At first glance, it may not seem like there’s much to differentiate one bath towel from another. In reality, there are a lot of factors that set them apart, including absorbency, durability, softness, portability, and drying time.
The best bath towel will differ depending on personal preferences, but consider these rules of thumb: Cotton, or cotton-rayon blends, reign supreme when it comes to absorbency and softness. Thicker towels with high GSM, or grams per square meter, feel more luxurious,... but they’ll also take longer to dry. And if you need something that dries quickly, look for microfiber, but be prepared to compromise that soft, plush feeling.
Still overwhelmed? Here are seven tried-and-true bath towels that should satisfy almost anyone.
The Pinzon Luxury 820-gram Bath Towel is our pick for the best heavyweight, plush towel out there. It's a solid choice for anyone who prefers buying towels individually instead of in sets of two or more.
Again, these aren’t lightweight towels at nearly 2 pounds each, and they feature dense two-ply yarns that are meant to last longer than their single-ply counterparts. Reviewers say they are very absorbent despite their thickness, and most love the generous size. Some are disappointed with softness, however, while others note that there is some shedding, especially at first.
The Pinzon Luxury towel is 100 percent cotton and comes in blue, gray, sage green, ivory and white. It measures 30 by 56 inches and has a simple pique border. No special care is required, but like most thick towels, it may require some extra time in the dryer; reviewers caution that this towel stays damp for quite sometime when air-dried.
If you're not looking to spend a bundle this 3-piece towel set from Amazon gives you a bath, hand and washcloth all at a bargain price. And just because you're paying discount prices doesn't mean you are sacrificing quality, this set is made with 100% cotton, is lightweight, dries quickly and actually absorbs moisture unlike other competitors.
The bath towel measures 54" x 30" with the hand towel coming in at 28" x 16" and the washcloth 12" x 12". The set is available in eight colors from a white to a bold purple so you're sure to find something that matches your style.
The Portuguese-made Abyss Super Pile Towel isn’t easy on the wallet, but it is heavenly on the skin, reviewers say. It should be a strong contender for anyone who’s willing to spend big on a luxury towel that will last.
Owners say the Abyss Super Pile Towel has a few unique touches that set it aside from competing luxury towels, including softly rounded edges and oversized cotton loops that boost softness and absorbency. These towels also start off feeling great—no “break in” period or repeated washings required—and are a relatively hefty 700 GSM, or about 1.5 pounds.
Abyss Super Pile Towels are 28 by 54 inches. They are 100 percent Egyptian cotton and come in a staggering 60 colors, ranging from white, gray, and tan to saturated hues including lime green, hibiscus pink, and peacock blue. They are prewashed and preshrunk, and some reviewers say they have Abyss towels that are still going strong after several years. Washcloths, fingertip towels, hand towels, and two sizes of bath sheets are also available.
Made in the U.S. using eco-friendly, 100 percent organic cotton, the 1888 Mills Organic Cotton Bath Towel is a good option for anyone who wants a greener, pesticide-free option for toweling off.
Aside from being eco-friendly, reviewers give their 1888 Mills Organic Cotton towels solid marks for softness and absorbency. Reviewers say they’re weighty enough to feel good on the skin, but not so thick that they stay damp forever or take up too much room on a shelf or in the dryer. Many also say they lack any sort of chemical odor that plagues other new towels. Some are disappointed with thickness, however, and a few complain that they are not “oversized” as billed by the manufacturer.
The 1888 Mills Organic Cotton Bath Towel is 30 by 54 inches and weighs about 21.5 ounces. It’s available in five colors: white, earth brown, leaf green, stone gray, and water blue, although some of the popular colors have a tendency to sell out. Hand towels and washcloths are also available. These towels can be washed and dried normally, but some reviewers say they snag and fade easily.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
The Superior 900 Gram Egyptian Cotton Bath Towel is everything most people want in a bath towel. According to reviewers it is thick, soft, and absorbent—but still not too expensive. Because this towel comes in enough colors to match any bathroom, it’s also a good option for anyone who’s bored with basic white.
Owners compare the Superior 900 Gram Egyptian Cotton Bath Towel to a plush towel in a high-end hotel, calling them dense and luxurious. And unlike some thick towels that just push water around, these towels actually absorb moisture nicely. A few reviewers grouse that they actually find the towels a little too heavy at around 2 pounds each, cautioning that they aren’t towels you’ll want to tote around, but most love their hefty, weighty feel.
Measuring 30 by 55 inches this two towel set is available in at least 18 colors, including traditional hues like white, stone, and charcoal as well as brighter ones like red, teal, sea foam, and forest green. They are 100 percent Egyptian cotton, and reviewers say they’re easy to machine wash and dry. Like most thick bath towels, they do require an extra dryer cycle to dry completely.
Plush cotton towels feel great on damp skin, but they can take a whole day to dry, especially when left hanging in a steamy bathroom. The Fina Ultra Absorbent Waffle Weave Towel dries within an hour or two, owners say, and it can soak up a ton of moisture—10 times the towel’s weight in water, according to the manufacturer.
One of the biggest downsides of microfiber towels is that they don’t glide over skin as easily as cotton. Reviewers say that’s true with this towel, though it’s easy to blot away moisture instead. And while the Ultra Absorbent Waffle Weave Towel isn’t as soft as non-microfiber bath towels, most owners say that what you give up in feel you gain in utility—in this case, an extremely fast-drying, lightweight towel that folds much more compactly than a traditional cotton towel. Those qualities make it ideal not just for home use, but for toting along to the gym or on camping trips. Many owners also love using it specifically to wrap their hair.
Available in white, linen, coffee, and sage, the Ultra Absorbent Waffle Weave Microfiber Bath Towel is 29 by 55 inches and weighs about 13 ounces. It is 80 percent polyester and 20 percent nylon. Owners say the towel saves space in the washer compared to bulky cotton towels and dries very quickly in the dryer.
At 35" x70", the Utopia Luxury Bath Sheet is ideal for anyone who wants a little extra coverage or warmth after stepping out of the tub. More importantly, it’s soft and thick enough for anyone who would rather lounge around in their towel instead of a bathrobe, owners say.
Though reviewers say there are softer, plusher bath sheets on the market, they are much pricier, and the Utopia bath sheet doesn’t take forever to dry you—or dry itself— like some very thick towels. Owners rave about the towel’s size, saying it’s big enough to dry even the tallest bodies, and some even say it’s a good stand-in for a beach towel. Absorbency gets mixed reviews: Most owners are happy, but some say they aren’t on par with other all-cotton towels, especially when new.
The Luxury Bath Sheet comes in eight colors: white, plum, sage, black, champagne, dark brown, gray, and royal blue. It is 100 percent combed cotton and weighs 31 ounces. Owners say the towel tends to “shed” while in the dryer, but it doesn’t shrink.
If you are looking for towels that will liven up the bathroom when they are hung on a towel rack then look no further than this option from Target. Its blue and green motif with geometric stripes could work in both traditional and contemporary bathrooms. This option comes in a bath towel or hand towel size so those looking for a complete set should look elsewhere.
Reviewers have commented that these towels are very plush and compare to much more expensive brands.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
Looking to stock a house with towels for four? Look no further than this 24-piece set from Baltic Linen which comes in ten colors including a serene thyme green to a bold a bold deep plum. This set includes four bath, four hand, four fingertip with fringe (for display) and 12 washcloths giving you a complete setup at a very reasonable price.
Reviewers love the price, though some note they are a little thin and produce a lot of lint after their first washing.
At The Spruce, our Expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.