The 6 Best Eco-Friendly Bath Towels of 2022

Our top choice is Coyuchi's Temescal Organic Towel.

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Treehugger / Chloe Jeong

When it's time to replace worn-out bath towels or outfit a new home with a fresh set, your choice of fabric can make a difference to the environment. Conventional cotton uses a staggering amount of water, yet is often grown in places where ancient reserves freshwater reserves are being depleted.

Not only this, but the impacts of using pesticides and other agrochemicals in the cotton cultivation process is doing enormous damage to major ecosystems across the globe. So what is the ethical answer, when all you want is a nice fluffy new bath towel? It’s finding other, more sustainable fabrics for your home that are still absorbent and still soft on the skin.

We've rounded up the best eco-friendly bath towels to make your next shower or soak in the tub an ethical and enjoyable experience.

Best Overall: Coyuchi Temescal Organic Towels

4.8
Coyuchi Temescal Towel

Coyuchi

We’re big fans of the complete Coyuchi bath towel collection, but if we had to pick a favorite, it would be these. Extra soft, the Temescal Organic Towels get their cloud-like texture from the perfect combination of long-staple organic Turkish cotton, and a weave that has spun them into the lightest of yarn. Finished in a vertical pattern, these clever towels are designed with these grooves of fabric to soak up every last drop of water.

Avaialble in five serene colors (we adore Deep Ocean), these towels are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified, thus saving 640 days’ worth of drinking water and allowing 61 square feet of farming land to be pesticide-free. Coyuchi is industry-leading in its commitment to sustainable practices, as the company aims to work predominantly with Fair Trade Certified farmers and support low-carbon farming methods to lower its environmental impact even further.

Best Budget: Haven Organic Cotton Waffle & Terry Bath Towel

Organic Cotton Waffle & Terry Bath Towel

Bed Bath & Beyond

Luxury and affordability might not seem like natural companions—or at least you might not think so until you encounter these sumptuously economical bath towels from sustainable spa-inspired brand Haven. 

Each of these bath these organic bath towels has a waffle texture that dries quickly, plus a band of terry cloth for a little extra absorbency. They're certified by both GOTS and OEKO-TEX, which ensures textiles are free of concerning chemicals. There are 10 soothing colors to choose from, as well as hand towel, bath sheet, washcloth sizes.

Best Quick Dry: Parachute Soft Rib Towels

4.2
Parachute Soft Rib Towels

Parachute

If you need a towel that will dry quickly, these Soft Rib Towels from Parachute should do the trick. The cotton is woven into a long "ribbed" design that helps them dry faster and looks great too. The towels are available in four colors: white, light grey, ochre, and clay.

While they’re not made from organic cotton, they are OEKO-TEX certified, meaning they’re free from toxic-chemicals and synthic dyes. Additionally, all packaging used to deliver them to your home is both recyclable and made from 80% recycled plastic. As a whole Parachute is Climate Neutral Certified, which means the company offsets all of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with its business.

Best Absorbant: Boll & Branch Plush Bath Towel

4.6
Boll & Branch Bath Towels

Boll & Branch

When it comes to bath towels, there’s plush and then there’s these oversized, extra-thick bath towels from sustainability pioneers Boll & Branch. Two-ply organic cotton yarn is spun into a high pile height for an extraordinarily soft finish. They’re on the fluffier end of the bath towel thickness spectrum, guaranteeing you’ll find them exceptionally absorbent and velvety soft. There are seven color options to pick from.

As a brand, Boll & Branch is also fully committed to sustainable practices. Its dedication to only using organic cotton and building Fair Trade partnerships with workers in India has helped ensure safe and fair working conditions. The company also saves the equivalent greenhouse emissions of over 4,500 cars annually by transporting its goods by boat rather than plane.

Best Turkish: Serena & Lily Fouta Bath Towel

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serena-and-lily-towel

Serena and Lily

If you’ve never before encountered Turkish bath towels, let us introduce you to the most versatile of the bathroom linens. Dating back to the 18th century, hammam towels made from Turkish cotton have long been admired for their lightweight designs, which is combined with elegant styling and high levels of absorbency. 

These towels from Serena and Lily are pieces of art in their own right: long-staple Turkish cotton from the Aegean region is woven into a delicate navy blue, pastel green, or smoky grey herringbone pattern and combined with an absorbent terry cloth fabric on the back to ensure the perfect match of practicality and panache. What’s more, they’re OEKO-TEX certified.

Best Organic Cotton: Pact Waffle Bath Towel

Pact Waffle Bath Towels

Pact

Pact's towels are certified organic, Fair Trade, and come in a wide range of colors. Pact offers nine color options, including white, charcoal, light blue, and rose taupe. Made from 100% GOTS-certified cotton, the waffle texture helps these towels dry quickly. However, they still have a light and fluffy texture.

Pact offers a bath towel that measures 27 x 55 inches, as well as a larger bath sheet that measures 35 x 70 inches. The company also sells sets that include washcloths and hand towels for a significant discount.

Final Verdict

Our favorite eco-friendly bath towels are the Temescal Organic Towels from Coyuchi, because they’re both certified organic and Fair Trade. If you need a quick-drying option, we like Parachute’s Soft Rib Towels

What to Look for When Shopping for Eco-Friendly Bath Towels

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton consumes 91% less water and produces fewer greenhouse gasses than its conventional counterpart, and reduces the use of toxic chemicals, thus protecting the fresh drinking water relied on by communities around the world. 

Other Sustainable Fabrics

Alternative textiles, such as those made from bamboo lyocell (the most sustainable of the different fabrics manufactured from this wood), hemp, and flax are other natural fibers that you may encounter when shopping for eco-friendly towels.

However, we don't recommend any towels made with microfiber, a type of synthetic fabric, because they can contribute to microplastic pollution.

Third-Party Certifications

To ensure our bath towels recommendations are ethically and sustainably manufactured, we’ve incorporated industry-standard sustainability certifications in our reviews of these products. These include the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which is used to accredit those made from a minimum of 70% organic fibers. Then there’s as OEKO-TEX, which offers confirmation that textiles are non-toxic and eco-friendly. Finally, there are social certification programs such as SA8000 and Fair Trade, that prove where—and how socially ethically—products are made.

Why Trust Treehugger?

To make this list, we researched many bath towels to find the most eco-friendly options for sale online. We particularly looked for brands that offer trusted third-party certifications and have ethical production practices. All the options on this list are made with natural fibers that won't contribute to plastic pollution, including several certified organic options.

Steph Dyson is a bilingual sustainability and travel writer, guidebook author, and blogger originally from the UK.