As a big part of our normal bath routine, bath linens such as bath towels and bath sheets play an important role in our lives. While they may serve the same basic purpose, there are several differences between a bath sheet and a bath towel. Options can be endless and choosing the best bath linens for your body and your bathroom can be challenging. We have researched this topic and compiled this report based on leading resources.
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Bath sheets are the largest member of the bath linen family. Measuring, on average, 30 inches by 64 inches to 40 inches by 70 inches, bath sheets are significantly bigger than bath towels. Those usually measure about 27 inches by 54 inches to 30 inches by 60 inches. Some other differences between bath towels and bath sheets that should be considered are:
- Body coverage
- Alternate uses
If you still have more questions about the differences between these two bath linens, don't fret. In this guide, we'll cover their attributes in detail as well as how many bath linens you should have and how often you should wash them. Without further ado, let's get to it, shall we?
Individual Benefits Of Bath Towels And Bath Sheets
While bath sheets offer better body coverage and absorption, bath towels are more common than bath sheets for multiple reasons. Bath towels, with less surface area than bath sheets, are easier to store than bath sheets.
While bath towels can be used for drying your hair, the size of bath sheets makes it a bit difficult to wrap around your head but is the perfect size to wrap easily around your entire body. Bath towels are less expensive due to being made from less fabric than bath sheets, making them easier to store and more cost-effective to care for.
If you are like most people, showering at least once a day is a normal part of your daily schedule. Drying off may consist of solely drying your body and hanging up your towel to dry. Or for many, wrapping that towel around your body while you are getting ready.
Regular towels aren't typically long enough to wrap completely around most bodies, creating an annoying situation when your towel is continuously falling off. Bath sheets can wrap comfortably around the bodies of most people and stays on comfortably.
Bath towels as hair wraps
Bath towels are not used for drying only your body. Many people, especially those with longer hair, often use a bath towel to wrap around their head to partially dry the hair. While a bath towel is usually just the right amount of fabric to intertwine with your hair and wrap on top of your head, the larger surface area of bath sheets is too much fabric to comfortably wrap your hair and hold in place on your head.
For an alternative to wrapping your hair in a bath towel, consider using a hair drying towel wrap similar to the one pictured below.
Bath sheets for beach use
With most people showering once a day, towels get plenty of use. But to get the most out of your bath sheets, they can also be substituted for beach towels. Bath sheets are about the same size as most beach towels and are more absorbent than normal beach towels. Storing your beach towels becomes easier when they match the rest of your towel collection.
Due to their bigger size, it should come as no surprise that bath sheets offer better absorption than bath towels. While initially this may seem like a positive trait in a towel, it can also pose some issues. Good absorption also means lots of moisture. With mildew and bacteria thriving in moist warm environments, bathrooms in general and specifically moist towels, are an excellent breeding ground for these things.
With this being said, drying out your towels should be of equal importance. Bath towels fit perfectly on towel bars found in many bathrooms. This long bar is optimal for drying towels as it spreads the towel out evenly, allowing for proper drying. The greater surface area of bath sheets can pose problems with towel bars as they are not usually long enough to have enough room to spread the bath sheet out evenly, causing drying to be delayed or halted.
Consider the use of a towel hook instead of a towel bar to enable proper drying. Using a towel hook allows bath sheets to dry more evenly. Towel hooks often come in sets of two, allowing for more than one bath sheet to be hung at a given time.
Made of less fabric, bath towels are generally less expensive than bath sheets. The material that you choose for either your bath towels or bath sheets can also affect cost. Ranging from about $6-$20, bath towels come with a variety of options in color, absorbency, and materials.
Bath sheets can cost an average of $20-$40 depending on absorbency and material.
As you now know, bath sheets are bigger than bath towels. Storage can be an issue when adding bath sheets to your bath linen collection. Bath towels can be stored easily by stacking them one on another. Bath sheets can be more difficult to stack and store due to their large size.
As we discussed earlier, bath towels are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mildew. To prevent the mildew smell and possible health hazards of a dirty towel, towels should be washed frequently. Washing bath sheets can prove to be less efficient than washing bath towels.
Fewer bath sheets than bath towels can fit into a washing machine at once. Placing too many items such as bath sheets in a washing machine will hinder the cleaning capabilities of the washing machine due to less movement, water, and detergent reaching the items for cleansing. Drying can also be delayed with too many bath towels or sheets in the dryer.
What materials are bath towels and bath sheets available in?
The most common material for both bath towels and bath sheets is cotton. Cotton is the least expensive, most accessible material in most cases. For a durable yet soft cotton, try the long luxurious fibers of Egyptian cotton. For a similar look and feel, American grown Pima cotton offers the same luxurious traits as Egyptian cotton. Turkish cotton is extremely soft and durable and has a unique shine.
Emerging as a popular choice recently, bamboo towels are eco-friendly and extremely sustainable, in addition to being ultra-soft. Bamboo wicks moisture away and is naturally breathable and odor-resistant. Bamboo is also mildew-resistant, antibacterial, and hypoallergenic.
A few less popular alternative materials are available in bath towels and bath sheets. Modal is a product made of cellulose, a product of beech trees. It is more absorbent than cotton and doesn't easily fade.
Hemp is a product that is often used as a substitute for cotton, so it is no surprise that hemp is also available as a material for towels.
Microfiber is an engineered product. It is lighter and thinner than cotton, with a suede-like texture. It's more absorbent than cotton material bath towels and bath sheets. One property of microfiber bath towels and bath sheets that makes them popular is the ability of the material to wring water from wet hair without becoming heavy.
What colors are bath towels and bath sheets available in?
The color choices in bath towels and bath sheets are endless. Classic crisp white, though not always practical, is always a favorite color for bath linens. Grey bath towels and bath sheets are also very popular due to the versatility that this color offers without the upkeep of white towels. We have compiled some of the most popular choices available on Amazon:
The bath sheets below are highly rated among consumers and are available in the following colors:
- True blue
- Wedgewood blue
What Is The Best Material For Bath Sheets And Towels?
Bath towels and bath sheets are available in a variety of materials. Whether you are looking for cost efficiency, durability, softness, or appearance, there are both bath towels and bath sheets that can meet your needs.
Cotton is the least expensive material and is found in most bathrooms. Turkish cotton threads are long, making them not only soft but also durable and very absorbent. Turkish cotton threads are woven tightly and have a bit of a sheen that gives them an elegant appearance.
How Many Bathroom Towels Should You Have?
According to leading sources, the average household should have two bath towels per week for every person in the home. In addition to the two suggested bath towels, every person should have one handtowel per week and one washrag per day. If you host guests often, you may consider purchasing an extra set of guest towels.
How Often Should You Wash Your Bath Towels?
When you consider that you shed thousands of skin cells daily, many of them on the linens that you use to dry off with after a bath or shower, caring for your bath towels is an important subject. For normal everyday bathing use, bath towels should be washed every three days.
Towels should be left to dry completely between uses. They should be washed after every use if the towel has bodily fluids on it, if used as a gym towel, or if your towel is kept in a damp place. Towels should also be washed after every use to care for sensitive skin or skin conditions, such as eczema, to decrease skin irritation.
While the choice between bath towels and bath sheets may be a matter of personal preference, knowing the differences along with the benefits and disadvantages of both can help you make a more informed decision. Before you go, be sure to check out these other home decor guides that may be of interest to you: