Understanding Bath Towel Sizes

Standard towel sizes and additional options

At Fine Linen and Bath, we field several calls a day asking us to help clients choose cotton bathroom towels. As a leading online retailer of luxury linens, we've built a reputation for offering the highest level of personal service, and we're always thrilled to engage with clients and offer recommendations on towels and bath sheets. Over the years, however, we've discovered that one of the biggest factors in deciding which bathroom towel to buy is size -- it can be a bit of a mystery to most people.

What are the most common towel sizes?

Let's start with the standard towel sizes, which are approximately as follows:

  • Wash cloth 12" x 12"
  • Hand towels 17 x 30"
  • Bath towels 28" x 54"
  • Bath Sheets 40" x 72"

Bath Sheet and Towel Size Guide

Some brands have additional sizes and types of towels that fall in between the standard sizing. Common examples of these are wash mitts, guest/fingertip towels, larger hand towels, bath mats, decorative towels, kitchen towels, Euro bath sheets, and beach towels.

Wash Mitt: A Towel "Glove"

Wash mitts are great alternatives to typical washcloths. They tend to be most popular for children's bath time, but love and use them, too!

Guest and Fingertip Towels: Any Difference?

There is no difference between guest towels and fingertip towels. Both tend to be sized in between wash cloths and hand towels, around 12" x 20" inches wide. These towels are ideal for round or half-round hooks, which can be installed over a vanity top and require less clearance space than hand towels.

Large and Extra-Large Hand Towels: Why the Additional Sizes?

In addition to preferring a larger-sized hand towel, some people use these towels for their hair (regular hand towels are too small to wrap up long hair, and bath towels can be large and quite heavy). Additionally, larger hand towels are a great size to use for children.

Matouk Milagro Bath Towels

Bath Sheets: Size Options Galore

Bath sheet sizes can vary quite a bit from one brand to another; some manufacturers even offer two different sizes, the standard, and the slightly smaller "Euro" bath sheet. Choosing whether to use a bath sheet and in which size really comes down to personal preference. Some clients find bath sheets too big and bulky; for others, these oversized towels are the very definition of luxury. Just keep in mind that bath sheets do require more space when washing; just a couple of these jumbo towels can fill up a machine.

A few words about cotton

We can't talk about towels without discussing what they are made of -- cotton fibers.

Low twist Egyptian Giza long staple cotton

Egyptian cotton towels are supple, attractive, and soft to the touch. An Egyptian cotton quality towel is highly absorbent and durable. A higher twist leads to a heavier, stronger towel, but they also take longer to dry. Egyptian cotton towels are among the most luxurious.

High twist Egyptian Giza long staple cotton

Egyptian cotton towels are supple, attractive, and soft to the touch. These bath linens are super absorbent and durable. A higher twist will lead to a heavier, stronger terry towels, but also a longer dry time. Egyptian Giza cotton towels are among the most luxurious.

Microfiber and Microcotton

Microfiber towels are known for being quick drying. Microfiber and Microcotton towels are generally lightweight and less absorbent than types of fibres. They made great gym towels but are suitable for home use, and other on-the-go activities.

Organic cotton

Organic cotton towels are typically made from 100% fairtrade certified organic cotton. Certified organic cotton has the strictest social and environmental standards. These soft towels are generally light to medium weight and dry fairly quickly -- they are mid-weight absorbent towels.

Pima / Supima cotton

Pima cotton (or the name brand Supima) offers luxurious softness, high absorbency, fast-drying breathability, and strength through many washes. Pima cotton is a great towel while still being affordable.

So, what is the best high quality towels?

There is no one simple answer: the perfect towel for one client could be far from ideal for another. Along with your size preferences, we ask a simple series of questions to determine your preferences across other essential areas, including towel weight; feel; color preferences; and price range. At that point, we have a strong idea of what to recommend, and are happy to send out a few complimentary swatch samples that should lead us to finding the perfect towel for YOU!

How To Wash and Revive Luxury Bath Towels

Over time, your soft bath towels may become scratchy and stiff after laundering sometimes leaving an unpleasant smell. Many factors can cause this, however, most notably it is a result of hard water. The detergent and fabric softener you use can also play a key role in causing your towels to lose their "like new" feeling due to build-up on the cotton fibers. Here is our time tested remedy that will breathe new life into your favorite towels.

Fine Linen and Bath: An in-store shopping experience delivered to you online

At Fine Linen and Bath, our mission is to deliver a concierge luxury linen shopping experience with online convenience. Browse our website to access an expansive collection of bedding, bath, table linens and accessories from the world's premier brands.

When you need answers, consultation, or help to narrow your choices, our team of expert design consultants is here to assist you. We offer individualized recommendations, personal consultation, and even complimentary swatch samples for your review. We'll help you make the right buying decisions for your style, budget, and design goals.

Please connect with us online or -- even better -- give us a call at (866) 352-4522. We'd love to get to know you!