The 21 Best Bath Towels of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Frontgate’s classic towel feels like a luxury hotel offering

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best bath towels
Photo: People / Henry Wortock

A bathroom is often a sanctuary, carefully curated to provide cleanliness and comfort. The little details like soap scents, shower curtains, and in this case, bath towels, can make all the difference in the atmosphere of your space. Whether you're someone who prefers plush towels to dry off after a soak or thinner cloths for the aesthetic, the style you choose is imperative to upgrade your powder room.

To simplify the search, we tested 50 bath towels in our lab and at home to see which variations are worth your money. These 21 styles found the most favor with our team.

Read on for the best bath towels PEOPLE Tested.

The Best Bath Towels PEOPLE Tested:

We analyzed a series of qualities to narrow down the best towel-dry experience. From measurements to texture, absorbency and durability, these towels were (literally) put through the wringer for you.

Best Overall: Frontgate Resort Collection Bath Towel



  • This towel is so soft you'll want wear it around for an hour before getting dressed
  • The thick, plush material was absorbent enough to soak up an entire bowl of water
  • Our hands were completely dry after just two passes with this towel


  • There was some minor shrinkage after washing it, but only about an inch in each direction

If you're looking for a plushy towel to completely envelop you after a bath or shower, this pick from Frontgate brings that luxurious feeling together in a towel that's also functional. We were immediately impressed with the size and material of this extra soft towel — made from 100 percent Turkish cotton. We liked the soft, thick feel and appreciated the weave design, too.

It did well in our durability and absorbency tests and only showed slight shrinkage after washing. It dried our hands after about two passes with the towel, and when faced with a bowl of water, the towel absorbed most of it, too. We appreciated the durability and how well the towel performs for its price. The soft and plush feel also impressed us as well as the absorption abilities.

Given the wide range of colors (25) and styles (hand, bath, sheet, and washcloths), there are options for every bathroom, style, and towel-user. Grab a bath sheet for a full spa experience post-bath, or a standard bath towel for quick showers. This is the towel you accidentally wear around the house for two hours post-shower because it's so comfy. Proceed with caution if you're not prepared for bliss.

After three months of use, we appreciated the spa-like quality, and especially how light and fluffy it is, in addition to the large size.

Price at time of publish: $28–$72

Pre-wash measurements 30 x 57 inches
Post-wash measurements 29.5 x 56 inches
Material 100% Turkish Cotton
PEOPLE Tested best bath towels Frontgate
PEOPLE / Henry Wortock

Best Budget: Mainstays Performance Textured Bath Sheet

Mainstays Performance Textured Bath Sheet


  • Classic ridged design creates a little more depth to absorb water quickly
  • Ringing under $10, this is the most affordable towel on our list
  • It's easily machine washable and came out of the wash like new (but even softer) with no snags, loose threads, or other flaws


  • Though it's still soft, it doesn't have that plush feeling other towels on our list do, likely due to the textured design
  • It's somewhat small for a bath sheet, so if you're looking for something to wrap up in, this one might seem small
  • It also took about 90 minutes to air-dry after washing it

These bath towels are an affordable option for those who want something that's absorbent and machine washable, with a textured design. The towel has a medium thickness with a terrycloth material so it's cozy when you wrap up in it after a shower. And though it's fairly soft, the towel wasn't as plush as other towels on our list. However, the textured ridges also help with absorption and drying you off more quickly.

These towels are available in seven whimsical colors and are durably made. After machine washing the towels during our test, they held up without loose threads, snags, or any other flaws. The color also maintained its richness. It took a while for the towel to dry — about 90 minutes post-wash — but it retained the soft feel and appeared cleaner. Considering the jaw-droppingly low price, this towel is an excellent value.

Price at time of publish: $7.97

Pre-wash measurements 30.5 x 61.5 inches
Post-wash measurements 28.8 x 57.2 inches
Material Terrycloth

Best Investment: Coyuchi Temescal Organic Towel (Bath Sheet)

best bath towels


  • When we dried our hands, the towel absorbed all water instantly and barely showed any signs of dampness
  • It has a luxurious ribbed design like you might see in a hotel, with impeccable construction in the tight weaves (noticeable up close)
  • It's made from GOTS-certified organic cotton (a.k.a. sustainably sourced)


  • It shrank by about 4 inches after just one wash
  • It's not super plush, though we did notice some softening after washing it

The Coyuchi Temescal Organic Towel won us over with its luxe ribbed appearance and high absorbency. In a hand-drying test, our tester was pleasantly surprised by its instant absorption and barely-there wet marks on the used towel. After soaking up the majority of water it was submerged in for the soak test, it easily wrung out with minimal effort.

Though this organic towel retails at a higher price, the quality is well worth the investment. With its fluffy material, high absorbency, and luxurious construction, you can rest assured that you are receiving the spa treatment you're paying for.

Following the lab test, we used the towel at home for three months. It's still a favorite and continues to be cozy, oversized, and very high quality.

Price at time of publish: $78

Pre-wash measurements 39.25 x 72.5 inches
Post-wash measurements 38 x 68 inches
Material Turkish cotton
best bath towels
People / Henry Wortock

Best Plush: Boll & Branch Plush Bath Towel

Plush Bath Towel
Boll and Brand


  • It's made from GOTS-certified organic cotton
  • This towel seems durable after machine-washing it (with cold water!), with few stray threads and no color fading
  • It dried in under an hour, which is rather fast compared to others on our list


  • This towel didn't absorb as much water, but it's because it seems to repel it, which can also aid the drying process (not entirely a con)

During testing, we fell in love with this super plush bath towel, made softer by the 100 percent organic cotton material. It's quite thick and large as well which provides a luxurious feel when you step out of the shower. The towel absorbs some water, but repels it more than anything. Also, it's quick-drying — during testing, it dried in about 60 minutes.

To test durability, we washed the bath towel and found little to no changes. It had softened some, and there were maybe one or two stray threads, but generally it held up really well. The color also didn't bleed or fade. To achieve the best result, the key is washing this towel in cold water with like colors. Given the quality, softness, and price of the towel, we believe this is an excellent plush pick.

Price at time of publish: $48

Pre-wash measurements 29.6 x 59 inches
Post-wash measurements 28.2 x 57.3 inches
Material 100% Organic Cotton

Best Quick-Dry: Parachute Soft Rib Towels

best bath towels


  • It absorbed ¼ cup of water in just seconds
  • Dried our hands completely with one pass
  • It comes in a completely neutral color palette, a pro for those who prefer a minimalist design


  • The price could be too high for some budgets, especially compared to more affordable options on our list

The earth-toned Parachute Soft Rib Towels made a splash during the PEOPLE Tested process with its high absorbency and resilience. We were in awe that it dried our hands after just one swipe, and the towel completely absorbed ¼ of a cup of water in seconds. And it seems like this towel will only get better with time, as the long-staple Turkish cotton was unharmed by the washing process — its absorbency only intensifying.

However, the price might not be worth it to the average consumer. At $49 per towel, we feel that this ultra-absorbent option may be best for a higher-end household, as there are other cost-effective options available.

Price at time of publish: $49

Pre-wash measurements 28.75 x 53.25 inches
Post-wash measurements 28.5 x 52.25 inches
Material Turkish cotton
best bath towels
People / Henry Wortock

Best Turkish: Cacala 100% Cotton Pestemal Turkish Bath Towel

Cacala 1011101079851010 100% Cotton Pestemal Turkish Bath Towel


  • This towel dries super quickly (around 30 minutes)
  • It's available in a ton of bright colors, departing from traditional bath towel designs
  • This is one of our other budget-friendly towel options at just $25


  • The tassel fringe ends seem super susceptible to fraying and might not last over time
  • It's quite thin, which could be a con for those wanting a thick, plush towel

This Turkish cotton bath towel is quite different from others we tested, given its thin material and unique design. Some of our team even questioned why it was included in the bath towel test, but it proved its stripes shortly thereafter. The Turkish towel has a lovely weave pattern and is extremely lightweight. As such, it dries incredibly fast (about 30 minutes). It also doesn't wrinkle, making it ideal for throwing in a suitcase for a trip.

Our only concern is that the tassel fringe ends could fray over time, and a few had some loose threads after washing. The color didn't fade post-wash — it actually looked even more saturated from our team's perspective. The most impressive quality was how soft the towel became after washing. We think this Turkish towel is a great find, especially considering the cost.

Price at time of publish: $24.99

Pre-wash measurements 38.2 x 71 inches
Post-wash measurements 38 x 64 inches
Material Turkish cotton

Best Set: Southern Living HomeGrown for Southern Living Bath Towels

Southern Living Bath Towels Southern Living HomeGrown for Southern Living Bath Towels


  • This towel is available as a set, which could be ideal for a guest room
  • After applying mascara and foundation to the towel, it was easily washed with no remaining stains
  • The towel has a good weight to it and feels luxurious when you wrap up in it


  • The width of towel is not consistent all the way across, which could be a flaw of this specific towel or a design flaw with the towel in general

Editor's note: Southern Living is owned by PEOPLE's parent company, Dotdash Meredith.

These bath towels are ideal if you're looking for a full set — for a new home, for instance. The bath towel has a medium to heavy weight and a luxurious feel. The hand towel and washcloth are made with the same soft cotton material. The towel held up well after washing with no loose threads, fraying, or fading of color. It was also easy to clean — our team got makeup on the towel, and it all came off in the wash.

Our team noticed the measurements across the width were somewhat inconsistent, but the towel itself is a standard size that's great for wrapping up in after a bath. It took a normal amount of time to dry — about an hour and a half — and it felt just as soft after washing. Overall, we think this is a good-quality towel that comes in a set for added convenience.

Price at time of publish: $10–$28

Pre-wash measurements 29.7 x 57.5 inches
Post-wash measurements 30 x 54.5 inches
Material 100% Cotton

Best Lightweight: Coyuchi Air Weight Organic Bath Towel

Air Weight Organic Towels


  • Despite its medium-thickness which dries you off well, this towel feels rather lightweight
  • When washed, the towel retained its original quality, with no loose threads or color fading, and it even felt softer


  • It shrunk about 1 inch after washing, but only on one side

This towel is slightly smaller than other towels on our list, but in its small stature, it's extremely lightweight. And this quality, as well as the subtle ribbed design, makes it quick to dry your skin (as well as itself). Made with organic cotton, this towel feels similar to others we tested, not overly plush, but still soft. It's not as thin as the Turkish towels, but it's still thinner than standard bath towels, which helps it absorb water quickly.

After our wash test, we couldn't find any loose threads or visible damage, and the color remained intact. The material actually felt softer after the wash, and even took on a slightly more fluffy appearance. So if you're looking for a lightweight towel with good absorption, a lightweight feel, and soft material, this is the towel you should add to your linen closet.

Price at time of publish: $8–$188

Pre-wash measurements 28.1 x 51.3 inches
Post-wash measurements 28 x 50 inches
Material 100% Organic Cotton

Best Organic: Hydrocotton Organic Quick-Dry Towels

Hydrocotton Organic Quick-Dry Towels
Pottery Barn


  • It's made with GOTS-certified organic cotton which is extremely soft and environmentally-conscious
  • The towel dried our hands after just one pat
  • It absorbed an entire bowl of water with ease


  • Despite its soft feel, the towel is quite thin, which could be a con for someone who wants a plush towel
  • It shrunk by about 2 inches after we washed it

Made with a GOTS-certified organic cotton, this towel is both manufactured in an environmentally-conscious way, and it's extremely soft. We appreciated the construction of this towel as well as the soft texture. The texture is partly due to this company's unique weaving process that uses long staple cotton to create a silky smooth surface.

The towel performed well during testing, and dried our hands after a simple pat. It absorbed all the water, despite its thin material, and while the towel seems a touch overpriced, we would still recommend it to family and friends.

After at-home testing, we are sticking with our positive review. The material retained its fluffy feel, and continued growing softer after washing. It also continued to be quick-drying and absorbent.

Price at time of publish: $14.50–$79

Pre-wash measurements 56 x 28 inches
Post-wash measurements 26.5 x 54 inches
Material 550 GSM long staple cotton
Best Bath Towels
People / Henry Wortock

Best Spa-Like: Riley Spa Towel Collection Bath Towel

Spa Towel Collection


  • It only took two passes to fully dry our hands
  • The towel absorbed a full bowl of water and didn't drip at all
  • It has a top-notch design with super even stitching and a dense weave


  • We couldn't detect any notable cons during testing

To create a spa-like experience at home, you should add this Riley towel to your cart right now. We fell in love with its design, especially the even stitching and dense weave. It's not too thick, not too thin, and feels more plush rather than scratchy — which only adds to its luxuriousness.

It took only two passes with the towel to completely dry our hands, and it absorbed nearly all of the water during testing. It didn't drip at all, even after it absorbed a bowl's worth of water. It's made with 100 percent premium Egyptian cotton with a certification that means all materials are tested for any harmful chemicals. And since it's available in 10 different colors, you can find a set that matches any bathroom (or at-home spa) color scheme.

During home testing, we used the towel every day and washed it once a week, and the absorbency and softness remained the same.

Price at time of publish: $20–$65

Pre-wash measurements 58 x 30 inches
Post-wash measurements 30 x 59.25 inches
Material 100% premium fine-combed Egyptian cotton
Best Bath Towels
People / Henry Wortock

Best Oversized: Hammam Linen Jumbo Large Bath Sheets Towel

Hammam Linen Jumbo Large Bath Sheets Towel


  • It scored a perfect 5-star rating for absorbency, because it absorbed a full bowl of water
  • This towel is large enough to wrap around you, but isn't super dense or heavy
  • It dried our hands after just a few passes


  • It shrunk by about 3 inches after we machine-washed this towel

This is a towel you can completely wrap up in — perfect for post-shower lounging. We usually prefer a larger towel, and this one is generous. Despite its size, this Turkish towel feels lightweight and is extra comfy. We won't say it's super plush, but it feels good wrapped around our shoulders.

For the absorption part of testing, the towel scored a perfect 5-star rating. It also dried our hands after several passes and did not feel saturated or overly wet after these tests. It's machine washable, but we did notice a few loose threads after washing.

During the home-testing period, we used and washed the towel multiple times, and continued to love the color, thickness, and softness of the towel.

Price at time of publish: $46.99

Pre-wash measurements 34 x 68 inches
Post-wash measurements 35 x 65.5 inches
Material Turkish Cotton
Hammam Linen Jumbo LargeBath Sheets Towel
People / Henry Wortock

Best Color Selection: Southern Living Turkish Cotton & Modal Bath Towel

Southern Living Turkish Cotton & Modal Bath Towels


  • There are 11 different colors you can choose from, in a variety of light and dark shades
  • The towel is large and so soft; it almost feels like a blanket when you wrap up in it


  • We spotted a few snags after we washed the towel, but no major threads
  • It took about two hours to fully dry, which is longer than average

Editor's note: Southern Living is owned by PEOPLE's parent company, Dotdash Meredith.

With 11 colors to choose from, this bath towel can match any bathroom decor in your home. We loved the plush feel of the cotton material. The band design also takes a turn from the standard single wide band to three small thin bands. The material has a slight weight to it, which makes it feel more like a blanket when wrapped it around you, but it's not too heavy.

After the wash portion of our test, our team didn't see too many differences in the texture and quality of the towel, and it took about two hours to air dry. It retained its softness, and though there weren't any loose threads, we did spot a few snags. The makeup test also proved a success, with about 90 percent of the stain lifted after one wash. Looking at the quality and then considering the price of this bath towel, we think it's an ideal option — especially if you want multiple colors to choose from.

Price at time of publish: $6–$28

Pre-wash measurements 30.7 x 56.1 inches
Post-wash measurements 29.5 x 54 inches
Material 80% Cotton, 20% Modal

Best for a Guest Room: Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Towels

Classic Turkish Cotton Towels


  • The towel's size is ample but not so big that it drowns you
  • It's made with a soft Turkish cotton that feels luxurious on your skin and has a plush thickness
  • It's available as an entire set, which can be great for a guest room, or spare bathroom


  • The color appeared slightly duller after we washed it

These towels are great as a spare set — let's say for a guest room — because they're not overly expensive, but still have a decent quality. We particularly liked the size, which is not too large or small. It comfortably wraps around you, and can be tucked in for good measure. The Turkish cotton material is quite plush and has a luxurious feel to it.

The towel proved fairly durable during our tests, with no loose threads or flaws after washing it — though there was a slight dullness to the color after washing. It has a medium weight to it, and is fairly thick, which adds to the quality and ability to absorb water. The towel's absorption makes it a little slower to dry, but it was completely dry after an hour and a half. In short, this is a nice towel set to have on hand — for guests or yourself.

Price at time of publish: $14–$154

Pre-wash measurements 29.3 x 55.5 inches
Post-wash measurements 28 x 53 inches
Material 100% Turkish Cotton

Best Bath Sheet: Brooklinen Classic Bath Sheets

Classic Bath Sheets


  • This towel is luxuriously large but still lightweight so it's comfy to wear around while you're getting ready
  • Had no visible damage, and all stains came out after washing


  • The dry time was nearly two hours, likely due to the size and thickness

If you're looking for a blanket you can wrap up in post-shower, this bath sheet is the ticket. Our team loved the oversized feel of this bath sheet, though despite the size, it isn't too heavy. The Turkish cotton is extremely soft, which adds to the blanket feel. It comes in 11 colors, so there's a decent amount of variety to choose from when selecting a towel for your bathroom.

After running the towel through the wash, we didn't notice any difference in terms of quality. In fact, the towel continued to soften, which was a bonus. The color didn't fade, and there were no loose threads. We were also impressed that all the makeup came off the towel during the wash, leaving just a whisper of a stain that was barely noticeable. We were only slightly disappointed that the dry time was nearly two hours, considering this is a thinner towel — but since you'll likely hang your towel to dry and move on with your day, we don't think this is a dealbreaker.

Price at time of publish: $85

Pre-wash measurements 37.3 x 65 inches
Post-wash measurements 37.5 x 62 inches
Material 100% Turkish Cotton

Best Egyptian Cotton: Home Decorators Collection Egyptian Cotton Shadow Gray Bath Sheet

Egyptian Cotton Shadow Gray Bath Sheet
Home Depot


  • It's made from high-end Egyptian cotton that is extremely soft to the touch
  • At 72 inches, this is large even for a bath sheet, which makes it all the more cozy to wrap up in
  • Generally it's a durable material, with no snagging or loose threads after washing


  • There was some shrinkage after washing, about 1 inch and 2 inches in each direction respectively
  • It also lost some of its original softness after washing
  • This one also took around two hours to dry, which is longer than average

Egyptian cotton is known for its luxurious feel. We can confirm this bath towel (more of a bath sheet, given its large size) is extremely soft. It has a dense, thick feel to it, and completely envelops you when you step out of the shower. Comparing the towel that was washed to the unwashed towel sample, there was a slight loss in softness and some shrinkage. That said, there was no significant damage to the material or any fading. The towel took its time drying and was completely dry around the two-hour mark.

We believe this is a durable and luxurious towel that, considering the low price, is a great value. Its extensive size adds to the quality, and it has options for multiple colors and sets, for added convenience.

Price at time of publish: $31.97

Pre-wash measurements 34.1 x 72 inches
Post-wash measurements 33 x 70 inches
Material 100% Egyptian Cotton

Best on Amazon: White Classic Luxury Cotton Bath Towels Large

White Classic Luxury Cotton Bath Towels Large


  • It dried our hands with just a few pats and absorbed an entire bowl of water
  • It comes as a set of four for the same price as many of the singular towels on our list
  • This towel is certified with the Climate Pledge Friendly stamp, so it's a sustainable option


  • We noticed the material tended to pick up debris and fuzz during the wash
  • The towel has a good thickness and is plush, but the texture itself is not super soft

Outfitting your bathroom with towels can be quite a feat, but the White Classic Luxury Cotton Bath Towels come in a collection of four, making this purchase a one-stop shop. We think the bundle comes at a great value, at $50 for the whole set, whereas many brands sell one towel for the same price. However, while these towels are very plush and absorbent, the material is not the softest.

If you're looking to refresh your towel collection while adding other necessities to your Amazon cart, the White Classic Luxury Cotton Bath Towels may be the best choice for you. The towels passed the hand washing test with just a few pats on the hands and absorbed a bowl of water with ease, ensuring a drip-free dry. Our team is even tempted to buy a pair for our guest bathrooms.

After three months of home testing, we absolutely love these towels because they hold up beautifully, are fluffy, have great absorption, and have no discoloration.

Price at time of publish: $44.99

Pre-wash measurements 28 x 54.5 inches
Post-wash measurements 28 x 51 inches
Material 700 GSM long staple cotton

Best Waffle: Onsen Bath Sheet, Waffle Weave 100% Supima Cotton Towel

ONSEN Bath Sheet - Waffle Weave 100% Supima Cotton Towel


  • The waffle weave is soft but quite durable and didn't have any issues after washing it
  • It dried in just over an hour, which is much faster than our winning thicker towels


  • This towel is a little pricey compared to other bath towels (and bath sheets) on our list

This towel has the best of both worlds — the oversized feel of a bath sheet with the functionality of a waffle weave. The waffled texture gives this towel a soft but durable exterior. It saw no issues after our wash test, coming out of the machine unscathed. It also dried in just over an hour, so quite a bit faster than some of the thicker towels we tested.

We do think the size of this towel — technically a bath sheet — explains the cost, but it is a little pricey compared to others on our list. That said, it's a high-quality waffle towel that held up to each of our tests well. Plus it comes in a decent range of colors and should last for many uses and washes to come.

Price at time of publish: $80

Pre-wash measurements 36.5 x 67 inches
Post-wash measurements 39 x 68 inches
Material 100% Supima Cotton

Best Design: Serena & Lily Fouta Bath Collection Bath Towel

Fouta Bath Collection
Serena and Lily


  • Both sides of the towel dried our hands quickly with just a pass or two
  • This Turkish cotton is as absorbent as standard cotton and absorbed a bowl of water with ease
  • Due to the thin material, this towel is super quick-drying


  • We noticed a few loose threads after machine-washing this towel, but other than that, it held up well

If you're searching for a Turkish cotton towel that will absorb water as quickly as regular cotton, this lightweight option from Serena & Lily is for you. We loved that the towel has a simple but beautiful design, great color, and feels soft to the touch. We noticed a few loose threads on the towel's surface, but besides that, we were impressed with the towel's overall appearance.

During testing, both sides of the towel dried our hands fairly quickly and absorbed water without issue. After a run through the washing machine, the towel's appearance didn't change, and it seems to have a durable construction that will last for a long time. Sometimes Turkish towels have the reputation of being too thin and not absorbent, but we liked that this one had a loop weave on the inside because it creates a stylish look and still dries really well.

Three months after the lab test, we are still singing the towel's praises. We love the absorbency, lightweight feel, and quality construction — specifically the double weave and terrycloth back.

Price at time of publish: $48

Pre-wash measurements 31 x 57 inches
Post-wash measurements 29 x 54 inches
Material 420 GSM Turkish Aegean Cotton
Best Bath Towels
People / Henry Wortock

Best Absorbent: American Soft Linen 4 Piece Bath Towel Set

American Soft Linen 4 Piece Bath Towel Set, 100% Turkish Cotton Bath


  • These towels come as a set of four which is ideal for kids, dogs, or someone who might run through more than one towel at a time
  • It was washed three times in a laundry machine and came out with no loose threads, snags, or damage


  • This towel took almost two hours to dry, which is longer than average

These soft linen bath towels come in a set of four, which is great for those who need several durable towels on hand. They're highly absorbent thanks to the long loop pile height, and quite soft with a 100 percent Turkish cotton material. They survived the wash test (being washed three times for good measure) and came out the other side with the same softness and without loose threads or other snags.

The towels did take about two hours to dry which isn't ideal, but makes sense given their density. We think these towels would be great for someone with children or even a dog, who might go through several towels in a week, and need something durable, absorbent, and soft.

Price at time of publish: $46.99

Pre-wash measurements 27.3 x 53.7 inches
Post-wash measurements 25.8 x 54.7 inches
Material 100% Turkish Cotton

Best Luxury: Ralph Lauren Payton Towel Collection at Bloomingdales

RALPH LAUREN Payton Towel Collection


  • This towel has a luxurious feel with a thick, plush material that feels like a blanket when you wrap up in it
  • After washing it three times, all stains came out, and there were no loose threads or snags
  • It dried in about 11 minutes, which beats the average drying time by almost an hour and 20 minutes


  • The large size could be a bit too large if you're a petite person
  • There was slight shrinkage of about 3 inches after washing

If you want to bring 5-star hotel luxury into your home, consider adding the Ralph Lauren Payton Towel Collection into your rotation. During our lab tests, this bath towel was a massive hit — both literally, considering its bath-sheet size, and figuratively, with good scores across the board. The size is incredible for taller people but might be a little too big if you're petite. Upon initial inspection, we loved that it's thick but not overly plush (remember, it's a towel, not a blanket, so it needs to dry quickly).

We washed it three times in the lab for good measure, and it came out of the machine stain-free, softer, fluffier, and without any loose threads or pilling. Considering how thick it is, we were absolutely shocked how quickly it dried (11 minutes!). We continued testing this towel at home and fell more in love with its cozy feel, as you can literally wrap yourself up in it. It absorbs water beautifully and dries your body off in one pass. We did notice a few loose threads after washing the towel at home, but other than that, the towel has held up really well. It continues to dry fast with no sogginess. Overall, this is a luxurious towel that would be delightful to wrap up in after any bath or shower.

Price at time of publish: $71

Pre-wash measurements 35.5 x 72.5 inches
Post-wash measurements 32 x 69 inches
Material 100% Cotton
Bath Towel Testing
People / Henry Wortock

Best Value: Italic Serene Ultraplush Australian Cotton Towels


  • Most bath sheets are expensive, but this one is comparable to a bath towel's cost at around $50
  • The material is a great quality with a tight weave, and there were no loose threads or snags after washing


  • When we touched the towel after washing it, we noticed it lost some softness

Most bath sheets will run you close to $100 or more, and this one offers that same luxurious feel at half the cost — making it an easy choice for best value. The quality was apparent at first glance with a tight weave and no visible flaws. It wasn't overly soft but had a plush texture and ample material to wrap up in.

During our tests, we appreciated that the towel came out of the wash without any loose threads, though it did lose some softness. It dried in about 90 minutes, which is fairly standard for a large, thicker towel. The towel proved quite durable; all stains came out in the wash, and the tight weave is not as susceptible to ripping or thinning out over time. Considering the plush material — 100 percent Australian cotton — and the low cost for a bath sheet, we think this is an excellent value and would be perfect for a guest bathroom.

Price at time of publish: $16-$86

Pre-wash measurements 40 x 64.5 inches
Post-wash measurements 38.4 x 62.1 inches
Material 100% Australian Cotton
Bath Towel Testing
People / Henry Wortock

Things to Consider Before Buying Bath Towels

Design and Feel

"While towels are highly functional, the hallmark of a great towel is sophisticated style," Frontgate Textile Expert Rachel Killion tells PEOPLE. She suggests looking for towels that complement your bathroom décor — especially ones with added details like a unique border design.

And don't forget about the feel — the plushness of your towel can make or break your post-cleansing experience. If you really want to take it to the next level, pay attention to fiber count, cotton types, and pattern weaves to find the towel that's right for you. You can also take note of the towel's weight or GSM number (grams per square meter). "A high-quality bath towel will have a higher GSM — meaning it will be more plush and absorbent," says Killion. She suggests a GSM at or over 700 for that hotel-quality feel.


This is a factor that should be considered when buying all things, but the amount you're looking to invest in a fresh set of bath towels will depend on the purpose for which you're buying. If you want to upgrade your personal bathroom and make the experience more spa-like, then you should be prepared to spend a bit more on a high-quality towel. If you're looking to complete a guest bedroom or buy your first set of towels in a new apartment, then a more budget-friendly option could be right for you — such as the Mainstays Performance Textured Bath Sheet for under $10.


Nobody likes to towel off several times in a row, so finding a bath towel with high absorbency is key. Absorbency is also important to consider when buying for children (to avoid the mess of water tracking everywhere after bath time). "Absorbency and material go hand-in-hand when talking about bath towels," says Killion. "It all comes down to the fiber from which the towel is made and your own preference." She suggests Turkish or Egyptian cotton for an ultra-plush feel and maximum absorbency. Alternatively, you can try a bamboo towel for a soft and quick drying experience.

Cotton Type

There are many cotton types to choose from, and each will deliver different results. The three most common types of cotton are Turkish, which tends to create thinner towels for aesthetic purposes, Egyptian, for long-strand fibers that are known for their comfort, and organic, which is the simplest natural-fiber cotton. With all cotton, you should look for the Standard 100 Oeko-Tex certification, ensuring that the fibers that make up your towel were made via a safely regulated process.

Best Bath Towels
People / Henry Wortock

How We Tested

In total, we put 50 bath towels to the test in our lab and at home. We analyzed and evaluated the quality, texture, air-dry time, absorbency, durability and value of each, recommending winners based on these factors. In our lab tests, each product was ranked on pre-wash and post-wash performance, as well as shrinkage (based on before-and-after measurements). We also tested durability with a stain test using common makeup culprits like foundation and mascara. Additional features like plushness and design were also accounted for when giving these towels their final scores, looking at the tightness of the weave, the softness of texture, and how thick each towel was. Each of the products shared in this list was fully endorsed by our team as recommendations we would give to family or friends.


How often should bath towels be replaced?

Depending on the quality of the towels and the amount of use they get, bath towels usually last for two to three years. Inspect your bath towels regularly to see if they need to be replaced. If you notice signs of wear, like thinning or fraying edges, or if they are not quite as absorbent as they used to be, it might be time for some new towels.

Is Egyptian or Turkish cotton better for towels?

Egyptian cotton towels tend to be soft, thick, and super absorbent. Turkish towels are quick-drying, lightweight, and slightly less absorbent. "What makes both Egyptian and Turkish cotton superior is that they have long-fibers making the cotton much stronger and smoother than regular cotton," says Killion. She adds that these towels get softer over time, and the only major difference is drying time, as Egyptian cotton typically takes more time to dry.

What are the essential types of towels to store in the bathroom?

In general, the main types of towels are bath towels (or bath sheets for an oversized option), hand towels, and washcloths. "I keep a set of two bath towels and two hand towels in my bathroom — all coordinated to look nice folded on a shelf or layered on a towel bar," says Killion. She adds that she also keeps two bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths in her guest room so that visiting friends and family "feel as though they are staying at a 5-star resort." Killion also suggests keeping additional towels in your linen closet for quick swaps when you need a refresh.

How many bath towels do you need per person?

Ideally, each adult in your household should have four bath towels. Four towels is a sufficient number to allow for rotation in the laundry and for those times when the towel last used hasn't had a chance to dry. The White Classic Luxury Cotton Bath Towel Set comes in a set of four and is quick-drying and absorbent.

Why Trust PEOPLE?

Madison Yauger is a senior commerce writer for PEOPLE who's tested hundreds of lifestyle products across all categories. With a background in news and lifestyle journalism, she has a wide network of expert sources and a penchant for accuracy. Alyssa Brascia is a commerce writer for PEOPLE and has also written for publications such as InStyle, Shape, and Real Simple. For this story, they spoke to Frontgate Textile Expert Rachel Killion, heavily researched the market of bath towels, and used insights from our lab and at-home tests to determine the best bath towels of 2023.

What Is PEOPLE Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don't stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we've awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

Want more product recommendations? Check out all of our PEOPLE Tested content.

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