Are Towels Considered Linens?

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Stack of organic flax with tag of 100% linen on light background

Linens are household fabric goods often associated with beddings and kitchen accessories such as tablecloths, napkins, and hand towels. But what about bathroom towels? Are towels considered linens alongside bedsheets, comforters, and tablecloths? 

Yes, towels are indeed linens. Any accessory made from a type of cloth and is typically an everyday commodity in the household falls under the linen category nowadays. So, when we say linens, we are talking about tablecloths, napkins, bed sheets, comforters, pillowcases, and hand and bathroom towels. 

With that question out of the way, let us go a bit deeper into the topic of bath linens, shall we? 

Qualities of a Bathroom Towels or Linens

Bathroom towels come in a wide range of sizes and variations. We use the typical large bathroom towel to dry ourselves after taking a bath to washcloths and hand towels. Each has its specific uses, with washcloths used for the face, while hand towels are self-explanatory. 

As far as material goes, bath linens typically utilize 100% natural cotton due to their excellent water absorbency. While some towels made from synthetic fabric are of good quality, it simply does not deliver the same level of absorbency as natural cotton fiber. 

The construction of the towel is also a factor. Bath towels should incorporate high quality and tight weaves with thick loops for improved toughness. 

Bath Towel Materials

American Soft Linen Towel Set, 2 Bath Towels 2 Hand Towels 2 Washcloths
American Soft Linen Towel Set (Image: Amazon)

A trip down to the linen aisle of your local department store will give you a broad selection of towels to choose from. You might also notice that several of the towels on display feature different materials. If you are unfamiliar with each type of fabric, you might feel a bit confused about which you should buy. The good news is that we are about to do a quick rundown of each towel fabric and its pros and cons. 

Turkish Cotton Towels

Luxury Hotel & Spa Bath Towel 100% Genuine Turkish Cotton, 27" x 54" ,Set of 4,White
Luxury Hotel & Spa Bath Towel 100% Genuine Turkish Cotton (Image: Amazon)

Absorbent towels typically feature Turkish cotton. Turkish cotton is defined by its soft and thick texture and exceptionally high water absorbency. Based on that description, you can bet that towels made from Turkish cotton will offer superb comfort. This high degree of water absorbency and softness makes Turkish cotton-made towels extremely popular. As a result, you can find this fabric utilized for a wide range of towel sizes. 

Rayon/Bamboo Fiber Towels

FABBRICA HOME Rayon from Bamboo Kitchen Towels Powered with Everplush (6, Green)
FABBRICA HOME Rayon from Bamboo Kitchen Towels (Image: Amazon)

Explicitly designed to provide extra comfort, soft towels are defined not only for their soft hypo-allergenic structure but also their anti-fungal properties. Extra soft towels usually feature organic bamboo fibers or rayon. Some also utilize Japanese cotton and Egyptian cotton, but bamboo is the most commonly used. 

There are also modern bath towels that use a high-quality microfiber cloth that is soft and has excellent water-wicking properties. Towels made from either rayon or microfiber are perfect for outdoor use as well being as they are thinner and don’t take up as much space in your bag. Click here to read our comparison of bamboo vs cotton towels

Polyester Cotton Towels

Welhome Ideal Luxurious Hygro Cotton Polyester 6 Piece Towel Set
Welhome Ideal Luxurious Hygro Cotton Polyester (Image: Amazon)

Poly-cotton towels are made from a blend of these two materials: cotton (90%) and polyester (10%). The defining trait of this type of towel is its affordable price tag, low-maintenance construction, and machine-washable structure. Poly-cotton towels are available in a wide variety of colors and are also known for their quick-dry fabric. 

Is it Safe to Iron Towels?

In most cases, your typical towel does not need ironing due to its thick texture. However, thinner cotton more miniature towels might benefit from ironing but can do with just proper folding. Note that rayon or bamboo fiber towels and polyester do not need ironing as the heat might damage the fabric. 

Final Thoughts

The term linens do not mean what it used to. Nowadays, any towel, bedsheet, and tablecloth can be categorized as linen even if it is not made from flax. We hope this article helped clear up the confusion that the term “linens” might have caused. It is a loosely-used term that described everyday household accessories made from any fabric.