How to Choose High Quality Cotton Towels

For everyday towels that you use on your skin, investing in a higher quality set is a good idea. With high quality towels, they stay soft longer, are more absorbant, and maintains its shape longer. Here are some things to consider when thinking about choosing high quality towels:

Towel Size

For use on your skin, there are typically three towels you’ll need: bath towel, hand towel, and face towel. A lot of brands will carry two sizes of bath towels – choose the one that best fits you.


It is worth investing in organic cotton – that way you know the cotton was grown free of pesticides and chemicals. Pesticide use in cotton is actually a big problem. Also, it might be wise to choose a towel that does not have a lot of colours, unless it uses natural dye. 100% cotton is best if your skin is sensitive.


Not all cotton is the same. 100% true Egyptian cottons are the most highly regarded. The origin of where the cotton is processed and manufactured into towels can also be indicative of quality. For example, Imabari in Japan is known for producing the best quality towels in Japan because of its rigorous standards.

Thread Count

Thread count refers to the linear density of the cotton fibre – or in layman terms, how thin the individual cotton threads are. The higher the thread count, the thiner the fibre. You want higher thread count because it is softer, lighter, and more absorbant. However, higher thread count fabric is more susceptible to wear – unless special care was taken during the manufacturing process. More below.

Weaving Technique  

A good towel is not just about the material, but also about the construction and production process. The weaving technique will determine the durability of your towels. A poorly woven towel will cause it to stretch, loose its threads, and potentially tear over use. Select a towel manufacturer that has mastered its weaving technique and that has stringent product testing standards. For example, traditional slow Japanese weaving technique is known for keeping the towel’s integrity for a long time.


In terms of pattern, there are several to choose from. The pile weave is fluffy and soft on the skin, so it works well for the side that is intended for the skin. Many prefer having a different weave pattern for the other side to give it a bit more design, and so that you have distinct front and back sides. The other side can be one of many weave patterns:

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