When you hear “quick-drying towels,” it’s hard not to conjure images of thin and flimsy travel towels or a cheesy Shamwow infomercial. Sure, they may take up less room in your knapsack or carry-on luggage, but they don’t exactly get the job done when it comes to drying off. Luckily, quick-dry towels have come a long way in recent years, with a variety of new options hitting the market to make all of your shower thoughts and dreams come true.
Today, you can find many fast-drying and luxurious towels for use in bathrooms, in the gym or at the beach. Some of our favorite linen and bedding brands — Parachute, Coyuchi, Brooklinen — make quick-drying bath towels, which are soft to the touch and dry in hours. You can also find a variety of the best microfiber towels which usually dry even faster.
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What Does Quick Dry Mean for Towels?
If you’re wondering what qualifies as “quick drying” when it comes to towels, it’s all to do with how quickly they dry after use. A common misunderstanding is that these towels dry you quicker when in fact they dry themselves more quickly (If you’re looking for a faster way to dry yourself, check out the most absorbent bath towels). Quick-dry towels are better if you’re looking to avoid unpleasant-smelling towels caused by dampness or if you need to put your recently used towel in a bag and don’t want it to get other items wet. This fast-drying characteristic results from materials, most popularly microfiber, which tend to be less dense and allow more air to flow through, helping remove moisture thanks to the faster rate of convection.
What Material Should You Look for in Quick-Drying Towels?
Most towels are typically made from cotton, bamboo or microfiber. However, it’s definitely microfiber that shines in terms of quick-drying towels. Microfiber is naturally lightweight, fast drying and water absorbent, often featuring antimicrobial properties.
You can also find towels made of synthetic materials like nylon, rayon and polyester, often blended with cotton to make them fluffier and more appealing to your skin. If it’s a fast-drying towel you seek, stay away from these since they’re not as absorbent as pure cotton or microfiber towels.
If you prefer a quick-drying cotton towel to one made of microfiber, look for towels made with a quick-drying pattern (like corduroy or waffle). Those specific weaves promote better overall airflow, allowing the material to dry even faster while providing comfort and cutting down on germ growth.
Last is linen, thinner and more absorbent than cotton but used more often for hand towels than a full-sized bath or travel towels.
Scroll down to discover our top 16 picks for the best quick-dry towels available online.
1. Coyuchi Temescal Organic Bath Towels
These Coyuchi towels are everything you’d want to wrap yourself in after a shower. The texture is soft and plush without being too heavy, and the way they’re woven makes them both super absorbent and quick to dry. You’ll never have to worry about these towels being damp when you want to use them next, and since they dry so fast, there’s much less of a chance for odor or mildew build-up. On top of that, Coyuchi is an eco-friendly company that always uses 100% organic cotton. While the company makes a few different towels, this is the most absorbent line. For reference, when we removed them from the washing machine after the first wash, they already felt almost dry to the touch.
Why They’re the Best: Unlike waffle towels, Coyuchi’s corduroy-style quick dry towels still feel like ordinary bath towels in terms of thickness and texture. We also appreciate Coyuchi’s commitment to using eco-friendly materials and manufacturing practices.
2. Gilden Tree Premium Oversized Waffle Towels
BEST WAFFLE TOWELS
If drying time is your top priority, then the best quick dry towels feature a waffle fabric. This design creates more surface area, which means the towels are both super absorbent and faster to dry. Waffle towels also tend to be lighter and smaller, which can take some getting used to, but these oversized towels will still get you dry. Gildan’s lightweight, breathable, waffled cotton towels are mildew-resistant and soft to the touch, and according to plenty of online reviewers, they hold up wash after wash. Some users even swear the towels get comfier as they age. They come in a set of two and are available in all colors to suit your specific bathroom decor needs. When you first open them, they are oversized because they shrink down to create unique honeycombs that will wick away moisture even faster after that first wash.
3. Brooklinen Ultralight Bath Towels
These 100% Turkish Cotton towels are lightweight, absorbent and OEKO-TEX certified for chemical safety. Each set of two is made from single-ply yarn that cuts down on breakage and produces soft but sturdy towels with an ultra-durable, z-twist weave. In layman’s terms, that means less pulling and pilling. These are the fastest-drying towels in the Brooklinen line, ones that boast a solid yet lightweight absorbency so that you can be in and out of the shower in as little time as possible. We should note that while these are the softest, most luxurious towels on this list, they can’t compete with waffle towels or Coyuchi in terms of drying time.
4. Parachute Waffle Towels
If you’re willing to fork over a few extra dollars for the look and feel of an at-home spa, these waffle towels from Parachute won’t disappoint. Each towel will run you just under 40 bucks, but the honeycomb weave is guaranteed to leave you with a stylish and quick-drying product. Each towel is made from 100% long-staple Turkish Cotton and features a ¼-inch self-hem to give them a clean and modern finish. They’re also free from harmful synthetic dyes. You will have to provide them with a little extra TLC when laundry day rolls around (wool dryer balls are always recommended), but overall it’s worth it for the luxurious, quick-drying feel.
5. Onsen Bath Towel
If the idea of a $50 bath towel makes you laugh, then read on, as there are plenty of affordable towel sets featured below. However, if you want a super lightweight, super fast-drying towel, then Onsen is worth a closer look. This luxurious waffled bath towel is not only seriously airy and lightweight but also absorbs water better than many plush towels on the market. The whole Onsen motto is that a dry towel is a clean towel, so all of their offerings are specifically designed to dry at record speed. The open weave Supima cotton is strong, resilient and as absorbent as possible so that you can avoid ever having to reach for a damp, musty towel again.
6. JML Fast-Drying Microfiber Towels
Amazon is one of the best places to buy towels online, and you can find dozens of soft bath towels for sale. For fast-drying towels, in particular, we recommend these JML Fast-Drying Microfiber towels, the best-reviewed fast-drying towels on Amazon right now. With more than 14,000 reviews and a strong 4.5-star rating from Amazon customers, these microfiber towels are an ideal addition to your bathroom or gym bag. Each order comes with two matching towels for under $20. However, if you’re looking for a full set of bath towels, one of the other options on our list may be better suited to your needs.
7. Amazon Basics Quick-Dry Bath Sheet
At under $20 and with the backing of more than 24,000 five-star ratings, this duo of Amazon Basics Quick-Dry Bath Sheets is a noteworthy option for shoppers on a budget. Each towel in the set is made from 100% cotton and delivers a lightweight and cozy feel while both resistant to tears and quick drying. They feature simple band and border detailing and come in your choice of eight different color options. Furthermore, you can also purchase wash clothes, hand towels and bath sheets to ensure you have a matching set.
8. Welhome James Four-Piece Bath Towels Set
BEST COLOR RANGE
If you’re looking for a specific color or design to fit in with your bathroom decor, we’re confident there’s a set of these Welhome James Four-Piece Bath Towels that will work. These popular towels come in more than 20 colors, including bright, subdued and pastel options. The towels are made from 100% cotton and have a 450 GSM weight. They also feel soft to touch, lightweight to carry and offer durability, giving you plenty of years of use from any purchase. Furthermore, the set is backed by more than 3,500 five-star ratings from Amazon users who love them.
9. Great Bay Home Quick-Dry Bath Towel Set
If you want the plush feel of cotton towels with an extra-absorbent design, these budget-friendly towels tick all the right boxes. Each set has four woven cotton towels designed to absorb more liquid than regular towels. They’re also 100% cotton and come in eight different colors. Plus, reviewers report that they hold up well in the wash and are super absorbent.
10. Utopia Towels Luxurious Jumbo Bath Sheet
Need more proof that an absorbent, quick-drying towel doesn’t need to be flimsy? Look no further than this oversized pick, which has become an Amazon favorite. The two-pack towels are woven with 100% ringspun cotton, designed to be soft yet durable. It also happens to be great at absorbing extra moisture. The sets come in 10 different colors, but the real selling point is their size: each towel is 35 by 70 inches big so that you can wrap yourself up nice and tight after every bath or shower.
11. Mallorca Beach Towel
BEST FOR THE BEACH
If you want a classic, good-looking beach towel that’s the ideal texture and density but is also absorbent enough to dry you off after every dip in the water, the Mallorca Beach Towel is what you need. It’s a large, quick-dry towel with cool nautical stripes and hand-knotted fringe, made from Turkish Aegean cotton for a soft and plush feel. As far as beach towels go, this one satisfies all requirements.
12. Rainleaf Microfiber Towel
BEST FOR PACKING
There are some trips where you have no idea what the lodging situation will be or what amenities will be provided. In those instances, you need to bring your own towel. This Rainleaf Microfiber Towel rolls up to be super compact, feels like soft suede against your skin, absorbs five times more water than its weight and still dries extremely fast. It’s the perfect packable travel towel that’ll come in handy when you find yourself at the beach or in need of a shower with towels nowhere in sight.
13. Organic Quick-Dry Textured Towels
If buying organic in all product categories is important to you, these are some great quick-dry towels to invest in. They come in bath, hand and washcloth sizes, have a cool ribbed texture and are designed for faster than average drying. There are also many fantastic color options, which remain lightweight despite the soft, two-ply thickness.
14. Green Earth Quick-Dry Bath Towel by Micro Cotton
These towels don’t just dry quickly for your best shower yet; they’re also made from eco-friendly, micro-cotton materials so you can feel good about your purchase from the inside out. The company claims these are the “perfect” towels since they’re not too heavy and not too light, and they’re textured and made with moisture-wicking properties so that you can be dry and on your way in a matter of seconds. They’re also stylish and come in nine colors, a bonus in our bathroom books.
15. PackTowl Personal Towel
BEST FOR CAMPING
Depending on the length, camping trips often involve swimming and, hopefully, a shower or some sort of river bathing situation. In either of those instances, you’ll want a towel on hand that’s easy to pack and dries super quickly to avoid the build-up of bad smells. This one comes in three sizes for beach, body or hand, is made from a super-soft microfiber blend, and it’s antimicrobial for added odor-reducing power. It also folds up into the included pouch for easy travel or storage.
16. Pottery Barn Hydrocotton Organic Quick-Dry Towel
If you’re looking for a classy, quick-drying towel with a more personal feel, Pottery Barn offers you the best of the bathroom world with their Hydrocotton Organic Quick-Dry Towel. Buy them as is, or opt to add your initials for a more personal touch and a small additional cost. Still, either way, these 100% organic cotton towels are woven using an advanced spinning technique that allows more air to pass through the fibers, offering outstanding absorption and quick drying every time you step out of the shower or bath.
Why Buy Quick-Drying Towels?
Throwing a quick-drying towel in your suitcase or weekend bag makes sense since it takes up less room and is likely to dry quicker than classic cotton towels. That also makes them way easier to pack back up. But it’s also worth considering a quick-drying towel in your home bathroom since these fabrics tend to be more odor- and mildew-resistant. Plus, since they dry faster (as the name implies), they’ll feel fresher and ready to use even quicker than your standard fluffy towel may feel after hanging around in a humid bathroom all day.
These towels are also a great choice to pack for the gym, beach or any place where you’ll need to dry off but won’t have much time to wait around. They’re also a good pick for those who suffer from skin or eye conditions, as they typically suppress or kill germs and organism growth. An added bonus? That means you won’t have to wash them as frequently as a regular towel.
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