Are Towels Considered Linens?

When you think of linen, you may think of the crispy fabric that gets super wrinkly. You wouldn’t be wrong. So then why do people put towels in the linen closet? Are towels considered linens along with all of the other items in the closet like sheets and comforters?

Yes, towels are considered linens. Any household fabric item that we use regularly is regarded as a linen item. Sheets, comforters, pillows, tablecloths, napkins, and yes, towels are considered household linens.

Shot of an unrecognizable woman doing her laundry at home

We’ll look at the history of this term, different types of towels, along with other questions you may have from the linen closet in the post below.

Why Are Towels Called Linens?

Towels in various forms have been around for centuries, but the use of the word linens in reference to towels most likely comes from the 18th century. Dishtowels, or tea towels, began being made in the U.K. out of linen fabric. Today’s bath and tea towels are made from more than linen, with either cotton or polyester being the most popular choice due to ease of care, hardiness, and absorbency.

Linen tea towels on amazon

Linen tea towels are still available, however, and are no longer the fussy, embroidered things of decades past, but are beautiful for the modern kitchen as well. Like this set of three in natural tan and white stripe. They will look perfect in your kitchen and would also make a beautiful hostess gift.

Click here to see them on Amazon.

What Is Linen Cloth?

Linen cloth, which is not what your bathroom towel is made from, is a 100% natural fiber made out of the flax plant. Flax is incredibly durable and absorbent and dries faster than cotton. It’s why linen has been used for summer clothing, and yes, for dish towels. It’s also been used as a popular fabric for old-fashioned handkerchiefs and table linens, both table cloths, and table napkins. The disadvantage to actual linen, however, is it’s prone to wrinkle and who wants to iron their bath towels?

bespoke men's handkerchief on amazon

A bespoke men’s handkerchief never goes out of fashion among gentlemen. Keep this tucked in your pocket for yourself, and a spare to give to a friend in time of need. Dry someone’s tears and be a hero.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

What Are Towels Made From?

Today’s towels are made from a variety of fabrics. You can find them in Pima cotton, luxurious Turkish cotton, bamboo, microfiber, and polyester. For ultimate absorbency, stick with plush Pima Cotton or Egyptian cotton. Bamboo or rayon made from bamboo will give you softness. If you’re looking for something with long-lasting wear for the gym or a high-use area, then you’ll want to choose polyester or a poly-cotton blend.

Absorbent Towels

ultra-soft Turkish cotton towels on amazon

These ultra-soft Turkish cotton towels will make you feel like you’re at a spa with their extra-large size and thick feel. Plus, they’ll do a great job with water absorption.

Click here to see these on Amazon.

ultra-thick jacquard patterned towels on amazon

These ultra-thick jacquard patterned towels are made of 100% Turkish cotton. They are eco-friendly and spun in a unique way to give the cotton fibers more loft and absorption capacity. They came in a variety of different configurations for ordering, from hand towels only to complete sets. They’re also available in about ten different color choices.

Click here to see these on Amazon.

deluxe thick Egyptian cotton set on amazon

You’ll find the ultimate in bath towel royalty with this deluxe thick Egyptian cotton set. Nine hundred grams per square meter and long-staple cotton fibers make these towels thick and long-lasting. They are super absorbent and also machine-washable. Each set comes with two towels, two hand towels, and two face towels.

Click here to see these on Amazon.

Soft Towels

soft towels on amazon

These soft towels are anti-fungal and hypo-allergenic. Made from 100% organic bamboo fibers, they are eco-friendly and unique. The set of three is not too thick and not too thin and deliciously soft on your skin.

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ultra-soft set of microfiber bath towels on amazon

This premium quality, ultra-soft set of microfiber bath towels is not only super soft but quick-drying too. These are great for the beach or travel where you have to take your linens as they’re not as thick as the absorbent style towel, but because of the unique microfiber, they do an excellent job drying. Each set comes with two towels, two face towels, and two hand towels.

Click here to see them on Amazon.

Easy Clean Towels

easy clean towels on amazon

Poly/cotton blend towels are incredibly economical and easy to care for. Machine-washable and quick to dry, this affordable set comes in multiple colors and has a lovely weave and stitched border. This set is 90% cotton and 10% polyester and comes with two towels, two hand towels, and two face towels.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Should You Iron Towels?

Shot of an unrecognizable woman doing her laundry at home

Linen, the fiber made from flax, is known for becoming super wrinkly when worn or left without folding from the dryer. Linen tablecloths, linen napkins, linen handkerchiefs, even tea towels, all require ironing to get the wrinkles out. But what about your bath towels?

Typically, if taken hot out of the dryer and folded carefully, your everyday bath towels will not need ironing. If you have thinner cotton towels, there may be a chance they’ll get a slight wrinkle, but most people choose a neat fold rather than to pull out an iron. Polyester blends will not need ironing at all. Nor will the bamboo varieties.

We hope we’ve helped you sort out why towels are called linens when they’re not made from linen fibers. It’s merely because they are part of the collection of everyday fabric items we use that we collectively call “our linens.” If you’ve enjoyed this post on Home Decor Bliss, be sure to check out a couple of our other posts that may be of interest to you. Click below.

Where to Hang Kitchen Towels (Inc. 6 Easy Suggestions)

10 Tips For Organizing and Decorating Your Bathroom Shelves

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