The best bathroom towels

Step out of the tub and into our pick of the best bathroom towels around, with hand towels, bath sheets and everything in between from White Company, John Lewis and more

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When it comes to making a list of important home purchases, towels might not be the first thing to cross your mind, but trust us: it can be a minefield. There’s the size, the thickness, the absorbency, the colour… and don’t even get us started on the fluffiness. But luckily, we’ve already scoured the shops for the best towels on the market right now, so rather than brave the busy shopping centre or dart around John Lewis in a towel-squeezing frenzy, you can avoid all that craziness and kick back with a cup of tea and our list of the top towels instead.

Our picks come highly rated and reviewed for their softness, standout design, high-quality heaviness, or all of the above, so no matter what you’re after, there’s sure to be something here. Then, once you’ve found your new favourite set, there are loads of ways to keep them at their best. Wash on the highest temperature setting recommended by the care label, and resist the temptation to use fabric softener, as this can leave a residue that stops towels absorbing as much as they could. Finally, give them a good old shake every now and then to restore fluffiness.

1. The White Company Colour Border Towels

A classic, comfortable hotel bathroom design, but with an edge

Specifications
Best for: Hotel style
Size: W70 x L125 cm
Colour: White/grey
Material: 100% cotton
Weight: 550gsm
Reasons to buy
+Minimal but striking design +Very soft and fluffy 
Reasons to avoid
-Some think they could be thicker 

That these elegant White Company towels would look just as at home in a luxury spa as in a basket in the bathroom is a high recommendation, but what really earns them our top spot is a winning combination of that subtly stylish design and all-round great quality. People who own these towels say that they’re generously sized and extremely soft and fluffy, just right for wrapping up in after a long soak, and the soft putty-coloured edging adds just the right amount of personality. 

2. John Lewis Egyptian Cotton Towels

The thickest, most absorbent towels in an enormous rainbow of shades

Specifications
Best for: Absorbency
Size: W70 x L135cm
Colour: Various (44 available)
Material: 100% Egyptian cotton
Weight: 700gsm
Reasons to buy
+Thick and absorbent +Huge range of colours to suit all schemes 
Reasons to avoid
-Can take a little while to dry out completely 

These John Lewis towels are a firm favourite, as the huge number of five-star reviews on their site attests. While seen here in white, they come in an astounding 44 different colours, so trust us when we say that, no matter your bathroom scheme, there’ll be one to suit. They’ve been praised time and time again for their plush thickness, absorbency, and saturated shades which don’t fade in the wash. If you’re after an enormous, thick bath sheet that you can really sink into, without spending a lot, we recommend going for one of these. 

3. The White Company Hydrocotton Towels

For the fluffiest ever towels, look no further than this White Company offering

Specifications
Best for: Fluffiness
Size: W70 x L125cm
Colour: White, pearl grey, slate, stone
Material: 100% hydrocotton
Weight: 500gsm
Reasons to buy
+Unique design for added fluffiness +Easy to wash and dry 
Reasons to avoid
-Can lose some fluffiness over time 

In an elegant range of neutrals, and with a distinctive wide ribbed design, these bestselling hydrocotton towels from The White Company are just the thing if you’re after something subtly different from the average towel. The low twist technology used is intended to make these towels “supremely fluffy”, and reviewers agree that it succeeds, commenting favourably on the softness and absorbency, and how well they wash. For their cosy factor and easy care, we think these towels are fab for the family home. 

4. The White Company Super Soft Pestemal Towels

High-traffic households will love these quick-drying - but very soft - bathroom towels

Specifications
Best for: Busy households
Size: W70 x L125 cm
Colour: White
Material: 100% cotton
Weight: 280gsm
Reasons to buy
+Fine, light and quick-drying +Soft despite thinness 
Reasons to avoid
-Fringing can be prone to fraying 

They might look beautiful and unusual, but the main selling point for these White Company towels is their convenience. Superb for busy families, their fine construction promises a feather-light weight and speedy drying, meaning there’ll be no soggy rags left lying around even in a high-traffic household. There’s none of that scratchiness you often get with thin towels though - if happy reviewers are to be believed, these towels live up to their ‘super soft’ claim. 

5. HOME Aztec Contrast 4 Piece Towel Bale

Subtle shades and a standout print make one trendy towel set

Specifications
Best for: A co-ordinated set
Size: W90 x L120cm
Colour: White/grey
Material: 100% cotton
Weight: 280gsm
Reasons to buy
+Great value +Trendy patterned set 
Reasons to avoid
-Quite thin 

If your bathroom is of the funkier persuasion, or you’re looking to bring a bit of personality to an otherwise all-white space, look no further than this mixed bale of plain and patterned towels. The Aztec pattern is bang on trend, but the muted white and grey colour scheme keeps things grown-up, adding just the right amount of interest. However these towels are also our top pick for value. They’re on the thinner side compared to the pricier picks on our list, but reviewers have been pleasantly surprised by their softness, and have found the mix of two hand towels and two bath towels to be just right. 

6. The White Company Salcombe Stripe Towels

Soft-as-you-like terry cotton, light enough to pop in a carry-on

Specifications
Best for: Packing
Size: W70 x L125cm
Colour: White/navy
Material: 100% cotton
Weight: 500gsm
Reasons to buy
+Light but soft +Sweet nautical scheme 
Reasons to avoid
-Some have found bath towel too small 

If their delightful nautical colour scheme didn’t already tip you off, allow us: these striped towels from stalwarts The White Company are just the thing for popping in a suitcase for your next staycation (might we suggest Devon?) thanks to their lightweight cotton construction. The terry pile is, according to happy owners, incredibly soft, with some even preferring these towels to the Egyptian cotton alternatives on offer. High praise indeed.