10 best bath towels

Dry off with a soft, luxurious bathroom essential

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The Independent Online

The world is at our doorstep when it comes to choosing a bath towel: whether Egyptian cotton or Japanese waffle weaves, Turkish hammam-style or traditional English.

Think about whether you like a plush deep cotton and a dense, weighty feel (500gsm and above) or if you prefer something that’s lightweight, good for travelling and easy to dry. Cheaper towels are often made with synthetic fibres but it is possible to find good materials on a budget too.

Our list is based on the standard bath towel (around 70 x 125cm).

1. Hydrocotton bath towel: £26, The White Company


Hydrocotton towels are made of 100 per cent cotton from Turkey. With all the plush softness you’d expect from a cotton towel, these are made with a special ‘low twist’ process that makes them much lighter, absorbent and quicker to dry. Currently, the only UK stockist is The White Company.

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2. Rye bath towel: £22, Margo Selby


Margo Selby’s bright patterns are best known for covering bedspreads, cushions and carpets but her towels bring a delightful burst of colour to the bathroom too. The Rye towel set is made with 100 per cent cotton (with a density of 600gsm) and covered in waves that represent the historic coastal town. Each has a neon striped trim.

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3. Jacquard weave bath towel: £12.99, H&M


This cost-effective towel from H&M is made from cotton terry. A zig-zag jacquard weave pattern gives it some texture and visual interest. These towels look smart stacked on an open bathroom shelf and they come in a range of vibrant colours including pin, mint green and grey.

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4. Honeycomb silver bath towel: £32, Heal’s 


This luxurious towel by heritage British supplier Chortex for Heal’s is made from pure cotton and has a deep weave for extra absorbency. At £32 it’s pricey, but this towel is made with longevity in mind, with a strong double-stitched hem. At 137 x 76cm it’s also slightly larger than the standard bath towel.

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5. Egyptian cotton towel: £9, Matalan


Egyptian cotton has steadily become affordable over the last ten years. Renowned for its fine feel and durability, it’s a popular choice in the UK for bedsheets and towels. Matalan’s colourful budget range is impressive: a deep absorbent pile made from long staple cotton, and a density of 700gsm, adds up to a surprisingly luxurious product for the price.

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6. Mikawa bath towel: £35, Urbanara


Made by artisans in Imabari, a Japanese region famed for its towel production, the luxurious Mikawa Towel is made of 100 per cent organic cotton with a waffle weave construction. The towel is lightweight and easily dried (with a fabric density of 350gsm) but very highly absorbent. A range of neutral colours reflects the organic nature of the material.

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7. Lush bamboo Peshtemal towel: £22, Cotton & Olive


The Peshtemal towel is a version of the lightweight Turkish hammam towel, made from a combination of cotton and bamboo. Great for home and travelling, these compact towels are quick to dry – especially useful in small homes where drying racks take up valuable space. The towels can be machine-washed and Cotton & Olive claim they become softer and more absorbent with each wash.

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8. Fable Vienne bath towel: £22, Houseology


The stylish Vienne towel is covered with an unusual pattern of raised, tufted lines on a textured net-like background. It is made in 100 per cent cotton with a density of 550gsm. In silver and white, the textile design was inspired by ocean pearls, so it’s quite fitting that these towels bring a touch of luxe to the bathroom.

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9. Ochre and Natural Geo Stripe towel: £18, Next


Next’s towel range is designed for you to mix and match patterns. Choose from stripes, dots or the more intricate designs on this towel, to complete your collection. The collection combines sandy colours, ochre and white and is made from a cotton-linen mix.

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10. Cynthia Rowley bath towel: £9.99, TK Maxx


Here’s another well-priced pure cotton towel that feels luxurious and soft. By fashion designer Cynthia Rowley, but available from TK Maxx, the towel has a ribbed texture. The calm colour palette of white and green makes a suitable end to a relaxing bath or shower. 

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For those who like their towels none other than white, plush and 100 per cent cotton, The White Company’s Hydrocotton towels tick all the boxes with the added bonus of being quicker to dry than traditional towels. If you’re less homebody and more world traveller, embracing a hammam-style lightweight towel like the Peshtemal could see you reaping benefits long-term.

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