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Learn five tips to buying towels like a pro

Buy Towels like a Pro

People often assume that expensive towels are the best. There's more to consider when shopping for towels than price alone.

Material, softness, absorbance, and weight are all key factors, followed perhaps by colour.

5-step guide to buying the right towel

Next time you go to a store or online, look for the following features – and – in this order:

  1. Check the size
  2. Feel the softness and weight
  3. Read the label
  4. Choose colour and pattern
  5. Compare the price

    Step 1: Check the size

    Choose a towel's size according to its intended use. There are face towels, washcloths, bath sheets, hand towels, standard towels and bath sheets. Buying the right size for your body or needs is very important. A bigger towel seem luxurious, but can be sloppy to handle. A smaller towel won’t cover your body. Shop the perfect size.

    Towel Size Chart

    1. Face Towels 12 x 12” – For drying the Face
    2. Washcloths 13 x 13” – For kitchen and cleaning
    3. Hand Towels 16 x 27”- For wiping hands
    4. Standard Towel 22 x 44” – For everyday use
    5. Bath Sheet 30 x 60” Extra large towel for extra coverage

      Step 2: Feel the softness and weight

      First, rub your hand on the towel. How does it feel? It should be soft. But don’t make softness the only deciding factor. Manufacturers use fabric-softening finish on the towel, and it actually makes new towels less absorbent. The finish fades away after 2-3 washes. That’s why we recommend the second step.

      Pick up the towel to check its weight. Heavier towels are generally better in quality. For plush towels, go for the heaviest. For kitchen towels, choose something light in weight. Lightweight towels dry faster. For day-to-day use, opt for something in between. Remember that weight determines the absorbency of towels.

      The weight of a towel is determined by how much fabric is used to make it. Technically it is known as GSM, or grams per square meter. In simpler terms:

      • 300-400 GSM – Thinner and lighter towels for gym and kitchen
      • 400-500 GSM – Medium weight towels for everyday and beach use
      • 600-900 GSM – High-quality, absorbent towels used in high-end spas and five-star hotels

      Step 3: Read the label

      There are two sides to the label. One shows the material from which the towel is made. The other side shows the care instructions — how to wash, dry, and iron the product. Read both sides.

      Towels may be made of cotton, combed cotton, cotton mixed with rayon, or cotton mixed with polyester. Cotton towels are super-absorbent. They can hold nearly 25 times of its weight in liquid. But when cotton is mixed with rayon, the absorbency of towels increases. A little mix is, in fact, not that bad. Our BodyBest Lightweight Face Towels have 86% cotton and 14% polyester. They are some of the best and most economical towels in this category.

      The different varieties of material towels are made of:

      • Cotton: Organic or otherwise, cotton is the most used material to make towels.
      • Egyptian Cotton: Egyptian cotton fibres are extra-long and highly absorbent. They are very high-quality and very luxurious, and this can be reflected in their price.
      • Pima Cotton: Coming from the same plant species as Egyptian cotton (Gossypium barbadense), pima cotton is grown in the south-western US. 
      • Turkish Cotton: Considered to be the most luxurious, long staple Turkish cotton has longer and denser loops of thread. Turkish cotton towels are thicker and more absorbent.
      • Bamboo: Most often mixed with high-quality cotton, bamboo is another popular towel material these days. Towels made with bamboo or its blend are super plush colour-fast and very absorbent. Plus bamboo is an exceptionally renewable resource, so it's a bit better for the environment.

        Then there is the "weave." A two-ply weave is typically preferred to a one-ply weave.

        Step 4: Choose colour and pattern

        Pick a towel that matches the style or decor of your home, spa, or clinic. Brands often launch a complete towel set – bath, hand towel, and face towel, which makes for convenient shopping. You can also mix-and-match to create your own statement. Many spas and clinics prefer pure white towels as they reflect a sense of cleanliness and formality.

        Step 5: Price

        We all go shopping for towels with a budget in mind. Thus, the price is the most important deciding factor while buying a towel. In the context of buying for a clinic or spa, bulk pricing is available. The cost of each towel comes down if you can buy them by the case.

        Buying fresh towels is a bit like buying new bed sheets — it is often overdue, and genuinely rewarding. Using new linens of any kind feels luxurious.

        Towel Care Manual

        • Wash towels regularly. Ideally, you should wash towels after 3-4 uses. Here are some more tips on The Best Way to Wash Spa Towels to Keep Them Smelling Fresh.
        • Dry towels after every use by hanging them on the rack. Hang towels in such a way that air passes through it drying out the moisture quickly. Wet towels are breeding grounds for yeast, mould, and bacteria. It’s hygienic to keep towels dry.
        • Some people sanitize their towels. This should be done routinely if someone ill has used a towel. Wash towels in 60°C to kill any bacteria. Avoid doing this too often. Washing in high temperature weakens the fabric, so it’s advised to wash them at 40° as part of the regular laundry cycle.
        • Never bleach a towel. Bleach weakens the fibres and makes towels less absorbent.
        • Don’t use fabric softener on towels.
        • Just like you do with your cushions and pillows – fluff your towels once in a while. Or air dry them. White towels under the sun, coloured towels in shade. This will keep them fresh and crisp.

          The right towel can enhance your bathing experience – spend some time and choose wisely. Follow the above Towel Care Manual to maintain the quality of your towel.

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