very similar.
In order to choose which towels to test, we searched online, paying special attention to those that are popular among consumers and have multiple good reviews. We also considered our own brand favorites and towels that made other top lists.
After speaking with two interior designers and one professor to get their suggestions on what to look for in a towel and what’s trending, we narrowed down, based on our textile knowledge and the experts’ advice. We ruled out towels and brands with poor user reviews and ones that we know perform poorly based on our previous testing experience with home textiles.
We then pinpointed categories readers would be interested in, such as organic, lower-price options and on-trend textured styles like waffle weave and ribbed. We also took price into consideration, aiming for a range to suit different budgets.
That still left a lot of good contenders, so we narrowed down further by selecting those made of high-quality materials and with more to offer than a basic version; a claim to be quick-drying or a monogramming option, for example. In the end, we landed on 10 towels to test and rated them in the following areas:
- Softness: No one wants a scratchy towel. We rated the contenders for softness both by feeling them with our hands and on our body after showering.
- Absorbency: Being able to wipe water off your body is clearly one of the most important qualities in a towel. We gauged how much water each soaked up by measuring the weight of a piece of dry towel and then pouring a half cup of water on a towel that was over a glass bowl so the excess water the towel didn’t absorb could run off. Then we measured the weight of the wet towel and calculated how much water it absorbed. We also evaluated how dry we felt after wiping ourselves down with each towel after showering.
- Dry time: We poured 2 tablespoons of water on each towel and timed how long it took to fully dry.
- Shrinkage: While there’s always some shrinking after a towel goes through the first few washes and dry cycle, a quality towel should not shrink more than 5%, or it should be generously cut to allow for that shrinkage. We measured the length and width of each towel straight from the package, washed and dried each one five times, and then measured the length and width again to calculate the amount it shrank. By five washes, most of the shrinking should be done and any softeners or finishes added by manufacturers will be washed out.
- Durability and appearance after wash: We inspected each towel straight out of the packaging to note any defects, and then checked them again after each wash cycle to see how well they held up in the wash (or didn’t).
- Overall experience: Using each towel after showering for a minimum of two times, we noted how dry we got, how soft the towel felt, if the texture was unique, how plush or thin it felt and anything else that struck us while we had it in our hands.
What is the best bath towel material?
There’s no one material fits all with bath towels, as this will be dependent on what you prefer. Here’s a low down of bath towel materials and constructions that are the most popular.
Supima cotton is known as the ‘cashmere of cotton’ to quote Sarah Smith, Head of Buying at Soak&Sleep, and for good reason! Grown only in the USA to exceptionally high standards, the fibres are longer and stronger than any other kind of cotton. They are therefore the most expensive towels, so consider them as a long term investment.
Egyptian cotton towels are a good alternative to costly Supima towels. They are super soft, durable and highly absorbent thanks to the long, thick loops. These towels are only slightly less luxurious and this is reflected in their price.
Standard towels are made from synthetic fibres and are therefore less absorbent and are of a lesser quality than cotton towels. However, they are low-cost and are ideal if you’re planning to change them frequently.
Waffle towels have a textured surface and their lightweight nature makes them handy for travelling.
What to Consider When Buying Bath Towels
Most super plush bath towels have a few things in common. For one, the majority of towels you see are made of cotton, as it’s one of the softest and most absorbent fibers. Some specialty products are made from bamboo and polyester, but they’re not widely sold.
Similarly, the vast majority of bath towels are constructed of terrycloth, which is a fabric made from cotton and recognizable by all its little loops. Terrycloth is preferred for towels because the loops make it soft and absorbent, creating more surface area to soak up water.
However, bath towels can be surprisingly complicated from a manufacturing standpoint. Several kinds of cotton and yarn-construction techniques can be used to make towels, and these nuances can result in a different look, feel, and performance.
What Material Makes the Best Bath Towels?
There are several types of cotton, and while they’re all similar plants, the fibers they yield can be rather different. Egyptian and Turkish cotton plants are known for producing longer strands of fiber—also called staples. As such, the fibers don’t need to be wound as tightly when they’re made into yarn. This results in a softer, more plush fabric.
By contrast, cotton grown in the U.S. generally has a shorter staple and must be wound tighter to stay in place. If you see a label that just says “100% cotton,” it’s probably made from this standard cotton.
Additionally, “organic” cotton has risen in popularity in recent years. This fiber is grown from non-genetically modified plants, without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. The appeal here is that the process is more eco-friendly.
As if the many faces of cotton aren’t confusing enough, there are also differences in how the yarn for towels is spun. Cotton can be combed or ringspun. These processes remove any short, rough fibers, creating long strands of yarn that are as soft and durable as can be. That’s not to say regular cotton yarn is rough or weak—ringspun yarn is just slightly more luxurious.
Many different combinations of fibers and construction methods can go into making a bath towel. Certain decisions, such as using high-end Egyptian cotton or ringspun cotton yarn, result in significantly higher manufacturing costs, which explains the wide range of towel prices.
The measurements of a standard bath towel are around 30 x 58 inches, although you’ll likely come across a variety of sizes when shopping for your perfect bath towel. Some run slightly smaller, like the Coyuchi Cloud Loom Towels at 27 x 54 inches, or larger, like the Utopia Extra Large Bath Towel that measures 35 x 70 inches.
Finding the right sized bath towel for you depends on your preference. For instance, if you’re quite tall and find that typical bath towels just don’t cut it, then a longer towel may be just the solution.
The weight of a bath towel is measured in grams per square meter (GSM). The weight of a bath towel typically falls anywhere between 300 and 900 GSM. If you’re looking for a lightweight option, you might prefer a towel that weighs below 500 GSM.
However, the higher the GSM, the thicker and more plush (and oftentimes more absorbent) a towel tends to be. So, if you’re someone who likes a super thick towel that feels almost blanket like, you should aim to purchase a bath towel that weighs over 600 GSM.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you replace bath towels?
every two years
In general, experts advise you should get new ones every two years. If you are still unsure, look for these signs: You have to run the towel over your body several times just to remove the water. Towel fibers inherently break down with use.
What makes a high quality towel?
In general, a cotton bath towel that weighs 400 GSM and above is considered to be good quality. The fabric in these soft towels is woven more densely, and thus is softer and more absorbent than a lower GSM fabric (for example, that found in a standard kitchen towel).
What towels do nice hotels use?
What type of towels do hotels use? The most common types of towels used in hotels are 100% cotton towels. However, cotton and polyester blends are also used in hotels, thanks to their exceptional durability.
Is it OK to use the same bath towel for a week?
The Cleaning Institute recommends washing bath towels after three uses. If you shower every day, that means laundry almost twice a week. Regular laundry is sufficient to clean towels and remove any germs that are starting to accumulate.