Sometimes when someone talks about a certain product, brand, or material as being clearly superior it’s worth listening to while sometimes it’s just pure hype. Or it was true X decades ago before modern materials, production, and technology have shot past it. Egyptian cotton was one of those materials I always heard about because it had a reputation for being incredibly soft, strong, and just better than other types of cotton.
In my personal experience, those stories turned out to be 100% correct. Egyptian cotton, and especially Egyptian cotton towels, are just straight out superior to common cotton alternatives, and it isn’t even close.
Egyptian cotton has a lot going for it, and if you’ve ever wondered how a single large or extra large towel could be worth $40, let me tell you why that $39 towel (in 2007 dollars) is a purchase I still fondly look back on as one of my all-time favorites.
Let’s dive into why Egyptian cotton towels are just that much better, whether or not they’re worth it for you, and what are the best options for your budget.
If you don’t care and just want the TL;DR read version, I recommend the Superior Brand Egyptian Cotton Bathroom Towels (Pictured Below).
My First Egyptian Cotton Towel: The First Hand Experience
The first time I spent money on a towel made from Egyptian cotton was when I lived in Austin. I had just started a brand new job, lived in awesome apartments, and had just moved with a single suitcase and a single duffel bag from Fairbanks, Alaska. So literally every single little thing that you usually put in an apartment I had to pick up from scratch.
Considering my boss covered moving expenses, gave me a stipend to cover those lite stock the apartment expenses, and gave me a small bonus, seemed a good a time any to spoil myself.
Why that ended up being in the form of a bath towel I don’t know, maybe because I was tired of Wal-Mart towels having their dye run off on the rest of my laundry? Whatever the reason was I saw “Egyptian Cotton Towel” and decided you know what, I needed to try that!
No idea why that was the self-reward that jumped out to me, but the new Xbox would come four months later, but no complaints. When I received the towel, it just felt different in my hands.
The towel was extremely soft, it felt “fuller” for lack of a better term, and it was impressive, thick, fluffy. It was a really, really good towel. While that was a good sign, as anyone who has ever had a good looking product fall apart after a few good uses knows, actually trying the towel out fully was when stepping out of the shower.
And man…that experience was just amazing.
It’s hard to believe if you have never thought about it or experienced something different like that, however sometimes it’s those really small details that just change how you view an entire experience, and for me it was drying off with a bath towel that was made from 100% Egyptian cotton. I knew right then and there that the purchase was worth every single penny.
This was the best towel I ever owned and even a year later was still better than the second best towel I ever used…wherever that was.
So why don’t I have this amazing towel anymore?
Well aside from being 12 years ago, long past the point where even the best towels need to hit retirement for the new ones on deck, the towel was so good, so comfortable, so noticeably better than the other ones in the apartment that my brother and his then-fiancé now wife stole it.
They use words like re-appropriate or “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” as the clearly marked towel moved from shared bathroom to their bedroom never to return again, but yeah, the towel was so good they five-fingered discounted it while we were roomies in a 3-bedroom apartment.
While I was understandably a bit bitter about this for a while, but at least they had good taste.
So Why Are 100% Egyptian Cotton Towels So Good?
The simple answer is that not all cotton is created equal, and Egyptian cotton has been consistently lifted up as one of the best (if not the best) in the world, with only Turkish linen towels often coming anywhere close in comparison.
While that’s the simple version, calling something “the best” is pretty vague. So what are the specific traits that have give Egyptian cotton this reputation? Why is it the clear gold standard by which everything else is compared?
And does that superiority actually cross over once the actual cotton has been processed?
Here’s what you need to know in one blog post to become a bathroom towel expert and the short answer is this: Yes, Egyptian cotton towels are simply superior to the overwhelming majority of other bath towels and vastly superior to basic or common cotton.
Egyptian cotton has longer strands than the other types of cotton that are found throughout the world and this is credited to helping to allow it to be softer on the plant and even after being processed. The individual fibers are longer than even Turkish cotton, which is often seen as a strong second.
Those longer strands last longer than other forms of cotton and stay softer longer. Add in the fact that Egyptian cotton is more porous and thus better at absorbing water than the others.
So why are 100% Egyptian cotton towels so good?
- The towels are softer
- The towels are more durable
- The towels absorb water better
That really is the trifecta when it comes to bathroom towels, isn’t it?
What Is the Best Inexpensive Egyptian Cotton Bathroom Towel?
Honestly, asking for an inexpensive Egyptian bathroom towel is going to be a bit of a challenge. Like Turkish Cotton towels, they are made from some of the best and most in-demand materials in the world, which means they are going to be premium cotton and premium products.
So even an “inexpensive” Egyptian cotton towel is going to cost a decent amount because you are still getting a premium item.
Because of this my thought is you’re better off grabbing one or two better towels than settling for a lower tier set, or maybe just save up for the really nice towels. These are premium towels so the price range is going to be above and beyond your average American cotton towels.
Egyptian Cotton Bath Towels FAQ
Are 100% Egyptian cotton towels good?
Most consider Egyptian cotton to be the best towels in the world, and I agree. In fact, many 5-star hotels use Egyptian cotton not only for their towels but sometimes for sheets and pillowcases, as well.
If this is the go-to choice for most four and 5 star hotels, it’s good enough for my bathroom.
Are Egyptian cotton towels worth it?
While it can seem like an extravagant use of money to spend that much on a towel, aside from the superior performance and the quality of life change don’t forget one more important point: Egyptian cotton is more durable. These means these towels can last longer and work at a higher level longer than cheap towels. That means over a long enough timeline you will need to buy far fewer replacements than if you go with cheaper options.
Which are better Turkish or Egyptian cotton towels?
There is some divide here. According to many experts Egyptian cotton is the superior one. Both are known as being the two best options in the world so if Egyptian is the best but you have Turkish, or vice-versa, you’re probably don’t really care. Either way, you’re enjoying a very good towel. While many people give the nod to Egyptian it is worth noting that Good Housekeeping claims from recent tests of popular brands of both that Turkish cotton performed just a touch better, especially when it came to drying faster.
Why is Egyptian cotton the best?
The climate allowed Egyptian cotton to be longer, stronger, and softer than cotton grown in most parts of the world which is why it has such a reputation for being the best of the best when it comes to cotton options.
What is GSM Egyptian cotton?
GSM is an abbreviation that stands for grams per square meter. This doesn’t mean much to most of us, but what you need to know is that the GSM number is a measurement of the towel’s weight, and generally thickness as a result. Egyptian cotton towels should have a GSM range of 300 to 900, with a higher number generally indicating a thicker more absorbent towel.
A 300 GSM towel can still be very good, but the really high-end towels you get at the top end will be closer to 900 GSM in range. People will have their indidvidual preferences. If you’re my size (six feet tall, built like an NFL defensive lineman) the heavier weight and size will be ideal. If you’re 5 feet even and 90 pounds soaking wet the 300 or 400 GSM towel might be perfectly wonderful.
Egyptian Cotton Towels: 100% Worth The Extra Price
One of the early lessons I remember from my childhood shopping with Dad is that there are just certain things that you need to be willing to spend more on. In that case it was way you always went for toilet paper and not generic “Bathroom Tissue” no matter how tight the budget was. I took this lesson to budgeting but have also learned in my life that there are certain things worth spending a lot on to go premium because the quality of life improvements really are that powerful.
Egyptian Cotton Towels are one of those things. These towels are super soft, remain soft for a very long time, very nice to the skin, and are just superior to every other type of bath towel I’ve ever tried. Cheap, expensive, or otherwise.
While I get why many people wouldn’t want to spend the money on entire bathroom set of them (or two for those of us who rotate laundry days), for individuals looking for those hidden “I can’t believe this improves my quality of life this much,” thigs that they can add around the house, try one and make sure it’s a good size. I’m a big guy so I went with XXL and while that meant I paid $15 more – one of the best investments I’ve ever made.
If you’ve never enjoyed the clear benefits of Egyptian cotton, then you would be amazed at just how much one premium towel can make a difference.
If you want to check out my recommendation, this is the link to it once again on Amazon so you can see for yourself:
Enjoy, and feel free to relish that experience of soft, warm, cuddly dryness!