Bath Towels | Types and How to Choose the Right One

Bath towels have existed since ancient times, with some evidence pointing to their availability in the sixteenth century. Of course, this bathroom accessory adds to the luxury of your shower experience, so it helps to know the types and how to choose the right piece.

In this guide, you’ll discover various types of bath towels available on the market, including the factors to consider when choosing a bath towel. You’ll also learn about different weaves for bath towels and how you can care for, maintain, and extend the life of your bath towel.

Types of Bath Towels

As early as the 1890s, bath towels were already available on the American market.

Today, many varieties are available, including super absorbent and soft bath towels, which you can find on Amazon.

Stacked white soft, fluffy bath towels

Image Courtesy of Amazon

Here are the types of bath towels you can find on the market:

  • Cotton bath towels
  • Microfiber bath towels
  • Turkish bath towels
  • Bamboo bath towels

Cotton Bath Towels

Is 100% cotton best for bath towels? Many people ask this question. And yes, according to experts, the best bath towels are made of pure cotton. Cotton bath towels have longer fibers, which increases the towel’s softness, durability, and absorbency. A 100% cotton bath towel is wholesome, eco-friendly, and chemical-free. Even though cotton blends may provide some longevity, pure cotton bath towels stand out as the best.

So, what are the characteristics of cotton bath towels? When choosing a bath towel, you should look for specific properties in the yarn used to make it. Cotton bath towels have the following properties most efficiently:

  • High hydrophilicity
  • High wet strength
  • Good dyeability
  • High color fastness
  • Washability
  • Soft handle
  • Anti-allergenicity

And what are the benefits of using cotton towels? To begin with, 100% cotton towels are natural. Cotton is a natural material, tested and tried. It has been used in making aprons, clothing, bedding, and towels for hundreds of years. Besides, cotton is highly absorbent, and in many cases, affordable.

Microfiber Bath Towels

Microfiber towels are made from polymer strands, which are slightly better than a human hair. Because of this quality, they can retain water and other elements, including dust, soil, and grime. Compared to cotton strands, microfibre strands are finer, albeit they are synthetic. Polyester and nylon are good examples of microfiber strands.

Microfiber bath towels embrace a finely woven construction and they are fast-drying. Here are the characteristics of microfiber bath towels:

  • Super absorbent
  • Slenderer than cotton
  • Fast-drying, even at room temperatures

Perhaps the major downside of microfiber towels is that they require special wash care and maintenance. While you can easily wash cotton towels with hot water in a washing machine, microfiber towels require a detailed approach. You have to follow manufacturer-provided instructions to wash and maintain them.

Bamboo towels

Bamboo bath towels are made from bamboo fibers, which makes them a better eco-friendly option than microfiber towels. Besides, bamboo strands are gentler than cotton strands. They have high moisture-wicking properties, so they absorb and dry fast. Bamboo towels are also easy to clean and maintain.
Here are the properties of bamboo bath towels:

  • Natural and anti-microbial
  • Highly absorbent
  • More eco-friendly than cotton
  • Scent-safe
  • Highly comfortable
  • Can blend with cotton

Major concerns about the bamboo bath towel include hypersensitivity and quality checks. At the time of buying, you need to buy from a trusted maker or supplier. This will ensure you get a product that will satisfy all your benchmarks. Bamboo towel models are also hypersensitive. Especially during the manufacturing process, they may discharge certain materials into the air, which may affect sensitive users.

Turkish Towels

What is a Turkish towel? A Turkish bath towel is a type of towel made in Turkey with 100% Turkey-grown cotton. Turkish towels have existed for centuries and are known to be highly absorbent and soft compared to other towels. They are tightly woven and styled in a flat fabric with narrow and wide stripes. They look good and trendy and are ideal for the beach and the bathroom.

Here are the characteristics of Turkish bath towels:

  • Highly absorbent
  • Made of 100% Turkish cotton
  • Extra-long fibers and flat woven
  • Perfect for both bath and beach

All the same, Turkish towels have their share of downsides. First, they are not as plush and luxurious as traditional towels. They are thinner and more lightweight cotton, microfiber, or bamboo models. Some users may not find these qualities comfortable or cozy. Besides, you shouldn’t use fabric softener on Turkish towels.

What to Look for When Buying New Towels?

When you’re looking for the qualities of a good bath towel, you should consider products made of long-staple cotton combined with single-ply yarns. Long-staple cotton creates the strongest and softest feel while single-ply yarn reduces breakage and increases the lifespan of your bath towel.

Here are the three most important factors to consider when buying a new bath towel:

  • Size
  • Weight
  • Texture


If your bath towel feels too small for your body size, perhaps you need a bath sheet instead. A bath towel and a bath sheet are two different items. Standard bath towels, owned by most people, measure between 27″ x 52″ and 30″ x 56″. On the other hand, bath sheets are larger, measuring between 35″ x 60″ and 40″ x 70″. Bath sheets offer a bigger surface area for drying off.


When it comes to weight, thicker towels are softer and more absorbent. However, if you’re shopping online, you may not be able to judge whether a product is heavy or thick enough. Therefore, you need to know the grams per square meter (GSM) of your preferred towel. The GSM measurement indicates a towel’s weight and a higher number shows a better performance.
Most standard bath towels have a 500 GSM or slightly more. More absorbent bath towels have a higher GSM of 800 or higher. Manufacturers often indicate the GSM number on the product label, but where it’s missing, consumers can use a GSM calculator to find out.


Texture determines the softness or coarseness of your bath towel. Different materials offer different levels of texture, ranging from cotton and microfiber to linen and bamboo fabrics. Even in the cotton category, there is Egyptian, Turkish, Pima, and Organic cotton. So the choice of texture narrows down to individual preference.

Traditionally, finer and longer cotton strands make plusher towels. Overall, each fabric offers a distinct quality and feel, and the method of construction determines the final quality of the product. Common methods of towel construction include:

  • Combed cotton
  • Ringspun cotton
  • Terrycloth
  • Waffle-weave and
  • Zero-twist fibers

Each of these methods delivers a separate level of texture and absorbency (More on this in our future guide).

Final Thoughts

As a shopper, the ultimate product should reflect your personal preference. The factors mentioned in this guide should form the basis to guide you in choosing the best bath towel. Our next guides will cover what you need to consider when you are looking for the best deal or considering going green.

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *