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The 5 Best Bath Towels We’ve Ever Used

For something so straightforward, finding the perfect bath towel is surprisingly difficult.

September  9, 2021
Photo by James Ransom

Bath towels are an extremely personal thing, as I recently found out after buying several sets only to return most of them. Some were so rough and scratchy that they felt like sandpaper, others too thin to feel cozy after a hot shower. And don’t even get me started on the price—some were so expensive that I could only afford to buy one for myself, leaving my poor husband to deal with his old rag. For something so simple, the search for the perfect bath towel is shockingly difficult.

Well, there was no way I was the only one with bath towel woes, so I went straight to our team to find their faves—if they even had any. To my surprise (or rather, no one’s surprise), we all had the same issues and we’d all spent too many hours researching and testing every towel we’d come across before finding these five tried-and-true favorites.

These bath towels hit all of our needs—soft, absorbent, easy to wash and dry, and reasonably priced. Tons of colors, handy hanging loops, and generous sizing are nice extras that don’t hurt, either. So to make sure no one else has to go through the same ordeal as we did, here are our team’s five favorite bath towels at every budget.

1. Brooklinen Classic Bath Sheets, $79 $67.15

“I was in the market for new bath towels, and generally have been disappointed by how small ‘regular’-sized towels are—I like to be wrapped up in a big, soft blanket after a shower. So, I was ecstatic to find that these bath sheets are basically big enough to use as a throw. Okay, maybe not, but I still love the size. They also dry quickly, staving off any weird smells. The marled black color is basically a neutral, but masks any makeup-related stains (unlike white towels).” —Caroline Mullen, assistant editor

Photo by Brooklinen

2. The Citizenry Imabari Waffle Towels, $50

“My husband and I have gone through sooo many different kinds of towels to get to one that we both love—from Turkish cotton to super plush spa towels and everything between. We even tried a few different kinds of waffle towels when those became the trendy thing to use. Well, guess what? Our hunt is officially over. I love this waffle weave design; it’s stretchy; the quality feels amazing; and the towels genuinely dry so quickly. (Fact: no towel actually dries that quickly so it’s really more about which dries slower than others). The only caveat? It keeps selling out!” —Arati Menon, Home52 editorial lead

Photo by The Citizenry

3. Riley Spa Bath Towel, $45

“One of my biggest gripes with most towels is that they fall off the hooks behind my bathroom door so easily. Riley’s towel has a handy hanging loop that keeps it off the floor—a simple and ingenious solution to a daily annoyance. It also helps that the towel itself is generously sized, absorbent, and soft—so basically, everything I’m looking for.” —Jada Wong, Market Editor

Photo by Riley Home

4. Pottery Barn Hydrocotton Organic Quick-Dry Towels, $29.50

“Pottery Barn's hydrocotton towels are the softest (and I mean SOFTEST) towels I have ever felt. I once spent an afternoon touching every expensive towel in Bloomingdale’s that I could. Yes, it wasn't the most hygienic use of my time, but it taught me that PB's are far more luxurious at a fraction of the price.” —Kelly Vaughn, Staff Writer

Photo by Pottery Barn

5. Threshold Performance Bath Towel, $7

“I bought two of these and then promptly bought 10 more when I felt how soft and plush they were. They’re absorbent and dry quickly, and they haven’t shed even after multiple washings either. At under $10 a towel, these are budget-friendly—especially if you’re stocking up. I had a hard time choosing between all the colors so I just settled on basic white because I thought they’d go with any hand towel I have. Spoiler alert: I bought the hand towels in white as well.” —Jada Wong, Market Editor

Photo by Target

This post was updated in September 2021 with personal towel recommendations from our team.

What are your favorite bath towels? Drop some inspo below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

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Jada Wong

Written by: Jada Wong

Jada is the market editor at Food52 with a decade of experience writing and editing for online publications such as Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, and Insider.


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Best Textile Industries
Foodie101 February 11, 2019
Those Cleverly Laundry towels are fantastic! I found them to be so soft to the touch plus they look great in the bathroom. Tip: After washing and drying the towels they become even more absorbent whilst remaining soft, so chuck them in the wash before you use for the best results!
Jo May 20, 2018
Great info good explanation I think Turkish towels are also a nice addition to the bath decoration read more about peshtemal https://www.atwholesaletowels.com/
Pestemal T. January 5, 2018
Very nice article, thanks. Turkish towel also brings very high quality and economical solutions. To explore more search; https://turkishtowelstore.com
ramayansupply August 4, 2017
Thanks for sharing information. I wonder if you share the details of best bath towels that would be very useful in hotels and motels.
ErinM724 July 21, 2017
I like the Jennifer Lopez towels I purchased at Kohls. Thick, absorbent....just what I want in a towel!
Lani D. March 24, 2017
when i clicked on the link in your email it said no longer available
Lani D. March 24, 2017
restoration hardware towels are no longer available
Nanda G. March 24, 2017
They are still on the website and at my local store. What did you hear?
sexyLAMBCHOPx February 19, 2017
Restoration Hardware 802-Gram Turkish Bath Towel are worth every penny. After 13 years they're still going strong.
Christine February 16, 2017
I concur with more articles like this! I see items mentioned on blogs but since everything is sponsored I don't trust them.
Annie C. February 15, 2017
Parachute Home expanded their Bath collection today! I used to swear by Target towels – cheap as they may be – but I have been converted. Reasonable and SO FLUFFY. http://blog.parachutehome.com/bathroom-styling-tips/
Peony February 15, 2017
I have replaced all of my bath and hand towels and with those non-terry absorbent kind from Morocco. I like the way they look and they are lightweight, take up much less room in the laundry basket or closet and are absorbent. I replaced my towel racks with modern hooks hung high (so it looks a bit spa-like) and it was a pretty easy way to give my bathroom a slight and chic makeover. It Is not a good move if the coziness of towels is important to you but I love it. Have kept some of the old towels for houseguests so they have both options.
Alyson February 15, 2017
No information on how they hold up over time?
someonewhobakes February 15, 2017
Anyone have any recommendations as far as color-fastness? My biggest beef with towels is that I buy them in a lovely color, but then 6-12 months later, they have faded noticeably. I have some soft, thick Hotel Collection towels that I love, but they have faded from their original moss green to a strange yellowish color. This has happened to me with just about every brand and color I've bought (though none have been the brands in the article).
Whiteantlers February 15, 2017
So nice that you included recommendations for all budgets. Rikumo is in my neighborhood and I am going to definitely check out those towels. : )
Niknud February 15, 2017
Bed linens please! I always go down some rabbit hole looking for good ones - would love some guidance.
Posie (. February 15, 2017
This is such a useful article! I would love to see similar ones done for other basic household items (flatware and white, basic dinnerware in particular!)
Amanda S. February 15, 2017
Loud and clear :)
Nanda G. February 15, 2017
Of all the towels I've ever tried (including some on the list), the absolute best for comfort and absorption are the Restoration Hardware ones on the list. While they are definitely worth full-price, you can wait for their annual (or twice annual?) bath sale. Makes it much more affordable. One note: they do seem to vary in absorption by color. The blue ones are perfect, the grape ones tend to move around the water a bit more.