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How to Find the Perfect Bath Towel: A Towel Buying Guide and Quiz

Updated on June 02, 2016
Stack of Towels
Stack of Towels

Towel Buying Confusion

Have you ever grabbed towels that you thought were a great value only to have them fall apart, lose their color, lose absorbency, or just not last? I recently looked into purchasing new bath towels and got overwhelmed by the amount of options, terminology, and brands. This article aims at consolidating all of my research so that you can quickly make a decision on the perfect towels to buy.

Please start by taking the quiz to find a match quickly and then feel free to pursue the rest of the article for a more comprehensive description of terms, styles, and recommendations.

Find My Perfect Bath Towel


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Towel Fabrics

  • Cotton Terry- Soft and quick drying
  • Egyptian Cotton- This cotton is soft, luxurious, highly absorbent, durable, and breathable. The lighter weight leads to quicker drying than Turkish Cotton towels.
  • MicroCotton / Microfiber- This textile has a soft, suede-like texture. The towels are among the quickest drying, but do not have as plush a texture as other varieties.
  • Organic Cotton- Made with certified organic cotton grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. These typically have the same feel as non-organic cotton, but are better for the environment.
  • Pima / Supima Cotton- This light cotton has an extra-long staple for durability and absorbency.
  • Turkish Cotton- These towels are the densest and heaviest towels. They feature an extra-long stable, and are very absorbent and durable.

Towel Terminology

Term
Definition
2-Ply
Double the amount of yarn makes a towel more dense and durable
Combed Cotton
The towel has been combed to remove any short, weak, or uneven fibers. This leads to a stronger towel.
GSM
This term describes towel weight in grams per square meter. Towels typically range from 300-900 GSM. Towels with a lower density (300-400 GSM) are great for a gym whereas towels in the 600-900 GSM range are the most luxurious, but take the longest to dry.
Hollow-Core Yarns
This yarn has a hollow core in the center to make softer, bulkier towels.
Ringspun Cotton
Tightly woven fibers are twisted together for a strong, smooth finish. These towels are usually not combed.
Staple
This term refers to the length of the fibers used to make the towel. Longer staple leads to durability, softness, and higher absorbency.
Twist
Tightly woven fibers are twisted together for a strong, smooth finish.

Washing and Caring For Your Bath Towels

Now that you've found the perfect bath towel, you want to make sure to keep them looking and feeling their best. Here are some tips on long term care of your towels:

  1. Wash Once Before First Use- After purchasing your bath towels, make sure to wash them once to set the color, improve absorbency, and remove lint. Some towels will continue to shed lint with each wash and others will improve fluffiness with each subsequent wash.
  2. Wash Every 3-6 Uses- Recommendations on bath towel washings range from once every 3 days to once a week. Generally, washing a towel every 3-6 uses will keep them fresh.
  3. Avoid Fabric Softeners- Fabric softeners are unnecessary to use with your towels and can create a stiff texture which is contrary to the desirable fluffy quality in a towel.
  4. Add Vinegar Bi-Monthly- Add one cup of distilled white vinegar to your towels once every other month to remove residue, improve absorbency, and remove built up odors.
  5. Wash Separately From Rags- Wash separately from cleaning towels to avoid bleach or cleaning solutions from accidentally getting on your bath towels.
  6. Replace Your Towels Every 3-5 Years- Proper care will allow you to extend the life of your towels, but no towels last forever. Since you typically utilize your towels every day, they should really be replaced after several years. Guest towels that get less use can go longer before replacement.

Top / Best Bath Towel Brands

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Buying your Bath Towels and Sets

I hope now that you have a good idea of which type of towel will work best for your needs. The next step is to purchase your towel or sets of towels. When making your purchase, consider checking out the articles: How to Find the Lowest Prices on Home Decor and Furniture Online and How to Save the Most Money Online.

Please feel free to leave feedback and other helpful towel tips!

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