I have a new favorite source for Turkish towels to share with you today. I’ve updated this post with the scoop and a special 20% off discount code for List in Progress readers! Look for The Bali Market towels below for details.
Have you hopped on board the Turkish towel train yet? If not, let me introduce you to my textile obsession. I’ve confessed to hoarding mason jars (read this post), and Turkish towels are not far behind. What I love most about these towels is that they are so versatile; I use them for hand towels, dish towels, bath towels, beach towels, and even a throw blanket! However, not all Turkish towels are created equal, and today I’m sharing my recommendations on the best affordable options.
What Exactly are Turkish Towels?
Also called peshtemal, hammam, or Fouta towels, these beauties are flat-woven, super light, and very absorbent. These days, you’ll find versions from tons of retailers, mostly in striped or geometric styles. Works for me!
I like these towels best for kitchens and beach trips. Because they are so lightweight, they dry incredibly fast, unlike terry cloth. At the pool, I hate using a soggy towel after a swim. Who doesn’t, right? Plus, it’s so nice to have fast-drying hand towels in the kitchen and bath, now that I’m washing my hands all. the. time.
However, I’ll admit that Turkish towels are not my favorite bath towels. If you crave the feel of thick terry cloth, these will feel wimpy at first. They’re stylish, but they’re thin by design. I could see Turkish bath towels being a perfect fit if you live in a humid climate without AC. In those conditions, they actually have a prayer of air drying, so you can avoid mildewy bath towels in the summer.
TIP: To help towels develop maximum absorbency, soak them overnight in cold water before washing for the first time. Don’t use fabric softener and tumble dry low or air dry.
Also, you should look for towels made from 100% Turkish cotton. I’ve learned that some cheaper Turkish towels are just “made with” Turkish cotton, but it’s not necessarily 100% of the fiber content. That means the fabric will not be as high quality or absorbent. You get what you pay for, right?
Read More About Our DIY House Updates
A New Favorite Turkish Towel from The Bali Market
The Bali Market reached out to me recently to see if I would be interested in trying their Turkish towels. Um… yes please! (By the way, if anyone offers me a mocha latte or a babysitter, I’ll have the same answer.) As it turns out, their towels are fabulous and I’m excited to recommend them! All products are 100% Turkish cotton and reasonably priced, considering the fiber content and high quality.
SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE
** The best part is that The Bali Market is partnering with me to offer a 20% discount to List in Progress readers!! Use the code LIST20 at checkout to take advantage of this great deal >> The Bali Market. If you try them, please let me know what you think! Here’s my full review…**
I received these two hand towels to try from The Bali Market: the Perfect Classic in light blue and the Essential Stripe in navy. The Essential Stripe towel is a tad longer and is very generously sized for a hand towel.
Both are fantastic; they are super absorbent right out of the gate (after washing) and beautifully constructed. My entire family put these towels to the test and approved (and they are quite picky since I’m always trying out new hand and kitchen towels…).
The Essential Stripe is my new favorite, hands down. It’s both plush and super absorbent, even by Turkish towel standards. Once I tried it, I immediately jumped online to look for other colors and options in this fabric. It also comes in a bath/beach towel, a terry-backed washcloth, and a double-layered blanket.
** Update 3/12/21 – I just ordered this yellow blanket and it’s the new family favorite. Please know, this was not gifted and I bought it myself because I’m hooked on The Bali Market products. I wondered if it would feel too thin, but the double-weight is perfect for a light throw blanket. It’s generously sized and super soft. Plus – the yellow color is currently on sale!! You can even add my LIST20 discount code for an additional 20% off! This is a crazy good deal and there are only a few left at the time of this update.**
Read More About Our DIY House Updates
My Favorite Affordable Turkish Towels on Amazon
Now that I’ve gone through a few rounds of towel purchases from Amazon retailers, I can make solid recommendations. As with any Amazon purchase, you should ALWAYS read the reviews. Copycats abound, and not all Turkish towels are the same quality or fiber content, as I mentioned above. Just a note – beach/pool/bath towels are the same item in the Turkish towel world. They are roughly 38 x 70 inches, give or take a few inches.
SMYRNA – one of my favorite brands! Here is the beautiful bath towel I bought for our quick bathroom update. It’s plush and well-crafted. None of the tassels unraveled after I washed it, which is not always the case. In all honestly, I’ll probably use this most at the pool, since I just confessed that I’m not crazy about using these as bath towels. But now that I’ve discovered this brand, I plan to stay loyal for future hand towels.
A note about colors. It’s hard to tell on Amazon, but sometimes the colors aren’t what you expect. The towel I ordered through this company is black and cream. However, I ordered a few more from a different vendor, and they are black and white. Both are Smyrna brand towels, but I didn’t realize that the colors would be different until I saw them in person. You can see them side by side below. I always try to choose options that have free returns for situations like this.
A Beautiful Turkish Throw Blanket
We’re working on a back porch update and I ordered this Turkish throw blanket in black for the swing. It is gorgeous! This blanket is a really generous size and super soft cotton. I’m in love. Highly recommend it, if you’re in the market for a throw. (If black is sold out, check out this similar throw blanket.)
Best for the Beach/Pool
Even though I’m not wild about using one as a bath towel, I LOVE Turkish towels for the pool or beach! This has been my beach towel for the past two years, and it’s fantastic. Great quality, the tassels have stayed tied, and the towel is softer than ever. I love having a thin, light towel in my pool bag since it’s already weighted down with other junk.
I’m bummed to report that this company, Paramus, seems to be hard to find on Amazon at this point. They still sell this towel in orange, but I’m struggling to find the same design in other colors (mine is taupe). I would suggest trying this one from Smyrna or this one, which also gets great reviews. If you love Southwestern geometric patterns, check out this design. If we hadn’t canceled our beach trip this summer, I would have an excuse to buy it!
Great Towels, but Not My Favorite
Cacala is consistently on the list of best brands for Turkish towels on Amazon. I bought this set of 4 hand towels three years ago, and they have become my go-to kitchen towels. Super absorbent and fast-drying, they get the job done. Unfortunately, the tassels started to unravel after the very first wash, and they look a little ragged at this point. It looks like Cacala might have solved this problem because the tassel design appears to have changed… However, the Perfect Classic towels from The Bali Market are a much better investment for this classic style, in my experience.
Other Affordable Choices (and a Few Splurges)
As I mentioned, everyone under the sun is selling Turkish towels these days. I bought this cute hand towel from CB2 for our bathroom refresh, and the quality is great. (Was it smart to buy a cream-colored towel for dirty little hands? Of course not. Now I’m saving it for guests. Someday, I hope we’ll have those again.) Actually, this towel is “Morrocan inspired” and not Turkish, but it’s pretty similar.
MORE AFFORDABLE TURKISH TOWELS
– Etsy is filled with affordable Turkish towel vendors. Shop here.
– Land’s End is even selling colorful Turkish-style beach towels.
– West Elm sells organic cotton Turkish towels in neutral colors.
– I bought this cute towel from CB2; it’s backed with terry cloth and similar to a Turkish towel. Perfect for bathrooms and only $7!
– Wayfair also has a range of towels at different price points. Shop here.
MID-RANGE TOWEL PRICES
– Check out The Bali Market – and get a 20% discount with code LIST20!!
– Parachute sells highly-rated linens. Here is their Fouta towel set.