Best Baby Towels

Updated December 2019
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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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

14 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
155 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Shopping guide for best baby towels

Last Updated December 2019

Bathtime with your little one can be a lot of fun, but when it’s time to dry off, things can slip and slide out of control. Babies can’t regulate their body temperatures like adults can, which means they need to be kept extra warm after a bath.

Full-size towels with their rectangular shape are bulky for little bodies and aren’t the easiest to wrap a baby in. Baby towels, on the other hand, are designed to meet the specific needs of babies with their ultrasoft texture, absorbent material, and square shape with a hood. They come in plenty of fun colors and patterns with plush fabric options. Baby towels can also be found in organic, all-natural, and hypoallergenic varieties to keep unwanted chemicals away from your baby’s sensitive skin.

To learn more about how to choose the right baby towel, read our shopping guide, which will walk you through the many options available. If you’re ready to buy, consider one of our top picks.

Need a great baby shower gift? Choose a baby towel that comes with a toy or matching washcloth. To make it extra special, have it monogrammed.

Key considerations

Size and shape

Baby towels are square rather than rectangular like an adult towel. A square shape allows you to swaddle your baby after they have been cleaned and taken out of the tub; this keeps them warm and snuggled until they are dressed. Dimensions vary somewhat from brand to brand but, in general, they’re typically 30 x 36 inches.

Some manufacturers make a “baby towel” that’s essentially a small rectangular towel with a hood sewn in the middle of one of the long sides. These towels are better for toddlers and older children, who can wrap the extra length around their bodies.

Single vs. double layer

Baby towels can be single or double layered (two-ply). While neither is inherently better than the other, the quality of the model you’re considering will determine whether or not it’s worth the price.

  • A single-layer towel that offers a high GSM (grams per square meter) will be thick, plush, and highly absorbent. You shouldn’t be able to see the under layer of the towel through the loops. If you can, you’re better off with a double-layer towel.

  • Double-layer towels have two layers of fabric attached at an outer seam. Thinner fabrics are often, though not always, used to make this type of baby towel. The two layers add absorbency to the thin fabric. However, the two layers can separate while washing, which can be a hassle to fold.

Don’t trust the softness in the store. Manufacturers often put a coating on the fibers to make them feel softer, which wears off after a few washings. Instead, look for 100 percent cotton, which has the best absorbency.

Staff
BestReviews

Features

Hoods

Hoods might be the single best thing about baby towels. Babies lose most of their heat through their disproportionately large heads. Baby towels have hoods sewn into the corner or middle of the long seam so you can cover the head and wrap the rest of the body. Many baby towels come with adorable animal designs on the hoods, such as puppy dog ears, unicorn horns, or elephant trunks.

Fabric

If you’re looking for the most absorbent option, go with 100 percent cotton. Cotton is naturally absorbent and grows softer with age. Bamboo fabrics are also popular for their similarities to cotton. Both cotton and bamboo can be organic or all natural, but just because the towel is made of those fabrics doesn’t mean that they are. Look for the labels that indicate eco-friendly harvesting or manufacturing. Unless the towel has official certifications, the cotton or bamboo may have been exposed to unwanted chemicals during the manufacturing process.

Colors and characters

Baby towels come in an array of neutral solids, bright colors, and patterns as well as character-themed options. Your baby may be too young to have a preference but you aren’t. Pick your favorite or go with a color scheme that matches your bathroom or nursery.

Trim

Baby towels either have a double-rolled sewn edge or a bias-tape trim. Neither is superior to the other but you should look for evenly spaced stitches with high-quality thread no matter the edge or trim type.

Organic and hypoallergenic

Any manufacturer that claims the towel is organic, all natural, or hypoallergenic should have some certification or evidence on the label to substantiate the claim. There are independent organizations that check products and give organic or all-natural certifications, but the manufacturer often has to submit the product to them to be certified. You can read the label to substantiate any claims. It might take an internet search or two, but it does offer peace of mind.

Single vs. set

Baby towel sets may have anywhere from two to five towels. Generally, sets offer a better price per towel, but they may lack the quality of a more expensive single towel. Some sets include a matching washcloth and/or baby toy, which can be nice if you’re giving the towel as a baby shower gift.

EXPERT TIP

Skip dryer sheets and fabric softeners. They leave a film on the towel fibers that affect absorption.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Look for tight loops in the towel’s fabric. Thick, tight loops are more absorbent. If you can see the base of the towel through the loops, the towel isn’t going to last long. Opt for a model with a higher GSM instead.


Staff  | BestReviews

Baby towel prices

Inexpensive: As far as baby gear goes, baby towels aren’t expensive. You can get a set of matching single-layer towels for less than $2 per towel. The loops on a set this inexpensive may not be tight or thick, but if you simply need to fill the linen closet, you can do it without breaking the bank.

Mid-range: Thicker, high-quality towels may come in sets of two or three for $10 to $15. These towels are typically a single layer of thicker cotton fabric. They have a bias-trim edge and include fun colors and patterns.

Expensive: Baby towels with colorful characters, extra thickness, and fabrics that are organic, hypoallergenic, or all-natural will typically cost between $15 and $25.

Tips

  • Bamboo fabrics are praised for their sustainability. While cotton is sustainable, too, bamboo grows faster and doesn’t use up soil nutrients as quickly. However, it does have to go through some chemical treatments to create a soft fabric appropriate for babies.

  • Babies look adorable in towels with puppy ears, a lion’s mane, or unicorn horns on the hood, and you can find them in almost any animal or mythical creature. Some babies like to play with the character’s fuzzy features, which can work as a handy distraction while you dry and dress your baby.

  • You may also want to consider having the baby towel monogrammed. This can be a nice touch if the towel is a baby shower gift.

Other products we considered

The ZappyDoo Hooded Baby Towel Set is made of highly absorbent hypoallergenic, organic bamboo. A contrasting trim and bear ears are the perfection addition to a wonderfully soft towel. All you have to say is “unicorns” when it comes to the Upsimples Baby Hooded Towel. Of course, there are other animal options, but magical creatures are unbelievably adorable and, in this case, absorbent. The Artyish Premium Hooded Baby Towel is large and made of 100 percent organic bamboo. These towels are also found in cute characters.

For the most snuggable softness, shake out your towels after washing them but before placing them in the dryer. It gives them extra lift.

FAQ

Q. How thick should a baby towel be?

A. Like towels for adults, baby towels come in varying thicknesses. Thickness is measured in grams per square meter (GSM). The higher the GSM, the thicker the towel. Baby towels range from 350 to 600 GSM. How thick you want the towel to be is up to you. Keep in mind that thick towels take longer to dry out. If you live in a humid climate, a thinner towel may dry out faster. However, if you live in a cold climate, a thicker towel will help keep your baby warm and will last longer.

Q. Are there baby towels or towels with hoods made for older children?

A. “Baby towels” come in a wide range of sizes. Models with the hood sewn into the corner are generally small enough for babies and toddlers. Preschoolers and school-age children are more likely to fit in full-size towels with a hood sewn in the middle of a long edge.

Q. Can I wash baby towels with my regular towels?

A. We always recommend checking the tags for washing instructions. Most baby towels can be washed with your regular towels as long as they have the same washing instructions. Some towels cannot be washed in chlorine bleach, so read labels carefully. If your baby has sensitive skin, you may need to wash her towels in a gentle detergent designed for babies.

The team that worked on this review
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    Alvina
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    Director of Photography
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    Angela
    Editor
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
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    Digital Content Producer
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    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Stacey
    Stacey
    Writer
  • Steph
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    Web Producer
  • Vukan
    Vukan
    Post Production Editor

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