Turkish Towel vs. Regular Towel

Are you looking to purchase new towels and wondering whether to go for a Turkish towel or regular towel?

Turkish Towel vs. Regular Towel

Both have their advantages, so it’s important to understand the key differences before deciding which option is right for your needs.

What is a Turkish Towel?

A Turkish towel is a lightweight, flat-woven towel traditionally used in Turkish baths called hammams. They are made from long-staple Turkish cotton, which is extremely soft and absorbent.

Turkish towels come in various sizes like beach towels, bath towels, and hand towels. They usually have a fringe along the edges and are thinner than regular towels. Their unique fabric construction allows them to dry very fast.

What is a Regular Towel?

Regular towels refer to the typical towels used in most households and hotels. They are made from materials like Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, microfiber, or lower-quality cotton.

Regular towels are thicker and fluffier than Turkish towels. They also tend to be heavier and come in different sizes for bathing, kitchen use, and more. While decently absorbent, regular towels take longer to dry completely compared to Turkish towels.


The absorbency of a towel refers to how effectively it soaks up and retains water. This is an important consideration, especially for bath and beach towels.

Turkish towels are crafted from superior long-staple Turkish cotton that has extremely absorbent fibers. So they have an exceptional water-retention capacity and work great as swimming pool and bath towels. The fibers also hold less sand, making Turkish towels perfect beach companions.

Regular towels can vary a lot in absorbency depending on material. High-quality Egyptian or Pima cotton towels have good absorbency. But cheaper regular towels made with inferior cotton tend to be less moisture-absorbent.

Towel TypeAbsorbency
Turkish TowelExcellent, made from very absorbent long-staple Turkish cotton
Regular TowelVaries depending on material, can be decent to mediocre

So if you want a towel that truly absorbs moisture, Turkish cotton towels are the best choice. Their super moisture retention abilities make them ideal for the pool, bathroom, and beach. Regular towels work fine for everyday use but may disappoint if high absorbency is important.

Key Takeaway: Turkish towels win for absorbency thanks to their high-quality long-staple cotton.

Drying Time

After a bath or swim, you want your towel to dry fast so it’s ready to use again. Slow drying towels can be inconvenient, lead to bad odors, and require more frequent washing.

Turkish towels win hands down here. Their flat-woven fabric, light weight, and thinness leads to extremely fast drying. Within just 1-2 hours, Turkish towels dry completely naturally after use.

Regular towels are thicker and denser piles of cotton. So they retain much more water and take hours longer to fully air dry. Place them in direct sunlight and regular towels may still stay damp for 3-4 hours after use.

Towel TypeDrying Time
Turkish TowelExtremely fast, dries in only 1-2 hours
Regular TowelMuch slower, can take 3-4+ hours to dry fully

When you need a towel that dries swiftly after a shower or swim, Turkish towels deliver splendidly. Their construction gives unmatched quick drying capabilities – a huge plus for busy households and travel. Regular towels impose longer wait times before being usable again unless machine dried.

Key Takeaway: Turkish towels easily beat regular towels when it comes to quick drying time.


Both Turkish and regular towels can be soft, but they differ in feel and how softness changes over time.

Out of the box, regular towels tend to be thicker and fluffier, giving an ultra soft, cushy sensation. Turkish towels have a smoother finish but still feel moderately soft initially.

But an intriguing quality of Turkish cotton is that it gets softer and more supple with each wash. As you use and clean your Turkish towel, its long-staple fibers become more flexible and the softness improves. In contrast, regular towels often degrade in softness and fluffiness over repeated machine washing and drying.

So expect supreme softness right away from regular towels, while Turkish towels start reasonably soft and become whisper-soft over time.

Durability and Longevity

You don’t want your towels wearing out or becoming scratchy and thin too quickly. Investing in durable towels saves money and hassle over time.

The trademark long-staple Turkish cotton makes Turkish towels ultra sturdy and long lasting. And their special flat-woven structure contains very few loose threads or openings for the fabric to deteriorate easily. With proper care, a Turkish towel can maintain integrity for decades with no holes, tears, or fraying even after hundreds of washes.

In contrast, regular towels tend to weaken more rapidly. All the loose fibers lead to accumulated lint and micro-tears in the fabric over months of use. Harsher laundry routines involving very hot water or the dryer accelerate fiber damage. So most regular cotton towels show obvious wear and decline in 2-5 years. Going with Turkish towels provides the benefit of towels built to last a lifetime.

Key Takeaway: Turkish towels easily outlast regular towels thanks to durable Turkish cotton and a tightly woven design.

Design and Colors

Regular towels shine when it comes to design choice and color/pattern variety. You can find regular cotton bath towels in every color palette and tone imaginable, often with pretty embroidered detailing or jacquard weaved patterns. Vibrant, colorful Turkish towels do exist, but the selection is more limited.

However, the traditional Turkish towel style has its own unique aesthetic appeal. The light colored cotton softly contrasted by the dark tassel fringe shouts leisure and luxury. And the colorful stripes or geometrics woven into many Turkish towels add beautiful visual interest.

So regular towels offer near endless design flexibility including holidays, beach themes, and mediterranean charm. But classic solid toned Turkish towels with striped details charmingly evoke spas and resort living.


Besides drying your body, how else might you utilize towels day to day? The options are far more expansive for Turkish Towels.

Their lightweight fabric and quick-drying abilities make Turkish towels versatile heroes in active settings. Tuck one in your beach bag, gym duffel, or take traveling since they barely add weight. The compact size also helps them multi-task on adventures as a picnic blanket, yoga mat/studio wrap, impromptu tent ground sheet. Or get creative using your Turkish towel as a scarf, sarong, shawl or even table runner at home!

Regular towels primarily act as bath towels or find secondary usage as kitchen towels or rags. Not much incentive or practicality brings a regular towel outside the home when Turkish towels handle that beautifully.

Key Takeaway: Turkish towels reign supreme in versatility with a huge array of potential uses well beyond a regular towel.

Cost and Value Comparison

You might pay a bit more upfront for a Turkish cotton towel over a regular towel. But the Turkish towel delivers substantially more value over its lifetime thanks to unmatched longevity, better absorbency, multi-purpose usage.

A quality Turkish towel often costs $25-60 but outperforms budget regular towels that need replacing every 1-2 years. Plus you enjoy more features like lightning-quick drying, growing softer over time. So spending a little extra on Turkish towel durability, longevity, and functionality pays dividends.

Best Uses for Each Towel Type

Now that you know the key performance differences, here are the best applications for each towel category:

Best Uses for Turkish Towels

  • Beach towels
  • Bathroom towels
  • Travel towels
  • Fitness studio/yoga towels
  • Outdoor activity towels – camping, picnic, hiking
  • Kitchen towels
  • Home decor

Best Uses for Regular Towels

  • Everyday bath towels
  • Guest bathroom towels
  • Hotel room towels
  • Kitchen towels
  • Some limited travel applications

Turkish Towel vs Regular Towel Comparison Chart

Here is a quick reference chart summarizing the key towel differences:

Comparison CriteriaTurkish TowelRegular Towel
Long-Term SoftnessGets softer over timeLoses softness over time
AbsorbencyExcellentVaries from decent to mediocre
Drying TimeExtremely fastMuch slower
DurabilityExcellent, lasts for yearsAverage, shows wear in 2-5 years
Design VarietyModerate varietyVery extensive variety
VersatilityExtremely versatile with many usesMostly used as bath towels
CostHigher upfront cost but great long-term valueLower upfront cost but needs frequent replacing


Can I use fabric softener when washing my Turkish towel?

No, avoid using fabric softener with Turkish towels. The chemicals coat the fibers leading to substantially reduced absorbency over time. Let the natural softening power of wash cycles improve the Turkish towel’s feel.

How should I wash and dry Turkish towels?

Wash Turkish towels on a gentle cycle using cold or lukewarm water, then line dry or tumble dry on very low heat. High temperatures can damage the cotton fibers. Avoid bleach that weakens integrity over time.

Are Turkish towels suitable for people with sensitive skin?

Yes. The high-grade long-staple Turkish cotton is hypoallergenic and irritation-free even for sensitive skin types. Ensure to wash properly before first use.

What is the best way to care for my Turkish towel?

Wash frequently using mild detergent in cold or warm water to enhance softness and absorbency. Line or low heat tumble drying prevents damage to the cotton fibers over time compared to high heat. With proper care, expect decades of use from quality Turkish towels.

How often should I wash my towels?

For both hygiene and performance, wash bath towels after every 3 uses. Wash Turkish towels after workouts, beach trips, or any dirty use. Since they dry fast, frequent washing of Turkish towels is easy.


Turkish and regular cotton towels both make useful additions to the home or travel bag. But major differences arise when comparing their key attributes like quick-drying functionality, enduring softness, and multi-purpose versatility.

Turkish towels excel remarkably with their extra absorbent cotton, super fast drying, long-term reliability, and potential to serve wonderfully indoor and outdoors. If those benefits appeal to your lifestyle alongside the stylish luxury vibe, Turkish towels promise to satisfy and upgrade your daily towel experience.

Regular cotton towels work sufficiently for basic drying needs. Yet for maximized convenience paired with visual flair, grab high-quality Turkish towels next time instead!

Towels Edition
Towels Edition