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These Eco-Friendly Towels Reduce Your Carbon Footprint — & They’re Super Soft Too

Shopping for eco-friendly towels can be tricky. Since there isn't really a universal standard, it can be difficult to know if they're as environmentally sound as they claim to be. One helpful strategy when you're looking for the best eco-friendly towels is to seek out options with special environmental certifications. These certifications ensure independent verification of the company's sustainability practices. The most reliable certifications include:

  • GOTS-certified: Not only does the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification ensure that 70% of the fibers in a textile are organic, but it also requires manufacturers to meet certain water and energy consumption standards during production.
  • OEKO TEX-certified: The OEKO-TEX certification guarantees that materials have been tested to be ecologically sound and not harmful to human health.
  • GRS-certified: The Global Recycle Standard (GRS) verifies recycled content and requires good social, environmental, and chemical practices during production.

Once you've verified that the product you're considering is indeed eco-friendly, other qualities to look for in high quality bath towels include:

  • Soft: Organic cotton and bamboo are usually your best bet for a soft feel, although alternatives such as hemp or flax can also be gentle on skin.
  • Absorbent: Reading the reviews is an excellent method for determining how absorbent the weave is. Cotton tends to be the most absorbent, although bamboo and flax perform well too.
  • Quick-drying: Bamboo, polyester, and other alternative fabrics can help your towel dry quickly, which is not only more comfortable and convenient, but prevents odor, too.

With these factors in mind, I did some research and rounded up the best eco-friendly towels on Amazon. Take a look below to find one that fits your lifestyle the best.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

1
This Plush Towel Set Made With Recycled Materials

What's great about them: Woven from 10% recycled cotton, 80% virgin combed cotton, and 10% recycled water bottles (!), these spa-quality sustainable bath towels are the thickest option on the list. These luxurious towels offer great absorbency, plus they're GRS- and OEKO-TEX-certified, so you can rest assured that good manufacturing practices went into making them. They're machine-washable and come in a convenient six-pack with two bath towels, two hand towels, and a set of washcloths. The set is available in four colors: cocoa, iron, white, and dusty blue.

One reviewer wrote: "I love these towels and just ordered a second set. Super soft and absorbent. Highly recommend!"

2
A Pair Of Lightweight Turkish Cotton Bath Towels Blended With Soft Bamboo

What's great about them: If you want to add a little opulence to your life while remaining eco-friendly, these high-end organic bamboo towels are just the ticket. And don't be fooled by the fact that they're lightweight and thin — they're made with a blend of 60% cotton and 40% bamboo for a feel that's ultra-soft, and they're quick-drying and super absorbent too. Just as important: The towels are OEKO-TEX-certified, so they're free of any potentially harmful chemicals. The top-grade bath sheets come in a set of two, and they're machine-washable and extra-large, making them perfect for wrapping up in after a hot shower. The towels are available in three soft, muted colors: blue, beige, and pink.

One reviewer wrote: "They actually get softer with each wash - which means they are long lasting. My young daughters asked me to check if there are pajamas from this material as it is so soft."

3
A 6-Piece Towel Set Made From Hemp & Recycled Polyester

What's great about them: These high-quality hemp towels, which come in five earth-toned color options, are soft, absorbent, and exceptionally durable. In addition to sustainable hemp (which returns roughly 60% of its nutrients back to the soil, per the manufacturer), the OEKO-TEX-certified towels are made with a smooth blend of cotton and recycled polyester. They dry quickly and come in a handy six-piece set, including two washcloths, two hand towels, and a pair of full-sized bath towels. Although it's not stated by the manufacturer, hemp is generally machine-washable, and — even better — tends to get subsequently softer with each wash.

One reviewer wrote: "Thumbs up."

4
This Quick-Drying Beach Towel Made Of Soft, Pre-Shrunk Cotton

What's great about them: As far as beach towels go, this lightweight, sand-resistant option from Club Kokomo is one of the best eco-friendly towels out there. It's OEKO-TEX-certified and made with 100% cotton that's super soft and silky to the touch. The material is absorbent and durable enough to withstand the wind, sand, salt water, and other elements. Best of all, the thin material makes it ultra-portable and easy to toss in your beach bag or over your shoulder. It's machine-washable, which is perfect in case of picnic spills, and you even get to choose from seven Caribbean-inspired colors, like yellow, aqua, and lilac.

One reviewer wrote: "I could not love this towel any more if I tried. I love Peshtemal towels and always use them at the beach. [...] It has a great quality weave to it. I washed it before using it and it did not shrink AT ALL. That’s unheard of! Also, all of the little tassels on the side stayed knitted and didn’t fray one bit. Super quick to dry. The color of the towel is exactly as pictured. Love, love, love!"

5
A Lightweight & Durable Bath Towel Made From 100% Flax

What's great about it: This unique eco-friendly bath towel, which is OEKO-TEX-certified, is made with 100% softened flax. In addition to being lightweight and durable, it's highly absorbent and quick-drying, making it a great sauna towel, too. Plus, the flax is thermoregulating so it keeps you cool when you're hot and warm when you're cold. Available in four different colorways, it's quick-drying and 100% machine-washable. Keep in mind, though: Some people reported that the towel isn't quite as soft as more traditional options.

One reviewer wrote: "I have been looking for a linen towel like this for decades. I hate soft, “thirsty” towels that just seem to move water around on my skin. These towels absorb and they are perfect for my always itchy skin. I love them!!!"