Towel Buying Guide

Published April 28, 2010 | Updated June 29, 2015

From the soothing warmth of a clean bath towel to the subtle decorative influence of a well-placed hand towel, bath linens have more effect on your home than you may give them credit for. Because of the influence towels have on your bath decor, your search for the perfect bathroom accessories should always begin with towels. This towel buying guide will help you pick the best towels for every bathroom in your home.

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Towel Fabrics:

  • Cotton

    Quality cotton towels are easy to find at low prices, making them some of the best bath towels for the majority of bathrooms.

  • Egyptian Cotton

    Egyptian cotton towels are one of the most popular types of bath towels. In contrast to a regular cotton towel, the long fibers of Egyptian cotton provide more softness and durability, making them feel more luxurious for longer. Egyptian cotton towels are a great way to make your master or guest bath look and feel rich and sumptuous.

  • Bamboo

    Because bamboo is considered a renewable resource, bamboo towels are an eco-friendly choice. Additionally, bamboo is naturally mildew-resistant and antibacterial.

  • Turkish Cotton

    Like Egyptian cotton, Turkish cotton threads are long, which makes them soft and durable. The long threads also mean the fabric can be woven tighter, which makes these towels very absorbent. Turkish cotton also has a bit of a sheen, which is very beautiful.

  • Towel Sizes and Their Uses:

    Towel Size Best Uses
    Bath Towel From 27" x 52" to 30" x 58" Small bathrooms
    Kids' bathrooms
    Guest bathrooms
    Bath Sheet From 35" x 60" to 40" x 70" Master bathrooms
    Large bathrooms
    Hand Towel From 16" x 28" to 18" x 30" Any bathroom
    Powder room
    Finger Towel 11" x 18" Small bathroom
    Powder room
    Washcloth About 13" x 13" Showers and bathtubs
  • Bath Towel

    The standard bath towel is ideal for most drying duties, from drying off after a shower to wrapping up wet hair and drying off children after bath time.

  • Bath Sheets

    Bath sheets are big enough to make you feel like royalty. These oversized bath towels do a terrific job of warmly wrapping you after a long soak. And if you're shopping for larger people, then you'll want to look for bath sheets.

  • Hand Towel

    A good-sized hand towel will hang correctly and allow for enough room to dry properly. Hand towels are functional, but they are also an easy, affordable decorative bath accessory, especially if they have a decorative trim.

  • Finger Towel

    Finger towels are a slightly smaller version of hand towels. They're great for smaller spaces and are an excellent touch to your bathroom decor. Fold them in decorative shapes and place on the counter or in a basket on the toilet tank for easy elegance.

  • Wash Cloth

    These tiny towels are the quintessential in-shower size for washing your skin. Wash cloths are also great for washing your face over the sink or for cleaning up small spills on the bathroom counter.

Towel Shopping Tips:

Shop for towel sets: Bath towel sets help you avoid a color-matching headache, and they are generally more affordable than if you purchased each towel individually. Bath towel sets help your bathroom look clean and coordinated and save you time and money.

Look for double-turned edges: For a truly durable towel, look for towels with double-turned edges. This means the hems of the towel are reinforced with double stitching, ensuring your towels will hold up to all kinds of use.

Decide how many towels you need: Not sure how many towels to buy? Most people like to have at least two sets of towels per person, so each person can have one set of towels in use and one set in the laundry. You can always add more if you like to change your towels more often.