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The Towel Size Guide for Choosing the Right Towels

Washcloths

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The washcloth is the smallest in the towel family. The typical washcloth measures approximately 13 inches by 13 inches, although they sometimes come in slightly smaller at 12 inches by 12 inches. The small size makes washcloths perfect for cleansing your face. They also work in the shower to wash your entire body.

While not technically a towel — after all, you won't dry off with one — the washcloth is still a key part of the overall set of towels. Even if you opt for a loofah for your showers, or don't use washcloths very often, it's still a good idea to have a few on hand for those times you need them or have overnight guests. Washcloths also come in handy in a decorative towel set hung on a towel bar.

Fingertip Towels

Next up in the towel lineup is the fingertip towel. This towel is larger than a washcloth, and rectangular instead of square. The fingertip towel is basically a smaller version of the hand towel. Fingertip towels typically measure 11 inches wide by 18 inches long.

The purpose of a fingertip towel is usually decorative. You might use a fingertip towel to accent a decorative towel display or a countertop in a bathroom. Fingertip towels are good for guest bathrooms in place of small hand towels. The slightly smaller size is usually sufficient for occasional use by guests, and it makes them easy to hang, fold or roll for display.

Hand Towels

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The versatile hand towel gets daily use in the bathroom. Some people even keep small hand towels in kitchen areas for drying hands. These towels are slightly larger than fingertip towels and are mainly used to dry your hands. You might also grab a hand towel to wipe up a small amount of water on the bathroom vanity or to dry your face.

You will find some slight variations in the sizes of hand towels. On the small end, hand towels measure about 15 inches wide by 25 inches long. On the larger end of the scale, you can find hand towels measuring 18 inches wide by 30 inches long.

The size difference in this category is minimal, which means you won't likely even notice. Going with the maximum size you can find gives you that little bit of extra room to get your hands fully dry. A slightly larger hand towel also gives you more options for folding, rolling and displaying them for decorative use.

Bath Towels

Moving up the scale, the next towel option is the bath towel. This is your standard size towel for drying your entire body after a shower or bath. The bath towel is the most common option for everyday use because it is easy to use without taking up a lot of space. The size typically ranges between 20 inches wide by 40 inches long to 30 inches wide by 58 inches long.

Bath towels on the smaller end of the range work well for kids or slight adults. A small towel also works well as a dedicated towel to dry your hair, especially if you have long or thick hair. Wrap the smaller bath towel around your hair, and use a larger bath towel or a bath sheet for your body.

If you prefer more coverage or have lots of surface area to dry, search for bath towels on the larger end of the spectrum. It may not seem like much, but those extra few inches on the length and width of the towel can give you the extra drying space and coverage you need.

Bath towels are easy to use and usually offer enough absorption for the average person drying off from a shower or bath. They dry relatively quickly, so they're ready for your next shower. Because of their small size, you can fit several bath towels in your washing machine at once. Plus, they won't take up as much space in your linen closet.

Bath towels also work well for decorative towel displays. The moderate size makes them fit easily on most towel bars without being too thick or hanging down too far. You have more options for hanging, folding or rolling the towels because they are less bulky.

Bath Sheets

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Bath sheets are the largest size of towels. Think of them as oversized bath towels. The typical size for a bath sheet is between 35 inches wide by 60 inches long and 40 inches wide by 70 inches long.

That length and width makes extra large bath sheet towels feel more luxurious than bath towels. Using big bath sheets is a little like being at the spa from the comfort of your own home. Bath sheets offer a lot more surface area to fully cover your body. Most people can wrap a bath sheet around the body comfortably without gaps or too much skin showing, so this option works well if you like to wrap up in a towel before getting dressed. Bath sheets also offer plenty of surface area, making it easier to dry off after your bath or shower.

Bath sheets are a great addition to your linen closet, even if you don't use them every day. Sometimes, you just feel like treating yourself with a large, fluffy towel. Choose both bath towels and bath sheets in coordinating colors if you can't decide between the two sizes.

These larger towels do typically take more drying time simply because of their extra surface area. Hanging the bath sheets carefully after use helps them air dry faster, and prevent bacterial growth. Unfortunately, you can't fit as many bath sheets into the washing machine at once, so expect to wash more loads of towels if you opt for bath sheets.

Bath Mats or Tub Mats

A bath mat or tub mat is a towel-like mat that goes on the floor just outside your bathtub. While you don't actually dry off your body with the mat, it does serve an absorbent purpose to keep the floor dry when you step out of the shower. The material on bath or tub mats is often similar, yet thicker, than a standard towel, to help soak up all that moisture on your wet feet.

While most bath mats measure around the same size, you may notice some variation. A typical size range for bath mats is 20 inches wide by 30 inches long to 24 inches wide by 36 inches long. Stick to the smaller end of the range if you have a tiny bathroom or want to conserve floor space. Opt for a larger mat when you want a greater surface area of your floor covered.

Assessing Your Needs

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Before deciding on a size and quantity of towels, take some time to assess your needs. Figuring out how you typically use towels and the experiences you enjoy can help narrow down the options.

Ask yourself these questions before deciding on new towel sizes:

  • What size of towels do you own now? Do they work well for your needs? Do they seem too large and bulky, or are they too small to dry your body completely? Break out the tape measure to get exact sizing on your current towels. This helps you choose new towels depending on your need to go larger, smaller or stay the same.
  • How often do family members shower? Do they reuse towels? Quick drying time is helpful if family members reuse towels and shower frequently, so smaller bath towels may be a better option. Do your current towels dry fast enough? If so, stick with the same size and general thickness.
  • How large are your family members? Do they need extra drying surface to fully dry off after showering? Go larger to accommodate those extra drying needs. Do you have kids? A small bath towel is easier to use when drying wiggling kids.
  • How long do your family members use their towels? Do any family members like to wrap up in towels after showering or bathing? Bath sheets are the safest bet to get full coverage with a comfortable wrap all around the body.
  • How much linen closet space do you have? Can you accommodate larger bath sheets, or are smaller bath towels a better option to save space? Do you have room to stock both bath towels and bath sheets to give yourself variety? Or do you want to stick with one size to work within the available space?
  • How often do you wash towels? Do you mind washing several loads of towels? If not, bath sheets may fit in to your laundry plans. If you prefer to do only a few loads of laundry, stick with smaller bath towels, so you can put several towels in one load.
  • Do you host overnight guests often? If so, having a few extra bath towels ensures your guests always have a clean towel to use. Bath sheets for guests aren't necessary, but choosing bath towels on the larger end of the size range lets your guests enjoy a pleasant showering experience. Don't forget the fingertip towels to make hand drying easy.
  • Do you need extra towels for decorative displays? Stock up on a matching set with a bath towel, hand towel and washcloth to create a full set for display.
  • How wide is your towel bar? If you have a small bar, opt for narrower towels so they hang easily.

Bath Towels vs. Bath Sheets

Most households stock washcloths and hand towels no matter what. The debate often lies in the battle between bath towel vs. bath sheet and the differences between them. There really is no right or wrong answer. The final decision comes down to your preferences, the sizing that best matches your needs and the way you plan to use the towels.

Choose bath towels for:

  • Everyday use with average drying surface area
  • Guest bathrooms to accommodate occasional overnight guests
  • Homes with small linen closets to make better use of the space
  • Decorative hanging displays on towel racks for easier folding and hanging
  • Quick drying times and the ability to wash more towels in one laundry load
  • Small kids to cut out the bulk of larger towels
  • Separate towels to use to dry long hair

Choose bath sheets for:

  • Family members who need extra drying surface
  • Times when you want to feel pampered in a large, luxurious towel
  • Family members who like to wrap towels around themselves while being fully covered
  • People with lots of hair that need more absorbency
  • Special occasions that call for a luxurious experience
  • Everyday use if you simply prefer the larger size

Choose both bath towels and bath sheets for:

  • Variety to fit your specific mood each day
  • Families whose members have mixed preferences on the best towel size

Once you decide on the general category of towel you want for your linen closet, you need to choose a specific size within that range. Since most types of towels vary in the sizing there are a few things you may want to think about. Do you want a short towel or a long towel? Do you want a small towel or a large towel?

If you like the idea of bath sheets but don't want to waste a lot of space, opt for a small one, or a bath towel at the large end of the spectrum. Either option gives you a good balance between comfortable use and storage space.

If you have small children, consider buying small bath towels for them and larger towels for adults and bigger family members. The smaller size better fits a young child's body without being too bulky or hanging down too far. Choosing smaller towels for kids also makes it easier to keep them organized and separate from the adult towels in the linen closet.

Searching For Small Size Bath Towels

Have you found that most manufacturers bath towels are way too big for your needs? If so, Towel Super Center is the right place for you. We separate and categorize all of our towels by dimensions so you can quickly go to the size of towel you are looking for. We have heard your needs and want to help fulfill them. Bigger is not always better in the eyes of the customer.

Stock up on the Perfect Sized Towel

Stocking up on all sizes of towels keeps your household prepared for every possible drying need from everyday hand drying and shower use to overnight visitors and days when you want a little more luxury. Towel Super Center offers towels of all varieties to meet your drying needs. Choose from a range of sizes in each category to fit your use. Because we offer discount prices on wholesale towels, you can stock up on all the towels you need to keep your home and all your family members dry and comfy.

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