Choosing a Turkish towel over a regular bath towel means you get the absorbency and softness you expect with a quarter of a footprint. The best Turkish towels are made of 100% Turkish Cotton in a classic flat weave pattern. From there, finding the right towel for you will result in the size, weight, and print you prefer—and the options abound.
What makes Turkish towels different?
Turkish towels are known for their amazing ability to be lightweight and highly absorbent, yet still manage to dry quickly no matter how humid the environment (like a Turkish bath, for example). The texture and weave of the Turkish towel sets it apart from a regular bath towel. Turkish towels are made of Turkish cotton, which is a long staple fiber Durable, soft and identical in quality to Egyptian cotton. Turkish towels are made with a flat weave that makes them very thin, compact and lightweight – especially suitable for travel.
What to look for when shopping
One additional element to consider is the weight of the towel. In this case, it really comes down to personal preference, as choosing a towel with a slightly heavier weight will absorb more moisture but take longer to dry. The lightweight towel will dry faster but won’t absorb as much water. Towel weights are typically measured in grams per square meter (GSM), with a range of 300 to 400 GSM (or 8.85 and 11.8 ounces) considered the lightest, and 600 to 900 GSM (or 17.7 and 26.5 ounces) on the thicker side. . All towels on this list are measured in ounces.
How do you maintain the softness of Turkish towels?
Turkish towels get softer through frequent washing, but there are steps you can take to maintain their quality. Pre-washing the towel helps open and loosen the long fibers so they absorb more moisture – some towels come pre-washed conveniently. It is also recommended to wash the towels in warm water with less detergent than usual to prevent buildup, making them less soft. (You can also rinse with vinegar every six weeks to remove buildup.) Drying them on low heat or, alternatively, hanging them dry will go a long way in preventing spoilage.
Shop the best Turkish towels
In a hurry? Here are our top three picks for the best Turkish towels:
Whether you’re shopping for bath or hand towels (or even a cozy Turkish robe), browse the list below to see a range of different options with versatile uses, not to mention pretty designs that are sure to suit any aesthetic preference.
1. A cult favorite Turkish towel
This Turkish towel has over 8,600 reviews with a high 4.7 star rating on Amazon and is loved by reviewers for its compactness and ability to dry quickly. It’s made of 100% Turkish cotton in a classic flat woven pattern and uses naturally dyed yarns that are OEKO-TEX certified, meaning the product has been tested for toxins or harmful chemicals. The towel is also pre-washed to ensure maximum softness from the bag. Plus, it’s portable with light and can be used anywhere – from the bathroom to the beach to a picnic in the great outdoors.
Helpful review: “This is great! It’s bigger than I expected, and it’s nice to wrap up with. Very soft and great quality. They dried me well as I came out of the pool. It’s so lightweight that I take some hiking in my bag just in case we go swimming. I would never pack regular towels just in case they would take my entire bag. These fit really well on the bottom just as if there was nothing…totally smitten with them.”
Weight: 10.8 oz | Sizes: 71 x 38 inches (L x W) | Colors: 33 | pre-washed: yes
2. Editor’s Pick: Turkish Bath Towel for Every Day
If you are looking for an easy-to-breeze everyday towel, look no further than this 100% Turkish cotton towel that comes in a classic striped pattern in various colors to match any décor. Despite its size, the flat-weave pattern gives this towel a slim look that hardly takes up any room. It is also extremely lightweight at 10.6 ounces. Although this towel is not pre-washed, you can do the prewash at home, or simply use it out of the box, knowing it will get softer and more absorbent with frequent use. It has over 3,700 reviews on Amazon with fans commenting on the countless uses they provided, from camping trips to days at the beach.
Editor’s review: “Not only are Cacala Turkish towels cute to look at—and available in tons of colors—but they also dry quickly and take up much less space in my wardrobe than traditional fluffy towels. I’ve had a couple of them for years now, and they are somehow no worse for wear.” — Wesley Salazar, Associate Editor of Elite Daily
Weight: 10.6 oz | Sizes: 70 x 37 inches (L x W) | Colors: 33 | pre-washed: no
3. Heavier Organic Turkish Towel
If you’re committed to sustainability, you’ll love this Turkish towel that is not only OEKO-TEX certified, but also certified by Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) because it’s made with 100% organic Turkish cotton and dye. They come pre-washed for extra softness and are available in plenty of beautiful colors that feature classic stripes while adding an intricately textured pattern. Tassels are double knotted for a slightly denser aesthetic, but the woven nature of this towel still means it’ll take up little space in your wardrobe, beach bag, or luggage. With over 3,400 reviews and a high rating of 4.7 stars, this is another fan favorite on Amazon.
Helpful review: “I can’t say enough how much I love these towels. I had never seen anything quite like them until this summer when someone brought one to the pool. I was amazed at how much smaller and lighter they were than a regular pool towel, while at the same time unfolding to be quite large. Plus Plus, after I’ve got some, I know they dry quickly in the sun so you won’t be packing a wet towel in your bag. […] A certificate of authenticity is also sent for being organic cotton. I now have these last for five months. I’ve washed and dried it several times and it still looks perfect […]”
Weight: 15 oz | Sizes: 71 x 36 inches (L x W) | Colors: 17 | pre-washed: yes
4. Best Turkish Hand Towels to Lift Any Space
Not only do these Turkish hand towels come in a budget-friendly package of two, but they have also garnered 12,800 reviews for their beautiful design that upgrades any home décor. They’re made of 100% OEKO-TEX certified Turkish cotton and feature the same flat weave of larger towels, so they stay thin and absorbent. The towels come pre-washed for instantly superior absorbency and softness, and are slightly larger in surface area than a regular hand towel, making them suitable for a variety of uses from the bathroom to the kitchen.
Helpful review: “I was looking for a good looking hand towel as it hangs on the dishwasher and is clearly visible from several rooms in my house. I was trying to find a towel like [the] The ones I used in Europe. I was also looking for absorption. This towel works well. I use hand towels frequently during cooking and after washing hands. 100% cotton. The towel does not look “wet” after use like some polyester hand towels. […]”
Weight: 5.1 oz | Sizes: 40 x 16 inches (L x W) | Colors: 14 | pre-washed: yes
5. The Turkish towel that comes with its own travel bag
If you’re looking for a beach experience that won’t leave the remnants of the day lingering in your carry-on bag, this Turkish towel comes with everything you need. It includes its own small carrying case, so the sand and sea can be properly contained. And as a bonus, you don’t have to worry about any moldy odors showing up, because the 100% Turkish cotton material and flat textiles make quick drying and cleaning easier. This towel has over 3,300 reviews with many reviewers hailing this towel as the perfect beach travel companion.
Helpful review: “Amazing! No smell! Bought this towel and used it for 8 consecutive days in Costa Rica at the beach, in the rainforest, white water rafting and in the pool, and as a swim cap while walking around town. It never had a smell! It dried fairly quickly between Overnight (even in the rainforest where things are never ‘dry’.) I loved having a drawstring travel bag which made it very easy to clip onto my bag while hiking. […]”
Weight: 11.5 oz | Sizes: 71 x 39 inches (L x W) | Colors: 22 | pre-washed: no
6. This is a “huge” Turkish towel with a heavier weight
This Turkish towel is the longest on the list and therefore great for hanging on the beach, picnics, or any outdoor event. Its flat design is made from 100% OEKO-TEX certified Turkish cotton and weighs on the heavier end of the scale at 15 ounces, but still takes up significantly less space than a traditional towel and promises to dry faster. The design features a beautiful color block style with a diamond shaped pattern in different colors contrasting with off-white and attached with thick tassels. Choose from 16 colors.
Helpful review: “This is exactly what I was hoping for. It’s very soft and will get even softer with washing. It’s voluminous so it would be perfect for the beach or pool too.”
Weight: 15 oz | Sizes: 77 x 38 inches (L x W) | Colors: 16 | pre-washed: no
7. Lightweight Turkish Hand Towel with Convenient Hanging Ring
For an incredibly lightweight towel capable of absorbing an impressive amount of water, turn to this Turkish hand towel that also features a handy hanging loop for quick drying to boot. At just 3.8 ounces, this thin towel is made of 100% Turkish cotton in a classic flat woven style and comes in a variety of colors to match your kitchen or bathroom. No waiting for softness – it comes pre-washed and ready to use. Your imagination is the limit for the ways you can use this hand towel as over 1,200 reviewers can attest. Wrap it around your hair as a head towel, use it as a tablecloth, handkerchief, dry dishes, or even take it to the gym.
Helpful review: “It’s very cool and durable. It fits perfectly in my decor and feels very nice. I use it as a hanging kitchen towel to dry hands, but I also use it to dry dishes. They have stayed in good shape after daily use for about two months.”
Weight: 3.8 oz | Sizes: 36 x 23 inches (L x W) | Colors: 34 | pre-washed: yes
8. Also cute: Soft Turkish Hooded Towel Robe
This Turkish Towel Robe combines all the greatness of traditional bathrobes and all the benefits of Turkish towels. With its included hood and pockets, it’s perfect for days at the beach when you want more coverage or nights out at an extended summer music festival into the weekend, after returning from a camp bath. This is made from 100% Turkish cotton and weighs 15 ounces, which means it can handle absorbing more water than lightweight towels. It has a delicate, lightweight feel and the mottled design of your classic Turkish towel, making it compact and easy to store or pack. It dries quickly, which is useful if you’re in the great outdoors, but also works as the perfect loungewear during the warmer seasonal months. Choose from 12 colors.
Helpful review: “Love these robes! Very lightweight but still warm and absolutely invisible. Long enough and big enough to cover whatever is needed without the bulk of the fabric! My favorite robe.”
Weight: 15 oz | Sizes: Small – Medium – Large – X-Large | Colors: 12 | pre-washed: no