You use them every single day (sometimes twice a day if you’re a morning shower, nighttime bath kind of person), but how much thought do you give to your bath towel?
Whether you’re looking for the softest luxury towels made from Egyptian cotton for your guest bathroom, or for the best budget bath towels that simply get the job done, there’s a lot to consider when you’re splashing out on a new set.
We scoured the Mumsnet forums for real parent-recommended towels, taking into consideration how long they last, how soft they are and the all-important colour options available.
Here are our honest and in-depth reviews of the best bath towels to buy right now.
1. Best overall bath towel: Soak and Sleep Ultimate Supima Cotton Bath Towel
Price: £24 | Buy now from Soak and Sleep
“Without a doubt the best towels I've ever had. Really thick and the ones I've had for about four years now still look new.” ReallyBadIdea
Of all the bath towels in our edit, this is the biggest and will delight those who love to wrap themselves up warm after a shower or bath. It’s one of the softest too, made from Supima cotton, which is known for its durability.
This towel will stay soft even after multiple washes, plus Supima cotton holds its colour well so it’ll look as good as new for many years too. The double-stitched hem adds another string to its longevity bow, making the Soak and Sleep Ultimate Supima Cotton Bath Towel resistant to fraying. The label also acts as a hook so you can hang the towel up after use.
On the downside, there aren't a huge amount of colours available and it’s fairly costly, which is something to consider if you’re on a budget, but we'd say it’s well worth the price tag nonetheless.
- Size: 140 x 70cm
- GSM: 750
- Colours: 6
2. Best budget bath towel: X11 Homeware Egyptian Cotton Towel
Price: £23.99 for four | Buy now from Amazon
This towel is especially large without feeling too weighty, so it's great if you want to get dry in super-quick time. We also like it for wrapping round your body to feel extra snug. It has a lower thread count than some of the other towels in our edit, which means it’s not as soft, but at a bargain price for a set of four, it will more than see you through daily showers for the next couple of years.
The X11 Homeware Egyptian Cotton Towel stays soft post-wash and won’t start to feel stiff after a few uses, though it isn’t as thick or as plush as higher-quality towels like the Soak and Sleep. Fans of the towel on Amazon say that the dark grey shade is the perfect grey towel colour though so if you’re into your neutral tones, this one may be a winner.
- Size: 140 x 80cm
- GSM: 500
- Colours: 7
Related: The best bed sheets and bed linen sets
3. Best value bath towel: Matalan Egyptian Cotton Towel
Price £10 | Buy now from Matalan
“I got lovely Egyptian cotton towels from Matalan recently” StylishCountduckula
Matalan’s luxury towel offering with its deep cotton pile comes in many colour options and we’re happy to report that the colour holds fast even after repeated washes. It does, however, have a high GSM, so won’t absorb water quite so quickly as the X11 Homeware Egyptian Cotton Towel and will take a little longer to dry.
That said, for the price point, it still feels soft and luxurious, so is well worth adding to your guest or children’s bathroom.
- Size: 130 x 70cm
- GSM: 700
- Colours: 18
4. Best quick-drying bath towel: Tesco Fox & Ivy Egyptian Cotton Bath Towel
Price: £10 | Buy now from Tesco
“They’re thick and absorbent and I’m very impressed with them.” Ignacious
Made from 100% Egyptian cotton, this towel is ultra soft and has long fibres which not only make it stronger, but also more absorbent so you’ll be dry in next to no time. It also comes in bath sheet, mat and hand towel size if you want a matching set.
The dyes have been specifically selected for their longevity, so you don’t need to worry about this one fading after a few washes, though the colour options are limited, so if you have a particular bathroom colour scheme in mind then these might not work for you.
- Size: 70cm x 130cm
- GSM: 650
- Colours: 4
5. Best odour-resistant bath towel: John Lewis & Partners Egyptian Cotton Bath Towel
Price: £12 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners
We got John Lewis towels for a wedding present. They are still lovely after 12 years.” Dinosapple
If you’re looking for towels with longevity, look no further than John Lewis. Several Mumsnetters sing the praises of their bath towels, with one saying: “I’ve had some for years now and they are still thick and fluffy.”
Post-use, they stay smelling fresh for longer than your average towel as they’re infused with a natural peppermint treatment which contains antimicrobial protection - particularly ideal if you don’t want to wash them too often, though if you do, the colour still holds well.
One thing to note is that because the Egyptian Cotton Bath Towel is fairly fluffy, it may leave some fluff on your body (and bathroom floor!) during the first 10 or so washes.
- Size: 135 x 70cm
- GSM: 700
- Colours: 41
Related: The best mattresses for the perfect night's sleep
6. Best soft fluffy towel: Dunelm Ultimate Towel
Price: £13 | Buy now from Dunelm
“Really soft and thick. They wash well and don’t take ages to dry in the tumble dryer.”Igotdemons
Don’t tell John Lewis, but this ultra-soft bath towels is replacing their offering as the top choice for many Mumsnetters, with one saying: “I’ve always bought my towels from John Lewis but Dunelm have converted me with these!”
Reviewers say that, while it may leave a small amount of fluff behind after initial use, the budget-friendly Dunelm Ultimate Towel is extremely absorbent, which helps it to dry off quickly. It also comes in a good variety of colours, which don’t tend to fade after multiple washes - a big tick in our book!
- Size: 125 x 70cm
- GSM: 600
- Colours: 35
7. Best bath towel for colour options: Christy Supreme Hygro Bathroom Towel
Price: £26 | Buy now from Christy
“Christy are the ones I prefer. Just bought some from M&S and Christy and the Christy ones are definitely washing better." NewName2106
Christy towels come up time and time again among users on our forums, loved in particular for how well they wash. They feel ultra-fluffy and keep their luxurious softness well, plus the large colour range makes them ideal if you like to allocate a bath towel colour to certain family members so that they know which one is theirs.
The only downside is that the threads pull quite easily, so you’ll need to watch out if you’re a particularly rigorous dryer or if you’re washing your towel with items that may cause unnecessary snagging.
- Size: 137 x 75cm
- GSM: 650
- Colours: 29
Related: The best and most accurate bathroom scales
8. Best luxury bath towel: The White Company Luxury Egyptian Towel
Price: £22 | Buy now from The White Company
“Their Egyptian cotton towels last forever.”Oly4
For hotel quality, nothing feels fancier than a bath towel from The White Company. This Egyptian cotton Terry towel is thick and luxurious without that fluffy quality that can make ultra-soft towels shed, plus it performs well when it comes to drying off, being extra absorbent so you’re not towelling down for ages. If you’re looking to buy a new home gift for someone, towels from The White Company will always impress.
The only thing letting this towel down is the colour range - it only comes in neutral shades (white and three shades of grey) - so if you’re looking for towels to brighten up your bathroom, then this one may just fall short.
- Size: 125 x 70cm
- GSM: 700
- Colours: 6
9. Best Amazon bath towel: Utopia Luxury Cotton Towel
Price: £28.99 for four | Buy now from Amazon
Available in a wide variety of colours, from baby pink to pistachio green, the Utopia Luxury Cotton Towel is among the top-rated towels on Amazon, with a 76% five-star rating. Glowing reviews include “Softest towel I have ever felt!” and “Really good, very absorbent and washes well.”
Despite its generous size, this towel feels fairly lightweight, but it’s still absorbent enough to help you dry off quickly. Plus, it’s hemmed to prevent any fraying. At less than £30 for four, this set may be too good a deal to pass up.
- Size: 137 x 69cm
- GSM: 600
- Colours: 10
10. Best spa-style bath towel: M&S Egyptian Cotton Heavyweight Towel
Price: £19.50 | Buy now from M&S
“I recommend M&S for soft and fluffy.” Fancycrackers
For a spa-like feeling at home, this heavyweight towel from M&S should be your go-to. It has the highest GSM of our edit, making it the most dense and deluxe of the lot. But because it feels heavy and sumptuous, it will take longer to dry off if you give it a good soaking.
The towel is made with M&S’ StayNew technology, which is designed to keep your towel smooth, bright and looking good as new even when it’s a few years old. It doesn't come in the most inspiring of colours (neutrals and a couple of blue hues), but you may want to look past this in favour of feeling like you’re staying in a hotel every night.
- Size: 137 x 68cm
- GSM: 800
- Colours: 8
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What’s the difference between a bath sheet and a bath towel?
It’s all in the size. Bath sheets tend to be L150 x W90cm, while a bath towel is L130 x W70cm. Because a bath sheet is bigger, it can dry you quicker than a regular bath towel as it has more surface coverage. If you’re tall or live with someone lofty and find yourself using two towels to get dry, a bath sheet could be your best bet.
How many towels do I need?
This one varies from person to person and is a hotly debated topic on the Mumsnet forums. Most families have one set of towels (ie. one bath towel and one hand towel each) out for using, and one set in the airing cupboard or as a spare. Two bath towels per person means you’ll always have a clean one when one is in the wash.
How often should you buy new bath towels?
Bath towels should ideally be replaced every two years. They can become less absorbent and look a little tatty after that time, especially if you’re washing them frequently.
How do you keep towels soft and fluffy?
Keeping towels soft and fluffy is a tricky skill to master, but there are a few ways to make sure they stay soft.
Hard water and friction are two of the reasons your bath towels lose their softness, as well as over-washing (frequent washing can break down the fibres of your towel), which is why it pays to have a second set so you’re not washing your bath towels constantly.
Limescale in your washing machine can make towels less soft, so try to keep this at bay. Mumsnest user theneeverendinglaundry says putting white vinegar in your detergent draw on a 90-degree wash is an easy hack for banishing limescale.
When washing your towels, don't use fabric conditioner as this can reduce absorbency. If you do find your towels are less fluffy than you’d like, put half a cup of baking soda – or white vinegar – into your next towel wash alongside your regular detergent to give them a new lease of life.
How you dry your towels is key too. Never dry them on the radiator: it will dry them too quickly, giving them a rough finish. A tumble dryer is the best way to dry towels to keep them ultra-fluffy, but line drying is of course best for the environment.
Lastly, think about how you store your towels. Keep your second set of towels in a dry place, folded side-by-side rather than in a pile to stop the bottom towels from being crushed by the ones above.
How do I choose a towel?
When they vary so much in price, it can be difficult to know which is the best towel option for you. Keep your budget in mind before you start browsing or the wealth of choices could become overwhelming. When you’re buying a towel, look out for:
As mentioned above, there are bath sheets and towels and they differ considerably in size. If you want to wrap it around your waist, you might prefer a bath sheet. If you’re a ‘rub, dry and go’ kind of person, a bath towel will suit you fine. If you’re buying towels for others, think about how tall they are when selecting a size. Also, if you live in a small house with little storage, you might find bath sheets take up precious room.
This is the thread count of your bath towels and stands for grams per metre. The higher this number, the more soft and luxurious they'll feel. Look for bath towels with a thread count of between 500 to 650gsm for a spa-like feel every day.
It’s tempting to go for your favourite colour, be it forest green, deep plum or fresh and classic white, but buying neutral means it’ll fit in with your bathroom even if you change the design.
If you dye your hair, you might want to steer clear of white towels and also remember that white towels can become more discoloured than their darker counterparts, so might need replacing sooner. Of the same token though, brightly coloured towels can fade if you wash them a lot.
Bath towels with double-turned edges or double stitching will stop them fraying, keeping them fresh-looking for longer.
Which cotton is best for towels?
Egyptian cotton is widely believed to be the most luxe towel material out there. It’s what you’ll see all the luxury brands make their towels from, but looking for 100% cotton (not necessarily Egyptian) is what experts recommend. These towels will be the softest and most absorbent.
If you want a quick-drying towel that’s durable, look for a cotton and polyester blend.
Which bath towel is best?
This, of course, depends on personal factors such as how much you want to spend and if you’re after a specific colour, but overall we think the Soak and Sleep Ultimate Supima Cotton Bath Towel is the best bath towel to buy. It easily stands up to more established brand offerings, plus it doesn’t fade, is very big and is durable thanks to the double stitching.
How we chose our recommendations
We studied reviews of bath towels on the Mumsnet forums to find out which parents had bought and rated highly – and which towels they weren't impressed by.
Finally, we collated all that information and then looked at other online reviews to see which were the bestsellers and which received rave reviews after purchase. We then cross-referenced all that information to find the towels that had won the most accolades and recommendations across the board.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.
Towels that weigh more than 600 GSM are put in the luxury group because they are the most absorbent and plush towels. The higher the (GSM) number, the heavier the towel. This also means they take longer to dry and are more expensive, but those are the only drawbacks.
Pricier towels not only elicit some sticker shock, they can be more maintenance than they're worth. “We've found that the priciest towels tend to be significantly heavier, which means they stay damp longer and can get musty easily,” says Modak.
In short, Egyptian towels are more comfortable, absorbent and slower to dry and less durable. Whereas Turkish towels are slightly less absorbent, dry faster, very firm and hygienic.
Hotels also use baking soda to maintain the brightness and softness of their towels and sheets. Adding ½ cup of baking soda in your laundry is a great way to maintain your towels, linens, and sheets. It softens the fibers and makes it easier to remove stains. It also helps in removing musty odors from towels.
- Cut back on detergent. Towels feel stiff because they start to build up soapy residue. ...
- Wash in warm water. ...
- Replace fabric softeners with vinegar. ...
- Use baking soda. ...
- Lighten your load. ...
- Toss in a tennis ball or dryer ball. ...
- Go easy on the tumble drying.
Mix half a cup of baking soda along with a normal detergent dose for fluffier and cleaner towels. Baking soda also naturally eliminates musty and mildew smells that come from towels remaining damp for too long.
What type of towels do hotels use? The most common types of towels used in hotels are 100% cotton towels. However, cotton and polyester blends are also used in hotels, thanks to their exceptional durability.
Cotton is the most popular towel material. But not all cotton towels are created equal. High-quality Turkish and Egyptian cotton produce the best, softest, and most absorbent towels. Whether you need them for yourself or your guest bathroom, cotton bath towels are multitaskers and ideal for everyday use.
Yes! They are the best for travel for a few reasons. They are made from lightweight cotton so they roll up compactly and reduce bulk in your luggage. And they are quick drying towels so you're not lugging around a wet towel.
Often recognised as one of the best and most luxurious cottons in the world, Egyptian cotton towels have an esteemed reputation for strength, absorbency and superior softness.