Bath Sheet vs. Bath Towel: Which Is Better?

Bath Towels vs Bath Sheets

The Spruce / Bailey Mariner

Bath sheets and bath towels perform basically the same function, but the choice between the two may determine whether you feel dry and rejuvenated or damp and dissatisfied after a shower. The distinction comes down to size: Bath towels are typically 8 inches smaller on all four sides than bath sheets. Here's what to consider before you purchase one or the other.

What Is a Bath Sheet?

A standard bath sheet measures 35 by 60 inches. Bath sheets require more material to manufacture than bath towels, so they often cost more. Enveloping yourself in a bath sheet is often a luxurious experience that you may find worth the price tag. 

Bath sheets come in a variety of materials. With a bath sheet's extra fabric comes extra drying time for the sheet, so selecting a bath sheet made from natural, lightweight fabric can help you avoid mildew issues. Natural fibers like cotton and linen have antimicrobial properties, and thin versions dry fast while still absorbing the water off your body. Synthetic or not, it's still important to hang your bath sheet to dry and make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated in the process.

What Is a Bath Towel?

A standard bath towel measures 27 inches by 52 inches. Depending on the material and brand, they're usually the more budget-friendly option compared to bath sheets. 

Sometimes less is more, so there are a few reasons you might still prefer a bath towel to a bath sheet. For example, if material type matters the most to you, bath towels will help you take a quality-over-quantity approach. You might be able to afford a quality natural fiber version versus a low-quality synthetic fiber option if you're okay with sacrificing a bit on the size.

Bath towels are also ideal for drying your hair since they feel less heavy wrapped up on your head. And if you already have issues with mildew forming on your bath towels, you may want to avoid upgrading to a bath towel since it contains more fabric and may dry slower. 

What’s the Difference Between a Bath Towel and Bath Sheet?

The difference between a bath towel and a bath sheet lies in the size. Since bath sheets are larger than bath towels, there are some pros and cons to consider.

Bath Towel Pros
  • Generally more affordable

  • Easier to hang and store

  • Can be used for towel-drying hair

  • Takes up less washer/dryer space

Bath Sheet Pros
  • More absorbant

  • Can take the place of two bath towels

  • Feels luxurious

  • Good for wrapping around body

Bath Sheet vs. Beach Towel

Beach towels are about 30 inches by 60 inches in size, so they have a similar length as bath sheets, but they are a little less wide. The long-and-skinny size makes them ideal for laying on top of when you're at the beach. Manufacturers design beach towels for on-the-go purposes, meaning they're usually thinner and dry out faster. Beach towels are usually less absorbent than bath sheets since you get help from the air and sun when drying off after a dip in the water.  

Should You Get a Bath Sheet?

You may prefer a bath sheet if you have a taller, larger body type or just want to elevate your daily shower ritual with a spa-like touch. On the other end, bath towels dry faster, are more affordable, and are especially great for drying your hair. If you want to reap the benefits of both, you could also keep a pair of each version on hand.

  • Which is better, a bath sheet or bath towel?

    Bath sheets are ideal for people with larger body types. They are more likely to fit all the way around you, and they contain more fabric, which means water may absorb faster. However, bath towels tend to cost less than bath sheets made by the same brand and out of the same fabric. If you have long hair, you may want to keep extra bath towels on hand. They are better suited for wrapping around your hair than heavy bath sheets. 

  • Do hotels use bath towels or bath sheets?

    Luxury and boutique hotels are likely to provide you with a larger option than a standard bath towel for drying off. They typically offer bigger-than-average bath towels or standard-sized bath sheets. This helps them accommodate a variety of body sizes, plus it's a simple way to add a small touch of opulence to your stay.

  • What's the difference between a spa towel and a bath sheet?

    The towels that spas use are usually bath sheets. The extra fabric makes a perfect coverup during a massage, facial, or trip to the sauna. For a spa-like feeling at home, opt for a bath sheet.