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Choosing a Turkish towel over a regular bath towel means you’re getting all the absorption and softness you expect at a quarter of the footprint. The best Turkish towels are made of 100% Turkish cotton in a classic flat-woven style. From there, finding the right towel for you will come down to what size, weight, and print you prefer — and options abound.
What Makes Turkish Towels Different?
Turkish towels are known for their incredible ability to be both lightweight and highly absorbent, yet still able to dry quickly no matter how humid the environment (like a Turkish bath, for example). A Turkish towel’s fabric and weave set it apart from your average bath towel. Turkish towels are made with, you guessed it, Turkish cotton, a long-staple fiber that is sturdy, fine, and on par with Egyptian cotton in terms of quality. Turkish towels are made using a flat weave that makes them ultra-thin, compact, and lightweight — especially suited for traveling.
What To Look For When Shopping
One additional element to consider is the weight of your towel. In this case, it really comes down to personal preference, as choosing a slightly heavier weight towel will absorb more moisture but take longer to dry. A lighter-weight towel will dry faster but not take on as much water. Towel weights are usually measured in grams per square meter (GSM), with a range of 300 to 400 GSM (or between 8.85 and 11.8 ounces) considered lighter, and 600 to 900 GSM (or 17.7 and 26.5 ounces) on the much thicker side. All of the towels on this list are measured in ounces.
How Do You Keep Turkish Towels Soft?
Turkish towels become softer through repeated washing, but there are steps you can take to maintain their quality. Pre-washing your towel will help open up and loosen the long fibers so that they can absorb more moisture — and some towels already come conveniently pre-washed. It’s also recommended to wash your towels in warm water with less detergent than normal to prevent build-up, which can make them less soft. (You can also wash with vinegar every six weeks to remove build-up). Drying them on low heat or, alternatively, hang drying will also go a long way in preventing damage.
Shop The Best Turkish Towels
In a hurry? Here are the top three picks for the best Turkish towels:
- Editor’s Choice: Cacala Pestemal Turkish Bath Towel
- The Cult-Favorite: WETCAT Turkish Beach Towel
- The Best Hand Towel: Smyrna Original Turkish Hand Towels
Whether you’re shopping for bath or hand towels (or even a comfy Turkish cotton robe), browse the list below to see a range of different options with versatile uses, not to mention beautiful designs 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 with 100% Turkish cotton in the classic flat-woven style and uses naturally dyed yarn that’s OEKO-TEX certified, which means that the product has been tested for harmful toxins or chemicals. The towel is also pre-washed to ensure maximum softness right out of the bag. Plus, it travels light and can be used anywhere — from the bathroom to the beach to the outdoor picnic.
Helpful Review: “These are great! They are bigger than I expected, nice to wrap up in. Very soft and great quality. They dried me well coming out of the pool. They are so lightweight that I took some hiking in my pack just in case we went swimming. I would never pack regular towels just in case since they would take my whole pack. These fit nicely on the bottom just like nothing was there...totally in love with these.”
Weight: 10.8 Oz | Sizes: 71 x 38 inches (L x W) | Colors: 33 | Pre-Washed: Yes
2. Editor’s Pick: A Turkish Bath Towel For Every Day
If you’re looking for an easy-breezy everyday towel, look no further than this 100% Turkish cotton towel that comes in the classic stripe pattern in tons of different colors that’ll match any decor. Despite its size, the flat-weave style gives this towel a thin profile that barely takes up any room. It’s also extremely lightweight at 10.6 ounces. Though this towel is not pre-washed, you can do the pre-wash process at home, or simply use it out of the box, knowing it’ll become softer and more absorbent with repeated use. It has over 3,700 reviews on Amazon with fans commenting on the myriad uses they’ve served, from camping trips to days on the beach.
Editor’s Review: “Not only are Cacala’s Turkish towels nice to look at — and available in tons of colors — but they also dry quickly and take up so much less room in my linen closet than traditional, fluffy towels. I’ve had a couple of them for years now, and they’re somehow not worse for wear.” — Wesley Salazar, Elite Daily Associate Editor
Weight: 10.6 Oz | Sizes: 70 x 37 inches (L x W) | Colors: 33 | Pre-Washed: No
3. A Heavier Turkish Towel That’s Certified Organic
If you’re committed to sustainability, you’ll love this Turkish towel that is not only OEKO-TEX certified but is also certified by the Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) because it is made with 100% organic Turkish cotton and dye. It comes pre-washed for extra softness and is available in lots of beautiful colors that feature classic stripes with the addition of an intricate diamond pattern. The tassels are double knotted for a slightly chunkier aesthetic, but the flat-woven nature of this towel still means it will take up minimal room in your closet, beach bag, or luggage. With over 3,400 reviews and a high 4.7-star rating, this is another fan favorite on Amazon.
Helpful Review: “I cannot say enough how much I love these towels. I had never seen anything like them until this summer when somebody brought one to the pool. I was struck by how much smaller and lighter it was than a usual pool towel, while at the same time unfolding to be quite large. Additionally, now that I have some, I know that they dry quickly in the sun so that you are not packing a wet towel into your bag. [...] It also is sent with a certificate of authenticity for the fact that they are organic cotton. I’ve now had these going on five months. I have washed and dried them multiple times and they still look perfect [...]”
Weight: 15 Oz | Sizes: 71 x 36 inches (L x W) | Colors: 17 | Pre-Washed: Yes
4. The Best Turkish Hand Towels For Elevating Any Space
These Turkish hand towels not only come in a budget-friendly pack of two, but have also earned 12,800 reviews for their beautiful design that upgrades any home decor. They’re made of OEKO-TEX certified 100% Turkish cotton and feature the same flat-weave of larger-sized towels, so they remain both thin and absorbent. The towels come pre-washed for superior absorbency and softness straight away, and are slightly larger in surface area than a normal hand towel, making them appropriate for a variety of uses from the bathroom to the kitchen.
Helpful Review: “I was looking for a good-looking hand towel as this hangs on my dishwasher and is highly visible from several rooms of my home. I was trying to find a towel like [the] ones I had used in Europe. I was also looking for absorbency. This towel does both well. I am a frequent hand towel user while cooking and after hand washing. It is 100% cotton; the towel doesn't feel "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 remnants of the day lingering in your tote bag, this Turkish towel comes with everything you need. It includes its own small drawstring carrying bag, so sand and sea can be properly contained. And, as a bonus, you won’t need to worry about any musty smells developing, as the 100% Turkish cotton material and flat-weave make for fast drying and easy cleaning. This towel has over 3,300 reviews with many reviewers praising this towel as the perfect beach traveling companion.
Helpful Review: “Amazing! No smell! I bought this towel and used it for 8 days straight in Costa Rica at the beach, in the rainforest, white water rafting and at the pool, and as a swim cover-up while walking around town. It NEVER had a smell! It dried fairly quickly overnight (even in the rainforest where things are truly never “dry”). I loved having the drawstring travel bag it made it super easy to clip to my backpack while hiking. [...]”
Weight: 11.5 Oz | Sizes: 71 x 39 inches (L x W) | Colors: 22 | Pre-Washed: No
6. This “Huge” Turkish Towel In A Heavier Weight
This Turkish towel is the longest on the list and is therefore great for beach hangs, picnics, or any outdoor event. Its flat-weave design is made of OEKO-TEX certified 100% Turkish cotton and weighs on the heavier end of the scale at 15 ounces, but still takes up much 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 shades contrasted with off-white and accompanied by thick tassels. Choose from 16 colors.
Helpful Review: “These are exactly what I was hoping for. They are so soft and, with washes, will only get softer. They are huge so they'd 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. A Lightweight Turkish Hand Towel With A Convenient Hanging Loop
For an incredibly lightweight towel that is able to absorb an impressive amount of water, turn to this Turkish hand towel that also features a handy hanging loop for fast drying to boot. Clocking in at just 3.8 ounces, this thin towel is made of 100% Turkish cotton in the classic flat-woven style and comes in tons of different colors to match your kitchen or bathroom. There is no need to wait for softness — it comes pre-washed and ready to go. 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 placemat or a napkin, dry dishes, or even take it to the gym.
Helpful Review: “These are so gorgeous and durable. They match my decor perfectly and feel so nice. I use them as a hanging kitchen towel to dry hands with, but have used them to dry dishes as well. They stayed in great condition after using daily for about 2 months.”
Weight: 3.8 Oz | Sizes: 36 x 23 inches (L x W) | Colors: 34 | Pre-Washed: Yes
8. Also Nice: A Soft Turkish Towel Robe With A Hood
This Turkish towel robe combines everything that’s great about traditional bathrobes with all the perks of a Turkish towel. With its included hood and pockets, it’s perfect for days at the beach when you want a coverup with more coverage or nights at a weekend-long summer music festival, headed back from the camp shower. This one’s made of 100% Turkish cotton and weighs 15 ounces, which means it can handle absorbing more water than light-weight towels. It has the thin, lightweight texture and tasseled design of your classic Turkish towel, making it compact and easy to store or pack. It dries quickly, which is helpful if you’re in the great outdoors, but it also serves as perfect loungewear during the more seasonably warm months. Choose from 12 colors.
Helpful Review: “Love these robes! Super lightweight but still warm and not see-through at all. Long enough and big enough to cover what is needed without the bulk of fabric in the way! My favorite robe.”
Weight: 15 Oz | Sizes: Small - Medium — Large - X-Large | Colors: 12 | Pre-Washed: No