How to Choose Bath Towels

Posted by Aman Gurdov on

Thick or thin? Cotton or Polyester?
Choosing bath towels is partly an art and partly a science.  Faced with stacks and stacks of towels, in a wide range of prices and awash in advertising claims, it’s hard to choose. Your bath towel should be soft, durable, absorbent, and eco-friendly.

Absorbency
Thicker, heavier towels are usually more absorbent than thinner, lighter towels, but take longer to dry, of course. Towels made of Egyptian or Pima cotton, premium cotton brands, are super absorbent, and towels made with rayon absorb even a bit more water than cotton.
 
Softness
Towels often feel softer in the store than they do after a few washes. Most manufacturers coat towels with a fabric softening finish that feels soft to your hand, but it wears off after a wash or two, say Consumer Reports' experts.

Towels made with rayon, including rayon derived from bamboo, are usually very soft. Towels made with Pima or Egyptian cotton are also soft as their yarn is smooth and silky and less prone to fuzzies. Liquid fabric softeners do work, but they leave a film that decreases a towel’s absorbency, and increases flammability. Use dryer sheets instead. Most towels shrink, so use the appropriate heat setting. If your dryer has a moisture sensor then all the better.
 
Durability
Two-ply towels are a bit more durable than one ply. Cotton is stronger than rayon. Cotton/polyester blend towels are also durable—that’s why hotels and gyms use them—but are less absorbent than all cotton.

How to choose towel sizes?

Choosing the right towel also means thinking about how many towels your family needs and how they will likely use the towels.

Bath Towel Sizes

1- Wash cloth : washcloths is a cloth for washing one's face and body. One that measures that standard size of 13’’ by 13’ ( 13 x 13 )’. If you look, you might be able to find slightly smaller varieties measuring 12’’ by 12’’ (12 x 12).

2. Hand Towel: Hand towels, as their name suggests, are typically used to dry your hands after washing them at the sink. If you need hand towels, you could choose a standard size (16’’ by 30’’ or 20’’ by 35’’) or opt for a fingertip towel, which is a bit smaller and measures 11’’ by 18".

3. Bath Mat:  Bath rag or bath mat is  a mat for someone to stand on after getting out of a bathtub. Rugs measuring 17" by 24" are typically suitable in front of pedestal sinks or shower stalls, while those measuring 21" by 34" fit well outside most tubs. 

5. Bath Towel:  The standard bath towels range from about 27 inches by 52 inches in size all the way up to 30 inches by 58 inches for the largest towel. If you're a person of average weight and height, the standard bath towel will serve you well in all your bathing needs.

6. Bath Sheet: Larger than the standard bath towel, the standard bath sheet measures 35’’ by 60’’ and all the way up to 40 x 70 inches. If you want a towel that can provide full coverage, look no further than the bath sheet.

Towel thickness. Thick towel vs thin towel

Towel thickness is measured in grams per square meter (GSM). A thin towel is about 300-400 GSM, and might be acceptable for the gym or kitchen, but not for the bath. A low-weight bath towel is between 400-600 GSM. Heavier and more absorbent bath towels are 600-900 GSM.

  • Heavy towels can absorb more liquid than thinner towels. Unfortunately, these thicker towels take longer to dry.
  • Appropriately thick towels are likely made of high-quality cotton varieties like Pima or Egypt cotton.
  • Terrycloth towels are the most absorbent variety. They are constructed with extra yarn and larger thread loops to maximize absorbency.