Towels may serve a strictly utilitarian purpose—to dry you off after a shower, swim, or long bath—but, trust us, they’re far from basic. Truth is, choosing the right towel for your lifestyle and space can add a luxurious, spa-like quality to your standard bathroom. That’s why some people are willing to shell out the big bucks for ’em.
(Need proof? Here are 14 bath towels that will rock your world!)
“Not any towel will suffice and, quite honestly, selecting a towel is a very personal choice,” says Ernesto Khoudari, founder and owner of Kassatex, which sells over a dozen types of bath towels.
Color, pattern, and trim are all important factors to consider, but they’re all secondary to a towel’s plushness. Usually, there are two schools of thought when shopping for the perfect bath towel. Some people want a towel as plush as a puffy, cumulus cloud, while others are willing to ditch the frills for an austere alternative that gets the job done and dries quickly.
By now, you probably know where you fall on the plushiness spectrum, but might not know how to find the towel of your dreams. The plot thickens when you order your towels online and can’t test them out before buying. Ugh.
So what makes some towels more plush than others? According to Khoudari, the devil lies in the details—the product details, that is.
“Every factor is equally important in designing every towel collection,” he says. “It is the caliber of the yarn we tirelessly select, the exact measured height of the pile for the best drying capabilities and smoothness, and the weight of the towels.”
Start your search by looking out for key terms like “twist fibers.”
“Zero twist fibers, which basically means the yarn is not twisted and it blooms in a sense, create a more plush offering,” Khoudari says. “Low twist fibers are also very strong and plush due to a minimal amount of twisting of the yarn. That makes them very lavish and soft.”
Discerning towel shoppers should also pay close attention to material. While naturally manufactured fibers like modal and bamboo are durable and dry quickly, Khoudari says they’re more refined than smooth. Combed cotton, on the other hand, is known for being both absorbent and cozy.
But before you add a towel or two to your cart, think about what you’re using the towel for. Nothing lasts forever—including your super plush towel—so it’s important to be pragmatic about your purchase.
“Are you searching for daily spa-like moments, or do you zip in and out of the bath each morning gearing up for the day?” he asks. “Do you have high traffic use of the towels or are they mainly for personal use?”
If you (and your guests) are using the same towels, stick to a style that boasts fast-drying properties, low pile, and a tight-weave. Craving the lap of luxury? Go ahead and pick up a heavier towel with a higher pile and softer finish.
How do you like your towels? Plush or tough? Let us know in the comments below!