Recently, a hairstylist told Emily that her double-processed hair would have a better chance at survival if she dab-dried it with paper towels. But, being good, environmentally-conscious millennials, that factoid spurred an in-office conversation about what kinds of fabric towels would be gentlest on your head, and furthermore, which towels were the best in general?
Towels should be a luxurious experience! They're the swaddling blankets that take you from the womb of your shower into the cold, cold world of your apartment/house. Wrapping myself in a towel is a ritual I so enjoy that I’ve been known to spend as much to an hour post-shower luxuriating in what I refer to as "Towel Time." So, testing weight, grams per meter (the towel equivalent of thread count), durability, absorbency, and general good looks, I found the best towels on the market. Try some, if only because it may be the most action your naked body sees all week.
Most Versatile: The Scents & Feel handmade Fouta Herringbone With Two Stripes towel's chic, clean, classic hamam design gets my vote of confidence for the bathroom, the beach (it's 6.5 feet long), or under an Ariel Dearie floral arrangement on your kitchen table.
Best for Hair: The insanely lightweight cotton/linen blended the Yoshii Linen Border Towel features one smooth, striped side, backed with white terry on the other side, and is without a doubt the most absorbent and fastest-drying towel I’ve ever used. It’s among the home accessories that give Japan its reputation for good design, and it weighs about as much as a single seaweed snack, so if you’re going to wrap your hair up, this would be the towel to use.
Most Amiable Towel: Comprised of 550 grams per square meter of environmentally friendly and responsibly produced organic cotton, Coyuchi's Air Weight Bath Towel probably possesses the smallest footprint you'll come across in home linens. It's even designed to dry quickly in your dryer. That being said, it doesn't sacrifice on quality, i.e. it's as nice to your body as it is to nature.
Most Likely to Grow Old With: Frette’s Superb Bath Towel is a stalwart midweight that you'll only need to invest in once in your lifetime, because unless your dog eats it, or your washing machine goes haywire, this 100% cotton terry towel will probably outlive you. Not to mention that these are the ones that outfit the bathrooms at the Carlyle, the Ritz, and the Pierre.
Most Likely to be in Charlotte and Trey’s Apartment: Hästens Blue Check Bath Towel. The Swedish manufacturer of upper crust horsehair mattresses (on my bucket list of Things to Pine For) has just dropped a towel line in its signature navy and white plaid. This a nonverbal signal to in-the-know guests of what you may or may not have going on under the sheets (spoiler: I do not have a Hästens mattress). The mid-border loop for easy door-hook hanging doesn’t hurt either.
Most Undercover Luxe: The first time I ever tried Restoration Hardware’s 802-Gram Turkish Bath Towel, I was visiting a friend’s family home, and felt so pampered and glamorous that I made a mental note to build a home of my own around towels like this later in life. Then I saw that it was from Restoration Hardware and made another mental note to buy immediately. Check that off the life list. #DreamBig #Blessed
Most Likely to be Worn The Longest: Ralph Lauren’s Palmer Towel is thick. It’s thirsty. It’s plush like a Furby. It’s HUGE (if you get the Body Sheet). You will not want to take it off. And it's warm enough to wear to bed, so go for it.
Photos by Elizabeth Brockway.