The Best Microfiber Towels for Cleaning Every Surface
When it comes to cleaning, microfiber towels reign supreme. These multi-use cloths are not only more absorbent than traditional towels made with cotton, but they're significantly more effective at picking up dirt and bacteria.
To find the best microfiber towels for different cleaning needs—including dusting furniture, polishing cars, cleaning floors, and more—we evaluated top-rated microfiber towels on factors like material, density, efficiency, and versatility. We also received expert tips on purchasing and using microfiber towels from Angela Brown, CEO and founder of Savvy Cleaner, as well as Leanne Stapf, COO at The Cleaning Authority.
"The number one thing to look for in a highly-quality microfiber cloth is if it is 'gripping' what you're cleaning," says Stapf. "Although soft to the touch, if you run your hand over the cloth, you'll notice a gripping sensation caused by the electricity pulling at your skin. If there is a gripping sensation, you'll know that the cloth is ready to pick up any dirt you throw its way!"
Our top pick is the Mr. Siga Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Set, which is a great all-purpose microfiber towel that's non-abrasive and absorbent, yet still effective at picking up dirt. It also comes in a variety of colors so you can delegate different colors to specific cleaning tasks to avoid cross-contamination.
Find our recommendations for the best microfiber towels below, and keep scrolling for expert advice on what to look for in a microfiber towel.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Microfiber Towel: Mr. Siga Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Set
- Best Budget Microfiber Towel: Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Set
- Best Microfiber Towel Set: E-Cloth Home Cleaning Microfiber Cloth Set
- Best Microfiber Towel for Housekeeping: Buff Pro Multi-Surface Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Set
- Best Microfiber Towel for Cars: Chemical Guys Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towel Set
- Best Microfiber Towel for Glass: Clothclose Nanoscale Cleaning Cloth Set
- Best Microfiber Towel for Electronics: MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Set
- Best Waffle Weave Microfiber Towel: The Rag Company Standard Waffle Weave Microfiber Towel Set
Best Overall Microfiber Towel: Mr. Siga Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Set
Best Budget Microfiber Towel: Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Set
Best Microfiber Towel Set: E-Cloth Home Cleaning Microfiber Cloth Set
Best Microfiber Towel for Housekeeping: Buff Pro Multi Surface Microfiber Towel Set
Best Microfiber Towel for Cars: Chemical Guys Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towel Set
Best Microfiber Towel for Glass: Clothclose Nanoscale Cleaning Cloth Set
Best Microfiber Towel for Electronics: MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Set
Best Waffle-Weave Microfiber Towel: The Rag Company Standard Waffle Weave Microfiber Towel Set
The Mr. Siga Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Set earns our top spot because the towels have just the right amount of scouring power without being overly abrasive, making them a great all-purpose choice. Plus, each set features four different colors so you can designate a color for each cleaning area, helping to prevent cross-contamination.
For a less expensive alternative, the Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths are a great value and have a large surface area for picking up dirt and absorbing spills. However, they're not suitable for delicate surfaces such as glassware or car detailing.
How to Shop for Microfiber Towels Like a Pro
Weave and Pile
Most microfiber cloths feature a loop weave with tiny hooks that can grab wet and dry messes without damaging surfaces. Loop weave microfiber cloths have different pile lengths, from low to high. Low pile towels are less prone to linting and more effective at cutting through tough messes, while high pile towels are more plush and absorbent, and best for cleaning delicate surfaces.
Waffle weave microfiber towels are no-pile towels that feature a cross-hatched pattern that's great for drying. Water becomes trapped in the grooves of the waffle pattern, while the ridges give the towel scouring power. And when made from high quality microfiber, waffle weave towels are non-abrasive and lint-free, making them ideal for glass cleaning.
There are different grades of microfiber cloths based on density, or grams per square meter (GSM). All-purpose microfiber towels often range from 250-350 GSM. The lower the GSM, the better for scouring and tougher cleaning jobs, but the higher the likelihood of streaking and scratching. The higher the GSM, the better for delicate surfaces. Use the chart below as a guide when choosing the right GSM for your cleaning needs:
Don't Use For
Aggressive scrubbing, scouring, utility
Glass or other scratch-prone surfaces
All-purpose cleaning, glass surfaces
Extra delicate surfaces such as car finishes, musical instruments, etc.
Car detailing, drying delicate surfaces
Aggressive scrubbing and cleaning
Microfiber towels are made up of a blend of polyester and either polyamide or nylon. Polyester usually makes up the majority of the towel and is responsible for its durability and scrubbing power, while polyamide or nylon is responsible for its absorbency and density. Thus, the higher the percentage of polyamide or nylon, the more scratch-resistant and plush the towel. Cheaper towels may have a ratio of 90 percent polyester to 10 percent polyamide or nylon. For an all-purpose cleaning cloth, look for a blend of about 80/20 or 85/15.
You may not think to pay attention to color when purchasing a microfiber cloth, but having a variety of colors within a set can help prevent cross contamination, especially considering how well microfiber holds onto dirt and grime. "With the awareness of cross-contamination it's great to have a variety of cloths you can keep separate in your cleaning caddy, in your car, and in the wash," says Brown. "And using the same color for every job removes the guesswork from trying to keep your cloths separate."
Try designating a different color for each cleaning area, such as kitchen, bathroom, automotive, glass, etc.
Questions You Might Ask
How do microfiber towels work?
Microfibers are set apart for their ability to attach themselves to microscopic dirt particles and even bacteria: "A microfiber cloth is designed with millions of small fibers that can lift and hold dirt, bacteria, and liquids," says Stapf. "Scientifically speaking, the polyester fibers are positively-charged and the nylon fibers are negatively charged, which creates the perfect storm to attract and pull in the mess you're cleaning up." High-quality microfiber towels are also more absorbent and quicker to dry than other towels, which makes them ideal for household cleaning.
When should you use microfiber towels?
Microfiber towels have many different uses, and certain blends lend themselves particularly well to specific cleaning tasks. In general, you can use microfiber towels any way you would a paper or cloth towel, because they're great for picking up dirt and bacteria. "Every type of cloth has a purpose," says Brown. "In cleaning, microfiber cloths are preferred because of their effectiveness in sanitizing surfaces."Because of its ability to snatch up tiny particles, microfiber is also great for dusting surfaces, including electronics and car interiors. And depending on its density, it can be used for scrubbing down surfaces or drying and detailing scratch-prone surfaces, such as car paint. Microfiber cloths can be used dry, with water, or with cleaning solutions.
Which side of the microfiber towel should you use?
Some microfiber towels have one soft side and one slightly more abrasive side. The latter is best for scrubbing, while the former is meant for drying or detailing delicate surfaces without scratching them.
How should you wash microfiber towels?
Because microfibers have the ability to attract dirt, it's essential to maintain that attraction in order for your cloth to last: "Harsh chemicals will coat the cloth and make it less viable over time," says Stapf. "Therefore, you actually don't need to give the cloth a deep clean with every use. You can reuse the towel a few times in a row and just simply rinse it out under warm water and hang it to dry."
When it's time to wash, most microfiber towels are machine washable in cold or warm water (not hot) and should be washed separately from non-microfiber items to avoid attracting lint from other fabrics, such as cotton. Use a mild, unscented detergent and avoid fabric softener, dryer sheets, and bleach when washing microfiber towels. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets can affect the towels' absorbency, while bleach will erode the fibers. "Instead of fabric softener, you can throw in a tablespoon of white vinegar to combat any odor," says Stapf.
To get as many wash cycles out of your towel as possible, Brown suggests the following steps:
- Soak gunky microfiber towels in a pH-neutral cleaner before washing.
- Hang towels to dry or tumble dry on the no-heat cycle.
- Avoid using microfiber towels on extra greasy or tar-like surfaces, such as the engine of a car, oven hood, etc.
- Don't let dirty microfiber cloths sit in a damp pile for an extended period of time. Instead, either soak them in a bucket or hang them to dry until you can wash them.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Melanie Fincher, associate commerce editor for Real Simple with nearly three years of experience writing product reviews and lifestyle content. To compile the list, she spent hours researching microfiber towels and reading customer reviewers. She also received tips on how to shop and care for microfiber towels from Angela Brown, CEO and founder of Savvy Cleaner, as well as Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer at The Cleaning Authority.