BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Kitchen

Best kitchen towel

What's the best kitchen towel?

Kitchen towels are often more functional than fashionable, keeping kitchens clean and organized. They absorb spills, and lint-free ones dry dishes and silverware. Some kitchen towels are used decoratively to accentuate the kitchen’s decor while adorning a dishwasher or oven handle. However they look, they're indispensable in most kitchens.

Kitchen towels come in a variety of thicknesses, sizes and colors. For its plushness and color options, the best kitchen towel is the KitchenAid Albany Towel Set.

What to know before you buy a kitchen towel

Not all kitchen towels are the same

Even though kitchen towels have a universally accepted name, there are several types to consider.

  • Dish towels are thick, sometimes ribbed or textured, and used for washing and drying dishes, cups and silverware. They are the least decorative, often stored in cabinets or drawers.
  • Tea towels are thinner than dish towels, lint-free and absorbent. They are excellent for washing dishes but not drying cookware or your hands. Some tea towels are hung decoratively and never actually used for cleaning.
  • Hand towels are similar to a bathroom guest towel and made from thick terry cloth. They are meant for drying your hands after you have washed them.

Kitchen towels are made from a variety of materials

  • Ribbed cotton towels feel thick, even abrasive, for cleaning surfaces and washing dishes. Most dish towels are made from ribbed cotton.
  • Terry cloth towels are made from a heavy-thread weave and are very absorbent. Decorative towel sets are often made from terry cloth, although more functional terry cloth towels are available, too.
  • Plain linen is thin and lint-free. Tea towels are often made from plain linen and used in drying dishes or even as a cover for hot food.
  • Microfiber is a synthetic material made from thousands of fibers. It's superior to cotton at sweeping up dirt and debris.

Kitchen towels need regular washing

Because kitchen towels often get wet or come in contact with food and drink, they need regular cleaning. Tea towels should be washed every two or three days to prevent mildew. Towels that come in contact with any food source should be replaced with a clean one and washed immediately.

What to look for in a quality kitchen towel


Kitchen towels come in a variety of sizes. Larger towels have more surface area to work with and can dry a higher number of dishes and dinnerware. Consider the size of your appliances and drawers when selecting your towel sizes.


Thicker towels are more absorbent and better at cleaning up large spills. They also last longer than thinner towels from multiple uses and washings.


There are many colors to choose from. White remains the standard, but there are striped and patterned options, along with some solid colors. Some towel brands are based on popular TV shows or familiar home product lines.

How much you can expect to spend on a kitchen towel

  • Inexpensive kitchen towels are priced between 75 cents and $1.25. These are thinner, smaller cotton towels, with little or no design.
  • Medium-priced ones cost $1.50-$2.50. Bulk linen and cotton towels with multiple colors and designs are in this range.
  • Expensive ones start at $3 but can exceed $5 depending on brand and design. Designer brands and extra-thick towels are priced the highest.

Kitchen towel FAQ

What are organic kitchen towels?

A. Towels labeled as organic are grown from cotton harvested without the use of pesticides. They are absorbent and durable like regular cotton towels but manufactured in a more environmentally friendly way.

Aren’t paper towels as effective as kitchen towels?

A. Paper towels can quickly absorb spills, but they can only be used once. Kitchen towels have multiple uses and may have been used for one purpose earlier in the day before being used on something else. Paper towels also are less environmentally friendly, since they add to landfill waste.

What's the best kitchen towel to buy?

Top kitchen towel

KitchenAid Albany Towel Set

What you need to know: These plush cotton towels come in a set of four in a variety of colors.

What you’ll love: Measuring 16 by 26 inches, they're ideal for absorbing spills and handling everyday kitchen chores. There are two solid and two striped towels for variety. The cotton and polyester blend is machine-washable.

What you should consider: Some users felt the towels were unexpectedly thin.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top kitchen towel for the money

Simpli-Magic Harringbone Dish Towels

What you need to know: This affordable pack of 18 towels is all cotton, making them extra absorbent and quick to dry.

What you’ll love: They feature a herringbone weave with tightly woven fibers that are super absorbent. They measure 15 by 26 inches, which is ideal for wiping, cleaning and drying. They're white with a variety of stripes: three towels each in blue, red, green, black, gray and yellow.

What you should consider: Some users felt the towels did not have an attractive design.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Cotton Craft Oversized Kitchen Towels

What you need to know: These cotton towels are made for everyday use with a classic style.

What you’ll love: The large towels are 20 by 30 inches and have a built-in loop for easy hanging. They come in a set of four machine washable towels. They have a classic striped pattern — a white background and a choice of eight colors of stripes.

What you should consider: There may be minimal shrinkage, which tightens the weave.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: