If you're not sure which GSM is right for you or the difference between Eqyptian Cotton and Turkish Cotton, don't worry. Learn how to choose the right towels for you with this handy guide.
How many towels do I need?
It's one way or the other. You're either battling with the airing cupboard trying to close the door without towels tumbling out, or they're all in the wash and you can't seem to find a clean towel ANYWHERE. Use this simple equation to find the sweet spot between having towels everywhere and not enough.
With this equation, each person in the household should have one set of towels in use and one in the wash at all time, plus there will be extra towels to offer guests when they stay. The same rules apply for hand towels - make sure you have enough for each bathroom in your house, and then double it so one towel can be in use while another is being washed and stored at all times.
What size should I go for?
Not sure whether to go for a bath sheet or towel? It completely depends on what suits you. Bath sheets are the largest option in an indulgent size for extra coverage that reaches your ankles and optimal drying power. Bath towels are slightly smaller in size, reaching your thighs, making them absorbent but not too heavy - perfect for drying your hair and body.
If you're worried about storage or fitting towels in the washing machine, opt for bath towels as the majority with one or two bath sheets for when you need a little extra. As for wash cloths, only add them to your gift list if you're going to use them. If you can't live without one when washing your face, definitely treat yourself to a fresh set. If you're not bothered about them, go without and only keep gifts you'll actually use on your list.
Which weight is best?
Towels are measured in GSM (Grams per Square Metre) and the higher the GSM, the thicker the towel. It's all down to preference; 800GSM towels are fluffy and absorbent but uses up storage space and takes longer to dry. A thinner towel may not feel as luxurious, but it will dry quicker and can easily fit in the washing machine.
Know your cotton
Different types of cotton have different overall quality and price point depending on how they're made. Choose the right one for you with this breakdown:
Egyptian Cotton (really grown in Egypt) is a luxury choice and often sought after. Always check the label and description as some towels are labelled Egyptian even if they only contain 10%, so make sure it states 100%.
Supima Cotton is a superior type grown in America. It represents less than 1% of cotton grown in the world and has unique extra-long staple fibres that give premium strength, softness and colour retention properties.
Turkish Cotton is of the same high quality with long fibres for strength and smoothness.
Combed Cotton is an economical alternative that improves lower-grade cotton by removing short fibres.
Ring-spun Cotton has been strengthened and softened through mechanical twisting and thinning.
Organic Cotton is grown without pesticides and processed without toxic chemicals.
How to care for your towels
Everyone loves the fabulous feeling of being wrapped up in a big fluffy towel after a bath or shower. But we've all experienced the heartbreak where you toss your towel in the wash only to find it's now crinkly and stiff. Keep your towels soft and fluffy with these simple yet effective care techniques...
1. Cut back on your fabric softener. Towels often feel stiff because they build up a soapy residue.
2. Use a warm water cycle to help open up the cotton particles and ensure a thorough clean.
3. Lighten your load and allow some free movement in your washing drum to give towels space to wash properly.
4. Toss in a tennis or dryer ball. The movement will help fluff up your towels to be ultra soft when they dry.
5. Go easy on tumble drying. Drying towels the natural way will increase their softness and longevity.