Kitchen towels are one of the most frequently used items in any home cook’s arsenal. From drying dishes to wiping up spills, a good kitchen towel can make all the difference in keeping your cooking space clean and organized. As experienced home experts, the editors at HGTV tested dozens of kitchen towels to find the very best options to suit any style and budget.

After extensive testing, these are our top 10 picks for the best kitchen towels on the market:

1. Utopia 100% Cotton Kitchen Towels

With their soft texture, absorbency, and durability, Utopia’s 100% cotton kitchen towels topped our list. Made of high-quality ringspun cotton, these towels soak up moisture quickly without feeling overly damp. In fact, we found they absorb nearly 3 times their weight in liquid!

The double-stitched hems prevent fraying in the wash, allowing the towels to withstand daily use and maintain their shape over time. We also love the variety of colors and striped patterns available to match any kitchen decor. These versatile towels can tackle spills and messes with ease.

Key Features:

  • 100% long-staple cotton construction
  • Highly absorbent and fast drying
  • Available in multiple colors and stripes
  • Hemmed edges to prevent fraying
  • Machine washable and dryer safe

2. Williams Sonoma All Purpose Kitchen Towels

For a step up in softness, we recommend Williams Sonoma’s All Purpose Kitchen Towels made of premium long-staple Turkish cotton. Despite their luxurious feel, they are durable enough for daily use and get softer over time.

We found these premium towels soaked up an astonishing amount of liquid in our tests. They are generously sized for both drying dishes and hands, as well as tackling up spills and messes around your workspace. The details like the double-needle stitching make these towels built to last.

Key Features:

  • Crafted from long-staple Turkish cotton
  • Ultra soft and absorbent texture
  • Generous size with hemmed edges
  • Available in multiple sophisticated colors
  • Durable construction stands up to daily use

3. Food52 Waffle Weave Kitchen Towels

For an ultra-absorbent towel with unique texture, the Food52 waffle weave towels are a stylish choice. The honeycomb waffle pattern not only looks beautiful, but it effectively draws in moisture from dishes, hands, and surfaces.

We found the 100% organic cotton construction made these towels both sturdy and soft. They held up well to repeated machine washing and drying during testing. Plus, the heft and generous size give you plenty of drying power for dishes and more.

Key Features:

  • 100% organic cotton in a waffle weave
  • Highly absorbent honeycomb texture
  • Substantial 550 gsm weight and oversized shape
  • Available in multiple muted colors
  • Durable and machine washable

4. Williams Sonoma Striped Kitchen Towels

Sometimes simple is best when you want an easy to match, versatile kitchen towel option. For a timeless striped style, we love these 100% cotton towels from Williams Sonoma.

The substantial weight holds up to daily use, while the cotton provides softness as well as absorbency. We found the smart stripe patterns concealed stains and dried quickly after washing. These towels look beautiful alongside any style of kitchen decor.

Key Features:

  • 100% long-staple cotton construction
  • Soft texture with great absorbency
  • Classic stripe patterns in multiple colors
  • Generous size for drying dishes and more
  • Durable and machine washable

5. Heath Ceramics Printed Kitchen Towels

For a pop of color and style in your kitchen, you can’t go wrong with the printed cotton kitchen towels from Heath Ceramics. Made from a custom heavyweight cotton canvas, these statement towels are substantial enough for daily use.

Vibrant custom prints and colors like indigo batik instantly brighten up your kitchen decor. We loved the unique patterns and handcrafted look of these towels compared to mass-produced options. The towels held up well to repeated machine washing during testing too.

Key Features:

  • Custom designed heavyweight cotton canvas
  • Vibrant custom prints and colors
  • Substantial feel and very absorbent
  • Adds style and pops of color to your kitchen
  • Designed to endure daily use and washing

6. Cotton Clouds Organic Kitchen Towels

For an eco-friendly kitchen towel option, Cotton Clouds’ organic towels are made using sustainable farming methods and non-toxic dyes. The premium long-staple Turkish cotton feels wonderfully soft while remaining durable enough for daily use.

We found these organic towels to be highly absorbent and quick-drying. They maintained their shape after many washes during testing. With multiple colors and prints, you can find an option to suit your style while matching your eco-friendly values.

Key Features:

  • Crafted from 100% organic Turkish cotton
  • Grown and made using sustainable practices
  • Generously sized with excellent absorbency
  • Soft texture even after repeated washing
  • Multiple colors and prints available

7. Simly Best Swedish Dish Cloths

If you prefer reusable absorbent paper towels over cotton, Simly Best’s Swedish dish cloths are an excellent sustainable option. Made from a natural cellulose and cotton blend, these ultra-absorbent cloths hold up to 20 times their weight in liquid!

Despite their paper towel-like absorbency, these dish cloths are durable and can be washed up to 50 times before composting. We found they soaked up an astounding amount of water and cleaned surfaces easily during testing. Their thinner profile also allows them to dry very quickly.

Key Features:

  • Made of a highly absorbent cellulose/cotton blend
  • Can absorb up to 20 times its weight in liquid
  • Thinner and more paper towel-like texture
  • Washable and reusable up to 50 times
  • Compostable at the end of their lifespan

8. Life is Good Flour Sack Kitchen Towels

For a budget-friendly kitchen towel that doesn’t compromise on quality, Life is Good’s flour sack towels are a reliable choice. Don’t let the discount price tag fool you – these towels are durable enough for daily kitchen use.

The medium weight cotton holds its shape wash after wash and gets even softer over time. Although thinner than some towels, they are surprisingly absorbent and dry quickly. We love the cute screenprinted designs and upbeat sayings on these towels that can brighten up your kitchen.

Key Features:

  • Durable and soft medium weight cotton
  • Absorbent and quick-drying texture
  • Screenprinted designs and sayings
  • Budget-friendly price point
  • Holds up well to repeated washing

9. Magic Paper Towels

When you need the convenience of paper towels with the sustainable bonus of reusability, Magic Paper Towels are a smart option. These highly innovative paper towels are actually reusable and washable!

We were amazed at how a plant-based product could feel and function so similarly to regular paper towels, yet stand up to washing time after time. Although not as absorbent as cotton towels, they effectively clean up spills and messes in the kitchen. We think these towels are ideal for quick everyday use.

Key Features:

  • Made from renewable plant-based materials
  • Highly absorbent and multi-purpose
  • Feel and function like paper towels
  • Reusable and washable up to 100 times
  • More eco-friendly alternative to paper towels

10. Huck Waffle Weave Towels

For premium softness and durability, Huck Kitchen Towels topped our testing. These waffle weave towels are crafted from 100% organic long-staple Turkish cotton, which gets even softer over time.

The distinctive honeycomb texture makes these towels ultra-absorbent. Despite their luxurious feel, they are generously sized for drying dishes and hands, tackling spills, and more. After many washes, these towels maintained their shape and absorbency during testing.

Key Features:

  • 100% organic long-staple Turkish cotton
  • Signature honeycomb waffle weave
  • Ultra-soft texture and highly absorbent
  • Generous size for multi-purpose use
  • Durable and machine washable

What To Look For When Buying Kitchen Towels

With so many options on the market, it can be tricky to know what to look for when selecting quality kitchen towels. Based on our extensive testing, here are the key factors to consider:


  • Cotton is the most popular choice for its softness, breathability, and absorbency. Look for 100% cotton, ideally long-staple or ringspun.
  • Linen is another good natural fiber option that is lightweight and absorbent. Linen gets softer over time.
  • Microfiber towels are very lightweight and absorbent. They dry quickly.
  • Bamboo is also lightweight, soft, and absorbent. It has natural antibacterial properties.
  • Cotton blends can provide desired texture and absorbency.


  • Heavyweight towels around 600 GSM are very dense and durable.
  • Medium weight 400-500 GSM is ideal for absorbency and longevity.
  • Lightweight is thinner but can still be very absorbent.

Weave Texture

  • Terry or waffle weaves create air pockets that increase absorbency.
  • Twill or percale weaves have a flat surface and smooth feel.

Hemmed Edges

  • Hemmed edges prevent fraying in the wash.
  • Avoid raw edges which can unravel.


  • Machine washable is ideal for ease of care.
  • Tumble dry low to medium to avoid damaging fibers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Towels

Which is better cotton or microfiber kitchen towels?

Both cotton and microfiber make excellent kitchen towels, but they have different strengths. 100% cotton is naturally soft and absorbent, gets softer with washing, and is durable over time. Microfiber is extremely lightweight and absorbent, and dries very quickly, but may not withstand as much long-term use. Ultimately cotton would be the better choice for versatility and longevity.

How should you wash kitchen towels?

It’s best to wash kitchen towels frequently to avoid bacteria buildup. Wash them separately or with other kitchen items on hot water setting, using an unscented detergent and a 1⁄2 cup of distilled white vinegar for deodorizing. Avoid using fabric softener as it can impact absorbency. Tumble dry on low or medium heat.

Should you use bleach on kitchen towels?

Bleach is effective at sanitizing, but it can prematurely break down fibers with repeated use. Instead, mix a sanitizing solution of 1⁄2 cup white vinegar with 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide in the wash cycle for occasional deep cleaning. This is gentler than bleach over time.

How often should you replace kitchen towels?

With proper laundry, high-quality cotton or linen kitchen towels can last several years. But it’s best to replace dish towels every 6 months to 1 year for sanitary reasons. Replace them sooner if you notice fraying, holes, visible stains or smells that don’t wash out.

What is the best way to dry kitchen towels?

After washing, tumble dry towels on medium or low heat to avoid over-drying them. You can also hang towels outside in the sun to naturally sanitize and dry them. Fold or hang towels neatly to allow air circulation and prevent mildew. Rotate their use so towels fully dry between uses.

Should kitchen towels match decor?

While kitchen towels don’t need to fully match your decor, choosing complementary colors or patterns can help pulled your style together. Neutrals, solids or simple stripes match most kitchens. Or pick up a color from your dishes, or cabinent hardware for a coordinated look.

Are flour sack towels good kitchen towels?

Yes, flour sack towels make excellent economical kitchen towels. They are durable, absorbent, and lint-free. The tightly woven medium-weight cotton stands up to frequent washing and gets softer over time. Their versatility and low cost make them a practical choice.

What is the best way to hang kitchen towels?

Use an absorbent towel bar near your sink or stove for convenient access. Fold towels over the bar evenly for a neat appearance. You can also hang towels from built-in hooks, owls, or railings as long as they don’t obstruct storage or appliances. Allow space between towels to dry.

What are waffle weave towels?

Waffle weave towels have a distinctive honeycomb texture that creates air pockets, allowing the towels to absorb significantly more liquid. The fluffy texture is also soft against the skin. While thick, waffle towels are lightweight and dry quickly. They make great multi-purpose kitchen towels.

Should you use kitchen towels for drying hands?

It’s best to have separate towels for drying hands versus drying dishes. Multi-purpose towels harbor more bacteria. Have dedicated hand towels that can be replaced more frequently. Opt for a different color or print from your dish towels to easily differentiate.


Choosing the right kitchen towels comes down to considering your priorities like absorbency, softness, durability and style. Testing out the variety of materials, weights, textures and prices is the best way to determine which towels suit your needs. Be sure to purchase quality towels that can withstand frequent laundering for sanitary reasons. With the proper care, the best kitchen towels can be your kitchen’s MVP for years to come.