How Many Towels You Need Per Person, According to Experts

bathroom towels

Desiree Burns

It's no secret that towels are a household staple, but when it comes to specific numerical amounts, how many bath, hand, face, and beach towels do you really need to keep on hand? Because everyone wants to be well prepared while still ensuring that their linen closet isn't absolutely overflowing, we spoke with experts who shared their views on what a reasonable number of towels looks like in the home.

Meet the Expert

  • Kelly Zies is the marketing and public relations manager at sustainable towel brand Slowtide.
  • Liz Eichholz is the creative director and co-founder of towel brand Weezie.
  • Kathryn Lord is a professional organizer at More To Organising, which focuses on cultivating children's independence in the home.
  • Luisa Castaño is the owner of Your Space Better a company offering organized lifestyle services.

Kelly Zies, the marketing and public relations manager at Slowtide, a sustainable artful towel brand, says, "There really isn't a set number that is right or wrong." Rather, she adds, "It's actually pretty situational: What are your needs? Is there a pool in the backyard? If so, you'll want some beach towels. How many people are in a household? How big is your closet? How many bathrooms are in your house?" These are all key questions to weigh before settling on a specific number amount.

The Rules of Thumb to Follow

Still, keep in mind that you'll need to launder towels often—Zies suggests washing bath, face, and hand towels at least once a week. "A useful rule of thumb is to have two sets [of each], so that you always have something to use during laundry days," she adds.

Some experts advise maintaining an even larger collection. "We suggest four bath towels (two in use, two in the wash) supplemented with two hand towels, and two washcloths—perfect for one adult," says Liz Eichholz, creative director and co-founder of towel brand Weezie. "Live with someone? We recommend doubling up! This will leave you with enough for everyday use, display, and laundry day!"

Keep in mind that the towel types you'll want to keep on hand may vary from one family member to another depending on specific needs. "For little children, you can get great towels with a built in hood which helps dry their hair," notes Kathryn Lord, a professional organizer at More To Organising, who focuses on cultivating children's independence at home. "For anyone with long hair, I recommend having a hair towel as well as a body towel," she adds. And Lord urges consumers not to purchase a handful of matching towels for a few reasons. "To avoid confusion, have a different color or shade for each person in the household to avoid towel sharing," she explains. "It also helps the children be more responsible for their own towel as they know which is theirs."  

Additionally, Lord offers another tip for those who have young children at home. It is advisable to be prepared to clean up impromptu messes, which means being extra prepared from room to room, she comments. "Keep a face towel in the kitchen, as that’s when you need to wash tomato covered faces and fingers before they spread the red sauce all over your house," Lord urges. "And keep them in the bathroom to wipe those muddy knees from soccer!"

Beach and Pool Towels by Location

It is important to note that the number of beach and pool towels you may wish to keep on hand may be largely based on the climate and region in which you live. Luisa Castaño, the owner of Your Space Better, a professional organizing team based in Sarasota, FL, weighs in with her views. "Here in Florida, one to two per person is perfectly reasonable," she notes. "If you have a a boat or a bunch of teenagers swimming at your house every weekend, then that number goes up."

Of course, if you're still having trouble stashing your towel collection away in the closet, Castaño offers a piece of advice. "The reality is if your towel closet is in constant disarray and can’t stay organized, it may be a sign you have too many towels and need to downsize," she notes. "Or it could mean you need to learn a folding technique from a professional organizer." She advises those who are looking to part with unused towels to consider donating them to a local charity, such as an animal shelter, where they can go to good use.