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The best bath towels of 2024, according to our very opinionated editors

These soft, absorbent styles feel great against your skin.
While there are many options and fabrications available, experts say that going with a 100% cotton towel will help to ensure a soft, absorbent experience.
While there are many options and fabrications available, experts say that going with a 100% cotton towel will help to ensure a soft, absorbent experience.Kara Birnbaum / NBC News

Super plush, on the thinner side, a waffle weave — what’s the best way to determine the right towel for you? “It is truly personal preference,” says Whitney Thornburg, design director at Coyuchi. “Think about what will feel good on your skin. And think about that feeling of wrapping yourself in a really good towel, which can make your shower or bath feel more luxurious and cozy. Like the investment in nice bedding, investing in high-quality towels can help ensure they last longer and hold up to normal wear and tear, which should be everyone’s preference. 

We spoke to two textile and design experts and asked them about fabric and fabric weight; we included top towels from our Best of Bed and Bath Awards, which our editors tested for a minimum of five weeks; and we shared editors' favorite bath towels that they've been using for years.

SKIP AHEAD How we picked the best bath towels | The best bath towels of 2024 | How to determine what type of towel is best for you

How we picked the best bath towels

To determine what makes a great set of bath towels, we spoke to design and textile experts from Brooklinen and Coyuchi. Since they work for brands that make towels, we did not ask them for product recommendations, and any products from those brands on our list are there because they came highly recommended by NBC Select editors. This is what they say to keep in mind while shopping for towels:

  • GSM: This metric stands for grams per square meter and is used to measure the weight of a fabric. A lower GSM (anything under 400) indicates a lighter, thinner weight towel, while a towel with a higher GSM tends to be thicker, fluffier and more absorbent. Because it comes down to personal preference, we included towels with a wide range of GSM numbers. 
  • Material: Cotton tends to be the most popular material for towels, as it is soft, absorbent and durable. Some retailers also use bamboo and polyester blends. We focused on towels made with cotton, as experts told us this is the preferred material for its absorbency.
  • Certifications: Consider looking for towels that say Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®, which ensures your towels are free of harmful chemicals, says Katie Elks, Design Director at Brooklinen

The best bath towels of 2024

We used the above expert guidance to narrow down a list of recommendations from NBC Select staff. These picks were tested for our Best of Bed and Bath Awards.

Crane & Canopy Plush White Towels

“This towel has a luxurious feel to it,” says Sadhana Daruvuri, NBC Select commerce social media editor, who tested it for our Best of Bed and Bath Awards. “It’s great for anyone who really wants to pamper themselves or feel like they’re at a spa every time they step out of the shower.” 

The best towel award winner has a 600 GSM and is machine-washable, and our reviewers said it maintains its cozy texture and high absorbency after being cleaned. It also has a built-in loop for easy hanging on a hook in your bathroom. 

Brooklinen Super-Plush Soft Towel

“I am very happy with my Super-Plush bath towels,” says NBC Select’s managing editor Leah Ginsberg. “They are thicker and softer than most other towels I’ve owned, and they’re very absorbent. They also look chic — my bathroom is pretty simple, so they add some style.” They come in a set of two for just under $90 and have an 820 GSM, making them one of the plusher towels on this list. .

Boll & Branch Plush Bath Towel

Boll & Branch is known for its quality bedding, and its towels are similarly luxurious. “They really keep you warm and they maintain their texture and plushness after washing,” says NBC Select editorial operations manager Shari Uyehara. This towel has a 700 GSM, is made with 100% cotton. To preserve the softness of these towels, Boll & Branch suggests washing them on their own and not mixing them with clothes and bedding. 

Onsen Wovey Plush Bath Towel

Though Onsen doesn’t list the GSM of this towel, NBC Select reporter Harry Rabinowitz says they feel “decently thick and absorptive, but not too heavy.” They are made from 100% Aegean cotton. Another perk: “I love that this towel has a built-in woven tag in the center of the edge to hang it on a hook — that’s smart design,” says Rabinowitz. You can buy a single towel, a set of two or a set of four and they come in white, fog or oatmeal.

The Company Store Company Cotton Turkish Towel

Made from 100% Turkish cotton, this towel has a 620 GSM. “Even as the towel absorbed water, it stayed soft, didn’t get very heavy and didn’t stretch out when it was wet,” says NBC Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin, who tested these towels for our Best of Bed and Bath Awards. “I also didn’t notice any fraying on the fabric or tears around the seams after many uses — so they seemed durable.” One con Malin found was that there was “definitely linting when I first used it, which got all over me and my tub.”

Weezie Signature Bath Towel

“If you want to feel cuddled and cozy after a shower this towel is great,” says NBC Select commerce editor Lindsay Schneider. “It sops up water very well and would also be a great pool towel because it’s so plush enough to sit on.” The Weezie Signature Bath Towel is made from 100% organic cotton and you can monogram each towel for an additional $15.

Hammam Linen Bath Towels

“I got these bath towels from Amazon as a more affordable option to give to guests and they’re a great quality for the price — especially since they come in a pack of four,” says NBC Select editor Mili Godio. “They’re equally as absorbent as my fancier towels and nice and long to fully wrap around you.” They have a 600 GSM, rivaling the more expensive option from Crane & Canopy above and are made from 100% cotton. 

Brooklinen Waffle Bath Towels

If you like the way a waffled texture feels on your skin, consider these from Brooklinen. “Some waffle towels are super thin and almost scratchy, but these are very soft and pretty plush,” says Malin, who was sent a set of these to try. “The waffle pattern also hasn’t pulled at all as I’ve used and washed them.” The towels come in a set of two, have a 290 GSM and are available in onyx and white, as well as a few limited-edition shades. 

Coyuchi Cloud Loom Organic Towel

At just under $80 for one towel, this option from Coyuchi is certainly a splurge — but, in my opinion, very much worth it. I’ve long been a fan of the brand’s bedding, and last year, I bought these towels. They have a 685 GSM, are plush and absorbent, and have held up after countless washings. This material is a unique, organic variety of naturally-colored brown cotton yarn that is more expensive to source, which is why this towel has a higher price tag, according to Coyuchi.

How to determine what type of towel is best for you

“Seasonality can determine what towel you prefer. A thick, plush towel might feel warm and cozy in winter but it can feel great to have a lighter, more breathable towel during the summer months,” says Thornburg. To help you determine what may work best for your needs, we’ve outlined the most common types of towels and what they may be best suited for: 

  • Plush: A majority of towels would fall under this category — though there’s a spectrum of how plush they really are. “Products with a higher GSM, or grams per square meter, are thicker and extremely fluffy and luxurious,” says Elks. This type of towel has maximum absorbency, tends to feel warmer and takes up more room in your linen closet. Plush towels are made from loops of cotton that are tightly woven together for a soft feel. 
  • Waffle: This type of towel has raised threads that form small squares. “They have a lower GSM and are lightweight and quick-drying,” says Elks. “This makes them more compact and easier to roll into your gym back or for travel.” The textured finish can feel nice against your skin and adds visual interest if you are displaying them in your bathroom.
  • Turkish: These towels almost look more like a lightweight blanket. Turkish towels are usually made of a flat weave cotton, which makes them thinner and lightweight. “They can work as well as long as the weave and yarn are designed for a comfortable handfeel and high absorbency,” says Thornburg. Turkish towels tend to be better for the pool or beach or for travel, so we did not include any on our list. 

Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we work with experts with specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Katie Elks is the design director at Brooklinen.
  • Whitney Thornburg is the design director at Coyuchi.

Why trust NBC Select?

Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers topics like beauty, home and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed two design experts about towels. 

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