Between The Sheets

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What to look for in luxury bath towels: a buying guide

The importance of having a high-quality bath towel

Whether it's for bathing, hair washing, or a day at the beach, investing in the right towel will elevate the experience. It can also save you £££s. In this guide to luxury bath towels, you’ll discover what to look for when buying towels, so you can wrap yourself up in long-lasting hotel-quality comfort and style.



Absorbency - What makes a towel absorbent?

A towel’s main purpose is to soak up moisture quickly. How well it performs depends on the natural (eg cotton) or synthetic (eg polyester) fibres from which it’s made. Premium cotton towels are highly absorbent due to the tightly woven long fibres that effectively mop up water. Their moisture wicking properties also ensure the towel dries quickly and is ready for reuse within a few hours. Microfibre towels while less soft and fluffy can be useful for travel and gym trips as they are lightweight and compact. Thicker, weightier towels however are better for towel absorbency.


Material - The best materials for luxury towels

Cotton towels are prized for their absorbency, softness and durability, but their effectiveness depends on the type of cotton used. Turkish cotton towels and Egyptian cotton towels are the most popular choices for luxury hotels and spas. However, Aegean Turkish cotton, is considered the absolute best. Aegean Turkish cotton fibres are longer and finer than other types of cotton, creating a more opulent feel than other towel materials, such as bamboo towels. Aegean Turkish towels also get softer with each wash, making them the top choice for those who prioritise comfort and quality over price.


Weight - The importance of towel weight

Towel weight is an indication of a towel’s quality and absorbency. The higher the GSM – the measurement used for towel weight – the more luxurious the towel. The lower the GSM, the less absorbent, durable and fluffy it’s likely to be. Hotel towels typically vary between 500 and 700 GSM to provide a more indulgent and comfortable bathing experience than lightweight towels, which can be useful for travel or taking to the gym. Tielle towels range from 550-650 GSM and are used in world-class hotels and spas, including The Corinthia and Hotel Cafe Royal.


Size - Choosing the right size towel

Towel size matters! While this can vary among manufacturers, sizing for towel types is based on its intended use. Bath towels are just the right size for bathing and are smaller than a bath sheet, which offers more comfort and coverage. This makes bath sheets especially useful for larger frames. Hand towels and face cloths are big enough to do what they’re supposed to do: comfortably dry hands or face. Beach towels, also known as pool towels, are larger than bath towels and ideal for pool-side lounging and beach trips. Their colourful designs add a touch of playfulness to any outing and make them easy to spot among a sea of towels.


Tielle’s towels:

Jumbo bath sheet: 150cm x 200cm
Bath towel size: 70cm x 140cm
Bath sheet size: 100cm x 170cm
Beach towel size: 70cm x 140cm
Hand towel size: 50cm x 80cm
Face cloth size: 30cm x 30cm
Baby towel size: 75cm x 75cm


Durability - Ensuring your towels last

As the saying goes, buy cheap, buy twice. If a towel’s inexpensive or badly made it's likely it won’t last. Investing in quality towels is the best way (for purse and planet) to ensure they stay useful for a long time. The softest, most durable and long-lasting towels are crafted from tightly woven, high-quality long staple cotton. Reinforced edges and hems also prevent fraying – a common reason for chucking towels out. Tielle towels are also pre-washed and use combed cotton to avoid shrinkage and shedding, and to maintain towel durability. Washing towels to the manufacturer's instructions also helps to keep them looking good for longer.


Softness - The importance of soft towels

A big hug of a soft towel after a shower or bath is one of life’s simple pleasures. However, a poorly made or cared for towel can quickly become scratchy and stiff. To ensure longer-lasting fluffy towels, invest in high quality long-staple Turkish cotton towels. Towels that have been combed to remove impurities will also create a towel softness that’s hard to beat. Radiator drying can ruin towel fibres and make them feel stiff like cardboard, so line dry when you can. Fabric softeners or dryer sheets are also best avoided if you want your plush towels to stay soft and absorbent.

Read our eco-friendly guide to caring for your laundry


Design - Choosing a towel that fits your style

A stack of luxury towels can give a bathroom a spa-like feel. Soft, muted colours that evoke feelings of tranquillity and serenity work especially well in a bathroom, according to interiors expert, Emma Hooton of Studio Hooton. However, there needs to be a dialogue between the towel design and colour and the other elements in the room. Patterned towels or solid colour towels also need to be fade resistant, or they will lose their luxe. Choosing towels with colourfast dye technology helps coloured towels retain their looks by locking the colour in.

Read our guide to giving your bathroom a luxury spa-like feel.




You get what you pay for when buying towels, but by investing in high-quality towels you’ll enjoy hours of pleasure while benefiting the environment by reducing waste. As luxury bath towels and other quality cotton towel types are meticulously made using superior materials, you can also be sure they’ll look and feel good, wash after wash, enhancing your daily routine. Make every bath, beach trip or moment of relaxation special with the right towel to suit your needs.