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Stepping out of a warm shower or pool is always easier when it involves a soft and fluffy towel. You know it’s time to finally replace your old towel if it’s starting to feel rough or lost its absorbency — but much like finding bed sheets, choosing the best towels involves weighing different options like size and thread count. Plus, wrapping yourself up in a great towel is akin to treating yourself to the luxuries of a getaway without actually leaving home.
How to Choose the Right Bath Towels
If you’re in a pinch, choosing the cheapest towels on the shelf may not always be the best option. These days, bathroom textiles come in a range of affordable options, and you don’t have to splurge to find a plush towel that can withstand dozens of washes without falling apart.
Here’s what you should consider when shopping for towels:
Bath Towels vs. Bath Sheets: The difference between bath towels and sheets is the size. Standard bath towels can measure anywhere between 27 inches by 52 inches to as large as 30 inches by 58 inches. Bath sheets give you more surface area and go from 35 inches by 60 inches, and up to 40 inches by 70 inches. If you’re tight on space, then bath towels might be a better and more compact bet. If you don’t mind spending a little more, bath sheets are great if you prefer a larger towel with more absorption.
Fabric Weight: Towels are usually measured in GSM, or grams per square meter. They usually range in weight from 300 to 900 GSM, with lighter and thinner towels being a lower number and heavier and plush towels being the highest number.
Material: If you’re looking for a super absorbent and soft towel, 100 percent cotton is the best option. For a lighter towel, textiles with ribs or waffle textures are what you’ll want. And if you’re seeking quick-dry towels, low-pile fabrics such as cotton-poly blends with shorter yarn loops are ideal.
Oeko-Tex Certification: If the environment is your top concern, towels that are certified under the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 ensure that they contain no harmful chemicals and that production meets independently verified safety and environmental guidelines.
What Are the Best Towels?
In the market for new bath towels? We’ve rounded up some of the best bath sheets and towels in a range of styles and fabrics to suit an array of preferences. Most, if not all, come in other sizes (from washcloths and hand towels to bath sheets) so you can restock your entire bathroom — check out our top picks below.
1. Parachute Soft Rib Towel
While Parachute makes some of our favorite bedding, the company also makes high-quality towels, like this soft rib towel. It’s spun from 100 percent long-staple Turkish cotton that weighs 450 GSM, so it’s lightweight yet super-soft. The ribbed design allows it to dry quickly, and we like that the Oeko-Tex-certified towel comes in earth-inspired shades that suit a range of decor styles. The bath towel measures 30 inches by 56 inches, and it comes in other sizes.
2. Brooklinen Super-Plush Bath Towels
We consider Brooklinen’s home textiles among the best bath towels out there. These are made of 100 percent Turkish cotton that weighs in at a plush 820 GSM. We like that these Oeko-Tex-certified towels live up to their name, thanks to the z-twist loops that offer incredible softness and five-star hotel-like luxury and quality. They measure 30 inches by 58 inches and are available in a range of other sizes and stylish colors.
3. Pact Organic Cotton Waffle Bath Towel
Pact’s fair-trade waffle bath towels are made of 100 percent organic cotton terry fabric, and their texture means that they’re lightweight and dry quickly. They measure 27 inches by 55 inches and come in other sizes.
4. Resore Bath Towel
If you’ve got sensitive skin, Resore’s hypoallergenic and moisture-wicking towel features an antibacterial treatment that makes it easy on acne-prone skin. It’s made of a blend of Turkish cotton, rayon, lyocell, and polyester, and the 600 GSM material helps to regulate your temperature. It measures 30 inches by 55 inches, so it’s slightly larger than an average bath towel.
5. Amazon Basics Quick-Dry 100% Cotton Bath Towels
The online giant’s in-house line offers essentials in every life category, including bath towels. Amazon’s 100 percent cotton bath towels are Oeko-Tex-certified and measure 54 inches by 30 inches, so they’re larger than the standard size. They come in a set of two, and they’re available in a wide variety of other sizes and colors.
6. Boll & Branch Plush Bath Towel
One of the best towels is Boll & Branch’s super-soft towel, which is made of 100 percent organic and fair trade cotton that’s also Oeko-Tex-certified. The towel weighs 700 GSM, so it’s on the fluffy and absorbent side, thanks to long-staple yarns that undergo “a special tumbling process,” says the brand. It measures 30 inches wide by 58 inches long, so it’s on the larger size. You can get them in other sizes and many other design-minded colors.
7. Cariloha Bamboo Towel
Those looking for an alternative to cotton (which requires a lot of water to produce) will find an eco-friendly alternative in Cariloha’s towels. They’re made from a blend of bamboo-based viscose and Turkish cotton, so they’re super absorbent and naturally odor-resistant. These towels measure 30 inches by 56 inches and weigh 600 GSM, which offers just-right thickness without taking too long to dry. They come in other sizes and colors, too.
8. Coyuchi Organic Cotton AirWeight Towel
Coyuchi’s best-selling twill weave bath towels are lightweight enough to dry quickly without sacrificing absorbency. Made from fair trade-certified organic cotton, these towels weigh 550 GSM and feature long yarn loops that are dense enough for soaking up water. They come in other sizes and we’re fans of the many stylish color options.
9. The Company Store Legends Luxury Sterling Supima Cotton Bath Towel
At 800 GSM, these plush bath towels by the Company Store will turn any bathroom into a luxe spa. They’re made of 100 percent long-staple Supima cotton that offers super-soft comfort and absorbency, and we like that you can add a monogram for extra personalization. These thick towels measure 30 inches by 58 inches and are available in other sizes and over a dozen versatile colors.