Bath towels are an extremely personal thing, as I recently found out after buying several sets only to return most of them. Some were so rough and scratchy that they felt like sandpaper, others too thin to feel cozy after a hot shower. And don’t even get me started on the price—some were so expensive that I could only afford to buy one for myself, leaving my poor husband to deal with his old rag. For something so simple, the search for the perfect bath towel is shockingly difficult.
Well, there was no way I was the only one with bath towel woes, so I went straight to our team to find their faves—if they even had any. To my surprise (or rather, no one’s surprise), we all had the same issues and we’d all spent too many hours researching and testing every towel we’d come across before finding these five tried-and-true favorites.
These bath towels hit all of our needs—soft, absorbent, easy to wash and dry, and reasonably priced. Tons of colors, handy hanging loops, and generous sizing are nice extras that don’t hurt, either. So to make sure no one else has to go through the same ordeal as we did, here are our team’s five favorite bath towels at every budget.
1. Brooklinen Classic Bath Sheets,
“I was in the market for new bath towels, and generally have been disappointed by how small ‘regular’-sized towels are—I like to be wrapped up in a big, soft blanket after a shower. So, I was ecstatic to find that these bath sheets are basically big enough to use as a throw. Okay, maybe not, but I still love the size. They also dry quickly, staving off any weird smells. The marled black color is basically a neutral, but masks any makeup-related stains (unlike white towels).” —Caroline Mullen, assistant editor
“My husband and I have gone through sooo many different kinds of towels to get to one that we both love—from Turkish cotton to super plush spa towels and everything between. We even tried a few different kinds of waffle towels when those became the trendy thing to use. Well, guess what? Our hunt is officially over. I love this waffle weave design; it’s stretchy; the quality feels amazing; and the towels genuinely dry so quickly. (Fact: no towel actually dries that quickly so it’s really more about which dries slower than others). The only caveat? It keeps selling out!” —Arati Menon, Home52 editorial lead
3. Riley Spa Bath Towel, $45
“One of my biggest gripes with most towels is that they fall off the hooks behind my bathroom door so easily. Riley’s towel has a handy hanging loop that keeps it off the floor—a simple and ingenious solution to a daily annoyance. It also helps that the towel itself is generously sized, absorbent, and soft—so basically, everything I’m looking for.” —Jada Wong, Market Editor
“Pottery Barn’s hydrocotton towels are the softest (and I mean SOFTEST) towels I have ever felt. I once spent an afternoon touching every expensive towel in Bloomingdale’s that I could. Yes, it wasn’t the most hygienic use of my time, but it taught me that PB’s are far more luxurious at a fraction of the price.” —Kelly Vaughn, Staff Writer
“I bought two of these and then promptly bought 10 more when I felt how soft and plush they were. They’re absorbent and dry quickly, and they haven’t shed even after multiple washings either. At under $10 a towel, these are budget-friendly—especially if you’re stocking up. I had a hard time choosing between all the colors so I just settled on basic white because I thought they’d go with any hand towel I have. Spoiler alert: I bought the hand towels in white as well.” —Jada Wong, Market Editor
This post was updated in September 2021 with personal towel recommendations from our team.
What are your favorite bath towels? Drop some inspo below!
This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.