Who says you have to leave home to treat yourself to a spa night? Light a few candles, drop in a bath oil and voilà—you have your own, personal sanctuary. Nothing can ruin your inner zen faster than getting out and wiping off with the dingy, threadbare towel you bought when you moved into your freshman dorm room. You’ve got to have them, so why not splurge for a set that makes you feel like the pampered goddess that you are?
“My bath is like my spa, so having a nice towel and drying off comfortably completes the experience,” says Jennifer Spector, director of brand at the home registry site Zola. “The linens that you have in the bathroom [can] really make your house feel like a home.” Plus, wrapping yourself in an expensive-feeling towel can really help you feel like you’re #winning at the whole “adulting” thing.
Now that you’re ready to upgrade your home spa, read on for exactly what to look for to find your fluffiest towels yet.
Sure—pretty much every towel on the market is technically made of cotton, but that doesn’t mean they’re all created equal. If you’re looking for something extra-plush and fluffy (AKA the stuff you’d probably find hanging in spa) stick with Egyptian cotton, Turkish cotton, or pima cotton.
You know those really shoddy gym towels that feel like they’re scratching your face after you use them to wipe off your elliptical sweat? Well, that’s because of the “twist” of their threads. “When the yarn is spun, if [it’s] twisted a lot it makes it hard and less absorbent,” says Spector. “So you want to look for towels that have a low- or zero-twist cotton, and those will be the fluffiest, softest towels.” She explains that the nicer the fabric of a towel is, the lower its twist will be because the fibers will likely be durable enough on their own.
It’s pretty simple: The longer the thread, the plusher the towel. “You have long, fine threads of cotton, that will indicate that you have a towel that’s soft and also really durable,” says Spector. “The longer and finer the thread of cotton, the more durable the towel will be, and [the more likely it will be to stay] fluffy.” Egyptian and pima cottons are known for having long threads, so if you can’t do an in-store touch test, look for these materials in the product descriptions online.
A towel’s “grams per square meter” (or “GSM”) is basically the bath-time equivalent of a sheet’s thread count. As with with sheets, “the higher the GSM, the more luxurious the towel [will be],” says Spector. She also notes that the range is usually somewhere between 300 and 900 and that plush, absorbent towel falls at around 700. Towels with high GSM also tend to be more durable, which makes them worth the investment.
Shop the spa-like towels
The towels (which, FYI, you’re going to want to keep clean and fresh for as long as possible) are only step one to creating your spa oasis. Here are four other ways to turn your bathroom into an at-home spa sanctuary that you’ll never want to leave.