In the United States, most folks shower on average between 4 and 6 days per week. However, we put very little thought into the towel we use to dry off…
…and why should we?
It’s just a towel, right?
While thick and luxurious terry cloth towels may have been the standard for decades, they are quickly being replaced by the much more compact and better performing Turkish towels.
We will dive into why these towels perform so much better in just a minute, but here’s a quick note when it comes to some of the Turkish towels you can buy today:
What Is A Turkish Towel? And How They Differ From Terry Cloth Towels
Nearly always derived from long fiber cotton (as opposed to linen), Turkish towels vary greatly from your standard terry cloth towel in multiple ways.
Most notably is in the fiber itself.
Unlike terry cloth towels that feature more of a looped design, Turkish towels are woven.
Here’s why you should care:
If you are using a terry cloth towel now, you will instantly notice that Turkish towels are going to feel a bit rougher. So, if you go to dry your manhood or the rest of your body, don’t expect a velvety feeling of a brand new towel that you are likely accustomed to:
But here’s what you need to know:
Like a pair of Red Wing shoes that conform and get more pliable when worn regularly, the same holds true with a Turkish towel.
After a month or two of continued use, they wear good…
…like crazy good.
This is a trademark design of these towels and the long cotton fibers that rely upon.
Turkish Towels Are Compact And Versatile
Not every man has a huge home with linen closets that could nearly classify as another bedroom.
In fact, if you live in NYC or even in a shared apartment, Turkish towels fold up to a compact sizes.
This extremely small form factor is not only great for your linen closet, but if you go to the gym or simply want a hand towel to dry off with, they are great for stuffing into your favorite gym bag.
But it gets better…
While the small form factor is a ‘nice to have’, where these towels really shine is in their moisture wicking abilities.
While a fraction of a size of your standard terry cloth towel, the long fibers found in Turkish towels will draw the moisture away from your body.
This is why they are also often used as hand towels as well.
Furthermore, the naturally thinner form factor of the towels allows them to dry incredibly quick.
More often than not, if you haven’t washed your towel in about a week or so, it starts to reek….like bad.
With the ability to dry in about 30 minutes, you don’t have to worry so much about mildew buildup.
Why is this important?
Well if you just shaved your head, face, junk, or any other part of your body while you were in the shower, when you dry off with a terry cloth towel, there may be some mold or mildew growing in the fabric.
Not only is this unsanitary, but it may lead to some mild skin irritation long after you dried off.
While we aren’t saying Turkish towels are perfect in their own regard when it comes to mold and mildew, the light and airy nature of them allows to dry in just a fraction of the time.
How To Wash A Turkish Towel
…I get that we all like a softer fabric when it comes to our towels.
While it might be tempting to douse a Turkish towel in fabric softener, we would recommend that you exercise restraint.
Since these towels are derived from natural long fiber cotton, using fabric softener or even harsh chemicals like bleach will often result in a poorer performing (and looking) towel.
Washing them properly is straightforward:
- Use hot water
- Wash with your standard detergent (unscented if possible)
- Tumble dry low (high heat may affect the fibers of the towel)
- Be sure to skip the dryer sheet
What’s In The Name? Is There A Difference Between Turkish, Peshtemal, Pestamel, Fouta Towels
In short, no.
These are all simply different terms to refer to the same type of towel. Therefore, when looking to buy a Turkish towel online, you will often seem these terms used interchangeably.
How Many Turkish Towels Should You Buy?
While we wouldn’t suspect that you will be at all disappointed in any of the towels below, we do want to make note regarding home décor.
Having a one off orphan towel typically never looks good in a bathroom.
A single Turkish towel in a sea of terry cloth will simply look unbalanced. Therefore, if you entertain, or simply want to have consistency for consistency’s sake, most folks will often find themselves going with 4 as a baseline set.
However, depending on the size of your family or your typical towel rotation, you may either want to go with more or less.
It’s largely a personal preference.
Linum Home Textiles Turkish Pestemal Towel
Available in 8 different colors, these Turkish towels are perfect whether you want to upgrade your bathroom set or take with you to the beach.
Measuring at 40” x 68”, it will match your standard towel size that you already have in bathroom.
To ensure that this isn’t some knockoff, these towels are made from 100% genuine Turkish cotton – therefore, you will get both the great moisture wicking properties and super flat form factor.
Personally, we were a fan of the Charcoal Black design as it leans itself to being a bit more masculine while also striking a nice neutral color balance that can work in virtually any man’s bathroom.
Herringbone Turkish Towel
There is just something about this towel that screams dignified. Whether it’s the herringbone design (which is in right now) or the tasseled ends, it looks great.
Of all the Turkish towels we reviewed, this by and far presents the best out there.
While it has that trademark long-staple Turkish cotton that makes it distinctly a Turkish towel, it also wears incredibly well.
Furthermore, the cotton from this towel was hand loomed in Turkey – how’s that for authenticity.
Adhering to generally the same towel dimensions of most other towels (40” x 70”), you won’t feel you are compromising in any way when buying the Herringbone Turkish Towel.
There was one catch:
There were no complimentary hand towels to go along with it – so you will have to channel your inner home décor spirit and make due with another brand.
Turkish Towel by Laguna Beach Textile Co.
Bear with me for just a minute…
If a terry cloth and a Turkish towel got together, this towel would be the result.
This towel by Laguna Beach Textile Co. features the best of both worlds:
On the front you will find the following:
A simple looking design featuring long fiber Turkish cotton and tassels on either end.
On the back you will find a surprise:
Lightweight looped terry cloth.
Yes you read that right…
This is the ultimate bath towel.
This will give you the absorbency that you might be longing for while also still retaining quicker than normal drying times.
While we would argue that this isn’t a formal Turkish towel, given how well other men loved this towel, we felt we would be doing you a disservice if we didn’t at least include it.
Last to note, this towel comes in 3 different fairly neutral colors all at the standard bath towel dimension of 40” x 70”.
Bersuse Turkish Towel
One of the caveats to many of the Turkish towels we covered so far has been largely around their colors and patterns.
While they may look nice when just simply browsing through some selections online, the reality is this:
Your bathroom likely wasn’t set up by some esteemed interior decorator. Secondly, you might have mismatched hand towels, bath towels, and washcloths…
…and that’s completely ok.
However, if you are trying to work towards a goal of having everything in sync when it comes to design sense, this offering by Bersuse will be your best bet.
While still a quality towel (which we will get to in just a minute), the Bersuse Turkish towel is offered in 28 different colors.
While I don’t spend an inordinate amount of time in the ‘bath’ section of Bed Bath & Beyond, I have never witnessed so many varieties when it comes to towel colors.
Sure, it can be a bit daunting when presented with a selection panel that looks like this:
The fact remains:
Any of the above towels can work for your bathroom.
So, color options aside, how about the quality?
Matching the same standards of the other towels listed in this article, you will be pretty happy to find that Bersuse towels are again relying on that familiar long fiber cotton.
Furthermore, these towels were also made in Turkey.
Like others, the care instructions are pretty standard and don’t require much in the way of special treatment.
Coming in the standard towel size, it’s a perfect addition to your bathroom or gym bag.
The Riviera Towel Company Turkish Towel
Remember how we were saying earlier how Turkish towels were so unique in that they could be folded flat and be a huge space saver?
If you don’t believe us, check out this product picture from The Riviera Towel Company:
While it reminds me of the burrito that I had for lunch, it’s a welcomed addition not only for the terry cloth packed linen closet, but even if you go to the beach frequently as well.
Sure, the compact nature of this towel is great, but another sound design choice is the tassels.
You see, one of the problems that some folks my experience with the tassels on Turkish towels is that they may fray.
The fraying, with time, can be a bit unsightly and may lead some men to want to cut them off all together.
What’s great about these towels by Riviera Company is that the tassels are braided and knotted at the end.
While this may seem like an insignificant design detail when you purchase a towel, it’s a design choice that you come to appreciate after a few months worth of use.
Lastly, the performance of this towel is on par with many of the others listed in this article and will serve you great for several years.
Offered in an expansive color array (while not quite as big as the Bersuse towels), the 15 options at your selection should be more than sufficient.