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Best Hand Towels

Updated November 2022
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Best of the Best
Madamelique Exclusive Hand Towels
Exclusive Hand Towels
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Most Versatile
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A stylish and functional choice for a variety of needs.


Material is 100% cotton and is ultra-absorbent for a wide range of uses. The pair of towels are lightweight with a modern shuttle loom design for decorative display. Eco-friendly and shrink resistant. Retains color over time.


Some report not liking the color.

Best Bang for the Buck
Utopia Towels Premium Hand Towels
Utopia Towels
Premium Hand Towels
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Simple Yet Solid
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The affordable pick with desired features.


A 6 pack of towels for an affordable price. Material is 100% ring-spun cotton for durability. Made to be lightweight and highly absorbent, while remaining soft on the skin. Available in a wide range of colors.


Some report shedding after washing.

Tian Home Ultra Absorbent Hand Towels
Tian Home
Ultra Absorbent Hand Towels
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Best for Everyday Use
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The diverse and solid choice in everyday hand towels.


Made with 100% cotton and all-natural materials. Made with no harmful chemicals or synthetic material. Available in a 4 pack of mixed colors. Ideal for a wide range of uses.


Some report the towels being thinner than expected.

Pidada Polka Dot Hand Towels
Polka Dot Hand Towels
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Best for Kids
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A fun hand towel designed for the entire family.


Made with 100% cotton for a soft feel on the skin. Comes in a pack of 2 towels. Ideal for families and comes in a fun multi-colored polka-dot pattern. Quick-drying and highly absorbent for a wide range of uses.


Some report the towels have a longer dry time when wet.

Amazon Basics Cosmetic Friendly Hand Towel - 8-Pack
Amazon Basics
Cosmetic Friendly Hand Towel - 8-Pack
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Lightweight and Soft
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These cotton hand towels dry your hands well with a classic look and design.


There are 8 imported hand towels in every pack. They're made to avoid discoloration from makeup and cosmetics. Each thick, absorbent towel has plenty of surface area to hang by your sink and dry throughout the day.


Some may want a sturdier towel for heavy-duty drying and constant use.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best hand towels

When it comes to your home, the options for decorative items, tools, and accessories are numerous, but there are some things you just can’t go without. Towels serve a purpose, no matter the room they’re in — from the kitchen to the bathroom, towels are useful for an abundance of tasks, which is one of the many reasons there are so many to choose from.

Hand towels in particular are an essential addition that are not only useful but can add a thoughtful touch to your home’s decor. They’re a household staple and can range from thick and plush to thin and lightweight, with simple designs or bold colors.

There are various types of hand towels to be used for a range of jobs, so knowing your specific requirements is essential for picking the best hand towels for your home. You should have a solid understanding of hand towel materials, sizes, prices, and uses in order to narrow down your search.

hands drying on towel
Hang your hand towels on bars instead of hooks or rings. Hooks and rings make the hand towel bunch, which limits airflow to areas that may be wet.

How to buy the best hand towels

Hand towel uses

Hand towels are used for drying things that are wet or damp. This includes the hands and face, objects like bath toys, or kitchen items like dishes and silverware. Hand towels can be placed anywhere, but they’re frequently used in:

  • Bathrooms: The most common place hand towels are used is in the bathroom. They’re hung or set near the sink so they can be used to dry the hands or face. They’re smaller than bath towels and bath mats, yet larger than washcloths.
  • Kitchens: Hand towels are also used in the kitchen and placed near the sink in a convenient area within reach. Hand towels are especially helpful in the kitchen where food and drinks are handled regularly and are ideal for drying your hands after rinsing or washing dishes.


The material of your hand towel is what contributes to its absorbency and ability to handle heat. Most hand towels are made using some form of cotton, which has a high resistance to heat and is breathable and absorbent. The most common materials for hand towels include:

  • Terry cloth: Terry cloth is made from cotton and consists of woven fabric with small loops that create a fluffy feel that’s pleasant on the skin. Due to its texture and comfort, terry cloth is a top choice for towel materials.
  • Cotton: Hand towels are made with various types of cotton, including 100% organic, Egyptian, and ring-spun. The difference in the types of cotton affects the softness and fineness of the hand towel.
  • Cotton/polyester blends: Cotton/polyester blend hand towels are the most affordable and are also highly absorbent. They’re a common choice for bathroom hand towels.

Colors and patterns

Your hand towels can be almost any color, from neutral earth tones to bright, busy neons. They can come in attractive patterns like checkers, stripes, or polka dots or can be printed with animals, plants, or flowers. Many people buy hand towels that are a single solid color so they coordinate with their bathroom decor. For kitchens, patterned hand towels are more common, with some that feature designs of food items or printed words with phrases or sayings.

hands drying on towel
If your hand towel is starting to pill or show noticeable wear, repurpose it for body washing in the bath or shower. Using a pair of scissors, cut your hand towel into smaller sections to be used as washcloths.

Features of hand towels


Hand towels are rectangular in shape, and their sizes can vary. They range from 15 to 18 inches wide and 27 to 32 inches long. The size you buy depends entirely on your personal preference and the amount of space you have dedicated to your towels. Smaller hand towels are a good choice for smaller towel racks or limited cabinet space.


The weight of hand towels is measured in grams per square meter. Hand towels with a GSM of 300 to 400 are thin and more coarse in texture. A GSM of 500 to 600 is thicker, more absorbent, and typical in range for hand, bath, and beach towels. GSMs upwards of 700 are luxury towels, which are the thickest, softest, and most expensive.

Cam & dobby borders

Many bath and hand towels feature a border called a cam or dobby border that adds a simple and elegant detail. These borders are flat, woven strips typically no more than an inch in width that are placed one to two inches from the top and/or bottom of the hand towel. Cam borders are simple in design and texture, while dobby borders are more decorative and sometimes patterned. These inset accents add some distinction to hand towels, which is their only purpose.


The selvage of a hand towel is its outermost edge or border. This seam is what prevents the hand towel from fraying or unraveling and is a subtle but important feature that prolongs the durability of the towels.


Many hand towels are designed and advertised as “quick-drying.” These have a low GSM, meaning they’re lightweight and thinner. Their construction allows them to dry faster, which is helpful for households with large families or kitchens and restrooms in offices. If your hand towels seem to always be wet, consider switching them out for quick-drying towels to reduce bacteria buildup and increase hand-drying effectiveness.

Attach your old hand towel to your Swiffer for a reusable mop. This method is environmentally friendly since you won’t be throwing away single-use mop pads, and it also saves you money.


Hand towel alternatives

If you don’t have immediate access to hand towels, consider:

Paper towels

A great alternative in the kitchen, you can use paper towels for drying your hands or wiping up a small spill. Some people prefer to regularly use paper towels because they’re more sanitary than hand towels due to their material and single-use design. However, they’re wasteful and not as absorbent as hand towels.

Dish towels

Specifically designed for the kitchen, dish towels may come in busy patterns with loops on the corners in order to conveniently hang them. Dish towels are usually quite thin and made from cotton, linen, or terry cloth.

Hand towel prices

Hand towels can be bought individually or in sets. Some sets are sold as a pair of hand towels, with others including as many as 24. Almost all sets are sold in even numbers, and the materials affect the cost.


The most affordable hand towels cost $6 to $18. These vary from individual hand towels to sets of two to four made from thicker, more absorbent materials, or sets of four to six that are thinner and lower quality.


Mid-range hand towels are between $20 and $50. These are larger sets of lower-quality cotton or cotton/poly blends, or smaller sets of high-quality cotton like Egyptian or ring-spun. This price range includes large sets of quick-drying hand towels.


The most expensive hand towels cost $50 to $80. These are luxury hand towels made from the highest-quality materials. They may feature embellishments like woven borders or embroidery. They often have a high GSM, meaning they’re soft, thick, and highly absorbent.

hands drying on towel
Remove the smell from your hand towels by throwing them in the washing machine with two cups of white vinegar without any laundry detergent. Wash on a normal cycle and dry.


  • Use your old hand towels as rags. Old hand towels make excellent rags to use around the house for dusting, spill cleanup, or in the garage while working with tools or car parts.
  • Wash your hand towels regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria. Hand towels can become highly bacteria-ridden if they aren’t washed frequently. In a busy environment where your hand towels get a lot of use, they should be washed once every few days. If they aren’t used as often, try to wash them at least once a week.
  • If your hand towels are getting smelly, disinfect them on your kitchen stove. Remove the sour stink from your hand towels by adding them with water to a large pot and bringing it to a boil. Add in a single dishwasher detergent tablet or a small amount of laundry detergent and allow to boil for one to two more minutes. Reduce to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool and then hang dry.
hands drying on towel
If you’re having guests over, there are many ways to fold your bathroom hand towels for a pretty presentation.


Q. What’s the difference between a washcloth and a hand towel?

A. Washcloths are much smaller in size and are designed to be used while wet for washing the face or body. Hand towels are larger and are used for drying hands or wet objects.

Q. How many times can you reuse a hand towel?

A. You can reuse your hand towel a number of times over the course of two to seven days. It’s best to use them when they’re dry, however, as they lose their effectiveness in drying hands when they’re already wet.

Q. How long do hand towels last?

A. Hand towels last two to five years, depending on how frequently they’re used and for what purpose. Kitchen hand towels typically last less time than bathroom hand towels due to their exposure to foods and oils.