The Best Bath Towels for Every Budget | BuzzFeed Reviews
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The Best Bath Towels

We hope you love the products we recommend! We do a lot of research and testing before making our picks for the best thing to buy in each price point. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change. For more info on how we choose products and make money, go here

AmazonBasics Quick-Dry Towel

$13

  • Lightweight but absorbent
  • Available in 8 colors
  • 100% Cotton
Buying Options

Snowe Bath Towel

$22

  • Becomes softer with time
  • Quick-drying
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
Buying Options

RH Ultra-Soft Turkish Towel

$40

  • So, so soft, omg
  • Thick, but fairly lightweight
  • Free shipping
Buying Options

Bath towels get more skin contact than a nudist at a cuddle party. Investing in the right ones will make your butt and your bathroom extremely happy. Whether your budget is thick or thin, we’ve found the best bath towels for your buck.

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AmazonBasics Quick-Dry Towel

Starting from $13

Where to buy

The Details

Measures 54" x 30" inches

Made from 100% Cotton

Available in 8 Colors

Okeo-Tex Certified

What / Who It's Best For

  • College students
  • Dogs or parents of dogs
  • People with small/airless bathrooms
  • Color-lovers

Why We Love It

If you’re looking for a towel that’s low-lint, high-durability, decently soft, quick-drying, high-absorbency, and fade-resistant…well, you’ll need to pay a little extra to get all those things. Cheap towels are almost always linty, especially after the first few washes, so we suggest washing in hot water and drying them alone until the fibers have shed their winter coats, so to speak. And while some are fairly fade-resistant over time, there are a lot of cosmetic and household chemicals that can discolor even (and maybe especially) expensive towels. But with all that in mind, these AmazonBasics Quick-Drying Towels get a whole lot of things right, and that’s why they’re our low-budget pick.

AmazonBasics bath towel tag

These towels are designed to be quick-drying AND absorbent, which is hard to do. They’re zero-twist, which means the 100% cotton fibers used to manufacture them are stronger and the surface area of the yarn is more open, which makes the material more absorbent and soft but also allows it to dry more quickly. Zero-twist only works if the cotton is high-quality, so that makes these even more of a bargain.

The weight of a towel is measured in GSM, or grams per square meter. The higher the GSM, the denser the threads. While a higher GSM doesn’t always mean the towel is softer, more absorbent, or even physically thicker, it does usually correspond with price. The higher the GSM, the more expensive (sort of like thread count for sheets). AmazonBasics Quick-Dry Towels are 400 GSM, which makes them lightweight to medium-weight towels. Medium-weight towels are usually as absorbent as heavier weights (700 GSM or more) when made from 100% cotton, but they’re lighter and they dry faster, which is great for small or poorly ventilated bathrooms — or people who just leave towels lying around the house (no shame, just being real). These are also great for pets and other creatures that get gross and smelly, since they’re cheap enough to replace now and again.

AmazonBasics bath towels stacked on top of each other

You’ll notice something that all three of our bath towel picks have in common: They all have only a thin border hem, rather than a thick striped border a few inches up from the edge. We’re against those borders for several reasons. One, if the towel shrinks, or is wrinkled, the border gets misshapen easily and starts to look wonky. And two, they are never soft, and it always seems to show up just where you want to dry your face or other sensitive parts. They also make the towels harder to display on hooks. Overall, we’re just anti-borders over here at BuzzFeed Reviews — especially on towels and washcloths — and this AmazonBasics set has a nice waffled border that doesn’t get in the way.

We also didn’t pick any towels that come in sets (besides this one, which comes with a washcloth and hand towel). A very valuable thing we learned in the course of testing for this review is that the only thing more annoying than not having enough towels is having too many! Storing more towels than you have room for in your home is a huge pain, so while there are some good quality towels that come in sets of four (especially this Turkish set that’s only $6+ per towel), being able to get the right number for your household is key.

These AmazonBasics towels are also made in an Oeko-Tex Standard 100 factory, an independent certification program that tests household fabrics and materials for more than 300 known harmful substances — though the towels themselves are not Oeko-Tex Standard 100-certified (likely because they’re a private-label brand from Amazon and they didn’t apply for the recognition).

Among the other cheap towels we tried, these were the best overall in terms of quality, design, colorways, dry time, and absorbency. Durability and softness vary depending on your use and laundering techniques, but at $12.99 for a set, we think it’s the best budget version you’re gonna find.

Editor’s note: In the course of writing this review, our number one favorite GOAT cheap towel from Target, the Fieldcrest Luxury, was discontinued and replaced with the Fieldcrest Spa Solid. Which is just okay. It’s as good as any other Target towel, which is to say it is soft and seems to be durable for the price and comes in great colorways. But there are a few things that differentiate it from the Luxury Solid that made us hesitant to fully switch loyalties: It’s not benzoyl peroxide-resistant or fade-resistant (and we haven’t yet found another on the market that actually makes that claim). The border is a different design, which makes it wrinkle/shrink easier. And it’s almost TOO soft, if you know what we’re saying. Something about it made us kind of suspicious, and it doesn’t dry quite as well on the floor of a teen’s room or in a windowless bathroom. And maybe we’re resistant to change or too attached to the old ones, but the Spa Solid is still a solid choice, if you will. You won’t go wrong with that one. But it’s just not our FAVORITE in the same way the Luxury Solid was. Amazon Basics Quick-Dry is the new king in town.

User Reviews

"This is like drying yourself off with a microfiber/fleece comforter; omg it’s so soft! I’ve bought “moisture wicking” towels from box stores and they were great, hence why I went with quick dry again. But I was not expecting how soft this is! I washed it before using to see if it would stay that way and it did. No issues at all with drying, except that it’s so soft I don’t feel like I’m actually drying myself lol, and no issues with fuzz either. We’ll see how long it lasts like that, but it’s amazing right now!"
— cmh88 From Amazon
"These were MUCH nicer than I'd even expected. They are extremely soft, color is identical to the pics, size is as described and the thickness is perfect."
— Lisa R. From Amazon
"Great towels, which begs the question: Why are other towels so effing expensive?"
— nlc From Amazon
"These have held up over the course of a year and though i regret getting white because of staining the quality is very good and worth the buy for the price without question!"
— The Carolin's From Amazon
"I bought these to take on a campervan trip around the Ring Road in Iceland. They worked great for running into campground or pool showers in the morning as typically by the mid day, they would already be dry if hung up on a hook or on the back of the seat. I would highly recommend taking your own towel to Iceland, as they charge up to $5 to rent one."
— Jimbo From Amazon

AmazonBasics

Light on weight and the wallet

Where to buy

$13 on Amazon
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Snowe Bath Towel

Starting from $22

Where to buy

The Details

Measures 58 x 40 inches

Made from 100% Long-Staple Cotton

Available in 4 Colors

90-day Risk-free Trial

Oeko-Tex Certified

What / Who It's Best For

  • Small or windowless bathroom-havers
  • Newlyweds or starter-homeowners
  • People who are graduating from Ikea

Why We Love It

Most towels either get less-soft after washing, or at best stay the same amount soft. These Snowe bath towels actually get SOFTER over time, which is one of the reasons they’re our $$ pick. They’ve got a slightly fancier design than our low-budget pick, with a minimalist banding that prevents fray and a thicker look and feel. 

Snowe is a direct-to-consumer brand that specializes in simple, high-quality products for kitchen, bed, bath, and bar that are reasonably priced. Like similar millennial-focused bed & bath startups like Parachute and Boll & Branch, Snowe’s inventory is all neutral colors and minimalist designs that are popular among the Instagram-influencer set and their followers. But compared to those brands and others in a similar $20-40 per-towel price point, the Snowe towels were the softest and dried the most quickly.  They’re also the perfect “goldilocks” weight: not too heavy, not too light…just right.

Snow towel rolled up

Cotton Fact: you’ve probably heard terms like “Egyptian Cotton” and “Pima Cotton” used to indicate high-quality. But most of those terms are actually brand or region-specific terms for different kinds of long-staple cotton. Long-staple, or long-fiber, cotton, is harder to grow but often results in higher-quality textiles. In this case, size does matter: towels and sheets made with long-staple cotton tend to fray, pill, and wear less. Think of it like rope: one super long rope is a lot stronger than several shorter ropes tied together.

Snowe towels are made with 100% long-staple cotton, which is probably why they are so soft and durable. Like our $ pick the Fieldcrest Luxury, these Snowe Towels are also OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified, and free from more than 300 known harmful substances.

Snow towel tag

They’re affordable at $22 each, and a lot more budget-friendly than our $$$ pick, but still a nice upgrade option. We think they’re perfect for a first apartment out of college or a wedding registry, or anyone who is willing to spend a little extra to get a more luxe bathing experience. They also have a 90-day money back guarantee if you’re not into them, which you don’t see often for things that you rub all over your butt. 

User Reviews

"Best towels I've found for an urban (and windowless!) bathroom - quick drying, soft, and super durable."
— Alexandra Heuer From Facebook
"Soft, fast drying, no shedding. Great quality."
— Garrett H. From Snowe

Snowe

Lightweight But Luxurious

Where to buy

$22 at Snowe
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RH Ultra-Soft Turkish Towel

Starting from $40

 

 

Where to buy

The Details

Measures 56 x 30 inches

Made from 100% Turkish Supracotton

Available in 12 colors

750 GSM

What / Who It's Best For

  • People who like soft things
  • Careful laundry do-ers
  • Sensitive souls (and bodies)
  • People who want a reason to shower more

Why We Love It

This towel is almost too luxurious to function. But it does function, extremely well, and better than some of the pricier luxury towels we tried. The main reason we chose this as our $$$ Worth It winner is that it’s EXTREMELY FREAKING SOFT AND CUSHY, even after many, many washes, and it’s also one of the most absorbent towels we’ve ever tried. Most luxury towels just have one of the other: the Matouk Lotus is slightly softer, but nowhere near as absorbent; the Coyuchi Cloud Loom is more absorbent at 1200 GSM, but not quite as soft and a lot thinner.  

Restoration Hardware bath towels tag

At 750 GSM, the Restoration Hardware Ultra Soft Turkish Towel is technically a heavy-weight but its somehow lighter than a lot of the other luxury brands, even when damp, and also thicker. It takes longer to dry than our other picks, but prety much all extremely absorbent towels do. 

One thing to note is that since they are higher-end materials, these towels are also higher-maintenance than our other selections. They fare best when washed with like colors and no fabric softeners or harsh chemicals, and unlike our $ pick, the Fieldcrest Luxury from Target, these are not benzoyl peroxide-resistant, and tend to fade slightly more over time. Because of all that, we recommend getting this version in solid white. But let’s be honest: if you’re looking for hotel/spa-level-luxury, you’re probably going to get the white towels anyway. Pair them with these bath slippers and you’ll never leave your porcelain palace again.

Restoration Hardware bath towels stacked on top of each other

And again: They’re just so soft. And thick. And thirsty…and yes, we’re still talking about a bath towel.

User Reviews

"Ten years ago my wife and I went to Restoration Hardware and purchased a set of towels. We picked the 802-Gram Turkish Bath Towel. We picked up two sets each, and we got them in white. These towels have lasted us eight years before they started to fall apart. So when that happened we went back and purchased another set. To say these are high-quality is an understatement. These are the best towels I have ever used. I have never visited a hotel, resort, or home with towels that come close."
— OmarKnows From OmarKnows

Restoration Hardware

Extra thick & Thirsty

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