The Science of Buying Bath Towels


There is nothing more luxurious after a relaxing bath or a hot shower than to wrap yourself in a large, plush bath towel. Not a cheapie version, but a soft, velvety towel with some weight to it.

Buying really nice towels is a bit of science. You have to know what to look for, where to purchase them and how to display them once you’ve got them. Here are some tips to help you with your next towel purchase.

Selecting Your Towel

With so many types of towels out there, how do you choose the right one? Most towels are made from different weights or grades of cotton. Egyptian or Brazilian cotton are some of the more costly versions, but choosing a towel shouldn’t be based on price and grade alone.

It should feel soft, velvety, and have some weight to it. Some tricky manufacturers add fabric softeners to give the illusion of a softer more luxurious towel, that is why weight is a good indicator of a durable, quality towel.

The fibers should stand up straight and the fabric should be tightly woven. Steer clear of the rough lightweight towels with a loose weave. The more loops per square inch, the more absorbent the towel will be.

When choosing colors, white and ivory can be used with all color schemes and will be less likely to show fading. Add interest by including colors from your shower curtain or bath mat or trying combining different shades of the same color.

Where to Shop for Your Towels

The average price range for a good bath towel is about $15 with more decorative versions running about $20. An entire set of hand/bath/face towels shouldn’t cost any more than about $50-$60 if you buy them on sale. Watch for half-price sales at major department stores or deals in stores such as Winners, Linens ‘N Things, or Target.

Unless you want to pay upwards of $30 each you have to be creative in your search for a nice bath towel.

Taking Care of Your Towels

Now that you’ve got your first set of really nice bath towels, you want to keep them. Cleaning instructions are pretty basic; wash colors separately and avoid fabric softener, it can make your towels less absorbent. Even though they smell great when dried outside on the line, using a dryer will keep them much softer.

These towels should last for years, even when they start looking ratty you can cut them up and make great rags out of them.

Displaying Your Towels

Towels when displayed properly become a functional and decorative accent in your bathroom. Here is a quick lesson on folding your towels:

  1. Smooth it out flat and fold it in half lengthwise.
  2. Smooth and fold lengthwise again.
  3. Next fold in thirds, one end in and again.

This gives the towel an extra thick appearance, be sure to display with the folding side showing and the tags tucked in. Now style your towels:

  1. Pile up in tiers with the bath on the bottom, hand, and face.
  2. Roll and stack in pyramids, baskets, or crates.
  3. Place on top of a bed in the guest room with a decorative soap on top.

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