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June 26, 2012 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Do you have FABULOUS bath towels? Tell me about them!

I would like to buy someone I know a set of bath towels. I want these to be soft and very absorbent. Not sure on pricing, I'm fairly flexible (only will buy 4 or maybe 6). This person is short, so getting ultra-huge towels is not much of a concern. Colored or neutral are both fine.
posted by Bebo to Home & Garden (32 answers total) 99 users marked this as a favorite
SO and I have received these off our wedding registry, and they are AMAZING.

It's like drying yourself off using angel's wings. So soft and absorbent.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:24 PM on June 26, 2012

I was walking through a Macy's a few years ago, and randomly stuck my hand into a pile of these. I was instantly smitten. I went home and ordered two of them the next time Macy's had a home sale, and even though they were expensive, they're probably the most gratifying, satisfying non-frugal investment I've made so far in my home.
posted by scarykarrey at 12:27 PM on June 26, 2012

The best bath towels I ever encountered were these from Anthropologie. They were absorbent and plush and looked awesome to boot. Of course, they are ridiculously expensive so I only ever bought a single hand towel.

Besides my above holy grail, I've always found very nice towels at Bed, Bath and Beyond. They have basically a bajillion different towels and you can touch them all to find the perfect one.
posted by Katine at 12:27 PM on June 26, 2012

Abyss or Matouk.
posted by primethyme at 12:31 PM on June 26, 2012

Restoration Hardware sells fantastic towels.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:33 PM on June 26, 2012

it's kinda the opposite of what you're asking, but I bought bath towels about a year ago, and though they looked and felt nice. They had that very soft-to-the-touch brushed finish that made them a) leave little annoying fibers all over me when I tried to use them and b) not absorb a damn thing. I actually had to wash and dry them about 10 times before they became at all useful, which felt like a big waste of water and energy. So, beware of towels that are too smooth! look for something with a bit of texture, that doesn't shed little fibers.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:33 PM on June 26, 2012

I bought these from Restoration Hardware for my parents a couple years ago, and they're VERY absorbent. Not angel-wing soft, but lovely and heavy and very well-constructed.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:34 PM on June 26, 2012

There are no bath towels as fabulously soft, absorbent, and beautiful as these. The color glows. Launder per the directions and they will last you forever.

I know Amazon doesn't have them anymore but they are worth an internet search. Really incredible towels.
posted by bearwife at 12:46 PM on June 26, 2012

Also, Amazon has these, which may -- hard to believe -- be even better than the (20 less gram) towel I linked above.
posted by bearwife at 12:48 PM on June 26, 2012

I love my linen bath towels from Anichini and can't really fathom using terry again. Some folks are weirded out by the linen and prefer terry... ymmv.
posted by brand-gnu at 12:49 PM on June 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

Yes, if you're looking at things that are a little more off-the-beaten-path, I'd also recommend some Turkish bath towels (peshtemal). I bought one from this Etsy seller last year, and I've found it's especially perfect to use in the summer time, when it's humid. It wicks the water away from my skin soooo quickly, and dries almost as quickly so you don't have that "musty bath towel" stink wherever you store it.
posted by scarykarrey at 12:55 PM on June 26, 2012 [6 favorites]

Getting ultra-huge towels may not be a concern, but I would still go for the "bath sheet" size rather than the "bath towel" size - my favorite towel is our single bath sheet, even though it's not as nice quality-wise as some of our other towels. I'm 5'5", so it's not like I'm particularly tall or anything.
posted by insectosaurus at 1:11 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

My favorite bath towels are actually from IKEA, and primarily because they have hanging loops in the middle of one side. Hanging loops on towels are super useful.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:13 PM on June 26, 2012

We have these, and totally love them. No lint, soft with lots of colors, and they absorb like crazy! I've actually started using dryer balls with them (instead of dryer sheets) to maximize their marvelous absorbent powers.
posted by mostlymartha at 1:46 PM on June 26, 2012

I've always found very nice towels at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Don't be seduced by the softness! I have some very soft BB&B towels that are completely frayed after about 20 washes. I will never buy from them again.
posted by desjardins at 1:53 PM on June 26, 2012

Thirding Restoration Hardware. Four years old and still deep, soft, and fray-free. I also have some Turkish towels (like those linked above from etsy) and they're great in their own way too.
posted by cocoagirl at 2:10 PM on June 26, 2012

Don't be seduced by the softness! I have some very soft BB&B towels that are completely frayed after about 20 washes. I will never buy from them again.

SAME HERE. I thought I was crazy. One actually has a hole in it and it's less than a year old.
posted by misskaz at 2:10 PM on June 26, 2012

My bath towels are made from bamboo. They're so absorbent I can dry myself on one the size of a flannel. They're really soft too, even after a couple of years usage. Apparently, bamboo fibre is anti-microbial. All I know is that they never smell musty, even if I don't wash for nearly a week. I'd never go back to cotton now.
posted by Solomon at 2:12 PM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

You want the Restoration Hardware turkish bath towels. REALLY YOU DO. They start out soft and thick, and they will stay soft and thick no matter how you abuse them. I wash in hot water and bleach mine every week and 5+ years later they are still in amazing shape.
posted by joan_holloway at 2:43 PM on June 26, 2012

Lands End makes terrific towels. Best I've ever used.
posted by cecic at 3:02 PM on June 26, 2012

Nthing Lands' End.....also Christy has a royal warrant from QE2.
posted by brujita at 3:56 PM on June 26, 2012

These are the best towels I've found at BB&B. I like them because they stay soft, even after multiple washings. They are very good wrap-around towels that I feel confident walking in front of open windows. They are not luxurious, but they are very soft and absorbent. I think the texture of the towel helps it always feel cozy.
posted by waitangi at 4:24 PM on June 26, 2012

We've been using the microfiber bath towels from Bed, Bath & Beyond for a couple of months now and love them so far. Very soft & plushy on the skin, very absorbent, and the washcloths do an amazing job of removing makeup without any cleanser at all, just plain water.
posted by Lexica at 6:39 PM on June 26, 2012

I'm 42. I've been taking showers for well... ever. In wonderful hotels all over the world. The best towel experiences were always Turkish cotton. Always.

I no longer buy any bath towels that are not Turkish cotton. They may be significantly more expensive, but they last. Forever.
posted by FlamingBore at 6:42 PM on June 26, 2012

Microfiber is great, though you have to be careful - I've bought two varieties, the first super-cheap and the second also pretty cheap, and while they both looked the same and felt the same to the touch the difference is night and day. The cheaper ones took stains and mildew very easily and weren't really absorbent whereas the less cheap ones suck water up easily, dry quickly, and feel great.

Neither of them had brand names, unfortunately, but if you shop around you can find something.
posted by 23 at 6:56 PM on June 26, 2012

Scents & Feel's fouta towels. Beautiful, so soft, and incredibly absorbant. They're extremely thin so they take up almost no space in the linen closet and dry very quickly, which is a huge plus in our poorly ventilated bathroom. They're expensive but worth it, although I got them for less at one of the deal-of-the-day websites. As a bonus, they are multifunctional - they are pretty enough to use as a throw in the living room and the material is unbelievably soft so I've used it as a light summer blanket at nighttime. I will definitely be replacing all of my towels with these over time. I far prefer these to the equally expensive plush Turkish cotton towels we got for a wedding gift - the Turkish towels are very nice, but they take up too much space, they take forever to dry, and they're just too damn heavy.

For a more traditional towel, I second the Lenox recommendation. I have a few washclothes that I picked up years ago, and they are still in fantastic condition with almost no color fade or fabric deterioration.
posted by gatorae at 7:24 PM on June 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

The best towels I've come across are Home Source International Microcotton towels. They're absorbent, lightweight, super soft and non-linty. They show up on Woot! once in awhile and whenever they do they're snapped up instantly. I stalked the site and bought 3 full sets (bath towels/hand towels/wash cloths) for a great price. Zappos has them at the regular prices, though.
posted by dede at 9:51 PM on June 26, 2012

Biltmore towels are the only towels I ever use now. Five years+ and still look like new. They seem to come in deluxe and ultra deluxe. They can be really expensive -- one towel being around $20 (for the deluxe!) so wait for a sale, usually either July or September.

posted by Ms. Moonlight at 11:58 PM on June 26, 2012

Solomon: "My bath towels are made from bamboo."

Anyone else use these? I've been seeing these around, and have been curious about how soft/absorbent/durable they are. Bamboo just doesn't sound soft....
posted by schmod at 8:48 AM on June 27, 2012

the "musty towel stink" comes primarily from bacteria that grow on synthetic fibers (such as polyester ... ewwww! i refuse to wear any clothes or use towels made with any percentage of it) in the blends. stick to natural fibers such as bamboo, 100% cotton, or hemp. avoid anything with polyester or chemically derived fibers.
posted by kuppajava at 11:58 AM on June 27, 2012

@schmod: I've never seen bamboo towels, but my brother had bamboo sheets and they were indeed one of the softest flat fabrics I've ever felt. It was almost the same as cotton jersey but more silky.
posted by 23 at 12:37 AM on June 28, 2012

FYI, any soft or silky textile that is advertised as being "bamboo" is actually rayon (also sometimes called viscose on labels). Manufacturers aren't supposed to be calling it bamboo anymore as all rayon is originally sourced from some sort of cellulose fiber, but judging from the stores around here the FTC isn't being too aggressive about enforcing that.

Rayon isn't not necessarily a bad thing for towels and sheets; as Cheryl Mendelson of Home Comforts puts it:
Fabric made from viscose rayon is usually soft and drapable with a pleasant cottony hand. It is weaker than silk, linen, cotton, and wool. It is highly absorbent--even more than cotton or linen--and cool, characteristics that make it one of the most comfortable of fibers, especially in warm weather... Unlike cotton and linen, rayon fabrics lose much strength when wet, so laundering may not be recommended or may have to be done with gentle agitation.
There are newer forms of rayon that are much stronger when wet (namely Tencel) but it's more expensive. I would be dollars to donuts that the people above who bought BB&B towels that felt super-soft in the store but then frayed or fell apart in the wash had towels made out of cheaper rayon. I usually assume that any towel or sheets that aren't advertised as being 100% cotton are made out of rayon.
posted by iminurmefi at 12:31 PM on July 2, 2012

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