When you step out of the shower (or bathtub, or pool, or into a gym locker room…), the last thing you want to reach for is a damp, stinky towel that hasn’t dried properly. Yuck. That’s where quick-dry towels come into play—nobody has time to wait around for a towels to dry off or to deal with smelly, bacteria-infested mildew. Instead, you deserve the absorbency, durability, and convenience of fast drying towels.
If you’re ready to take a stand against damp bath sheets for good, keep a close eye on the material makeup. While plush towels may feel soft against your skin, their dense loops take for-freaking-ever to dry. Instead, look for lightweight, quick-dry towels made out of cotton or cotton-blends, stitched in a waffle pattern or other innovative weaves. This will allow the moisture to evaporate faster. Microfiber is another must-have material, as it dries in the blink of an eye, even after it’s been drenched in water or sweat. Bonus! These luxe textiles will also make your bathroom feel a tad more spa-like.
Say it with me: No more damp towels. Ever! Scroll for the best quick-dry towels, both for the home and the beach, and never get grossed out again.
Best Quick-Dry Bath Towels
These West Elm towels promise to dry quickly—it says so in the product name. While on the thicker side weighing in at 500 grams, the 100 percent organic cotton towels are somehow still lightweight. (Don’t ask us how.) Their ribbed texture ensures the towels dry in no time, and the sewn-in loop makes hanging all-the-more easy too. Take your pick of the eight available colors, but our favorites are pink stone and dark horseradish.
Ultralight = ultra fast drying. These Brooklinen towels, which come in a set of two, are made from 100 percent Turkish cotton and are the quickest drying of any of the brand’s towels. They’re equally absorbent and lightweight, weighing in at 320 grams, but don’t let their light-as-a-feather feel fool you—they’re incredibly strong.
Since they’re so thin, these are an especially great option if you’re short on cabinet space (who isn’t?), and they make for ideal hair wrapping towels too.
What reviews says: “These towels are perfection—thin, light, and super absorbing,” Brookline customer.
If you’ve had your eye on Parachute’s beloved waffle towels for a while, consider this your sign to click “Add to cart.” There are many reasons they’re a fan favorite, with the fact that they’re quick drying at the top of that list. They’re also beautiful, with a honeycomb weave and lightweight feel that tricks you into thinking you’re someplace far more glamorous than your own bathroom.
What reviews say: “How can I love a towel so much? This spa-like luxury is unsurpassable,” — Parachute customer.
These quick dry towels by Onsen are both pretty and practical. (Our favorite combination for, well, anything.) Their lightweight open weave design dries out quickly after each use, and gets better and better at its job as time goes on and that waffle weave gets deeper. Compared to fluffy terry bath towels, they’re about 30 percent lighter and 50 percent less bulky. The fact that they’re made out of the softest, smoothest American-grown supima cotton? The cherry on top.
What reviews say: “These towels are just the best. They do everything that your regular towel does, but better. They are soft, lighter, more absorbent, and faster drying,” — Onsen customer.
Whether you prefer cotton or linen, these towels from The Citizenry—which come as a set of two, hence the price—are the best of both worlds. They’re part organic cotton (which is ultra breathable) and part relaxed linen, with a lightweight waffle weave exterior and a plush terry cloth interior. Plus, they dry quickly—both your body and the towel itself. You can feel good throwing down serious money on these bath towels knowing they’re sustainably made in a fair-trade working environment.
What reviews say: “Look great, super soft, and have held up perfectly through several washes so far,” — The Citizenry customer.
“Dense, durable, and exceptionally thirsty”—That’s how Coyuchi describes their fan favorite Air Weight towels, which are particularly absorbent. Their twill weave dries both quickly and effectively, so you’ll feel dry fast, and so will your towel. They come in a range of earthy colors, and are all made of 100 percent organic cotton that is grown and woven in India.
What reviews say: “I was looking for towels that would dry quickly to avoid smelling but still have a great hand feel. These are perfect!” — Coyuchi customer.
Though these Homebird towels look and feel fluffy, they’re also incredibly lightweight. That helps them dry quickly and avoid any musty towel smell (ew), instead staying fresh wash after wash, and between washes too. They’re available in two styles: solid colors or white with colored piping for a modern twist on a minimalist look. Best part is, they’re ethically produced in fair-trade factories made with 100 percent organic cotton.
What reviews say: “Love these towels! They feel just right..not too heavy or light. And they are absorbent,” — Homebird customer.
Best Quick-Dry Beach Towels
Few beach towels are as soft, sand-resistant, and absorbent as Sand Cloud’s, and they’re designed for a good cause. The towels (which are incredibly quick drying, BTW) are made using 100 percent Turkish organic cotton that’s better for the environment than polyester or other fabrics. Plus, 10 percent of the brand’s profits are donated to marine conservation, making the very beaches and oceans you bring your towels to cleaner and better protected. Seriously—get yourself one of these bad boys.
What reviews say: “I love how enormous this towel is! It is perfect for outside activities! It dries fast and is really soft. I have had mine for almost a year and it is still holding up great!” — Sand Cloud customer.
We’ve all been there: rolling up a wet, sandy beach towel, succumbing to the fact that it’ll leave traces of sand and wet towel smell everywhere it goes. No more! These Dock & Bay beach towels dry three times faster than standard cotton towels, making beach days and pool parties even more fun.
What reviews say: “Our linen closet is overflowing with pool towels and we are constantly waiting on towels to dry and getting new ones out. These fold up to such a small size, they are super lightweight, and they dry you off after one swipe. The best thing is they dry very quickly and don’t have that wet towel smell,” — Amazon customer.
Before you head off on your next camping adventure, nab a few of these microfiber beach towels. They’re quick-dry, sand-proof, and come with a mesh travel pouch. So whether you’re headed to a campsite, the beach, or a pool, they’re an easy essential to pack.
What reviews say: “I initially bought these towels for swimming and bathing while on a camping trip, but I’m now a full convert for using these for any water play. They pack down so small, are super lightweight, absorb beautifully, are soft, and dry fast,” — Amazon customer.
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