What We Like
Heavyweight and high-quality
Absorbs water quickly
Supports sustainable cultivation and African cotton farmers
What We Don't Like
Not overly plush or soft
Stiff before washing
Trim curls slightly in washer and dryer
Headquartered in Griffin, Georgia, 1888 Mills is a textile manufacturer that offers high-quality linens for retail consumers as well as the hospitality industry and healthcare distributors and organizations. The company uses yarn and cotton sustainably grown in Africa, but the products themselves are made in America. We tested the 1888 Mills Organic Cotton Luxury Bath Towels to gauge durability, absorption, and comfort. These bath towels aren’t the least expensive option out there, so if you’re curious whether you should spend the extra dollars for a company with a great cause, read on to find out.
Material: Cotton with a cause
These towels are made with 100 percent imported African cotton. The plants are grown by farmers in the Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) program, which was founded in 2005 to help small cotton farmers improve their living conditions through sustainable farming and cultivation methods. From there, 1888 Mills uses the cotton to manufacture the brand’s towels and textiles in the United States. So, buying these towels supports farmers and textile makers in the U.S. and Africa.
We like the minimal design aesthetic because it makes these towels ideal for a variety of rooms and styles. Each end features three bands with a lower pile that contrasts with the surrounding material. A thin selvage edge, or “self-finished” trim around the towels, helps prevent unraveling with use.
Buying these towels helps farmers and textile makers in the U.S. and Africa.
Texture: Absorbent and quick to dry
Constructed with two-ply, ring-spun, combed cotton, these towels are meant to be absorbent and durable and therefore suitable for everyday use. We thought that the short pile was soft but not overly plush, wicking water off our skin easily and drying quickly when we hung the towel in a well-ventilated area—a quality that can help prevent mildewing.
Washing: Softer after the first wash
Though they may feel harsher at first, brand-new towels can change absorbency and texture when washed and dried throughout months and years of use. The care tag on this towel recommends washing before using, and once we did, the pile became softer and even more luxurious with subsequent washes. We washed and dried the towel, which did make the trim curl slightly, but it didn't affect the overall absorbency.
Colors: Limited but natural
Choose from a few color options including white and natural shades of clay, ivory, and moss. The cotton is bleach-safe, and 1888 Mills recommends bleaching these towels only as necessary.
Size: Large but not oversized
The 1888 Mills Organic Cotton Luxury Bath Towel measures a generous 30 inches by 56 inches, which is slightly larger than the standard bath towel size. However, it is not as large as a bath sheet, which is an increasingly popular bath towel size.
Price: More expensive than some, but worth the cost
You can purchase “entry-level” towels at home stores for less than $10 each. At around $20, the 1888 Mills Organic Cotton Luxury Bath Towel is more expensive. However, high-quality construction makes this towel a smart purchase for long-term use.
After washing, the pile turned softer and became even more luxurious with subsequent washes.
Competition: Some good options
Frontgate Resort Cotton Bath Towels: The Frontgate Resort Cotton Bath Towel is another popular, highly reviewed item at a similar price. The pile on these towels is much higher, which making them plusher straight out of the package.
A few key differences: The 1888 Mills Organic Cotton Luxury Bath Towel comes in only four colors, while Frontgate offers 27 hues. Frontgate towels also feature a wide, 5-inch dobby border for monograms, if requested. While 1888 Mills makes its towels in America, Frontgate towels are made in Turkey.
Pinzon Heavyweight Luxury 820-Gram Bath Towel: Both of these towels are made to standards designed to protect the earth. However, only the 1888 Mills towel is made in the U.S. (Pinzon towels are made in India or Turkey.) The price points are comparable, around $20 per towel. Your decision may come down to color preference or feel. Prefer a plush towel? Go with 1888 Mills. If you’d rather have a hefty, dense towel, pick Pinzon.
High-quality construction makes this towel a smart purchase for long-term use.
A key difference: While Pinzon puts the grams per square meter (GSM) of its towel directly in the title (820), 1888 Mills doesn’t list the metric (which, by the way, is a way of measuring the density of a towel). A high GSM—around 600 to 900—is a sign of a heavy, high-quality towel. A towel in this range is typically more absorbent compared to towels with a lower GSM.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best bath towels.
- Product Name Organic Cotton Luxury Bath Towel
- Product Brand 1888 Mills
- Price $29.99
- Weight 1.7 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 30 x 56 in.
- Color White, Clay, Ivory, Moss
- Material 100 percent organic cotton
- Warranty No