Warm water feels so lovely in the shower…but once that faucet goes off, we can’t dry off fast enough! Indeed, seconds after stepping out of the shower, everyone reaches for a clean, cotton bath towel. Although bath towels are essential items in any bathroom, do you know what their average size should be? If you’re curious whether your bath towels "measure up,” then you might want to take a look at the research we’ve done on this issue.
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Typically, bath towels measure a minimum of 27” x 52” and a maximum of 30” x 58”. Any towel made with a similar absorbent material larger than 30” x 58” is considered a “bath sheet.”
We understand “towel terminology” could get a little complicated at times. If you’re interested In learning more about how bath towels differ from other plush products, then you should keep reading. Below, we will go over a few essential points on towel size, shape, and function.
What’s The Average Size Range For A Bath Towel?
As mentioned above, bath towels often range between 27” x 52” and 30” x 58”. These dimensions are just enough to thoroughly dry their body and hair after a shower for most people. Indeed, if you like wrapping a towel in your hair, bath towels are the ideal choice.
While bath towels are great for drying off after a shower, they aren’t the best for wrapping around your body. Depending on your height and weight, these towels might feel a tad snug. If you find you’re not getting the coverage you want with larger bath towels, then you might want to upgrade to a bath sheet.
Here’s a typical bath towel set now available online.
What Is The Difference Between A Bath Sheet And Bath Towel?
At first glance, you might have difficulty telling the difference between bath towels and bath sheets. In terms of material, both of these products are identical. The only feature that sets bath sheets apart from bath towels is size.
Bath sheets are always bigger than bath towels. While bath towels top out around 30” x 58”, bath sheets start at 35” x 60”. Because these sheets are larger than bath towels, they also tend to be more expensive.
The obvious benefit of using bath sheets is they’re more absorbent than bath towels. Many customers describe using bath sheets as a more “luxurious” spa-style experience.
If you’re someone who constantly reaches for a second bath towel after a shower, you might want to consider buying a bath sheet.
How Many Bath Towels Do You Need?
There’s no magic formula to determine the ideal number of bath towels for your home. However, most home décor experts recommend stocking your linen cabinet with about three bath towels per person.
On average, one person uses two bath towels per week. So, having three bath towels per family member will ensure there’s always a clean towel standing by.
Where Should I Store My Bath Towels?
It’s best to store clean bath towels in a linen closet outside of your bathroom. Although it’s convenient to have bath towels near your shower, microbiologists warn this is way too close to your toilet.
Every time you flush your toilet, harmful molecules are released into the air and could land on your clean bath towels. Not to freak you out, but scientists say these bad bugs could live for days on towel surfaces (not to mention toothbrushes!). If you were to wipe your face with one of these infected towels, you could easily catch a nasty disease.
Another downside of storing towels in the bathroom is that they could get musty. Every time you take a warm shower, your bathroom will get damp, which increases the risk of mildew. For more info on avoiding mold in your shower room, be sure to check out this previous post.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you “can’t” store your clean towels in the bathroom. However, if you are going to place your towels in this room, it’s a good idea to keep them in a cabinet or drape them far from your toilet. Be sure to check out all of our towel rack ideas on this former Home Décor Bliss post.
By the way, you could find many linen closets for sale on Amazon.
What Is A Towel’s “GSM” And Why Does It Matter?
When you’re shopping for a new bath towel, you may notice manufacturers list the product’s “GSM” in the description tag. These three letters stand for “grams per square meter,” which is the towel world’s equivalent to a bed sheet’s thread count. The greater the GSM, the more absorbent (and higher-priced) your towel will be.
The standard range for towel GSM goes from 300 – 900, with 600 – 900 representing the “premier” category. Anything below 400 GSM is considered low-end, and towels in the 400 – 600 range offer a mid-range experience.
Note: even though high GSM towels feel lovely, that doesn’t mean they’re ideal for everyone’s style. For instance, these towels are way heavier than the competition, and they also take a long time to dry. Also, please remember these towels are not the most budget-friendly option.
In general, home experts recommend researching mid-range GSM for at-home bath towels. While these towels don’t have the plush feel of a high-GSM product, they won’t take forever to dry. Plus, these mid-GSM towels feel reasonably soft, especially compared with inferior models.
Can You Use A Bath Towel As A Beach Towel?
You might “get away” using a bath towel on your beach excursion, but you’ll probably regret the experience. For optimal comfort on sandy shores, you should always pack a few beach towels in your luggage.
There are many significant differences between bath and beach towels, but perhaps the most important has to do with the material they’re made of. Most bath towels are made out of thick & highly-absorbent cotton. By contrast, beach towels are made with thin linen or cotton.
Although your bath towel’s thick layer has better absorption, it also means any moisture your towel picks up will cling a whole lot longer than beach towels. So, if you take a bath towel to the beach, it will absorb way more “seaside odors” than a fast-drying beach towel. Plus, bath towels are more susceptible to sand and stains than beach towels.
Another inconvenience of using bath towels on the beach is that they’re relatively short. For most adults, one bath towel won’t cover your whole body on the sand. By contrast, beach towels measure a minimum of 30” x 60”, which gives you plenty of space to sunbathe comfortably.
It’s also worth noting beach towels are far easier to travel with compared with bath towels. Since beach towels are more lightweight than bath towels, they are easier to pack in your beach bag.
What Size Is A Hand Towel?
Compared with bath towels, hand towels get way more daily use from all members of your household. Of course, since these towels are “hand size,” they are nowhere near as large as bath towels. On average, a hand towel should measure at least 15” x 25” and no more than 18” x 30”.
Where Do You Put Hand Towels?
The most common way to hang hand towels is on a bar or rack near your sink. Typically, people recommend using a bar to help your towels dry faster, but please choose whatever works for your home’s space.
You can find many easy-to-install hooks, rings, and bars for hand towels, so be sure to check out all the designs online.
If you’re wondering where to store clean hand towels when not in use, it’s a good idea to use your home’s linen closet. You could also keep all of your bath sheets, towels, and beach towels in the same place.
If you don’t have space for a linen closet, perhaps a smaller bathroom floor cabinet would fit your décor.
You could also consider a few alternate storage ideas like bins, drawers, or even bookcases. Indeed, some home designers use their hand towels as “accents” out in the open.
As a final point, many decorative racks can store multiple hand towels.
Are Guest Towels The Same As Hand Towels?
While “guest towels" serve a similar purpose to hand towels, they’re not the same thing. Most significantly, a guest towel is typically smaller than a traditional hand towel. For this reason, some people use the term “guest towel” and “finger towel” interchangeably.
On average, a guest towel will measure only 11” x 18” or less. Of course, since these towels are reserved for company, there’s a heavy emphasis on making them aesthetically pleasing. You will often place these “finger towels” in plain sight to decorate your bathroom and help your guests find towels without fussing around.
FYI: “guest towels” could sometimes refer to disposable “towelettes.” These non-cotton towelettes are more absorbent than typical paper towels, but they’re only suitable for one use. It’s a good idea to look for a pack of these elegant disposable towels if you’re prepping for a big party.
What Bath Towel Size Suits Your Style?
Now that you know about bath towel sizes, you might be interested in learning about different towel materials. Although most towels are made with cotton, there are many alternative options like microfiber hitting store shelves.
As a rule of thumb, cotton provides better absorption, but microfiber is faster drying. So, it’s best to save cotton towels for at-home use and pack a few microfiber towels in your gym bag.
If you’d like to dive deeper into this topic, we suggest starting with our previous blog post explaining why towels are sometimes called “linens.”