Bath Sheet vs. Bath Towel: Which Is Better?

Consider your budget and skin needs as you decide.

Bath Towels vs Bath Sheets

The Spruce / Bailey Mariner

If your bath towel isn't quite fitting your needs, you might prefer its alternative: the bath sheet. Bath sheets are like bath towels, but they're a bit bigger. A standard bath towel is 27 inches by 52 inches while bath sheets usually run around 35 inches by 60 inches.

Here's what you need to know about a bath sheet vs. bath towel.

Benefits of Bath Towels

One of the primary benefits of bath towels is they generally cost less than bath sheets. But they're still of the same quality as their bath sheet counterparts. So if one towel is enough to get you comfortably dry after a shower or bath, then there's no reason to spend extra on a bath sheet. In addition, when it comes time to replace your towels, you won't feel as bad letting go of a bath towel as you might a more expensive bath sheet.

Another benefit of a bath towel is for drying your hair. If you like to towel-dry your hair or wrap it up in a towel after a shower, a bath sheet is likely too big for this. But a bath towel can be the perfect size.

Bath towels also are easier to fit on bathroom towel bars and hooks. And they store more easily. They also make it easier to fit multiple towels in a shared bathroom. Plus, they take up less space in the washer and dryer, and they dry more quickly than a larger bath sheet. Furthermore, if you move frequently, bath towels are smaller and lighter to pack up and take with you.

Benefits of Bath Sheets

Many people consider bath sheets to be a luxurious experience. Because they have more surface area to absorb water, they tend to remain drier and fluffier as you towel off after a shower or bath. So if you want to treat yourself to a cozy towel-drying experience, opt for a bath sheet.

In addition, because there's more surface area for absorption, bath sheets can often do the job more efficiently than bath towels. So if you're in the habit of grabbing two towels to dry yourself after a shower or bath, or you find that it's tough to get dry using just one bath towel, you might want to consider switching to a single bath sheet.

Furthermore, if you like to wrap a towel around your body after a shower or bath, a bath towel could be a tight fit, depending on your body type. So you might find the larger bath sheet to be more comfortable.

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 Sheets vs. Beach Towels

You might wonder whether beach towels are as good as bath sheets, as they're also oversized. Beach towels are indeed larger than bath sheets, designed so someone can lie down on the beach without having to touch the sand.

However, most beach towels have much less material than bath sheets (and bath towels) for several reasons. First, when you're on the beach, you don't rely as much on the towel to get you dry because you have the benefit of the hot sun. Second, a strong and thin towel is easy to use as a means of brushing sand off your body. Third, the thinness of a beach towel makes it easier to fit inside a beach bag, especially given its large surface area. It also allows it to dry faster, so you don't have to transport a soggy towel.

As a result, beach towels are much less absorbent than bath sheets, and they're not as cozy and comfortable to use for towel-drying on a regular basis. Thus, they are best kept for use on sunny days outdoors.

  • How should you launder towels?

    Always check the towel label for washing instructions. In general, separate whites and colors, and use the warmest water setting recommended. Avoid using excess detergent, as well as fabric softener with every wash, as it can build up in the towel fibers and affect absorbency.

  • What's the best way to dry a towel to prevent mildew?

    Shake excess water out of the towels after washing them. Then, dry them promptly in the dryer on the warmest setting recommended on the towel label. Alternatively, you can dry them on a clothesline in a sunny spot with good air circulation. The key is that they dry quickly to prevent mildew from developing.

  • Can you use a beach towel as a bath towel?

    A beach towel can be used as a bath towel in a pinch. But beach towels generally are thinner and less absorbent than bath towels, so they won't dry you as effectively.