The 7 Best Eco-Friendly Bath Towels of 2021

Elevate your bath time with these soft and sustainable towels

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

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.

The Rundown
These clever towels are designed with grooves of fabric to soak up every last drop.
Affordability and ethical manufacturing go hand in hand in these organic bath towels.
Made from lightweight terry cloth, these dry in a jiffy, and they look stylish too.
These towels are on the fluffier end of the bath towel thickness spectrum, guaranteeing you’ll find them exceptionally absorbent.
Practical and posh, these dual-sided towels are also extremely fast drying.
Embark upon hammam-style bathing in these elegant, pastel-hued towels.
Pact's towels are certified organic, Fair Trade, and come in a wide range of colors.

Best Overall: Coyuchi Temescal Organic Towels

Coyuchi Temescal Towel

We’re big fans of the complete Coyuchi bath towel collection, but if we had to pick a favorite, it would be these. Their softest towels yet, 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.

Coming in three serene colors (we adore Deep Ocean), these towels are 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 their environmental impact even further.

Best Budget: Under the Canopy Organic Cotton Bath Towel

Under the Canopy Bath Towel

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 brand Under The Canopy. 

GMO and pesticide free, each bath towel uses seven bathtubs less water in production than conventional towels. They're certified by GOTS, OEKO-TEX, and Fair Trade. They’re also WEL-TRAK™ accredited, which means you can trace every step of these towels’ journey from the cotton field to your home. Choose between six soothing colors, which will add a dash of relaxation-inducing hues to your bathroom.

Best Quick Dry: Parachute Soft Rib Towels

Parachute Soft Rib Towels

If bath time really is your favorite part of the day or you live in an apartment with little free space for drying your towels, these Soft Rib Towels from Parachute will 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 three colors: white, light grey, and clay.

While they’re not made from organic cotton, they are OEKO-TEX certified, meaning they’re synthetic and toxic-chemical free. Additionally, all packaging used to deliver them to your home is both recyclable and made from 80 percent recycled plastic.

Related: The Best Low-Flow Shower Heads

Best Absorbant: Boll & Branch Plush Bath Towel

Boll & Branch Bath Towels

When it comes to bath towels, there’s plush and then there’s these oversized, extra-thick bath towels from sustainability pioneers Boll and 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.

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 their goods by boat rather than plane.

Best Luxury: Coyuchi Catalina Organic Towels

Coyuchi Catalina Towel Set

If you want spa-quality luxury every time you step out of the tub or shower, consider these opulent and stylishly woven towels. A blend of organic cotton and linen are loomed with a herringbone pattern for an understatedly exquisite finish, that doesn’t skimp on softness, either. 

Available in white, cool blue, or smoky charcoal, they’ll bring classic styling into your boudoir. But they’re practical, as well as posh: lined with thirsty mini-loop terry cloth to increase their absorbency, they’re extremely fast drying. You can also snuggle into these towels in the comfortable knowledge that Coyuchi saved 448 days of drinking water and farmed 43 square feet of arable land without pesticides in the making of them.

Related: The Best Slippers

Best Turkish: Serena & Lily Fouta Bath Towel

serena-lily-towel

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's towels are certified organic, Fair Trade, and come in a wide range of colors. Made from 100 percent 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 inches x 55 inches, as well as a larger bath sheet that measures 35 inches by 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 Temescal Organic Towels (view at Coyuchi), because they’re both certified organic and Fair Trade. If you need a quick-drying option, we like Parachute’s Soft Rib Towels (view at Parachute Home). 

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 prohibits the use of toxic chemicals, thus protecting the fresh drinking water relied up by local towns 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) and even ECONYL, which is made using ocean and landfill plastic bottles, can also prove gentler on our planet. 

Third-Party Certifications: To ensure our bath towels recommendations are ethically and sustainably manufactured, we’ve incorporated industry-standard 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 percent organic fibers. Then there’s as OEKO-TEX, which offers confirmation that textiles are non-toxic. 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?

We researched many bath towels to find the most eco-friendly options for sale online. We particularly look for brands that offer trusted third-part certifications. Steph Dyson is a bilingual sustainability and travel writer, guidebook author, and blogger originally from the UK.