Similar to shopping for mattresses, pillows or bed sheets on Amazon, the issue with bath towel shopping through the ecommerce giant isn't finding a bath towel to buy, it's finding a good one to buy. Amazon returns more than 20,000 results when searching for "bath towels," and it's not a stretch to suggest the vast majority of the results do not make par. That is to say most use shoddy materials, play marketing tricks on shoppers and not worth your money.
To ensure you'll get what you're looking for, we recommend avoiding microfiber towels, as they typically take longer to dry than the standard cotton towel due in part to an extremely tight weave (some users report microfiber irritates their skin as well). To that end, cotton towels are best for most people; the material is light, quick to dry and plenty absorbent. There are subcategories within cotton, too, like Egyptian or Turkish or Supima. We'll cover the strengths and drawbacks to each and recommend the best options of the lot.
- Best Egyptian Cotton Towels: Calla Angel Egyptian Cotton Oversize Bath Towel
- Best Hotel-Like Bath Towels: White Classic Luxury Bath Towel Set
- Best Waffle Weave Towels: Onsen Towel Set
- Best Textured Towels: Great Bay Textured Cotton Quick-Dry Towel Set
- Best Popcorn Weave Towels: Great Bay Popcorn Weave Quick-Dry Towel Set
- Most Plush Towels: Made Here Cotton Bath Towel Set
- Best Quick-Drying Towels: Everplush Diamond Jacquard Quick Dry Bath Towel
The Best Bath Towels on Amazon
Companies tout Egyptian cotton's unique greatness up and down the bath towel selection on Amazon, but it's helpful to know that Egyptian cotton is not objectively superior to cotton from the U.S., Turkey or other prominent cotton-producing nations. It's developed a reputation for consistent quality over the years, but it's not a magic material by any stretch. Like Supima, the fibers of Egyptian cotton are much longer than most, giving them greater tensile strength and durability over the long haul. That quality comes at a slightly elevated price, though. Calla Angel's extra-heavy Egyptian cotton towel is just about $40 per towel, which is significantly more expensive any towel on this list and most towels generally. You get what you pay for.
Generally speaking what makes bath towels great is a balance between high quality materials and economical, long-lasting design. That's to say they almost all use towels that are made with long staple cotton (extremely durable) and are typically thinner than the towels most people use at home. That thinness also makes them easier to fold up and store if you don't have much This set, from a company called White Classic, are close to that hotel standard, and can be had for $50 per four-pack.
Most bath towels are thick, heavy terry cotton. Onsen's waffle towels are not. Instead, they're woven thin and a bit looser than the average towels, which makes them light and quick-to-dry. And because the towels feature numerous honeycomb-like pores, they have a slight exfoliating effect when used. Onsen's variation on the waffle towel is made with 100 percent Supima cotton, a high-end material grown in the U.S. and prized for its exceptionally long fibers, which lend durability. This set comes with one bath towel, a hand towel and a face towel.
Textured towels are a preference rather than a performance boost, and that's perfectly fine. They're the ideal solution for folks who don't love an ultra-plush towel. This four-pack from Great Bay (about $14 per towel) are 100 percent cotton and offer a nice respite from smooth and soft towels. They're also well-sized (30 x 52") and OEKO-TEX Standard 100-certified, meaning you can be certain there's nothing funky going on under the seams.
The popcorn weave is another variation on the textured towel. Unlike checked or crosshatch textured towels, popcorn weave towels don't appear patterned, so if you're plaid-averse or prefer a simpler look they may be the right choice. If anything, the towel's aesthetic is like tighter version of a waffle weave. This four-pack ($12.50 per towel) is made with 100 percent cotton and available in a number of colors.
If you're looking for the classic, ultra-thick, ultra-soft towel... look no further. Made in the United States, these towels are traditional terry cotton towels that are heavy and thick. The set comes with a pair of bath towels, hand towels and washcloths each.
Every other bath towel on this list is 100 percent cotton. This one is a cotton-microfiber blend, because microfiber, despite some of its downsides, is exceptionally absorbent (this towel is meant to absorb more than eight-times its own weight, for example). To get around the slower drying microfiber is associated with, Everplush made the towel slightly thinner than usual, which serves the material choice well.