You know how one thing leads to another when redoing your home and the little things sometimes make the biggest difference?? That little thing for me was towels — bath towels, bath mats, kitchen towels, cleaning towels.
Some hand-me-downs from one’s grandmother are worth keeping, as are some wedding gifts, but looking at how old some of my towels were (I’ve been married 28 years), I decided in this instance my very worn heirlooms should all be demoted to car washing and cleaning rags!
In my home’s new aesthetic, I am going for a lighter, fresh, less cluttered feel — but one full of comfort. Most days, I am running around in Houston’s heat and spending time at new construction sites, so I really want to feel pampered when I get home!!
Wondering how to get that spa-like feel at home, I started shopping on my favorite discount shopping sites, Ruelala, HauteLook and One Kings Lane. I knew I wanted all white luxury hotel towels, but I had no knowledge of what makes a towel soft. So, I ordered the ones that were originally the most expensive but were offered the biggest discounts!!! I learned some were soft, washed well and were absorbent, but others lost their look and feel after a few washings. I knew research was in order!!!
With so many options on the market: cotton, bamboo, Egyptian and Turkish cottons, and with terms like GSMs, I turned to the internet for reviews, blogs and consumer tips. Below are the towels with best reviews — and my winner!!!
For the eco-conscious towel buyer, Cuddledown’s Bamboo Towels (30×56″ bath towel for $32.) are touted for the softness and their absorbency. The bamboo plant is naturally anti-bacterial, grows heartily in a pest-free environment and makes a super absorbent fabric. The fibers are also mercerized for extra strength and luster so they stay feeling and looking great for years. Although some brands are 100% bamboo, Cuddledown’s version are a cotton/bamboo mix.
The plush Macy’s Hotel Collection (30×56″ bath towel for $55.) tested best in many reviews! Very absorbent but also quick-drying, these cotton towels looked and felt lovely even after multiple washes, though when tested they did shrink (3-4″ inches in length). These towels come in many colors and are often on sale.
Kris, author of the popular blog, Driven by Décor, did her own research and chose Matouk’s Milagro Bath Towels (30×60″ bath towel for $45.) as her winner! Customer reviews for these towels are almost universally glowing, and Kris absolutely agrees!! Egyptian cotton bath towels are made of the highest quality cotton and are one of the most popular types of bath towels. Their fibers are extra-long and highly absorbent, and have a very long lifespan when properly cared for.
Turkish cotton towels, considered the world’s most luxurious towels, are made from cotton only grown in the Aegean region of Turkey. Their strength comes from the region’s long cotton fibers that create strong threads to endure use and laundering! Turkish cotton bath towels are absorbent (but not as absorbent as Egyptian cotton), so they are ideal for warm climates with excessive moisture (perfect for Houston)!!! The above are from Restoration Hardware (30×56″ bath towel for $29.), at 802 GSM (I’ll explain soon!) and I found them on sale for as low as $19.
Before I picked my perfect towel, I knew I had to understand GSMs. The best information I found was from The Turkish Towel Company’s blog:
GSM is short for grams per square meter, and is the standard measurement for the weight, density and quality of any fabric. Towels can vary anywhere between 300 GSM and 900 GSM. The lower the number, the lighter and thinner the towel. For instance:
- 300-400 GSM – In this weight, the towels are lighter and thinner. But, depending on its use, you might want a lower GSM for a gym or kitchen towel. A lightweight, quicker-drying beach towel might be around 350 GSM, for instance.
- 400-600 GSM – This medium weight is great for beach, bath and guest towels. Each consecutive gram weight – 400, 500, 600 – gets a little heavier, and a little more absorbent.
- 600-900 GSM – This is a premium, luxury weight. The towel is denser, heavier, more absorbent, and will probably take a little longer to dry.
I decided to purchase Turkish cotton towels with a GSM of more than 600. Because I needed towels for every bathroom, I wanted an option less expensive than the $20.-$50. price tag so many have. After much research I found these Luxury Hotel & Spa Towels by Soft Touch Linen. Retailing at $90., this set of 4 27×54″ bath towels sells for $39.99 on Amazon — 10$ per towel!!!! They are woven with 100% ring spun Turkish cotton, and have a GSM of 700. With Amazon Prime, I get free shipping and easy returns — so I gave them a try!!
My friend Hilda, who helps with organizing my house, gave me a great tip on a natural way to keep my new towels super soft: 100% wool dryer balls (they kind of look like tennis balls!). I bought a 6-pack of these all-natural, reusable balls from Smart Sheep; they are handmade in Nepal with 100% New Zealand wool! I simply toss 3 or 4 of them in a medium dryer load. They bounce around, separate the clothing, and increase the hot air flow, making everything dry faster — which saves time and energy costs! I add a drop of 100% pure lavender oil from Woolzies to each dryer ball to give my new towels the most amazing smell!
One more tip: If your towels have lost their fluff, it may be because of silicone build up from fabric softeners. To remedy, start with your regular detergent, then add 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle!
So far, I love my towels and have started buying so many things from Amazon — even pantry items! I love reading all the product reviews and you can’t beat the prices!!
Segreto’s Boutique & Gallery is brimming with new pieces, but the softest items are our whisper-weight cashmere scarves modeled by my sweet sister-in-law, Heather, who had to take this one home!!
Even though summer is flying by, I know my daughters and friends have delighted in reading Kristy Woodson Harvey’s Dear Carolina. I recommend it to everyone I meet! This charming piece of Southern fiction will touch your heart. It’s a wonderfully inspiring book that will make you laugh, cry, and just become a part of this story of two mothers who put their love for their daughter first. Congratulations, Kristy, on your debut novel!!
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Till next Monday!