Whether you’re a hot yoga enthusiast, a happy camper, or love a relaxing bath, a fast-drying towel will help prevent dreaded dampness and musty odor. When it comes to the best quick-dry towels, it’s best to choose ones made from highly absorbent microfiber or cotton that’s lightweight, durable, and soft.
What’s the difference between microfiber and cotton? Microfiber has a large surface area that allows it to
absorb up to seven times its weight in water and it dries faster than cotton, making it harder for odor-causing bacteria to grow. Microfiber towels are also a great choice for cleaning because they remove up to 99% of germs from surfaces, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But if you prefer the superior softness of cotton when drying off after a shower or bath, you can opt for a 100% cotton or cotton-blend towel that’s lightweight enough to dry quickly. As for care, both materials are machine-washable, but air drying is usually recommended for microfiber while most cotton towels can go in the dryer on low heat.
In a hurry? These are the best quick-dry towels:
1. Best Quick-Dry Beach Towel: Clotho Turkish Towels (Set of 6)
2. The Runner-Up: SUN CUBE Microfiber Beach Towel
3. Best Quick-Dry Sports Towel: Rainleaf Microfiber Towel
4. Best Quick-Dry Travel Towel Set: OlimpiaFit Microfiber Towels (Set of 3)
5. Best Quick-Dry Bath Towel: Everplush Diamond Jacquard Quick-Dry Bath Towel
6. Best Budget Quick-Dry Bath Towel: Amazon Basics Quick-Dry Towels (8 Pieces)
7. Best Waffle-Weave Quick-Dry Towel: Gilden Tree Premium Bath Towels (Set of 2)
8. Best Plush Quick-Dry Towel: Qute Home Bath Towel Set (4 Pieces)
9. Best Quick-Dry Hair Towel: YoulerTex Microfiber Hair Towel Wrap
10. Best Antibacterial Quick-Dry Towel: Microfiber Pros Antibacterial Microfiber Cleaning Cloths (10-Pack)
If it’s time to
upgrade your linen closet, scroll on for the best quick-dry towels for travel, taking a bath, and cleaning.
Best Quick-Dry Beach Towel
These lightweight, quick-drying
Turkish towels are perfect for a day at the beach — and you get six of them in each set. The oversize towels are made from absorbent 100% Turkish cotton and feature stylish stripes and tassels. Plus, these towels become softer and more absorbent with each wash.
One helpful review: “Perfect for outdoor as it dries quickly in the sun (15-20 minutes from soaked) great beach coverup, large towel too so makes a great beach blanket. So soft.”
If you favor classic cabana stripes, this sand-resistant
microfiber beach towel is an excellent choice. It’s lightweight, quick-drying, and comes with a convenient mesh carry bag. The towel also has a built-in loop so you can hang dry. Choose from two sizes and eight colors, including light blue, yellow, and orange.
One helpful review: “It soaks up water and dries very quickly. It folds into a nice small rectangle which fits into my bag far better than a big, heavy, wet beach towel.”
Available sizes: Standard, Large
Best Quick-Dry Sports Towel
Available in a range of sizes, this
quick-dry sports towel is great for wicking away sweat or taking a post-workout shower. The lightweight microfiber towel has a loop for hang drying and comes with a convenient carry bag. Choose from 10 colors, including blue, gray, and brick red.
One helpful review: “Since I go to the gym on my lunch break, I typically lay my towel in the trunk of my car. Regular towels are never dry by the time I get home, but this one was bone dry within an hour or so.”
Available sizes: X-Small — XX-Large
Best Quick-Dry Travel Towel Set
Featuring three sizes, this set of
microfiber travel towels will come in handy on camping and backpacking trips. The soft and highly absorbent towels dry quickly and come with a mesh carry bag for compact storage. You can choose from eight colors, including gray, green, and blue.
One helpful review: “I just returned from a 3.5 week backpacking trip through New Zealand and found these towels extremely useful during the journey […] I used the largest towel from showering, medium towel for when I went swimming or coming out of rain (usually carried it in my day pack for easy access), and the smallest towel for face/hand washing.”
Best Quick-Dry Bath Towel
textured bath towel features a soft cotton outer loop and an absorbent microfiber core, so it feels soft against the skin and dries quickly. The towel is dryer-safe for easy care, and you can choose from two sizes and 10 versatile colors like gray, navy blue, and white.
One helpful review: “First off the towel is definitely thin but get this…works amazingly well! We hang our towels up for a reuse or two and I will also say these towels dry quickly. They are super soft and generously sized.”
Available sizes: Bath Towel (30 x 56 inches), Bath Sheet (35 x 66 inches)
Best Budget Quick-Dry Bath Towel
affordable towel set includes two bath towels, two hand towels, and four washcloths, and it boasts over 14,000 five-star ratings from Amazon shoppers. The towels are made from soft, lightweight 100% cotton that’s OEKO-TEX-certified to be free from harmful substances. Also great: They’re dryer-safe, and there are five vibrant colors to choose from. A three-piece set is also available.
One helpful review: “These towels mark the end of a LONG search for towels that are quick drying and high quality. They don’t get the mildew smell that our other, heavier towels got and are extremely lightweight. However, they are the most absorbent towels that we have tried.”
Best Waffle-Weave Quick-Dry Towel
Featuring a honeycomb waffle weave, these
100% cotton bath towels are absorbent, lightweight, and fast-drying. Plus, they’re OEKO-TEX-certified and easy to toss in the dryer after washing. There are eight stylish colors available, including indigo, coral, and classic white, so there’s sure to be one that complements your bathroom decor.
One helpful review: “These are 100% natural cotton with the classic woven-in grid that lets them slurp up water in seconds and gives your skin an exfoliating rub-down as well. Hang them up when you’re done and they dry quickly, even in a damp bathroom.”
Best Plush Quick-Dry Towel
If you like a luxurious towel but also want one that dries in a hurry, this set of four
plush bath towels is for you. They’re made from durable 100% Turkish cotton that’s absorbent and soft to the touch. These towels are dryer-safe and available in 10 colors, including green, yellow, and gray.
One helpful review: “It dries really quickly and absorbs very well. Towels are very soft with a genuine high quality feel.”
Best Quick-Dry Hair Towel
Not only does this
microfiber towel dry quickly, but it also helps your hair dry faster, too. The lightweight hair towel wrap has a button on the back to keep it securely in place so you can continue getting ready while your locks dry. What’s more, you can toss this towel in the dryer for easy care. Each set includes two and there are 11 color options, including gray, white, and blue.
One helpful review: “Easy to use, pretty soft, towel dries fairly quickly after use, and most importantly, my hair gets dry so much more quickly when I put it up in this towel after a shower. It saves me so much time when I’m getting ready.”
Best Antibacterial Quick-Dry Towel
Microfiber is already a good choice for cleaning, and these
microfiber towels are embedded with silver for additional antibacterial properties. They can be used anywhere around the house, whether you’re wiping down kitchen counters, polishing delicate items, or detailing your car. Each pack contains 10 towels.
One helpful review: “Amazing scouring power, cleans with just water, and the antimicrobial activity of the silver is awesome. These don’t get smelly like my other dishrags did.”
Clement, J. L., & Jarrett, P. S. (1994). Antibacterial silver. Metal-based drugs, 1(5-6), 467–482. https://doi.org/10.1155/MBD.1994.467