Bobby Berk warns against splurging on this bathroom essential

He highlights one key homeware piece you can save some money on

green and pink bathroom with large shower and towel rail
(Image credit: Sanctuary Bathrooms)

Home-decorating always involves weighing up where to spend and where to save. We'd love to have high-end versions of everything, but it's just not realistic.

The best bathroom towels are an essential home accessory that brings an instant feeling of luxury to the bathroom. But according to Bobby Berk, these are NOT something you should shell out on.

striped bath towels on a ladder in a navy bathroom

(Image credit: CharlesTed)

Writing on his blog (opens in new tab), Bobby describes bath towels as one of the areas you can save money on in your home. While some things are 100% worth investing in, like the best mattress or a high-quality living room rug, he argues that towels are put through the wringer so much that it's better to opt for budget versions.

Constant washing and drying can eventually leave towels looking tired and faded, and if you're not washing them properly, they can lose their absorbency. So to keep any towels looking good it's worth finding out how to wash towels for perfectly fluffy results. One key thing is to avoid using fabric softeners.

Bobby suggests picking a classic white cotton option, as they go with everything and won't cost a lot of money. Interior designer and HGTV star Breegan Jane (opens in new tab) is singing from the same hymn sheet: 'White towels in a basket, always clean and ready to go will change your life,' she tells us. 'I’m always telling clients, just get all white towels. It will give you this crisp refresh,' adds Breegan.

Bobby Berk, Queer Eye star and interior designer

(Image credit: Alamy)

As well as going all-white, Bobby recommends buying your white towels in bulk. 'Consider stocking up on a set to save even more' he writes, 'and always have a fresh towel on hand.'

Real Homes' Shopping Editor Annie Collyer disgrees with Bobby. 'Owning fancy towels is a bit like owning high-quality cookware in the way that guests will definitely notice if you've splurged or saved,' she begins. 'That's not to say that you should spend half of your paycheque on a load of new bath towels, but I am saying that you want something soft and fluffy.'

'Buying high-quality towels isn't always a case of spending a lot of money or splurging on something you'd rather not,' Annie says. 'In fact, the towels I use at home are really budget-friendly but super luxurious, and I constantly have guests ask where they are from. They are the incredible DUSK Monaco Supreme Cotton Towels (opens in new tab).' 

pile of folded bath towels

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Lucy Ackroyd, Head of Design at Christy, (opens in new tab) inventors of the towel as we know it today, echoes Annie. 'Seeing as towels are such hard-working bathroom accessories, this is exactly why you should invest in them. The higher the quality of the towel, the longer it will last, which will save you money in the long run.' 

'The most important factor for luxuriously soft towels is the yarn used and you ideally want high-quality cotton spun from long silky fibers,' Lucy continues. This is why yarns like Egyptian cotton and Supima cotton are so sought-after as they guarantee long fibers and therefore high quality.'

Before you add a big set of towels to your virtual basket, it's definitely worth thinking about the kind of fabric you want. 'If you prefer a plush feel, terry cotton is one of the fluffier and more absorbent weaves,' says Bobby.

If damp towels left hanging around are a real bugbear of yours, try something quick-drying, like a ribbed weave.

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.