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Reviews: The Best Quick-Dry Towels Are Always Fresh and Ready

The SPY team is on a mission to help you find the best products for every aspect of your life, and recently we set out to find the most dependable quick-dry towels in the world.

Towels that stay continuously stay wet for a long period of time may develop a musty smell, and even worse, the smell may stay there — even after washing. If you live in a humid climate or shower frequently, your towels may not be drying out completely between uses, which can lead to that dreaded smell. It’s also not pleasurable to dry off after a shower with a damp towel. If you find you’re towels are still soggy between uses, it may be time to invest in a quick-dry towel. 

It can be tricky to find a quick-dry towel because you’ll likely be trading dry time for that thick spa-like feel of a plush towel. Generally speaking, the thinner the towel, the faster it will dry, and vice versa. However, the best quick-dry towel should not only dry fast but should also be absorbent, soft, look good after multiple washes and feel good to use after the shower, at the gym or at the beach.

To find the best quick-dry towels, SPY put 13 fast-drying towels to the test to find the best towels for your bathroom. We’ve rounded up our favorites for you below.

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The Best Quick-Drying Towels at a Glance

  1. Best Overall Quick Dry Towel: Coyuchi Temescal Organic Towels — $62.40 at Coyuchi
  2. Best Value Quick Dry Towel: Welhome James Bathroom Towels — $33.00 on Amazon
  3. Fastest Drying Quick Dry Towel: Brooklinen Ultralight Towels — 2 for $75.00 on Amazon
  4. Softest Quick Dry Towel: Pottery Barn Hydrocotton Organic Quick-Dry Towels — $34.50 at Pottery Barn
  5. Best Turkish Cotton Quick-Drying Towel: Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Towels — $39.00 at Parachute
  6. Most Unique Design: Coyuchi Mediterranean Organic Towels — $54.40 at Coyuchi
  7. Most Cozy Quick Dry Towel: California Design Den Cotton Bath Sheet — $30.00 on Amazon
  8. Best Value Quick Dry Towel: Utopia Towels — $18.00 on Amazon
  9. Also Consider: The Company Store Green Earth Quick Dry Bath Towel by Micro Cotton — $32.00 at The Company Store
  10. Also Consider: Great Bay Cotton Quick Dry Bath Towel — 4 for $33.00 on Amazon
  11. Others We Tested: Amazon Basics Quick Dry BAth Towels — $21.60 on Amazon
  12. Others We Tested: Qute Home 4-Piece Bath Towel Set — 4 for $45.00 on Amazon

A selection of the quick-drying towels tested by SPY editors.

What Does Quick Dry Mean for Towels?

If you’re wondering what qualifies as “quick drying” when it comes to towels, it involves how quickly they dry after use. A common misunderstanding is that these towels dry you quicker when in fact they dry themselves more quickly (If you’re looking for a faster way to dry yourself, check out the most absorbent bath towels). Quick-dry towels are better if you’re looking to avoid unpleasant-smelling towels caused by dampness and mildew or if you need to put your recently used towel in a bag and don’t want it to get other items wet.

Courtesy of Coyuchi
Best overall

Best For: Someone who doesn’t mind their towel taking slightly longer to dry and doesn’t want to compromise softness or design.
Why It’s the Best: It hit all the marks of quick drying, softness and appearance.

Even when you remove Coyuchi quick-dry towels from the washing machine, they already feel lighter and dryer than you’d expect.

The Coyuchi Temescal towel is the best compromise out of the towels we tested between a thick, luxe towel and quick drying. It wasn’t the quickest drying in our tests, drying in just under 3 hours, but it also wasn’t too far behind the top quick-drying towels. Thanks to its ribbed design, it feels plush while the space in between the ribs allows it to dry faster. This design also gives it a better aesthetic than some of the towels we looked at which were flatter.

It also shrank the least of all the towels, so you’ll never have to worry about not having enough towel to wrap yourself up. We enjoyed using this towel after the shower, absorbing water quickly and drying our skin. This towel left some lint behind, which was particularly obvious with the dark blue towel we tried. However, we found that many towels in our test left some lint behind and that additional washing and drying cycles usually fixed that. If you’re looking for a quick-drying towel but don’t want a flimsy or flat one, this is the towel for you. 


  • Very quick drying
  • Plush feel
  • Looks good after a wash
  • Attractive colors


  • Left some lint behind 
  • Expensive
Courtesy of Amazon

Best For: Someone who wants a good towel and doesn’t want to spend a lot.
Why We Chose It: It dried relatively quickly, feels nice, and has a stylish design.

These towels are some of the most popular picks on Amazon with almost 6,000 reviews and a 4.4 rating. Now that we’ve used them, it’s easy to see why they’re so loved. We found these felt soft on our skin after showering, without compromising too much on drying time. These quick-drying towels took longer to dry than some, coming in at 3 hours, but we appreciated their absorbency post-shower. Not to mention, it’s hard to beat a set of four bath towels for under $50.

We especially like the subtle textured stripe design, giving it an interesting, yet understated look that will look good in most bathrooms. It also didn’t appear weathered after our wash tests. Our main complaint, however, was that this towel linted after drying ourselves, which hopefully subsides after more wash and dry cycles. 


  • Great value
  • Soft feel
  • Extra absorbent


  • Left some lint behind
Courtesy of Brooklinen
Fastest drying

Best For: Someone who wants the quickest drying towel and doesn’t mind a thin towel.
Why We Chose It: It was one of the fastest drying towels in SPY’s tests.

Brooklinen’s Ultralight towels were one of the quickest drying towels in our tests at 2 hours 15 minutes, which is no surprise considering it was also one of the thinnest towels. As the name suggests, this towel is ultra-light and thin, which was one of the first things we noticed. This towel is great for someone who lives in a humid climate, has a consistently damp bathroom, or wants a lightweight towel for hotter temperatures. 

The trade-off for this ultra quick-drying towel, it doesn’t have a plush feel — not even close. If you’re used to a fluffy and dense towel this towel will seem rather flimsy. However, if that doesn’t matter to you and are solely looking for the fastest quick-drying towel money can buy, you’ll like this one. We found it absorbent after stepping out of the shower and didn’t leave lint behind unlike some other towels we tested.


  • One of the quickest drying towels we tested
  • Absorbent
  • Lightweight


  • Extremely thin
  • Feels flimsy when drying off after a shower 
Courtesy of Pottery Barn
Softest Touch

Best For: Someone who wants a super soft towel. 
Why We Chose It: It was the softest and smoothest feeling out of all of the towels we tested.

If you’ve ever had a towel feel super soft in store and then get home to find it feels rough after washing, it’s because the manufacturer put a finish on the towel to feel soft in store only to wash away after a single laundering. Unlike those towels that only feel soft in the store, this towel from Pottery Barn maintained its amazingly soft feel even after three washes. It’s made with high-quality, long-staple Turkish cotton which gives that cozy plush feel, so it’s easy to see why it’s one of Pottery Barn’s most popular towels.

This was one of the thickest and heaviest of the bunch which also meant that it was one of the slowest to dry. However, in comparison to towels that are not quick drying, this wasn’t too bad. It also held up well to multiple washes and still looked fresh.


  • Soft plush feel
  • Absorbent
  • Maintains its out-of-the-package look after a wash


  • One of the slower-drying towels we tested 
Courtesy of Parachute
best turkish cotton

Best For: Someone looking for a high-quality Turkish cotton towel.
Why We Chose It: It’s soft, looks great after washing, and didn’t leave any lint behind.

We were pleasantly surprised by the softness of this towel. It was one of the softest towels we tested so it won’t irritate or scratch your skin due to the high-quality Turkish cotton. It also looked good after three wash and dry cycles, maintaining its plush look and feel. We liked that it felt absorbent after our shower and felt soft when drying ourselves off. We were very impressed it did not leave lint behind like some of the other towels we tested.

Our only complaint — it was one of the slowest drying towels out of the ones we tested at 3 hours and 15 minutes. That said, compared to regular towels, it’s still fairly fast.


  • Soft and plush feel
  • Absorbent
  • Looks good after a wash


  • One of the slowest towels to dry out of the ones we tested
most unique

Best For: Someone looking for a high-quality Turkish cotton towel.
Why We Chose It: It’s soft, looks great after washing, and didn’t leave any lint behind.

The Coyuchi Mediterannean towel has a distinctive look with fringe on the ends and a flat weave, almost like a kitchen towel with fringe. Because of this flat weave, it’s very flimsy in nature. However, on the plus side, it tied with the Brooklinen Ultralight towel for the fastest dry time. It felt absorbent post-shower, but, like the Brooklinen Ultralight towel, it’s very insubstantial. If you’re looking for a plush towel, this won’t be for you. But if you’re looking for the best quick-drying towel and appreciate a unique design then you’ll love this one. Also, like some other quick-drying towels in our test, it did leave some lint behind which will hopefully resolve with more washes.


  • One of the quickest drying towels we tested
  • Stylish design
  • Absorbent


  • Left some lint behind
  • Design may not suit everyone’s taste
Most cozy

Best For: Someone who wants a quick-drying towel that still feels cozy.
Why We Chose It: It dries quickly, feels fluffy, absorbent and quick-drying.

We were surprised at how soft and thick these towels are while also drying quickly because most of the time the towels that dry the quickest are also the ones that the exact opposite of this one. This towel was soft, fluffy, and felt decently thick without sacrificing too much drying time. It feels similar to a fleece or sherpa jacket, making it feel cozy, but we didn’t love the appearance after washing it as it looked somewhat clumpy.

Additionally, this towel has a built-in loop so you can hang it to dry to avoid squishing on the towel rack and suboptimal drying. Even though this isn’t a spa-like towel, it was absorbent and pleasant to use after showering to dry off.


  • One of the quickest drying towels we tested
  • Built-in loops to hang towel
  • Absorbent
  • Fluffy feel


  • Looks lumpy after wash
Best Value

$28.98 $39.99 28% off

Buy Now On Amazon

Best For: Someone who doesn’t need a top-performing towel and wants a good value bath sheet
Why We Chose It: It’s a great deal for someone who wants a bath sheet rather than a standard-size towel

This towel from Utopia is one of Amazon’s most popular towels. We appreciated the dense and soft feel of this towel, which didn’t feel flimsy like other towels we tested. It was one of the largest towels of the bunch since it only comes in a bath sheet size and not a bath towel.

It dried quicker than some other towels we tested, right at 3 hours, and we enjoyed using it after our shower, wiping away water and leaving plenty of towel to wrap ourselves in. With that said, a petite person may find the towel’s size overwhelming.

This quick-drying towel linted quite a bit, more than other towels we tested, which made us question if washing and drying it a few more times would even help to remove the lint. We also weren’t crazy about the towel’s somewhat worn appearance after washing but not terribly so. Still, if you’re willing to take the risk, it’s hard to beat two bath sheets size towels for under $30.


  • Feels thick
  • Larger size than a standard towel
  • Absorbent


  • Leaves lint behind
  • Worn appearance after wash
Courtesy of The Company Store
Also consider


Buy Now

This towel from The Company Store wasn’t the fastest drying of all the towels but it was still pretty fast drying in 2 hours 45 minutes. The Company Store describes these as “not too heavy, not too light” which is an apt name.

It wasn’t the heaviest or the lightest towel of the ones we tested, but felt somewhere in the middle — perhaps a touch a the thinner side but not nearly as thin as the Brooklinen towels. The ribs lend some texture, so you don’t feel like you’re drying off with a kitchen towel. We enjoyed using it out of the shower, but our only complaint was that it did leave some lint behind. It wasn’t as bad as some of the others we tested and would probably go away after a few more wash-and-dry cycles.

Courtesy of Amazon

This towel stood out from the rest with its bumpy-like weave giving it a unique look, which was our favorite attribute of the towel. However, the three-dimensional pattern had a rougher feel than we preferred. We found it was fairly average in dry time and dried us off well after the shower. It’s a great deal, offering a 4-pack under $50, but if you can snag it on sale some sets go for as little as $41.

Additional Quick-Dry Towels We Tested

To find the best quick-dry towels, we tested 13 towel sets (and counting). The options below didn’t meet our strictest selection criteria, but may be worth considering if you’re on a budget.

Courtesy of Amazon

$21.60 $25.49 15% off

Buy Now On Amazon

We wanted to love this towel from Amazon Basics since some of their other products have performed well, but we found this towel somewhat underwhelming. We liked its softness but felt flimsy for our liking. However, in terms of the best quick-drying towels, it did have one of the fastest dry times like the other thinner towels. The major downside, when wiping ourselves off after the shower, the towel felt like it was pushing water around rather than absorbing it. It comes in a 2-pack but as a heads up, only bath sheets are available.

Courtesy of Amazon

Qute home bath towels didn’t perform terribly, but they also weren’t particularly remarkable. We liked that it dried in 3 hours and was somewhat absorbent, though not as much as other towels. It did lint, but not as bad as other towels we tested. It feels somewhat stiff but is a great deal offering a 4-piece bath towel set for under $50.

How We Chose the Best Quick-Drying Towels

As mentioned earlier, SPY conducted extensive testing to find the top quick-drying towels, both in terms of fastest drying time and overall quality and softness. When evaluating these products, we came up with a list of selection criteria and gave each towel a score in each category.

Here are the testing criteria we use when reviewing quick-drying towels:

  • Dry Time: We took a spray bottle and sprayed each towel in the same spot ten times and timed how long it took to completely dry. 
  • Shrinkage: Even the highest quality quick drying towels will shrink, but by the third wash, the majority of shrinking will have taken place. We measured each towel’s length and width before washing and measured them again after three washes. We then calculated the percent shrinkage in both directions and took the average to give a final percent. 
  • Softness: On top of the towels’ quick-drying ability, you’ll also want a soft towel so it doesn’t feel like sandpaper when drying off. We felt all the towels by hand as well as how they felt after showering and gave them a score. 
  • Appearance After 3 Washes: After washing, we inspected each towel for any loose yarns, wrinkled edges, if the fabric looked worn and the overall appearance of the towel and then scored appropriately. 
  • Overall Experience with Towel: On top of our tests, we took into consideration how each towel felt while drying us off after the shower including softness, water absorbency, thickness or thinness, and anything else that stuck out as a positive or negative and took notes for each towel. 

After scoring each product in these categories, we compared the overall results to bring you the review above. In addition to testing the best quick-dry towels, SPY editors have also tested bed sheets, mattresses, smart home gadgets and appliances. We never recommend a product we wouldn’t buy ourselves, and all of the products in this review were tested by the SPY team.

About the Author: Jamie Ueda

Jamie Ueda has over 15 years of experience in the apparel and textile industry. She’s covered home textile products for years and has tested hundreds of towels, sheets, pillows, and other fabric-based products. She frequently contributes her textile expertise to publications including Good Housekeeping, CNN Underscored, Wall Street Journal’s Buyside, USA Today’s Reviewed, and more. She has previously worked at a home textiles company in product development, technical design, and quality engineering. She holds a degree in apparel and textile design as well as mechanical engineering.

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