These $30 Waffle Weave Towels are My Small Space Secret Weapon

updated Jun 12, 2020
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Linen closet
Credit: Weston Wells

I’m going to cut straight to the chase: I’ll never buy another terry cloth towel again after finding Gilden Tree’s waffle weave bath towels. Yes, waffle weave is very trendy these days, but I love them most because they take up no room in my linen closet (see above) or my laundry basket—and they are fast drying and never get that mildew-y towel smell. Better yet, the cost for two is $59.95, which is about on par with what you’d pay for a nicer quality, OEKO-TEX certified towel at a home decor or department store. 

I first read about them back in 2015 in a little book called “Flanagan’s Smart Home,” which lists 98 items for a “smart home”. The book’s author, Barbara Flanagan, traces the huge, fluffy towel craze to the excessive 1980s, when she believes people fell in love with the enormous towels they would find in hotels. Retailers fulfilled their desires by offering “hotel towels.” Today, a 35″ x 66″ bath “sheet” is considered a standard towel size in most households.

My own switch to waffle came out of frustration with laundry days. I realized that our big fluffy towels were causing us to do extra loads and spend extra time on extra drying, which felt like both a waste of my time and natural resources.

Credit: Amazon

A side benefit of the switch is that these waffle towels have a more modern look—in line with the effortless California casual aesthetic that seems to reign supreme on Instagram and Pinterest. They’re also available in hand towel and washcloth sizes and come in eight different colors, so whether you love neutrals or want something bolder, there’s a shade for you. Similar looking towels from Hawkins NY run a whopping $65 per towel ($95 for the bath sheet size!), and ones from Parachute are also a little pricier than the Gilden Tree ones, coming in at $39 a piece. I don’t know about the durability of these other companies’ products, but my Gilden Tree towels still look great five years later. Can you say that about your terry towels?

You may miss the familiar feeling of terry cloth after making the switch, but trust me when I tell you that your laundry loads will be much lighter, and you’ll never step out of the shower to discover your towel is still damp from your last shower. Plus, you’re going to love how much space you’re saving wherever you store your linens.