The 10 Best Quick-Dry Towels

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by Amber Petty and Cristina Sanza
Originally Published: 

Whether you're a hot yoga enthusiast, a happy camper, or love a relaxing bath, a fast-drying towel will help prevent dreaded dampness and musty odor. When it comes to the best quick-dry towels, it’s best to choose ones made from highly absorbent microfiber or cotton that’s lightweight, durable, and soft.

What’s the difference between microfiber and cotton? Microfiber has a large surface area that allows it to absorb up to seven times its weight in water and it dries faster than cotton, making it harder for odor-causing bacteria to grow. Microfiber towels are also a great choice for cleaning because they remove up to 99% of germs from surfaces, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But if you prefer the superior softness of cotton when drying off after a shower or bath, you can opt for a 100% cotton or cotton-blend towel that’s lightweight enough to dry quickly. As for care, both materials are machine-washable, but air drying is usually recommended for microfiber while most cotton towels can go in the dryer on low heat.

In a hurry? These are the best quick-dry towels:

1. Best Quick-Dry Beach Towel: Clotho Turkish Home Beach Towels (Set of 4)

2. The Runner-Up: SUN CUBE Microfiber Beach Towel

3. Best Budget Quick-Dry Bath Towel: Amazon Basics Quick-Dry Towels (8 Pieces)

4. Best Quick-Dry Bath Towel: Everplush Diamond Jacquard Quick-Dry Bath Towel

5. Best Quick-Dry Sports Towel: Rainleaf Microfiber Towel

6. Best Quick-Dry Travel Towel Set: OlimpiaFit Microfiber Towels (Set of 3)

7. Best Waffle-Weave Quick-Dry Towel: Gilden Tree Premium Bath Towels (Set of 2)

8. Best Plush Quick-Dry Towel: Qute Home Bath Towel Set (4 Pieces)

9. Best Quick-Dry Hair Towel: YoulerTex Microfiber Hair Towel Wrap

10. Best Antibacterial Quick-Dry Towel: Microfiber Pros Antibacterial Microfiber Cleaning Cloths (10-Pack)

If it’s time to upgrade your linen closet, scroll on for the best quick-dry towels for travel, taking a bath, and cleaning.


The Best Quick-Dry Beach Towel

These lightweight, quick-drying Turkish towels are perfect for a day at the beach — and you get four of them in each set. The oversize towels are made from absorbent 100% cotton and feature a stylish diamond pattern and tassels. Plus, these towels become softer and more absorbent with each wash.

One helpful review: “I hate taking bulky towels to the beach. These towels are perfect! They do not collect a lot of sand and dry quick! Bought another set!”


The Runner-Up

If you favor classic cabana stripes, this sand-resistant microfiber beach towel is an excellent choice. It’s lightweight, quick-drying, and comes with a convenient mesh carry bag. The towel also has a built-in loop so you can hang dry. Choose from two sizes and eight colors, including light blue, yellow, and orange.

One helpful review: “I initially bought these towels for swimming and bathing while on a camping trip but I’m now a full convert for using these for any water play! They pack down so small, are super light weight, absorb beautifully, are soft and dry fast.”

  • Available sizes: Standard, Large


The Best Budget Quick-Dry Bath Towel

This affordable towel set includes two bath towels, two hand towels, and four washcloths, and it boasts over 26,000 positive reviews from Amazon shoppers. The towels are made from soft, lightweight 100% cotton that’s OEKO-TEX-certified to be free from harmful substances. Also great: They’re dryer-safe, and there are five vibrant colors to choose from. A three-piece set is also available.

One helpful review: “These towels are not fancy but just what I was looking for. Quick drying, lightweight, absorbent, nice color, and a good feel to them. Easy to care for, they continue to come out of the washer and dryer (low heat) in great condition over time.”


The Best Quick-Dry Bath Towel

This textured bath towel features a soft cotton outer loop and an absorbent microfiber core, so it feels soft against the skin and dries quickly. The towel is dryer-safe for easy care, and you can choose from two sizes and 10 versatile colors like gray, navy blue, and white.

One helpful review: “I just love these towels! Even after several washes later they are the same as when I bought them. I was having a problem with towels not drying before the next use, but not these!”

  • Available sizes: Bath Towel (30 x 56 inches), Bath Sheet (35 x 66 inches)


The Best Quick-Dry Sports Towel

Available in a range of sizes, this quick-dry sports towel is great for wicking away sweat or taking a post-workout shower. The lightweight microfiber towel has a loop for hang drying and comes with a convenient carry bag. Choose from 10 colors, including blue, gray, and brick red.

One helpful review: “The color never fades, the towel takes very little space in a gym bag, the washer, dryer or drawer. It is microfiber, dries quickly and wicks the sweat away very efficiently.”

  • Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large


The Best Quick-Dry Travel Towel Set

Featuring three sizes, this set of microfiber travel towels will come in handy on camping and backpacking trips. The soft and highly absorbent towels dry quickly and come with a mesh carry bag for compact storage. You can choose from eight colors, including gray, green, and blue.

One helpful review: “I just returned from a 3.5 week backpacking trip through New Zealand and found these towels extremely useful during the journey [...] I used the largest towel from showering, medium towel for when I went swimming or coming out of rain (usually carried it in my day pack for easy access), and the smallest towel for face/hand washing.”


The Best Waffle-Weave Quick-Dry Towel

Featuring a honeycomb waffle weave, these 100% cotton bath towels are absorbent, lightweight, and fast-drying. Plus, they’re OEKO-TEX-certified and easy to toss in the dryer after washing. There are eight stylish colors available, including indigo, coral, and classic white, so there’s sure to be one that complements your bathroom decor.

One helpful review: “These are 100% natural cotton with the classic woven-in grid that lets them slurp up water in seconds and gives your skin an exfoliating rub-down as well. Hang them up when you're done and they dry quickly, even in a damp bathroom.”


The Best Plush Quick-Dry Towel

If you like a luxurious towel but also want one that dries in a hurry, this set of four plush bath towels is for you. They’re made from durable 100% Turkish cotton that’s absorbent and soft to the touch. These towels are dryer-safe and available in eight colors, including green, yellow, and gray.

One helpful review: “These towels exceeded my expectations. They are quick-dry, light weight and the cotton quality has super absorbency when drying the body.”


The Best Quick-Dry Hair Towel

Not only does this microfiber towel dry quickly, but it also helps your hair dry faster, too. The lightweight hair towel wrap has a button on the back to keep it securely in place so you can continue getting ready while your locks dry. What’s more, you can toss this towel in the dryer for easy care. Each set includes two and there are 11 color options, including gray, white, and blue.

One helpful review: “Easy to use, pretty soft, towel dries fairly quickly after use, and most importantly, my hair gets dry so much more quickly when I put it up in this towel after a shower. It saves me so much time when I'm getting ready.”


The Best Antibacterial Quick-Dry Towel

Microfiber is already a good choice for cleaning, and these microfiber towels are embedded with silver for additional antibacterial properties. They can be used anywhere around the house, whether you’re wiping down kitchen counters, polishing delicate items, or detailing your car. Each pack contains 10 towels.

One helpful review: “I am very happy with my microfiber cloths. They are soft and they dry quickly. I use them for everything!”

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