Monday, 26 July 2010

Choosing a top quality towel: Tips for discerning the duds from the darlings.

There are many factors to consider when looking for new towels for your home. Some common considerations can include things like: price, colour, pattern, fibre content, absorbency, softness and even brand name.

But what about quality? How do you determine a great quality towel? Below are our top tips for discerning the duds from the darlings.


Towel weight is measured by grams per square metre or GSM. Towels and bath robes typically vary from between 300 to 800gsm. A high quality towel is usually 600gsm and above.
Two key factors will influence the weight of a towel:

i) LOOPS: The deeper the pile or the longer the terry loops, the more plush (full bodied) and soft to the touch your towel will feel. It will also mean a greater overall surface area which will improve the towels absorbency and have you feeling dry much faster.

ii) WEAVE: The tightness of the weave structure in combination with the length of the terry loops will influence the weight of your towel. A tighter weave structure will mean smaller gaps and more loops per square inch. More loops means a fuller handle and greater absorbency. See expert tip 2 for help determining the density of a towel’s weave.

Expert Tip 1: If you are looking at towels online, make sure the seller clearly specifies their weight.

Bamboo: 450gsm is poor. 550gsm is good. 650gsm is excellent.
Cotton: 400gsm is poor. 600gsm is good. 800gsm is excellent.

Why the difference between Bamboo & Cotton?
Bamboo fibre is denser than cotton fibre. A bamboo towel may feel a little finer than a cotton towel with the same GSM. However, since bamboo fibre is more absorbent than cotton fibre, a lighter bamboo towel will absorb more than the same weight cotton towel, making it equal to a higher weight cotton towel.

Expert Tip 2: LOOK TO THE LIGHT: It may sound strange, but it’s genius, I promise. Open up your towel and hold it up to the light – in natural daylight is best, but up to any strong light will do.

Poor Quality Cotton Towel

Our Bamboo Towel

A poor quality towel will have a looser weave and the light will stream right through. If the towel maintains its opacity, you’ll know you’ve found a great quality towel.


When looking for a top quality towel, fibre content is another important consideration.
Cotton: Most people are familiar with cotton towels and cotton is by far the most common fibre used to manufacture towels. There are significant adverse environmental impacts associated with the manufacture of cotton towels making their ongoing and continued use increasingly unsustainable. Their more eco-friendly organic cotton counterparts are a smarter and more sustainable choice.

When looking to buy new towels for your home, why not consider the benefits of these alternative fibres:

Bamboo: More and more people are becoming familiar with the benefits of bamboo towels. They are extremely soft, highly absorbent and a sustainable alternative to conventional cotton towels.

Flax: Fewer people still are familiar with flax (linen) towels. Flax towels are generally considered more eco friendly than cotton towels. They are strong, absorbent and have a uniquely rougher texture which exfoliates and invigorates the skin as they’re being used.

Other: Seacell (derived from seaweed) and Legna (derived from wood pulp) are new fibres that are emerging in towels. Both these new fibres are soft, absorbent and considered a more eco-friendly alternative to cotton. Keep an eye out for towels made from these fibres into the future!

We know that truly great quality towels can come at a premium price, but we think top quality towels are always worth the investment. The better the quality of towel you buy today, the longer they’ll last, which means buying fewer over your life time. So even though you might spend more initially, you won’t be spending the same amount as often, and the more money you will save overall. Not to mention the less waste you will be creating! We recommend always buying the very best quality towels you can afford.

1 comment:

  1. I would recommend egyptian cotton towels to anyone looking for quality and quantity in product and services.