How to Shop for the Best Gym Towels

How to Shop for the Best Gym Towels

Buying the right kind of gym towels can make life easier at your exercise facility. That’s true for people who have a private gym in their garage or basement — and it’s true for people who manage a gym that hosts hundreds of members a day.

But aren’t towels all the same? What makes one gym towel better than another gym towel?

That answer depends on your unique needs. Here are seven factors that can help you decide.

7 Factors to Consider When Shopping for Gym Towels

These seven factors can make all the difference next time you’re ready to stock up on gym towels:


Cotton is the most popular towel material for gyms. Cotton is easy to find, affordable, easy to wash, and durable enough for most shoppers. Cotton also provides a familiar feel for most gym members.

But gyms now have more options, like poly blends (which include cotton and synthetic materials). Since these towels incorporate fibers that are engineered for extra durability, blended gym towels can withstand more wash cycles without losing performance.

Some gyms have switched to microfiber gym towels. Microfiber performs well and dries quickly, reducing the chances of mildewing in the bin.

Density and Size

Denser gym towels perform better, but denser towels also take up more space in the wash and on the shelf. That said, if you go with a lighter weight fabric which absorbs less, won’t your clients just use more towels? This can become a dilemma for gym managers.

That’s one reason some gyms like microfiber, which combines high density and lightweight qualities into one product.

But if you stick with cotton, you may as well get a high-density weave despite its heavier weight. It’ll perform better and leave your gym members more satisfied.

As for gym towel size: Is a hand towel too small? Is a bath towel too big? Most gym owners say yes to both. This 16”x27” size strikes a perfect medium.


Towels that don’t absorb well enough frustrate gym members, and they often cause gym members to use more than one towel at a time. This increases washing burdens on your staff or towel service.

So high-absorbency is a must in the gym, especially in humid climates. Fortunately, today’s towels can now be highly absorbent without requiring long fibers that dry slowly, harbor germs, and take up excess space on the shelf.

Drying Time

We’ve touched on this already, but drying time still deserves its own mention. Towels that stay damp longer attract more bacteria, and they’re harder to wash and dry.

Faster-drying towels usually have smaller fibers (low pile) when compared to traditional cotton weaves. That’s where the poly-blends — and microfiber — can help.

Quality and Softness

Lower quality gym towels absorb less moisture and shed more lint. That creates a big frustration for someone who just finished running several miles on a treadmill or just bench pressed their personal best.

That’s why gym managers typically stock quality towels. They may cost a little more, but they’re worthwhile. Plus, following a towel’s washing and drying instructions, and using gentle detergents, will extend the towel’s life.


Gym towels take up a lot of space on the shelf and in the bin. Using a lighter weight fabric makes the stacks and piles of gym towels easier to manage. And it reduces staff time required to stock clean towels and remove used towels.


We listed appearance last because a towel’s looks matter less than how it performs. However, appearance still matters.

For example, buying towels with a distinct appearance makes it easy for your staff to separate towels from other linens that may find themselves in a towel bin. Plus, if a client accidentally takes a towel home, it’ll stand out in their dirty clothes hamper. They’ll be more likely to return it.

A simple blue line on the towel is distinct enough to do the job.

All Rags Can Help Carry Your Gym Towel Load

All Rags specializes in providing quality towels at a low price. Our customer service staff can help your gym manage its towel supply. With fast shipping and discounts on larger orders, we can usually save you money, too.

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  • Brad Grossman