When creating the ultimate relaxation experience, be sure to look beyond your bedroom and into your bathroom. It’s been proven that taking a warm bath before bed can help improve sleep. To make that step of your bedtime routine as spa-like as possible, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the best bath towels around so you can savor all that softness and sumptuousness.
Debbe Daley, owner and lead designer at Debbe Daley Designs, says that additionally, you can make your bathroom look more like a spa by displaying towels in a creative way and out in the open for easy access.
“Roll towels to create a mound on a built-in shower bench seat or for a larger shower where the towels won’t get wet,” she advises. “The platform deck of a bathtub also creates a pleasant welcome to the tub area.” If a larger space isn’t available for showcasing rolled towels, Daley says you can try an accent table in the bathroom. “If this isn’t available, and if an open shelf under the bathroom vanity is available, display rolled towels there,” she adds.
But before you showcase those towels, you probably should learn how to choose a bath towel. That’s why we’re here with this handy bath towel guide so you can make your bedtime baths even more luxurious.
How to choose bath towels
In Daley’s opinion, which is also the general consensus among bath towel connoisseurs, Egyptian cotton is the best material for bath towels. This natural material is known for its durability. Plus, since it’s 100% cotton, Egyptian cotton towels are also very soft, absorbent, and feel good to the touch and on the skin.
But if you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, Daley says that a combination of cotton and polyester is also great for durability and long-lasting use.
“The perfect bath towel size is 30 x 60 inches,” Daley says. “This size allows for full-body wrapping and drying. There’s nothing less inviting than when the size of your bath towel is too small and can only be used as a hair turban while bathing or showering.”
Looking for something a bit more oversized? Daley says you can consider the “bath sheet,” which is approximately 40 x 70 inches.
When it comes to bath towels, weight is determined by something called gram weight. The GSM, or grams per square meter, determines the weight of the towel.
While a low GSM ranges from 300 to 400, thicker towels will range from 400 to 600 GSM, explains Daley. Just keep in mind that an extra-heavy towel doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a better-quality towel, according to Daley.
Daley reiterates that 100% Egyptian cotton towels have the best absorbency because of their natural fiber content. “However, it’s the way the towel is made that produces its absorbency qualities,” she points out.
A denser, tighter weave of the loops of the towel may add weight to the towel. “It’s the length of the loop strands and the spacing that allows for more absorbency,” explains Daley. “Remember, denser doesn’t mean better absorbency—the water needs a place to go. If the towel is woven too tight, there is nowhere for the water to be absorbed.”
Color and style
As for how to choose bath towel color, Daley says color preference depends on the decor and color scheme of your bathroom. White tends to be her go-to for every day, while she also displays hand towels and washcloths in contrasting colors. However, she usually stays away from embellished bath towels with designs or motifs.
“You want your towel to be functional without design embellishments getting in the way of the drying process, not to mention the designs becoming dirty or fraying from wiping,” she says. “I tend to stay with a plain towel for everyday use. Decorative towels should be saved for a guest or powder room bathroom.”
As for style, Daley adds that soft and plush materials that feel good on your skin are what to look for, along with high and wide weaving of the loops.
In general, Daley says luxury bath towels can be pricey. She says, “One 100% Egyptian cotton bath towel with a GSM of 600 could fetch a price of $50 and above,” she explains. “Middle of the line would be around 400 GSM, depending on your budget.”
Most importantly, you should land upon the qualities and your personal preferences of content and weight before making any purchases, says Daley.
How to care for bath towels
“Caring for your towels is easy,” Daley shares. Simply machine wash them in a warm setting with laundry detergent. Just don’t oversaturate them with laundry detergent because this can create an overload of soapy water that may be difficult to rinse with too much soap, she says.
Use the longer rinse and spin cycle before removing your towels from the washer and putting them in the dryer. Tumble dry on low heat. Don’t use fabric softener on your towels as this could leave a residue on the towel that may prevent it from absorbing properly. Finally, remove fully dried towels from the dryer and roll them immediately.
Daley adds that towels usually need to be replaced every two to three years, depending on the usage. “When your towels begin to smell, show signs of wear, or begin to fray, it’s time to think about replacing your towels,” she says. (Here’s how to repurpose old towels and how to tell if it’s time to replace your towels.)
Upgrade your bathroom with these Saatva bath towels
What kind of bath towels should I get?
“Everyone loves a soft, plush bath towel,” Daley says. “Absorbency is one key quality to a bath towel.” She suggests a 400 to 600 GSM 100% Egyptian or Turkish cotton towel. “I personally love the longer yarns that absorb better than the shorter, denser, and heavier towel,” she adds.
What should I look for when buying new towels?
If you’re wondering how to choose a good bath towel, be on the lookout for 100% Egyptian cotton, which is considered by many to be the softest and most absorbent material you can get, and a size of 30 x 60 inches so you can wrap it fully around your body.
How can you tell if a bath towel is high-quality?
So, what makes a good bath towel? “Look at the construction of the bath towel and the content,” suggests Daley. “The manufacturer’s label should provide that information.”
Additionally, Daley recommends looking for bath towels with “longer, thicker loops that will absorb better than shorter, dense loops on the towel.”
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