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Unlike most popular bath towels that use plush terrycloth loops, Turkish towels typically use a flatter weave, making them more lightweight and compact with a smoother feel. They're ideal for everything from wiping off after a shower to laying out on the beach or taking them on a family vacation thanks to their tendency to pack smaller and dry quickly. Most Turkish towels are made from Turkish cotton, a long-staple fiber that's strong, soft and durable.
At the Good Housekeeping Institute, we test and review all kinds of bath towels in our Textiles Lab, including the best quick-drying towels, beach towels and towels available on Amazon. In our most recent evaluations, we tested over 80 bath towels, including several options made with Turkish cotton, for properties like absorbency, dry time, washability and strength and shared towels with consumer testers who provided us with real-world feedback. Along with reviewing our towel testing data, we used our textile expertise to research Turkish towels from brands that have performed well in similar product categories to determine which towels are worth it.
Keep reading after our picks to learn more about our testing procedures and for a helpful shopping guide, but first, here are the best Turkish towels you can buy.
Parachute's Fouta towel combines a Turkish towel with a terrycloth towel for the best of both worlds. Made from 100% long-staple Turkish cotton, the front of the towel is flat and smooth like a traditional Turkish towel. On the back, you'll find short loops of yarn for added absorbency and a softer feel. Though we haven't tested these exact towels, we have tested others from Parachute and rated them highly for drying quickly. Online reviewers agree that the Fouta towels are quick-drying, as well.
According to online reviewers, these towels have a luxurious look and feel and can easily elevate a bathroom space. The brand shares that the towels can be machine washed and dried, but some reviewers have reported that their towels have been damaged in the wash, explaining that they've noticed fraying edges and linting after laundering. However, the brand offers free returns within 60 days if you notice any imperfections.
Dimensions: 30" x 56" | Fabric weight: 450 GSM | Material: 100% long-staple Turkish cotton
Over 8,600 Amazon reviewers have given this affordable Turkish towel a five-star rating, sharing that it's an everyday essential. They say the versatile towel works well as a bath or beach towel and that it's great to pack up and use as a blanket at the park or as a sarong coverup. We love that the lightweight cotton towel is pre-washed to help prevent shrinkage in the wash. Some online reviewers say they wish the towels were more absorbent, which is a common complaint of thin Turkish towels, but they appreciate how quickly the towels dry. They also share that when they use it as a beach towel, it's a breeze to shake sand from the surface thanks to the flat woven construction.
At 38" x 71", the towel is oversized with plenty of room for drying off after a bath or sprawling out at the pool. And there's bound to be a shade that coordinates with your style and decor since the towel is available in 40 different colors.
Dimensions: 38" x 71" | Fabric weight: Not listed | Material: 100% Turkish cotton
Demmex's eye-catching Turkish towel is woven with a standout diamond pattern and is available in more than 30 colors. Reviewers share that the affordable towels are comfy, with one saying that they were "so cozy and soft right out of the package." The brand and users say the towels grow even softer with use, and some users have shared that the absorbency also improves after just one cycle in the washing machine.
Thicker than some other Turkish towels, reviewers say it takes a bit longer for this one to dry after use. The versatile towel is large enough to lay on and perfectly oversized for wrapping up in after a shower. Some reviewers even opt to wear it as a shawl.
Dimensions: 36" x 71" | Fabric weight: Not listed | Material: 100% Turkish cotton
Though they're not your typical flat-weave Turkish towels, these towels from Brooklinen are made with long-staple Turkish cotton woven into a fuller terrycloth material. They're a favorite of GH analysts who love to use them in their own bathrooms and rave that the towels are "so soft and plush." They're loved by our at-home testers, too, including one who shared, "It's the best towel I've ever used." In our evaluations, the towels received excellent scores for absorbency, and they performed well in the wash.
In comparison to the other Turkish towels featured, these take quite a bit longer to dry after use because they're so absorbent and thick, but they still earned average scores when compared to other bath towels in our drying tests. Brooklinen offers a 365-day return policy if you're curious to try them.
Dimensions: 30" x 58" | Fabric weight: 820 GSM | Material: 100% Turkish cotton
This oversized Turkish cotton towel is essential to bring on your next beach vacation (along with a top-tested SPF, of course). There's plenty of space for you to sprawl out on the sand, but it folds down into a compact size, so there will be plenty of space left over in your beach bag, too. Typical beach towels made with looped terrycloth tend to hold onto sand, but the flat weave of a Turkish towel means sand doesn't sink into the material as easily and can be shaken off of the surface when you're ready to head home. Because of the flat woven construction, some reviewers say the towel is susceptible to snagging.
If you prefer fun patterns or character-themed designs, there are dozens of styles available on the brand's website. Plus, you can choose the even more spacious large or XL sizes.
Dimensions: 37" x 69" | Fabric weight: 240 GSM | Material: 100% Turkish cotton
Complete with two standard bath towels and two hand towels, this four-piece set from West Elm is an ideal Turkish towel starter kit. The brand recommends them for use in the bathroom and the kitchen so you can coordinate your towels across your home for a cohesive, luxurious look. We love the short tasseled fringe detailing and classic muted color options.
Know that the included bath towels are slightly smaller than most at just 28" x 34", but the 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton towels feature a looped back for better absorbency. Plus, you're able to machine wash and dry towels for easy care. For a larger collection, you can purchase additional hand and bath towels separately.
Dimensions: 28" x 54" and 20" x 30" | Fabric weight: Not listed | Material: 100% organic cotton
This high-quality towel from Coyuchi is made with 100% GOTS-certified organic Turkish cotton, meaning the entire production process — not just the fibers — meets strict organic standards. Although we haven't tested these towels, we have evaluated other towels from the brand, as well as the brand's organic sheets and pillows. All performed well in our Lab and with consumer testers. This style is more expensive than some other picks, but online reviewers say the super soft towels are worth the higher price tag, with one describing them as "even better than [she] could have imagined."
The towels are yarn-dyed, so they're less likely to fade with regular use, even after laundering. Some online reviewers have noted that the fringe trim can tangle in the washer, which doesn't impact the overall performance of the towels but does affect the look. If you don't love your towels, the brand offers a 30-day refund window and a generous 365-day store credit return policy.
Dimensions: 28" x 54" | Fabric weight: 320 GSM | Material: 100% organic Turkish cotton
At the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab, we evaluate towels in our Lab and with our consumer testers. In recent years, we've tested over 80 different bath towels, including towels made with Turkish cotton, and have collected more than 10,000 data points for analysis.
When we test towels in Lab, we analyze absorbency by setting up the towels at an angle and pouring water onto them from a standard distance, catching and weighing the runoff; an exceptionally absorbent towel will have little to no runoff. We also consider drying speed by measuring how quickly towels hang dry after being wet with a standard amount of water. To determine how the towels will hold up to repeated washing, we wash and dry each one a total of 20 times and note any major changes in appearance, damages or shrinkage that occur. We use our Instron machine, which pulls apart towel swatches and measures the force required to break the material, to evaluate their strength. Plus, we work with dozens of consumer testers who try the towels out for themselves and rate characteristics like overall softness, appearance, whether they dried quickly and more.
We reviewed our former towel testing data and used our categorical expertise when evaluating Turkish towels online, considering properties like fiber type and fabric construction, care instructions and product claims. We also chose towels from popular brands with rave reviews from real users or from brands that have performed well in our tests for similar product categories.
When shopping for a Turkish cotton towel, here are a few things to keep in mind:
✔️ Size: Consider how you plan to use your Turkish towel – for drying off after a shower or lying out under the sun? Most bath towels are a standard size of approximately 30" x 56", while beach towels tend to be larger at 30" x 60" and up. You can always opt for oversized styles for more coverage.
✔️ Gram weight: The weight in grams of one square meter of fabric is known as gram weight or GSM (grams per square meter). A higher GSM means the towel is thicker and more luxurious, while a lower GSM indicates a thinner towel that's likely to dry quicker. Turkish cotton towels tend to be between 300 and 500 GSM.
✔️ Care instructions: Review the care label before buying to ensure you're taking proper care of your Turkish towel. Most towels can be machine washed and dried, but some brands recommend cold water cycles or low temperatures for drying, and others may even suggest hang drying to prevent shrinkage or damage.
✔️ Organic certifications: The easiest way to determine if a towel is truly organic is to look for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification. It outlines strict standards for the entire production process, not just the cotton fibers used. To see if the brand you're shopping for is certified, check the GOTS public database.
Turkish towels can be a bit pricier than standard terrycloth towels, but we think they're worth it. Lightweight and packable, Turkish towels tend to take up little space on your closet shelves, and they're easy to bring along in your bag on vacations and outdoor adventures. Flatter woven Turkish towels tend to dry quickly, as well, unlike super plush terrycloth styles. And the flat surface makes it easy to shake off sand or debris after using the towel at the beach or park.
Many of them are made with Turkish cotton, which is a long-staple cotton that's soft, luxurious and durable. Towels labeled "Turkish cotton" have performed better than towels made with Egyptian and other cotton types in our evaluations.
Amanda Constantine is a home and apparel reviews analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she evaluates home goods of all kinds, including towels. She has conducted towel testing in the Textiles Lab, analyzing properties like washability and shrinkage. Amanda has written about the best towels on Amazon, the best quick-dry towels and the best beach towels. For this article, she used her categorical expertise to make picks and referenced former testing data conducted by senior analyst Emma Seymour.
Amanda (she/her) researches and reports on products in the Good Housekeeping Institute's Textiles, Paper & Apparel Lab, ranging from clothing and accessories to home furnishings. She holds undergraduate degrees in apparel merchandising and product development and advertising and marketing communications, as well as a master of science degree in consumer sciences from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping in 2022, Amanda was a lecturer for the fashion and retail studies program at Ohio State, where she taught fashion and textiles courses.
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