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How to Choose the Best Bath Towels

 how to choose the best bath towels

It may seem like a small detail, but bath towels can make a genuine difference in someone's bathing experience. Whether you're washing a client's hair at your salon or relaxing after a bath at home, you want to ensure your bath towels are soft and durable so they feel and work great. The best bath towel is one with an 86/14 cotton-polyester blend or is made of 100% cotton, has a GSM range between 400 and 600, is absorbent and dries fast. 

Continue reading to learn more about how you can find the best bath towel for your commercial or residential needs.

What Are Bath Towels?

What Are Bath Towels?

There are many different types of towels — hand, washcloth, fingertip and more. A bath towel is the large, often fluffy towel you use in the bathroom. With one, you can dry off after a shower, cover up, absorb water on the floor and wrap your hair. They're comparable to bath sheets, which are like an extra-large bath towel, and hand towels, which are around half the size of a bath towel and meant for drying off hands. Essentially, you can think of bath towels as hand towels for the body.

Points to Consider When Choosing the Best Bath Towel

Not every bath towel is equal, as one option may be better for you in terms of quality or price. Some factors you'll want to consider when choosing the best bath towel are material, weight, absorbency, construction and size. Other factors that could influence your purchasing decisions are color and price. Diving further into these characteristics, influential factors to consider are:

1. Material

A good bath towel feels soft to the touch. When you run your hand over the fibers, you want it to feel soft and plush, not scratchy and dull. Companies mainly use two materials to craft towels:

  • Cotton: This material makes your towel feel soft. Cotton is a natural material that's notably soft and absorbent. It's also breathable, making it feel more lightweight and plush, protecting sensitive skin.
  • Polyester: This material gives your towel durability. It's essentially a fabric made of different synthetic compounds, versatile enough for use in many applications. With a polyester blend, your towel will have the softness of cotton and the reinforcement to last through multiple uses and washes.

Many towels use a combination of cotton and polyester to create a soft, durable and long-lasting towel. During your search for the best bath towel, you may find the term 86/14 blended towels, describing an optimal blend that's 86% cotton and 14% polyester. Cotton has many variants, with the top three being as follows:

  • Pima: Manufacturers in the United States mainly make pima, so it's a standard option because it doesn't require importing. It's also commonly crafted in Australia and Peru, and there's no significant difference between origins, except it may influence the towel's price. Pima cotton has extra-long staples, meaning it has longer fibers than other materials, making it plusher.
  • Turkish: Turkish towels, made in Turkey, have all of the staple qualities you likely want in a bath towel. They have long, soft fibers and are very absorbent. 
  • Egyptian: Egyptian cotton, crafted in Egypt, isn't as suitable for towels as it is for other uses, such as bedding. That's because Egyptian cotton works well at absorbing and retaining water, which can make drying towels after use prolonged, potentially promoting mildew growth.

When searching for a bath towel, opt for an 84/16 cotton-polyester blend or 100% Pima or Turkish cotton to enjoy the best quality possible.

2. Weight and Density

Towel weight and density are connected. You calculate towel weight in grams per square meter (GSM), where a higher GSM means a denser, plusher towel. A towel with a high GSM will look thicker and feel heavier because there's more cotton or polyester in the towel.

GSM measurements typically range anywhere from 300 to 900. Check the towel's tag for a measurement rating, described as:

  • 300 to 400: A towel that has a lower GSM is lightweight and dries faster. However, they also tend to be rougher on the skin, making them less suitable for bath towels and more suitable for towels like cleaning towels or beach towels.
  • 400 to 600: The ideal range for bath towels is 400 to 600. They're soft enough to use on sensitive skin but aren't too absorbent to the point they take hours to dry. For a plusher bath towel, choose one on the higher GSM spectrum, around 500 or 600 GSM.
  • 600 to 900: The densest and plushest towels fall in the 600 to 900 GSM range. Towels with a GSM higher than 600 take a long time to air dry, making them less suitable for bath towels, as the dry time could promote mildew growth or an "off" smell.

Though bath towels are ideal in the 400 to 600 GSM range, you can find suitable towels in the 300 to 400 and 600 to 900 ranges, too. The best bath towel for you depends on your needs. If you want a multi-use bath towel that's highly durable and long-lasting, a smaller GSM may work best for you. Alternatively, if you're looking for a more luxurious and plusher feel, opt for a bath towel with a higher GSM.

3. Absorbency and Construction

Multiple factors play into a towel's absorbency, including the material and density. You want to aim for a slower absorption rate so you can use the towel longer. A slower absorption period also usually means a shorter drying time because the fabric has a lower water retention rate. 

A common term you'll hear when describing towels is "pile." Pile refers to the upright loops of fabric, which are twisted. The higher the pile length — sometimes called pile depth — the more absorbent the towel. The tightness of the twist affects the density and absorbency, with tighter twists making the towel more so. When searching for the best bath towel, look for one that's zero- or low-twist, so it's fluffy and absorbent.

4. Size

Bath towels are typically around 22 inches long and 44 inches wide. They're the perfect size for the average adult, and you can find larger sizes — 27 by 54 — or smaller sizes — 20 by 40. If it's any larger, it's considered a bath sheet. Alternatively, if it's any smaller, around 16 by 27 inches, it's considered a hand towel. 

When selecting the best bath towel, consider what size is best for you or if you're looking for a variety of sizes for different bathroom uses.

5. Color

There's no shortage of colors you can choose from when picking the best towel. It comes down to whether you're searching for commercial or individual purposes. Businesses, which typically shop wholesale, often gravitate towards lighter or darker colors, such as black and white. A darker shade can help hide stains, like hair dyes after coloring hair at a salon. White towels are helpful for when you need to see the messes you're cleaning. However, many companies like purchasing colors that align with their brand. For buyers who want to purchase towels for their homes, any color works.

When shopping for the best bath towel, analyze your needs and choose a color that works best for your situation. It's up to you!

6. Price

Generally, higher-quality towels come with larger price tags. However, both businesses and individual customers can benefit from buying in bulk. On average, prices for bulk high-quality 100% cotton towels will be less than what you'd spend buying them one by one, and they'll last you a long time with the proper care. Usually, purchasing bath towels in bulk is more affordable in the long run for all types of customers. Stocking up on quality bath towels now means you save both time and money.

Checklist for Choosing the Best Towel

Here's a quick recap with a simple checklist to help you find the bath towel that's best for you:

  • Material: The best towel materials are either an 86/14 cotton-polyester blend or 100% cotton. In terms of cotton, Pima or Turkish cotton is the best material for towels because Egyptian cotton has a prolonged drying time. 
  • Weight and density: Weight and density are measured in GSM. GSM ranges from 300 to 900, with the ideal range being from 400 to 600 because it's a nice balance between soft and absorbent. They're plush enough to complement sensitive skin and dry fast enough to prevent mildew buildup.
  • Absorbency and construction: You want a slower absorption rate so you can use your towel longer. The fabric will also have a lower retention rate, meaning the towel will dry faster. When searching for the best bath towel, look for one that's less dense and more absorbent, which you can identify by a zero- or low-twist.
  • Size: Find a bath towel that's around 22 inches long and 44 inches wide.
  • Color: If you're buying a bath towel for a business, you'll likely want to choose one that's either light or dark — lighter towels will help you identify messes, while darker towels will hide any stains, like hair dye. That said, feel free to choose a color that aligns with your brand, too. Homeowners will probably want to pick colors that complement their bathroom interiors.
  • Price: High-quality towels generally skew higher in price range compared to other moderate- or lesser-quality alternatives. Your best option when buying bath towels is to buy wholesale, where prices for a dozen 100% cotton towels range around tens of dollars.

How to Clean Your Towels to Keep Them in the Best Shape

How to Clean Your Towels to Keep Them in the Best Shape

Once you find the best towel, you'll want to keep it in its ideal quality. Some ways you can take care of your towel includes the following tips:

1. Double Wash

Every once in a while, your towel will benefit from two back-to-back towel-only loads. Run two cycles one after the other using a moderate amount of laundry detergent and no fabric softener. 

Detergent is designed for use only in small amounts because your washing machine can't thoroughly rinse an overuse of detergent from the fibers of whatever you put in it. What's more, avoid using fabric softener whenever you clean your towels because the absorbent piles may absorb more than what can be rinsed, leaving a residue that encourages bacteria growth.

2. White Vinegar

The same white vinegar you use for household cleaning can help you wash your towels. Try it to remove bad smells from your washing machine, clean stubborn detergent or fabric softener residue and kill any bacteria from your washing machine or towels.

To keep your towels looking their best, place a load of three to four towels in your washing machine. Add a cup of white vinegar and run your washer on its hottest setting. Once the load finishes, run the same towels through a second load using a moderate amount of laundry detergent.

3. Baking Soda and Vinegar

For extra power, use a combination of white vinegar and baking soda. This method requires two loads of laundry. First, put a few towels in the washing machine with a quarter cup of baking soda. Run the washing machine on the hottest water setting, which will kill any bacteria buildup that could be preventing your towel from being as soft and durable as possible.

After this first load, add a cup of white vinegar and run the washing machine on the hottest setting again. Once both loads finish, move your towels into the dryer, wait until they dry completely, fold them and store them in a dry area.

Other Tips to Maintain Your Towels

Aside from these cleaning tips, other tips you can use to maintain your towel's quality are:

  • Avoid leaving your towels in the washer for too long: Bacteria thrives in moist, warm environments. Avoid leaving your towels in the washing machine where bacteria can thrive and cause mildew growth.
  • Always make sure your towels are dry before putting them away: Check your towels once they finish in the dryer. Only put them away when they're completely dry. Additionally, be sure to store them in a cool and dry place to avoid bacteria buildup.
  • Hang your towels up to dry after use: We're all guilty of sometimes leaving our towels on the ground. When we forget to put them away, the towel doesn't have the adequate opportunity to dry, promoting mildew growth. Take that extra step and hang up your towels to ensure they dry correctly.

Find the Best Wholesale Bath Towels at Towel Super Center

Towel Super Center is the leading online wholesale towel supplier, and we can help connect your business with the best bath towels. A good towel is one that's durable, absorbent, soft, fluffy — and arguably the most important, affordable. Our towels check all of these boxes.

We want to make the buying process as easy and secure for you as possible. We're accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and we work with secure payment options like PayPal. Do you have any recommendations on how we can be better? Leave us your insight on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!

Start by visiting our bath towels selection. Then, continue learning more about ways you can use your bath towels by reading more posts from our blog.

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