Towels and wash clothes are pretty intimate with your private parts. The often neglected towel touches more of your bits and pieces than almost anything in your home. And yet, we often shop for towels without really knowing what or why we are buying them. For example, do you want a plushy towel or a towel that can speed up your hair drying time?

Do you know your towel terminology? We give you a lesson in towels so you can buy with expert knowledge. (Because you and your towel are really pretty tight.)

Towels that feel luxe or towels that dry quickly? We give you a towel tutorial. Image from Pinterest


Want super soft towels?
If you want super soft and absorbent? Look for towels made of Egyptian or Pima cotton.These varieties of cotton make towels that soak up water fast. (These towels are also luxurious and comfortable.) Two-ply towels are the most absorbent.

Towels that dry quickly?
If you want towels that dry on the fly (think towels that you take to the gym and towels that don’t have much room to dry in a tiny bathroom), opt for microfiber towels. Microfiber towels are made with man-made materials. They’re among the most quick-drying towels, and they store easily-but they’re not the plushest feeling. There are also cotton towels labeled “quick dry” that are designed to dry faster than typical towels.

Martha Stewart Quick Dry Towel Collection, starting at $10 at Macy’s.

Towels that are good for the environment?
Organic cotton towels are made with cotton grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. To be certified as organic, cotton must establish itself through third-party certifications. It doesn’t impact the final product, however: Organic cotton has the same feel as non-organic cottons. Towels labeled quick dry are also a little lighter on the environment because they require less time in the dryer when you launder them.

Towels that double as a beach cover up?
The Turkish towel is the perfect packable towel for the beach. Made of cotton and often woven with Turkish cotton , this thin (but absorbent) towel does double duty as a pareo style beach cover up.

A Turkish towel is perfect for the beach. Thin enough to pack in your suitcase, big enough for a beach blanket and works as a cover up.