When it comes to Turkish towels it’s difficult to understand whether they are better than other towels on the market. It may sound crazy but there is actually quite a lot to think about when replacing towels, whether they are for your bathroom, for working out or for travelling.
So are Turkish towels really any good?
Turkish towels are good in so many ways. Weight, absorbency drying time, durability and eco-friendliness are all reasons people invest in these types of towels. Another fantastic reason is that Turkish towels have so many uses including being worn as items of clothing.
One thing to point out before we get started is that Turkish towels are also referred to as Hammam towels and also Peshtemal towels or just Peshtemals.
So let’s now run through a set of common questions to test how good Turkish towels really are.
How big are Turkish Towels?
As a general rule, the size of a Turkish towel is 100cm x 180cm (40 inches x 70 inches). Towels from manufacturers can vary slightly in size however Turkish towels only come in the large towel size and therefore when making comparisons should only be compared to a bath towel, bath sheet or a beach towel.
|Bath Towel||70cm (28 inches)||135cm (54 inches)|
|Bath Sheet||100cm (63 inches)||160cm (63 inches)|
|Beach Towel||80cm (30 inches)||150cm (58 inches)|
|Turkish Towel||100cm (40 inches)||180cm (70 inches)|
So you can see that the Turkish towel is the largest of all towel types making it equally ideal for those cosy bath nights in as well as relaxing on the beach.
You should also take this additional size into consideration when comparing prices – but more on that topic later.
> Key Takeaway: Turkish towels are the largest of all towel types.
Are Turkish towels More Absorbent Compared to Other Towels?
Turkish towels are more absorbent than most regular cotton towels.
Towel absorbency is much higher in towels that have a higher surface area. The number of loops a towel has directly correlates with the surface area of the towel so essentially the more loops a towel has the greater the surface area of the towel and therefore the more absorbent the towel is.
Turkish towels have a much larger number of loops mainly because the organic cotton fibres used are both long and thin making the Turkish towel super absorbent.
For completeness here are some other types of towels that have a high absorbency :
- Egyptian towels
- Terry cloth towels
- Microfibre towels
> Key Takeaway: Turkish towels are incredibly absorbent
Are Turkish towels fast drying?
Turkish towels are extremely fast drying when compared to regular cotton towels.
How fast a towel takes to dry is again directly related to the surface area of the towel and so the greater the surface area the quicker the towel will dry.
Those long, thin fibres ensure that Turkish towels have a much greater number of loops than other towels on the market.
We’ll come on to towel care next but it’s worth pointing out at this point that many towel manufacturers do not recommend drying your Turkish towel in the tumble dryer. That said, these towels dry so fast in any environment that there really isn’t any need.
> Key Takeaway: Turkish towels dry much faster than regular cotton towels
How do you take care of Turkish towels?
Caring for Turkish towels is really very simple however it is slightly different to caring for regular cotton towels.
One of the biggest differences we found was that there is no need for fabric softener. Using a fabric softener will actually reduce the absorbency of your towel so you should avoid it at all costs.
Caring for our quality Turkish towels couldn’t be simpler!
Wash with similar colours at 30º, Avoid fabric conditioner, Do not tumble dry, Do not dry cleanLuksLinen
I always recommend that you check the care instructions on the label of your Turkish towel however the table below should the typical care instructions for regular vs Turkish towels.
|Towel Type||Wash||Fabric Cond.||Dry||Iron||Dry Clean|
|Cotton Towels||40o with similar colours||Yes||Tumble or Air Dry||Yes – Cotton Setting||Yes|
|Turkish Towels||30o with similar colours||No||Air Dry Only||Yes – Cotton Setting||No|
If you’d like to read more on laundering Turkish towels then take a look at my article “How to Wash Turkish Towels, our complete guide” next.
> Key Takeaway: Turkish Towels are easy to care for but there are a couple of slight differences to be aware of.
Are Turkish Towels Eco Friendly?
Turkish towels are eco-friendly not only because they are generally made from sustainable Turkish cotton and chemical-free dyes but also because caring for Turkish towels uses much fewer resources than regular towels. Durability is also a key factor in their eco credentials, essentially they last longer.
Here’s a list of our top 5 reasons Turkish towels are environmentally friendly vs regular cotton towels.
|Regular Towel||Turkish Towel|
|Material||Cotton||OEKO TEX certified Turkish cotton|
|Colour||Synthetic dyes||Chemical free dyes|
|Washing||Often||Less often due to quick drying|
|Fabric Softener||Yes||No, avoid|
|Tumble Dry||Yes||No, avoid|
From a laundering / washing perspective not only are you able to wash on a lower heat, but because Turkish towels dry so quickly they tend not to get as smelly as other types of towels during use. Apart from the obvious benefit of not smelling so bad, Turkish towels need to spend less time in our washing machines.
As we want to keep our towels as absorbent as possible using fabric softener for Turkish towels is not recommended. If you do use a fabric softener then this will instantly reduce the amount of water your towel will absorb.
Likewise, tumble drying, it’s not recommended for Turkish towels. they dry so fast why would you need to use one anyway!
All of these points above help to reduce the resources you need to consume when caring for your towels. You’ll save some money too!
> Key Takeaway: Turkish Towels are environmentally friendly when compared to other towel types.
Are Turkish Towels Lightweight?
The thin fibres used to produce Turkish towels are what make them much lighter in comparison to an equivalent regular towel.
The density of cotton towels including Turkish towels is measured in GSM which stands for grams per square metre.
Generally, the GSM value of cotton towels is anywhere between 200 – 900 GSM. The higher the GSM number the heavier, softer and more absorbent the towel is. Regular cotton towels with a GSM of above 600 GSM would be considered a luxury towel.
And this is where Turkish towels buck the trend with the average Hammam towel weighing in somewhere between 200 – 300 GSM. Even though the density of the towel is in the lower range, when you buy a Turkish towel you will not have to compromise on quality, softness or how absorbent the towel is.
So will this kind of towel be as luxurious as a towel you might find in a top quality hotel? Well no.
But Turkish towels come with so many benefits, including being lightweight, that they are hard to ignore when choosing new towels.
> Key Takeaway: Turkish Towels are generally lighter than other towels but this does not affect it performance compared to other towels
Do Turkish Towels Last a Long Time?
Due to the strong Turkish cotton fibres, Turkish towels are incredibly durable and will last a long time.
You may see reports from people that claim they’ve had towels that have not lasted as long as they expected. There are 2 main reasons why this might happen.
- The product was not made by a traditional Turkish manufacturer.
- The care instructions have not been followed.
So put simply, if you buy a quality product from a quality manufacturer and look after it as outlined in the care instructions then your towel should last a lifetime. This is reflected in some manufacturer’s guarantees which can be exceptionally long.
All our Turkish towels come with a 20 year repair or replace guaranteeLuksLinen.com
> Key Takeaway: Authentic Turkish towels will last a long time
What are Turkish Towels Used For?
This is where the Turkish towel really comes into its own.
There are so many uses for these towels – and I mean so many uses most of which just cannot be replicated by regular cotton towels.
Let’s start with using Peshtemals as – well a towel.
These towels started off life as a towel to use in the Hammam (Turkish baths) and so it’s no wonder they are a fantastic addition to any bathroom.
Note, if you are considering buying Turkish bath towels take a look at my article “Buying Bath Towels: Are Turkish bath towels better?” next.
Lightweight and space-saving are just a couple of great properties these towels have, making them ideal for any type of workout.
Being lightweight and saving space also means that travelling becomes so much easier. Extra luggage space is always a winner and carrying heavy towels around is a thing of the past with Peshtemals.
Turkish towels make incredibly good beach towels by the way. Not only because they are light, absorbent and fold up to about a quarter of their size but also because sand does not stick to them. You can literally give them a single shake and all the sand has gone!
If you think I’m joking then read my article “Are Turkish Towels Good for the Beach? We reveal all” next.
You can also use your Peshtemal as a travel pillow or as a travel blanket especially when you get super cold on long plane journeys (not sure why that happens).
The size and vibrant colours of some Turkish towels also make them a wonderfully bright picnic blanket for those long summer days.
In my opinion, using Turkish towels as items of clothing is by far the best advantage.
Because the towels come in such wonderful designs you are able to easily bring style to your outfit as a body wrap, shawl, sarong or wrap for the beach.
Peshtemals can also be used as a simple scarf for those cold winter mornings.
The beautiful designs of Turkish towels mean they really do lend themselves to home decor for example they make a lovely lounge throw or furniture cover.
I’ve seen people use these towels for table linen and even as pieces of wall art!
If you are thinking of getting a Turkish blanket or throw then my article “Buying a Turkish Blanket? Our complete guide is here” is well worth reading.
> Key Takeaway: There are so many more uses for Turkish towels than just an amazing bath towel
Turkish Towel Designs
The designs of Hammam towels have exploded over the past few years and I think it’s fair to say that these days there is now a Turkish towel design for everyone.
Towels come in almost every colour possible with patterns falling into either the vintage or contemporary style.
Of course, there is one part of the Peshtemal that is not to everyone’s taste – the fringe!
The fringe on a Turkish towel is usually on each of the short ends and for some, this is a design style too far. Personally, I actually like it, it makes the towel authentic however inevitably this will come down to personal choice.
> Key Takeaway: Assuming you like the fringe then there are some really amazing Turkish towel designs
How Much does a Turkish Towel Cost?
I’ve intentionally left the cost of Turkish towels to the very end and for good reason – this is probably the only disadvantage of Turkish towels.
On average Turkish towels cost £45 ($55) with more luxurious styles costing upwards of £70 ($85). This may seem expensive compared to regular cotton towels however given all the benefits these towels bring, it’s easy to understand why they demand a higher price point.
As with anything you buy, the more you spend the better quality product you get and original Turkish towels are no exception.
> Key Takeaway: Turkish Towels are generally more expensive
Hopefully, this article has given you the answer to are Turkish towels good. I think you can tell I’m an avid fan of these types of towels and have purchased several for my home as well as some for my family when travelling.
Personally, I’d like to encourage you to at least give them a try – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Do you already have Turkish towels? Maybe you are still unsure and would like to give them a try, let me know what you think in the comments below?