Bath Buying Guide

What Should I Look For In a Towel?

When shopping for towels, the most important thing to look for is the fabric that goes into the construction because this says a lot about its absorbency, durability and appearance. The higher the quality of cotton, the more absorbent and durable it's going to be. After considering the fabric content, consider its use. For instance, a terry towel is going to be best for drying off after a bath whereas a velour towel is more popular for its elegant appearance.

Towel Sizes

There are a lot of things that come in the category of "one size fits all" but bath towels are not one of them. Bath towels come in specific sizes to meet different needs. Although the exact measurements may vary depending on the brand, here are the different type and bath towels and the average size you may find for these towels.

Bath Towel - 27" X 52" - This towel is the all purpose towel that's perfect for a bath or shower.
Hand Towel - 16" X 30"- This towel is a towel that will get a lot of use drying hands throughout the day.
Wash Cloth - 13" X 13"- This small square towel is used to wash your hands, face and body both in and outside of the shower or bath.
Fingertip Towel - 11" X 18"- This towel is slightly smaller than a hand towel and is usually used instead of a hand towel and in a guest bathroom.
Bath Sheet - 35" X 60"- This towel, large than a bath towel, is oversized and perfect for those that prefer total coverage after a bath or shower. Kids love these.
Tub Mat - 27" X 52"- This towel is a very absorbent towel that's made with a tight weave and is used on the floor outside of the tub to keep your floor dry.

Different Effects of Towel Fabrics

The fabric that is used in the construction of a towel will determine its weight, absorbency and durability. Although most towels are made of cotton or some sort of cotton blend, the type of fiber that goes into the cotton plays a large part in the feel, durability and colorfastness of the towels. Here are some common fabrics and types of towels, what they consist of and their qualities.

Standard Cotton - Most basic towels for everyday use are 100% cotton, a fabric that makes for a very absorbent and durable towel.
Pima and Supima Cotton - Towels made of these fabrics are considered luxurious towel. They consist of long staple fiber that makes them more durable, absorbent and provides a plush feel.
Egyptian Cotton - This cotton is made of longer and softer fibers than standard cotton and will provide you with softer, more durable and more absorbent towels than standard cotton. These towels are more breathable and, with proper care, will last for years.
Bamboo - These towels are made from Bamboo grass and usually blended with cotton and provides a lustrous look and velvety soft fee. They are also known for their environmentally friendly characteristics because the bamboo plant grows fast, is very sustainable and requires no pesticides.
Organic Cotton - These towels are also environmentally friendly because of the eco-friendly dyes that are used in their design. Organic cotton is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides and make an excellent quality bath towel.
Terry -This type of towel is made of a woven fabric with loops that are not cut. Terry towels are the same on both sides, making them very popular because of their absorbency and strength. Designs, embroidery and prints are usually put on terry towels.
Velour -These towels have loops that have been cut on one side of the towel, which makes for a very velvety touch. They're more popular for their appearance than for their absorbency. Prints, embroidery and designs are usually put on the smooth side of velour towels.
Jacquard - These towels are not a specific fabric but more a design or pattern that is woven into a solid color towel by means of a special loom.

Caring For Your Towels

Whether you've spent a lot of money on your towels are purchased them at discount prices, you're going to want them to last as long as possible. Your towels should be machine washed in warm water with like colors to prevent fading. Use a mild detergent but avoid using bleach. They can be dried in the dryer but remove and fold promptly. They'll also smell great if you hang them on a clothes line but only on a breezy day. Avoid using fabric softeners as they consist of a silicone chemical that will make the towel water repellent over time rather than absorbent.

What Type of Bath Rug Should I Buy?

There are different considerations to be taken before selecting a bath rug including size, construction and quality. Bath rugs are made one of two ways: yardage method or tabletop method. The tabletop method is better quality because the fibers are connected into the rug backing so they'll stay in place longer, making the rug more durable and longer lasting. The yardage method is similar to how carpeting is constructed. The entire carpeting is made and the rug is cut out of it to your desired size. After it's made to the desired size, a coating is put on the back to give it a nonslip surface.
The construction and size you buy will be determined by its use as well as the amount of traffic it will get. The yardage method is a great choice if the rug is to be used outside of the tub as it will prevent wet feet from slipping. The tabletop method, however, is more appropriate in the rest of the room, especially high traffic areas because it will last longer.
Most bath rugs can be machine washed with cold water and mild detergent. Tumble dry on a low setting and remove promptly. Avoid fabric softeners and bleach.

What Kind of Bath Rug Do I Want?

A rug is not just a rug at least not when you're decorating your bathroom. Here are a few of the most popular types of bath rugs or terms you'll see when decorating your bathroom.

Bath Rug - This is the basic name you'll see any time you're shopping for floor coverings for your bathroom. Bath rugs may be oval, oblong or rectangular in size. Their main purpose is usually to provide warmth on the bathroom floor. Most bath rugs are the same size even if they're made by different manufacturers.
Bath Mat - This bath rug is larger than the traditional bath rug and is used with the purpose of keeping water off the floor when you're getting out of the bath or shower. It offers protection from water damage and also prevents you from slipping when getting out of the bath tub.
Contour Rug - This bath rug is used to go around the bottom of the toilet. It provides a tight fit and is used more as a decorative item.
Toilet lid cover - This bath rug is round and is used as a covering for the toilet seat. They may be elongated or standard size. Like the contour rug, they are a decorative item to complete a bathroom ensemble.