Agood gym towel can make or break your gym experience. Not only is it proper etiquette to bring a gym towel with you to your workout (no one wants to deal with your sweat, and I’m sure you don’t want to deal with theirs), but it also can help keep you healthy and act as a cushion for machines. While many gyms provide their own towels–or at least paper towels–having your own that suits your specific needs will make your workout that much more enjoyable!
Best Gym Towels to Keep You Dry & Comfortable
1. Quick-Dry Microfiber Travel Towel
Why it’s great: HERO’s quick-dry towel truly is a towel that is great for all activities. Available in 4 different colors, the towel is compact, convenient, absorbent, and fast-drying. I recently used this towel for the first time at the gym after not having lifted weights for over six months and was amazed at how it absorbed sweat quickly and dried almost immediately. I wrapped it around my neck for easy use and broke it out anytime I felt like I needed a wipe down. It dried with no odor, which I found to be truly impressive because I got very sweaty.
If you’ve ever used a microfiber towel before, you know they can feel rough on your hands if they’re even slightly dry. I never got that uncomfortable feeling with this towel, which makes a huge difference when you’re handling weights.
Keep in mind: It is thinner than you may be used to. It may take some time to get used to the thinness, and it may have you worried that it won’t be absorbent, but don’t worry. It dries extremely quickly.
Good for: The everyday gym towel
2. Desired Body Fitness Gym Towel
Why it’s great: Desired Body’s fitness gym towels are some of my favorite towels that I have ever come across. They not only absorb sweat really well, but I also like to lay them down on machines to help avoid germs, especially if I know a machine has just been used. They’re super lightweight, fit in my gym bag perfectly, and even come with a loop that makes for super easy drying. This is extremely important because microfibers towels can get ruined with high heat. The less I throw this in the dryer, the longer it will last!
Keep in mind: The instructions for these towels do say to air dry them, so if you are used to throwing your gym towels in with a regular load of laundry, you might find this to be a bit frustrating.
Good for: Weight lifting and covering machines
3. Cooling Towel
Why it’s great: I’m a big fan of cooling towels when I am adventuring outside. This goes for the gym as well. Soak the cooling towel in cold water, wring it out, and wrap it around your neck for instant heat relief. There’s nothing better during and after a hard workout. Nothing is more distracting than having sweat drip down your face while you’re trying to complete your last rep or working hard in spin class. It’s thicker than many cooling towels you will find, which helps the cooling sensation last longer.
Keep in mind: It comes with a nicely designed storage container that helps keep the wet towel separate from your other belongings.
Good for: Hot yoga and spin class
4. Utopia White Highly Absorbent Towels
Why it’s great: Made of 100% cotton, the Utopia towels are soft, thick, and can handle a whole lot of moisture. They are on the smaller side; however, I don’t mind this because sometimes you just need something little and light to get the job done. After one wash, these come out super soft, thick, and fluffy, and it feels like you’re wiping your face with a cloud after a challenging workout. Because of the white coloring, they are super easy to clean and bleach if needed.
Keep in mind: Before using, throw these in the wash with no other items. They tend to shed lint after washing for the first time, and I’m sure the last thing you want is lint covered clean clothing.
Good for: Less-strenuous workouts
5. KinHwa Microfiber Gym Towel
Why it’s great: The KinHwa microfiber towel is made of 85% polyester and 15%. While this may not sound like much to you, this combination of fabrics makes the towel quick-drying, absorbent, lightweight, soft, and ultra-compact. And although it is thinner to the touch, it’s surprisingly strong and durable–two characteristics that are crucial with gym towels.
I love this towel because it not only has a loop to air-dry, but it also can be thrown in with your regular laundry, so you don’t need to focus on any special washing instructions. In fact, the dryer helps them remain soft.
Keep in mind: There are large seams on the edges, so it’s wise not to rub your face with too much pressure with these towels. It will help avoid any unnecessary scratches!
Good for: Yoga, CrossFit, and spin class
6. HOEAAS Workout Towel
Why it’s great: I love the HOEAAS towels because there’s such a wide range of sizes, perfect for every need. One of my favorite ways to exercise is to do laps at the pool at my gym. With the size medium and large towels, I am fully capable of wrapping the entire thing around me and drying off in a matter of minutes. I use the smaller towel that comes in the pack for days that I want to stick to cardio or weights, and it’s still large enough to cover machines and wrap around my neck when I am not using it. These towels come in eight different colors and five different sizes, so there is truly something for everyone.
Keep in mind: The material of these towels is thicker, so it may take some time to get used to.
Good for: When you need to clean up quickly after a workout
7. HOPESHINE Microfiber Towel
Why it’s great: The HOPESHINE microfiber towel is thin, absorbent, and great for those that get very sweaty while they exercise. I’ve washed mine 30 times over, and it’s still as soft as the day that I got it. It rolls up nicely and can fit in a very small gym bag, yet it’s the perfect length for wrapping around the neck when unrolled. They’re comparable to the Lululemon small towel, just a whole lot cheaper!
Keep in mind: Follow the washing instructions when you first receive the towels. The color will likely bleed a little, and there will also be lint. To avoid ruining any other clothing items, wash these in their own load following the given directions.
Good for: All gym users
FAQS about gym towels
1. Why are workout towels essential?
Using a gym towel, in many places, is considered to be proper etiquette. How many times have you gone to use a machine, only to find that it is covered in sweat from the previous user? A workout towel minimizes the spread of germs, keeps you dry and cool, and adds an extra layer of protection on machines.
2. What are the qualities of a good workout towel?
When searching for a good workout towel, there are a few things to keep in mind–the material, size/weight, absorbancy, how quick-drying it is, softness, and the washing process. At the end of the day, you want a durable yet soft towel that will help you stay dry. The faster it dries, and the less it smells afterward, the better.
3. What are gym towels made out of?
Most gym towels that you will find on the market are either made of cotton or microfiber. However, you might also find linen, bamboo, and more. Cotton is typically the most popular due to it having the qualities mentioned above.
4. What’s the best way to care for your sweat towel?
Most towels that you will come across will come with specific washing instructions based on that towel’s materials. Some things to keep in mind for making the most out of your towel is to wash it often as towels harbor bacteria, don’t use a fabric softener, clean with baking soda, and don’t go overboard with laundry detergent.
5. Can you use a hand towel as a sweat towel?
More often than not, hand towels are too small for the gym. You’ll want a towel that will wrap around your neck easily or cover a large portion of a weight bench. If you are in the middle of ordering a workout towel and you just need something to use, for the time being, you’ll be alright, but I highly suggest getting one that is specifically meant to handle sweat.
You should never work out at the gym without a sweat towel. They not only help you stay cool and dry, which can prevent you from getting dehydrated and passing out, but they also help you stay healthy and clean as they act as a barricade against bacteria and germs.
Getting a gym towel that is right for you truly depends on what kind of exercise you are doing. Whether you’re swimming laps, running on the treadmill, or biking in spin class, each towel is not created equally. Think about what’s most important to you–absorbancy, size, material, etc., and decide from there. Use one of these seven towels and I promise you’ll leave the gym every day happy and dry!