Hand towels exist in a rare space where you don’t really expect much from them, yet you expect them to do everything. They are the towel you reach for after washing your hands, making a mess, or rat-tailing a fly off the wall. They are expected to be no frills, but tough, durable, and soft in equal measure.
It’s a lot to ask from something you barely think about—so we did the thinking for you and found some hand towel options for every job.
The mild bunch. Amazon
Available in an array of pastel colors, the Futone hand towels make the intentions known right away. These are the cozy hand towels you want to swaddle babies in—and they definitely deliver. Made of 100 percent cotton, they are lightweight, machine washable, and seem to get a little softer with every cycle. They also dry quickly (which can be a problem with some plushier hand towels) and don’t pill as badly as some are prone to.
The fringe element. Amazon
Designed to be aesthetically pleasing as well as effective, the Smyrna hand towels feature ornate fringes and elegant woven patterns (in a wide variety of muted colors) that accentMa any kitchen or home spa. Each one is made of 100 percent imported Turkish cotton Anatolian yarn, and they are light and surprisingly absorbent. They are hand towels that serve both a decorative function as well as the down and dirty clean-up work. It’s a rare combination.
Back to basics. Amazon
One of the best parts of going to the gym are the endless supplies of thin but durable white hand towels for a quick brow wipe or to swab down a sweaty elliptical machine handle. You can stock your own closet and home gym with similarly no-fuss, all work and no play hand towels courtesy of Simpli-Magic. Thin but absorbent, these towels won’t be the stars of your guest bathroom, but they will do the job and withstand a lot of power washing.
No spill too big. Amazon
The right mix of soft, absorbent, durable, and low maintenance, the Sticky Toffee towels come in simple but elegant designs in colors ranging from basic blues and grays to bright yellow (so you’re bound to find one that seamlessly integrates with your decor). Each towel is made of 100 percent Oeko-Tex cotton terry, and can handle big spills, light scrubbing, and other chores as easily as it can a quick hand wash in between slicing. These will be kitchen workhorses, for sure, and they are more than up to the task.