Nothing makes bath time feel more spa-like than wrapping yourself up in a cozy towel after you get out of the tub. At the GolfHr Institute Textiles Lab, we evaluated 40 towel styles looking at their absorbency, drying time, fabric strength, and more. Then, we had real consumer testers rate the fabrics for softness and feel. For more details on how to shop, check out our bath towel buying guide!
This towel earned the top spot for being super absorbent, soft, and holding up well in the wash: It still looked and felt great after 20 cycles. It wasn't the quickest to dry, but it was faster than other ultra-plush styles in our test.
Unlike other towels, this towel was absorbent and dried quickly in our test thanks to its unique construction of synthetic and cotton fibers. It was also the strongest fabric and hardly shrunk in the wash. Not all testers loved the diamond-like texture, but they said it was softer than most.
$30 for 6-piece set
You can get this full six-piece set for less than the cost of many individual bath towels. Despite its low price point, this towel was durable, quick-drying, and barely shrunk or showed signs of wear after washing. Testers agreed it was soft, though some thought it was too thin.
This pick was by far the most absorbent and the favorite of our testers. It had the overall highest rating based on softness and how much they liked the feel and was most commonly picked when we asked for an overall favorite. The towel took longer to dry, but it's perfect for those who want a soft and thick fabric.
For nighttime acne treatments, this Target-brand towel resists stains from benzoyl peroxide and in our test, we found that the color didn't fade. Even with its low price, this towel performed across the board: It was soft, strong, absorbent, and fairly quick to dry.
The heavy fabric scored highest for durability in our test and barely shrunk or showed signs of wear, even after 20 washes – which is even more impressive considering it's 100% cotton.
Though it's pricey, this towel was the top performer among the organic cotton options. The heavy fabric took a while to dry, but it was absorbent, strong, colorfast, and stood up to the washer. It's also Fair Trade Certified so you know the fabric is responsibly and ethically sourced.
Besides having an excellent combo of softness and texture, this towel held up when washed in hot water, which is more effective at killing germs and bacteria. The size was slightly smaller than other bath towels, but it was still plush and super absorbent.
This towel was absorbent despite not having super-plush loops of yarn on the surface and is a good option for those who don't like overly-fluffy fabric. The lower loops also helped it dry quickly and look good after laundering.
Though not as absorbent as traditional towels, this waffle weave construction is lightweight and dries quickly. Consumer testers frequently described it as blanket-like. We also tested ($29), which was super absorbent and an overall great performer.