Bath towels Buying guide
Bath towels may be the hardest working members of your household. After all, we expect our best bath towels and washcloths to keep us clean, dry us off, add to the look of our bathroom and, occasionally, wipe up after Fluffy tracks mud into the house. However, despite their versatility, towels are often underappreciated, with many people putting little thought into which type of towel they buy and bring home. But with a little knowledge, your towels will look, last and perform better in their many roles.
FabricAll bath towels have a fabric weight, measured with a GSM (grams per square meter) number. This refers to the density of the fabric used to make that particular towel. Lower GSM towels are lighter and thinner, making them a great choice for a gym bag or trips to the beach. You'll likely want to save your heavier, thicker, higher GSM towels for use in the master or guest bathroom.
Most bath towels are made of cotton, but the look and feel of towels largely depends on what type of cotton is used. Towels designed and priced for everyday use are made of standard cotton, while Egyptian cotton is considered the crème de la crème of towel fabrics. These more expensive towels have longer, more-fibrous threads, meaning that each towel will have more moisture-sucking loops per inch. The ultra-soft, super-fluffy bath towels found in high-end spas and hotels are typically Egyptian cotton or increasingly, the American-grown version, called pima cotton, which offers a similarly luxurious look and feel.
But buyer beware, warns interior designer Carla Sanclemente of Sanclemente Designs in Hartford, Conn. Some manufacturers sell towels advertised as "made with" Egyptian or pima cotton, when in fact the fabric may have other materials in its makeup.