From Baths to Beaches to Baby Swaddling, the Best Turkish Bath Towels Do It All
Who needs terry cloth?
Updated Mar 24, 2023 2:41 PM
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Reading up on Domino’s shopping guides is like having your own personal product concierge. We do the tedious part—deep-dive research, hands-on testing, and tapping experts for advice—so all you have to do is hit “add to cart.” That’s why we call them Simply the Best.
If your terry cloth towels have seen better days, then it might be time to consider an upgrade. The benefits of—and uses for—Turkish bath towels are numerous: “One hundred percent handwoven Turkish towels are lightweight, easy to travel with, and very eco-friendly, since they dry quicker and take less time in the dryer,” says Handan Kaysioglu-Anlar, founder of Home & Loft. Not only do Turkish towels’ extra-long cotton fibers make them more absorbent and faster drying than traditional cotton towels, they provide elevated boutique hotel vibes. You could pack one in a carry-on to keep you warm on chilly flights, throw one on your dining room table as a makeshift tablecloth, or wrap one around your waist as a sarong while walking along the beach. You could also put a Turkish towel to work as a picnic blanket, nursing cover-up, yoga blanket, beach towel (sand doesn’t stick to it!), or baby blanket. Need we go on? After scouring the Internet for the best Turkish towels, we settled on the assortment, below.
You might never go back to terry cloth.
- Best grab-and-go: Huckberry Sultan Turkish Towel
- Best stripes: Wonder Valley Tanlines Towel
- Best organic cotton: L’eau Cadeau 100% Organic Cotton Turkish Towel
- Best towel set: Serena & Lily Fouta Bath Collection
- Best (nearly) one-of-a-kind wonder: Bathing Culture Cosmic Rainbow Towel
- Best plaid: Slowtide 917 Turkish Towel
- Best nautical vibes: Ebern Designs Multi Striped Premium Cotton Turkish Towel
- Best pattern: Sand Cloud Primrose Towel
- Best graphic: Manifatura Turkish Cotton Beach Towel
Best Grab-and-Go: Huckberry Sultan Turkish Towel
Dimensions: 40-by-70 inches | Hanging loop: No | Tassels: Yes
What we like:
- Packs down extra-small
- Can easily be kept in a beach bag, car, suitcase—you name it
- The sophisticated striped design will always be in style
- Limited color options
Why we chose it: Wider and longer than most, these towels come in handy for all kinds of adventures.
Whether you’re packing for an impromptu picnic, a day at the beach, or a full-blown vacation, take one (or two or many) of these Turkish towels with you. They pack down particularly small—as Huckberry says, to the size of a burrito—so they’ll easily fit into any bag, from a backpack to a beach bag to a suitcase, to accompany your travels near or far. Another idea: Keep a couple hanging in your entryway for easy grabbing as you run out the door. Since they’re absorbent and dry particularly fast, you’ll find reason after reason to bring them along on adventures of all kinds.
Best Stripes: Wonder Valley Tanlines Towel
Dimensions: 39-by-68 inches | Hanging loop: No | Tassels: Yes
What we like:
- Made by a small, family-owned collective that prioritizes sustainable production and fair trading
- Naturally dyed
- Woven with a 150-year-old traditional Anatolian looming technique
- Dry cleaning not recommended
- Drying shouldn’t exceed temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit
Why we chose it: A lightweight, picnic-perfect option available in two charming striped colorways.
The vibrant striped pattern on this lightweight Turkish towel adds some much-appreciated fun to its functionality. The colors are derived from natural dye, and the 100% pure linen is washer- and dryer-friendly (as long as it doesn’t get hotter than 90 degrees or come into contact with harsh detergents or dry cleaning). Wonder Valley says the color should keep, so you can carry it to the park or use it to dab off during extra-warm days, then launder without the risk of fading.
Best Organic Cotton: L’eau Cadeau 100% Organic Cotton Turkish Towel
Dimensions: 27-by-58 inches | Hanging loop: Yes | Tassels: Yes
What we like:
- Made with organic cotton
- Cool color combos
- Fast shipping via Amazon
- Only available in 1 size
Why we chose it: This striking, all-ages-friendly Turkish towel is made from organic cotton.
Whether you’re swaddling a baby, drying off a kiddo at the beach, or packing up your gym bag for a sweat session, reach for this Turkish towel. The L’eau Cadeau brand stands out from the crowd for two reasons: Its towels are made with organic cotton, meaning they’re a good bet to use with little ones, and they boast a striking design. Consider it a nursing cover, beach blanket, or picnic pad, too.
Best Towel Set: Serena & Lily Fouta Bath Collection
Dimensions: 12-by-12 inches (washcloth); 30-by-20 inches (hand towel); 30-by-56 inches (bath towel); 24-by-36 inches (bath mat) | Hanging loop: No | Tassels: No
What we like:
- Can be purchased individually or as as set
- Plusher than other options on this list
- Made with Oeko-Tex–certified fabric
- Limited and very similar colorways
Why we chose it: One Turkish towel is great. A Turkish towel set is even better.
If you’re ready to swap out your entire ratty towel collection for a Turkish set, look no further. Serena & Lily offers two different options for this collection of nautical striped towels. The Essential bath set is best for a guest bathroom or if you live solo; it includes two washcloths, two hand towels, and two bath towels. Or you could stock up with the Luxury bath set, which offers one Turkish bath mat as well as four washcloths, four hand towels, and four bath towels. Whichever option you choose, they’ll elevate your bathroom’s design with nearly no effort.
Best (Nearly) One-of-a-Kind Wonder: Bathing Culture Cosmic Rainbow Towel
Dimensions: 31-by-63 inches | Hanging loop: No | Tassels: Yes
What we like:
- Each batch is created with a unique rainbow pattern
- By using deadstock fabric, it keeps those pieces from going to waste
- The array of colors brings a lively sense of cheer to your bathroom’s design
- The priciest option on this list
- Due to production delays, shipping has been pushed back 2 weeks
Why we chose it: Each towel, made with deadstock fabric, creates an almost entirely unique pattern.
Bathing Culture’s delightful rainbow design towel includes all the traditional benefits of a Turkish towel—it’s super-absorbent, quick drying, and highly versatile—but this one has an extra-special je ne sais quoi. Each is hand-loomed using deadstock Turkish cotton, creating a unique rainbow pattern. (Deadstock is the leftover materials from other productions that overestimated their material needs that would normally go to waste.) So don’t get too attached to the pattern in this photo; yours may include a slightly different colorway. This process keeps fabric out of landfills, creates an almost one-of-a-kind design, and is as cozy as can be.
Best Plaid: Slowtide 917 Turkish Towel
Dimensions: 38-by-73 inches | Hanging loop: Yes | Tassels: Yes
What we like:
- This picniclike design adds a pop of pattern to any bathroom
- Can be used for a variety of purposes, inside and out
- It’s made with sustainably sourced and chemical-free cotton
- For a towel that fits more people, shop Slowtide’s oversize options
Why we chose it: Between its playful pattern and crazy-fast drying time, this one is a must to keep close by for spontaneous adventures.
There’s nothing shy about this colorful Turkish towel, and that’s one of many reasons why we love it. Not only is the plaid pattern an absolute delight, but the ways you can use it are nearly endless. Need something to throw down for an impromptu picnic? Yep. Or a scarf to wrap up in when fall’s chill hits the air? Also yes. A quick-drying, sand-repelling towel for beach days? Definitely.
Best Nautical Vibes: Ebern Designs Multi Striped Premium Cotton Turkish Towel
Dimensions: 39-by-70 inches | Hanging loop: No | Tassels: Yes
What we like:
- You’ll never tire of its traditional striped design
- Available in a variety of pastel, dark, and vibrant colors
- Prewashed for extra absorbency
- Hurry! Certain colors are low in stock
Why we chose it: Rocking traditional nautical stripes, this Turkish towel is a classic pick, whether for a beach house or an “I wish I was at the beach” house.
For a traditional Turkish towel with a twist, opt for one of these striped designs. They boast all the same must-haves as any high-quality Turkish towel—they’re lightweight, absorbent, and get softer with each wash—but come in an array of unexpected colors, including black, melon, and vibrant pink. Now comes the hard part: choosing a color.
Best Pattern: Sand Cloud Primrose Towel
Dimensions: 36-by-67 inches | Hanging loop: No | Tassels: Yes
What we like:
- 10% of profits go toward marine conservation
- Block print–esque print
- 1 colorway
- Dry cleaning or washing with denim not recommended
Why we chose it: A peppy sunflower pattern to match its mood-boosting bright yellow hue.
Sand Cloud’s Primrose towel, with its lively sunflower pattern, is a joyful piece just right for breezy shower sessions. It’s made of 100% organic Turkish cotton with a jacquard weave, and the brand touts the towel as quick drying, very soft, and sand resistant (a must for Turkish towels). After use, simply shake it off and toss it in cold water with like colors. While it only comes in a single colorway and pattern, you don’t really need much else. The 10% donation to marine conservation only makes it that much more of a worthy purchase.
Best Graphic: Manifatura Turkish Cotton Beach Towel
Dimensions: 36-by-72 inches | Hanging loop: Yes | Tassels: Yes
What we like:
- Appropriately oversize, perfect for beach lounging
- Cool and colorful check design is a standout
- Woven with unbleached cotton, so there may be some naturally occurring black or brown specks
Why we chose it: Kick your waterside days up a notch by adding these colorful checked towels to your beach bag.
There are a few things that separate a forgettable beach towel from a reach-for-it-daily, outstanding beach towel. First of all, it has to be absorbent. Second, it needs to be quick drying so you don’t have to deal with a musty odor. Third, it has to shake off the sand—both from you and itself. (Terry cloth could never.) Check, check, and check: These Manifatura Turkish towels have it all, plus they come in four colorful check designs that make us happy just looking at them.
How We Chose These Products
On a mission to find the best of the best Turkish towels, we first turned to stylish textile brands that we trust. Many of the retailers we shopped have a long history and hands-on experience with Turkish towels—an important factor in the overall quality of our picks. We kept a close eye on fabric labels, too. Premium Turkish cotton that is, preferably, handwoven and hand-loomed was at the top of our must-have list. Add interesting designs to the mix, and each of these picks is built to get better with time, becoming softer and more absorbent with each wash.
Our Shopping Checklist
Typically, Turkish bath towels measure 40-by-70 inches. (Compare that to 27-by-52 inches for a standard bath towel.) We shopped for a range of sizes, though, from slimmer options that won’t overwhelm kids to oversize ones that a few people could pile on for a picnic. Even though they’re larger in size compared to a plush terry cloth style, the best Turkish bath towels are significantly more compact and will save plenty of space in your linen closet.
No matter what you use a Turkish towel for, whether for everyday showering, swaddling your baby, or otherwise, they get put through the wringer. That’s why each option on this list is machine washable, with easygoing care needs.
Pattern and Color
Of course, an eye-catching design tops our must-have list. Turkish towels are available in a variety of striking patterns and colors, so don’t settle for anything less than exactly the vibe you’re going for.
Q: What are Turkish towels made of?
The best Turkish towels are made of—no shock here—100% Turkish cotton. What makes Turkish cotton special is its long fibers, which create stronger and smoother threads that are extra-soft and absorbent. The biggest plus? It just keeps becoming softer and more absorbent after each wash.
Q: Compared to a regular cotton towel, is a Turkish towel better for your hair?
Short answer: Yes. Long answer: The best Turkish bath towels are softer than cotton styles and, therefore, gentler on hair and help to reduce frizz. Their super-absorbent fibers decrease drying time, too, so you can spare your hair the harsh heat of a blow-dryer. Plus they’re lightweight—making them easier to balance on your head. Your neck will thank you.
Q: How do you care for a Turkish bath towel?
Follow the specific care instructions for your Turkish towel, as the recommended care can vary from towel to towel. In general, though, most suggest washing the material in cold water and either line drying or tumble drying on low heat.
Always avoid bleach and fabric softener when washing Turkish towels, as chemicals can make them—gasp!—less absorbent. Kaysioglu-Anlar recommends washing them twice before using them the first time. This will help to expand the fibers, allowing them to soften and increase their absorbency. Or for the same effect, you can also soak the towels in cold water overnight before use.
The Last Word
The best Turkish bath towels are lightweight, versatile, design forward, absorbent, quick drying, sand repelling—and will save serious space in your linen closet.