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How To Buy Bath Towels

What is GSM in towels? GSM is a measurement of towel weight. It stands for "grams per square meter." Bath towels typically range between 300 and 900 GSM. Luxury towels come in at the higher end of the range, indicating that they are thicker, softer, and more absorbent. This article explains how GSM works and why it is an important indicator of towel quality, whether you are shopping for a bath towel, beach towel, hand towel, guest towel, or bath mat.

how to buy bath towels

Shopping for luxury towels means considering many variables, including price, size, fabric quality and weight. And the weight of towels is measured in GSM, or grams per square meter. But GSM may be an unfamiliar term to shoppers of luxury bath and beach towels. Here at Fine Linen and Bath, we're happy to provide the background you need to purchase the perfect towel for your needs and budget. Read on to learn more about GSM and understand how to evaluate it when shopping for luxury bath towels.

GSM is a universal standard for calculating and comparing the weight of all fabric, including cotton towels. It is derived by precisely measuring the weight of one square meter of any fabric in grams.The typical range for cotton bath towels is between 300 to 900 GSM, with the upper end of the range feeling softer and more absorbent.

To put these numbers in perspective, the GSM of a lightweight cotton shirt or summer dress would fall in the low- to mid-100s. Denim fabric has a GSM somewhere around 400. A heavyweight wool coat or blanket would measure about 700 GSM. Cotton fabric with higher GSM is a denser with a greater concentration of fibers; this is why GSM correlates with quality when it comes to bath towels. A high GSM denotes luxury. The towel will be fluffy, soft, absorbent, and heavy.

High GSM cotton towels are usually better quality. In general, a cotton bath towel that weighs 400 GSM and above is considered to be good quality. The fabric in these soft towels is woven more densely, and thus is softer and more absorbent than a lower GSM fabric (for example, that found in a standard kitchen towel).

When shopping for a cotton towel, begin by looking in the 400 to 600 GSM range. These towels are luxurious without being overly heavy, which makes them ideal for bath and beach. They are soft and absorbent while still being easy to care for. Move on to higher GSM for towels that are thicker, plush, and even more absorbent.

The GSM number directly correlates to the quality of a cotton bathroom towel. Towels with a higher GSM are softer, more absorbent, and more luxurious. In most cases, they are also more expensive. A low GSM bath towel will be lightweight, coarse, and less absorbent; using this type of towel is an unpleasant experience and not effective for drying off.

Here at Fine Linen and Bath, we typically recommend choosing a cotton bath towel of 400 GSM and above. A towel in the 400 to 600 GSM range is hefty, not heavy, and still of high quality. These towels offer consistent, reliable performance and a wonderful feel; they are soft and absorbent without being too heavy. They can air dry relatively quickly, and can easily be washed and dried in a regular load. Many people find that a 600 GSM is the right towel weight for comfort and easier care.

A cotton terry towel of 700 GSM and above is considered heavy weight. These towels have a sumptuous, extravagant, soft towel feel, and are an investment. They are hefty, highly absorbent, and rich in depth and feel. High GSM towels are better at absorbing dyes during the manufacturing process, so are often available in a wider or more interesting choice of colors along with traditional white and ivory. Because of their weight, towels with high GSM take longer to hang dry, and usually must be washed in a smaller load by themselves. These are the best bath towels, and do require a little more care.

In all cases, quality cotton bath towels should be laundered with care to keep them looking and feeling great. At Fine Linen and Bath, we offer a specific set of guidelines that include using Heritage Park All-Purpose Laundry Detergent. This concentrated, pH-neutral detergent is made with a proprietary enzyme blend that effectively cleans while preserving the beauty and integrity luxury towels. We also recommend avoiding harsh chemicals like bleach and never using fabric softener or dyer sheets; instead, use wool dryer balls to soften towels and reduce drying time.

Over time, even the highest quality luxury towels can become scratchy, stiff, and dull. They may even lose their absorbency. This is due to towel build-up, which happens from detergent and, primarily, the minerals in hard water. You can restore your towels to a like-new feel with ingredients you likely have right in your pantry. Follow these two simple steps:

At Fine Linen and Bath, we sell only the finest bath towels with mid-to high-GSM counts. Our best-selling product lines include Abyss, SFERRA, Matouk, and Graciozza, each of which feature a range of towels in varying weights, patterns, styles and colors. Read this guide to buying luxury bath towels which explains these variables and offers product recommendations.

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.

Gift yourself or someone special with our classic bath towel set, a six-piece collection that adds utterly plush comfort to pampering. Woven of soft, pure cotton and detailed with a checkerboard woven trim, the set features two bath towels, two hand towels and two washcloths that wrap you in warmth and reward you with style.

  • There are many different types of bath towels. Egyptian and Turkish cotton towels are the most-high end types you can buy. They are both made from long-staple fibers, so they are super soft and absorbent and typically carry higher price points than other types of towels. Pima cotton towels are similar to Egyptian and Turkish cotton towels, but they are domestically sourced in the U.S.Then there are bamboo towels, which are a great option for those looking to reduce their environmental impact. Whether they are 100 percent bamboo or a bamboo-cotton blend, these towels are naturally antibacterial. Unfortunately, they are not as absorbent as other options and are usually high in price, too. Linen is another great eco-friendly option that dries super fast; just note that they aren't as soft as regular towels.Microfiber towels are a fast-drying and inexpensive option since they are made from finely spun synthetic fibers. They also prevent mildew from growing, so many people use this type of towel beyond their bathroom and take them to the beach, gym, and other travels.Then there are peshtemal, hammam, or fouta towels, also known as Turkish towels. These trendy towels are aesthetically pleasing and quick-drying. Like microfiber towels, many people love to take these towels to the beach and other travels. An authentic Turkish towel is made up of 100 percent Turkish cotton.Finally, there are organic towels. These towels are generally made from 100 percent cotton and are certified by a third-party vendor. These towels are made from cotton that is not treated by pesticides. These are very soft and plush but do take longer to dry than other options."}},"@type": "Question","name": "What are the best places to buy bath towels?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "Pretty much every home goods store and big-box retailer sells towels, as do a wide variety of online retailers. However, certain brands are known for their high-quality towels. For example, Pottery Barn and Boll & Branch both have organic options that many reviewers love. If you're looking for a touch of luxury, Frontgate and Parachute are great places to shop at. Cuddledown, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Macy's are also great options if you'd like to look at various options at different price points.","@type": "Question","name": "What's the best way to care for a bath towel?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "Believe it or not, caring for your towels is not as simple as just throwing them in the wash. All bath towels should be washed before you first use them as this will wash off the finish they have and help with absorbency.Bath towels should never be laundered with fabric softener, which will add a film onto the towel and weaken the absorbency. "If you like the scent of fabric softener, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to your dryer balls in the last 10 minutes of the load, after everything is already mostly dry," says Whitney Thornburg, Design Director at Coyuchi.Your towels should be laundered more often than you think (ideally every three uses!) and should be washed with other towels at the highest temperature the label says they can handle. Use a gentle detergent and dry on low or medium heat with wool dryer balls to help speed up the drying time and control static.","@type": "Question","name": "How many bath towels do you need?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "In general, you should have four bath towels per person. This allows you to have two in use while the other two are being washed. However, the number of bath towels you need will vary from household to household. If you have a larger family, you may need a few more than average.","@type": "Question","name": "How do you store bath towels?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "How you store your bath towels is up to you. Towel bars and rings, wall shelves, over-the-door towel racks, towel stands, heated racks and bins, and over-the-toilet units are all different types of organizing systems that can hold your towels. You can simply hang them over the bars or rings or fold or roll them and place them on shelves, in baskets, and more.","@type": "Question","name": "How often should you replace bath towels?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "Generally, you should replace your towels every two years. If your bath towels are not absorbing water as well as they used to, developing odors after one use, or have frayed edges and holes, it is time for you to replace them. However, high-quality towels tend to last longer, so you may get away with more time between purchases."]}]}] .icon-garden-review-1fill:#b1dede.icon-garden-review-2fill:none;stroke:#01727a;stroke-linecap:round;stroke-linejoin:round > buttonbuttonThe Spruce The Spruce's Instagram The Spruce's TikTok The Spruce's Pinterest The Spruce's Facebook NewslettersClose search formOpen search formSearch DecorRoom Design

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