The Morning Call (Sunday)

Find the best towels for you and your budget

Knowing the factors that make or break a good one can lead to a better purchase

- By Lauren Phillips

As with picking other household essentials, picking bath towels can be a drawn-out process when you take the time to do it right. Sure, anyone can pick up some cheap options at the nearest home-goods store, but anyone seeking only the best bath towels for ultimate durability, fluffiness and drying ability will need to put some time and effort into the search.

Figuring out what to look for and how to pick the best bath towels doesn’t have to complicate the process, though, thanks to a little help from some towel experts. The team at Micro Cotton, which has been making towels since 1932, clued us in to some great tips for figuring out if a towel is actually great or not — and whether a high-cost towel will be worth the investment.

Believe it or not, the biggest, fluffiest towel isn’t always the best one, especially if it doesn’t hold up after a few uses. Instead of going by feel alone, follow these tips to pick the best bath towels for you and your budget.

Certain factors can make or break a great bath towel. Knowing what they are and whether the bath towel options you’re considerin­g have them can mean a better towel purchase, especially if you put a little time and energy into doing your research.

With any luck, you’ll be able to find a high-quality bath towel that is up to your standards and within your budget — and once you’re wrapped up in that

fluffy, absorbent towel post-shower, the time and effort you put into finding the best bath towel will be 100% worth it.

Follow these fail-proof steps to pick a high-quality bath towel, and prepare to be amazed by what a little knowledge can do. Your bathing ritual will never be the same again, in all the best ways.

Talk about weight

Heavier, thicker towels tend to offer the softness and absorbency any sensible person would want from a bath towel, but

judging whether a towel is heavy or thick enough can be tricky, even more so if you’re shopping online. This is where grams per square meter, or GSM, comes in. A towel’s GSM refers to its weight, and, typically, the higher a towel’s GSM, the better performanc­e you can expect from it, the Micro Cotton team says. In most cases, a GSM of 500 or more should be enough, though anyone wanting a softer or more absorbent towel can search for bath towels with higher GSMs.

Some home or linen

websites will state a bath towel’s GSM as such. Other retailers will state the weight as 700-gram weight (the number will vary); this also refers to GSM. If the GSM is not shared and you happen to know the weight in grams, you can use this handy GSM calculator to use the towel’s dimensions and weight to determine the GSM. (This is also a handy trick if you want to check the GSM of a trusty towel you already own.) Many retailers don’t share the GSM, especially on more affordable towel options.

This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it may mean you want to feel the towel in-person to be sure it’s up to snuff.

Look at materials

The Micro Cotton team says the best bath towels are created with 100% cotton. Long-staple cotton means the towel’s fibers are longer, which means the bath towel will be softer, more durable and more absorbent. Check the materials, which should be listed online or on the towel’s care tag, along with the laundry symbols.

Pick your weave, which affects how absorbent the towel is and how fast it dries.

Where you plan to stash your towel should determine the material you choose.

Be dense

Dense loops create greater absorbency, the Micro Cotton team says, so keep an eye out for bath towels with bulky, textured or tightly woven loops. If you’re able to see a towel in-person before purchasing it, look at it carefully: you shouldn’t be able to see the innermost layer, or base, of a decently dense towel.

Go big (or get back in the bath)

The standard bath towel measures 30 by 56 inches and is large enough for a quick dry-off, the Micro Cotton team says. For taller or larger people (or people who like to walk around in a towel postshower), a bath sheet — sometimes called a body towel — may be the better alternativ­e for more coverage and warmth. These bath-towel alternativ­es measure around 33 by 70 inches and offer a much cozier experience, though they will cost more than standard bath towels.

Don’t get caught up in prices

Some luxury bath towels can cost close to $100

— but you don’t have to spend that much to get a decent bath towel. Decent options that fulfill all the requiremen­ts above can be purchased for $20 or $30. The key is knowing the difference between a low-cost, low-quality option and an affordable, high-quality one, which you should be able to do with these handy tips.

And, of course, if you really want to buy a $100 bath towel, go for it; just don’t store it in the bathroom.

 ?? GETTY ?? Picking towels that feel soft and fluffy is just the start of finding the perfect towels for you.
GETTY Picking towels that feel soft and fluffy is just the start of finding the perfect towels for you.

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