12 Best Bath Towels 2023
The towels will not rub you the wrong way.
Relocating is an excuse to upgrade, and I made that my mission when I recently moved into my own apartment. I went from having roommates to flying solo, and took it as an opportunity to grow. It felt like I was stepping into a new phase of adulthood — and my worn-out home furnishings and linens weren’t welcome. My old curtains didn’t fit my new big bay windows. My overused sheets had lost their pristine white shade. And I was finally ready to switch from wasteful paper towels to reusable Swedish ones — the ultimate sign of maturity.
There was just one thing left to address: My towels. Caring for my skin and body is a priority; cheap towels no longer cut it. I desperately needed good bath towels, and the search was painful, literally and figuratively.
But I was determined to fill my bathroom with plush linens. It’s hard enough turning the shower off knowing your built-in sauna is about to end, and it’s made worse when you step out of the tub and are forced to use a rough towel that doesn’t absorb water or sheds bits of lint all over you. And if a towel isn’t made to dry fast enough, it’ll leave your bathroom smelling of mildew.
It sounds like a lot to ask for in a big fabric rectangle, but some brands are creating innovative linens that will blow your mind, and my move was a challenge for me to find them. Wrap yourself up in our list of the best bath towels, backed by editors and thousands of customer reviews.
When it came to combining softness, durability, look, and price, we landed on these Nordstrom-branded towels. They’re made of what they dub “hydrocotton,” which is still 100 percent cotton, but it’s woven in a way that dries faster than it would traditionally. Since they’re an in-house brand, their price won’t cause any sticker shock. We think this review sums it up perfectly: “I didn’t know what to expect from a store-bought brand, but these are by far the best towels we’ve ever owned! They have stayed beautifully soft and are extremely absorbent. We are just sorry that we did not purchase more!”
With over 10,000 reviews, this came in as a close second when ranking favorites. It’s a little pricier than the aforementioned model, but it’s definitely softer and plusher, if that’s what you’re after. These are made of 100 percent “OEKO-TEX” certified Turkish cotton, meaning they’re crazy soft and rigorously tested against toxic materials. They come in a variety of sizes and 26 colors, so you’re sure to find a hue that will match whatever theme you decorate your bathroom with.
For a towel that looks and feels like you stole it from a luxury spa in the Maldives, look to Pact. These chic towels have a subtle ribbed textile, elevating them from your typical simpler textiles. They only come in three colors, but this terracotta hue is something we would never tire of.
Leave it to Amazon’s in-house brand to create a really good basic, and for $10 a pop. Consider this a no-frills towel, where quality and price are unmatched if you are searching for simplicity. With over 1,300 five-star reviews, it’s one of the most popular styles on the site, with buyers raving about the quick-drying qualities.
These towels are $25 each, which can still feel a little steep, but they perform as if they were twice as expensive. That’s what we love about the brand Quince, which reliably churns out great basics (like our favorite cashmere sweater) that look and feel as if they’re designer.
For some, a plush towel is not preferred because thinner towels fold down neatly and dry way faster. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a towel that doesn’t look great and rubs you the wrong way (literally). That’s what we love about waffle and honeycomb textiles, which are lightweight but absorb as well as the thickest fabrics. This waffle weave will look chic in your linen closet and feel like a light embrace on your body.
Boll & Branch
If you’re looking for a towel you won’t have to replace in a few years, good luck. A high-use linen isn’t meant to last a lifetime, but this set by Boll and Branch is the closest you’ll get. It’s made from 100 percent organic cotton that is so soft, you’ll be tempted to save them for the special occasion showers and hide them from visiting family members. They have a dense weight so they’ll feel heavier than most towels, but they still dry quickly.
Why do beach towels get to have all the fun? Get loud with Brooklyn-based textile brand Dusen Dusen. They make bold styles in unexpected color combinations that feel refreshing and fun, bringing a smile to every shower.
Having to tug your towel down to cover your derriere is a pain, which is why we love an oversized option. Here’s an insider tip: There’s a difference between a bath towel, and a bath sheet, the latter of which is larger and typically measures around 40″ x 70″. This Amazon find is one of the largest ones we found, measuring in at 40″ x 80″, with over 400 five-star reviews.
Brooklinen makes some of our favorite towels, so it was difficult to pick one style. They have everything from plush hotel styles to ribbed to this ultra lightweight number that dries quicker than you can say “lather.” They come in a multitude of sizes, and the brand drops new colors and prints each season.
Typically, 100 percent cotton is the gold standard for a towel because it marries durability with absorbency, but Cozy Earth nailed a blended fabric option. Combining cotton with a bamboo-derived viscose, this towel is the best of both worlds. One side features a waffle weave that looks retro and stylish while hanging, but the other side has a plush terry to absorb moisture.
We didn’t think towels could have trends, but here we are. If you’re familiar with interior design influencers, you may notice a running theme in some Scandi-influenced bathrooms: Tekla towels. The Copenhagen-based brand is known for home linens, including towels that are especially coveted for chic colors and a soft yet sturdy feel. Go ahead, take that bathroom selfie with your hair wrapped up in these stripes.
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