Towels buying guide

Towels come in a range of styles and thread counts to provide you with maximum softness when you step out of the bath tub or shower to dry yourself. Made from types of cotton such as Egyptian cotton and combed cotton, towels are often created with special technology, meaning they can absorb more water, stay strong, dry quickly, or retain a super-soft feel over time, ultimately making it easier for you to dry off.

Towel terms like 'zero twist yarns' might not mean anything to you, so this Tesco buying guide is here to help you understand these and choose the right bath towels for your home. The good news is you can mix and match to have all the essential accessories for your bathroom.

Towel technical terminology

From the weight of the towel to the fabric type, we've summarised some of the key terms used to describe towels, helping you to select fluffy, high quality products that will look great on your heated towel rail.

Egyptian cotton

Egyptian cotton has become synonymous with luxury for both bed and bath linen because of its outstanding absorbency and silky qualities.

Combed cotton

This is cotton that has had small fibres removed from it. The combing process gets rid of impurities from the cotton and helps to prevent the towel from shedding during and after machine washes.

Zero twist

Yarn is normally twisted to make a towel stronger, thicker, more durable, or more absorbent. Zero twist towels are constructed so that this process does not occur before the yarn is weaved into a towel. The final product will still be strong, but it will also be lightweight. Zero twist towels are quick-drying towels.


GSM stands for grams per square metre and it indicates the towel's weight. The higher the GSM, the heavier the towel. As a result the product will be more absorbent.

Different types of towel

We offer a range of different towels, which include bath towels, and the good news is you can purchase items to go with them in matching colours, such as a bath mat or a face cloth. For summer holidays when you are out and about with the whole family at the beach, dry off with a beach towel. Here are just some of the towels on offer.

Hygro towels

Normally, you'd expect a towel to show some wear and tear with usage. However, this isn't the case with our 100% Hygro towels, which actually improve as you use them. After they have been in the washing machine and tumble drier a few times, these soft fluffy towels start to plump up even more. They benefit from a spinning technique called Hygro technology, which creates a hollow fibre that traps air to give a thicker pile. We like to add to our Hygro towels range with new arrivals on a regular basis.

Combed cotton towels

These cotton towels come in a host of colours, such as lime green, orange, teal, heather and, of course, white, to name a few. They're highly absorbent and stay intact for much longer because of the combing process. They're also machine washable up to 40 degrees Celsius.

Egyptian cotton towels

Egyptian cotton towels are among the most popular in the UK. Renowned for being super soft and absorbent, these towels are machine washable and maintain their finish wash after wash. You can also tumble dry them, but you must do this on a low heat.

Luxury towels

If you want luxurious bath towels, try the 800 GSM boutique products for heavyweight, warm towels, or enjoy the durable Hotel Collection range. Catherine Lansfield is another well-known name when it comes to stylish fabrics.

Novelty towels

As well as super soft fluffy towels, we provide quirky beach and bathroom towels with fun patterns and designs. The children can have their own towel with some of their favourite characters from the world of animation, whereas parents can dry themselves in style with striped or mosaic patterns, or choose warm, elegant colours.

How to care for your towels

The first thing that you should do when you buy new towels is to wash them a few times. This gives them the chance to achieve greater absorbency and softness. Never dry clean bath towels. Here are some further suggestions to help you keep your towels in pristine condition.

Using fabric conditioner

Even though fabric conditioner keeps your towels fluffy, you should always use it sparingly when washing them. Avoid using conditioner for the first few washes, so that any excess fibres are removed. In fact, it is not advisable to use this product every time you put your towels in the washing machine as they will eventually start to absorb less and less water. Keep them soft by placing textured 'dryer' balls in the drum of the tumble dryer if you are not going to hang them outside or on an airer.

Preserving towel colour

Prevent your towels from fading by keeping them out of direct sunlight. When washing, use a special 'colour' washing powder and avoid getting skin creams like facial cleansers or moisturisers on them.

To keep white towels a brilliant white, use a washing powder that contains a brightening agent - don't use this in coloured loads - and only ever wash them on a 'white' load setting.

Dealing with looped cotton in your towels.

It's tempting to pull any loose threads out of cotton towels if you accidentally snag them on something sharp. Resist the impulse to do that and, instead, cut out any loops carefully with sharp scissors. This will keep them looking tidy without damaging the fabric.

With this Tesco buying guide to towels you should be able to pick out the right products for you. You may want to mix colours and styles to coordinate the towels and accessories with your bathroom and increase its style factor.