After using a Turkish towel, also known as a pestemal or fouta, you’ll never want to go back to your bulky, traditional bathroom towel. They’re flat-woven with Turkish cotton, which means they’re super lightweight, extremely portable—great for throwing into a tote bag or backpack—and quick to dry, which is a huge bonus for avoiding mildew. And don’t be fooled by their slender profile, thanks to long cotton fibers, these towels are super absorbent. Best of all, they become softer with every wash.

Here are some of our favorite Turkish towels.

Best overall: Bay Laurel Turkish Towel with Beach


As soft as a blanket. Amazon

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These 100 percent cotton Turkish towels come in every color you could imagine, and are deeply absorbent despite packing down to a small size. They even come pre-washed for increased softness.

Best for trips: Clotho Turkish Towels Set

Softer Every Time You Wash

For lounging poolside or on the sand. Amazon

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This set of six towels is perfect for the beach—they come in vibrant colors, and are 39-by-70-inches each. Thanks to their size, any one of these can easily double as a bathing suit cover up—the material is lightweight enough to tie at the hip—or as a blanket, after sunset. The material is soft, and will only get softer every time you wash it.

Best bundle: New Season BRIGHTEST Diamond Weave Turkish Cotton Towel

Best Design

Elegant and understated. Amazon

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If bright colors aren’t your thing, this classic black set should be your go-to. These are simple and elegant, and would look great in a bathroom or as a living room throw in a seaside abode.

Best for workouts: Turkish Cotton Gym Towel Set

Don’t Sweat It

Throw it in your exercise bag. Amazon

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These smaller Turkish towels give you the same lavish experience in an even smaller form. They’d look handsome as hand towels in a bathroom, or hanging on the oven door in the kitchen. They’re also perfect gym towels, thanks to their small size, ability to absorb, and quick dry time.