The 10 Best Kitchen Towels of 2022

The Williams Sonoma Classic Stripe Towels are our top pick for their design, absorbency, and quick-drying fabric.

In This Article

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Best Kitchen Towels

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Functional kitchen towels can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your kitchen clean. The best kitchen towels are versatile, absorbent, and quick-drying—and as functional as they are attractive. We researched dozens of kitchen towels, plus spoke to to Leslie Reichert, the Green Cleaning Coach and author of The Joy of Green Cleaning, to come up with the best options for every cleaning need. 

Reichert says she likes to prioritize options that are white so that they can be bleached. But regardless of which color you choose, it’s important to keep your kitchen towels clean for the best results: “I recommend changing [kitchen towels] out daily,” says Reichert. She also notes that you can toss in a little hydrogen peroxide to kill germs, as well. 

Our top pick, the Williams Sonoma Classic Stripe Towels, are ideal for the kitchen because they're both absorbent and quick to dry. The towels come in a classic stripe design that adds a pop of color to any space. 

Find more of our kitchen towel recommendations below, as well as expert tips on how to choose the right kitchen towels for your needs. 

Best Overall Kitchen Towels: Williams Sonoma Classic Stripe Towels

Williams Sonoma Classic Stripe Towels

Amazon

Whom they're for: People who want functional towels with an understated design. 

Whom they're not for: People who want towels in solid colors. 

The understated design of these towels is complemented by the Turkish cotton material that is both soft and fast-drying. They feature a rotating pinstripe-waffle knit design that makes them great for cleaning up tough spills or soaking up excess water left over on clean dishes.  Plus, they’re Standard 100 certified by Oeko-Tex, which means they have been tested and found to be free of potentially harmful substances. 

The towels also come with a handy little loop that makes them easy to hang up to dry. They are sold as a set of four and come in a variety of colors ranging from Geranium Pink to Lemon Yellow, as well as a multi-color pack, which is great if you’re looking to completely refresh your kitchen towels with new and colorful options. 

Price at time of publish: From $22 for 4-pack

Product Details: 

  • Material: Turkish cotton
  • Towels Included: 4
  • Size: 30 x 20 inches

Best Budget Kitchen Towels: Aunt Martha’s Vintage Dish Towels

Aunt Martha’s Vintage Dish Towels

Amazon

Whom they're for: People looking for a simple and effective kitchen towel.

Whom they're not for: People who don’t like vintage design, or people who want a thicker towel. 

These cotton kitchen towels are the perfect solution to all of your kitchen cleanup woes. They are sizable enough to cover a lot of surface area if you’ve spilled something, and they come equipped with a nice little loop that is perfect for hanging them up to dry. 

The background color is slightly off-white, which gives the towels a vintage feel. They have four stripes along the ends in red, green, yellow and blue. You can also buy them in single colors if you are trying to match dishes or other kitchenware. The edges are also all hemmed, which will keep them from fraying with time and wear. The towels come in a set of three and are super-cost-effective at less than $3 per towel, which makes them ideal if you need to purchase more than one set. 

Price at time of publish: $10 for 3-pack

Product Details: 

  • Material: Cotton
  • Towels Included: 3
  • Size: 28 x 18 inches

Most Absorbent Kitchen Towels: Kitinjoy Kitchen Towels

Kitinjoy Kitchen Towels

Amazon

Whom they're for: People with kids or pets—or anyone who finds themselves cleaning up a lot of spills. 

Whom they're not for: People who want patterned kitchen towels.

If your main priority when looking for kitchen towels is absorbency, you will absolutely love the Kitinjoy Kitchen Towels. They feature a hollow honeycomb knit weave that will clean up even your biggest spills—and since the weave is hollow, they dry incredibly quickly. The brand touts that even after six months of use, the towels are still some of the most absorbent options on the market. 

Another great feature of these towels is that they come in a number of solid color options (though no patterns), including white, which you can easily clean by adding a bit of bleach to the washing machine when you launder them. These towels are also super-soft, but the waffle knit texture gives them just the right amount of abrasiveness to scrub away stains or spills. Finally, they come in a set of 4, making them a great value—especially given how long they will last. 

Price at time of publish: From $17 for 4-pack

Product Details: 

  • Material: Cotton
  • Towels Included: 4
  • Size: 28 x 13 inches

Best Quick-Drying Kitchen Towels: Food52 Five Two Essential Kitchen Towels

4.9
Food 52 Five Two Essential Kitchen Towels

Food52

Whom they're for: People who want kitchen towels that come in two complementary weaves. 

Whom they're not for: People who aren't in a position to spend a lot on kitchen towels. 

The Five Two Essential Kitchen Towels are both stylish and functional. They feature a large checker pattern over a white background, and the pattern is available in six different colors. The towels come in two complementary designs for tackling all of your drying needs: a utility towel and a flour sack towel. The utility towels (available in a set of two) have a thicker weave that is designed to be more absorbent and extra-durable for sopping up spills (or even for using as an oven mitt in a pinch). The flour-sack towels (available in a set of four) are designed for drying delicate dishes, such as glassware, without leaving behind lint or scratches.

For the best of both worlds, go with the multi-pack that includes five flour sack towels and five utility towels. This set can tackle any kitchen task before you, from sopping up serious spills to drying even the most delicate dishes. Both towels are made from pre-washed cotton, so they’re extra-absorbent, and each features a handy hanging loop for drying. 

Price at time of publish: From $35 for 2-pack

Product Details: 

  • Material: Cotton
  • Towels Included: 2, 4, or 10
  • Size: 30 x 20 inches

Best Cotton Kitchen Towels: Sur La Table Striped Kitchen Towels, Set of 3

4.5
Striped Kitchen Towels

Courtesy of Sur la Table

Whom they're for: People who want different types of kitchen towels in a single set. 

Whom they're not for: People who want solid, not striped, towels. 

If you like the classic candy striped look, these striped kitchen towels are for you. They are available in a total of 10 colors so that you can coordinate them to your decor. The set includes three towels, two of which are basketweave, and one of which is twill. The basketweave option has a little more texture, which would be great for scrubbing stains or spills, while the twill weave is super-smooth and is sure to dry super-quickly. 

These towels also include a loop at the corner so that you can hang them up for faster drying. The only downside of these towels is that the manufacturer recommends that people wash them in cold water and on your laundry machine’s gentle cycle. While you may be able to skirt around these rules, these instructions aren’t ideal for sanitizing towels.

Price at time of publish: $22 for 3-pack

Product Details: 

  • Material: Cotton
  • Towels Included: 3
  • Size: 28 x 20 inches

Best Linen Kitchen Towels: Magic Linen Waffle Kitchen Towel

Waffle Kitchen Towels

Magic Linen

Whom it’s for: People who want absorbent and lint-free kitchen towels. 

Whom it isn’t for: People who want to buy their kitchen towels as a set. 

This linen-cotton blend towel is sure to become your new household favorite. Made with naturally antimicrobial linen, each towel has a laidback design that's elevated with a bright pop of color. There's nothing boring about this towel—it comes in 13 colors, including neutrals (like light gray and sandy beige) and more unusual hues (like pistachio green and redwood).

The soft linen fibers are excellent for drying and polishing delicate dishes without leaving behind any lint. Plus, they’re quick to dry and very absorbent. But keep in mind that linen kitchen towels typically come with a higher price tag—while this towel is more budget-friendly than other linen options, it's still not the cheapest option around (and take note that this style is sold individually rather than in a set). 

Price at time of publish: $18

Product Details: 

  • Material: Linen, cotton
  • Towels Included: 1
  • Size: 27 x 20 inches

Best Microfiber Kitchen Towels: Hyer Kitchen Microfiber Dish Towels

Hyer Kitchen Microfiber Dish Towels

Amazon

Whom they're for: People who want an extra-absorbent and durable towel for sopping up spills. 

Whom they're not for: People who prefer the more elegant look of cotton or linen towels. 

Microfiber has a sumptuous-feeling texture that is incredibly absorbent. This fabric is a blend of polyester and polyamide, which is a type of nylon. Since the fibers are so fine, they are more porous, and they dry more quickly. In fact, microfiber can absorb up to six times its own weight in liquid. The brand says that the absorbency will also increase with each and every trip through the washing machine. 

These towels come in a pack of eight and are available in six different colors, each of which has a striped design. They are generously sized to clean up even larger spills and the blend of fibers also allows them to be super-durable, so you don’t have to worry about being gentle with them.

Price at time of publish: From $18 for 8-pack

Product Details: 

  • Material: Microfiber
  • Towels Included: 8
  • Size: 26 x 18 inches

Best Waffle Kitchen Towels: Hawkins New York Essential Waffle Dish Towel Set of 2

Essential Waffle Dish Towel
Courtesy of Food52.

Whom they're for: People who want functional kitchen towels with a modern and natural design. 

Whom they're not for: People who want plush kitchen towels. 

These little waffle knit towels come in the trendiest solid colors, as well as six different color combos, such as blush and terracotta or mustard and bronze. They are made of cotton and feature a low-profile waffle knit weave that is ideal for both scrubbing and drying spills. 

They are ultra-absorbent, and their 100 percent cotton construction and honeycomb pattern help them dry quickly. The raw hem helps them maintain a natural aesthetic that is incredibly charming. And if you fall in love with the dish towels, they come in a bath towel version, too. 

Price at time of publish: $28 for 2-pack

Product Details: 

  • Material: Cotton
  • Towels Included: 2
  • Size: 28 x 21 inches

Best Flour Sack Kitchen Towels: King Arthur Flour Sack Towels

King Arthur Flour Sack Towels

King Arthur

Whom they're for: People who want a cost-effective and versatile set of kitchen towels. 

Whom they're not for: People who want the most absorbent towels they can find. 

Flour sack towels look absolutely timeless and they are versatile options for everything from soaking up spills to drying dishes, thanks to their low-lint design. And because they are thinner than many other types of kitchen towels, they can also be useful for food prep, such as drying delicate herbs or covering rising dough. The King Arthur Flour Sack Towels are white with a red stripe around the bottom that adds a little dash of detail that will still pair easily with lots of different styles of decor.

These towels also have a cotton hanging loop, which helps them dry super-quickly. Since they are made of cotton, they are fast-drying and easy to clean. The other nice thing about these towels is that they come in a set of four for only $15, which makes it easy to restock your entire kitchen if needed. They are machine-washable, but due to the red stripe around the edges, they are not bleach-friendly. 

Price at time of publish: $15 for 4-pack

Product Details: 

  • Material: Cotton
  • Towels Included: 4
  • Size: 30 x 20 inches

Best Organic Kitchen Towels: Pottery Barn French Striped Organic Cotton Grain Sack Tea Towels

Pottery Barn French Striped Organic Cotton Grain Sack Tea Towels

Pottery Barn

Whom they're for: People who want kitchen towels made with certified organic cotton. 

Whom they're not for: People who want solid-white towels they can bleach. 

These towels will add a chic and vintage feel to any kitchen aesthetic. They are made of 100 percent organic cotton and they are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified, which assures they are of organic origin and processed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Each towel measures 30 by 20 inches, so you have plenty of absorbent material available. 

In terms of design, these towels feature a slightly off-white background with stripes running down the center of each towel. The yarn-dyed fibers are intended to hold their color over time, which means you never have to worry about them fading after you toss them in the washing machine. While you can’t use them with bleach, feel free to wash them in hot water and throw them in the dryer. 

Price at time of publish: $30 for 2-pack

Product Details: 

  • Material: Organic cotton
  • Towels Included: 2
  • Size: 30 x 20 inches

Final Verdict

Our favorite towels are the Williams Sonoma Classic Stripe Towels that come in a set of four. Not only are they stylish, but they are incredibly absorbent and quick-drying. Plus, you can choose from several colors or opt for a multi-colored variety pack. 

How to Shop for Kitchen Towels Like a Pro

Material 

Kitchen towels come in a variety of materials, the most common being cotton and microfiber. And among these types of materials, there are different weaves as well. Terry cloth towels are best for mopping up spills, whereas flat weaves are slightly less absorbent but leave behind less lint. Other weaves include waffle weave towels, which wick away moisture and dry quickly, thanks to their grid pattern, as well as flour sack towels, which are thin and low-lint, making them useful for a variety of household tasks.

Absorbency

Flour sack and other 100 percent cotton options are Reichert’s favorites. They also have the added benefit of being quick-drying and easy to clean. Terry cloth can be extremely absorbent as well, but it has the tendency to hold onto water, so keep this in mind when shopping. 

Size

If you are just looking for a towel to use for cleaning up spills and drying your dishes, the bigger the better. The standard size is about 30 by 20 inches, which is sizable and convenient.

Questions You Might Ask

What are some uses for kitchen towels?

Kitchen towels are typically used for drying dishes and wiping up spills. That said, due to the risk of cross-contamination, Reichert is not the biggest fan of using them after hand-washing. “I like to use high-quality paper towels and reuse them for a time or two before throwing them in the recycling,” she says. If you have two hand towels at the ready, use one for drying dishes and the other for wiping up spills. 

What's the best way to wash kitchen towels? 

Since kitchens can be germy places due to the handling of raw food, it’s imperative that you make sure you’re regularly washing your kitchen towels. While Reichert says she likes to toss in some oxygen bleach to remove stains, she makes sure that she’s washing the towels in “hot, hot water with laundry detergent and some hydrogen peroxide to kill germs.” 

How often should you change out kitchen towels? 

When thinking about how often you should wash your kitchen towels, remember that these are often used for food spills and hand-drying—so it’s pretty important. “I recommend changing them out daily,” says Reichert. “Hand drying with a cloth towel can spread germs, so starting with a new towel each morning keeps things clean and fresh.” She loves flour sack towels because they’re inexpensive, absorbent, and (oftentimes) white, so they can be bleached.   

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Brittany Loggins, a contributing writer for Real Simple who specializes in lifestyle and beauty content. To come up with this list, she thoroughly researched the best kitchen towels and narrowed down the options based on factors like material, absorbency, size, and more. For expert tips, she spoke to Leslie Reichert, the Green Cleaning Coach and author of the book The Joy of Green Cleaning.

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