Turkish Towels vs. Egyptian Towels

When shopping for high quality cotton towels, you’ll often see options described as either Turkish cotton or Egyptian cotton. But what’s the difference, and which towels are better?

Turkish Towels vs. Egyptian Towels

Both Turkish and Egyptian cotton towels are made from long staple cotton, meaning the cotton fibers are longer than regular cotton. This results in softer, more durable and absorbent towels. However, Turkish and Egyptian cotton towels do have some key differences.

Turkish cotton towels tend to be lightweight and quick-drying. They are ideal for travel or use in hot, humid climates.

Egyptian cotton towels are usually thicker, plusher and more absorbent. They work well as luxury bathroom towels but take longer to dry.

What is Turkish Cotton?

Turkish cotton refers to long staple cotton grown in the Aegean region of Turkey. Thanks to the climate and soil conditions here, Turkish cotton develops strong, smooth and lustrous fibers.

The length and quality of the fibers gives Turkish cotton towels some exceptional properties:

  • Very absorbent – The long fibers efficiently soak up water
  • Quick drying – Less water is retained in the sleek fibers
  • Lightweight – Turkish cotton has less bulk than Egyptian cotton
  • Durable – Long staple fibers are resistant to fraying and pilling
  • Softens over time – Washing increases absorbency and fluffiness

So if you’re looking for a towel that’s lightweight, dries fast and won’t turn musty in humid conditions, Turkish cotton is an excellent choice. The smooth fibers dry quickly after use, limiting bacteria growth.

Key Takeaway: Turkish cotton makes lightweight, quick-drying and absorbent towels ideal for travel and humid climates.

What is Egyptian Cotton?

Egyptian cotton also uses long staple fibers, cultivated in the hot, dry conditions of Egypt. This allows the cotton to produce exceptionally fine, strong threads with the following characteristics:

  • Very soft – Feels luxuriously smooth against skin
  • Great absorbency – High capacity to soak up moisture
  • Fluffy and plush – Bulky, thick pile when woven
  • Durable – Resists fading, pilling and tearing
  • Improves over time – Washing increases absorbency

So if you love wrapping up in a big, thick, fluffy towel Egyptian cotton is a wonderful choice. These towels feel more indulgent and spa-like than lightweight Turkish cotton. Just note that all that absorbency comes at the cost of longer drying times.

Key Takeaway: Egyptian cotton makes exceptionally soft, absorbent and plush towels perfect for luxurious bathing. But they take longer to dry than Turkish cotton.

Turkish Cotton vs. Egyptian Cotton Towels Compared

Now we’ve introduced both cotton types, let’s directly compare some key similarities and differences:

MetricTurkish CottonEgyptian Cotton
AbsorbencyVery goodExcellent
SoftnessGoodExcellent
WeightLightweightMedium-Heavy
Drying TimeVery fastSlow
DurabilityExcellentExcellent
PriceAffordable to Mid-RangeMid-Range to Expensive

As you can see, the major tradeoff between Turkish and Egyptian cotton comes down to drying time vs plushness.

Turkish cotton is lightweight and less absorbent, meaning it dries much faster. So if you need a towel for the beach, gym, travel or other situation where drying time is important, Turkish cotton is the best pick.

The incredible softness and absorbency of Egyptian cotton comes from dense, fluffy pile. But that thick pile also holds onto moisture. So for a luxury bathroom towel when quick drying isn’t vital, Egyptian cotton provides an indulgent, spa-like experience.

Are Turkish Cotton Towels Good? Pros and Cons

Turkish cotton is an excellent choice for towels needed in hot climates or where fast drying is essential. The lightweight nature also makes them good for travel and packing into gym bags.

Some benefits of choosing Turkish cotton towels include:

  • Very absorbent – Long fibers soak up plenty of moisture
  • Dry fast – Less damp towels lingering means less bacteria and odor
  • Light and packable – Great for travel, beach and gym bags
  • Affordable – Generally cheaper than Egyptian cotton
  • Eco-friendly – Less water and energy used washing and drying

Potential drawbacks to watch out for with Turkish towels:

  • Less plush than Egyptian cotton
  • Pill faster than Egyptian cotton towels in some cases
  • Thinner than luxury Egyptian cotton towels

But for most everyday bath, hand and beach towel uses, a good set of Turkish cotton towels offers the perfect balance of great absorbency, quick drying and durability.

Key Takeaway: Turkish cotton makes lightweight yet absorbent, quick-drying towels – perfect for travel, humid climates and everyday use.

Are Egyptian Cotton Towels Worth Buying?

If luxury and maximum softness are top priorities, then purchasing Egyptian cotton bath towels is certainly worthwhile. They provide a lavish, spa-like bathing experience.

Benefits you can expect from upgrading to Egyptian cotton towels include:

  • Incredibly plush, soft and absorbent
  • Plusher and thicker than regular bath towels
  • Very durable and resistant to fading or tearing
  • Get softer and more absorbent over time
  • Luxurious for bathrooms and spa areas

Potential downsides to be aware of:

  • Often fairly heavy and bulky
  • Can take a very long time to fully dry
  • Show water marks and stains more easily
  • Usually the most expensive towel option

So if your priority is to pamper yourself – or guests – with a little luxury, investing in Egyptian cotton can provide a great experience. Just allow the extra drying time these thick towels require.

Key Takeaway: For maximizing luxury and softness, Egyptian cotton towels provide an indulgent bathing experience. But allow lots of time for drying compared to regular or Turkish cotton towels.

What are the Best Uses for Turkish and Egyptian Towels?

Now we’ve compared the pros and cons of each cotton type, here is a quick guide on the best applications:

Turkish Cotton Towels Ideal For:

  • Travel towels
  • Gym and sports towels
  • Beach and pool towels
  • Everyday bath and hand towels
  • Rental home and AirBnB towels
  • Quick-dry bath mats and robes
  • Spas and salons

Egyptian Cotton Towels Ideal For:

  • Luxury bathroom towels
  • Plush spa towels
  • High-end guest bathroom towels
  • Hotel room towels
  • Wedding and gifting towels
  • Pool resorts and country clubs

As you can see both cotton types make fantastic bath towels – the choice depends mainly on if you prioritize quick drying or maximum luxury.

For beach and travel towels, Turkish cotton is undoubtedly the best pick thanks to being lightweight and fast-drying.

And for gifting or creating a luxury hotel or spa bathroom, go for indulgent Egyptian cotton.

How to Care for Turkish and Egyptian Cotton Towels

Caring for your high-quality cotton towels properly ensures they become softer, more absorbent and last longer over time. Here are some top care tips:

Washing:

  • Machine wash in cool or warm water with a gentle, fragrance-free detergent
  • Don’t use bleach or fabric softeners which leave residue on the fibers
  • Wash similar color towels together and separate from other laundry

Drying:

  • Shake towels firmly before drying to minimize wrinkles
  • Line drying outside is best to minimize pilling
  • Machine dry on a low setting or hang dry indoors to avoid over-drying

Storing:

  • Fold towels neatly or roll up
  • Store in a cool, dry spot like closet or shelf rather than the bathroom

With a little care, you’ll find Turkish and Egyptian cotton towels just keep improving with age. The key is to avoid high heat and harsh chemicals which damage cotton fibers.

Where to Buy Turkish and Egyptian Cotton Towels

Wondering where you can pick up some luxurious long-staple cotton towels? Here are some great places to shop online and in-store:

  • Amazon: Extensive choices for any budget
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Frequently stocks luxury Egyptian cotton towels
  • IKEA: Affordable Turkish cotton options available
  • The Company Store: Specializes in high-quality home goods including Turkish cotton
  • Parachute: Luxury offerings including their signature Cloud Cotton made from long-staple Turkish cotton

FAQs

Are Egyptian cotton towels better than Turkish?

Egyptian cotton makes exceptionally soft and absorbent towels. But Turkish is also high quality, with the benefit of drying much faster. So ‘better’ depends if your priority is plush luxury (Egyptian cotton) or quick drying and durability (Turkish cotton).

Can you put Egyptian cotton towels in the dryer?

Yes you can tumble dry Egyptian cotton on low, but they absorb so much moisture that drying times can often be impractically long. It’s better to dry flat or line dry them if possible.

Why are Egyptian cotton towels better?

Egyptian cotton fibers are finer and longer than Turkish cotton, giving towels a smooth luxurious feel. High-quality Egyptian cotton has some of the most indulgent softness and moisture absorbency of any towel – perfect to wrap up in after bathing.

Is Turkish cotton better for towels?

Turkish cotton towels strike an ideal balance between softness, great absorbency and quick drying performance – useful for most people’s daily needs. The cotton fibers also lack the extra fuzz of Egyptian cotton, enhancing smoothness and durability. So for a everyday towels many people find Turkish cotton preferable.

Why are Turkish towels so thin?

Turkish cotton’s fine, sleek fibers allow material to woven into a towel with less bulk. The result is lightweight towels that still soak up plenty of moisture. The thinner pile also allows Turkish towels to dry exceptionally quickly.

Conclusion

Both Egyptian and Turkish cotton produce exceptional, high-end towels far superior to regular cotton

Turkish cotton makes lightweight yet absorbent, quick-drying towels – perfect for travel, humid climates and everyday use

Egyptian cotton delivers incredibly soft, plush and absorbent luxury towels ideal for gifting, high-end bathrooms and spas

Consider what’s most important to you – fast dry performance or maximum plush feel – to decide between the two quality cotton types.

Towels Edition
Towels Edition