Shopping for bathroom towels can sometimes be tricky. With several different cotton fibres and styles, how do you decide which bathroom towel is right for you? We have broken down the bath time dilemma in our full bathroom towel buying guide, including advice on size, fabric and care.
Things to Consider
- Towel Size
- Fabric & Quality
- Wash & Care Instructions
Bathroom Towel Size Guide
Bathroom towels come in a wide variety of sizes.
A standard bath towel, perfect for drying off after a shower or bath, is 70 cm x 140 cm while a typical bath sheet comes in slightly larger at around 160 x 90cm. And while a bath sheet offers full coverage, if you’re searching for smaller options, hand towels are 100 x 50cm.
Towel Types & Approximate Sizes
30 x 30cm – A small square-sized towel used to wash both body and face.
38 x 55cm – A smaller version of a hand towel, these towels are often placed in a guest bathroom. Also good use at salons or barbers.
50 x 80cm – An everyday towel used to dry your hands, often placed in the bathroom. The size also works well for drying hair & at salons or barbers.
70 x 120cm – A standard towel for drying off after a bath or shower.
80 x 140cm – A slightly larger standard bath towel for drying off after a bath or shower.
Jumbo & Super Size Bath Sheet:
90 x 16ocm & 100 x 170cm. Used as a bath sheet, gives more coverage.
80 x 160cm – Often made of thinner material than most standard towels to promote fast drying. Beach towels have the dual purpose not only to dry but to provide a surface to lie on at the beach, as well as on a sun lounger.
Classic or pure cotton are by far the most common fabric used to make everyday bathroom towels. They are good value and good for everyday use.
Egyptian Cotton, soft to the touch and extremely absorbent. Consists of extra-long thin fibres, which hold very well in a wash. These towels are well known for their durability and long lasting qualities, they tend to last longer than any other Cotton.
Turkish cotton towels also come with long fibres but these are denser and looped in order to trap warmth and moisture. Popular in spas and hotels, Turkish cotton towels are naturally much heavier and therefore take longer to dry, but they do become softer and more luxurious after every wash.
Zero twist cotton towels. These towels tend to dry a lot faster, the cotton yarn is not twisted hence the name “Zero Twist”, this allows air to circulate through their threading, also making it one of the fluffiest towels.
Towel Fabric & Thread Types
Classic or Pure Cotton:
100% Cotton towels are perfect for everyday use; they have good strength, softness and absorbency.
Made of 100% Natural American Pima cotton, Supima® towels are made of silky, extra-long cotton fibres. They are extremely durable.
Strong, light and fluffy, Egyptian cotton has extra-long fibres that make towels extremely absorbent. They are also extremely durable and long lasting.
Durable, extra-long Turkish cotton fibres are often made into long looped towels which are durable, absorbent and soft.
Bamboo is often blended with cotton to make luxury towels that are soft, absorbent and hold their colour well. Bamboo plants also have natural anti-bacterial properties.
Microfibre is a synethetic fibre made from polyester and polyamide fibres. Towels made of microfibre are very absorbent and generally dry faster than cotton towels.
Extra soft, combed cotton is made from refined raw cotton which has had short fibres and impurities brushed out. This makes combed cotton softer and stronger than normal cotton, great for those with sensitive skin.
Zero Twist Cotton:
Zero twist cotton towels are made using a modern technique that doesn’t require individual threads to be twisted together. As well as increased softness and absorbency, this means that air can circulate inside the towel well so it dries quickly.
Terrycloth is a general term for fabric with looped threads to allow it to absorb lots of water. Usually it is made of 100% cotton but it can also contain polyester.
This is a fabric weave that is used to make fabric both extra absorbent and fast drying. The result is a durable, lightweight and textured material that is great for towels and bath robes.
GSM is short for grams per square metre and is an indication towards a towel’s weight and density. The higher the GSM, the thicker and therefore more absorbent the bathroom towel will be. Those luxury hotel-style towels we all love come with a higher GSM, while lightweight towels that essentially dry quicker come with a lower GSM. Most everyday towels come with a GSM of between 400 – 700, so before you decide on which GSM you’d prefer, think about when and how often you’ll use your towel.
Top Towel Care Tips
✓ Always check the label for the best washing instructions. All towels are machine washable but some may require lower temperatures to stay in good condition for longer.
✓ Avoid detergents containing bleach or whiteners. These will cause your towel to fade and can ultimately make fibres coarser.
✓ If possible, avoid using a fabric conditioner. Conditioners can coat the bathroom towel’s fibres which in turn reduces their absorbency.
✓ Give your towels a good shake before and after washing as this helps to opens up the fibres, allowing the detergent to sink in and promote drying.
✓ Don’t worry about loose threads, especially in brand new towels. If you catch a loop, just snip it off or leave it as this won’t do damage to your towel.
✓ Tumble drying can hep make towels soft and fluffy after washing. If you prefer to line dry your towels, popping them in the drier for a few minutes when they’re almost fully dry will help soften them.
✓ Ironing can damage the towel’s fibres and reduce absorbency so it’s better to avoid this all together.
✓ Wash your towels separately to clothing with zips to avoid any unwanted snagging.
✓ Always wash your towels before using them for the first time. This will improve absorbency and helps set the colour to extend the lifetime of your towels.