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What to know when shopping for towels

The best towel is soft, quick drying and reasonably priced. Keep these seven expert tips in mind the next time you're shopping for the perfect towel.
/ Source: TODAY

It's hard to understand just how nice it is to have a soft, absorbent towel until you take a shower, reach around the curtain and get a thin, rough towel in return.

Textile expert Kathleen Huddy can help you avoid that situation. She's dishing out what to know next time you're buying towels. Happy shopping!


  • Cotton is both absorbent and long-lasting. The best towels are made of 100 percent Supima or Pima cotton that is combed and ring-spun.
  • Bamboo towels are also absorbent but do take longer to dry than cotton. Bamboo towels have no antimicrobial or antibacterial properties. Remember, it is actually a rayon towel.

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  • The heavier the towel, the more absorbent it can be, says Huddy. However, towel thickness is a personal preference. While quality towels are thicker and more absorbent, thinner towels dry faster and are easier to handle, especially for people with arthritis.

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  • “Selvaged edges are best,” says Huddy. “But most makers don’t do that anymore, so look for double-turned edges with double-stitching.” That minimizes fraying, which is usually the first sign of wear in a towel.

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  • Better quality towels have tightly packed, even loops. If you can see the backing when you crease the towel, it’s a poor quality towel.

Place of origin

  • According to Huddy, ultimate quality towels come from Portugal, then Turkey, then India. Over the last few years, India has made great strides in the quality of their towels.


  • According to Huddy, “Anything over $30 is too much to pay for a bath towel. If the price is ridiculous, consider it a red flag and steer clear of it.”