Buying new fluffy bath towels is a very simple upgrade to this small space that you probably spend a lot of time in — especially if you are like me and you love a long dip in the tub. Whether you've recently moved out of your parent's home or your bath towels aren't absorbing as much water as usual (this is a sign they need replacing), I can definitely help with this purchase.
I've been set the task of testing a bunch of bath towels (tough job, eh?) for their absorbency, their quality (just how well do they wash?), and also their look and feel. Whether you tend to go for a thicker towel or you prefer something lightweight, I've put some of the top-rated towels through their paces (that means using them over and over and washing them a bunch of times) so that you know which ones are worth your money. And if I've not had the chance to test them, you can bet I've only featured bath towels with really good reviews.
Spoiler alert: there are quite a few to choose from. So, we've rated each towel as being the best pick for something. Whether that's the best Amazon bath towel, the best eco-friendly bath towel, or even our Editor's favorite, they're all below.
Before you get into it, here are just a few things to look out for. We've listed the GSM of each towel, which means grams per square meter. The higher this number, the more absorbent (and normally thicker) the bath towel. When it comes to size, I'll always favor a bath sheet over a bath towel because they are so much bigger. But that does mean they are more money, so bear in mind your budget as you'll probably want to buy more than one of these towels. This leads me to the fact some come in a pair or in a bundle, with matching hand towels and more available.
Once you've made your decision, we've got lots of towel storage ideas for you to check out if you'd like inspiration to display your new towels in style.
The best bath towels to buy, as tried and tested by Real Homes
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The best bath towels
Material: 100% Egyptian Cotton
Price: $69 (for 2)
This pair of bath towels is thick, absorbent, and super fluffy — in fact, they are actually the softest towel I've ever used. Think hotel quality but even softer. I recommend the bath sheet size, and it's worth noting that even if you don't have a tumble dryer, they'll still come out fluffy. On first use, you might find them too soft, but once they've been washed a couple of times they'll be perfect. They're fitted with hooks, too, and even though they are thick they're still easy to roll. They also arrive in plastic-free packaging!
Editor's Choice bath sheets
Material: 100% Cotton
Bath towel price: $44
The Real Homes team are big fans of The White Company towels (and bedding!) and these ribbed ones are particularly luxurious. In fact, our editor is obsessed with them. They're nice and lightweight so definitely won't be too thick for summer use, and their ribbed effect means they dry you so much faster. They're bestselling for a good reason and their low-twist technology makes them stay fluffy after every single wash.
Best ribbed towel
Material: 100% Pure Cotton
Bath towel price: $43
It's all good and well investing in the best bath oils and shower gels, but if you really want that at-home spa experience, you need these towels. These literally feel like you're being swaddled in a cloud and the zero twist technology means they're nice and soft against your skin. Arriving neatly folded with branded ribbon and swing tag, it makes the perfect gift this Christmas. The chic ribbed design makes them feel far more expensive than the price tag on site.
Our favorite colorful towels
Material: 100% Turkish Cotton
Bath towel price: $42
These colorful towels come in 26 colors, to inject more than a luxury look into your bathroom. They are zero-twist to offer a plump look, plus their absorbency is second-to-none. The best part? They can be monogrammed with your initials. They're made from 100% long-staple Turkish cotton and woven to a thick 700GSM.
The best bath towel set
Material: 100% Turkish Cotton
Crafted from 100% Turkish cotton using the strongest and tightest 820GSM ultra-durable weave, this thick towel set is the perfect just-moved-in buy. This way, all of your towels will be the same, and even better: you'll have two of everything. Included in this bundle comes two bath towels and two hand towels. Super thick, super fluffy, and super high quality. You can even mix and match colors so that your bath towels are different from your hand towels.
Our favorite waffle towels
Material: 100% Turkish Cotton
Bath towel price: $49
This is an eco-friendly option if you want your new towels to be kind(er) to the environment. These lightweight and luxurious-looking towels from Parachute are waffled to add texture and help you dry faster, but not only that they come in four different shades and I am obsessed with the Terra color for adding a pop of color to a bathroom. They're free from harmful synthetic dyes plus Parachute offers climate-neutral shipping (and returns, if necessary). They are hemmed and super fast-drying thanks to their light 240GSM design. They don't come in bath sheet size.
Budget bath towels
Material: 100% Cotton
Bath towel price: $41.99 (for 4)
Highly rated by reviewers, these Amazon brand towels are fade-resistant and super affordable, plus you can choose from seven colors to complement your washroom. Admittedly, they're not the most luxurious option on our list but for $42 for four, what can you expect? They're absorbent, soft, and they have a simple pique border. They also come as a set with more sizes, if you don't need four bath towels.
The best colorful bath towels
Material: 100% Turkish Cotton
Bath towel price: $29.99 (for 2)
Don't just take our word that the Trident Bath Towels are a brilliant buy, also check their Amazon rating for delighted reviewers who are swooning over this household staple. These towels are ultra-absorbent and they come in at a medium thickness. You can choose from a whopping 20 color choices and they are made from 100 percent air-rich cotton yarn and with a climate pledge-friendly seal of approval.
The best Amazon towels
Material: 100% Ring-Spun Cotton
Bath towel price: $34.99 (for 2)
Thousands of Amazon reviewers are calling these towels a five-star purchase, and it's quite easy to see why. They're nice and thick at 600GSM and they come in 15 color options. At $34.99 for a pair, they're super affordable plus they're nice absorbent and reviewers say they wash well. A luxury product for a not-so-luxury price tag.
What to consider when buying new bath towels?
Typically speaking, thicker is better, as it's easier to absorb more water than lighter, thinner towels; however, it's crucial to read reviews. Sometimes, thicker towels are prone to retaining water, meaning they're one-and-done, and you will have to repeatedly wash them, or worse, it doesn't get all of the water off of you.
A towel's plush factor is also extremely important; you don't want the material to be too hard or stiff, as that's the last thing that will feel comfortable on your body. Instead, gravitate toward cotton or linens to ensure the fluffiest, most comfortable towels.
Another consideration is how much your towel may (or may not) weigh. Typically speaking, the higher the weight, the denser it is, meaning the more water it will absorb. Towels are measured in grams per square meter, with top-performing towels weighing anywhere from 500-700 GSM, heavy-weight towels from 600-900 GSM, and medium-range being 400-600 GSM. Anything lower than that is most likely not worth your time.
4. How do they wash?
First, consider how often to wash your towels (it's probably more than you think). Then, depending on how you like to wash your towels and bedding, whether hot or on an eco-cycle, it's always a good idea to check how the towels you've chosen can be washed. You don't want to accidentally damage your new towels after their first wash.
This factor isn't as important as the others, but it's always a good idea to choose a towel color that matches your bathroom, whether your fluffy new towels will be on display or hidden in a cabinet. White towels can be difficult to keep looking clean, especially if you often dye your hair or use fancy colored bath products, just something to keep in mind.
What are the specs that I need to know when shopping for bath towels?
When shopping for a new bath towel or two, there are a few technical terms that you might want to make yourself familiar with. In this guide, I've listed each towel's material, how many sizes it comes in plus the colors it is available in.
Here's any towel-related jargon you might need to know about when it comes to finding your dream bath towels.
- GSM: Grams per square meter. The higher this number, the weightier the towel.
- Combed cotton: This cotton is brushed to separate short fibers for a softer, more durable substance.
- Twist: This term explains how much the loop's yarn is twisted. A good tip to remember the higher the twist, the more reliable and stable it will be (like GSM), but the lower it is the plusher and more drying it will be.
- Ring-spun cotton: This material is made from deep and tiny fibers that are tightly twisted, producing towel loops that are strong and smooth.
Real Homes review process
Where we can, we've actually used these towels in our own homes. I've (Annie) done the bulk of the towel testing, though I've solicited the help of a few of my team for the sake of my sanity (and my towel storage capacity). How do we test bath towels?
- By feel: How soft are they? Are they thick or thin? What's their quality like?
- By look: Do they have a design? Do they have a texture? Are they available in lots of colors?
- By washing: How well do they wash? Do they have to be tumble-dried?
- By size: Do they come in just a bath towel size or also a bath sheet, and maybe a hand towel?
- By extra features: Do they have a hanging hook? Are they fast-drying? How many washes do they last?
We will all use these towels and wash them around 10 times before making a final verdict. If we wouldn't keep them in our bathroom and use them every day, then we won't feature them in this guide. It's that simple.
So far, I've tested the number one pick in this guide, the Scooms Bath Sheet (opens in new tab), and I LOVE it. They are the softest towels I've ever used and they wash so well. Other than that, I've worked my way through our UK guide, testing countless different bath towels, but I've had to solicit the help of the team for the rest.
Meet our bath towel testers below:
Our editor Melissa has taken a fancy to The White Company bath towels. In fact, the Rib Hydrocotton Towels (opens in new tab) now have a solid place in her main bathroom. While she initially bought them for guests, after pulling them out of the dryer post-visit (and trying them for herself), there was no going back. She's gone as far as kicking her bathrobe to the curb and only wrapping up in these after showering. They feel supremely soft and hold their warmth super well after hanging on a heating rack. The towels don't shed and their plush material doesn't feel thin or flimsy. Actually, after washing and drying them for months, they just seem to be getting fluffier.
Christina suffers from Keratosis Pilaris (aka chicken skin) and while she used to be ashamed to admit to having this skin condition, it's estimated one in four of us live with it. Because of this, she needs a super-soft towel when drying her body after a bath or shower. Enter the ESPA White Ribbed Towel (opens in new tab). Yes, it's absorbent, but the feather-light feel isn't abrasive against her sensitive skin. The matching ribbed bathrobe is on her Christmas wishlist if anyone's reading...