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Posted by Nicholas Crusie

Did you know?

Any cotton towel, Turkish or Egyptian preferably, will be higher quality and knock off those boxes for absorbency, softness, and drying quickly.

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Bath Sheet vs. Bath Towel: Which one is right for you?

6 mins read

What do you grab for as you step out of the shower - a bath sheet or a bath towel?

There are a few common debates in the linen world. Duvets vs. comforters is one of them, among many others. What thread count your bed sheets should have is another. However, the hot topic today is bath sheets and whether you prefer going through your post-shower ritual with a standard bath towel or the larger bath sheet

Do you know which one you own? Maybe you own both, in which case the next question is if you can tell the difference between the two. Whether you can or can't, do you know what the difference actually is/

Ok let's slow down here, we don't want anyone to feel overwhelmed. If you don't know anything about any of the questions we just asked, that's completely OK. 

In fact, we're thinking maybe most of you don't know, which is actually exactly why we're writing this. We want to help you understand the difference between bath sheets and towels and figure out which one is right for you. 

Mastering the in's and out's of the linen world will not only optimize your post-shower experience, but as an added bonus, it will probably make you feel pretty fancy, even elegant if you will. Martha Stewart, who? Let's get into it.

Bath Sheet vs Bath Towel: The Difference

In short, the main difference is the size. However, you’ll find that the size can make a huge difference in your towels and that this additional fabric can be a game-changer.

Let’s answer some main questions: What is a bath sheet? And what is a bath towel? What makes them different? 

Bath sheets are bigger than bath towels.

So, what’s a bath sheet? Here’s the scoop.

BATH SHEET SIZE AND MORE:

  • 40" x 70" inches
  • More expensive (most towels that are "bath sheet" size are also higher end)
  • More absorbent that bath towels (usually)
  • Likely to be hung on a hook on the back of a door (because it's bigger and may otherwise touch the floor)

The main difference between bath towels and bath sheets is that a bath sheet is essentially a big bath towel that you can use to cover more surface area

    BATH TOWEL SIZE AND MORE:

    And what’s a bath towel? Let’s discuss.  

    • 30" x 56" inches - this is the standard bath towel size
    • Less expensive (bath towels are usually lower quality than bath sheets)
    • Average absorbency 
    • Likely to be hung on a towel rack

    That's not too hard to remember, right?

    At first thought, it may seem like differentiating between bath sheets and towels is unnecessary, kind of like maybe having a coffee, tea, soup, sundae, and dessert spoon and being a stickler for which one gets used when. Not that there's anything wrong with that! 

    Which Type of Towel Is Right for You?

    Just knowing the difference between sheets and towels may not be enough to help you figure out which one is right for you and why. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help figure it out:

    Is one towel sufficient for drying you off after your shower?

    When you hop out of the shower or bath and start drying off, does one towel usually do the trick? If a standard towel is able to dry you off and not end up too wet at the end so that it's uncomfortably damp, then a bath towel may be good enough for you. 

    Sometimes a towel can dry you off completely, but then it's so wet and heavy that it isn't nice to continue to use. Perhaps after drying off, you like to stand there in your towel and continue with a skincare routine; if the towel is too wet and heavy, this won't be comfortable and you may be better suited to a bath sheet. 

    How well snuggled do you like to feel?

    What is a bath sheet used for, mainly? Well, a bath sheet offers considerably more surface area - all the more room to snuggle up between. If you like feeling well wrapped while you do whatever one does after a shower, then the benefits of bath sheets are for you.

    If you just need your towel to dry off and then you slip into a robe or clothing, a standard bath towel will do the trick.

    Are you an NBA player? Are you a toddler or young child?

    This isn't a serious question, but it is important to take into consideration how much space you take up and therefore how big you may need your towel to be. You don't want to be drowning in your towel, but you also don't want to feel too naked as you're drying off. Size does (sometimes) matter. 

    What type of towel is your bathroom able to accommodate?

    There's no point in getting a towel that won't fit in your bathroom properly.

    If you're thinking of getting a bath towel sheet, make sure that there's somewhere it will be able to hang in your bathroom that makes sense. 

    If you only have one towel rack that is relatively low, a bath sheet may be too big and dangle too close to the floor. If there's the possibility that it will be hung up carelessly (we know you aren't lazy, time is valuable and we don't always have the time to hang towels back up perfectly) and perhaps touch the floor, your towel will get dirty. 

    Couldn't I just use my beach towel as a bath sheet?

    You may be thinking that any of the beach towels you have in the closet could be used as bath towel sheets.

    Our answer is no, not really. Beach towels are made of thinner materials so that they won't get heavy when they are loaded up with sand. They're thinner because they're not designed to be used as a bath towel. They're intended to be used to lightly dry you off and have the sun do the rest of the work. Thinner towels also mean they're not as plush or soft. Your body is a temple, remember? You want to get out of the shower and be greeted by a luxuriously soft towel, just like you deserve. 

    Plus, having a bright polka-dotted or funkily designed towel is fun, but having it hang in your bathroom may clash with the rest of your decor? Just a thought. 

    Bath Towel Breakdown: Pros and Cons

    Like any other linens, bath towels have pros and cons. Here are a few factors to consider before deciding between a bath towel and a bath sheet.

    • Bath towels are cost-effective: Thanks to their smaller size, traditional bath towels are sometimes more affordable than bath sheets. 

    • Bath towels are more versatile: While you can’t beat a bath sheet's coverage and warmth, they aren’t the most versatile linen. They work well as body towels, but that’s about it. In contrast, a standard bath towel can be used for drying both your body and hair. 

    • Bigger isn’t always better: The extra fabric a bath sheet towel offers can sometimes be inconvenient; these oversized towels take up a lot of space. Standard bath towels fit on towel bars and towel racks better and are incredibly convenient when sharing a bathroom. 

    They’re easier to wash: You can fit more bath towels in the washer at a time, requiring fewer loads. Bath towels also occupy less space in the linen closet and other storage areas. 

    If you opt for silver-infused, self-cleaning bath towels like our Miracle Made Towels, you can cut your laundry by three times! Not only are they easier to wash, but you wash them less frequently.

    Bath Sheet Breakdown: Pros and Cons

    Below is a breakdown of the pros and cons of bath sheets:

    • A luxe experience: Thanks to the towel covering a larger surface area, they retain their soft, luxe, and fluffy feel during your entire post-shower ritual. 

    • More absorbent: The more absorbent the towel, the better the overall drying experience. Once a towel is overly wet, it’s tough to get yourself dry and feel cozy, so you should choose the most absorbent bath towels.

    • Perfect for cuddling up: Thanks to the larger size of bath sheets, they’re perfect for wrapping around your entire body post-shower. If you like to feel extra warm and cozy, bath sheets may be right up your alley. 

    • They’re on the pricey side: While bath sheets usually cost more than towels, it makes sense, considering you’re getting more fabric. If you appreciate a big warm hug right out of the shower, bath sheets might be extra appealing to you.

    • They can get in the way: While the extra fabric gives bath sheets their luxe appeal, the added material can become very heavy once wet and, as a result, become difficult to lug around or wash. 

    The Big Con of the Bath Sheet vs Towel: You Can’t Wrap Your Hair Up Post-Shower

    If you have strictly bath sheets at home, your haircare routine may suffer. 

    Bath sheets are likely too big to wrap around your head. So, you won’t have a towel to dry your hair. While we suggest always keeping a few bath towels in the linen (just in case), there are other ways you can dry your hair. 

    Instead of wrestling with your bath sheet, grab an old cotton t-shirt, put it on, then slowly take it off over your shoulders. Once the neck hits just past your ears, wrap the fabric around your hair like a bath towel.

    Drying with a cotton tee may even benefit your hair. The fibers in the fabric are woven closely, and the soft, plush material won’t snag or tug at your hair. The t-shirt will probably be drenched by the time your hair is dry, but you don’t have to stress about damaging your delicate locks.

    Other Towel Considerations

    Material

    Most towels are usually made of either polyester or cotton. Choose cotton.

    Polyester is a synthetic fibre, which basically means it's a hyper-engineered type of plastic. Polyester towels dry quickly but won't be absorbent or soft. Leave polyester towels for drying off your dog with, or better yet, in any road-side motel. 

    Cotton is the way to go. Any cotton towel, Turkish, Supima, or Egyptian preferably, will be higher quality and knock off those boxes for absorbency, softness, and drying quickly - triple whammy. A towel made of Supima cotton is your best option for getting you that ultra-plush experience without sacrificing functionality. 

    Our towels are made from the highest-quality US-grown Supima cotton. Our products are made with love, care, and consideration for the environment and your health. Supima cotton is considered superior in the textile industry and makes up only one percent of cotton in the entire world (meaning it's a rare commodity.)

    What makes Supima so special? The fibers of this extra-luxe cotton are longer than your average cotton. The long fibers provide you with features like optimal softness and strength while retaining color better than any other cotton. Say bye-bye to your towels staining your whites!

    Weight

    Towels are measured in grams per weight (GSM). A higher GSM indicates more absorbency potential. Higher GSM usually correlates with slower drying time, but not always and not always to an equal degree. 

    If you’ve never heard of the GSM metric system, you’re not alone. Here’s what it means, where to find it, and which grade is best for your bathroom linens. 

    For a t-shirt, a GSS grade of 180-200 would be thick, warm, and best for a chilly day, whereas a grade of 130-150 would likely be better in the summertime. 

    Your towels should be at least GSM 400. However, once they are in the 500 grade, they’ll offer a noticeably softer, more plush feel. 

    You can find the GSM grade on the tag, usually alongside where the wash instructions are. Color and style

    Color and style of course play a role too. There's nothing wrong with wanting your bathroom to match and flow with itself and the rest of your home. 

    Color and Style

    Color and style of course play a role too. There's nothing wrong with wanting your bathroom to match and flow with itself and the rest of your home. 

    Shop for towels that come in various sizes to ensure you can get a whole set (which will also save you money). Depending on your theme, you want towels to match your aesthetic, so when you find a brand that’s up-to-par, double-check that they have the colors you like. That’s not to say an all-white bathroom isn’t totally chic and fun!

    Cleanliness

    Not all towels are created equal. And just because you're clean every time you use your towel doesn't necessarily mean that your towel is staying clean too. A study at the University of Arizona found that 90% of bath towels were contaminated with coliform bacteria. (Google what exactly coliform bacteria is at your own will...)

    Towels with silver fibers woven into the fabric can prevent 99.9% of bacterial growth through a natural process called Ionization. Clean towels warrant less frequent washing, prevent odors, and nurture healthy skin. 

    The Fun Part: Shopping for Your Towels 

    You’ve done your research. Now, it’s time to start shopping for some new bathroom linens—whichever has won your heart: bath sheet vs bath towel

    You already know what materials and weight work best (which is a fantastic start), but the fabric industry has changed significantly in the past few years. That means the technology has also advanced. It’s not just bath towels vs. bath sheets; it’s also your standard fabric vs. antibacterial self-cleaning fabric. 

    As you read above, the best bath towels are designed with silver fibers woven into the fabric. The best bath sheet towels would have the same feature. These naturally antimicrobial fibers work overtime cleaning your towel, so you don’t have to.  

    Different Types of Bath Linens: FAQs Answered

    Bath linens don’t end at towels and washcloths!

    While we’re sure you’re familiar with most of them, here are all the different types of bath linens:

    • Face Cloth
    • Washcloth
    • Wash Towels
    • Face Towel
    • Hand Towel
    • Foot Towel
    • Fingertip Towel
    • Guest Towel
    • Deck Towel
    • Beach Towel
    • Sheet Towel 
    • Sauna Towel
    • Bath Mats
    • Bath Rug 
    • Bath Robes
    • Bath Towel
    • Bath Sheet

    While knowing whether bath sheets are indeed a better match than your standard bath towel is important, you should give the same attention and care to all your bathroom linens. Towel size and quality matter for each of the towel types above.

    Of course, you aren’t running at a five-star resort, so a fingertip towel may prove unnecessary, even if you’re interested in curating a luxurious experience for yourself. However, having the most convenient linens, like face cloths and hand towels, within arm's reach will likely result in a more organized, enjoyable bathroom experience.

    You Now Have All The Tools You Need

    We've given you all the information and considerations you need to make your choice. Everyone is different and it really comes down to your own preferences. Just as some people prefer their trusty comforter over a duvet, you’ll also have a towel preference now, since you know which comes out on top when it comes to bath sheet vs bath towel

    Having the right type of towel makes a small but real difference. It's the little (or big) things like this that can add up to really enhance your day to day life.

    Knowing the small differences in bath linens will help elevate your shower (or bath) routine. Few people have the time and money for weekly spa visits. That’s why we help bring the spa to you with these helpful tips, tricks, and shower hacks, and that’s why you now know the answer to this question: what are bath sheets used for? 

    There's nothing to make you feel pampered like getting out of the shower, warm and squeaky clean, and getting bundled up in the perfect towel!

    Did you know?

    Any cotton towel, Turkish or Egyptian preferably, will be higher quality and knock off those boxes for absorbency, softness, and drying quickly.

    Sources:



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