New towels provide an easy and affordable way in which to update your bathroom, but there are just a few things that you should take into consideration first before buying new bathroom towels.

Towels not only add colour and pattern to the bathroom, but they are an everyday essential that’s definitely worth getting right, so we have created this handy buyer’s guide to bathroom towels to help you make the correct choice.

How many bathroom towels do I need?

It’s a good idea to consider what combination of bathroom towels you need and if you would like a matching set. A cost-effective option is to choose a towel bale, which usually includes two bath towels, two hand towels and two face cloths.

For each member of the family allocate two bath sheets, two bath towels and two face cloths. Bath sheets aren’t included in towel bales, so you’ll have to purchase these separately. Make sure to have spare towels for guests too.

Towels come in standard sizes and usually measure around:

  • 100 x 150cm for a bath sheet
  • 70 x 125cm for a bath towel
  • 50 x 90cm for a hand towel
  • 30 x 30cm for a face cloth

Bathroom towel terminology

Combed cotton

The combing process removes the small fibres to help reduce shedding.

Egyptian cotton

Featuring long, thick loops, Egyptian cotton towels are the most luxurious and absorbent type, but also the most expensive.

Supima cotton

A great alternative to Egyptian cotton, Supima cotton is a silk-like yarn with extra-long fibres that are smooth and durable.


Hydro is a spinning technique that creates a hollow fibre, which traps air during tumble drying to ensure a thick, fluffy pile.


GSM stands for grams per square metre, and indicates the weight of the towel. The higher the GSM, then the heavier the weight and the more absorbent the towel will be.


A ply is a layer or a strand, so for example 2-ply is two strands of yarn that’s woven together.

Colours and designs

Bathroom towels are available in an array of colours ranging from the bold and bright to the more subtle and natural, as well as a variety of patterns too. Plain white towels are ideal if you want to create a chic hotel look to your bathroom and will complement any décor.

If you have an all-white suite why not add pops of colour with some brightly coloured towels? As the seasons change you can even add new towels in different colours or patterns for a quick and instant update.

Opting for contrasting colours and patterns provides the perfect way to really make a style statement, but if you want a more subtle look choose towels in a similar tone as the flooring and walls.

Patterned towels can be used to create an individual and more personal look to your bathroom; floral towels add a touch of country chic, and stripy towels provide a more dramatic look.

If you’re after towels that offer value for money, then the John Lewis Pure Cotton range is the perfect choice. The Pure Cotton range is soft and quick-drying, as well as easy to care for too.

How to care for bathroom towels

Here’s some top tips on how to keep your bathroom towels in top condition…

Before using new bath towels for the first time always wash them, but avoid using fabric conditioner as it will make the towels less absorbent.

Ensure that your towels don’t come into contact with cleaning products that contain bleach. Facial cleansers and skin treatments with benzoyl peroxide can also damage towels.

If you accidentally catch the towel and pull the pile, then simply snip off the pulled loop with a pair of scissors.

If it’s warm and sunny outside put your bathroom towels on the washing line to dry to keep them extra fresh, while putting them in the tumble drier ensures they are kept soft and fluffy.

Finally, why not fit a heated towel rail to keep your towels warm and dry?


Categories: Help & Advice
Tags: towels
Liz :Liz has a passion for home decor, interior design and renovation projects.
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