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The Best Bath Towels You Can Buy Right Now, Tested and Reviewed

Best Bath Towels
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Updated October 31, 2023

Your neighbor may have a post-century modern vibe, and you may lean a little more minimalist Scandinavian, but there are a few necessities in every home: kitchenware, bedding, and towels. No matter what life stage you’re in—from single and thriving to newly-married to parents of multiples—bath towels serve a daily purpose and should be carefully considered. That said, it can be confusing to know how to select the right set. Should you go with cotton? Bamboo? And does weight matter to you? What about absorbency? Here, we spoke with textile experts for their best advice and narrowed down our selections to the top eight bath towels—then put them to the test. 

How to shop for bath towels

When you search for the best bath towels for your home, you will want to pay attention to the product descriptions. Keywords like material, weave, weight, and absorbency all clue you into the texture and longevity of the towel. Here, Michael Khalil, the CEO of Revival New York, shares what to look for when you shop for bath towels. 

Materials and Fiber Content

According to Khalil, material composition is the most fundamental feature to look for when buying a towel. Here’s a breakdown of what each means.

  • Egyptian cotton: Long and ultra-fine fibers, more porous for absorbency and extra luxurious feel.
  • Turkish cotton: Longer fibers with a flat weave that result in a lighter, faster-drying towel.
  • Pima cotton: The closest alternative to Egyptian cotton, also with long and fine fibers, but is manufactured in the U.S.
  • Cotton/polyester Blend: Less expensive, but more durable and quick-drying.
  • Bamboo: Fast-drying, super soft, anti-bacterial, allergy and sensitive skin-friendly.

Construction

While each material has its unique qualities, Khalil notes it’s also wise to pay attention to the weaving method used, as this will impact the finish of the towel. Here’s a breakdown.

  • Ringspun: Long and short fibers twisted together tightly, resulting in a highly durable towel with a luxurious feel.
  • Zero twist: A low or zero-twist towel is made of long cotton fibers woven without a twist, resulting in a light and soft product. While a high twist is more durable, a low-twist towel is softer and more absorbent as the total surface area is increased.
  • Combed cotton: Cotton is brushed before weaving to remove short threads, resulting in a softer and more durable towel.
  • Waffle weave: Absorbs quickly but can take longer to dry due to the construction.

Weight

Khalil explains towels are measured in GSM (grams per square meter), and typically have a GSM between 300-900. “The higher the GSM, the denser the towel will be, which increases absorbency and plushness,” he explains. “One thing to consider when choosing weight is your dryer. You'll want to opt for something lighter if it’s not a large capacity dryer.”

Size of towel

Everyone has a different preference for towel size—some want an oversized option that covers their whole body. And others may opt for a smaller version to dry off and step into a robe. Kahlil says most bath linens typically come in a standard bath towel size and a larger bath sheet size. 

Absorbency

It may seem straightforward, but it’s a good reminder that heavier towels will no doubt be more absorbent but will have a longer drying time. “If you live in a humid environment or use hooks to hang towels rather than bars, you may want to opt for a lighter towel,” Khalil says. 

Certifications

Last, Khalil encourages shoppers to look at how the towels are manufactured and their certifications. Organic towels will be free of pesticides and other chemicals some may object to. “Certifications such as Oeko-Tex® check for over 350 harmful chemicals that may be present to ensure a safe product,” he continues. “Checking for global standards is also a good idea to guarantee the towels are ethically sourced and produced.”

Our top picks for the best bath towels 

Best overall towel set: Brooklinen Super-Plush Towel Move-In Bundle

Brooklinen is trusted and loved by many—and we agree. That’s why we named this set the best overall bath towels since they are soft, luxurious and generous in size. We can’t get enough of the super plush feel of these body towels that cover your entire body (and then some), giving you permission to wrap yourself up after a long shower or bath. They’re absorbent, too, without feeling harsh against your skin. Another benefit is they are built to last with 820 GSM and a durable z-twist construction. This cuts down on shedding, so this best-selling move-in bundle will last long after your lease ends. 

A drawback to consider is the long drying time, so if you don’t have a dryer, you should expect at least a few days to line dry. They are also on the heavier side (that’s what makes them feel so luxurious!), which isn’t for everyone. Shopping tip: Brooklinen also made our list of the best linen sheets, best percale sheets, best cooling sheets, and best pajamas for men

Specifications:

  • Material: 100% Turkish Cotton; ​​STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® Certified
  • Size/Set: 4 bath towels, 4 hand towels, 4 washcloths, and 1 bath mat
  • Weight: 820 GSM
  • Colors: Essentials: White, Smoke, Graphite, Marled Black, Ocean, Vanilla; Limited Edition: Ginger, Eucalyptus, Striped Fresh Lavender, Striped Deep Navy, Wild Rose
  • Absorbency: Absorbent
Best overall towel set
Brooklinen Super-Plush Turkish Cotton Towel Move-In Bundle in White

Brooklinen Super-Plush Turkish Cotton Towel Move-In Bundle in White

Best bamboo bath towel set: Cariloha Bamboo Bath Towels

If you already like bamboo sheets when you sleep, you’ll definitely fall for bamboo towels in your bathroom. From the moment you take these out of the box, you’ll want to snuggle up to them—they’re thick and ultra comfortable.

In general, there are plenty of reasons to choose bamboo to dry off—bamboo is super soft, anti-bacterial, allergy and sensitive skin-friendly, and better for the environment. These odor and mildew-resistant towels from Cariloha are also remarkably absorbent with a fluffy texture. It makes drying off very fast but doesn’t slack on the comfort level in the process. The Cariloha towel doesn’t feel too heavy either, making it a lightweight, durable necessity for your linen closet.

Keep in mind that you can’t use high heat when drying these towels, as it will reduce the softness. This means you should prepare for a longer drying time. Some reviewers shared that colors fade over time, too, so follow care instructions to extend the life of your towels.

Specifications:

  • Material: 42% viscose from bamboo, 58% Turkish-combed cotton
  • Set: 2 Bath towels, 2 hand towels and 2 washcloths
  • Weight: 600 grams per square meter
  • Colors: White, Blue Lagoon, Blush, Harbor Gray, Ocean Mist, Onyx, Stone
  • Absorbency: Highly absorbent
  • Price: $119 

Pros:

  • Soft, fluffy material
  • Mildew resistant
  • Absorbent

Cons:

  • Long drying time
  • Can’t just high heat to wash or dry
Best bamboo bath towel set
Bamboo Bath Towel

Best Turkish bath towel set: Sobel Westex Turkish Cotton 6 Piece Hotel Bath Towel Set

It can be confusing to determine what material you prefer for bath towels. Everyone’s tastes will vary, but if you typically enjoy a lightweight feel but require high absorbency, Turkish cotton is your best bet. This set from Sobel Westex is plush, feels elegant and isn’t over-the-top heavy. We enjoy the oversized feel that is ideal for every person in the household. The small Dobby border is a small but pretty detail that sets them apart from others we tested. They have easy care instructions—throw in the washing machine and dry!—and you can pick from many colors to match your aesthetic. A word of warning: while absorbent and soft, this set is on the thinner side. If you prefer a heavy, thick towel after your shower ritual, it might not be your top pick. 

Specifications:

  • Material: 100% Turkish cotton
  • Set: 2 bath towels (30 inches x 54 inches), 2 hand towels (16 inches x 28 inches), 2 washcloths (13 inches x 13 inches) 
  • Weight: 600 GSM
  • Colors: Bright White, Charcoal, Light Blue, Sage Green, Smoke Dust, Sterling Silver, Rainy Day and Lunar Rock
  • Absorbency: Super-absorbent
  • Price: $47

Pros:

  • Soft
  • Easy to wash
  • Many color options

Cons:

  • Thin material
  • Dobby border is not soft
Best Turkish bath towel set
Sobel Westex Turkish Cotton 6 Piece Hotel Bath Towel Set

Sobel Westex Turkish Cotton 6 Piece Hotel Bath Towel Set

Best cotton bath towel set: Dream Towel Set / Dream Bath Sheet Set 

It’s not just dreamy views or room service that makes staying in a fancy hotel exciting and memorable. It’s the small details, including the linens—and the towels! If you want to recreate some of that five-star magic at home, you can’t go wrong with this aptly named Dream Collection towel set. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing more than 100 hotels across six continents in my tenure as a journalist—so I know a thing or two about what high-quality towels feel like, and these measure up well.

Crafted from ring-spun Egyptian cotton with a luxurious, soft, fluffy and terry feel, they’ll remind you of your last vacation. We like how absorbent they are, making it quick to dry off your body. Because they are made of high-quality cotton that’s Oeko-Tex certified, they are on the pricier end of our list—and they only come in white.

Specifications:

  • Material: 100% cotton; Oeko-Tex® Certified in an independent laboratory against a list of over 350 harmful substances 
  • Set: 2 bath towels (27 inches x 54 inches), 2 hand towels (16 inches x 30 inches), 2 washcloths (13 inches x 13 inches); Bath sheet set: 2 bath sheets (35 inches x 70 inches)
  • Weight: 600 GSM
  • Colors: White
  • Absorbency: High absorbency
  • Price: Bath sheet set: $75; Towel set: $110

Pros:

  • Soft, fluffy towels
  • Luxurious feel
  • Absorbent

Cons:

  • Only come in white
  • On the pricier end
  • Only available as sets
Best cotton bath towel set
Dream Bath Sheet Set

Dream Bath Sheet Set

Best organic bath towels: Boll and Branch Plush Bath Towel Starter Bundle

This plush bath bundle from Boll and Branch is ideal for those who prioritize having an organic household. Each thread is made from the highest quality yarn sourced from 100 percent organic cotton and woven into terry loops. The end product is a velvet-feeling, plush design that’s absorbent and generous in size. It might not matter to everyone, but if like me, you love a lengthy towel that easily encompasses your own body, Boll and Branch have created one. 

These towels feel luxurious, thick and weighted, giving you the feeling of a hug after your shower. This also means they take much longer to dry, so keep that in mind with your maintenance schedule. Following care instructions—like washing in cold water—will preserve the longevity of this set, too. Though these are more expensive than others, having towels that many reviewers say last forever is a worthwhile investment. 

Specifications:

  • Material: 100% organic cotton
  • Set: 4 bath towels (30 inches x 58 inches)
  • Weight: N/A
  • Colors: White, Dune, Pewter, Stone, Shore, Mineral
  • Absorbency: Exceptional absorbency
  • Price: $186

Pros:

  • Soft, thick material
  • High quality towels
  • Generous size

Cons:

  • Shed in initial washes
  • Long drying time
  • Need to be washed in cold water
Best organic bath towels
Boll and Branch Plush Bath Towel Starter Bundle

Boll and Branch Plush Bath Towel Starter Bundle

Best luxury bath towels: SFERRA Bello Bath Towel

You may want to splurge a little when you’re gifting towels as a housewarming or wedding gift. Or, if, hey, you’re still using the towels you’ve had since right after college and need a (significant) upgrade. Introducing SFERRA: A 100% combed cotton and terry oversized towel that feels like snuggling up to a cloud. They have a luxury, heavyweight feel with an impressive absorbency capability. We love the variety of colors—from aqua and almond to black poppy—allowing you to match the vibe of your bathroom. For an extra touch of thoughtfulness, you can monogram the towels for an additional fee, offering a sweet gesture for a newly married couple.

These are on the pricey side—$76 for a single towel and $147 for an oversized bath sheet. And some reviewers share that while the colors are impressive and beautiful, they may appear differently in person than how they are photographed. Make sure to follow care instructions to extend the life of your towels. 

Specifications:

  • Material: 100% combed cotton terry with honeycomb-patterned dobby border; fade-resistant dyes
  • Size: Bath sheet: 40 inches x 70 inches; Bath towel: 30 inches x 60 inches
  • Weight: Heavyweight
  • Colors: White, Ivory, Bisque, Grey, Stone, Almond, Corn, Pink, Copper, Celadon, Leaf, Aqua, Blue, Bluebell, Teal, Navy, Dark Blue, Iron, Black Poppy. 
  • Absorbency: Very absorbent
  • Price: Bath towel: $76; Bath sheet: $147

Pros:

  • Generous size
  • Absorbent
  • Heavy weight

Cons:

  • There can be pulls in fabric after washing
  • Colors can be different than pictured
  • High price point
Best luxury bath towels
SFERRA Bello Towel BATH SHEET

SFERRA Bello Towel BATH SHEET

Best designer bath towels: Jennifer Adams Lago Bath Towels

While families with a few kiddos may need a large number of linens, if it’s just you—or you and your partner—you can get by with a couple of high-quality towels. These super-soft, thick, absorbent towels from Jennifer Adams win our pick for best design-forward towels. Woven in Portugal—hence their name, Lago—they feature delicate, pretty rounded corners while still being durable and cozy. Though on the higher end of price points, you’ll appreciate how beautifully these hang in your bathroom. 

Specifications:

  • Material: 100% cotton
  • Size: 27.5 inches x 60 inches
  • Weight: 720 GSM
  • Colors: White, Gray
  • Absorbency: High absorbency
  • Price: $78

Pros:

  • Thick material
  • Heavy weight
  • Rounded corners

Cons:

  • Could be softer
  • Threads can loosen with washing
  • Pricey
Best designer bath towels
Lago Bath Towels

Best bath towel set with the best color variety: Weezie Signature Starter Pack

Some households pick white everything to keep it simple—from their duvet covers and sheets to their washcloths. And then, there’s the other camp of families who thrive off of color combinations. For the color-conscious (and obsessed), Weezie offers the best color combinations—from light blue and French blue to pink and beyond. This starter pack included four piped-edge bath towels or sheets and two hand towels. Crafted from organic long-staple cotton made in Portugal, this set is also OEKO-TEX certified organic—and hypoallergenic. Optional embroidery is available if you’re gifting these to a friend (or yourself!). 

In addition to the pretty hues, reviewers rave about the soft material and the absorbency level these towels offer. To prevent color bleeding, fading or thread pulling, follow care instructions. Our only minor drawback of these towels is the difference in feeling between the towel itself and the border. You can definitely feel the difference, which might be abrasive to some. 

Specifications:

  • Material: 100% organic long-staple cotton (hypoallergenic, low linting, and OEKO-TEX® certified)
  • Set: 4 bath towels (29 inches x 58 inches) or bath sheets (39 inches x 70 inches) and 2 hand towels (19 inches x 30 inches)
  • Weight: N/A
  • Colors: Light Blue on White, Light Blue on Light Blue, French Blue on White, Grey on White, Grey on Grey, Sand on White, White on White, Navy on White, Navy on Navy, Light Pink on White, Light Pink on Light Pink, Green on White, Black on White, Red on White
  • Absorbency: Absorbent
  • Price: Bath towel set: $264; Bath sheet set: $345

Pros:

  • Soft material
  • Absorbent
  • Many color options, can also be monogrammed

Cons:

  • Colors can bleed or fade
  • Piped edges can fray with washing
  • Embroidery thread and piped edge colors don’t always match
Best color variety
Signature Starter Pack (6 pieces)

Signature Starter Pack (6 pieces)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What's the best way to store towels? 

Once you’ve used and cleaned your towel, you’ll need to store it properly to extend its shelf life. Lauren Benson, a Boll & Branch retail area manager, says, most importantly, ensure your towels are completely dry to avoid trapping moisture and musty odors. “The best way to do this is to wash and dry your bath towels separately from your clothes,” she says. “This allows for adequate room to tumble during the dryer cycle and helps avoid snags, pulls on zippers or buttons.” Though you may have a strong opinion on folding, rolling or stacking, there’s no wrong way to go. As Benson says, do what works best for you and your guests.

How often should you wash towels? 

Sobel Westex’s Sales and Project Executive Manager, Christian Fabbri, recommends washing bath towels every three to four uses. “Towels tend to accumulate dead skin cells, oils, and bacteria, making regular washing essential for hygiene and freshness,” he says. “Avoid utilizing dryer sheets on towels, as they can lessen the absorbency over time.” 

If you’re purchasing a bath set that includes washcloths, it’s better to launder these after every use to avoid excess bacteria on your face that you cleaned off from the day prior. 

How do you launder towels to keep them soft? 

The best way to maintain your towels' fluffiness, absorbency and softness is to follow the attached wash care instructions carefully, Benson says. Every blend and brand is different, so read the label. As a general note, Benson says hot water, high heat, and bleach weaken the cotton fibers and make them feel dry, brittle, and not as soft. “A safer alternative to bleach for removing stains or whitening towels is an oxidizing laundry boost powder such as OxiClean Free or All Free & Clear,” she adds.

A smart laundry habit to get into is always to separate colored towels from white towels as washing them together will lead to subtle discoloration over time, Fabbri adds. “Stay away from fabric softener and bleach,” he shares. “If you're dealing with musty odors, consider adding vinegar during the wash cycle partnered with your laundry detergent. This combination works wonders to clean and sanitize your towels.”

How often do you need to replace bath towels?

According to Leslie Kilgour, a professional home and office organizer, if you care for your towels properly, there’s no reason they won’t last for at least a few years. That said, towels can have a good amount of use, so you may want to buy a new set every year if they lose their absorbency or become too thin for your liking. “There's nothing wrong with a towel if it becomes too thin, but they can get rough on the skin if they lose much of their fluff,” she adds.

What are the best types of bath towels?

This will come down to your personal preferences, as the “type” of bath towel can mean different things to different people. Some may prioritize size (gravitating to bath sheets or even beach towels), others prioritize a soft feel, while others may consider absorbency to be the indicator of the best type of bath towel. Instead, consider the following advice for telling a high-quality towel from a low-quality one. 

How can you tell if a bath towel is high quality?

If you can examine the towel in person before you purchase it, Khalil says to look out for these key signs it’s a high-quality purchase:

  • Look for even well-stitched side hems; quality stitching prevents fraying and ensures a long lifespan. Better towels now have two rows of side hemming. All four hems should also be straight. 
  • The pile should be even across the body of the towel. It should also feel naturally soft. Overly soft or slick can be a result of a treatment.  
  • Look at the materials used; towels made of high-quality fibers like Egyptian cotton are designed to be more durable and last for years.
  • Plushness is subjective. Some people like a plusher towel, while others like one a bit thinner.  

What type of towels are used in most hotels? 

Fabbri says hotel towels are often medium-weight and tightly woven. “They must be built sturdier to withstand the hotel industry’s high heat laundering standards of cleanliness and quality. White hotel towels can be easily bleached to remove stains,” he adds.

What's the difference between Turkish vs Egyptian cotton towels? 

Just as when you’re shopping for bed sheets, you’re likely to see the phrase “Egyptian cotton” occasionally come up when shopping for bath towels. Khalil says true Egyptian cotton is a particular type of cotton grown in Egypt where the climate allows for the cotton staple to be longer. “This cotton is handpicked, which places less stress on the cotton, resulting in a softer, higher quality yarn with long and super fine fibers that provide a luxurious feel but can have a longer drying time,” he explains. On the other hand, Turkish cotton also has long fibers that are slightly thicker, feature a tight, flat weave, and are slightly more absorbent and lighter in weight. “Generally, towels woven in Turkey are of better quality because the manufacturing quality is higher than in other areas of the world,” he continues. “It’s important to check labels, as not all Turkish towels use Turkish cotton; there are Turkish Towels that use Egyptian cotton.”

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