Bath Linens: An Overview to Terry Cloth Bath Towels
Find luxurious bath linens that you’ll love!
Everyone is entitled to self-indulgence in their home, and, when it comes to a luxurious bathroom, bath linens are the ultimate pampering touch. Luxurious terry cloth towels and bath mats, and plush cotton rugs turn a bathroom into a sanctuary of comfort and style, transforming the beginning and end of each day into a ritual to which you look forward.
Finding the best luxury terry cloth bath linens is about identifying the right qualities that work for you and your home. Once you understand the industry standards for high-quality bath linens, you can incorporate your expectations of comfort, style, and experience to discover the ideal products for you.
Learn what to consider when selecting bath linens, get expert brand recommendations from Liz Barbatelli, principal of E. Braun & Co. of Beverly Hills, and find answers to your most pressing questions on fine bath linens below.
Choosing Luxury Bath Linens
When shopping for bath linens, you’re likely thinking about your experience with them. Will they feel soft, plush, and luxurious? Will they absorb water quickly? Will they last?
More technical qualities like weave and weight may not be at the forefront of your mind, but these factors all play into that luxurious experience you’re after. Understanding what makes bath linens a quality choice will help you make the best decision for you and your home, not just in the moment but for years to come.
The three primary types of terry cloth bath linens include towels, bath mats, and bath rugs. While mats and rugs stand on their own, towels encompass a broader category of sizes, ranging from small wash cloths to large bath sheets. Learn more about towel sizing below.
Fabric and Weave
Americans tend to prefer a thick 100% cotton terry cloth, a cotton fabric woven on a special machine called a dobby machine with two yarns in the warp and one in the weft, this construction creates loops of absorbent thread.
The three most common yarns used to make luxury towels are towels made from Egyptian or Pima Cotton, and those made from Turkish Cotton.
The weave of a luxury towel impacts both the feel and texture. Common towel weaves include the traditional terry cloth loop weave with twisted yarn made into loops on both sides; zero-twist terry where the yarns are not twisted before weaving the loop: french terry, which is a finer terry loop on one side with a flat weave on the other side; and a waffle weave, which uses a honeycomb formation and raised edges to create a lightweight towel that dries quickly.
When considering a traditional terry cloth towel, the type of cotton and the length of the loops will determine the feel of the towel.
Towel weight is described using GSM, which evaluates the grams per square meter, not the actual weight of the towel. The heavier the towel, the denser and thicker it usually is.
A low GSM doesn’t necessarily mean a towel is not absorbent. A high-quality, thin towel is just as effective at drying as a thicker towel.
A lightweight towel is 300-400 GSM, while medium falls around 400-600 GSM and heavyweight towels are closer to 620-900 GSM.
Absorbency is the name of the game when considering a towel, not necessarily the weight of the towel. It boils down to the feel of the cotton yarns and the weight of the towel. Both of which are personal preferences.
Physical Performance Qualities
The durability of bath linen is a significant component of its quality. The quality of the yarn, how it’s sewn, who the weaver is, details such as banded or bound edges with reinforced hems, and how it’s cared for will either enhance or degrade its durability.
While qualities like microbe resistance may be attractive for cleanliness, the linens will be less absorbent due to the polyester-based yarn used that specifically combats microbes. Microbe-resistant towels won’t provide a luxury experience. Instead, look for high-quality cotton woven in Portugal, Italy, or Turkey.
Function and Frequency of Use
Consider how often you wash your towels to gauge how long they’ll last. The more frequently you wash bath linens, the quicker they may wear out. Because terry cloth is not a tightly woven fabric, frequent washing and drying may reduce its lifetime. Care, meaning washing frequency and detergents used, plays a large part in longevity.
If you plan to wash your bath linens often, a simple solution is to invest in more towels to extend their use.
Be sure you’re buying the right size towel. Towels are available in a range of sizes, from the small washcloth to the extra-large bath sheet.
Washcloth: 13”x 13”
Fingertip towel: 11” x 18”
Guest towel – 14” x 21”
Hand towel: 18 x 32”
Bath towel: 30 x 52”
Bath sheet: 36” x 75”
Extra-large bath sheet: 41” x 72”
Bath mat: 24” x 36”
Rugs: 24” x 24”, 20” x 31”, 23” x 39”, 27 x 47”
Sizes are fairly standardized, but European sizes can be different. Take careful note of sizing when buying online.
Choosing a color for your bath linens comes down to personal choice. White is the most popular, followed by off-white and ivory tones. After that, shoppers gravitate towards colors, especially blue and silver shades.
There are many beautiful colors of towels available these days. This is a personal choice. Generally, red and black are the most difficult shades to control when washing. So, if you choose either of those colors, buyer beware!
Choose a color that complements your bathroom, adds joy to the room, or enhances your desired feeling of luxury.
The Best Bathroom Linens According to Designer Experts
While finding the best bathroom linens depends largely on personal preference, there’s much to be learned about how to distinguish quality from the world’s foremost fine linen experts and stylists.
Liz Barbatelli, principal of E. Braun & Co. of Beverly Hills, has spent much of her 30+ year career perfecting the ambiance and experience of luxury bathrooms in the finest homes, superyachts, and jets. As a leading linen specialist and design expert, Liz is deeply familiar with the best bath linens brands and what makes their products so exceptional.
Transform your bathroom ritual into a retreat with fine linens from some of the best towels on the market, according to Liz:
From the well-established American brand of E. Braun & Co. of over 75 years, this simple 625-gram weight towel is made of Egyptian cotton. It is the ultimate in simplicity with no decorative dobby border and is available in 19 distinctive colors with your color choice of binding tape finish. Also available is the quintessential quilted bath mat to match. The Alexandria towels are manufactured in Portugal and finished in the US. These towels and mats can also be embellished with one of E. Braun & Co.’s exclusive embroideries or a monogram to finish any bathroom with the ultimate style.
This zero-twist towel is 550 gram weight and manufactured in Portugal exclusively for Matouk. Made with the classic styling and quality of which Matouk is known, it is extremely soft and is available in 23 beautiful colors, finished with a distinctive braid edge. Matching bath mats, robes, and bath rugs are available. Monogramming and decorative embroidery can be added to this towel by a trusted retailer or from Matouk’s bespoke program.
Indulge in the simplicity of this towel from Sferra. Manufactured in Portugal, this towel is a 700 thirsty gram weight. Made with fine combed cotton and woven into a plush and absorbent towel, its fade-resistant yarns make this towel stand out on its own. It is available in 20 decorative colors and has a nice honeycomb-patterned dobby border detail. Trust Sferra to provide a high-quality product. Monogramming is available.
For the person who wants it all, the Egoist features soft, long loops made from 100% Egyptian Giza yarns and woven into a thick and absorbent 800 GSM towel. Made in one of the finest mills in Portugal, Graccioza offers this towel in 30 beautiful colors. Made with no dobby border this towel is finished with dyed to match binding. Equally fabulous are several styles of bath rugs from the Egoist collection. The Egoist bath rug is woven and tufted, available in 30 matching colors. The Egoist Cloud bath rug has a high-density removable memory foam making this rug not only practical but super luxurious underfoot. Available in limited colors.
SUPER PILE ABYSS
The Super Pile Towels are among the most luxurious bath linens available. The 100% Giza Egyptian cotton produces an extra soft, absorbent, and durable towel. It is 800 GSM as is its competitor Egoist. It is produced by Abyss/Habidecor, a long-standing Portuguese family factory steeped with tradition and expertise. Coordinate this towel with the Double bath mat and the Must and Reversible bath rug. All are available in 60 bold and expressive colors.
The Roma towel features a 625-gram weight made from the finest Egyptian Cotton. Free of decorative accents or borders, the Roma exudes simple elegance in any of its 12 distinctive color options with a simple binding finish. Roma is manufactured in Portugal and finished in the US by Hamburg House. It also has a matching quilted bath mat to complete the look. Monogramming or custom embroidery is available from some retailers.
Made at one of Italy’s foremost mills is the Vigorub towel with a trademarked basket weave design that has been an exclusive E. Braun & Co. offering for more than 60 years. While the Vigorub towels and mats are only available in white, they have the option to be embellished with an exclusive monogram or embroidery as the perfect finishing touch.
Consider shopping for bath linens at some of the finest independently-owned linen and home accessory stores, including:
Bath linens include towels of various standard sizes, such as a bath towel, bath sheet, washcloth, hand towels, and fingertip or guest towels. There are also bath mats and rugs.
What are the best bath towels to buy?
The best towels are unique to the individual. The finest bath towels are those made with high-quality yarn by a high-quality weaver with a thickness based on personal preference.
What color towels are best?
A white towel is a classic and popular choice that works well with virtually any style of bathroom. However, the best color depends on your preference and personality.
Will choosing darker towel colors help avoid stains?
While some people choose darker colors like black to avoid staining, these colors can easily be impacted and stained by commonly-used substances such as additives in the laundry, sunscreen, and certain skincare products that contain retinoids. To avoid stains from these household products, first ensure the skin is clean of oils and other substances before using a towel of any color.
Is it safe to use bleach and bleach alternatives on colored towels?
You can easily discolor colored towels with bleach and bleach alternatives. For instance, if bleach is used on brown or black towels, it will often turn the spot orange.
How do hotels keep their towels so white?
Hotels sanitize towels constantly, using hot water and additives such as bleach to keep them white through many guests and uses. Hotels have different standards than the home, and these strategies should not be emulated with luxury bath linens as they will destroy the fibers.
How can you launder your towels at home to keep them white?
To keep your towels white at home, invest in high-quality towels and enjoy them. Spot treat stains as they appear, and use a favorite detergent made for fine linens like The Laundry’s Finest Laundry Powder to keep the integrity of the threads intact. Avoid washing white towels with any other laundry items, especially anything colored.
To begin the care process, sort your articles by color, keeping light colors separate from dark ones. Keep loads small to avoid overloading the washer, leaving a bit of space in the tub.
First, add the proper amount of The Laundry’s Finest Laundry Powder as instructed on the canister. If it’s your first time washing your colored towels, select a cold water setting. If not, set the water to a warm temperature with a cool rinse. You can select hot, but I recommend doing this on a limited basis. It will cause added wear and tear.
After the first wash, if stains develop, use products such as Oxy-Clean and Zout, but use discretion. While these products are safe to use, others such as bleach or bleach alternatives and fabric softeners should be avoided. Bleach is commonly used on towels but will shorten the life of the towel substantially. If you choose to use bleach, please use it carefully and with caution.
Once items are washed, remove them promptly and reshape them before throwing them in the dryer. Your drying results will be far superior if you shake out, smooth out, and/or re-shape your items. Remove them from the dryer immediately when still warm, smoothing them as you fold your fresh towels.
If you let the items cool in the dryer after the dryer buzzer goes off, they will wrinkle in the same shape that the dryer stopped.
Too much information? Just try to remember to get your clothes, sheets, or towels out of the washer or dryer and smooth or fold them so they don’t wrinkle!
Another little tip is that if you do miss the dryer buzzer, then restart the dryer and warm those fibers up again so the wrinkles fall out.
Luxury Bath Linens Curated for You
After a long day, you should be able to close your bathroom door and unlock a private, indulgent experience where tensions slip away. The right fine bath linens are a key element to creating a peaceful and luxurious oasis in your home.
As the ultimate source for luxury bath towels and accessories, E. Braun & Co. is where your bathroom begins the transformation into a personal retreat. Browse curated samples hand-selected by Liz Barbatelli, principal of E. Braun & Co. of Beverly Hills, draw insights from her product recommendations, and view Liz’s bath linen collections to inspire your own bathroom makeover.
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“A love of linens is innate in my being. There's no greater comfort than beautiful Supima cotton bedding, 100% Giza cotton towels, and gathering family and friends around the dining room table dressed to perfection with linen napkins and festive settings.”
“A love of linens is innate in my being. There's no greater comfort than beautiful bedding, 100% cotton towels, gathering family around the dining room table, dressed to perfection with linen napkins and festive settings.”
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