The best towels to instantly upgrade your bathroom

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Nothing feels better than wrapping yourself up in a cozy towel after you get out of the tub or shower. If your towel is feeling rough or isn’t drying you off quickly, chances are it’s time for an upgrade. The problem is there are so many bath towels to choose from at a wide range of price points, so it’s not exactly easy to shop for bath towels, especially when you’re unsure of how they’ll hold up over time.

Our partners at the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab evaluated more than 40 towel styles for absorbency, drying time, washability, fabric strength and more using our in-lab equipment. They then had dozens of real consumer testers blindly rate the fabrics for softness and feel after one wash and again after 20 washes. The picks ahead are top performers from their test and have become favorites for their staffers.

Here are the best bath towels to buy in 2020.

Please note that prices shown may reflect the lowest-priced item available, such as a hand towel.

Best Overall Bath Towel

Hydrocotton Quick-Drying Bath Towel


Why we love it: It earned the highest overall score in our test and stood out for being super soft and ultra absorbent.

Take note: Though the name claims it’s quick drying, it still took longer to dry than other not as plush towels in our test.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for a top notch towel that will last, this one looked and felt great even after 20 wash cycles.

More details:
• 100% cotton
• 550 GSM weight

Best Heavyweight Bath Towel

Super-Plush Bath Towel Set


Why we love it: It’s the heaviest of all the towels in our roundup and is incredibly soft and absorbent.

Take note: The thick fabric may feel too heavy for some, and its plush cotton surface takes longer to dry.

Bottom line: It’s a great choice for anyone that wants a thick, fluffy towel.  Brooklinen offers free returns for a year if you don’t love it.

More details:
• 100% cotton
• 820 GSM weight

Best Value Bath Towel

Performance 5.0 Bath Towel



Why we love it: It had good scores across the board for absorbency, drying speed, softness and fabric strength.

Take note: Some consumer testers called it just “average” and “generic” compared to others.

Bottom line: Though it wasn’t the best in any specific test, it overall beat out styles that were much more expensive.

More details:
• 92% cotton, 8% polyester
• 600 GSM weight

Best Quick Drying Bath Towel

Diamond Jacquard Bath Towel Set


Why we love it: This one has a unique construction that makes it absorbent, quick drying, strong and shrink resistant.

Take note: The fabric surface showed fuzzy signs of wear faster than others in our laundering evaluations.

Bottom line: It was a top performer and the only towel to ace both absorbency and drying time tests. You can also buy it in a 6-piece set to include hand and face towels.

More details:
• 48% polyester, 40% cotton, 12% polyamide
• 500 GSM weight

Best Lightweight Bath Towel

Waffle Bath Towel


Why we love it: The waffle weave construction is super light and dries quickly. 

Take note: This one had the lowest absorbency score in our test.

Bottom line: It’s not bulky like a traditional towel with loops. If you’re looking for one that’s more plush, the brand’s Classic Towel was highly absorbent and an overall great pick.

More details:
• 100% cotton
• 240 GSM weight

Most Absorbent Bath Towel

Ultra-Soft Turkish Bath Towel


Why we love it: Our panel loved the feel and rated it highest in a blind comparison. In the Lab, it was by far the most absorbent.

Take note: It took a while to dry, and it shrunk a bit in our wash test.

Bottom line: If you want to wrap yourself in a thick, plush towel, this is the one for you.

More details:
• 100% cotton
• 750 GSM weight

Best RIbbed Bath Towel

Rib Hydrocotton Towels


Why we love it: It held up to washing in hot water, which is more effective at killing germs and bacteria. It was also both soft and absorbent.

Take note: The towel size was slightly smaller than others in our assortment.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for one with texture, this outperformed all other ribbed styles.

More details:
• 100% cotton
• 500 GSM weight

Best Organic Bath Towel

Plush Bath Towel


Why we love it: This one’s organic and Fair Trade Certified so you know it’s responsibly and ethically sourced. On top of that, it was super absorbent and overall durable in our evaluations.

Take note: It’s the most expensive in our roundup and it didn’t dry as fast as other fabrics.

Bottom line: Hundreds of reviewers sing its praises online, and it performed better than other organic options in our test.

More details:
• 100% organic cotton
• 700 GSM weight