You wouldn't think something as simple as dish towels could make such a difference in your life, but truly it can. The best dish towels will be soft, fresh-smelling, and completely fuzz-free (unlike those old kitchen towels that leave lint all over your water glasses).
When picking out a set of towels, the first thing you should think about is material. While there are lots of microfiber options out there, cotton is usually a better choice for dish towels because it's softer, which makes it easier on your hands and gentler on your dishes. It also tends to be more durable, so your towels will last longer, and it doesn't have the lint problem that microfiber does.
The other big factor is size. This largely comes down to personal preference, but think about your kitchen and the dishware you have in it. How big are the racks you hang your towels on? What kind of dishes will you be drying? These questions will be helpful when you're thinking about what size to purchase.
Lastly, make sure your towels are machine-washable. If you're anything like me, "hand-wash only" might as well read "that's never getting washed," so it helps to be able to toss them in the washing machine. Experts recommend washing dish towels daily, so the easier it is to do this, the better.
With all of that in mind, I've put together a list of the best dish towels to help you find the best fit. All of my picks are machine-washable, 100-percent cotton, and ready to tackle whatever kitchen task you have in mind.
1. The Best Overall
Size: 8 by 16 inches
With more than 1,100 reviews, these durable terry cloth dish towels have accrued a serious cult following on Amazon. Fans love how absorbent they are while still being fairly lightweight. They're made from 100-percent cotton, which makes them super soft, and you can put them in the washing machine, too. If you're looking for something more compact, they're available in a smaller, 12-by-12-inch option, too. "I'm picky when it comes to dish towels, and I LOVE these!" wrote one reviewer. "I was pleasantly surprised to find that these are bigger than the typical dish towels that I've used in the past. Absorbency is great and I really like the texture."
2. The Most Versatile
Size: 28 by 20 inches
Unlike most terry cloth options, these lightweight dish towels feature a smooth texture that's soft against your skin and extra gentle on dishes. In addition to drying dishes and mopping up spills, they can be used to keep that basket of bread warm or act as a colorful accent for your table setting. They're woven with 100-percent cotton and totally lint-free. Like my previous pick, they're machine-washable, too. "These towels are beautiful," wrote one reviewer. "They are super absorbent, and leave absolutely no lint on glassware. The colors are bright and pretty, and the quality is exceptional."
3. The Most Durable
Size: 19 by 27 inches
If you're someone who uses dish towels a lot and wants the very best, these five-star, high-end dish towels are top of the line. Like the others on my list, they're made with 100-percent cotton but the weave is thicker and more durable. Beyond that, reviewers say they are soft, absorbent, and lint-free. "I'm overjoyed to have found these dish towels," wrote one Amazon reviewer. "Not only are they attractive and perfect for my kitchen, they're durable and do the job. They're not flimsy like other towels. They wipe the glasses very well and don't get damp like other towels I've tried."
4. The Best Anti-Microbial Towels
Size: 16 by 19 inches
Designed to discourage the build-up of bacteria, these anti-microbial dish towels will stay sanitary and fresh-smelling for longer than most others. Made with 100-percent cotton, the fabric is coated in an anti-microbial solution that helps ward off mildew and odors. Both soft and absorbent, these towels are safe to throw in the wash, though the anti-microbial properties will only last for around 20 wash cycles. "Colors as shown and they wear well," wrote one reviewer. "They absorb a lot and retain a clean scent after being wet then dry multiple times.
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