How Dry I Am: A Guide to Buying Bath Towels

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

You’ve undoubtedly noticed that all bath towels are not created equal. Some are fluffy. Some are velvety. Some are plush. Some are ‘thirsty.” While it’s not so much a matter of “good” or “bad” when it comes to towels, different types appeal to different users. This guide will help you choose bath towels to match your needs and preferences.

Three components contribute to a bath towel’s feel and absorbency:

1. Fiber
Cotton is surely the most absorbent fiber of which towels can be made. Standard cotton towels are ideal for everyday use. If, however, you’re looking for a more fluffy and luxurious experience, look for towels made of Egyptian cotton. These towels have longer, more numerous loops per inch to absorb moisture. The American version of Egyptian cotton is called pima cotton and provides a similar luxurious look and feel. When buying towels, make certain they contain 100% cotton, as they will be less absorbent when blended with synthetic fibers.

If absorbency and lightweight are more important than fluffiness, choose microfiber towels. This man-made fiber makes a highly absorbent towel that’s lighter and thinner than cotton with a suede-like texture.

Another choice for bath towel fiber is bamboo. Bamboo towels have a looser, more velvety texture than cotton and are naturally mildew-resistant.

2. Yarn Construction
The manner in which those fibers are made into the yarn that is used to manufacture the towel is also important, impacting its performance, feel and absorbency. These are common ways that yarn is woven for towels:

  • Combed Cotton has been combed, which removes short, uneven fibers and debris, creating longer, stronger, lustrous yarn.
  • Ringspun Cotton has fibers that are tightly twisted together, creating a stronger, smoother, finer and highly refined-feeling yarn.
  • Twist is the number of times the fibers are twisted per inch of yarn. Fewer twists make for a more plush towel. More twists create a strong and uniform yarn which creates a substantial, durable towel.
  • Two-ply means that twice the yarn is used to manufacture the towel, making it very dense, absorbent, substantial and durable.

3. Weight
Lastly, weight plays a factor in the properties of a towel. Fabric weight is measured by a grams per square inch measurement (GSM) which indicates the following characteristics:

300-400 GSM – Towels in this weight category are lightweight and thinner. Light, thinner towels have the advantage of being quick to dry.
400-600 GSM – Towels in this medium weight category make ideal beach, everyday bath and guest towels.
600-900 GSM – Towels in this weight category are considered premium quality. They are luxurious, dense, heavier and highly absorbent. Due to their heft, they do take longer to dry.

Bath Towel Care

Bath towels represent an investment and as such, it’s important to care for them appropriately so as to get the most satisfaction and wear for your money. Some useful bath towl care tips include:

New bath towel care

  • Wash new towels before use. During manufacture, a fabric softener is added to make them appear fluffier. Removing that substance will make them more absorbent right from the start.
  • Add 1 cup of vinegar to your towels’ first wash to set the color and prevent fading.

Ongoing bath towel care

  • Dry towels on a moderate dryer setting. Too much heat can damage towel fibers, causing premature wear.
  • Using a detergent for delicate fabrics will protect your towels’ fibers and keep them fluffy longer.

Bath towels run the gamut from utilitarian to luxurious. This buying guide will help you navigate your options and choose according to your needs and preferences.

What are the most important elements to you in a good bath towel?

Bonus Tip:

Did you know that you can save money with Netflix? Even if you don't plan on using the service, you should at least sign up for the Netflix free trial here to get some free movies for a month.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: