The world's most in-depth and scientific product reviews

Best Turkish Towels of 2020

By Hayley Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 29, 2020
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
In search of the perfect Turkish towel but overwhelmed by all your options? We researched over 45 top options and chose 10 for this 2020 review. It can be difficult to tell what a towel has to offer just by looking at it online, so that's where we come in. Whether you're on the hunt for the perfect towel to bring to the beach, a cute throw to liven up that bland living room couch, or a 100% cotton headwrap, Turkish towels are sure to meet your needs, and we can help you find the right one for the occasion. Our pre-testing research, combined with our hands-on experience with each item, is sure to provide you with all the information you will need to make an informed decision.

1

Best Overall Turkish Towel


Mebien Turkish Beach Bath Towel


Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$19.99
at Amazon
See It

Number of Towels: 1 | Size: 35" x 67"
Very versatile
Absorbent
Fast Drying
Super soft
No traditional pattern option

Scoring highest in almost every category, the Mebien Turkish Beach Bath Towel is an excellent choice for any occasion. This towel is the perfect combination of soft, thick, and fast-drying, which, after spending countless hours with a variety of Turkish towels, is a rare and winning combo. Not only does it work wonders as a towel, but it makes a cozy scarf and a nice lightweight throw too. This versatile towel comes in multiple colors and patterns, and its tight weave and bushy tassels give it a cozy feel while the thickness provides warmth. It even comes complete with a little tag you can hang it from to dry.

Looking for versatility in your towel? Wear this one as a scarf  blanket  or a sarong.
Looking for versatility in your towel? Wear this one as a scarf, blanket, or a sarong.

We don't have many negative things to say about this towel, but since nitpicking is basically our job, we've come up with one way that it could be improved. The Mebien comes in multiple color and pattern options, but not one of them resembles a traditional Turkish towel. We also noticed that it didn't get softer with use; however, it came out of the package softer than any of the other towels we tested, so this isn't really an issue. The Mebien is a great option for anyone looking for one towel that can do it all.

Options: 1 size, 4 patterns, 9 colors

The tag is placed strategically in the middle of the towel  providing a perfect little loop to hang it from.
The tag is placed strategically in the middle of the towel, providing a perfect little loop to hang it from.

2

Towels for the Whole Family


BOSPHORUS Set of 6 Turkish Cotton Hammam Towels


Best Buy Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$62.80
(6% off)
at Amazon
See It

Number of Towels: 6 | Size: 74" x 39"
Great value
Both fun and neutral color options
Tassels are sparse
Thin material

The BOSPHORUS Set, a traditional Turkish towel set of 6, is the perfect choice for the whole family. These lightweight cotton towels absorb water quickly and dry just as fast. All six towels are the same generous size, large enough to sit on at a park but small enough not to feel like you're tripping over it in the bathroom. There are multi and single toned sets in both bright and neutral colors. The price per towel, when broken down, makes this set a bangin' deal. Each towel can be worn as a scarf, used as a head towel, beach towel, or even worn as a sarong.

This lightweight towel pack is versatile and dries quickly.
This lightweight towel pack is versatile and dries quickly.

Lightweight towels can only absorb so much water, so our long and thick-haired testers preferred to bring two to the shower — one to wrap their hair in and one to dry off their body. Easy enough when you have six to choose from! The BOSPHORUS set also does not provide much warmth when used as a blanket and is a little see-through, so changing under it at the beach may not provide much privacy. Additionally, the tassels these towels have are rather small, though they are braided very neatly. Overall, we love this set and feel it would be best used by a family or someone looking to get a whole household's worth of towels in one purchase.

Options: 1 size, 1 pattern, 8 color sets

6 absorbent towels for the whole family!
6 absorbent towels for the whole family!

3

Most Versatile


DEMMEX Organic Diamond Weave Turkish Towel


Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$19.80
at Amazon
See It

Number of Towels: 1 | Size: 71" x 36"
Thick and soft
Full tassels
Absorbent
Versatile
Takes a little longer to dry
Only 1 pattern option

The thick and cozy DEMMEX is so versatile that you could use it to dry yourself off in the morning and then as a scarf for an afternoon outing. The many color options are sure to help compliment any outfit, and the thick tassels and beautiful diamond design are eye-catching. The thick weave makes for a very absorbent towel — unlike some of the thinner towels in our test suite, you definitely won't need more than one to get good and dry after swimming in the lake or taking a shower. A common trait with Turkish towels is that they increase in softness with use, and the DEMMEX is no exception. After multiple washes and many uses, we fell more and more in love with it.

Wear it as a towel around your waist or over your shoulders like a blanket on colder beach days.
Wear it as a towel around your waist or over your shoulders like a blanket on colder beach days.

Because this towel is on the thicker side, it takes a bit longer to dry. That being said, the extra fabric allows it to absorb more liquid at once. As far as aesthetics, we absolutely adore the color options and traditional diamond weave pattern, but there's only one pattern available. The DEMMEX is best for someone looking for top quality and versatility in a traditional pattern.

Options: 1 size, 1 pattern, 20 colors

Not many towels can complete an outfit  but this one sure does the trick.
Not many towels can complete an outfit, but this one sure does the trick.

4

Best Lightweight Option


WETCAT Original Turkish Beach Towel


Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$19.99
at Amazon
See It

Number of Towels: 1 | Size: 39" x 71"
Immediately soft
Abundant color options
Dries quickly
Prewashed
Thin
Doesn't protect from ground moisture

The WETCAT Beach Towel rocks the traditional striped Turkish pattern and offers a plethora of different color options. This cotton towel is prewashed to ensure that it does not shrink, but make sure you follow the directions to avoid compromising its durability and shortening its lifespan. Since wash and wear make Turkish towels softer, the prewashed WETCAT actually feels soft right out of the package. Not only can this towel be used as, well, a towel, it also makes a great lightweight summer scarf.

This lightweight towel passes as a summer scarf without question.
This lightweight towel passes as a summer scarf without question.

Since the WETCAT is quite lightweight, it can only soak up so much water at a time. On that same note, it might not be the best option to use as a park blanket if the ground is moist due to its thinness. Most of the colors are also light and bright, so laying it on dark or dirty ground may stain it. This towel is best used for someone searching for a colorful, lightweight, quick-drying bath or beach towel.

Options: 1 size, 1 pattern, 31 colors

This towel is thin and lightweight but still absorbent  making a trip to the lake a breeze.
This towel is thin and lightweight but still absorbent, making a trip to the lake a breeze.

5

Stylish and Versatile Hand Towels


Smyrna Original Turkish Hand Towels Set of 2


Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$16.99
(26% off)
at Amazon
See It

Number of Towels: 2 | Size: 16" x 40"
Thick and absorbent
Stylish
Larger than your average dish towel
Not machine dryable
Takes longer to dry

The Smyrna Hand Towel Set is a stunning set of thick towels for the hands and face or the dishes. Take one to the gym to wipe your brow during yoga or use it as a runner to dress up your dining room table. This versatile towel is both absorbent and stylish. It gets softer with every wash so drying your hands and face is an absolute pleasure. The tassels are thick, and the pattern is traditional with a twist. Depending on how much hair you're packing on your head, it can also double as a hair wrap.

Extra large and stylish enough to use as a runner.
Extra large and stylish enough to use as a runner.

This works great as a dish towel, but because those need to be washed often to ensure clean dishes, it's important to note that, while these towels are definitely machine washable, they must be washed on gentle and hung to dry to ensure their longevity. And since they are relatively thick, they tend to take longer to dry than some of the thinner options in this review. The Smyrna towels are a great option for those looking to spice up their kitchen with something a little more fun than your average dishtowel or add a beautiful accent to the bathroom. Or any number of other fun things.

Options: 1 size, 1 pattern, 12 colors

The thickness and absorbency of these towels make them perfect for dish drying.
The thickness and absorbency of these towels make them perfect for dish drying.

6

Thick and Cozy


Bazaar Anatolia Diamond Turkish Towel


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


$17.45
(3% off)
at Amazon
See It

Number of Towels: 1 | Size: 38" x 77"
Thick fluffy tassels
Can double as a blanket
Threads began to pull after first wash
Takes longer to dry

The Bazaar Anatolia Diamond Turkish Towel is a thick, cozy, and versatile towel. If you're looking for a beach towel, bath towel, pool towel, scarf, shawl, blanket, throw, or all of the above, this is a great pick. The thickness allows for high absorption potential, and the big fluffy tassels are fun and attractive. Fold it up and use it as a cushion on hard rocks or lay it flat on the ground to get your tan on. Its high-quality appearance makes it a great decoration piece, and the thickness offers enough warmth to use it as a light blanket. While it didn't come out of the package super soft, it did get significantly softer after each wash.

The fact that this towel gets softer with each use makes us want to use it even more.
The fact that this towel gets softer with each use makes us want to use it even more.

The Bazaar Anatolia was a little rough straight out of the package, and after two washes, we found a couple of loose threads. That being said, everything remained intact. Being thicker than your average Turkish towel, this one takes a little longer to dry, though still less time than your average bath towel. Overall this is a great option if you're looking for one towel to do it all.

Options: 1 size, 1 pattern, 16 colors

Nothing quite like a towel that efficiently dries you off and offers warmth.
Nothing quite like a towel that efficiently dries you off and offers warmth.

7

Colors for Days


Cacala Pestemal Turkish Bath Towel


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


$22.90
at Amazon
See It

Number of Towels: 1 | Size: 37" x 70"
Traditional Turkish style
Dries quickly
Tons of color options
Does not provide warmth
Easily soaked

The lightweight and absorbent Cacala Pestemal is a traditional style Turkish towel with an abundance of color options to choose from. It is highly absorbent and dries very quickly, a common theme for the lighter weight towels in our test suite. The more use it gets, the softer it becomes, and, even though it is thin, the Cacala holds its desirably tight-knit with each wash. It is a very versatile towel and even makes a great lightweight summer or fall scarf as it is plush and falls nicely around the neck. It also makes for a great head wrap, especially for those with curly hair, as cotton reduces frizz. To top it all off, this towel also has a strategically placed tag for hang drying.

Tightly twisted tassels for aesthetics and an intuitively placed tag for hang drying.
Tightly twisted tassels for aesthetics and an intuitively placed tag for hang drying.

Most of the thinner towels in our review are very absorbent but still can't absorb as much water as thicker options due to their light weight. If you have thick hair, it is worth bringing two of these to the bathroom. Thinner towels also tend to have smaller tassels, which makes the overall look slightly less appealing, depending on your preferences. That being said, the Cacala is well made, and the tassels are very nicely twisted. This towel does not provide much warmth, but if you are looking for a lightweight option to take with you to a warm beach, look no further.

Options: 1 size, 1 pattern, 32 colors

Too thin to protect your booty from wet grass at a park but perfect for sunbathing on a rock.
Too thin to protect your booty from wet grass at a park but perfect for sunbathing on a rock.

8

Absorbent Face Towels


BOSPHORUS Set of 4 Turkish Cotton Hand Towels


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


$25.00
at Amazon
See It

Number of Towels: 4 | Size: 17" x 35"
Absorbent
Quick-drying
Great bang for your buck
Light colors stain easily
Not many color options

The BOSPHORUS Hand Towel Set includes 4 lightweight, highly absorbent face, hand, or dish towels. This is a great collection to have around the house. Use them to hand dry dishes, wash your face, or wrap up your baby after a bath. They are larger than your average dish towel, making them much more versatile. You can even use them as table runners to spice up your centerpiece. Since this set comes with 4, the value per towel is high. They came out of the package a little stiff and scratchy but softened up after just one wash.

Big enough to wrap up a baby  fur or otherwise!
Big enough to wrap up a baby, fur or otherwise!

The BOSPHORUS Hand Towels are high quality and come in various patterns, however the color options are quite limited. There are 9 different colors and 3 different patterns, but only one of those is not a neutral palette. This won't bother anyone who prefers neutral colors, but we wouldn't mind seeing a little more variety. Since most of the color options are lighter and the patterns are relatively tame, stains are also quite noticeable. Still, this set is great for a household looking for something a little more versatile than your average dish towel.

Options: 1 size, 3 patterns, 9 colors

A gorgeous addition to any kitchen or bathroom.
A gorgeous addition to any kitchen or bathroom.

9

A Great Headwrap


Realgrandbazaar Pestemal Turkish Towel


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


$15.99
at Amazon
See It

Number of Towels: 1 | Size: 39" x 69"
Makes a good headwrap for curly hair
Lost of color options
Quick-drying
Stiff out of the package
Thin

The Realgrandbazaar Pestemal is a fast-drying cotton Turkish towel. The traditional pattern and plethora of color options are sure to please, and the thin cotton dries very quickly. This towel is a little stiffer and a little smaller than the others in our test suite, which may not sound like a desirable trait, but it's great for wrapping up curly hair. A well-known fact among the curly-haired community is that cotton helps reduce frizz. The stiffness and slightly smaller size of this towel help It stay put until your hair is set and dry.

The smaller size and slight stiffness of this towel make it perfect for a headwrap.
The smaller size and slight stiffness of this towel make it perfect for a headwrap.

While the stiffness provides some additional support for hair care purposes, it isn't the most comfortable when used as a towel. The Realgrandbazaar is lightweight, and, like many of the towels in our test suite, it suffers the same negative consequences. It is not particularly warm when used as a blanket and struggles to absorb large amounts of water without becoming completely soaked. But, if you have big beautiful curly locks that need a little extra support while they dry, then this is a great pick for you.

Options: 1 size, 1 pattern, 32 colors

This towel works just fine as a sarong  though it is a little stiff.
This towel works just fine as a sarong, though it is a little stiff.

10

Complete with a Carry Bag


Bay Laurel Turkish Towel with Travel Bag


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


$19.95
at Amazon
See It

Number of Towels: 1 + carry bag | Size: 39" x 71"
Comes with carry bag
Fun color options
Piling
Stiff
Itchy

The BAY LAUREL towel is ready for your next adventure because it comes with a useful carry bag. It offers super fun colors (both neutral and loud), most of them two-toned, and the bag is just as pretty. As far as aesthetics, these towels are super cute, offering enough options for everyone to find something that tickles their fancy. The towel soaks up liquid and dries quickly and, once dry, can be packed away neatly in its carry bag.

Thin Turkish towels are great to wear as sarongs.
Thin Turkish towels are great to wear as sarongs.

The BAY LAUREL is rather stiff, though it does get a bit softer with Since this towel doesn't reach cloud-like softness as many of the other towels in our test suite, we found it to be a little bit itchy for those with sensitive skin. We also noticed that it began pilling a small amount after the first wash. After the second wash, however, the pilling subsided and mostly went away. Overall this option is good for those who like to travel and want to keep their towel clean and separate from the rest of their luggage via the carry bag.

Options: 1 size, 1 pattern, 15 colors

The cute carry bag is easy to stuff  but the towel is a little stiffer than some of the others in this review.
The cute carry bag is easy to stuff, but the towel is a little stiffer than some of the others in this review.

Why You Should Trust Us


The person in charge of this review is Hayley Thomas from Denver, Colorado. She is nothing if not a water baby, having spent a good amount of her childhood surfing in California and beyond. Coupled with her refined sense of style, she definitely appreciates the nuances of a quality towel.

Our testing process begins with research — lots of it. We took the time to research what makes a Turkish Towel better than your average bath towel, as well as read through scores of personal accounts online. Once our research was complete and our test suite determined, we started testing. We knew that these long-fibered cotton towels become softer with use, so we were sure to use, abuse, wash, and rewash each one multiple times. They accompanied us from dry, aired Colorado to the wet and rocky lake beaches of West Virginia. We had multiple testers pat themselves down, wrap their hair up, and nap on top of these towels. A few were even thick enough to use as light blankets. All the while, we paid close attention to our key metrics: absorbency, drying rate, comfort, versatility, and aesthetics.

With 6 towels in this set  you can use one for your hair and one for your waist.
Wrap up in the thick DEMMEX for warmth.
The thin towels don't offer a ton of protection from jagged rocks or wet grass but they are perfect for a little sandstone lounge sesh.

Analysis and Test Results


We make sure that our comparisons are streamlined and detailed to ensure they cover everything you might need to know before purchasing one of these towels. Read on to learn about our findings for each metric.

Absorbency


Generally speaking, we use towels to dry off, so their ability to absorb moisture is critical. Lighter weight towels absorb quickly, but they also become saturated quickly. Thicker towels don't tend to slurp up water as fast, but because they can hold more moisture at once, you will be able to dry all your bits without feeling like you are using a wet towel.

The Mebien is a winning combination of think and absorbent.
The Mebien is a winning combination of think and absorbent.

The winner in this department is the Mebien Turkish Towel. It is somehow simultaneously lightweight and thick, allowing for optimum soaking power at a faster rate than some of the other thick towels in this review. The Mebian only won by a hair with all the other towels a respectable second. If you have a lot of hair that often soaks through lightweight towels, you may want to go with one of the thicker options. But if you are looking for a quick-dry and you're not concerned about the amount of water your towel can and will absorb, then one of the lighter weight choices may be a better option for you.

Lightweight towels like the DEMMEX Set of 6 soak up water quickly but can only hold so much before they are fully saturated.
Lightweight towels like the DEMMEX Set of 6 soak up water quickly but can only hold so much before they are fully saturated.

Drying Rate


A quick-drying time is a desirable trait that most Turkish towels possess. That being said, not all towels are created equal. A big fluffy towel that provides warmth on colder beach days may be a priority for some, but it can also take considerably longer to dry. Towels that take too long to dry can be impractical and often begin to smell mildewy frustratingly fast. As you might expect, lightweight towels dry faster than heavyweight ones.

Being a lighter weight towel  the BOSPHORUS set is a great choice if you're looking for something that will dry quickly.
Being a lighter weight towel, the BOSPHORUS set is a great choice if you're looking for something that will dry quickly.

We have quite a few winners in this metric, and it's no surprise that they are all lightweight — all but one, that is. The Mebien Beach Bath towel takes the cake for drying time, despite being on the thicker side. Our lightweight winners in this metric are the BOSPHORUS Set of 6, WETCAT Original, Cacala Pestemal, BOSPHORUS Hand Towel Set, and the Realgrandbazaar Pestemal.

Want to wear your beach towel as a scarf when you're done patting yourself down? No problem with the WETCAT.
Want to wear your beach towel as a scarf when you're done patting yourself down? No problem with the WETCAT.

Comfort


No one likes a scratchy towel. When you get out of the hot tub or run inside after taking a cold plunge and your skin is tingling, wrapping an itchy towel around your bare shoulders can really kill your buzz. During our hands-on testing period, we paid very close attention to the comfort level of each towel. How did it feel on our skin? How did our skin feel after using the towel? Did it provide warmth? Could you wear it as a scarf or headwrap? Would you want to?

Fold up the Mebien to make a really nice cushion for your backside.
Fold up the Mebien to make a really nice cushion for your backside.

We have one clear winner in this category; the Mebien Beach Bath Towel once again. It was soft upon arrival and only got softer with use. Its thickness provides delightful warmth when worn as a scarf or used as a blanket. The DEMMEX and Bazaar Anatolia are also thick and cozy. Our favorite thin towel in the comfort department is the WETCAT. It comes out of its package soft and continues to soften with use and washes.

Whether you're lying on rocks or soft grass  a thicker towel like the DEMMEX will offer more in the way of comfort than a lightweight one.
Whether you're lying on rocks or soft grass, a thicker towel like the DEMMEX will offer more in the way of comfort than a lightweight one.

Versatility


Turkish towels are known for their versatility. They make great throws, head wraps, bath towels, beach towels, scarves, and more. Since they dry so quickly, you could feasibly take a shower in the morning, dry off with your towel, and then wear it out as a scarf in the afternoon. We understand that not everyone would want to do that, but it's nice to have the option. We love specialty items, but part of what makes the Turkish towel unique is that it was purposefully designed for all these uses.

The DEMMEX is cozy and thick enough to use as a light blanket  stylish enough to use as a throw and absorbent enough to make the perfect towel.
The DEMMEX is cozy and thick enough to use as a light blanket, stylish enough to use as a throw and absorbent enough to make the perfect towel.

The thicker towels in our review were a bit more versatile than their lightweight counterparts. Our top contenders, the Mebien Beach Bath Towel and the DEMMEX Organic Diamond Weave are thick, soft, and absorbent. The Mebien is soft and lightweight but still thick and cozy enough to provide a good bit of warmth when worn as a scarf or used as a blanket. The DEMMEX is even thicker, offers more warmth, and can make a very stylish throw for the end of a bed or living room chair. The runner ups in this category are the hand towels. The Smyrna Original Hand Towels are larger than your average hand, face, or dish towel and can thusly be used as a stylish table runner or head towel as well.

A towel you can use as a scarf! The Mebian was an easy favorite for us.
A towel you can use as a scarf! The Mebian was an easy favorite for us.

Aesthetics


While we recognize that aesthetics are highly subjective, we did find some trends during our pre-ordering research. A majority of buyers enjoy thick, cozy tassels and lots of color and pattern options. We couldn't agree more. The thicker the tassels, the better! That said, it is hard to get thick tassels from a lightweight towel, which is why this category also considers color and pattern options as well as durability. Does the towel hold its threads through multiple washes, or does it start to look ratty after a few trips to the beach? Is it a traditional style Turkish towel, or is there a fun twist on the pattern option? Does it look high quality? How tight is the knit? These are just a few questions we asked ourselves while testing out our towels.

Big thick tassels  like on the Mebian  give these towels a cozy look and are quite the crowd pleaser.
Big thick tassels, like on the Mebian, give these towels a cozy look and are quite the crowd pleaser.

Most of the winners in this metric are a little thicker. The Mebien is a fun take on the Turkish towel. Usually, the tassels are knotted, but this towel lets its tassels fly free. It is also not your traditional minimalist striped towel, having more of a southwest vibe to its aesthetic. The DEMMEX and Bazaar Anatolia are also lovely — both are thick with knotted tassels and a diamond pattern. They come in many colors and are very pleasing to the eye, whether worn as scarves or used as towels. The Smyrna Hand Towel is also a very pretty towel with thick tassels, great as a functional asset to the kitchen or the bathroom. As far as an aesthetically pleasing lightweight towel, our heart is set on the WETCAT Original. Its traditional Turkish towel style and high-quality fabric put this one at the top of our list.

Where fashion meets function. We liked using the Smyrna as a table runner and placemat as well as a towel.
Where fashion meets function. We liked using the Smyrna as a table runner and placemat as well as a towel.

Conclusion


Whether you're a beach bum, a spa-goer, or looking for a cute throw to snuggle up in on movie night, Turkish towels can be a great choice. They range in versatility, and some perform better than others in certain circumstances, so it's important to know what you are in the market for. It can be difficult to decide which towel is the perfect fit, but we are here to help! After hours of research and rigorous hands-on testing, we landed on the Turkish towels in this review, sure to tickle your fancy and add some beautiful practicality to your home, your wardrobe, or your next water-focused adventure.

Hayley Thomas