Warmer weather will soon be on its way, making it the perfect time to start planning that beach trip. As you start to pack, your mental checklist will likely include a swimsuit, sunscreen, sandals, and a towel.
But beach towels can easily be bulky enough to take up your entire suitcase.
Turkish beach towels offer a less bulky alternative to traditional towels. They take up a fraction of the space but still get you just as dry – if not drier.
Once you have experienced the softness, thinness, and drying abilities of Turkish towels, you are unlikely to ever pack another one in your beach bag – or any other bag for that matter.
What Are Turkish Towels?
Traditional Turkish towels are made in Turkey on looms and use 100% cotton. They are made of cotton that is tightly woven and flat. This helps give them their thinness without sacrificing absorbency.
Part of the reason Turkish towels are so absorbent is the extra-long cotton fibers. Meanwhile, the fact that they are flat woven keeps the towel from being bulky.
The longer fibers of the Turkish cotton also mean that these towels are more durable than others.
That durability makes them great for traveling. It also means that you can use them easily for a beach picnic as you would to dry off after a swim.
You may also see Turkish towels called other names, like fouta, peshtemal, or hammam towels.
How Are Turkish Cotton Towels Different from Traditional Towels?
We’ve already touched on a few factors that set Turkish towels apart from traditional towels. To start, they are made with Turkish cotton, and that choice alone leads to some of the differences.
Thin Turkish Towels
If you put a Turkish towel next to a traditional towel, the Turkish one will be significantly slimmer. This is perfect for beach vacations, as it takes up less space in your suitcase or your beach bag.
It also adds convenience for every other situation. Fit a Turkish towel in your gym bag easily. Or just enjoy the fact that they take up less space in your linen cabinet.
As mentioned, the thinness of Turkish towels comes from their flat weave. For reference, this contrasts with the loop weave used in regular towels. That loop weave is much bulkier.
Counterintuitively, Turkish towels are not only thinner than traditional ones but also more absorbent. In fact, the more you use them, the more absorbent they get. This happens over time as the cotton fibers soften.
As mentioned, the long fibers in Turkish cotton also make these towels a sturdier option than other types. This makes them more versatile and durable. Of course, it also means that you can keep using a Turkish towel for years after you would have had to trade in a traditional one.
Compared to Egyptian Cotton
When you start looking at luxurious towels, you may also want to know how Turkish and Egyptian cotton towels are different.
While both are high-quality and have longer threads for softness, Turkish towels are much better at drying quickly. In fact, Egyptian towels tend to retain water. This makes them a poor choice for beach vacations, as they may not dry before you head back to your hotel or plane.
10 Benefits of Turkish Beach Towels
While we’ve already touched on some of them, the following advantages of Turkish towels give you plenty of reasons to opt for this type of towel.
As mentioned, one of the biggest advantages of Turkish towels is that they are highly absorbent. Simply put, you will have no issues drying off after a dip in the ocean.
Not only are Turkish towels highly absorbent, but they dry off quickly. This is yet another crucial point for any beach towel. After all, you don’t want to put a wet towel back in your beach bag.
This quick-drying nature is even more important if you want to squeeze in one last trip to the beach before you get on a flight. Your towel will likely be dry by the time you are ready to throw it back in your bag.
One of the biggest reasons people opt for Turkish towels is that they are thin. This makes them highly practical and easy to transport, whether you need to fit them in your bag for a weekend getaway or have a beach day trip planned.
Because Turkish towels are thin, it should come as no surprise that they are also very lightweight. This means that not only will they not take up much room in your bag, but they won’t weigh it down either. That’s especially important if you have a lot to pack but don’t want to pay for overweight bags.
Of course, the fact that the towels dry quickly also helps reduce the weight. After all, a water-logged towel will always weigh more than a dry one.
5. Incredibly Soft
One of the many advantages of Turkish cotton is the softness that comes from its long fibers. Compared to towels made with other types of cotton, you will notice that Turkish towels are incredibly soft. Even better, they get softer over time.
The beauty of Turkish towels is also worth mentioning. When most people think of Turkish towels, they picture a mostly solid-colored towel with a few stripes and fringes. While that is the traditional design, there are so many options now available. Simply put, you can choose from nearly any pattern.
7. Sturdy and Durable
Remember that the longer fibers of Turkish towels make them sturdier than traditional towels. At the very least, this means that you don’t have to worry about it ripping at an inconvenient moment.
For most people, however, that means that Turkish towels are an investment. Even if you spend a little more on these towels than you would on their non-Turkish counterparts, you will likely find yourself continuing to use the towel for years to come. This makes them an investment piece.
8. Even Better Over Time
On top of that, remember that the towels actually get more absorbent when you wash them. Not only that, but they will also get softer and fluffier. When you combine this with their longevity, this is excellent news.
This contrasts sharply with traditional towels that are made using a loop weave. In addition to being thicker, loop weaves increase the risk of the towel becoming less absorbent, scratchy, and stiff over time.
Most people will primarily use their Turkish towel as a towel, but they are versatile enough to do so much more than this. For example, you can use a dry one as a shawl; this is where their gorgeous patterns come into play.
Or you can use them in nearly any other way you would use a towel or blanket. Set up a picnic on it. Wrap it around your swimsuit as a stylish cover-up.
10. Various Sizes
To make Turkish towels even more versatile, they also come in various sizes. Maybe you will want a mid-size one for your beach towel when you travel then get a larger one to keep at home.
Or you can choose the ideal size based on how you plan to use it. For example, opt for a larger one if you want it to be a towel and a picnic blanket. Stick to a mid-sized one if you want it to be a shawl or towel.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Turkish Beach Towel
Once you have decided that a Turkish towel is a must-have for your next beach trip, how do you choose which one to get? Keep the following factors in mind.
- Made from Organic Cotton: One of the most important things to check is that your towel is made from 100% organic Turkish cotton. If it is not Turkish cotton, it is not a Turkish towel. Remember that this cotton is the secret to the towel’s absorbency, softness, thinness, and durability.
- Pre-Washed: Remember that washing a Turkish towel makes it even softer and more absorbent. Choosing a pre-washed towel will essentially save you the hassle of having to wash it to get this benefit.
- Style or Design: Take some time to think about the style or design of the towel you want. This is the time to consider how you will use it. Will it just be a beach towel, or will you use it at home or at the pool? Will you use it as a shawl or blanket?
- Environmentally-Friendly Packaging: The best brands will make sure that their towels come in eco-friendly packaging to reduce their impact on the planet.
- Thin and Absorbent: Every genuine Turkish towel should be thin and absorbent, but it is still worth checking reviews to confirm that this is the case before buying.
- Versatile Uses: The best Turkish towels will be versatile enough for you to use at the beach, as well as at the pool. You will also be able to use them on a lounge chair by the poolside or even when you go to the gym. This versatility typically depends on the style as well as the size of the towel.
Best Turkish Beach Towels to Consider
To save you the trouble of finding that perfect towel for your next trip to the beach, we’ve gathered the best Turkish towels to consider.
These towels measure 71 inches by 37 inches, making them the ideal size for the beach or to use after a bath. That size makes them versatile enough to lay on while tanning or to dry off after a swim. It also makes it a nice size for camping, the spa, or anywhere else.
They are made from 100% organic cotton, which as mentioned, is one of the most important traits to look for in Turkish towels.
The towels are also already prewashed to prevent shrinkage. This prewashing also saves you the trouble of having to do so yourself to maximize the towel’s softness and absorbency before using it.
One extra feature of this towel that helps it stand out is the fact that it is sand-proof. A quick shake is all it takes to remove the sand from the towel. That way, you won’t rub grains of sand on yourself when you dry off or accidentally track sand into your bag or car.
This WETCAT Turkish towel is specifically designed for use on the beach, although it is versatile enough to use anywhere. You can choose from different colors to match your style, and this towel has the traditional striped pattern you expect from Turkish towels. In addition to using Turkish cotton, the towels themselves are made in Turkey using OEKO-TEX certified natural dyed yarn.
This Turkish towel is a standard size of 71 by 36 inches, making it ideal for your beach trip or a trip to the pool. It is prewashed to give you extra absorbency and softness from the start. The patterns are traditional with white and your choice of color in the traditional stripes. The tassels are also double-knotted, so they will not unravel, making caring for your towel easier. The only concern with this towel is that it is not as ligthtweight as other options.
This Turkish beach towel is similar in size to the others, at 37 by 71 inches. You have your choice of color and get to enjoy the softness and absorbency. The cotton is 100% organic Anatolian yarn that is OEKO-TEX certified and from turkey. It is also prewashed for your convenience as well as eco-friendly.
For those who prefer to bring oversized towels to the beach, this Turkish towel is an excellent option. It is extra-large, measuring 80 inches by 40 inches. It is made from 100% ring spun Turkish cotton, delivering the absorbency and plushness you want.
How to Wash and Care for Your Turkish Towel
Caring for your Turkish towels is incredibly easy.
Before First Use (Optional)
If you want, you can soak your new Turkish towel in cold water for 12 hours before the first use. This will open up the long fibers, improving softness and absorbency. Then, just wring your towel out and let it air dry.
Washing most of the towels is as simple as setting your washing machine to a gentle cycle and throwing the towel in. Just use detergent and avoid fabric softener or bleach.
You can then either let the towel air dry or put it in your dryer on a low setting.
Remember that every time you wash your towel, it will get softer and more absorbent thanks to the unique structure of Turkish cotton.
Retying the Fringe
The only extra effort you will have to put into caring for your Turkish towels is on the fringe. Every once in a while, you may have to re-tie a bit of it. However, this is as simple as twisting the strings together then knotting the end.
Another optional task is to iron your towel regularly. This simply smooths out wrinkles and is completely up to you.
The Bottom Line
Turkish towels are perfect for a trip to the beach, as they will take up minimal room in your bag. At the same time, they are highly absorbent and luxuriously soft. These towels even get softer and more absorbent over time. Once you switch to a Turkish towel for your next beach trip, you will likely find yourself wanting Turkish towels for your home as well.