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There's nothing quite like a set of fresh towels. Not only do new bath linens make your showering experience all the more luxurious, but some styles can even dry you more efficiently. When browsing options, be sure to consider the material, weave, size, weight, absorbency, and color-fastness.
With so many towels out there, it's easy to get overwhelmed when shopping around. To make things a little easier on you, we sent top options to our team of at-home testers. Each tested style was awarded a score between 1 and 5 for quality, absorbency, texture, durability, and overall value.
Of course, the right option for you has a lot to do with your personal preferences. Some folks prefer thin towels that dry fast and fold compactly, while others want ultra-plush textiles that feel more like blankets.
Ahead, the best bath towels for every taste and budget.
Best Overall: Brooklinen Super-Plush Bath Towels
Generous return policy
One of our favorite picks is Brooklinen's Super-Plush Towels, which are made from 100 percent Turkish cotton with a Z-twist weave for an exceptionally soft, extra-thick feel. These blanket-like bath towels boast a weight of 820 GSM (grams per square meter), giving you spa-level comfort and hotel-like luxury. Plus, the textile meets OEKO-TEX standards, ensuring the towels aren't made with any harmful dyes, materials, or substances. And while they aren't the cheapest on the market, the price is for a set of two, each measuring 58 x 30 inches.
After using these towels for 2 weeks, our reviewer found them to be true to name: plush and cozy, though a bit slow to dry due to their heavyweight. She gave them a five out of five for both quality and texture, and a four out of five for overall value.
Brooklinen allows you to return or exchange your bath linens within 365 days of purchasing them.
Size: 30 x 58 inches | Material: Turkish cotton | Weight: 820 GSM | Certifications: Oeko-Tex | Return Policy: 365 days
"Brooklinen’s Super-Plush Bath Towels certainly live up to their name. In fact, wrapping up in one of the brand’s bath towels is almost like cocooning yourself in a blanket, which is great if you’re quick to shiver after jumping out of the shower."—Karen Tietjen, Product Tester
Best Budget: Casaluna Waffle Bath Towel
Generous return policy
Slightly narrower than average
No washcloth size
Available in eight chic colors ranging from stark white to blush pink to charcoal gray, the Casaluna Waffle Bath Towel flaunts a modern, spa-inspired look. At 56 x 28 inches, this lightweight towel is slightly narrower than average, though it folds compactly and takes up minimal space on racks, hooks, and shelves.
Our tester awarded this budget-friendly bath towel a 4.4 overall score, thanks to its modern look and surprising level of absorbency. It's made of 100 percent cotton and features a delicate waffle weave that sheds minimal lint and gets softer with every wash.
Size: 56 x 28 inches | Material: Cotton | Weight: 450 GSM | Certifications: Oeko-Tex | Return Policy: 365 days
"Getting out of the shower, I was thoroughly impressed with the absorbency, especially considering how lightweight the fabric is. I don't usually think about how long it takes me to towel off, but right away, it was clear waffle towels could shave off a minute or two from my 'getting ready' time."—Theresa Holland, Product Tester
Best Luxury: Frontgate Resort Cotton Bath Towels
Large loop pile
Longer than average
Made of 100 percent long-staple Turkish cotton with a large loop-pile weave and a weight of 700 GSM, Frontgate's Resort Towels will make a luxe edition to your linen collection. They're incredibly plush and warm like a blanket—and come in at a couple of inches longer than the average towel to keep you warm and covered.
Our tester gave Frontgate's Resort Towels a 4/5 for durability, absorbency, and value, and a perfect score for texture and quality. While undoubtedly pricey, they might be worth a splurge, considering the luxurious feel and long-lasting design.
Size: 30 x 58 inches | Material: Long-staple Turkish cotton | Weight: 700 GSM | Certifications: Oeko-Tex | Return Policy: 90 days
"We could see that the pile is tall, making the towel thicker than similar options. However, it doesn’t seem any heavier; even when it was wet after our shower, the towel didn’t get bogged down."—Kimberly Holland, Product Tester
Best Absorbency: Everplush Diamond Jacquard Bath Towel
If it's absorbency you're after, you can't go wrong with Everplush. Our tester gave the brand's Diamond Jacquard Towel a 5 out of 5 not only for absorbency but also durability, texture, and overall value.
While this bath towel isn't 100 percent cotton, the slightly stretchy microfiber blend is what allows it to absorb up to eight times its weight in water and dry incredibly fast. One thing to note is that it's prone to snagging in the wash, so try to only launder it with other linens.
Size: 30 x 56 inches | Material: Cotton, microfiber | Weight: 500 GSM | Certifications: None | Return Policy: 30 days
"I live in the Pacific Northwest, near the coast, where humidity can cause towels to stay wet for over 24-hours. Towels that don’t dry quickly need to be replaced every couple of days (or more), or they get stinky. These towels did not have that problem."—Stacey L. Nash, Product Tester
Best Turkish: Serena & Lily Fouta Bath Towel
Thicker and more absorbent than your traditional Turkish towel (also called Fouta), Serena & Lily's Fouta Bath Towel collection is ideal for recent converts. The towels are made from 100 percent long-staple cotton grown in Turkey's Aegean region and have a versatile double-layered design with terry cloth backing. The subtle herringbone weave pattern adds visual appeal, and they're available in a handful of sophisticated and versatile colors.
After using it in her home for 3 weeks our tester was particularly fond of the towel's design, giving it a five out of five for texture and a four out of five for absorbency. Thanks to the thicker material, it proved to be more versatile than other Turkish towels she's tried. Just note that, depending on the humidity levels of your environment, it may take up to 24 hours to dry.
Size: 56 x 30 inches | Material: Long-staple Turkish Aegean cotton | Weight: 420 GSM | Certifications: Oeko-Tex | Return Policy: 30 days
"Usually, I prefer an overly thick towel that has more of a blanket-like feel. However, I currently live in Florida, where it is warm. I appreciate that this towel is lightweight and absorbent enough to dry me off efficiently. Less bulky than most standard bath towels, it’s perfect for summer use and warmer climates."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Best Lightweight: Parachute Soft Rib Towels
Limited color range
Made of long-staple Turkish cotton, Parachute's Soft Rib Towels got high marks from our tester for their lightweight design and luxuriously soft feel. Not only does the sculpted rib texture feel nice against the skin, but it also helps with absorbency and a faster drying time. This is achieved in part by the brand's Spinsoft technology, which gives them a fluffier-than-usual appearance and feel.
These towels come in a handful of versatile and chic colors, from classic white to clay. Our tester found them to be supremely softer than the other towels she's tried, earning them a perfect five out of five for fabric quality. Despite their somewhat thin feel, they were incredibly absorbent, taking only a few passes to fully dry off.
Size: 56 x 30 inches | Material: Long-staple Turkish cotton | Weight: 450 GSM | Certifications: Oeko-Tex | Return Policy: 60 days
"I'm happy to report that the Parachute towels dried quickly and didn’t pick up any damp or musty odors, even after I reused them several times. They’re also great for wrapping my hair up to dry. Unlike thicker towels, which tend to weigh down my head or fall right off, these stay comfortably in place."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Best Organic: Coyuchi Mediterranean Organic Towels
Slightly narrower than average
For those on the organic bath linens bandwagon, we recommend the Mediterranean Towel from Coyuchi, which received a 4.2 overall score from our tester. The notably durable yet lightweight flat-woven textile is made of 100 percent GOTS-certified organic cotton grown in Turkey.
Featuring yarn-dyed stripes and a hand-knotted fringe, the design is unique but also versatile enough to complement any bathroom decor scheme. We also like that these towels are minimally processed and responsibly produced in ethical factories in the Aegean region of the Mediterranean.
Size: 28 x 54 inches | Material: Organic Turkish cotton | Weight: 320 GSM | Certifications: GOTS, Made Safe | Return Policy: 365 days
"As a rule of thumb, a Turkish towel is not my first choice for a bath towel...After testing the Coyuchi towel, I’m a fan. I liked its smooth feel against my skin. Its durable weave stood up to multiple washes, indicating high-quality construction. From an aesthetic standpoint, I thought it made an elegant addition to my bathroom."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Best Quick-Dry: The Company Store Green Earth Quick Dry Bath Towel by Micro Cotton
Heavy shedding first few washes
We're also loving the Green Earth Towels from The Company Store. They're made from eco-friendly Micro Cotton with a unique ribbed texture and a weight of 400 GSM.
The extra-soft and lightweight material is surprisingly absorbent, soaking up 15 times more water than traditional combed cotton. It also dries at lightning speed, ensuring your floors stay dry and your bathroom doesn't develop a musty smell.
Size: 30 x 54 inches | Material: Cotton | Weight: 400 GSM | Certifications: Oeko-Tex | Return Policy: 90 days
Best Oversized: Onsen Bath Sheet
Softens over time
If you prefer something a bit larger, go with the Onsen Bath Sheet. At 67 x 38 inches, it's even bigger than your average bath sheet, which is usually closer to 35 x 60 inches.
This oversized towel is made of 100 percent Supima cotton and features a modern waffle weave. The virtually lint-free textile is lightweight yet strong, impressively absorbent, quick-drying, and gets softer with every wash.
Size: 38 x 67 inches | Material: Supima cotton | Weight: 630 GSM | Certifications: Oeko-Tex | Return Policy: 60 days
Best Set: Crane & Canopy Plush Towel Essentials Bundle
Though you'll pay a little more upfront, this all-in-one bundle from Crane & Canopy comes with two standard bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths. There's also a set that comes with four of each, and you can add single pieces to your order.
Each piece is woven from 100 percent long-staple cotton and spun with the brand's innovative air technology. With a weight of 600 GSM, these monogrammable towels are ultra-plush, uniquely absorbent, and sumptuously soft.
Size: 30 x 56 inches, 20 x 30 inches, 12 x 12 inches | Material: Long-staple cotton | Weight: 600 GSM | Certifications: Oeko-Tex | Return Policy: 30 days
How We Tested
To help you make the best choice for your needs, we sent some of the top towels on the market to our team of at-home testers. Over the course of 2-3 weeks, they assessed each pick on the basis of its fabric quality, absorbency, texture, durability, and overall value. We combined their testing results with our writers' and editors' own research to bring you this list.
What to Look for in a Bath Towel
While many people don’t think about the fiber(s) their towels are made from, this is one of the most important considerations, as fibers perform differently in terms of absorbance, softness, color-fastness, and durability. Further, certain fibers are also more or less environmentally friendly depending on how they’re made, and this information may impact your choice if you’re working to reduce your carbon footprint.
You’ll most commonly see towels made from cotton, thanks to their impressive absorbency and softness. There are several types of cotton towels available, including Egyptian cotton, Turkish cotton, organic cotton, pima cotton, and more. (We’ll discuss the nuances of these cotton varieties below.) Plus, there are also towels made from bamboo, a more eco-friendly option, and microfiber, a type of inexpensive polyester.
While perhaps not the most important consideration, you should always check the size of bath towels before you buy them. There’s nothing worse than getting your towels home and realizing they’ll barely wrap around your body! Standard bath towels typically measure between 27 to 30 inches wide and 52 to 58 inches long. Towels that are 27 x 52 inches may be perfect for smaller adults, but they likely won’t suffice for larger adults. Keep this in mind, especially if you’re shopping online and can’t see the towel in person before you buy.
If you want to really bundle yourself up in a towel, look for bath sheets, which are larger, spa-like towels that typically measure between 35 to 40 inches wide and 60 to 70 inches long. As you might expect, they generally cost more than standard towels.
All fabrics, including towels, have a weight that’s measured in GSM, or grams per square meter. In general, towels typically weigh between 300 and 900 GSM—the lower the number, the lighter the towel will be (and quicker to dry).
There’s no “right” towel weight; it’s simply a matter of personal preference. Some people like lighter towels, while others prefer heavy, dense ones. As a general rule of thumb, towels with a GSM of 300-400 are great for humid areas, while products between 400-600 GSM are standard. Towels that weigh more than 600 GSM are often considered “luxury” products.
There are some key performance differences associated with various towel weights that are important to factor into your purchasing decision. For instance, products with a low GSM typically dry faster but aren’t as absorbent. An example of this is a lightweight beach towel. On the other hand, heavy towels with a high GSM are the most absorbent and plush, but as such, they will take longer to dry.
Absorbency is another important consideration when purchasing towels, but this factor is often hard to discern when you’re shopping in-store or online. There’s no way to measure a towel’s absorbency without trying it, but you can look for a few indicators that a towel will soak up plenty of water.
For one, thicker, heavier towels are generally more absorbent, as previously noted. This means towels with a higher GSM will soak up more water—but, remember, they take longer to dry out. Further, towels made from premium cotton varieties, such as Egyptian or pima cotton, tend to be more absorbent, as are products made from a cotton-rayon blend.
Products that use “combed cotton” have literally been combed to remove shorter fibers and any impurities from the yarn, resulting in a fabric made from only the longest fibers. Combed cotton towels are extremely strong and durable, though not as luxurious to the touch. Ringspun cotton, on the other hand, means both short and long fibers have been twisted together to create the yard, resulting in a fabric that’s smooth and soft to the touch.
As you might guess, twisted yarns mean the fibers are twisted together, and different amounts of twist have different benefits. Low-twist yarns are often plush to the touch, while high-twist yarns create an extremely durable product. “No twist” means the fibers are not twisted, yielding a fluffy, absorbent towel.
No one wants to splurge on towels only to have the colors fade or become splotchy. Unfortunately, there’s no precise way to tell if a towel is colorfast, so it’s best to read the reviews on an item whenever possible to see what kind of experience other buyers have had.
However, if you have someone in your home who uses a skincare product with benzoyl peroxide, beware that this chemical can wreak havoc on colored towels, leaving them with bleached splotches. Some towels claim to be resistant to benzoyl peroxide, but the only guaranteed way to keep your towels safe is to stick to white ones.
What are the different types of bath towels?
Egyptian and Turkish Cotton Towels
Two of the most high-end towels you can buy are Egyptian and Turkish cotton towels. While there are subtle differences between these two products, they’re similar in their high quality and superior performance—and large price tag. Egyptian cotton towels are often regarded as the best towels you can buy. Their yarn is made from long-staple, highly fibrous cotton grown in Egypt, which results in towels that are extremely soft, plush, absorbent, and durable. These towels will last for years when properly cared for, and they’re a staple in many hotels and spas. The major downside of Egyptian cotton towels is their price, which typically runs $20 or more per item.
Turkish cotton towels boast many of the same qualities as Egyptian cotton ones, except their fibers are grown in Turkey. Again, the premium cotton has long-staple fibers that make these towels super soft and highly absorbent. While they’re not quite as absorbent as Egyptian cotton towels, most people won’t be able to discern a noticeable difference. Thanks to their luxurious feel and top-notch performance, Turkish cotton towels are also quite expensive, costing $15 or more per item.
Pima Cotton Towels
Pima cotton towels, sometimes called by their brand name Supima, get their fibers from the same plant as Egyptian cotton towels, except the fiber is grown in the U.S. These towels are another high-quality option, as their long-staple fibers make them super absorbent and oh-so-soft.
Pima cotton towels are typically in the same upper-tier price bracket as Egyptian and Turkish cotton, costing $10 or more per piece. Because their performance is comparable, pima cotton towels are a popular alternative among consumers who want their towels to be domestically sourced.
As more people seek to reduce their environmental impact, bamboo towels are becoming a more popular product. Bamboo is considered an eco-friendly fiber because it grows much faster than cotton and doesn’t require the use of pesticides. There are some products made from 100 percent bamboo, but most towels you’ll see are a bamboo-cotton blend. As an added bonus, bamboo fabrics are naturally anti-bacterial. The downside is that bamboo isn’t quite as absorbent as long-staple cotton. Plus, bamboo towels are often on the expensive side, costing $10 or more each.
If you’ve ever used a special cloth to dry off your car, you’re familiar with microfiber towels. These fast-drying towels have long been used for cleaning purposes, and they’ve recently been introduced as bath towels.
Microfiber is made from finely spun synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon, and they can absorb large amounts of water with ease. They’re typically quite soft, and new technology has made them more plush and luxurious than the thin towels you might use to dry off your car.
One of the biggest benefits of microfiber towels is that they dry much quicker than their cotton peers, preventing any mildew from growing. This makes them a popular option for the beach, exercise, or travel towels. Plus, they’re typically much less expensive, costing just a few dollars per towel.
The downside of microfiber fabrics, however, is that they are a major source of ocean pollution. With each wash, small polyester fibers break off and end up in water supplies. Unlike natural fibers like cotton, these synthetic fibers do not break down—they’re plastic, after all—and they’re too fine to be filtered out in water treatment systems. Not only do these fibers pollute the ocean, but they’re often swallowed by fish, ending up in our food sources. But on the flip side, since they don't take a long time to dry, they aren't spending a lot of time in the dryer like plusher towels do, thus using less energy to dry.
Peshtemal, Hammam, or Fouta Towels
More commonly referred to as Turkish towels, these towels have recently become very trendy because they look pretty and they dry quickly. Typically they are adorned with fringe on the end and work great as a hand towel, beach, travel towel, and blanket, or even a bath towel in warmer climates. If you get an authentic Turkish towel they should be made with 100 percent Turkish cotton which has extra-long fibers that make them strong.
Naturally eco-friendly and quick-drying, linen towels are a great option for those who live in warmer climates. They have a very different feel from cotton towels, which can take some getting used to. Rather than thick and plush, linen towels are lightweight and a little scratchy. If you want something a little closer to the towels you're used to, there are plenty of linen-cotton blend towels out there that combine the quick-dry capabilities of linen with the softness of cotton.
If keeping your home organic is important to you, you might want to invest in organic bath towels that are generally made out of 100 percent cotton and are certified by a third-party vendor. The cotton in these towels is made from cotton which is not treated by pesticides. If you like an extra-plush towel, just take note that these take longer to dry in the dryer, so you are using more energy which can be more harmful to the environment than a thinner towel.
What are the best places to buy bath towels?
Pretty much every home goods store and big-box retailer sells towels, as do a wide variety of online retailers. However, certain brands are known for their high-quality towels, including the following:
Pottery Barn: No matter what type of towel you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it at Pottery Barn, which is known to be a high-quality furniture and home goods store. They carry a wide array of towels, including standard cotton, quick-drying, and patterned options. Plus, they have a large variety of organic towels that receive top marks from reviewers.
Boll & Branch: This retailer has a reputation for creating top-tier linens, and their towels are no exception. All their towels are certified organic, the craftsmanship is unbeatable, and they buy their cotton from Fair Trade sources that ensure workers aren’t being exploited. These towels are fairly expensive, but their glowing reviews suggest they’re a worthwhile investment.
Cuddledown: While a lesser-known home goods store, Cuddledown offers a variety of towels, including different types of cotton and bamboo products. The retailer is included in several “Best of” towel roundups, especially for its high-quality, affordable bamboo towels.
Frontgate: You can’t go wrong with towels from this home goods retailer, as their products boast thousands of glowing reviews. They sell both Egyptian and Turkish cotton towels, both of which can be monogrammed for an added touch of luxury.
Parachute: Another retailer specializing in home linens, Parachute is often celebrated for its great waffle towels. However, it also sells Turkish cotton towels and Fouta towels—for a premium price.
Bed Bath & Beyond: Similarly, Bed Bath & Beyond carries a wide selection of bath linens, including many top-rated towels at low prices. If you’re looking for quality towels on a budget, check out this retailer—you might be surprised at what you find!
Macy's: Another big-box store that offers a variety of prices on bath towels, this store carries their own luxury brand The Hotel Collection that makes super plush towels, and the more decorative Martha Stewart collection that looks as good as it feels. Their online selection is broad and they also have a lot of options in-store so you can see how they feel and look in person.
What's the best way to care for a bath towel?
Believe it or not, caring for your towels is not as simple as just throwing them in the wash. All bath towels should be washed before you first use them as this will wash off the finish they have and help with absorbency. Bath towels should never be laundered with fabric softener, which will add a film onto the towel and weaken the absorbency.
Your towels should be laundered more often than you think (ideally every three uses!) and should be washed with other towels at the highest temperature the label says they can handle. Use a gentle detergent and dry on low or medium heat.
Why Trust The Spruce
This article was written by Theresa Holland, a regular contributor at The Spruce. She compiled this roundup based on at-home resting and product reviews from our writers (herself included), as well as lab evaluations from our editorial team and extensive personal research. Each of the featured bath towels stands out in multiple ways, such as absorbency, drying speed, plushness, softness, durability, and affordability.
As a freelance commerce writer, Theresa specializes in textiles, home design, and lifestyle. She has personally tried towels from Brooklinen, Casaluna, Onsen, and Crane & Canopy.