Deciding on which towels to buy can be a difficult decision. For some people, it's simply a matter of knowing which fabrics they prefer. For others, it's a question of style. There are a few differences between Turkish cotton towels and regular cotton towels that might help you decide which one is best for you and your home.
We have two different types of Turkish Towels: Terry-backed Bath Sheets and the more traditional, woven Pestemals. And in my opinion, they’re both preferable to super thick, traditional terry cloths towels in several ways.
Traditional Turkish cotton towels are made from long, strong, smooth fibres, which means they're one of the most durable choices. They not only keep their integrity even after many washes, but they're also very quick to dry thanks to their thin pile. A traditional cotton towel, however, will likely feel thicker and plusher than a Turkish towel thanks to the way the fibres trap moisture. But that also means it's much heavier to carry and takes much longer to wash (and dry) than a Turkish towel.
Turkish cotton towels may not feel as absorbant at first, but they're known to become even softer, fluffier, and more absorbent with successive washes. Traditional cotton towels, on the other hand, often start soft but may be paired with synthetic fibres like polyester for an even cushier feel that fades over time.
While Traditional towels have a multitude of uses, they're pretty much an indoor towel and may not be something you'd often find additional decorative uses for.
Turkish towels, on the other hand, have been applauded for their versatility for centuries: Not only are they practical for around-the-house uses like a bath towel, but they're also lightweight (and decorative) enough to stand in for anything from a play mat, a yoga mat cover, or a comfy throw to protect the sofa from dog hair (and pizza sauce).
Even before COVID was a thing, I always had one tucked into my bag to protect my bare thighs from scorching hot car seats in summer to not-so-clean taxi seats or restaurant booths. The 35 x 62-inch woven Pestemal Towel is light enough to carry multiples to the beach, wrap around you like a sarong or bath-suit cover-up, and pull around your shoulders as a chic wrap for when the sun goes down. Regular terry towels? Not so much.
And speaking of terry, our Turkish Terry Bath Sheets towels were designed to look and drape like the bath sheet that Audrey Hepburn wore when she "hosted" her cocktail party in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. That sold me right there.
Lastly, traditional terry cloth towels degrade with each washing, so end up getting thrown away sooner than Turkish towels—which only get better with each wash. Either way, if you're looking for a towel that toes the line between decor and utility, Turkish cotton might be the one for you.