All you need to know about towels and beach towels

Are you dreaming of a complete set of matching towels in the right sizes for different needs? Do you want to get the luxurious feeling of a hotel towel at home? Are you tired of towels that smell bad and feel unfresh? Then you should keep on reading, because here is the ultimate guide on how to choose the right towels – and how to take care of them so that they maintain the high quality and the fresh feeling as long as possible!

Towels can be a source of both frustration and enjoyment: As wonderful as it is to wrap yourself in a clean and fresh towel after a shower, it is just as unpleasant to find wet towels thrown in a pile on the bathroom floor.

In this guide, we have gathered the best advice on how to choose the right towels and how to take care of them in the best way:

Size and use

Towels are available in a variety of sizes for different uses. The smaller sizes are mostly used to dry hands and face, while larger sizes are used to dry the body after bathing or showering. Really large towels are beach towels that are often used by the pool or on the beach. Size and material affect how quickly the towel dries and how soft it feels, making it important to choose the right type and size for your purposes.

Sizeguide for towels and beach towels

Towel Towel size, cm Use


Face & small children
Guest towel 30×50 Hands & face
Hand towel 50×70, (30×50) Hands & face

Shower towel, bath towel,

sauna towel

70×140 Body: shower, sauna, bath
Beach towel 100×150, 100×200 Body: shower, sauna, bath

Towels for hands and face

A small size towel that usually hangs on a hook next to the sink, a classic towel for drying hands and face. These towels take a lot of wear and tear and are used several times each day. The size of hands and face towels are usually between 30×50 cm and 50×70 cm. These are practical sizes, since the towels can be hung by the sink and dry quickly. It is a good idea to replace and wash hand and face towels several times a week as they are used extensively.

Guest towel

A guest towel is a towel for guests to dry their hands on. They are often smaller in size, usually 30×50 cm. It is nice and hygienic to have separate guest towels in every bathroom. If you have overnight guests, it is standard to also offer them a smaller towel for their face and hands, as well as a larger towel to use after a shower or bath.

Bath towel and shower towel

It is practical with a larger towel to use after showering and bathing. Bath towels are usually about 70×140 cm, but some prefer to wrap themselves in larger sized beach towels.

Beach towels

The largest towel sizes are often used after bathing and are therefore called beach towels or bath towels. They are usually about 100×150 cm or larger. They can be used at home after a shower or bath – and you can also take them to the beach and use them as luxury beach towels. In addition, bath towels are practical to use in bathhouses, saunas and in other common areas where you want to cover your body a little more.

Material guide for towels

Towels are often made of cotton, but there are also towels in other natural materials such as linen and bamboo. Cotton is both durable and soft, and depending on how the cotton fabric is woven, it has a different structure and experience against the skin.

Material Description Absorption Drying time
Cotton, cotton terry The most common material for towels. Soft, durable and natural material. High Medium
Velour (cut terry cloth) Soft and velvety surface, often combined with terry cloth on one side. Medium Medium
Microfiber Synthetic material, very light and quick drying. Medium Short
Linen Natural material, rough but becomes softer and more absorbent over time. Medium Medium
Bamboo Soft, organic and fast-growing material. High Short

Terry towels

Terry towels are made of a woven cotton fabric that consists of loops. The loops give the fabric a good absorbency – the denser the loops are placed the better the absorbency. Tighter and heavier towels therefore have a better absorption capacity than light ones. Terry towels are marked with g / m2, which shows how many grams of cotton each square meter of towel contains. Premium towels, such as Pelle Vävare’s towels, contain 550 g / m2 or more.

Towel density classification:

  • Barrel: 250-350 g/m2
  • Medium: 350-450 g/m2
  • High dense: 450-600 g/m2
  • Very high dense: more than 600 g/m2

Velour towels (cut terry cloth)

As we have previously stated, looped terry is the most common material on towels. Cut terry is a looped terry where the loops have been cut to give the fabric a really soft and luxurious feeling. The cut terry feels softer but doesn’t absorb water as well as looped terry.

Towels made of organic cotton

Conventionally grown cotton requires large amounts of fertilizers and pesticides that affect both nature and the people in the surrounding environment. Organic cotton is grown without pesticides and fertilizers and is a better alternative for both nature and the people who live close to or work with the cotton. An organic cotton towel is therefore more environmentally friendly than a conventionally grown cotton towel. Today, about 1% of the world’s cotton production is organic.

Cotton from different countries

There are different types of cotton, often named after the place of origin. The five largest cotton-producing countries are India, China, the United States, Brazil and Pakistan. Despite this, many people are more familiar with Egyptian cotton which is known to have extra long fibers, or Turkish cotton which is grown by the Aegean Sea and gives a slightly stronger quality.

At Pelle Vävare, we use high quality cotton from India, Pakistan and Egypt. The towels themselves are made in Portugal, which is one of the largest textile nations in Europe, with long experience and decent working conditions for its employees. In addition, all our towels are certified according to OEKO-TEX Standard 100, which guarantees that the product is free of harmful substances and chemical residues that can cause allergic reactions.

Hotel towels

You have probably stayed in a hotel and enjoyed chalk-white, fluffy towels that feel luxuriously soft. What exactly is the secret behind hotel towels?

To begin with, hotel towels have a very high quality, they must be able to be washed and used day after day without losing their shape. Hotel towels often consist of 100% cotton terry with a high density that gives a good absorbency and a heavy luxurious feeling. Contrary to popular belief, hotel towels are usually made of fairly hard terry without loose fibers and softness treatment, which means that they keep their shape over a long period of time.

Many people who want the hotel feeling at home buy the wrong type of towels: towels sold in the large chain stores have a lower density and poorer quality, and are treated to feel soft and fluffy, which disappears after a short time of use. If you want lovely and comfortable towels for a long time, you should instead invest in towels with a higher density and better quality, and then tumble dry them after washing to get the soft and fluffy feeling. Pelle Vävare’s towels have a very thick and soft terry that gives you a luxurious hotel experience at home.

Tips for choosing the right towels

Here are six tips to consider when buying new towels and bath towels for your home:

  • Material: Choose a material that suits your needs and preferences. Cotton and cotton terry are classic choices for their softness and absorbency. For a more luxurious feel, you can choose Egyptian or Turkish cotton. Bamboo and linen are good eco-friendly options, while microfiber is quick-drying and lightweight.
  • Absorbency: If you value high absorbency, choose materials such as Egyptian cotton, Turkish cotton, cotton terry or bamboo.
  • Drying time: If you prefer towels that dry quickly, consider microfiber, bamboo or linen.
  • Size: Make sure you buy the right size towels and bath sheets for your needs. Smaller towels are most often used to dry hands and face, while bath towels are larger and are used after bathing or showering. There are also beach towels that are even larger and suitable for outdoor use.
  • Color and design:Choose colors and patterns that suit your personal taste and match your bathroom. Towels can be a nice detail in the interior and contribute to a harmonious atmosphere.
  • Quality and price: Consider the quality of the towels and how much you are willing to pay. More expensive towels tend to be of higher quality and last longer. Be sure to read reviews and compare prices before you buy.

Care instructions for towels

Buying high quality towels is a good first step for you who want a long-term sustainable set of towels. But it is just as important to take care of the towels in the right way so that they remain fresh and maintain their high quality.

Wash towels

How often should towels be washed?

It depends on how much they are used: Towels that are used several times every day need to be washed more often than towels that are used less often. If the towel starts to feel unfresh or smells bad, it is of course time to throw it in the laundry basket no matter how short or long it has been used!

  • Smaller towels for hands and face that are used frequently may need to be changed a couple of times a week.
  • Bath and shower towels that are used less often can be used for a longer period of time, around one to two weeks, before they are washed.

At what temperature should towels be washed?

Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for washing temperature. Pelle Vävare’s towels can be washed at up to 60 degrees, but we recommend that they are washed at 40 degrees. The towels are as clean at 40 degrees as 60 degrees, while it is better for the environment with a lower washing temperature.

Keep in mind that even though the cotton fabric itself can withstand higher temperatures, many towels have details and seams that do not withstand as high temperatures, which can cause them to lose their shape.

What, and how much, detergent should I use for towels?
Always follow the dosage on the detergent packaging. Too much detergent does not make the towels cleaner, instead you run the risk that the washing machine will not remove all the detergent and you may have residues left on your towels. Avoid fabric softeners, bleaches, stain removers or detergents that contain bleach or fabric softener when washing your towels. If you get stains on towels, for example from makeup, it is best to soak in warm water immediately to avoid the stains getting stuck and then wash the towel as soon as possible.

Should I use fabric softener?

You should not use fabric softener when washing towels. Plasticizer settles like a film on the cotton and impairs the towel’s absorbency. To get a soft feeling on the towel without fabric softener, you can tumble dry it at a low temperature after washing.

Can I wash towels with other fabrics or garments?

It is a good idea to wash towels separately the first few times to avoid them staining. After that, it usually works well to wash towels together with other textiles. However, avoid washing the towels with clothes with hard and sharp details such as zippers and angular buttons that risk getting caught in the towel’s small loops and scratching them.

Dry towels

In order for your towels to stay fresh for a long time, it is important that they dry quickly, both after use and washing. Bacteria and microorganisms that cause bad smells thrive on wet and damp towels. How to dry your towels in the best way:

Tumble drying
To get a really soft and fluffy towel, tumble drying is recommended after washing. Dry the towels on low heat for 15-20 minutes so that they are almost dry. Then hang up to air dry.

Dry towels in drying cabinet

It is of course possible to dry towels, both freshly washed and used, in drying cabinets. However, make sure not to run the drying cabinet at too high a temperature – follow the towel’s care instructions.

Air drying outdoors and indoors
Towels that are air-dried need to be hung airy, make sure that they are hung freely without creases so that they dry properly. If you air dry towels indoors, it should be done in the bathroom or laundry room as these rooms are best ventilated and adapted to absorb moisture. If you dry towels outdoors, you should avoid hanging them in direct sunlight, which can bleach the cotton terry.

Use heated towel rails

A good way to ensure that towels dry quickly after use is to have a heated towel rail to hang the towels on. They are available in many different models and designs. Keep in mind that an electric towel rail that is on all the time consumes a lot of electricity, so remember to turn it off when your towels have dried.

Comparison table of different drying methods

  Benefits Disadvantages Keep in mind
Tumble dry Quick drying, soft towels Energy consumption, more wear and tear May shrink some materials, follow washing instructions
Air dry indoors Energy saving, simple and cost-effective Slower drying, less soft Good ventilation is needed to avoid moisture and mold
Air dry outdoors Fresh scent, the sun’s UV rays kill bacteria Weather dependent, longer time in case of humidity Avoid direct sunlight to minimize fading
Drying cabinet Quick drying, protected from dust Energy consumption, takes up space Check temperature and time for different materials
Towel dryer Warm and dry towel, hygienic Installation, energy cost Needs connection to electricity or heating system, drying capacity


Store towels

Shower and bath towels should always be hung free to dry after use. They can then be hung on a hook, folded or rolled up for the next use or placed in the laundry basket. Never put wet towels directly in the laundry basket – it is a perfect breeding ground for bacterial growth and bad smell!

Freshly washed towels can be folded or rolled and placed inside cabinets or on open shelves. Keep in mind that high-quality towels are a nice interior detail in bathrooms, so feel free to have them in front instead of hiding them in cupboards. Fold or roll your towels in the same way to create a uniform and neat feeling. It is good to have a large flat surface to fold or roll towels on: if you do not have a bench in the bathroom or laundry room, you can fold your towels on the bed.

Tip! Start by folding the shower towels and bath towels with the long sides facing each other, then you can easily roll it up, or fold the short sides towards each other in 2-4 folds.

Tips for reusing and throwing away towels

If you buy high quality towels and take good care of them – make sure they always dry quickly after use and wash them regularly – they can last for many years.
When the towels have been used until they are broken, start to smell bad or no longer absorb water – it is time to replace them in the bathroom. But keep in mind that the old towels can be used for other purposes before they are thrown away or recycled. Here are five smart tips on how to reuse old towels:

  • Use on the beach and outdoors. Towels that do not feel 100% fresh are practical to bring with you as outdoor towels on the beach or other rougher outdoor activities where you do not want to wear your best towels.
  • Turn into small washcloths or rags. You can easily turn broken towels into smaller washcloths that can either be used as nappies when changing nappies or as cleaning cloths when cleaning. Just cut to the desired size and hem the edges.
  • Protect clothing during messy activities. Used towels are excellent to use as protection during messy activities, for example if the children are to paint with watercolors or play with clay. Cut a hole in the towel and thread it over your head like a poncho – done!
  • Back-up in the car. A pair of worn towels is smart to have lying in the car. They are perfect to use if someone spills something in the car, when picking up muddy children from preschool or training, or as extra protection on the seat in bad weather or when transporting dirty things.
  • Use for your pet. You can use old whole towels to make a cozy bed in your pet’s basket, while broken towels can be tied together into a pull or bit toy to play with.

Throw away and recycle towels – that’s how it works!

When you have used (and reused) your towel and are about to throw it away, you have two choices:

  • In general, textiles are sorted as combustible waste, and the towel can therefore be sorted in the regular garbage bag.
  • If you have the opportunity, it is better for the environment that the towel is recycled, since worn textiles can be used as filling materials, renewed materials and more. At some recycling centers, it is possible to hand in both whole and broken clothes and textiles. In addition, some stores also accept textile recycling. Check out what options are available where you live.

More useful tips for towels and beach towels

  • Have personal towels in the family so as not to spread viruses and bacteria between each other.
  • Replace and wash hand and face towels several times a week.
  • Washing your shower towels regularly, every week or two is usually enough.
  • Towels stained by make-up and make-up should be washed in hot water as soon as possible.
  • Choose the size you are most comfortable with! Smaller shower towels dry faster, larger towels are perceived as more luxurious and comfortable.
  • Hang the towel up so it can dry properly. If you hang the towel on a hook, it can wrinkle and the moisture stays there for a long time.
  • Make sure bath towels dry properly after use. The bigger the towel you have, the greater the risk of creases and moist areas that can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • If you’ve used your beach towel on the beach or in public, it’s a good idea to wash them afterwards to avoid dirt stains.

Frequently asked questions about towels

How many towels do you need?

The appropriate number of towels may vary depending on one’s personal needs, household size, laundry routines and other factors. However, here is a general recommendation for the average adult:

Shower towels: 2-3 per person. This allows one to be used while the others are being washed or dried. If you exercise often or visit a pool regularly, you may need some extra.

Face and hand towels: 2-4 per person. These can be used to dry hands and face after washing.

Guest towels: 2-4 depending on how often you have guests. It’s handy to have a few extra towels on hand when guests come to visit.

Bath sheets: 1-2 per person if you often visit the beach or pool.

For families with toddlers or babies, additional towels may be necessary, as they often get dirty faster. Having a few extra towels in stock is also handy in case something unexpected happens, like a liquid spill or a sudden guest.

Are there special towels for hair?

Most people use the same towels for hair as for face and body. But there are special turban-shaped towels and bamboo towels that some prefer to use for the hair. Choose a soft towel for the hair and remember not to rub the hair too much with the towel as the hair is brittle when it is wet. If you have long and thick hair, it is a good idea to choose a towel with a higher density of loops that will help absorb the water and dry your hair faster.

How do I avoid towels that release lint?

Invest in higher quality towels and you will get rid of the problem. It is usually lower quality towels that fluff off. At Pelle Vävare, we do not compromise on quality, and with us you avoid towels releasing lint.

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