Luxury Towels for the Rest of Us

Few household purchases make you feel like a real grown-up as your first set of matching towels. Mine were a hastily chosen seafoam green terry that felt soft and silky to the touch, but left my skin a damp, linty mess. Now on my fourth set, I can confidently identify a quality bath towel. But that doesn’t mean I can afford one.

Here are our top picks for soft, absorbent, durable towels that feel like a million bucks, but cost a lot less.

Thomas O’Brien Vintage Modern Towels
For the the money, these are some of the most luxurious and absorbent towels on the market. Crafted from 100% extra long staple cotton, the naturally silky fibers create a soft, hefty, and absorbent towel that resists snags and pills even after repeat washings. The double striped trim is understated and holds up well after line drying or in the dryer’s delicate cycle. While we prefer the classic hotel white, we also like the masculine Cloak Gray with Fighter Pilot Blue stripe — Available at Target for $24.00/set.

Lands End Combed Cotton/Bamboo Rayon Bath Towel
These towels rated excellent for softness on Consumer Reports. And we can understand why. The bamboo is converted into silky rayon fibers which are then woven with combed cotton to produce an incredibly soft towel that weighs a substantial 700 grams/square meter. Chlorine- and softener-free finishing preserves the purity of the bamboo making it super absorbent in spite of being silky — Towels sold separately from $15.50-$21.50

We also like their Essential Combed Cotton Towels made from Turkish cotton that undergoes a special process to make the fabric more absorbent and less likely to pill. They’re also slightly longer and wider than standard towels — Regularly $37.50, currently on sale for $29.50/set

The Company Store Organic Cotton Towel
In the affordable organic market, The Company Store makes a dense 100% organic cotton towel that is naturally soft with deep loops that are highly absorbent. The modern colors are created with low-impact dyes that retain their vibrancy after repeat washings Regularly — Regularly $14-$38, currently on sale for $11-$30

The Company Cotton towel woven from 100% combed Turkish cotton is also plush and absorbent and comes in a huge range of colors. They have a reputation for color-fastness, though we still recommend a vinegar rinse before use with darker colors. Some users report pilling with the patterned towels, but we might risk it for a set of Bromley Towels with matching hexagonal bath matBath towels $14-$22, bath mat $30

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