Americans spend about $185 annually on bath preparation products, including bathroom towels. For most people, cotton towels are a no-brainer bathroom staple. You can find them in any home accessories and department store, and they seem like the logical choice.
Or are they? There is an alternative, and that’s linen towels. If you’ve never thought of buying linen towels to dry off after a shower or bath, read on.
Here are seven ways in which linen towels beat cotton towels.
1. They Dry Faster
Cotton towels are certainly absorbent, and will quickly soak up water. The problem is they tend to hold onto that liquid and can take a while to air dry.
Linen is even more absorbent than cotton, but it dries much faster. This means you can reuse them quite a few times before you need to wash them as they won’t develop a musty smell, as cotton towels do.
They’re also a better option to bring to the beach or the pool, especially if you’re the type of swimmer who likes to do multiple dips in the water. They dry quickly and will be more comfortable to use after your second swim.
This quality is due to linen fabric being more breathable. The linen threads are also thicker than cotton, so even though their thread count is typically lower than a cotton towel’s, they are highly absorbent.
Linen is also a naturally antimicrobial fabric, giving you extra protection against musty odors. You’ll also love their moisture wicking abilities once you wrap one turban style around freshly washed hair.
2. They Last Longer
Linen takes more time to manufacture into a fabric, which is why it tends to be more expensive than cotton. However, you’ll get your money’s worth as it’s a very sturdy natural material that can last years longer than cotton. Linen is derived from the flax plant and is stronger than cotton.
Cotton towels will last about five years before they start to develop tears and thread loss. Linen, on the other hand, is like cheese and wine: it gets better with age. Don’t be surprised if your linen towels feel softer and more luxurious after each laundering.
So while cotton may seem like the cheaper alternative, you may find yourself replacing cotton towels more often than linen. Linen towels are a preferred choice in many parts of Europe thanks to their durability. Think of them as an investment.
3. They’re Lightweight
Linen towels are naturally lighter than cotton ones, which is why they may be your go-to choice when you take them to the beach, pool, gym, or on trips. They take up less space and will keep your bag lighter.
This also means storing them will create more extra space for other items versus folded cotton towels, which tend to be thick and bulky.
4. They’re Softer
From the minute you bring them home from the store, linen towels feel softer. This makes them an ideal choice for people who have sensitive skin. Cotton towels can feel hard and scratchy after laundering.
As already noted, linen gets even softer with age and use.
5. They Are Environmentally Friendly
Buying linen towels is good for the environment and linen is considered an eco-friendly fabric. The flax plant can be grown without the use of pesticides and other chemicals. Linen manufacturing also produces very little waste, as every part of the flax plant is used.
To be fair to cotton, most cotton manufacturing can be accomplished today with very little pesticide. However, linen is pretty much considered to be organic.
6. They Shrug Off Sand and Dirt
Here’s another good reason to opt for linen towels when visiting a place made for swimming. Sand, dirt, and other debris tends to resist clinging to linen. Give it a shake to help restore its natural loftiness.
7. They Come in a Variety of Colors and Patterns
If by now you’re thinking, “Yeah great, but will linen match my bathroom decor as my cotton towels do?” the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, linen towels are made in many shades from pale neutrals to vibrant hues. They’re also available in several patterns and textures to suit all tastes.
You can also find linen towels in various sizes including hand towels for washing your face.
Caring for Your Linen Towels
Although each towel manufacturer may have slightly different instructions, all linen care is the same for this low maintenance fabric.
Use a cold or warm water temperature for washing linen towels and a mild detergent. Run the machine on a gentle cycle or low cycle to help protect the threads. You may want to use a laundry detergent that is gentle on the skin so you don’t risk irritation when using your linen towels.
You can dry linen towels in your dryer on a tumble dry low setting or hang them out to dry. Avoid running your dryer at a high temperature as this can damage the fibers.
Linen towels require no ironing (unless you want to) and you should never have to dry clean them, making them truly easy to care for. For storing linen, you shouldn’t place them in plastic bags or cedar chests because you don’t have to. Linen is naturally insect repellent, so you don’t have to worry about clothes-eating moths and their offspring munching on them.
There are So Many Reasons to Love Linen Towels
Linen towels do offer several advantages over cotton towels as we’ve outlined above. But cotton towels have their own strong points as well. When it comes to choosing the towel fabric best for you, it all comes down to personal preference.
Whether you love cotton or linen towels, we offer both in a variety of styles and textures. Shop our towel collection to learn more.