Top 34 Best Japanese Bath Towels to Buy Online 2019 – Tried and True!

Top 34 Best Japanese Bath Towels to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!

Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Yahoo Shopping) for the best bath towels. We then chose the 34 most popular products and tested them for the following:

  1. Texture
  2. Absorbency

We’ve gathered brands you’ll recognize (Nitori, MUJI) and those you won’t. We’ve got microfiber products, cotton products, organic and zero twist products. We bundled all these options together and ended up with a list of the best Japanese bath towels available online and in department stores.

Table of Contents

Top 34 Best Japanese Bath Towels to Buy Online

We pet and nuzzled the towels. We cut them up and measured how much water they absorbed. And based on how they performed on these tests, we ranked the top 34 Japanese bath towels available online.

※While many of these towels were made in Japan and all were produced by Japanese companies, some had their cotton sourced or were manufactured in other countries.

※Japanese prices for the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.

1. Nitori Zero Twist Bath Towel (Bacteria and Odor Resistant)

Nitori Zero Twist Bath Towel (Bacteria and Odor Resistant)Nitori Zero Twist Bath Towel (Bacteria and Odor Resistant)

Visit Nitori for more details (Japan only)

Price: $10.56

The Best in Every Way: Absorbent, Soft, and Budget-Friendly

We were so sure this towel was going to be rough, but it was as smooth as silk and fluffy to boot. It earned four stars for absorbency. The first threads had barely touched the surface when the towel started guzzling up water. It won’t take long to dry yourself off with this one.

It’s the only towel we tested that earned such high scores for both feel and absorbency. And it’s available for around 1000 yen ($10) in Japan, so you have no excuse not to buy it.

Japanese ニトリ 抗菌防臭加工 無撚糸バスタオル(BDマロック) Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan Features Zero Twist Weave
Size 75 x 150 cm Weight 450 g
Texture 4.0 Absorbency 4.0
Overall Score 5.0

2. UCHINO Bath Towel (Gokufuwa)

UCHINO Bath Towel (Gokufuwa)UCHINO Bath Towel (Gokufuwa)

Visit Amazon for more details (Japan only)

Visit Rakuten for more details (Japan only)

Visit Yahoo Shopping for more details (Japan only)

Price: $35.93

If You’re Looking to Pamper Yourself: Like Wrapping Yourself in a Marshmallow

It was soft and smooth. There was no chafing–didn’t matter if we were stroking from left to right or top to bottom or from one corner to another. It was also thick enough for our hands to sink in, as if on a bed of moss.

The towel was more than absorbent enough if all you’re planning to do is towel yourself off. Final thoughts? Luxury that’s worth the price.

Japanese UCHINO バスタオル とってもよく吸う「ごくふわ」 Material 100% Cotton
Made in Thai Features Extra Long Staple, Combed Cotton; Zero Twist Weave
Size 65 x 130 cm Weight 330 g
Texture 4.0 Absorbency 3.0
Overall Score 4.0

3. HACOON Imabari Towel

HACOON Imabari TowelHACOON Imabari Towel

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $34.95

The Most Soothing of Them All: Fluff that Skates over Skin

This was thick but as light as newly fallen snow. It glided against skin. Our editors considered it the best-textured towel of the bunch.

It was as absorbent as your usual run-of-the-mill towels–enough to dry you off after a bath. Get it if you need some extra TLC at the end of your hectic days.

Japanese 白雲ギフト バスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan, Imabari Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 195 g
Texture 5.0 Absorbency 2.0
Overall Score 4.0

4. AEON STYLE HOME COORDY Soft Bath Towel

AEON STYLE HOME COORDY Soft Bath TowelAEON STYLE HOME COORDY Soft Bath Towel

Visit AEON for more details (Japan only)

Price: $9.78

The Most Practical of Them All: Sucks up a Lot of Water in Very Little Time

This guzzled up water at an astounding rate. We gave it five stars for absorbency–it should have you dry after a shower in seconds. And seeing how reasonable the price was, we’d say this is a supremely practical towel.

It didn’t feel luxurious or anything, but it was easy to use. And we still thought it was softer than your average drugstore selection.

Japanese イオンスタイルホーム HOME COORDY やわらかバスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Vietnam Features Loose Twist Weave
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 260 g
Texture 3.0 Absorbency 5.0
Overall Score 4.0

5. 7-11 Super Soft Hotel Bath Towels

7-11 Super Soft Hotel Bath Towels7-11 Super Soft Hotel Bath Towels

Visit 7-11 for more details (Japan only)

Price: $9.24

The Best Towel to Use in a Pinch: Super Absorbent and Available in Convenience Stores All Across Japan

7-11 was out to impress with this towel. This was the second most absorbent of all the brands we tested. You can find it at most 7-11s in Japan, which are open 24-7.

It also felt fine–the threads were smooth and elastic. It had a good amount of both thickness and density, which you’ll like if you aren’t a fan of towels that are all fluff.

Japanese セブンイレブン 極ふわホテル仕様のバスタオル Material Cotton
Made in Egypt Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 290 g
Texture 3.0 Absorbency 5.0
Overall Score 4.0

6. Nitori Bath Towel (Fukkura)

Nitori Bath Towel (Fukkura)Nitori Bath Towel (Fukkura)

Visit Nitori for more details (Japan only)

Price: $13.78

Worth Buying: If You Like Your Towels Thick, Fluffy, and Cheap

It was soft and fluffy. It didn’t feel the smoothest, but the texture was still way better than anything you’d expect at this price point. It was also thick to the point of being bulky.

It was more absorbent than most of its competitors. Here’s yet another towel that works, feels good, and will fit into your budget.

Japanese ニトリ バスタオル (フックラ) Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 320 g
Texture 4.0 Absorbency 3.0
Overall Score 4.0

7. Broome Imabari Bath Towel (Leon)

Broome Imabari Bath TowelBroome Imabari Bath Towel

Visit Amazon for more details (Japan only)

Visit Rakuten for more details (Japan only)

Visit Yahoo Shopping for more details (Japan only)

Price: $38.83

Worth Buying: If You Need to Suck up Massive Amounts of Water All at Once

We know that we’ve already talked about towels that sucked up water as soon as they touched it, but this one vacuumed up moisture even faster than the rest. It ranked first for absorbency.

The towel was a bit too thin to call fluffy. However, it felt smooth, dense, and very well made.

Japanese タオルショップ ブルーム 今治 レオン バスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan, Imabari Features San Joaquin Cotton
Size 65 x 133 cm Weight 390 g
Texture 2.0 Absorbency 5.0
Overall Score 4.0

8. Sodateru Towel Feel

Sodateru Towel Feel MistSodateru Towel Feel Mist

Visit Loft for more details (Japan only)

Price: $47.93

Worth Buying: Plush as Foam and Well-Designed. The Ultimate Gift

This felt like a blanket. It was thick and plush and we made imprints on it with our hands. It also looked fluffy and cute enough to be used as interior design. The company also offers these in lovely gift sets wrapped up with a bow.

Japanese 育てるタオル feel バス Material 100% Cotton
Made in Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 255 g
Texture 4.0 Absorbency 2.0
Overall Score 4.0

9. Hotman One-Second Towel (Colored Bath Towel)

Hotman One-Second Towel (Colored Bath Towel)Hotman One-Second Towel (Colored Bath Towel)

Visit Rakuten for more details (Japan only)

Price: $37.95

Worth Buying: Light Towel that Can Drink a Lot of Water

This felt dry rather than lush, light rather than dense. If you’re not a fan of thick towels and find them too heavy, then the One-Second Towel is a good alternative. It was more absorbent than your average towel, but unless you’re really into the texture, it might not be worth the price.

Japanese ホットマン 1秒タオル カラー バスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Features
Size 65 x 137 cm Weight 330 g
Texture 3.0 Absorbency 4.0
Overall Score 3.0

10. Broome Imabari Bath Towel (Natural Border)

Broome Imabari Towel Bath Towel (Natural Border)Broome Imabari Towel Bath Towel (Natural Border)

Visit Amazon for more details (Japan only)

Visit Rakuten for more details (Japan only)

Visit Yahoo Shopping for more details (Japan only)

Price: $27.55

Worth Buying: Dense to the Point of Stiffness. Absorbent

This towel was a bit stiff and rough, and some claimed that it rubbed. But it was third most absorbent product that we tested, so if that matters to you, then this is a good towel. Might also help you exfoliate a bit.

Japanese タオルショップ ブルーム 今治 チュラルボーダー Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan, Imabari Features
Size 62 x 120 cm Weight 250 g
Texture 1.0 Absorbency 5.0
Overall Score 3.0

11. Air Kaol Organic Daddy-Boy Bath Towel

Air Kaol Organic Daddy-Boy Bath TowelAir Kaol Organic Daddy-Boy Bath Towel

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $17.97

Worth Buying: Organic Cotton that Feels like Moss and Absorbs Plenty of Water

This was one of those lush towels that spring back after you push it down. It also absorbed a good amount of water.

Japanese エアーかおる オーガニック ダディボーイ バスタオル Material Organic Cotton
Made in Japan Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 260 g
Texture 4.0 Absorbency 3.0
Overall Score 3.0

12. AEON STYLE HOME COORDY Organic Cotton Blend Bath Towel

AEON STYLE HOME COORDY Organic Cotton Blend Bath TowelAEON STYLE HOME COORDY Organic Cotton Blend Bath Towel

Visit AEON for more details (Japan only)

Price: $7.97

Worth Buying: Comfy Towel at a Low Price

This felt cool and soft to the touch. It was thick, and though it won’t absorb gross amounts of water, we thought it was well worth the price.

Japanese イオンスタイルホーム HOME COORDY オーガニックコットン混 バスタオル Material 80% Cotton; 20% Polyester
Made in India Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 320 g
Texture 4.0 Absorbency 2.0
Overall Score 3.0

13. hiorie High-Quality Hotel Style Bath Towels (Classy)

hiorie High-Quality Hotel Style Bath Towels (Classy)hiorie High-Quality Hotel Style Bath Towels (Classy)

Visit Amazon for more details (Japan only)

Visit Rakuten for more details (Japan only)

Visit Yahoo Shopping for details (Japan only)

Price: $36.89

Worth Buying: Like Sinking into Clouds, but Use It Only to Towel Your Body Off

It was fluffy, but it pushed back when you pressed down on it. It was light and airy, and it made you want to bury yourself into it. While it probably won’t soak up much more than droplets of water rolling off your skin, it’s worth checking out if you want a super comfy towel.

Japanese ヒオリエ 上質ホテルスタイルタオル バスタオル (クラッシー) Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan Features Extra Long Staple
Size 60 x 130 cm Weight 380 g
Texture 4.0 Absorbency 2.0
Overall Score 3.0

14. CB Japan carari Bath Towel

CB Japan carari Bath TowelCB Japan carari Bath Towel

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $7.92

Worth Buying: If You Can’t Get Enough of the Silky Softness of Microfiber

It was so soft, we almost couldn’t feel it. It was as smooth as you’d expect microfiber to be. And while this towel isn’t the most absorbent out there, it’ll work as long as you dab at your body rather than wipe.

Japanese シービージャパン カラリ バスタオル Material Polyester, Nylon
Made in China Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 176 g
Texture 4.0 Absorbency 2.0
Overall Score 3.0

15. 7-11 Seven Premium x Hotman One-Second Towel

7-11 Seven Premium x Hotman One-Second Towel7-11 Seven Premium x Hotman One-Second Towel

Visit Ito Yokado for more details (Japan only)

Price: $23.08

Worth Buying: Feels and Performs a Bit Better than Average

It felt smooth and cool like silk. It was comfortable against skin and also fairly absorbent, so we thought the towel gave us the best of both worlds.

Japanese セブンイレブン×ホットマン 1秒タオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 265 g
Texture 3.0 Absorbency 3.0
Overall Score 3.0

16. Sogo & Seibu Soft Zero Twist Bath Towel

Sogo & Seibu Soft Zero Twist Bath TowelSogo & Seibu Soft Zero Twist Bath Towel

Visit Loft for more details (Japan only)

Price: $18.94

Worth Buying: Soft and Absorbent Enough–Basically, It Works

This was spun from zero twist cotton and felt soft to the touch. It was absorbent enough for post-shower use.

Japanese そごう・西武 ふんわり無撚糸 Material 100% Cotton
Made in Features Zero Twist Weave
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 220 g
Texture 3.0 Absorbency 3.0
Overall Score 3.0

17. MUJI Organic Cotton Blend Bath Towel

MUJI Organic Cotton Blend Elastic Bath TowelMUJI Organic Cotton Blend Elastic Bath Towel

Visit MUJI for more details

Price: $26.00

Worth Buying: Scored Better than Average for Both Texture and Absorbency

It was dense and thick enough to feel substantial but smooth enough to feel soft. It had enough square inches to wrap most anyone up. During testing, it started soaking up water as soon as it touched the surface.

Japanese 無印良品 オーガニックコットン混しなやかバスタオル・中厚手 Material 100% Cotton
Made in Vietnam Features
Size 70 x 140 cm Weight 355 g
Texture 3.0 Absorbency 3.0
Overall Score 3.0

18. CAINZ Dense and Sturdy Bath Towel (Absorbent)

CAINZ Dense and Sturdy Bath Towel (Absorbent)CAINZ Dense and Sturdy Bath Towel (Absorbent)

Visit CAINZ for more details (Japan only)

Price: $11.82

Worth Buying: Overly Sturdy Towel that Inhales Tons of Water

The towel was indeed dense; it was so dense it was stiff. Didn’t feel amazing against the skin, but it soaked up a lot of water. Maybe you could use it at the beach or something.

Japanese カインズ 高吸水 高密度しっかりバスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Vietnam Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 420 g
Texture 2.0 Absorbency 4.0
Overall Score 3.0

19. Daiso Bath Towel Cotton 100%

Daiso Bath Towel Cotton 100%Daiso Bath Towel Cotton 100%

Visit Daiso for more details (Japan only)

Price: $1.99

Worth Buying: Felt and Worked Way Better than the Price Would Suggest

This towel was actually pretty soft. It wasn’t thick enough to feel fluffy, and it’s likely to fray within a year. Still, it soaked up a lot of water and seemed perfect for a pinch. However, it’s not available online, so if you’re interested you’re going to have to search out your nearest Daiso.

Japanese ダイソーバスタオル COTTON100% Material 100% Cotton
Made in China Features
Size 60 x 110 cm Weight 140 g
Texture 2.0 Absorbency 4.0
Overall Score 3.0

20. hiorie Imabari Towel mist

hiorie Imabari Towel misthiorie Imabari Towel mist

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Price: $25.88

Worth Buying: The Towel You Want to Pack. Lightweight and Works

This was also a thin, light towel, perfect for stuffing into an overnight bag. However, we wouldn’t call it fluffy. It did absorb a good amount of water. There weren’t any outstanding merits to using this towel, but there weren’t any demerits either.

Japanese ヒオリエ 今治タオル ミスト Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan (Imabari) Features Superfine Yarn
Size 62 x 120 cm Weight 190 g
Texture 2.0 Absorbency 4.0
Overall Score 3.0

21. SUNTÃNO Japan Waffle Bath Towel

SUNTÃNO Japan Waffle Bath TowelSUNTÃNO Japan Waffle Bath Towel

Visit Loft for more details (Japan only)

Price: $27.95

Worth Buying: A Towel for Scrubbing and Drying

It was thick and elastic, but the surface was just a bit rough. It was absorbent and may be worth it if you like a more substantial towel.

Japanese メゾンドサンホーキン ワッフルバスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Features
Size 70 x 135 cm Weight 370 g
Texture 2.0 Absorbency 4.0
Overall Score 2.0

22. TRANPARAN Imabari Bath Towel

TRANPARAN Imabari Towel Bath TowelTRANPARAN Imabari Towel Bath Towel

Visit Amazon for more details (Japan only)

Visit Rakuten for more details (Japan only)

Visit Yahoo Shopping for more details (Japan only)

Price: $26.25

Worth Buying: A Thin, Smooth Towel that Actually Soaks up Water

This towel was soft and smooth but thin. The threads will also get kind of gnarly when you throw it into the wash. Still, we thought that the towel struck a good balance between weight, texture, and absorbency.

Japanese TRANPARAN 今治 ライフタオル バスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan (Imabari) Features
Size 54 x 124 cm Weight 230 g
Texture 2.0 Absorbency 3.0
Overall Score 2.0

23. Nitori Bath Towel (Fukkura LGY)

Nitori Bath Towel (Fukkura LGY)Nitori Bath Towel (Fukkura LGY)

Visit Nitori for more details (Japan only)

Price: $13.77

Worth Buying: Pillow-Like Texture at a Reasonable Price

This towel was thick and fluffy enough to be used as a pillow. It didn’t do much to absorb water, but if you want a super comfy towel at a decent price, it might be worth looking into.

Japanese ニトリ 洗っても ふっくら バスタオル (フックラ LGY) Material Cotton
Made in Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 290 g
Texture 4.0 Absorbency 1.0
Overall Score 3.0

24. CAINZ Bath Towel

CAINZ Bath TowelCAINZ Bath Towel

Visit CAINZ for more details (Japan only)

Price: $4.60

Worth Buying: If You Want a Dirt Cheap Towel that Feels and Works Just Fine

This was the most average towel we could find. It wasn’t too fluffy (the pile wasn’t deep), but it wasn’t too coarse either. It soaked up enough water to work for after-shower toweling sessions but not much else.

Japanese カインズ バスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Vietnam Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 235 g
Texture 3.0 Absorbency 2.0
Overall Score 2.0

25. Sogo & Seibu Rich Twist Bath Towel

Sogo & Seibu Rich Twist Bath TowelSogo & Seibu Rich Twist Bath Towel

Visit Loft for more details (Japan only)

Price: $27.95

Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut: Texture Not Worth the Price

This towel was stiff, so much so that we could feel the separate loops of thread rubbing against our skin. So while it had thickness, it certainly didn’t have fluffiness. It soaked up water, but it just didn’t feel like a $30 towel.

Japanese そごう・西武 リッチツイストバスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 346 g
Texture 2.0 Absorbency 4.0
Overall Score 3.0

26. Seven Premium Bath Towel (Funwari Tsutsumikomu, Plain)

Seven Premium Bath Towel (Funwari Tsutsumikomu, Plain)Seven Premium Bath Towel (Funwari Tsutsumikomu, Plain)

Visit Ito Yokado for more details (Japan only)

Price: $11.09

Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut: Doesn’t Soak up Water and is Only Decently Soft

It felt smooth and soothing against skin. However, it wasn’t absorbent at all. There are products that feel better, perform better, and are cheaper, so we suggest you turn to those. All this one has is nice color variation.

Japanese セブンプレミアム ふんわりつつみこむバスタオル 無地 Material 100% Cotton
Made in Vietnam Features Extra Long Staple Egyptian Cotton
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 320 g
Texture 3.0 Absorbency 1.0
Overall Score 2.0

27. CB Japan cararikuo Bath Towel

CB Japan cararikuo Bath TowelCB Japan cararikuo Bath Towel

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $14.97

Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut: Is Soft but Would Work Better as a Blanket than a Towel

This had that light, silky smoothness characteristic of microfiber towels. However, it probably repelled more water than it absorbed. Maybe you could use it as a blanket.

Japanese シービージャパン カラリクオ バスタオル Material 80% Polyester, 20% Nylon
Made in China Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 270 g
Texture 3.0 Absorbency 1.0
Overall Score 2.0

28. hiorie Hotel Style Towel

hiorie Hotel Style Towelhiorie Hotel Style Towel

Visit Amazon for more details (Japan only)

Visit Rakuten for more details (Japan only)

Visit Yahoo Shopping for more details (Japan only)

Price: $28.64

Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut: Might Not be an Outright Fail, but Barely Does Its Job

This wasn’t deep and thick, but it wasn’t scratchy either. It was middling in texture. It also absorbed a middling amount of water. If you’re picky about towels, you’re likely to find this one lacking.

Japanese ヒオリエ ホテルスタイルタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan Features
Size 60 x 130 cm Weight 370 g
Texture 2.0 Absorbency 2.0
Overall Score 2.0

29. hiorie Daily Towel

hiorie Daily Towelhiorie Daily Towel

Visit Amazon for more details (Japan only)

Visit Rakuten for more details (Japan only)

Visit Yahoo Shopping for more details (Japan only)

Price: $31.04

Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut: Sturdy Build but Didn’t Glide Against Skin

This towel was way stiffer than it looked. It didn’t feel amazing to wipe off with, but it was thick and sturdy and might find some use at the beach or pool.

Japanese ヒオリエ デイリータオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan Features
Size 59 x 120 cm Weight 310 g
Texture 2.0 Absorbency 2.0
Overall Score 2.0

30. Broome Hotel Type Grace Bath Towel

Broome Hotel Type Grace Bath TowelBroome Hotel Type Grace Bath Towel

Visit Amazon for more details (Japan only)

Visit Rakuten for more details (Japan only)

Visit Yahoo Shopping for more details (Japan only)

Price: $13.67

Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut: Both Texture and Absorbency Left Something to be Desired

This had a close weave, which made it durable but ungiving. It also didn’t absorb much water–just enough to dry yourself after a shower.

Japanese タオルショップブルーム ホテルタイプ グレース バスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan Features
Size 60 x 129 cm Weight 360 g
Texture 2.0 Absorbency 2.0
Overall Score 2.0

31. hiorie Natural Gauze Towel

hiorie Natural Gauze Towelhiorie Natural Gauze Towel

Visit Amazon for more details (Japan only)

Visit Rakuten for more details (Japan only)

Visit Yahoo Shopping for more details (Japan only)

Price: $14.47

Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut: Has the Lightness of Gauze, but Doesn’t Function as a Towel

This towel’s gauze in front and piles/loops in back. The gauze side felt softer and airier than the typical stuff you find in first aid kits, but it can’t hold a candle to traditional cotton towels in terms of texture. It didn’t absorb much water either, but we guess that’s to be expected with such a lightweight product.

Japanese ヒオリエ ナチュラルガーゼタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan Features Gauze
Size 63 x 124 cm Weight 260 g
Texture 2.0 Absorbency 1.0
Overall Score 1.0

32. Tokyu Hands Aomori Hiba Antimicrobial Bath Towel

Tokyu Hands Aomori Hiba Antimicrobial Bath TowelTokyu Hands Aomori Hiba Antimicrobial Bath Towel

Visit Tokyu Hands for more details (Japan only)

Price: $9.98

Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut: Towel that Feels Every Bit as Cheap as It is

It was thick enough, but it felt stiff and a bit poorly made. The loops stood up in every which direction, which made the surface rough. Absorbency was a bit lower than overage. But it worked overall; while this towel may not be a steal, it isn’t a ripoff either.

Japanese 東急ハンズ 青森ヒバ抗菌 バスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Japan Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 250 g
Texture 1.0 Absorbency 2.0
Overall Score 1.0

33. kontex MOKU Bath Towel

kontex MOKU Bath Towelkontex MOKU Bath Towel

Visit kontex for more details (Japan only)

Price: $17.95

Doesn’t Quite Make the Cut: One of the Thinnest Towels You Could Possibly Find

This towel was made to be as thin and light as possible. If you need something to stuff into an overnight bag or for a trip to the gym, then you might get some use out of it. But it was stiff and flimsy and not all that pleasant to use. It also didn’t absorb enough water to be used for anything other than a quick toweling off.

Japanese コンテックス MOKU バスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Features
Size 60 x 120 cm Weight 95 g
Texture 1.0 Absorbency 2.0
Overall Score 1.0

34. HOUEI 8 Year Bath Towel

HOUEI 8 Year Bath TowelHOUEI 8 Year Bath Towel

Visit Amazon for more details (Japan only)

Visit Rakuten for more details (Japan only)

Visit Yahoo Shopping for more details (Japan only)

Price: $29.56

Doesn’t Make the Cut: Poor Quality and High Price Don’t Line up

It was stiff and felt cheap. HOUEI claims that their towels fluff up after a good washing, but we tried it and the towel came out of the washing machine as flat as it was when it went in. Honesty, it was the most uncomfortable out of all the towels we tested.

It also absorbed less water than average. And at this price point, we’re sure you can find another towel that works and feels way better.

Japanese 株式会社ホウエイ 8年タオル バスタオル Material 100% Cotton
Made in Vietnam Features
Size 65 x 135 cm Weight 315 g
Texture 1.0 Absorbency 2.0
Overall Score 1.0

How We Tested Our Products

We determined the best towels needed to feel soft to the touch, no matter how many times they’ve been tossed in the washing machine. They also needed to be absorbent.

This is how we tested for those factors.

Test ①: Texture

Texture

We wanted to know how the towels would feel after they’d been washed, so we threw each into a washing machine for two cycles. We then touched the towels in every which way–prodding, pushing, rubbing, petting, dabbing–from every angle, and graded each texture on a five-step scale.

Extra long staple cottons–where a single fiber or “staple” is very long–make for softer towels. Egyptian and supima cottons typically have long fibers, though there are grades and varieties even within these categories. You can also look for combed cotton, which has had debris and shorter staples combed out of it. This treatment results in softer and silkier threads and fluffier towels.

Test ②: Absorbency

Absorbency

We cut the bath towels into strips 200 mm long and 25 mm wide. We then dipped the bottom 20 mm of each strip into water, which we had dyed blue with food coloring, and left them all to soak. After 10 minutes, we measured how far up the water had traveled. The larger the blue area, the more absorbent the towel and the higher the score.

We found that towels with thicker threads densely packed together–ones that felt sturdier–were the most absorbent.

Tips on How to Choose a Japanese Bath Towel – Buying Guide

Here are five big things to look out for.

① The Feel and Characteristics of Common Materials

Bath towels are usually made out of cotton or microfiber.

For a Well-Balanced Towel: Cotton Has Everything from Absorbency to Softness

For a Well-Balanced Towel: Cotton Has Everything from Absorbency to Softness

Cotton is soft, absorbent, and durable. And while cotton towels can take time to dry, especially if they’re thick, companies have found ways to get around this with innovative weaves and technologies.

However, there are various types of cotton and they’re not all made equal. If you want them soft and fluffy, find out what kind of cotton was used, how long the fibers are (that is, whether they’re short or long staple, long staple being the softer and better choice), or at least where it was manufactured.

The following are cottons prized for their texture and quality.

High-Quality Cottons

  • シーアイランドコットン: Sea Island cotton
  • エジプト超長綿のギザ綿: Egyptian, especially extra long staple Giza cotton
  • インド超長綿: Extra long staple Indian cotton
  • 新疆綿の超長綿: Extra long staple Xinjiang Cotton
  • スーピマコットン: Supima Cotton

For a Time-Saving Towel: Microfiber Absorbs Quickly and Dries Quickly

For a Time-Saving Towel: Microfiber Absorbs Quickly and Dries Quickly

Microfiber※1 cloths are light and feel smooth and soft. They dry quickly and, when well made, soak up amazing amounts of water. They’re usually spun from synthetic polymers like polyester and nylon and have fibers of exceeding fineness, due to how they’re manufactured. These tiny fibers are what make microfiber so effective at picking up debris.

However–and you wouldn’t be able to tell by just looking at the cloth–each individual fiber is extremely sharp. If you were to scrub to hard with it, you’d damage your skin in the long run. You don’t want to use it if you’re sensitive and prone to irritation. Microfiber towels are also not very durable because the fine threads trap and retain bacteria.

※1 マイクロファイバー: microfiber

② Different Weaves and Their Merits

The way cotton threads are brought together can enhance or even change their characteristics.

For a Softer Towel: Try Loop Pile, Zero Twist, or Sheared Cotton

For a Softer Towel: Try Loop Pile, Zero Twist, or Sheared Cotton

The following production methods will result in softer cotton.

  • Loop Pile※2: The surface of the fabric is made of uncut loops of yarn. By adjusting the length of the loops or the angles at which they stand, manufacturers can alter the texture of the towel.
  • Shearing※3: By cutting off the tops of cotton terry loops, manufacturers can ensure that the surfaces of their towels are smooth and even. This also allows each strand of cotton to bloom into finer fibers, resulting in a softer texture.
  • Zero Twist※4: Lower-quality cotton usually has to be spun into threads before it’s sturdy enough to use. Zero twist weaves utilize stronger fibers that are unspun. The overall weave is therefore less dense and the towels lighter and fluffier. They’re also usually more absorbent, though fibers may fall out easier.

※2 ループパイル: loop pile
※3 シャーリング: shearing
※4 無撚糸: zero twist

For a Quick-Drying Towel: Look for Gauze or a Waffle Weave

For a Quick-Drying Towel: Look for Gauze or a Waffle Weave

If you need a light, fast-drying towel to stuff in a bag or something, consider gauze※5 or a waffle weave※6.

Gauze is thin and breathable, but the weave is loose and can feel rough. Waffle towels also have no terry loops; instead, they feature bumps and grooves that facilitate airflow, which helps the fabric dry off quickly.

※5 ガーゼ: gauze
※6 ワッフル: waffle

For a Long-Lasting Towel: Go Hotel Style

For a Long-Lasting Towel: Go Hotel Style

Hotel style towels are thick; they feature a sturdy threads gathered in a tight weave.

Just FYI: hotel style towels may sound like they’d be plush, feel luxurious, and cost a fortune, but this isn’t necessarily the case. For a towel to be designated hotel style, it just needs to be substantial enough to withstand numerous washings without fraying or fading in color.

③ Measurements of Weight and Thickness

Measurements of Weight and Thickness

In Japan, the unit for towel thickness/weight is the monme (匁). The higher the monme, the thicker the towel. If you like them thicker, look for a towel that’s around 800 – 1200 匁.

Not all brands use monme, however. If that’s the case, see if you can determine the towel’s weight in grams. Usually, 250 – 400 g equates to 800 – 1200 匁.

Generally speaking, the thicker the towel, the more absorbent it’ll be (though, as we discussed earlier, absorbency is also swayed by cotton type and weave). Thicker towels also tend to be sturdier and more durable.

④ The Difficulties of Finding a Towel that is Both Soft and Absorbent

The Difficulties of Finding a Towel that is Both Soft and Absorbent

Soft, light towels are made up of thin fibers with plenty of air in between them, allowing for that fluffy feel. However, absorbent towels are usually woven from thick threads, which are densely packed together. So most absorbent towels end up feel sturdy but stiff.

Of course, this formula can be tweaked by changing up the cottons used or switching out one kind of manufacturing process for another. But it’s best to figure out your priorities. If all you’re planning to do is towel yourself off after a shower, for example, you probably aren’t going to need something to guzzles water and can afford a bit of pampering.

⑤ Sizes that are Comfortable and Convenient

Sizes that are Comfortable and Convenient

The average towel size in Japan is about 70 x 140 cm (27.5 x 59 in). If a woman 160 cm (5’2″) tall were to wrap it around her body, it’d reach right above her knees.

If you need something more compact for the kids or overnight bags, then something between 50 x 100 cm and 60 x 120 will do. If you’re looking for something more like a beach towel, then you want a larger towel around 80 x 150 cm.

It might also be worth taking the size of your washing machine into account, especially if you don’t like having multiple loads. Smaller capacities (3 -4 kg) may call for compact towels, whereas larger capacity machines (7 kg and above) can handle any towel you throw at it.

Three Tips to Keep Your Towel Soft and Fluffy

Three Tips to Keep Your Towel Soft and Fluffy

The reason your towel feels stiff after coming out of the wash is because the pile–that is, the loops are lying flat. You want to do everything you can to protect those loops and make sure there’s enough air between them. Specifically, you can take the following three steps.

How to Keep Your Towels Soft and Fluffy

  1. Don’t overload your washing machine, and put the towel in a protective net.
  2. Use as much water when washing as possible.
  3. Before air drying your towel, give it 20 good shakes to get some air circulating through the pile.

We don’t recommend using softener. That’ll leave residue on the fibers of your towel, making them less absorbent.

Looking for More Bathroom Goods? Consider These

Looking for More Bathroom Goods? Consider These

Because you deserve some pampering.

Summary

We rounded up members from our editing department, purchased the 34 most popular Japanese bath towels, and tested them all.

You don’t need more stress after a long day at class or at work, so it’s that much more important to pick a towel that works and feels good. We hope that out of all the towels we collected–ranging from half water-repellent to super absorbent, starchy to fluffy as a cloud–you find at least one perfect companion.

Original by Haruka Toda; Translation by Jasmine Li

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