How To Pick The Most Luxurious Towels on a Budget!!

Aug 10, 2015

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.

Pinnable Towel Image

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!!!

tub with colored towels

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!!!

piles of colored towels

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.

neutral stack

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.

driven by decor

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.  

three white

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.

slat basket

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.

white stack of 4


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!!

dryer balls

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!

Leslie's mater bath

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!!

scarf (3)

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! 

 signature-dust blue





  • Rié | Portobello Design
    Posted at 06:12h, 10 August Reply

    Your timing couldn’t be more perfect as I was going shopping today for new towels! And the Woolzies with the lavender oil, one of my favorite scents, sounds perfect. xx Rié

    *Have you thought about adding an online store of your items from your Segreto Boutique? It would perfect for us who don’t live in Houston.

    • Leslie
      Posted at 06:46h, 10 August Reply

      You are so sweet to ask about that–It is one of our goals we are working on!! Hope you are doing well! xo

  • Design Chic
    Posted at 06:57h, 10 August Reply

    Well, this was the nicest surprise ever!! I couldn’t wait to click on my email from you to learn about your favorite towels and wow…what a bonus! Thank you so much for the towel advice – can’t wait to order, and for your sweet words about Dear Carolina – you’re the best!! Happy Monday ~xoxo

  • Karena
    Posted at 08:03h, 10 August Reply

    This was just perfect timing Leslie. Whey can it be so difficult for us to purchase nice things for ourselves!? These towels look wonderful and I appreciate your research!
    Have a great week Leslie!

    The Arts by Karena
    Artist Nicoletta Belletti

    • Leslie
      Posted at 14:37h, 17 August Reply

      Hi Karena!!! I hope you are doing well! I loved your last post! So much depth int he art! Cheers to you my friend!!!

  • Cathy Zimmermann
    Posted at 11:15h, 10 August Reply

    Hello Leslie,
    I love your blog about towels today. I have been wanting to order towels.
    I clicked on the Soft Touch link and started to place the order. I need 12 wash clothes
    And 4 hand towels. I am an Amazon Prime customer, so I thought the shipping would be free
    My order came to $35.60 and the shipping amount was $17.90. I cancelled the order.
    I called Soft Touch and they said the shipping would be the same. I will try one of the
    other companies that you suggested.
    Thank you,

  • Kristy Woodson Harvey
    Posted at 10:37h, 11 August Reply

    I just came to see it again 🙂 Thanks so much, Leslie for the Dear Carolina shout out! I so agree that the littlest things can make you feel absolutely luxurious. I love having fresh, fluffy, white towels. TJ Maxx gets great ones sometimes, and when they do, I always pounce! And when I get too many old ones for car washing I send them down to the SPCA. They can always use towels for the animals! Big, big, huge kiss! Wishing you relief from the heat very soon! xo

    • Leslie
      Posted at 14:35h, 17 August Reply

      The SPCA–what a great idea!!! I will do that next!! I LOVE your book so am so happy to share–my favorite summer read!!!! xo

  • Amy@MaisonDecor
    Posted at 07:49h, 13 August Reply

    I am so glad you did all the homework on towels! The laundering thing is super helpful too, I will definitely be getting the wool balls and the towels you chose Leslie. I have the lavender oil on a recent trip to a Lavender farm in Cali. I can’t wait to try it out! xo

    • Leslie
      Posted at 14:34h, 17 August Reply

      Hi Miss Amy!!!I hope you and your daughter in law are doing well! Loved seeing your home office. I did have someone tell me they bought these and were not happy with it. So far so good for me but i need to look at them closely now! Hope your summer is going well!!!

  • Cathy Zimmermann
    Posted at 17:11h, 13 August Reply

    Hello Leslie,
    I love your blog and I think the things you have suggested in the past have been great!
    I did buy the Luxury Spa Turkish towels from Soft Touch Linen. I put the towels in the washer
    with cold water. When the washer was through I took them out. I couldn’t believe the amount
    of towel or whatever that came off in the washer. It was like they were shedding! I looked at the towel
    and the seam on the side is already starting to unravel! I usually buy my towels from RH. I’m going to
    Have to call the company now and tell them what I think of the quality. Poor! I would not recommend
    These towels to anyone. I did buy the Woolzies, but have not gotten them yet. I’m sure they will be
    Fine if they are New Zealand Wool. I’m sorry to make a negative comment, but I had to let you know.

    • Leslie
      Posted at 14:32h, 17 August Reply

      Hi Cathy!! Thanks for sharing that!! I haven’t had any problem with my towels but am going ot go home and take a really close look!!!! I will email you my link.

  • Cathy Zimmermann
    Posted at 18:14h, 13 August Reply

    I have a picture for you to see. I took a photo of one towel. You can see for yourself what it looks like.
    I also saved all of the cotton and thread that came out of the bath towels that I washed in cold water
    with Tide Free and Gentle. I dried them on Air dry. This blog won’t let me attach a photo, but if you email me
    I will send it to you. Thank goodness Amazon refunded my money for the bath towels. For the hand towels and wash cloths I will have to go through Soft Linens to see what they will do. Since I am an Amazon Prime member they will help me with the company.

  • Taylor Greenwalt
    Posted at 21:10h, 15 August Reply

    I need to buy those towels and dryer balls…great tip!

  • Debra
    Posted at 12:47h, 30 August Reply

    I happened upon these Turkish Bath Sheets by accident on Overstock when I needed to spend some O dollars. I have never had such great towels at such a reasonable price. Now that I know the rating system…I’ll always make sure the towels I buy are 650+ GSM’s! Thanks for the research and clarification.

    • Leslie
      Posted at 06:42h, 01 September Reply

      Hi Debra! Hope you are having a good morning!!! I love mine as well! At this price if they wear out sooner than can buy more!! Best to you!!

  • Sel
    Posted at 15:43h, 07 May Reply


    We manufacture Soft Touch Linen towels. Thanks for review please let us know if you would like to view our new products.

    Chakir Linen

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:32h, 09 May Reply

      I will take a look! Thanks and have a great day!

  • Towel Depot
    Posted at 04:50h, 20 July Reply

    Thanks for sharing that!! I love your blog about luxurious towels. Luxurious towels are manufactured very Soft Touch.Whey i go for shopping it be so difficult for us to purchase nice things for ourselves or soft Luxurious towels but i found here these towels look wonderful and I appreciate your research!

  • Melissasharon
    Posted at 14:55h, 14 September Reply

    I really like it whenever people come together and share ideas.Great blog, keep it up!
    We offer high quality white bath towels wholesale

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 05:57h, 15 September Reply

      I will have to check out your towels next time I purchase! thanks for the link!

  • Melissasharon
    Posted at 11:48h, 18 September Reply

    You are so cool! I do not believe I’ve read through anything like this before. So nice to find another person with unique thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!
    Wholesale towels

  • Shower Enclosures Pricing Blog
    Posted at 04:44h, 14 December Reply

    Enjoy The Softest Touch Of Fresh

    […] And when I get too many old ones for car washing I send them down to the SPCA. T […]

  • Jenifer Vasquez
    Posted at 04:46h, 04 August Reply

    I really feel good after reading your blog about luxurious towels. It’s always difficult for me to purchase soft luxurious towels when I go for shopping but your post share a lot of useful information about towels. Thanks for sharing such a beneficial information with us.

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 08:23h, 07 August Reply

      Hi Jennifer!! I hope it helps!! It is always hard to feel comfortable in making the right choice with so many factors just in a towel!! Have a great week!

  • minecraft
    Posted at 23:52h, 07 September Reply

    Hello! I’ve been following your blog for a long time
    now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Tx!
    Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent job!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 06:03h, 10 September Reply

      Thank you so much!! I am so glad you gave a shout out! Austin is a beautiful place. Let me know what topics you would like to hear about!!

    Posted at 07:38h, 21 December Reply

    Many thanks for sharing!

    • Leslie Sinclair
      Posted at 16:48h, 28 December Reply

      Thanks so much for following along! Much appreciated! happy New Year!

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